Still, Small Voice

I’ve never been a big “vision” person, as in actual appears-before-your-eyes or in-a-dream manifestation of something from the Lord.  I know God can do anything, and there’s plenty in scripture to support such things, and nothing (that I can find) to say they don’t happen.  I’m still somewhat of a skeptic, but I won’t limit God.

About 8 years ago, near the beginning of the ‘trying times’, we were considering spending some time helping out a farmer north of Salina KS.  I felt the Lord wanted us there, and was on the verge of making a short-term commitment to stay on at the farm, and wondering how we were gonna do it, how I’d take care of the family.  I was staying at the farmer’s house (spending 4 days there, long weekends back in KC), and went to my knees to lay it all out to the Spirit.

As I began to pray in the little bedroom with the lights out, I looked up, and



somehow through the tiny little 1 foot square window in the room I saw the entire expanse of the the night sky.  It was like I was laying on my back on the top of a mountain, nothing between me and the sky.  As I looked, the stars began to move and formed the rough image of a Man with His arms open wide.  The message wasn’t audible, but just as clear as if it was:  “I can take care of your family.”  Of course I knew at the moment this movement in the heavens wasn’t actually happening, but I was none-the-less confident that Christ who had created it all could just as easily have physically relocated every star to make His point.

I know there are those who will read this and poo-poo it all, attribute it to lack of sleep or being asleep, or stress, or just an over-active imagination.  That’s OK, I’d be skeptical if it hadn’t happened to me.

This is the ‘loudest’ God’s spoken to me, but he continues to speak and guide.  Sometimes through scripture, sometimes through other reading or friends, and a few times lately even audibly.

I loaned my welder & generator out to someone in need to use for a short while.  After a few months I needed it back, nearly a year later he still wouldn’t return it.  As I was considering my options and had decided to contact the local sheriff and press charges, the Spirit clearly said, “let it go.”  Of the dozen voices constantly rattling around in my head, this voice was distinctly different.  It was the voice of calm authority, and I knew Who it was and so let it go.

Rom 12:20a “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.”

Deciding to follow Rom 12:20, I sent him a message (he wouldn’t answer my calls) telling him to keep the welder if he needed it.  His reaction to that (and some lies he had heard about my supposed plans to just break in and take the welder) included threats of violence to me and my boys.  As I began to write my response to the threats, that odd voice spoke up again, “be nice.”  That was the last thing in the world I wanted to be, but expecting a soft answer to turn away wrath (Prov 15:1), I deleted my initial response and tried “nice”.  That didn’t work, so the voice spoke up again, “drop it.”

I Kings 19:11, 12  The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.”  Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper.

I just love that passage in I Kings.  Such awesome power the Lord has, but He chose to speak in a gentle whisper, or “still, small voice.”  I think I’ll continue to listen to His gentle whisper, because I don’t want Him to have to break out the fire, earthquakes, or rock-shattering wind to get my attention.


I Guess I’m God’s Little Princess…

I don’t normally write about money, especially tight times.  I want to hold those stories for later when money is no longer an issue so that the stories can be shared without them coming across as a plea for donations!  But it’s important for God’s kids to be reminded that God’s in charge of finances, too.  I also wanted to write this now because it’s fresh in my mind, and if I waited until we had some ‘free time’ on the mission field to recall some of the challenging times, I might not get them right.

I’ve said before that we’ve not been around missionaries throughout our lives, and have only now getting to know a few since we’ve started to become missionaries ourselves.  We’ve read and read, and the one of the things that is consistent among missionaries that are leading souls to Christ is that they are not focused on ‘things’ and personal wealth.  Many whose stories I’ve read have told those considering a life of missions to expect a life of poverty.  As we’ve been clearing out our lives getting ready to ‘downsize’ from a house to an RV for the duration of deputation, we’ve given away so many things that just a year ago we couldn’t have imagined not having (as well as a few things that should’ve been gotten rid of years ago!).

That said, we’re not in any way trying to admonish Christians with wealth!  God’s used others in wonderful ways over the years to help us and others in need, and He also uses those with almost nothing that we’ve seen selflessly help others that had even less.  God doesn’t care how much you have, He cares that you focus on Him, Love Him, and use what you have to further the expansion of His family.

Another reason I wanted to write this now is the same reason that we started this site at the very beginning of the process:  to document as much as possible for our own sakes and to get the information out there for others embarking (or considering to embark) on a similar journey, as well as to keep family/friends/supporters ‘in the loop’ as they’re praying for God’s working in our lives and service.

Doing contract work can make for an irregular pay schedule.  Add to that working for a guy (“R“) that’s way too busy, overwhelmed, and fired his office manager a few weeks ago.  It also doesn’t help that we’re putting as much into the house as possible so we can put it up for sale at the end of the month, leaving ourselves little margin for deviating pay schedules!

While I’m writing this part of the post (I’ll publish it after writing a final paragraph!), money’s tight.  (Can something that doesn’t exist be labeled “tight”?)  We should’ve been paid last Friday but it hasn’t happened, yet.  Today’s just Sunday, but since we’re running the budget tight, every day late feels like a month!


J. Hudson Taylor 1832-1905

As payday was approaching, I’d been reading Hudson Taylor’s A Retrospect, and he’s talking faith, fully depending on God for his provision.  Friday night (while hoping for a text about where to meet to pick up a check) I read about a time when Taylor was due some pay, but his boss had forgotten to pay him.  Taylor trusted God.  Even when he had the opportunity, he didn’t remind his boss that he needed paid.

Earlier in the day on payday, I had texted R to make sure he had the right phone number (there had been changes), no response.  I started to send him another text at the end of the day to remind him, but deleted it, trusting God could handle it.  The first text was a little lapse in faith, I’ll admit.  I’ll also admit that my faith falls far short of that of Hudson Taylor.

I even typed out a text to a friend who works for R — just a general text that would have prompted the friend to talk to R to remind him to pay me.  I know God can handle it, but he uses people to accomplish His will, right?  Well, I deleted the text without sending.  If we’re gonna trust, we’ve gotta trust.

Saturday night, still no word.  I went to tuck Olie into bed, and she handed me a little devotional book, called “God’s Little Princess Devotional Bible”.  I was princessembarrassed to take the book from her, with it’s title and tiara on the cover with a little plastic “diamond” glued to the front.

I swallowed my pride and took the book, flipped through to a random devotional and read it to her.  My embarrassment waned when I read, “God wants us to trust him to meet our needs.  If we really believe God will provide what is best for us, then we are freed to share what we have with others in need.”

I finished tucking and left to have a time of Princess Devotions with myself.

Sometimes God uses the words of a missionary to China that died in 1905, sometimes He speaks through your 6-year old’s Little Princess Devotions book.  In truly desperate times, when God’s having trouble getting your attention, He may have to use both!

[It’s 1:15 Sunday afternoon.  Gonna save this as draft until God finishes this episode.]

Here’s the final paragraph:  I told someone  last week that I have faith that God can do absolutely anything.  I know there are no limits to what God can do.  Where my faith is lacking is believing what God will do.  It was Monday afternoon, 24 hours after writing the above, that the situation was resolved.

OK, maybe a couple more final paragraphs… I’m no Hudson Taylor, nor would I compare myself to any of the missionaries in the past or present that are exhibiting great faith.  I was a little surprised to see God work this one out as not much more than the natural flow of things, but since He created “natural flow”, it’s all Him!

As a Dad, it adds an entirely new dynamic to trusting God for the day-to-day, since both my struggles and my victories are shared by all of us.  Compared to what they could be, our ‘struggles’ have been pretty tame.  Please pray that the victories won’t go unnoticed!

Free Time!

Religion:  a mental relationship with a concept, usually a vague one.


Random Sunday School Teacher:  “Every person has a God-sized hole in their heart that only He can fill.”



In the U.S. (other places, too, I’m sure, but I’m here so I can speak authoritatively!), life is so busy and burdensome that religion is usually enough to suppress the emptiness to a level that we can ignore the pain.  To the times that we’re not busy, add alcohol, drugs, partying, or even social media, and the result is a sustainable spiritual lull that most people can maintain their entire lives, up until the point that eternity begins.  It’s true that only the Holy Spirit can fill the hole reserved for Him in the hearts of every person, but with enough filler and duct tape, the longing can be suppressed.

So, those that do not know the Lord are keeping busy and missing/avoiding an introduction to Him.  What about us?  There are times that busy-ness just happens, is unavoidable.

I am working construction rehab’ing apartments and houses.  Gotta pay the bills, and need money to finish getting the house ready to sell (soon, to get rid of some of those bills!).  I’m taking a missions course and trying to keep on contacting churches, and am busy spending what little money is left over after bills on repairs/upgrades to the house.  On top of that, trying to maintain the family and our spiritual lives.

I’m not complaining, trying to follow the path the Lord has laid out and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I know it’s temporary, maybe God’s testing us, maybe it’s more training (always more training!), and maybe we’re not doing everything right and a scolding is imminent.  But as we fight to keep our minds/bodies/souls/family/dishes/friends/lives somewhat sane and sort of stable, we must also take the time to look beyond our selves, our lives, our family, and be aware that there are those around us fast-tracking to an eternity without Christ.

Pew_religion_in_americaIn the U.S., almost everyone calls themselves a “christian”.  Most of the people I talk to, specifically those that most likely don’t actually know the Lord, have gone to church at some point in their lives.  And they all know just enough to be dangerous, as the saying goes.  They know enough of the lingo and the even some of the rules to think they’ll “get to heaven”.  They’re wrong, all they have is religion.  They have that mental relationship with a very vague concept, a concept with just enough substance that they can combine it with other distractions and continue unabated down the path that avoids direct contact with the only One that can truly save them.

Pray for us and yourselves as we all come in contact every day with those that do not know the Lord.  He’s prepared the hearts of many, pray that we’ll be ready when we come in contact with those He’s prepared.  We may have a short season in your life from time to time that you’re too busy to even stop and rest, but if it’s for more than a short season, we must re-evaluate our lives and our priorities, because God can not bless a life that’s too busy to honor Him, that’s too busy to take the time to introduce others to Him in the hopes of expanding His kingdom.

We will never win a soul to the Lord, that’s His job.  We are to make the introduction, to have the conversation, to be available and willing to take the time to talk about Him at every opportunity, to be sufficiently knowledgeable about what we believe in order to share the Good News of Christ’s death and resurrection, to be open to the lost souls that He has prepared.  At the same time, we must maintain a testimony that reflects Christ, to keep from being what almost all that do not follow Christ say is the reason they no longer go to church, a hypocrite.