While I always hope that everyone reading this blog gets something, I usually have a specific audience in mind when I write. It could be believers or unbelievers or even a specific family member or friend that is on my mind. This post is dedicated to the 45 plus members of the Adventures in Missions World race GAP Year, Route 6, Squad V. An inspiring group of 17 – 21-year-old men and women from diverse backgrounds who have chosen to defer their first year of college in lieu of transforming and being transformed in the name of Jesus Christ. It just so happens that we have blessed with the opportunity to coach them during their journey to four countries over the course of 9 months.
WORLD RACE GAP YEAR V SQUAD
WALL OF PRAYER IN OUR HONDURAN TINY HOUSE
One of my first memories as a child is watching the first astronauts land on the moon on my parents 16” Zenith black and white T.V. suffice it to say that I was hooked from the start. I used to put on a football helmet and sit for hours in the hall closet pretending to fly the lunar module. Alas as so many have heard me say, I really wanted to be an astronaut. But I sucked at math. So, I became a counselor instead.
In Toy Story One we see Buzz, a toy astronaut with an identity complex. Buzz does not know he is a toy. As the story begins we see Buzz comparing himself to, and competing with, the other characters for Andy, the toy owners, love. Buzz denies his obvious weakness, rationalizes and justifies his failures to the point of the absurd until one day he sees himself on a television commercial and is confronted with truth. Never the less he seizes upon his powers of denial, pulls himself together and once again tries to fly only to fall with less style than ever and loses an arm.
In the next scene we see a broken and dejected Buzz drinking Darjeeling tea with a bunch of headless dolls in Andy’s sisters’ room. His friends try to rescue his shattered self-worth but to no avail. Buzz must go through the fiery process of transformation and discovery of his true identity. Fast forward tot eh conclusion, we see Buzz rallying a bunch of broken toys to overcome the wiles of the evil Sid and save the day. In the end He becomes a real super hero but within the context of brokenness and in partnership with those who had also be broken.
That said, I am Buzz Light Year - Space Ranger.
Cathy loves horses. So much so that she used to pretend she was a horse when she was little. Even now everything stops the moment Cathy comes near a horse. Horses are everywhere in Honduras so that happens a lot. She could have married a rancher or a cowboy. Lucky for me she chose a wanna be astronaut instead.
Jessie the Cow Girl a.k.a. Cow girl Cathy does not come on the scene until after Buzz’s identity crisis in Toy Story 2. She appears to be looking for love in all the wrong places and is a bit fearful and claustrophobic until she comes into her own. She then shows herself to be the most courageous, kind, loyal and helpful to others. Those are just a few of Cathy’s qualities. By the end of Toy Story 3 Jessie appears to be developing the hots for Buzz.
Here begins our story. Toy Story 3.5ish and beyond.
We will not attempt to tell the whole story here. Adventures in Missions blogs tend to be short. So, we’ll save that for the future book that so many have encouraged us to write.
We Just Might...
Instead we thought we would simply bullet point some fruit of a few of the transformative lessons that we’ll call needless pain avoidance/soul - spirit hacks that we have learned along the way, specific points that we think might be of help to the members of our squad whom we have already grown to love.
1. It is easy to confuse the living God with our perceptions of the living God.
2. It is even easier to confuse our identity with our perceptions of ourselves.
3. Ideas, diagnoses, personality profiles and tattoos are not identities. Neither are feelings.
4. Many people believe they are worshiping God and are worshiping themselves.
5. The voice of God will never contradict His word or His character.
6. Truth and love can not be separated.
7. Truth is absolute. Happiness is relative. Joy is eternal and rooted in truth.
8. Faith (Revelation Faith) is fuel to propel you on His way.
9. Compassion and codependency often look the same. The first is selfless. The latter is the epitome of selfishness.
10. The manifest presence of God is real. Its purpose is not for us to catch a buzz.
11. The mercy of God is frequently misinterpreted as judgment.
12. Judgment and discernment are not the same.
13. The love of God may manifest as a healing touch or a whip.
14. If you really want to grow, learn, and love; die to self and let Him resurrect you.
15. A problem can not be divorced from its root cause if a solution is to be found.
16. Selfishness and self-centeredness are the root of every interpersonal problem.
17. The easiest lie to tell is the one you tell yourself.
18. Suffering is required. Suffering has purpose. Suffering should never be a goal.
19. To love and be loved is a basic, God given, human need. The problem lies in how we try to meet that need.
20. Nothing opens the door to deception as much as emotion.
21. Your future spouse is like a fruit ripening on a tree. Be patient. If you attempt to pick it before it is ripe it will be bitter.
22. Sometimes our weaknesses, failures and short comings are what make us lovable.
23. If farts offend you; don’t get married.
24. Forgiveness is for, and the responsibility of, the forgiver. Only then can God heal the associated hurt.
25. We cannot give what we do not have ourselves. We cannot lead where we have not gone.
26. Books are good, but the word of God is distilled, pure truth.
27. Knowledge is not understanding. Understanding comes with time, failure and perseverance. Wisdom comes from God as an expanded revelation of understanding.
28. Triumph and Disaster are imposters and “IF” by Rudyard Kipling is a good road map to maturity of the soul.
29. The top of the mountain is filled with open sky. There is a reason so many ultra-successful people commit suicide.
30. Many people spend their entire lives trying to relive and redo the Book of Ecclesiastes. You can take a short cut and skip ahead to chapter 12.
31. Salvation and sanctification are a process.
32. True identity is found in brokenness. False identity is a prerequisite.
33. People generally don’t care what you know until they know how much you care.
34. Integrity matters. Say what you mean, mean what you say, do as you say. Own your own failure to do so.
35. There is no such thing as failure only opportunities to learn and do better.
36. Every action has a reward and a cost.
37. “Fair” is a fantasy.
38. “Do the little things with radical love. The bigger things will come.” -Heidi Baker-
39. Everyone is a leader to someone.
40. Approach determines response. If you don’t like the response, then change your approach.
41. Knowing your weakness is the best defense. You can not defend what you deny or don’t know.
42. Transparency and vulnerability are weapons. Your testimony is the nuclear option.
43. The primary purpose in any spiritual calling is for God to teach us and bring us into a deeper relationship with Himself.
44. “I struggle with comparison” can be a white washed term for jealousy, envy and covetousness. Repentance not hugs might be the better answer.
45. When scared unsure or nervous, jump into papa’s arms and allow Him to remind you who you are.
46. Forgiveness, revival and healing are preceded by repentance.
47. Men who don’t cry are wimpy or dead.
48. Obstacles and spiritual attacks are blessing markers. The bigger the challenge the bigger the blessing on the other side.
49. “Truth is like a lion. It can defend itself.”
50. “If you don’t quit, you win!” -Heidi Baker”