Monthly Archives: April 2010

God heals

This picture is of me reading to Anggie, a precious little girl who lives at Casa Shalom orphanage in San Lucas, Guatemala. The picture was taken earlier this month by my daughter, Jessica, who works at the home. Although the picture looks like just a simple session of fun book reading, it represents so much more.

Anggie was abused prior to coming to Shalom. When she arrived, she was absolutely terrified of men – all men. She literally would cry when any man came into the same room with her. Details of the abuse are not known, but for sure, she was a hurting little girl and had zero trust for anyone who may harm her again.

After many months of prayer and gentle care, Anggie’s heart is healing. She is beginning to trust. She is starting to talk (she had been silent for the entire time she lived there), she is warming up to others. This reading session says a lot.

God heals broken spirits.


when the vision requires more

I am in a really good spot right now. God has put some very defined ambitions in my heart. I don’t have the resources to get the job done. So, God is challenging me to trust Him. This is a good spot.

What do we do when the vision requires more than we possess?
Bible lesson time:
I Kings 4 tells the story of a poor widow who was about to lose everything. She had exhausted all of her resources and her two sons were about to be conscripted into slavery. Her vision was to keep her family together and to make her family’s future secure. But she did not have the resources to make this happen.

She spoke to Elisha, the prophet. He asked her a very simple question: “What do you have in your house?” Although this question must have seemed off point, she responded: “nothing but a little oil.” He instructed her to borrow as many oil containers as she could get her hands on and start pouring the little oil that she had. She followed the order and a miracle occurred. As she poured the oil, it multiplied. From one small container of oil, she and her sons filled multiple containers. They did this until all the containers they had collected were filled. Her vision was fulfilled.

What God is asking me is, “What do you have in your house?” He is wanting me to offer to Him whatever I have, trust Him, be willing to invest what He has provided. I believe that, if I follow the orders, He will do whatever is necessary in order to provide the resources required to fulfill the vision He has given me. I plan to obey.

This is a good place. It is exciting when the vision God gives you requires more than you currently possess. It means we must trust Him. It means we must grow. It means the vision will be fulfilled.

This is a very good place.


project Peru update

In one month, I will be in Peru hiking the Inca Trail with my daughter, Jessica. We plan to take financial support to a Childrens’ Ministry Center in Lima. Pastor Dario Lopez feeds, educates and provides medical care for 330 of the neediest children in Lima. We have an opportunity to partner with him and his efforts to save these kids.

To date, we have collected just over $3,000 to assist them! People are so generous! With just a few weeks left to collect funds, I ask that you help me spread the word. Can you forward this post along to a friend?

Funds can be contributed at wecanshareit.org. Any questions can be directed to me at: rwhitter@maranathachurch.org.

Thanks, everyone! Much grace!

Rick


the beautiful letdown

My nephew, Richard Whitter spoke at Maranatha Church today. His message, The Beautiful Letdown was about how God wants us to release our expectations of life and ourselves and Him. He taught from the book of Hebrews 12, as well as Philippians 1:20-21. He gave us some clear insight about God’s “discipline” of His children, drawing from real-life analogies and examples.

It was a moving day. All three services were impacted in different, but equally effective ways.

I left with the resolution to let God control my future rather than trying to figure it all out on my own. I want to release anything that I have concocted in my head regarding my plans. I want to approach God and life with an open spirit.

Here is the bottom line: God’s plans for us are so much greater than our plans for us, we would be crazy to stick to our plans.

I am very proud of Rich. I love him and his wife Janet and their daughter Grace. I think God has big stuff just ahead for them. By the way, lots of people think we look like brothers. Maybe twins. I would have to agree – He is, indeed, one good lookin’ guy!


engaged

I just returned home from Atlanta where I have been attending a conference called Engage. It was an excellent learning opportunity and centered around the concept of engaging the culture with Jesus Christ and being fully engaged with Him.

I heard fantastic teaching from Reggie McNeal and Len Sweet. I have admired both of these men for several years and have read a significant portion of what they have written. They both encouraged us to look ahead at the changes that are taking place in our world and strategically position ourselves where we can be most effective in doing the work of God now and into the future.

I am a missionary. Not in the sense that I have moved to a foreign country for ministry purposes. But similar to the heroes who chose this work, I have to learn to adapt to changes, I have to learn the language of the people around me and I have to know how to communicate effectively. We cannot use yesterday’s methods and expect to be successful today.

Engage helped me with this process. It was a real source of both inspiration and information for me. I also got to spend some good time with some great friends, as well as make a few new ones.

The Maranatha family will be hearing more about this stuff in upcoming teaching. For now, suffice it to say, we are headed full-speed toward full-blown missional ministry!


the earth is the Lord’s

Taking care of the earth is not a conservative or liberal thing, not a Dem or Republican thing. It is not a Christian or non-Christian thing. It is a “do-the-right-thing” thing.

God gave us one earth and our resources are limited. The Biblical concept of “steward” has to be applied. The world belongs to God; He is just letting us use it for a while. Don’t trash it!

So for future generations: recycle. For purposes of a clean appearance: pick up after yourself. Because people are dying because of a lack of clean water: conserve. Because we are running out: don’t waste natural resources.

Happy Earth Day (tomorrow)!


vision and risk

During this morning’s staff meeting at Maranatha, I was able to share some ideas about the future with the people we work with. Some of the things I talked about are a bit “out there” in that, if they take place, it will require a lot of faith and a handful of miracles. I am glad to say, our team is united and there was not one ounce of skepticism on display.

One of the more difficult parts of expressing vision is the risk that those to whom you are speaking will not “buy in”. We generally feel our way through these conversations, looking for some kind of affirmation that they are tracking with you. Very bold leaders don’t need affirmation as much but the rest of us feel a bit like we are walking through a mine field. It can be dicey.

I am glad to know that we are moving forward in the same direction. This is a great team. I get a lot of encouragement from them. We are exploring vision together. It’s going to be great.