I want to share something with you this month that will hopefully be an encouragement.  If you could bear with me for a moment, I would like to draw from personal experiences over the past month and a half.  Before I start, I’d like to mention the result first.  I’ve been learning this throughout the teen camps over the past few years.

What you are faithful with NOW is the most important thing DETERMINING what the Creator will give you NEXT.

Keep that theme in your mind as we move forward because we will revisit it.  During the Costa Rican Teen Camp we took the tractor and wagon, like we normally do, up to the Cabecar Indigenous People.  We were going up to bring them food bags and Old and New Test. Bibles.  We were also going to spend the afternoon playing games and soccer with them, but just as we were arriving the tractor slipped off the wet road down into a ravine.  The driver jumped off, and if he hadn’t it would have killed him.  YHVH guided the tractor to hit two trees in order to stop it from taking off up the other side of the ravine.  If the trees weren’t there, this would have been fatal but OUR GREAT ELOHIM is merciful and extended grace to us that only a few of the teens had scratches, one bruised knee, and a jammed finger.  In other words, everyone walked away from the accident without any problems whatsoever.  Praise YHVH.

Before we left to go up to the Indigenous, I took some time to explain to the Costa Rican teens about equity and how they were going to visit some very poor people who live in dirt floor homes.  I further explained to them that this doesn’t make them a lower class citizen nor should it make you feel sorry for them.  All we had to do was treat them with respect and equity, in other words.  “They are just as happy with their lives as you are with yours,” I stated over and over.

Little did I know that our Abba was going to use something that could have been tragic to teach us a lesson in equity!  After the accident, all of the Indigenous that were present rushed down to the accident scene and began helping everyone.  They even made a provisional hammock to help move the person with the banged up knee out of the bottom of the ravine.  We went thinking we are going to exemplify and extend equity to the Indigenous.  Instead, they were the ones the Creator used to teach us a life lesson about equity.

In that moment, I truly saw a glimpse of Kingdom life.  Indigenous people, people from the US, people from S. Africa, people from Canada, and Costa Ricans in that moment forgot who they were, so to speak, and came together in that moment where the most important thing was the wellbeing of everyone else.  If you could, imagine a whole village of Catholic Indigenous people helping our Messianic Jewish teen camp group by caring and offering anything that they had in order to serve us.  Talk about Torah in action, or in Hebrew, davar, which means word in action!  In my opinion, this is the heart of Torah, or true meaning behind Torah.  Torah isn’t necessarily a checklist that we check off because we’ve fulfilled it.  It’s about love, and at the end of the day love transcends all boundaries and languages.  Something that could have been tragic was turned into a teaching lesson in a matter of minutes.  That is the grace and mercy of the Creator of the Universe.  This is the kind of Almighty that we serve. Halleluyah!

A few weeks later my wife and I attended a Treasures of the Temple Conference hosted by Rico Cortes of Wisdom in Torah Ministries Temple.  It was a great conference, and I encourage all of you to buy the DVD’s.  It is a lot of information.  My wife left after a few days to visit some friends, and I stayed at the conference.  One night during the conference, Matthew VanderEls and I leave in his car to go get a quick bite to eat before the night session began.  We are stopped at a red light, and a Nissan Maxima rear ends us doing about 30 mph, pushing us into the car in front of us.  Long story short, Matthew’s car and the Nissan were totaled.  That was the hardest I’ve ever been hit.  I’ve played many downs of football and never have come close to being hit that hard.  It blurred my vision for a few hours afterwards, but I was never discouraged. I wanted to ask why, but sometimes that doesn’t need to be asked.

Remember what you are doing Now determines your Next.  When the opportunity came to exit off the highway and throw in the towel I chose to say, “Father, I trust you.  I may not understand everything. Abba, but I am learning your Ha Makom, Hebrew for the Place of YHVH, which is Holy!”

Guys, what you are doing NOW and HOW you are doing it is the most important aspect about what God will give you next.  Life is about choices.  The Creator said choose life and not death.  I think He knows best.  Even when the why isn’t being answered, just keep moving forward because your now is connected to your next.  The choice you make determines which road you have to travel.  That choice sometimes comes from caving in to the temptation of chasing after what you think is next and neglecting what YHVH is doing NOW.

We have many folks out there right now just wandering around because they haven’t found their purpose and mission in life.  When you are faithful in your NOW, your purpose, vision, and mission become clearer. When times come that it seems like things are being removed or taken due to the pruning process, look around for what is left behind, and that is what you need to move forward into your Next.

This is why what you are doing right now is so important.  What we learn in the now stage is actually what helps sustain us while we are in the next stage. There are many unhappy believers and non-believers out there in the world because they feel unfulfilled.  This is unfortunate because the solution is examining how faithful you are being in your now season.  How are you serving others?  How are you extending equity?  How are you treating your spouse and children?  How do I line up to all of those questions?  What we are faithful with now determines what we receive next.

If you have been going through some stuff and just can’t quite seem to get ahead, trust in Him, keep moving forward, and learn all you can in the NOW so that you can sustain the NEXT when it comes.  Let only the things of faith be left in this season of transition.  Even though it’s getting smaller, it’s for growth purposes.  Shalom.