Jeff & Bethany Mootz

Intercessory Missionaries at Underground House of Prayer in Sioux Falls, SD

Month: June 2013

Pictures of our 2nd Annual Backyard Bible Bash

Here are some of the pictures from our Vacation Bible School Outreach this week.  We held the outreach at our local clubhouse property and gathered kids from our townhome/apartment style neighborhood.  There were about 20 people who helped us and 12-20 kids both nights.  Each night consisted of hilarious games, snacks, worship, small group bible study, rewards and then ministry times.

The second night many of the kids returned with their homework project, which was to write prayers and song verses about the topic of small group.  All the ones that did it got a big candy bar and a clap offering.  The topics were Genesis 1-3 and the truth that Jesus made us to be friends with Him (As the passage is quoted in Ephesians 5) and the 1st commandment (holy love to God and others) as our response of love to Jesus our friend.  We were shocked by the sincerity and clarity of their prayers, song lyrics and their feedback on how their prayer times went.

Many of the kids said they want to continue to know God by coming to a weekly kids bible study we are starting up again in a couple weeks.

2nd Annual Backyard Bible Bash!

We are hosting our 2nd neighborhood Backyard Bible Bash for the kids in our community for two days this week, Tuesday and Wednesday evening! It’s like a Vacation Bible school, which is a free event with  fun games, snacks, worship, bible study and prayer times, Ages 6-18. Pray for us as we and our team labor and prepare to have fun with some kids starting tomorrow! Update to follow after the event:)

BBB

Books about Heavenly Encounters

We wanted to share some of our favorite books with you on the topic of heaven.  Many of these books were given to us this past Christmas.  Bethany and I read them non-stop during the month of January and were dramatically encouraged, filled with peace, hope and longing for the reality of heaven.  Most of our conversation that month revolved around the stories of the books we were reading.  Many times we were brought to tears or made to laugh because of the goodness of God that was revealed to us through the reality of heaven and eternity.  The chapters included topics such as the throne room of God, the cloud of witnesses in heaven, family in heaven, babies in heaven, houses, eternal rewards, river of life, Jesus and the Father and hell.

Little did we know that the following months would be filled with difficult stories of sickness, death and miscarriages in our family, friends and those in our spheres of life.  Every situation has been difficult but at the same time we have been filled with real hope because of the hope of heaven, the eternal age with God and the resurrection from the dead.  With so many painful losses in 2013 it has been amazing to picture what our loved ones are doing and experiencing in heaven.  As a fun fact, the vast majority of references to Hope in the Bible are in context to heaven and the resurrection from the dead.  Paul prayed in Ephesians 1:16-19, that we would have supernatural hope in our hearts from understanding God’s eternal calling in our life.  We can pray the same thing for ourselves.

Check out some of these books if you are interested.  We liked some of the books better than the others and some of the stories were easier to believe than others but for the most part they were all good (you don’t have to believe everything you read).  Most of these books go chapter by chapter through parts or descriptions of heaven from their personal encounter.  The last two books have more story material than descriptions of heaven but both of these were amazing reads and encouraging as well.  You can look these up online or go to Amazon.com to purchase them.

1.  My Time in Heaven – Richard Sigmund (Our favorite)

2.  I Saw Heaven – Roberts Liardon

3.  Heaven – Jesse Duplantis

4.  40 Days in Heaven – Elwood Scott  (Free to read online if you don’t want to buy it)

5.  Heaven Revealed – Kat Kerr

6.  My Journey to Heaven – Marvin Besteman

7.  Heaven is For Real – Todd Burpo

8.  The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven – Kevin Malarkey

Rejection and Pain

After a two year desire to get into the book of Isaiah (Chapters 40-66) I am finally waist deep in study! I wanted to share a little about this morning’s meditation on Isaiah 53:3 concerning Jesus Christ: “He is despised and rejected by men, a Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.”

He IS despised, not “was” despised; He is continuing to be despised and rejected, not just in the time of His life spent on earth, but even today. Jesus you are so humble to endure this hostility!  To “despise” means- to not esteem, to think vile of, to scorn, ridicule or disrespect. Despised is said twice of Him, and really it was an understatement.

In His greatest act of humility, Jesus was greatly rejected and not esteemed, He was forsaken by men. John 1:10, “He came to His own and His own did not receive Him.” This is more than He was unlikeable: God was manifesting Himself in the flesh, coming into created world as the Creator by becoming like His creation, and the people’s response was, “Yeah we just don’t like you.” This shows the real face of humanity’s state.

The Father knew they would be disgusted and disrespectful of His Son, yet They both agreed it was fitting for Christ to suffer emotionally in this way.  (We usually see His suffering as just physical.)  He knows what it feels like to be rejected, but He did not fall prey to a spirit of rejection; He was regularly communing with His Father, and found acceptance in Him as His source.

He boldly, knowing He would triumph, took on sorrows and wasn’t afraid of grief. He knows what it is like to be wrought with grief. The older I get I realize life is full of grief and pain, and I’ve felt a full share of it already it seems! As a source of comfort, we need to regularly view Jesus as One who knows grief and pain.  Not only for comfort, but to learn how to overcome as He did. As it says in Hebrews 4:14-16 “Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

Yes He is mainly a happy God, but He feels pain and did not self-protect Himself (even though as God He could have) from human-ly sadness. Thank you Lord that you are so near to us and we lift up our eyes to You who triumphed over rejection and pain!

-Bethany

 

NEW CAR!

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The Lord answers prayer! Here i want to tell you a story:)

So back in January and February, Jeff and I were deciding on if we should sell one of our cars and use the money for some bills or even save the money for the future to buy one that would fit our needs more. My green Chevy Cavalier ended up getting the veto, it didn’t have air conditioning and it had low enough mileage to still be desirable for others. So the day we put it up on craigslist we had 3 or 4 offers! So within a few days we sold it to a first time car buyer, a wonderful single mother who needed some wheels. It was a perfect fit. 

Since then, we have learned to coagulate our schedules together and learn to live more simply and use one car between the both of us. It was shocking how easy it was. We turned to the Lord in prayer asking for Him to bring us a car when we needed it. 

At the beginning of May, a student here at the University who was moving back to Norway emailed me saying she wanted to give us her car! We graciously said thank you, but honestly, she was in a state of financial need and really needed to sell the car for money. She responded back saying that she really felt like she was supposed to give us the car despite the need. We were humbled and provoked by her! And really excited that she would give us a car for free!!!!

A WEEK LATER, she emailed again, and said that someone in Norway just contacted her saying that they were giving her a car for free as soon as she arrived! We all were so encouraged by this!!

So last week, we went to the DMV and switched everything legally, and got the keys to this wonderful 2000 Toyota Corolla. Praise God that He gives so abundantly to those in need! And it has everything that my little Chevy lacked, I am so grateful everytime I get to drive it. (the trunk works, the odometer works, the air conditioning works, power locks and power windows, and it even has an ipod dock!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! All things my Chevy didn’t have!)

So to those of you out there in need, keep praying for the Lord to answer you, sometimes He doesn’t and sometimes He does! And sometimes He uses YOU to answer someone else’s needs. It’s so great to be a lover of Jesus. I heard someone say once, “the only money you actually “keep” is the money you give away.” The kingdom of Jesus is different than the worlds.

-Bethany