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Cameron Barber

I Am Lost by Cameron Barber

There are few things more terrifying than feeling like you are truly lost. Not lost in a neighborhood looking for someone’s house. Not lost like straying away from camp, but still within earshot of help. What I mean is truly, and helplessly lost. So lost that no one can hear you. So lost that nothing looks familiar. So lost that you feel helpless, and truly alone. That is terror. It’s harder and harder to actually get lost today. GPS and other devices help us stay along the paths. The help us navigate to places we have never been before in a calm, clear voice. We’re hardly ever alone, and lost.

But it still happens. People try to escape the everyday, and leave their GPS and smartphones behind to get as close as possible to being lost, but stay safe. Sometimes people cross the line that divides safe and lost, never to return. Adventurers and weekend warriors have been pushing their own boundaries for decades, with large numbers of success. So what happens to get people lost? How is this possible in our modern country today? 

I recently read a story about a P.E. Teacher from Seattle that got lost for a week inside Olympic National Park fighting for her life. She had planned on climbing Mt. Rainier, but her partner canceled at the last minute, so she changer her plans. Mary O’Brien left Seattle with every intention of buying a topographical map of the area she was hiking. Her plans included an 18.8 mile loop through the North American Rain forest. Thirty hours in, she was crossing cat creek with white water surging beneath her, she was bruised, and starting to hallucinate. A few hours earlier she had encounter an early fog, darkness, and snow. Mary slipped in the darkness and as she climbed back up to the trail, she took a wrong turn.

What followed was a week long survival expedition. She was running out of food, and conditions were getting worse. She climbed up the side of a nearby mountain and started signaling for help with her headlamp. When no one responded, she took a compass bearing, and set a straight coarse for the lights. Mary eventually came to a lake where some boaters rescued her, but her story is our story in life.

We go through life with out really thinking things out. Planning for the treacherous journey, and making sure we stay on the trails. Mary failed to bring a map, or even leave a note in her parked car, so no one knew where she was. No one could even look for her. So often we stray off God’s path. We slip and fall, get disoriented, and try to pull ourselves back up. Only to find they we have wandered so far off the course, we start hallucinating visions in the wrong direction. We end up chasing ghosts, and wind. When were lost, the sense of panic sets in and we make worse decisions. Mary decided she needed to climb up to see light. She got her bearings, and went straight for it, no more side trails, no more change of direction, no more wandering.

If you feel lost, you can look out and see God. Maybe you can even remember where you strayed, but can’t get back now. So what can you do? You start by looking in the right place. Jesus said in Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” ESV. Then go to Him. Mary knew she needed a map, something that would have guided her to safety. We have not just a map, but a living God. John 16:13 Jesus tells us, “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard.” NLT. Our map is a person. A guide to truth. Truth that is contained in the Bible.

Mary O’Brein was found by boaters that carried her to the lights that she saw shining in the darkness long ago. As the church, who are you finding that is lost. Wandering around in the darkness, longing for God. They might be bruised, broken, and so lost that their minds are playing tricks on them, but they need a rescue.

Make today the day you look for lights. Today the day you want to get out onto the path. You can be rescued, and He has a name, it is Jesus.

Story of Mary O’Brien can found on the site under the survival tab.

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An Update Interview with Cameron Barber

We just had the awesome opportunity to visit Pastor Cam and his family up in Lakewood, Washington and hear about the ministry of Calvary South Sound. Here you can watch our interview and learn more about what has been happening in the church and how you can be praying for this wonderful family and their ministry in Washington state.

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John 1:1 tells us that, “In the beginning was the Word.” 

Now any person in ministry has probably done some kind of study on this passage and found it a well of theological truth.  In the beginning of John's gospel, we know that he was presenting Jesus as God, creator, self existent, all knowing, all loving, part of the triune God, and so on, and so on.  We could all go on with the richness of this passage and spend many hours talking about the implications of this verse.  I don't want to talk to you all about the intellectual implications of this passage, but of a simple truth that I almost missed.

As a church planter, I find that I am often trying to take large theological concepts  and break them down into bite sized pieces to feed hungry sheep and understand them myself—as well as present the gospel to lost people.  I was once again looking at this passage in that light when I almost missed something that Jesus was telling me.  Jesus knows more than I do.

You're probably thinking that this is not new information.  It's not.  I have always believed that Jesus knew more than I do, although I have not always acted that way.  It was not that I was learning something new.  This simple truth that is sometimes overlooked cut me, convicted me, and comforted me all at the same time.

Jesus often speaks simply.  “I'm in control, I know more than you do.”  This was significant because I was afraid of change.  Our church plant is in a season of change.  New location, new time, new schedule, all are in the mix.  What this means for me is, more time spent out in the world earning a paycheck so we can pay for a new space.  It means time away from home, more demand on my schedule, and learning to be organized, which has always been a challenge for me.  

So as I sat there reading, studying, praying, Jesus simply spoke through the Gospel of John.  He knows more than I do.  He's been at this a lot longer than I have, He is in control here.

Am I still afraid?  Yep!  Are there lots of things that need to take place for this to work?  Yep!  But, I know Jesus has got things under control.  Don't miss these simple things about Jesus.  Don't get so far up in your head about the things of God, that you miss that Jesus is the one in control.  He knows more than you do, more than I do.

Isn't that a good place to be?  To be submitted to a loving God that is in control of our journey.  One of the greatest pieces of advice I have ever heard was that God wanted to do something in me, more than He wants to do something through me.  This gets lost in our busy weeks preparing to storm the gates of Hell with the Gospel.  Sometimes we can be in danger of thinking we can do this on our own.  Jesus was clear, He said, “I am the vine and you are the branches, apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5 paraphrase.  It's easy to get sidetracked in church planting.  From motivating the core team, to getting in the trenches, to all the busy work that no one likes.  We can forget that this is really simple.  Jesus knows more than you do.  Jesus is in control.  This is not your church, It's His.  Stay connected to the vine.

Taking steps out on faith never really changes.  It never really stops, or becomes easier.  It may look different, but it boils down to the same thing, Jesus knows more than you do.  Trust Him.

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