The Weeping

All I know is that I am to run to Mercy and take as many people as I can with me.

I was only 12 or 13 years old when the couple that I regularly babysat for were called to the mission field. He was a night stocker of groceries at the local grocery chain and slept during the days, and she worked at a local bank during daytime business hours.

They lived in a modest house in my hometown, and both worked hard to make ends meet and build their new life as a now family of four. I never asked them about their “American Dreams”, but perhaps that doesn’t matter, because I instead saw what happens to a person when God gives them a dream. They weep.

Their “Call” came through an introduction to a foreign nation to a foreign people by a missionary. This missionary shared his heart. He shared his love for his people. And my friends, Steve and Andrea were gripped to the core with a knowing that those people in Thailand, were to be “their” people and they were to sell all they had and move to Thailand.

I don’t know if I’d ever seen a grown man cry like Steve cried. His 6 foot, 6 inch frame would shake and tears would fall as the love for the people God had just put on their hearts began to grow and enlarge their capacity. His wife Andrea also was so overcome by the pulling of her heart to this nation they had never lived in, and people they did not yet fully know, and she would cry as one waiting to be reuinited with her family.

They began to ask, “How long do we need to continue to remain in America when God had clearly moved our hearts to Thailand?” They cried out for Thailand in their prayers. They spent their meal times fasting and praying for this thing that God had called them to. And in doing all of this, I watched them change before my eyes.

When they sold their home and temporarily moved in to an old farm house in a remote part of the area they discovered that it was infested with insects due to its long tenure without tenants. This home gave them more opportunity to save more money towards their mission goal, and as Andrea would smash spiders in the house, and chase off garter snakes, she would say, “I’m training for Thailand!”

The “Call” of God on a person’s life begins to change them. His desires become the gloves that the hands of the one “called” fit into. His heartbeat is the One that they hear when they lay their head down on the pillow at night. His longing for His people becomes the ache and the tears that run down the faces of those who have said, “Yes, I will go.” And suddenly their everyday life seems to lose focus, and the opportunity to share in the harvest of what God is doing begins to take shape as the only life worth living.

I am in that ache.

I weep more often. I find myself wishing for more time in prayer. I feel His call on my life, and it stirs in me like nothing else can.

My whole life has revolved around ministry since I was a small child. I love the Lord. I love being in His service. I love His church (with all her messes), and I love His servants whom I have had the privilege of joining the yoke with in many countries, states, and cities. And yet…

God spoke to me last Spring and told me to clear my calendar in order to learn some things He wanted to teach me. Not fully knowing what was in store, I answered “yes”, to some events that God used to shift my heart and renew my purpose. I wrote about them in earlier blogs.

I attended “Azusa Now” in Los Angeles, California in April and joined with over 65k people in prayer and intercession for our nation. A month later, I attended Reinhard Bonnke’s School of Evangelism, and have been weeping ever since. If you’ve forgotten about how good the news is that the Gospel brings, listen to Reinhard Bonnke preach on the “Jesus and the Adulterous Woman“, and like Paul Manwaring says, “You will fall in love with the Gospel all over again.”

God is renewing His call to me to the harvest fields. To the unsaved who need to know Him, who need to hear Him and who need Mercy and Grace to meet them right where they are. So right now I am in the season of weeping as the “Call” of God becomes formed in me. As I wait for my mission to match my commission, I weep, and pray, and fast.

If you find that my eyes puddle with tears more than they used to, all I can say is “God is forming me, and breaking my heart with the things that break His.” All I know is I am to run to mercy and take as many people as I can with me.

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Storms Part 1

STORMS Part 1

There is something about saying yes to a dream or a calling that also causes you to say yes to storms.

I have a friend who told me the other day that it was a dream of his to learn to play the guitar.  The picture of himself on a mountain top with just he and God, worshiping as he strummed that instrument was so inviting that he began the learning process.  He soon found out that the learning process is not so dreamy.  There were blisters, finger cramps, many things to memorize, and coordination that had to be learned.  Then there is the learning curve involved when you sing and play at the same time.  Dreamy? No.  Fulfilling? Yes!

What makes a sailor good?  Why do people aspire to sail? The sailor has learned to propel his boat forward making use of the violent winds that attempt to destroy his ship.  He learns the ebb and flow of the tides to time his departures and arrivals.  He masters the waves and troughs by constant encounters with the sea and it’s fury, and with each experience he learns how to utilize his strengths, knowledge, and his the unique design and build of his boat to navigate his course.  He must encounter storms.  He must navigate the waves.  He cannot be a sailor without that experience.  Storms are an essential ingredient to his dream.

When God gives us a dream, He brings fulfillment in it.  Sometimes we lose sight of the dream or calling when we are locked in the fog.  Sometimes we are disillusioned when the rain is pouring.  Yet there is something about that dream or calling that beckons us through the awkwardness and embarrassments, through the mishaps and  misunderstandings, through the pain and the feelings of failure.  These “storms” are essential to the making of a dream and the making of a man/woman.

Others will look at you living your dream and say, “I want to be like that!”  What they have yet to know is that the moment they step out to follow that dream they are going to face storms.  Jesus said “In this life you will have trouble, but take heart!  I have overcome the world!” John 16:33.  God has also promised us that “being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  Philippians 1:6

If you are in a storm “Hold on!”  This isn’t all there is.  There is a calling and a dream being formed in you.  And as sure as storms come, they also go.  May God give you peace as you weather the storms.