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Relationship Paper

I know I know, it’s about time for another update  We have finally moved out of Florida after spending 3 months this winter bouncing around different campgrounds and RV parks. There were many awesome things that occurred this winter, but towards the end we started realizing just how much more important it is to teach others about who they are in Christ and empower them, so they can go and do the same.

We often pray for people and would see God either heal them or touch their hearts, sometimes to the point of tears. But then it stopped. We would pray and nothing would happen. God began pressing on Joe to teach them about their identity in Christ and who Christ has called us to be. As he did this, he would tell them to go home and pray because as a believer in Jesus Christ, they had the same Holy Spirit. It was amazing to hear the testimonies, days later, of how they did this and the pain left. One gentleman when he prayed for himself off and on for a few hours was completely healed of TMJ. His daughter suffered from night terrors and one night she was being tormented by one. He went to her and used his newly understood authority and commanded the night terror to go. She fell right back asleep and last I heard, she hasn’t dealt with them since. We saw many other moves of God where people were healed and so excited.

As we moved back up the coast we stopped off in South Carolina at a little campground to visit with two families that happened to be passing through. One afternoon, Joe was standing outside talking to his friend. They saw a man who’s hands were shaking. Joe’s friend said, “let’s go pray for him”. This guy had gone inside his camper, but they both felt like they should go pray. So they went and knocked on the door and our friend asked the gentleman if he had the beginning of Parkinsons. This guy said he did. His friend asked if he could pray for him, but the guy declined, so they left him be. The next day, we were getting ready to leave and Joe saw this guy outside. Joe went over and talked to him a little about God and this man (in his 60s) said that his mom had always pushed a lot of rules when it came to God and religion and he didn’t want anything to do with it. Joe began to share with him that it wasn’t about the rules, but a loving father who just wants a relationship with him. As Joe shared, he said he could just see the walls coming down from this man. When he finished, Joe told the man that if he wanted prayer to just come let him know. This man said, “Go ahead and pray.” He was now smiling and Joe prayed for him. As we left the campground, this man gave us the biggest wave goodbye. It was just amazing to watch the love of God soften a mans heart, who had been hurt by religion so long ago.

We headed back to Nicholasville (our hometown) for a few weeks to visit with family, friends, and get a little rest and relaxation. Then we went up to Cincinnati. I got to visit with some family and some old friends. God did some great things in these visits and one of the biggest highlights for me was getting to hangout with my older brother again. It was such a blessing!

We then headed to Muncie, Indiana to watch Joe’s daughter graduate college. We hadn’t seen her in a while but we are excited for her. She is now married and expecting a beautiful baby in the fall. It was a wonderful time getting to spend with her and her husband.
After a whirlwind of visiting and watching God move in incredible ways, it felt like we hit a wall. We left Muncie with little to no money and trusting God, we went to a truck stop. We had been in this situation before and figured, He had us there for a reason. But as one night turned to another and another, I will be honest, we began to grow weary. God, why are we here? Did we miss it? We keep listening and it just felt like silence. Do we even hear from you? Its amazing how just a small bump in the road (ie…it doesn’t go how “WE” expect) and all he has done for us, seems to flee our memory. So Joe and I prayed one night and asked God where we were to go. Joe heard North. I saw a yellow truck and on the side was a “dollar general” sign. I was not feeling “spiritual” and to be honest, I was pretty depleted. So, on what little gas we had, we went about 20 miles north to Marion, Indiana. We pull into the truck stop and right away we see a dollar general truck. We started laughing. Well, then we saw another and another. It was crazy. So Joe looked up dollar general and found out their distribution center was about about a block away from this truck stop. LOL. So, we took it as a sign we were in the right place. We got out and walked around, but no doors opened for us to share with anyone. God, why are we here. Well, we ended up staying a total of 6 days bouncing from truck stop to truck stop. We went through a lot as a family. It started as peace, then turned to anger and frustration, then doubt and disbelief, then I just started seeing Gods hand in our lives. The kids were wonderful and Joe and I had many great talks and I think I finally let go of the reigns a little more to trusting Joe to really lead our family. I felt like I was in the wilderness and I was letting myself get tossed in the waves which is the exact opposite of what God tells us to do. On the 5th day, I felt like we had come full circle and began to focus back on the Lord and joy in all we did have, not what we didn’t. Joe had felt God lead him to talk to a trucker next to us and we finally felt at peace with whatever God wanted to do. It was a growing time in our relationship with the Lord for sure.

Well, we found a campground just a little ways away that had a discount for 2 nights. We felt like we should go to do some laundry, pop the slides out, and just stretch for a couple days. Joe had prayed and felt like God was going to bring something to us. So we went to this campground and as we checked in, I struck up a conversation with the owner. She was so sweet and she asked what we did. I told her a little about our story and she asked what Joe used to do. I told her surveillance cameras. Her eyes lit up and asked if Joe would want to help them put in some cameras around their place in exchange for extra days. I told her he wouldn’t mind helping. It’s just so cool how God brings things like this. It reminded me of Paul when he helped that family as a tent maker for a while because that was his trade before (Acts 18). They have since let us stay here for the past week and are letting us stay through Memorial Day weekend. Its humbling to see their generosity. Joe has been helping around here and we have had some amazing conversations with people in the campground.

Just the other day, Joe was fixing our slide. We found out there was water damage. So we stripped it all down. We had gotten to know our neighbors. They had their grand-daughter with them and God had given me some words of encouragement for her. She had left that next day so I gave them to the grandparents. They left that next morning and we went out to the car to go get some plywood and they had wrapped some money around our windshield wiper. It was just what we needed for the plywood, caulk, and a few groceries. It was an amazing blessing and it just blows my mind, how even when we go through periods of doubt, God is still there and continues to lead us and grow us.

I share all these stories as encouragement of what God does when we step out in our relationship with Him. But the truth is, the cord that weaves all these stories together is a RELATIONSHIP with God. This is the basis for everything and the simplicity of the Gospel. This was the whole purpose of Jesus coming to earth and dying on the cross. Not to give us a bunch of rules to follow or doctorines to keep or theologies to develop, but to restore a relationship between us and our Father through love! Sometimes we get so caught up in our ideas of what scriptures mean and Christians divide themselves with their ideas and use their ideas to condemn, separate, and bash those we are to love. We set ourselves up on our Christian pedestals of pride and arrogance instead of humbling ourselves at the feet of those around us. Love breaks down walls and it removes fear, God IS Love. It’s through this relationship with God that we can have peace and know who He is, so we can establish our identity in Him and who he says we are.

I have been asked several times on this journey these last few months, how do you know what you are called to? People are seeking purpose and its so simple. Focus on your relationship with the Father, period. This is what Christ died for, so it’s the most important thing. Once our relationship is established, then we can tell others, then we can know who we are in Him. From this place, we can do as He wants because we learn to be lead by Him and learn to hear His voice. He promises to lead us as we seek Him. So the rest will fall into place.

Then next question we get is, How do you have a relationship with God? My question back is, how did you form a relationship with your spouse? You spend time with them. You read the bible to get to know Christ’s heart. Who He said He is and who He says You are. I always loved to journal, I could write down my thoughts and ask God questions. Then I would just write whatever came to mind. He began to speak to me through this. Pray through out your day just talking to Him like you would a friend. But the key is time. The more time you spend with someone the more you begin to know how they would respond to situations. You begin to take on attributes of those you spend time with and this is true with God. Everything will begin to flow from this relationship as His truth gets established in your heart. You begin to trust Him in what He says and your faith in Him grows. We don’t need faith in different areas of our lives, we just need to have faith in Him, that HE IS WHO HE SAYS HE IS! You will begin to see your prayers answered and you will begin to know His voice. It becomes so freeing. But like you, I am still growing in this relationship and from my stories above you can see I am still not in perfect unison with Him and still struggle. But its ok as long as we learn from it and let him teach us through those struggles. So be encouraged! It’s the Love of God that draws a man to repentance. So let him establish his love in you and sit back and watch how he begins to flow freely through you to touch lives and break down walls in all of your relationships!

A Peace of Me

ImageSo much has happened in the last couple months.  It’s been wonderful. Many friendships have been made and God has shown up in so many different ways.  We are in the full swing of living in 400 sq ft of space with lots of toys and kids full of energy.  I have found that by downsizing dishes, they don’t pile up as high. By having a small washer, loads are more often, but much smaller, so I actually keep up (well, most of the time).  The kids have their beds that still aren’t always made, but they have curtains to close them off.  We basically live in one big room.  We are still adjusting to putting toys away because they can take over in this space.  But it’s an amazing freedom to be able to come and go as the Lord leads, to stay somewhere for a while or just a few days. The funny thing is, when we lived in a home we were content in the same place, but once you get mobile, after about 3 weeks the flesh gets a little antsy to move somewhere new.  Our perspectives of life have changed a lot.

The kids couldn’t be happier.  We ask them very often about this journey and God has moved in their hearts and they just love it.  Our family is closer than ever. The kids play so well together and when they have arguments, they have to work it out. There is no where to run and pout.  This works for Joe and I too.  You are really forced to communicate.

We have had so many wonderful experiences and the kids have seen so many things.  Life has become our schoolroom.  They don’t just learn about things in a book. They get to see, feel, and experience them.  God has blessed us and them with so many amazing friendships.  We have often been asked about socialization of the kids, but they have more friends now then we ever did at home and the amount of time they get to play and explore exceeds the time we did this at our sticks and bricks.  They have learned how to make friends and not be afraid to talk to people, and so have we J

These past few months God has been teaching us a lot when it comes to ministering and teaching.  See, we are kind of off the grid.  We don’t go from church to church, we aren’t well known.  We just love people and want to go where they are. So many will never set foot into a church building, but still need to know about the goodness of God.  Back in January, I was praying to have eyes to see people the way God does.  He spoke so clearly to me and said, “You cannot love people unconditionally until you stop seeing them as being better or worse than yourself.”  WOW! I meditated on this for a while and God began to show me how when I judge another as “needing help” or “worse than” me (for whatever reason) that I set myself into a place of pride.  It’s showed me my love for them was based on me wanting to “fix” them. And if I judged another as “better than” or their ministry as “better than”, I began seeking them and not the father.  I began to love them for what they can help me with or give me.  But the truth is, God loves every one of us the same. He doesn’t love one better than another! His love for us IS UNCONDITIONAL!  We must let him show us that we are all equal in his sight, so we too must see others the same way.  But we can only do this by allowing Him to show us.  I began to weep as I saw people with his eyes.  People whom he loves and desires to have a relationship with, but many preoccupy their time with the things of this world, why?  Because they have never experienced His goodness. It’s the goodness of God that draws a man to repentance.  Not me pointing out their sins. Just yesterday God showed me that since Gods spirit dwells in us, we are to be a light. And it’s the light that exposes the darkness, not us pointing out the darkness.  We spend so much time focusing on what’s wrong with others, problems with the government, what everyone is doing wrong, that we forget to just abide in the father and bear HIS fruit.  To let him shine through us and his spirit expose the darkness.  We just go and share Gods goodness, one person at a time wherever he leads.  We love others.  Many are struggling with sin and “secret sins” but me telling them its wrong doesn’t help them overcome.  But, to share His goodness and that He is there to help them through it and loves them regardless.  This is what draws them to repent and submit, so the Spirit can lead them into all Truth. 

We have encountered some of the most amazing people.  You just never know who God is going to bring.  We may be parked next to someone who doesn’t have much and on the other side a family of millionaires.  Walls that are normally put up by neighborhoods are taken down and God just does powerful things.  We have met many amazing families and life long friends. We have seen people healed, we have seen others not healed.  We have seen God move so powerfully that we are in tears.  God has blessed us financially and other times we get down to our last pennies and an almost empty fridge.  But we have never missed a meal and God has always come through.  This is still a time of learning for us.  I have begun to see that when there is money in the bank, there is joy and a peace, we have meals for others, give away money as he leads, we feel free.  When there isn’t money in the bank, we get irritable, frustrated, doubt, the peace is gone.  So what does this show me?  That money is the source of my peace… NOT God!  Can anyone else relate?  But when you put yourself in a position like this, where its God or nothing, it helps to work through this.  So we look to Him and he always provides, but my heart is exposed.  Philippians 4:7 (AMP) says “And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothng from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”  So when my heart is only content when there is money, it shows what I truly trust and rely on. What I look to for peace.  But God wants to give us a peace even greater than that. He wants us to rely on Him for this.  He is the provider and even when things look low, he wants us to rest and have perfect peace knowing He will come through.  This is a huge lesson and a big root in my heart he is trying to uplift. 

This journey is amazing. I want to encourage everyone to be willing spend time with the Lord. LET him give you a heart like His. LET him love you.  Then you won’t be able to help but to go and love those around you, because his love will overflow in your hearts and out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. So often we try to go “into ministry” but we need to remember relationship with God comes first! Love you all!

 

A Month of Provision!

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Another month has flown by, but it has been powerful and also full of trials.  We have learned to live in the moment and not worry about tomorrow.  To trust even when situations look tough.  We found a little campground just outside of St. Augustine with the intent of staying a week. As we pulled in we trusted our hearts and decided to stay a month.  We had some wonderful neighbors and a great park owner.

This entire month has been one of learning to rest and trust in Gods provision. We met some wonderful families and people.  We have never asked anyone for anything and we are learning to lean on the Lord and go to him with all our needs and God continues to show up.  Before we left for St. Augustine, God provided for us, enough to pay our bills and pay for the next months campsite.  We enjoyed visiting the beaches and the area around the campground. We saw Christmas lights and visited forts and preserves. There was a wonderful man who came by and started asking about our truck.  We got to share with him and encourage him.  But he also encouraged us a lot.  After our conversation, he left and God put it on my heart to give him some money (there is a point to me telling you this, so hang tight).  He was leaving the campsite and wasn’t going to return for a few weeks.

We then met another guy who became a great friend also.  We had some great conversations and he blessed us with oranges from his moms orange tree and even brought the kids some Christmas presents.  Toward the end of the month, Joe was helping him with his camper and he couldn’t raise his arm above his shoulder without pain.  So Joe asked if he could pray and he said sure.  His shoulder was healed right then and he was amazed.  God was so faithful.  He began sharing it with everyone.

Joe also had been struggling for a while with pain in his shoulder.  We had prayed, but hadn’t seen anything happen.  But one night, I just prayed for the pain to leave and it moved down his arm.  I prayed again and he said it left.  He hasn’t had any pain since.  Which is so awesome!  God just moves and its fun to watch. But you know, we had some trials also, that didn’t seem to move.  The kids and Joe came down with a stomach virus, Reagan later got an ear infection, and then I got pink eye.  So, I don’t understand why sometimes things move and sometimes they don’t, but this too is part of the walk. Learning to follow the Lord.

This was our first Christmas away from all family.  But we knew God didn’t want us to go back for some reason. So we rested in that.  But God knew this could be lonely, so he brought us a wonderful couple right across the street from our campsite.  They immediately took us in and invited us out to eat, took us bike riding, and even made Christmas dinner and had us over.  It was an amazing time and God used them in our lives to provide family.

Earlier in the month, Joe and I had each prayed and asked if there was anyway we could take the kids to Disney, it would be a blessing.  I had no idea Joe prayed and he didn’t know I had prayed.  We were down to a few dollars in the bank and a little gas.  Then out of no where, Joe gets a call on a Sunday morning from a friend who asked what we were doing.  He said they were in Disney and asked if we had ever been.  They invited us down and said they would cover everything.  We spent 3 days in a hotel, doing downtown Disney, going out to eat, MagicKingdom, swimming, and Sea World. They even blessed us with cash for gas and souveniers for the kids.  We also got to meet his wonderful son and daughter in law and all their kids.  The kids had a blast and we made some new blessings of friends.

Well, toward the end of the month, funds were getting very low, but God has really been working on our hearts and showing us in scripture how we are to take what is set before us and live in the now. We can’t worry about tomorrow or next week, we are trusting Him and he will lead us where he needs us. There is no agenda or ministry or church we are trying to build.  We just want to follow him. We never take our needs to man and we always take it before the Lord.  He is our provider and he has been showing us that provision is a grace just like healing and salvation.  They are gifts from Him. So we were hanging out at our campsite with the first gentleman I mentioned (the one we gave some money to).  He tells us that financially he was really fine and if we wanted out money back he would give it back to us. We told him no to keep it because God told us to give it to him.  He said he was wanting to help us out somehow and that he was going to pay for our months rent, but since we gave him the money he felt we were fine.  When he told me this all these fleshly things rose up in me…like, maybe I shouldn’t have given him the money….lol…but God quickly showed me He was in control and He had something else planned.   You see when things like this happen, it shows our flesh and what we trully hope for and trust in…my heart was exposed that it was this gentleman.  This was the reason God had me give him this money. God didn’t want him to provide for us at this time, so by doing this it stopped him. This also exposed my heart, which is always awesome because I don’t want that dependence and hope in anything but God.

At this time, we have $30 in the bank account and we are leaving in a few days.  Joe gets a call from a friend who says you know, I have been praying and I have been wanting to send you money, but God keeps saying, “NO”.  Then we are sitting at the fire with this gentleman again and he tells us he has been praying because he wanted to bless us, but God kept telling him, “NO”.  But you know, an amazing peace came over me.  I started seeing that God really was going to come through, I just didn’t know how.

It was time to leave, and we had some overage on our electric, so we had to pay $30…haha! So we hitch up, bank account at $0 and gas tank almost empty. Closest Pilot travel center to stay overnight is about $40 of gas to the Southwest.  Zack had come up to us and said God told him we would go south.  Joe got a text from a friend who said he saw us going west. So its funny because it was confirmation to go to that Pilot Station. The whole time I just had peace, God what are you going to do. This is a huge change from my past.  But God had been coming through for us all month, from dinners, to oranges, to Disney, and extra cash.  So as we are leaving another gentleman from the campground, we said bye too, hands us an envelope and in it is a nice note and $40! Crazy, right?! I know what you might be thinking…why not more….well, because if had received more, we wouldn’t have stopped where we did and God always has a reason for everything if we are following his lead then he gives us enough for the day (this is what we are learning right now).

So off we go to the Pilot station.  We pull in but rather than be upset because we didn’t know where we were going, we have now realized that God puts us where He needs us and even if it’s a Pilot station, we will wait for God to come through.  I began calling around at campsites to see how much they were for a month and for a day.  I began making a list.  We played with the kids and just hung out and spent the night.  In the morning, Joe prayed that if we were here for someone, then have them pull up next to us.  We were in the back corner away from all the other truckers. We still had no money and the kids were asking, “when are we going to the campsite?”  We talked to them and told them that God would provide.  We prayed as a family and Zack said, God told me to give you my money so we can get a campsite. My initial thought was, thanks buddy, but $1 and a bunch of change will help, but its not enough.  But then God brought to mind the story of feeding the 5000 with the boys lunch of a loaf of bread and 2 fishes.  So we thanked God as a family for what Zack brought to us and asked God to multiply it.  But after some time nothing had happened and the temptation to use a credit card was pulling on me, but God kept telling me not to lean on my own understanding.  To put my faith in the card and ask God to backfill was a temptation we had fallen into before, and I learned a big lesson. But when you are in a gas station and you need a place to stay, it is a huge temptation.  I told Joe, it was not an option, so he cut up the card.  I felt peace, if God has us on this journey, we will never ask for money from another, and we will not rely on anyone but God.  He will come through when He needs to.

So, we make breakfast and after some difficulty moving the truck back and forth, one pulls in right next to us even though there were tons of empty spots and we were in a back corner.  Later that day, Joe heard the gentleman get out of his truck.  He went out and asked him if he would like some chili.  He looked up surprised and said, yeah. Joe said he would heat it up and come let him know.  He went back out and began talking to him. The guy began telling Joe all about his struggles with his family and Joe just began sharing with him and encouraging him. He prayed with him and he came in and ate chili with us. It was an awesome time of fellowship and encouragement. He came over for breakfast the next morning and it was a blessing.  After he left, another friend called us up and said God told him to pay for a campground membership for us that will allow us to stay at their campgrounds for 2 weeks, then we have to stay out of their network for a week, but can come back for another 2 weeks after that.  So praise God, we have some camping paid for! Then this trucker, comes back and hands us $200, we tell him to keep it, but he insisted. What a blessing. We filled our tank, got groceries, and now have a place to stay!  God is so amazing!

The biggest lesson I have learned though this entire month, is that we spend so much time looking to the future, what we will do tomorrow, will we have enough money for tomorrow, etc….We must begin to live in the now. Take what is set before you today. If its not what YOU expect, then rest in the Lord because He has other plans.  There is a peace I cannot describe that comes from trully looking at God alone as your provider.  When things come though like this and you know that God is the only one who knew your needs, you can take no credit for the blessings. You know it was all 100% Gods work. This grows your faith and peace in tremendous ways.  It’s the walk that settles The Truth in your heart.  Be encouraged and if God is calling you out to do something for Him, just do it. Follow Him, He will not disappoint you or leave you hanging even when things look tough. Go on your journey, you will be amazed at what He will show you and the lives that will be transformed!

The God Cube

CubeEveryone should remember the Rubik’s cube. I woke up this morning thinking about how, when I was a kid, I would try to figure out its secret. I would watch people on TV that could do it effortlessly in a matter of seconds. They even had races to see who could do it the quickest.

As for me, I could do one side, as most people could, and could even get two sides if I tried really hard. Then I would hold it up, showing my friends, and say look I’ve got it, of course covering the other sides in hopes that no one would ask about the sides I didn’t have figured out. I even set it on my desk with only the two completed sides showing because I liked order and preferred to hide my sides that didn’t “line up”.

This morning however, I was thinking about all of our perspectives of God. It’s a lot like that cube. So many denominations, the reds, the blues, the greens, the yellows, you get the idea. Everyone holds tight to their idea of who God is. We ignore the sides that don’t seem to “line up” and focus on the things that we’ve “figured out”, to the point that we hold pride in what little our denominations have accomplished and ignore our great shortcomings. But God knows our hearts and He wants us to know His, intimately.

CubeFixI eventually found a shortcut and realized that I was able to take the Rubik’s cube apart. By breaking it completely apart I had a table full of pieces to the puzzle and was finally able to reveal the heart, the very piece that held them all together. Now with my clean slate I could easily put everything back where it goes. I know by doing this I probably broke the rules of Rubik. But it finally got everything back to the way it was meant to be and I was glad to have order once again on my study desk.

The same goes for us and our relationship with God. When we surrender our lives to Him, when we humble ourselves completely and become “broken” before Him and submit to the fact that He is God then we realize, with all of our pieces exposed, that the heart of the matter and the very foundation that all these ideas and doctrines are held together by is love. God is love! Through His love we can have unity in the body of Christ, His children.

Unlike the cube however, it’s truly impossible for us to “figure it out” on our own, men have tried for centuries and failed, the only fix is the shortcut that comes by grace through Jesus. And it’s not cheating 🙂

Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

James 4:10

We’re now on Facebook

As you know we’ve been doing a bit of moving around here at GodsFunnel.com and have finally found our resting place. We have decided to keep our original blog spot here on WordPress and have added the link to facebook for those that would rather keep up that way. Thanks for the likes and encouragement! Hopefully we can be just as encouraging to you guys as well!

Thanks Again!

http://www.facebook.com/godsfunnel

Finding Rest

I know it’s been a while since my last post, but I hadn’t felt a release to write.  A lot has happened in the last (almost) 40 days. We have been close to running out of gas, low on funds, we have seen relationships restored, people brought back to God, healings, and also a lot of quiet prayer time, as if we have been out in the wilderness.  But regardless of our circumstances, we have realized that God will come through even if its not the way we think He should or in the way we are “believing” for.  God is a God of the miraculous and we have testimonies of things we have seen God do, so I can’t deny this, but He is also one that pursues our hearts.  God wants our motives pure and a relationship with each of us.  So as I asked what I should share. And rather than share all the stories in detail, I have felt as if God wanted me to share my heart and what I have been challenged with.

As we pulled into South   Carolina, we had just been though a huge trial.  We were very low on gas and almost out of money.  We had been seeking the Father and learning about grace and faith and how the two were tied together. We were believing for the miraculous, God to fill the tank with gas and the needle to just jump.  But when that didn’t happen in that way, we were a little shook up and needless to say doubt, questions, etc began to flood our hearts.  But through a series of events, God provided in great ways.  As we pulled into our destination in South Carolina, we began looking inward and asking God to reveal to us what was going on.  He showed us that this journey is again about REST.  He exposed our hearts in how when something didn’t happen the way WE expected, doubt flew to the surface. This trial exposed some hidden doubt I didn’t realize was there, but God did. He wants more than anything to see us sanctified as we go, because this is sometimes the only way the “guck” comes to the surface, but we have to be willing to let God show us what that “guck” is so we can let Him take it from us. But God showed us how He did provide.  This taught me a lot.  Because I started to see that true “faith” IS “Rest”.  I relax because I know the father and regardless of our circumstances and what it looks like, He will come through.  I “let go”.

So after all of this, God told us to WAIT.  Someone offered to pay for a months stay here in South Carolina and so we took that as confirmation to WAIT.  This is where we have been.  God has done some amazing things and we have made some wonderful new friends that have kids and travel too.  We have been having fun, campfires, clamming, riding bikes, talking to people from various parts of the world, but most importantly, we have had some wonderful quiet times with the Lord.  But at times, it feels as if He has been silent.  This silence makes me anxious, because of the feeling I need to be “doing”.  But it is about REST.  One night, I was praying, because I just felt like I was reading the bible searching for something, but I didn’t know what that something was or what to even look at.  So I put the bible down and just said, “God, you have been teaching us a lot about grace, faith, and rest, but something is missing.”  The next thing I heard was “humbleness”.  Wow, a light bulb went on in my head.  I began finding all the scriptures on being humble, meekness, and lowering ourselves.  Rather than “teach” on this, I encourage any of you as God leads to look these scriptures up and see what God shows you. The more we get ourselves out of the way, the more God can flow through us. Less of us, MORE of Him…This is faith, totally put our life and all we do, in Him.  You see, I thought I “had faith”, I thought if I believe enough, or say all the right things then things will happen.  But what I am finding is it really is relational. Its trusting him even through the trials, because it exposes our weaknesses so He can remove them.  Before, if a trial came, I questioned my “faith”.  Now I see my hidden pride, weaknesses, and as He takes them away, we become transformed and our hearts purified. Its beautiful.

So, we leave on November 26th, and where too, I don’t know yet. But I know God will direct us and continue to transform us which will reflect into those we meet. I am excited!

First Few Weeks

Well, we left home on October 2, 2012. Two weeks prior, we were going for a walk and talking about what to do next. We had everything empty. Visitors had left, so now what? As we walked I just said, lets go! October 1, lets leave. Joe said OK. I said, wait a minute, shouldn’t we pray first? Shouldn’t we each seek God and see if we come up with the same day? LOL. Joe said no, you spoke and I believe it was the Spirit. We are going. You see, God promises that He will give us the desires of our heart. What I have come to learn is that as we seek the father our desires become His. He places the desire in us. Its learning to trust this. We could have spent the next few days praying and waiting and wanting confirmation and there isn’t anything wrong with this, but at some point we need to move. We need to trust the desires he has placed in us and let Him lead.

So, the date was set. October 1. We had some things to tie up. We needed to get some paper work and we were promised we would receive it by the week before we left. However, this did not happen. We made a phone call on Friday, knowing we were leaving Monday. They didn’t send it out so we had to go into the office on Monday. Then we had to make an appointment to get the bearings packed in the camper. This appointment couldn’t be made till Tuesday. So, at this point I have a choice to make, get upset and question my ability to hear God because the date was now October 2 or trust and walk to see what God was going to do.

On Monday, we went in to get our paperwork. As we shared our story with the ladies, a secretary came and replaced another one while we were talking. As we left, the lady said, “so you are going into ministry”. Her eyes welled up and she shared how she had lost 2 sons in the last 2 years and just got this job to get out of the house. We encouraged and prayed with her. As we left we realized THIS was why we didn’t leave on the 1st. We need to begin to trust our hearts and if God needs us for something else, He will orchestrate it.

The next day we got our bearings packed and away we went. On the road, full of anticipation. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have any expectations. Here we are Lord, Use us. Thoughts of our house finally selling, talking to people everywhere we went, healings, God moving and people coming to the Lord. Who hoo…This is “ministry”, right? Ha Ha Man do I have a lot to learn. We have been to Columbus, Ohio, Kittanning, PA, and Washington DC in the last 2 weeks. We have shared with a few and encouraged friends, but not a lot of outward ministry as many of you may be reading for. I have attempted to start conversations only to have doors shut and conversations change direction. I begin to feel anxious as if I have something to prove to those following us especially because there are those who will say they would do this or that differently, but God keeps reminding me that is not about that. I cannot open peoples hearts and force people to believe what I believe. This is not ministry, nor what this journey is about. It is about resting in Him and allowing Him to precede me. As long as I am seeking Him opportunities will arise, just as they did when we went to sign the papers. We are willing and we are available, but the minute I try to make this something about me or “ministry” is the minute I begin to take matters into my own hands. I am realizing this journey is about reaching people with the Love of the Father, but it is also about ourselves and bringing us to a new level of REST, PEACE, and TRUE dependence on the father. Because when the plank is removed from our eyes, we can truly help remove the speck in others.

The Waiting

Waiting is one of the hardest things to do even when you know something wonderful is around the corner.  It has now been 2 months since we were blessed with this camper and started getting rid of what we had.  We visited my family and when we returned the home was empty and we decided to go ahead and list the home with a realtor.  We were so ready to go.  However, God still had plans for us here.  A family who didn’t have a place to live came and stayed in our empty home.  “Ah, so this is why the home didn’t sell…” God is funny… we think we have our plans laid out and boom, he knows the needs of someone else and needs you to help.  I couldn’t help but laugh.  They stayed for about a month and they just left yesterday.  Through this visit, I learned a lot.  I saw how my life and my desires were truly being laid down for another.  This exposed a lot within me. I saw my selfishness, my lack of trust at times in the Lord, but also how I was OK with not knowing what was coming next and the fun and freedom of seeing God at work without my “agenda” and knowing He was leading it.

Then, I had to go to the bank and we pulled into the drive thru…BUT…the new truck didn’t fit.  So, I had to back it up and go around and park to go in.  I was slightly annoyed (let’s just be honest here). Parked the car, left Joe and the kids, and went in.  I started talking to the teller and the next thing I knew God was just moving. He encouraged her and we had an amazing conversation.  And the coolest part was everything just flowed.   As I think about the journey to come, there are times I get a little anxious knowing people are going to have expectations as they follow our journey.  I begin to think, “What am I going to say?”….”How will I know who to talk to?”….”Can I mess up?”  But this encounter was a huge encouragement to me, that we interact with people everywhere we go.  And I just knew what to say and it just flowed.  The Lord is with us wherever we go and if we are truly seeking Him, we can be at rest knowing He will direct our paths, even when it seems a little inconvenient.

We are in a strange stage of life right now.   All of my worldly “securities”, besides a place to sleep, are gone.  No Job, No income, No knowing where we will be tomorrow, No comprehension of the future, etc.  This is enough to make any of us “freak out”…but to be honest, God has moved me into such a place of peace that I cannot truly explain.  Almost like a child that has to truly depend on their parents for all their needs.  We have removed all outside securities and distractions so we have no choice but to depend on the Father and amazingly I am OK with this.  For once in my life, I am not in control and I have to say it’s kind of nice. The pressure is off and it really is in Gods hands.  So many times in my life I have said, “Well, it’s in Gods Hands.” Yet I would continue to toil and do everything I could to make things “happen”. I would say it was God, but then I would still wonder if it was God or if it was the 100 phone calls I made (well maybe not 100 but you get my point).  So now, we sit in the drive way, house empty AGAIN, wondering what He is going to do next.  Do we leave before we sell the house? Or do we live in the driveway because we still have things to do here?  Only God knows and we will continue to pray and seek Him.  Its exciting to see how He will show up next.

An Empty House

Well, the home is 95% empty. The camper is loaded and the home is officially on the market.  And now we wait.  The funny thing is that even though we are waiting, God continues to bring amazing people into our lives for encouragement. We have met several new friends who have encouraged us and it’s been wild to hear the stories and hearts of people. 

Six months ago, if someone had told me we would be getting rid of all we own including our house to go and share how crazy in love with everyone the Father is, I would have said Ok, but deep down, I loved my home, and how can we live without all the toys (grown-up and kid)? Our home was perfect for us. Lots of space, lots of memories, and God, can’t you just use us here in Nicholasville?  We are settled, why up root us all?

However, over the next few months God began to show me that it is all just stuff.  He started separating me from the home and the stuff.  But my mind was on all our financial obligations (See how often money creeps in and distracts?).  So we began selling things/giving things away.  God brought some amazing people around that I never would have met, had we not been giving things away.  But the crazy part was, I had no attachment to things.  I began to see that the things we filled our home with and “had to have” held no value.  Not just in Gods eyes, but even to this world.  God began opening my eyes to what we had been seeking and its true value and what we have been spending our time doing.  My eyes began to open.  We work so hard, finding jobs, spend hours away from our families so we can “provide”.  We sacrifice sleep, long hours, time missed with our children and spouses….all so we can get that bigger house (which by the way, means more time cleaning and keeping up after), a new car, buy an xbox or computer, get the largest TV, get those toys the kids want, you name it.  Then once we have it, then what?  We run after the next thing.  The kids want a different toy and so do we.  Filling our home with toys and stuff that we think will satisfy but never really does.  We place such a financial burden and stress on ourselves. 

As we have downsized I have felt a freedom I really cannot explain.  I have realized what we really need to live and have fun and it’s not much.  We have more time as a family and more time with the Lord.  I wouldn’t say our life has really slowed down, because He continues to bring new people into our lives and do great things, as well as show us what it truly means to live for others.

Through this process so far, God has revealed so many secret distractions in my life that have taken priority over Him.  It’s been cleansing and very powerful.  I saw things that I didn’t think were a big deal to me or to my walk with the Lord. However, as these items left my home and my life, my heart exposed my true desire for those things and the distraction they really held in my life.  It’s been both fun and challenging.  I look forward to what lies ahead!!

 

The wifes walk :)

So I wanted to share whats been going on from the wifes perspectve because t seems like most ministries are done by men and sometimes its nice to hear the other side 🙂

So, a little background on me.  I am a very logical, think things through, engineer. I have always had a plan for everything. I set goals and went after them. I enjoy organizing events and being IN CONTROL.  I like to be in the “know” with whats going on and for some reason I always like to share MY ideas and opinions even if they weren’t asked for…(something God is still working on me with). Maybe some of you can relate, maybe not 🙂 

Ever since Joe and I married back in 2003, I have been in control of our finances.  When Joe started his own business, I still handled that side of it.  Why? Because it was my way of holding some control over the business and making sure we had money to live on (I am just being honest with you all).  If money was tight, I would nag Joe. Ask when the next job was, if we didnt’ have anything, I would hint around that He needed to be out selling. But Joe always said God is our provider. My response is, yes he is, BUT YOU need to get the word out there about your business.  So in other words, I was looking to Joe and NOT God.  The arguments, stress, frustrations, were all because I couldn’t rest in knowing the Father God as my provider and would take care of us. 

Over the years,  I started seeing how God really would come through for us in a pinch.  God began to grow my faith. I would see it happen, praise the father, then go right back to worrying.  I was happy when money was in the bank and a mess when it wasn’t. 

But we began ministering on the streets together.  We would go out and just ask people if we could pray with them.  We would sometimes get clues of who we were looking for and we would find them and pray.  We started seeing how many ideas we had from reading the scripture, when put into practice, gave us a different result and when we got back into the Word, God would show us how it aligned with His Word but had been hidden from us. But in the end, it was all about Love. Showing people His love for them and that He does care about each of us. 

The business did very well last year. But our biggest joy and fulfillment came from ministering and talking to people everywhere we went. In January of this year, the business STOPPED.  No phone calls, no quotes, nothing.  Joe would go door to door at businesses and no responses.  For the first time in 9 years, absolutely nothing.  I would get upset with Joe and with God.  My faith would waiver, is this real? But as I looked within, I could see that all my frustration revealed a very large amount of doubt toward God.  I could say all the right things, but when the pressure was on, my peace and rest was too. You see God is a jealous God and truly wants us to be completely reliant on Him alone. When our peace is gone, we need to look within and ask Why? This will reveal the condition of our heart. 

So after a couple months of asking God what to do and still no calls, (however, our bills continued to get paid, somehow)   Joe says to me, we put all this effort into our business. We toil,we spend day and night working for the world, chasing finances to live the american dream. Then, IF we have time after dinner and bed,we go and do Gods work. Sure we minister sometimes on the job, but who are we serving? God tells us we can’t have two masters. We can’t serve God and Mammon.  So, I think we just need to start ministering full time and trust God to provide. I see it all through scripture. Instead of working for ourselves,let just work for God.  Joe tells me He thinks its time for us to get our “ice cream truck”.

I had been seeking God and my heart really wanted to do this, but my mind and logic of this was screaming in my head that this was crazy.  I began to really pray more and seek the scriptures because I truly believe in the unity and power between a husband and a wife.  I also agree in a woman supporting her husband, but I also believe there is a unity of the Spirit.  So if this is what God was calling us to, then my spirit needed to have rest and peace with this decision because Joe and I are one and are meant to minister as one.  But I still had trust issues. 

I remember one night laying in bed and I asked God to speak to me and give me something so I would know this is the right decision.  I rolled over and right before I fell asleep I heard God speak to my heart and say “NO, I won’t give you anything” He asked me if I believed Joe was seeking Him. I did. God told me He wanted me to trust Joe. So he wasn’t going to give me a sign or tell me anything, because he wanted me to learn submission to Joe and to trust him.  This honestly took me a little time to digest.  This meant I wasn’t going to be in-control.  That I wasn’t going to be in “the know”.  I had to trust.

Well, I have been.  This journey so far this year has been just that. Learning to truly trust and find a place of peace and rest in the Father.  A few weeks later, Joe and I truly felt a desire to start selling/giving things away. So we started with some of the bigger things we didn’t use much. As they sold, I began to question again.God,what are we doing? Is this really what you want?  What happens if it all sells and we have nothing? As I read the bible, just knew in my heart this was the right thing. But how are we going to afford an RV and pay off debt?  TRUST!  So we continued to walk in obedience selling things.  I became at total peace and rest knowing God was handling it.  That there wasn’t anything I could do to make any of this dream happen, but if it was what He wanted, t would happen.  A week later, we were given the truck and camper (you can read about those if you haven’t already on the other posts).  So now, I just walk, day by day.  My ideas and plans have been laid down and I can say that I have found a peace and rest.  The home is on the market and God will sell it when its time.  All I know is that by this house not selling yet, we have met some incredible people. We have shared Jesus with many and God has kindled a new desire for a relationship with Him in the hearts of some. So the ministry has started and we haven’t left our driveway 🙂