For all of you have thought that we fell from the face of the earth --- we did not! We just got struck by lightning Sunday morning and the network at the church is still down. I apologize for not getting any blog entries the past couple of days! Believe me, my fingers have been going through withdraw and my mind is ready to explode! Okay, those of you who know me can stop laughing now!!!!
I will do the best I can to update you on what has been happening although trying to recall more than one day is not easy!
Sunday was an awesome day! We were blessed to be able to go to 2 churches, morning and evening. We decided to really test things and in the middle of severe storms we went to the church that meets in the tent! The sides were a flappin and the top swelled up like a balloon but it stood firm! Must have something to do with having a foundation in the Lord?!
The message was on our divine connection with God! When we are connected, truly connected with God we thank Him for showing us the areas we need to change, we don't get upset and angry. When Saul was approached by God and his name was changed to Paul it took a process of knocking Saul to the ground, having him laying flat and looking "up" and putting him in a place of decision! Saul's response to God was, "Lord, what would you have me do?" I don't know about you but it sure hit home with me! Paul became one of the strongest Christians ever and spent the rest of his days following God's will for his life. We all need to be aware that the world looks at us through binoculars, hoping to see Jesus in us! Do we realize this to the degree that we should? Do we realize that the world is watching us? Our character is developed in adversity! What a thought to take hold of and think about!
Sunday evening we went to a church we had never been to. It is an Assembly of God church in the city just to the north of us, Escatawpa! Yes, try and pronounce it! Boy were we blessed! They are having revival and we were there for over 3 hours which seemed like 3 minutes! The speaker was dynamic and spoke from his heart with a message like I had never heard!
He spoke about God accomplishing His will for our lives! He took the story of the angel visiting Mary and announcing she was to be the mother of Jesus. He wanted us to think about all the details and apply them to now. What if a woman walked into our church and told us she was pregnant, a virgin, and she was carrying the Son of God? What would happen to her reputation? And what if you were her fiancee, would you really believe her? We get caught up in the idea that Mary was this perfect person and it was all smooth sailing! Not!!! She was just like you and me, a regular person chosen by God for a special purpose! We are all chosen by God for a special purpose! How many times do we hear that still small voice and say, not me, I can't do that!!! Are you nuts, that isn't me! How many times do we caught up in all of the reasons we can't do something! What if Mary had said the same thing? Think about it!
Let's suppose that we heard the call from God and know what our purpose is (just like Monty and I). We expect that since it was a call from God it will be all lined out and we will be happy and it will be fun all the time! NOT! What if you were 9 months pregnant and you were told you need to travel --- a long ways ---- and on a donkey??? How many times does God ask us to do something and we realize it will require us to "ride the donkey" and we abort His plan? It's not always comfortable and not always easy to follow God's plan! It may challenge our reputation, people may think we are crazy and it may be a long and rough ride on the donkey but the end result is worth it! I challenge everyone reading this to think long and hard about this message. Don't let someone else take our spot that God has chosen for us!
Both Monty and I have been challenged while on our mission that God has called us to do. It has not always been easy and sometimes the donkey has even bucked to see if we will fall off. It has been through your prayers that we are still going forward, determined to not allow the devil to knock us off our donkey! I do try and keep this blog as positive as possible but you do need to know that we have been tested, and will continue to be tested! But one thing we know, without a doubt, clean through to our souls; God has called us into this work and we will follow Him, wherever He leads, whenever He calls and to the best of our abilities! We have seen miracles and we have seen the devil! We have felt the blessings and we have felt the curses and we will prevail! We will stand strong in our divine connection and God will bring His plan to completion!
We cannot see the full picture, we don't want to. What if Mary had asked for the full picture at the time the angel visited her? What if the angel had given her the full picture? "Your son will run away from home at the age of 12, he will live like a wanderer, no home, walking around speaking to people who will reject him. At the age of only 33 he will be denied by his best friends and you, his mother, will be at the foot of his cross when they pound the nails through his body. You will be sitting there and see him die a horrible death! Do you think Mary would have accepted the call knowing all of that?! God doesn't give us "the whole story" because we don't WANT to know the whole story! Take your calling, one day at a time. Take it in prayer, stand firm on your foundation with the Lord and go out there and knock 'em dead! God will not leave you alone, God does not leave Monty and I alone! He is there and so are you! You may think you aren't doing much but without your prayers and your strength coming through for us our rides on the donkey would be alot more uncomfortable!
Yesterday we welcomed crews from New York and Kansas. Today they are neck deep in serving the Lord. Some of them are working inside the sanctuary installing speakers and constructing the boxes and stairs to surround them. They will be there all week and have quite a listing of things they hope to accomplish. There are others working in John's house, also with a set of goals to complete before they leave on Friday evening.
As I mentioned earlier, sometimes you may not see or hear the results of your prayers but I want to share just one result of them. You all have been reading about John. If not, go back to Saturday's entry and read it! God stepped in and moved in a great way yesterday! Monty got a call from a painter who desperately needed an employee to help him! Yes, you're right --- John is now employed as a painter! And even more of a blessing is the fact that John's new boss also has a hernia and truly understands how John feels, literally! God is such an awesome God and just like Mary, He chose Monty to work this miracle through! What if, when we first met John, we would have said, "you just need to get a job and get out there and help yourself!" What if we would have looked at his neighborhood and thought it wasn't "the place we should be"? God had other plans and all it takes is someone!!!!! to step out in their faith and say, "Yes Lord, use me as you see fit! Whatever, whenever and however --- I will follow You!" THIS IS REBUILDING LIVES! THIS is why God sent us here! To be just a small part of His plan here is a blessing beyond description! I can't get it through this blog because I can't get it through my own head! All I can say is that it is a blessing above all blessings to walk with God and get to see His work first hand! Try it sometime! Let God do what He has planned through you! You know what I'm talking about! You've heard Him tugging at your heart! Take that step out in faith! Be blessed --- but be ready to ride the donkey when needed! It won't buck you off if you sit in the faithseat of God! (He has special glue to keep you in the saddle) :)
I don't know when the next blog will happen, depends on the phone man! And the phone man is a really busy man around here! Pray, for us and for the phone man!
We are excited about this week and all the blessings that will happen! We want you to join in with us and share in the blessings!
If you would like to be even more of a part and truly invest in this ministry you can send your gifts to us through: Vineyard Community Church at PO Box 3277 in Bloomington, Indiana 47402. Please note "Katrina" on your gift as all 100% is used for this mission. God has promised to bless us ten fold for our service to others and we pray for your blessings and thank you for sharing with all those here in Mississippi!
I also want to include a note: if any of you would like for Monty and I to come to your church to give a presentation and tell more about what is happening here, how God is working, complete with photos and video just let us know. We would love to do what we can to continue to bless the people here and talk to you first hand about God's awesome power! You can comment at the end of the blog and leave info. We will get back to you asap.
May God bless and keep all of you! Take that step of faith! God will be right there to guide you the entire way and you will be blessed beyond measure! We know this for a fact!
Until our next entry... which is hopefully tomorrow.... Susan and Monty