Ordinary to Extraordinary

I was procrastinating work one day this week and I came across the following quote on the Elevation Church website

Extraordinary acts of God start with our ordinary acts of obedience.

It hit me like a ton of bricks when I was reading Genesis over the past couple of weeks and the story of Abraham.

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years oldwhen he set out from Harran.  He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.” Genesis 12:4-5

It seems relatively insignificant verse in the Bible but from that verse comes the nation of Israel. From Abraham’s ordinary obedience, God brings forth a miracle baby, Issac, parts the Red Sea, broke down walls, shut up lions’ mouths, and well saved humanity ultimately through the gift of His Son Jesus.

Abraham’s ordinary obedience to take up and go led to God’s extraordinary measures that fill the REST OF THE BIBLE!

Extraordinary acts of God start with our ordinary acts of obedience.

What happens when we take our ordinary steps of obedience?  What extraordinary acts is God waiting to do, has He already done?

Three examples from Belize this past week.

  1. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat: We had a group come and serve in Guinea Grass Belize.  They didn’t have to come but they chose to.  They obeyed the call of God on their lives.  In addition, the group felt God’s prompting to give financially and brought approximately 500 USD (total) down with them.  After speaking with the pastor, that money was used to purchase staple food items (rice, beans, sugar, powder milk, flour, toilet paper, etc) for 22 families.  When the team was delivering these groceries, many of the families were weeping as they were unemployed and did not know where their next meal was coming from.  I even spoke to the local Pastor and he shared that without these groceries many of the families would not eat. –  God turns our ordinary obedience into His extraordinary acts.
  2. I was sick and you looked after me: Primitive or non-existent medical care, especially in remote Mayan villages of Southern Belize is a huge unmet need.  This past week a team full of doctors, college students, and additional medical professionals set up mobile clinics in these villages.  Ordinary obedience – “we do medicine.  they need medicine.  Let’s take medicine to them”.  In one week this team treated over 800 patients, treating conditions such as diabetes, malaria, worms hypertension and many more.  After leaving each village, the residents had a new look on their faces.  A face that was once beaten down was now full of life, full of hope, full of love.  Ordinary obedience to extraordinary acts!
  3. Let the little children come to me: If you have followed these updates at all you know of my good friend Pastor Ed.  A few years back, Pastor Ed started a children’s ministry training program.  I must digress for a moment and speak to the loneliness of this decision.  A Christian man in Belize doesn’t have many male friends because there are not a lot of strong Christian men in Belize.  And then children’s ministry is viewed as women’s work and not the work of a “Pastor” here.  So when Pastor Ed obeyed God and started this children’s ministry training program, he was effectively alienating himself from any Belize men Christian or non-Christian.  Ordinary obedience….Look at these extraordinary acts….
    • At the last children’s ministry workers training attendance was 49 churches, 150 children’s ministry workers. Each one of these churches hold a weekly children’s ministry program averaging 50 kids (conservatively).  Do the math…that’s almost  2500 kids that are hearing the Gospel on their level in a creative way because of Pastor Ed’s obedience.
    • One of Pastor Ed’s many stories:  A pastor came to his last training to thank him.  With tears in her eyes, she shared that her church did not have a children’s ministry.  A teacher from her church came to Ed’s training and learned how to do children’s ministry.  Now they have over 125 kids each week.  Some people came to her village looking for a church with a dynamic children’s ministry to bless.  They found the pastor’s new dynamic children’s ministry and after some conversations discovered many of the children do not eat lunch.  The visitors to the village set up a feeding program and now the pastor who used to not have any children’s ministry, has a dynamic children’s ministry AND a feeding program for 125 kids!  Extraordinary God!

We have opportunities for ordinary obedience all the time!  Ordinary obedience, a phone call to make perhaps to a struggling friend, a text, maybe it’s to get involved in a ministry, maybe it is to start tithing, maybe it’s to take a new job, ask a girl/boy out or take the next step in a relationship.

If you are following God and you feel that tug in your gut that you should do something and it lines up with the Bible…then it’s time to obey.  Who knows, your ordinary obedience in the moment may lead to the parting of the Red Sea.

Prayer Requests – Personal

  • Praise – We have a healthy baby BOY!  Elijah James is the name!  Due to arrive around the third week in July!  I am sooo excited!!!
  • Praise – I was able to preach again last Sunday.  The Lord moved in my heart and the church was encouraged!  Praise God!
  • Amy’s chigger bites are TERRIBLE.  They are still itching her.  Pray for immediate healing and my sanity hearing her talk about these bugs
  • Joseph has a return ear infection.  Amy took him to the clinic on Sunday.  Please pray for healing for him!
  • Easter break and visitors.  We have our college-aged daughter (figuratively) coming to visit next week.  Pray for a great visit and that Amy and I can get a few date nights out of the deal!

Prayer Requests – Belize

  • Continue to lift up our teams.  We have one serving this week and two that start this weekend.  Pray for life change amongst the team members and encouragement for the local church.
  • Drugs in Hattieville – I was at the court on Monday night and I saw the older adults / teens send a 9 year old out to get pot.  I was heartbroken.  Pray for drugs to release their control over our village.
  • Burt’s parents – continue to pray for my friend Burt’s parents.  They are in very poor health and need immediate healing as well!

Thank you for all you do for us.  Thank you for the notes of encouragement (keep them coming) and thank you for loving / supporting us.  This week look at your life.  Where is God calling you for an ordinary act of obedience?  Take that step and watch God turn what’s our ordinary into his extraordinary.

Because they haven’t heard,

21 weeks

Amy at 21 weeks pregnant with Elijah James

medical team update

Walking to the medical clinic

medical team update2

Setting up the mobile pharmacy

me and the kids

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