Tag Archives: uncomfortable

Expect the Unexpected (Southeast Asia)

Headhunter warriors

Headhunter warriors give their lives to Jesus!!!

Often, our expectations, true or false, will determine our reality. All of us have expectations of the way things will be especially when outside of our routine. Often, I will tell my wife to expect the unexpected; but today, God decided to remind me of this and shatter some of my false expectations.

Many things have already happened on this trip that were better than I had expected. We were told there would be no AC and I did not expect hot water… Hence the way I started out the last post (I just did not know how to work it right). Surprisingly, we have both. I am thankful for them, but God knew they were not necessary for me.

Another thing I did not expect was the opportunity to try some new foods. Both dog and bat were served at a service I went to. Everything was so spicy that through the sweating, tears, and raging fire in my mouth, I could not taste much. I have decided that I do not like bat though because there are way too many bones and not enough meat.  Somehow, I survived.

But really, none of that really matters. What would take place after this service is beyond what I ever expected. Originally, the team I am with had prepared the way by speaking to the pastors and having them prepare homes to visit where the lost would get saved.  The Pastor I was with was not there so he did not receive these instructions. Instead, he decided for us to go out witnessing on the street. When I found this out, I immediately began praying for strength and ability. Those of you who know me could easily surmise I do not have the gift of evangelism, and mass evangelism in public is rather intimidating to me.  I had to give the situation to God and ask Him to give me grace to do something that was entirely outside my comfort zone and expectations.  I am sure I will have to do the same thing tomorrow.

All the way from the service to the first place we would go out, I was praying silently and feverishly. God gave me grace in an excited couple that gathered the people into groups and then had me come over and share. This made it a little easier, but not really more comfortable.  The picture above was the first group they had me come share with.  The intimidation factor is way up there when four people in full headhunting warrior dress are standing there with swords and skulls hanging from their waists looking at you.  God gave me the grace to go all in and all of those red warriors and a few other people around got saved.  We ended up sharing for around an hour and 19 people, that I know of, prayed to become born again.  This was far more than I expected as uncomfortable as I was going in. I praise God for His grace, strength, and boldness to share.

So, what about you? What expectations do you have that need to be broken down? The enemy will always try to put false expectations on you to hold you back from the fullness that God has. What comforts do you need to release? What fears need to be broken? What expectations need to change to come into line with what God wants? Only He can change your wrong mindsets. But, you have to be willing to step out of the boat!!! If I had said no for any reason, I would not have seen these souls enter the Kingdom. If Peter had said no, he never would have gotten out of the boat. Yes, you may fall, but Jesus will be right there with you to save you and put you back on your feet.  

I invite you to ask God right now, to change your expectations to expect what was once unexpected to you. My God “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that I ask for hope for or imagine through His power working in me.” I pray that you allow that same power to work through you as you follow and obey Him!!!

Matthew 14:28-31 And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 

Jeremiah, Man in Fire!!!

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Call to Go (Southeast Asia)

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I remember now why I do not take showers in the morning in Asia. The bone-chilling cold water should be reserved for after sweating all day in the heat. However, I am truly awake now as I write this.  This is just one of the few things when God has called us to go, we must give up to say yes.

Your will, your way, your wants and desires are always difficult to give up. “I want it my way.” You may not ever say it out loud, but this is the way you are. I know this, because this is the way I am.  Graciously, the Lord granted me several confirmations that this was a trip I was supposed to be on. I do not often get such clear direction and continually receive confirmation I am supposed to go. I usually just give Him my Yes out of faith.

After the 30+ hours of travel, I can say thank the Lord for giving me the ability to say Yes. Sitting on a plane for any extended amount of time is physically uncomfortable, to put it mildly. However, for me, it has always been hard to sleep so it becomes that much more difficult. But none of this matters because I have said Yes to Jesus and His call for me to go. Unfamiliar places, faces, food, accommodations… None of this really matters for I have given my whole-hearted Yes to Jesus and His way.  

The people here are worth it because He loves them. Even more than that, He is worth it and I love Him!!! Right now, in your life, what is of the greatest value? What do you love the most? What would you hold on to if everything else was stripped away? What if God called you to give that up to Go for Him?  Could you do it? 

My prayer for you is that you hear the call of the Lord to Go and that you say as Isaiah did, “Here I am, send Me!!! No matter the cost, no matter the price I will follow You and say Yes!!!” Jesus is worth flying to the other side of the world and giving up so much! In the same way, He is worth it to lay down your fear, pride, selfishness, to walk next door, up the street, down the fruit aisle… Or wherever else He may have you. He is worth it to give all that You have to speak His good news!!! He gave first, and He gave His best for you.

What do you have to give the Creator of the Universe??? 

I give You my, Yes and my obedience!!! Here I am!!! Send Me!!!

Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Stay Tuned…

Daily Encouragement – 

Everything in the world is working against you to keep you from hearing Me and being obedient. Noise is everywhere. There is hardly a time throughout your day that you can give to listen for what I have to say. 

Silence is uncomfortable because you have been trained to avoid it. In the silence, I can speak all I want to say. Often, I have to speak to you through dreams because this is when you finally stop and get quiet. You need to make a habit of getting quiet, and listening to what I have to say.  Then, you will hear exactly what you need. 

I am always speaking, but I need you to learn to tune into My channel. Tune everything else out and learn to listen to the wisdom, revelation, and secrets I am just waiting to reveal to you. I love you My child.

Psalm 25:14 (AMP) “The secret [of the wise counsel] of the Lord is for those who fear Him, And He will let them know His covenant and reveal to them [through His word] its [deep, inner] meaning.”

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Mighty One

Daily Encouragement – 

I love you My child! I am singing songs of joy and dancing over you even now. Your heart, ears, eyes, hands, and feet are all coming more and more into line with Me. You may feel a little clumsy and uncomfortable right now as you learn to walk in them more and more.

My ways are not the ways of this world, and they may not make sense to you. All I ask is for you to trust Me. You will get more accomplished by drawing near to Me and waiting than by doing whatever you think needs to be done.  

I am the One opening your ears to hear Me and eyes to see My work. I am the One who cleanses and purifies Your heart. I am the One who give you the strength, desire, and ability to use your hands and feet for My glory. 

Come close to Me and see what I will do in you, with you, and for you My beloved child!!!

Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God in your midst,The Mighty One, will save;He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love,He will rejoice over you with singing.” 

1 Corinthians 2:9-16 But as it is written:“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” 
10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 
11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 
12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 
14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 
15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

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.
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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.
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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!!!

Determining Destiny

It has been over a month since my last post and sometimes that is how life is.  However, a major life change has happened, and I could not be more excited about how God is moving.  After 15 months of being back from our missionary journeys, plugging in wherever we can, God has sent us to a church.  God has confirmed in us that we are to be assistant pastors at Living Water Church in Burleson.  I have started working here part-time this week, and the more I get to know the pastor, the church and the people; the more convinced I am that God has us right where He wants us.

Things rarely happen how we think that they will.  I would have loved to be doing more sooner, but God accomplishes His plans in His timing.  It is how we handle the things that the world throws at us and the times of waiting that allows us to determine our destiny.  This is the fourth devotion in the Destiny Series [1: Designed for Destiny, 2: Best Possible Signal, 3: Destiny Destroyer (Unforgiveness)].

In a superhero’s life, there are moments when one choice determines their destiny. For Bruce Wayne, the death of his parents could have caused him to become insane or a criminal. However, he chose to use this as an incentive to dispense justice. This choice made him the greatest hero of all time!!!

Bruce Wayne/Batman

Sadly, Batman is just a fictional superhero.  However, you have the ability to affect your destiny, as well as the destiny of those around you, today. Right Now!!!  You do not have to be a billionaire or be special in the eyes of the world. You just have to be willing to listen and be obedient to whatever God speaks.

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Read Acts 9:10-20

Here, we meet a certain disciple. Ananias was listening and heard a disturbing word. “Go and pray for Saul of Tarsus”. Saul was known as a destroyer of the church, and he had authority to imprison and kill believers. Ananias had the choice to be obedient against his desire and comfortability or disobey. Because of his obedience, Saul was healed and saved. In effect, all of Paul’s missionary journeys, salvations, churches he established, and books of the Bible that you still read today resulted from Ananias’ obedience. What a destiny for someone who is never mentioned again before or after!

If you are walking with God, you are a certain disciple just like Ananias. You may feel unimportant and meaningless at times; however, as you position yourself to receive from God and are obedient to what He speaks, you become infused with His power and presence. As He leads you to speak and pray for others, God’s presence can be infused into other’s lives. Your choice to walk into your destiny with God has the power to transform you and everyone around you!!!

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One tiny word can change, save, or set a life free when spoken out of Obedience and Truth!!! 

One simple act can affect a person, a nation, or all of eternity if you are walking with the Spirit into your destiny!!!

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Challenge: Take time to listen carefully to Holy Spirit. Write down what He reveals. As He gives a word or action, be obedient to take action, do it or speak it. Talk to a leader if you have questions or need someone to help you be obedient.

Suggested Reading; James 5:17-18, Hebrews 11, Jonah

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!