Walking in Step with the Lord

Today after a year of living in Nepal, I finally went hiking. It always makes me laugh when friends back home think I mhiking nepalust have climbed Mt. Everest, because I live in Nepal. When the truth is, Mt. Everest is nowhere near where I live, nor could I climb it, even if it were… because I would seriously die first :-).

But today, I climbed five kilometers up a mountain. It took us a good two hours to get to the top, and included leeches attaching themselves to my feet. Then a little less than an hour to get back down. Somehow going down is always easier.

On the way up however, it seemed like there was no end. We climbed up and up. The stairs got steeper and steeper, and twisted their way up the mountain. If I looked ahead and saw how steep it was, how many more stairs it would take. If I looked too far ahead, I got discouraged. If I looked behind me, I would get light-headed as I realized how high we were (since I don’t like heights). So instead I looked right in front of me. Step by step I took, until finally we had arrived to the top.

As I was climbing and thinking on this, I was reminded of the story of Joshua. Joshua had been leading the Israelites, and the Lord had come and told him, that it was almost time to enter into the promised land. He told Joshua to stay close, not to get ahead, and not to get behind.

So often in our Christian journeys we want God to show us what He has planned three months from now, we want to know what next year will hold. Other times, we can’t seem to let go of our past, and have trouble living in the present. When just as the Israelites, we must be walking step by step with the Lord. Not getting ahead of what He has planned, nor getting too far behind.

I have learned in my own Christian walk, that God doesn’t usually let us in on what the tomorrows hold. He only shows us what we need to know for today.

If we look ahead and try to figure our the path the Lord will lead, we will get discouraged, just as I got discouraged as I looked ahead today. If we look behind, we reminisce on what once was, and we miss right now.

God’s plan for you is to live this day for His glory. His will for you is to be filled with His Spirit, to give thanks in all circumstances, to pray without ceasing.

Years ago, we arrived back in the US from Korea, and moved in with my family. If I looked ahead and tried to figure life out, I was a wreck. But, if I lived that day, and focused on it… I was good.

The same if true for now. The truth is, none of us know what our tomorrows will hold. Yet, we do know who holds these days in His hand.

The truth is, we can plan, we can scheme, we can try to figure things out… but most likely it will change. Because, we don’t see the whole picture. We dont’ see what God sees.

Let us then, draw near to God, staying close to Him, allowing the Lord to lead us each day.

And as we do, we will begin to see as He see’s. We will recognize what He desires.

No mater where you are in life right now… God is there with you.

He is leading you, He is guiding you, sometimes He is carrying you.

Yet, you never walk alone.

And you can trust Him with tomorrow.

You can trust that in His perfect way, His perfect time, He will show you your next step.

Until then, stay close to the Lord.

So you don’t miss out on a thing.

The Father truly does know best!

What Our Sons Need to Know

the boysMy oldest son turned 13 today. It seems impossible and yet is a reality. My little boy is no longer a little boy and the world awaits him. As he celebrates his big day, and as he looks to the future. These are the things I pray he never forgets.

  1. Never forget, what matters most in this life is that you love God and love others. For if we have not love, we are nothing!
  2. Your self-worth is not determined by the number of friends you have, “likes” you get, or what others think. Your self-worth is and must be found in the Lord. In His eyes, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.
  3. No matter what the crowd says, always do what is right. I know from experience how easy it is to follow the crowd. But the Bible teaches us that we are to swim against the stream. It is easy to follow, but hard to walk the narrow road. Yet, it is on the narrow road that you will find abundant, everlasting life.
  4. Friendship with the world is hatred towards God. It seems harsh, it seems extreme but it is true. We can not love this world or the things of it and love God. We must love Him and the things of God more. Fixing our eyes on what is unseen rather than what is seen.
  5. Jesus is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. I know having good friends is important, yet never forget that Jesus is to be your best friend. Though others will fail you, others will let you down, He never will.
  6. When girls begin to notice you, (and they will) remember that it matters more what a girl’s heart looks like, than what she looks like. “Charm is deceptive and beauty is vain, but a women who fears the Lord is to be praised (Pr. 31:30).”
  7. Always stand up for what is right. It won’t always be easy, and it may mean you get laughed at. Yet, this is what pleases the Lord.
  8. You have been such a trooper, traveling the world with us. And though I know it isn’t always easy, never forget this world is not our home, we are only passing through.
  9. Always remember your brother, he’s got your back! He has always been your best friend, never lose sight of that.
  10. Your dad and I love you very much, and we are here for you.
  11. And though this world may tell you one thing, it is what God’s Word says that matters. Always stand firm upon and hold fast to God’s Word. For only here will you find the truth, truth that will set you free, to be the man of God, the Lord longs for you to be.
  12. Reach for the stars, and remember nothing is impossible for God!!!

andrew1

 

The Fingerprints of God

finger prints of godI love to look back and see what God saw all along.

Yet, when you are in the midst of “life”, it is hard to detect the hand of God.

As a young child, I vividly remember a missionary coming to our church sharing about her life in Argentina. I thought she looked funny in her “costume”. I thought she talked a little weird, sure. But, I was mesmerized with the idea that she was living in some far off place, telling people about Jesus. It seemed so exciting, and I knew someday I wanted to do just that.

In junior high, I began voice lessons, which I ended up taking for some 9 years. I didn’t know then why, but on Sunday as  I sang with our team in the English service, the Lord reminded me of His bigger picture.

When I was in college, I went through a dark time, where all I had was the Lord. And I learned that He was enough. A lesson I would need over and over again as the Lord led me onward, serving Him around the world.

In seminary, though I wanted to go straight to the mission field, God wanted me to have a partner first. Which led me to switch degrees and get my Masters in Christian Education rather than Masters in Missiology. Having to change degrees made me angry at the time, but overwhelms my heart now as I look back now at why. Having used this “degree” to serve kids on the mission field.

Two wonderful years in Korea, gave us a taste of life overseas, wetting our appetites for more. That has thus led us to where we are today, in Central Asia.

Two difficult years living in the states, two years of waiting on God, and not understanding why everything had to be so hard. Prepared us for the difficulties we face regularly now.

The truth we all know, is that nothing is wasted in God’s plan. No situation, no circumstance is only coincidence. No, every detail of every day of our lives is a small part of the big picture God wants to paint.

When I look back at my life, I stand amazed. Not because of anything I have accomplished.

I stand amazed at how amazing my God is.

Humbled and astonished that God could and would use the tiniest details of my days, to prepare me for right here, right now.

Sometimes, I wonder at what the next 10 years or so will be like. What they will entail.

I think, what is God using “now” to prepare me for “then.”

The truth is I don’t have a clue. Yet, I do know that whatever it is, it will be good.

And I know that what I’m learning now, God will use then.

Friend, wherever God has you right now, be all there.

Embrace that place, embrace those circumstances, embrace even the difficulties. For what you are going through now, where God has you now is all for His purposes.

You may not understand the why now.

However, one day you will look back, and you will see How Great is Our God!

Recently I was talking with our pastor. Who was saying how much he enjoys it when he can catch a glimpse of God’s bigger picture.

I couldn’t agree more.

So often we are caught up in the daily grind, and we miss it.

We miss God.

Yet, He is there. Molding us, shaping us, building us, growing, us, stretching us. So that He can use us even more later.

May the Lord give us eyes to see as He see’s .

So that we may rejoice in where He has us now. Knowing, believing that there is “more” to the story, just around the corner.

His fingerprints are everywhere, if we would just take a step back and look.

No where does He leave us. He goes before us, with us and behind us.

Maybe you’re in a place you don’t want to be… I’ve been there. Yet, I encourage you to hold on and hold fast to the Lord. Wait upon Him, and one day soon, you will look back and understand.

Maybe your starting a new journey. Change is hard, but God is with you. You are never alone. And never forget, He has prepared you for this day, your ready. Go and await His goodness.

You could be in the midst of your journey, like me. And you can look back and see His fingerprints. Enjoy this time, and allow Him to use your “now” to prepare you for the days ahead.

Wherever God has you, be all there.

And allow Him to teach you, to use you, to grow you and to encourage you.

Then one day soon, you will look back and you will see all that God has done for you. And you will know that He alone is the One true God, and the only One worthy of praise.