Monthly Archives: May 2012

It’s a small world… after all.

As we have been on this adventure, following God into full time ministry that He has called us to, I am seeing more and more all the time that it is a small world, after all (pun intended).  Starting back with our original connection to Kevin, the Cru staff person that we happened to live in the same town as and have some mutual friends in common with, who was the person lead by God to start this ministry we are called to… There are around 25,000 full time staff serving worldwide with this Cru in about 191 countries, and the one staff person God was using to do this ministry “just happened” to be right where we were so that we could be introduced to him when we were.  Then all the amazing stories of how God has connected us with ministry partners from so many different places, many people whom we didn’t know – nor did they know us – before getting connected through this time.  Even how God has connected us with places to live here in Colorado, two of those places are with people we never knew before being introduced to live with them.  But what is amazing in all of these connections, is how God moves through His body… the body of Christ… the body of believers.  That is what has made it feel like such a small world, which when you think of this world in comparison to the creator of the universe, or even our planet alone to the size of what’s around it (check out this neat flash video a guy put together that may help you understand the amazing size – big and small – of creation: http://htwins.net/scale2/), it truly is a “small world”.  But even on this small world, and with little ol’ me and my beautiful wife and kids, God cares specifically about me and the minute details of my life – it is AMAZING!

Our “Blue Marble” from space. – image courtesy NASA website.

Another neat story recently that is just developing involves an adventure my Dad is on in Europe.  About a month ago, he decided to go on a pilgrimage of sorts, if any of you have seen the movie The Way starring Martin Sheen (Tom – also my Dad’s name) who embarks on the historical pilgrimage “The Way of St. James” (a.k.a. El Camino de Santiago), well, that is where my Dad is now.  This trek is about a 500 mile journey starting in France and continuing all the way across northern Spain to finish at the Santiago de Compostela.  When we told the couple whom we are currently living with about this “walk” my Dad was going to do, they remembered when one of their son’s (also staff with Cru) was on a mission in Spain with Cru and helped work at a house that Cru runs along the path for the pilgrims.  Well, this got me curious to look into this place, and I hoped to see if I could find anyone connected with the house to be in touch with and get more information for my Dad to possibly stay there.  In this search, I have found and been introduced to a few people that have in the past been involved with the Cru house (called La Fuente del Peregrino – The Pilgrim’s Fountain – by Cru’s European arm, Agape), and even found one person that will be staffing the house around the time my Dad should be there.  Not that any of this isn’t small world enough, but it just so happens that the guy I found – or rather I believe God lead me to – participated in the Walt Disney World College Program in 2004-2005!  This just made me laugh… actually, it made me fall to my knees and praise God for how amazing He is and how He continually amazes me with the story He is weaving together for us.

As I write this post, we are sitting at almost 80% (around 77% to be exact, but who’s counting right? :-)) of our monthly need goal that we need to reach in order to report down to Florida… and I never could imagine the journey God had in store for us in just preparing to get down there!  The people God has brought in to our lives, and the people that He has planned for us yet to meet before we reach that 100% mark that will allow us to report to our ministry in Florida, have been nothing short of a blessing to us.  And this whole process just continually reminds me that God is Almighty, He is in control of the details of life for His good purposes and for the good of those who love Him, even when we don’t understand His ways at the time.  And all of this makes me extremely grateful for how He loves me.

The Good News… without words?

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard?  And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 
And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!”  But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?”  So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. – Romans 10:13-17

“…how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”  This struck me when I read it through, again, and again… it convicted me personally about something I’ve been sometimes on the fence regarding how to go about “spreading the gospel”.  There is a fairly common idea I have heard and fallen into that is often represented by this quote: “Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words.”  The view often associated with this quote is typically that of just sharing Christ through our actions and not words.  Reading this section in Romans again points out to me the incredible importance of not just living out our faith but the way to share our faith with others is through the use of telling them with words about the good news of Jesus Christ.  

Don’t get me wrong, our actions are very important as we are reminded often in the book of James for example in James 1:22 or again when James talks about faith and works in James 2:14-26, but this is often how we are to live out our faith – not necessarily how we are to share the Gospel.  It is obviously important to live by the faith we profess to believe, to continually lay down our lives, take up our cross, and follow Jesus – these are all active things we do on an ongoing basis.  But just living a “good” life out in front of others, in hopes of leading them to Christ (this on occasion happens, but it is usually less about how “good” we are and more about our faith, joy, or contentment coming through to create curiosity from those around us) I don’t believe is how we should expect to share our faith.  If we are only showing others how to live a “good” life, what is it we are actually showing them?  Part of me thinks that if we just show how to be a Christian merely by “good” deeds, then all we are teaching is how to achieve works righteousness.  The other problem with this, as I was reminded recently, is that because we are all made in the image of God – even those who do not believe can still be used by him to do good, even amazing, things that can even look better than a lot of Christians.  This again goes to show that living the Gospel with our actions or doing good works is a part of living out our faith, but it is not equal to sharing the Gospel with words.  Look at Jesus’ example – every time we see a miracle, or a way he lives out his faith, he uses words to follow it up or accompany it in order to point people back to the Father.

Michelle and I feel so blessed to be called to share the good news of
Jesus Christ to all the nations

 Again, coming back to this scripture in Romans, it is specifically stating that the only way others will hear the good news of Jesus Christ is through those who preach it.  I feel so blessed to be one called to preach this good news to future leaders of the world.  Michelle and I know that God is calling us to reach the world through the students at Walt Disney World, and I know it is important for me to continue to work out my faith as I am being sanctified to be more like Christ, but none of this discounts me using the words He gives me through reading His word and through submitting myself to the work of the Holy Spirit in me.  Many of us, me included, often say “I’m not a good speaker”, or “I’m not very outgoing” when we think of telling others about the Gospel, but let us not forget that even Moses had similar hang-ups with God.  But God used him anyway, and God will use me anyway… I know he will use you anyway too as you obey and follow His call on your life.