First let me say a HUGE thank you for all you mean to us as a family. We never dreamed of such a journey as God has placed us on in the past 7 months. Who would have ever thought God would take lamb, a stumbling shepherd, and this small piece of land to do His work. We certainly had no idea.
In this time, you have surely come to see we are just people who struggle day in and day out like most every one else. We have the typical concerns of a family trying to raise 4 kids and keep things afloat here on the farm. I personally wrestle to remain firm in my trust that yes, God does love and accept me just like I am. My mind tells me in order to be accepted I must be perfect, when God says I just have to be me, his adopted son covered in the righteousness of Jesus! That is such a hard reality for a man like me to grasp and continue to lay hold of. Yet, it is true.
We have several things we would appreciate your prayer on, again....
1. That we would remain constant in our desire to simply be with God. Even serving Him can become a distraction from simply being with Him. I was recently told that ministry can be very addictive, and Brennan Manning confirmed this in his book. Ruthless Trust, last night as he wrote that he had left one addiction, Alcoholism, and replaced it with another, ministry. Pray that my mind will remain focused on simply Being the One who is sitting at his feet, not the one trying to make everything happen.
2. That we would be firm in our resolve to trust in God for His provisions for our family. I wrestle with this every day. I have all kinds of plans which would bring about financial comfort for us, but these plans typically involve either prostituting the gospel for gain OR using my logic and reasoning to make something okay for me to do despite my heart telling me it is not.
3. We have 4 kids. Need I say more? LOL! Seriously, that we as parents would remember our greatest disciples currently lay at our feet, in our home, and that we would pour out His love into them, so that they grow in a relationship with their Good Shepherd and can be the Ones at His feet. Everything in life is currently pulling our attention in a million directions and that typically means our family time suffers.
4. I have spoken to a literary agent regarding the Devotional book and the children book publications. Pray we are guided by the Holy Spirit in this so as to only move forward as He leads. I have spoken to several about self publishing as well, but we simply want to follow Him. So join us as we enter this season of prayer regarding this.
5. We have a desire to open a "store" on the website for T Shirts, a yearly calendar with photos from the farm, and a place for the eventual books to be purchased from. This again requires financing to do, but most importantly we only want to follow His leading on this. If it is something He desires, it will simply happen in His timing and in His way.
6. We will do another shirt run and add the additional products the first of October. Pray that this continues to be a way to minister the Gospel much further than what we can do.
7. Most of all, pray my eyes remain on my Shepherd. I have taught this week about the distraction and dangers of the abundance and these lessons are things I am currently learning. Pray my heart, eyes, and focus remains solely on him and that I would have the courage to accept His acceptance and rest at His feet.
Thank you all for your great love and all your prayer support!
Ray and the Carmans! (aka, that Carmandos as per my daughter Hailey which is a reference to our karate class we do as a family now!)