Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stepping Out

Has God ever taken you on an unexpected journey? You're travelling down the highway of life, cruise control on, windows rolled down, taking in the sublime scenery with the music blaring, when flashing lights appear up ahead. There's construction on the road, so follow the signs down the pot hole ridden, tooth jarring side road to get around.

It is an adventure.

Our posture matters so much when these detours come over the horizon. We can complain about an altered timeline, mope about the changing plans or we can celebrate new ground traveled; revel in new scenery explored. That same posture speaks to our original intent -- as if we were ever really in control.

Time and again I have preached on how God asks us to step out of our comfort zones. How we are to make plans, but hold them very loosely. Jesus exemplified this for us in his ministry and teaching. Countless times Jesus went away to be alone, and the people followed. He would stroll through a crowd and meet people who needed healing or sit down for dinner and instead end up teaching. Yet he lived a life of peace and tranquility in nearly everything he did. 

What good is preaching if we are unwilling to live our the principles? Nearly a year ago, Nicole and I responded to God's calling on our lives to step out of an environment that had become less than ideal and into the great unknown.

He was calling us into weakness.

It has been a wild ride, with fear, tears, anger, prayer and jubilation scattered haphazardly along the way. Woven through it all has been the thread of faith that was our constant guide, holding our hand and gently whispering encouragements into our year.

Now God is about to take me on another adventure. Through the month of January, I will be travelling overseas to Bangladesh and India with my work, Partners International, to observe some of the ministries of our incredible partners -- individuals who grew up in these areas and call them home and are living lives of weakness in their homes. Villages that have been stuck in the clutches of poverty for generations that are getting a new lease on life thanks to local missionaries that are teaching them about health, agriculture, education to care for their physical and emotional needs and the gospel to free the chains on their hearts.

In Kolkata I will be visiting a ministry that is restoring girls freed from the sex trade. Girls that were torn from their childhood and sold into a life they never asked for, who have no understanding of joy, or self or what real love looks like. Through the ministry of our partner and the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus is healing these girls hearts and showing them anew what it means to be a part of a family.

Through it all, I hope to photograph, write and share my thoughts. I hope you'll take this journey with me.

It is going to be raw. I know, and pray, that God will break my heart for the things that break His. I'll be processing as I write, and so your prayers are greatly needed.

2015 is going to be an incredible year, not because of the experiences, but because of how the Kingdom of God is going to grow in my heart.

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