The Lord Begins His Work

Posted on 11. Jul, 2010 by in History, The Purpose of God

I previously posted a comment to a post by Alan Knox on spiritual gifts.  I’d link to that post, but I don’t know how, and anybody that can tell me how to do that in WordPress would be a true friend.  Alan eventually turned that comment into a separate post, which can be found here .   As a follow up to my comment I wanted to begin offering further details on what the Lord has done in our lives in the last few years.  I appreciate the support of Alan Knox and Arthur Sido, both of whose thoughts I highly value, as well as my good friend Douglas Weaver, who has mentored me in Christ for the past 10 years or more.  Again, I would offer links to their respective blogs, but I don’t know how!  I’ll provide url’s below, but they are linked in the blogroll to the right.  (post-script:  Alan was kind enough to educate me on links, so I’ve changed the post accordingly)

Alan Knox – the assembling of the church

Arthur Sido – the voice of one crying out in suburbia…. and The Fo-Mo Chronicles

Douglas Weaver has two sites, Christ Life Community and his personal blog.  Christ Life Community is a community of believers in Wichita, KS, where the Lord has been doing a work similar to what I believe he is starting in my town.

OK, down to business.

My wife and I have lived in our town (Larned, KS) for almost 5 years.  We have been business owners for 3 years (started Scraps in 2007, and A Healthy Choice Clinic in 2008), each business started under the Lord’s direction.  We have felt from day one of being business owners that our businesses were the Lord’s.  This meant that the end goal of being in business wasn’t to make money (although that would be okay), but to serve as a ministry to those around us.  (With the clinic the imperative to be profitable is greater, as this will one day be our primary income.  For now I work in the Emergency Room to provide our income.)  Anyway, anyone that has owned their own business knows the difficulties involved.  The last 3 years have been filled with struggle after struggle, from fretting over finances, to dealing with opposition in the community, etc.  We felt at many times that the enemy was directly working against us.  Through all the hardships, we clung to our faith, that he had directed us in these endeavors, and determined to stand firm.  During this time two words were given to us, which helped us put things in perspective.  The first word was plowing.  The difficult work encountered in establishing ourselves and our businesses in town was like plowing hard ground that had never been worked.  We knew the businesses were His will, and we knew we were to establish them as a “beach head” of the kingdom, so to speak, but the plowing of the ground required to establish the businesses was hard, tiresome work.  The other word was a reference to Nehemiah, and how at one point in the rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall the builders had to fight with a sword in one hand and build with the other.  This was a great visual of our situation, as we really felt we were encountering strong opposition from the enemy.  At the time, I don’t know that we fully understood WHY we had been directed to do the things we did, but we KNEW that this was the direction to go, and through that time the Lord grew us in our faith tremendously.

In our first 4 years in Larned we had virtually no fellowship with other Christians.  As I shared in the “about” section, I had stopped “attending” church in 2000, and in Larned we had not found likeminded believers with which to fellowship.  We found no opportunity to fellowship with “churched” believers, either.  During this desert experience, we learned a lot about pure reliance on the Lord for our sustenance.  Although we knew the imperative to “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together”, we knew that opportunity had not been afforded us to fellowship regularly, so we continued on our path.  We did have the pleasure of occasional fellowship with friends in Wichita, but that was infrequent.  Overall my desert experience lasted about 10 years.  It is amazing that it took that long to rewire my thinking on church, relationships, faith, etc.  At the beginning I even questioned the very existence of God.  During that time I developed a hunger for the body, for communion with other believers, although I didn’t have much overall understanding of the issue.

The beginning of the end (of this season, anyway) came about a year ago, when we were invited to a “bible study” with some other couples in town.  Interestingly, the other members of the group are either business owners, farmers, or one sister works for one of the couples in the group.  The common thread was that all of these people had begun to be dissatisfied with church as they knew it.  Some didn’t attend at all, and hadn’t for some time.  Some still attended sporadically and I believe some still attended regularly.  The core members of the group had known each other for many, many years.  Over the next year the Lord knit us together, into a body.  I will go into more detail in my next post, but the love and care that has developed between us is amazing.  It is difficult to describe, really, but can best be described as supernatural.

I hope this post isn’t too long.  Bear with me if it is!  again I’ll post more in my next post.  for now work calls!

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6 Responses to “The Lord Begins His Work”

  1. Alan Knox 11 July 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    Mark,

    When you’re writing your post, look for a button above the edit window that looks like a chain link. Highlight the text that you want to make into a link, then click that chain link button. Type in the url, and voila, you have a link.

    -Alan

  2. admin 12 July 2010 at 2:59 am #

    That was easy enough! Thanks for the info.

    Mark

  3. Arthur Sido 12 July 2010 at 11:39 am #

    See, that is why I use Blogger. WordPress is for subversives and other un-American types.

  4. Mark 12 July 2010 at 1:26 pm #

    I guess I fit right in with the WordPress folks, then!

  5. norma j hill 13 July 2010 at 4:02 pm #

    thanks! This is encouraging to us who are still going through the “desert”…

    I use blogger and WordPress both… where does that put me, I wonder? lol… easy subversive Canadian? :-)

    • Mark 15 July 2010 at 9:39 pm #

      Norma,

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. There is an end to the desert, so be encouraged!


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