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June 16, 2013

For the most part every one of us has a daily routine that we live our lives by.  Even if you travel a lot, generally speaking, you have a schedule and you see the same things, same people, and same events.

I’m not a fan of routine.  I thrive on change and I hope to be able to live a life where I am able to travel often, a couple of trips a year would be ideal.  Thursday, June 13th, 2013, I had an opportunity to have my schedule interrupted and I want to tell you about it.

I was given the opportunity to go help with one of the disaster relief teams in Moore, Oklahoma.

So, when I say my schedule was interrupted, you can be sure I mean more than just my daily to-do list.  I’m going to show some of the pictures I took, but, let me tell you that no amount of pictures could ever do it justice.

We were still on the interstate coming north from Dallas, Texas when I was caught off guard by this:

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Again, pictures don’t do it justice, but to suddenly see that right in front of you as an inescapable reality, it was intense.  The following images are some of the things I saw as we rode around and passed out cold beverages to teams of workers and “homeowners.”

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That used to be a neighborhood.

All that’s left are concrete slabs where their homes once stood.

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Somehow the mobile homes were still standing.

Yeah, we’re not sure either.

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This one happened to be on Brent Cir.  Five minutes later we were driving down Brent Dr.  I think someone likes my name in Oklahoma!

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You’ll have to forgive me for finding some humor in this.

In case you can’t make it out it reads, “I’m Oklahoma Proud!”

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Some of the homeowners also had a sense of humor.

Better laugh to keep from crying I suppose.

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Quite spacious indeed!

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This is the hospital that was completely destroyed.

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This is the IMAX theater that is right next door to the hospital and escaped without a scratch on it.  I feel like the tornado knew it was in America :-/

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Though we enjoyed the homeowner’s humor this scene brought immediate silence.  This is the elementary school where several children died.

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Many left t-shirts, stuffed animals, cards and other gifts as a memorial to those who didn’t survive in the elementary school.

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 I decided I would leave my favorite bandanna.

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We could only tell this was once a car by the remaining tire in the picture below.

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 Seven crosses for seven lives.

I can’t begin to imagine what the families of these are feeling.  If you’re still reading please take a few seconds to pray for the people of Moore, Oklahoma.  I was able to get in my car and drive back home.  They cannot.  This is their reality now.

Before I finish this post I did want to tell you about one of the most beautiful things I saw while I was there.  I didn’t have time to snap a photo, but on one of the partially damaged homes there were two teams working with two different shirts on.  One of the shirts was blue and said that they were volunteers from a Jewish ministry.  The other shirts were neon yellow and said that they were Muslim.  Though I agree with the beliefs of neither faith, I wanted to jump off the back of our truck and hug them!

Muslims and Jews were working together to help where help was needed!

Take notes Christians.  While we’re busy looking down our nose at anyone who isn’t exactly like us, these were simply loving people and loving each other.

Everything I experienced that day abruptly demonstrates that the only things that are real are those which matter in eternity.  All else will fade away.

What are you living for? 

Because of Him,

Brent Hemphill

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June 4, 2013

Hello again!  I seem to have made a bad habit of being late on my posts.  I apologize.  But let’s be honest, it will probably happen again.  But you don’t care.

Month #5 is past and I’m well into month #6!  God has been doing some great things in my life.  I’ve been in Dallas, Texas since May 26th and it’s awesome…again.  I keep finding reasons to be back here in Dallas somehow.  Anyway, I’m living with the Lampleys right now and I couldn’t have found a better internship if I wanted to.  Maybe that’s why God sent me here…hm.  It’s funny how that works.  When I am patient and wait on God, He never fails to supply exactly what I need, even though I don’t always like it.  I’m happy that I DO like it this time though!

You might be confused, let me back up and tell the story of how I came to do my internship here.  Since I’ve been at Emmanuel College I’ve had the burning question in my mind, “Why am I here?”  My freshman year I was praying about it and God told me that I was supposed to be at EC and not to worry about what comes next, just be there for now.  He told me He’d let me know what’s next when I got to the end of that road. Well, that curiosity included where my internship was going to be!  So I waited patiently and the spring of my junior year I learned that my friend, Jon Lampley, and his family were moving to Dallas last summer and they were planting a church here!  He mentioned that his dad was looking for interns and he immediately had my attention.  But, I didn’t want to do it if it wasn’t what God wanted.  He had to convince me that it was His plan and not just something I wanted to do because I love my Lampleys!  I asked my mother to pray about an internship opportunity, but I wasn’t going to tell her anything about it.  She called me a week later and asked if it was in Dallas.  Later in the same conversation she somehow knew it was going to be with the Lampleys, even though she had no idea that they were going to Dallas.  God had told her where and with whom it was going to be and supernaturally confirmed His desire to have me here!

The same thing happened with my post-college career plans.  I was waiting on His guidance and through many supernatural instances He revealed to me that He wanted me to be apart of the new school of discipleship in Nashville, Tennessee! I’d love to tell you that story so if you’re interested, just ask!  I won’t take up more of your time with it now though.

I tell you these things now to help you understand something God has been imprinting on my heart for many years now.  That thing is that if we will simply be patient and wait upon the Lord, He will never let us down.  Whatever you’re longing for whether it’s what college to attend, a career plan after college, marriage, or whatever it is that you’re waiting for, be patient.  It’s a time that serves a twofold purpose.

First, it’s a time of preparation.  If you will be patient and seek Him while you are waiting He will build you up and make you ready for the next step in your life.  You may think you are wasting time.  I know I felt that way while I was in college.  It seemed like my life was sliding by while I had my head stuck in a book for four and a half years.  But it’s nothing more than God taking time to prepare my heart and my mind for what He has next.  This only works if we are willing to trust Him and take advantage of the situation we are in right now!

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That brings me to the second purpose of being patient and waiting on the Lord.  When we have to wait on Him, we are forced to trust Him.   What else do you have?  He is asking you to put your life in His hands and let Him mold you and at the same time you are building trust in Him.

Maybe you have a great opportunity before you and you are dying to dive right into it!  Do you have complete peace about it?  Notice, I didn’t ask if it was good.  Of course it’s good or you wouldn’t be wrestling over it.  But, just because something looks good doesn’t mean it’s the best.  When you completely lay yourself in His hands, He WILL make His plans known to you.  Maybe not when you want Him to.  But He will reveal them in His perfect timing.

Wait to hear from Him.  Wait for Him to reveal that what you have before you is what He wants for you.  I say this because while you could accept what is before you and it could absolutely be good, it may not be the best that God intends for you.  It might not even be sin.  He leaves choice up to us.  We can choose to take the path before us now if we want and sometimes He’ll even bless that.  But if we will only be patient, we can have the BEST!

Almost every time I get excited about something God stops me and says, “Brent, do you trust me?”  I then choose to wait.  And when He comes through, I am blown away.  Every.  Last.  Time.

He has amazing things for you.  Things you’ll love!  And, things you’ll hate.  But I promise, no matter what, if you will seek Him alone and choose to wait on Him to provide open doors for you, you’ll never be without peace.  And with true peace comes true happiness and true fulfillment.

Do you want to simply exist and float through life trying to give yourself what you think you want?  Me neither.  Be patient.  Seek Him relentlessly.  Live fully.

Know that I preach to myself as well.  I have to battle with my faithfulness and patience every day.  But I know my Father loves me and I refuse to walk in the condemnation of the enemy.

Ok, I’m done.  You can stop reading now.

 

Because of Him,

Brent Hemphill

 

P.S.

If you’re just now joining my journey then please know that I will not be on Facebook during my time of consecration so any messages or requests you may have sent will not be responded to for quite some time.  It’s not personal, it’s Jesus.

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