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Sep 10

Thank You!

Posted on Monday, September 10, 2012 in Uncategorized

I learned quite a bit last week about God’s schedule. As things were falling apart around me I took a few minutes to pray. In the middle of the DTW I found the prayer chapel and just fell on my face. I didn’t even want to take the trip anymore, but after those few moments with God He began to move. I know you all were praying, because things began to happen in force. Meetings and contacts that I never could have imagined sprung up. I ended up in a meeting with all the Sectional Youth Reps for the Southern New England Ministry Network. I met with some people who just “get it” when it comes to the ministry of Youth Alive. It really did end up being a great week. The only flight that was not delayed was the return flight from Boston to Detroit. That was the one that had me waiting for 3+ hours before flying back to Midland. So, I still landed 30 minutes late but I’m home. Praise the Lord.

As I was reading in Genesis I began to see some things about stories that I’ve mostly just glossed over since I was a kid. I mean, I had seen the flannel graph how much more could there be to them? Well, in the story about Abraham and Isaac climbing the mountain to sacrifice to the Lord a bunch of things popped out to me.
1. Abraham was asked to sacrifice something he loved more than anything.
a. Isaac was promised from God.
b. Isaac was his legacy
c. Isaac was his son
d. He had waited 100 years for Isaac
2. They climbed the mountain
a. Abraham didn’t just say ok and then God said just kidding. He had to put action to the sactifice.
b. Abraham had to fight through what he “felt” to obey God. (i.e. “I just don’t feel called to that…”)
c. Abraham was prepared to go all the way because he had faith that God would keep His promise one way or another.
3. They built the altar and prepared to sacrifice.
4. Abraham heard from God
a. While he was going about the business of Sacrifice he was able to hear God’s voice.
b. His obedience showed that he would listen to God
5. God provided a sacrifice.
a. Through that ram God provided a physical sacrifice
b. He provided the promise of nations through Isaac
c. He provided the son Abraham thought he was losing (second time God gave Isaac to him)
d. The mountain is still today called “the Mountain of God’s Provision.”
When we make the sacrifice and follow through God will bring the provision. Sometimes when we think we’re in a valley, we are really on the top of the mountain, but we are procrastinating the building of the altar and preparing of the sacrifice. We know God has called us to make a sacrifice, but we don’t want to follow through. We complain about not hearing His voice, but sometimes we won’t hear until He knows we’ll be obedient. Have you climbed the mountain today, but not followed through on the sacrifice? You will hear from God and receive His provision when you are obedient to His calling. His calling is never for our glorification. It is four our sacrifice so He can be glorified.

When Lindsay and I came to Michigan we made a lot of sacrifices. We left people we loved. We left a house we loved. We left financial security. We sacrificed all of this because we knew God was calling. We’ve climbed the mountain. We built the altar. God has been faithful to provide people who have supported us and gone over and above. He has provided financial miracles and brought support from places we weren’t even looking. We are so thankful that people have heard from God and helped us. We know we have more mountains to climb and more sacrifices of our own desires to make. We also know that wherever we build that altar will be the Mountain of God’s Provision. Thank you for your support, prayer, and love.

Aug 16

One Thing Remains

Posted on Thursday, August 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

So, I was praying this morning. I love saying that. It makes me feel great knowing that I took some time in my Secret Place (Matthew 6:6) with my Creator. I wish I did so much more than I do.

Toward the end of my time with Him, I asked Him exactly what He wanted to say to Livingston First Assembly on Sunday. He gave me a scripture that I pulled up on my computer to research when I was finished. That in and of itself was awesome and amazing, but that’s not “the rest of the story”.

I had a song in my mind all morning and even from yesterday. I had thought about searching it on Spotify and it was the song listed on my iPod to play next, but I decided just to let things play on Spotify and not try to fabricate an emotion or experience because of a particular song. I’m not big on emotionalism in worship and prayer. I want real, and I know that doesn’t always happen because of emotions. I felt like God was being very clear to me on so many levels today so I was loving that just conversational connection with my Father, My Savior, and the Holy Spirit. I sometimes deny my emotions so as not to falsify an experience or have it be all about me. I had even turned the music all the way down so I wasn’t distracted Pokies.

I decided to turn the music back up and just worship for a little while before continuing my study. Within seconds the song One Thing Remains(the song I had been wanting to play all morning)  started to play on Spotify. I couldn’t deny any emotions after that. It was like God was saying that He wanted to bless me and communicate with me on every level today. He has a way of enveloping me in His love. I felt this morning like He was wrapping me up and holding me. It was awesome. He explained to me that He wanted a very real relationship with me too, but this real relationship will be on every level if I will allow it to be.  You have to go listen to the song to understand just what God was trying to say.

I can’t shut Him out on certain levels and expect that He will talk to me just on His terms. I think we do this with God a lot. I think we do it with each other too. I don’t have any complete answers and I don’t know if I can build any huge spiritual teachings out of this, but I know He spoke to me.

I don’t always share super personal times like this, but I just kinda felt like it today. Celebrate with me that God takes time to speak to the least of us. Truly humbled this morning.