Throwing Pebbles in Guatemala

Oswald Chambers says, “Prayer does not equip us for greater works—prayer is the greater work.” As I blog about tossing pebbles out into the world that ripple change, I’m encouraged to see God at work through prayer.

  • God open doors for the Gospel through prayer.
  • God heals through prayer.
  • God convicts and restores relationships through prayer.
  • God sets captives free through prayer.

Today I’d like to do two things. First, let me introduce some pebble throwers down in Guatemala. It’s the yellow/gold country to the left of Honduras (purple):


Meet David and Regina White and their children, Cruz and Ben.whites-8-16

They are on mission in Guatemala loving people and sharing the Good News. Second, let’s do the great work of prayer and partner with them as they bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Guatemala. Please pray for:

1)  Anointing of the Holy Spirit as they teach Bible studies in Muyurco, Lagunetas, and Nearar. Pray for the hearts of those in each village who will be hearing God’s Word.

2)  Regina as she homeschools their boys. For God’s power, peace, and patience as she juggles home, school, and ministry.

3)  Ministry partner Miguel as he takes seminary classes and for his bold witness to his family, neighbors, and friends. For God to meet his physical, spiritual, and financial needs.

4)  Village leaders: Rafa, Julio, Anacleto, and Reyes to stay strong in their faith despite persecution from neighbors and community leaders.  For God’s protection over them and their families lives.  For filling of the Holy Spirit to boldly share Christ.

David shared recently that “We cannot think of anything else we’d rather be doing with our lives.” What a joy to see the satisfaction that flows from tossing the exact pebbles God prepared in advance for this family to throw. Glory to God!

Six Things: When You Feel Like Quitting

It’s that thing your heart beats for. It’s part of you; something you’re wired to do. It’s your high calling, your pebble throwing mission.

Perhaps it’s freeing girls from human trafficking. Maybe it’s rescuing endangered animals. Or caring for foster children, or the environment, or helping frazzled moms love their families well.

As you’ve pursued your mission, have you ever felt like quitting?

I have.

(If you haven’t, feel free to save this for a rainy day. There may come a time when you wonder if you heard God wrong or if what you’re doing is making a lick of difference.)

For the rest of us, here are six things when you’re having one of those days:

1. “Just” pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:17

Why do we say this? I’ve said it. “Is there anything else I can do besides just pray for you?” The truth is, if we all “just prayed” instead of spinning our wheels trying to do stuff, the world would be a dramatically different place. If your bent is toward “doing” rather than “being,” remember this: the next time you go to take action (send an e-mail, plant a tree, write a chapter, begin a recycling campaign, sign up for a mission trip, organize a fund raiser or whatever) take a breath. Ask God to use your efforts, edit your words, multiply your work, or stop you if it’s not the way He’d have you go.1thessalonians5-17

2. Every time you say yes to the wrong thing you’re saying no to the right thing.

When you commit to something that’s not part of your highest calling, it diminishes your ability to complete your highest calling. Whenever possible, each yes should propel you toward your mission. Do you feel ineffective in what you’re doing? Pause to evaluate your yeses. Give yourself permission to say no in order to free up time to pursue your Best Yes, as Lysa Terkeurst calls it. Jesus did this. He said yes to only those things that aligned with His highest calling.

3. Spend time with those who embrace your highest calling.

Not everyone will completely get your mission. But seek out friends on social media and in your school, neighborhood, and community who do. Seek out others whose hearts beat for what you’re doing to help spur you on. And most importantly, spend time with the Author of your highest calling, getting quiet with God, reading His word, and just being with Him. Psalm 63:1

4. Recruit others to pray specifically for this calling with you. Acts 12:12

Every other Tuesday morning, I circle up with four women. These friends are on my write-the-book journey for the long haul. They were praying for my book long before I traveled to Africa or began blogging. When I tire of updating them on my progress (or lack thereof), they still pray for me. Thanks to them and others, I’ve not given up on this book.

5. Expect things will get messy and don’t give up when they do. Galatians 6:9


You will have “those days” when you hit a wall and are D-O-N-E, done! Michael Hyatt calls it the messy middle.“Everything is harder than you expect it to be. The hill is steeper. The road is longer. You are not sure you have what it takes to finish.”

Preparing for this season helps you push through instead of being devastated and giving up. Consider writing a “messy middle” letter to yourself on a day when you have a fresh vision of your mission. When you hit your wall, read it out loud and allow God to reignite your passion for His calling.

6. Remember who got you into this. Ephesians 2:10


This photos reminds me of three things:

  1. The author of my calling is God. I didn’t think it up myself. I responded to His holy invitation.
  2. The One who called me has unlimited power and resources. All I must do is ask.
  3. Ultimately, my Heavenly Father is the only one I need to please.

On the dark days when you feel like you’re a crazy person for thinking you could do what you’ve set out to do, # 6 is everything. And when number 6 is even hard to do, repeat #1.

What has God called you to do? Have you experienced the messy middle? When everything screams “give up!” what has helped you stay the course?

Signs, Wonders, and a Sleepy Church: book review of The Heavenly Man

When’s the last time you witnessed something truly remarkable? Certainly nature is remarkable. Miraculous even. But real-life, jaw-dropping, remarkable stories don’t come along every day, which is precisely why I couldn’t put this book down.

The Heavenly Man rocked my world. In his book, Liu Zhenying (aka Brother Yun) shares his story of enduring unthinkable pain and suffering including prison, torture, manhunts and separation from his family as a result of government crackdowns on Chinese Christian house churches.

Brother Yun’s devotion to lay down his life—quite literally—for Jesus Christ is beyond inspiring. I was instantly won over by His love for Jesus, hunger to know and memorize the Bible (the entire New Testament), and courage to share the gospel despite horrific persecution. And the miracles were astonishing, the same type of miracles we read about in Acts. The very miracles that have caused some to question if this story could all be true.

Many American and European pastors have asked Yun why we don’t see many signs and wonders in the West. I found great wisdom and biblical truth in his admonition:

“The greatest miracles we see are not the healings or other things, but lives transformed by the Gospel. We’re not called to follow signs and wonders, instead the signs and wonders follow us when the gospel is preached. We don’t keep our eyes on the signs and wonders; we keep our eyes on Jesus.”

We worship a miracle-working God. As pebble throwers who seek to reach out to the lost, broken, and hurting, we are on the front lines, co-laboring with the Miracle Worker himself. Brother Yun is in the trenches, laying down his life for the Great commission.

When you step out, literally into enemy territory, you will face persecution, and you will be desperate for the presence, protection, and miraculous power of God, the very same God “who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.”

This book contains miraculous accounts including [spoiler alert]:

  • Yun cries out to God for a Bible, has a vision of two men delivering a Bible who later appear suddenly in the middle of the night risking persecution to hand him, you guessed it, a Bible
  • Yun survives in prison for 74 days without food or water—yes, 74 days
  • Yun’s severely damaged legs are healed while God opens maximum security prison gates, through which Yun walks past armed guards and out of gates into broad daylight

One reviewer calls this book “an absolute must for the sleeping churches of the West.” Agreed. Are you up for a soul awakening? If you don’t want to read about the remarkable and prefer not to examine your own spiritual complacency, don’t open this book. But if you’re up for a wild-but-true story and a loving rebuke, then please do!

The Heavenly Man also schooled me on some things:

  1. How to pray for the persecuted church:

“Don’t pray for the persecution to stop! We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure! Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his love and power. This is true freedom!”

  1. To be careful of how our churches seek to grow and bring revival:

brother-yun-preaching“When I’m in the West, I see all the mighty church buildings and all the expensive equipment, plush carpets and state of the art sounds systems. I can assure the Western church with absolute certainty that you don’t need any more church buildings. [Those] will never bring the revival you seek.” He goes on to say what is needed: a return to the Word of the Lord and obedience to that Word. “When God moves in the West, it seems you want to stop and enjoy his presence and blessings too long, and build an altar to your experiences.”

  1. The greatest way to experience God’s presence and His blessings:

“It’s only when we step out in obedience and share the Gospel with people that we come to know God’s blessing in every area of our lives.” Philemon 1:6

“Every House church pastor in China is ready to lay down his life for the gospel. When we live this way, we’ll see God do great things by his grace.”

  1. What it truly looks like to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus.

Have you recently read a book that challenged you, inspired you, or made you examine your heart for Jesus? Please share in the comments!