Tag Archives: Lunch

Press In to Press On

Belize Day 6 –
Emerging from our shelter we were greeted with an unfamiliar sight.  Trees as large as houses were strewn everywhere. Branches and leaves had been stripped from the trees and scattered on every inch of the ground.  With the welcome morning light, this is what our eyes came upon.  A new world lay before us, somehow similar to the old, but oh so different.
13876686_10210794493317821_8071969261472013854_n
Some of us got to work cleaning up immediately and others went off to sleep in their beds and make sure their rooms were not torn apart.  We had a lot of things get wet in our room and some leaves had blown in, but besides that not much trouble.  The power being out is inconvenient for a lot of people, but just another effect of the storm. We worked all morning to pile branches and leaves. Sometime during the night, Santi had forgotten to move his vehicle to a safe place and it had been partially crushed by a monstrous tree.  The highlight of the morning was when we were finally able to get the tree off the truck and see that it was dented and had some broken windows but was still usable.
32
13895417_1249608081718899_8603314979275502150_n
Our next task was to clear the downed power lines so that we could get them repaired. Along, the way, we repaired the horse pen while many continued to stack the seemingly endless supply of broken branches and downed trees.  By lunch, most were exhausted and I had to sleep for a few hours.  After a quick nap, I got back to work until dinner when I found out that Sarah was apparently suffering from heat exhaustion and lack of sleep.  I know she worked just as hard as, if not harder than, the majority of the guys and never took a break for water or anything.  She was paying for it. Heidi and I went and prayed for her, and we saw an immediate improvement.  We sat around for about an hour around a candle talking and finally turned in for the night.  This has become a rather interesting real mission trip that most people were unprepared for.
Interestingly, a day or two before I left for Belize, God had spoken something to me during my prayer time.  I was praying and preparing spiritually for the trip and got a strange impression.  It was not even what I would call a word, but I felt as if this mission would be more than what we knew or expected and that we may not come back when we planned on it.  I know now that it was God, but then I had this feeling that this trip was going to be bigger than anyone expected and that something was going to happen that no one planned on or prepared for.  Like I said, it was not clear enough for me to tell the leaders, but it was this nagging thought.  I was unsure of what to expect or if I was just being silly, but I made plans in the physical to have everything taken care of in case I did not come back when I thought I would.
Now, I know that was a word from the Lord.  I doubt any of us would have gone if we had known that we would be in the middle of a hurricane.  However, God was preparing me even before the trip for unexpected things that would take place.  Even on my 28th mission trip, God is still giving me adventure and allowing me to experience something I had never done before and may never do again, endure through a hurricane.
Devotion – 
These are difficult times that we all live in.  God has chosen you to live at this time and He gives you everything that you need to succeed.  The more troubling things that are around you, the closer you need to get to Him!
 Press into Him and He will give you the ability to press on no matter the lack of sleep, uncomfortable conditions, pain, or whatever you may be going through.  
Interestingly, God revealed to me something that I never really could have known or been prepared for, experiencing a hurricane, during my time with Him.  I was close to Him even before the hard times came, and because of this, He was able to prepare me for the unknown hard times to come so that I was ready to endure when the time came.  This demonstrates how important it is to press into Him during the easy times as well as the difficult. 
Challenge – 
Today, ask God to help you to come closer to Him than ever before.  As you do this, look for the encouragement, strength, and life that will come as a result of deepening devotion and intimacy with Him!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!
Advertisements

Unexpected and Inconvenient Treasure

This past weekend, we had the privilege to take a small group of people to a conference in Austin.  While this conference was amazing in every way, God was speaking to me something deeper and more profound than I could ever learn at the conference.

Jeremiah, Katie, Jade and Jake at the Incense Arising conference.

Jeremiah, Katie, Jade and Jake at the Incense Arising conference.

While we were in Austin, I got the opportunity to look up some of my parent’s good friends who are pastoring a church in Round Rock.  In fact, this couple Jim and Sylvia Patterson, were my first pastors.  That was about 21 years ago though, so I really had no relationship with them, but with their daughters.  Since that time, we had all but lost contact with them until the advent of the Facebook.  I reconnected with them in July and had the desire to reconnect with them.  God opened the door and we were able to eat lunch with them and then attend their church on Sunday before returning home.

Now, I could have reasoned within myself that I do not really know them and it might be kind of awkward.  I will probably even miss part of the conference that we are attending.  I could have explained away all the reasons to meet with them, but I thank the Lord that I did not.  Meeting these pastor friends was such a blessing to me and the people with me.  We were able to share our hearts and get to be inspired by theirs.  In the end, we encouraged and blessed one another just because we were willing to go out of our way and off our regularly scheduled programming.

Yesterday, I was reading Romans once again and rediscovered a passage that was so central to our journeys around the world.  Romans 1:11-12 “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established— 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”  Contained within this passage is our heart for the people of God all over the world.  We desire to come to them and encourage and be encouraged and help them out in any way that we can.  This is what being a family is.  We went out of our way to meet with this couple that I barely knew, and my wife and friends did not know at all.  In the end, we had a great God moment in the middle of the restaurant praying and blessing each other.  We were truly family even though we had barely met.  

I want to encourage you in two ways today.  First, do not allow silly things to keep you from relationship with the family of God.  We can allow inconvenience, awkwardness, earthly divisions, and other earthly things to keep us from getting to know the true family of God. When Jesus is the center, we have the ability not only to encourage, but be encouraged by our brothers and sisters.  Seek to be in unity with the family of God so that the blessing of unity may come upon you.  Practically encourage someone today, not because they are your friend, but because they are a brother or sister in Jesus.  Secondly, we must be willing to be inconvenienced so that Holy Spirit can lead us into obedience and blessing.  We got to hear a lovely couple from Africa speak about how inconvenience had led them into more ministry in South Africa.  People interrupting them while they were building ended up getting saved and discipled because they took the time to be with them and realized the true treasure in people.  We make special time for our physical family, and we must be willing to take time for the children of God.  If not, we are throwing away not only the very treasure that God wants but the treasure that He wants to bring us!!!

Look for the treasures of the Lord today and do not let inconvenience, selfishness, or fear keep you from receiving these blessings from the Good Father!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!