I was just notified that this blog now has a thousand followers! I feel extremely blessed and honored. Thanks to everyone who’s reading. Can’t wait for the next leg of this crazy journey. Blessings!
Jealousy. What is it really? Is it anything more than a thought, emotion, or action in which we invest once the opportunity appears? Or is it perhaps something within human nature in which we all live with each day on different levels? The answer of course is both. Jealousy is a part of our earth suit. It’s the instinct within us that involuntarily looks to others and begins to compare our situation with theirs. It’s the creature that lives in the core of our insecurity. The bad news is that at one point or another everyone comes into contact with this destructive habit. The good news however is that it is possible to master it. So how do we overcome this obstacle? When taking control of this conflict we all must begin where most battles of this nature are won and lost; in the heart. Whether you are on the winning or losing side of the battle, it takes continual control of both mind and spirit to continue going in the right direction from day to day. Here are three practical points to remember when you inevitably discover this challenge.
1. Maintain The Right Heart Condition (Selflessness)
Consider for a moment: What is your view with consideration to your own immediate situation? What level have you reached in the proverbial ladder of human life? What is it that you feel you deserve? You may be surprised with what comes to mind. We can easily stumble upon a stint of jealousy when we feel that we aren’t getting what we deserve out of life, and others around us are. We take one look at someone else who seems to have everything that they might desire, and enter into the thought that it should have been us. You feel that something must have gone terribly wrong because you have paid your dues and now somehow, someone else seems to be reaping the benefits. You feel that since you’ve done the all the right things, you now deserve a piece of that pie. You actually need to get over yourself. Realize that everything isn’t about you. If you can’t do that, perhaps you need a reality check. The best experiences in life have to do with giving, not receiving. A selfish heart is often a jealous one.
We often hear the term “life isn’t fair,” but have you actually accepted it? Anyone who has lived two seconds on this planet can tell you that this is the truth, but what many people miss however, is the idea that it was meant to be that way for a reason. I won’t deny that there seem to be certain extenuating circumstances in which people are just given better opportunities than others simply for being in the right place at the right time. Some might call this “luck”, but I call it life. All of us are born in a different place at a different time. So why then do we gravitate towards the idea that we deserve certain things? I’ll tell you why. It’s because, for whatever reason, we create for ourselves a sense of entitlement. In other words, “I deserve X,Y, and Z because life owes me something.” I’m telling you friend, it just isn’t true, and this thought is a trap. So before you decide that you are missing out on the things you should have for no reason, remember that the world is not meant to be your personal butler, delivering to you all the things you might desire on a silver platter. The reality is that God’s gift of life is an nothing short of an opportunity to be who you were meant to be. We were designed to be overcomers. If we never encountered obstacles, we would never know how sweet victory tastes. Life is a moment in which we make certain choices for good or for evil. At the end, we all take with us the same amount of earthly things. We need to decide that it’s more important to do the right thing than it is to have a bunch of nice stuff that won’t last. Our hearts are designed to be happier that way.
2. Maintaining Perspective (Patience)
Sometimes we may find ourselves yearning for things that don’t belong to us because we forget that there is a time and place for everything. How often do we wish we were living the life that someone else is living? The truth is that when we spend time longing to be living someone else’s life, we miss out on the great things about ours. Imagine for a moment that you are hiking up a mountain. Yes, making it to the summit and enjoying the view is an amazing part of this journey, but if you spend all your time complaining about the difficulties, and only thinking about how amazing the top is, you will undoubtedly miss the natural charm of the trail, the way that plants and animals enrich the experience, and the pure grace and beauty of nature itself. With your focus on someone else who stands on the summit right now, you will surely fail to capture the joy of experiencing the expedition. Remember that God has reserved your success for a purpose. If you know that you are on the right path, it’s as simple as this: You may just need to be patient.
Let’s say that you encounter a situation where someone else has something great, and you don’t. I know that’s never happened to you right? Let’s get real, it’s happened to everyone. Ask yourself another question; what did that person do to get what they have? It won’t take long for you to discover that this certain someone has earned it. Even a great inheritance was once earned because someone was willing to work diligently for it. Ask yourself, if I really want something great for myself, am I willing to do what it takes to get it? Am I willing to put in the blood sweat and tears? Am I willing to wait until the right time comes for that opportunity? If not, you really have no business yearning for those things do you? If someone you know has a great marriage, chances are that they fought for it. If someone tells you that they climbed Mt. Everest, it’s most likely that they trained for years to be able to do it. If someone you know has a successful career or business, it’s because they built it brick by brick. Consider whatever it is that you are jealous of. Has this person earned it? Realizing that the people who have great things probably worked very hard for them, is vital when it comes to disarming jealousy. Understand that it’s important to have proper perspective when it comes to your own journey. The position YOU are in, and the position that OTHERS are in, can be two very different things. Be willing to work hard to get the things you are after. Instead of becoming jealous of someone else’s success, use their story as inspiration for your own. If anything, the people who have been where you want to go, and are doing what you want to do, will be able to help you along the way.
I recently heard the tale of the town with no shoes. Two different shoemakers moved into town in order to check out the scene. One shoemaker saw that no one had shoes and decided that this was no place for someone in his profession. After-all no one seemed to be interested. The second shoemaker decided to stay and build a shoe factory because after-all, there were a lot of shoes that would need to be made. He then proceeded to make his fortune. The difference in these two shoemakers was their attitude. It probably took the second shoemaker about three seconds to realize that this was the opportunity of a lifetime. But it probably took a lifetime of good attitude to make his dreams come true. It’s true that some are given much, and some are given little, but even though these circumstantial incidents do occur, only a fool would believe that there is nothing that can be done about it. The first thing you can do is get the right attitude. Once you have that down, what other people have and what you don’t have, will be of little importance. Ask yourself if you have the kind of attitude that might earn for you great things.
One of my favorite people in history is Thomas Edison. The reason why he is known today as the inventor of the modern light bulb is not because he deserved the title, it’s because he was the one who tried to invent it enough times. Renowned astrophysicist Stephen Hawking was once told that he wouldn’t live beyond his 20’s due to his condition called nuro-muscular dystrophy which limits him to a wheelchair and renders him with the inability to speak. Yet he went on to become one of the most influential thinkers of our time. Both of these men could have easily given up, and no one would probably have blamed them. The reason they became successful was all in their attitude. During their rise to fame there were undoubtedly people who were currently leaders in their fields. I can almost guarantee you that they didn’t spend much time stewing in jealousy. They both saw what they wanted, and ignored the rest. Your attitude will determine much of your success, and you can take that to the bank.
What is it that you want to achieve? Let me encourage you, rather than throwing a pity party and wallowing in your own “why not me” stew, why don’t you just go and get it. Most likely it won’t be easy, but remember that nothing of great value will ever come easily. Be the person that decided make your dreams become realities. Replace your jealousy with decisive action. Try to identify and get rid of selfish thoughts, have perspective, be patient, take action, and have the best attitude you can possibly have, and I promise you that your jealousy will begin to subside. Don’t forget that it’s a daily battle. You can let the heart of jealousy take control, or you can be the one to take control of the beast itself. The choice is up to you.
Good morning everyone! Hope your day, or night (depending on which part of the world you live in) is going well. I decided that it was about time for an update, now that life has finally begun to calm down slightly. I know that I’ve been absent for quite some time due to the fact that I’ve been in transportation mode for almost 3 months but for those of you who are willing to accept excuses, writing was much more difficult than I expected. But now I plan to be back with more content more frequently while I attempt to make up for lost time. I was going to expand a little bit on the Europe tour with a few more posts but I have decided against it. I realized that I was kind of falling away from the real purpose of this blog which was to describe my transition from the secular work world, into life in full time ministry. Things that don’t match up with that idea can prove entertaining sometimes, but I really can’t say I’m doing what I set out to do if miss the point all together. So, I’m getting back on track starting now. However, this particular blog entry will finish off what I’ve started in the area of travel but will also re-orient readers once again with the topic in which I am meant to be writing on. I’ll touch on the end of the tour, to close this chapter before moving on.
If I’m not mistaken, I last left off on the coast of Italy, just about a third of the way into our trip. We hit Rome and the Vatican City and spent three days strolling the cobblestones of an ancient civilization. We endeavored to see the entire city. We gazed up at the masterpiece of Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling and contemplated if there was anything more brilliant in existence made by man. The guy spent four years with a crooked neck, paint dripping on his face, day in and day out, refusing to look at the figures from the floor until the work was finished. You can literally see the brilliance unfold from one end to end to the other as he continuously attempted to out-do himself from painting to painting. With one side dull-colored and simplistic in nature, and the other vibrant, rich, deep, indefinite, and masterfully crafted in every way. It’s clear that this was a journey far more epic than could ever be understood by anyone other than the master painter himself. We will never know the extent of the true drudgery when it comes to this labor of love but we can at least catch a glimpse by looking up at it. God’s gift of life, story of human kind, sacrifice of his only son, and His plan for the end displayed in this stroke of genius is brilliant enough to bring its viewers to tears. You aren’t allowed to take pictures but Ill never forget the experience as long as I live. The Highlight of Vatican city was of course the chapel but I must note that seeing the pope speak was a trip of its own. We moved on to Rome itself. It was busy, beautiful and altogether fascinating.
After tossing our coins into the Trevi Fountain, ensuring our return, we took the train to Pisa to see the leaning tower, then to Florence to experience the magic, and then to Venice to hit up some old fashion adventure. We found all of those things and so much more I’m happy to say. Pisa is a small town in an old world. Florence is much more romantic than Paris and doesn’t get nearly enough credit. Venice has narrow, comfortably busy, Purely Italian streets with ten million ally-ways, water ways, and bridges, all of which seem to lead nowhere.
If you would like to find out more about these places my advice is to save up money and go there. It’s the only way to really experience them. No account of mine or anyone else’s for that matter could really do this these places any justice. Tuscany was just as beautiful as anyone has ever described. We took the train through most of this stunning countryside but managed to stop and smell the proverbial pasta along the way. We spent Pre-Christmas traveling through Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and took a ferry from Stockholm Finland. We saw my pal Niko (in Turku) who has been my good friend and mentor since 2007, which was amazing as always and very much needed.
Scandinavia is a wonderful place with Long hot summer days and Short dark winter days, where everyone has a sauna in their bathroom. The people of Scandinavia are perfectly pleasant, love coffee and good beer in equal measure, and often smile everywhere they go. They aren’t all happy but for the most part, they welcomed us with all the warmth, kindness and generosity of a pleasant summer day. With consideration that this is the middle of winter it was rather nice to be in such good company if I do say so myself. Adrie received flowers from a random man simply for being beautiful.
When it was time, we made our way back to Austria. We got back on the boats and trains and made it back just in time for Christmas Eve with the family. We went to the local Christmas Eve service and sang “Stille Nacht” (Silent night in its original language, German) just miles away from where it was written and performed for the first time on Christmas eve in 1818.
Christmas in Austria was absolutely incredible. Uncle Heinz chopped down a tree that he grew himself and decorated it with candles, sparklers and all the traditional trinkets. We spent a few days drinking coffee, eating homemade cookies, and hanging out with each other till the wee hours. We went on a cross country skiing expedition which proved much more difficult than I expected but was non-the-less absolutely wonderful. The white sky lit our way along the path through the open white fields and sparkle dusted pines of the Austrian country side. The cold air filled our lungs and carried us across the big spaces, and through the frosty woods.
As we turned the page in this chapter we took the last train on our tickets to Vienna to catch the plane to London. We couldn’t help but feel a change in the air. We had finished our tour and were on the verge of another epic adventure. We were about to join up with Pastor Dave Reidy to help out on the Vertical Love 2014 Tour. The goal was to take an expression of worship to the nations, to minister individuals who have a hunger for becoming better leaders through worship and teaching, and to point the way to the cross. We spent three weeks traveling through England and the Netherlands on the team. God did so many amazing things for so many people on the tour. We met too many incredible people to list, but the friendships we built during this time will undoubtedly last a lifetime.
The days and nights blended together in utter oblivion, which is to be expected when taking on a challenge of this nature. Looking back it feels more like a month long day in which we sometimes slept. God showed us the vast number of different ways that his people all over the world enter into his presence; One method no more correct than the other, but all different and beautiful in their own way. We observed so many different cultures and people that we discovered that even with the amount of places we’ve seen, we havn’t even begun to scratch the surface of diversity when it comes to this. In fact I’m beginning to think that, it may never be possible to experience every one of them; but, the idea to remember is that God has a plan for each person and created each of us to express our worship in ways that only our own hearts can understand. Its not about what it looks like on the outside, its about what your heart is on the inside. What became of our journey is grateful hearts. Grateful for the experience, grateful for His loving kindness, grateful for the opportunity to gain wisdom and strength, and grateful for the faith to be able to count on His provision. We were reminded that He is, was, and will always be faithful to his children.
After the tour, we began gearing up for the next season in our lives in Sydney Australia, which is why I have re-oriented this blog. In the last few months we sold our car, and most of what we own, and have endeavored to begin a new life in Australia before returning to the states to continue our ministry. What started as a documentation of my experience as an artist, has become a look into the heart of a desperate soul. Over the course of a year, I have become an entirely new person. Once I stood on the foundation of my own ideals, plans and self-satisfaction. Now I find myself immersed in the vastness of the unknown. Once I had my own plans. Now I lay them all down in order to find God’s plans. Once I felt that I didn’t need faith, because somewhere inside I though that I could ultimately take care of myself. Now faith is the very breath I take from day to day. I realized that as humans we just simply cant be who Jesus call us to be on our own. Its His power that makes it possible. But it doesn’t make it easy. The questions mount and the uncertainties have become clear, but one thing is for sure, my soul is well, knowing that no amount of uncertainty could take me away from his provision. We don’t know what’s about to happen, but what we do know is that He is in control. And that’s enough for me. I hope that you will stay with me though this experience. The Idea is that once we settle down, we will attempt to become a part of ministry life here and give God full control of our hands, sharing our experiences though this blog. What-ever that means we aren’t entirely sure, but we do know that we have the peace that passes all understanding, and that when you give your heart to the potters hand, he will know exactly what to do. I’m looking forward to taking my first steps in this direction and writing down my thoughts so that you can be a part of them. In any situation it’s always nice to be able to share thoughts and experiences with people who care, and I for one am glad that for me, those people are you. Until next time, I hope that you are blessed, and that you find joy in Him wherever you are. That’s all for now! Don’t forget to stop by and read up from time to time as I continue to discover ministry.
Hey guys, I know it’s been a while so I’ll consider myself lucky if any of you are still following but I thought I’d follow through with what I said I’d do, and post the few entries I wrote on paper during the trip. As it turns out a trip like this leaves little time to write. Jotting down a few memories here and there might be a reasonable task but as I’m sure you all know, GOOD writing takes time and effort; something which comes rare during a turbulent season like this one. Although I have to say I believe I caught myself at the right times, in the right places, to fabricate an interesting account. It’s broken into three different entries spread throughout the journey, but I try to cover the important elements. A detailed description, considering the amount of ground we covered, makes for boring writing anyway so perhaps some of you will appreciate an abbreviated account anyway. You might agree if you take a look at the list of the cities we visited so far…
Fort Stockton, Texas
Barcelona, Spain (Cataluña)
Burwood Park, England
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Sprang-Capelle, The Netherlands
Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Almkerk, The Netherlands
Prague, Czech Republic
As I was saying, It might be a little boring describing every detail so I’m certain it all worked out for the best. I’ll be posting three entries over the next couple days for those of you who are still interested. Otherwise perhaps this will just be good to have written down for myself to read at a later date which is totally fine with me as far as I’m concerned. At any rate, here goes…
12/9/13 (9:30 AM) Basel, Switzerland train to Paris, France
I am writing to you from East France on the Paris Bound Train! Today is the Third country and 6th day of this crazy journey, of which I am convinced, is a blessing far beyond what I deserve. A lot of hard work and sacrifice was put into this trip but it has become increasingly clear that mercy upon mercy have been put into place in order to allow this all to happen. The only way I can explain it is to say that God eventually grants the desires of your heart in his own time, when they match up with the desires of his.
It all started in Texas of all places. We departed from San Antonio on Thanksgiving Day with heavy hearts. I have to say I knew it would be difficult to leave but I was nowhere near prepared for the heartache. The Church my parents planted in Garden Ridge known as Highpoint Church has become a permanent part of us and knowing that we were leaving to pursue another dream was painful, even though we knew that one day this time would come. That whole debacle involving leaving is one thing but watching my parents in the rear view mirror is something else. I think my heart will probably never be the same, but there is something to be said for physically making tracks when you hurt so much that you think you might die. It may have been the vastness of the American Southwest, or the way that night and day blend together in the desert, or the numbers of lonely wonderers with no loved ones of their own that helped, but somewhere in there, something allowed me to see clearly and I was able to choke my sorrow. Perhaps the idea that my Mom and Dad told me that they are happy. After a few days I realized that somewhere deep down I considered myself responsible for them somehow, as if it was my job to make them happy. As if their world somehow revolved around me. Silly right? Well… At any rate I came to the place where you have to let go and let God. After all, who ordains their steps? It certainly isn’t me. God’s got their world and my world in the palm of his hand, and whether I’m down the street or few oceans away, he’ll be taking care of them.
We hit the city limits and we drove. We drove for 24 solid hours with a 2 hour break to sleep somewhere on the outskirts of some mid-desert town.
12,000 miles later we arrived in Carlsbad, California at 7 Am and collapsed into a pile. Over the next few days we prepared for our lives to change. We drove up to Los Angeles to pick up the rest of our stuff which I had shipped from Texas. It’s interesting to think that our lives are now in storage but I guess it comes hand in hand with doing something as insane as this.
We flew out of LAX on 12/3/13 and landed in Istanbul somewhere in time and space. If you think you know what “diversity” is, you should go to Turkey. The United States does not even hold a candle when it comes to melting pots. We then made our way to Vienna, the most westerly city in the western world. It was kind to us.
The Viennese people were patient and helpful to these culture shocked jet-lagged Americans. Although I will say that one of them had a heck of a time trying to figure out what I meant by ordering “Drip Coffee” There’s no such thing as drip coffee here by the way in case you were wondering. Hahaha, There is only espresso, cappuccino’s, latte’s and the closest thing to drip coffee, also known as an Americano. Imagine the light bulb above my head when I realized that it was named after this American invention. Not surprisingly however, these handcrafted beverages you find in Europe are most usually unmatched when it comes to quality. We may have imagined drip coffee, but they practically perfected and re-invented the entire empire of the bean.
After a near death experience or two in a taxi, we discovered Vienna. This city is amazing in ways I had never imagined. Austria has a proud, sometimes turbulent, and most often illustrious past; and Vienna has been the center of it for ages. We walked where Sigmund Freud, Adolph Hitler, Franz Ferdinand and the Hapsburgs walked. We stood at the steps of the world’s most infamous opera house. We ate hotdogs from the same stands from which they first came. We watched the streets bustle, and strolled down ancient cobble stones. We marveled at the way that the city seemed to live and breathe on its own. But most importantly we immersed ourselves in the sights and sounds of Europe.
We got on the train and took it west to a little town called Wels, where we met up with Adrie’s family who as usual cared for me as their own. One thing that I love about them is the fact that they live life. They live with their hearts accountable to God, allowing the fragrance of love, family and appreciation to surround them. There is so much I have already learned from participating in their daily life. We took the night train to Basel Switzerland where one of my oldest and dearest friends lives with his wife. He now leads worship at a large church in the city which I must say made me proud to see. I was shocked to see our picture on the screen during the service! Ha-ha, Turned out that my friend used our relationship as an example in an illustration, which he had to explain to me because it was in Swiss German lol. I was absolutely blessed by it, and to say the least it was a sweet moment for me. It was difficult to say “see you later” to them but knowing the schedule we had intended to follow, a few days was all we could spend with them.
Which brings me to this point in the journey. We haven’t yet made a whole lot of decisions about the route but we intend on making the biggest circle possible. We plan on heading to Barcelona and sailing to Rome after Paris but who really knows what will happen. If there’s anything I have learned so far, it’s that there is no way to plan for a trip like this. You really have to just allow the road to take you where it goes; otherwise you miss out on the experiences that a “schedule” does not allow for. In other words, it’s impossible to schedule adventure. You just have to position yourself for it and let it hit you. We have met so many incredible people so far. For me thing that is most difficult to deal with is that they are all lost now to the road. Facebook might connect you to them but the experience you have for a moment is something completely different. I’ve learned to just appreciate the time in which our paths intersect and always remember them as I once knew them, happy and free. Fellow friendly feathers, blowing in the wind. I’ll try to write more when I can but for now it’s been difficult finding the time. When you’re doing this it often difficult to distinguish adventure from adventure. Nights blend with days, and lands with lands. Constantly being on the move provides little room for structure, but then again, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Hey everyone!!! Guten Täg and Merry Christmas from Wels Austria. Writing on my phone for the moment lol Sorry about the lack of posts. I know it’s really rotten of me to have said that there would be updates and not do them, but I do have a good excuse. The decision was made to leave the laptop behind in order to further its chances of not being stolen. And believe me it would have lol. Anyhow I’m writing all my entries on paper for now and and will be sharing them all ASAP. Countries checked off the list so far include Turkey, Austria, France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Finland. Still up ahead are England, Belgium and The Netherlands. Needless to say it’s been a long hard road. But it’s been the most incredible and rewarding journey I could have ever imagined. I really don’t deserve to be able to do this but somehow God worked it out. There are far too many stories to type out on my phone lol so I will just have to say that they are coming soon. Please continue to pray for the upcoming part of the trip that includes the tour we are graciously being allowed to be a part of. I’ll need wisdom and strength now more than ever. Thank you so much for being readers. You have absolutely no idea what it means to me. I promise I’ll have more content very soon. Yours sincerely, Garrett
Well, I’m excited to say that preparations for the tour and move to Sydney are going very well. The 2014 season has divided itself into 3 phases. The first of which, is The Leading Edge International Tour in Europe we were invited to travel with and serve whithin. This phase, which Adrie has been endearingly been calling our “Amazing Race”, has been forming steadily. The tour dates have changed around some, and still require some work but there are opportunities that appear to be arising with promise, and we are working towards them with expectation for a move of the Spirit. Before the craziness begins we are stoked beyond belief to say that we will be able to spend Christmas in Austria! Sometimes I still can’t believe that this is happening but that’s just the kind of God I serve.
We bought or tickets and paid them off recently which officially secures our time with family in northern part of the country. Before flying to London for the start of the tour, we are arranging to meet up with some old dear friends who live in Basel Switzerland, who graciously are allowing us to stay with them. Aside from being excited out of my skin by getting to see them again, I’m also ecstatic because being in Austria and Switzerland puts us in close proximity to Paris, Venice and Rome. (Holding my breath) With our Eurail tickets we are thinking we might be able to see those amazing cities as well. Some details are yet to be determined but we aren’t worried because once you get into Europe, traveling from country to country is much like traveling from state to state in the U.S. The more prepared you are the further you can go. We fully expect that with a little bit of elbow grease we can make some of our fondest dreams become realized. Adrie and I have been dreaming of seeing these places for many years so the idea of being able to do this now makes our hearts race and palms sweat to say the least. And thinking about where we came from when we first got married makes it that much sweeter. Those of you who know us know that when we started our lives together, all we had was a dream and a prayer. In other words we literally had nothing. Hahah, But looking back, I wouldn’t have it any other way. We REALLY had to trust God. If there’s anyone wondering how we made it, I’ll tell you right now, We trusted God and we tithed. Tithing is the only financial endeavor that has never failed us. God says to test him in tithes and “see that he will not open the floodgates of heaven”. Let me tell you freinds, it works. But that’s the end of that rabbit trail for now, you can discover that truth for yourself if you haven’t already. We kick off tour at Kinsington Temple, one of Europe’s largest churches, yet another testimony that God knows how to hook it up. The tour will last until January 26th which will bring us to Vienna for our flight to Sydney which begins Phase two.
Our tickets are paid off and our Australian visas have been approved. Which means We have clearance to work and live in the land down under. If you haven’t been reading in the past, our reason for moving to Sydney is that I have a chance to help out in some of the most effective ministries in the world today. After a year of prayer and focus, it became clear that now is the time to go. This of course means that we will not only have to move there, but we will have to find a way to sustain ourselves. As usual the Lord has provided. My amazing brother who lives in Sydney, who moved there with me the first time in 2007 and decided to stay, is hooking me up with a job at the restaurant he manages for some part time income so I can focus on ministry and help support our stay. Not exactly what I imagined myself doing at 26 years of age but I’m not above it, and the bottom line is that this is what I am called to do. Furthermore I am extremely grateful. The fact that God allowed me the resources and family to provide me with the prospect of income before even getting into Australia is simply amazing to me. He is so faithful. During this time I’ll have an opportunity to learn from the best of the best in ministry and be able to support us as well over a period of 4-7 months until we come home to the United States. Its funny how God brings to light the things you thought were fully illuminated. The Bible says that He uses to foolish things of this world to confound the wise. (1 Corrinthians 1:27) Now I’m not saying I’m anywhere close to wise, but what I can say is that for as many times as I have thought I had a “plan”, God has made it happen another way just as may times. I’m starting to figure out that is exactly the way he designed it to work.
Phase three is coming home. What happens then? Well, to add to the list of means, by which God’s faithfulness has proven true, I have recently been recommended for licensed ministerial credentials with the Assemblies of God, allowing me to apply to churches looking for a worship pastor. And that’s exactly what I plan to do. I feel the need to stop and mention that for most people, life has its challenges. For me, one of these challenges was getting my credentials. They aren’t needed to be a pastor, but in my line of work they are highly regarded. This is the most confusing part of ministry to me. I realize that the people who are given an opportunity to serve their community and speak into the lives of its people need to be carefully chosen, but I have had an exceptionally difficult time discerning the differences between the business parts of church work, and the parts where God fully takes the reins. Its an extremely fine line. I had to work hard to prove my character which is confusing because in my experience character should prove itself. Unfortunately there are a lot of people who care more about themselves then the people they supposedly pastor, and this is one good way to find them out. So I am fully submitted to the prospect which is why it feels good to say that after 5 years of volunteer ministry and study, I am finally a licensed pastor. It just so happens that I am without a church. Hahaha, but that is in His hands for now. Its here where the fine line in which He takes the reins is found. There is a clear need to find the right church for us in summer 2014, but until then there is some time for preparation and prayer for the season in which I will finally be able to do what I’m called to do full time. And I know that since He is in full control, everything is already taken care of, the battle is already won, and the enemy has already been defeated.
In other news I just sold our car, which is bittersweet to say the least. If you could drive a car overseas this would be the car that I would drive. It’s a wonderful machine and never gave us any trouble. We saw the United States with this car. I drove it to work everyday for 4 years and blasted a painfully high amount of music out of the speakers. It was surprisingly difficult to see it go. The longer I think about it, the deeper I go into an emotional spiral. Maybe it’s because of what this car stood for… Or maybe its because selling something as important as our car makes the trip seem officially real. Knowing there is no turning back. It’s frightening but necessary for a trip like this. Or maybe its because this car and I took care of each other. Or maybe its because I’m just overly sentimental but either way, its been interesting emotionally. At the end of the day its just a “thing”. And all “things” are part of a world that will eventually have no worth, and cannot be taken with you to eternity. For now, its a means by which God has provided for us and it’s becoming increasingly clear to me that his hand is all over this.
In the next few weeks we will be Saying “see you later” to our friends and family in San Antonio, making a pit stop in Carlsbad California to drop off whats left of our earthly belongings and setting out on the adventure of a lifetime. Never in our wildest dreams did we ever think we would be doing something this insane, but here we are, and I’m happy to say that we are thrilled to death about it.
Sorry this post has been mostly informational but I expect as things start getting difficult, and challenges start to arise, there will be more road blocks and difficulties to work through. You can entertain yourself with my anguish then lol. But for now it appears that we are running on all cylinders, and fully in the grace and provision of the one who spoke the stars into existence. Don’t forget that it’s our weakness as humans that makes His power evident, and to remind me of that when I start to whine. Where ever you are right now, whether in the valley or on the mountain top, (I have visited both) His promise to never leave or forsake us is true.