We finished up the last 420 miles Thursday and pulled into my parents drive about 4:00. We dropped Odie there and visited a while and then arrived at the BoggsMobile about 5:00. It is good to be "home." It does not matter where home is as long as I am in the BoggsMobile. I am going to enjoy climbing into my own bed tonight.
We were gone 15 nights, drove through 12 states, stayed in 8 motels and drove the Green Machine over 2900 miles. It was a long, tiring but wonderful trip. We went to new states, saw new places, experienced new things, ate new food, met new friends, attended new churches, ministered in new environments and were inspired to believe God to do new miracles.
Inspired to believe God to do new miracles? Yep! That was really the main reason for this trip. We wanted to see if God might be asking us to do the impossible. We are not sure yet what He is asking us to do but we are more sure than ever that He is able to do whatever needs to be done.
This trip was part vacation and part ministry. We enjoyed all of the fun and "vacationy" parts of the trip and really enjoyed the chance to minister in new-to-us places and to new people. But the main intent was to investigate future possibilities of ministry.
What New Possibilities?
City Reach 2016 will be on us before you know it. I have dared to dream out loud and share my vision with you about what I feel like God is wanting us to do in City Reach and I am watching and waiting every day for every little direction He may send us. One of the things I would like to do is to hold tent revival in at least one metropolitan area along the eastern seaboard. We visited Philadelphia, the New York City area and Boston looking for opportunities to connect with the right people and listening for a still small voice.
Honestly, I was overwhelmed with every city we entered. I was overwhelmed with the needs of the people and with the possibility of God using us to meet the greatest need of giving them the Gospel. But I was also overwhelmed with the utter impossibility of us even getting our foot in the proverbial door.
If you want to know how small you really are, walk into a large city. If you do not feel small in the shadow of such a multitude teeming about the massive city, you are a mighty big man OR you might think too much of yourself. The impossibility of me doing anything in these cities slapped me right in the face.
I Can Not Do It!
How do I reach out to local churches? How do I convince them I have honest intentions and pure motives? How do I find a place to set a tent in such vast cities? How do I even know where I need to set it up? How do I attempt to answer all the questions about logistics? Where do I even begin?
I was overwhelmed without even considering the financial commitment. I have been thinking that the money would be one of the biggest obstacles but after visiting these cities, driving their streets, walking in neighborhoods and talking to people I realized that money is the smallest of my difficulties in actually bringing City Reach to pass.
I was so overwhelmed that I came to the conclusion that I could not do it. The vision of City Reach 2016 is too big for me to push through. I can not with all my human effort attempt to hold tent revivals in one metropolitan area in 2016 much less the ten that I envisioned. I can not do it. If you put $100,000 in my hand I would only be a smidgen closer to actually getting it done.
Yet through the fear, foreboding and intimidation I could not help but hear myself preaching about the scarecrow. I saw Frank W. Boreham's scarecrows every where I looked. (Most of you have not heard me preach the message about the "Secret of the Scarecrow" but stay with me, you will catch on.) The scarecrow looms over the strawberry patch keeping thousands of birds from feasting on the tasty ripe strawberries.
Two birds sit on the shoulders of the scarecrow. They are covered in strawberry juice. They have learned the secret of the scarecrow.
The scarecrow may be intimidating. He may strike fear in your heart. But the scarecrow can not prevent you from what God has provided for you. While all the other birds perched on trees and fence posts longed for even one juicy strawberry, two birds had conquered their fears and now enjoyed unrestricted access to the whole patch.
Boreham said if he were a bird and if he had discovered the secret of the scarecrow, that he would no longer avoid scarecrows. He would now seek them out. He would actively look for every field that was guarded by a giant scarecrow. Because the scarecrow is like a giant billboard advertising there is something good and tasty for you in this field. If there were nothing good for you in the field then there would be no scarecrow to try and keep you out.
You get it? Every where I looked I saw giants in the land. Giants of despair, disappointment and defeat. The city is too big. You are small. The logistics are too daunting. You are inadequate. The complications are too many. You are insufficient. The obstacles are too high. You are feeble.
I saw giants and scarecrows every where. After I had cowered in fear for a while I heard my mind rehearsing what I had preached to others through the last year. All those scarecrows have a secret. The scarecrow can not prevent me from what God has promised me. I came home from this fact finding trip with my faith building higher. The facts are foreboding but my faith sees strawberries. If God be for us, who can be against us?
God Can Do It!
It is impossible for this little nothing of a man to have a tent revival in a big city where he does not presently know 5 people. It is absolutely utterly impossible. Yet I came away saying, With God all things are possible!
Now, I am not sure if I am supposed to put a tent up in Philadelphia, the New York area or Boston at all. I know that I want to do it. I want to take the message of the Gospel to the people that are not going into the churches that have been prepared for them. I want to do it but I do not yet know if that is God's plan or not.
But I do know this much. I am going to do my dead level best to listen God and follow His direction into 10 cities some where in our nation. And wherever He points me, I know He will provide for me. There will be giants and multitudes of scarecrows. But where there are scarecrows there are strawberries.
I can almost taste the strawberries right now! Hallelujah! When you see me in 2016 I will have strawberry juice all over me!
Thanks for reading.