Wednesday, July 05, 2006

This morning I was reading in John 11 about the death of Lazarus, his family's grief and that of our Lord over the death of his friend. As I was reading verses 38-39 the words struck me in a different way than they have before, as often happens when I am reading God's word:

Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. "Take away the stone," he said.

"But Lord...by this time there is a bad odor...."

Martha thought she had good reason to keep the stone in place and it would have seemed from our human persepective that she was right, but this is Jesus asking!

What are you keeping entombed behind a heavy stone? What from your past have you buried and left to rot, feeling it is too awful to be exposed? No matter what it is that you think is too far gone, to putrid to be revealed, He can take it and give you new life. Maybe it isn't your past, but your future...it can be easier to leave the large stones blocking our path in place and rationalize moving forward. There too, He goes before us and prepares a way. We must trust Him if we are to be of use to him.

I just had opportunity to speak with Brent, the first time they have had phone service in quite a while. They have been deep in the desert but will now be heading back into the mountains. They have been in heat as high as 120-130 degrees. The team split up yesterday and went in 2 directions; Deanna's team visited a fossil museum in the Sahara that holds the fossils of sea creatures dug on-site, certainly evidence for Noah's flood. Brent's team went into an area where the dunes tower overhead are very high and the sand too hot to walk on.In spite of bright sun, high heat and very dark spiritual forces in the region Brent says the students have been very resilient and that he has been very impressed with them and blessed by them. He feels most of them can be leaders. The team members are getting a lot of one-on-one time with the locals and he said many seeds have been planted. He tearfully shared that he is having the opportunity to see many things he never thought he would be able to and that the Lord is really evident.

Lord, thank you for your provision for your people and for being bigger than all of our problems, but gentle enough to meet us where we are.

God bless you today,

Brad

6 Comments:

At 10:34 AM, Anonymous On Our Knees... said...

Thanks Brad!

Yep, let's roll those stones away & be used in whatever way He calls!

 
At 1:34 PM, Anonymous Linda Anderson said...

Yes, those stone can be quite a hinderance to us, and for God being able to use us. We need to get rid of them, so that we can walk the path that God wants us on, and fulfill all His desires and will for us. Thank you Brad.

Praise God for all that is happening with the team. So glad everything is going well, and God is working mightily, in the people and in the team. Ugh, the heat.... can't even imagine it! Yuck.

Father God, please continue to make their paths straight, to bless them and use them, to continue to plant lots of seeds for You, and keep them safe! You are an AWESOME GOD and we love and worship You forever. May only Your Will be done, Father, as You know best! In Jesus'name--Amen.

God bless you Brad, Higgin's, and all on the team and all everywhere!

Linda Anderson

 
At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Cedarburg Tina said...

Brad,

Great entry today. I really like the picture you painted and the point it draws us to. Also am glad to hear the mission trip is going so well. We just returned from our trip to D.C. which was wonderful and happy that we had safe traveling.

An update on Ty--there have been lots of ups and downs. It appears as if he is out of the woods as for losing his life, but it is very questionable what is life is going to be after all of this. His left arm is so severely damaged they have determined he will not be able to use it again at all. He still has the blood clot in the back of his head and every day there are different decisions to be made.

Thanks to everyone for your continued prayers.

Blessings, Tina
p.s. Played golf with Vickie today!

 
At 7:43 PM, Blogger NatenAmy said...

Hey Brad--

Thanks for sharing today! Pastor Larry preached a sermon on those verses and Lazaurs entitled "When God is OUT of Control" while BJ was in the hospital. It was wonderful, and I still have the notes and the chapter very highlighted in my Bible under what reads "BJ's Service." Remind me one day and I will share the notes with you (unless maybe you heard the sermon on Larry's podcast while you were in the hospital).

Brent, Deanna, Lauren, and Whit-- If you get to read this, we just wanted to let you know that we are praying for you and that we love you all very much! We are thrilled that God has opened up so many doors for you to share with a people that so need Him. It brought joy to my heart to see pictures of all of you... we miss you!

Blog family-- We just learned today that Nate has ruptured his L5S1 disk in his back. He has been in immense pain, and will be having a consultation with a neurosurgeon on Friday. This is the 4th time in less than 5 years that this has happened. The last time we found out that he had ruptured a disk was while BJ was in the hospital, so the last surgery was less than a year ago! Please pray for us as we search for the right medical answers (we were told after the last surgery that he would have to have a fusion if this occured again). I promise to update you with more specific requests once we have some more information. Thanks!

This turned out to be quite a long post, so I'm sorry... that's what happens when you don't post for a while I guess. :D

His richest blessings,

Amy (for Nate too)

 
At 10:15 PM, Blogger Praying in Pink said...

Some of us can manage to write long posts even when it HASN'T been a while, Amy (not that I would know anyone who does that. . . ). We are praying for wisdom for the doctors, you, and Nate!

I have thought before that passages like the one you cited must have new meaning for Brent and Deanna now. He DOES move stones, but sometimes things still don't turn out as we had planned or hoped or even prayed. The neat thing is that even (and maybe especially) in those times, He shows Himself strong and gives gladness for mourning. That's why we can "praise You in this storm."

Wow. Some of those NA pictures are so very very touching. And Brent (someday when you read this), I love the yellow bandana look! It's DEFINITELY you!

with tender love and prayers in pink,

Marti

 
At 11:30 PM, Blogger PeteAce said...

WOW, great words Brad. Very encouraging words from Brent. How amazing is our God. Those pic's updated on awestar are great. How exciting to see what God is doing there. Let's continue to pray for the team and the locals to be drawn by the Gospel.
Strength & honor,
Pete

 

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