Sunday, September 30, 2007

Good Bye Grady Dawn

I've enjoyed many days fishing aboard my boat, named the Grady Dawn, but those days are gone, at least for a while.
This Sunday I'm teaching on the miraculous provision for Peter's tax bill (Matt. 17), which was basically fulfilling an annual building pledge for the temple. Even though Peter had paid this tax every year, this time would definitely stand out in his mind.

This was a spiritual adventure in giving for Peter.
I have been involved many building campaigns, and one thing I have noticed: each time God wants us to give more to build our faith.

Last Tuesday I met with our elders for breakfast. I knew we would be launching Walking on Water this Sunday and our church needed to raise $400,000 as soon as possible. I knew what God was asking me to do, but I was too afraid to talk about it with my wife, because of the sacrifice it would require.

At breakfast, I confessed my fear to the other elders and asked them to pray for me. Everyone one of them put their heads down, but not to pray. Each one around the table said they also knew what God was asking them to do, and they were also afraid to talk with their wives about it. So we prayed for each other.

Later that day I wrote Brenda an e-mail, and told her what I believed God wanted us to do. I couldn’t say it face to face. Wednesday at lunch we talked and prayed together and she agreed.
We knew that God was asking us to give, nearly twice what we’d ever given before, and that the only way to give that amount was to sell something . . . our boat. Ouch.

Last summer when I was fishing, and it was a great year, at one of the fishing camp fireside devotionals by missionary Ray Badgero, I sensed God asking me to again give Him this boat, to make sure He owned the things I had title to.

I have heard that voice many times asking this same question. It is the only way things are prevented from becoming idols in our life. I again said yes as I had many times before. About two weeks ago, Jesus reminded me of this coversation and said He needed it now . . . for the Creekside Church's Walking on Water campaign.

So on Thursday I sent one e-mail to one person, Ray Badgero, and on Friday the boat was sold. It is being purchased by the Copper Island mission we support and will be used by one of the young missionaries in ministry there, reaching out to native kids. We asked God what amount we should give to Walking on Water, not what we could afford, and He told us.

Then we asked Jesus how we could give that amount, and He told us, "Sell the boat."
Then we asked Jesus how we should sell it and He told us, "Call Ray."
Yesterday, I met with a fishing friend of mind and told him what God was asking. He reminded me that seasons of giving are great opportunities for us to partner with God.
Just like Esther in the Old Testament, who was asked by God to intereceed for her people with the King, which was at risk of her own life. Her uncle reminded her that she could cooperate and be used by God, or not. But if she chose not to cooperate, God would use someone else to get teh job done and her chance to cooperate in the plans of God would be lost.
I don't want to loose an opportunity to cooperate with God. I can assure you that if you ask God what to do, it will be just a miraculous as Peter’s fish story and our boat story. . . which is not over I'm sure.


Blogger John Taylor said...

Wow Don....I am sure the Lord will use this ordinary, but prized possession, in extraordinary ways as you obey him. I had to pray and ask God if it was ok to purchase our boat "Sandpiper". He said it was OK! I also told him I would give it back when ever He asked me far He hasn't, but if the day comes I know it will be both a joy and a sacrifice. It is very cool the boat went to Copper Island!! Blessings! JT

2:20 PM  

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