2 years at AZCA!

So this week I'm just crossing the two year mark working at Arizonas Children Association here in Flagstaff. Thought Id just take a moment to blog/share about it and what I do there as Im very glad to be doin it!!  I'm definitely very blessed to have found this position and have really enjoyed the chance to work with families in need all over Northern Arizona including Prescott, Kingman, Meadview, Bullhead City, Lake Havasu City, Winslow, Holbrook, all around Flag and everywhere in between. Just over 32 homes now and thousands of miles driven. Crazy to think about but at the same time its been a privelege as I have been able to help influence, teach and have  direct influence on parents, children and teens in a positive way and helping them to make healthy changes in their lives. My official title is a Clinician and Family Support Tech. The stories I've experienced at AZCA through our "Meet Me Where I am Program" and "In Home" therapy and support, in just the short two years are pretty insane. (and I thought my life was crazy!)

It's exciting personally to be a part of an organization like this because its very hard now days to find employment in a place that you not only enjoy but also believe in and support. In this line of work its also obvious you dont do it for the money. Its about meeting people where they are and providing hope and new directions. Strangely enough, even while at a crossroads in my own life, I have thoroughly enjoyed every part of my role in this organization. I have had more "hands on" opportunites and "ministering" to people than I've had in any previous jobs , ironically including the ministries Ive been invovled in. After all our focus should be on relationships in life and reaching out to help in the world around us and if we arent doing that we are missing the point.

Dont get me wrong this job is not glamorous and perfect. Its actually quite the opposite. It is rewarding tho and for that Im very grateful. Everyday is a new adventure and even if I have a plan or a schedule I never know where I might end up next or how the day might end. I work with people directly in the schools, courts, home, community, wherever.   Each day is a new chance to help families and children in their life challenges and provide some stability, resources and hope. That itself is very exciting. (I actually think I've learned just as much as I have offered to all my clients and am hoping also this year to work on developing a life coaching program as an addition to my role at AZCA to continue helping people where they are. If you want to find out more or are interested in a life coach email me at kevinearnst@yahoo.com).

Not everyone of course has a job where its direct time working with people daily. Whatever the case tho whether you do or want to I encourage you to try making a goal to reach out to a family or friend  that might be going through a tough time and offer some help, advice, a prayer, encouragement. Im willing to bet there's actually a lot of people right in your community or circle of friends who would love someone to reach out to them in their time of need or maybe they are just wanting to build a positive deeper relationship. Don't miss out!


Spirit led or Self enpowered ?

So I'm reading this awesome book called "Not a Fan" by Kyle Idleman I got for Christmas. Love it. This chapter Spirit led or Self Enpowered is exactly what I've been focusing on in my own life as I evaluate how I live every day. The challenge is to follow God more and self less. If you think about it the typical day is focused on our goals and our ambitions. Today I prayed again for direction and then listened for it. I had to intentionally redirect myself off and on to pray and "be led" but when I did I again saw the day unfold in whole new directions. Amazingly throughout the day I felt God leading. In things I did, people I talked to, things I said, situations I encountered.

It's an on going process that is difficult but definitely is a great change. Even if you have been a Christian for a lifetime. It's time to step it up. Life is a battle and a journey and we have the "gift" of the holy spirit actually in us to lean on every second of the way. It's like handing over the controls and going along for the ride. A ride that is satisfying and rewarding in every way. It benefits us and glorifies God all at the same time. In all you do, say, think, feel ..pray for God to intervene. All day long, through all you do and wherever you go. See what happens.

If you want to see what God does in the lives of spirit led people read the book of Acts! Insane! Personally I'm making this a new goal each day and I'm ecstatic about what all could possibly happen! Understand tho this doesn't mean a joy ride down lucky lane. It might even have a few moments that are really rough. Bit its Gods road plan for your day, for your life. I'm sure a majority of the people even reading this haven't even taken a day to practice this from dawn til dusk consistently let alone make it a lifestyle.

Pray, listen, wait, react, respond. From the moment you get out of bed in the morning.Try it. I know its going to make every day an eye popping, mind boggling and jaw dropping adventure I promise. It's also the perfect way to gorify God with your life.

Proverbs 3:6 MSG

"Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track. "

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Stretched (Romans 12:2)

My day started off an extreme struggle, took a turn for the better in the middle and ended up a blessing. It's not everyday that happens but when it does its obvious its no accident. A day with as many complications like mine started off with doesn't magically turn out good. I won't bore you with the details but I believe every hour was a God thing. An ultimate new plan for my entire day. So that was my focus. I've been reading that worship is always better than worrying. Worrying shows your lack of trust. Worship puts your focus where it needs to be. I chose to worship in my challenges and was blessed in the end. I was stretched way out of my normal shape today way more than I was ready for or expected but in the end I could tell God was working on me and that makes it all good. Tomorrows just another chance to do it all over again and to be stretched maybe just a little more. Another opportunity to learn to trust, a chance to worship and not worry. A chance to become a better you or maybe begin to restore a broken relationship. It all depends on how you look at it. But I promise if you have the right focus where it needs to be, it's going to turn out great. Be prepared for God to something awesome and be ready to be stretched. Romans 12:2 MSG "Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you." Published with Blogger-droid


My Pastor

For over the past two years I have had a key person in my life that has become a friend and a big part of my support network. This man genuinely took time to get to know me from the first time we met and has been there to support, challenge and direct in some key times in my life over this time frame. If you dont know him your missing out. He's my pastor. Pastor Paul Meldrum. Not since my days of being invovled in the youth ministry at my home church have I ever had anyone who had such a huge impact on my life and has helped me on good days and bad and to challenge me to stay on track pursuing what has been my goal for a lifetime. There have been very few people whom I have developed this kind of relationship with and learned from even in my role as a pastor myself. Its great to finally have a Christian leader as part of my life who is just that and that I can have a personal relationship with. Whether over coffee, meetings in his office or text messages its obvious Paul is a man of God and has one thing that is important to him. That is connecting with people on a personal level even tho  a very busy man in a very growing incredible church. Daily he sets an example of how Christ dealt with the people he crossed paths with during his time here on earth. So I thought Id take a minute to not just brag about my pastor but share how effective leadership can be when modeling Christ to the body and community but to shout out a big THANKS to God for putting Paul in my life.  He has helped me through some pretty major stuff and its awesome to know He's there and available for support in the journey.