care more than some think is wise; risk more than some think is safe;
dream more than some think is practical; expect more than some think is possible


Slow to learn, slow to grow

So much of my 6 months in Costa Rica has recently, so very recently all come to fruition, that I am really having a challenging time processing it. Of course all that is coming together is in the midst of frantically finishing my tilapia system - which is done and has fish in it! Point is, my time for thinking and reflection has been meager to non-existent the last two weeks.

It began in ways that seems to encapsulate my life well. 

For starters, I almost missed my flight, way back in January. Then, literally within an hour of arriving at the base, I received a phone call from a rather panicked mother of mine, telling me that I had received a "bad" report from the endocrinologist. - It was serious, but not so serious. ... This was how it began. Not a smooth beginning really, but a beginning and the Lord saw me all the way here, safely, and healthy as soon as all the diabetic stuff was fixed and properly managed. But it seems things like this characterize my life well, while things are defying the odds already!

Think about, someone in my shoes - diabetic, double lung transplant, etc ... does not belong any where but in the modern and clean USA. But I am not. ... Moving on.

This beginning, is the beginning of a process I could never have foreseen coming, and a process of learning that seems to be just beginning. Lots of beginnings! The process is sanctification! It is what the Christian community calls "being made holy, being made like Christ!" So, some think, "What is the big deal, every child of the Most High is undergoing a life-long process of sanctification! So what?" This is true.

But, based on my last 6 months, there are also seasons of more intensive sanctification periods, where the Lord pours out of Himself all that is needed to further refine His children from themselves - from their flesh, sinful tendencies, etc. That is what these months have been.

So, it started by God knocking me on to my butt, that is redirecting my vision and mindset from self-sufficiency to dependency upon His goodness and faithfulness. He remained faithful, which for some unknown reason surprises me, but He did so by practically getting all the diabetic problems I had under control ASAP! It was quite miraculous. They have never been better ... but now I have to remain disciplined to keep them that way.

The next step in this process was in February, when God blew my mind and my perception of Him and His love out of the water!!! It was amazing and is amazing! This I will quote from my post from February, Three Things. It went as following:
Secondly … even more exciting … is a revelation from the Lord! The implications of this revelation have the potential to literally change my life, for the rest of my life. Much joy, overflowing into tears of joy, has been experienced because of this. I have no doubt in my mind, heart, soul or anything else that this is a major answer to prayer … about my cold heart as of recently.
It began of all the ways possible by generally neglecting my spiritual life as I succumbed to the lie of a cold heart. In the meantime, I the book, The Shack, which not to indorse anything, but I highly recommend it! It is surprising how the Lord uses such unexpected means to turn things upside down! In the book, the main character, Mack, has an encounter with the Trinity in a very distinct and personal way. The author does a great job of depicting God – all three persons – as extremely personal, loving, and intimate … but keeps Him dignified as the Almighty God (as a disclaimer, Yes I know its fiction, and very much fiction at that, and that the author takes liberties … so don’t think I am treating this as Truth).
This had its affect on me … the best I can do to fill you in is quote from my journal, I began,
“I feel like the author has some keen insights into the heart of God. I think mainly that He is oozing, overflowing, and swelled with love, and that love is not staunch, cold love; but a warm fatherly, motherly, brotherly, and friendly love. Aren’t all the people in my life made like Him? So don’t they portray a small facet of His love to me? YES!
 “There seems to be some disparity b/w the truth & how I perceive God … it’s shaking & stirring things up on the inside. He has got to be so much warmer, loving, approachable, and hospitable that I treat Him. I mean, He remains King over all and of all, but He is not so high and mighty that I cannot approach Him, to climb up in His lap as a child with a parent! This has to do with how personal He is, its not only that He knows me, but that He enjoys me & has invited me to enjoy Him!
“I think I have been so focused on “bringing glory to God” that I have robbed Him & myself of true relationship … I mean, He has made me His own, but I have just regarded His as so cold, as a stand-offish King with unreachable, unattainable standards and expectations. But as pointed out in The Shack JESUS FULFILLS ALL THESE EXPECTATIONS! All God wants is for me to LOVE HIM! To love Him and nothing more, and this is no duty, but a joy! How great is it to love & be loved – even b/w humans & now, to think the God of all, my intimate Father God, Abba, and Daddy is calling me to love, to simply love!
“I am loved perfectly! No height, no depth, no joy, no pain, no depression, no loneliness, no good, no sin, no anger, no wrong perceptions, no lack of wisdom, no nothing can separate me from the love of God! Who will separate me from the love of Christ? Will tribulation or distresses, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, for your sake we are being put to death all day long, we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. But in all things we overwhelming conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, no angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor heights, nor depths, nor any created thing will be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Rom 8:35-39).
“Oh freedom! To love is freedom, to be loved is freedom! Your love oh Lord is freedom … to live, to love, to risk, to be freed from all self-imposed expectations and burdens … to be freed from the law, Perfect love casts out all fear! (1 John 4:18). … The band NeedToBreathe has a song called Let Us Love … oh this is it!
“God, I praise you! Help me to cast off these burdens that are not of you! Help me to love you in the great joy of your freeing love!” 
That is what I learned and experienced! I met God in a new way that changes everything! I mean, I cannot go forward in this life without the filter of God stating, "I love you. ... I love you. ... I love you, I love you, I love you," continually covering my heart! This affects and alters the course of life as I know it. Do I need to beat myself up over sin? NO! I confess it, deal with it rightly, and move on seeking to love God like He has loved me! I have to go forward checking my perceptions of God, are they correct? If yes, continue in that train of thinking, if not, seek God for a correct view of Him and then run hard after Him! It is as Tozer states, "That our idea of God correspond as nearly as possible to the true being of God is of immense importance to us. … Only after an ordeal of painful self-probing are we likely to discover what we actually believe about God. … The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems" (The Knowledge of the Holy).

God opened the doors and gates of Heaven itself to reveal Himself to me more than I have ever known or experienced before, and for that I praise His name!!! But He did this for more purpose than I could have foreseen! It was not only for His immediate praise, but also for future praise and adoration, to a fuller extent!

The purpose, as I know it now, was to set a foundation of LOVE in HIM, through CHRIST JESUS for me to fall back on when He began this intensive period of sanctification! Or another way to state it is a time of learning of much deep seated sin, buried deep down within me, in my souls in the far recesses of Adam. When the sin was revealed, He gave me the infinite cushion of His love to collapse into ... and then whispered those words that cannot be repeated enough times, "Adam, I love you!"

Its been a hard time, having sin revealed sucks! But it is good. Just like putting gold through the refiners fire, to burn away all the dross and impurities, that is what the Lord is doing in me now ... especially now! But on the flip side of the fire, the gold is beautiful and PURE! And for me that means eventually, on the flip side of eternity, I will be PURE too, just like my Jesus.

Ok, thats all for now. More about this journey to come!


Email Miracles...

So, I have been considering my future, seeking God for where He is calling and leading me. For a long while I have two open "doors," one to South Africa and the other to the Dominican Republic! I was supremely excited about both opportunities and filled with anticipation as I waited to see where the Lord would lead.

Within about a week of each other, both doors closed. One entirely (South Africa) and the other pretty much completely, but not (DR).

So ... what is my next step? ... Oh, I know, start sending emails! That is what I did. A week ago, I sent about 4 or 5 emails to different Christian mission agencies, which is always exciting and always repetitive.

I came across a group, The Mission Society, and as I read, and read, and read ... I liked it a lot. Tons. So much so, that I sent in an inquiry form, or whatever they called it. I thought, "It would be nice to hear back," but had no set expectations or hopes. After having submitted the form, I came across a link on their site to Agrimissions. As this link opened, I knew immediately that I was going to like them, based solely off of their slogan, First the bread, then the Bread of Life. Mostly every page on this little site ended up suggesting that you email one of two people. So I did. This all occurred on Monday (7/14).

By Tuesday morning I heard back from the contact from Agrimissions. By the end of the day, we had responded back and forth 2 more times. This in and of itself is amazing, and is as God shouting at me ... THIS IS AN OPEN DOOR!!! And indeed it is.

The end of the emails that day was basically that as I flew in to the ATL on the 27th, so would one of their teams be flying in from Nicaragua. They have a meeting on the 28th in Norcross in north ATL. He suggested I might meet with them.

Since this time, I have heard directly from The Mission Society, from another contact. He and the other had already been collaborating information about me, and both agreed that we should all try and meet in the 28th.

So, it looks like we are going to be having lunch on the 28th of June, in Atlanta, immediately upon my arrival back to the States after being gone 6 months. This is totally exciting!


Terremoto en Costa Rica...

There was an earthquake just last night about 9:30 pm (May 31, 2010).

The only reason I am even mentioning it, is because it is the first legitimate earthquake I have ever felt. I mean, it took hold of my full attention. It was off the west coast of CR, by about 46 miles S-SW of San Jose (capital of CR). It registered a 6.1 magnitude which is size enough worthy of noting.

To the right is a picture of response of people in CR who felt the earthquake. You can see the red star is the epicenter and the color after that the response of where it was felt.

The next picture is a graphic of what the tremors felt like further from the epicenter.

There has been no report of damage, that I know of and no reported loss of life, so praise the Lord, because then all it is, is an experience of His awe-inspiring power!

As His word declares, "One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: that you, O God, are strong." - Psalm 62:11 and "Surely My hand founded the earth, and MY right hand spread out the heavens; when I call them, they stand together." - Isaiah 48:13. I do indeed serve an awesome God.


I have had the privilge of being in the same country for mission work, as a family from home (Birmingham) who are dear friends, they are like family to me. The Longs! They are unbelievablly awesome! There are not many families that can compare! Mark and Mama Marge! I dont even know how to begin to describe them, because words like awesome, great, passionate, bold, strong, wonderful, beautiful, etc ... don't really to do much justice for describing this family. There is Mark (husband, father), Mama Marge (wife, and mother as the "Mama" would indicate), and their daughters Serena and Eden.

They love the Lord unlike many people do or even know how to. They are passionate lovers of Christ and are zealous to see His Kingdom come more fully to Costa Rica! They are ambassadors for Him, and I know Jesus is so pleased to have them faithfully following His call, and taking His name to those who do not know that Name. This goes for all four of them. And I feel I must address Serena and Eden for a second. Never have I met young ladies who are this mature. They are both in high school. And two years ago their parents told them, "We are moving to Costa Rica!" Their response to that statement is something along the lines of, "We are most thankful for our lives in Costa Rica," which as I am told was in reference to being asked, "What are you most thankful for this Thanksgiving?" (last thanksgiving). And this is not a cliche answer, they meant and the joy of they display in their lives confirms it. They would tell you it has been hard - maybe the hardest thing they have done, not totally sure - but that is has been the best too!

Now, moving on a little. This family has loved my family and I so well. Not only are they lovers of Christ, they are lovers of people too! They continually are pouring out the overflowing spring of Christ's love into the lives of the people around them! And thus, by default (not to take anything away), they have loved me so well. In fact they introduce me as their son!

They have had me to stay with them two times since being here, which do not include the two weekends that they let me tag along when my parents were down here with their church on a mission trip with the Longs. And they want me back before I leave CR (T-minus 26 days, booo!). They not only have me in their home for these weekends, but one daughter gives up a bed and room for me, and the other then shares her room and bed with her. They don't let me by anything, they cover my pizza dinners at youth group, and just in general include me in is like being a son! And I cannot write about the Longs and not mention FOOD.

Mama Marge made for me the first time her 3 generation old spaghetti sauce recipe (and the spaghetti too), and this past weekend she made homemade white chicken chili! let me just say, being a huge food lover myself, these meals have ministered to a part of my soul not often ministered to here, since the food - although good - is not like what Marge has prepared! This is like soul food - not like southern soul food, but food that is good even for the soul! Not to mention it was amazingly delicious! And with the chili there was cornbread! Yet still, I was sent home with a full bowl of the chili, more cornbread and some (4 to be exact) sugar cookies - I must clarify "4" because she said, "I am only going to send you with four so that I don't feel guilty about you eating too much sugar." Even concerned - just like my mom - about my diabetes. Haha.

I have been so loved and so blessed by this family. For those of you who know them, well ... you know what I am talking about. If you don't now them, it would be worth the trip to Costa Rica to meet them!