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Friday, November 5, 2010

Corydon IN to St. Meinrad, IN

When we got to Corydon it was Wednesday and so we were trying to find a church that had a Wednesday night service. We called all the churches to see which one had a service and we could not find any. There was one that did not have an answering machine so we decided to go over and check it out. It had a couple cars parked out front so we went inside. It was actually a youth building for a church that was a few miles outside of town. We introduced ourselves and told them we were looking for a place to worship with fellow believers. The youth pastor said he could drive us over to his church, Trinity Assembly of God. We thought that sounded great! When we got there we met the pastor. My first impression of him was he is a very loving man. He told us about how he had been doing sermon's on loving like Jesus on Sundays and on Wednesdays he has been preaching on Faith. His message on this Wednesday that we just so happened to be at was perfect. He was right on the mark with his sermon and it really uplifted my spirit. I am going to include some of his key points here because they were awesome!

Romans 1:17 "It is through faith that a righteous person has life."

Key 1: We must have a thorough understanding of Submission and Authority.
He read the passage from Matthew 8:9-10 and spoke of some of the great heroes of faith from the OT. He was illustrating a point on being under the authority of God and I looked up and he had put on a Yamika. He was explaining that the Jews did this to show that they were under authority. I thought that was great! I have always wondered why they wore those things. I thought to myself, now as a New Covenant believer how do we show that we are under authority? By the fruit of the spirit. To know if someone is a true follower of the Most High you must examine their fruit. They will be a reflection of Christ and not of this world! In order to do this we must Submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit and die to our own selfish desires. The fruits of the spirit are: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance. The works of the flesh are the following: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21
and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Key 2: We must Worship The Lord With Reverence

The word reverence means to bow down to his Lordship. Today's churches have become very casual. Not that being casual is necessarily bad, however, when we worship the Lord we should be putting all our heart into it, not worshiping halfheartedly with a donut in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other! Don't get me wrong, I love coffee and donuts but when we are focused on feeding our physical bodies it must be difficult to focus on praising God. In the Spirit! We must ask ourselves everyday, are we making Christ Lord of our lives, are we laying down our will for his will? Are we bowing before him in spirit and in truth to receive all that he has for us?

Key 3: Be convinced of Jesus' Ability and What you Believe.

Matthew 9:28 : When he had gone indoors, the blind men came to him, and he asked them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” “Yes, Lord,” they replied.

Romans 4:20-22: 20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, 21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. 22 This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.”

In these scriptures we see that it is by faith we are healed and it is by faith that we are made righteous, not by rules and regulations. We must truly believe God has the power to make us a new creation in order to become what he created us to be.

Key 4- Press in Regardless of the Obstacles.

Luke 8:43-48

And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.”

46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.”

47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

This is one of my favorite passages from the gospels. This woman had to fight through the obstacle of a huge crowd, but she didn't care because her faith was so great that Jesus possessed God's power, that she knew all she had to do was touch him and she would be healed. How many of us possess that kind of faith today? All we have to do is believe that he can heal us and he will. No matter the obstacle or trial we are facing if we just put all of our Trust in the messiah we will be healed for the scriptures say: "By his stripes I am healed" That is not to say that he will always heal our physical ailments immediately. Sometimes our physical pains can humble us and make us stronger and build our endurance, which builds character, which builds hope, and hope never disappoints us.

2 Corinthians 4: 8-9; 16 8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.
I read this scripture the night before I heard this sermon and it gave me so much comfort. To think that we are in this body but for a moment compared to eternity and today's problems will be gone tomorrow. The Most High definitely renewed my spirit that day because the day before I was feeling low and really needing to be rescued. The above scriptures are so true to a person who is truly living the truth in every aspect of their lives. Just when we feel that we can not go on any longer the Lord rescues us and lifts us up so that we may forget what is behind and press on toward the goal to win the prize in which he calls us heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14) We also know that the suffering we experience in this body is nothing compared to the glory we will share in heaven with the Lord. What an amazing thing to hope for and look forward to.

Key 5- Exhibit Boldness in The Midst of Unbelief and Mockery

Matthew 9:24-26 "Get out! he told them. "The girl isn't dead: she's only asleep." But the crowd laughed at him. After the crowd was put outside , however, Jesus went in and took the girl by the hand, and she stood up! The report of this miracle swept through the entire countryside.

This passage shows that Jesus was not looking for man's approval. When I read this passage I ask myself if I would have the courage that Christ had in this moment. If our faith is strong it should not matter what any man says, we should be bold for Christ at any given moment. If we truly believe then we will stand up for what is TRUTH!! Even if we are being mocked by man. In the end it will be GOD we are going to have to answer to NOT MAN!!

Key 6- Be persistent in Humility.

It takes humility to be a follower of Christ. Nobody will inherit the Kingdom of God with a prideful heart. A prideful heart goes before a great fall. Pride is something that blinds many from the Truth. If you are more concerned about being right all the time then you are probably not humble. Here is a good paraphrase of Mark 8:34 that I found "Then Jesus turned to the crowd that had been following Him and said, If you intend to go the same way I'm going (the way to the Father), you'll have let go of your own self-interests every day and submit your life completely to God. You'll have to take up your cross every day as well, so you can die to self - your flesh has to go. And you'll have to follow Me continually. I'll have to show you the way, you'll never find it on your own." The more we deny our own desires the more the Father will make his will known to us and the more faith we will have. It is hard to have faith when all that dominates your thoughts are things of this world. So let us humble/die to ourselves so that Yahweh may increase our faith!

Key 7- Confess and Act Upon Your Faith.

2 Corinthians 4:13 - And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed and therefore I spoke,” we also believe and therefore speak,

So..faith is spirit. We must once again die to ourselves to walk in the spirit and to have faith. The same spirit that was in Abraham which caused him to have great faith lives in us so we must not quench the spirit of Truth. If the faith is really living in us we will speak about it. What dominates our thoughts comes out in our conversations and our actions.

James 2:20-22: 20 But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the altar? 22 Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

So....does this mean that to be righteous we must perform works? No this means that because of our faith we will reflect the Glory of God! God is not sitting on a pedestal doing nothing, he is always working. So therefore we should be a reflection of our heavenly father. Don't just sit in the pew getting spiritually fed and then go sit on the couch at home in front of the television. Jesus commanded us to "Go and make disciples!" "Go" is an action verb! How are you helping to further the kingdom of God? If you spend most of your free time in front of the television, I guarantee that you are not doing much!!!!!!!!!

So....this is not exactly how Pastor Paul's sermon went just his main points and I added my own commentary. When he finished preaching he asked us to come up and share a bit of what we had been doing the last five months. Jeff looked at the congregation and said, "Your preacher basically just said it all, what he talked about is what we have been doing for the past several months." We told them a little bit of how God called us to go on this journey and the things he has shown us so far on our way. Afterwards many people from the congregation came up to us and hugged us and thanked us for coming. Then Pastor Paul offered to let us sleep in the youth building and we were so grateful. He said he would pick us up and take us to breakfast in the morning and we thought that sounded fantastic since it is the most important meal of the day, and probably our favorite!!


Ok so we were picked up from the church in the morning by pastor Paul, and he took us over to a local greasy spoon to get some breakfast. It was right on the corner downtown and the concrete step going into the restaurant was worn down in the middle by at least an inch. I knew that was a sign that this was a good place to eat!! And boy was it! Paul had french toast and home-made sausage, Kristin had scrambled eggs, home fries, home-made sausage, and biscuits and gravy, and I had a breakfast burrito with hash browns. Man what a meal!! Anyway, we were able to tell pastor Paul our testimony during breakfast and we had a wonderful conversation about faith. After breakfast he took us over to the grocery store to stock up on food for the road, then we headed over to the state park we were supposed to walk through to find some better maps of the trails. When we got there we met Stanley. Stanley works for the Department of Natural Resources and was telling us that we didn't want to walk the trail through the park because no one has maintained them for the past 10 years and they have also had 2 major ice storms, and a Hurricane hit the park!! To top it all off, the only bridge at the west end of the park was unusable!! Boy, the American Discovery Trial should probably update their map for that area! Stanley strongly urged us to take hwy 62 around the forest. He was VERY convincing. After we promised him that we would be bypassing the trails and taking hwy 62, I asked him what he did to his arm. He had this crazy contraption on his wrist that looked like something out of Edward Scissor Hands meets SAW. He told us it was to help him with his nerve damage after getting run over on HWY 62!!! I said, "what!" He told us how he was hooking up a trailer to a truck and someone slammed into the trailer while he was between it and the truck!! "CRAZY" I thought. He said right after that, "62 is still safer than our trials right now. Trust me, you don't want to take the trails!" Well if they are that bad, then we are definitely going to walk around! He gave us some strong warnings about the traffic on the hwy there (obviously) and wish us good luck by giving us some Smokey the Bear pins! So pastor Paul drove us back the way we came to the highway, and prayed for us before he went back home. We crammed our groceries down into our packs and boldly headed off down the road. We made it to the next town called Leavenworth, IN before dark and found a little general store that served hot sandwiches and desserts. It was a neat little store, and it reminded me of how things must have been before "the interstate went through." After a snack we walked down a side street to the Presbyterian church and set up our tent behind the building. It was right on top of the bluffs that lined the Ohio river, and we had an incredible view of the sun setting over the river. It rained on us that evening, but we stayed dry and warm thanks to the amazing gear that we got from EDMOND SUMMIT COMPANY!! In the morning we packed up our gear and went back over to the general store that was now serving hot breakfast! We ate a standard breakfast plate and talked with some patrons and also the owner. The people took a while to warm up to us, but I think they finally figured out that we were "ok." I think my beard is starting to scare people! Ha! So from Leavenworth we continued west for quite some time, until we were stopped by Randy. Randy was a local truck driver who pulled over to see if we were alright, and offered to take us on into St. Meinrad. He told us that there was a Benedictine Monastery there and that they would probably let us camp there for a few days while we were waiting on our package at the post office. Since we weren't sure where the monastery was, and we were exhausted, we hopped into Randy's truck and let him take us over there. He was a very kind guy who was curious about our journey. We told him a little about what we do, and he told us about his horses and driving a truck. It was nice to meet such a friendly person and were thankful for the ride. It wasn't but a few minutes and we were pulling up to the monastery.


When we pulled up to the monastery I thought it was going to some quaint little building but it was more like a giant castle!! Just google St. Meinrad Archabbey and you will see what I am talking about. We said bye to Randy and thanked him for the ride and headed toward the guest house to see if they could accommodate us. A nice woman greeted us at the front desk and said since it was the weekend we would have to reserve a room for two nights. We said we couldn't really afford that, and were really were just wanting a place to put our tent. So she made a quick phone call and got permission for us to camp out by a beautiful lake they had on the property. We walked around to look at the architecture of the buildings and saw the church and then found the library. The abbey was having a retreat this weekend so they were serving hot meals every day. It has been quite a blessing because for not too much money at all we got to eat really delicious and healthy food. They had a salad bar too. Boy was that a treat because Lord knows we have not been getting enough greens lately!! When we we leave tomorrow we will be sad to leave the cafeteria. We met a nice young man in the library who is a student at the seminary here. He invited us to his apartment to take showers Friday night, dinner Saturday night, breakfast this morning and we will be having dinner with him this evening. We have enjoyed our fellowship with him and talking about some of the things we have always had questions about on the catholic church. We really are very thankful for this new friend and glad we got to spend time with him. We hope to meet him again someday! Lord bless you Jon!!

Jeff and I have been feeling that we are in a transition faze for a couple months now. We feel that God is teaching us something but we have not yet received all of it. Maybe it is a really long lesson. The longer we are on this journey the more we want to come out of this dark in dying world. We know that we can not leave this earth till the Father calls us home and that there is still work to be done. We just feel a longing to be molded even more into the likeness of Christ each day! We will hopefully be able to share more of our thoughts on this as time goes on and God gives us revelation on the lesson he is teaching us. Until then......Peace be with you!


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