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The Honeymoon

Dean Cullinane

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Dean Cullinane

Theology student at Weimar College.

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Conference

Recorded

  • October 10, 2019
    7:00 PM

Series

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Father in heaven we thank you for this privilege to be gathered here. At this wonderful school here as you I see southeast and for the final message the final time that we open your word here together we just ask for your spirit to be present we thank you for the way you've been leading these past few days thank you for the decisions that have been made for the way that you have shown yourself show your power Father we pray to see evening that we would see it again we have all sinned against you and against heaven we're going to whether it should be called your daughters or your son's father your son Jesus Christ the bridegroom of the church will forever be worthy to be called us if you so speak to us this evening pray in his name Amen before I tell you that story or tell you another story so we'll get to that one 1st story is my actual honeymoon. When I was getting married I was broke. Now that I'm married I'm broke and as a student broke and so on and so forth broke just broke less is used that we just broke and what extra broke when we were saving up for our wedding and as we got pretty close maybe within a few months. The panic monster woke up and said Dean you haven't organized the honeymoon yet I thought to myself That's right I haven't organized the honeymoon yet and the honeymoon is one of the most vital parts of the whole experience and saw I was thinking scratching my head where can we go when we go for the honeymoon and then look at my bank account. And it looked like the answer was just going to be home and we're just going to go home it's going to be a whole new moon kind of thing. And there really wasn't many options the budget did not allow for much traveling for much exploration and it got closer and closer and the panic monster just went back years done it was like there's nothing to even bother trying to wake you up for there's nothing you can even do procrastinate on this one all you like nothing's going to change and so I I told I told my wife I said I said Baby I'm going to order. I'll take care of the honeymoon Ok just leave it with me and she was like Ok that was we go well we go I'm like you yeah. It's a surprise. It's a surprise you're just going to have to wait until we get there. And back of my mind I was thinking well what if she's already been the him numerous times however. A few weeks before the wedding and by a few I mean maybe 5 or 6 I got an e-mail and the e-mail said Hi Dean hope you well came across some of your summons online and we really want you to come to watch us and speak for a series there for a couple of weeks and the dates February 10 through to February 24 and I read that and I'll. Dear so and so thank you for the invitation I'm on it however I cannot make it because I'm actually getting married in between those dates sorry maybe another time hope that your experiences blessed nonetheless Dean and they're probably I'm paraphrasing I don't remember that off well then they responded Oh wow that's amazing Congratulations. If you plan your honeymoon already. I said actually no. Funny you Office response Well Dean what if we move the dates a little bit further down and then we brought you and your wife to South Africa. And I said you know what I'm going to need to pray it but no I. I was like That sounds great stuff sounds like a fantastic idea please tell me more and so basically this is what happened 4 days off to our wedding concluded which was on a deal we flew out to Johannesburg and there we spent 3 days at someone's house very nice house in Johannesburg and then from that point from that point the real honeymoon kicked in I get this thing on. And I hold on hold on my way. This is the worst picture of the moment you see knowing that I was going to South Africa I was like well that's great but I'm not really doing much for that that's just kind of happening and I don't just want to go to South Africa were in South Africa because we're still broke. Or what are you going to do broken South Africa is the same as a broken London Ok you just stay at home it's home somewhere else and so I was like No no she deserves better she deserves something special and so I message all of the bridal party got them in a group chat without her and we had 7 bridesmaids and 7 group has been so that's 14 and told to all and I said Hey guys I've got this crazy idea wondering if you can help me out you see there's a place in South Africa. North and South Africa just north of Kruger National Park called game watch and it's rated as the number one luxury hotel in all of the continent and I was wondering if maybe you guys could help out a little in making this possible here's the thing it's $250.00 pounds per person per night. That's 500 pounds a night I was like I'm looking to maybe stay here for 2 nights that's a 1000 pounds there's 14 of you and there's one of me. Let's talk business. And so I asked if each of them would be willing to put 50 pounds towards this experience and they all did and I think I ended up putting about $500.00 in myself and we spent 3 days 2 nights 3 days at game lodge. Basically this is how it works it's a it's a rather small place extremely isolated you fly in to the Most shore airport you've ever seen in your life we got there and there's no building we flew from Johannesburg to an area called Point spirit and we got there and there was there's no building you just get off the plane and there's people over in the corner and they have they have like your suitcases and they have a little scanning thing and they're like is this you and you're like yes this is me and they're like Ok There you go and you just go up that's the whole thing now that they were a little bit stringent when we were coming back. They stole my wife's head dressings as I say they stole because it passed the requirements but that's another thing altogether the experience was worth it. And so there was only room for 12 guests at this resort only 12 guests were the small really romantic and everyone has their own their own I don't know what this thing is kind of cold but your own area this is not attached to anything and you can't see any of the other let's just call them glorified huts because of the shape you can't see any of the other 5 from way you walk it's just it's spread out you have your own view as you sit out there and have you and you could see that it was kind of shot just on the deck you can watch the hippos bathe and the drof walk right by what's called Oliphant's River and we had a we had a pretty good time. And this is just the game lodges see this is a safari park this is a safari park in northern South Africa and we would wake up at 4 30 in the morning. In the morning on our honeymoon and get in to a 4 by 4 open top and go out into the jungle looking for the big 6 or the Big 5 Big 5 and 6 but there's the lion there's the cheetah as the drop off there's the rhino and the elephant 5 big 5 that was one of the most amazing experiences in my life we went on 5 safaris over the course of the whole thing so everything within the 1st 2 safaris I couldn't find the pictures I left them at home unfortunately but we we got about as as close to lions as I am to that sofa. Within of course the car and elephant was maybe the distance from me to the phone there and it was it was just a rather surreal experience to be in the heart of Africa experiencing nature as if for a brief moment there wasn't since separating us. Then once this concluded we begrudgingly headed back to Johannesburg and there I preached a 2 week series. In Johannesburg to a convention 6 series 36 people gave their lives to the Lord. And we praise him for that and then we headed towards Cape Town which is probably the most beautiful place I've ever been in my life and we spent a couple of days there exploring it was it was amazing and I know that it was got because a few weeks before that like I said it was going to be candlelit dinners out home and I hadn't even gone shopping so it wasn't going to be great. But the Lord saw fit to bless us with something that neither of us felt like we deserved. And our friends our friends really really made that possible for us and it's the last thing experience before I tell you about. My experience going to heaven. Can I tell you another story I want to use story about these 2 people here I doubt any of you know them this is Marie and Clive Crewe tape shortly after I became a 7th Day Adventist as you can imagine being the only Adventist at home within a Catholic household a nominal Catholic household myself my mom and my stepdad and my little brother was a kind of innocent bystander at the point at that time. We started to clash we started to clash and by that I mean they started to approach me and question me as to why I made the decisions that I made and why I joined some crazy church and why I had to get baptized if I was already battles and I was 8 days old and so on and so forth. And it got to the point I think after about 2 and a half months where my mother came to me and my mother and I have been through a lot together but she came to me at this point and she said Dean this isn't working you're going to have to choose between your family and your god I've been baptized I think for about 2 and a half months at this point and so I said to my mom I said Ok when do I leave and she was kind of taken aback and she said Well tomorrow I said Ok So the next day I packed up my stuff and I left walked out with one suitcase and I just walked and I walked until I got tired and I sat down and then I walked some more and then I slept and then I woke up and it dawned upon me that I could never have imagined my life being at this point 2 and a half months ago but here I am homeless and then that morning around 9 o'clock my phone rang I picked it up that in have the number saved and it was a friend of mine that I had that I had met maybe 3 or 4 weeks after I backed off I was baptized when I gave my 1st testimony at an at an event and he called me up His name is Clive Clive Kuti he called me said Dean. I just feel impressed this morning to pray for you because I really was like yeah and so did my family and we were praying and I just felt like that was enough so I I thought I should call you and tell you that if you're going through anything right now there's people out there that love you and I'll say well thank you I appreciate that and he said I don't even know why I'm saying this but if you ever need anywhere to goal or anywhere to stay just let me know. And I said. Actually for him that you mention that explain to him the story and within 2 hours I was outside of his house in south London. I have a feeling super nervous as I walked towards the door and I rang the bell and he opened the door I walked in with my suitcase and his parents were standing near the door and his mum came up to me and I think I met his mum for like once for maybe a combined time of about 5 or 10 minutes she came up to me and she put her hands on my face and she said Dean I'm your mother now. And this is your home and you can stay here for as long as you like and you'll never have to pay rent will never ask you for utilities you'll never have to buy your own food this is your home your son it's at that moment that Christianity started to look very real to me and I stayed there for 2 and a half years and she was true to her word I never paid rent never had to pay for food never had to you know buy detergent for the laundry machine my friend Clive moved out of his bedroom and lived under his dad's computer table so that I could have his bedroom to myself. So I know the story before I get to the last one. You know story. That's actually me this is when I went to Kenya. In 2010 as I'd moved into Clive's house he wanted to do something a little bit more and so we got in touch with my church boss and we talked about a mission trip to Kenya it was called the London youth mission trip to Kenya l y m 2 k. and I was invited out there before maybe about a month before we had the idea to get a lot of people there and I went to. This place was called the town but I went to Nairobi 1st and preached for a week then from there I went and waited Tom I remember saying to the people in Nairobi hey they were like well what are you leaving and I'm actually leaving on Sunday because I'm going to go to a town and they were like which countries and what gets home and I was like Is your country they're like no there's no way. It's like yes there is m w e g 8 like no it doesn't exist that's how remote this place was they didn't even know about it themselves and so we drove about 6 hours from Nairobi to town and there was a small Adventist school in this terribly poor village and I remember getting there kind of late and the one thing that was on my mind is in the morning because we got there at like 2 so in the morning was going to be in like 3 or 4 hours I need to shower and to shop I'm a shower guy. I like to shower frequently. My brother likes to shower I'm saying like I look like I like if I'm not having 2 showers a day I'm not a happy guy I need to shower before I go to bed because I'm not taking my germs into my bed and my duck into my bed and sleep in my door and then I need to shower in the morning to wake myself up that's how I'll pray and most saying you should do that if you can be if you were being done to but that's fine. But but that's how I operate so I operate and that was on my mind as I walk about 5 and I was looking for the showers and then I realized I realized that there weren't showers and that was Ok I was Ok I've been in places where there's no showers before there was shallow cubicles and there was there was a stool and there was a bucket and there was a sponge but there was no water and I was I would like at the water and walking around I'm up before anyone else welcome what I get the water is there a well or something and if if it's a well then it's it's freezing so you know and eventually I got to the kitchen area of the camp and there was some light trickling and there was a lady in there sitting by the fire huge fire with wood just burning wood and she had big. Coltrane's almost of boiling water and we brought our basin to her and she tipped it a little and some of the water came out of a basin would take that to the shower dip your sponge and soak your body and then you as you so pop and then you just kind of dunk. And she was there every night boiling water and every morning boiling water and every time I would go and see her name was a Lizabeth I would try and get a little bit closer and a little bit closer a little bit closer because I noticed something about how I noticed that she never opened her eyes so strange. And I got close enough to realize that her eyes were almost always open they were just completely black inside from the smoke of having to sit there day after day after day providing water so that we could eat so that we could show she was 27 years old and she looked like she was about 50 I knew I would then now. We've built a kitchen for the school and we built a stall and she never had to do that again we left I believe having accomplished something I tell you another story. Yes that's me without her. I enjoyed the convict's look for too many years my wife and I went to an evangelism school it's called peace peace is an acronym for practical evangelism and Christian education and it's in the u.k. It's a program that was started by one pasta Adam Ramdin if you've heard of the lineage series that he is also actually Clive to take the one whose parents took me in and Adam they run that and Adam started this school and and my wife and I were students in this 4 month program in its 2nd or 3rd year in the year of 2012 part of this program as you can imagine with the name is that you do at least 15 hours of outreach a week so Wednesdays and Sundays are out which days you have a lot of classroom time a lot of studying it was at this school where my wife gave her life to Jesus for the 1st time at the age I believe of about 18 years old and. A man and we were. We were going out on outreach and I remember we couldn't go together because you know we weren't married and they wanted I wanted everyone to go out into and I didn't want to put it in a situation that we might later regret so we went out with friends my always partner's name was Ben vindaloo. Yes His name was welcome to the light which was kind of cool and I remember going out knocking doors knocking doors knocking doors and drawers and rarely ever finding anyone that wanted to speak to us until one day one day not at the door and this man came down the stairs you open the door and he said Hello I said Hi My name is Dean call names and this is my hour each part a bit of into the lose we're all working and he's like oh you guys don't have a witness I said. And my head is thinking My name is Dean and it's my Irish part of the news lose and I was like no no we're not like Mormons no. We're 7th day adventists So you know Mormons like no coming. Was like Ok I walked in sat down and he said you want to give me bible studies and I was like my name is Dean and this is. The. You know so stuck to the script. Canvassers know what I'm talking about. Yeah Yet that's exactly what we want to do but we want to do is like Ok when you feel you can do it on maybe next Wednesday night you guys can come back with devices like. My name is Dean this part of and I will happily do that. We came back and he explained to was that he had studied with Georgia witnesses and he had studied with Mormons and Mormons kind of freaked him out because he heard some stuff that he didn't really understand common to blame the brother. But he was really confused and he just wanted to study the Bible with someone else for some clarity and he just asked us Do you have your own version of the Bible we said no he said Ok good so we started to study his name is Mark Mark used to be a black ops agent. Mark has killed over 200 people Mark was a sniper he sat on the top of buildings hundreds and hundreds of meters away and just popped people off he was stationed in Iraq and I remember him telling us that he had orders to shoot anything that he saw because the area that he was given they were expecting some sort of. Terrorist activity to come and they were like We can't take chances we're only expecting them but if you see anything and he explained to me that in one day he killed over 20 guys 5 women and 8 children sitting in my house in his house actually with Welcome to the light and the Lord puts it on my heart to speak to him about mercy and about forgiveness because I mean what's the point of going to Daniel to with someone like that you think what they need right now is now because of the dream. We spent 6 weeks at least just talking about forgiveness. Different verses different stories different analogies and I remember we were there pleading with him mock trust us God can forgive you he can he wants to he really wants to but you have to ask for it and you have to believe that it can be yours Mark made a decision in one of those all those Bible studies to accept God's mercy and to allow him to wipe his pasta clean. Almost or this is not me. Nor is that my wife. This is a this is a couple the gentleman's name is John and his wife's name is Lor now little fun fact John is mistaken for me almost every single Sabbath. In England the church is almost completely. African and Caribbean almost all the members help from the West Indies and other Caribbean islands so we talk about Trinidad talk about Grenada we're talking about the Dominican Republic and we're talking about the bigger countries Jamaican Barbados etc etc and so. We just kind of look like the same person apparently and so numerous times I would go to church to preach John would be there and all of the words people would go up to him and say Brother really blessed thank you and it got to the point where he was just like Praise the Lord. Even years and I mean years after I had left the continent. He still having people go up to him and say Brother I remember your son and all those years ago. Still sticks with me to be. Now he's telling them that it's not him but he messages me all the time and he'll just be sent will be simple had another person who thought I was you today in fact is gone so far I call him Dean and he calls me John. And not only do they get us confused but they get our wives mixed up as a mixed up as well his wife is hostile Macon my wife is Brazilian they're almost exactly the same skin color they have their natural Coley hair they have their very identifiable cheeks and a beautiful smile and so we are often mistaken for one another in fact there was even a time I'll tell you that we went camping together. With along with my my wife's sister and her husband the 6 of us and one of our friends hold the candle and. And Laura actually came up to me and took my arm and then we looked we were both you know. And I was like great it's contagious. It's contagious this is the 4 of us together. That's me when my beard was a little bit more manly. That's me over there by the way if you thought that was me that's all and would deliberately not sitting next to our wives just to put a few people off. See if it will fool anyone but this is and I will tell you a story let me tell you a story a year after I was baptized I was invited to preach at a church Hanwell 7th Day Adventist Church and I was vice to preach there with a friend of mine whose name is Andrew Ford And he was a very he is a very well known preacher in the u.k. in the seventy's and so he kind of let out we don't to some of each but he kind of mentored me through it and helped me through it and this was my 1st series it was 3 weeks every night no breaks. So it was it was a lot of fun but it was very intense at the end of these 3 weeks Laura. Laura got baptized. Also a man that's fine Laura got baptized she gave her heart to the Lord and at this time she was engaged to John so she got baptized and she was engaged to John. And she came to me and she was like Dean you know thank you so much for how the way the Lord used to eccentric cetera I mean gaged was like Oh Ok Congratulations she's like but he's not Adventist and I was like well I figured because you just became one today because she actually wasn't you know she didn't grow up in the church she got knowing about the church but not in the judge and so she was a she was a new convert and they were engaged they were both you know they're both kind of in the well doing their thing having their kind of couple life and she told John she was like even though we're engaged. I'm still planning on marrying you but I want you to know that God is a big part of my life now and so they got married shortly after that and I tried to stand ties with Laura we lost touch for a little while but then when off after my wife and I got married which was a few years after after they did I think 2 years we started a Bible study at our house and we invited some friends and one of my wife's friends. Brought Laura. And I was like look. Haven't seen you in forever she's like yeah you know you know this is my friend and I was you got to do but I was studies I was really wanted to come so Ok pretty low and so she would come and I would lead on these by would say who study every single week every Friday night and we would have Bible study and then we would have soup by was that in soup and in England soup is great because it's cold everyone wants soup. And so we'd have soup and then we'd get talking and I know after a few weeks you know we thought we were Ok let's have prayer time and we'd have per quest and we lost Lord he would you want to pray about a 2nd to pray for John. Please pray that the Lord can win John Ok And let's pray for jar and so we're praying for John every single week and sometimes because John would come to pick her up he dropped her Bible study he'd go and he come and pick her up and take her home and so sometimes we just like him or just kind of stay in here with us let's talk let's talk about this issue about that and eventually John would come and knock on the door and like a lawyer let's go and sure I got to go and eventually he knocked on the door that he come inside he like Laura let's go and eventually be sitting down or let's go and eventually we'd like Hey John we think about this and now we're talking. You know. Going to meet him. And we're praying for and force before long Laura and John are now attending the bible studies. And I haven't biases every week and John's got questions and he's got a lot of questions but Laura's got even more questions and so we're answering these questions and it's great we're having a great time and I could see I can see the Holy Spirit working on this young man I can see the Holy Spirit speaking and I can see the convictions I think about John he's an amazing Frisbee player in Frisbee Ultimate Frisbee played for England and so he would often have 20 minutes and games on the south so that was always a thing for him how my how I'm going to do Frisbee and also he had a genuine chance of doing that for his career and do this when when my wife and I left to go to to come to the United States he still wasn't in the church and had been 3 years and if anything was keeping us from leaving it was that John hasn't given his life to Jesus yet and was pulling on my heart but it just felt like the Lord saying Dean listen this is what I'm calling you to do you've done your part Ok cool so as we left my darling sister and her husband took over the bible studies and so they would keep going keep going keep going. And then and I think this was maybe about a year and a half ago but I could be wrong and I've got a few more pictures here to show that this was the brother if you hear this morning that was getting really excited at the front. When my wife and I had a wedding kiss when he we had this preaching event quote I will preach for Jesus out in the streets of London and there's Loren John can see the Lord is really enjoying this and John seems to have something something to think about he's quite contemplated of as he's listening to these sermons and even when they're handing out literature he's reading it himself to try and figure out what's really going on and about a year and a half ago. John gave his life to the Lord. He was baptized in the same church that Laura was baptized in all those years ago now he serves as the youth leader in that church and I cannot express in words what that means to me. I remember when they sent the video and we were our Sabbath was coming to an end and they said there's had really kind of just begun or there's a culture and knowledge of just we're going to remember. And I remember watching that video and I felt a kind of joy that I just never felt before the extension of the story of Lauren John. Is this I know for a fact that you have never met someone that wants to be a mother as much as Lord knows I'm sure of it I'm positively certain that you haven't Laura just had this desire that could not be quenched to be a mother however she had some medical problems and she was told by numerous physicians that she was never going to have children. And that broke. And we kept praying you know she was she was reading she's Ok now I'm going to go vegan I'm going to really look after my health I'm going to see I want to get briefed we will go to the gym together every day after work I do everything I can to try and change that every time she would go and visit a physician who would say there's no chance. So with this great desire to have children John and Laura went into the foster care business and they took a young lady. Under their care and then. Then a year ago. They called us who were here in the United States and they said hey Diem boy we've got some news Ok or is pregnant. And in a few months ago. And I just stole this from Facebook that's why the watermark is the one that. They gave birth to a little girl who coincidentally was named the 25th most beautiful child in the United Kingdom. Her name is Trinity. And she is a beautiful healthy baby and I tell you the story now of how I went to heaven. When I just told you it I just told you of all the times that I went to heaven. Went to heaven for really the 1st time when I was in South Africa and I saw God's creation a way that I never saw it before I went to heaven after that when I walked into my friend's house and was greeted by his mother who said that she would adopt me on the spot even though she had no idea really who I was went to heaven when we were in Kenya and I saw the smile on Elizabeth's face when she looked at that stole. I went to heaven when I glanced at Mark's face that day that he accepts God's forgiveness and went to heaven that day when John got out of the baptismal pool and I got to go back briefly when the little girl was born I think that's what heaven is heaven is experiencing the forgiveness of God Heaven is seeing the love of God transform a life heaven. Is watching that process play out over a period of years watching people grow. Into the image of Jesus Heaven is watching new life come where we were told there would be no life. There's a reason why we can stand here and say that heaven is our home even though we've never been there before it's because throughout our time here on earth God has brought heaven to us. That's how you know that you're going to fit in because you've already been experiencing it here I want to leave you with just one verse in March up to 10 verse 29 Jesus answered and said Verily I say unto you There is no man that has left house or brethren or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for my sake and the Gospels but he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time houses and brethren and sisters and mothers and children's and lands with persecution and in the world to come it turn to life the gospel is not just about getting you to heaven it's about getting heaven to you it's about putting another heaven in your heart that when Jesus comes it's just a natural next step. I feel like I've already been. That's why I'm looking forward to it so much that's why I can't wait for the day that Jesus returns because from that point from that wedding day on what's heaven is going to be the best day of my life ever every single day and that's worth suffering a little bit for here that's worth struggling a little bit for here because I've seen these verses to be true in having Jesus come into my life I tragically lost my family but God gave me back off hundredfold hid I've got so many families all around the world. Mothers all over the place fathers all over the place brothers and sisters everywhere I look had to give up my job because I was selling alcohol oh no Lord what am I going to do. For you. When you can just work for the Lord you can go wherever he sends you meet the people that he has all over the place you're telling me that sacrifice. Friends there is no sacrifice we have nothing to sacrifice when we compare it with what Christ sacrificed and with the reward that we're going to receive for his sacrifice I've been saying this all week. Heaven is yours if you want it but I'd like to add a single word in there heaven is yours now Heaven is yours now if you want to you can experience heaven now if that's what you want because if there's one way to sum up heaven it's just life with Jesus it's not about the gold in the mansions and and the lights it's not about the welcome the judgment so about the city not of that matters of Jesus isn't that. But Jesus can be right here Heaven can be right now. Nothing will taste sweeter in the time that we have on this planet than those experiences that mark you a life with God's fingerprints. And so I encourage you to accept the invitation accept his love for you say yes to that proposal white patiently in the Lord. Put on that wedding garment say yes to the dress and be ready for that wedding feast because God has something special in store for us after that I pray if I don't see you guys again they're here that we're able to meet their father in heaven we thank you thank you for the people that you put in our life that have pointed us to you we thank you for the experiences that you've given that remind us of your goodness your grace your mercy your love your power your forgiveness your long suffering Thank you Lord that you have not given up on us that the invitation still stands help us to be faithful help us to love as you love help us to show no partiality help us to be without be to others what you have been to us it was a foretaste of heaven even here on this sin ridden time it was. The desire in our hearts that I used to. Thank you. Thank you Jesus. This media was brought to you by audio 1st 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 or if you would like to listen to more sermon leave a visit w w w audio verse or.

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