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Stirred but Not Shaken

B. Parks

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There are times in life where the path God puts us on can shake us.  The path of the missionary calls us to forsake the easy way.  How can we hold on?  What can we hold on to.  Psalm 16 is our life coach, "I will keep the Lord always before me."  

Presenter

B. Parks

B. Parks and family have been church planters with Adventist Frontier Missions in the Middle East for over 10 years.  He is an ordained SDA pastor, motivational speaker and author.  

Recorded

  • January 23, 2016
    11:30 AM

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I work with administration to your missions how many of you have ever heard of administration to your missions before yeah. A.F.M. is a very unique. Organization. A.F.M.. Is unique because they saw a problem. Happen in the church back about thirty five years ago where you know. The administrators are spread all over the world we're in so many countries of the globe and. The church somewhere in the one nine hundred seventy S. started pulling back and saying let's let the local people. Handle local problems. But they really realized that not all fields. Had yet been touched. And so only missionaries were being sent out. Who were administrators. Of existing. Hospitals existing schools and that kind of thing. And so. There was a man Clyde Morgan who said. You know there are a lot of people groups that haven't yet heard the Gospel we need to to send missionaries who would start up churches. And so administering to missions was started with that purpose. To really reach people groups by language and. We send people on long term basis so. You've heard of short term missions will A.F.M. has short term missionaries they go from two to four years. That's are short term. Not. Two to four weeks. And are long term missionaries are. Between eight to twelve years. Some fifteen years. And our families serve for ten years. In Turkey. Home Golson tortured in the chugs or. To death. This is them. Hep-C.. We had to learn. Turkish there. And boy that was a stressful time. And very difficult for this Nebraska born boy. And yet my lips. Get my ears to even hear the sounds in the words there. And. By God's grace. We have started a church there in Turkey. Against all. Most of the country is ninety nine point eight percent Muslim and. This afternoon at two thirty. I'm going to tell some stories about how the church in Turkey is doing. And the movement that is now expanding the work in the Middle East. You know in the Middle East alone. And this is where the church still has a last frontier. If I can say the seventh they have a church hasn't yet. Penetrated. Let alone the Christian church. But throughout the Middle East. There are. If you take all the countries of North Africa. Iran Iraq. Saudi Arabia. Up into Afghanistan. There are about four hundred million people. That's more than the population of the United States. Over one hundred thirty cities. Of a million or more persons. And in that area. We only have three thousand Seventh Day Adventists. That's less than a Rocky Mountain conference isn't. I think recommends about thirty five hundred members. And so there's a great work that is yet to be done. There in the Middle East in this afternoon we're going to tell you some interesting stories about what is being done creative works. And how God is. Is a multiplying the efforts of those who have gone. But this is our sermon time so let's pull out our Bibles and. Let's get into the Word of God. Turn in your Bible to Saum. Chapter sixteen. Psalms sixteen and I want you to as you read this together. For we start let me just say a prayer for you would bow your heads. Father in heaven as we open the Bible together this day. We pray for your Holy Spirit to be here. Open our minds and our hearts in a new way to see this passage. In an impactful way. That would give us hope and courage. In a in a time in which is full of dangers. Thank you Lord in the name we. Play a man. I invite you to begin with. Verse seven. We're going to read through eleven and imagine yourself just line. In your bed. And the Lord. Is speaking. These words of hope to you. I will praise the Lord who counsels me. Even at night. My heart. Instructs me. So there you are laying in bed and the Lord is instructing you and your taking in courage and strength. As his words fall on your years. And you say this out to him. In return verse eight. I have set the Lord. Always before me. Because he is at my right hand. I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue. Rejoices. My body also will rest. Secure. Because you will not abandon me to the grave. Nor will you let your holy one see decay. Verse eleven. You have made known to me the path of life. You will fill me with joy in your presence. With eternal pleasures. At your right hand. A man. This verse speaks about contentment. About rest and about peace. Those are things we all want aren't they don't we want contentment in our life. And yet those are things that the world. Only makes promises about. Even really in the media you don't hear too many times people talking about contentment or peace. And maybe only a few life coaches or. Or some. Guru might try to promote the idea that you could have. Rest soul. Rest. And hear. God gives is the key to it. How many of you would like in a life filled with worries and anxieties and fears. To have calm men watching the presidential debates just a few. Times. And you body. Watch the Republican Party debates and them going back and forth. Boy we live in a very fearful world. I told my boys I said when I was a kid and they had Republican debates. They would just talk about taxes and inflation. Now I mean everything every week we have bombs exploding and. Things happening in Iran and Saudi Arabia and. They're pressing these men with. Answers we want answers to these solutions. Well that's worries on a macro scale but on a micro scale we have our own worries don't we. And here. The song most writes. I will not be shaken. Because there are things in life that shake us. Shake us to our very core. For my family and I. Moving to Turkey. Really shook us up. And I can say that you know. Refugees get a lot of attention. In the world refugee life is not easy people being uprooted from their homeland. And then have to move across without just carrying on their backs what they can and and. We worry about the refugees why because we all want to stay billet T. in our life. We want. Predictability in our life. And the life of a missionary is just the opposite. It's to say I am going to reject. Stabile a T.V. and predictability. And I am going to move to a land in which a language I don't know. And the people I do not know. And the food I do not know. And so I am standing in a supermarket fumbling to even understand as the woman is saying to me that she wants this amount of money. I don't know I just give her all my money and she's got to pick through it you know because I don't know what she saved. And I sitting on a little. Little bus. And word zooming up a hill that I know is going to my house and I shout out Stop. But in English. And the bus just continues it we go mile after mile of. OK I get that bus to stop. It's so difficult in our life was just you know shaken up in so many difficult ways and and. Times where the gin Darren made the gin dharmas like the sheriff you know they're the. The police of the outer. Lands and they come up at midnight and knock on my door and there are these soldiers. And they say we want to talk to you. You are in our country. And we think that you were here on false reasons come sit in our car. Shaken. You know there's things that can shake you in life and. Because should show a slide here. While we were there. These. Is a beautiful land of Turkey where Paul the Apostle. Worked and did his labors. While we were there these men who ran a Christian publishing house were having their devotions. Quietly in a little publishing house in the middle of our country and. Muslim extremists. Broke into there. Who had actually. Those extremists had come to church. The Sunday before and. Gotten acquainted with these men. Learned about their meeting time. And then they tied them to chairs and tortured them for three or four hours until their screams were heard by people outside of the building and. Finally the extremists cut off their heads. Jump out the window and ran on their way and. All of Turkey. Of course knew about this perhaps all of the world you heard of this. But. That story. Combined with the fact that the public opinion. Was on the side of the terrorists who did that. Left me with an unsettled feeling. Each morning as I ate my breakfast and thought about how can I start a publishing house here in this country. How can I move forward the gospel. Where you know. We don't have to have those kind of things in our. To have a sense of. Deceives and sense of unrest. Because you all know that life has its worries this last year I lost my mom. To Cancer. Many of you probably have fought cancer. Some of you are still fighting cancer. Some of you lost. Somebody very close to you. Somebody that's. That you loved. Child or your own your own mother. Your own father. Life has its things that shake us. How are we going to be able to stand in those times of shaking the losing a job. One of the most unsettling times in my life was I was a pastor. Here at Frank town. And it Colorado Springs and. For me Frank town was like in a way says you know and. I come back. Anybody here from Colorado Springs. I hope not anyway there was a lot of fighting and troubles down there and I just come up here and I was so thankful. And finally those people decided that I was actually the problem of. The source of their problems and they called the conference and. And got together a coalition to fire me as their pastor in Colorado Springs. And I had just rented a house put a deposit down on a house. And then the conference called said we're going to move you you're going to I'm going to pastor of Frank towne and Littleton and. You're going to be totally out of Colorado Springs where my house was in Colorado Springs. Shade can totally shaken now what you know. And next thing I know my life my world had been just so nice and now I'm sleeping in a basement somewhere in Denver. Trying to figure out how am I going to get my life together. There are things in life that are just. On nerving unsaddling. How do we find peace. In those situations and the Bible tells us in songs. Sixteen this key. Take note if you. If you've ever felt stress ever felt anxiety. It says. I will praise the Lord who counsels me. Even had night. My. Art instructs me. Verse eight. I have set. The Lord. Always before me. There's the key right there. I have set the Lord. Always before me. The first key is. I I have. He doesn't do any good if Pastor. Jamie said the Lord always before him for you. You gotta do it yourself. If you want peace and contentment in your life. Then you've got to say. I will set the Lord before me. I'm going to write memory verses put them in my shower I'm going to set the Lord. In my car when I turn on the radio I'm going to set the Lord. Always before me. And it's got to be an. I thing. Because the relationship of your mom or your dad. Or the relationship of your spouse isn't going to bring contentment to you. And so the key right here. Is that it's a. It's a personal things. And that in happy times. I will praise God. And in difficult times I will seek God and the quiet times. I will worship God in painful times. I will trust God. And every time I will thank God. Hallelujah. Why because I have set the Lord. Always before me. Make a determination in your mind. I have chosen to set the Lord. Always before me. This is what was described to us in Deuteronomy is the advice of Moses. God actually. Through Moses to the people turn to Deuteronomy Chapter six. And notice how God tells us how to set the Lord. Always before us. Says this. Deuteronomy Chapter six and verse four. Hero Israel. The Lord our God The Lord is one verse five. Love the Lord your God with all your heart. With all your soul with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be. Upon your. Harts impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home. When you sit at Taco Bell. And when you walk through. King Soopers. This versus goes on and on talk about them when you sit at home and he walk along the road when you lie down when you get up to tie them as symbols on your hands and buying them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your house and on your gates. And you can't get more inclusive than that. Everything. It's all about the Lord. Right. I was this last week I had some trouble with my car. And so I went. Took it to a car dealer named. Five yards Otto. Now if. With a name like Fi yada I would say you know the skies by a Muslim I'm going to be able to strike up a conversation and WITNESS two I drove up. And right on his door is a big bumper sticker that says I trust in Jesus. You know I thought OK maybe it's just a politically motivated Muslim. You know it's not the best thing to to to. Maybe have the name Fiat in this time. But went into his store and there behind his counter was a big picture of Jesus with his arms open wide. There next to the our Car and Driver magazine. Was a book called Rediscovering Jesus. I started striking up a conversation he was a Christian he was from Lebanon. And you know what Jesus was all before him. He was a man who had chosen to always put Jesus. In everything he does. And I thought this is exactly the way that we are to live. Now my job right now for administering to your missions. Is to raise up tent makers in this afternoon I'm going to talk a little bit about what a tent maker is. Where do we get that name from anyway. Yeah. The apostle Paul has the riddle is out. OK. So. But is this. Use your professional skills to expand God's kingdom. What we're finding is that. Though it's. Called for a missionary to go to Qatar. Or Dubai or. Tunisia. People with skilled labor. An engineer. Technician. Of some sort. Can go in and freely work. That's what we're doing is raising up. Men and women who use their professional skills as chemists as teachers professors. To go and into these lands and. Lift up the name of Jesus. Well this what Fayyad. Was doing in Lincoln Nebraska. Hallelujah. I went to a barber. Same thing. This barber. Had in here is his. Magazine rack discovery Bible lessons. I thought. Well. Man that's a strategic man the Lord is always before him on his walls praises to the Lord. Not a shame not to a segregated life that says this is my work life. And this is my worship life. But an integrated life. You want peace. Contentment. Joy. Then integrate your life. Because this really takes a lot of stress. To live a separated life. This divided all the time and say OK. If I speak of Jesus here I might get in trouble. And if I don't speak of. Jesus here I might know. Trust me I in Turkey this was the mindset that was so such a. Degrading and. Baggage on me when I was hiding. Jesus. Don't hide Jesus. Let him out shine for him. Let him be your all and. All speak of him. In all parts of your life. A little girl. Said to her dad he said. You know Dad. If God is bigger than us. And God is supposed to live inside of us. Then one N.T. show. Well really does show doesn't. And you know how he shows is in our. Restfulness and in our contentment in our piece of mine. In Turkey. This idea of integration. Is much more prevalent. And the country is all Muslim peoples. Though many of them are secular. But. Almost any store that you go into. It will have a picture of the. Of the ninety nine names of God or little picture of Mecca. Or man or woman will have some. Bead which is they call the Naz RB to belief in the evil eye. It because they understand the spiritual life in the business life it's all tied to get another. Spiritual life isn't the same as us and it. It may not be correct but. You go into any business and there's a little Matt there where they can have their prayers on time. Integrated Life. And so. The Bible verse and some sixteen eight. Gives us other advice it says that. I am to have the Lord's name. Always before. Me that. Idea of before me is really the same. Turn to some sixteen. Eight it says I have set the Lord. Always before me. You see I am the sheep. He is the shepherd. And the shepherd is. Before me and that's all we see in Revelation Chapter seven where it says The Lord is is. We are is my shepherd and I follow him wherever he goes. The idea of having the Lord before us. Is the same imagery as. If the Lord were a lighthouse. Guiding us directing us. The Lord is always before me is the idea of him being the North Star. And he's always out there it's like when the Israelites were in the wilderness. And there was a pillar of fire and a pillar of cloud. Where was it to be right. Before them. A direction. And so to keep the Lord. Before you. And all things. Because life does have its. Shaking moments. I won't tell you a little story about a time when we were in Turkey. And we had to have that. The most dramatic experience of moving to this city. Is a beautiful place isn't. This is the city of Antalya it's on the southern coast of Turkey. Is actually mentioned in the Bible and right near there. Is where Paul would have landed and embarked on some of his missionary journeys. Where we had been living for about seven years. In a city north of their ancient Smyrna. Which is one of the seven cities of Revelation and. I decided that I need. I was the pastor of the church. And I needed time away to just really bear down on my. Turkish. I was preaching in Turkish but it was. Rusty it was. It was rough. And so I thought you know if I could just move away for four months. Just focus in on my Turkish. Everything would be. Would be so great. And so we packed up our car and and. On he was doing home schooling for the boys. And we made plans. And we. Ravelled about six hours from. This is it going to show up on their. I get a little laser beam. But it doesn't show up on that. Through those mountains. And came down into this city. And some Christian friends that helped us to find a place to live there and. So there was a little apartment that they'd already arranged we were so delighted that. That these Christians that helped to set up this apartment. Well pretty soon. Things started falling apart. In that plan. And the electricity was turned on and off on and off in the building about every two hours well for my wife who was doing home schooling and. It was a really cold weather it was January. This was pretty miserable. Well there was one part of the house that wasn't having heating problems. And that was the toilet. Because the hot water was somehow connected to the toilet. And the steam was coming out of the toilet. And you could sit on that toilet and it was rice nice and toasty. But it was just so unusual and. There were other problems the mold of black mold started growing on one wall in the back of the house and it was the room that. That. My boys were in and we were worried that they were going to breathe in this black mold and. At the same time. There was electric will fuse box that was in the bathroom near the shower. And it would make these crackling noises. And it was so unsettling. And there were just all different problem with the worst problem from my wife's perspective where there were cockroaches in this apartment and. We're just not big on cockroaches and and. It was. It was the partner was dirty from the previous A people who had been there and. We felt really like the Lord had led us there they'd Kristiansen set this up but things were just really shaking as. They were. Leave. You know us with. Disease. And discontent. And problems. Well then. I thought you know we're right on the along this coast. I should get a bike and I found a bike on Craigslist I went and I bought this bike. So happy I locked it up it was a really nice bike. Next morning I come out. And somebody had stolen that bike. Oh man. I was so upset I said kids let's go out and play some ball you went out and played some soccer. Right there and you know what. I stepped on that soccer ball slipped and fell right on my hip. They had to wheel me off to the hospital. Med things are really getting bad. And just a very short time in about a seven day eight day period. I get this electric bill and. The bill says I Oh three hundred dollars for the. Six days that I had been in the apartment I said Well that's obviously electric bill from the previous renter I call the landlord the guy who's loaning me the apartment I said. Hey I think this. Electric bill must be yours. He said no no no you have to pay all of that. But he said I think that the man who owns the building is cheating us on electricity. I think he's wired. The electricity in from your apartment he's stealing. He says. Why don't you help me will take him to court. I hung up the phone and I said Lord help me. I gotta get out of this situation so loud Lord help me. And so I said. God. How is this. How are you going to solve this. My wife is already. She was just sick from all of the cold the stress and all things she's laying in bed and. I said kids. Come. Let's go look for the bike thief. Well that's what I told the kids. But I actually had a secret plan. Which was that. We were going to go look for apartments. But then I quit clearly knew. Turkish. Really well enough to look for apartments. Before when we first got there I mean how do you look for an apartment when you're. I don't even know the language and so. The word the word for sale. Is subtly. The word for cucumber is so a lot like. So I would go around and say hey you got any. Cucumbers I can live in. But. So we started driving around and I thought you know this would be just wonderful if we could get somewhere Dearden down near this. This coastal area and we looked at different apartments but. We just needed it for four months and. To find a place that's going to rent you an apartment particularly furnished because we didn't bring any furniture. And we looked and looked and. Didn't see anything. That was said for rent rentals Cura lick. And call and several places nobody had anything they wanted to rent for that short of time. And then I saw a sign that said for sale. And of course I wasn't going to buy anything. But some instinct some spirit. Push on my heart said Call that number. Well I wish I could show you on this laser. Where that apartment is but it. It's in this picture. And it's real close to the. Seacoast just about two hundred yards from the sea coast and. And I thought that this is going to be no chance but I I called the guy. And I said Look I said I'm just here with my family I said I see your place is for sale in the curtains are still hanging in and I said Is there any chance it's furnished he said yeah it's still furnished he said we're selling it for such and such exorbitant price and. I was like well. I just need a place for four months you think I could rent that place. And he says well. He says and I've got family. My wife's family says I'm Turkish but my wife is Norwegian they're coming down in in May I said well I'm only. Needing it tell till April. Well let's talk. So. He invites me to come and talk to him Oh so I go and get my wife sick wife I said Honey there's a beautiful place the guy wants to talk to us about. I said. Come on get out of bed. So I get my wife. And we leave that moldy apartment for just a while while electricity is often. Cockroaches can dance and play and. We went down to where this apartment was and. Met this man. Turkish man and I had already decided. Is very negative thing for me to say there that I am a religious worker. Any of any type. But I decided you know. I'm interested in new city. I am going to just tell the person directly. They don't have a word for Pastor. So I'm going to just tell them. I am a priest. Because that's what any landlord wants to know is what do you do for a living right. So I get it and we look at this place and it's. Immaculate. Beautiful furniture. The kitchen we. We open the drawer beautiful silverware. Everything is there for us to use. Perfectly I mean it's such a wonderful. Big living room. Warm it's nice and warm. So I get to talking to him and he says What do you do for a living. I look him in the eye and I say. I am a priest. And he looks at me says Really. He was speaking in Turkey she says really do you know what a pastor is. I said well yes I do. So that's really interesting he said. Well do you know what a Seventh Day Adventist is. I was just. I mean Turkey is eighty million people and I had never met anybody who ever heard of. Of Seventh Day Adventists. So I'm looking at him with my mouth open. So yes I do. He said Well my wife is from Norway and her brother was a Seventh Day Adventist pastor. I will not be shaken I will set the Lord always before me because he prepares the way. Will Lead. This woman she had gone to our advantage. Fallen out married this turkey. Man. And that very week her sister's Seventh Day Adventist sister. Was visiting from Norway. And they said Well. If you're seven. They had this pastor why don't you come and meet our sister. While she had just gotten cancer. And she needed somebody to pray for her. And here's a seven day and rist pastor. Who could go and pray for her. And so my wife and I holding hands walk over there just shaking their heads wondering how is this all going to play out and we go up to their apartment next door a tall building next door. And we meet these people and we have a prayer time. In this Muslim Turkish man's house. For the Seventh Day Adventist woman who is on vacation. Unbelievable and. As we're talking with them. He would talk about price and he set the price very low. Like three hundred fifty dollars a month for us to to live in this. This beautiful place and. My wife says. If God wants us to have this place. He will lower the price. I was already thinking God had done his miracle. Well you know. When we were just leaving it this Turkish man says to me he says. Do you know it's so odd he says. I hung that for sale sign just fifteen minutes before you called. I would praise the Lord who counsels me even at night my heart instructs me I have set the Lord. Always before me. Because he is at my right hand. I will not be shaken. God has miracles to do for us and you could stand up here and tell your own miracles. Of times where the Lord has provided for you. God is good. His powerful. Let him always be before you. That you will not be shaken. He is a great God. And you know. Two days later. That man called and said you know my wife and I've been thinking about you two. And we'd like to lower the price for you. And so here it was we're in this new city. Not a single Seventh Day Adventist. In the city of a million people. And we move there. My effort was to go there. So that I could have. Time a way where I wouldn't have any ministry duties. But do you know what that. Place that the Lord arranged not what I had tried to figure out my own methods but the Lord arranged that place had a huge living room. Just big enough for a home church. Coincidentally. Somehow God knew that. Because then we met a Romanian woman who wish she could be baptized and lived in that city for a long time married to a Turkish man. She wanted to meet on Sabbath we started meeting in our home. I met three French guys who were Muslims. Started inviting them and they joined a Bible study on Sabbath. Then there was a guy who on Facebook had interest in Seventh Day Adventists wrote to one other guy off Facebook and said Do you know any Seventh Day Adventists who live in Antalya. I got a phone call. On the same day that we were arriving in Antalya. Saying could you come and teach me about what the Seventh Day Adventist Church is all about. Within within just two weeks we had a group of seven people in our living room. The law. The Lord is strong and able he will put things together if we will be his servants if we will keep his name before us. He will give us peace. Power. Strength. Intendment What do you need in your life. The need to reckon. The need focus. The need contentment you need peace. Set the Lord before you. He's going to give it to you. Do you know the most beautiful thing about this saw him some sixteen read it to you just one more time and the verses nine and ten therefore my heart is go add in my tongue rejoice as my body will also rest secure. Because you will not abandon me to the grave. Nor will you let your holy one see decay where have you heard those words before. Do you know what. That's the words. That Peter preached on the day of Pentecost. He pulled this song out and applied it to our Lord Jesus Christ. That Jesus would set the Lord. Always before him. What is it that Joe drove Jesus to Calvary. Because he always had the Lord before him that he would press forward. And could endure the cross. Because he always had the Lord before him. And there was that thief. On his right hand. Who he said. This day I tell you you will be with me in paradise. And that's the place that God has preserved for you is to be at his right hand. If you've never taken those words. For yourself. Today I tell you you will be with me in paradise. Could you have any more contentment than that. To hear those words there for you. Could you have any more peace than that. To hear. The maker of the universe. Say you will be with me. In paradise. I have set the Lord always before me because he is at my right hand. This media was brought to you by audio verse. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about audio verse. If you would like to listen to more servant leader visit. W W W. Audio verse or.

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