DAY 10 – SIMPLE OBEDIENCE

Patrick, I feel the wheels in motion and I will strive in all I do the next few days to walk in God’s will. My obedience is of the utmost importance. As long as I’m a slave to obedience God will use me to change your life or mine.

We have a day of computer practicals and after I finish I see Patrick struggling, so I sit down to help him out. He seems to appreciate it, as I’m patient with him and try to love him as much as Christ would. I want nothing more than Patrick to experience that love first hand.

We go well into lunch and I tell Patrick that I’m fasting for today. He seems confused because it isn’t Friday, so I explain that its not a ritual – I do it because I think it’s a good thing. I wonder if Patrick has experienced this freedom.

Throughout the day God sends many people my way to love them unconditionally. I respond to the call and notice that my hunger is stilled as I show kindness to all who God tells me to. Patrick, find your fulfillment and food in doing the works of God.

It’s a full on day and there isn’t much time for wants but there was a lot of room for action. I believe for the lost to be found they need true Christian models who are serious about being Christ like – people who do everything out of love, who see God as their highest calling and if God tells them to show others Jesus, they obey. But nothing takes the place of Christ in our lives – we serve only Him.

Just as I’m about to head home, I feel an urge to hang around and say goodbye to Patrick. I obey, and walk around and tell him I’m about to head off. He doesn’t acknowledge it.

As I walk towards the door I hear a soft-spoken voice.

“Wait! Are you driving?”

I turn around and it’s Patrick, so I offer him a lift. I wasn’t thinking much of it then but I feel now Jesus was in that moment. Patrick, you had the boldness to ask me for a lift to your earthly home. Make my joy complete by asking me to show you the way to your eternal home.

As we drive we talk about the software we used that day, and eventually turn to the impossibility of a place on earth where everyone gets what they want in a commercial sense. Patrick says we will never know till we’re in heaven and I look at him and know in heaven we want what the Father wants. I know that at that moment his soul yearns mightily for living waters and paths to eternal dwellings.

At 7:30 I go to a prayer meeting with Nathan and Jonathan and we pray for the things of God. The lost, Adelaide, the stray, the blind, the poor – for obedience.

We all believe that significant things will be occurring in the next 6-12 months.

Patrick I want you to know there is much praying that goes before action. As Dean Knight puts it, 90% prayer, 10% action. Never forget that.

My mum asked if the ‘Scottish’ guy was still with me.

“Yes” I reply, “but with Jesus soon” I think.

Terence

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Thoughts from Joel:

As Terence continues to live a life of simple obedience, he continues to obey the simple requests God puts on his heart, and with this simple obedience, God is giving Terence opportunities to show His love to the people around him.

Simple obedience yields great opportunity. Don’t take God’s request lightly.

Last night, my bible study got into the topic of obedience. We talked about how easy it is to make excuses to avoid obeying God – especially in the simple moments. We are so good at validating it by saying, “it’ll work out. God is bigger than one decision, and He’ll get me to the place He really wants me to be.”

It’s true. God can – and will – overcome our disobedience. He will get us to the place He wants us to be. But what will happen to the people that you avoided by making your excuses? What will happen when we sit in our comfort zone while those outside of it need love? Will we step out? Will we obey? Will we give God the chance to move – in us and in those He has put just outside of our comfort?

One thing I pray for continually is for my comfort zone to be broken. I know that I’m a weak man, and often one of cowardice. But I also know that God is strong – and He has the ability to overcome all of my weaknesses and turn them into strengths.

Terence has taught me the value of simple obedience, and shown me the blessings that can come from it.

Joel

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DAY 9 – EQUIPPING THE WARRIORS

Patrick, I feel on the verge of insanity or revelation, destruction, or breakthrough. I fully believe that we have free will. I also believe that our free will does not hinder God’s will.

The Kingdom of Heaven is forcefully advancing and to me it’s like a looming blimp. Whenever we focus on our situation stuck in time, we focus on a domino that’s about to be overrun by the blimp. The point in time matters not – the Kingdom of heaven is much bigger and it would be wise to discern where it is headed.

It’s time for warriors to be trained as in Song of Songs 3:6-8. Noble warriors, experienced in battle, prepared for the terrors of the night. Nathan proclaimed that last night.

As I sit next to Patrick, I feel the presence of God and a sense of the kingdom ‘blimp’ looming. I realize that all of us in the room are part of something bigger. It’s suddenly clear that it’s never about me, Patrick, or anything of the sort. Its Gods glory and it will be revealed soon!

I feel called to certain locales and places during my breaks and I just obey when I am aware. Soon, I’m called to the kitchen, and as I walk in, there’s a whole group of Middle Eastern men and women having lunch, very communally. I feel called to just sit down and observe. They’re from Iraq and I just sit there remembering the dream Nathan had about the Arabic people. I desire to speak with one and ask God to send one my way.

Out of nowhere many bring their food over and sit around me. I see them laughing as they speak in Arabic and I wonder if Jesus sounded similar. I also wonder if they have happiness but lack joy.

Patrick walks in and it must be a strange sight to see me in a circle if Iraqis having a good time.

I realized something as I stare into Patrick’s eyes. It’s as if I can see into eternity.

Man was made for eternity.

Not much else occurs this day, as I head home.

I’m sorry Patrick. Today my heart is elsewhere – still on God but this needs to be written down. I call heaven and earth as witnesses that Nathan and I enter a generational friendship. We join today and the demons will shudder at what we will do for God. I promise a longer letter tomorrow.

Terence

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Thoughts from Joel:

They will never take our freedom!

It has become obvious now that Patrick has given himself up to Christ, and is no longer doing it for self- gratification. Hallelujah!

Giving of ourselves, I feel, is the hardest part of Christianity. I know I’m still not 100% there, and a daily prayer of mine is to get to the point where I am completely and utterly lost to myself, and found only in Christ. The first step is realizing how much better God’s plan is for us than the plan we’ve developed for ourselves. We must get to know God so well that we are no longer in it so we’re on the list to enter heaven, but because we’ve realized how insufficient we are and how horrible our plan looks when it’s placed next to Christ’s plan for us.

“It’s time for warriors to be trained.”

Ultimately, this is what we embrace when we embrace the plan of God and cast our own plans aside. God has made us warriors – we must be trained and ready to fight off the terrors of the night.

Are you ready to fight off the terrors of the night? This is not passive Christianity. We are warriors, and WE MUST FIGHT! We must embrace our inner William Wallace! We are fighting for the freedom of our generation and the generations to come, that they may have eternal life in Christ – experiencing true freedom!

“May the praise of God be in your mouths, and a double edged sword in your hands.”   -Psalm 149:6

Fighting for Him,

Joel

DAY 8 – FOR THE KINGDOM

Patrick, strive in all you do to be childlike in your faith, full of faith in the Father so your humanistic mind and fleshly body have no power. Matthew 18:3-4

I originally planned to spend today doing an assignment but decided that for the sake of these letters I needed to do something for the Kingdom today. (Something I want to apply every day of my life.)

I start out my day in prayer and then go out to do some of the assignment. I finish what he’d been scheduled for 1 day in 1 hour. Amazing how God allows or acknowledges when you sacrifice it all.

At lunch after I finish eating I feel a tug on my heart to repent to certain people. Aaron’s first and I repent to him. Then I get called to repent to an odd childhood friend that I had always felt ashamed towards how I treated him. I obey and walk to his house, and confess everything and ask for his forgiveness. He’s confused, and doesn’t realize that it does more for me than it does for him. Sam and then Ton are next and at the end of it I feel free and able to walk the next phase of the day in obedience.

Sam rounds up Nathan, Pik, Kieran, and myself in the car and we head down to Semaphore. I bring the Spirit of repentance in and people begin to repent of various things. I feel convinced that we need to do this to break off the chains that hinder us from God’s will. Now all five of us are free and ready to be lead onto Semaphere to obey God.

I am asked by God to protect the hearts of these people from discouragement – a job I take very seriously. We praise and pray to god along the way and I put a demand on the Word of God for us to speak the very words of God as in 1 Peter 4:11.

All that occurred in the following hours are precious and will be a story for the other side of eternity.

We meet up with Jonathan and head out six strong, bringing Christ’s glory. All I will say is God’s will was done in mysterious ways.

As I look back upon today I am convinced that the events that occurred go far beyond my understanding, so much symbolism and we decide to bind the story up for eternity, like an eternal reward but more like an eternal story.

Patrick, this may be the shortest letter, but it is by far the most significant. I have no idea what just occurred on Earth today, but I feel that it had eternal consequences.

God’s plan moves on – forcefully advancing.

Terence

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Thoughts from Joel:

Hi all! Day 8 is done, we have 4 days left, and it’s become obvious how Terence has changed over the last 8 days. I really don’t have too much say about this letter, so I’ll just point out the things that brought me joy when I read them.

“I originally planned to spend today doing an assignment but decided that for the sake of these letters I needed to do something for the Kingdom today.”

We all must share this perspective. Tonight, as I was lucky enough to pray with the men on leadership at Campus Ventures (the campus ministry I’m involved in), one prayer kept circling through my mind. In the silence of prayer, I longingly prayed for the men in the room to be completely submerged by Christ’s love, and for that love to saturate every area of their life. As I’ve grown older, I’ve slowly discovered the importance of integrating my relationship with Christ into every aspect of my life. I’m still figuring out how to do it, and suppose only time will completely teach me how. Until I am truly able to integrate Christ into every aspect of my life, I must strive to remember to spend time – the most amount of time possible – bringing glory to God and His kingdom. Day 8 is a reminder to always spend time with God, in relationship with Him and working to expand His kingdom by showing His love to those He loves so dearly.

“God’s plan moves on – forcefully advancing.”

I love this. How encouraging is it that God is in control, and His plan will prevail? We serve a limitless God! Terence, I’d just like to say thanks for all the reminders!

Thankful and encouraged,

Joel

THE TERENCE JOURNALS: DAY 7 – GIVING AND WHO GETS THE GLORY

Where do I begin? I think Sundays are a day of rest and restoration, just like God rested on the seventh day, so we should enter His rest on the Sabbath.

Were I to record all that occurred today I would be up all night.

More and more I am convinced that all I need to do, to do what I was created for is to be obedient to my Father in heaven day by day, hour by hour, second by second. As long as God gives me the privilege to do so I will always go where I am supposed to go.

After an amazing sermon by Simon, I’m equipped with the Word of God to demand and accept my true calling. To be least in the kingdom of Heaven, but greater than John the Baptist.

At lunch me, Joel R, Will, Lizzie, and Enoch have fellowship and amazing stories are exchanged. I am stunned and encouraged by God’s amazing plan and hand on my brothers and sisters.

Will and Lizzie met a homeless guy, fed him, loved him and clothed him. We are all in the mindset that we should be impacting the homeless like this guy. But reflecting now I believe that we have it all backwards – this man was sent by God to impact us.

Because of that man, Will asks and is challenged to reflect on how far he would go with his generosity. I think of Matthew 5:38 – how we should go above and beyond.

Because of that man Lizzie is taught the dangers of putting conditions on giving.

Because of that man I am convinced of the restoration of the Sabbath – a day set apart to enter God’s rest and I share that conviction with Nathan that night.

Because of that man, I can talk with my brother about how far we should go and we both are convicted that everything we have should be counted as loss so that when the day comes when we are called to give it all, we do so knowing that those things never belonged in the first place.

Because of that man both me and my brother decide to go to Chinatown before FRESH, each with $100 in our wallets knowing that it is not our own and ready to obey.

Patrick, though sometimes you do not see the fruit of God that does not deny His existence. Two children of God thought that their mission was to give something to a homeless man but they had no idea that the homeless man was about to give a gift to them – the gift of generosity.

Because of that man, Me, Sam, Jonathan, and Nathan go out tomorrow in obedience seeking to achieve the purposes of God.

Do you see God’s plan Patrick? How his word will always go out and accomplish the purpose he set for it? Isaiah 55 Thanks to God!

I go to leaders meeting and realize after Nathan discerns it that an atmosphere of doubt, depression, and despair hangs over a room. I pray boldly against that and I refuse to allow that kind of atmosphere to drown out God’s glory. When I walk in the room I will put the light on a stand and it will pass through the valley of Baca, make it a place of springs and cover it with pools of autumn rains. Psalm 84:6

Aaron and I head off to Chinatown, and walking down the street with $100 in my pocket I am taught by God that this parallels the Christian life. We carry the most precious gift in our back pocket just eagerly waiting to give it to the person God has intended it for, as long as we are being obedient, the Father will draw them in.

I tell Aaron as long as we are making sure we obey at each point in time, the events that take place are irrelevant. God wants behind the scenes and we have no eyes to see.

We hang around in Chinatown for a bit and soon decide to make our way back to FRESH. We pass a mna that I knew was my friend’s brother, though we had never been introduced.

Aaron pipes up and asks ‘What about the man in the blue shirt?’ We continue walking and both of us know we should head back. We do.

I ask Aaron to sit on the bench and start praying. I walk up to the man and ask if he’s OK (he looked sick). He tells me he ate too much. Soon, after my friends pops up and we start talking and I say I’m about to head to church. Not much else is said but God’s plans on that situation are perfect and, like the homeless man, who knows what questions were raised that night?

At FRESH, Simon says something I believe with all my heart.

“A group of people young or old that believe without doubt can change the world.”

I ask Simon to seal that over my life and I know God hears and love to rain down gifts from heaven. I tell Simon I hope our paths meet again but if not that I will see him on the other side of eternity where we will exchange stories.

I feel church and the people that are in it is like a headquarters. A place to rest, heal wounds, and be equipped to love God and to be loved by God.

We go there to be ready to face the world so that we may persevere and hold on in Christ’s strength.

Both Simon and Megan pray John 14:12 over my life.

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things that these, because I am going to the Father.” Spoken by Jesus himself.

Megan feels this week especially the equipping of the power of God in me. Believe Patrick – don’t doubt.

Megan assures me that there will always be a saint that is praying for your salvation and our situation. If the prayers of a righteous person is powerful and effective, how about two or three righteous people?

I praise God for what He is doing and shun all praise from men to reflect it to God. In all I do I earnestly pray that God would give me the privilege to reflect glory to Him.

In obedience,

Terence

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Thoughts from Joel:

First off, sorry it took so long for me to get going again on Terence’s journals. The holidays hit, and I kind of fell out of routine. Things should be a bit more regular now.

In day 7, I mainly notice the trend of change continuing in Terence. The big realization of selflessness to Christ was realized by Terence, I believe, in Day 6, and now he’s just continuing to take it one step further.

I’m going to start with when Terence is speaking to Patrick directly.

“Patrick, though sometimes you do not see the fruit of God that does not deny His existence. Two children of God thought that their mission was to give something to a homeless man but they had no idea that the homeless man was about to give a gift to them – the gift of generosity.”

This paragraph sums up one thing that I have certainly noticed in Christianity. We are so often called to give, and when we do we often find just what Terence speaks of here – that it is a gift to us as well as the person who we give to.

The first sentence of this paragraph speaks to me as well.

“Patrick, though sometimes you do not see the fruit of God that does not deny His existence.”

At a conference I attended last week, we were constantly reminded of the importance of Christians to not act as part of this world, but to act as Christ. One speaker, Dudley Callison, really hit it home, saying, “the world does not need more theologians, authors, or pastors [to show the world Christianity]. The world simply needs more believers that are living like Jesus.”

Now I’m just going to rejoice a bit over the last sentence Terence writes on this day.

“I praise God for what He is doing and shun all praise from men to reflect it to God. In all I do I earnestly pray that God would give me the privilege to reflect glory to Him.”

How far has this man come?? The first day, all Terence could speak of was how proud he was going to be and how great he was going to look when Patrick came to Christ. Now he is praising God that he isn’t going to get any credit for anything he does. He has finally realized humanities greater purpose in life, and that is to reflect the personality of Christ and all the glory we receive back up to Him. He has realized that it is never our credit to take. Praise God!