These are not the only stories out of that week – nor are they ‘special’ in the sense that they are rare or unique. They are stories God loving His kids.
Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. –Hebrew 12:28-13:1
Story Two: God at Work
We were supposed to hear from a panel on culturally relevant mission last Thursday evening as part the Summit’s focus on the Vineyard’s Five Values. God, though, had other plans – leading to a night of worship and prayer.
At one point during this impromptu worship session, the session emcee asked if anyone had a word to share from the Lord. Some folks came forward with different pray topics and what not…ok…truth be told, I don’t know what they said as I was too busy thinking about kidneys.
Today is Thanksgiving – a time in which we stop our busy lives and give thanks to the Lord for His provisions in all areas of our lives.
Along those lines I want to share with you a couple of stories from last week’s Asia Summit about the Coming Age breaking into this Present Evil Age. As will see over the next two days, these are stories of God’s physical, emotional, and spiritual provisions.
Story One: Gray Feathers
There were four of us standing in a circle praying for unity and tribal reconciliation among the Filipino followers of Jesus. As my companions prayed, my eyes slowly closed and there out of the darkness stood a grey feather off to the right side of my vision. Looking closer I saw that the feather was sticking out of a red headband…
Still not sure what was happening, I asked the Lord what I was seeing. As did I did so, the red color of the headband moved up towards the feather – turning it red before becoming a dense red cloud blocking all sight.
For months now I have been talking about taking a day or two off work, going to a hotel somewhere and just writing. You know, getting away from all the distractions of life and being free to put down to paper some of things bouncing around in my head.
Well last week I had the chance to do that while in the Philippines… and you know what? It was tough.
There I was – all alone in a foreign country with no distractions, no one to talk too, no one to bug me, no work to be done…just time alone with God, the Bible and a blank computer screen….
I almost lost it.
There should have been pads on the wall – big, white, fluffy pads that would have protected my body has I threw myself against the walls repeatedly…
Yeah. It was bad.
I was detoxing from the busyness of life and the constant need to be around others -to have one’s scenes stimulated constantly.
Just about every spare minute was used talking to people, building relationships, and networking with folks from 15 different nations. Worshiping the Lord with these guys and gals gives one a picture of heaven – the nations rejoicing and praising the King Most High!
The focus of the conference as been the Vineyard Values – with each of the main sessions tackling one of the five core values of the Vineyard. Phil Strout, the new Vineyard USA National Director, spoke Tuesday night about the Kingdom of God and following the King.
Wednesday morning saw a panel of speakers from various nations talk about and answer questions concerning being a reconciling community. That evening a lady from the Philippines spoke about compassionate ministry using stories from her life and the people in her church.
We ‘played’ Thursday morning with folks going swimming, shopping, or sleeping. But that evening we were right back at it with a session on culturally relevant mission. Or we were suppose to have a panel talking about that… God had other plans as we spend the evening worshiping, praying for each other, and basically experiencing the presences of God.
I was talking to a taxi driver the other day as we battled traffic across town.
He was curious as to why I was visiting his country and told him that I was a pastor attending a church conference. He thought was nice and asked if I was a priest or if I was married. I replied that I was married and was not a priest per say… just small talk.
Yet his next question was very, very sad:
“Just between us…if you would like, I know a place where you can find some young girls…”
How sad is it that this man could ask THAT question right after I told him I was a pastor and a married man. Either one of those items should have told him not to ask me that question.
Yet, as he said once I turned his offer down, a lot of male tourists go to the Philippines and Asia looking for young girls to have sex with. They travel alone on business or on a pleasure trip to the islands with the knowledge that no one knows them here…. it is crazy and sad….very sad…
I don’t know… I knew this type of thing happens everyday over here – shoot it happens back home in the States – it is just that I’ve never had anyone try to ‘hook’ me up before. 😕
May the Lord be with those young ladies where ever they are and may He change that taxi drivers heart.
I had originally planned to attend church this morning in Cebu, Philippines…but as with a lot of traveling plans, things did not work that way. Nope, instead of attending a Vineyard Church, I attended a church of a different kind.
A boxing church.
Yes, boxing – as in Pacquiao versus Marquez III.
For those who don’t follow the sport of boxing, Manny Pacquiao is a Filipino boxer turned politician who is rated the best pound for pound boxer in the world. He has won six world titles and championships in four different weight classes – a crazy, unbelievable record!
Juan Marquez is a Mexican boxer who has won eight world titles in three weight classes. He originally fought Manny in May 2004 where it was considered a draw. Four years later the two met again (March 2008) where Manny won by a very, very slim margin via a judges vote.
Today was their third fight – and one that everyone was hoping would end in a knockout. Sadly the winner was once again determined by the judges after 12 rounds – at 2.5 minutes per round, that is a hour of fighting!!! Talk about fitness and stamina!
I’m sitting in an airport today waiting for my plane to load….
Not much is happening other then that… just waiting…
In a little bit I will be boarding a plane for Seoul, South Korea, and then to Cebu, Philippines for the Asia Summit. It should be a good time hanging out with old friends, God and a ton of new friends.
Sunday should be really good as I get to attend one of the Filipino Vineyard churches! 🙂
Focus – I am hoping to spend some time writing during the layovers and at the hotel in Cebu, only I know myself and I can see myself getting sidetracked… 😛
Connections – As the Philippine Partnership representative, please pray that I will be able to make some good connections with the pastors and missionaries at the summit.
Presences of G0d – pray that I will see and hear God throughout this trip as I want to walk with Him.
That’s about all… Hopefully the hotel will have wifi so I can post updates throughout the week…otherwise you will all have to wait a week or so. 😀