September 2007

The other night I received a voicemail from a dear friend of mine. He was asking me to pray for a situation in his life that was/is particularly sticky. It was the first time in a long time that someone had asked me to intercede on his behalf. I had almost forgotten how to do it. (Not that this is one prescribed way to intercede on someone’s behalf.)

Something else was a surprise to me about this experience. For several years now a spiritual mentor of mine has told me that I need to pray for other people. He told me that it was in those moments – when I was thinking of others and seeking the Lord on their behalf – that I was the least selfish and that the Lord could speak the most clearly. I don’t think that I have ever truly understood just how selfish I am and how much that blocks the ability of the Lord to get through to me. (Note that I am not saying it is limiting to God’s ability to speak, but rather it is limiting to my ability to hear Him.) When I pray for others, it opens my eyes up to the things that the Lord has been trying to teach me .

So, I’ve had a bit of a reawakening of sorts. I am hoping that I don’t have to be reminded not to be selfish in my prayer life, but I am sure that I will.


About two and a half years ago, I was sitting at BASIC at MacMurray College, in Jacksonville, IL. There was a music group there, and I was mesmerized. They told me that I could use my musical talent (if I was good enough to make the cut) to serve God on the mission field. And they were talking to me…and the three other people they recruited that night – but that is beside the point.

After the music group finished playing a wise young man got up and shared an inspiring message based on the text at the end of Genesis chapter 11, verses 31-32 to be exact. Read it. Go ahead…I dare you. You might wonder how anything preached out of that text could be inspiring at all (this was my initial reaction too), but here is the idea: Abram’s ancestors settled in Haran, when they could have kept going and made it to Canaan, the Promised Land. Did you catch it? They settled. That was the point of the message that night: Never settle for something less than what God has promised you because you are afraid or worried about how hard it might be.

The crazy thing is this… I just randomly came across this passage again today in my normal devotional reading. This is probably the first time since that night that I have thought about that passage. It is fitting, given that my time with CTI is drawing to a close. (Yup, as you guessed it, that night 2.5 years ago, I signed up and came on as a full-time team leader for 2 years.)

So, maybe it would be easier to give up and settle where you are, but you might miss out on what God has promised you. It can be yours if you are willing to walk the full distance He asks you to.

His name was Enoch, and when he touched me it sent shivers down my spine. The good kind of shivers, ones that let you know that there is something different about this man. He put his hand on my back to pray for me, and the next thing I knew, I was in tears. Again, they were the good kind. I think that moment God’s Spirit invaded my life through His servant, Enoch.

I met Enoch while working with a missions organization in Guadalajara, Mexico. He is on full-time staff there and he was one of the main facilitators for the team that I was leading. He did a lot of things for my team. He drove us around, he cooked for us, he cleaned up after us, he taught us songs, he made us laugh, he asked us how we were doing. He prayed for us.

He carried an umbrella with him at all times. We called it is Holy Spirit umbrella. Anyone who found themselves underneath it was not only sheltered from the sun or rain, but they found shelter from a world full of judgment and criticism. There they encountered love.

There is a popular pastor who espouses the phrase, “Love Wins.” I saw that phrase manifested in a man in Mexico. In a world filled with trite euphemisms and cliché “Christianese” he shattered all of the stereotypes. He loved us. When we were unlovable, he still loved us. Sound familiar?

Enoch was a figure in the Bible as well. He is listed among the heroes of faith and he lived a life pleasing to God, so much so, that he was swept away by God himself. The Bible also says that Enoch walked with God. I do not think I knew what that meant until I met Enoch in Mexico. Walking with God means living a life of Love, because God is Love.

So I finally have a computer back! I can now get around to updating everything that I have been intending to update for a couple of weeks.

It seems like everytime I go overseas (CTI lingo for out of the country) I learn more and more about my position in relation to Christ. It also seems like He has to go to greater lengths to get my attention, which I am not sure is a good thing.

My trip to Mexico was absolutely amazing. We spent the month working with YWAM (Youth With a Mission) in Guadalajara. We did a lot of work with the community development sector of this ministry. Basically, we existed to encourage the body of believers in this part of Mexico, and to help come alongside of them as they shared the Gospel with many who had never openly heard the message of Good News.

We did everything from Plaza concerts, to prison concerts, to clearing land with machetes for a new church to be built. The best part of the whole trip was the willingness to do whatever was asked of them. They truly took on the mindset of Christ Jesus. Our team had to deal with a lot of hardships (including having two members leave the team early), and they did so with flying colors.

I learned a lot this trip about my lack of ability to accomplish anything on my own. When I finally reached the end of myself, God could truly begin.

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me and my team. There were days that the knowledge of your prayers was the only thing that got me out of bed.

“You speak without sound, Your Love is so loud, You always seize me..” —Everyday Sunday