Monday, October 15, 2012

New Blog Post: The real thirst quencher

Have you ever had one of those moments in life when you just knew something outside this world had intervened? One of those weird times where reality is suspended for just a moment and everything seems unreal?

Back in August was one of those times. I was asked to speak at a Christian Music event called The Awesome God Fest. It was a weekend event with lots of bands at the Van Hoy Campground in the northern part of Iredell County where we live. 

It had been a long two weeks, with one week on the road with meetings for my boss, Dr David Jeremiah and then I spent the next week as an observer/instructor at the US Army Chaplain School at Ft Jackson. the week with the Army was spent in a field exercise and if you've ever been to Columbia SC in the summer you know what that was was sticky and hot!

So, I was pretty much exhausted. I had spend all week trying to fend off dehydration by consuming as much water as possible. 

I was struggling for what text to preach and finally decided that John 7 where Jesus screams out, "If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink"

Its an interesting passage and Jesus has stood up during a ceremony at the Feast of Tabernacles.  During that ceremony priests would draw water from a spring and carry it to the Temple followed by a procession of revelers and musicians. The water would be poured out there in the Temple.

It celebrated two ideas:
  1. It looked back at Moses striking the rock in the desert that gushed water celebrating God's provision to a nation dying of thirst
  2. It looked forward to the culmination of God's work on this world when the Holy Spirit would be poured out over mankind...God's presence poured out if you will. 
So that was what I preached....our need to have our thirst satisfied, and that God is the only source that truly quenches. 

The venue was dug out amphitheater that has held concerts and rodeos for the last 50 years. It seats thousands. 

That night there were about 40 people in attendance, yep I said 40. Needless to say it looked bare. 

I must admit I was a bit discouraged. I was discouraged for the bands that played, but even more for my friend Nancy Sheets who organized the whole thing. She has worked 40 hours a week for 6 months. But you'll never meet a more encouraging person in this world than Nancy...always upbeat!

So...I preached. The lights were in my face so I couldn't tell if there were 30 or 30,000 people there. 

I did all a knew how to do. I felt a very real sense of passion about the message. At the end, the decision point, I simply asked God to quench the thirst of anyone who needed it. 

Now, it had been dry all day, bone dry. Just then I felt a rush of very cool air blew through the arena. And then a roar...literally, a roar as thousand of gallons of water dumped instantaneously on the vast tin roof of the venue, it was deafening and all in the middle of my prayer for God to satisfy thirst! The rain had come!

For a minute I just stood there, unable to even speak. 

I just started to laugh, a big outbound belly laugh! I did, I was so overcome at the fact that God has answered my prayer in such dramatic fashion. I walked off stage, high fived my wife and kids and we gave thanks to a God who decides when He wants to interrupt our lives.

He satisfied my thirst for salvation 18 years ago, He continues to satisfy my thirst in a dry and weary land. So, on this rainy Monday I feel very satisfied. 

Thank Him today, He is the real thirst quencher!

The one year mark

One year ago, there was a major change of life for us as a family. Since 2003 the Army and all that comes with that was the focus of our ministry as a family. Those 9 years were a dramatic life change. That calling took me away from Statesville for 6 years in stateside and overseas assignments. But on October 15th last year, I began serving Turning Point Ministries in a job I have never done. I had no experience representing a large international ministry. My journey to Turning began 18 years ago on a rural highway with my radio tuned to WMIT here in NC where I heard David Jeremiah proclaim the Gospel. On that day in March of 1994 I had no idea what God was doing. I had no idea how my life would change. But it did, in dramatic fashion.

Over the last year I have had the great pleasure of serving along side the man who led me to the truth of Jesus, to serve as a representative for the ministry of Turning Point and it has been a great honor to do so. Words are hard to come by to say how thankful I am, to Dr Jeremiah and everyone at Turning Point. So on a rainy Monday in NC, on my one year anniversary  I stop and give thanks to God for showing me the way. He has provided for my family, given me opportunity, blessed me with great co-workers and given me a profound ministry that literally impacts the world 24/7.

Psalm 18:49 declares, "Therefore I will give thanks to You among the nations, O LordAnd I will sing praises to Your name." 

Today I am grateful and that is a good place to be. I hope you are as well!

The songs of life- Thanks to mom

My home was filled with music and people growing up. Mom loved music and can play an assortment of instruments but her favorites are th...