God Leads Us Along.

As I type this, I am sitting in a hotel room in Wheeling, West Virginia.  It’s been eleven days since I closed and padlocked the door on our storage unit in Denver, loaded the family in our minivan, and headed out on what I am calling our “Homeless Tour.”  It’s true!  At the moment, we are homeless, jobless, and perfectly content in God’s will!  We continue to pursue the leading of the Lord to a senior pastorate at the place of His choosing and timing.  In the meantime…

“In shady green pastures so rich and so sweet”
We have thoroughly enjoyed our family time together on this journey.  The ability to go at our own pace, literally on a road trip across America, has reaped rich dividends.  We haven’t spent this much focused time together in years and it is refreshing.  Not only have we had rich private times in hotels and along the roadway but we have also had rich times of fellowship in other people’s homes, renewing friendships and making new ones.

“Some through the waters, some through the flood”
A few days ago, I went to sleep in Indianapolis to the sound of pouring rain.  When I woke the next morning, the sound had not changed.  When I looked at the national news, I realized that quite a bit had changed.  In fact, Indiana was under water!  We were literally surrounded by the worst flooding in almost a century.  Everywhere we drove, homes were literally surrounded by water.  Roads were closed.  People were suffering.  We have seen quite a bit of nature’s fury on our journey.  The day we left Denver, we followed a storm all the way through Nebraska, a storm that spawned dozens of tornadoes and demolished towns.  In Indianapolis, only a weekend later, a fierce tornado touched down and smashed an apartment complex and damaged over 500 buildings, not far from the church in which I ministered yesterday.  Our God is powerful!

“Sometimes in the valley, in darkest of night”
Many of you have personally communicated with me about our plans and how we are doing.  I think the best way I can describe our lives right now is that we are living in darkness but have never seen so clearly before.  You know, all of us really live in darkness in a sense when we are walking by faith.  It’s more literal for us right now since we are less certain of our future than most of you are.  However, I’ve been thinking about this a little recently.  I’m a bit fearful that once I do find the place of God’s leading I will fall back into a life of less faith and more sight.  I’d rather be blind.  Knowing that my Father is leading me every step, every mile, has brought a much greater confidence and boldness to my spiritual walk.  I’ve been wondering: how do we effectively walk by faith when we have so much certainty about our own schedule, events, and future?  I wonder if we do get too settled, at least in our affections, on the things of this life.  I think I do.  It’s one thing to trust God when you don’t know what tomorrow holds; it’s quite another to trust God when you do know.  Or do you, really?

While faith brings a certain unsettledness to our lives, it also brings the greatest peace and joy.  I love it!  Even though our former church gave generously to us as we went on our way, I also know that, eventually, our funds will run dry.  I’ll be forced to make other decisions about residence and employment, perhaps even in areas we didn’t foresee or desire.  Yet, I have deep peace.  God does what He has always done for His children who trust Him completely.  He shows Himself.  Not in flaming pillars or burning bushes but in small ways that only His children recognize.  God smiles and we see it.  We are constantly reassured of His path for us.  It’s kind of like the Interstate signs on the highway.  I traveled for several hundred miles today on I-70.  I didn’t really need to be constantly reminded that I was on I-70.  But seeing those signs every few miles gave that constant assurance that we were on the right road.  God does that too.  We see it in the encouragement of His people as we travel from place to place.  We see it in various tangible provisions.  We see it in His protection and timing, even on the roadways.  You would be bored if I listed all the small ways that God shows Himself to us, but they are precious, so precious, to us.

We didn’t always recognize these little things before, even though I am convinced that God has always provided them.  We just weren’t looking for them.  We didn’t need them.  We knew our own path, so we thought.  If this journey, our “homeless tour,” teaches us nothing else, it has taught us the importance of living by faith once again.  I pray I never forget this lesson.  I think it will radically impact my future ministry.

Speaking of that future ministry, we are currently in a process with a church in Indianapolis.  We are very encouraged by the interaction we have had thus far and are eager to know God’s will in regard to the church.  We appreciate your continued prayers.  We’ll update you as we are able.

As far as our traveling plans, we are on our way tomorrow back to my old stomping grounds in southeastern Pennsylvania.  We’ll visit with relatives and church friends before heading up to New York City this Thursday.  The kids have never been to NYC so we’ll visit the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and have fun in Times Square!  If you’re watching on Friday morning, you may even see us on the Today Show!  After that, we’ll be in western Massachusetts for a week, vacationing with Deborah’s mother and sister and family.  Then, we’ll be all the way up in Maine visiting more relatives in the Augusta vicinity.  On our way back to the Midwest, we’ll go through New York state and stop at Niagara Falls.  Should be fun!  We’d love to see as many of you as we can along the way, even if just for a lunch or coffee stop.  We do appreciate your prayers for safety and sanity as we put on many miles in the weeks ahead.  I’ll try to post some pictures of our trip too.

Stay tuned!

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Joe Roof on June 10, 2008 at 6:10 am

    Hey Brian,
    If you pass through Albany sometime on this journey, you have an invitation to stop by our home for a barbecue depending on the date. Also, there is a two bedroom prophet’s chamber that is open on some days.

    Reply

  2. Joe,

    I’ll email you. Thanks for your kind invitation.

    Reply

  3. Posted by pat beach on June 13, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    Brian,
    I have continued to pray for you re. the Lord’s perfect will. Sorry we missed you in Canada-due to unforseen circumstances. Miss your parents;trusting they are having a fruitful time in the SE USA. Hope you can make it back to Canada sometime soon, God bless and keep you-keep on for Him. Pat Beach

    Reply

  4. Posted by jurysdeliberations on June 16, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Brian, I pray for you and your family when I think about you. I just went through a ministry transition myself, and I have also been between ministries as you are now.

    Reply

  5. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement! It means a great deal to me.

    Reply

  6. Posted by gleah lyons on June 19, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Hey Brian and Deborah,

    If you are going to be in the Cincy,Ohio area, let us know. We’d be glad to have you all for dinner, lunch what ever. Our home is small, but there is a very nice hotel (with pool) about 1 mile from us. We are right off St. Rt. 32. It would be so great to see you all again. (oh, we are only about 2 hours from Indy)

    Mike and Gleah

    Reply

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