A warrior awakened: my thoughts following Promise Keepers 2013

I was part of a group from my church who went to Promise Keepers in Daytona in October. The theme this year was “Awakening the Warrior.” It made me think about where I’ve been, and where I am now.

     At 10 I came to the Cross because I wanted to be John, a Son of Thunder, learning and loving at the feet of Jesus for all time.

     I drifted though; fell asleep as I began to navigate that narrow path and got lost along the way. Like Peter I found myself in danger because I had taken my eyes off Jesus. Oh how easy it would be, it seemed, to just slip beneath the waves forever. Or, returning to the trail analogy, to just set up a small cabin in the woods where I was.

     I thought Jesus will love me more if I work hard at being nice, doing good deeds, and trying not to do wrong. That’s what I thought. That’s what I’d often been told. What I’ve found, though, is that Christ’s work in me and through me is something more, something different and more exciting. Still, I often found myself resisting.

     He is not to be denied, however, for He is Lord. He called to me, through storms of lust and malice, and calls to me still — wake up, Jay, wake up; that thunder is not in the clouds, it is all around you. It is the sound of spiritual conflict — warfare of the highest and most pressing order. Take up My Sword, not a blade, but my Word. Put on My Armor, My Helm, Breastplate, Boots … and having gird yourself for battle, stand.

     God has called us to war against the rulers of darkness, etc. Not to fight members of the decorating committee, or members of another denomination or to attack someone for being a different faith. By all means, counter lies with God’s Truth, but do so with love, and heap ashes on them thereby.

     God has begun a good work in you, or maybe he is trying to but you are resisting his call. The message I took from PK is that it is well past time to put Jesus at the center of all aspects of my life for my sake, my family’s sake, but most importantly, for His Kingdom’s sake. He woke me up.

     At 41 I return to the Cross every day, every hour, and sometimes every second, to meet with the Author and Finisher of my faith, so that I would not, will not, forget, that no work of my own will ever extend or accomplish further the work He has begun in me and will continue to the end. I need Him every hour to remind me it isn’t about me. It isn’t about my wife or kids, no matter how much I love them – I even washed their feet when I got back from PK. Even then, though, I reminded them of what I learned at the end of October. It’s all about Jesus.

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Mission To Ecuador

When I was about 12 or 13 I dreamed of being a missionary somewhere. Sadly I didn’t have the support that allowed the dream to grow and bear fruit. Instead I ended up pursuing a crazy, mixed-up pattern of mistakes that threatened to overwhelm and probably even kill me.

As Winston Churchill and some country singer said, “If you’re going through Hell, keep going.” I’m coming out the other side now, if I’m not out entirely. My relationship with God is much like it was when I was young, but with some more mature elements.

Several weeks ago one of the pastors at my church told me about a parent-child missions trip being planned to Ecuador in November. My youngest, Noah, has a heart for God and has said he wants to be a teacher-pastor-missionary when he grows up. Well, he’s seen teachers and pastors at work. Now it is time to see missionaries at work, and join them in their work.

Noah will be 13 when we go on this trip and he’s pretty excited about it. It’s impossible for a 13-year-old boy in this day and age to be single-mindedly fixed on something, especially if they are as ADHD as he is. The truth is, however, that he does have a surprising amount of focus on this, which is exciting.

When our team, roughly 20 strong, gets to Ecuador we will be working with IncaLink, a mission started by CMA missionaries Rich and Lisa Brown. We don’t know yet what kind of work we will be doing, but some possibilities are working with orphans, working with the elderly, working with homeless populations, or helping to build churches.

Gustavo Cadena, president of IncaLink Ecuador, has even suggested we might work with indigenous peoples in the jungles, too.

If you visit the IncaLink website you will see how much need exists there. How can you help?

There are two ways you can help us. Noah and I ask that you consider both, but we’ll one or the other, gladly. First, please pray for us. Specifically, pray that we follow God’s lead in this endeavor and that He prepares our hearts for this work. Next, please pray for God’s provision. It’s not cheap to do something like this. I’ll have more about this in a bit. Pray for the people we will come in contact with, that God will work in a mighty way in their lives. Also, pray for our team, that we come together and work together and grow from this experience. Also, please pray that this trip brings Noah and I closer to each other and closer to God.

As you may have guessed, this trip requires money. God put this trip on our hearts from the start and we need to rely on Him and His people to provide for it. Please, as you pray, ask God whether you can support us. I have a PayPal account that you can send to. My email address is jlamborn3@gmail.com and you can contact me that way. Another way to send support is to mail a check to my church. If you do that, please make it out to First Alliance Church and make a note in the memo that it is for the Ecuador trip. Then contact me to let me know you did this and the treasurer can note that it is for my trip costs. Why would you do this and not put that it is for me in the memo? Tax purposes. It’s complicated, but if the check is for a ministry and not a person, you can make it tax deductible. The address is 20444 Midway Blvd., Port Charlotte, FL 33952.

When we arrive in Ecuador I will be filming and photographing our adventures in ministry with the hopes of posting daily updates to keep our family, friends, church, and supporters informed of our activities.

Thank you for taking the time to read through this. Your support means a lot to Noah and I. We are really looking forward to pursuing this dream of serving God together. Even if you are not able to support us financially, please pray and leave a comment below to let us know you’re praying for us.