Saturday, October 10, 2009

Word from the Journey 2.3

Dear Friends,

Updates are hard for me to continue, though I imagine that I will and it's because there's so much for me to give myself to in life and sitting at a computer typing an email doesn't seem like a great way to spend my time. However, when I connect it in my mind with communication to those dear to me, it's a little easier to justify.
It's also difficult to do because I am in a confusing season right now where not a whole lot is really clear to me. I'm seeing this as a spiritual trend right now in the lives of many around me. It's interesting what God is letting His Church go through internally right now. Perhaps this is not the best place to write from, but here I am.

I. Recent Happenings
II. The First and Second Commandment
III. Our Corporate Covenant and Fellowship
IV. Other Lessons and News

Some recent happenings:

Our trip to China was canceled due to the H1N1 virus. Every case in China came from an American, so China won't let us in. This did not really disappoint me, since I was beginning to expect this in June. The final word served as closure to me and also opened an opportunity for God to do a financial miracle for somebody else. Here's the story in short:

A kid from the youth group at my church fellowship, Church of the Savior, headed on a mission trip with the youth group to Puerto Rico about 2 weeks ago. One week before the trip, he was $700 short of his needed amount. As he talked with me at church, his mom was talking to another lady whom I don't even know and this lady saw me and said, "That guy is going to help you! Go talk to him right now!". She clearly had received a word of knowledge from God. So his mom came over and mentioned it to me and I had no idea what she was talking about until the next day, when I counted up the money from China and realized it was almost the exact amount the kid needed! Everyone who had donated to me had told me to keep the money for future ministry! And a week earlier, the Lord had told Derek, the leader of our fellowship that he would do financial miracles like that with us. Clearly, the Lord wanted me to send this kid to Puerto Rico and what an awesome opportunity to be a part of that.

Another thing I'm noticing in life right now, is the continuing passion the Lord gives me for the homeless I spent so much time with last year. God has repeatedly shown me through the Scripture the following principle, based out of Matthew 25: to serve and minister to the least of these is like serving me (this is Jesus speaking). Out of this God has shown me that to love and serve the poor (and anyone for that matter) is another facet of encountering God and having relationship with God. The second commandment of loving your neighbor as you do yourself is grounded in and unto the first commandment of loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. To those in the house of prayer movement that I may be speaking to (and I can relate to because I have been involved in this movement), I've always had a problem with the ALMOST, but not TOTAL, exclusive focus on limiting the practice of the first commandment to sitting in the prayer room. The world in the context of the prayer room, not just a safe building full of other believers. We need to be the prayer room and do the practice of the house of prayer in the darkest of places and among the most corrupt of people. We need to keep the first commandment in first place by embracing the fullness of it which includes the second commandment and includes going out from the building and being the house of prayer everywhere. Yet, in no way to I neglect the position of the prayer movement right now and the necessity for lots of time in the house of prayer as well!
God has promised me that if I go out to these people, not to "do ministry", but just expecting to encounter Him, and love Him by loving these people, that He will meet me there. Anywhere that I can meet God, that's where I will go!

My greatest area of commitment right now is my covenant with the two others, Derek and Anna, that I repeatedly mention in these letters. We have sought to be very focused and intentional in our pursuits corporately, since the Lord has been kind to entrust us with much, we seek to be responsible stewards. Right now, we are just learning how to truly BE a corporate body in the fullest sense. I think that we've discovered a unity which is sadly lacking in much of the Church. We have had our rough spots and potholes in recent times and some of the development has been difficult, but so worth it because it's real, it's true and it's God's will. We meet several times a week, with an emphasis on mostly prayer in some focused areas, but also a great deal of teaching, mostly from International House of Prayer and also some others. I see some areas that are fast becoming areas of corporate emphasis as well. We all have a passion for godly education and they have been privileged to teach in a classical Christian upstart in Wilmore and to mentor several teenagers. I have a similar passion as well as what I believe to be a call from God to intercede for this new school. The Lord has opened up a small degree to us out of the book of Daniel as to an appropriate paradigm for education and this has been an exciting journey, but we're just in the beginning of it, so what more I can share is quite limited. I think that I see mentoring and spiritual fathering playing a big role in our future as well. We seek to fan the flames of revival especially in America and we see a need to call the Church at large to corporate repentence. There are so many other things that we want to adopt and grow in as well, but these are the LORD'S areas of emphasis for us right now. That's a mouthful for this summary at this time anyway.

I continue to work the furniture outlet I've been at and I'm enjoying it SO much. For as long as the LORD, Yahweh, our Father and God through Jesus will allow me to have this job I'll be thankful. And I'll be thankful when He brings about something else too. I am content in this season, but hungry also for the future that He longs for me to grab ahold of and walk in as well.

May the LORD cause His face to shine upon each of you to the degree that you will receive what He reveals of Himself to you. May none of us be found hardened, but rather tender toward God, as He is tender and zealous toward each of us.

Nathan Rickard

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