A little over a week ago I was taken back to my first growth spurts in my spiritual life. Thinking back on my first journal and the entries made, there was a consistent request made. I prayed for wisdom. Often daily I wrote my prayer to God that He would make me wise, able to discern what His will was for me and really how to live the life given me.
As I continue in ministry praying for the lost and reaching out to those that have decidedly not chosen the life of Christ, I continue to seek wisdom. But to pursue wisdom in our choices there are a few essentials that must take place. What are they? and Why?
These things are first of all humility to allow God to change your mind and ultimately a willingness to change your pattern of living. From the start, we all must realize that we are dead in our transgressions and sins until Christ makes us alive in Him. The pattern often still remain though. The excitement of a new life must be coupled with surrender to change the lifestyle that you lead. This is a difficult thing to comprehend or even explain to one who has grown up in a Christian home and has developed a mediocre faith. If we cannot submit to humility and see how there is still a deadness about us in our lifestyle, can a true lasting difference be made? I am inclined to think not. Hopefully, when we are brought to Christ the One who satisfies, it is for a hope so far beyond us that we are captivated by His promises.
It seems that today we are bound to a lifestyle of entertainment pursuit. We "need" time to vegitate in front of a television screen with little thought to the content of what we are watching. Between the latest movies and the latest pills we move to "godless" remedies. There is nothing wrong with good pure entertainment especially if it feeds the soul and enriches the imagination. But, do we do a good enough job filtering what goes in? Often this message is what is preached to youth in youth groups, but all people needs to hear it.
When living in Colorado, Trevor, my roommate and I, decided not to have a television. We felt convicted by the question, "Do we know Christ well enough to be spending our time and money on TV?" Our answer consistently was and is, "No!" Occasionally we watched a movie together, but never more than once or twice a week.
There seem to be so many believers claiming Christ as their Savior, but how wise are the choices they make on a daily basis? Choices involving internet, television, prime time, friends, etc. Where is time, money and energy spent? Where is one's mind the majority of the day? The answers to these questions reveal the spiritual life of every person. If someone is in a relationship with Jesus Christ, there will be a noticeable difference in the way that they live. A love for something well beyond them will be evident. If that spiritual life is exercised the results will show. Results like not only saying "no" to ungodliness, but knowing how to recognize it.
So, lets pray for wisdom from God to not only live a better way, but to live a better way as a result of
CHRIST MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN YOUR LIFE.
Let us remain in Him, commune with Him and ask him for the wisdom to test and approve what his good pleasing and perfect will is. Let us desire to be workmen approved, who do not need to be ashamed.
Only 7 weeks until I go back to the US to get married. I've committed to waiting, but still, as we say...I can't wait!
First. Shoulder Stuff
My shoulder operation went very well, in fact I slept through the whole thing. Now, a week later I am able to type at a computer. I'm hoping to get my stitches out tomorrow. Pray that I will soon have fun range of motion with my shoulder and can get back into normal operation. Thanks to all who have prayed for healing.
Second. Coffee Shop - Subsuelo.
A few weeks ago i was approached by the director of the Alliance Academy regarding a coffee shop idea. I had mentioned to some people that I would really like to more actively pursue youth through venues such as coffee shops and perhaps even develop one through Youth World. The school would like us to create and run one right where we are. What a great opportunity to try the waters out! So I wrote up a proposal and design layout. Since the location is in the basement area of the CMA dorm I thought the spanish word for basement (subsuelo) would fit well. The feel would be like the "commons area" on a college campus.
Thus far the proposal has been well received, but there are many things that need happen if we are to open it before the next school year begins. Not only will we need coffee machines, blender, sinks, cups, napkins, lids, ice, coffee, milk, refrigerator, freezer, couches, coffee tables and miscellaneous coffee shop items, but we will need staff to help build it and staff to help run it. Then of course depending on donations, we will need the money to make it happen. If you have any coffee shop experience, if you have experienced any ministry through the availability of being able to sit and talk in a coffee shop one-on-one or with friends. Please if your heart has any desire to see this dream become a greater reality don't hesitate to let me know.
Third. Raising Support
After Alaina and I return from our honeymoon we will begin the process of traveling and speaking in churches around the US to raise awareness and support for what is happening in Ecuador and to return there by October. Please let us know if you would like us to visit YOUR church, youth group, bible study, club or even gang. We both have had hearts to return to the mission field where we were raised and continue the ministry that we were exposed to as students.
Understandably, times are more difficult in the US than they have been. Just recently a bog post appeared on Desiring God's website by David Mathis. He gives just 5 of God's purposes from Scripture for recessions out of countless purposes and they go like this:
1. To expose hidden sin and so bring us to repentance and cleansing.
2. To wake us up to the constant and desperate condition of the developing world where there is always and only recession of the worst kind.
3. To relocate the roots of our joy in his grace rather than in our goods—in his mercy rather than our money, in his worth rather than our wealth.
4. To advance his saving mission in the world—the spread of the gospel and the growth of his church—precisely at a time when human resources are least able to support it. This is how he guards his glory.
5. To bring his church to care for its hurting members and to grow in the gift of love.
Many will find reasons and good ones why they just can't give to missions right now. Unfortunately more will try to save their cable or satellite television before they seek to save the lost. More will invest in their yard or their SUV or daily mocha or DVD collection long before they ever think to invest in world missions. Truly I think we all could do with a little less numbness of entertainment and comforts and fall more deeply in love with Christ and choosing even more to be a part of what He is doing around the world.
Thank you all once again for the support and prayers that many of you have sent. Things continue here busy as usual, but it is by the mercy of God that we have been given this ministry and therefore we do not loose heart. May God bless and keep you today and always as you remain in His love actively pursuing the One that will satisfy completely.