Part of the trip preparation is a focus on preparing our hearts. We know that lasting fruit is only accomplished by the working of the Holy Spirit in hearts. To hear Him speak clearly to and through each of us we ask the Lord to examine our hearts even more than normal.
We know that many of you pray for us. We don’t ask this selfishly, but I would be ever so grateful if God does prompt you, that you would pray: 1. That our hearts would be right before the Lord and we would go in a spirit of humility. 2. That God would speak to the hearts of those attending and His will would be accomplished in their lives and homes. 3. That the Lord would guard us as we travel as there seems to be something different about this trip compared to others.
We will look forward to sharing things as the Lord gives opportunity over the next four weeks.
We are excited as Thursday approaches and we leave for a long trip out east. Thank you to those who have been praying. We anticipate God working mightily on this trip as the number and severity of pre-trip difficulties would indicate a major moving of our Lord in the hearts of His people. We have found that beginning roughly one month prior to a ministry trip that we are bombarded with problems. It seems that this time it has even been worse than others. It is a very good reminder of the spiritual battle we are in. I don’t often mention it as I don’t want to give glory to Satan. Our Lord Jesus is the One that gets all the glory for working out things that sometime seem impossible and there have been several such things this time.
We love our time on the road ministering and meeting families. (Last year after four weeks on the road, when we returned home after a terrible bout of the stomach flue, the children still wished the trip was longer.) Usually, those who come to our conferences are hungry to be challenged in their roles as parents and their walk with the Lord. We have been praying for months for those whom God will lead to come. We won’t be telling funny stories and entertaining them. Our message is simple, lift up the Lord Jesus Christ in everything as we exhort, challenge and equip families for the task at hand. Our world needs families who are committed to the Lord Jesus and living for Him and discipling their children according to God’s Word.
We look forward to meeting many of you on this trip. Please introduce yourself to us.
In Christ Jesus, Steve
A Few Pictures From This Week (From Sarah)
It was important to get the yard planted early this past week, due to our upcoming trip. John worked “overtime” with “Bob” (aka the Bobcat) as he diligently worked to even out the front yard and move dirt around. This was a night shot.
Joseph found this little frog (or toad?) when he was working Monday evening. He carefully took him to a safer place.
The next day, Tuesday, work continued on the yard. Some spent quite awhile picking up rocks from the yard. By late afternoon, it was time to seed! After Dad seeded, the rest of us spread straw. It was a hot job, but it was great working together.
Those aren’t just normal stilts–they are actually designed to help a person sheetrock! It’s quite interesting to watch the person walk with the stilts. Joseph is getting good at it. The guys were excited to screw up their first piece of sheetrock yesterday evening. ~Sarah
The weather has been very hot, but our guys (and girls!) have had such good attitudes in spite of the unpleasant heat. We are grateful for cooler temperatures now for a few days.
We are just finishing up wiring the house; even Anna and Mary are great wire pullers. We hired out the insulation this week, and it’s amazing to walk through the house and not be able to see someone in the next room. This morning was a big turning point – the “rock” (aka sheetrock) was delivered!
We are a little less than two weeks away from leaving on our East Coast trip. Please pray as we begin preparations. Most of the family has been hit with a cold/flu and some have been pretty sick (including Dad). Please pray for them as they recover. We always find the few weeks before a trip are filled with unexpected trials. We feel that there is definite spiritual warfare because Satan tries to deter us from going where Jesus wants us to be!
We have seventeen different cities we’ll be going to. We’re looking forward to meeting many of you.
Only for Jesus, Sarah
John working at his first attempt to build a retaining wall. Dad said it turned out great!
Mary working on wiring! 🙂
Anna was insulating pipes.
John, Jesse, and Joseph watching the city putting in a water drainage tube.
Joseph was working on light fixtures for the front of the house.
Jesse, showing the wiring that was done.
Sheetrock coming in through the window!
You might notice the ground looks muddy. We had quite a bit of rain in the night, and then it did rain before the trucks came. Praise the Lord during the time they unloaded sheetrock, it didn’t rain. The rain only began again after they were finished!
Thank you for your prayers during this past week. We had a wonderful time of sharing the Lord Jesus Christ with many fair-goers during the county fair. We desired to challenge people to evaluate where they would spend eternity. The exciting part about doing balloon animals/creations as well as drinks is that we had an extended period of time to interact. The “crazy hats” required three or more balloons, and due to the heat, the balloons would often pop while we were handling them. It was fun to look a small child in the eye and ask, “Would you like a little cute balloon animal or a big huge crazy hat?” They frequently choose the “big huge crazy hat.” 🙂 During that time, we would try to bring them to a point of understanding their need of a Savior, and seek to encourage those that were already Christians to evaluate where their walk with the Lord was, or challenge them spiritually however we could.
I could spend alot of time going through how each person contributed and was involved. Melanie was a great blessing and hard worker, she did so much behind the scenes. The Lord has truly blessed me with a diligent, precious wife. John carted drinks in the heat between houses and loaded refrigerators. Everyone went beyond their “comfort” zone to share Christ. Dad and Chris were natural conversationalists with people from all walks, Annie and Sarah handed out drinks, made balloons, and shared Christ. Joseph and John spent time out front offering drinks/balloons to passersby and witnessing as they could. It is amazing how God will gift those within a family for His work.
I haven’t posted evening by evening updates as I wanted this small act of obedience to be done before our Lord (Matthew 6:1-2). He is the audience we are seeking to please. However, we’ve also been grateful for the prayer support and wanted to keep people informed.
Anyone that might be interested in a similar ministry can email us for more information. However, I would caution about first getting a word from the Lord and ensuring His direction. Fairs are places of uninhibited worldliness evidenced by dress (Proverbs 7:10), conduct, and available wares/activities (Pilgrims Progress, http://www.learnthebible.org/c_p_pilgrims_progress_chapter_6.htm). Eyes and hearts must be closely guarded.
We continue to pray that the tracts that are now in so many homes are read and fruit born as a result.
This is Fair week for our County. 7-8 Maxwells are there each evening handing out soft drinks, water and making balloon animals/hats. The Lord has blessed the first two evenings. If you think of it, please remember us in prayer each evening for the remainder of the week. We desire to be bold in sharing the gospel and challenging people to contemplate eternity and where they will spend it.
Our family celebrated Joseph’s high school graduation Saturday night. Even though Joseph has officially been done with school for several months, with trips and the house building project, we hadn’t been able to celebrate his graduation yet.
A few weeks in advance, we had asked family member who would be attending to find a Scripture verse to share with Joseph concerning their heart’s desire for his future and for them to be prepared to pray a blessing for him.
In a way, the first part of the graduation evening was like a birthday with Teri’s parents, Nathan, and Melanie joining us for the evening. After our dinner of Joseph’s choice of a favorite meal, we moved into the living room for family Bible time.
When we were finished with our time in the Word, I presented Joseph with his high school diploma. For our graduating children we order blank diplomas from HSLDA. Nathan blessed us by brushing up on his calligraphy skills so he could letter the diploma entries. The diplomas are professional looking and beautiful when completed.
A side note about his graduation. In addition to completing his school work, I had given Joseph another requirement for graduation. He was to read through the Bible, outlining it as he went while also compiling a timeline and doctrinal statement. These would be for his own personal use. The outline would be a consolidation of the points that were important to him from each chapter – a condensed view of Scripture from his perspective. The doctrinal statement was to be doctrinal points and supporting Scripture that he gleaned as he read and ones that would be foundational to his life and walk with the Lord Jesus. The timeline was to help him understand key Biblical events. He worked hard on this, and I have been very pleased.
The next graduation event was for family members, one by one, to read the verse or verses we had picked out with which to bless Joseph. After explaining our choice of a verse, we each prayed for Joseph. There were several times where tears flowed among different family members. It touched my heart when Sarah shared weeping with gratitude to the Lord, as she prayed and realized that if the Lord had not changed Teri and my heart to have more children, Joseph (and the four after him) would not be here! What a blessing and joy they are to our family.
After that, Joseph opened graduation gifts. He also expressed to the family his gratefulness for Teri’s investment of all those years in homeschooling him. Amen. A side note: When discussing the upcoming graduation several weeks ago, the children and I decided that “teacher Mom” ought to have a token acknowledgement of those years of blessing Joseph. We decided a fitting treat for her would be for the two of us to spend a couple nights away together. We are so grateful for her labor of love through these years.
Homeschooling requires a tremendous investment by moms who are willing to pay the price. How appropriate to close with this verse. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24). May God tremendously bless you moms who have chosen such a path.
The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.