Is God Trying To Get Our Attention?

Learning what matters most, thanks to a Wind Storm...

As I drive around town, I see many people who aren’t paying attention to the world around them.  "I love you, Dad..." not paying attention (From Tumblr)Some can’t hear a friend calling out to them because they’re using earbuds and an iPhone. Others are at the dinner table, scrolling through the Facebook News Feed on their tablet.

And as I’m driving down the road here in rural Maine, I notice that least 1 in 20 of the other drivers have their eyes looking down… at their cellphones… as they drive.

This new life attached to phones doesn’t appeal to me very much.  My language work largely involves working with computers. So I turn everything off at the end of the day and try to talk to real people or read a book.

However, the challenge for me is to stop working!  My cause is noble, and there always seems to be work waiting on my computer’s desktop.  The computer allows us to work efficiently and I find it difficult to pull away from it and pay attention to my family as I should.

How often has God tried to get my attention, and I was too busy to listen?

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“Our Radio Interview with Tom Obey on WHCF FM 88.5”
by WHCF FM 88.5 Bangor Maine

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WHCF FM 88.5 Bangor, MaineIn the month of July, Tom Obey interviewed the founding president of Desert Springs Ministries.  He was on their weekly “Missions in your Backyard” Program on WHCF.

About the Radio Interview

David was just back from a trip to Chad and Sicily.  Through the use of locally available technology, he is a part of a team that is making God’s Word available to people in their language.  He does this by helping to provide MicroBibles.

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With God, our times of trouble are never wasted

The Making of the Mount Desert Island Guide

As we go through life, we will face times of trouble.  As Christians, we somehow think that we aren’t supposed to go through difficult times.  We are made to understand that our lives will be trouble-free and lots of fun once we turn our lives over to Him!

In reality, Scripture makes no such guarantee.  In fact, Jesus warned us, “In the world you will have trouble.  But trust!  I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33, Modern Wycliffe NT)

Last summer, we went through a time of trouble together as a ministry.  We had just started our new mission, called Desert Springs Ministries.  We were praying for wisdom, for ways to grow our team of prayer warriors and partners.

Now, I am known for my crazy ideas, and my willingness to do radical things, even if they are difficult.  While I pursued this idea, I was under the impression that I was obeying the LORD.  And despite the troubles I went through by doing so, I still feel that God was leading me through it.

I have the tendency to beat myself up for doing what God leads me to do, if the outcome brings trouble into my life.  But is that really fair?  Does God’s way always help us to avoid trouble in our lives… or does it sometimes bring it on?

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Seven Steps You Must Take BEFORE You Get An EIN For Your 501(c)(3)

Are you planning on starting your own Nonprofit in 2017?  If so, don’t apply for an EIN number first, like I did.

We received an early Christmas present from the IRS this year.  They sent us our letter certifying our ministry’s tax-exempt status!  I felt so excited and nervous that I had my wife open it and read it aloud to me.

Along the way, I did a few things right.  I also made a LOT of mistakes along the way. Yet somehow, we made it through.

learnersdictionary.com relievedOne of the biggest mistakes I made in setting up our non-profit was to start the process by applying for an Employee Identification Number (or EIN).  It was so easy!  It left me feeling the excitement that the dream of having our own mission agency was truly coming to pass!

However, a year later, I found out from our tax advisor that applying for an EIN number starts the countdown toward the month when you are required submit your 1023 Form to the IRS.  Also, from the day you obtain your EIN number, you are expected to submit forms 941 quarterly and 990 annually.  If you don’t know how to fill these out, or even that you must do so, there will be penalties to pay.

When I applied for an EIN number too early, I put in a lot of long hours in order to meet the deadline.

To cover myself, I must warn you that I am not a lawyer.  You should always consult a legal professional before taking a step as serious as establishing your own Nonprofit.

Despite the risk, I feel a sense of obligation to “give back” as others generously gave to me.  We started this Nonprofit on a shoestring budget.  I know what it’s like when finances are tight at the start, and how precious good advice can be.

To help you avoid some of the trouble and anxiety I endured along the way, here is a list of seven steps you should take before you apply for your EIN number.

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“David’s WHCF Interview w/ Tom Obey”
by 88.5 WHCF FM

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Missions in Your Backyard
September 14, 2016

whcf logoMissions in Your Backyard is a longstanding program on WHCF. During the week, host Tom Obey features different ministries based in Central Maine. I am so thankful for the opportunity they gave me to share a bit about our ministry on this program. Hopefully, this will give you a good introduction to what we do and why we do it.

If you are ever in the Bangor area, you will find WHCF at 88.5 FM.