Monday, April 14, 2014

It's been several weeks since I've posted a new blog so I thought this season we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ is a great time to share a cool experience that Jeanie and I had recently. 

In thinking about the new life of Jesus we can't help but be reminded that there would be no empty tomb, once occupied by a dead body, if there had not first been a death.  And we know the death that our Lord and Savior experienced was a horrible death on a cross. 

A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to take a short vacation to Pueblo, Colorado.  We had some missionary friends also there at the time and a pastor friend from Pueblo had invited us. 

Now under normal circumstances this would seem like no big deal and we would anticipate a great time with friends,  hanging out and doing some site seeing.  But this wasn't normal circumstances.  At least not as far as Jeanie and I were concerned. 

Why is that?  Because for the last two and half years when we thought about Pueblo all we could think about is our greatest failure in ministry and how we let many people down and encountered the toughest trial we'd ever walked through. 

I'm not trying to be over dramatic here but when I thought of Pueblo and all that transpired after I chose to quit and move my family back to Texas, it wasn't pleasant.  In fact it was painful and depressing.  The confusion concerning our future in the ministry.  The days and months of struggling financially and trying to dig ourselves out of a deep pit.  The nights of listening to my wife cry herself to sleep (no exaggeration)  because I made a decision to no longer keep a house that she loved in a place that she loved.  A decision I later regretted and had to apologize for and ask my wife to forgive me.  The months of turmoil in relationships when I'm just trying my best to get my family to a place of peace where we can encounter restoration and healing.  Thank God we're there now! 

So when Jeanie and I thought about returning to Pueblo, on vacation, we didn't exactly leap for joy!  In fact it was like returning to the place of the "cross" for us!  I think you know what I mean. 

But here's the coolest thing about all this.  God had a surprise "up His Holy sleeve"!  What we thought was just a planned vacation turned out to be a plan of God. 

We thought we were returning to the place of the "cross" but what we discovered was an "EMPTY TOMB"!  Our week in Colorado was a powerful time of healing and restoration.  My heart leaps even now as I write this!  By the end of the week we were not ready to leave.  It was so refreshing and we can see now that God had a purpose for our pain.  Now we KNOW the resurrection power of God.  That same power that raised Christ from the dead!  

Let me share one cool experience I had while there.  On Wednesday night I was asked to participate in a round table discussion with two ministry friends.  Pastor Aaron Tomlison who pastors New Day Church in Pueblo and Pastor Mark Serviss  a missionary who currently lives in Romania.  The topic of the discussion was "The Love of God" and it was being video taped for the purpose of being shown over TV to potentially millions of people in Pakistan.  And recently I was informed it was going to be shown in Romania as well.  You can check it out on YouTube if you'd like. It's a great discussion that was non scripted but obviously led by the Holy Spirit. 

But here's the most amazing thing about this.  When we ended the discussion the Holy Spirit speaks to me and ask this question.  "Where are you?"  Then it hits me, I'm in Pueblo, Colorado ministering again!  Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect to be back in this place participating in something that has the potential to reach millions of people.  In August of 2011 when my family left the city limits of Pueblo in that U-Haul truck I never expected to return there, not for a vacation, not for a visit, not for anything.  Our dream had died and we were defeated and depressed!  But now I'm back, talking about the love of God, and millions of lives could possibly be touched. 

Now that's the restoring, healing, resurrection power of our God! 

After we had had returned home from this "vacation" the Holy Spirit asked me another question.  "Do you remember what I said to you while you were driving down Highway 50 in Pueblo a few years ago?" Then I had to start laughing and praising God!  It was early in the year 2011  that God spoke the following words to me so suddenly and clear that there was no doubt.  He said, "I'm going to pay you to encourage people all over the world." 

After God spoke these words to me we experienced the greatest disappointment and trial we had ever encountered in ministry.  But now, here we are, telling people all over the world about the love of God and encouraging them!  Wow, our God is amazing. 

So as you've been reading this blog I don't know where you stand today?  But if you're in a place where your last experience was the place of the "cross" then you need to know that God has an "empty tomb" encounter for you.  Don't quit, don't give up! It's time for you to KNOW the restoring power of God.  Right now I speak to the resurrection in you!  Your greatest days are before you!  

You've heard me say it time and time again my friend, it's time to DREAM.......AGAIN! Suddenly God is going to move in your life and surprise you with His perfect plan that brings restoration and healing to your life!  He is a good God! 

Encouraging the world,

Ken Woolf