Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Deanna and me in the 80's...

I've been busy this week trying to get pictures scanned into the computer, for use in our upcoming wedding. When we unearthed this one, I could not resist posting it. The sign still describes our journey. Deanna has not changed!

The Lord has seen fit to bless us over the last few days with unexpected messages and encouragements. We are very thankful for this. It is never my desire to leave a somewhat distressing message up as the first thing you see when visiting here. For those concerned, I apologize. I apologize not for the content, but for any discouragement that seeing it up for 2 or 3 days may have brought.

Around a month ago, I wrote about a good friend of mine, Justin Magers, who died in India, while serving the Lord. Many things have occurred in the wake of his home going.

One of those things has been a new friend. Her name is Sarah. She is a senior at her university. The Lord has been ministering and revealing a calling in her life that seems to have begun a transformation from within.

She walks a difficult path that so many her age struggle with. She is a believer and resides among many who are not and many who claim to be, but whose lives more mirror the world than a walk with Christ.

Her struggle is how to 'come out and be separate' while still loving her friends. We have had several conversations over the struggles she faces, and yet she has been an inspiration to me as she opens up her heart.

I see more of Christ in her than she probably thinks resides there. Her hunger for Him and the things of Him is so refreshing to my sometimes weary soul. She sends me random email messages of encouraging video from youtube. She is such a blessing to hear from.

Her desire is to go to the mission field after graduation, and serve with us for a summer. I am praying for her and asking the Lord to make a way for that to happen.

I love it when God leads those who want to serve to our doorstep, and then allows us to see Him rise within them and begin to cause ripples in those around them.

It remains staggering to me that for every 1000 students who want to go to the mission field, 1 makes it, because of parental intervention.

Well intended parents. Parents who want their child to find good jobs, make money, and keep their loved one safe. Few of these parents seem to realize that the Sarah's of the world want desperately to shed the worldly view of materialism, and just serve Him.

Too many parents are tugging back on the invisible leash they have tethered to their child. They do so for the good, for the safety of the child. They do so to the detriment of the lost. This very pervasive attitude is reflected in the majority of parents who fail to realize that they are hindering the spread of the gospel.

They hinder the call of God on the lives of their children. They hinder the move of God in their own lives by "keeping their Sarah, safe."

When parents prevent their children from going, they teach them by action, that "going" is unimportant. That what is important is making money or remaining within a comfort zone.

Too many of these parents are so closed within their own comfort zones... cocoons... that they are ineffective at serving the Lord themselves. The whole point of a cocoon is transformation. Transformation cannot occur within a comfort zone.

Yes, we could have spared the life of our son, had we kept him safe. Our imposed safety net would have prevented his own obedience to the King of Kings. The lives of so many who were lost, would remain in darkness, had "comfort zone" been our motivation. The lives of so many believers who have been changed by seeing radical obedience walked out in a young man in a way we seldom see, would remain unaffected, unchanged and safe, had we kept him home.

As parents, we must let go. We must trust that His ways are truly higher than our own, and that He knows best. The Word says, "train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Prov 22:6

When we show them a way contrary to His way, they embrace it and usually replicate it. They produce children and grandchildren who don't serve...except for maybe Sunday and Wednesday.

"It's time that we as Christians stop being lazy and just talking the talk, and get our hands and feet dirty actually following him and serving him diligently every day of our lives. We need to take his message to the people of every nation - including ours (for we all know how much our nation needs Christ). He went through the blood; the least we can do is go through the mud." BJ

It's time to train our children in His ways, not our own.



At 1:01 PM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

BJ knew it.

We embrace it.

And you said it extremely well (especially for an "old friend looking young").

Continuing to lift you up this week and always,

with tender love
and prayers in pink,


At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

At 2:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reminder. Your book touched me deeply, as my son as always wanted to serve, even when his parents weren't Christian! I started letting fear grip my heart thinking of "what if" until I read that I do not have your permission to use your son as an excuse. So again, thank you...God will reach me as He needs! May you and your family be filled with peace as the day approaches. God is STILL using your son to serve!!!


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