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Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

Several years ago I had the opportunity to travel across china. I forget the city but along the pearl river in a small antique shop I found this old piece of jewelry. I made a big deal about liking it and later I found out that Beth someone on the team had bought it for me as a gift. On the plane I sit by an older Chinese man who told me that it was an old Chinese passport of an ambassador. I have no idea if that is correct but I would love for some one to tell me what it says. I have been all over the place on missions trips and I have carried this with me around the world. For me it has seemed prophetic, as a token to remember I am a messenger and an ambassador. My message is the Love of Jesus.  Any Idea’s what it is, or says please leave a comment. Thanks for the help. 
ancient-cihinese-passport ?

ancient-cihinese-passport ?

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The Great Adventure The great adventure is that thing that’s just around the corner. It is that carrot hanging out in front of the donkey to keep him moving, although he never quite reaches it. I was born 200 years too late in the natural. I love to explore, to see something that no one has ever seen before. Oh, to have been with Lewis and Clark mapping out the river way to the American west, or better yet to have been with David Livingstone following the Nile. Now that floats my boat.

Sometimes my quest for adventure has put me in hot water. I was about eleven years old living in Olean, Missouri, in Lake of the Ozarks country. Dad was the pastor of a little church about a mile from a small clear water creek loaded with fish. Dad didn’t like to fish but he loved to eat them. He had no problem with me staying out all day fishing as long as I came home with supper.

My parents always had a garden. After I cleaned the fish, mom would roll them in cornmeal along with some okra, and cut up fresh tomatoes and peppers. She would serve them up with little cornbread muffins that were in the shape of an ear of corn. Nothing beats a good country meal.

I would usually go fishing with my best friend at the time, David Farris. This hot July day I was alone, and had walked as far as I had ever been before. I knew I should turn around but my curiosity overpowered my good sense. I waded into the creek with my Zebco 33. I went down around one corner and then another until I finally got so tired and so hot that I thought I better cut across one of the many fields to find my way home. I climbed the bank, looked around and saw nothing familiar, so I started walking up a cornrow. I had already taken my shirt off and tied it on my belt so I was starting to burn and was getting thirstier by the minute. I got turned around in the cornfield and couldn’t figure out which way was out, so I began to run. The corn stalks were cutting me and the salt from my sweat was burning my eyes. Now, I’m scared. I wondered if I would make it out alive.

Then, completely exhausted, I found a way out and collapsed by a tree next to a dirt road. It must be an angel coming… no, it’s dad, picking me up and putting me in the car. Dad was on church visitation, and just “happened” to be driving by when he saw his little boy lying by the road. I thought if I lived through this, dad would kill me for going so far from home, but that didn’t happen. He rushed me in the house as mom filled the bathtub with cold water. After I soaked for a while my mother, the RN, doctored me up. In a few days I was back to my fishing hole, but I never ventured out that far again.

I believe that spiritually we have all wandered out in faith trying to follow God and got burned in the process. Like myself in this little story, a part of us has given up on adventure, retiring into boredom. I would like to stir up the adventurer in you , and step out to see what awaits us around the corner. Who knows what waits ahead of you? God knows.

Let’s look at the story of Esther. We have evil Haman who has a plan to kill all of God’s chosen people, the Jews. Esther, a Jew herself had married the king. If she approached the king it could cost her life. On the other hand if she didn’t, she would die along with all her people. With this situation in mind, let’s look at what Mordecai said to her: For if you remain completely silent at this time, relief and deliverance will arise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this? (Esther 4:14)

Many a message has been preached out of the “such a time as this” part of the Scripture, but I want to look at the “who knows” part. The truth is we don’t know what God has in store for us to do. Certainly we will not find out with a big “NO” in our heart. It takes a “YES” to God’s purposes. I don’t know how many times I have heard someone say, “I can’t say yes to God, He will probably send me to deepest darkest Africa.” If that’s you, let me tell you bluntly, the greatest place in the world to be is where God wants you, no matter where that is Esther said, “YES” and the rest is history. Honestly, isn’t there something inside that would love for God to write a little history using you? God Himself is the history maker and as many have said before HISTORY is HIS STORY so we can just relax and let Him write.

Remember the story of Jonah? Jonah had been told by God to go to Nineveh to warn the people to repent or the entire city would be destroyed. Jonah hated the Ninevites and ran from God and the call on his life. We know where he ends up. After giving the great fish a whale of a stomachache, Jonah is back with God and saying, “YES” to the call. He delivers the message that God commanded Him to say, in 40 days you will be overthrown.

But Jonah is handed a dilemma. The people repent, but more than that, the king does the same, leading the city in repentance. This is what the king said: Who can tell if God will turn and relent, and turn away from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish? (Jonah 3:9) The king was wise, and with the repentance of the nation, God did turn from His wrath. Those words “who can tell if God” show again this idea that we can’t imagine God’s goodness, His grace, His mercy or His plans for us. Let us be like the king and humble ourselves, and not like Jonah who couldn’t stand the fact that God had a plan of mercy for his enemies.

The writer of Romans clarifies,Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God. How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out. For who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has become His counselor? Or who has first given to Him And it shall be repaid to him? For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. (Romans 11:33-36)

Listen…these verses in Romans continue to show how unsearchable the Lord is. Who fully knows Him? Who fully understands the mind of the Lord? He is so much bigger than our ideas and our little plans.

Read one of Paul’s apostolic prayers: That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power. (Ephesians 1:17-19) Oh, this is what we need…the spirit of wisdom and revelation. Go back and read these verses in Ephesians a couple of times. God has a plan for you. It is awesome. Ask for the spirit of wisdom and revelation, to understand it and to walk it out in the grace of the Lord. Paul also prays:That their hearts may be encouraged, being knit together in love, and attaining to all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the knowledge of the mystery of God, both of the Father and of Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.(Colossians 2:2-3)

We can be encouraged. In Jesus Himself is hidden treasures, but notice the phrase “being knit together in love.” We have been talking about the plan that God has for us, and that great drama in which we have a part. Stand assured it is a “we” and “us” thing not a “me” and “I” thing. Let’s accept the great adventure of following the Lord, but let us do it together. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. (James 1:5)

Remember my little story when I had reached my limit? I was lying under that tree and I thought I might die without strength to go on. There was my father picking me up. Our heavenly Father waits for us to exhaust ourselves, finally allowing the rescue. We, the church, need a rescue, but I’m not talking about the rapture. I’m talking about the capture. We need to be captured by the beauty and the magnificence of God’s love. Let us surrender under His mighty hand and let us be wise. Let us ask for wisdom and the Lord will respond extravagantly.

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