Friday, April 11, 2014

My Sweetest Friend 4/5/14

Sitting in an ugly yellow leather chair at a Panara bread restaurant. I grab my hat and pull it low over my eyes and look down into my lap.  My phone is on the armrest, my IPod is on my left leg  and my Kindle Fire is on my right leg. tears are streaming down my face.  I look up and in front of me is a bigger lady checking her glucose level. for a second my mind drifts to what it would be like to have diabetes.  She's got a polka-dotted shirt; at her table are two other people and they are eating lunch.  My IPod is playing a song and it hits me so hard.  The chorus is

"How can I serve You, my sweetest Friend.
 I'll never go back, now I know.
 My eyes looking forward to You instead; desperately waiting..."

 Tears flow down my face every single time I hear the words "how can I serve You, my sweetest Friend."  It just touches my heart in the deepest places.  This whole morning as I have been sitting here, trying to prepare for speaking events all this week.  I have two tomorrow morning, one tomorrow night.  Speaking at a school next week.  I have been speaking two to Four times a week for the last month.  In all of that, somewhere along the line, sharing the Gospel; sharing the story, I haven't had an honest moment with the Lord.  I haven't had an honest moment with just me and Him and things cloud my mind; fears, sins, things from the past.  They always come forward in those moments to condemn me and to change me and to destroy my heart and my mind.  I start looking at them, start condemning myself; feeling a ton of shame.  "All I want to do is serve You, my sweetest Friend."  I grip the chair and just let it ring out in my heart, the voice inside is screaming the words. Just thinking those words, "How can I serve You, my sweetest Friend?"  The tears are flowing even harder now.  I look to the left and I see a lady staring at me. "I need to get out of here."  I start collecting my things and throwing them in my bag and as I try and rush out of the Panara Bread, My eyes fixed on watching my own feet. I don't want to make eye contact with anyone and i don't want anyone to see me. I swing the door open way too wide and almost hit a lady. I don't stop. I cant.  I get in the car and I turn it on and I turn up the music as loud as I can and I sing as loud as I possibly can to the Lord, "How can I serve You, my sweetest Friend?  I'll never go back, now that I know."  It is so hard to not go back to the past; always condemning myself.

All that leads up to this; I am ready to get back on the road.  I miss those times when I am out there on the road and it's just me and the Lord.  I've come to depend on that alone time with Him and I didn't know it.  I don't know how it happened.  I don't know when it happened.  I don't know when I got far away, or I got distant or I stopped listening.  Even in the midst of all this ministry, of all of this sharing, of all the speaking, of all the amazing things I have seen, somewhere in the last couple weeks I've gotten far...I've gotten far.

But how wonderful is the Lord to always draw us back in. I wasn't trying to get close.  Trying to hear something from the Lord.  I was Looking for anything to get me ready for  my week ahead. I was Looking for anything to prepare me. Inspiration. I wasn't looking for a relationship with my God and king  But this song; the Lord had to deal with me.  I couldn't just get information to share.  I couldn't just get inspiration.  The Lord had to bring me to the foot of the cross.  He had to open my eyes and say, "You can't just be a good speaker.  You can't just use the Bible, my love letter to you as information; as a topic to speak on.  You need Me."

All of the speaking events went amazing. I really felt lucky to be apart of what the Lord is doing but even more than that I'm am grateful to have him cares about me. Want to be close with me. more over wants me to be close with him.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Rockies Game

I am looking down at my phone using the maps app looking for the closest REI.  I need to get new gear; mostly new shoes.  I had a gift card that was given to me by my friend Chirs.  It was a kind of a going away present.  You know it is time for new shoes when you can smell them while they are on your feet and you are are walking in the open air. The odor is a mix between baby vomit and rotting whale carcass.  Don't ask me how I know what a rotting whale carcass smells like. I take a mental picture of the map in my head, turn off my phone, put it in my pocket and keep walking.  I take a left off of Colfax and go into a neighborhood.  I am trying to avoid the busy streets right now, trying to get out of the spotlight a little bit.  LeeRoy and I stop at an empty house that is for sale.  We sit on the porch.  He eats the grass.  We both kinda lounge in the shade for a bit.  I have noticed something about myself.  It's like I look for trouble.  I will go through a season of good behavior, so to speak, and then I will find some way to get myself into trouble.  I think I get overwhelmed, or maybe let my guard down.  Maybe even beyond that, especially with all the attention, I self-sabotage.  That sentence went through my mind and I just shrugged my shoulders and went "huh."  I picked up my backpack and LeeRoy and I started heading east again towards Bronco stadium.  (It's hard to be transparent again.  Writing these blogs is not easy).  Eventually we ran into the stadium and had to take a left.  As you come from west to east, you can kinda look down on the city at about 20 blocks out.  Once LeeRoy and I get a few blocks past the stadium, we hang another right and follow the road over the freeway.  Just before you hit the bridge to go over the freeway,  the neighborhood just seems to disappear and you can look on downtown Denver.  The first thing you see as you cross the bridge is the aquarium.  Just beyond the aquarium, you can see the river start to flow and then the tall buildings.  Crossing that bridge felt like a big mile marker for me.  Just past the bridge, the road curves to the left.  I can see the REI sign.  Then, there is just that excitement; that pep in my step.  You keep walking and walk right into the REI.  I spent a lot of time on the patio of a Starbucks.  About the best Starbucks in the world for a guy like me. I mean, it’s attached to an REI!  And I love that. At the edge of the patio there is a bunch of grass and trees. LeeRoy is half under the patio keeping out of the sun. It's really great because it makes him hard to see so he’s not attracting a lot of attention.  Looking south there is a river.  It seems to run east to west and just on the other side of it is the center of Denver.  In the river is a little man-made island where people go and play in the water. Families, couples and a few single moms are spread out across it.  There are a few rowdy kids running around. My favorite kind of kid. A few business people are trying to get out of their work cubicles and into the fresh outdoors. They were eating their lunches on benches and random places to sit on the island. Reading books and escaping from the mundane life they have. You can almost see them get lost in their books.  I can only imagine what it would be like to have been working in a cubicle for 15 or 20 years of my life. I would hate that.  There was a time in my life when I was on that same path.  As soon as lunch would come around I would punch out and go outside and just want to scream; and cuss; and kick stuff and spit.  Say Christian cuss words like "I hate this dang job; and I want to freaking quit." In fact I remember this one job I had. I worked at a hospital for a few years doing different jobs over the years. One of the responsibilities I had was to verify insurances. I would sit in a cubical all day and check the insurance information on the web. Within the first few hours of my day I would be about to lose it. On my lunch I would go to the top of the eight story parking garage and just stare at the city. I would day dream of some other life. MAN am I grateful for what I do now. As I stare at the business men and women reading their books, I snap out of it; that was a dark place.  A heavy dose of reality of what could have been.  Some people love that and can enjoy that and they want that, but not me.  I need freedom.  I am a wild stallion and I hate fences. Haha.    I sit there and people-watch and try not to stick out like a sore thumb. As I'm watching the people I notice every second person is just staring down at their phone.  A thought jetted through my mind. THEY ARE MISSING IT. And then I literally laugh out loud as I look down and see my phone firmly gripped by my right hand.  I have been surfing Facebook most of the morning.
 I had been in Denver for a couple of days now, and today was all about meeting up with friends. Long before I started this walk I had been in a band and toured through here quite a few times. I was really excited to meet up with them and tell them all about this new adventure I was on so I contacted a few of my local friends to let them know I was in town.  Only one of them came out. My friend Liz.  She was somebody that has always been around.  We ended up staying at her house during a tour eight years ago.

I thought back to the last time we hung out. The band I was in had a few days off in Denver. A group of us ended up going to a swing dance club. It's located in downtown Denver somewhere in an old brick building. It was the only thing that hadn't been torn down in the neighborhood. The brick building was on the northeast corner of the block surrounded by parking lots. The bottom floor was a restaurant that was split into two parts. The entrance to the building was on the corner. I walked in and on the first floor there was a poetry reading going on. It was dripping with teenage emotion and not pretentious words, but just people that are trying way too hard to be cool.   I stood there for a while before going up with the rest of the crowd to the swing dancing on the second floor. I was listening to the people basically trying to rap without music.  It literally was the most awkward thing I had ever heard. 



 "I have a flower
 a gray flower
it is my heart 
 It is wilting from the sun of your hatred
 Sometimes I drive on the right side of the road 
sometimes I don't
 Emotions are heavy
Let's have a tickle fight."


  I stood and stared at the overweight kid wearing skinny jeans and a polo, a beard, glasses and he had kind of like a fro thing going on. Standing there on stage, the shape of his body looked like an ice cream cone. He definitely was the flavor of sherbet in my mind.  After subjecting myself to the most awkward thing on the planet, I couldn't choke down another bite of this ice cream cone and eventually went upstairs for swing dancing. 

Yeah, that's right, I can swing dance. Liz was there. We danced a few times. Liz is quite a bit taller than me.  I have to stand on my tippy-toes to do some of the spins.  That's no lie.  But back to the story.  Liz and I sat inside Starbucks and caught up. She's a super sweet girl.  While we were talking we decided to check out a Rockies game. We got a goat sitter; a place to take LeeRoy and we went to a Rockies game.  It was great to hang out with Liz and catch up and share stories.  She is a missionary now, well not a missionary, but something like a missionary.  She does work for the Gospel and raises support for it. So yeah, I guess she is a missionary. Anyway, it was a great time. The Rockies lost which I am okay with.  They lost to the Marlins.  Their mascot is a fish.  Like, I don't get it.  Is the Marlin a wild attacking fish?  I don't get it.  The Marlins beat the Rockies; sad day. I gotta say, maybe one of the most uncomfortable moments in my life happened at that game.  There was the most annoying guy behind me yelling the whole time; totally inappropriate stuff; socially awkward situation.  The Marlins hit a home run into our section.  A pregnant woman catches the ball and she keeps it.  Now in some stadiums there is a tradition.  If the guest team hits a home run and a fan catches it, they throw the ball back onto the field out of disgust.  You are not allowed to keep it for a souvenir.  This guy behind us stands up and starts yelling at this pregnant woman.  He starts chanting  "Throw it back, throw it back"  She doesn't want to throw it back.  But this guy won't stop yelling at her.  And now he is getting the crowd to start chanting at this woman.  Now, I am the most uncomfortable in these situations.  She takes the ball and sits down in her seat while everybody is chanting at her and she shakes her head no.  In my head I am thinking, at what point do I stand up and say shut up to this guy, leave her alone?  I glance back at the lady and I notice an usher coming down to tell this guy to leave her alone and to quiet the crowd.  The only problem is that she is a 70 y/o woman and she can hardly yell at all. She comes down the steps to his row and she is saying something, but you can't hear her.  I had to do something.  So with the emotional courage of five teenage girls, I whip my head around, throw my hands up and yell in my sassiest voice, "come on, leave her alone!"  I don't know how effective that was, but I certainly felt more uncomfortable and awkward by the second. As the crowd eventually starts to die down and watch the game again, I definitely have to give up some man cards for not being stronger in the situation.  


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

PODCAST FORM KENYA

PODCAST FORM KENYA I just got back from Kenya. where I had an amazing time. had the great pleasure for sitting down with ST and Fred the co founders of Uzima Outreach... we talked for about 2 hours. I will be turning this in to several Podcasts... Check it out...

Thursday, January 16, 2014

My life is a movie.

Ya want to know something I find a little crazy…. Through most of my 20’s I only  slept about 4-5 hours a night and I loved it. But since I’ve been back for the winter I have slept up to 9 hours.  Ok, that’s an exaggeration. It’s more like almost 8 hours. Haha. I wake up around 6 or 7 no matter what time I go to bed.  Ok, that’s not true either. I can sleep in till about 8 or even 9 if I go to bed past 2 in the morning. Making it to 9 in the morning I feel like I have slept the whole day away.  And that kind of leads me to my story…
 
First a few little facts.
 
Everyone told me that the state of Kansas would be the worst to walk through. However that was not my experience. I loved it. Believe it or not, there is a town about every 10 to 15 miles. Ok town is strong language. It was mostly like a few houses and a grain silo, post office maybe a gas station. Maybe. Nonetheless, there was something.  A few times there was a gas station that clearly  had been shut down years ago, but it had a working soda machine out front. Haha. Thinking back on this… I remember walking into a small, small, SMALL town late at night and seeing the glow of a lit up soda machine. There was an emotional reaction that went on inside of me.

Ok, this may sound so crazy. When I was 15 my parents sent me to a desert program thing for “troubled and at risk kids” (to this day I still don’t know what those terms mean AND I hate that label). It was called called Treks. It was so sucky. Just about the craziest time of my life. The other boys there were soooo messed up. The counselors messed with your head. I remember them trying to break us. Get us to cry. Yelling and cussing at us. It was scary. One night after some crazy emotion and mental manipulation I laid out in the desert in my sleeping bag and I had to make a decision. Beat this or let it beat me. I made a decision that I was the only person I could trust. I do remember my faith in that moment, but I didn’t know how to use it. I didn’t know how to look to God for strength … so I made a plan. It’s only 3 years till I’m 18 and then I’m free. In my mind it was jail. And I wasn’t going to let them take any more from me then they already had.  I would make it out of this indestructible. 

Anyways, after the desert program I was being transported to a boy’s ranch in Clarkfork, ID called Elk Mountain Academy. On the way there we drove through my hometown: Spokane, Washington. As you drive into Spokane from the west on hwy I90 you come into town from the top of a hill and you get a great view of Spokane.  There is was HOME. My eyes welled up with tears. I couldn’t believe how much I loved this city. How it had made me feel safe and joy and I realized right then for the first time that is will always be my home. 

No I know this sound crazy, but as I walked up to that soda machine in the middle of Kansas I almost had that same kind of feeling. Like the soda or the machine gave me some kind of deep emotional comfort.  
Ok, that was a bit of a tangent…
So instead of a few facts I just give you that one… For now.

Ok back to my story… oh ya I don’t sleep a lot. But in this story that is a really good thing and here’s why.

As you come into Denver, CO on hwy 74 there is a town called Golden, CO.  LeeRoy and I had just walked 16 miles on a back road called old hwy 40 that followed hwy 70.  We spent all day walking. Like always at about 5 I started looking for a place to set up my tent. I had found what looked like an apartment development area. It was right on the edge of a hill I could see Golden, CO. I had thought I better stop here for the night. I didn’t want to get too deep into the city and not find a place to sleep. Let me paint you a picture.  As you look north you can see a Golden and some kind of small factory and what looked like the night shift coming on to start work. to the south are big, big parking lots and a gas station. To the west, high mountains and to the east  was a main road. The development areas was about 4 blocks square completely level and ready to break ground for the foundation. We set up camp and LeeRoy and I stayed up late and talked.
 
Me: So tomorrow is Denver. We made it.
LeeRoy looks at me as he slowly chews on his cud.
Me: It always gets crazy. You know how the cities get… I was thinking we should take some time off here mostly cause it’s going to be a long, long way to KC.
LeeRoy uses his horns to itch a spot on his back towards his tail.
 
The conversation went on. I told him I was proud of him and I can’t believe we made it this far. I reminded him of all the people that doubted that a goat could walk as far as we have.  We shared a granola bar.

I sat with my back up against a big concrete drain pipe that was randomly out there … Looking at the glow for the city lights of Golden and Denver. Leeroy eventually laid his head in my lap and I itched behind his ears. We sat like that for a while. I let my mind wonder and dream. 
 
At about midnight I went to bed.
 
Sometime in the night I wake up. I open my eyes and focus my ears to investigate what’s around me I see the faint outline of LeeRoy against the glow of the city lights. His tail is straight up and I can kind of see the hair on his back is standing up. His ears and eyes are pointed. Dead set on something. Now I know those are all red flags. And when I’m fully awake I am on it. But as I lay there it’s taking me some time to analyze the data in my head.  I laid there another minute with my eyes closed. The picture still in my head. I don’t quite understand how I figured it out but then I was instantly awake. Full on, full scale ready for battle. I grabbed my head lamp and immediately shined it in the direction the LeeRoy was looking and not a minute too soon. There were 8 sets of eyes glowing and staring right back at me … all I could see were the eyes… they all start howling at the top of their lungs. I jump to my feet and start yelling at the top of my lungs. But not any word just AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. I put on my head lamp and throw my arms up to look big and scary.  And yelling like I was a wild animal myself AHHHHHHHHHH

BUT NOTHING they didn’t move. They are howling and yelling.  HA! Now I don’t know why I did this, but  at one point they were all howling in tune and I started to slid my voice up to match them. For a second it felt like we are all in perfect pitch. Unsure of what would happen next I threw a few rocks their way. And they scattered…
But they didn’t go far.

I kept throwing rocks and started say. “Scat  skedaddle” … eventually they left and I laid back down after the coast was clear. I laid in my sleeping bag replaying what had happened.

Scat? Skedaddle?

I laughed out loud …I really need to work on my tough talk… hahaha.

My grandmother used to say that. I laid there and thought about her in the kitchen saying scat and skedaddle to me when I would try and steal a bite of whatever she was cooking. She would always have some  hostess ding dongs in the fridge. I can hear her now, “Put that back! You’re going to ruin your dinner.”  I slowly put it back and she shoos me out of the kitchen. “Now scat! Skedaddle!” haha
HERE’S TO YOU GRANDMA…. Hahah SCAT SKEDADDLE... R.I.P

Friday, January 10, 2014

24 hours


Today is the day that we start our 24 prayer. I have to be honest, I have been struggling to keep myself on task. I start to pray and then my very undisciplined mine seems to drift off… I am going to keep at it for sure, it's something that I really want to get good at!

 We had about 66 people sign up. I'm so happy that we got that many. Ya know its interesting, I have over 6000 people following me on Facebook. It seems like they all pray for me often, judging by the comments left on my post. I always get “praying for you” or “lifting you up today” (that's Christian code for praying). I am a doubting Thomas I think … I would love to tell you that I believe it when I read it, but truth is, most of the time I don’t. First off, if you do post that and truly do pray for me … I guess I would say, pray that the Lord changes my heart on that… and if you do post "I'm praying for you" or "You're in my prayers" and don’t pray I aint mad at ya. God knows I have said it myself more than a few times…. Either way … I honestly didn't think we would even get this many people to be a part of the 24 hours of prayer…. It's so exciting.

As I have been praying through the list of things this morning and reading I keep coming back to this story of Noah's Ark. I gotta say, I have read through this story about 30 times in the last few weeks. The last blog I did about it was intense for me; really crazy and important for me to get out. Since that time I have noticed a few other things  about that story that I just love… they really hit me hard…

1 Noah had to do a lot of  work
Genesis 6:22: Noah did everything just as God commanded him.
He had to build the ark. Swing a hammer. Get dirty. I love that. This is more how I like to do things. I want to be good at prayer. I want to be able to wait on the Lord and take everything to Him. At the same time, I want to work. I want to be in the game. I think its important to know that when the Lord asks us to do something, it's going to take a lot of hard work.

The other part I love about it is that He followed the directions. I am not always the best at that. I try and take control and “make it my own” so to speak.

Then the Lord said to Noah ”come into the Ark…” :Genesis 7:1
Now there are a few different translations for this verse. Some say, "Lord said GO" others say, "Come into the ark."
In my experience, the Lord always seems to invite me in.  I really believe the Lord gives us an invitation to be a part of what He is doing…"Come into"... He wants to take us on adventures and do wild, crazy things for His glory. 

The last thing that has really jumped out at me is this  story is. Genesis 7:16:
“….And the Lord shut him in.”
God shut them into the Ark to protect them.
I talked about this in my blog called The Ark. In the blueprints that God gave to Noah He didn’t give him a rudder or a compass.
But this verse says it all …God shut them in.
Or… God was protecting them. God was in control. They didn’t need a rudder. God was steering the Ark.
They didn’t need a compass. God was navigating the them through danger and right where they need to go … he was guiding them to land.

I got to say now more than ever I feel this is not just a story that I can apply to the project, but also to my life as a Christian.

Be obedient.
God will invite you on an adventure,
He will get you to the end.

As I pray for Uzima and Needle2Square today. I also pray for you. That you won't say no to whatever Adventure the Lord invites you on…

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Failure is your time to shine!





I think I talk about this often. Mostly because its on my mind a lot. I so often have to tell this to people that I meet on this adventure… I also need to hear it myself … The question that every one keeps asking  me is “what if I fail?” here is my advice or my 2 cents…
I think its common knowledge that its not IF we fail but WHEN we fail. In fact, I think a better way to think of it is “what do I do when I fail?”… or even better yet “what do I do AFTER I fail?”
I love how the Bible says it here in Proverbs
Proverbs 24:16 
16 for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity
What do you do after you fail. After you Fall. YOU RISES AGAIN
I really like the way The Message translates it

Proverbs 24:16 (The Message)
16 No matter how many times you trip them up, God-loyal people don't stay down long; Soon they're up on their feet, while the wicked end up flat on their faces. 

I heard this Quote once. “Fail often and early so you can succeed sooner.”

The idea is after you fail you will be one step closer to succeeding. The reality is you really do become stronger and smarter. Here is another bonus that you may not realize. You will absolutely get respect for the people that are watching you… and you will earn the respect from the people that are afraid to even step in to a leadership role and try.
Put this in you mind and save it for later
FAILURE IS YOUR TIME TO SHINE


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Ark


The Ark
Do you remember Jason Russel.... 
Kony 2012 filmmaker Jason Russell was moving at a frenetic pace, crisscrossing the country doing interviews and making appearances, trying to keep up with the viral success of his campaign.
And then came the naked public meltdown on a San Diego street that was captured on video.
He addressed the bizarre incident in a new video he hopes will bring interest and action back to Kony 2012, a campaign that calls for the arrest of alleged Ugandan warlord Joseph Kony.
"My mind betrayed me and I was hospitalized," Russell said in the new video. "If you're put in the position to give answers to every question a dozen times over, your mind starts to lose track of where you are, if you've slept, who's for you, who's against you."


Since then I’ve heard him speak and talk about what he went through. It blows my mind. It puts fear in my heart. It makes me question, “Lord am I the right guy for this job? Am I ready for the national stage, for national scrutiny?” I don’t know. It’s scary to think about. You know after hearing his story I got on my knees and I prayed to God and I wept over this. Lord protect me. Protect this project. Protect what we’re trying to do here. I don’t know…

 I’m easily distracted. My heart is fickle. Beyond that, so many times I want the glory. I want the glory. I want people to look at me and think "Look at what Steve has done". I was on Skype with Fred the other day, Fred from Uzima. And he said this, he like, “I’m excited to get done with 60 years of ministry together and to look back at what God has done. To be able stand together and look back at what God has done over the last 60 years.” And I gotta tell ya man that was so humbling. It was so exciting.

I guess my fear is like am I ready for the national stage? Is this project ready for national scrutiny? Can I handle it? And I don’t know. I’m scared of it. For the first time in this project I’m actually scared and it’s not because of a wild beast eating me or getting hit by a car or getting attacked by somebody or whatever. This is like a legitimate fear of failure. Or not meeting some standard…or I don’t know…but I’ve been questioning God if I’m the right man for the job.

This whole last year  the theme was never say no. Never say no to any request on this project. And I learned a lot and I got to do a lot. But something I realized was I wasn’t being the capitan of the ship. I was letting outside influences determine the course of my project. I wasn’t staying focused on my task. And I need to put boundaries in place to protect this, to protect the project, to protect myself, to protect Uzima. Maybe its cynical to think that there are people or that there are forces working against this project at some level, but I’m a Christian, I am doing this for the Lord, and I absolutely believe that the enemy wants to stop what I’m doing and what we’re doing.

And I think looking at this Jason Russell, Invisible Children and Joseph Kony thing it hit me. Hard. It put it into perspective. The reality of what is going on here. If last year was about never say no, this year is about being a better steward of the project. This year is about being a better leader. This is about being a better manager of what God has given me and what’s in front of me.

You know, I’ve always wanted to be a leader. I think on some level I’ve always wanted to be leading and the Captain of the ship, I guess. Soy capit├ín! But I think now that I’m here, I realize the cost of it. I realize that it’s just not about being the one in charge. It’s about being the one that is responsible for it all. Now I know, listen I’ve heard it all, I have heard all the, ya know, “with great power comes great responsibility” or ya know…whatever leadership you can think of, I’ve heard them. But I’ve never understood it until I was here where there is actual, legitimate cost. People, the children, the rehab, my best friend, there is a lot on the line here. Not that I didn’t take it seriously, but I just... Maybe I didn’t see how fragile it is, I guess. With that said though, with the fear of being in leadership, with the fear of the national stage, I guess, I am very, very, very hopeful. Needle2Square is going through some big changes. We’ve had to grow as the need has grown in Africa. We’re having to change focus a little bit. Change the focus of the message because things are different now. As the leaders, as ST and I have talked about it, as my board has talked about it, and his board, and Fred and I… Ya know, we’re having to make some big changes because things are changing. The need is changing there over in Africa. The need has gotten bigger and broader. Ya know, the involvement of everybody else has opened more possibilities. I’ve needed to create a better infrastructure for my project  a better way of doing things and that’s really exciting. And I’m very hopeful. And I honestly feel like this is the year. This is the year that... God’s going to do something and that’s scary. I’m gonna quickly read something…

 I’m going to try to apply how I feel to a story in the Bible. It’s Noah’s Ark. So God tells Noah he’s gonna to flood the earth and he says I need you to build an ark. And I’m going to read to you what God tells him to build.

First of all, this is the very first boat in the history of mankind. This is the first ark. And God is giving the plans to Noah. So, God who knows everything, knows it all, gives the blueprints of building this ark to Noah. I’m gonna read it and I’m gonna explain how I feel and what I’m thinking.

So it’s Genesis Chapter 6, and verse 14 is where I’m going to pick up:
So make yourself an ark of cypress[c] wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out. 15 This is how you are to build it: The ark is to be three hundred cubits long, fifty cubits wide and thirty cubits high.[d] 16 Make a roof for it, leaving below the roof an opening one cubit[e] high all around.[f] Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 

 What I find so interesting about this boat. The very boat that God told him to build, doesn’t have a rudder and it doesn’t have a compass or even a sail. The very boat, first boat in history doesn’t have a way to steer, and doesn’t have a way to navigate where you are going. Doesn’t have a compass. And honestly, that’s how I feel like this project is sometimes. I honestly feel like sometimes Im drifting in flood waters “I’m out here, God. I’ve done what you’ve asked me to do. You didn’t give me the tools I needed to succeed, God. All I got is this goat. And now I’ve got the Bell’s Palsy. I have to talk; to be able to communicate CLEARLY. And not look like a crazy person or like I’m handicapped. My project is already weird enough. I’m walking across America with a goat and now I got a handicap, now I got this droopy face. God, do you hear me? I’m doing what you told me to do!" 

And you start thinking, “Did I miss a step? Did I forget something in the blueprints? Did I not hear God right? There’s not the proper tools here! I can’t steer this thing! There’s no wind, there’s no sail. How we gonna get anywhere? There’s no compass! I don’t know where I’m going!”

Have you ever felt like that? I  think about being on the boat; Im Noah and my son Ham comes up and says, “Okay, what’s next? How do we get there?” You start looking for the steering wheel and everybody is looking to you for leadership. “How do we steer this thing? How we gonna make this work? How we gonna get anywhere?”


right now this is the words that are constantly in the back playing in my head “I’m not raising the money. It’s not working. How ya gonna do this, Steve?”

lets go back to the story of the ark.

What’s the bird that Noah sends out? It’s the dove. And what is the branch that it brings back? It is the olive branch. And throughout history what do those represent? In the bible, the dove represents the Holy Spirit. In the Bible, the olive branch in peace.

here it is... heres my hope... here is the answer to how Im going to do it...

All I have is the GOD. Ill I have his the Holy Spirit bringing me peace. It’s gonna get done. I have no other assurances that is gonna happen. All I have is the Holy Spirit bringing me peace and that’s it. We’re not raising a lot of money right now and it can be discouraging. It can be very discouraging. All I have is the Holy Spirit. All I have is God right now. That’s it.

My prayer is that the Lord makes me ready. If the Lord is going to make this thing a national story, if this is going to make it, make it big, then Lord make me ready.