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Faith

Another great blog from my favorite blogger!

Learning To Fly

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So, I have been thinking a lot about faith lately – Faith is confidence in what we hope for and the assurance about what we do not see (Heb 11:1).  That’s what the Word of God says faith is. I gotta just be open and honest (I know, how else would I be)…. this verse has thrown me for loops, along with so many others in scripture.  With so many of my pregnancies I have stood on what I would call faith – I believed with all my heart Jesus could heal – I believed with all my heart He could breathe life into each of those sweet babies to have live here on earth….. yet each of the 7 pregnancies since March 9th 2006 have ended the same – death – “O ye of little faith” “Your faith has made you well” — God I don’t understand! I have…

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“1. To invest officially (as by the laying on of hands) with ministerial or priestly authority.”  (Merriam Webster online)

Ordination is so much more than I ever though it would be.  As our ordination approaches God has been speaking to me, driving me to explore this idea of an official investiture in ministerial authority and responsibility.  The priests of the Old Testament were ordained to serve before God.  Leviticus 16:32  talks of the hereditary nature of the Old Testament priesthood yet still he had to be anointed and ordained.

The New Testament is perhaps  less explicit yet we cannot but envision ordination in Acts 13 when the elders of the Church of Antioch laid hands on Paul and Barnabas investing them with the authority of the nascent church to carry the gospel message to new lands.  I love the next verse, “The two of them, sent on their way by the Holy Spirit…”  Ordination then is not a symbol of The Lewis House but it is a call to the Holy Spirit by our peers, friends and colleagues.  It is a call for Him to send us on our way empowered by spiritual gifts which as Paul expressed to Timothy, we must fan into flame in the performance of the ministry that He has for us.

For Allana and I it is an acceptance of the responsibilities that are inextricably attached to the empowerment and authority that is represented by our ordination.  I would venture to say that if the past year has been our “engagement” to full-time ministry in service of the Gospel that the ordination is the marriage ceremony.  We commit ourselves to His service and recognize His call on our lives.  We trust that he will bring to completion the work that he has begun in us.

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It is hard to believe that it has been a year since we moved into The Lewis House and began our lives as full-time urban missionaries. This span of 365+ days has been at once nothing like I had imagined it to be and more than I had ever thought it would be.

As I sit here at my computer and type this out I know without a doubt that the man who left the restaurant business three years ago could not have stood through the last year.  God has brought through an amazing process to bring me here to The Lewis House.  It would be redundant to take you on that journey with me again.  You would be better served reading my lovely wife’s article “The Journey to the Mission”.  I re-blogged it last month.

Even one year ago my financial expectations were that God would provide sufficient funds to cover all of our needs and provide for a nice little salary and we would live the “American Dream” as missionaries to Toledo.  I understand the naiveté of that now (someone much wiser than myself made the gentle effort to cushion what could have been grand disappointment), but even though the mechanism of God’s provision has not  been what I expected it to be the efficacy of that provision has been so far above what I could have dreamed of. Though by the world’s standards we live below the poverty line (a fact which

More important than the earthly provision is the spiritual transformation that I have experienced.

“But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.  And we , who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s gory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  2 Corinthians 3:17

This transformation is not dependent on our earthly circumstances but I can see how our earthly circumstances impact our ability to recognize that transformation.  Paul said:

“I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty.  I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:12-13)

Without the times of want Paul might not have recognized the transformation that he had undergone.  Without the times of plenty he could not have appreciated the Spiritual transformation that engaged his contentment in the times of wanting.

We should not assume that this transformation was completed miraculously on the road to Damascus.  It was a process that passed Paul through the Arabian wilderness, the narrow streets and prickly political paths of Jerusalem, the urbane halls of Asia Minor and the intellectual collections of Greece.  It was a transformation that continued until he was called home on a fateful day in Rome.  It is a process that we all undergo and one that includes times of plenty and times of want.  It includes times of great joy and times of crushing grief.

Each of us has a path to follow and every path is a little different but it is all about one Spirit and that is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  It is into his wonderful likeness that we are being changed.  Like Paul I am so thankful to all of you who have come along side of us and answered God’s call to support us in our ministry. (Philippians 4:10) We have been so blessed by the generosity of God’s people.  Even as you develop in your lives “ever increasing glory” you enable us to do the things that God has called us to do and to continue our transformation spreading the light of His Glory to our neighbors.

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What a journey it has been. Fortunately God has provided me an awesome companion for this trip!

Learning To Fly

This is our story on how we came to The Lewis House

Journey to the Mission

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Eager for the Gospel

We are currently in the middle of our Kid’s Club program at Whittier Elementary School just down the street from us.  It is such a blessing and a challenge to me to watch the kids worship with abandon and soak up His word with eagerness.  Have we grown to old and stiff to dance before the Lord as David did?  Where did our eagerness for the Bible go?

I strive daily to exercise the disciplines that will bring me closer to God.  I pray for the eagerness and abandon that these children display to bring me closer to the Kingdom of God. “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 18:3 NIV)  Perhaps they are a foretaste of heaven in their innocent enthusiasm for Him.  I am so blessed to be given the opportunity to speak truth into their lives and to have them speak it right back into mine.

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Unpublished

Yes it has been a really long time since I have been here and I really have no reason why?  I have four other posts that begin with substantially that same sentence that never made it to the blog.  Certainly many blog-worthy things have happened in the past 8 months.

Last summer was amazing!  Full of events, activities and most importantly God moments.  It ended with a mixture of sadness and joy as my grandmother went to be with Jesus.  However the excitement of celebrating her 100th birthday with her in July was incredible.  The Lewis House was buzzing with summer activities and God was there supplying our needs even as I predicted financial doom over and over again.  ( Yes I still do that…a little more quietly than before…I am learning.)  The crush of the holidays was just that but punctuated by the incredible generosity of a local restaurateur who made Thanksgiving wonderful for many of our neighbors.  The generosity of God’s people continued as we were able to distribute 30 bags of gifts door to door the week before Christmas.  Women from all over came to TLH to pamper the ladies of Five Points.  All to say that it was not God’s inaction that led to the neglect of my blog.

I think that many times our lives in Christ are like my blog.  We get so tied up in things that we just cannot make that connection to God.  When we “sit” at the “computer” of our lives it feels like God is not moving in a way that is exciting or interesting.  We are able to start out in a good direction but cannot sustain the movement until we get a published product.  However when we take time to reflect and commit to action His hand in our lives and in our world becomes so apparent.  So whether or not I become more faithful to this blog, I do commit myself to spending time with God daily and publishing him everyday in my life.

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May 2011

Here is the May newsletter from The Lewis House.  It has been an exciting first month of ministry!  We are looking forward to an awesome summer!

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