Number of Firsts

We just finished a refreshing day and a half on our spur of the moment stop in Star City, Arkansas. This stop held a number of firsts for us. We’ve never driven 8 hours (500 miles) on a conference day: but we started out a little before 8 a.m. and pulled in around 4 p.m. The church had two guest houses to stay in, and after we arrived, we had our family Bible time, and then we walked down to the church for dinner. Let me give a bit of background, though. Many people own small businesses in the church, and this group of businesses is clustered together in one area and called The Country Village. As we walked around over that day and a half, it reminded me of a little mountain town: pine trees, the style of the buildings, lettering on the signs, and then to top it off, pretty blue skies and cooler temperatures.

We went down to the fellowship hall, and we were delighted with the warm welcome. Dinner was delicious, and we enjoyed talking with our new friends.

After dinner, Daddy shared with the whole group that evening, and I could tell my dad was listening to the Holy Spirit’s leading as he preached. After the service was through, the Pastor announced that we would all be meeting again at 6:30 a.m.! Yes, 6:30. That was another first for us :-). Dad shared with the men the session Feed My Sheep while Mom gave Managers of Their Homes. When those were through, everyone ate at the bakery: Dad said he’s never had such a delicious cinnamon roll, and I agree!

The day was spent visiting with our new friends, looking around in the stores, lunch at the BBQ, a Ladies’ meeting where Mom shared with the women, more visiting, and a delicious dinner at the steakhouse. We were all very, very blessed by our time with this sweet church.

Another first was making such an impromptu stop:-). Dad had felt the Lord’s leading to do it, and we had the free day and a half.

We’re looking forward to Jonesboro tonight and the Memphis conference this weekend.

Sarah for the rest

New conference added for this Tuesday night, Star City, Arkansas!

I dialed into our voicemail at home Friday afternoon, and one message was from a pastor in Arkansas. Dad called him back, and they had a wonderful chat together. The pastor requested that we come and do a conference for them this coming week. Well, we did have a free evening (this Tuesday, the 16th), and so after checking GoogleMaps, and some prayer, Dad said “yes”! Star City is about an hour and twenty minutes south of Little Rock, and forty minutes from Pine Bluff: we’re excited to be able to go there.

Since this is “spur of the moment”, we’re not totally sure what sessions will be given. The conference is open to anyone who would like to attend. For more details, please see this link. Life on the road is an adventure 🙂 .

Serving Jesus,
Sarah for the rest

Posted in: Misc.

Ambassadors: Quick to Seek Direction

(This is the fifth in a series of entries drawing analogies between experiences that Ambassador Joseph Grew shared about in his book Ten Years in Japan and practical aspects of being an ambassador for Jesus Christ, and is continued from the previous post regarding the Diplomatic League situation)

Following the situation that arose when Ambassador Grew politely declined to sign the German Ambassador’s Diplomatic League speech (due to the United States not having diplomatic relations with Germany at that time), the German Ambassador asked if they could have a meeting. The German Ambassador wanted to talk things through.

Instead of drawing upon his experience and skill as an Ambassador in order to decide the proper course of action, Ambassador Grew cabled his authorities at the State Department to seek direction.  (to be continued)

An Ambassador’s job is not to be a decision maker, but rather to follow the directions that he receives from his authorities in the country he represents.

Jesus, despite being fully God and man, spent many hours during the course of His time on earth in prayer. For example, before selecting his twelve disciples, Jesus spent the entire night in prayer! Luke 6:12-13, “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.”

All through the three years of His ministry the disciples sought Jesus’ counsel, guidance, and direction. Once, Peter sought Jesus’ counsel (Luke 22:49, “Lord, shall we smite with the sword?”) but didn’t wait for a response (John 18:10, “Then Simon Peter having a sword drew it, and smote the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear.”) and was rebuked by the Lord Jesus (Matthew 26:52, “Then said Jesus unto him, ‘Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.'”).

When we, as ambassadors for the Lord Jesus Christ, are faced with a situation do we rely upon our own wisdom to “make the call”? I know from personal experience that it seems as if the areas where I feel myself to be wise and believe I have much experience are the areas in which I don’t tend to rely upon the guidance and direction of the Lord. And in those areas where I believe myself to be weak and have little experience are the areas in which I am quick to seek His guidance. Might that be some of what Paul was referring to when he said, “for when I am weak, then am I strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)?

Are we, as ambassadors for Jesus, proud of our “decision-making abilities,” or do we with humble hearts continually seek His direction?

In Christ,
Christopher

Oklahoma City Conference

We were very blessed by the conference here in Oklahoma City. We are grateful to the First Baptist Church of Moore for letting us use their facilities.

Our trip down here was thankfully uneventful except for having to load up and drive through a lot rain. It was hard to leave everyone at home, and we are already missing them!

We have been enjoying the bus greatly on this trip! With all the extra organizational work, it has made loading and unloading the bus a lot easier. Another thing we have enjoyed is the ability to have our family Bible time at any time of the day! The new bus windows are working out very well: it is such a blessing to be able to open the windows. Unlike the old ones that were supposed to be only opened for emergencies, these we can have open always.

Sweet little girl and her brother.
Sweet little girl and her brother at the conference Saturday.

We needed to move conference rooms due to different circumstances so we arrived earlier than usual Saturday morning. Jesse diligently took many loads to facilitate the move. Saturday we were grateful for the lunch provided by a family that attended the conference. Dad ended the conference with the Christ Led Family session. It was the perfect finale to the conference.

We always enjoy seeing the little children at the conferences.
We always enjoy seeing the little children at the conferences.
Dad talking with a few fathers after a session.
Dad talking with a few fathers after a session.
A little boy and his brother.
A little boy and his brother.
Mom and son--probably reviewing the son's notes from a session.
Mom and son--probably reviewing the son's notes from a session.
Christ-Led Family Session
Christ-Led Family Session

Today we had church as a family, but we missed our dear elderly friends at home. Nathan and Melanie have kindly stepped in and are taking care of church.

Anna for the rest of the family

We’re On the Road!

After a jam-packed Thursday full of trip preparations (and for some of us early into this morning 🙂 ), we are happily off for Oklahoma City! Everyone pitched in yesterday for all that needed to be done. Some of the boys worked on the bus, others worked on compiling more Chore books and MOTH books, another WalMart run was made, lots of organizing was done in the bus, many boxes loaded into the bays, and numerous other things.

Mary and Anna compiling books.
Mary and Anna compiling books.
There was much work to be done!
There was much work to be done!
Mary helped Dad as his errand girl.
Mary helped Dad as his errand girl.
John and Jesse loading the bus.
John and Jesse loading the bus.
Joseph and Dad working on the bus.
Joseph and Dad working on the bus.
Isn't she cute?!!
Isn't she cute?!!

Nathan and Melanie had us over for a delicious dinner, which was a wonderful treat, and we had family Bible time together after that.

We did have a bit of excitement around midnight: Christopher and Joseph were finishing up something on the bus, and a few of us were working in the basement. Suddenly, the lights all flickered, then they went out, then came back on briefly, and then everything went pitch dark! You realize this is not a good time to be without electricity in the midst of trip preparations! We were very grateful when the lights came back on within a minute. Christopher and Joseph, on the other hand, who were at the front of new the house, saw a strange, odd light suddenly appear from a power pole, and a noise, which sounded like a giant electric arc, before everything went totally black. They were also happy to have the electricity come on so quickly.

Hanging clothes ready to go!
Hanging clothes ready to go!
Mom ready to hand a set of clothes to someone who will take them out to the bus.
Mom ready to hand a set of clothes to someone who will take them out to the bus.
Praying in the bus before we left (two of the boys weren't in the bus yet).
Praying in the bus before we left (two of the boys weren't in the bus yet).
Grandma and Grandad waving good-bye--they are going to take care of shipping while we're away, and Honey (notice her stuffed toy?!).
Grandma and Grandad waving good-bye--they are going to take care of the ministry at home while we're away, and Honey (notice her stuffed toy?!).

Thank you to everyone who is praying for our family; we are so grateful. The Lord blessed in all of the trip preparations, and we are grateful to have embarked on this trip!

Sarah for the family

The Maxwell family and ministry blog of Titus2.com.