Okay, okay, I’ll come clean.
I have nothing but the blood of Jesus. That is true past, present, and future. I, Art Weiner, have nothing but the blood of Jesus.
Taking that reality into the practical realm of daily life, I have nothing but what Jesus has made available to me through the cross. My giftings, abilities, even my skills are founded ultimately in Him. Deeper still, beyond the giftings, abilities, and skills is what is often referred to as a “calling”. Though there are times when I would like to run from it, hide from it, there is no true escaping it. I have often grumbled and complained, and looked to avoid ministry, and God’s still, quiet, voice says: “Tough luck Charlie, you have gifts and abilities given without repentance, and the Holy Spirit is going to use them whether you like it or not.” This past year, this understanding of the inescapable, providential, inner connection of my life to ministry has in a sense crystalized. It is simply, the way it is.
Over the last nine years Smiling Maven Ministries did not have my full attention. I was easily distracted by my responsibilities with SMT Health Systems. My heart was divided between business and ministry. And business seemed to win. One of the “ironic” factors however is that during the nine years, no matter how well we managed our finances, including faithful giving and careful budgeting, we were never able to be regularly in the “black”. If Deb and I paid regular monthly expenses, we could not keep up with estimated tax payments; if we kept up with taxes, we could not pay other expenses. My selling was not unsuccessful, but never quite enough to bring us above water. In contrast, from 1988 to 2009, I was consistently in full-time ministry and focused on the ministry and though income level was small – bills were always paid. So maybe there is an object lesson here; and this stiff-necked, Jewish grace fanatic needs to live for and by the gospel.
So, at this junction in our life, with many ministry opportunities with Agape, with graduate school, and Smiling Maven Ministries, we are hesitant to look beyond ministry for provision. Though our resources are very limited, and we are now at the point where covering our regular monthly expenses is becoming more questionable, we are looking to give ourselves fully to the ministry.
Deb suggested that I list the ministry areas that we are currently involved with or planning to be involved with in the next few months:
- Galatians Series
- Israel Conferences (The word “Israel” shows up over 2000x in the Bible – not a small or insignificant topic)
- Young Adult Ministry
- Hope Bible Study
- Men’s Group and Yearly Retreat
- Graduate School at Moody Theological Seminary
- Deb working on ministerial licensing with Foursquare
- Weekly women’s prayer group
- Website Articles
- Other writing, including printed newsletter, Inverting the Upside Down Image, Passover Haggadahs.
- The Nature of God Conferences – He is lowly in heart and His yoke is truly easy. Grace opens our eyes to the reality of God’s heart and nature.
- Practical Aspects of the Ministry Class
- Other speaking opportunities including Passover Seders, Fall Feasts, Jewish Holidays, etc. Sharing His magnificent grace throughout the body of Messiah.
We are sharing our heart’s conviction to give ourselves completely to the ministry. We are not opposed to other forms of income or occupation, but we also do not want to be unnecessarily distracted from our calling to minister.
We are thankful for the support over the last month. Though feeling like we were walking into the impossible, seeing some increase in support has encouraged us. Yet, we humbly share that we are still in need of support.
Thank you for praying for and considering our need and situation.
Blessings in Messiah,
Art and Deb Weiner
Smiling Maven Ministries
1215 Carmel Blvd
Zion IL 60099
Please feel free to contact us for any additional information.