Friday, January 9, 2015

New Year

Around this time last year, I was single. My home was wherever God told me to rest my head. In three years, that was about 15 different countries. My ministry was still developing and seemed far into the future. Yet, you never know what awaits for you in the new year.

I believed I was headed to Morocco. I felt God has opened some doors for me there. I was planning on going sometime before the summer began. Pappa had other plans for me. I never would have believed what 2014 would bring. Proverbs 16:9, The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.

I had felt a long term calling in Brazil, ever since I went to Iris Harvest school 4 years ago. When I was traveling through Central and South America, I always new in Brazil, He would speak to me about it. I never wanted to force Brazil, I wanted it to be in His timing and His leading. Last year at this time, I wrote all my contacts, just to say hi. It was as innocent as that for me. Yet, I did not know, it would kick open the door to so many of my unanswered prayers (ministry, love, and a place to call home).

In less than a year, what seemed to be so far in the future, became my "now". I found my love, Juliana, and she found me. I found a place to call home, and my heart does not ache for one anymore. In talking, sharing, and dreaming with Juliana, we found our ministry. These three things have been a long time coming.

I encourage those who are still waiting, to continue. God's ultimate plan for you is worth the wait. I waited a long time as a Christian. It was 13 years for me in finding a wife and easily 8 years for a ministry/home. When most people "find" these things in their early to mid 20's, I was 43 years old. I watched as others received their blessing. I'm not saying I wasn't blessed during this time. I am just saying there are some things we desire that is so strong, there is no denying it in your heart. Don't be afraid to travel, be led by Him, to anywhere and everywhere He wants.

Psalm 37:4, Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Truthfully, in the past, this has been my least favorite scripture. I have heard people quote it as a reason to go ahead of Him and not wait for His leading. For me, the portion I love the most is, "Take delight in the Lord". When you have waited a long time for the "big things", taking delight in Him is the best. The rest, "He will give you..." just sends you in awe of His majesty. 

Have a great 2015! Be expecting! If you are not expecting, like I wasn't last year, you may be amazed at His wonders for your life in 2015. Isaiah 9:6 ... And His name shall be called Wonderfull, Counselor, The Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Our Good News.....Nossas Boas Notícias

                        We are very happy to share to our family that we are engaged.
         Nós estamos muito felizes ao compartilhar para nossas familia que ficamos noivos.

We met over 2 years ago, when I was on a missionary trip through Central and South America.
Nós nos conhecemos mais de 2 anos atrás, quando eu estava em uma viagem missionária pelo Central e América do Sul.

At the beginning of this year, we started a long distance relationship.
No início deste ano, iniciamos um relacionamento de longa distância.

During the first week, we talked about the vision that God has given us for our lives, and were surprised to find out that they were the same. This was one of many confirmations we had during our first week.
Durante a primeira semana, falamos sobre a visão que Deus nos deu para as nossas vidas, e fomos surpreendidos ao descobrir que eles eram os mesmos. Esta foi uma das muitas confirmações durante nosso primeira semana.

We decided that we needed to be together and I moved to Brazil in May.
Nós decidimos que precisávamos de nos conhecer (melhor) e passar tempo juntos,  eu então me mudei para o Brasil em maio.

In October, Juliana is going to the same missionary school I went to in Africa, and I am headed back to the United States.
Em Outubro, Juliana está indo para a mesma escola missionária que fui na África, e eu estou voltando para os Estados Unidos.

My blog is transitioning into our blog. Juliana will be writing blogs in Portuguese about what God is doing in her life. I will be continuing to write what God is doing in my life.
Meu blog está passando para ser o nosso blog. Juliana vai escrever seu blog em Português e estará falando sobre o que Deus está fazendo em sua vida. Eu vou estar continuando a escrever o que Deus está fazendo em minha vida.

Once the school in Africa is finished, I will be returning to Brazil. We will begin the ministry and life that God put into both of our hearts years ago. We have both waited patiently for each other over the years and God made our miracle relationship come to life. We know Pappa is doing the same for the ministry He has given us. 
Quando a escola na África estiver acabado, eu  irei voltar para o Brasil, e juntos vamos sonhar com casamento e iremos  começar o ministério e a vida que Deus colocou em nossos corações por tanto tempo   esperando pacientemente  um para o outro ao longo dos anos e Deus fez nosso relacionamento (milagre) vir à vida. Sabemos Pappa está fazendo o mesmo para o ministério que Ele nos deu.

Missionary life!! Welcome to our life.
A vida missionária !! Bem-vindo as nossas vidas.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Pretty Little Bows

I have been blessed to volunteer with some missionaries during my stay in Brazil. I like to minister in one of the communities, "favelas". I have learned a lot from them and the people in the community. I hope I have been able to bless them both too.

One of my favorite things to do, is to visit with people in their houses or on the street and share the love of Jesus. A couple of weeks ago, I went with two other missionaries to visit with guys that traffic in drugs. 
We walked around the streets, praying and declaring things in the Kingdom of God to be in the community as it is in Heaven. This is not hard to do and doesn't demand relationship. We asked God to lead us as we didn't have specific people to talk to. 

We met up with a few guys. The last guy we met up with was a young man. We didn't know it at the time but he didn't have much time left. Two weeks later, I would see him on the street again, lifeless. It was a shock to me but not to the streets. 

I wonder, if we would have known, if we would have been more urgent? I wonder? I would like to say that he gave his life to Jesus that day we shared with him and prayed with him, but he didn't. He was tolerant of us but always gave us a look like I've heard this before. It was a look that wanted relationship but too many people just talked it but didn't walk it. There's a war going on. Just turn on the television, they will show you. We need to wake up. Matthew 9:37 Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few

We like to put pretty little bows on everything we do as the Body of Christ. We give our selves so many excuses not to do things because of grace, because of our past, because I don't have any money, because I'm not called to do it, because of ..... and the list goes on. We rarely rebuke anymore because "that's not love". At times, I feel all alone in my beliefs. Are we to put pretty little bows on things because we have a Daddy who is this loving mom? Don't we have this loving Daddy who will kick us in the butt too? That's love too, right? It is if you know who you are in Christ and don't take a victim mentality. As believers, we start in victory

I didn't want to put a pretty little bow on this. Blogs are always telling people the successes. We failed to enter into a relationship with him. We didn't have a sense of urgency. I'm sure God was telling us. We didn't listen. 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

My future changes

I have been in Brazil now for three months. It has been good and it has been challenging. I am learning a new language, Portuguese, and two new cultures, Brazilian and the wonderful world of a woman. I am not sure which culture is more challenging but I will tell you being around Juliana is definitely more rewarding.

Two years ago, I came to Fortaleza, Brazil with a team of missionaries traveling through all the countries in Central and South America preaching the Gospel and loving people. I did not know I had met my future here. After staying in Fortaleza for 10 days, I left for the Amazon jungle in Manaus. I did not know my future had changed. God knew, but I didn't know. It was so subtle, that I could not possibly understand that my entire life had changed..

I realize more and more why it's so important to trust in God in everything I do. At times, we all start leaning on our own understanding. When we do this, we start trying to control things. We make plans that take God out of the equation. We want to make things possible for us to see and therefor easy to achieve. I have lived the possible life before. It was always missing something, Jesus.

He has not created us to live the possible life, but the impossible life.

In a world where humanism is lifted up so much, we need to live the impossible life. It brings us to Jesus. I love the song "Blinded", by Jason Upton. One part of the song says, "I don't know where I'm going, more and more each day it's becoming just alright with me. When I know, where I'm going, my eyes keep me from trusting Thee. I want to trust you. It's the purest worship." That is so true. Every time I hear those words, it takes me in a deep worship of Him.

"Blinded" by Jason Upton.

If I had strived for something I so dearly wanted in my life, to be in love, I could have missed Juliana. If I hadn't made it a priority in my life to be totally be led by Him, even if it took me away from what I wanted for my life, I could have missed Juliana. I didn't know this was the woman God had for me when I first met her. Two years later, and many opportunities to take me in a different direction then what God had for me, I said one word to her in a FB message, "photogenic", and it changed everything. You don't always know your life has changed. It's not always apparent. It wasn't for me two years ago. My experience has encouraged me to realize everyday, the impossible life is the best.

I don't live a life of "what if's" anymore. You don't have any when you are good with not knowing where you are going, as Jason Upton so beautifully put it in his song. I encourage everyone who is on this beautiful road of "not knowing where I'm going" to continue on. It's the right road. It's a beautiful road because it's the one Jesus is on. Be patient in life and with Pappa. His timing is perfect.

Friday, May 9, 2014

A New Season Beckons

I have had a really good time at Bethel Church in Redding California. I've been very blessed to be here for the last two months. I haven't felt the presence of God like this since I was last in Pemba, Mozambique. I'm very refreshed.

God has opened a door for me to return to Brazil. I've known for a few years that Brazil is where I'm suppose to be long term as a missionary. I'm believing for more doors to be open in Brazil while I'm there. I will keep you posted on what Pappa is doing in my life. Blessings

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

At His feet like Mary

It's been almost a year since my last post. I am alive but during this time some things needed to die. In 2013, I needed a time to myself. Pappa is so good to me. He provided that for me.

He randomly told me one Friday morning to go to Mexico. I did not know why, but was sure of what He told me. A couple of months later, I headed to Mexico. After a rough beginning, I settled in.

It was a beautiful time for me and my Groom. He wanted me all to Himself. He spoke to me about being at His feet like Mary. Luke 10:38-42. Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to Him and said, "Lord do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away form her."

My entire life I have been a Martha. When I gave my life to Jesus, nothing changed in this area of my life. I was "distracted." I would have said the same thing as Martha to Jesus, yet, I would not have thought of myself as "anxious or troubled about many things." I would have looked at this story as Martha being "productive" or "bearing fruit." You know, the typical "go-go" mentality and would have justified it as how God made me.

One day I was waiting at a intersection getting ready to cross the street. I heard Him say look at them. So, I did. I watched as the cars passed me, whizzing by. He said they are busy. I was like that, for a long time, busy. The Chinese character for busy is made up of a heart + kill (ed). It means heart annihilation. We are killing ourselves!! I gave Him some time but not my best, not my first fruit of time. That went to all the "important things" in life that you have to do to be part of society, whether secular/non-believing or believing. You don't want to be looked at as a "sluggard" as proverbs calls it.

So, here I was in Mexico, doing ministry, except, it was mostly just He and I, and I was at His feet. To most of the Church and the world, it looks like nothing, but to Him, It's "the good portion". It's the portion "which will not be taken away" from me. During this time, I pondered on my "works." 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 says, Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw - each ones's work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done, If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone's work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire." I'm happy that this work won' be burned up. It won't be taken away.

So, it's been a quiet year since my last post on the outside. Pappa has been doing a good work on the inside of me and I'm ready. Isaiah 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here I am! Send me."

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stepping Out

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

     I heard someone tell a story about these two Chinese girls who got a revelation from God on Matthew 28:19. The year escapes me but it was probably at least 80 years ago. They were new Christians and went to their Pastor for a blessing to go. You have to understand the culture. Chinese have to get a blessing and two young women who were also young in the Lord don’t get them to go out. These two girls persisted. The Pastor told them they needed to go to a Bible study to learn the Bible and they needed to get mentored by someone. (Isn’t funny how man will give you a list of things you “need” to do before they see you as qualified. It’s heartwarming Pappa doesn’t move this way!) The two girls were relentless because they knew that they were to “go therefore”. The Pastor begrudgingly told them to go. They went out as missionaries in their homeland of China to people who never heard the Gospel. Two year later, when they came back, they had started 50 churches.

     I love this story. I admittedly meditate on it a lot. It encourages me. I love that they didn’t give in to someone who could have unintentionally discouraged them from going. I love that they had this simple belief of who they were in Christ. I love their simple obedience. It is so child-like. Isn’t that how we are to be?

     I believe the harvest is ripe now. The Body of Christ needs more child-like warriors like these two. They are heroes to me. They shouldn’t be though because they were doing what the Word tells us all to do.