Thank you for your prayers for our family as we traveled down this weekend to North Carolina and back - they were evident! We survived the "Dragon's Tail" on highway 129 at 1:30am in the morning on the way down and now have arrived back home in spite of the driving wind and rain the whole entire way home. While we were there we really had no agenda except to share our hearts with the people whom the Lord made available to us. We arrived on Saturday morning at 2:30am and left to come home on Monday morning at 7am. So here's a report of what we learned on the trip.
During the long ride home the Lord began to make several things apparent from the conversations, devotional times and prayers offered over the course of the weekend. We've purposed to treat these things like ingredients that go into a crock pot to make a good stew. So over the next week or so we hope that they will soften and become tender and sweet tasting to us as we ask the Lord to continue to direct our steps. But we didn't want to make any hasty decisions until these things have had some time to cook in our minds. As always we're intentionally putting Psalm 37:5,6 into practice as we "commit our way to the Lord and placing our trust in him". We know that he will act for the sake of His name and the doing of His will. And in this process he will bring forth our righteousness (the paths upon which we must walk) as the light and our justice (the ways in which we must act) as the noon day. So please continue to pray that God would refine these concepts and make them applicable to our family.
The first concept was the need for a metaphorical "base camp" from which we can make final preparations for reaching the summit of what the Lord has called us to. Over the last 7 years we have continued to talk about and prepare in ways that we knew how without ever getting to serious. Now it's time to pack up and establish a base camp for the journey that lies ahead. This will create a much needed urgency and remind us again that we're moving towards the prize - that upward call of God in Christ Jesus. The reality that it is now time to forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead has become clarified in our minds.
The second one was something we already knew but it was confirmed as we talked with others about who we are as a family and a business. Our business is a vehicle - it provides not only the possibility of "transportation" into the place to which the Lord is calling us but also a greater, more intentionally practical with more immediate access to the people to whom the Lord is calling us to bless while we are there. It is the way we can carry out Paul's model of not being a burden towards anyone - whether that burden is upon the people to whom we are going to or the people from whom the Lord is sending us. We were clearly reminded of this from 1 Thess. 4:11-12 this weekend as well as the concept of it coming up several times in conversations.
The third ingredient is that our business doesn't distract us from doing the Lord's work and seeking first the kingdom any more than having 8 children as a husband and wife keeps us from living for the Lord. Do priorities change and our time get allocated differently? You bet! But we find ourselves daily in a place where we have to live out our faith in raw, practical real world situations that make God's kingdom and the Gospel of that Kingdom so relevant. We wouldn't want to prepare ourselves in any other way!
Thanks for taking the time to read through our report and please continue to lift us up as the Lord provides opportunity.
May the nations be glad as we endeavor to be God's to TEOTE!
JC & Marghie
JC & Marghie