Awesomeness!

What does this have to do with South Asia or Missions? Only that they are both awesome. Bourne is an absolute beast!

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The challenge of eating an elephant

I had an interesting conversation with my 19-year-old son via text yesterday. It was interesting because he was sitting just 2 people away from me. But the content of his “reply to my reply” really got me thinking.

He said, “What do you want for Father’s Day, Dad?” My heart-felt response was two-fold: “I want ALL of my children to love the LORD with ALL of their hearts, ALL of their minds, ALL of their souls and ALL of their strength. But for a practical gift, I’d like for you to take the money that you would spend on a Father’s Day gift ($5, $10, $20, etc) and sow that amount toward our upcoming ministry trip to India and Sri Lanka.

His reply stunned me a little, “How about a pat on the back, because I can’t give $2000.”

HUH??? I wondered how he would even think that I expected him to give us $2000 when he works part-time and goes to college…But his response got me to thinking about how we often do NOTHING because we feel like doing SOMETHING isn’t significant if we can’t go BIG.
This attitude is far from the truth, but isn’t this the way most of us believe? We say, “Well, if I win the lottery, I’ll give $$$$$$ to the LORD, but until then, my $ are too insignificant to make a difference. There is an example in the Bible about this mindset and Jesus’ response. You can find it in Luke 21 and in Mark 12.  It is significant enough that TWO of the gospel accounts record it, as if Jesus is saying, “Pay attention to this, because I’m gonna tell it to you twice.” For those of you who don’t have a Bible handy, here is Mark’s account:

“Sitting across from the offering box, He was observing how the crowd tossed money in the collection. Many of the rich were making large contributions. One poor widow came up and put in two small coins — a measly two cents. Jesus called his disciples over and said, “The truth is that this poor widow gave more to the collection than all the others put together. All the others gave what they’ll never miss; she gave extravagantly what she couldn’t affordshe gave her all.” (Mark 12:41-44, The Message, italics mine)

And so I replied to him,Jake, how do you eat an elephant?

Answer: You eat an elephant one bite at a time“.

This trip to South Asia is ambitious, possible more ambitious than anything we’ve done to date. Carrla is making her first trip to India with me (WOO!), and we believe the Lord would like us to bless several ministries.

  • There is a pastor’s wife who needs a washing machine as she has chronic joint pain and does the family and neighbors laundry by hand with a simple washboard. $350
  • We are needing two small netbooks (or equivalent) to bless two ministry leaders. $600
  • Carrla is hoping to spend time teaching in the school in Yelahanka. $95
  • We are planning to go into the deep parts of India and hold meetings there. $600
  • We believe we are to fly to Sri Lanka with a dear friend from ProVision India and develop a plan to aid pastors with a microenterprise program so they, like the Apostle Paul, will have the means to generate income. $705 (for 3 r/t)
  • Carrla returns home on July 28th. I will remain in South Asia for an extended period of time.

With a budget shortfall of more than $2000 ($2350 to be exact), a $200 partnering donation that we received later this morning is a pretty significant bite off the elephant. Over the next 4 weeks we need either:

  • 117 people sowing $20 investments, or
  • 58 people joining us with $40, or
  • 23 people sowing $100, or
  • 2 people sowing $1175, or
  • a single sower of $2350 or
  • any combination thereof.

When God’s people perceive a need and do whatever their part is, the elephant can be eaten pretty quickly.

Carrla and I are believing that each person reading this will ask the Holy Spirit how they are supposed to join us in this venture of Faith. All are called; some to sow, and some to go. Which are you?

Posted in encouragement, equipping, God, Holy Spirit, India, Jesus, Missions, questions, Sri Lanka, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

When Sin looks more enjoyable than God…

WATCH THIS VIDEO FROM FRANCIS CHAN

http://youtu.be/iszVTWUGQQM

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Pakistan has presented some significant challenges…

…but one VERY unique one…Dancing has never been my strong suit. This video was shot at a birthday party for a 13 year old boy. Go ahead, have a laugh at my expense. The experience was worth the humility!

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WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?? or…FINALLY, an UPDATE!

Wow, what an exciting two months. I can even say it backwards, “WOW!” Since we began Hands Held High back in December of last year, Carrla and I have been blessed with so many ministry contacts and opportunities that we have been busier than the proverbial “one-armed wallpaper hanger”. There have literally been people coming out of the wood works (another overused analogy, but still… if the shoe fits….).

Ok, enough of the euphemisms. But seriously, our website (www.handsheldhigh.info) is finally “live” and we have been incredibly blessed to have a number of folks whom the Lord has spoken to about ministry and missions approach us for help. Sometimes it has been as simple as helping a brother or sister with their personal mission statement. We have helped some short-term missionaries with “cross cultural training”. And sometimes it has been as complicated as a couple longing to return to the mission field full-time and potentially partnering with us. Or planning a team trip with us to South Asia or Sub-Saharan Africa. The list goes on and on.

Please pray for us as we need the wisdom and empowerment of the Holy Spirit to know when and where to walk.

ONE SIGNIFICANT PIECE OF EXCITING NEWS:

FINALLY, after much delay and opposition, the door has opened (as God opens doors that no man can shut) for me to bless and encourage our family of believers in LAHORE, PAKISTAN.

 

Aerial view of Lahore, Pakistan

Recently, the LORD led me to Romans 1:10-14:

“God knows that I remember you every time I pray. I ask that God in his good will may at last make it possible for me to visit you now. For I want very much to see you, in order to share a spiritual blessing with you to make you strong. What I mean is that both you and I will be helped at the same time, you by my faith and I by yours. You must remember, my friends, that many times I have planned to visit you, but something has always kept me from doing so. I want to win converts among you also, as i have among other Gentiles. For I have an obligation to all people, to the civilized and to the savage, to the educated and to the ignorant.”

Provision has come and airfare has been booked after nearly 5 months of waiting and wondering if I had received my Visa to the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in vain. And so, I leave the USA on Sunday, March 4th for the purpose of loving and encouraging the pastors and fellow believers there. We fully expect that the LORD will also show us “the next step” of how we can help the people there.

The Body of Christ in Pakistan has really been struggling and while I have had great opportunities to visit, pray and even preach via Skype technology, the LORD has made a way for me to GO. I am honored and blessed that this opportunity has been given to me.

Your prayers are appreciated. Please pray especially for encouragement & exhortation for the pastors and church leaders who struggle daily as a tiny minority in this vital nation. Pray for an outbreak of Holy Spirit power and revival and that MANY will receive Isa al-Maseh (Jesus the Messiah) as their Lord and Saviour. Pray also that the many “Sauls” who think they are doing God a favor by persecuting and killing Christians will repent, be converted and become “Pauls” (fervent followers of Isa al-Maseh). And pray for protection and favor with authorities there. I hope to post updates both on this blog page and our website: www.handsheldhigh.info

Thank you for standing with us with your heart-felt prayers, your sowing financially into this good soil, and for loving our brother and sisters in Christ who live where “His Light is dim and His Voice is heard small.”

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Matthew’s Day Off – simply brilliant…and fun.

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My oldest son is a genius.

Well…I have to admit…ALL of my kids are pretty brilliant. Some have more self-discipline than others. Seriously…that is what separates success from failure most of the time.

But back to my story…I recently asked my eldest son, Justin (the graphic artist) to help me design a logo for the new ministry: Hands Held High. The name is based on the story of Aaron and Hur holding up Moses’ hands during the battle between the children of Israel and the Amalekites found in Exodus 17. This is his result. What do you think?

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