On Mission

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I have just returned from serving with this great team this past week in Santa Cruz, Honduras. It was a great week. We were able to share the Gospel and treat over 1,000 Hondurans. We had over 100 decisions for Christ. The Lord moved in great ways.

When we arrived to the mission house in El Plan on Saturday we were met with the news that our original mission location had been canceled and we had yet to have a replacement. I was able to get a FaceBook Live video out asking people to pray for us. This was a big deal. Its not easy to get a school director in any country to cancel a whole weeks worth of class so a bunch of foreigners can inhabit their school with absolutely no time to give their staff notice. We knew that God had us a place. The cancellation did not come as a surprise to our God. He would provide. Did He ever.

We were thankful that one school director was willing to take a chance and allow us to come to his school on zero notice. I am also thankful that the dozen teachers and hundreds of students that showed up on Monday to teach and go to class were gracious and even excited about us being there for the week.

This school was immaculate. It was a new school that Spain had built for this community. It was perfect set up in a perfect location. We were located less than 200 yards from the local church we were going to work with.

My job for the week was to preach some of our church services that we had for each group that came to the clinic as well as do door to door evangelism.

I also had the pleasure of bringing a Word to our team each morning for our group devotion. I challenged them on the last day with this:

I challenged them and myself not to waste this week. We started the day with devotion. We shared our faith daily. We served. We fellowshipped with other disciples. We encouraged one another. We bore each others burdens. I challenged them, and myself, to let this become a lifestyle as we continue to live our lives “On Mission” for God back in our individual cities, in our individual jobs, and in our individual families.

In Matthew 28 verse 19 Jesus tells us to “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,”(ESV). The understanding here for the disciples would be for them to make disciples “As” they go, or wherever they be going be making disciples.

I know this is day one stuff for some of you. I find myself at times struggling to implement this concept in my every day life. Living our lives “On Mission” should be a lifestyle, not just something we do a few weeks out of the year.

The last challenge I gave the team was for them not to let the next time that they share Christ with someone be when they are back in Honduras next year.

Lets get to work.

A Great God. A Worthless Ball.

I think about my father everyday. I don’t thinks its possible for me not to. He loved me well. I will never forget him. I consider this significant in light of the fact that as flawed humans it can be difficult at times for us to think about anyone else but ourselves.

It could have been very easy for me at times this last year to think the Lord had forgotten me. Hold on now. Before you start to judge me, a minister of the Gospel, for thinking God could ever forget me, consider David. David was, by God’s own standard, a man after the heart of God, and David admittedly struggled in the same way (Psalm 13:1).

I am going to share something with you that I have never told anyone. I have been careful since dad passed this last April to be discreet in saying things socially that could stir up painful feeling in my family, especially my mother and sister, who loved my father very much and who’s struggle has been and continues to be difficult. I am aware they are probably going to read this.

After dad had passed, as soon as the night before his funeral, I started having extremely vivid dreams which included normal, real-life scenes involving life with my father. Things like he and I mowing the yard at our old house on Allen Dr., and he and I working on restoring our current home. Nothing out of the ordinary. Each dream involved something almost supernatural, a hug/embrace with dad, that I could feel. At the end of each dream we embraced, I felt it, and it woke me up. I then would weep and thank the Lord for allowing me to feel what I had felt in that moment. This happened periodically over the next month. It helped me mourn in ways that I can’t explain.

Then, nothing.

A couple months went by and I hadn’t had another dream. I would go by dads grave on a run or drive and hope that would spur one on, but nothing. One day I was driving home from work and asked the Lord for something. I needed anything, a dream, an experience, just something to know that He hadn’t forgotten about me.

Then my mother called me. She said that she had something to give me the next time I was over. Becca, Willow, and I went over that evening. My mother handed me a ball. You see my father was notorious for writing our names on things that were ours. Ball gloves, basketballs, footballs, baseballs, notebooks, just about everything. He didn’t want us to forget that ”  ” belonged to us, or anyone else to wonder. He wanted us to know that it was ours. My mother handed me an old, weathered, worn out baseball. The people that had bought our old house on Allen Dr. had been walking in the neighboring field and noticed something down in the grass. It was a baseball. It could have been anyones, but they knew it was mine. Because written on the old, glow-in-the-dark, baseball was “Jeremy W.” written in my fathers handwriting. Thankfully they didn’t dispose of this, seemingly, worthless, ball. They took it to my mothers house so she could give it to me.

I had to walk out into the garage so my family wouldn’t see me break down. God had shown me in such an awesome way that He hadn’t forgotten me.

How could He?

I am His.

He has written on my heart,

“MINE!”.

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Catch Up

I realize that I have done little over the last two years to be a good steward of this space/blog, however I have still carried with me the passion of sharing my life and my thoughts with you. So in order to get you back up to speed, I wanted to take a quick moment to catch you up. These next three paragraphs will give you a brief, but concise, picture into the life my families and my life over the last two years.

Willow Grace Woodall

Willow was born on September, 22 2014 at 5:33am on a Monday. This was a very unexpected occurrence, as Becca had not shown any signs that she would go into labor early. Outside of Jesus and Becca, Willow is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I believe Becca would agree. She is full of life and joy. She is a picture of God’s grace that I get the privilege of witnessing each day. We are so thankful for her.

 

Delta Outdoor Church

After spending the previous 6 years in student ministry, I had the opportunity to join a group of men in McGehee, AR in the planting of a church to reach outdoorsman in the Delta. What began as a dream from my time at Journey Church with Pastor Jeff Noble, to plant small groups and churches in the delta, became even more of a passion as I prayed through the possibilities of planting a church in SEARK with fellow church planter Scottie Johnson of Outdoor Church of Arkansas, as he shared with me his vision for planting churches to reach outdoorsmen and their families in Arkansas. DOC began as a small group of men meeting every other week in a farmers shop and today is a fully functioning church that meets weekly in our own facility here in McGehee, AR. DOC has been in operation just over one year.

 

My Father

My dad has had a rare, non-aggressive, type of Leukemia over the last 9 years. We found out back in January that this cancer had mutated to a very aggressive type of T-Cell Lymphoma. Since finding out this diagnosis, my father has spent the better part of a month in the hospital battling everything from high fever and infection. He began treatment in the hospital and was released a few weeks later to come home, however he would have to be put back into the hospital due to complications of the cancer spreading to his central nervous system. Dad has a long and hard road ahead of him for recovery. We are praying for complete healing and for dad to be able to return home, return to work, and return to normalcy. We would appreciate your prayers in this as well.

Well I hope this catches you up some. I will try to do better and post more often!

Jeremy

The Ironman Wisconsin Experience (Day 3 – Day before Race)

After a long nights sleep Becca got up and went for a run while I finished some preparation for my gear bags and bike.
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You receive these bags before you go into transition from the swim to the bike and then from the bike to the run.

After her run we packed up the bike and gear bags and drove them to the Monona Terrace and the race site.

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After racking my bike and dropping off my bags, Becca and I made a few more small purchases at the Expo and went for a drive around the bike course.

The course is a beautiful course that consists of two-main loops and a small out and back for a total of 112 miles. The scenery will hopefully relieve some of the pain from this hilly bike ride!

After riding the course we went to my friend Jeff’s sisters house for a little swim party. We stayed and played with the kids and took a quick dip in the pool.

After a hour or so, Becca and I went and drove the mostly flat run course that takes you through downtown Madison. We then went and did some cargo-loading at Olive Garden and now are at the hotel watching some College Football! Go Hogs!

Looking forward to the experience of this great race tomorrow! Going to be a fun day! Long, but fun!

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The Ironman Wisconsin Experience (Day 2)

After a glorious and long sleep, Becca and I ate breakfast and headed back to the Expo and race area. We met up with good friends, Adam and Amanda, and spent most of the morning with them. Becca got in a run and Adam got checked in for the race.

While we waited for Adam and Becca, Amanda and I watched the pro athlete panel. It was great to hear from pro’s like Maik Twelsiek and Hillary Biscay, along with others as they shared their thoughts and secrets on the race! Priceless info!

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After Adam and Becca returned we went to lunch. After lunch we did some more Expo browsing and visited the “Finish Line”.

 

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We wrapped up our time there by me getting in a pre-swim on the swim course. I am relieved to swim in a fresh water lake. My first Ironman was in Florida and we swam in the Gulf of Mexico. It went very well but there is always a chance for major waves and tide currents!

Becca and I came back to the room and I went for a short bike ride to make sure everything was dialed in on the bike while she took a nap! We ended the day with dinner at Panera and an early movie. After picking up a few more essentials at Target, we are now about to head off to bed!

Nerves are starting to hit a little bit! So ready for Sunday to get here! I will give you guys a day three update tomorrow.

J

Semifinals: Tigers 24 Owls 0

On a wet and cold Sunday afternoon the hometown Tigers faced off against a familiar opponent in the Gliwice Owls.  The result was familiar as well as the Tigers wasted little time letting the Owls know that they did not stand a chance in this contest!!

The Tigers dominated a game that was a very uneventful game from the start.  The strong defense of the Tigers was just too much for the Owls to handle.

How did you like my attempt at being a sports writer!?!?!  I know I know it needs some work!  Anyways, congratulations to my fellow teamates as we have reached the Championship game (Poland Bowl) against the Zagłębie Steelers.

We ended the season as the first and second ranked teams with the only loss the Steelers having coming as a result of their trip to Krakow and my first game with the team!!

Stay tuned and follow us at the Tigers website!!  The game will be on the 24th of October!!

Please pray for one of our players, Artur, who suffered a season ending knee injury.  This comes as a huge blow to our team.  Also pray for one of the Owls players who suffered a seizure during the game.  This was very serious and scary to see.

Thanks for reading!!

Enduring and Becoming

It has been an amazing couple of weeks here in Krakow, Poland as I seek to be another body under the yoke that is loving, leading, and serving the people of Krakow into a love relationship with our Savior Jesus.  I have learned so much in just a few short weeks.     Here are just a few:

  1. Quiet times are essential to the survival of a mission minded/living person.(Duh!)
  2. Sleep and rest are an amazing gift from God that gives us the energy daily to carry our cross.
  3. Good work for the Lord is being done all around Poland and CEE(Central & Eastern Europe)

I have also learned that it is not a “sacrifice” to be here working along side these wonderful people, it is a blessing and privelage. This past Sunday evening  Seba preached on Pauls sermon from mars hill(complete with pictures of mars hill from their recent trip to Greece!) as recorded in Acts 17: 22-31.  It was a great reminder that we don’t have forever as humans to make a decision to follow Christ.  As missionaries it hightened our awareness and urgency.  Great word Seba!!

I would like to leave you today to reflect on some of Paul’s other inspiring words from 1 Corinthians 9.  I have felt at times and I am sure the other here on the field have as well felt like we have “undured” some hardships.  As I was reading Paul’s words this morning I was reminded in vs. 12 “Nevertheless, we have not made use of this right(speaking on the receiving of funds for their work from the people), but we endure anything rather that put an obstacle in the way of the Gospel of Christ.”  This is something that helps me when I think its hard to endure missing Becca and my family and friends that I have left behind.

Lastly, Paul’s words in versus 19-23 are what I will be mediating on for the rest of this day.

19For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23I do it all for the sake of the gospel,that I may share with them in its blessings.

Enduring and Becoming.  I pray I will endure all things for the sake of the Gospel of Christ.  I also pray that I will become what and who I need to be at anytime to reach the people God puts in front of me.

Whoever it may be and wherever you maybe I pray that you will take the words of Paul and you will take action in being the light of Christ either on your campus or in your work place today.  Ill pray you will if you pray I will 😉

Review: Belkin TuneBase FM iPhone Charger/Player

Well so I broke my rule/goal last night and made a semi large purchase.  I went with my girlfriend Becca to Wal Mart to get some deodorant and paper towels.  After we picked up what we went to get I went by the new electronics section to the ipod/iphone accessories.  To my amazement I saw that they had the new Belkin TuneBase.  I quickly got a sales associate to unlock it for me and I checked out with a $117.52 bill.  $89.99 of that coming from the Belkin TuneBase.  It is listed at $99.99 on their webpage but Wal Mart sales it for cheaper.  

My first mistake was making such an impulsive buy.  I have been awaiting an in-car player since I bought my iPhone back in January.  I wish I would have done my research.  The TuneBase pumps up their CLEARSCAN feature which finds the clearest radio station that will match perfectly with your iPhone or iPod to play the clearest music.  

So I got into my vehicle and Becca and I quickly opened the box and hooked up the iPhone accessories with the TuneBase and plugged it into my power supply unit(I couldn’t think of what you call the things that you plug stuff like this into so I asked Tracy and Jeff’s input!!) and hooked my iPhone into it.  I pressed the ClearScreen button at the lower middle and it took me to the “Perfect” radio station frequency that I quickly matched on my radio.  I pushed my iPod icon and picked my song and pushed PLAY………….and SHHHHHQHHHHHHSHHHKWESHHHHHH(You get the idea) quickly followed.  “What the mess!!!”  I quickly said.  I then tried putting it on a station that has no signal that I used with my iPod adapter and I got the same irritating static noise.

I finally found a station that I could hear sorta clearly on after the fifth time I pushed the ClearScreen button!!!  I do not like the fact that you can’t choose whatever station you want to play your music from.  Even on the clearer channels it does not sound as clear as I would like.  For around $100 I believe like I deserve that!!!!

What do I like about the Belkin TuneBase?  Well I like the fact that it does play music from my iPhone over my car stereo.  I gave Becca my 3rd generation Nano because I really don’t have a need for it now.  I do believe that it has much room for improvement.

I did some research(after the fact) last night for other in car players for the iPhone and I found one worth checking out.  The Kensington Car Charger Deluxe for iPhone and iPod.  You can find information on the Kensington charger at the Apple Store. The website gives it great reviews.  It received five out of five stars where the Belkin received only three.  The Kensington also claims that you can use it like a hands-free device for your iPhone.  You cannot do this with the Belkin.

For what it is worth I would recommend you doing your research and make up your own mind about which player to purchase.  I wish I would have done mine!!!