Answering The Call is an international missions organization dedicated to reaching people in difficult to reach places.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Father's Day

David and I did something we have never done in our entire 26 years of marriage. We remembered Father’s Day early. This past Sunday we rushed home off the mountain to call our dads to wish them a Happy Father’s Day. I think we woke one of them up. He seemed surprised and a little baffled at our call, but appreciative all the same. We were telling all the dads we saw that day Happy Father’s day. We convinced one of our staff guys that it was Father’s Day and he came down off the mountain to call his dad as well. We found out the next day that it wasn’t Father’s Day but Flag Day. I even felt bad that I had not wished Jason (ATC missionary) his first happy Father’s Day.

This is sort of like Jesus rebuking the Pharisees for not discerning the signs of the times. (Matthew 16:3) Just kidding. However, I believe there is a word in this for us. As God’s people we are called to walk in wisdom, understanding the times like the Sons of Issachar. 1 Chronicles 12:32 says, “…the Sons of Issachar were men who understood the times, with knowledge of what Israel should do.” Do I mean we are to predict the future? No. Do I mean that as believers we need to be discerning the times and have knowledge of how the Lord is leading? Yes.

No one knows the DAY or the HOUR; however, we are to perceive the season. Jesus tells us to be on the alert, that we must be ready. He gives us a parable about the prudent keeping oil in their lamps so that when the bridegroom arrives we will not be caught off guard. There is a day coming when it will be THE Father’s Day. A day when every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord. In the meantime put on your armor, stand against the schemes of the enemy, stay alert, draw near to Jesus, be encouraged for the Lord is the rock of your salvation, and continue preparing the way for the Lord’s return.

Just a quick update about things here in Central America. We had the opportunity to participate in a baptismal service for the local church. David had the privilege of being a part of the baptism for the caretaker of the ATC equipping center. He and his wife have become believers since taking this job. We are having a great time with a group of 10 young men who came for the 4-week discipleship program, Generation of Promise, that ATC conducts. God is moving mightily. We feel blessed to be a part of what He is doing.

Bless your earthly father this Sunday and most essentially. bless your Holy Father every day you draw breath. He loves you more than you can imagine.

This post is written in honor of our dads. Happy Father’s Day Dad and Pops. Thank you for loving us. Thank you for teaching us the ways of our Heavenly Father. We love you!

David and Joy

Monday, June 1, 2009

The Way of the Ants

Well, here we are in Central America for our 6th consecutive summer. Our arrival has been typical to all of our other arrivals; broken down cars, lot’s of bug bites, beautiful flowers, delicious fresh tropical fruit, communication difficulties, and unexpected mishaps on the mountain. We’ve come to expect the unexpected. God seems to teach us new things every year. And some things He seems to re-teach us.
When I was here 6 years ago God taught me many things pertaining to the body of Christ through the observance of the Leafcutter ants. The other day I was having my morning coffee on the porch when I noticed a trail of Leafcutter ants next to me. I began recalling all that God taught me through these fascinating creatures. Proverbs 6 tells us to be wise and observe the ways of the ants. See if you can draw some parallels to the body of Christ in the way that the Leafcutter functions.

There are several varieties of ants within a Leafcutter colony. They each have their responsibilities and play different roles. For example, some of the ants stay together in large numbers around the food gathering columns. These ants are the first line-of-defense and continuously patrol the surrounding terrain attacking any enemy that threatens the foraging lines. There are other ants that do the actual cutting of leaves and bring them back to the nest. Some tend to and care for the fungus gardens. This is where they bring the leaves in order that they harvest into a fungus. There are worker ants that act as soldiers defending the nest from intruders and clearing the main trails of large debris in order that the actual cutters have a clear path on which to travel. Then there are cleaners. These ants ride around on top of the leaves looking for harmful foreign matter so that nothing is carried into the nest. According to Wikipedia these ants are capable of defoliating an entire citrus tree in less than 24 hours. I would say that is a pretty productive ant colony.

My bible happened to be opened to Proverbs 30 when I noticed the trail of ants. My eyes fell upon verses 24-25. “Four things are small on the earth, but they are exceedingly wise: The ants are not a strong people, but they prepare their food in the summer.” The Lord had my attention. I began asking Him what He wanted to communicate through the ants.

Ants prepare in one season so that they will be ready in the next. They are focused and diligent to stay on their assigned task. They make room for other ants to do their job. They work with purpose. They work together for the greater good of the colony. They are meticulous in keeping intrusions and obstructions from their path.

It particularly struck me that they prepare their food in the summer. Summer is upon us and I believe we are in a season of preparation. Of what, I do not know exactly. Perhaps it is different for each of us; however, I humbly ask you to go to the Lord and seek Him on what the preparation is for your life. He wants us to be a people prepared so that in the next season of our lives we will have the provision we need, not being caught off guard. Proverbs 6:9-10 describes what happens to one who is not prepared. “How long will you lie down O sluggard? When will you arise from you’re your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest. Your poverty will come in like a vagabond and your need like an armed man.” May we be awake and wise. I would love to hear what the Lord says to you.