The Maxfields

The Maxfields

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Lessons from Matthew

This past school year I attended BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) and studied the book of Matthew.  Without a doubt the Lord used the book of Matthew to point me and our family to Sacred Road.  It was truly amazing how the Lord orchestrated each lesson and lecture for what He wanted me to hear each week. 

The first week of BSF we were told to write in our notebook,  “What might the Lord be equipping you for this year?”  I had no idea how prophetic those words would become.
A week after writing this question in my notebook, the pastor and founder of Sacred Road ministry asked Darren if he might consider coming onto the staff of Sacred Road full-time – serving as a director of operations.   And so began our journey and the beautiful lessons the Lord taught me from the book of Matthew. 
  • In Matthew 1, I saw that God handpicked all of the people in the genealogy of Christ, just as He has handpicked me (and you!) for His work.
  • The Magi in chapter 2 gave expensive gifts.  Was I willing to give up my time or material things for Jesus?
  • In Matthew 4, I saw Satan tempting Jesus just as Satan tempts me to doubt God's provision that He will supply all my needs.
  • In Matthew 6, I read about not storing up treasures here on earth and verse 32 of that chapter reminded me that this is what the pagans run after.  My idols came into focus.  Idols that the culture told me I needed:  financial security, a nice home, college savings, deserving vacations. 
  • In Matthew 9, I saw Matthew, the tax collector, get up, leave everything and follow Jesus.
  • In Matthew 14, I saw Jesus withdraw away from the crowds, but they followed Him and needed Him.  He had compassion on them.  He let go of His own plans to care for them. 
  • In Matthew 25, I learned about investing my talents for the Lord.
  • In Matthew 26, I saw Mary pour out an expensive perfume on Jesus.  The disciples questioned if this was okay that the money had been spent this way.  That night someone in my BSF group reminded us that we don't always see things as Jesus does.  I was reminded that "extravagance is not too much when it has to do with giving it to Jesus". 
  • Another week our teaching leader reminded us that "Christianity is not a spectator sport."  She also said, "Is there something God is asking you to do?  If you are not obeying, you may be missing out on the greatest adventure of your life."
These things hit me week after week.  I was hearing the Lord loud and clear.  I also treasured the hymns we sang every Monday at the start of BSF. 
One night we sang, "When I Survey the Wondrous Cross" and as I sang the words, "all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to His blood", I cried and knew He was giving me strength to begin to release the financial security and material possessions from my life.
Another hymn that almost knocked me over one night:  "Hark, the Voice of Jesus Calling" -- a powerful hymn about Jesus calling, "who will go and work today?  Fields are white and harvests waiting; who will bear the sheaves away?...who will answer, gladly saying, Here am I; send me, send me."  I could not believe the Lord was choosing these hymns for me to sing at BSF as we continued to seek His will about Sacred Road.
The hymn, "Be Still My Soul" often comforted me as I sang the words, " every change He faithful will remain."  He would be with me as He changed the course of our lives toward Sacred Road.
I am in awe of the Lord and how He uses His Word.  What a treasure.  It is living and active to change our lives. 

Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Future . . . Now

Susie and I have had fun the last few days.  Both girls are gone to different places so it has just been us.  Now this weekend we are over in White Swan for the dedication service of the new church building for Hope Fellowship.

While I'm not looking forward to the girls being out of the house for good, the last few days and our time tomorrow are giving us a glimpse of what life will be like in a few short years.

But before they go off to college, we'll be spending a lot of time together in White Swan.

Looking forward to the new year.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Things of Earth are Dimming

I think some people might wonder if our family is always excited for this new adventure in life. My dad, mom, Emily and I go through a lot of worry and doubt. Here’s a bit of an example of my worry. Most of the time I try to be really positive and excited about moving, but I’ve had a hard time with it this month. I’ve just finished middle school and I’ve made some amazing friendships along the way. Sometimes I cannot even imagine leaving all of my friends and my life here. To be completely honest, my feelings constantly change about the Rez. I get really, really excited about it, but sometimes I have a really hard time with the whole idea of it. Sometimes I really feel the enemy’s arrows of doubt.

But while these arrows do not cease, I also feel the Lord strengthening me to stand secure with the shield of faith. When I have days of doubt, when I cry from worry, when I freak out from anxiety, the Lord always brings up some passage of his Word, or plants a song in my ears, or gives me some brilliant sign that comforts me.

Just tonight I was sharing with my family that recently I’ve been feeling really anxious. I was sitting in my room on the floor crying, and I just felt the urge to listen to music. I opened up my iTunes to the top charts of Christian and Gospel music, and the first song I saw was a new single from my favorite Christian artist, For King & Country. The song was called “Fix my Eyes.” I bought the song that instant, even though I hadn’t heard it yet. And just tonight, I found myself sobbing in my bedroom, brought to tears by the overwhelming encouragement and guidance from this song. These are the lyrics that really got my attention:

The things of Earth are dimming

In the light of Your glory and grace

I'll set my sights upon Heaven

I'm fixing my eyes on you


I’d love like I’m not scared

Give when it’s not fair

Live life for another

Take time for my brother

 Fight for the weak ones

Speak out for freedom

Find faith in the battle

Stand tall and above it all

I'd fix my eyes on you

I’ve been worrying about the things of this earth, fixing my eyes on all of the things below, and forgetting what God has planned for me. The things of earth are dimming. I have to fix my eyes on the things of God.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Being a part of the Body of Christ

It is weird the disconnect you start to feel when you haven't been to your home church in a while.  We are usually pretty regular when it comes to attending church.  Both Susie and I were raised with and taught the importance of attending church each week.

It has been a weird series of reasons (at least for us) that have prevented us from attending our home church, Exile Presbyterian Church.  The first week we were out of town for a few days.  The second week we were at Covenant Presbyterian Church giving a presentation about our journey to White Swan.  The third week we were actually in White Swan.  And now this week, I'm home sick.  Lord willing, I'll be there next week.

I'm always a bit surprised about how often people miss Sunday church services.  For seemingly inconsequential reasons.

It is hard for me not to think about the following verses:

Romans 10: 17  "So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ."  The context makes it pretty clear this is by hearing the word preached.

Hebrews 12:22-24  "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." This is taken as a reference that when the people of God gather together for worship, through the Spirit, they are actually gathering together with the heavenly hosts, worshiping our God together.

We also have Hebrews 10:24-25   "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."

When I look back on it now, we've actually gone to church 2 of those 4 weeks.  But there is something about sitting beside the body of believers of your church that you are a member, singing hymns, praying, hearing the Word preached, partaking communion together that when it is not done with those same believers it seems like we haven't really gone to church.  You'd almost think God made it that way or something.

I'm going to miss Exile Presbyterian.