Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Come Ye Apart Into A Desert Place

The responsibility of upcoming City Reach in the Phoenix area and the City Reach campaigns in the future have been weighing heavy on me a long time. Three years we have prayed about this and over two years we have actively planned and prepared for taking tent revivals into our cities. 

I can see the hand of divine providence using situations, experiences and even trials the last many years to equip us for this mission. I believe that God has adjusted us, corrected us, molded us, rebuked us and chastened us in order for us to be ready for such a time as this.

City Reach Wichita and City Reach Richton last year both greatly encouraged me that God is in control of all of this. He is teaching me afresh that where His finger points, His hand will make the way.

But the last few weeks the burden of City Reach has settled down on me in earnest. I go to bed thinking about the possibilities. I wake up 3-4 hours later thinking about the impossibilities. I pray until my heart is full of the potential and sometimes I am immediately overcome with the insurmountable problems that could arise.

I realize that my nervousness, anxieties and concerns for City Reach are no greater than many of you carry daily. You must provide for your family, tend to your children, run your businesses and pay your bills. 

You face challenges every day and you have to trust God the same as I do. I get that. I sympathize with that. Life is demanding and no one in their right mind would say that it is easy.

We all have to deal with life and its demands.

City Reach is my vision, my calling, my charge and therefore my duty and obligation to fulfill. I should have no reasonable expectation that anyone else will help bear my responsibilities in addition to their own. Nevertheless, I have been blessed beyond measure that others have caught my vision and are helping to take up my cause. They have helped and are helping carry the load spiritually, emotionally, physically and financially. 

As I type this, Bro. Jimmie Radcliffe is preparing to leave Oklahoma going toward Arizona with the tent and equipment. He is making a commitment lasting many months because he loves souls and believes in my vision.

Churches are praying and churches are giving. Families and individuals are praying and giving. We receive calls and texts everyday with tremendously encouraging words.

These facts bring me unspeakable joy.

Yet, all the help, all the assistance, all the guidance and all of the reassurance does not lessen the fact that I will answer to God for the work He has called me to do. That is what keeps me up at night.

Therefore, I felt like it was imperative that I spend a few days alone with God finding strength and peace and courage and direction that I must have. I needed to get my mind and heart in the right position before the rush of activity begins about midweek in El Mirage.

So I followed the advice of our Lord.

Mark 6:31 And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.

In a very literal sense, that brings us to Quartzsite, Arizona. 

Quartzsite is a desert town on the way from LA to Phoenix. It is a small town of less than 4000 people that swells to well over 1 million people in January and February. Although there are many RV parks in town and they fill up completely, most people park in RV's all over the federally owned desert land surrounding the town. They dry camp without any hookups and they do it in many tens of thousands of RV's from all over the USA and other countries.

We came through here in January one year on the way to California and this is a glimpse of what we saw. It goes on for miles all around Quartzsite.

(Internet Photo)

With a million+ people here, I really wanted to do a City Reach in Quartzsite during January, but with such a crowd I found it impossible to rent property for the tent. I made many, many inquiries. In the process of that, I had contacted some churches here and I wanted to spend some time this weekend getting to know some of the local folks for a possible return visit in the future.

But the main purpose this weekend was to park in the desert out of town and spend some time fasting and praying and preparing ourselves for the challenge ahead. We arrived late Friday evening and it has been a lovely and refreshing few days. I feel charged up and ready to go. 

Kelly Jo and I love all kinds of places and the desert country has a special place in our hearts. The saguaro cactus, the mountains and the arid climate puts us on a horse back riding through no mans land chasing the wind. Wow! What a gorgeous place! 

We plan to leave for El Mirage this evening. I will leave you with a few pictures of the last few days.



Did you see the face in the clouds? Maybe it is a guppy!

Sunday morning as I walked around the car about sunrise I scared a little desert fox and he scared me. He ran to the back of the car and here we are both peeking around to see if the other one is still there.

He was a friendly little guy.

Sunrise looking toward the east.

Another sunset.

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