Refocus

Since we got home at the end of April our lives have literally been nonstop. We have been so busy with meetings and planning. We had a huge water leak under our RV that turned out only to be a broken exterior hose rather than a major plumbing issue. We ended up staying at my parents house for a few days before we figured it out. There have been lots of other little things that have slowly taken our attention off course one degree at a time. I have continued to work on the development of the Field's Edge but in my business minded autopilot—just doing what needs to be done to move forward. I came to the realization Sunday night that I had lost my focus. Yes we are still called to pursue the development of a tiny home community to lift our friends off the streets, but why? Is it to do some social good and help people that are struggling? Yes and no.

There is an overarching mission behind everything we are doing and it is easy to turn our attention to the wrong component of the vision. Have you ever seen a photo that is out of focus? In the picture below, the focus is on the grass which is a pretty part of the photo but the focus should be on the couple. The grass around them is supposed to frame them and be understated in the periphery. Instead, the people are blurred and the details of the grass are clearly seen.

In the same way that the photo shows a lack of control and care by the photographer, I feel convicted that my life has become out of focus and it’s my fault. It is the natural thing that happens in a fallen and sinful world if you don’t guard against it, and I have been “too busy” to think about that lately. As we sat in the RV after church, I felt the Holy Spirit saying (without audible words), “Dude, get your priorities straight”, or something like that.

I was reminded that what we are doing is absolutely worthless if our only cause is social justice. It has to be deeper than that! Our mission, like every other Christian on earth is The Great Commission.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
— Matthew 28:19-20 ESV

In all the careful planning and strategizing for The Field’s Edge, I was missing it. I really wasn’t even doing a good job being a disciple myself, let alone making disciples in my family or the outside world. My heart got distracted by good but lesser things; my lens was focused on grass when it should have been focused on God.

Monday morning my schedule was pretty clear so I decided to have a day of fasting and spent a lot of time in prayer and scripture. About an hour of my morning, I copied Romans 8 and read it out loud over and over. There is an incredible amount of depth in that particular passage. I was encouraged by the words describing what God has done through Jesus and convicted to take that knowledge deep into my heart. The following few verses really got to me.

So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh— for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.
— Romans 8:12-17 ESV

First of all, just think for a minute what it means to be adopted by God! This is an amazing truth for those that are in Him. In the beginning of the passage we see that Jesus sets us free from the destruction that comes by living according to the flesh. I was chasing this dream of bringing about a tiny house village for the homeless with the wrong focus. My flesh had gotten in the way of seeing God’s will. If you don’t know already, living according the flesh is our human default because of sin. It takes effort, and help, to live according to the Spirit. My effort was going towards earthly things and I wasn’t asking for any help. Fortunately God knew that and in his wisdom, He reminded me that I needed to check myself—that if I am not putting to death the deeds of the body, I am flirting with death. This means action is necessary!

It is going to be a constant cycle until Christ comes back. Our hearts are drawn to serve the flesh and we need the help of the Spirit to overcome. I am very thankful to be part of a community of believers that reminds me of the truth and walks with me to stay the course.

Monday morning, I stood in as “Agent and Attorney in Fact” for our friends who were closing on their house because they have faithfully sold it to follow the Lord’s call to Africa. Something is going on y’all. I don’t know about your circle of friends, but God is moving in ours big time. People all around us are being called to many different acts of obedience to the Lord and it is exciting! We are so grateful for a community of believers that stir and encourage us daily.

Join us in praying for a steady focus on the purposes of the Lord. There is a crazy amount of work to do and lots of obstacles that can get me sidetracked. We are still working out the details to build a tiny house model on wheels for people to really step inside of our plans and catch the vision. We are narrowing our criterion for land as well, and have pinpointed some areas of interest. We are planning to have our steering committee meeting soon which is so exciting. There are lots of moving pieces that I could never put together on my own. Praise God that I don’t have to.

 

Prayer Requests

·      Pray that I guard my personal spiritual life and prioritize discipling my family

·      Pray for Dr. D in his last week of chemo. That it will completely wipe out the cancer for good!

·      Pray that we honor the Lord in our decision-making.

·      JM is having an MRI today. Pray for a path going forward to end the pain.

·      Funding is something we always need. There are lots of expenses coming up both for us personally and The Field’s Edge. Pray for provision.

·      People-future residents, missionals, and others whose hearts will be lead to us. Pray for community and discipleship.