Monday, May 19, 2008

Word on the Street #8

Lot's of experiences the past 2 weeks. It's been pretty busy and pretty painful too. I'm not complaining, as much as I'm just seeking to be honest. It came to the place where I wasn't feeling like being out on the streets anymore. I just wanted to stop and didn't see how I could continue doing what I'm doing any longer. I've been coming to terms constantly though with the need for me to go through those feelings and know them. This is how I come to terms with the lifestyle. And this is also how I die off, which needs to happen. The Lord has drilled it into me that this experience is largely one of taking the cross and dying off so that He might be glorified. I'm finding with my time that even as I'm out here, my clear foundation needs to be in the place of prayer. As such, the Lord has asked me to dedicate a half day each week to fasting from everything, but Him. My strength and stamina will be rooted in such times.

I have had numerous opportunities in the past couple weeks. I visited Cane Ridge-a major site near Paris, KY for the Second Great Awakening-with a friend and was able to pray there. I enjoyed some time of fellowship with good church friends which also provided me with some necessary rest. We had meals, watched movies, talked-it was all good times. I also had some interesting ministry opportunities-specifically one which baffled me. I ran into a couple guys one night a couple weeks back, outside the public library when it was raining and I didn't really have anywhere to go. One of them was very different-probably the most emotional and dramatic guy I've ever met. I really didn't know what to do with him. He seemed in one sense to have a great faith, but on the other hand he seemed to suffer from unbelief and a number of other issues, possibly demonic, perhaps mental due to alcoholism. He seemed to be so desperate for God that he was literally crying out-but it didn't seem totally pure. There was a war going on inside of him. After seeming to pray with so much desperation and passion, he grew angery and decided that he didn't even know if anything I was saying was true. I think that after praying he grew disappointed that God hadn't made him feel any different. He was striving in his flesh to fight these battles and thus grew discouraged. He lit up a joint and that's the last I've seen of him. In the process he found out about who I am and that seemed to be a stumbling block to him-he couldn't understand it, thinking I'd succumbed to the devil. I also think I jumped the gun with him in my praying by getting sucked into his emotional drama. Ministry is a fine line to tread and the Lord is teaching me that great care has to be taken because of the intricate nature of the soul's interaction with the spirit. Emotions, truth from the Word, false beliefs, and so on must be sorted through. Root issues must be exposed. Motives must be laid bare. Truth must come to the surface and shine a light to expose all that does not align.

Other than that, I have met with a number of ministry leaders in Lexington and continued serving at the Lighthouse as well as getting refreshed there. I do not have a timeline for my time on the streets, but I think it will be a summer affair now. The Lord is slowly giving me insight on some other short-term goals I have. One is in cooperation with some good friends. We have a prayer-meeting every Sunday night and have been meeting for a year. We believe that the Lord wants us to fully encompass all that the Church is and I think that my time on the streets is informing our understanding of doing church and being the Church. I'm excited about some of the prospects and I'm also excited to be really hammering out a true ecclesiology (the study of the church). I've also taken a respite from the vision document I was working on because it was occupying too much time and I was needing to refocus on actually practicing the reasons for which I'm out here. I will seek to pick it up and finish it soon. I am speaking at a chapel service to junior highers as a local Christian school on Wednesday, the 21st of May. I will be speaking about the adventure of the Christian life and the necessary times of pain and suffering within that life. Please pray for this opportunity and all of those teens I'll minister too. I'm also attending a City-Wide Outreach Strategic Summit on Thursday. I have also begun to drive the Church of the Savior van to pick up guys from the Hope Center. This is a financial request. Each week, we take them out to Subway for lunch following the church service and since there's no budget for this, it comes out of my pocket. Any who could donate, even on a regular basis, would be much appreciated. It doesn't take much more than $30 to feed them each week. If you can donate, just contact me or give me the money. Keep praying for Kevin, the guy with the bad leg. I've had more contact with him than with anyone else in recent weeks. All the other prayer requests go to. Jeremy, my alcoholic friend is still very much on my heart. I also have the opportunity to disciple a guy named Rodney and and another recent convert named Brian. Pray that these opportunities will work out according to the will of God. See my site: http://nate.rick.googlepages.com

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