Thursday, December 16, 2010

Creature of Habit Vs. Man of Destiny

There are so many times in my life when I can see how strong habit is.  It’s so easy to fall into familiar patterns rather than test the limits of our faith but what is faith if it’s not challenged?  A while back the prospect of going to Ghana with my whole family seemed absolutely impossible.  Even standing with my youngest near our luggage couldn’t bring the reality home to me at first.  The mounds of luggage grew as we met with our team at the airport…now Gabby is truly dwarfed by the mountains of things we needed for the trip…note the coffee…no day is complete without some coffee!  This was the first trip we started like this that wasn’t some ungodly hour of the morning.  I never would have guessed that later there would be people in Ghana that we would meet that we couldn’t imagine being without.  This is me and Hans…we intend to bring him with us on our next trip to Asia.  If we wouldn’t have stretched our faith we never would have met Hans.  Faith is like truth:  before it makes you free it makes you miserable.  Here in Montana it’s hard to imagine the fan palms of Africa.  It all takes not just faith but a leap of faith.  It took a leap of faith to wash clothes without a washing machine too let me tell ya!  I told them they should try trampling out the grapes of wrath!  Faith is like a plant that needs to be nourished with action to thrive.  Sometimes the crop that comes up from our faith can look like and alien life form far from what we were originally believing for…much like these palm nutsbut trusting God through the unexpected is what leads to reaping great benefit.  Unless you’ve experienced coconuts you can’t imagine the skill of people who can open them for you to enjoy.  Sometimes a great vision requires someone to take it and open it for others so they might partake of it.  Taste and see that the Lord is good!  Now we’ve gone from chasing lizards in the tropicsto staying in to avoid the snow and cold but still I remember all that God has done…we really were in Ghanaand now we need to push forward into the next vision that God has for us.  This is the power of faith that causes miracles to bloom!  I believe in going from gloryto glory!  For now we leave the streets of Ghanabut I know we’ll look on them again.  I expect that the next time we look down from my brother’s churchit will be finished and we’ll be ever closer to completing what God has for us to do.  For now we cling to the visionbelieving that something better is just around the corner!


  1. Joe, I am sitting here watching as the heavens have opened up and begun dropping LOTS of snow. It is the most beautiful sight! We are supposed to get about 6" and then more Sat. and Sun. Just glorious looking and so perfect for curling up with a book or a movie and homemade soup (that's on the stove as we speak) -- but then I came here as I always look so forward to doing, and I see the photos and read your words and Joe, you have a way of making me stop and rejoice all over again. Such a gift you have of opening eyes. I love it. But I have to say, the picture of you and Hans, you can't be over 17 yrs old, lol. Tell me your secret! Please!
    Have a great day with many blessings, my friend, and get out there with some sleds and fly down those hills :D xoxoxo

  2. Oh well! Joe enjoy the snow, they from Ghana probably think you are so lucky to have the snow, they only have heat there. It doesn't snow here where I live either. Summer is always spent at the beach. I love the photo's of those palm trees they are so different from the ones we have here.
    Bless you and all yours
    Lady Jude

  3. I like what you said above "Faith is like truth: before it makes you free it makes you miserable", and "trusting God through the unexpected is what leads to reaping great benefit." I'm going through a very difficult time financially right now, but I know that I will reap a great benefit if I just learn to trust Him through it all.

  4. Hi Joe,
    When I read and seen your picture that I can seen you have completed your heart in Ghana.
    The fan palms does looks like the peacock feathers? my imagination LOL!

    Your new hair cut is suit you and look so younger looking too:-)
    Have a nice day,

  5. Hey, Joe! Just saw your note on my page and you are far toooooo nice, lol. My vids are always the worst in the world but I have fun with them. One of these days when I'm trying to back up, I'm going to land on my keister and I can't wait to see how that vid turns out.
    We ended up with only a little under 4" of snow, darn it. Then a little layer of ice, yuck, so stuck inside until the ice part melts. Sure wish I had that chili cheese dip -- still can't get it off my mind :)
    Cya again soon my dear friend :D xoxoxo

  6. Wow that is a lot of luggage to have kept track of. It must be so hard to take in all the your and your family experienced on that trip. I am sure you will be reflecting on it all winter. What a build up getting ready for the whole trip then doing it. Now being back in the quiets of Montana. What a life experience that you will be able to pass on to so many. Wishing you a your family a warm and blessed Christmas. Hugs Carrie

  7. I have to tell you I felt a saddnes as you said for now we have to leave but soon you will return .Joe I have learned and grown stronger in my faith and wow.. Im in aww of how you put things in perspective so I can understand or I can now that I have reaached a place in my life when so much has opened up and no matter what ,or where or how it looks its hard to shut off or shut out the Price of Peace who layed it all down for us. God Bless you Joe. May you live still continue on in safty spreading the words from his spirit to the minds and heart of others. Powerful blog. Im so glad I stopped befoe I call it a night.
    and I wont forget no matter how it looks and it can and will get ugly to keep on the path.
    Peace and Many Many bless.
    and wow.. Look at the luggage.. I had to laugh.
    Keep smiling Joe.

  8. I can only imagine you wake up and pinch yourself and realize you were not dreaming. You really did have a leap of faith and you were blessed to go back to Ghana with your family. It must have been weird to go from one climate like that to another. I admit I did smile at all the luggage and wondered which 'one' was yours ;-)
    I know you are working hard doing the concerts and everything else. I just know you are doing wonderful things. God bless you my friend.

  9. Awesome photos and commentary Joe.
    God Bless you and your family and the work that you do.

  10. As always Joe, your blogs give us the insight and looks into a world many of us will never get to personally enjoy. Thank you for sharing your faith, trips, and your pictures with us.

  11. Joe, as always I enjoyed your photos and the words. I noticed the lizard close to the pink flowers and how he took on some of the colors in the flowers and greenery. Wow , the luggage. It never occurred to me how much luggage it might take to be away for a month.

  12. Without a Vision the people perish. You are a modern day,"Fisher of Men", Joe. You are so right when you imply that we need to exercise our Faith.What does that look like? I venture to say it is different circumstances for each one of us. God doesn't leave us in our comfort zones. He does challenge us to walk by faith and not by sight. That can be like walking blind folded. It takes complete trust in God to lead us in the right direction. Sometimes we don't know where we are going until the midnight hour. Jesus promised He would never leave us, nor forsake us. There is great comfort in knowing that when our faith is being stretched in some way. Life with Jesus is never boring. Each day is a new beginning.
    You are an inspiration to all of us. Not all of us are called to be Missionaries in another country, but we are all called to do His Will, what ever that may be.
    I enjoyed reading your commentary, and your pictures tell many stories. Thankyou for sharing your Faith and being an inspiration ,and an encouragement to exercise our Faith, for without Faith it is impossible to please God, and without works, our Faith is dead.
    I know you and others have been busy with your Christmas Concerts, and it is tiring but God will bring forth Fruit, so keep up the good work. God Bless You, your family and those who are part of the work God has called you to do.
    You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    In case I don't get back this way, I would like to Wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year, Joe.
    Dianne :)

  13. I loved the analogies through the pictures as well as your words. The thoughts and faith expressed in the blog were well knitted together and became a 'whole' for us. And the smile I felt on my face at "something better around the corner" with our lizard friend makes it a great morning for ME! ;-)

  14. Merry Christmas Joe to you , your family and extended family. Have a wonderful time .
    Peace and Many Blessings.

  15. Dear Joe,
    Wishs A Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.