Praise God.

He works in amazing and mysterious ways.

Our car, which should have been worth less than one thousand dollars due to its emissions failures and body damage, received an offer of $1400 from CarMax.

We thought that we would have to look far and wide to find a Van in our price range, instead we had 5 different running vans to choose from, all in our general price range.  In the end we were able to purchase a very nice van that would meet our needs for now and into the future for little more than we received for our Neon.

Thank you for your prayers.

The Bible commands us to be different from the world around us:

Scriptural Principle:
John 17:14 “And be not fashioned according to this world: but be ye transformed by
the renewing of your mind, and ye may prove what is the good and
acceptable and perfect will of God.”

It also tells us that we ARE different than the culture that surrounds us by principles of shared heritage with Jesus and our citizenship in heaven.

Scriptural Principle:
John 17:14 “I have given them thy word; and the world hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”

Philippians 3:20a “For our citizenship is in heaven”

Furthermore, we are reminded that our difference (specifically our Love) is a sign of our Christianity to the unbeliever:

Scriptural Principle:
John 13:35 “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

Recently I was blessed to see proof of God’s hand in my life as I try to live like Jesus and fulfill the great commission in the area of the world that God has called me to. 

My wife and I have made friends with a couple of families that live in our building.  Recently we had the opportunity to anonymously help one of them (a single mother) when she was short on her rent.  We were blessed to be able to help her anyway, but I was especially blessed when I found out about a conversation that she had with her neighbor regarding her “miraculous” help.

He neighbor suggested that my family must have been the ones that paid her rent. 

“Really?” she asked, “Do you think so?”

“Of course.  I has to be them.” her neighbor responded, “who else would care that much?”

WOW!!!!  “Who else would care that much?”  What an amazing testament to the power of God’s love shining through us.  It’s important to emphasize that it isn’t that our helping with the rent showed love (though it did), but rather that God’s love had shone through us to such a degree in other day to day actions and words that our neighbors just assumed that a more extravagant gesture of charity, (remember that the word for love in I Corinthians 13 is translated as charity in the King James Version) even though it was anonymous, must have come from us. That is God’s light shining through us into the world, returning to bless us even as it blesses others through us.

One of the ways that I reach out to my neighbors is by providing free copies of God’s word.  I have a stack of Bibles in our front window (visible from the parking lot), with a sign in front of them that says “Free Bibles, just ask.”  In the last week I’ve given away two free copies of the Word of God. 

Scriptural Principle:
Isaiah 55:10-11For as the rain cometh
down and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth
the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, and giveth seed to the
sower and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not
return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and
it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.”

I get my copies of the Bible from the dollar store.  They have King James version Bibles for $1 each.  Small price to pay for such a powerful weapon in the battle for the hearts and minds of people God loves. 

However, some people might be better able to read and understand if I was able to offer a more modern translation.  If you know of a cheap source of modern language Bibles such as New King James, NIV, or NAS or if you would like to donate copies please get in touch with me at extendedstayevangelist@webtooldeveloper.com.

I haven’t blogged in quite some time.  Part of the reason for that is that my internet connection at this place is (to put it mildly) quirky, which makes using web applications like xanga less than perfectly easy.  But another part of it was that I began to question my own motives in blogging about my experiences.  I don’t want to give even the appearance of evil (Though 1 Thessalonians 5:22 does not actually refer to avoiding appearances†), and I was concerned that I might appear to be self-seeking or proud which is not my intention and might actually do the opposite of what I intended.

I have come to the conclusion though that it is more important to exhort and build up than to be concerned about someone thinking I’m self-aggrandizing. 

Scriptural Principle:
1
Thessalonians 5:11
“Wherefore exhort one another, and build
each other up, even as also ye do.”

The reason I write posts like Why Extended Stay Evangelist and Unhalloween is to exhort my brothers in Christ, as I examine my own life and see where God is leading and directing me to exhort others to examine their own hearts and see if perhaps God is leading them in the same direction and we can share the journey.  The reason why I write posts like Winnie and First Contact is to encourage and to receive encouragement. 

So, I will continue to share with you my efforts, my successes and failures, and my insight from God’s word.

† See http://www.crivoice.org/appearance.html for an explanation