Hi There! Let me start out by apologizing for not posting for the last few weeks. Time always seems to fly this time of year with end of school programs, field trips, parties, and the like. But, alas, that is no excuse for not keeping you folks updated 🙂 As an additional avenue of keeping everyone up to date we’ll begin providing a monthly newsletter soon so make sure you sign up for that. With that out of the way, I’d like to share something that’s been on my mind and heart lately.
If you’ve been following along, you are aware that Connie and I are preparing for a move to the Dominican Republic to serve with Project Mañana. As we’ve sat down to share this with our friends and family I’ve heard a couple of questions/comments more than any other: 1) When are you leaving? 2) We’re going to miss you once you go. The first is pretty easy to address. The changes that we are making are requiring us to become more dependent on God than we’ve ever been. As such, the timing depends completely on Him. We are currently working towards building a team that will send us to the DR and support us once we are there. There is no doubt that God is involved in the process as we’ve definitely seen Him at work, and we are certainly seeking His guidance on a daily basis. I am well aware that we can’t do this without Him. We are currently at 50% of the budget needed to make our transition. If you’d like to know more about this visit our support page or contact me directly and I’d be happy to share more. If you’ll hang with me, I’d like to spend the rest of this post addressing the 2nd comment.
Let me ask you this: when you’re out of answers, out of options, out of patience, out of grace, out of whatever — who do you call (other than Christ)? If a name did not immediately present itself in your mind, you might want to give this some thought. Allow me to clear the air before I go any further. God is ALL we need. He created us and nothing that we go through is a surprise to Him. The Word says that we should be in constant contact with God (1 Thes 5:17) and we indeed should take everything to Him. However, God does not intend, want, or expect us to perform our daily walk companion-less. There is clear direction in the Word that we need others (Prov 27:17, James 5:16, Gal 6:1-2, Ecc 4:12, and many more). This, in no way, should become a replacement for our relationship with Christ but is definitely needed to help us grow closer to Him. As I look back at my life I can clearly see where God has used people to steer me to this very place for a reason. I assure you as we prepare to move to an island, we in no way intend to become one. Our prayer is to take as many of you with us as possible.
Fact #1 (James 5:16): I need to have like-minded individuals in my life to keep me on the right track, and I need to empower them to hold me accountable. Notice that I did not use the words “it’s nice to have” or “when it’s convenient”. I believe, as a Christian and as a male, this is non-negotiable. It is so much easier to justify veering off-course to myself than it is to a brother. I’m going to be more likely to keep my nose clean if I know I have to explain my poor choices to another guy.
Fact #2 (Galations 6:1-2): Others need me in their life. This in no way is meant to sound prideful or boastful and has nothing to do with how awesome I am (although I’ve been told…well never mind). If I allow the Holy Spirit to permeate my life it brings about blessings and wisdom that I should not keep to myself. As God pours into me I must allow this to spill over into all areas of my life and that includes the people that are in my life. And, yes, sometimes this entails having difficult conversations that I would rather just skip.
Fact #3: (Ecclesiastes 4:12, Acts 2:42-47) It’s just easier when we work together. Teamwork is not a foreign concept to most people, but how many times are we frustrated by an attempt to work within a group? When we come together as a group (whether small or large) and all seek His will together, there is no limit to what we can achieve. In some areas this is required more than others (needless to say, marriage is one of those areas). We see proof of this in Acts 2, and the same Holy Spirit that was at work then is still at work today in you and in me. We may not be seeing the same kind of results today, but I assure you this is not because HE has changed…give that some thought.
Over the years I and then Connie and I as a couple have had countless people pour into our lives. We haven’t always listened and we didn’t always appreciate the guidance at the time it was given. However, it was there. Without it we wouldn’t be where we are and I venture to say we may not even be married today. We should allow others to sharpen us, but sometimes even if we’re not seeking this and we’re not seeking Him, He will use other people to get our attention. So with that said, think about the people in your life. Will they hold you accountable? Will you allow them to hold you accountable? Are they close enough to God to bring you back when you veer off? Are they sharpening you or are they making you dull? The people in your life matter!
As we continue the journey that God is sending us on we need other people more than ever. We may be moving to a foreign country, but in order to accomplish what He wants we need to pull our friends and family closer than they’ve ever been. God has called the 5 of us to “go” to the Dominican Republic, but this also means He has called a yet-to-be-seen number of people to “send”. Please know and understand that the sending is just as important as the going (Romans 10:15)! I admit this is a new concept for me and might be for you as well, but God has been doing things this way (Luke 8:1-3) for a long time, and His way just works. Here is the truth: we can not do what we’re setting out to do without God and we cannot do it alone, nor do we want to. Chances are, at some point, we will personally ask you (yes you) to join our team. However, if you want to reach out before we get to you, that’s great! You can check out our support page, but definitely contact me so we can chat. Connie and I are so excited about the team He’s built thus far and can’t wait to see who else God raises to join us. Finally, just to make sure I am clear, there is no reason to “miss us”. Join our team, stay connected, and be just as much a part of what’s going on as we are.