Joshua

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For the last 8 summers I have had the privilege of traveling with Big World Ventures and Susie Shellenberger Ministries on mission trips to countries in Central and South America. 

We just returned from Costa Rica, which is where I met Josue (or Joshua, in English). 

My team was schedule to perform an evangelistic drama at a church in a poor community. Here is a picture of the inside of the church, taken while the drama was being performed:  

10447836_10204617700545073_2525302527568559430_nAfter the drama we visit with the people, pray with them, talk with them about Jesus Christ, play with the children, etc….  On this particular day we also fed them lunch. 

This is where I met Josue.  See his beautiful self here in this picture, holding a Bible that we gave to him: 

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Josue was acting very different than most of the other children.  He has a seriousness about him that immediately caught my attention.  He was trying to speak to me in spanish and was doing a lot of communicating with his eyes.  I immediately got a translator and we began a conversation. Josue is 8 years old, and wanted a Bible.  No one at his home had a bible. 

We began to speak Truth into Josue’s life. 

We spoke to him about the importance of what was in the Bible. 

We told him that the Lord has great plans for his life and that the Lord wanted to make him into a leader in His Kingdom.  And all the while, Josue was listening and keenly paying attention. There were about 40 children in the room at this point, all playing and having a grand time; the room was noisy, yet Josue was being very serious.  

My heart was blessed beyond what I am able to express with these words. 

I know that the Lord sent Josue to us that day.  Or was it we that were sent to Josue?

Folks, I can’t make this stuff up. 

The Lord was busy that day, drawing people unto Himself. 

Drawing children unto Himself. 

Raising up a leader in the Kingdom. 

Josue was happy to receive a sticker or balloon, or whatever fun item we had for him. But, he was also having an encounter with the Holy Spirit that day, and he was “paying attention” to the business that was at hand.  

This is what we get to see when we go on these trips. We get to see the Holy spirit at work. 

Next summer’s trip is to Ecuador! 

You might pray about joining us.

But I will caution you:  you will never be the same again 

http://www.neverthesamemissions.com 

 

just 5 sentences

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I am going to review a super-awesome book and my review will consist of 5 sentences that have come directly from the book.

The Book:  So Send I You

The Theme of the Book: Examining the Christian’s call to missionary service

The Author:  Oswald Chambers [1874 – 1917]

Yes, this writing is very old BUT extremely relevant to you in the year 2014!

1.  The great motive & inspiration of service is not that God has saved and sanctified me, or healed me, but the realization that every bit of my life that is of value I owe to His redemption; therefore I am a bondslave of Jesus.

2.  The one thing for which we are all being disciplined is to know that God is real.

3.  A ready person never needs to get ready.

4.  The reason we are not making disciples is that we are not disciples ourselves; we are out for our own ends.

5.  Our Lord calls to no special work; He calls to himself.

 

Into the Dark

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There are places on earth that are very spiritually dark.

Extreme absence of light.

The activities that take place in these places are evil.

And sometimes He (the Lord) calls His people into these dark places, for His purposes, in His timing.

I had one of these experiences this past summer.  I won’t go into details about this event, due to several reasons, but I will speak generally.

The prompting started about 9 months prior to the “visits”.  It was something that I read on a blog.  A blog that belongs to a friend of a friend.

The Lord immediately began to stir something in my heart.

Hint #1 (that this was from the Lord):  Why would I get so excited about something so dark?

I tried to let it go, but I could not.  And so I began the process of praying and research.  Because I believe this is how the Lord works; in my life anyway. He prompts and then wants us to followup with seeking.  Because maybe the prompt was not a real prompt; maybe it was only creative me.  He will confirm, as you seek.

Weeks would go by and I would try not to think about this “prompting”.  If you leave it alone, it will go away – or so I thought.

Hint #2 (that this was from the Lord): Try to dismiss it and it won’t go away!

Looking for open doors of direction can be very complicated.  What can be an open and viable door for one person may not be the open door for me. If there is something behind this door that is good and pleasing to God, why does He not let me in?  He is God.  His ways are not my ways.  And sometimes it takes experience upon experience to see how He works.  For me, in this situation – I was knocking on a door for several months.  He had not allowed this door to be opened, because He had already shown me another door.  A door that looked scary.  An unknown door.  A very unpopular door.  A door that my earthly wisdom was steering me away from.

So, [extreme long story being very shortened]……..

We went into the darkness.  On several occasions.

It was very dark. But the Lord was with us.

Yes, I brought people with me.

People that I knew could handle the situation.  Mature Followers of Christ.

We were on assignment from the Lord and there is NO BETTER PLACE to be than right where the Lord wants you to be.

It’s like being a child in an amusement park; multiplied x10.  And just like some children in an amusement park, there may be shyness or hesitation at first.

And the Lord showed off His power.

We were purposing to not evangelize.  This assignment was about bringing the Light into the darkness.

Don’t be afraid, – says the Lord.

I will be with you; I will show you my power; I own this place.

I witnessed the Lord causing for the people of the dark to have favor with His (the Lord’s) people.

I saw Him change a situation on a dime. (this means super fast; a 360 degree turn)

I saw Him giving extreme joy to His people, as they ventured in the dark. A joy that could only come from Him, as we were stepping (spiritually speaking) in yuck.

Be excited as you make yourself available in His Kingdom!

He is looking for available people.

The pay is incredible.  You can’t put a price tag on JOY.

And so, what was the result of our going into the darkness?

We may never know, this side of heaven.  But, we do know that a whole lot of people spent time with (or near) the Holy Spirit.

How do we know this?  Because the Lord’s people are indwelt with the Holy Spirit.  They visited with Him, because they visited with us. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Begin again in 2014

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It is time to start blogging again. 

It looks like I haven’t blogged since 2009. Yikes. 

I have so much to say. 

Our world is so broken. 

individual people are broken. 

There is Hope.  

There is MUCH Hope. 

 

Christmas Music @ HEB

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HEB is a grocery store  in Texas. 

It’s the best. 

Today I stopped @ HEB for a few items.

Although it is only November 30th, the stores are in full holiday mode already !  Me, too !  My home is almost fully decorated.  I love this time of the year !

So, I am pushing my grocery cart around in HEB, and there are beautiful Christmas Carols playing throughout the store.  I hear a very familiar and  wonderful verse:

….Christ, the Savior is born.

I thought about all of the people in the store. 

Do they know what the word Saviour means?

Do they know that a Saviour has been born?

Do they know why the Saviour was born?

Do they know?

Do they know?

Forget about toilet bowl cleaner, Claritan and paper cups.

A Saviour has been born !

My thoughts immediately went to one of the many sports arenas with all of the spectators.

Thousands of people, yelling, cheering, jumping up and down, ….. because someone put a basketball in the goal. 

But, the Saviour has been born….

and most people [seemingly] could care very little.

The most important thing ever, and it is barely a thought.

I am in the crowd of the guilty.

I sang those words for 20+ years, and didn’t give the words any thought.

                                           

What was I thinking? 

Why was I not thinking?

Ugh.

If it were a snake, I would have been bitten !

The answer was right there under my nose for all those years, and I never saw it.

 Answer?

What was the question?

Why is life so hard.

Why does life hurt.

Divorce, abuse, war.

Sickness, death.

Hunger, worry, lies.

Broken hearts. 

Why? 

Because of sin.

And, because there is sin, we need someone to save us.

Not sure what that means?  Seek the answer.    

For this reason, Christ the Saviour was born.

So, this Christmas Season….

as you hear the old familiar carols,

listen.

There is more there than you realize.

Welcome to the Christmas Season !

May you receive the BEST and BIGGEST gift ever !

[The gift of understanding who Jesus Christ is, and why He came to Earth as a baby]

Yes, I know that many of us know that @ Christmas we are celebrating Jesus’ birth.

But, [what does this mean for you personally]? 

The answer will ROCK your world !  

 

 

 

Friday Night @ Whataburger

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Friday night.

Two men.

Under the influence.

Eating @ Whataburger.

Leaving.

Getting behind the wheel of their truck.

Danger.

Their life, or someone else.

Re-act!

Follow them outside.

Two men.

Engine running.

Lights on.

Passed out in the truck.

Call Police.

Don’t let anyone disturb them.

Waiting on police.

How long will they stay asleep?

Where are the police?

15 minutes later.

They wake up!

Must distract them and not let them drive away.

Visit with them!

Go to the window and visit !

Stall them.

They are very polite.

Just taking a powernap, they say.

No alcohol.  No drugs.  They say.

Where are the police?

They share life’s troubles.

Would you remember to pray for us, they ask.

We talk about prayer.

We talk about death.

If you were to die tonight, do you know where you will go?

We talk about salvation.

Where are the police?

We talk about Absolute Truth.

If you seek Him, He will be found.

They listen.

They ask questions.

Deceptive teaching in their background.

No matter what, there is a God and He is Truth.

They are listening.

Still polite.

Where are the police?

I see the squad car.

Time for me to leave.

Good bye.

God Bless you.  [with Truth]

Police Officer taps on the window.

Driver gets a ride in the squad car tonight. 

Disaster avoided.

Truth spoken.

The Truth can set them free.

 

 

Influencing Leaders

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I am reading a book called Tortured for Christ, by Richard Wurmbrand. 

An amazing book, written in 1967 .  An account of the history of the Underground Church.  Their faith and their endurance. 

Wurmbrand writes:  Some mission directors seem to have studied little of church history.   ……in Africa, where the chief of the tribe has been won, the tribe follows.  ….we must win rulers, leaders in politics, economics, science, and the arts.  They mold the souls of men.  Winning them, you win the people they lead and influence.

                                                                   

This picture was taken during a mission trip in Lima, Peru.  (2008)  Location:  A school yard. 

The redemptive story of Jesus is told through a drama presentation.  Hundreds of school children are there.  And, there is the Principal of the school, sitting among his students.  (what great leadership!)   His hand is raised as he is saying yes to Jesus Christ.  [a very excited moment for this photographer, indeed].

But, we need more time with this Principal !  Let’s reach him before he heads back to his office.  We want to make sure he understood all that he heard.  So…. we look as the story continues, told through photography: 

                                                               

We visit with him.  We explain again what has just occurred.  We pray with him. We have reached the leadership in this elementary school in the Nation of Peru. 

You can order a free copy of the book I am reading [Tortured for Christ] by going to www.persecution.com .  No strings attached.  They will just mail it to you.  It has captured my attention.  I have wondered for years now, how the gospel might have been spread during the time of the concentration camps in Europe.  Now I know.

Citizens of the United States of America, [one nation under God] …. have you prayed for your President lately?

Non-citizens, ….. we need you to pray for our Nation.

 

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