Planters, Waterers, Harvesters—Trusting God’s Plan

As I mentioned in a recent post, I (Mike) have an opportunity to share devotions where I work—the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society. Good Sam is a Christian organization that provides senior living across the U.S., and it’s a blessing to be able to safely share my faith at work.

One of my recent devotions relied on one of our favorite experiences from our walk and the lesson learned from that experience. It’s a story we shared a handful of times during our journey, and it was fun to be able to connect it with the message of my devotion.

If you want to watch the video, I’ll include it below (or you can click this link to watch it on YouTube). The main point of the message is simple. Sometimes God uses us to plant the seed of Christ’s love in another’s heart. Other times, our job is to water and nurture a seed that someone else has planted, helping it to grow in exciting ways. Still other times, our job is to harvest the seed, leading someone to accept Christ as our Savior.

The hard part is that we don’t always know which job we have. Sometimes we want to see the harvest and all we’re able to do is plant the seed. Other times, we enjoy the excitement of the harvest because of the labor of others who faithfully planted and watered. The important thing is that, through our actions, our words, and our trust in God’s plan for our lives, we have the ability to make an impact for God’s kingdom. Kind of puts an exciting twist on farming, doesn’t it?

Here’s the video:

Do you have any experiences with planting, watering and/or harvesting? What do you find are the challenges and joys of the labor?

Thanks for reading, and we’ll be posting again soon.

-Mike, Lindsie, Jack and Jaeda

A Devotion on Being Bold for Christ

Jack half-birthdayHey friends,

For those of you who didn’t know, life has been a little crazy for us lately. Our 6-month-old, Jack, has officially started crawling, which means we ourselves spend a good chunk of time on the floor both playing with him and doing our best to corral him when he breaks for the stairs. We’re also doing a basement renovation (although, if we’re being honest, Lindsie is doing most of the renovation, as painting tends to be a passion project of hers…I just had the fun job of tearing out all of our carpet down there). Needless to say, there’s a lot happening in the Billeter household.

That being said, we wanted to share some important stuff happening in our spiritual lives. One of the biggest blessings for us since completing our walk and settling back down in South Dakota has been my job at the Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society. Good Sam is the nation’s largest non-profit senior living provider in the United States. But even cooler than that is the fact that it’s a Christian organization, which isn’t always easy to find these days.

For me, that means working at a place that opens every meeting in prayer, allows us to have faith-driven conversations at work, and, one of my favorite things, gives us a chance to attend (and, if desired, lead) devotions five days a week at 10 AM.

While I haven’t led a ton of devotions in the past year, I have led a handful, and I wanted to share some of those on here in case they can either encourage people in their own walks with Christ, or at least lead to a deeper discussion.

We’re also hoping to start writing here on the blog on a more regular basis again. Jack (our son) is consistently sleeping through the night now, so it feels a little easier to crank away on a computer after he goes to bed than it did a few months ago, when I’d fall asleep with my hand on the keyboard and leave a long trail of jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj’s before realizing I had dozed off.

Hope you enjoy the devotion, and please don’t hesitate to drop us a line if you want to talk more. We can be reached by email at stormingjericho (at) gmail (dot) com, or you can leave a comment on the post. We’re just thankful to have an opportunity to share the Word and continue serving this glorious Lord of ours.

Thanks for continuing to check in on the site, and we’ll be back with more soon!

-Mike (and Lindsie)

Happy Easter from the Storming Jericho crew!

Christ is risen!Hey friends and family. We just wanted to get on and share a quick post on this beautiful Easter Sunday. With so much to be thankful for, we could probably write a 10-page post and still barely scratch the surface. But since we don’t want to keep you guys stuck inside reading all day, here are a few verses that we believe really hit home when it comes to what Easter is all about.

They may not be the typical/traditional Easter verses you’re used to, but we think they pack plenty of power nonetheless. The first is from Romans, when Paul writes in chapter 10, verse 9:

“If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Sometimes it seems like Easter morning sermons only focus on the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and overcame death. That’s important, but I sometimes think the why of Jesus’ resurrection can be overlooked during an Easter sermon. The important thing isn’t just that Jesus rose from the dead—the important thing is that Jesus rose from the dead to SAVE us from our sin. It’s not just knowing that Jesus died for our sins that matters. It’s believing in our hearts that God raised him from the dead. Sometimes that’s not an easy thing to believe. After all, a resurrection isn’t exactly a common occurrence we see every day. That’s why the Bible tells us to believe it in our hearts.

In case you’re wondering if it’s really that important to believe, here’s a verse from 1 Corinthians 1:18 that helps emphasize why it’s not just important, but imperative that we believe:

“The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God.”

Jesus died for our sins so that we wouldn’t need to suffer destruction and death. As Paul tells us, those of us who know (and believe) that know it is the very power of God. We believe in the message of the cross and we believe in the power of God. Why? Because no other power could raise someone to life from death.

Our prayer on this Easter Sunday is that you also believe in the power of God and be saved. The story of Christ’s death on the cross to conquer sin and His resurrection from the grave to conquer death is a one-of-a-kind story that truly demonstrates just how much God cares for us. We encourage you to open up your Bible today and read that story for yourself.

We hope you have a fantastic Easter. The power of God is moving in all of us. We truly believe that, and we hope you do too.

Be blessed, and we’ll be back with another post soon.

-Mike and Lindsie (and Jaeda)

Tactics for Defending Your Christian Faith

Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian ConvictionsHey everybody, the Storming Jericho crew is back with an update and some thoughts we wanted to share. Linds and I continue to get acclimated to the realities of “normal life”—or everybody else’s definition of a normal life, at least—which has presented both some unique challenges and some awesome opportunities.

A few of those opportunities include getting involved in a church with consistency and regularity, having a car we can take to the grocery store, and getting to shower on a daily basis. You’d be surprised at how good a shower can feel when the memories of multiple days without showers still linger in your mind.

But for as nice as it is to have those things again, there are also some harsher realities we’ve come back to in this “normal” world we’ve reintroduced ourselves to. One of those harsher realities is the challenge we’re facing as Christians with a desire to be bold for Christ.

Our entire goal with our walk across America was to teach ourselves to trust and rely on God for provision while also spreading God’s word and sharing with others the incredible ways God took care of us on our journey. Throughout our walk we felt like we were able to do that successfully (at least by our standards of success). We were blessed with opportunities to share with church congregations, youth groups, families, and random individuals we met along the way.

But now we’re back in normal life, where it almost feels natural to scale back boldness and try to “fit in” to the world around us. We see things on Facebook criticizing and condemning Christianity, and it’s harder to speak up. We meet people we disagree with, but, for the sake of “normalcy,” we reserve our words of opposition. We don’t want to “cause a scene” or stir up trouble.

But the truth is, Jesus stirred up trouble. He stirred up trouble because he believed what his Father (God) had taught him. Jesus wasn’t afraid to cause a scene. And I’m not just referring to the turning of the tables in the temple. Jesus caused a scene when he criticized the Pharisees in public for twisting God’s laws for their personal benefit. He caused a scene when he defended the woman at the well. He caused a scene when he had every ability to save himself from crucifixion with just a few simple words but chose instead to die for our sins.

So why are we so afraid to cause a scene ourselves? As Jesus says in Matthew 10:34, “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” (New King James Version). If Jesus wasn’t afraid to bring a sword, why are we so afraid to even bring words of disagreement to a discussion that belittles or condemns our faith?

I personally feel like one reason we don’t stand up for ourselves is because many of us don’t know how. Many Christians grow up hearing the important stories (Noah and the ark, David and Goliath, the Christmas story, etc.), but are never taught how to defend our faith when it’s attacked.

Thankfully, this is by no means a lost cause. One of the first Christian books I read upon returning from our walk was a book called Tactics: A Game Plan for Discussing Your Christian Convictions by Greg Koukl (I’ve included a link to Amazon where you can purchase it). Here’s the description of Tactics, according to its Amazon page:

In a world increasingly indifferent to Christian truth, followers of Christ need to be equipped to communicate with those who do not speak their language or accept their source of authority. Gregory Koukl demonstrates how to get in the driver’s seat, keeping any conversation moving with thoughtful, artful diplomacy. You’ll learn how to maneuver comfortably and graciously through the minefields, stop challengers in their tracks, turn the tables and—most importantly—get people thinking about Jesus. Soon, your conversations will look more like diplomacy than D-Day. Drawing on extensive experience defending Christianity in the public square, Koukl shows you how to: – Initiate conversations effortlessly – Present the truth clearly, cleverly, and persuasively – Graciously and effectively expose faulty thinking – Skillfully manage the details of dialogue – Maintain an engaging, disarming style even under attack. Tactics provides the game plan for communicating the compelling truth about Christianity with confidence and grace.

Lindsie and I can both say with 100% certainty that Tactics is absolutely worth every penny, whether you buy the ebook version or the paperback version. Christians are going to continue facing challenges to their beliefs in the future. The Bible tells us so on several occasions. Jesus says in Luke 6:22,

“Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil for the Son of Man’s sake.” (NKJV)

It also says in John 15:20b-21,

“Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.” (New Living Translation)

Jesus tells us plainly and clearly that things won’t get any easier for us. They’re most likely going to get harder in the future. That’s why it’s so imperative that we not only have a firmly-rooted foundation in our beliefs, but that we also have the knowledge and tools to defend our faith.

As 1 Peter 3:15 tells us,

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you…”

Jesus knew we’d face challenges after his death, resurrection, and ascension to Heaven. We’re called not to shy away from those challenges, but to stand up to those challenges and defend our faith.

So if you are the kind of person who feels more and more compelled to stand up for your beliefs and defend them in the face of adversity, Tactics provides an easy-to-follow game plan that gives you the foundation to achieve that goal. Of course, there will always be more to learn, but Tactics is a great start, so Lindsie and I both recommend it highly.

Thanks for reading, everyone. We’ll try to keep posts like this coming in the future. We’re also excited to share that we’ve begun writing the book chronicling our journey across America, the amazing miracles we experienced, and the incredible lessons we learned. We’ll have more info on that as we get closer to finishing it. For now, we encourage you to check out Tactics (or any other works from Greg Koukl and his staff at Stand To Reason).

God bless, and we’ll be back with more soon.

-Mike and Lindsie

A Life As Meaningful As Shamgar’s

Just as a heads up, the Storming Jericho crew has taken a short break in order to enjoy Lindsie’s younger sister’s wedding. We’re back in the Dakotas for another day or two, then we’re getting a ride back down to Highway 54 so we can hit the road again. As a result, this post isn’t a “from the road” update, but hopefully you still think it has some value.

The epic tale of Shamgar

A few nights ago, I was doing my daily Bible study and I was reading through the book of Judges. If you haven’t read Judges or aren’t familiar with it, Judges focuses on the Old Testament leaders of Israel who led Israel against various oppressive nations and rulers from the surrounding lands.

The general process of the book is that God would appoint a judge, he or she would lead the Israelites out of oppression, then, after a few years, the Israelites would forget about God and start worshipping other nations’ gods. Then God would allow oppressive rulers to take over again, the Israelites would whine and beg for help, and the process would start all over at the beginning.

Some of these judges are pretty famous as far as Biblical history goes. There’s Deborah (Judges 4-5), the only female judge mentioned in the Bible and a fierce warrior who led the Israelites against the king of Canaan. There’s Gideon (Judges 6-8), whose awesome name means “Destroyer” or “Mighty Warrior” and who led just 300 Israelites to victory against thousands of Midianites. There was Samson (Judges 13-16), to whom God gave superhuman strength as long as he didn’t cut his hair and who once killed 1,000 Philistines with a donkey’s jawbone, amongst other things. All in all, the book of Judges is filled with some impressive people.

Then there’s this guy named Shamgar. If you’re familiar with Shamgar, good job. If you’re not familiar with Shamgar, don’t feel bad. Why? Because Shamgar basically has one verse of his own. Many of the other judges have entire chunks of verses—if not multiple chapters—describing their feats, accomplishments, and in some cases, their flaws. Shamgar, however, basically gets a single verse describing his leadership as a judge of Israel. But it’s a pretty awesome verse.

“After [Ehud] was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed six hundred men of the Philistines with an ox goad; and he also delivered Israel.” (Judges 3:31)

To clarify, an ox goad is the stick that plowmen would use back in the day to encourage their oxen to plow the fields. Not exactly something you’d consider to be a weapon of mass destruction. But somehow Shamgar was blessed enough by God to kill 600 Philistines with a single stick.

The point of this post isn’t to tell you about a barely-mentioned judge from the Old Testament. It’s to bring up the fact that some people might read Shamgar’s verse and think of it almost like an afterthought. As if the writer at the time remembered at the very last second that he should throw something in about that Shamgar guy.

But the thing that has been stuck in my head for 2-3 days now is this: What if you only had ONE verse written about you in the Bible? What would you want it to say? If I look back on my life and consider what I’ve tried to accomplish so far to find what most people consider to be “success,” would any of those events and decisions be worthy of even a single verse in the Bible?

We may not go out tomorrow and slay 600 Philistines with an ox goad. (Frankly, we probably shouldn’t even try to…mostly because they don’t exist anymore, but also just because…)

But God does have big plans in store for every one of us. It’s whether or not we choose to act on those big plans that makes the difference. Shamgar did. If he hadn’t stepped up and done something insane and incredible, he might not have ever done anything worthy of mention in the Bible. Instead he fearlessly did what God commanded him to do and made an impact that is still read by people thousands of years later.

It may only be one verse, but it’s a verse that certainly says a lot about Shamgar and his faith in God.

Just a thought that I’ve wanted to get out for a few days now. It may seem odd to want to live a life like Shamgar, but it doesn’t seem quite so odd when you think about how being a little weird or crazy for God can make more of a long-term impact than we could ever imagine.


P.S. – I do want to clarify that Shamgar is mentioned ever-so-slightly in Judges 5:6, when Deborah sings, “In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were deserted, and the travelers walked along the byways.” But in my opinion that’s more a description of the environment of that time than a description of Shamgar himself.

The Importance Of Friends

Thumbs Up From LindsAs most of you know, Lindsie and I started walking across the country in order to learn to teach ourselves to rely on God and his provision, while also sharing the Word with people we met.

One of the things we hadn’t totally expected was to make friends. That may sound weird, because it makes sense we’d meet people we like along a cross-country walk. But what I mean is that I’m not sure either of us thought we’d meet people who would become lifelong friends.

As you can imagine, we were wrong.

You may remember from our last post that we spent a few days and nights in Gunnison, Colorado. You can read about it here if you haven’t read it yet – Well what we haven’t told you is that we sort of haven’t left Gunnison yet.

You’re probably thinking, “How in the world will you make it across the country if you’re spending forever in just one town?” Here’s how…

Games with friendsFriends.

The wonderful people we’ve met in Gunnison (Rich and Joy, Adam and Hannah, Rich and Shelba, Dave and Melissa, and others) have gone above and beyond to help us stay safe, warm, and dry during this stretch of our journey. Every day that we’ve walked so far, they’ve driven out and picked us up at night so we wouldn’t have to spend the night in the frigid Gunnison weather. In fact, Rich and Joy lent us their hiking backpack, so we didn’t even need to push the carts through the mountains. We just packed a few items, started walking, and at the end of the day they came and picked us up and let us spend the night in their guest bedroom. The next morning, they’d drop us off where we last left off, and we’d make more progress from there.

Crazy, right? But crazy in a good way. Because the entire past week in Gunnison was rainy and thunderstormy, and most nights got to right around 32 degrees at their coldest. And we were mostly walking uphill. It would’ve been pretty miserable, actually.

Instead, as a result of our friends’ generosity, Lindsie and I have been able to spend the past week and a half enjoying great conversations, sharing amazing Christian fellowship, and just being renewed and invigorated before heading on down the road. All because our new friends have been kind enough to go out of their way to make our lives better.

Monarch Pass panaroma - Quite a view!

All of this friendliness culminated in our conquering of Monarch Pass earlier this week. An 11,322-foot summit, Monarch Pass was sort of the final BIG hurdle we’ll face on this Storming Jericho journey. But, thanks to our friends, we were able to climb the entire mountain without our carts because Adam and Hannah offered to drive the carts themselves over Monarch for us the next day. All we had to do was climb. And although it wasn’t an easy climb, we overcame the challenge. In fact, Rich Kettles climbed the whole thing with us, and Joy, Adam, and Hannah came and walked various portions of it with us as well. All in all, it was a pretty awesome way to conquer the monster that had been looming in the distance for weeks.

Conquering Monarch!Hebrews 10:24-25 tells us, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.”

And 1 Peter 4:8-9 says, “Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins. Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay.”

Needless to say, our friends have done all of those things and more. It’s really crazy how much they’ve done to make this stretch of our journey a great stretch. The problem, of course, is saying goodbye, but we’re confident the Lord will bring our Gunnison friends back into our lives at some point sooner than later. We’ve grown too close to our friends here for it not to happen.

We just wanted to let everyone know how great God can be when you just come to him in prayer. We prayed for help in Gunnison before we even reached town, and God provided an abundance of help in the form of new friends and renewed passion. You can’t ask for much more than that in our opinion.

The GangWe’re thankful beyond words, and we’re excited for the next stretch of the walk. We’ll be continuing along Highway 50 for now, so if you know people (friends, family members, etc.) in the upcoming towns who would be willing to become our new friends, feel free to pass along their names and/or info. We promise we won’t ask them to do as much as our Gunnison friends have done for us.

Thanks, and we’ll be back with more updates soon!

-Mike and Lindsie

P.S. – Speaking of friends, we wanted to share this update from our fellow walking friend, Gary Mitchell. We posted about Gary a few weeks ago, and wanted to share the update he sent us. Here it goes…

From Gary:

I have some good news. After spending 24 days in rehab I’m now able to use a walker. I made it home on Mother’s Day. I will begin in home therapy three days a week for about six to eight weeks. When I was is in rehab, I was bedfast for about a week. They had church services where I was and I talked to the pastor and he asked me if would give my testimony. I said yes, because God has helped me through my health situation. I give God my full recovery up to this point. I give you permission to post this on your web site. I want to thank you and all your readers for your prayers and support.God bless and be safe.

Fellow walker,
Gary Mitchell


P.P.S. – Here’s a bonus photo of us looking exhausted atop Monarch Pass. Just wanted to add it in for fun. Pretty beautiful up there.

An exhausting (but fun) climb

Lights In The Darkness

Candle In The Dark by Don McCulloughHey everybody. We’re still waiting for weather to warm up, but we’ve at least made it part of the way out west. We’re staying with Lindsie’s wonderful Uncle Charlie (who came and rescued us in Colorado when winter hit back in November) in Wyoming until the snow and below-freezing nights go away for good.

While we wait, I wanted to share something I read recently in a book called Dreaming With God by Bill Johnson. Dreaming With God was recommended to me by my brilliant friend and business partner Jared Soundy. The book itself is about unleashing the God-given creativity within us to impact our world in a positive way for Christ’s Kingdom. The book is FULL of fantastic points, insights, and thought-provoking ideas, and I wanted to share at least one of them here.

In the chapter “Invading Babylon,” Pastor Johnson talks about how, in the midst of the darkness that surrounds us here on Earth, it seems like the only solution is to give up, run away from it all, and wait for the Rapture (which, according to many people, has to be coming soon based on the state of the world right now).

But according to him, that’s not the path we should take. And I tend to agree. Here’s what he says about our role as Christians in society.

“…anywhere we do not invade becomes darker in our absence. We are the ‘light of the world’ (Matt. 5:14). The realms of society that we fail to invade are hopelessly lost to darkness. Invasion is the responsibility of light.”

Week by week, it seems this world is falling into a state of ruin. This week alone we’ve witnessed the Boston Marathon bombing and a shootout and manhunt on MIT’s campus, both of which have left people dead. And it’s SO easy to think, This snowball is already picking up too much downhill steam and growing too big—there’s no way to keep society from falling apart now.

But, as Pastor Johnson points out, it’s not just possible to prevent that decay—it’s our RESPONSIBILITY. He later writes, “In crisis, people will always turn to those who are stable. Integrity will be a beacon of light to those wandering through this land of disappointment and shame.”

With God behind us, we have all of the strength and stability we need to be a light for others. As Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7-8, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. So never be ashamed to tell others about our Lord.”

This world needs beacons of light to invade that darkness. Matthew 5:14 tells us, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.”

WE are that light. So in the face of the darkness we confront on Earth, let’s shine as brightly as we can for the Lord. I don’t want to leave my future children and grandchildren to inherit a planet that has forever fallen into darkness. It’s our job to be warriors for Christ, not just semi-believers who have read His Word but don’t truly believe in the authority God has given us.

Let’s use that authority to start confronting the darkness in this world. The brighter we shine, the less power darkness has against us. Light will always overcome darkness under any circumstances. It’s our job to shine radiantly for Christ.

-Mike and Lindsie

Photo by Don McCullough

Jesus Is Awesome (Literally)

Cristo Redentor by Eric LimThis past weekend while Lindsie and I were in church, I was reminded of something important.

Jesus is awesome.

Read that last sentence again, but read it a little more slowly.

Jesus is awe-some.

The definition of awesome, according to Merriam-Webster, is “expressive of awe,” or “inspiring awe.” Far too frequently, people (including myself) overuse the word awesome. They use it regularly in everyday conversation for things that they could be describing as, “neat,” or “good,” or “pretty cool.”

And as we sat in church and the pastor talked about the various things Jesus has done for us—simple things like, you know, performing miracles, dying for the sins of mankind, rising from the dead and ascending into Heaven—I realized that far too frequently, Jesus falls into the version of awesome that most people would equate to “neat” or “pretty cool.”

It’s easy to hear the words “Jesus died for your sins” and think, “Yeah, it’s awesome that He did that.” But the truth is we should be seeing what Jesus did for us as AWESOME. As in, awe-inspiring awesome. Because what He did makes things like sports accomplishments, musical performances, and blockbuster movies seem trivial by comparison.

But it seems we’re much more likely to update Facebook saying that the newest big-time basketball dunk on YouTube or the latest James Bond movie is AWESOME than it seems we ever would be likely to update Facebook saying, “Jesus is AWESOME!”

It’s not easy, but I’m challenging myself to remember that the next time I describe something relatively trivial as “awesome.” If I can get pumped about a captivating solo performance or an amazing buzzer-beating half-court shot, there’s no reason I shouldn’t get that excited (if not more) about Jesus.

Because the bottom line is that Jesus is awesome. And I mean AWESOME.

If you don’t believe me, take a glance through the New Testament. It won’t take long before you see for yourself just how awesome He really is.


Photo by Eric Lim Photography. Thanks Eric!

Surround Yourself In Faith

PeacefulnessSince we’ve been back in the “normal world” after pausing our walk for the winter, I’ve noticed something important happening in my life.

Being back in the normal world means the world wants me to live a “normal life.”

Time that used to be spent on our journey talking with God or talking with each other about God has suddenly turned to other things. I find myself filling more and more of time with things like work, sports and TV shows, books (yes, especially comic books), and video games. The sorts of things “normal” 26 year olds are interested in.

The problem isn’t necessarily those things I listed though. The problem is that, slowly but surely, they’re pushing my time with God (and my conversations about God) more and more out of the picture.

God wants to be the most important part of our lives. A verse many people have heard many times, Matthew 6:33, says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” That’s the NIV version. The New Living Translation says, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.”

The key words in those verses? “Seek first his kingdom and his righteousness…” and “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else…” But how often do we seek God’s kingdom (or even just His presence) first? In my own life, nowhere near as much as I should.

But I’m doing my best to change that, even in the simple, everyday things I do in my life. For example, I’m a huge music fan. I listen to TONS of music, and I listen to an incredibly wide variety. I go from Dave Matthews Band to rap music to Elton John to country, with plenty of other stops along the way.

But one type of music I’ve never fully fallen head over heels in love with is praise music. I don’t really have a reason why, but it just seemed like it wouldn’t click with me like I needed it to in order for me to sit and listen to Christian music for hours.

Then I realized something. There are a lot of talented musicians who make Christian music that isn’t just praise music. As a result, I bought tons of Christian rap music and asked Lindsie to share more of her Christian music that fits the same style as my preference of non-Christian music. Now I have entire playlists I can listen to for hours that feature spiritually uplifting and thought-provoking music—and it’s music I thoroughly enjoy.

It seems small, but you’d be surprised at how much it helps to surround yourself in faith. Whether it’s the music you listen to, the shows and movies you choose to watch, the books you read, or the friends you choose to spend time with, being surrounded by an uplifting, faith-encouraging environment can make an amazing difference in your spiritual life.

It won’t solve all of your problems, since it’s ultimately up to you to seek the Lord and spend time in his word. But it’s small steps like those that can strengthen your spirit rather than pulling you away from God.

I know it’s working for me, and I hope you’ll find a way to surround yourself in faith as well.


P.S. – If there’s ever anything Lindsie and I can do to help lift you up in your own walk, please don’t hesitate to ask, either in the comments below or, if you’d prefer to keep it offline, feel free to email us at StormingJericho (at)

Photo by Lindsie Billeter. (She’s awesome.)

A Little Bit of Rest

After a long stretch with no wi-fi and no cell phone reception (how we survived, we’ll never know), we basically have wi-fi for a day and then we’re moving on to a lengthy 126-mile stretch that most likely won’t have wi-fi, cell phone reception, or pretty much anything else besides beautiful nature and the road we’re walking on.

At this point, we don’t have one of my (Mike’s) overly-thorough updates about what’s been going on with us on our journey, but we should have something pulled together after our upcoming stretch. That said, we didn’t want to go another week without an update, so we thought we’d take things in a different direction.

You may not know this, but the Bible actually tells us that it’s important to rest. As in, take naps, get good sleep, take time off of work, and all of that other fun stuff that you usually feel guilty doing because you’re not “getting something done.”

During the latest part of our journey, Utah–and, from the sound of things, a decent portion of the entire western U.S.– got rained on. Brutally. Fortunately, we had our tent set up in time to avoid the rain (which wasn’t quite as bad in our area as it was in other areas). While we didn’t get blasted with rain like some places, it did rain off and on for 24 hours straight. As a result, we decided to just leave our tent up and rest for a day rather than walking in the rain.

Normally we might feel slightly guilty about that decision. but thankfully we pulled up a recent sermon from Dave Kaufman, the pastor at Holy Life Tabernacle in Brookings, South Dakota. Dave was the pastor for our wedding and he and his wife Jeanne have been close friend of Lindsie’s family for years. He’s also an incredible voice for the Lord.

As we were resting and feeling a little guilty for doing so, we listened to Dave’s sermon and, lo and behold, the entire message was talking about the importance of rest. We figured since it was so ideal for our situation, it would probably be ideal for other people’s lives too. As a result, we’re linking to it here (as in, click there to download it) or here if you’d rather pull it up in iTunes (in which case, we encourage you to subscribe to all of Dave’s sermons).

Some verses Dave refers to in the sermon to back up this point include Psalm 4:8 (“We can lay down in peace, for you, Lord, make me to dwell in safety”), Proverbs  3:24 (“When you lay down you shall not be afraid, you shall lie down, and your sleep shall be sweet”). God is essentially telling us to sleep well and take naps (although Proverbs 20:13 does say “Love not sleep,” so we do need to have balance). And in the context of the sermon, these verses make even more sense, so be sure to give it a listen.

We hope you enjoy Dave’s words of wisdom as much as we did, and we look forward to sharing more details of our journey with you guys soon!

-Mike and Lindsie