Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Livin' by Faith

Which makes you all think that I'm running low on money. Lol.
No, I'm just amazed at the difference in the mindset between a faith mindset, and a 'worldly' or 'doubting' mindset. Read through Numbers sometime. God gets soo fed up with their lack of faith. Here they were discouraged, over here they doubted, over there they were ready to stone Moses. And everytime it's because they forgot what God had already done for them and chose to doubt. It's no wonder that Moses' finally cries out "...would God that all the LORD'S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!" (Num 11:29)

It's all in the focus.
Right now there are so many things that do not make sense to the mind. Technically I'm homeless and unemployed right now.
But I know that I am walking after God, so I have no qualms.
And He just keeps coming through.
Just last night I had something pop up that I felt I should get my parent's advice on. So I texted mom and dad separately.
Whaddya' know but that they both had the same answer?
I dig stuff like that.
The flight leaves in 8 hours. So I'll bounce around here at the local library and study until about 3 when Abe and Isaiah should be touching down. Then it's off we go!
I was going to study all day yesterday, but as the rain let up, I ventured into Boston and took a ferry to go see the Charleston Naval yard and the U.S.S. Constituition. I remember reading about her when I was a kid, and to finally stand on her deck nearly brought tears to my eyes. There's homeschooling for you.
My only complaint about Boston is their meat. I don't know why, but all the restaraunts insist on serving grisly, greasy meet. Even my good old American omlet this morning was that way.

Ran told me to just pig out on Snickers and Ice Cream."You won't be getting any of that for several weeks now." I'll bet he is right.

And here's a plug for the Prescott Hostel. $40 bucks a night. Worth every penny.
Living by Faith
In Jesus above
Trusting, Confiding
In His great love
From all harm
In His sheltering arm
I'm living by faith
And feel no alarm.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Travelin' Man!

Wow, I am so tired I do not know if it is possible for me to write a coherent blog.

Sunday was great. Thanks to all of you who are praying. Pray for the work there in Guinea Bissau. We can fly half-way across the globe, but unless God shows up and binds Satan and empowers our work, well, that's just not a pretty place to be. Satan won't like the thought of losing a stronghold. So I cannot appreciate those prayers enough.

I am hoping that I will have sporadic internet access. When I do, I plan to shoot back a quick update via email that one of my loved ones back home can get loaded up here. Of course, they could turn out to be more backwards than I am planning....

Kinda like Boston. Only I am in 'Everett' (which is about the same thing) only their computers have IE 6 and a 30 minute time limit. I am typing very fast. Excuse the typos.

Boston is really sweet. It's an international city, so you are constantly hearing a barrage of languages. It's kinda' weird to see Indians and Arabs checking out our monuments. I can't imagine that theses buildings and gravesites mean anything to them. But there are plenty of foreigners roaming around them. Pretty cool, I guess.

And yes, the leaves are beautiful. The harbor was so quiet tonight. I was standing there overlooking the water, soaking in the sunset and praying when I heard a tremendous boom. Kinda' startled me. Then came the somber notes of a bugle playing Taps. I assume it was coming from the deck of Old Ironsides as I could see her masts just a little ways away. I really should wander down there tomorrow.

The transit system is pretty cool, too. $15 bucks and I can go anywhere all week long.
Took me awhile to figure it out, but I'm starting to feel more confident.
I haven't eaten much all day. So I should go do that.
Make me to understand the way of thy precepts: so shall I talk of thy wondrous works.
My soul melteth for heaviness: strengthen thou me according unto thy word.

Ps 119:27, 28
I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart
Ps 119:32
...the goodness of God endureth continually.
Ps 52:1

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Preparation for Take-off

Illinois is a little cooler than Missouri.
Which is all right, except that I brought my suitcases full of t-shirts and breathable hiking pants that'll be perfect in Africa, and I am parading them around in 30-something weather. whee.
Bags are packed. Shots are taken. I even bought a hat. The plane leaves for Boston on Monday, Cape Verde on Wednesday, and Guinea Bissau after that. I should touch back down in Springfield on about the 4th of December.
A huge thanks to all who have made this possible. I'm hoping and believing for the fruit that will come as a result of our sowing. But even beyond that; there has been an incredible amount of growing and stretching in my life in the last 2 weeks. So many things I have had to relinquish control over and learn to trust God with. Seriously, I went through a few weeks of mild depression and fear as God helped me lay each item into His. It's been incredible. I don't believe I've ever been more free. More bold.
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him [God]...
Faith and trust are so freaking close to each other. I hadn't realized that before. Which is greater? James talks about that. Faith without works is dead. It's easy to have faith in the boat. to believe in those things "unseen" (Heb 11:1). But how many of us would really build an ark(Noah), travel to an unknown land (Abram), preach a coming judgement (Elijah), or quit our job, or give all of our savings, or have a house full of kids, or...?
How many of us have the trust -- the works -- to leap out and make faith active?

I know I don't.
But through this trip God is taking me, and deepening my trust. I suspect there's depths yet to come that I cannot fathom. But right now I'm pretty amazed.
THANK YOU! to everyone who is enabling this.
This Library SMELLS. It used to be that Rockford was more hip than springfield. Now I'm working at a computer still equipped with IE 6 in a library that smells like a welfare office (yeah, I've sat in those.)

...ok, the welfare office smell has just been overpowered by a mixture of burnt ramen and ladies deoderant. gyahuk!

At least they give you 90 minutes on the computer....
I heard this on the radio when I was about 50 minutes away from Rockford.
yeah, the man in me likes the chorus, and totally understands the contradiction.
You keep me standing tall
You'll help me through it all
I'm always strong when you're beside me
I have always needed you
I could never make it alone...
I am the man who will fight for your honor
I'll be the hero that you're dreaming of
Gonna live forever knowing together that we did it all for the glory of love
-The Glory of Love, by New-Found Glory

Friday, October 3, 2008

MISSION: Kill Ones' self. STATUS: Still Trying

Bro, Drew and I decided to take John's boat down to Table Rock lake last Wednesday.

So we made a day of it. We slept in, ate breakfast, drug Drew all around Fair Grove trying to impress him with the redneckness of . (We took turns standing in the middle of main street and timing how many minute it took to get run over.) We finally got the boat drug down to the lake and into the water.

So, we cruise to the other side. Young men. Captains of our own little world (or ship. Very ghetto ship). We kill the motor, take in the quiet view. Cory stammers, "Does this boat normally take on water?" A puddle was forming behind the cockpit. I opened the battery compartment and saw water filling the boat almost to the top of the gas can. Not cool.
So we tore back across the lake and took it out of the water. Turns out there are 2 drain holes. One needs to be plugged before you put it into the lake. The other one never gets plugged. And apparently I plugged the wrong one. Schucks.
At least we got the battery compartment flushed out. :D
Everything for the mission trip is coming together really well. All of my expenses have been met. I have a ticket both going and coming. (for a couple of days I had one to get out of Africa, but I was on the waitlist to get there.) Weridly enough our housing situation has worked out so that Cory and I will technically be 'homeless' for about 10 days before I go. And I will probably return from Guinea-Bissau as a couch-surfer. Hee. The awesome thing is, I don't have to worry about making rent payments while I am gone, which is an incredible blessing. Amazing what happens when you pray.
(And nobody worry, we've got stuff lined out.) It'll just be weird living on other peeps' couches.
And the Pharisees and scribes murmured, saying, This man receiveth sinners, and eateth with them. And he spake this parable unto them, saying...
[Parables of lost sheep,
lost coin,
prodigal son]
...And he [the prodigal son] arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. Luke 15
Bro Keith Daniels was preaching last night. In his opening comments he pointed out the contrast between Christ and the Pharisees. The Pharisees were seprate. Holy. Following the Torah. Condemning.
Christ was Compassionate.
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies...Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others...Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ the form of God...equal with God...made himself of no reputation...and was made in the likeness of men...And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Phil 2:1-8 (partial)
David Ward was preaching on Christ's Compassion from Phillipians. And he emphasized how Christ left all the benefits of heaven to become us. "It's like one of you, leaving behind all of the benefits to be a human, so you can be a slug. So you can love slugs. So you can die for slugs."
And I'm realizing I just don't have Christ's compassion. I set up false barriers.
"Oh! You're Gay?!! Ew! "
And I forget that I'm just as disgusting.
Just as wretched.
a slug.
deserving of a salt-shaker.
And he reaches past that. Over and over. He touches the publican. The adulterer. The Samaritan. Never condones. Rejected by many. But always reaching out. And he says,
"Go, sell what you have... and come follow me."
"Neither do I condemn thee. Go... sin no more"
"Worship the Father in spirit and in truth." [Paraphrases]
It's beyond me. I can't comprehend it. All I see is how wrong they are. That's what I preach. That's what should be preached.
But may we one day see them trudging back down the road home.
May I always share the gospel with that hope. That focus.
May I one day learn Godly compassion.
Maybe, someday, He will show me how to portray it.
Pray for me in this.