Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Ministry Lost, A Ministry Gained

“Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished.” Genesis 2:1

If we were to take a look outside, we would be able to see how much work it took to create the heavens, with all the planets in the universe and all the stars set in place. And in creating the earth it seems like it would have been a lot more work with all the unique plants and flowers, especially with all the unique living creatures of the earth and the sea. And even as we look in a mirror, we see that we have the same features in our face and body as any other human being yet at the same time we look totally different. Even looking at the snowflakes here in Kalispell blow me away, how they're the same yet they have a slightly different and unique design.

God put so much work into what we see, hear, touch, smell and taste yet after this He came to the conclusion that it was all ‘finished’. The ministry of creating a universe and everything in it was done, and even after all the hard work He put into it, He was willing to let it go.

One thing that I’ve learned over the years while doing the various work that God has given me the opportunity to do is that when you pour your heart into something and work hard at it, it is so hard to let it go. It is hard for us to be convinced that our part in a ministry is done because of all the time we had invested in it.

Like God, we just have to be sensitive to the fact that there will be a day that the Lord will show us that our time is up, and that we need to move on to what He has next for us. Sticking to what you were given when you’ve been called out of it is like running on a treadmill, the Lord can’t take you anywhere if you’re running on a belt, but the Lord will lead you places if you’re running on the Rock.

We see that after creation, God picked up another ministry. After He ceased from the ministry of creating, He moved on to a ministry that was greater, and that ministry was to love us.

All this just to say, if God is giving you the sense of an end, don’t fight it, just let it happen. Just let Him lead you to the new place He wants you.

And if you start to get scared, just remember that you’re running down the road that He’s already prepared for you, a road that will constantly have you meeting with Him as He goes before you.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

God held a Place for Us

The only thought coming across my head right now? That my God is an awesome God.

I am just now thinking back to when Monica and I were first considering whether or
not we'd move out here. One of our biggest fears was ending up in a position where
we were outside of God's will. But God has constantly met us throughout the planning
of our move and the move itself.

One thing that was especially mind blowing to me was how the Lord brought us to the
apartment we are in now.

If you've been around me anytime I spoke about our searching for an apartment up
here, you know that it was a challenge. Many landlords discouraging us from moving
up here not willing to give us a chance.

I then one day came across one apartment listing on craigslist that Monica and I were
interested in. I spoke to the landlord and he asked about the reason why Monica and I
were moving here. We were up front with him, we told him that we wanted to attend
and serve at Fresh Life. We also told him that we did not have a job lined up and all.

Expecting another rejection, he went ahead and sent me an application to fill out. He
calls me a few days later and tells me that many have applied for the apartment, but
he felt compelled to give it over to Monica and I. And we went ahead and made the plan
to move into our place when we arrived, he promised that he'd hold the apartment for
us to arrive.

So the day we were suppose to arrive, we were running a little behind schedule. It was
kind of a bummer because we worried about having to find a hotel to go to on our first
night in Kalispell. Our landlord then decided that he was going to leave the door open
for us with the key on the counter, letting us stay in our apartment for the night without
having to sign a lease or make a payment at all. That was totally God!

And so the next day he arrives so that we would deal with all the paper work. He then
brings up the fact that we moved here for Fresh Life and says, 'I actually know Levi' (our pastor at Fresh Life). We were a bit surprised about that. Turns out that our landlord is a writer for the city's newspaper, and has met with Levi and has written on the church plenty of times.

Our landlord loves what Fresh Life does for the community, so I'm guessing this is the reason
why he decided to give the apartment over to us.

I just think it's amazing how God works. It seemed so impossible to find a place here yet God had a place all along.. and it only being a few blocks away from the church.. is just awesome.

And God just keeps providing financially here too, it's just insane.

I am beyond blessed!

I'm still trying to figure out exactly why we are here.. but time will tell. Kalispell is beautiful, and that makes us really excited to be here, but we really can't wait until the Lord raises us up to serve somewhere, I'm really itching to serve.

I've learned from the past though, don't jump into anything, let God raise you up. It's when I let God do the work that He's been able to do effective work through me, and I see that it's been the same case with anyone who has been used of God.

Anyway, this was sloppy I know.. but I figured I'd quickly update everyone on what's been going on.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Who do our battles belong to?

"And it came to pass, when Joshua was by Jericho, that he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, a Man stood opposite him with His sword drawn in His hand. And Joshua went to Him and said o Him, "Are You for us or for our adversaries?" So He said, "No, but as Commander of the army of the LORD I have now come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped, and said to Him, "What does my Lord say to His servant?" Then the Commander of the LORD'S army said to Joshua, "Take your sandal off your foot, for the place where you stand is holy." And Joshua did so." Joshua 5:13-15

Joshua was about to fight his very first battle in order to take the land that was promised to God's people ever since the time of Abraham.

I imagine that even as Joshua was a great man of faith, he was probably a bit nervous (I know I would be!).

Yet before his very first battle, Jesus met with Joshua and told Joshua that He was the commander of the army of the LORD.

You know what this means? It means that Jesus would not only be commanding the army of the LORD in this war, but that Jesus would actually be right there with Joshua. Who better to have with you than Jesus?

I think sometimes we put a little too much pressure on ourselves when we fight our battles as believers. We take on too much responsibility rather than casting our cares at the feet of our Lord. What the Lord has shown me here is that while we as believers are in many battles, the battles belong to Him. He is the commander of our battles, He is with us and the upside to that is that God never loses.

Winning this battle looks impossible, but we've got a clever, strong, loving and all knowing Commander.
Should we then underestimate our God?

Monday, November 1, 2010

God knows what He's doing

This analogy has been used before and it will be used again: Life is a rollercoaster.
It's been used so much because it's the perfect way to explain life. You have that long
chain lift to the top that feels like forever, giving you enough time to think to yourself,
'What did I get myself into?' over and over again. You have the ups and the downs of
the ride that can be both exciting and terrifying at the same time. Though you've felt the fear and the joy of the ride, it's the end of the ride that's best. You reflect on the beast of a ride you just got on and are now exiting thinking to yourself, 'That was awesome.'

God's plans in our life are very much like that.

I was just talking to Monica about everything that has been going on lately, and we
thought back at the recent decisions that we have been making. They were out
of the ordinary, nothing like our typical, 'Lets just be safe' decisions that we have been
making for years and got us no where. With every crazy decision made, from getting
married on what started as a budget, but went on to 'Trusting in the Lord' as our budget
to not caring about the cost of our honeymoon, to now moving to Montana, it has all been
steps of faith. I think once we heard the Lord say, 'Go', we realized we needed to give Him
the freedom to do whatever He wants, no matter how crazy it felt to do what He was leading
us to do. And you know what? It's actually got us somewhere, actually it's gone beyond what
we had ever expected.

What I can't get over is the fact that whenever we took these steps of faith that He was
leading us to take, He was there, we felt Him there, we recognized that He was around and
we saw the things He was doing. It's been such an amazing thrill ride to the both of us
and we are just so overjoyed that we serve a God that is not only concerned about His will
being done, but also loves His children so much to the point of spoiling them when He sees

So no matter how crazy, how impossible the vision God has put in your heart, take the step of faith no matter the cost. Whether it'd be having to part ways with friends and family, whether it'd be putting money here instead of there, whether it'd be making friends with someone you are terrified of, whether it'd be standing on a trash can in a public place and preach the Gospel, do it. It may seem crazy, but remember that life is a rollercoaster, life is crazy, and when God puts crazy visions in your heart, He knows what He's doing. You'll come off the ride He's put you on looking back and you'll think to yourself, 'Wow, that was awesome'.

You'll be glad you took a chance on that ride.