Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The End Of A Decade...The Start Of A New.

We started this decade of ministry on complete trust and faith in Jesus and in what He can do. I can't believe how God has moved in my life, and in the lives of those around me, in this decade. I stand in awe. I believe that it is with the same kind of faith and trust (and possibly even more) that tomorrow we will begin anew. God has been SO gracious!
How could I even begin to thank everyone or even think of all that has gone on since 2000? Over these years we have had amazing staff and supporters...truly unique and awesome people! We have also been completely blessed with so many friends that have come alongside of us (from all over the country) and shown us the kind of love that only comes with being in the family of God. It seems we have experienced every extreme. We have rejoiced with many who have given their lives to Jesus, cried with those who have experienced death, witnessed miracles, and seen His many blessings. We have advanced in ministry with a clear vision, clarity, and the will to persevere on God's path, come what may.

I have so many fond memories, but more importantly I have grown to love and trust Jesus more and more....month by month....and year by year. He has entrusted us, empowered us, and strengthened us. All Glory to's all for Him....only He is worthy.

I anxiously await these next years...thank you for your partnership.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Be The Touch

(thoughts from Furtick and Acts 9)
Henri Houwen once said that "the greater part of God's work in the world may go unnoticed" and this should comfort us to know that God is working in unknown areas AND disturb us to drive us the point of humbly being a part of that subversive greater work. It's not about us.
Acts chapter 9:10-19. God taps on the shoulder of one of His servants, Ananias. This dude is an interesting character....seems like a simple guy who is kind of minding his own business and God shows up in a vision. He proceeds to tell him to go to the house of a well known Christian killer and deliver a message and a healing touch. I love Ananias's obedience. He trusted God. He went. He touched the killer and the scales fell from the eye's of Saul. Saul goes on to become Paul, who becomes one of the biggest missionary Heroes to the gentiles (most of us reading this) in the Bible.
Obviously, this story got some publication. Most of us have read it. However, what about the countless stories of those ordinary people that provide "the touch" in the mundane and regular areas of life that we don't read about? Acts of love, faith, obedience, done in humility go unnoticed every second of everyday. This is what we need to be for others. We need to act out of a calling from God to go into the dangerous and uncomfortable areas of life and, by His Spirit and His power, touch others so that they may be redeemed for His purposes! Be the touch...

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A Beautiful Collision

Here is an excerpt from a letter that I wrote to a long-time friends upon hearing that they would no longer be able to support AYM due to retiring....A little reminiscing of how God made a beautiful collision into my life...

All of this is to say thank you for your trust, sacrifices, and prayers for what God is doing through us. I pray that God would continue to put a dream (a vision for purpose) in the simple nobody’s….the most unassuming congregants of GCC… just as he did with a young punk, home-grown kid like me…

Who am I, that the Lord of all the earth would even care to know my name? It was somewhere around 1994 when we were invited by friends to attend an Easter cantata at GCC. Darcy and I were newly married (1991) and quickly had two beautiful boys. Both of us had grown up un-churched but we both were set on taking the boys to church because we thought it would be the right thing to do for them. We couldn’t have been more wrong…the Lord was revealing Himself to us too! His love, grace, redemption, and calling became so irresistible that we soon found ourselves going forward to be saved from our sins and be totally committed to His call on our lives. We learned so much in those early years…the young married class was amazing and we developed close supporting friends there. A youth mission’s trip to Arizona was when God really spoke to my heart about stepping out. I’ll never forget when it happened….a little native girl looking up at me with love as she clung to my leg up on the Navajo rez. God used that hug and the silence of a child to ask me, ”Ron, could you do something for me?”

Me? I love the story of Jesus and the disciples in Matthew 14:13 and on (and illustration points by Andy Stanley). I’m sure you’re familiar with it… the disciples went to Jesus with a big problem…too many people, too little food and they are all in a solitary place…in the middle of nowhere and everyone is hungry. The disciples go to Jesus with their plan…send everyone away so they can go into town and get something to eat. Jesus says to them the people don’t need to be sent away, they need to be fed. They give Him the excuse, thousands of people… only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Jesus gently says bring the food to Me and then gives it back to them to pass out. Everyone gets fed and there is extra.
Immediately after this story Jesus invites Peter to walk on water.

These stories could sum up my calling. I never thought I had much to offer God. I considered myself a simple man with little education and a desire to go wherever He would lead me. Like the disciples, I too would have doubted what God could do around or through me. And Jesus tells me the same thing He told them…you give Me all you have and trust Me to do what only I can do. Give Me your “fish”….step out of your comfort zone (your boat) and trust Me to do what only I can do.

I’m deeply humbled to have watched God work through me. I’ll never feel worthy but I’ll always be grateful and amazed at all that He has done through me as I have been available to serve and inspire hundreds of Native youth throughout the years. He has given me an amazing platform to bring a message of hope, love, purpose, and redemption to a broken and over-looked people group. And now, He is teaching me how lead a fast-growing organization that year-by-year is enlarging its impact on the Ft. Apache Indian Reservation.

There have been times that people have said to me “you can’t” or “you’ll never” because of my lack of whatever. But I’ll continue to declare that no matter who is with me, or around me, or supporting me…I’ll continue to believe that I can do all things through Him who strengthens and empowers me and stand back and watch in awe as He does what only He can do.

Your 10+ years of faithful support amazes me, thank you. May God bless you both as you serve Him at GCC and beyond.

Giving all I am and trusting Him to do what only He can do…