IT’S IN THE EVERYDAY THAT GOD INVADES

imageIT’S IN THE EVERYDAY THAT GOD INVADES

A Facebook friend of mine proposed the following thought for the new year. Instead of making your typical resolutions, why not ask God for a 1 word theme for the year. His word was Engage.

In my efforts to try this for the first time, my 1 word theme became a 7 word phrase instead…IT’S IN THE EVERYDAY THAT GOD INVADES!

IT’S IN THE EVERYDAY THAT GOD INVADES. As I become more aware of what it means to be a “Marketplace Missionary” which in my case is God revealing more of Himself, and in teaching me new ways to live out His 2nd greatest commandment to “LOVE MY NEIGHBOURS AS MYSELF”, I become more aware that IT’S IN THE EVERYDAY THAT GOD INVADES.

One simple but beautiful example of this came a couple of days before Christmas. I had gone to a flat for a lease signing where a single Mom with 3 young daughters & a teenage daughter arrived to sign the lease. It was a very cold flat as no heating had been on while it sat empty, but as I would later discover, it offered the prospect of a warm home and a fresh start.

I didn’t realise the full depth of the situation, I only knew that they where having to escape a very bad situation, and move to settle into a new home over the Christmas holidays. The 3 young daughters were not only excited for Christmas, but also seemed very excited that this flat would become their new home. I can only imagine what they must have been escaping. I did my best to help make this difficult transition a little bit easier for them. I even put on a Disney movie for them to watch on my iPad while we signed all the papers.

At the end of our time, my heart was warmed, and my thoughts focused on how MUCH God loves & cares for us. The 3 young ones with big smiles on their faces, each took a turn in giving me a big hug and said, “thank you for our new home.”

Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. (Hebrews 13:2esv)

Love, Kent

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Come Follow Me, Celebrating 12 Years as Missionaries to Scotland

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Come Follow Me, Celebrating 12 Years as Missionaries to Scotland

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 ESV)

On this day, the 28th of August in 2001, we arrived at Edinburgh Airport, jet lagged and bleary eyed, nervous yet excited to begin an adventure-packed journey with God.

We thought we were too old, at 40, for Youth With A Mission. But after 6 months training in Paisley, we were staffing a school with YWAM Scotland in Edinburgh.

To our surprise, there were other families, just as crazy as us, who joined us for the training at the YWAM base, Stanely House in Paisley, Scotland.

It was there at Stanely House, where we began our Family DTS (Discipleship Training School) with a total of 12 staff/student families with 35 children. That’s right, 35 children, and 20 of them ALL in the same house. An experience NONE OF US WILL EVER FORGET!

And today, we celebrate 12 years as being missionaries in this beautiful, historic capital city of Edinburgh, and in this rainy, but gorgeous, country that we have come to call home.

“To follow is to love.”
(Barclay Card Advert) http://youtu.be/zdg8uSQ4tvw
please watch this 1:31 minute video posted on You Tube.

When I recently saw this advert from Barclay Card, I thought the theme to be quite profound. The emotions, the drama, the reality of the situations that were portrayed, were all too real and engaging.

The tag line stated, “to follow is to love.” I thought to myself, there is something more to this, beyond the message that the company has presented or intended.

After seeing this advert several more times, I began to think about the words of Jesus in the Gospels, and compare those words to the Barclay ad tag line,”to follow is to love.”

COME FOLLOW ME
Jesus proclaims on numerous occasions “come follow me,” so I decided to do a search on my You Version app, and the following words of Jesus were the most commonly found and repeated in the Gospels.

And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19 ESV)

And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mark 8:34 ESV)

And Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “You lack one thing: go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” ( Mark 10:21 ESV)

To FOLLOW is to LOVE. I believe there is a Kingdom principle found here.

The words of Jesus, “come follow me,” not only require us to deny ourselves, but to daily take up our cross (which is a whole other blog post on its own), and to follow Him.

I am daily trying to live this out as I seek to draw closer to God, to hear His voice, and to be obedient as I intentionally pursue to be His hands and His feet.

When I reflect back on the past 12 years as a missionary, I can honestly say there has been a lot of denying of self, and dying to self that has come along with the obedience to following Jesus.

STARTING YEAR 13 in Edinburgh, Scotland:
For the past 12 years, we have been focused on:

• reaching the lost with the Gospel
• training and discipling the next generation
• church planting

Our focus and passion remain the same today:

Our FOCUS: Reaching the lost with the Gospel here in Edinburgh Scotland and beyond its borders, and helping them become fully devoted followers of Christ.

Our PASSION: Making Disciples, Equipping Ministers, and Mobilizing Missionaries.

SEEKING PARTNERS
As we begin this 13th year as missionaries, we are looking for a few more people to partner with us, and to help us advance the Gospel in Edinburgh and Scotland.

If you would LOVE to Follow, and be a part, you can go to my Supporting Our Ministry page on this blog for details on how to do that, or email me directly at: lovefromkent@gmail.com

Love, Kent

A MidSummer Night in Edinburgh

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A MidSummer Night in Edinburgh In the beginning of July, on a typical chilly summer eve, the city centre streets of Edinburgh were busy with tourists and locals alike taking advantage of the northern night sky which is illuminated till close to midnight this time of year.

It was on this evening that I joined my friend James, and our Mosaic Edinburgh team, as we took our turn once again in serving the homeless with the Bethany Christian Trust Care Van. Bethany is the Scottish charity that Debbie, Hannah and Jacob all work for and that serves the homeless and vulnerable in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas. http://www.bethanychristiantrust.com

The Care Van is manned by a number of local churches year round, and travels around to several key points within city centre each night. At different stops the Care Van serves homemade soups, rolls, tea, and coffee, and when equipped with donations, provides socks, hats, gloves, coats, and blankets.

Before we headed out this July evening, I was praying with our team, and prayed specifically that God would give us divine appointments and that He would use us to be Jesus’ hands and feet. I don’t know why it surprises me when God shows up on the scene when we ask Him, but it still does sometimes.

At our first stop, we were busy serving when a very weathered, middle-aged man came up and asked if we had any socks. Unfortunately, we only had a few hand-knitted hats in colours that were more suited for women than for a man. We told him this is all that we had for the night, but he begged and pleaded with us to please give him some socks. He said his feet were in terrible pain and all torn up from being soaked from the rain and not having any dry socks or any socks at all for that matter.

We exclaimed once again that we were very sorry, but these hats were all that we had. And he said, “please just give me two of the hats and I’ll put them on my feet.” At that moment, both James and I looked at each other with a belief that we were having the same thought about giving him our own socks.

Perplexed but not confused, I was still contemplating the fact that I only had ankle socks on. At that precise moment, James had decided, and boldly stated to this very desperate man, “I’ll give you MY socks.” And to my excitement, the weathered looking man said, “Oh, would you please?”

As James proceeded to take off his socks, and give them to the man, he did it with such a love, with conviction and compassion that I have not witnessed in a long time. The man received the socks with tears in his eyes, and was ever so grateful for such a kind, loving act that was reminiscent of what Jesus would do.

In fact, as I’m writing this today, I’m reminded of what Jesus said in Matthew 5 just before he spoke about loving our enemies. Jesus said in verse 42 “Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” Thanks be to God for this example and for answering our prayers for divine appointments. We are blessed and humbled to know You, God, and to be used by You.

Chandler Family Fund:
Trip to America
As most of you know, we are in the midst of raising funds to purchase 3 airline tickets (Kent, Debbie & Hannah) for a much needed trip back to see family, friends and partners (it’s been 4 years). We might need to raise a bit more, as Jacob is not getting as much work as he needs in order for him to pay for his entire airline ticket.

Travel Needs We are currently looking at travelling on September 11th or 12th, but are considering me going sooner, either into Dallas or Springfield, MO, and are needing to then meet up with Joshua who is in Arkansas near Debbie’s parents.

In addition to the airline tickets, we need the following:
*Car or van to borrow for 3-4weeks to travel between Texas, Arkansas & hopefully Colorado
*Lodging
*Funds for food, gas & maybe a few nights in a hotel

This Weeks Goal We have a goal this week to have enough for 2 of the tickets. As of now, we only need £259.00 to have enough for the first 2 tickets. Can you help? If so, you can donate directly on our PayPal at chandlerfamily5@gmail.com or donate on our Go Fund Me page at http://www.gofundme.com/34cqts

Thank you!
Love, Kent

I BELIEVE in MIRACLES

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RECOVERY UPDATE: Something Miraculous Happened Today
see photo proof @ end of blog post

I don’t know why but I’m continually amazed when I see God move in miraculous ways, especially in my own life. But I am here to testify today of answered prayers. I want to thank all of you who have been on this journey with me. Since August 2010, I have had 5 surgeries that included 4 knee surgeries ( 2 arthoscopic and 2 total knee replacements) and a testicular cancer surgery. Your prayers have given me hope, patience and strength to endure as I’ve witnessed God’s hand and healing on my life. So, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you again!

It’s been 2 1/2 weeks since my 2nd knee replacement. Already I’ve seen a big difference compared to the last one (on the other knee). I can’t say that it has been any less painful but I am taking less pain medication, so that means something right?. There is less swelling, and I seem to be getting around better than last time already. I can see that I’ve gotten more flexibility and bend in my knee, this even before my first outpatient physio begins on Friday, 1st February.

MIRACULOUS: The last two days, I have been able to increase my exercises which has really encouraged me. But, something miraculous happened to me this afternoon. During my exercises today, I decided to listen & watch a worship service on iBethel.tv, led by Jeremy Riddle (who happens to be one of my favourite worship leaders) for what I thought was going to be a distraction for me.

Little did I know that God had other plans.

After I had warmed up and felt like I had done really well with my flexibility, I decided to try once again to be able to lift my leg. This is a feat that took me 5 weeks to accomplish with my last total knee replacement, I’m not joking, 5 weeks! So, with a tremendous amount of strain and effort, I tried and tried to lift my foot/leg off the bed. At first, I had no luck, I just couldn’t do it. Then, with a huge amount of effort, I managed to get it up, a tiny little bit. Exhausted but excited, I called Debbie to come watch.

Again with great concentration, effort, strain and grunting I was able to lift it ever so slightly off the bed. HUGE SUCESS! But, with that success, I felt like I strained a muscle or something. So I must have done it wrong somehow.

BACK TO THE MIRACULOUS: As I said previously, I believe God had other plans for me instead of just listening and watching this worship time while I was exercising. At the end of the worship, the Holy Spirit was moving and speaking. I sensed that the Holy Spirit was not only moving there in Redding CA, but believe it or not, moving in my bedroom too. Through prayer and witnessing the move of the Holy Spirit they asked people to lay hands on someone around them to pray for healing or impartation or just encouragement.

ASK GOD TO SUPERNATURALLY HELP ME TO RECOVER: So, with no one around me, I decided to lay hands on myself, and with faith, I asked God to supernaturally help me to recover from this 2nd total knee replacement.

After praying for someone’s healing, I always, if appropriate, ask them to try to do something that they weren’t able to do before. For me, I decided to try and lift my foot and leg up from the bed, but this time more than just a bit.

TO MY AMAZEMENT, I not only was able to lift it up off the bed, I was able to lift it to where my leg was straight up and down pointing to the ceiling. I suddenly realised it took very little effort to do it so I decided to try it again. Before I did, I said both to myself and to God, that if I can do it again with little effort then I can testify of God’s amazing supernatural healing in helping me to recover. The second time was a complete success too!

Now came the time to testify to Debbie and Jacob, so I asked them to come up to my room and to be my witness. To their amazement, and mine too, BOOM! I did it again!. This is awesome! And again, I did it for Hannah when she got home, only this time I was smart enough to have her take a photo for proof.

At the end of all the excitement, I realise that I still have a long road ahead of physio and rehab, but today I can testify of God’s grace, love, and mercy on my life as He supernaturally is helping me to recover.

Can we just all pray, More Lord Please! And my prayer is for each of you to experience MORE of His love, grace, and mercy in your life too.

Love, Kent
lovefromkent@gmail.com

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The Week In-Between & the Atheist Church

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The Week In-Between & the Atheist Church

The Week In-Between Christmas and the New Year has become a significant week in my adult-married life. During this week, I have always chosen to take holiday/vacation time. This is because it gives me an extended period over the Christmas holidays that I can spend with my wife and my children. Over the years, it has also become a time where we as a family enjoy spending it with friends, playing games, and watching college football bowl games.

This in-between week has gradually become a significant week for me, as I mentioned. It is when I get to enjoy extra time with family and friends, and also take time to reflect on the year and look ahead to the coming year. As I have been reflecting on all that the year has entailed, I’ve gained proper perspective for dreaming, planning, and strategising for the year to come.

In reflection, one thing I like to do is make a list of 7 Highlights of the Year. In doing so, I’m able to be thankful and give praise to my heavenly Father for all that He has done, both in my life and through my life, during the previous year. As I have thought about this today, I’m not going to list my 7 highlights here in this blog, but I am going to share a few in a photo montage.

During this reflection time and as I look forward to 2013, I find myself contemplating this fact that has come out of our most recent census here in the UK.

FACT: 1 in 3 people in the UK indicate they are atheists: The 2011 census for the UK indicates that now 1/3 of its residents, or 1 out of every 3 people in the UK, claim to be atheist. This coupled with the announcement of the first-ever Atheist Church has confirmed to me that NOW, more than ever, is the time for the Kingdom of God to be expanding in Scotland and the UK.

Stand Up Comedians Launch UK’s First Atheist Church
http://www.islingtongazette.co.uk/news/stand_up_comedians_launch_uk_s_first_atheist_church_in_islington_1_1747944

12th Year We are in our 12th year as missionaries here in Scotland, and I have never seen, nor experienced, a more desperate need for the Gospel to advance in Scotland and Europe than what we face today. This is why we are committed to sharing the Gospel here in Edinburgh and are working to help establish churches that reach the lost.

Additionally, I have been drawn to the words Paul wrote to Philemon.
Philemon was considered to be an ordinary pastor.

Philemon’s Love and Faith
Philemon 1:4-7 I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints, and I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you.

I guess I can say as I look ahead to 2013 that the words of Paul to Philemon will be one of the prayers that I pray for myself.

My Prayer: “Dear Jesus, I pray that in each and every relationship of mine that the sharing of my faith will become EFFECTIVE for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in me for the sake of Christ. I also pray that the hearts of the saints and others will be refreshed through me.”

So during this WEEK IN-BETWEEN, I would encourage each of you to make your list of 7 Highlights of the Year from 2012. And my prayer for you is that you would be thankful for the past and be encouraged and inspired for the year to come.

From my family to you and yours, may we all grow in grace and mercy, be filled with peace and joy, and be extravagant in LOVE! Here’s to a very blessed 2013!

Love, Kent

Friday Night Lights

10:00 o’clock on Friday Night…It’s 10:00 on a Friday night in the city centre of Edinburgh Scotland.  The city is buzzing with tourist who are filling the streets and pavements to a near maximum capacity during this festival season, so much so,  that it makes it almost impossible to walk.  Entertainers galore are busking, Fringe attendees and participants are are filling every possible venue spot.

Pubs & Clubs…  The pubs and clubs are full of young adults who are steaming, not from the summer heat. but from drinking to sheer excess, in an effort to drown out their worries and anxieties.  They are looking for something to fill the void that is in their lives, but unfortunately are looking in ALL the wrong places.

One of my Scottish friends told me once that,  “us Scots drink so that we can puke, so that we can drink some more.”  That is a sad statement, and a sad place for our society here in Scotland to be in. But it is reality and the numbers are alarming!  Obviously, not everyone drinks or thinks this way, but it is a problem.

The following are some of the effects that this kind of behaviour has on our culture:

  • the highest rate of teenage pregnancies in Europe
  • Random violence and abuse at an all time high
  • Drug overdose and Alcohol Abuse, one of the highest rates in Europe

Every year in Scotland 60,000 individuals and families are declared homeless (Homeless Stats for Scotland 2010)

On this past Friday night, the lights were burning bright around the city and a group of us from Mosaic Edinburgh decided to bring the light of Jesus to the streets, and to share his love in a tangible way to a group of homeless and vulnerable people who are sleeping rough.

We partnered with Bethany Christian Trust (this is the charity that Debbie works with and they work with the homeless and vulnerable in Edinburgh and Scotland).  We prepared buttered rolls, cups of soup and hot tea and coffee as we drove the Bethany Care Van to several strategic locations around the city where we served the homeless and vulnerable.

That may not seem like much to some,  but I tell you that to Tommy and Marc from Poland it meant a great deal to them.  Tommy has been in Edinburgh for five years, and recently just lost his job after 4 1/2 years in the same job.  He has been unable to find more employment, so he has lost his flat, and is now sleeping rough.  I heard similar stories from a couple of young Scots as well.

At Mosaic Edinburgh, we want to live by faith, to be known for love, and to be a voice of hope.  On Friday night, I think we practically lived this out in a small yet very tangible and meaningful way.  Prayerfully and hopefully those 50 homeless we served would agree.

I am very grateful to Bethany Christian Trust for ALL the work they do, and especially in providing this Care Van nightly, year round in partnership with some of the local churches in Edinburgh.  I was blessed for being there with our Mosaic Edinburgh team, and am still on a high from it.

A buttered roll, a cup of soup, a coffee and a tea served with the love of Jesus can make a difference.

Keep Serving…

Love, Kent