Saturday, April 5, 2014

Choices...

So it has been a while since I last posted; of late I must confess we have been busy doing the things which God has called us to do here in the Dominican Republic.  Since February Laura and I have now completed more than five weeks of teams.  At times the Mission House was at capacity of 15 people or near there; each team receiving top notch accommodations and meals each day.  We feel totally blessed having come this far on our Dominican journey to see the fulfillment of this dream.
God is good, let me tell you.  With more teams to come in the year ahead and even bookings into 2015 we see the blessings at hand God has given us.  I also know that our work here in the D.R. will have other aspects of Ministry to come.
There is still a burden laid on my heart for the lack of peace many people have in their lives for one reason or another.  I feel a genuine compassion towards the issues of life people around us have to endure.  As we continue to grow and learn here in the D.R. I find that God has placed opportunity at hand, people we never expected come to us almost daily with the burdens of life.  Invariably we see a similarity with their problems and our trials we have already walked through.  The counseling becomes evident.  Most are unsaved, our new community of neighbors and friends, although our new Christian family on the island also presents opportunity to show how we walk with the Lord.  Very simply and without a lot of effort, through our living and loving of the Lord, those around us see God through us.  Whenever they come, whatever they say, we can only direct them to our choices made with God in mind.  Incredibly, many of them come with questions, or they dump their burdens out in front of us seeking answers.  Other times we are just an ear that listens or a shoulder to lean on.  What I find interesting is that we don't seek out these people.  When we meet new folks, I sense that they are seeking, no not necessarily seeking Mike and Laura...they have no idea what they are seeking.  I know they have questions, burdens, griefs and trials and so do they, but they also have within them a desire to be free from these burdens and problems.  God built us this way, to seek Him, to trust His ways; and when we follow Him, He carries us through the trials and onto calmer waters.  The trouble is this though, even if you are a Christian and believe, we do not necessarily take all of our burdens to Him for help.  We try and solve them in our own way, with our strength, with our perceived solutions.  Ironically when our problems don't get solved we then turn and blame God for not being there in our lives.  I've seen this with people in my own life, I am sure you also know others who do the same, maybe even you.  We must continue to strive to build our relationship with Him daily so that we can then become more proficient at working through the trials, with His help!  I know this sounds trite or even impossible in many situations, but the truth is many times we get ourselves into messes or trials by the things we have done without God!  Our decisions lead us into trouble more often than not, especially when we make those decisions without God!  Can you see the point?  If you don't know Him, you are constantly falling into trial with one thing or another!  Don't get me wrong here; I love life and living it, and I don't always make the right decisions, but this is a truth: when I make decisions with God's will in mind, peace always reigns in my life.  That does not mean I do not have trial through those decisions, but I do have the peace of God that carries me through it!  When I choose against His will, trial endures, conflict ensues.  If each of us is really honest with what is going on in our lives whether we know the Lord or not, we still know the difference between right and wrong.  We know which way we should go...and we know which way we should not.  What happens after is always a result of the choices we made, good or bad.  We have no business blaming God for the mess we find ourselves in after we do what we do!  You can pick any example from life here; simply insert the choice into the formula and look at the result you created.  God gets far too much blame for our trials and too little credit for our blessings.  When things go wrong we blame Him, when things go right, we praise ourselves.  How hypocritical are we?

Everyone of us is on a journey through life; if you know God then your journey should involve more of Him; if you don't know God, well then your journey is very much a roll of the dice isn't it?  I want to make the point here because I see too many walking into walls time and time again fighting the same battles again and again when the answer is staring them in the face.  I realize that it takes time to understand our walk with the Lord each day and that we must be mindful of where others are in their walk as well; no two of us are in the same place as the other with the Lord. I don't have all the answers, nor am I expected to, but I do know this: every time I lean on God, for my life, for my direction, for my choices, He always blesses me with the results.  When I lean on my own authority, there is always some kind of mess that comes out of it; today I can say I have fewer and fewer messes.
Ultimately each of us has the choice to make, Follow Him?, or Follow Me?
As for Mike, he will never go back to the world and seek advice: The world is lost folks, the world has no answers.  If you see the same thing I do then you can only come to one solution....choose God.
Don't be afraid...you know He's right
Just choose.
Have Faith, get to know Him and He will show you a better way.
I believe it does not matter what you do, if you look to God before every step, you will see greater purpose for your life. You will see God's will for yourself.  You will see your life impacting the lives of others.  That is purpose.
That is truth.
That my friends is why we are alive.
Blessings

3 comments:

  1. Great word Mike! Unfortunately most don't feel they need this daily relationship/dependence on Him as we go about our day. I like what you said about blaming God when things go wrong though. I think we are quick to do that or ask why our prayers aren't answered? The world keeps drawing us to focus on ourselves and our stuff. God on the other hand is wanting that personal fellowship with Him like a close friend, but we come to Him more like a vending machine. Jer 29 :13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.
    God... What's in my heart?

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