Wednesday, October 31, 2007

That's BJ on the right of the picture on the left. Here he poses with friends Clyde and Brandon. He was just back from Peru the second time, in this picture.

Brent, Pastor Tito and Deanna are in the other picture.

This weekend, Awe Stars Missions Conference, which is called "iGo," will be held. Tonight, students and speakers will begin to arrive. The event doesn't start until Friday evening, but some are coming early.

One of those people is Pastor Tito Sevilla. He is the national pastor in Peru that BJ worked with for two summers. He is the Pastor that Deanna and I worked with Last summer. He has been described by some as the "Billy Graham of Peru."

He is one of the greatest communicator's I have worked with! His heart for the lost is incredible. His ability to share Christ with children and adults alike, is outstanding. He has planted churches all over Peru. He was a pastor of one for many years, but recently became a full time missionary in his own country!

BJ used to tease him. On more than one occassion, BJ witnessed to Tito. His intentional implication that Tito was "lost," and his lack of fear in doing so (in a joking manner), captured Tito's heart. He even spoke of this at BJ's Memorial Celebration.

BJ had a special bond with Tito's son Daniel. Though Beej was many years older, Daniel appreciated how BJ took notice of him, and reached out to include him at times of rest.

When Beej went home, Pastor Tito, his family and those who knew him in Peru went into mourning.

Tito's heart was broken. A familiar scene from his own family, replayed in his mind as he sought to cope with this loss.

His sons had both been hospitalized fighting respiratory issues. His older son David heard his little brother (Daniel) crying out. David who was the sicker of the two, was very concerned for his little brother.

Though David was gravely ill, his concern was not for himself. All of his attention was on Daniel, and making sure that he was going to be alright.

Daniel recovered.

David did not.

David went home to be with the Lord at an early age. He died from complications brought on by an asthma attack.

Understandably, Tito's heart was broken.

When BJ passed, he wanted to be there for us. The Lord saw fit to raise the necessary support. Tito took an overnight bus from his home in Trujillo to Lima. He caught a plane in Lima and made his way to Tulsa. He took an overnight bus from Tulsa to Indianapolis. In all, he traveled for more than two or three days to come to be with us...a man we had never met.

His humor, his charm, and his love for Christ are a model to me of what my walk should look like.

He arrives tonight, and I cannot wait to see him!

The bond we share runs very deep.

His ministry was multiplied immensely through his suffering. He took what could have turned his heart to bitterness, and allowed the Lord to use it for His glory!

"Walking through the valley of the shadow" does not have to mean the death of your dream or vision! Rather, it can provide a strengthened base upon which to stand. It can bring further clarification and direction. We must decide how we will respond, and allow the Lord to guide.

I love you Tito!

Papa de BeJota

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

"Rugs for sale" in North Africa.

I was re-reading BJ's top ten list recently. He listed the things he wanted to accomplish in his life. My guess is that he was 13, maybe 14 when he wrote it.

I know I have referenced it in the past, but I do not remember how much I have shared.

I've talked about his goal to write two impacting books, and how one of them is due out shortly.

I've talked about his goal to serve as a missionary alongside his best friend (whom he considered his brother) Taylor. Taylor served with Lauren in India this past year.

I am struck at times by the things he seemed to know. Upon his return from Peru the second year, he told Lauren, "You're going with me to North Africa, you just don't know it yet."

He told me, "Dad, you are supposed to go to Mexico this winter with Awe Star."

He told close friends, "God has called me to lay down my life for Him" (he meant it in the literal sense).

He was right on all accounts.

I am sure there are more things as well. It has caused me to pause and look at my life and what I know. What are the things I talk about? What are the things that I share? What do I know for certain, and who am I pointing in that direction?

The 10th item on his top ten list (written from 1 to 10) reflects his desire to bring glory to God in everything he does. He goes a step further and says he will never accomplish this goal, as he is human.

BJ sinned. We all sin. Because of this, we fall short of bringing the full extent of glory to God that we could. However, it is through our sinfulness, our brokenness that we are restored and made perfect in His sight. His act of redemption through the filth that we bring is further evidence of His glory. What glory would be revealed through redeeming a perfect individual?

BJ did not live a perfect life, but through the life he did live, he showed each of us that even in our sinful nature, we can glorify God, the Holy One, if we will surrender ourselves to Him, daily.

Make it your goal to bring glory to God in all you do. Don't expect perfection. Recognize that in failure, God's perfection is revealed through your repentant life. His power is made perfect in your weakness.

Weak, we all are. Even in your failings, don't let the enemy beat you down. Point others to Jesus through the forgiveness you have received. Be renewed! It glorifies Him when we recognize our need, and point others in that same direction.


Monday, October 29, 2007

My girls at home!

Whitney is not home with us, but will be this weekend as we host a missions conference which will bring many alumni, friends and others interested in missions to the Tulsa area.

In our world today, one of the difficulties that we men have is pouring into our wives as we should. I guess this comes to light right now because of several situations which point directly to our failures as men.

This is not only linked to married men. Single men who are involved in dating relationships struggle with it as well. We are often the ones who are most childlike in our attitude and approach to many things in life, so it seems somewhat ironic that God would desire for us be the spiritual leaders.

I do not believe that when God told us we should come to Him with the faith of a child, that He meant we should be selfish like we were when we were children.

Many of us tend to put ourselves first...even before God. We are most attuned to personal needs, and so invest in making sure they are met. Next, we are generally driven to perform in areas where reward is apparent.

We put in a full days work then may of us take it home and keep on working. Those who don't often get involved in things that bring joy to self. Left out of this equation is our significant other. We in fact, are showing them how important they are by these choices we make.

Many godly women are praying for and waiting for their husbands/boyfriends to step up spiritually, and model Christ...not just at church, or with friends, but in the home.

Often the very things that have attracted them to us are no longer nurtured as we pay little attention to their needs or what God is showing them. We often do not keep channels of communication open for them to share with us. Sometimes we go through the motions, but our lack of attentiveness to what they say, our failure to respond to their needs, our tones of voice in conversation, even our body language betrays where our mind really is.

We want their respect. We want them to be proud of us. We want them to enjoy what we enjoy. The problem is, we invest so little in them, that it is difficult for them to be motivated to these things. We are seeking significant return with no further investment. This is not a recipe for a successful relationship.

We must learn to truly listen to what they are saying...both what they are saying and what they mean.

Many of us are tired at the end of the day, and want to come home and slip into cruise control. We are not looking for conversations that run into emotional realms. We want to disengage from things that require our significant effort with no apparent pay off. We seem to be of the opinion that they should just love us for who we are and how we are and not need us to do more.

We forget the dreams they have. The goals they are working towards. Our expectation is that they will convey these things to us when needed, and that it won't require us to truly be involved. That we can somehow sit on the sidelines watching our hi-def tv's or listening to our iPods and occasionally holler empty words of encouragement is enough in our minds.

They want full scale partnership.

These two ideas conflict and will not resolve until one or both move. Too often, the movement is away from us. If we won't get involved, then they become somewhat disillusioned. In our day, the result that has become the norm is dissolving the relationship.

Most of us believe we are no where near this extreme measure. Many of us are closer than we think.

It is time for us to invest in the relationships that God has given us. We must consistently put Him first. If we are truly doing this, then the rest of our priorities will come to order. Our jobs are important, but not more so than the relationships He has drawn us to.

A large part of denying self, taking up our cross and following Him, is learning to put others needs before our own. Considering others to be more important than self. This begins with our walk with Christ. The first tier of practice after that, is with our wife. We are good at practicing if it is for something we want.

We need to learn to practice for the things that God desires for us. For most of us, this requires a paradigm shift in how we view our relationships.

If we learn to invest in her, hear her heart, and participate in her view of things, we will find much more fulfillment in life than if we just keep satisfying self alone.

It's time for me to go practice!


Thursday, October 25, 2007

This is my brother, Brad! Familiar hairline?

Being called into ministry is something that few people will ever understand. It is a powerful move of God when it occurs, but it comes with much more difficulty that many never see, and fewer believe exists.

Too many believe that those who are called live a life of leisure. Many believe they don't really do much, have lots of time to play golf, and generally take life easy until Sunday.

At the same time, they believe it is responsibility of the pastor to do all of the evangelizing, all of the hospital visitation, all of the visitation of new members or potential new members, all of the administration, handle the worship, direct the youth ministry, grow the church, keep their own family in line, preach every time the doors are open, and be able to do so in five minutes notice, because after all, they are the preacher.

Most of their lives look very different than we think. Their lives are a 24 hour a day on-call existence. They deal with multitudes of problems and issues that we never hear about, because they have integrity and keep things confidential. They are constantly pulled away from their families to do this or that, or go there because the church needs them to. They reserve a day a week for a day off, and we always feel free to call them on that day when we need help to do, whatever.

Their children are often resentful because they can see the emotional pull on the life of their dad, and the struggle it is to ever have him present at their own events in life. He is often too busy attending the needs of others to be able to be where he should be...with his children.

When his children do not act as we would like, it's open season on him and his parenting skills. We fail to realize that we have responsibilities for what is happening in his own family. We fail to be active enough to assist him with the needs of the body and thereby steal time from his children, and then blame him for their shortcomings.

Most ministers have no idea what they are headed for when God calls them. Fortunately, most would still follow God in obedience even if they knew.

I remember sharing my calling with a pastor's wife. I had great enthusiasm when I did. This poor lady had been beaten down and run over for so long, that all she could do was offer me stern and frustrated warnings about what lay ahead. She was not happy for me. Her experience was colored sharply by the harshness of reality in the body of Christ. She had seen what it had done to her husband, her children, and feared for mine.

Most believers do not realize how difficult it is for a pastor and his wife to find close friends. Those who will stand by them, help protect them and see that their needs are met.

Most are too busy firing pot shots because they didn't like the worship, the sermon, the length of time it all took, or how things went in children's church. They're mad because someone didn't show up in the nursery and caused a disruption in their own schedule.

You know the pastor really should have taken care of all of that, after all he has nothing else to do.

It is amazing how many will fire off anonymous letters to the pastor yelling and screaming about issues that are based on human traditions and have nothing to do with Scriptural truths. There is little to no backbone among those who feel free to do such things. There is just a need to cry out and place blame...apparently on the one who least deserves it.

It's kind of like when we crucified Jesus. We allowed a mob mentality to gain a foothold in our thinking. The blame game began. A scapegoat was identified. Surely, it must have been his fault. Clearly, He was not doing all He should. He certainly offended us when He said this. He had no business meddling in our affairs when He said that.

You know, I think it will make us feel better, if we just kill the guy. Lets heap all we can onto him, from the bowels of our own hypocrisy.

Better yet, there is probably a better one around the corner. Let's just run him out of town. The next one will surely be better than this one.

Maybe it all began two thousand years ago. I'm not sure we've discovered that we crucified the wrong guy. We just keep on doing it. All of our justifications are in order, so it has to be okay.

We are beating the wrong nail heads!

We need to drop the hammer and pick up the mirror.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Deanna and I in Mexico. We were surrounded by throngs of people who wanted to see our teams gospel presentation. Many came to Christ!

I think about how I grew up in church being taught to behave in ways that were respectful and reverent. I understand the reasons for this. I have behaved this way for most of my life.

When things occur that are contrary to this display, how is it received? Part of the answer will be based on what actually has occurred. Another, on the understanding of those who saw it unfold. Still another will be based on how others have been brought up and what they believe to be right

A few years ago in church Deanna and I were part of the Praise Team. We were introducing a song that we knew may be difficult for some to worship with. It tended toward the side of not being reverent. At least from the view of some.

The song was describing King David's experience when he danced before the the Lord with all of his might. He did so in public and he was not fully clothed. They had returned the ark of the covenant to it's rightful place. David was humiliating himself before the Lord. He was so focused on God that his actions, though perceived by some as irreverent, and disgraceful, were an offering of how full his heart was.

His wife Michal (King Saul's daughter) confronted him and attempted to put him in his place. His response?

"I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes" 2 Samuel 6.

Michal would never give birth to any children.

God knows when our hearts are full and when we must demonstrate to Him what the overflow. We must let it spill out at times. In the process, we are going to make others uncomfortable. As I write this, I am reminded of how some of the body responded to the song we sang, reflecting this. Some were aghast.

In order to help them understand beforehand, I had even read this passage of Scripture to help them see that just because we have worshipped in a specific way for a lifetime, does not make it the only right way.

We do not like to be humiliated. Especially in the presence of others we know.

It is not my intent to advocate that we dance half naked in church. I am saying that when the Spirit of the Lord moves over us in such ways that our hearts are so full that we have to spill out in some way the offering that dwells within, it can be a humiliating experience.

When that happens, it is okay!

Yes, some will be uncomfortable, but the Lord knows our hearts! He sees what is happening, and even gave us Scripture which reflects this very thing. We need to care more about what Jesus thinks, and less about our traditions for the sake of tradition, when what we are practicing has more to do with what is perceived as right by those in the church, than what Scripture actually reflects!

Yesterday, I had the privilege of speaking to a small group of students. These were not ordinary young men and women, but those who are sold out for Him.

I became so full of passion and love for these as I shared with them, that I ultimately humiliated myself in their presence. I knew I had not done anything wrong. I knew they did not think I had. Nonetheless, I was humiliated.

I sulked afterwards, trying to understand what had happened. Why things had run the way they had. I went to bed last night, frustrated.

I awoke this morning with the Lord reminding me that being humiliated in His presence and for His glory is a God honoring thing...just like David's dance in a linen ephod.

I am so thankful that though I spend way too much time trying to please men, what really matters is whether or not my life is bringing glory to God!

Don't be undignified for the sake of bringing attention to yourself as some do. But if the Lord moves over you in such a way that the only option of obedience is to become humiliated in His presence, then do not be ashamed to do so. Some may look at you with disdain, but you will make the Father's heart glad. In so doing, others will see the way.


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Deanna dressed in traditional garb of North Africa.

One of the freedoms that we enjoy and even take for granted in our country is that of worship! One of the most difficult things I have experienced outside of our borders was in North Africa. The level of bondage there is intense.

It is such a spiritually dark country. Morning after morning, I would awake with intense feelings of oppression. There is no ability to come together to fellowship or celebrate your relationship with Christ. It is in fact, illegal.

We got so unbelievably hungry to worship while there. We would steal away to the desert or mountains to praise our Savior. The longing was similar to what one feels when incredibly thirsty. The enemy rules there. He rules and it can be such a desperate feeling.

We always have our hope in Christ. They do not. They do not know the truth. They only have the joy of being together as people, and the depth of their relationships is lacking significantly as they hunger for more! Our discussions would reveal how ignorant the people really are. The lies they believe are unfathomable. Yet, they walk in them everyday, accepting them as truth because no one is telling them any different.

This same level of desperation exists in many countries outside of the USA. Especially those where Christianity is illegal, or believers are persecuted heavily for their faith.

I often wonder how we would fair as believers in those countries. What they have to withstand is so incredible that we tend to not talk about it in our Christian circles. It is too painful to realize. Many of exist in cocoons of unreality. We walk in the belief that those who suffer elsewhere, do so because of their own sinfulness.

Our Christian brothers and sisters who are being persecuted...even killed... are not being punished for their sinfulness. They are being punished for their obedience to Christ.

One believer we met while there survived solely on the few Christians that came to his country. He had been beaten and imprisoned on many occasions. He had a very small shop in which he created some leather goods. He would sell these to others like us who would find out about him through our missionary contacts.

He was not open for business on a regular basis. He would only open up when believers would come. In spite of his beatings, he continued to sew scripture verses into his work. This act alone may cost him his life.

We do not understand that kind of obedience in our culture. We consider life hard when there is a traffic jam that makes us late for work.

One man there continues to hoe a small plot of ground on a mountainside that has been handed down for generations in his family. He carries water from the valley below to moisten the seed bed. He has done this for many years. Each time with the same result. The sering hot sun wilts the plants when they begin to sprout. They die due to lack of moisture.

When asked by our missionary contact why he would continue to plant seeds in dry parched ground where there has been no measurable precipitation in years, his reply was, "perhaps it will rain!"

He held out hope that his work would somehow yield different results this time, though history revealed something different. He had HOPE!

I walked a graveyard on a mountainside that was filled with thousands of markers. Not one of them was a believer. Not one of them will reside in eternity with our Savior.

Perhaps it will rain.

Perhaps we will awake from our "sleep of lethargy" and begin to take the 'cool drink of water' we possess to nations who are ravaged by thirst.

We can offer a drink from a well that will cause them to 'thirst no more.'


Monday, October 22, 2007

Whitney hauling limbs during Hurricane Katrina relief, Thanksgiving, 2005.

I am not sure that this hurricane hasn't had an impact everyones life. Most have stories of those they know that were either impacted or involved in the relief effort.

I still remember hearing about Katrina while we were in the hospital. I remember seeing the news reports of it beforehand, seeing the unfolding story played out on the news, and then seeing the aftermath up close during Thanksgiving.

For us it was the other tragedy going on. I confess our attitude toward all that was happening was not what it should have been. We were a bit pre-occupied, of course, but somehow all the coverage left us feeling a bit discarded.

That is so selfish, and certainly wasn't true. We were surrounded by many of the blog family, our own church family, and of course our closest relatives. Still, the intensity of hurt during those times is only amplified while watching the tragedy of others unfold.

We tend to be so selfish by nature. Always feeling like our circumstances are the only ones that matter. Always believing our own pain to be greater than that of another.

It was so good for us to see the level of loss experienced by the Katrina victims. Not because they deserved it, not because we compared it to our own, but because it brought us to the reality of our own selfish disposition.

Now over two years later, I'd love to announce that we are "no longer selfish!" That would be a significant lie! Learning to live life as Christ a servant...unselfish...yet being selfish with His time alone with the Father, is something we continue to strive for.

We aren't very good at it I'm afraid. We have a long way to go. We keep trying...little by little. I thank God that He is still in control and that continues to draw us towards Him!

Yesterday we had the privilege of sharing at New Life Baptist Church here in the Tulsa area. Deanna and Lauren sang, and I spoke. We missed Whitney being with us, but are so thankful for this precious opportunity. Forgive me for forgetting to share it with you so that you could be praying.

I am reminded of the tragedies that continue to unfold in the lives of others. We need to continue to pray for David's family after his home going. I was also informed of a 15 year old young man in the Indy area who hung himself in his garage...I cannot imagine the families depth of pain.

You have been a model of unselfishness with your continuous prayer support and encouragement. Thank you for showing us Jesus!


Friday, October 19, 2007

BJ around the age we started calling him "Beejie." He's so darn cute, I think you can see why!

When we bought the house we live in, we did not like the outside very much. I think we may have shared that. We love the inside, but the outside was not what we would have chosen.

Deanna has always wanted brick. This house is brick. But it is not red brick, it is what they call "blond brick." Kind of a dirty white, to me. We didn't mind that so much. What we really didn't like was the shutters and doors painted 1950's olive drab. Ooohhh! It's really unfortunate!

Most of our friends were too kind to say anything out loud. I usually let them off the hook by addressing it first. Interestingly, some then felt the freedom to tell us what else they didn't like about it.

We really like our home. We love the inside!

Deanna is on fall break and decided it was time to eliminate the ugly color on the exterior of our home. She picked up color chips and we labored over what colors to use. We eliminated several just in discussion. Then we narrowed it down to two or three possibilities.

Yesterday morning, we went outside in the morning light and decided on one scheme. Deanna went and picked up the paint and began the process of transforming the exterior doors and shutters.

She is doing a great job! The house already looks warmer! She told me last night she found baby blue paint under the olive drab.

Oh my.

I'm glad we agreed on other colors!

We've made some poor choices in the past. We went off the color chips and tried to match two colors that were not on the same paint palette. It was a neighbor let us know about it. We were very careful this time.

Deanna pointed out that a couple of our shutters that get the brunt of the weather were not in great shape. Upon looking, one can see that they have begun to rot a bit near the bottom. The fresh coats of paint will prolong the inevitable, but ultimately we will have to replace them.

That will be a task for another day. We won't be able to replace just one or two, we will have to replace them all. These shutters are from the 60's or 70's.

Paint can cover a multitude of mistakes.

The Old Testament (and New) speaks of this. In Ezekiel 13, there is discussion of building flimsy walls and covering them with "whitewash." In essence, taking something of shoddy construction and making it look good by covering it over with a coat of paint.

It will not last. It will not stand the test of time and weather. It will fail sooner rather than later.

Many of us see this in our walks with Christ. We cover over our failures with "Christianese," and rather than truly seeking redemption, we continue to live in ways that are dangerous. We do not truly surrender certain areas of our lives. We hang on to "pet sin" areas. These are highly destructive, but we justify their presence in our lives as something that only we deal with and say they are not hurting anyone else.

It is only a matter of time. Just like my shutters, we are only delaying the inevitable. The difference is, my shutters are non-functional. They are only there for aesthetics. These areas of our lives are not about looking good. We actually need to be completely surrendered to the Lord.

If we don't yield this private sin to Him, significant trouble lies ahead.


Thursday, October 18, 2007

I’m becoming that old woman who repeats herself and can’t remember things. My girls tease that my “Alzheimer’s” is kicking in… It’s funny; we laugh. Whether we like it or not, we’re getting older every day. Don’t ya hate those movie stars who never seem to age? Take Heather Locklear for instance. Does she age? I guess I’d rather be encouraged by those that age gracefully than discouraged by those who don’t. Rock stars for instance. The drugs and party lifestyle show. Wait… was Heather Locklear married to a rock star? Oh, I don’t know. Who can explain these things?

My thought for today is “Does your lifestyle show?” Kind of what Brent was talking about yesterday. Does our lifestyle match up with the words we speak and beliefs we proclaim.

It’s somewhat dangerous to carry your Bible around. Expectations will be raised, as well they should, but will we live up to them? Not to expect perfection, but at least an attitude that is pleasing to God and others. Sometimes it’s startling to find out who is and is not a Christian in the workplace. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy to tell one way or the other.

In a women’s group I attend, we’re discussing humility. We’re reflecting on what it means to be “clothed in humility,” ways God opposes the proud and how God responds to those who are humble.

I found it interesting that King Asa is known as a good king yet his life ended in anger and pride and rebellion. And King Rehoboam was known as an evil king, but when confronted with the truth of his sin, he repented and humbled himself. 2 Chronicles 12 through 16.

The Bible is such a study in contrasts. I’ve often wanted to write a book on opposites or ironies in the Bible. You know like:
our earthly nature tends to self promote, but the Bible teaches to think of others before yourself;
we want to find our life, the Bible says we’ll only find it when we are willing to give it up;
we want to be successful, the Bible teaches we’re to be servants;
we want to be prosperous, the Bible says it’s better to give than receive;
we say “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth,” the Bible teaches mercy and forgiveness;
we say “Let’s destroy our enemies,” the Bible says love them;
we look at outer appearance and revere beauty, Jesus looks at the heart;
we want a comfortable life, the prophets and disciples endured intense suffering.

We have flaws, we make mistakes, sin is our tendency, it's the reason Jesus was necessary.

Is your life in contrast to what you proclaim? I pray Christians everywhere wake up to the fact that the world is watching us and may we draw them to a better understanding of what it means to truly follow Christ rather than turning them away in confusion with our mixed signals.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

BJ and me at my father's grave in Wisconsin.

I received a letter this week from a lady in Missouri who was from a church where I recently spoke. Among other things, she was conveying a story of a dear family in her church who had been touched by tragedy.

A son from this family was found murdered in a local park. Dealing with the fall-out of such a thing is not easy to comprehend. The tangled web of the life he led came to light at the worst possible time for his mother. Trying to deal with death amid a fractured life is never easy. To add into the equation her other son being in prison and the family being broken and of little means, only made survival that much more difficult.

How do we deal with death? How do we deal with life? What allows one to cope under such dire circumstances, when most of us struggle to deal with minor irritations at home or work? Where do we turn when things fall apart so dramatically?

For too many of us, we only turn to the Lord for these emergent purposes. Most of our lives are spent on pursuits and desires that reflect who we really are, and then when tragedy strikes, we become 'suddenly spiritual.'

In the last couple of weeks or so I was struck by conversations of others. Some occurred in airports, and some in restaurants. All were public and on display.

What captured my attention was how divergent the conversations and actions were from the apparent "religious roots" of those who were involved.

When I travel alone, I watch people. I learned this from my mother. She loves to watch people. When I am by myself, my intent is not to eavesdrop. However, with little else (other than books) to occupy me in those moments of 'in between,' my attention is easily drawn to the activities and conversations of others.

This is not intended to be an indictment of women, but for some reason, there were groups of them around where I was traveling. The same kinds of things happen when groups of men gather.

The "stuff" of their conversations and the attitudes they had on display were anything but Christ exalting. The language they used, the topics of conversation and the sometimes hostile approach of dealing with one who was not present, was discouraging. Beyond this, the thing that startled me (and this will sound judgmental) was how in one moment they were sharing in this fashion, and then in the next, they were corporately praying.

Along the same lines was another interaction I witnessed while waiting to board a flight. Similar corrupted conversation stood in stark contrast to the reading material being carried by those involved.

I am not pointing a finger without understanding that I am guilty of this same behavior (perhaps these were even seeking a relationship with the Lord through their choice of reading material).

How often do we involve ourselves in activities and conversations that are harmful to our witness, and then try to Christianize it all with prayer or reading of religious material?

We are doing more harm than we realize.

Those watching and listening that are not believers do not want anything to do with our hypocrisy. When the attitude of our lives do not match up with the worship of our hearts, God is not pleased.

We are all flawed and it's by grace that we are saved. However, we must be more aware of the words that leave our lips, the attitudes we openly display and what impact they have on those listening and watching...both those we are aware of and those we aren't.

It the people we are when tragedy strikes is different than who we are everyday, a change is in order.

Only God can help make it happen.


Monday, October 15, 2007

In the year and a half I have lived in Tulsa, two of my friends have left our staff to go and serve in full time missions. Both have gone to lands where it is illegal to share the gospel. I can tell you that I miss them a great deal.

One of the battles that missionaries fight, no matter where they serve, is loneliness. It is amazing how one can be completely surrounded by others, and yet be desperately lonely. There is a sense of abandonment that many fight. It is more psychological than actual, but it is a significant battle nonetheless.

In their hearts, they know they have not actually been "left behind." The lack of closeness or intimacy with another or others, to whom they love and enjoy, brings about a sense that others do not care. While nothing could be further from the truth, it is very real to those who are dealing with it.

One truly must learn to rely upon the Lord to endure this time.

Comfort can be found in His Word and by His encouragement. Too often, it is easier to believe what you know is not true.

Loneliness plagues many across our land. It is not reserved for missionaries abroad. In fact, many who are so very lonely here in the USA seek out ways to be connected. Too many of these 'connections' are thresholds to sinfulness.

Loneliness will drive us to places we should not be because we want to be gratified. We want to be recognized by another, and so we act out or reach out or embrace things in the moment that we would not normally consider.

If we do not learn to be disciplined when we are young, we will abandon discipline when we need it most, to have validation for at least a moment.

Many who visit church regularly are lonely inside. They are wondering why no one notices. Why doesn't anyone reach out? Why are they ignored by the very people they believe can bring them relief? Their minds are filled with untruths like, "if God doesn't care enough to send someone to help me here in church, then I guess He doesn't care at all." Their next steps will be out on their own, to embrace something or someone that will bring them to fulfillment in the moment.

Meanwhile, many of us are being extremely superficial with as many people as we can while we passing by them in the halls of our Father's house.

Something God called me to when I was fearful of His calling me at all, may provide a bit of encouragement to us at this point.

I was being asked to chaperon a high school ski trip many years ago. I argued with God over it. I told Him I did not know how to talk to 100 students at one time. What He told me has become the focus of each ministry opportunity He brings. He said, "I don't need you to talk to 100 students at once, I need you to invest in one student at a time."

As I began to do this, I found that if I shut the rest of the world out while talking to one student, they would notice that I was actually listening, and begin to open up. Sometimes they would try to shock me at first to see if I was really invested. Other times the flood gates would release pent up monologue they had been waiting a lifetime to dump on someones doorstep.

There will be competition for your attention. You must learn to say 'no' to those other things or people in those moments. You can make a difference in the life of one lonely person at a time. Please don't hesitate. Even if your afraid, do it.

It is amazing how 'reaching out' allows you to feel less lonely, yourself. Try it. God wants you to be His 'tool.'

We can bring hope to one life at a time!


Friday, October 12, 2007

Preparing to head into the Sahara of North Africa, I borrowed this to keep the sand for this photo op.

It is interesting, when you think about it, who we revere in our country. I remember taking BJ basketball jersey shopping. Not the inexpensive type at the local discount store, but the official NBA approved jerseys that had peoples names on them that we had never met.

I can remember standing in the clothing store as he searched the racks. He was looking for names he recognized. He had a couple of teams in mind, but the names were more important than the teams. We lived in Indy at the time, but his interest was not in Pacer paraphernalia.

One of the names he wanted was only available in the home white jersey. He opted for a different name with the team colors screaming for attention. BJ didn't even watch much basketball. His interests had more to do with the popularity within the culture of this kind of clothing, and who the heroes were.

I remember him asking me to quiz him over teams during a time when he was making a concerted effort to 'know pro basketball.' He enjoyed shooting in our driveway, and mixing it up occasionally with others.

His size and his poor eyesight did not contribute to athletic prowess on the basketball court. He still enjoyed playing, and would laugh at himself openly if there was reason. He made playing the game fun, not because he had a great jump shot, but because he knew how to enjoy life.

The people we often revere are known for enjoying life at breakneck speeds while frequenting places we never want our children to go. I am not sure I will ever understand our fascination with "famous people."

This morning, I was reading about a less revered person. His name was John. He was the beloved disciple. In some of the final words of Christ, an intimation was made that John may not die until the the Lord's return. Of course this is not what Jesus said exactly, but it is what many took from what He did say.

John lived over 30 years longer than the other disciples. After they had been martyred, one roman emperor tried to kill him in the Colosseum. He did not want to use lions as they did not always kill on demand. They did not want to behead him because that was considered a "worthy" way to die. They did not want to honor him.

They finally decided to boil him in oil. The crowd shouted for his demise. The oil was prepared. Three times it was proclaimed..."John the disciple will be boiled in oil!" The crowds were anxious and excited.

John raised his hands and quietly prayed as he was lowered into the vat of gurgling black petroleum. He began to praise the Lord as the silence fell over a packed arena. Time passed and his praises grew stronger. What was intended to dissuade others from believing, was now giving them reason to seek Truth.

The angry emperor had him removed from people's view.

The oil held no power over John. He would be forced in coming years to drink poison, but it would have no impact. After the oil incident, he was banished to live in solitude on the isle of Patmos.

It was here that he would have visions that would be recorded as the book of Revelation.

They tried to slay him, but they could not. He died many years later, at over 100 years old. He died on the Lord's terms...a peaceful death.

Man cannot destroy what the Lord intends for His glory!

We can esteem idols. We can even buy their clothing.

Only God has all authority. Let's revere Him alone.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

A fall carriage ride with family in North Carolina!
According to the calender, fall is upon us. However, the weather in Tulsa does not reflect that. Somehow, we have been caught in a jet stream that keeps bringing hot summer weather.
I imagine many people live here because they like it like that. I prefer the change of seasons. I am ready for cooler temperatures. For the clouds of the sky to look like October, ushering in smells of tailgating and the cheers from football stadiums. For changing leaf color and crisp nights spent with friends around crackling fires to replace sounds of children leaping into warm summer pools.
Autumn will always remind me of family traditions. The cooler temperatures bring the promise of upcoming dates with time spent together celebrating. I seem to spend a great deal of time in anticipation, and very little in actual enjoyment. I realize that the anticipation is part of the romance of it. I need to be better at living in the moment.
I am one who too often gets caught up in the circumstances surrounding the event and don't always enjoy it like I should. It's not intentional. It really happens without much thought.
I can still remember many family gatherings that include a great deal of laughter, food, game-playing, etc. Too often, though, I watch from the sidelines. I tend to be too competitive, so I don't readily enter into games. You would think I would be more disciplined at my age, but I truly have to work hard at it. Not letting the "I wanna win" attitude prevail and overwhelm the other players, takes serious effort on my part.
I thoroughly enjoy being involved in these times. I just know I need to plug into them even more than I do.
Moving across the country allows you to see what others do in the way of tradition. On occasion, we get invited to the family gatherings of new friends. We get some new ideas that way. We also see some "don't try this at home," stuff. Anyway, the charm and draw of looking to these times, arrives on the currents of changing seasons.
When the seasons don't seem to want to change, everything feels a little out of step. I cannot believe it is nearly mid-October. Someone needs to call the weathermen of "Green Country," Oklahoma and tell them that it's time to move on. We gotta stop living in the by-gone days of summer. A new thing is coming, only we seem to not be letting it!
We tend to do the same thing in our walk with Christ. We have a tendency to meditate more on past accomplishments in the Name of Jesus, than to truly seek Him and what He has for us in this moment. Before long, we are no longer walking in His ways, but remembering days when we did and seeming clueless how to get back on that trail.
He calls us to seasons of coming up to Him and being with Him. He desires that we let the past be the past, the future reside aloft, and that we live in the moment with Him. The better we get at doing this, the more real we are to other people. They see Christ in us as we are walking in His immediate presence.
Family traditions are great and we all will continue to look forward to those times. We simply cannot allow the notions of those moments to supersede our present in Christ. The seasons will change, but we will enjoy them more if we are walking with Him!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The brightly colored garb presented by Amazigh women in North Africa reflects a stark contrast to the plain colors the men wear for their traditional dances. In these photos, an ancient movement called a Ha'wash, was being performed (yes they invited me to's not like I really had a choice).
Eating the food of other cultures can be a great experience. It can also be less than that. We never know until we try how our bodies are going to react to the ingestion of things we have never put in our mouths before.
While in Africa, we ate from tajines. These are large ceramic, flattened bowls that hold quite a bit of food. It is placed in the center of the table and all share the food from that one bowl. You are only welcome to the pizza wedge in front of you. Of course, it is not sliced like pizza, so the lines are imaginary, and you must be careful not to overstep your bounds.
We ate a great deal of Couscous in Africa. My body handled it well, my mind grew weary of it a little too quickly.
In Peru this summer, we ate a lot of chicken and fries. The fries always came with mayonesa. It is similar and yet different to our mayonnaise. It is a delicious combination. When Beej came home talking about it, I thought it was disgusting. When I tasted it, I changed my mind!
Lauren came home from India with great stories about the food. She really enjoyed it. Recently, when a new Indian restaurant opened near our office, we made a point of going there to try the food. Lauren was very excited. I was very nervous.
When we got inside, it smelled like I expected. The servers were all from India, and spoke broken English. Lauren soon discovered that our server was from the city she ministered in this summer. She was excited.
I fought off the urge I always seem to have no matter what country I am in. I always want to speak Spanish to people who don't speak English. Unless I'm in Latin America, it isn't going to help. However, it is always my first instinct, as it is the only other language I pretend to speak. Voicing my inclination caused Lauren's face to match the color of the food I was about to eat.
I have never seen food this red...except jello. This chicken had been marinating all night and was the color of embarrassment. When I put it in my mouth, it tasted like potpourri. Not that I've ever eaten potpourri, but it certainly tasted like the smell.
I ate many other things I have never tasted before...after all it was a lunch buffet. This would only happen in America. I don't think the people in India get to eat quite this well.
I can honestly say I enjoyed the experience. I can honestly say my body did not. For the next two or three days, it reminded me frequently. No one else had these issues. I was the lucky one.
We have a video of Beej's first trip to Peru. In it, he sips a drink he has never tasted before. The audio is pretty bad, but he reports that the concoction tastes like "liquid potpourri." He grimaces, then moves on to talk about the food he actually likes.
I never related to that until I tasted this 'red chicken.'
I won't be doing that again (at least not in America).
Embracing the cultures that the Lord leads us to is a part of the missions experience. There are many things we must learn. One sacrifice we never make is changing the truths of the Gospel. However, we must learn about the culture we are in so that we can find ways to make it relevant for them. Missionaries have been doing this for eons.
We don't seem to be very good at doing this in our own country. We keep practicing the same traditions and expect them to bring about results that we have not seen in a long time. His Truth will never change. The way we make it relevant to people where they are, must.
We need to release our non scriptural traditions, and meet those in need where they are.
It might even happen over a dish we have never tried before.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

BJ's ashes rest under this stone cairn, high atop the mountains of North Africa.
Our culture teaches us to be proud of our accomplishments.
Growing up I worked very hard for a couple of trophies. At a young age, I bowled and played baseball, and found myself on quality teams that won championships. Later, I ran cross country. The Lord blessed me with a large lung capacity, and I was able to push on when others could not. The results were many meet wins and even a state championship.
I remember how proud my parents were of me. I remember hearing talk among coaches , friends and family of the Olympics. I remember thinking they were talking about someone else. As my success grew, my interest waned.
When I tore cartilage in my knee during practice, it came down to two choices (in that day). Run with pain, or don't run at all. I ultimately chose to stop running competitively. Many were disappointed in me.
I struggled with being too proud, during those years. I did not like the feeling. I had been taught to take pride in my Savior, but my experience was making that hard to do.
All that is in our culture presses us to excel for the sake of self and all that can be attained. One can gain glory and perhaps even fame and/or riches if you are 'good enough.'
Our children participated in youth sports. BJ played soccer and t-ball and swam on a club team. Later in high school he would play soccer and wrestle. He was an average athlete. He did not participate for personal glory. As a matter of fact, he did not even enjoy these sports that much (other than swimming).
A large part of his involvement was so he would have a larger platform from which to share Christ.
When we heard from him while he was away serving in missions, the thing he wanted to talk about was not, what God was doing through him personally...though we pleaded for that information. He would talk about his incredible team and their obedience. He would talk about what God was calling him to do next.
Following Christ in obedience was more important than personal glory to him. His last summer in Peru, we begged him to tell us of what God was doing. All he wanted to discuss was that he was 'called to North Africa' the following summer. He was very excited about what was ahead as he sought the Lord's will.
He knew he was being used, and would share stories when there was plenty of time. If there was only time for a few words, he generally would tell you about what was next in serving.
As you may recall, we believed he would beat the infectious disease with the Lord's help, as we knew he was called to North Africa.
As it turned out, his calling was our calling. We needed to follow the Lord where He was leading, even though we did not want to go. We went, we served, and we took part of him with us. We had a worship service beseeching the Lord to return to the land that was desolate and without many believers. We left Beej's ashes under a stone cairn high above many villages. To us, it was symbolic of the hope in Christ that would return to this land.
BJ followed the Lord in radical obedience no matter what the cost. He was called to Africa. Just not the way we expected.
It can be so hard to step outside of our comfort zones, drop our accomplishments for His sake, and follow where He leads. As we surrender to Him, He enables us to do so. For many of us, we must first open our hands to release the comforts we cling to.

Friday, October 05, 2007

A lady (the one that smelled like Aunt Maralyn) had me sit down with her so we could discuss “how I did it.” Wow. We’re talking about a crisis of faith and how you get through it. We talked for awhile and I know my words were not eloquent, more descriptive, they were a muddled mess, for I am obviously still in the crisis of my faith.

Even though the question “How do you do it?” implies that I’m managing, which I guess I am, I was honored to be asked such a question. She proceeded to listen and share some of her story.

As I continue to think about such a question I am filled with compassion for all who ask because at our very core, we need help. We can’t do this life on our own. We can plan, we can work, we can do lots of things but we can’t persevere without significant help.

I know that God is worthy of our trust. I know God is sovereign, He’s proven faithful and He knows what is best for we are “fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139:14. He cares. He sees the “big picture.” He holds my hand and guides me because my view is limited. I preach these things to myself all the time as I read the Word and pray and sing. “You are who You are, no matter where I am” from Casting Crown’s Praise You in this Storm. However, we are where we are and we don’t want to have to suffer!

Sometimes we don’t want to consider the “big picture.” Since I have faith in God to “fix” my problem, why doesn’t He do it? We don’t know or understand God’s ways and maybe we don’t want to. Maybe it wouldn’t really help if we did understand because it wouldn’t change what has happened. The thing is, God is trying to teach us something through our suffering, giving us a new perspective.

Some say: “We had no control over the situation and God just stood back and watched us suffer.” I know God gave us so much grace in the midst of the suffering, and He continues to give as we continue to suffer. I hope most suffering believers could say the same. God walks through the valleys with us, whispering assurances in our ears. Unfortunately, some find it easier to be mad at God and believe the lies and immerse themselves in destructive behaviors. God wants to rescue us and give us true freedom. I for one want to keep listening to what the Master has to say.

He gives miracles to some and not others and it doesn’t seem fair. It’s a fact of life and hard to swallow when you’re one who didn’t get the miracle. This is where the “denying ourselves” aspect of Christian living comes in and it always gets us tripped up. “God is God and we are not” from a Steven Curtis Chapman song. I pray to let my will take the lead on this one because explanations fall short.

No, BJ did not get to drive my brother’s truck, he didn’t graduate high school, he won’t get married, I won’t ever get to hold his children, he didn’t get to preach and teach the way we all imagined. We have to let go of our own dreams and plans, that’s the part of denying ourselves that is hard but necessary, no matter what you’re going through.

As much as we want our way, as desperately as we want a miracle, it’s not our place to demand our own way. God is in charge and He’s merciful, thank goodness. He has provided a way for our salvation from a punishment we deserve. That’s enough. It’s what we can cling to. It’s our choice to put our trust in our Maker and say “Your way, not mine.”

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Whitney and Jared lead worship at my ordination service (with BJ's guitar).
This morning, I came out of one of the rooms of the house and immediately caught the wafting of a very pleasant aroma...Deanna's perfume.
I am amazed at how one smell can take me somewhere so quickly.
I think in the time we have been married she has used no more than three or four different perfumes. The latest was actually a gift from our friend Amy. She likes it so much, we have resupplied her a couple of times. It is an awesome fragrance. Initially, I confess, I thought of Amy when I smelled it. That didn't last long, as Deanna wore it daily, it quickly became who she is.
After one of the services this past week, my girls asked me if I had met the lady who smelled like Aunt Maralyn?! I didn't think I had. I was wrong. My nose just didn't pick it up for some reason (old and dying sensory cells?). Later, I had the opportunity to sit beside her for a moment or two, and picked up on it right away. It was amazing how much she not only smelled like her, but the similarities in how they carried themselves were curious.
I seem to have one of those bodies that absorbs cologne and renders it non-fragrant after a few minutes. Through the years, I have tried dozens of colognes. None more than once, I don't think. I mean I use the bottle, I just don't get it a second time.
I keep trying to find the one that lingers. The one that will stay with me, and cause others to know I am there, whether they see me or not. The closest I have come so far, is leaving clothes in the washer too long after the cycle is finished...going ahead and drying them, only to have them smell really sour and distinct on me later. I wonder why my body doesn't absorb that odor and kill it?
I remember what my mother smelled like when I was growing up. She used Chanel #?? I better not guess the number cause I really don't remember. I always wondered if they really had all those numbers. The only one I ever saw was the one my mom used.
After I moved out of the house, she changed perfumes (two unrelated incidents). I knew this, but failed to remember it one Christmas. I bought her Chanel #?? I could tell when she opened it that I had bought the wrong one. That is not a very good moment to remember that she had changed to an Elizabeth Taylor fragrance.
Anyway, we can all relate to knowing someone by the perfume/cologne they wear.
For years, my Uncle Ray wore one of the Aramis scents. He always smells so classy. I tried it body killed it.
I've pretty much given up on being remembered for my scent.
I know what the Word says...that "we are the aroma of Christ!" I think that One is better than the others. The problem is, it doesn't come in a bottle. It comes as a lifestyle of surrender. It's a fragrance that has a serious impact on others. You don't have to spend big bucks to get it, but it was expensive.
We killed his body to get it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Mom and Dad on the streets of Latin America.
Following the Lord in His call to obedience is so simple an idea, and so difficult a task. It doesn't begin and end with following.
Once we realize what the Lord may be calling us specifically to, the way seems impossible. "Too great a task for such a simpleton," is how I often find myself feeling. I cannot see ahead. I have no idea how things will come together. I have to trust, and that scares me!
Trust is yielding your will to someone elses control.
That does not come easily for most of us. Especially when the task that is revealed to us is so much bigger than we are!
I remember a month or so ago, looking ahead to the week I have just journeyed through. Everything within me wanted to duck out of what I saw the Lord leading me to. I wanted to retreat into time with my family, and knew that I would have been fully justified in doing so.
I also knew that was not what God wanted. Deanna knew it too. She told me, "You have to go." She really didn't see that there was a choice to be made. God had opened doors and in order to be faithful, I needed to walk in obedience.
What began as 11 messages in 12 days, grew to 14 in 12 days. Today, there are three to go in this busy stretch. Two tonight, and one Sunday.
The Lord has taught me so much about looking to and leaning on Him. Where He opens doors, He provides and brings undeserved blessing.
I cannot tell you how incredible and even "out of body" much of this experience has been for me. When I see the results (or harvest) I find myself in disbelief of who God used to bring in the process of bringing about His desire for the lives of so many.
I have learned more about denying myself and allowing God to be God through this experience than I thought possible. When He calls you to something, He equips you and uses you if you don't get in the way. It can be tricky to stay out of the way. Pride is always lurking and threatens to rise up and help self claim credit.
I believe that is one of the reasons God often chooses tasks that we believe we cannot accomplish once He reveals them. He knows we will have to rely on Him. There is no way I could ever claim any credit for all He has done and is doing! The entire experience has been extremely humbling!
I remember (10 years ago) when I shared my testimony with my home church (back in Indy) about God calling me into ministry. I cried all the way through it. My pastor had to scrap his message because of how long it took me to tell my story between sniffles and sobs. That body was very patient with me.
My Lord has been even more so.
I continue to learn so much from Him and am so thankful that I serve a God who loves me enough to allow me to be used.
The journey into His obedience is an uncrowded road. It is not easy to follow where He leads, but the rewards far outweigh the fears (on the front side and throughout).
Follow where He leads! It is worth the cost!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Sharing the gospel in Mexico on my first Awe Star trip.

The Lord is moving in ways that are unreal and powerful at the revival services at FBC Nowata. We truly serve a God who is interested in using us if we are willing to surrender and allow Him access.

My family has been with me at each service and it has blessed me tremendously. Whitney leaves for Indy today, but Deanna and Lauren plan to return to Nowata with me tonight and tomorrow night, Lord willing.

Your prayers are being experienced in very tangible ways as God the Father, ministers and speaks through His Holy Spirit to those in attendance (including me). I am so very humbled to see all that God is doing, and so very thankful that there remains a "great cloud of witnesses" who continue to bombard the throne of grace on behalf of those in need.

Tonight and tomorrow night will close out the revival, so please remain steadfast as God continues to move.

The students of SAC's have begun an "association" called "The Revolution." Many are participating. They are seeking God with all of their hearts and we need to remember to lift them up as they surrender their will to the Father for His purposes. The enemy will not be pleased and they will come under fire through complacency, and many other avenues. Please keep them lifted up as God is making an amazing difference in many of their lives!

Praise Him!


Monday, October 01, 2007

Happy 18th Birthday BJ!!!
To say that God moved in San Antonio would be saying too little.
There are those times in life where He has all of the right circumstances set into place for an incredible move of His Spirit, and all that must be added is the obedience of those who are involved. I believe last week at Alto Frio Camp with the students, teachers and parents of San Antonio Christian Schools (SAC's) was such an experience.
Enthusiasm abounded within the hearts and energetic bodies of most students as our time together got underway on Wednesday. All were filled with anticipation over the coming week. Certainly, the fact they were on retreat and not in classes, helped set a positive mood.
Joel and Joseph, two brothers who are graduates of SAC's led worship. They used to play with "Salvadore" (the Christian band). They were absolutely amazing! What humble and gentle spirited young men. They consistently led us to the throne in worship.
I shared BJ's story during the Wednesday night session. The students were challenged to look not at BJ, but Christ, and to live a life pursuing Him, with all that they were. They were challenged to "raise a revolution," for our Lord. Their response the Holy Spirit's movement in their hearts was dramatic. The altar was overwhelmed with students and adults...but there is always room for more!
God continued to call them to obedience in the following sessions. They were challenged to lay down their rights to themselves and to begin living for Christ, and Him alone. They heard about hearing and discerning the voice of God in our lives. They heard about stealing time from our Father in heaven through (unintentional) idols raised up in their lives.
My own heart was under conviction as this message was delivered. I knelt at the altar to pray. The SAC's principal was one of the first to respond. He laid out on his face in brokenness before our Father. When I raised my head to stand, I could not move for the crush of students around me. Many worshipped the Lord at there at the altar, as few could move.
That evening, the seniors of SAC's (who had been the small group leaders among the underclassmen) returned to worship together after leading their team discussions. That worship was moved down to the river. As these senior came before Jesus to worship Him, and seek Him on how to raise a revolution, He began to move among them!
Many were baptized (three SAC's staff were present with them). After baptisms, they got on their faces before the Father and sought Him collectively through prayer. The manliest of jocks wept like babes, over their sinfulness. Prayer for the lost and broken abounded. Revival began among the senior class.
It spilled into the final morning session. Testimony of what God had done was given. The Lord called many to serve Him through missions or abroad.
I continue to be blessed by messages I am receiving from students and parents of students whose lives were rocked by the Holy Spirit. If you read the blog comments you will see several that were added in this forum.
I praise God for His powerful movement. I am aware that movements come and go with emotion. I am equally aware from information I am receiving, that this movement is different. Its not the Thursday night camp cry.
Please pray for the SAC's students and faculty. Please pray for their parents. Protection and direction is needed as the Lord channels the energy raging within the hearts of His surrendered ones!
Praise God!