Category Archives: travel

July in Review

So now that I’ve had a little bit of time to breathe and collect my thoughts about last month, I’d like to review what God has seen fit to let me do these last few weeks.

July started off with a bang – I had the immense honor and pleasure to officiate my very first wedding for some dear friends Corey and Alli Claunch down in Austin, Texas.  It was a beautiful wedding, and despite the fact that I dropped the rings (twice) I felt as though things went really smoothly for my first time out.  I got to see lots of old friends and loved celebrating with them in such a worshipful atmosphere. During that trip I also had the joy of introducing Melissa (my girlfriend of three months now) to Texas history and culture.  We visited the Texas state capitol building and I recounted a few stories and nuggets from Texas history, and we had a great time together. Read more

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July…

So I have come to the realization that July is going to be insanely busy for me.  Aside from work, my involvement at LifePoint, and a certain lady who takes up a fair amount of my time as of late, I have a lot of things on my plate. Read more

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Praying Through the Beatitudes

The following is a series of prayers in preparation for my trip to Niger in September ’08, along with a few pics from the trip…

PRAYING THROUGH THE BEATITUDES
(Matthew 5:3-12)

Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…
Jesus, help me to know this Scripture intimately while I am in Niger. Let this verse be on my mind and my heart as I observe, interact, and pray for those who don’t know the pride that excess and luxury bring.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted…
God let me be a comforting hand and voice to those who are hurting and emotionally downtrodden. Let me mourn with them, and let my joy, jokes, happiness, and sarcasm not be an offense to them. I pray that I see that they are truly blessed, and that I have plenty to mourn over in my own life.

Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth…
Oh sweet King, may I be meek! I pray you kill my pride and quiet my to ngue from wicked speech and my mind from wicked egotistical, ethnocentric thoughts. Let me be meek, let me be humble as you were. Let me not bring shame upon your name through overbearing, controlling, self-concern. And let those who are kind, humble, and meek be exalted in your Kingdom. Soften hearts, prepare the soil of mind and soul as we prepare for this trip. I pray you raise up a quiver of sons and daughters from this trip with which to share your glorious graceful bounty of inheritance.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied…
Jesus, I have known what it is to hunger and thirst for righteousness… I do now, and I know I will in the future, according to your sovereign will. We all groan with longings for your grace and mercy to fall on us… but would you satisfy? Will you show us and those that we will meet that there is satisfaction in you and you alone? I know you are drawing people to you, and that they long to be redeemed, sanctified, and sons in your kingdom. Will you answer that longing? Will you satisfy?

Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy…
God, let our hosts be merciful to us and give us grace as we adjust to their culture, habits, and lifestyle. Let us be merciful as we go about your work in Niger. And God have mercy on us… let that be the fuel that drives our interactions with these people that we’ll be visiting. Let your grace and mercy pour outward from us as we work, tell stories, have meetings, and everything else that we’ll do. And let us not forget the mercy that has been extended us from the cross.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God…
Jesus may I be pure in heart! And let those who travel with me have purity in motives, vision, and purpose as we try to lay a foundation for ministry and evangelism in Niger. Let us see those whom you have purified, and let us encourage and challenge them to know you more deeply. And Christ let us see you at work here in us, there in the culture, and let us see you in Heaven. I pray we hear a ‘well done, good and faithful servant’ and enter into your rest. Let us be pure in heart and let us see you.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God…
Will you raise up men of peace in the villages we plan to visit? Let there be peacemakers that extend a hospitable hand and an open heart to us as we travel. I ask that you bring them to yourself and well up your Spirit in them and let them be drawn into your fold. Let them be called sons of God. And I pray that I bring peace rather than enmity, love rather than hatred. I pray I understand what you have given on my behalf that I can be known as a son of yours. Thank you for who you are and what you’ve given. I pray I keep that at the front of my mind as I travel.

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness; sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven…
These are tough words and tough prayers, but Jesus if we are persecuted, let us be persecuted for your sake. I pray this trip goes smoothly and that there are no complications, but if it is your will that we be beaten, imprisoned, killed, or otherwise persecuted, that it is on account of our faith in you, not skin color, nationality, actions, etc. And Jesus, please encourage and sustain those who are being persecuted for their faith in you. Let them not turn aside and denounce you, but rather withstand any opposition that you see fit to put in their path. And have mercy on those who persecute them… whether they know not what they do or whether they do it in full understanding… have mercy and give grace. Let them know who you are and bring them to yourself.

Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for you reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Let me be gracious and humble if I must face this temptation to slander and be bitter in return. Let my passion for truth not supercede my passion for you, and let me know your peace and life-giving grace even when I’m ridiculed and insulted. My spiritual heritage isn’t the most comfortable, and it’s not the well-trodden path of the world… rather it’s the narrow, steep-sided path that winds its way to the gates of heaven. Let me guard my steps carefully, and let me withstand whatever reviling that may be in store for us. I love you Jesus. Give your servant grace that is undeserved and that washes clean my sins.

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