Left Behind. Left Empowered

 How many wise men visited Jesus around the time of His birth? Three? Possibly. However, scripture does not reveal even an approximation. But because of children’s plays and Christmas displays, our desire to present SOMETHING that illustrates such a scene… Understandable

Unfortunately, the number 3 has invisibly morphed from theory to supposed truth. And yet it is not significantly so. Merely a minor example of how time, combined with creative license, has caused us to lose sight of what is actually written

Let us now consider how the religious sect, even Jesus’ own disciples preconceived the Messiah’s coming. An immediate overthrow of Rome? A fast track to their own prominence? And yet they too had the scriptures which foretold of the suffering servant, but could not fathom it. At least not for some time

They had heard the same thing for so long, they assumed their own conceptions to be true. They were amiss. Today, are we any different? 

With all the excitement of the new “Left Behind” movie coming out, I feel it vital for the Church to selah and review what we know, or think we know concerning a Biblical Rapture

I’ll be upfront and confess that I neither believe in a “pre” nor “mid-trib” view. I used to. However, as we search scripture for what it actually states concerning such events, the evidence arrows overwhelmingly to the side of the Saints actually enduring tribulation, just as Jesus said we would (John 16:33) 

Now, I understand heated objection will immediately arise, as both pre and mid-trib alike will attest that “there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ”. And I agree. There is none. That said, one wonders then, with the Bowl Judgments being the wrath of God, how another would assume the Church could still be present in order to receive something He promised we would not. After all, that would make God a liar

Case in point, I think our sold out belief per escaping such tribulation has caused us to under study, say, overlook a very import verse that fills the void over such a notion; Revelations 7:3, where God commands His angels to place a mark (not the one relating to the Beast) upon the Saints, in order to protect them

This fits all too neatly in line with God’s character as He has also forewarned Noah to build an ark that would provide safety from the near coming wrath that would destroy all the earth. Furthermore, His grace was also given to the Israelites as they were allotted insight per the destruction that would come upon Egypt – overshadowing only those who placed the lamb’s blood over their threshold. Naivete, as is presented by a “pan-millennial” theory would never have provided either of these parties an ability to endure, as it requires both insight as well as action

If we suggest that “meeting Him in the air” equivocates a mass of believers suddenly vanishing earth and instantly appearing in Heaven, then we have gone too far. For all that scripture states pointedly is that “we will meet Him in the air” and “be with Him forever”. Jesus’ game plan is for the “thy Kingdom to come to earth as it is in heaven” as He stressed so sincerely to His disciples to pray. His Second Coming will be a permanent one. There is no third advent. This is why we will be with Him forever from that point on

An absence of a healthy Christian Worldview has caused many Western believers, with good intentions, to aim at proclaiming such a theory to even Eastern believers; warning them that experiencing tribulation was not of God. As you would expect, this did not settle well in underground China, where torturous prison terms, even sentences of death were pronounced to the sold out believers of that region. Neither has the Church of the Middle East, where followers are sometimes beheaded for their beliefs, taken this theory lying down

I do apologize for those who eliminate a rapture theory altogether. Clearly, there does appear to be a very specific point in time where such an ascension does transpire. I believe Luke chapter 17 offers the clearest resolution toward what takes place

34 I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. 35 There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left.”[a]37 And they said to him, “Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse[b] is, there the vultures[c] will gather.”

Notice how verse 37 depicts the place of those being taken – a location where dead bodies are being eaten by birds. Doesn’t sound so heavenly as is suggested by a pre/mid-trib rapture theory. And although this scene does in fact describe the Church’s literal transport/destination with resurrected/glorified bodies, it strikes significantly closer to a scene in Rev 19:17-19 where the angel calls the birds of the air to feast on the flesh of rebellious kings, during the time of great judgment

I’ll brief here for a moment to mention the “mark” (of the beast). This is an additional case where we have traveled too far in creative license, extending facts beyond what is written, producing only unhealthy and unnecessary fear. Our lack of understanding has caused many to shudder that should they somehow be left, how would they protect themselves from receiving the mark unwillingly; say, a trip to the hospital while found unconscious, etc.

The answer to this question is that it is quite impossible to ever take the mark accidentally. A blur over the bigger picture pertaining to end time events has invented a way for us to make more of the mark itself, than what it actually takes to receive it – which is worship. The angels who turned to follow Satan had to be convinced that he was the one worthy. And even then, he was only able to turn a third

Unless we intentionally bow to the Antichrist, denying our Lord, then there is no need to fear. The “mark” is a mere symbol, a certification for an act that we willingly partook of. Nothing more. Scripture does not even state that it will be a “chip” as is highly theorized. It might. Nonetheless, without your express consent, you will never receive it

All that said, there is need to heed the words of preparation for a very real end times scenario – not as though we will escape, but in order to thrive through it with endurance, abiding in Christ so that He will abide in us (John 15). It requires both understanding and action as the hearts of many will grow cold and even the elect will be deceived. And let us not forget that even those bold enough to endure may still be martyred. There is no easy road. However, great grace is expected to be given

Finally, with so many NT passages that point to it, it ought strike us as far fetched that these words were not for the generation of believers alive and in Christ to obey, but instead to be chocked up to a mass of left behind newbies who suddenly get their act together, supposedly without the help of the Holy Spirit. THAT, just doesn’t fly

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Deeper Mexico 7 – “Our Adventure Home”

Last night wasIMG_0453 a lonely one. The second phase of the trip had thus begun and I was not able to be a part. Newcomers arrived – leaving with Scott and Job. They headed to a cabin nearby for a next morning climb upon a mountain that had a reputation notorious for handing backsides to a good number of its contesters. As for me, I had the barracks all to myself – hollow as they were

Awoke around 6am. Gathered my belongings before heading to breakfast. Said final farewells to several students and that ever hard working staff. Heart sinking deep inside my chest as I turned to walk away

Bags in back, I saddled up in a small pickup. My escort was an older gentleman who also aided me with check in at the bus station. Maybe his name was Michael… or Miguel in Spanish. He was a musical fellow for sure! A very joyful individual

Ran solo from the bus station in Puebla up to the airport in Mexico City. Fumbled enough Spanish, found enough English to get my tickets, grab some coffee, and exchange some pesos back to dollar bills. Once aboard, everything was smooth sailing. Pressures off

IMG_0818In this life, we have all the makings of adventure lying right under our nose. We have beauty. That’s not to say that everyday is meant to be a first time trip to our favorite amusement park – an everlasting glance at Niagara Falls. For darkness contrasts light, causing it to illuminate all the brighter

Adventure appears in various shapes and sizes. Beckons us, often without permission. Within, lies a choice to hinder. Hold it back. “No, I don’t want to be bothered with that.” Some prefer, “Uneventful, just as it should be”. Invisible is the suicide of our souls. Resistance, the usual suspect

Relaxation plays a key part in life. Without doubt. But it’s only intention ought to be a bridge unto greater things. Notice how, rather whom Psalms 23 is written. Yet, have not so many claimed this verse for themselves without any burning relationship to the consistent upheaval King David experienced? Without question, “still waters” and “green pastures” were of direr necessity for him, than many of us as we carry about our general lives of greater ease

No. Jot and tittle are not required for us to apply this passage. We are free to absorb of it what we may. I merely feel that modern day Christianity may be taking more than their appropriate share – gorging themselves with reason that is beyond contextual and mostly soft. From time to time, I too have lived from this deceptive falsehood – most specifically the homefront

IMG_0772When we over-arch this trip… When we ponder upon fundraising, the rental car situation, a long line for a bus that didn’t pan out, the possible prowler I’d yet to mention, long travels, late nights, getting sick, exhausted, traffic jams, blown tire, public speaking, and having to make my way back to the US alone… One must wonder “Was it really worth it?”

Romans 8:28 – And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose (ESV)

Wait… “And we know”? Apparently the Apostle intends for us to be fully aware of God’s ability to make great of sour situations, however extreme or non. And it’s not merely for the sake of verse memorization, rather a real life’s experience. Do we know this? Is it personal? Are we doing anything to hinder His work of re-creation? Phone lines are now open

Job. I knew no thing about him before we met for the first time in Mexico City. From there I began to discover this amazing worshiper who had thought a lot about what he was getting himself into for following Christ. He seemed to be at peace with it all. Every bit

Funny thing. Near everywhere we went, seemed someone was surprised Job spoke Spanish. He would state, “Yes. I am Mexican”

10258152_667636516629229_7175997229824923738_nBy all appearance, Job has certain facial features for which he is well accustomed to people replying, “Bro! I thought you were Chinese! Haha!” Literally, near everywhere we went, from beginning to end. And for that, we dubbed our team: “Two and a Half Gringos”  

Well. That’s the end of the tale for my Mexico trip of 2014. Hope you enjoyed it. Hope it spurred you onto loving Christ and all His nations, brand new. Hope it made you want to play a larger part. Probably, you already are

Sad and final note: this will be the last FIM Update – at least for awhile. It’s been fun running with you guys. You truly are the faithful few! Just think it’s time to hang up this here hat. Will certainly leave the website open. And who knows? Maybe we’ll wear it again someday? Right now, I just have other matters desiring attention. Personal ones. Hey, I might even blog from another platform if you’re interested. Only, letting this one go

Once again, FIM, signing off…

Relax. Love God with All Your Heart. Don’t Stop Believing!

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Deeper Mexico 6 – “Search for Significance”

They were ready for uIMG_0801s. La Vina Naciones that is. Dinner was served. Quarters escorted. That night would be an easy one, as everything was geared toward the next day and beyond

Memory’s a fog for all the details surrounding our first morning. The topic at hand was prophecy. I do remember that. And I’m almost positive Scott kicked things off. I recall following up with some of the ‘what’s and why’s’ pertaining to the subject. Gave several biblical examples from characters who got it right vs those who did not. “Do you see the difference?”

Spent much time pondering what my next teaching would be. My heart was to bring something, not merely impacting – that we would all be super excited for a few. Rather, I longed for… LASTING. Wow. What a boring word. Try driving that one home as the name for your next youth group gathering

IMG_0784But isn’t that what we want, or at least claim we do? In this age that offers us happiness, via our name in lights, the American dream – all this is coming to one sudden end. It has to. He must become greater

Guess I’ve grown to despise words or phrases such as “Extreme” or “On fire”. They’ve been overused – often played out of context. Better said, I’m ashamed of the negative connotations associated with them. Pitfalls provided. What are we really searching for? “On fire for God?” What does that even look like? Really?

Fireworks come but once a year. Violent colors burst into flame, often ending in some exciting  finale. It’s flashy! Our hearts thump inside our chest, most as loud as the explosions themselves. But then what? A routine 365 til we do it all again?

For days we’ll rediscover the remains of those bursts – now burnt out carcasses from rockets that glared red only a night before. Next Sunday. Next conference. Next trip to the hottest Church in America

IMG_0792Recently, I sat down with a leader who wanted to catch up. For the next 45 minutes they spent their time, barely taking a breath, ranting over the flaws of 5 other ministers/ministries, some of which I knew the better of. Sadly, this individual is known for their extreme Christianity – boldly going where no man has gone before. Paying a fine price for it. I was perturbed

But before I bury them too deep in the dirt, I have to confess my own comparisons – my own search for significance, both spiritual and non. And it’s not as if all this person’s ministerial successes were performed in vain. I just think we sometimes get side tracked. Doing right things for wrong reasons. Putting others down to build ourselves up

IMG_0807I too have a name for being more alive than I actually am. Don’t get me wrong. I love God. A lot. Unfortunately, my reputation often outweighs my immediate character. I’m pretty popular in specific Christian circles – especially in the place I grew up. I’m known for being one of the premiere individuals who pioneered out to Kansas City to conjoin with a notorious prayer ministry. I’m known for being… extreme. But is that really the end of the line? Is it even the beginning? Are you feeling my concern here?

The world is enthralled with super star Christianity. As much as King David is praised today, he would have been dethroned from any kind of spiritual leadership had he made the mistakes he did in our current age. Our so-called “coverings” wouldn’t allow it. The masses would’ve abandoned him in less than half a heart’s beat. This is why it is so difficult for high level ministers to truly work out their salvation. The cost is so high. At large, our dependence is not as much on God as it is on man

IMG_0779So when it came time for me to speak again, I shared what I felt the Lord was wanting to say to all of us. I spoke on prophesying from the heart of God, rather than a desire to earn self-significance. Felt He wanted them to know that Mexico mattered to Him – not in any generic sense, but of the deepest one. He wanted them to know that American style Christianity was one that could be learned upon, but ought not be copycatted. He wanted them to stop trying to write Christian songs and simply sing straight from their heart – that place where Jesus was dwelling inside. That’s all. Nothing more…

From there, we went out on a treasure hunt to a nearby town. The fruit from that outing was slim, as many of those they encountered did not affirm the students with an outright turning toward Jesus as did the year before. I remember being a bit disappointed that the trip had gone as so. Still, I was sincerely grateful for their boldness. Their willingness to try. Their eagerness toward doing it again. Hindsight, I guess the message God was sending us that day had sunken in. For they didn’t allow the people’s denial to deprive them of the deep love God had for them. Mission accomplished

 Relax. Love God with All Your Heart. Don’t Stop Believing!

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Deeper Mexico 5: “The Pressing Through”

IMG_0761Post hike, we headed back to Marcos’. Job and I had been riding open air in the back of the pick up. It was evening now. The air was so much cooler

After an approximate 30 minute drive back to town, we landed at a local eatery. Like many others, the facility had an open face. I imagine there’s a sliding gate, or descending garage door that deters after hour guests

IMG_0760Food was cooked on an open fire, burning wood right there indoor. It looked delicious. Certainly smelled wonderful as well! Couldn’t wait to give it a taste

A little tip to mission’s trips: don’t be afraid to step out of the box. Maybe you’ve done a good bit of that by merely going. But as you progress, I encourage you to go further. Don’t only eat the things your used to or similar. Be bold! Try something new. Quiz the locals around unique items. No, you don’t need to go overboard ordering monkey brains or anything of that nature. But for God’s sake, adventure a little! Get to know the culture. It’s actually quite polite. Besides, you’re on a mission trip, not a Caribbean cruise. And hey, even then

IMG_0759So there was this drink, the name of which I cannot remember. It was hot. It was green. By all appearance, it didn’t look very tasty. And when it cooled, a thin film grew o’er the top as pudding, back when you used to boil it on the stove. Had a tapioca-type texture to it and was surprisingly sweet. I liked it!

Night ended. Both Scott and I arose early with screaming, splitting headaches. Estimated it probably had something to do with the fire indoor. Or was it the habanero before bed? Possibly a mixture of the two

Either way, I got sick and nothing I did seemed to kill it. This wasn’t favorable considering we had a long drive to Puebla that morning, where we would be ministering to the students of ‘La Vina Naciones’ Bible School. The terrain was exactly flat and the roads weren’t exactly straight. In fact, they couldn’t have been more opposing

IMG_0763Only pulled over once along the way. Took five just to calm the ocean’s roar. Had to switch seats with Scott. Anything other than shotgun only invited this sickness to linger. It was an hour and a half before our first destination – Hector’s house. He would be the one escorting us the majority of our journey

Met Hector for the first time. He was a friend of Marcos. A friend of Scott. Met his wife, kids and ate a delicious meal before saying so long to Marcos. Hit the road for Puebla, nabbing some much needed Dramamine along the way

Around midpoint of our approximated five hour travel, we heard a loud POP! Not good. Pulled over to the side of the highway only to find our fears to be true. Blown tire! Fortunately for us, Hector had a spare. So Job served an accomplice to the fix, while Scott and I directed traffic. Couldn’t have asked for a better view (note the picture below)

Hector had us back in a flash. The only other thing that would hinder our progress from this point forth was 2 separate traffic jams. To Puebla!

Relax. Love God with All Your Heart. Don’t Stop Believing!

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Deeper Oaxaca 4 – “Language of Love”

IMG_0655Arising early, we were caught in a catch 22. Juan Carlos and the crew were leaving that morning, and we did not want to miss their departure. Seemed like they were always “getting ready to”, so we paused on showers and such, would they evade us in the process

First breakfast. Second breakfast (to our amaze). Still there… Managed to squeeze a washing in between. Church service was due to go down in a few hours, and you know how that is. No one wants to be stinky. Still, I got to spend a good time chatting with the elders. Mostly, we aimed to learn one another’s language. Was like having Sesame Street, live, right there in the dining room. Yeah, we were living it!

Them: “Mesa”. Me: “Table”

And on and on it went. I goofed on a few of the words. Apparently “mountain” in Spanish sounds an awful lot like “Montana”. My reply was that I’d never been, and invited them to come along. Eventually Job intervened – sorted us out. All this made for a good amount of laughter and was one heck of a lotta fun

Finally, we wished them farewell. Expressed much thanks for their extreme hospitality. Shot a few prayers off just to bless their journey, both short term and long

Church service was pretty similar to what you might see in the States. Greeting. Worship. Message. Time of prayer following. We did all that. Recognized some of the songs, despite being sung in Spanish. Others, I did not. I think I like the unknown ones best. I like originality

IMG_0643Today was our day to minister. And with it being Easter and all, well… I guess there’s no real “have to do” anything. But it’s one of those scenarios where you know several individuals are making an annual visit to Church, if not for the first time ever. Probably a discussion targeted toward the death and Resurrection of Jesus is most appropriate. But then again, the Spirit might throw a curveball. So we held our hearts on open

IMG_0650Scott taught from Collosians. Job hit a home run, times 10, with a worship song. I compared Jacob’s preparation (for his bones to be carried from Egypt to the Promised Land upon exodus) to our own readiness for the Resurrection yet ahead

Following the service, we spent a good bit of time in praying for individual’s specific needs. Most were concerns for family members – those who were living as though the Creator did not exist. Runner ups were healing for illness and desiring more of God

IMG_0641My favorite part was the meal afterward. Not merely because there was food. Though, you know… Rather, the fellowship. Getting to meet people of a different culture. This time it was mainly children

There was this one kid, who was seemingly everywhere, dialoguing with almost everyone. You could sense he might have been a little mischievous, but was undoubtedly delightful. No sooner did he strike up a conversation with me that I turned around and some ten other little guys had joined the party – counting on me to entertain them. Tough gig

If language were a set of tools, all I had in my box was but a screwdriver and a pair of pliers. Hammer? Possibly. Still, if we really want to, there are ways around it. We just have to be creative. It’s tough. It’s mentally draining having to think so hard for that which you’re used to coming so naturally. It’s a workout alright, but so worth the effort

We were all exhausted afterward. That’s when Marcos invited us to go on that lush hike up to the cave. Though the idea in itself seemed a baseball bat to the temple at the time, we managed to pull it together. In all, it was pretty amazing! Funny, how we can dread the idea of doing something so much, yet in hindsight, are so glad we did. Even a time of fun may have its own rites of passage, I guess. Someone popularly described love as being  “…a battlefield”. I believe she was right. Now on we march

Relax. Love God with All Your Heart. Don’t Stop Believing!

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Deeper Mexico 3 – “A Different Oaxaca”

IMG_0598Managed to work a ride to meet Marcos and his family down in Chalcatongo – a mere side effect from the withdrawal of our rental car. Fortunately for us, this allotted an opportunity to meet Juan Carlos, his newly wed wife and family

It was a different Oaxaca than we were used to. It was again, a different Mexico

As we journeyed to, through the  fantastic scape of evergreen forests – we witnessed logs chopped and stacked into several cabins along our way. I kept thinking “This is the Colorado of Mexico”. At one point we pulled over to stretch our legs. Scott turned to me and said, “This is the Colorado of Mexico”

IMG_0706What’s more was rushing water o’er winding streams as we hiked through lush trails, unto a cave that led God knows where. Someone said they saw bright eyes staring back at us through the black air. A craft hung on the wall of the rock, cross stream. It lie but a hair shy for the naked eye to grasp exactly what it was. Perhaps a sacred object of some sort. Perhaps not

On the way to, we experienced difficulty in navigating the days events. In Mexico, everything is “just 2 hours” away. Maybe that means 1 hour. Maybe it means 6. This particular trip would chute the latter

Having traveled much already, we were taken back by an offer to catch a wedding with Juan Carlos and his crew. Not only did we just meet, but were not dressed for such an occasion. Mostly, the road was long and a wedding, beautiful as they can be, would not help matters in the least. Wouldn’t want to keep them from going. It was just… Sudden. Unforeseen. Awkward

IMG_0581Alas, the smoke cleared and we realized it was rather a renewing of vows, for which everyone was fine in passing up. We did make a pit stop to pick up his parents before leaving town. They served us bananas that tasted as though oranges were graft into the vine. Never savored a banana so sweet. Never tried any as good as these. They were homegrown right there on the orchard. Small, yet several farmyard animals perused the perimeter

Our ride was a small pickup truck. Extended cab. Topper on back. Much to our amaze, the elders climbed in the rear, along with Juan’s sister. We stressed our concern, but they’d have in no other way. I imagine this was not as uncommon to them as it was to us. So we rolled with the flow

Arrived later that afternoon in Chalcatongo. It appeared a small, old village that was beginning to experience fresh life, an increase in population. This is where Marcos and his family reside. They are the pastors of a growing church amidst a region where Christians were welcomed as mere target practice just 20 years prior. Marcos has both a face and esteem that only hard work in endurance will attend. Nearly fell off my chair when hours into meeting him I realized he was the brother of a friend I’d met on my last trip. Ita, she lives approx 17 hours from here

Got a taste of the town as well as the chili peppers which shot off my biological smoke alarm. “Negro Fuego” is what I call them. That’s “Black Fire” in case you were wondering. It was Easter then, for which a 2 week celebration is an annual event. We saw a scene in which the Crucifixion was re-enacted. Roman guards in full gear. Jesus, setting us free

IMG_0600Met a rather interesting individual in the middle of town. Like many other men there, his mind was not upon carnival rides, rather beer. His breath communicated what many of his words could not. Charismatic was he in his greeting. Charisma remained as he begged a co-op, karaoke rendition of “Jailhouse Rock” – a wish in which we did not grant

Said he’d lived in NY for a time. Happy was he to dust off his English for a few gringos who appeared surprisingly out of nowhere. He was a fun sort of feller. Still, I can’t imagine what life must have been like that he felt the drive to live as he did. He had ticks about him – clues which exposed this as not being his first rodeo. Decades of practice, probably a better bet. Aimed to show him love as best we knew how

Made it back to Marcos’ a little while after dark. Headed then again to visit a man in the hospital, fresh off critical condition. He was rolling paint on a wall when he struck an open wire, live, and was cast down from high upon a ladder, leaving him dead down on the floor… awoken, only by prayer

Now burned and busted up, he and his wife are beyond grateful for his existence. Doctors are clueless of how the man could even be breathing. Post miracle, they continue to spew their “but he won’t be able” to’s… I believe there’s more in store as God continues to illustrate His glory

Night ended with much convo over cappuccino, courtesy of Marcos: preacher, pastor, evangelist, worship leader, BARISTA? And what an odd way to the end the day – coffee. This was truly a different Oaxaca. Sweet dreams

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Deeper Mexico 2 – “Funny Thing about Missions”

IMG_0461-003Missions is a funny thing. Each to his or her own definition. And rest assure, each one does. I say this with a smile

Day 2: woke up. Cleaned up. Ate a delicious Mexican breakfast – courtesy of Mrs Sibaja. Thanks so much! This meal would hold us over as we journeyed another 4 hours to visit Carlos and Mafer who lived deeper in Oaxaca, high up on a mountainside. By the way, pre-toasted bread – Novel idea! 

They live in a remote area, even for the mountain. Beyond the unrest, the static surge of power lines that sometimes serve an equivocal part of our everyday life. They’ve given themselves to working a ranch that lends to rehabilitate, rather resurrect men and women known to the merciless claws of addiction. Their prescription? The message. The mercy. The love of Christ. And from what I can tell, they do it well

Life for a long term missionary can be a funny thing. Better known to some is a dark side of lonely that shadow their way into what we would otherwise assume an unending, awesome adventure. Not alway, however often; money is slight, true friends are few, and the wanderings o’er the 5 w’s and h arise just one more time …again

Encouragement is a gift of the Spirit. Apostle Paul seems to believe. At this point in my journey, I possess not all the finite details of what it truly means to be a missionary. Still, I feel people often place too high a standard – one that directly fits their own personal gifting. Like that guy who grimly bellows evangelism as being a bullhorn on a street corner – no other way. So we force ourselves to blend, which usually ends in weary defeat, condemned for unsuccessfully sharing the Gospel to lost souls. Dogma winning the day …once again

Maybe real leadership doesn’t influence everyone to jump in our boat? Maybe it merely means to encourage others to have one, and do their best by God’s grace? Stop making things so difficult? No, missions isn’t for everyone. But it isn’t birthed in elitism either. Scars on the backside may ensue from poisonous darts while running for your life in an African jungle, or they may emanate while simply serving; being wounded from the lack of funds once promised, or friends who swore to visit, “but…” Maybe it was betrayal from fellow workers, etc, etc. Jesus too, knew similar wounds. Is He not still our poster boy?

Maybe missions really is for everyone? Maybe it’s just that one thing Jesus said about laying down our life for the sake of others? Could it really be so simple? (in terms of definition) 

All that to say, traveling 4 hours to, another fro; to meet, fellowship, and encourage this amazing couple who are doing great things as God uses them to take dead lives and raise them up, was well worth the journey. Touching lives that touch lives is a scheme designed from God’s perfect pyramid. It’s one that is not only legal for the participation of Saints, but is highly encouraged for the building of His Kingdom

So bring on that huge plate of pasta they served as we dined with our missionary friends! And what in the world was an Italian Chef doing with a restaurant way out upon a mountain in the middle of Oaxaca anyway? I don’t know. But I’m glad he was! Missions: It’s a funny thing. Here’s to eternal learning…

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