Sunday, July 16, 2006

HOW A HOG CALL LED TO A DIVINE APPOINTMENT

We had the most amazing blessing today and it was in answer to a prayer that Tara, my wife, prayed this morning during church. For the two Sundays we have been here in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, we have attended the Living Stones church about two miles away.

At the beginning of the service and during the worship, she was praying silently. She asked that God would help us make some tremendous relationships at the service. I had no idea she was praying for that. Well, after the service, (we almost didn't make it to church because time flew by this morning, but we are so glad we did), God led me to make a beeline to the pastor. As it turned out, he was an attorney for 12 years in Florida (an FSU Seminole fan) before surrendering to God's call to become a pastor.

His name is Bill Barley and he leads a fantastic church that sits right on the ocean. They do two services and both are overflowing with people. His sermon this morning was out of Ephesians 1:15-23 and was about believing God's promises and living them. Of particular note to both Tara and me, separately, was Hebrews 11:13-16, which say:

13All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth. 14People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. 15If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. 16Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them.

I told the pastor where I was from (Fayetteville, Arkansas), and that his sermon, if for no one else in the room, was God's word for my family that day. His being an attorney before going into the ministry and the sermon he preached alone was cool, but God had even more in store. I walked outside to get some of the fresh coffee and snacks they had prepared. I never got there, though, because...

Unbeknownst to me, the next guy who talked to the pastor told him he was from Magnolia, Arkansas. Well, I had just told the pastor I was from Fayetteville, Arkansas, so the pastor asked him... Are you here with Bryan?

This second gentleman said, no, of course, but was intrigued that some other guy was here in the middle of no where, Big Island, Hawaii, attending church. So, the next thing I know I'm just starting to get some coffee outside and i hear "Wooooooo, pig!" And, then I hear it again, and it registers that someone is hog calling toward me. I know I haven't seen anyone I know there...I turn and there's this guy, whom I then meet, named David Price. He just is beaming, with this big smile, friendly face, and warm heart.

Then, guess what?! He is an attorney, a solo practitioner, from Magnolia, Arkansas. He and his wife, Wendy, and their two kids, Jacob and Nick, are there on vacation. They had just arrived on Thursday. The night before they decided they wanted to go to church and were looking for a Baptist church. As they glanced through the paper, David saw the advertisement for the Living Stones (a nondenominational church) and that the pastor was preaching on living God's promises. It compelled him to go there.

David and I end up talking for the next hour, pray together, he blesses us with a gift, he teaches a sunday school class and can't wait to share with them about us and wants them to adopt us. Then, when we start sharing where Tara and I grew up (I grew up in Prairie Grove, Arkansas), he is blown away and shares with us that his brother-in-law is the pastor of my home town church where I attended for several years.

We exchanged all our contact information and I felt like we were life long friends all in an hour. This is how one hog call led to a clear divine appointment. It was amazing!!!!!!!! It is one of about 20 things to add to my list of how God has been moving in the past month in so many ways. It is humbling because I know God is moving like this all the time, but all too often I let the world choke out my ability to see it.

Just like the pastor spoke this morning, do we believe Philippians 4:19 and Romans 8 or not? Will he supply all our needs according to his riches in glory? Of course He will! It isn't name it claim it, which is just self-interested and trying to turn God into Santa Claus or a genie (and ourselves into God), but it is "believe it and receive it" and then act out in gratitude, knowing that God has already finished everything we need. 2 Peter 1:3! And, Ephesians 1:3: Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

Finally, make this (and look at all of the surrounding verses) your prayer for your own relationship and for my family's relationship with God today: I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.

May God give you the grace to see Him more clearly every moment of your life.

5 comments:

Kevin Stilley said...

Neat story. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...

God is so amazing. I was at the service too, and know the church has a website where you can hear the pastor's sermon. www.livingstones.us

Kevin Bussey said...

I'm praying for you!

Also,

I thought hogs were only good for BBQ!

GGIEZ said...

Bryan,
What an encouragement. Who says "calling the Hogs" can't lead to something divine? I am glad to see that God is laying things out in front of you & your family so clearly. We have thought about visiting PG 1st Baptist (have been invited, just haven't been yet). Now we have another reason. Small world.
Greg Giezentanner

David Lee Roth said...

Bryan,

I just got your email and read your blog...incredible. God moves in some powerful ways when we move in obedience, doesn't he?

We miss you here in Hog Country, but I am praying for you & Tara daily.

Your friend in Christ,

David