Sunday, December 18, 2022

God Knows - Is That Enough For You?

"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11

There is a saying that I picked up while on staff with Promise Keepers in the mid 90's. "You can't teach what you don't know, you can't lead where you won't go, and you can only recreate what you are." It's true and can be convicting. 

So - on to my point. If you have been reading these posts then you know that Martie and I have been teaching Experiencing God which is essentially spiritual awareness training. You know at the point of salvation that God sealed you with His Spirit (Ephesians 1:13-14) and your body is now the "temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Corinthians 6:19). But did you know that God speaks to you by His Spirit through the Word (when you hear it or read it), Prayer (when you pray to God), circumstances (life as you live it) and other Christians (who also have the Spirit of God in them). That brings us to a Crisis of Belief - do we trust God and will we obey Him? It requires faith (Hebrews 11:1) and action (James 2:14-17)

In our experience God has always spoken to us about what it is that He wants us to join Him in doing in  more than one way. By way of example I want to share the most recent "conversation" that we had with God. This is not the first time we experienced this, by the way. But I will save that for another day.

I am certain you know about the hurricanes that recently paid a visit to Florida. And you probably know that Martie and I have been  involved in Disaster Relief work in 2005.  Well, a friend of ours, Sherry Buresh, posted that she was in Florida with the ministry she is connected to helping with the relief effort. I contacted her to check on her and to see how things were going.  Her response was that Martie and I needed to come to Florida to help.  I wasn't "feeling it" and so didn't think much about it. But I did tell her that our oldest daughter was available to help. Mandi has been in Florida since October.

Martie and I talked about Florida and still nothing.  Then, out of the blue, Martie talked to me about reconfiguring our RV so we could use it better. I asked her why, since it was in Louisiana being used by another ministry, and we would not be using it in Texas. But it got my attention. It told me that something was going on in her mind and heart. She expressed concern that we did not have the money to go to Florida. We know that where God guides, God provides.  We have a sedan that is 11 years old and is having some electrical issues.  We would need a truck, an F-250 equivalent to support pulling the trailer and supporting the work and maybe an SUV to replace the car. We know that God provides, but still!

So here is what happened next.

We received a letter from the Harris County Tax office. Martie told me that she had just paid our property taxes and figured it was a reminder that the taxes were due. A couple days later she was about to throw it in the trash and she thought she should open it before she did.  Inside was a check for $1000. We had overpaid our property taxes in 2019. 3 years ago. 

That same day, I picked up our mail for Pathfinder at our post office box.  There was a letter from the IRS/Treasury. I thought, "oh great!, now what!" I opened the envelope and in it was a check for $2700 for another over payment! Whaaaaatttttt!! Of course I called Martie. We have been on this path before. We know what is happening.

I am on the board of Stormwise - a disaster relief ministry that was helping 8 Days of Hope in Lake Charles. There are 1200 volunteers working on 100 homes.  I was talking with the Stormwise team and told them that we were considering going to Florida to help. They all said -"Go to Florida!" Do you see a pattern here?

I called friends of ours who live in Florida. They had served with us in Mississippi. Ray and Darla Shands. Ray told me that just the week before he was thinking about us and perhaps we might come to Florida to help. Ray said that he was no longer physically able to do recovery work, but he could connect me to some people that might help me understand the scope of the need. When I hung up, I checked our mailbox. There was a Christmas card in it. From Ray and Darla. Coincidence? I think not. It was what I call a God-insidence. 

So Martie and I yield to God's call to join Him in Florida. But to do what. Sherry had owed me a call back. When she did call she said, "Let me tell you why you are coming to Florida!" To which I said wait until we have shared what we want to tell you. "We are coming to Florida!" Then she said you are coming to Florida to build sheds like you did in Mississippi. We did not see that coming! Talk about a Crisis of Belief. Yes, we built sheds. Yes we can see where there would be a need in Florida. But we figured we would be doing rebuilds. And we probably will. There are some mountains that need moving.

This morning at church my heart was "pierced" by a song we sang called Do It Again.  I wanted to share some of the lyrics with you. I am certain you can make that connection. When I heard it, I leaned over to Martie and told her "This song is for us".  She nodded agreement. So - Here we go!

Do It Again by Chris Brown, Mack Brock, Matt Redman, Steven Furtick

Your promise still stands
Great is Your faithfulness, faithfulness
I'm still in Your hands
This is my confidence, You've never failed me yet
I've seen You move, You move the mountains
And I believe, I'll see You do it again
You made a way, where there was no way

Think about it – Pray about it – Believe it – Walk in it. Let your light shine and give God the glory.

By Faith Alone By His Grace Alone And For His Glory Alone

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