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Sharing Christ with the US Military in Germany

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God’s amazing hand

Deputation is an amazing journey.  God takes us places and introduces us to people we would never otherwise get a chance to come in contact with.  He has shown us connections and associations that go beyond mere coincidence.  We have met people who know people we know and so much more beyond that.

Last week we were at a mission conference and the speaker/preacher was Pastor Don Jackson from a church in Iowa.  After we presented and showed our video, he came up shared something amazing with us.  His church was one of the early churches our pastor from Germany presented at when they were on deputation as missionaries and they had been one of their supporting churches.

We are missionaries to the American Military in Germany because God had sent missionaries to Germany when we were in the military and needed a church and pastor.  Words don’t do justice to how amazing it is to be able to meet someone who had a hand in what we had when we were over there.




Please pray for traveling mercies

Earlier this week some missionary friends of ours traveling in an area that had just gotten snow mixed with ice and rain had an accident.  The van they were traveling in hit an icy patch on the highway, spun around and hit a guard rail then came to rest facing oncoming traffic.  No one was hurt but everyone was shook up and there was some damage to the vehicle.

We travel around 5000 miles a month and satan knows how important our vehicle is to what we are doing now.  Please pray for God’s hand of protection upon us and any missionaries you know.  A lot of mission conferences are scheduled for the winter time and this year has been very icy.  Even when the roads are clear, the results of the weather are lots of pot holes and other road damage.   The trip we are on right now has shown us miles of highway at a time with more potholes than flat road.  The number of cars sitting on the side of the road with multiple flat tires or broken suspension is scary.  I have never seen the roads this tore up and dangerous.

Right now, I average one oil change a month as well as an alignment and tire balancing every six months because of potholes and road damage.  I’ve already had to replace a control arm and my struts are starting to make noises.  The weather and road conditions are only going to make things worse.  Please pray for our car and traveling mercies.

Please pray for traveling safety and mercy for ALL missionaries.




Learning and Growing

We were at a larger church a while ago for a mission conference.  We barely got a chance to present.  Finally, after a week of being there, we left and received a love offering check.  It was very small and didn’t even cover the cost of our gas one way, much less the return trip or the few meals that weren’t provided.  We were very blessed by the trip, the preaching and the people we met.  However, I still had problems with bitterness about the size of the check.

Deputation isn’t about money, even tho it is.  As I said, we were very blessed by the trip, the preaching and the people we met.  But it still was difficult to get past.  So I tried praying that God would bless and grow the church every time I had a bitter thought.  Oddly enough, God blessed me over and over as I tried to move past.  There might be a valuable lesson here…




Gotta remember deputation is about learning

I think I’ve said it before but while in Bible College.  I didn’t study, pay attention or learn as much as I should.  I got credit for prior college so I graduated early.  I also backslid a bit and didn’t grow the way I should.  I know I’m not where I could be if I had really put in the effort I should have.  I really have no idea why God has asked me to be a missionary/preacher/pastor considering how little I know.  Yet He has.

I often say that deputation isn’t about money but about learning what God has for me to learn and meeting the people I need to meet.  However, I still feel inadequate with my knowledge and pray I will never say anything dumb or Biblically wrong.  I also know that as a Pastor, I can never expect my people to rise higher than I do in their knowledge or standards.  I know I have a responsibility to study to show myself approved.

Yet, I still feel like a little kid sometimes and am so fearful of getting scolded.  I’ve gotta remember that deputation is about learning and faithfully do what God has for me to do.  I’ve gotta stop worrying about things I can’t control if I’m doing what God wants me to do to the best of my abilities.




Sermon idea

I will never understand why I have such a hard time putting a sermon onto paper.  I can preach the whole thing in my head including Bible passages and examples but when I sit down at the computer to type it up, it all dries up and it’s some of the hardest work I’ve ever done.

Here is a sermon idea that keeps bouncing around in my head.  I’ve cant really seem to get it fleshed out in any form.  I’ve typed up a sermon based on it and it’s just horrible.  It has no flow to it, it wanders and jumps around and eventually goes no where.  So I give you my idea.  Maybe you can do something with it for me.

 

Heaven is a wonderful place.  As saved people we never have to worry about hell or eternal damnation.  There are many things written about it and we all look forward to the day when we are reunited with loved ones and no longer have to worry about pain or sadness.  The world we live in is getting darker and darker and the end is getting close.  We have a tendency to look towards and pray for the Rapture because of how dark and unfriendly this world is becoming.

Yet we have

Amos 5:18 Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light. 

For those of us who are saved and on our way, the Rapture will be an amazing event.  We will finally be with Christ and get to see Him face to face.  However, after the Rapture comes the Tribulation.  For those left behind, it will be a horrific time of pain and suffering that for most won’t end with death.  When we pray for the Rapture, do we truly understand what it will mean for everyone else?

 

So there you have it.  A sermon idea I can do nothing with beyond this shell.  Soulwinning, Soul awareness, discipleship, love for the lost.  It’s all there and more yet I can find no way to make it come out in anything meaningful to anyone but me….




Encourage yourself in the Lord

One of the most important things a Christian must learn how to do is to encourage themselves in the Lord.  We see David do this over 1 Sam 30 when everyone is against him.  We all have people we can turn to that will encourage us when we are down.  Spouses, friends, our pastor.  This is why church attendance and fellowship is so important; to build those relationships and for encouragement.  Even Pastors have friends they turn to when they have problems and just need a person to listen to them.

However, there are times and places in our lives when we won’t have anyone to turn to but the Lord and those are the times when it’s most important to have a relationship with Him.  We must be able to not only talk to Him but hear Him when He talks to us.  Often times we are too busy, too cluttered or just too distracted to hear Him when He talks to us.

Offense is going to come into our lives.  We will get discouraged, offended and hurt.  We need to build a strong and firm relationship with Christ so that when they do, we can turn to Him and encourage ourselves through Him.




A New Year

When I started this, my plan was to make a post about once a week to keep people involved in what we were doing, where we were going, our prayer needs and just as a way to jot down some thoughts.  Unfortunately, I got busier than I thought I would (deputation really is a full time job) and it was one of many things that fell by the way side.  Well, here we are.  A brand new year and with it all the hope and promise that comes with new beginnings.  So I’ll try again and see where it goes.

I would like to ask for prayer for my Father-in-Law, Ralph Brand.  We visited Sheila’s dad back in September when we were presenting at a church near where she grew up.  He was in good shape and we had a really good visit.  He had a couple “senior moments” but at 79, those seemed normal.  Over the next couple of months he started having some health issues and was hospitalized three times for severe disorientation that seemed to be from dehydration.  The last time he was hospitalized he was diagnosed with dementia.

We visited him the week before Christmas and he was having one good day followed by one bad day.  He was very disoriented and had trouble with people and places on his bad days but on his good days, he seemed normal.  He went into a physical rehab hospital to see if he could get some strength back into his legs to help him get around and maybe the physical help would help on the mental side of things as well.

Two days ago he had three bad days in a row and had to be sedated because he was getting physical with the people around him.  He woke up and had another good day.  However, yesterday, he got very upset, dumped out his wife’s purse and struck a friend who was talking with him to try and calm him down.  He has been moved to a facility that deals with people with dementia and Alzheimer’s and they are evaluating him to see if they can help him.

Please keep Ralph, his wife Shirley, his daughter Sheila, his grand daughter Alana and everyone else in your prayers.  This seems to be moving so very very fast and it’s hard to get a grip on what is happening.




God is good even when we aren’t

Recently made a huge deputation mistake but God blessed us anyway.

We were at a mission conference and a missionary there told us about a church we needed to go to.  He told us they had a conference coming up that was part mission conference and part music celebration.  He also stated we needed to go because they gave large love offerings to missionaries.  So I started chasing a love offering.

I researched the church like I always do and found a few things that worried me but nothing major.  I had never heard of the singers or any of the preachers but it was a good distance from us so I figured it was just a new area.  I should have looked up the singers on youtube but just stuffed my head in the sand and looked forward to the meeting.

We went and it was a contemporary christian music service followed by preaching.  The preaching was amazing and God really touched my heart but the music service before the preaching made it difficult to get into the spirit.  However, God still moved and touched my heart through the preaching.

It really opened my eyes when I was talking with one of the singers and they really didn’t understand the problem with their music.  I tried to explain that the tempo and beat didn’t bring Christ to my mind but instead brought me back to my lost days and various rock concerts I went to.  He understood but didn’t see a problem.  Later during a training session, a preacher taught on various emergent church practices and teachings including new age chanting.  That evening we sang at least 4 different songs that were seven words long, repeated over and over.

They truly want to serve Christ and honestly believe what they are doing is right but satan has blinded their eyes to the truth with small degrees of error.  It was very telling when there was more of a response to the music than there was to the preaching.

However, what I did was even worse.  I knew right from wrong and chose to do wrong anyway.  I chased money and failed to research a church and it’s beliefs enough to understand what we were getting into.  God fed us anyway.  The three sermons we heard touched my heart and have inspired me to change some things in my life.

Finally, the love offering I chased was just barely enough to cover our expenses.  God covered our expenses and fed us spiritually even when I failed to do right.  God is good even when we aren’t…




God’s sense of humor and His goodness

Every place I go, I end up talking about how I love cold weather and snow.  I mention that because I’ve lived in Mississippi for the last 13 years, I really miss cold weather.  Well, God took me up on that and then some.

We were in Louisiana to present at two different church.  On the way down, the blower fan on our heater/AC stopped working and we smelled a burnt smell.  After checking it, we discovered the wiring at the fan motor had shorted out and burnt up.  However, God protected us and what could have been a car fire was just a small incident.  The mornings were cold but I discovered I could turn the heat on and the outside air would push in the heat.

One of the churches we were presenting at put us up in a 5th wheel RV.  This was exactly what we had been looking at for deputation so it was really exciting to be able to stay in one.  However, the owner of the 5th wheel had removed the propane tanks to refill them and had forgotten to replace them.  Normally it wouldn’t have been an issue but a cold snap had dropped the temperature down to around 40 degrees one night.  God had again given me my cold weather.  But he did put a small electric space heater in one of the closets and we were actually very comfortable.

God gave me my cold weather and did it with a twist of His own humor while showing us His goodness and love.




Open dates

God has been amazing and has blessed us abundantly.  Our schedule thru March of 2015 is almost filled.  However, there are a few open dates so I thought I’d post them here and see if anyone could help out.  If you’re a Pastor who would like to invite us in for one of these dates or if you know of a church we might be able to book, please e-mail us at totheusmilitary@gmail.com          Thank you for any help you can offer, even if it’s just praying for God to bring us a meeting.

November 19, 2014 – Wednesday Evening

December 7, 2014 – Sunday Evening (Near Summerfield, LA)

December 10, 2014 – Wednesday Evening

December 14, 2014 – Sunday (Morning, Evening or All day)

December 17, 2014 – Wednesday Evening

January 4, 2015 – Sunday Morning (Near Marble Hill, MO)

January 7, 2015 – Wednesday Evening (In Louisiana if possible)

January 18, 2015 – Sunday (Near Lafayette, LA)

January 28, 2015 – Wednesday Evening

February 15, 2015 – Sunday Evening (Near Siloam Springs, AR)

February 22, 2015 – Sunday (Morning, Evening or All day)

March 25, 2015 – Wednesday Evening

March 29, 2015 – Sunday (Morning, Evening or All day)