Monday, February 29, 2016

Discover Life: Wrapping Up February 2016: Don't Drink From That!!!

Discover Life: Wrapping Up February 2016: Don't Drink From That!!!

I want to thank all of you who have been keeping up with us as we navigate through the mess of ministering among broken lives desperate for freedom. None of us, not one, has within ourselves the capacity to untangle the knots of the soul, let alone heal the wounds. It is only through the realization upon the revelation of the grace of God through Jesus Christ that any person experiences freedom through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit! We desperately need His guidance for everyone who comes up here ... and it is our hearts longing to see each one of them healed and restored to the freedom Jesus purchased! But it is never easy ... never.

February has come and gone. It is cold, but not as cold as last year! The men up here can often experience and isolating effect, not from any policy change we are making but simply due to the weather restrictions. When it's -20, you just tend to stay home and indoors. Please continue to pray for Robert as he continues his discipleship process here. Pray that he would be strengthened ... that needs would be met ... that he would be able to stand firm in his trust in God.  Pray for his family .. for his children. We are watching the miracle working power of God through the transformation of a soul ... Robert is growing!

This month, the leadership team (Charlie, Ron, Patrick, and Stephen) went to a men's retreat hoping to get the scoop on a ministry that we would like to host here at Huntersfield Christian Training Center, the home for Discover Life.  Immediately upon return, Patrick brought his family back to Louisiana for a much needed visit with his family and ministry friends. Excitement is spreading concerning the work that the Holy Spirit is doing through the ministry of Discover Life. We are encouraging those in church and ministry leadership to contact us for information on how we may be able to serve you. We are also always open the ministry of those who feel led to impart the good news of the Gospel to our men through classes or retreats.

Upon Patrick's return, his focus will be on encouraging young men eager for ministry to join the Discover Life School of Ministry. Part of our vision is to serve as an excellent resource for encouraging, equipping, and enlisting young men and women (non-residency as of yet) for a life of ministry service being thoroughly equipped (spirit, soul, and body) both theologically and practically for every good work. In doing so, we feel God has specifically directed us not to charge for this education, enabling the graduates to be debt free upon graduation which serves both them in their financial establishment but also the churches that will benefit from receiving their ministry without having to be burdened with their debt. We are looking to partner with youth and young adult pastors and ministry leaders everywhere to make this opportunity available. Our residency opportunities are limited! Contact us today!

Discover Life School of Discipleship continues to be spread as a resource ... that is great news. Former students share their testimonies with others that are in need and the calls keep coming. Please pray that God will continue to provide for our needs here. We charge for nothing but the cost of this type of discipleship is great. There is great emphasis placed here on the health of the body and the relationship it has with the health of the soul. The men eat hearty meals here. They participate in a rigid exercise program. They are properly clothed. They are instructed and committed to proper hygiene. They have a social life. They are brought into the community. Their health needs are all met. They are pressed academically completing demanding writing and study assignments. All of this comes at a great cost. God meets that need continuously and miraculously by various people who realize what we are doing and decide to invest into the Kingdom of God through the transforming miraculous work of Discover Life. If you would consider investing into the lives of men desperate for freedom, CLICK HERE!

LESSONS FROM THE SAW MILL: Don't Drink From That!!!

We have this amazing mountain spring that waters much of the center. The water is just simply the best and most refreshing drinking water on earth (in my humble opinion). You get thirsty looking at it! We water our cattle with that spring. It flows through a pipe and empties into this water trough in the yard where the cows and horses can walk over and drink.

Several weeks ago, we were repairing some damaged section of fence (the cows kept getting out). One of our men was spotted walking back from the water trough acting as if he had just refreshed himself. When he was asked what was going on, he proudly declared he had just drunk from the cattle trough ... which earned him a series of lectures, restrictions, corrections, lessons, and ultimately, some kidding. Why? That seems harmless enough! After all, it is water coming from a spring ... and we drink it all of the time from the faucet! This was this young man's justification and rationale ... and maybe some of you might be thinking the same.

Well, it's simple. It is a big deal. It's a huge deal ... cows poop where they eat! That water trough is surrounded and full of what we call "cow paddies." Yes the water is refreshing! Yes it looks good to drink! Yes we drink it from other sources with no risk. The problem isn't the water, it's completely the manner by which it is obtained and in what it is contained in! The water is good! But the water in this specific location is CONTAMINATED and unfit for HUMAN CONSUMPTION by both the process in which it gets to the trough and the trough itself. It poses no risk to the cows. The health risks it poses to human are many including various bacterial infections, fungal infections, parasite infestations, fecal matter diseases like e coli, etc. This is not to be taken lightly. This can seriously injure a person ... this can result in death! And the young man thought we'd be proud! Our reaction caught him by surprise ... after all ... they do it on all (?) of the TV shows!

So what's the point???

This young man represents all of us! We see that God has created wonderful things that refresh, nourish, encourage, and entertain us but we demand to enjoy them outside of the parameters He set for us to be able to be free and unhindered in our enjoyment of them.

We struggle, or miss altogether, in our understanding the concept of a gift being CONTAMINATED by either the method with which we obtain it or the means by which we are trying to use it ... then we blame God for failing us! Yet what we are experiencing has nothing to do with the gift itself ... the gift is still good! We will through the gift away and search for "new life" not understanding that the problem remains ... and all things good will be subject to this cycle because we are denying the real problem that keeps repeating: our own personal self life that thrives on instant self gratification which ignores warnings and directions and assumes all things exist for spontaneous personal pleasure. Yet nothing satisfies and nothing lasts.

The Bible says it like this:

Drink water from your own cistern, And running water from your own well.  Proverbs 5:15 

God, in His infinite wisdom, has prepared for you such great wonders that even your enemies will know it (Psalms 23).

There is no denying that people experience initial pleasure "drinking" from "cisterns" that are not specifically theirs (speaking both literally and figuratively). Remember: 

4 "Do you not know this of old, Since man was placed on earth,  5 That the triumphing of the wicked is short, And the joy of the hypocrite is but for a moment? Job 20:4-5

So there can be no greater satisfaction for a human that can be enjoyed without conviction, worry, fear, condemnation, or negative consequence than what God has planned and provided for that person. The use of anything less or otherwise will leave the individual always wanting...though it may satisfy a temporary craving, it only leads to more hunger.
God says it this way:

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope (to bring you to your expected end!). Jeremiah 29:11 

I choose to trust Him ... and hopefully dodge some nasty stomach aches and parasites ... how about you?

That's my take anyways, thanks for reading!