the latest with us.

As most of you know earlier this year, just before Easter, Debbie and I made a semi-sudden decision to leave our home and minstry in the Grand Canyon National Park (South Rim). It was primarily motivated but our weariness from and desire to protect our two small children’s health issues. The health issues were related to long-term exposure to toxic mold. That and the presence of several other mitigating factors forced us to confront the fact that, put bluntly, and pretty negatively, you can only polish the brass on a sinking ship for so long…

So the questions become “How have you all been doing since?” “What have you been doing since?” “Where are you living now?”

These are fair questions and they demand answers. Let me see if i can try to answer them to some level of satisfaction.

One word describes our experience since our sudden departure that lead also to loss of home, income, and livelihood: WILDERNESS.

Our leaving the Canyon was a kind of exodus (it happened in the middle of the night leaving nearly all our things behind) after which we were immediately lead into our own wilderness experience (now going on 6 mos of no home and no work). It has been a going from one place to the next wherever we can stay.

We just spent the last four months living with another family (in N. Phoenix) in their home in an extra room they had with its own bathroom. Though it was very gracious of them and was neither an ideal situation nor without its challenges (Two differnt families with two differen ways; We got rejected from every job we applied and or were interviewd for, which at one point lead to my having an anxiety attack, often confused with heart attacks, that lasted several days, and me having my first ever EKG) the time came for us to move on. We are now in a house by ourselves in south Phoenix through someone at the Church we’ve been attending. Can’t say how long we’ll be here. We like it so far but still, it is not home for us, yet.

The Psalms often give voice to the many and varied situations we face in life. I have learned this over time but found it most pogiently expressed in the works of Eugene Peterson. There are many Psalms that have wilderness themes or that allude to the people of Israel’s time in the wilderness thatcan give voice to our own wilderness experiences. One pertinet Psalm that has significance for us is a portion of 107th Psalm, which seems to be in a string of Psalms reflection on the exodus and wilderness experience.. It reads in part:

Give thanks to the Lord for he is good, his love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story –
those he redeemed from the hand of the foe,
those he gathered from the lands,
from east and west, from north and south.

Some wandered in desert wastelands, finding no way to a city where they could settle.
They were hungary and thirsty,
and their lives ebbedaway.
Then theycried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way
to a city where they could settle.
Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for humankind,
for he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things. (TNIV)

Though we are in a city, we are still waiting for a sense of being able to settle and and have a place to call “home.” We have had a sense of wandering but I suppose as Tolkien writes “not all who wander are lost”? We fight against despair and and continue to trust that hope will not disappoint, that God will deliver us and that all will indeed be well in the end. I miss my books and having a functiong computer with Bibleworks on it (I wrote this post and the last several from my kindle). I don’t know how much longer our wilderness experience will last. I hope not much longer.

We know not what the future holds though we press on.

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3 responses to “the latest with us.

  1. My family travelled through a “wilderness” about 8 years ago. We were unemployed for nine months with nowhere to go. I can certainly sympathize brother. Again, I would let you know we are praying with you about the Lord’s direction and care for you and your family.

  2. Hello Brian,
    I want to encourage you my brother in Christ. I know that you are enduring through some very difficult terrain, the key word is enduring. I am thankful for you my friend, for your openness and transparency in regards to this season of great challenge. My deepest concern for you is that as you have stated (the anxiety and especially at night) I know from experience that sleep deprivation can make anyone become physically ill, and spiritual illness can easily follow suit. I know that you are far greater knowledgeable in the Word of God than I, but I would like to impart to you something the Lord has placed upon my heart concerning you.I recommend that you be calm and confident about this.

    Don’t get excited, don’t despond. the darkest hour is always just before the dawn. It may well be that this moment of discouragement which you are going through is the preliminary to the breaking through of a new and far more beautiful living that you have yet to experience. Follow on my friend follow on! Remember, fear is of the flesh, and panic is of the devil. We are trained through circumstance to lean on Jesus and to never fear and never get panicky.

    I am the first to state easier said than done, but also the first to say never impossible. I to have come form the wilderness (literally from a tree-house in the river bottom) I have been beaten, attacked from every angle possible simultaneously and also gone without food or the basic necessities in life.
    But I learned through this to follow on in the instruction of our Glorious Teacher and Savior Jesus Christ. I came to Him in the simplicity of my heart and asked: “Lord what do you want me to do?” I am thankful to God for His great patience with me in regards to theses things. I asked of Him to help me to see and to understand, to help me and to correct any false impressions or wrong ideas I have. Jesus as you well know is the most sweetest, most understanding, and wonderful wise teacher in the world. He never panics anybody. It is not of Him!

    I know that you are filled with the power of God’s Holy-Spirit, but there does remain a difficulty in the living it out part. One being the direct standing in opposition to the easy going ways of the world. There are many my brother who are content in there walk with the Lord in as much as it does not disrupt their comfort zone. You know the doing of praying, and reading the bible, giving our offerings to missions, singing praises, and of course the conviction free lifestyle of not gambling, drinking, drugging, etc. etc. But when the hour of desperation and true dependence upon his Holy providence arises, sadly many wavier. Not you my son, not you! Some can get along like that but not you Brian!

    Remember when Jesus turned and spoke to the followers: I don’t want to take you under false pretense. “Are you sure you want to follow me?” He asked and great many turned away. But not you Brian, man and disciple of God! You respond as Peter “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” The crowd that did not turn away made history! Brian you are making history! The crowd that did not turn away was there when the Holy-Spirit came and filled the place where they were sitting! the crowd that turned back never fully knew what it was all about. But you do, yes Brian you both know and understand. Follow on my son follow on!

    Perhaps you fill in your heart that you just can’t go on as you are, perhaps a victory you know that you should have and have not yet. I say to you my brother follow on because God has something BIG for you just ahead! Sometimes we are in season where there is a spiritual loneliness, and internal loneliness it the place where God faithfully brings the seeker, and when we are there it is a darkness of mind, an emptiness of heart a loneliness of soul, and yet it becomes a preliminary to the daybreak of a new beginning, the erection of a new altar, the first lyrics to a new song that is written on your heart.

    Brian I do so love you and your wife Debbie and your two beautiful children!
    Mercy and Samuel. I can’t express verbally in true exactness the joy it brings to my heart to see you still walking with expectation in the midst of a new placement, not dis-placement but new placement. I want you to know that house you are now living in has been used mightily, and I mean VERY MIGHTILY in the upholding and advancement for the Lord’s Kingdom. This house has an anointing upon it and has been a huge blessing and refuge to the community around it. There has never been a season where this house was not occupied by the people of God. There are testimonies that breach the gates of heaven, deliverance, salvation, healing, and a multitude of servitude to the needy and the poor of biblical proportions. I hope that even this will prove to be rest to your weary soul.

    We at Journey by Grace are joyful for your presence, we do want to minister to all of you as much as we able to. I hope that as you journey on in the Lord, that you find us to be a blessing in a season of necessity. Looking forward to getting to know you and sharing our mutual spiritual gifts together for the Glory of Him whom we follow…follow on Fulthorp follow on! in the all powerful all consuming name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ I bless you and the church blesses you. We are here; open hearts, open arms, open hands!

    Sincerely your fellow servant
    trep

  3. Pingback: Happy Thanksgiving! | συνεσταύρωμαι: living the crucified life

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