Supreme Ambition Ministries

To Know Christ and to Make Him Known – Philippians 3:10

MY JOURNEY 12

THREE ANGELS AND A LESSON IN FAITH

house-church.jpgI mentioned previously that the Lord led us to begin again with a Church in our home, and we made the glorious discovery that we were… home.  I suppose not everyone is cut out for an expression of Church as a living-room full of people.  But, it seemed to work especially well for us.  It sort of felt like coming home after a hard day at the office with a lot of stress, and being able to slip into those favorite pajamas.  You know the ones.  They are just a little too big, but they feel ohhhh sooo good!  Yeah…well…anyway, you know what I mean.  Through the many years of ministry up to this point, it was as though I was searching for a more pure form of expression for the Church, the Bride of Christ.  Somehow, sitting in a building, lined up in rows, and staring at the back of people’s heads had never been my idea of Church, and I’m not sure it is what Jesus had in mind either.  Come on!  Do you really think Jesus got all excited and virtually salivated at Caesarea Philippi, during Peter’s great confession, because his Church would be housed in multi-million dollar edifices, and be promoting live-streaming conferences on ‘how to be happier in five easy lessons’?  As I have reviewed the most sacred moments of my walk with Christ in the last forty years, the times, when I have sensed the Presence most have been those, where the programming has been kept to the minimum, and people have been allowed to express their passion for God.  Now that is not to say that a spiritual free-for-all is the answer either.  I’ve been in those kinds of meetings as well..and…trust me…they ain’t fun neither.  In fact, I have had the most spiritually, meaningful experiences of my life in, what some might think, polar opposite venues, a mountain-top in Haiti and an Episcopal Church.  The key was then, and always will be the Presence of God in the midst.  But…I digress.

Once Kathi and I determined we were going to start all over and try to get to know our Lord we needed a frame of reference.  While barn.jpgliving in Sarasota, and during the last year there, we were privileged to attend a gathering of believers outside of the city.  They had taken the name, THE CHURCH AT THE BARN.  They now actually meet in a ‘barn’…well…it’s a pretty sophisticated barn, but a barn nonetheless.  However, prior to the building of the barn, they met in the living-room of our friend, Steve Coder.  It was while attending a number of these services that I was arrested by the beauty, and power in simplicity.  I recall one time specifically, sitting in that living-room with about 30-40 brothers and sisters in Christ.  We sat around the wall in a circle with the younger children sitting ‘crisscross-applesauce’.  Get the picture?  Suddenly, Steve called on a twelve-year-old boy to sing.  He stood and sang acapella a song I had never heard about how much he loved Jesus.  The tears streamed down his cheeks as he sang.  That was great, but then I looked around the room and saw a little four-year old girl looking intently at this young man singing with tears running down her cheeks.  Once the song was complete Steve said he felt someone needed to respond to this song in prayer.  The same four-year-old girl began to pray in a most powerful way.  I had never heard most adults pray with as much conviction and knowledge of Christ.  At that point I remember thinking that Steve was sitting on a gold mine of true spirituality.  I recalled the words of Dr. Francis Schaffer, when he defined ‘True Spirituality as being perfectly content at any given moment and always thanking God…’ 

We carried this dream in our hearts as we began to meet in our home.  This period of our lives was to last nearly 3 ½ years. but the residual effects continue to influence us today.  It remains to this day the most rewarding type of ministry we have ever done.  It also was to be one of the greatest times of testing and lessons on faith we have ever had.  You see, our congregation consisted of our three children and their families (thanks kids, so much, for your love and support), and a small handful of other seeking, saints.  Unfortunately, there was not enough finance coming in to support us.  During this transition time Steve Coder had asked me to be on the Board of Hand to the Plow Ministries, which is a para-church, missions work, specifically started to minister to the needs of the suffering people of Haiti.  Now, Hand to the Plow is ministering in numerous places throughout the world.  Additionally, Steve asked, if I would be a Regional Representative for the ministry, which I did.  I was excited to be a part of this ministry, and it has been some of the most personally rewarding ministry I have done.  Because of this mission work, I sent out letters to friends, family, and churches asking for financial support.  Although for those 3 ½ years,  we did not have a regular salary, the Lord marvelously provided for us, and we were never late with one bill, and even paid our rent in advance most of the time. 

three-angels.jpgThere were times, however, when, we would come right down to the ‘wire’, so to speak, and God would make us trust him for his provision.  On one such occasion, I was very concerned about having adequate finance for our needs.  I was praying one morning about it, and the Lord spoke to me through my daily journaling and said, ‘I know you are worried about the money to pay your bills.  Don’t!   I have sent three angels, and that will be enough.’  I closed my journal and tried to rest in the security of his promise.  Later that same day a single mother stopped by our house, unexpectedly, and handed us several dollars.  She said the Lord told her to give us the money.  In the afternoon a friend came to help Kathi wallpaper the bathroom and said that she and her husband felt led to give us some money.  That same evening I received an email from Steve Coder, and at the end he said, ‘Oh, by the way, we took up an offering for you and Kathi Sunday and we’re sending you a check for 342.00.”  The Lord said we were not to worry.  He had sent three angels and that would be enough.  It was enough.  All bills were paid and our faith was filled to the brim.  He doesn’t always answer so miraculously, but he did that time, and that experience, along with the promises in his word, have become the foundation for a deeper faith in a loving, caring, providing God.

STAY TUNED…

September 18th, 2008 Posted by | Biographical | 3 comments