Thursday, November 24, 2005

The Provision of God

Recently I was invited to a missions conference in Cape Canaveral, FL. This conference is the annual missions conference for Overland Missions alumni, staff, and people who have a heart and passion for the advancement of God's Kingdom throughout the entire world. David Phillips, one of the staff there set me up with a place to stay should I decide to come, and after considering it and talking with David some more I decided I would try and get the time off of work. My thoughts were, if things come together than perhaps God is behind this, if not, then I will continue to wait.

Well last friday I met with a group of Christians at my work (Ace Asphalt(which we do every friday)) and were telling them how I wanted to go to this missions conference and asked if they would keep that in their prayers. Well I found out that getting the unpaid time off wasn't a problem, so I asked that they would pray for a cheap plane ticket despite the holiday season.

Later that day, one of my buddies calls me into his office and tells me that him and another buddy of mine have decided to sponsor me to go there. I was shocked to say the least. I haven't asked anyone for a dime and people are coming to me to sponsor me just to go to a missions conference. I was extremely encouraged that I had they're prayers and support without even asking for it.

So now I'm searching for a plane ticket. What I need is people to pray that I'll get an incredible deal on a plane ticket that leaves during the morning of the 27th so I can arrive in mid afternoon, and leaves around noon of the 2nd, so I don't get home to late. Also continued prayer that God would really speak to me at the conference and that I'd build lots of strong relationships there as well.

Lord, I thank You that You've given me such a great calling and put me around such great Christian friends who believe that what I feel called to do is something that is worth supporting, and that by investing their resources into me, they are investing them into advancing Your Kingdom. Please continue to direct me and give me patience as I walk down this seemingly long road that You've decided that I should walk. Help me to listen and hear You, and obey what You say. I love You Jesus, and I need You to live Your life through me.

Friday, November 11, 2005

The Power of God

I've recently been thinking alot (I know this is very dangerous) about Paul's conversion in Acts as I've been reading through Luke's historical account of the 1st century church. In 3 days he went from a man who murdered Christians and said that Jesus was not the promised Messiah, to a man who boldly preached and convinced even some of the religious leaders in Damascus that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah. Something amazing had to have happened him to completely change his life like that so quickly. Meeting the resurrected Christ on the road to Damascus would be something else, but we're also told in Acts 9:9-11 that he spent these 3 days fasting and praying.

Now we know that Jews knew the Torah well through schooling, but the most exceptional students would go on to know all of the wisdom lit, and prophets as well. This was Saul's world. He was well versed in scripture and didn't believe the claims that Jesus was the Christ. Did Jesus' appearance to him cause the immidiate change or did that power encounter open the door for God to do some work in his life. I believe that it's kind of a both/and type of deal. It's a lot like believing that when we turn the key to our car it will start and then we can drive wherever we want to go, but we really don't know how all this works. If we wanted to be effective advocates and teachers of automobiles then we'd have to learn a good bit about them so we could teach others. This is the same thing with Saul. He was going to be a rabbi/teacher, but now he would be a different type of teacher. One who knew that the OT prophecies concerning the Messiah were fulfilled in Jesus.

I think Jesus appearance to Saul was the catalyst to his change, but ultimately when he spent those next 3 days seeking God while praying and fasting is when the truth was entirely revealed. After Ananias prayed for Saul and his vision was restored in Acts 9:19 we're told that "at once he began to preach in the syagogues that Jesus is the Son of God."

You may begin to wonder where I'm going with all of this, so here it is. It seems that with most people you can have a casual conversation about spiritual things and talk about Christ. You may get somewhere or nowhere through talk, but generally it's pretty easy to do. Radicals however cannot be reasoned with or talked to. They are absolutely set in their ways and the moment someone disagrees with them religiously, it's time to beat them and maybe even kill them. Radicals are changed by radical things. Something naturally supernatural and unexpected that brings truth into their face like a freight train running into a pinto. The radical encounter with truth knocks them for a loop and then they have to deal with it.

All of this is stemming from the atrocities that have been committed in Indonesia by radical muslims there towards the Christians. I've been thinking a lot about his whole deal, and wondering what it would take to lead these muslim extremists to Jesus. If people who like Paul had nothing to lose went there in the power of the Holy Spirit, preached boldly, showed the awesome power of God by healing folks, raising murdered from the dead, going into villages and sharing the love of Christ with them, can you imagine the impact that could have. Some could die, and I'm sure some would if not many, but for them to know that Jesus is the One True God and that He loves them and is not willing to give up on them even though His own should suffer as He did so that they may come to know Him as Lord and Savior. Wow, how incredible would that be. Could I do that? Is that were God is leading me or should I pursue this position at work? I don't know, but what I do know is that according to Eph. 2:10 God has already prepared in advance good works for me to do. If that should include something in Indonesia then He will reveal it to me in time. If I'm to stick around and work with Ace for a bit more, then He'll show me that too.

Lord I trust that you have the best in mind for me, and you know where my heart is, but know also that if I'm to stay here I will be happy. As long as I have a place in advancing Your kingdom I'll be happy. Lord I ask that you would reveal yourself to these muslims over in Indonesia much like you did with Saul. They are persecuting You just like he did and are trying to make the gov't side with them and prohibit the reading of Your Word. Soften their hearts so that they may know Your truth and respond to it with eagerness. Bless them and the Christians over there. Give Your people in Indonesia strength to endure persecution and death, and yet give them the mercy, compassion, and love to forgive their enemies and pray for them as well. I know that you love everyone regardless of what they've done and You would have everyone come to know You. I ask that this would happen in Indonesia.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Update police, back off

I have a post, back off, I know how to use it!!

I had a moment after I finished doing some work at work, off the clock of course to respond to a post that Obie www. made on holloween. I absolutely had to post on that so if you want to see my latest wonderings and rants, go there. Hopefully my wireless will be up soon and the I can post at the wee hours of the morning or late hours of the evening. Blessings to all!