We are navigating the waters of missional efforts in a day when the emphasis is not on the short-term team as much as it has been in the past.  More and more of the focus of churches, mission agencies and organizations is on mid-term and long-term efforts to difficult, unreached areas of the world.  The Father's heart is for all people and these areas of tough ministry are in much need of long-term commitment by Christ-followers to carry the Gospel message with passion and patience.

The short-term team is vital to the long-term commitment as it is the foundation of a life called to serving the Kingdom and showing the Gospel.  Over the course of nearly twenty-seven years of ministry I have maintained a commitment to short-term mission trip experiences as the building blocks of a missional life.  It was through a short-term trip that I was exposed to the needs of migrate workers in North Carolina and Native Americans in southern Arizona.  It was through these week long experiences that God began to develop an awareness in my heart of the difficulty many face around the globe in daily life.  Through watching my parents and other mission leaders model serving and sharing the Gospel on the short-term field God birthed a passion for the lost in my heart that is still burning hot today.

At the core of the short-term experience is an opportunity to gain first hand knowledge and on the field training for evangelism and discipleship.  It is from these basic building blocks that the Lord developed the passion of One Way Ministries, Reach the World and Teach the Word!

Reaching the world is a task that is God-sized.  Only through a clear understanding of our role in God's work of reaching the world with the truth of the Gospel, can we then join Him in His work by sharing the Gospel message and showing Gospel in serving others.  Henry Blackaby developed a clear view of how we fit into God's plan of revealing Himself to the world through his book and study Experiencing God.  This resource has helped me put feet and hands to the truths we learn in the Word.  We are all called to reach the world.  Every one of us who call ourselves a Christ-follower has been commanded to share and show the whole truth of the Gospel.

On the short-term mission trip we are given the opportunity to see the Gospel at work in the daily lives of the local church and the Christ-followers we serve alongside.  This short experience is used by the Lord to challenge us and stir our hearts for those around us on the field.  The importance of the short-term team experience is to open our minds and hearts up to the needs we see all around us and the work that God is already doing to meet those needs.  It is when we come home from a cross-cultural experience that the real work begins in our own backyard.

The short-term mission experience is a building block for a world view that is God-like.  God sees the world much differently than you and I.  His perpsective of people and cultures and cities and countries is very different than our perspective.  The short-term experience helps us open our eyes and our heart to the global view that God has of the people around us.  When we begin to look at the needs of those on the field as needs we can do something about, God begins to draw our attention back home.  The goal is to help us learn while on the field how much more we can do right at home to reach the world!

Imagine if every local body of believers were to take the call to reach their world right around their community serious and focus everything they have on their local community with passion and patience!  How much of the world could we reach if we all focused at the same time on each of our communities?

How important is a short-term mission team?  I believe the short-term team is vital to reaching the world and teaching His Word to every disciple.  Without the short-term team experience, we will not see young people shift their world view to a Biblical world view and hear God's voice as He calls them to give their lives in service to the King!  Without the short-term team we will see a drop in college students taking their summers and occasional semesters to give their lives in another context for the sake of the Gospel.  Without the short-term team we will not see young adults abandoning the dream of a big house and nice cars and comfortable lives for the challenge of a crucified life utilizing their talents and skills in areas where people have never heard the Gospel.  Without the short-term team we will see families remain inwardly focused and never see the impact of a Christ honoring family on a community without a model of a family to show the Gospel while serving the Body of Christ.

I think the realities of a missional approach to reaching the world without utilizing short-term teams to introduce, educate, challenge and train individuals, small groups and families for long-term global impact are incredibly devastating to the spread of the Gospel.  So, will you allow the Spirit of God to stir in your heart as you search for the opportunities He has placed before you to join a short-term mission trip this year and experience His life-changing impact in another context that will drive you back home with passion and patience?  Will you consider who you will journey along side this year to experience the mission field in another context and out your back door?  Will you seek to reach the world and teach His Word this year with at least 2% of your year?  Will you trust His heart and allow His hand to guide you into the field that is so white and ready for harvest?  Will you go and make disciples?

In His Grip.

Several years ago the Lord birthed a vision for ministry in my heart that has been slowly coming to a reality.  The challenge has been to remain faithful to the vision in the midst of slow development of the actual hands on areas of the vision.  Yesterday, I had a great meeting with a friend in ministry that reminded me of some key points of this faith journey.  I thought I would share some of these thoughts from the journey.

  1. When God calls you to a life of ministry, He calls you to a lifelong journey that never stops growing and changing in its shape and appearance.
  2. When given the opportunity to impact people's lives with the hope of the Gospel, life never lacks joy in the midst of the daily tasks of life.
  3. The needs around the world are directly in proportion to the blessings He pours out on the Body!
  4. His heart always is trustworthy even when His hand is unseen!
  5. The future is always full of more hope than the desperation we see in front of our eyes.  
  6. The Father always knows what you need right when you need it!
  7. This journey is where I am to focus because my destination is secure!
  8. I have been re-created to walk this journey in community with others, no solo hikers.
  9. The Father uses other members of the body to help us hear His voice, listen to those He has placed around you for that Word you need.
  10. When God shows you what He is about to do that is His invitation to you to get involved in His    work. (from Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God)
There are days in our journey when the road seems too long and too tough.  The way we have chosen seems to be more than we can handle.  The journey seems to be much harder than we think we can endure.  If you find yourself in that spot, as I have on occasion, do not loose heart!  Sit for a moment and reflect on the amazing grace that has transformed your entire world.  Think for a while on the incredible blessings He has poured out on your life.  Ponder the length and width and depth and height of His love for you.  Seek Him in the midst of the struggle and see beyond your own ability to endure the day and press on!  He is able to do so much more than we can even measure in our lives...let us rejoice in the victory won on the cross and let us walk with confidence in His ability to finish what He started in our hearts!  
In His Grip,

In the first chapter of John's Gospel we read of a man sent from God to prepare the hearts of men for the coming of Jesus.  6"There came a man sent from God; his name was John.  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe." John 1:6  John was sent to be a witness of the Light that was coming and to prepare hearts for the future.

We all think highly of this man named John.  We all have a great respect for the man even if we do not fully understand his ways.  He was a bit odd and out of the norm with his behavior and appearance.  His message was a very unique message.  His words were very simple and clear.  He was very much straight forward and to the point.  He did not sugar coat the message of shy away from speaking the truth.  He boldly proclaimed the whole truth of the message God had given him.

As I ponder the reality of this one verse of scripture, I catch a very important concept.  Through one witness, the Bible says, all men might believe!  I want to be a faithful steward of all that God has given to me.  I want to obey His words of instruction and learn to be a fully devoted follower of the Christ.  I want to be a faithful witness that helps every person I come in contact with believe!

God has a plan for each of our lives.  He knows who He will bring across our path and who will need to hear a word of truth from us.  God is actively orchestrating every step of our journey.  And at this point you are all with me...right?

God is also orchestrating every encounter I have each day for the glory of His name.  Every time my life touches another life on this planet it is for the glory of God.  If I spend time with other believers, He is glorified when our conversations are about His goodness and His ways and His discipline in our lives.  If I encounter one who does not know Him personally, He is glorified when I speak to that person boldly and compassionately the whole truth of God's Word!

Today, I would challenge you to consider how you can make decisions about your day, your week, your month and your year, that will allow God to bring many people across your path who need to believe in Him.  Are you planning your days in such a way as to impact those around you with the hope of the Gospel in every occasion of life?  Are you seeking to put yourself in situations where God can use you a that witness for His glory?  Will you be a witness through whom all who cross your path might believe?  

John was that kind of witness.  John's life was not very long and his ministry years were very short.  Potentially, his ministry was the shortest ministry of all the prophetic men in all of scripture.  Yet, Jesus said that of all the people born of a woman, there is no one greater than John!  This is the crowd God has allowed us to be named with!  The Father has chosen you to be a witness through whom many people will believe.  Now let us be about our Father's business and boldly share the message of repentance and hope to every one we can!  Come on let us reach the world and teach His Word together!

In His Grip,

As we begin the 2013 year I wanted to share some big picture ideas with you.  My desire is to help those of you reading these posts get a big picture concept of how you can be involved in the efforts to walk along side a ministry partner and help accomplish ministry goals together.

Tohatchi Baptist Church is about 30 minutes north of Gallup, NM on the Navajo Nation.  Pastor Aaron Jim is a Navajo native of Tohatchi pastoring and ministering among his own people for the sake of the Gospel.  The church has an older building that houses the sanctuary, classrooms, kitchen and bathrooms.  There is a barn for storage along with a storage shed (built summer 2012).  In addition they have a bunkhouse, a bath house and food pantry.  The church is in need of a few more bunk houses and a renovation of the barn.  A primary ministry is to the children and adults who cannot come to church if they are not picked up by the church vans.  The challenge of drivers and fuel is always present with Aaron bearing that responsibility often times himself.

Some of the ministry opportunities for teams are construction projects for community members like roof repairs, steps and ramps and renovations of rooms for more effective housing.  In addition we have helped the church with VBS in their own community as well as a community just north of the church with a family from the church.  There is also a boarding school across the highway from the church where young teens are in need of some outreach, fun and some authentic love through Gospel presentation, skits, crafts, songs and games.

There is much need among the Navajo for truth to be shown as much as it is shared.  As you pray for Pastor Aaron and the Tohatchi faith family, pray for the Lord to send teams who will commit to multiple years of work and develop some long-term relationships that will show the Gospel every time the Gospel is shared.  Consider how the Lord may use you this year to impact a Native American people group in need of the Truth!  Contact us for more information on trips, opportunities for ministry projects and a list of items you and your church can collect for the Navajo people.

2013 can be the year you join us for an exciting week of ministry among the largest Native American people group in the country.  This year you can walk with others as we share the love of Christ and show the Gospel in the high desert of New Mexico.  Come on let us reach the world and teach His Word together!

In His Grip,

The early morning hours before daybreak are being filled with many more people on their way to work out and get fit.  The typical new year's resolution is in full swing today as many people are getting into their new routine for the year.  This morning as I was slinging some weights and grunting in pain with some new friends at Glory To God Crossfit in Alabaster, I began to consider the whole concept.

This past year has been quite the journey for us as a family and we have seen amazing results in our obedience to the Lord with our health.  I personally have seen some numbers on the scale I have not seen since before Sheryl and I were married.  This has throughout the year caused me to think about my early days in college and ministry formation and how that is being played out in my life today.

I had some awesome opportunities early in my ministry career, if we can call it a career, to be taught by some great men of God.  I realize now that I had no idea how important some of those lectures and classes would be in the formation of a Biblical world view and solid ministry foundation.  The days I was stretched beyond belief by Dr. Edwards in Greek class or the pushing of the walls in my box by Dr. Joines.  The deep pondering that followed Dr. Bowden's philosophy class or his challenge in a discussion on world religions and how to know what I believed.  The amazing insight that came from listening to Dr. Whirley share from his years of experience on the mission field in Africa opened my eyes and heart up to a world I had never known.  Over and over the training came day after day class after class.

As if that was not enough, the Lord then allowed me many years of ministry work along side men who knew the Lord and loved people!  I also had the privilege of walking the road with some great men of God in the business world at the Chick-fil-A corporate office.  Over and over the Lord placed me around men and women who were pouring into me lessons of this faith journey that were forming a ministry outlook that is alive and active.  Again the Lord added to my formation by allowing me to attend seminary and learn from men who challenged me in every way possible with my knowledge and understanding of the Word.

All of this to bring me to this morning's workout and the light bulb in my mind!

                                            How fit am I really for the cross this year?  
This is a serious question we all should consider.  What am I doing to be fit to carry the cross?  How is my life being trained and challenged daily to improve my stamina and endurance to carry the cross at home and around the world?  Is my daily life an example for my children to follow and find the cross and His wisdom that comes in the joy of knowing His sufferings?  Can those who come behind me call me faithful?  Will there be an impact from the cross on my daily conversation, behavior and responses?

I am doing all that I can to be physically fit to carry the cross literally into the world the Father is sending me.  Am I dong all I can to be fit spiritually and in obedience to the whole truth of His Word to carry the cross?  This year I want to do all I can to carry the cross into every situation I find myself.  I want to be CROSS Fit for His glory and to make His ways known and His salvation known!  How about you?  Will you get fit this year to carry the cross with me?  Come on, let us take up our cross and carry it in such a way we can reach the world and teach the Word!

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."  Galatians 6:9-10

Doing the right thing is always at the forefront of our minds as we serve others.  Sometimes we can grow weary in doing the good and right over and over again when we see no results.  We need reminders that spur us on to continue to do the good thing and anticipate a harvest above what we think may be possible.  This past week I saw this lived out in front of my eyes!

Our largest team landed in two groups in Guatemala last week.  One team landed on Friday and went to children's camp to serve a couple of days prior to the medical clinic that would follow.  The second half of the team arrived Saturday and settled in to prepare for a long week of serving in a Mayan community outside the city.  When the two teams met on Sunday the Lord had already begun a good work in our hearts and the two teams became one!  The Father had a plan and He was orchestrating every detail for His glory.

The week was an amazing example of doing good and not growing weary!  The team divided into smaller groups to tackle all of the tasks of the week.  The medical team began to settle into a plan for serving the needs of the people, the construction team quickly planned the best method to accomplish a house rebuild, and the VBS team continued to rehearse the Biblical truths that were to be so vital to the teaching of His Word.  The evangelistic hearts began to organize into a team to share both at the clinic and in homes across the community as the logistics all seemed to find their way into their place in the puzzle.  The pharmacy team settled in to be the final act of encouragement we had to offer to a hurting and desperate community.  All of this would in some way adjust and change throughout the week to form a team of Christ-followers determined to do good and not grow weary.

Through the challenges of Monday and Tuesday, the team adjusted and adapted to be the hands and feet of Jesus to a hurting community.  The whole time, this amazing team reflecting the love of the Savior toward one another.  We remembered regularly Jesus' words, " They will know you are my disciples by the way you love one another."  We saw countless acts of sacrifice and service that allowed the Holy Spirit to remain powerfully present in our daily journey of faith.  The week came to a close with a wonderful sense of accomplishment and success based on His strength and power He granted all during the week.

In the end, over 1000 patients seen by doctors, 1500 toothbrushes and toothpastes given out with better understanding of how to use them, over 200 children involved in VBS each day and over 120 decisions of men and women to follow Jesus fully.  This week was a great reminder of the joy of serving the Lord along side other believers who are willing to sacrifice and serve for the sake of His Name!  This past week was a wonder picture of continually doing good and not growing weary!

One predominant theme prevailed all week: Allow the system to work and we will see the Lord bless.!  This is exactly what we saw.  We allowed a collaborative system to develop and then let the Holy Spirit work in the lives of the team and the community as we allowed the system to work.  As a result, hundreds of lives have been touched with the love of the Savior.

As the pics pop up on Facebook and the memories begin to become the stories of an amazing week of service, let us be reminded to do the good thing and serve others in the Name of Jesus.  It is through this serving that the harvest comes.  It is through the serving and doing good to all we can, that the harvest of souls will be seen as we continue to be obedient to follow His heart.

Thank you to the team that formed this past week for an awesome week of serving in Guatemala!  Now let us not grow weary in doing good!  Let us press on as we see His hand at work all around us and He uses us to bring in the harvest of souls He so desires to find peace and hope that will not disappoint.  Let us keep pressing on for the prize that is laid before us and know that He will sustain every step of our journey through His amazing grace and faithfulness!  Thank you for reminding me to not grow weary but to press on!

In His Grip,

Several months ago many of you know we began a journey to a healthier life.  This journey has been tough.  The days have at times been long and difficult to deal with as we have wrestled through years of disobedience.  And yes, that is what it all is...DISOBEDIENCE!

Many times in my life I have recognized an act or attitude or even a thought that is not in obedience with His Way.  Yet, in the midst of that moment I have allowed the flesh in me to overrule the Spirit in me and not respond out of a faithful heart.  So many times in my past I have done the very thing I knew not to do while not doing the things I knew I needed to do.  This attitude of pride and self-reliance manifests itself in different ways in us all.  For me it showed up in my extra 100 pounds I carried for so many years!  For me I allowed food and poor health to control the responses in my life to cover over my disobedience in other areas.

I know the importance of the daily disciplines of my faith journey.  But knowing them and putting them into practice are two entirely different things.  Today, I want to encourage you to do the "do's", and watch what He does with them.  This journey has had two major components that have impacted my life.  Training my body physically has been a major part of this change.  However, changing the way I see food has been equally as important.  There are good things to eat and there are bad things to eat.  We all know that.  We all know the things that we should not be eating.  I knew the things that I should not be eating. I had to learn the right things to eat.  I am learning how to eat the good things as i continue to not eat the bad things.  It takes both! Yet, for whatever reason we choose to do the thing we know not to do.  Why?

Years ago I heard a preacher say, "it is not enough to not do the nots, but I have to do the dos!"  This was long before the Do the Dew campaign for those of you of that generation!   This is so true for me.  I must focus on doing the right things if I want to not do the wrong things.  Eating the right foods has been as important as not eating the wrong the foods.  Doing the things that I know to do will produce what the Master has shown me are the fruits He desires.

Join me today in focusing on doing the dos!  Let us spend our hours today doing the things we know He wants us to do.  Focus your attention on the things He has placed in front of you today.  Look into the eyes of those precious gifts He has placed under your care and pour His truth into their hearts!  Speak today of His goodness and His faithfulness and His Ways.  Follow Him and he will make us into a unique, recreated fisherman who always catches more than expected and shares more than he has in order to experience more of His goodness which empowers him to share more of His glory with those around him.  Let us follow Him in doing the things we know to do and watch Him work miracles around us, in us and through us!

WOW, it is the most amazing thing in all the world that God cares for me as His adopted child so much that He lavishes daily upon me His grace and goodness so that His ways will be made known!  Today I will follow Him!

In His Grip,

The summer season of ministry has led us to a tremendous opportunity with our friends in Guatemala!  November 2-4 our friends at Iglesia Jerusalen will be hosting a children's camp for the children of the church and community.  Last year we were able to share the need for backpacks and our supporters blew us away with providing all the funds for all of the packs in a day.  It is a huge joy seeing those packs walking around the community there near the church as children go to a from school.  The impact the church is having on the children of their community is amazing.

Once again they are leading a children's camp and need some help.  This year they have planned the camp to be during the first weekend of November.  the kids will all be just getting out of school for a break which is a perfect time to pour truth into their hearts!  This year several of us are going to be a part of the camp and celebrate with them.

In addition to the children going from the church community, this year we are helping Alma and her siblings go to camp with the church.  Alma, if you do not know, is a fourteen year old girl from Sajcavilla where the church has planted a mission church.  We have been helping her family and providing several essentials for them to help make life easier.  Alma is in a wheel chair and has endured many challenges through her life.  Her family is responding to the Gospel being demonstrated to them and we have been blessed to see the changes in their lives.  We are planning a huge celebration at children's camp for her birthday which is the day before camp begins.  This birthday is the biggest celebration most Guatemalans have for their birthday, age 15!  This will be a big celebration and exciting time in the church.

The costs for the children to attend this camp is $65 for the weekend.  There is room for 75 to attend the camp.  So, there are the numbers.  We are asking for anyone who would like to join us in supporting this camp to help sponsor a child for the camp.  The staff and workers at Jerusalen church have been working on plans and preparing to make this the best camp they have ever done.  I am so encouraged by the church and their commitment to the children and training them up in the Word.  Please join us in this effort to impact every child we can through this camp.  The theme for the camp is Transformers, being transformed by the renewing of our minds we then become transformers as we share the truth of His Word!  How awesome is that!

2013 is coming soon!  We will be posting to the website our 2013 schedule soon.  The new season of ministry brings new opportunities and challenges to see our faith stretched and His hand at work even more around the world.  New for 2013 will be some new locations and returning to some previous locations as we rekindle those relationships.  Pray with us now as we prepare and plan for the future months of ministry.  Begin to look at your calendar for 2013 and pray about when and where you can give 2% or more of your year to serve in another context and join the local church in reaching the world and teaching the Word!

In His Grip,

To paint an image of Guatemala City, you could start with the vibrancy of its lush green mountains and colorful flowers and fabrics, the bustle of cars and “chicken” buses packed on its streets, or the rampant neediness evidenced by armed guards and barbed wire on buildings everywhere—but at the heart of the city is its people, ever hospitable and full of joy in the humblest circumstances. Indeed, those who are poor in the eyes of the world have been chosen to be rich in faith (James 2:5) as we saw in so many faces and heard in so many stories. Alejandra came to believe in Christ at her junior high school, Kevin played with us at the day care, Berta came running to meet us on the street before we visited her home, 12 siblings sang and danced for us in their home, Alma beamed with joy as we lifted her from her wheelchair to play in the carnival.
Even in the darkness of poverty and of Mayan religion marked by creepy masks, we saw a light shining ever so brightly in New Jerusalen church. There, the church ladies welcomed us with hugs and kisses and invited us into Sunday worship. They cried out in prayer, all at once, with a desperation for the Lord we Americans don’t have, and sang passionately no matter what their voices sounded like. Through the week, we saw the church we read about in Acts alive in 2012. They built relationships with their neighbors and shared the gospel with them persistently. They provided for the needs around them, hosting a neighborhood daycare for kids that almost closed. Pastor Morales and his wife opened wide their loving arms of hospitality to welcome our whole team of around 25 to their home for a sit-down lunch twice, treating us lavishly from silky homemade soup to the frozen choco banana delight to our post-meal naps.
And the church gave us the blessing of fellowshipping with them and, in a very small way, serving with them. We sang and danced with school children from their neighborhood, their faces bright with smiles, before praying over them and teaching them God’s Word. Our team, including our own David Beckham as some kids called Matt Shell, played soccer with Guatemalan kids and youth. We watched as school children in rural Sajcavillá delighted to see a 60-foot slide inflate for the carnival we hosted for them. We walked down city streets and up vertical mountain paths, led by Mayan women from the church wearing sandals who were not huffing and puffing like we were, to share with and pray over new friends. We were bold to share the gospel that has changed our lives when we visited the homes of nonbelievers. We rejoiced when God moved in hearts to believe in Christ for their salvation. Wherever we went, the Lord was faithful to teach us to love those around us.
When we weren’t out serving, our team was together, eating and sleeping, piling into vans Guatemalan style and voluntarily moving to the back seat to be catapulted at every bump in the road, sitting down to three meals a day together, talking about the Word and also talking about zippers to the point of birthing a business venture, eating and sleeping, playing cards, sitting on our roof and watching the sun rise and set in the mountains around us, eating and sleeping, learning to speak Spanish un poco. The Lord removed our daily distractions of schedules and to-do lists, cell phones and internet, to allow us to be fully be present for our mission and with our community, and He gifted us with 70-degree sunshine with zero humidity and almost no rain in rainy season in which to relish it. Time slowed down. All that mattered was relationship, with the Lord and with those with us. Life was simple. Life was full.
But a large part of the purpose in leaving our everyday context is to come back. We have returned to the mission field around us, to be neighbors to our neighbors, to love on our community’s children, to speak boldly the gospel with those around us, and to share with you, our church, how the Lord is at work in the church in Guatemala.  Ask us our stories. Have us tell you what the Lord has put on our heart to live out his gospel at home, and help keep our team, and our church, accountable to the calling that the Lord has for all us, to make his ways known on all the earth and His salvation among all the nations (Psalm 67:1). Pray for New Jerusalen, for Sajcavillá, for Guatemala City, for Pastor Morales, for One Way Ministries’ continued work, and for their missionaries, the Brown family, in Guatemala City. And pray for the church, the Guatemalan church, Christ Church, First Baptist of Gulfport (who sent a team with whom we served), the Birmingham church, the American church, that it might be filled with the Spirit of the Lord, for His glory.
This post was written by several members of Christ Church in Birmingham, Alabama who recently participated in a mission trip to Guatemala.

I have not been as active with my sharing about this incredible journey we have been on as Sheryl has been.  However, today I wanted to celebrate a major marker in my life with you all.  I have been on this journey now for eight months and it has been a tough road.  The Lord has been the only one to sustain me many days.  I have wrestled through many issues in my life during these months.  I have seen the Lord's hand guide me through pain and struggle over and over.

Today I can celebrate officially 100 pounds of sin has left my body!  Yes, you read that right...sin.  My extra weight represented poor decisions and disobedience of many years.  The regular habit of not doing the right things and doing the wrong things had taken its toll on my body and the athlete I once was was covered by all kinds of stuff that had been added out of selfishness.  Today I have been set free from that and that sin no longer entangles me.  Praise be to God the Lord and Redeemer, who has redeemed my life and has given me another chance to live obedience out before my family.

If I am willing to allow the Lord to capture my thoughts and my desires enough to drop 100 pounds from my physical body, imagine what He can do if I will allow Him to capture my every thought and develop my spiritual being into the effective, obedient servant He has called me to be?  Oh how He desires for me to desire Him!  When we allow Him to do His work in us He does amazing things through us.

Today I ran, in Guatemala, one kilometer for every ten pounds He has enabled me to lose.  As I was running I had an awesome opportunity to listen to His voice and speak to Him in prayer about the struggles I am facing, the people He lays on my heart and the issues He is teaching me about.  Today I want to celebrate the joy of freedom from sin and death!

Freedom will come when we allow the truth to settle into our hearts.  His Word is the only thing that has the power to overwhelm our sin and remain in control over it all.  Today, will you join me in celebrating His goodness and His awesome power over the sins that so easily entangle us.  He is victorious over them all!  He will win every time.  He will do a work in us if we will submit to His leadership and call out to the Holy Spirit to teach us, mold us, shape us, make us, develop us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness!  Today stand firm in His ability to overcome every thing that tries to discourage and hold you back.  Fight free in His power and know the freedom to walk in His light full of power and strength for the tasks He sets before you!  You can win this battle, because He has already won the war! Run hard, press on and strive to reach the goal set before you....come on celebrate Him today with joy and thanksgiving!

In His Grip,
JT Turner