Fourth Newsletter

February 1st, 2019

Beloved Friends and Family,

You know as well as we do, how quickly God can change your plans. Whether it’s a test of faith; or God gently revealing to you, that you are no longer fulfilling His desires–but your own. There are many events that occur in our life that are allowed by God’s Divine Providence. Suffice to say, these can have a dramatic impact, depending on the road that one chooses to walk down.

From our first steps in Washington, D.C. we hit the streets sharing who Christ is and the gift of salvation through Him to any and all who would hear. From homeless men and women to tourists from far and wide to even locals living in the D.C. area. The methods we use may not be what described as your “traditional” evangelism. We did not, and still do not, use tracts. We solely rely upon prayer and the Holy Spirit. We befriend people and meet them where they’re at in life. We sometimes spend all day with one person seeing the sights with them, as Mark likes to call it “their personal tour guide for the day” and most importantly sharing the Gospel. This may seem greatly insignificant to some, but we’re not looking to dazzle you with numbers or methods, for it is God who considers just one significant. We want to please God in our lives and hear, “well done good and faithful servant!” at the end of every day. Yet at times, our love so overflowed for those whom we met, that our desire to help them went a little beyond where God was leading us.

You may remember in a previous newsletter we mentioned a desire to build on land to not only house those in need of a place to stay, but to offer work opportunities to whoever needed an income. This was never to make a profit or to make us look successful. But as previously mentioned, our hearts were overflowing with love for each individual… to meet not only a spiritual need but a physical one as well. As we began to share about our desire for this land and even finding and praying over pieces of property, God revealed to us His desire and direction. It may sound simple or old news, but we must continue to equip and edify the saints and to carry on the work of evangelism. If God wills, this land opportunity may one day be realized, but for now, our orders have been given; for there is an immediate need to fully equip the saints.

Candidly, we are in the last days. This can encourage some and discourage others. For us it is a tremendous encouragement. Not only are we witnessing God’s will from His scriptures being fulfilled (i.e. the book of Revelation), but we are given the task of persevering through various trials and tribulations all the while, encouraging others to continue on in faith until the end. There are many times, when the deck can feel stacked against us. Especially as we see aberrant theology and human wisdom/philosophy being used in the ministry.  It seems that church leadership would rather focus on the things that don’t offend and make us feel good, in order to make believers “content, happy & successful”. This is to the detriment of the Body of Christ, as we then see teachings in churches that are abounding with man’s philosophies, wisdom and knowledge…all of which God, in His Word describes as the “foolishness of man.”

There are many paths that the church age has seen where man has been plotting the course or direction that the church should go. Paul clarifies in 1 Corinthians 11:3, that Jesus Christ is the head of the church, not a man or woman. Each are created for a specific purpose, both to serve and worship God, not to exalt anyone else. But I’m not done yet…Jeremiah says in Jeremiah 10:23 that man does not possess the plans for his life. No one at their best or even at their strongest point in life, can direct their own steps by themselves. With this understanding, my heart suffers to see generation after generation conducting themselves in this wicked behavior, thinking that they have all the answers but never getting to the heart of the issue (Ecclesiastes 11:4). Our heart desperately needs to be wholly and holy devoted to the Lord in reverential fear. Too many believers refuse to listen, learn and obey the Word of God. We cannot begin to understand the sorrow God has while He is watching His children living for themselves, rather than living for Him. Nevertheless, all of us are perpetrators against God, not victims. We all need His grace.

Jesus makes a profound statement in John 15:8. He says, “When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.” To be a follower or disciple of Jesus literally means to be a pupil or learner. By not remaining teachable and obeying the commands of God we become wise in our own eyes. We then begin to reject the teachings of Christ due to disobedience and never entirely become a disciple of Christ, remaining a babe in faith. There is a vast number of immature and emotional believers today (1 Corinthians 3:1-9 & Ephesians 4:14-15) and fewer upon fewer disciples are being made.

For far too long we have heard from those in the Body, far and wide, that they are refusing to obey what God has pressed upon their heart to do. Their fruit begins to diminish, and they increasingly becoming disqualified from the race of faith. Jesus stated in Luke 14:27 “Whoever does not take up his own cross and come after Me (that is cleave steadfastly to Him, conforming wholly to His example in living and, if need be, in dying also), cannot be My disciple.” Dying to self is the standard for what it means to be a Christian. Many believers are content with compromise by watching the disqualifications continue. This way of life brings no fruit to maturity and makes it impossible to be a disciple of Christ.

In unity, as the Body and fellow disciples, we are to run our race of faith with a predetermined resolution to endure in faithfulness and obedience for our heavenly reward, no matter the cost. Our lives are to be a presentation of His salvation to those whom He has called out from the world (John 17:20-23 & Colossians 1:3-12).

For our family, our focus will always be to take care of others as God has and continues to take care of us. A building or land is worthless if we are simply filling a need that will be met by another need which will in turn be another need, you get the idea. It is not our desire to make ourselves feel like we’ve done a good deed. For our aim is to respond in obedience with the mind of Christ, rather than react with human emotion, which deceives. We are not to make more “believers” who come for the free goods and services, only to abandon their faith when the goods dry up. We are to exhort others to become a pupil, to enroll as a scholar and soldier that they may follow the instructions from the Word and teach others to do the same, i.e. make disciples (2 Timothy 2:1-13). There are many believers that are forever inquiring and obtaining information about God but are never able to fully place their faith in Him, by acknowledging the Truth about Him (2 Timothy 3:1-7,  John 14:23-24 & Hebrews 3:12-4:2). It is God who gives a person the desire to come to Him and God alone to grant repentance of sin. So, we leave the work of salvation in His hands and stay faithful with what He has placed in our hands. For it is required that stewards be found trustworthy and faithful (1 Corinthians 4:1-2 & 1 Peter 4:7-11).

We may never build a fancy building, nor have a set plan (Proverbs 16:9). Our speech is not eloquent. We solely rely upon the Holy Spirit rather than social media campaigns. God is the One who leads and guides and brings about growth. We must continue in obedience through faith, without worry about the judgements or persecutions from man. Here we are and will remain until the Lord directs us otherwise. We equip, we edify, and we evangelize everywhere we go, by sharing the Truth in love in the greater D.C. metro area.

Now comes your part in this ministry, prayer. We humbly ask that you be mindful of us in your prayers, as we are for you. But not only for us, but for others who are directly and indirectly affiliated. Whatever the Holy Spirit is leading and guiding you to do, faithfully engage. Through His providence, He will give you all you need. Trust in Him at all times, pour out your heart before Him, for our God is a refuge for us (Psalm 62:8). AMEN!

In Christ,

Medeiros Family

http://www.ephesians4dc.com

Third Newsletter

July 5th, 2018

Dear friends and family,

 We rejoice in this great opportunity that we get to share with you the power of God transforming lives in the greater D.C. area. This letter comes to you through much prayer, fasting and time spent in the Word of God.

I praise God for choosing us for this stewardship and give Him all the glory. It is through His Spirit and our weaknesses that His power is manifested in the lives of those who are with us in His ministry. I pray that you are encouraged, exhorted, edified, and stirred up by love and good works through this letter.

Beginning from the newsletter we wrote back in December 2017, we spoke of a Senior Assisted Living Center where we volunteer at. Originally, we started out with individual meetings with residents once a month (as this is what the coordinator allowed) to visit and talk with them. Through our times of speaking with the residents we got a taste of the love God wants to pour out from His Body onto others and we greatly desired more. And through this small faithfulness of monthly visits, God grew it into “whenever you want, come on by”. With this wonderful opportunity, the residents now make about 40-60 sandwiches that God provides for distribution on the streets of Alexandria, VA and Washington D.C. There is a great trial on this part of God’s ministry so please keep this in prayer. However, through these “Salvation & Sandwich” outreaches, God has given the elderly more of a purpose and connection to the homeless, students in college, business men and women, tourists and military. Only God can take a small hope and turn it into blessings beyond measure.

Through prayer and waiting upon the Lord, He has provided for Rebecca to make her homemade chocolate chip cookies to hand out as well. The homeless call her cookies gold as they tell me they taste the love. But this is not the best part of the story. While handing out the sandwiches, cookies, free Bibles and water, I am able to compassionately, gently and in loving-kindness spend time listening (sometimes all day long) with a complete stranger while sharing the word of God without quarreling. I don’t approach them with my wisdom or knowledge, but as we have been living life with them week to week, God gives me opportunities to share His wisdom, knowledge and understanding. We talk about what it means to walk by faith toward Christ, studying the Word of God in order that we may respond to it with immediate obedience while continuing to patiently endure through many sufferings, trials and tribulations. These conversations are not merely words, but seasons in which God is continuously growing within us His roots of faith.

We have seen many people putting their faith in Christ with lives changed and producing much fruit. We host a Bible fellowship on Tuesday nights in our small home. It has been lovingly named by friends, The Cave of Adullam from 1 Samuel 22. To quickly summarize… the broken, rejected, battered and torn came to David in the cave of Adullam, they were then built up and sent out to fight. We start out each Tuesday with a delicious meal together and are then, as those men of David, built up in God’s Word to go out and fight the battle being waged for our souls. Our prayer has been for two larger “caves” that many more of those who are broken, beaten and battered may do the same.

Through all of this, we are still learning that if we don’t abide in Christ, through His power, His ability and His sufficiency, we don’t have an abundant, fruitful life. Jesus says in John 15:8 “When you bear or produce much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.” By us rejecting His ways of working out our salvation with fear and trembling according to His will, we detest our days. Therefore, let us correctly interpret Scripture as we are only taught by God, not man, in order that we might submit ourselves to it with a response of immediate obedience. If we don’t, we put ourselves in danger of reasoning and talking ourselves out of serving God. Thus, walking away from the living God that we might serve our desires, will and pleasures of this life. I share this with an earnest conviction, so you may know the “methods” of how God works in His ministry here in D.C.  

To share every moment, every story would be a lot of pages and quite expensive to mail. So, I end this letter with asking for your prayers, as you are a very important part of this ministry. Pray for endurance for our family. Pray for provision and more laborers. Pray for all those who have been and will be affected by this ministry. Lastly, pray that God would give us His wisdom and discretion as He makes known to us what is yet to come.

Hearing from our family and friends with words of encouragement and prayers has been one of the greatest blessings to us. Please feel free to contact us through any of the ways listed below. We look forward to sharing with you in our next letter the answers to your diligent prayers!

In Christ,

The Medeiros Family

http://www.ephesians4dc.com

Second Newsletter

December 21, 2017

Dear Family & Friends,

I write to share and update you on the progress of the ministry that God is working on through us in the greater D.C. area. Although there have been many trials and tribulations since our arrival here in October, they have not persuaded us or turned us away from equipping the saints for the work of the ministry, edifying the body of Christ and evangelizing everywhere we go. This is our focus and our pursuit as we remain faithful to our calling.

The moment we arrived God began to transform our minds, our hearts and our whole lives for the sake of this call. Jesus says in Mark 8:35 “For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.” For our family, we heard the call and traded up our life in California to move to Washington, D.C. for the sake of the Gospel. We have grown up in all things while relying on the Spirit of the Lord for everything. We refuse to rely on our own understanding or the way we perceive things, nor trust in our past accomplishments, but look through the eyes of our Father, having the mind of our Lord, Jesus, through the trusting work of His Holy Spirit.

Before leaving California I distinctly heard the words of the Lord as He spoke to me, “you’ll know the way you are to go as you’re on the road.” With my friend, David and I having perfect weather on the drive, we left Wednesday afternoon, October 21st and arrived Saturday night October 24th. The following Tuesday morning I drove David to the airport to fly back to California. At that same time, I picked up my wife and children who just arrived on an overnight flight from California. We drove back to the hotel for some much-needed rest. Before I laid my head down on the pillow, God spoke to me telling me that tomorrow He will give us our place to live. And He did. After viewing an apartment and talking as a family, we went back into the leasing office to inform the agent we were working with that we would indeed like to lease the apartment. The leasing agent said, “Good, because I already knew you would say yes! I have everything filled out and ready for you to move in today.” God led us out and took care of us the whole way. We moved in and unpacked by the end of the weekend and I hit the streets of D.C. immediately evangelizing everywhere.

I still believed I needed a job to provide for my family so that we may stay in our apartment as we had just enough money to meet our needs through December ‘17. With 51 job applications, many phone interviews and one working interview, God taught me that He is my Jehovah Jireh, I am His servant and that even though it goes against my human thinking I am to fully rely upon Him for provision and to do the work of the ministry for His honor and glory. After much prayer, fasting and seeking Him diligently God showed me, that although my attempts were noble, we are to live as He has called us. He then led me to 1 Corinthians 7:17. He specifically told me, “No longer will you be sent out under the authority of any man, but I will be sending you out as a missionary and evangelist.”

Since hearing this call two years ago, I share with you my life paraphrased from the words of Apostle Paul: As I preach the Gospel, I live out the Gospel. I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more. To the weak, I became as the weak, that I might win the weak. To the poor, I became as the poor, that I might win the poor. To the successful, I became successful in business, that I might win the successful business man. I have become all things to all men, that I might save some. Now I do this for the Gospel’s sake, not for my own gain. And I do this solely out of obedience to what God has called and commanded my family to do.

In less than two months, this work has grown into more than street witnessing. Through the leading of the Holy Spirit it is blossoming into volunteering my time at a Senior Assisted Living Center visiting with patients, to be friend with a listening ear and to share Christ as the Spirit allows. We have also started another home bible fellowship, and began ministering within local churches to build up the body. I have also been pursing becoming a chaplain at a local hospital. During my times on the streets I hand out care packages to homeless men and women (many veterans) which contain what you and I would call basic necessities but to them they are luxuries. Yet in all these things, I am still greatly burdened with a lack from not only churches here in the D.C. area but in many churches across America.

Many times, I have wept bitterly because in America we have become slack in our living and teaching of the pure, true Biblical doctrine. We’ve allowed worldly philosophies to come into the church and dictate the teaching, managing and planning. Rather we must turn back to teaching His doctrine and to trusting the Spirit in order that He might teach us how we should conduct our service unto the Lord, not by our own wisdom or our own understanding. We’ve all seen the news and read stories about how our country is decaying quickly. But upon moving here I have found that this is more than a news story because it is worse than they portray on the television. As I walk the streets of D.C. I see vast and numerous churches (truly dozens upon one street) made of magnificent brick architecture, yet in comparison to their great stature there is a great lack of hope in our country.

Today, there is a church being established in Washington, D.C. by God working through our family. God has given us another vision, and that is to provide a place for the homeless men and women that we encounter to utilize their talents in order that they might provide for themselves. We pray in time that God will also provide a building that we may outfit for those needing a place to live. These are our hearts desires and if the Lord wills, it will happen. He is our Jehovah Jireh, Yahweh will provide.

I thank you for your love and your time. We will continue as missionaries in America speaking the truth in love to all those whom God brings into our lives. Remember, equip, edify and evangelize everywhere you go!

In Christ,

Medeiros Family

www.ephesians4dc.com

Fires Burning In My Bones

“If I say, I will not make mention of [the Lord] or speak any more in His name, in my mind and heart it is as if there were a burning fire shut up in my bones. And I am weary of enduring and holding it in; I cannot [contain it any longer]. ” Jeremiah 20:9 AMPC

My beloved friends and family, for years I tried to do what Jeremiah said in the verse above. I was told to stop talking, stop convicting, stop speaking of God’s truths because it was too much. But I can no longer hold these truths in… I have to share it and I ask that you join with us together in no longer walking in the ways of compromise or comfort. Rather, cleave steadfastly to Christ alone, conforming wholly to His example in living and if need be, in dying also.

An example to be imitated demands believers to be worthy of imitation and the strength of holiness is the fuel for endurance. Spare no effort, with all haste, earnestly accomplishing, promoting and striving after those walks of faith in order to daily present yourselves in the practical realities of your faith being exhaustively exercised. Only participate in those things that require your faith to flourish. Live in such a way as one who has had their faith tried and tested and approved genuine only by God, not man, then put on display for the world to see.


Think about it for a minute, if local believers say all their needs are met, then how are we to, through love, serve one another? In Galatians 5:13, Paul gives a command that is described in the Greek to keep on serving one another continuously, never ceasing. The word is δουλεύω (douleuō, dü-lyü’-ō) and it means to become a slave in subjection to another as you yield and give yourself up in obedience.

Disciples of Christ are to zealously advance the interests and will of God, along with esteeming others higher than themselves, while never living for themselves. Some of the believers we encounter are rich and have become very wealthy. They have come to believe they are in need of nothing. This makes it difficult to relate with believers who are desperate for help. Again I ask, how can the body of Christ take care of each other, if no one is honest with their desperate need for God and His children? I am not saying that being rich is evil but I am convinced of Jesus’ words in Matthew 6:24-34 (AMPC), that we cannot serve God and covetously desire more and more money for our pleasures. Along with that, I add the words of Agur from Proverbs 30:8 (NLV) “Take lies and what is false far from me. Do not let me be poor or rich. Feed me with the food that I need.”

We only need in this life what is necessary to fulfill the task given to each servant. Everything else is what Hebrews 12:1-2 (AMP) tells us: “stripping off every unnecessary weight and the sin which so easily and cleverly entangles us.” We all are sinful (Genesis 6:5), wretched sinners (Isaiah 64:6) without God and are all in desperate need for Him and others, even if we are unwilling to admit it. Without God having full access to every area in our hearts, He is not Lord there. Without opportunity for others to minister to us, how can the Body fully utilize all of their gifts? Do not store your gifts on a shelf, lest our Master return and we must give an explanation as to why we refuse to use what He gave us for equipping the saints for the work of service and building up of the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12-16 NASB). The practical reality of living on faith, by faith and through faith alone is the ONLY way to be well pleasing to our Creator who created His children to righteously live for God and never for themselves (Philippians 3:7-11).

Father, help us to continue on humbly serving You and one another.

Evangelize The Streets

Evangelism isn’t what everyone thinks. Evangelism is for everyone who believes and cleaves to the Son of God. Evangelism isn’t found in a track, program or plan. Evangelism is sound doctrine shared as led by the Holy Spirit.  Evangelism cannot rely on our own understanding of how we’re so convinced that God only works in certain ways. Evangelism must rely on the daily provision of His Spirit through His Word spoken in love to everyone everywhere. Evangelism forces us to desperately depend on the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit.

Most evangelists today have become like sounding brass and a clanging cymbal. They have forgotten and have lost their way in which they should tremble. Evangelism is purely simple & needs to be rekindled.

Trust the Lord, don’t work in our flesh to accomplish our own desires. Rely upon His Spirit to tell us the way we should go.

Nothing New Under The Sun

As a nation, earlier this month we celebrated our independence and freedom. Looking back to the sacrifices made by the Founding Fathers in order to escape tyranny and oppression from Britain, and to freely worship God.

America is no longer what it once was. In our vain attempts to be relevant and appease the sins of others we have grown into a secular nation with many longing to undo the foundations in which this one of a kind country was built upon. But this is nothing new. In many ways we repeat history by not wanting to repeat history. King Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 1:9 “That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun.” In our attempts to “fix” things it usually turns out worse because as humans we struggle to find a balance. Unless we have the proper scales to balance us, we will always be on one extreme or the other.

Just as the 13 colonies desired to escape tyranny and oppression from Britain, we are trying to escape that which can so easily oppress and ensnare us, our sinful nature. No amount of work, “morality” or good deeds will get us into God’s grace. “All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him” Isaiah 53:6. Through sending His own Son as an offering for sin, God condemned sin in the flesh by subduing it, overcoming it, and depriving sin of its power.

We do not know the true oppression of a life without freedom, yet. Revelation provides us with a look at what is to come and our country is not exempt from it. But until that time comes God has given us orders. And we must follow them. In following these orders there is a cost and in our family we’ve counted the cost and follow Him because our treasure, our joy, our citizenship is with Him in heaven. As it should be for all who take the name “Christian”.

I was asked by a friend to tell a short summary about God’s ministry here in the D.C. area. After making it I knew it needed to be posted here as well. We’ve heard our orders, we are continuously longing to obey our Commander and as He leads, He will provide. Even if we no longer have the freedom to do so.

Sandwiches & Salvation

In 18 days it will be a year since my mother, Linda, passed from here into the loving arms of our Savior. I have bittersweet memories of the days before she passed as each conversation seemed as though they were the best I’ve ever had with my mother.

As a mom, she supported me and my family to do what God had in His will for us. But as a fellow heir in Christ, she exhorted me to go. Part of her exhortation was to bring about something that I had done during past trips to D.C. to confirm what I knew God was calling in His will for us: to feed those who are in need of earthly food but more importantly, to do as Christ asked His followers to do in sharing His love, His truth and His forgiveness. And as we know how God works, He has grown His idea shared between my mom and I into much more.

Upon our move to D.C. I began to meet with the residents of an assisted living center and through God moving and working, and me simply allowing Him to do His will and be obedient, He made it possible for the residents of the center to make sandwiches for me to pass out to the homeless men and women as I walk the streets sharing Christ. And each time God is faithful to provide the funds to buy the provisions for us to give to the assisted living center in order for the residents to make the sandwiches.

So now you know the “Sandwiches” part of our story but let me explain the “Salvation”. In the picture to the right, you see an Army bag. That is the bag which is packed full of sandwiches for those I encounter on the streets. But the suitcase, those are Bibles that God provided through prayer and a truly crazy story (one I can tell you about another time). It’s reminiscent of our Bible smuggling trips in China only this time, there’s no smuggling and I get to see, talk to, hug and even cry with the one whom the Bible goes to. You may be surprised to know, the food is not want they are asking for… it’s the Bibles. People are starving for God and His Word.

Now, I am not the only person out there feeding homeless men and women. Nor am I the first or the last. God has called us to not only give to the needs of others but more importantly, talk to them about Christ and live out Christ in our lives every single day. To share the salvation of Christ is far more important than food. “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:4. I can feed their bellies all day long but if I do not share Christ then I am complacent in their eternal destiny.

I tell you this not so you will sell everything and go walk the streets of L.A. or Chicago but so that you know of the work that God is doing and that you will in response, honor and glorify His name. For He truly is worthy of our praise! Continue on in prayer with us for all the work He is doing throughout all the world through His body. “Until we all (who believe) attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.” Ephesians 4:13 (note added myself).

And so we continue on. Thank you mom for the encouragement. Miss you but I know I will see you again and we will worship Him together, forever.

Interesting word for the day… Wurgen (to strangle)

Found this in my notes dating January 13, 2017 @ 12:36 am…

There is a very interesting etymology of the word “worry” from the Old High German word “wurgen” which meant “to strangle.” The Old English word meant “to strangle or choke” and was further defined as to grasp by the throat and lacerate with the teeth or to injure and kill by biting and shaking. It is like a dog that attacks an animal by taking it in its mouth and violently shaking it. This is what worry does to the heart. Worry strangles and chokes the life out of us and figuratively grasps the heart by the throat and does not let it breathe. Worry lacerates the heart as it takes it in its mouth and violently shakes it bringing it into a state of hopeless confusion and utter calamity.

Matthew 6:25-34:

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?

31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

These anxious worries of everyday living are some of the most common thorns that the human heart must deal with on a daily basis. They are deadly to the growth of the Word of God in our hearts for at their core they indicate a lack of trust that our Heavenly Father is really big enough to take care of our every need. These thorns indicate a heart that is full of unbelief and little faith that God can provide for even our most basic necessities in life. On an even deeper level these thorn are indicative of a heart that really does not know their Heavenly Father and His character, and consequently does not have an intimate relationship with Him. The Bible declares one of the names of God is Yahweh Jireh, meaning the Lord sees and provides. He has given us thousands of promises in His Word that He will provide for us on every level of our physical existence even down to the smallest detail of life. He promises that He is our provision and our daily bread, He will never leave us, forsake us or fail us. This is our Heavenly Father’s very nature and to know God is to have full confidence in this fundamental truth of Christian living. This is why God declares in no uncertain terms, “Do not be anxious about your life!” From the Greek sense of this phrase it strongly states: “STOP perpetually worrying about EVEN ONE THING!” Our heart must be fully confident of this truth that God promises to take care of us, and we need never have one ounce of worry, fear, doubt or anxiety about anything.

Love Out Loud

On November 29, 2017, it was another day for me just walking the streets in D.C. Then I saw a wall of flowers before the Capitol building and went to investigate. Little did I know I would be interviewed by Teleflora and be able to bring a bouquet of flowers to my homeless friend Franklin, who is a disabled veteran, who lost his wife to cancer a few months before I lost my mother to cancer as well. Check out the video:

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fteleflora%2Fvideos%2F10156045395688278%2F&show_text=0&width=560

Hope…

We all know this word. We all use it. But the problem that I’m finding as I live here in D.C. is that there is very little hope in people’s lives. I’m not talking about the hope of a better government or the hope that people are no longer poor. These things are needed hopes but the hope that is truly missing is the hope of Jesus Christ.

I see my husband out on the streets of D.C. sharing that hope to whomever the Spirit leads him to. But let me remind you, it came and still comes at a cost.

Can you count how many people you’ve heard say something like this, “I’ll follow Jesus no matter the cost!” It’s rare. And you may have heard someone say it but did their actions back it up?

I used to say this. I used to say this in my comfortable house, in my comfortable clothes with my comforting food with my comfortable Christianity. You may have caught where I’m going… Then God asked my family to step out of comfort because if I truly wanted to do God’s will it would not be comfortable. We would stand alone and we would not receive support. In more ways than one.

While Mark and a wonderfully gracious friend, David, were driving out to D.C. in a moving truck loaded up with all our belongings and our car the kids and I stayed in California with many thoughts and fears. My faith was about to be put through the refiners fire. I needed God desperately to confirm what we were doing. He led me to Romans but more specifically to Romans 4:18-24. To summarize (please go look it up for yourself though too) it is speaking of Abraham’s faith and why he was considered the “father of faith”. Contrary to the hope at hand, Abraham still had hope… Meaning when all hope was lost, Abraham still had hope. Why? Because he believed God. This was counted to him as righteousness.

Hope has been lost. Hope has been thrown out in place of comfort and worldly desires. Sadly, even in the church. We are no longer hearing messages from the Bible, led by the Spirit. We are simply playing church. And then we wonder what’s wrong with our country. What’s wrong with the church. Why is it becoming more and more corrupt. If you take the name Christian do not take it lightly. You are aligning yourself with Christ and saying you follow Him, even unto death.

You may say, “ok that’s a little extreme!” I say it regularly, as biblical Christians we should be counter culture. Jesus promised us that we would be hated because they first hated Him! And yet churches are saying opposite. Acting like the world does not bring the world to Jesus. It only brings us closer to the world and farther away from Him.

I fear our value and security in Christ has been replaced with things in this life. I admit I struggle to not want nice things. I struggle with not wanting to look a certain way. It’s all about looking good for your Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat friends. Being the “best Christian mom” for all the world to see and adore. No longer. These things ought not to be so. God is our value and security.

To give up comfort and title and nice things is hard. I fear many have bought into the lie that all biblical Christians are called to work a 9-5 life. This is not a bad thing, many are called to work hard and witness at work. But how many have settled for it, knowing that God has called them out, simply because they don’t want to give up things or comfort or because “God can find someone else to do it”?

I want to quote you Jesus’ own words in response to that. It is in the Amplified Bible version so you can clearly see what He is saying, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life [in the sense of indifference to or relative disregard for them in comparison with his attitude toward God]– he cannot be My disciple. Whoever does not carry his own cross [expressing a willingness to endure whatever may come] and follow after Me [believing in Me, conforming to My example in living and, if need be, suffering or perhaps dying because of faith in Me] cannot be My disciple.” LUKE 14:26‭-‬27

These words are not just for the early church or for the followers that were listening to Him at the time. It’s for us today. He’s asking this of us today. Comfort, status, title, things should never, never be the goal of a believer. The hope we have is in Christ must be lived out and shared to a deceived and hopeless world.

Yes, there is a cost to accepting Jesus into your heart. Whoever told you otherwise should have known better. But trust me when I say, it may start costing you more to follow Him even in our free country. And at the end of my days when He calls me home I want to get that beautiful, huge crown made for me for finishing my race well for Him. But I want to place it back at His feet where it belongs because I did it all for Him. For His honor, His glory and His praise.

No longer shall we hoard away the saving grace and abundant mercy so thankfully given to us by Jesus dying on the cross so we can feel comfort or feel like we’re successful in man’s eyes.

God has called us all to a purpose and to each one He has given us the grace to do it. So I say, do it. Do not waste more time but search and seek His will for you and do it. It may not be moving to another country or another state to share Jesus. But our faith should be plain for all to see. And unapologetically at that. No more compromise. Listen to the Spirit’s leading and guiding.

And if you’re in the D.C. area, we’d love to meet up with you. If you want to come out on the streets or help serve the needs of this city as each day we are doing not only street witnessing but homeless care packages, Bible studies and we’re working on going into hospitals and retirement homes to bring care packages but also the hope of Christ.

Share the hope that was shared with you. Don’t worry about the cost. We serve a good, good Father.

In Christ,
Rebecca Medeiros