Our Fearless Leader: Jaeda


She’s enjoyed watching every step of the way. And of course, everyone wants to stop and see her.

God cares about the little things…

This is a story about how God takes care of us, no matter how dire a situation might seem.

Here’s the background info: Last week, Lindsie and I had been frantically packing as we prepared for this walk across the country. We’d gotten 90% of our stuff into a storage unit, but we knew there was one thing we wouldn’t be able to store: our gigantic, very heavy, hand-me-down sectional couch that had been in my family for 12+ years now.

Knowing we wouldn’t be able to store it, we wanted to at least find a good home for it. We don’t have any friends in need of a couch, so we took the next best step and tried to drop it off at a thrift store, hoping someone could then buy it cheap and use it as thoroughly as we did.

After desperately trying to acquire a truck to move this massive couch, we finally got one last Tuesday night. Lindsie and I had exactly 5 hours to pick up the truck, move the couch OUT of our home, load it onto the truck, drop it off at a thrift store, and return it to its owner…all by ourselves.

Unfortunately, we were met with bad news. No thrift stores would take it because of ONE small tear in ONE seat cushion. So we figured we’d take it to a dump. It was now about 7:30 pm, which meant we only had 2.5 hours to get the couch dumped and the truck returned. It also meant that the dump was closed for the night.

Feeling very defeated, and not sure where we would put this gigantic couch of ours (we weren’t dragging it back inside, and we essentially had to be moved out of our apartment entirely by the following day), we decided to focus on moving other large things with the truck while we still had time. Lindsie and I both said a quick prayer asking that God would help us get rid of it. We didn’t think we could deal with the burden of having to re-acquire a truck and try this all over again the next day. We were reaching our desperation point, to say the least.

Just before we left to move the other items, I suggested we put up a “FREE COUCH” sign next to our burdensome couch. You know, just in case. As we were putting the sign in place (as in, literally setting it down next to the couch), a couple that happened to be walking through the alley next to our place saw the couch and said, “Free couch? We’d love to take it, but we don’t have any way to move it.” I looked up, amazed at the convenient timing and said, “We’ll drop it off for you. Whatever you need. We just have to get rid of it before 10 o’clock tonight.”

“Well I’ve gotta call my buddy to make sure we can take it, so I’ll let you know when I talk to him.”

We exchanged numbers. About 2 hours passed. It was 9:30 and we only had about 20-ish minutes to load the coach and move it wherever this guy needed it delivered. IF he even ended up taking it in the first place.

Then, at 9:35, the guy called me and said they could take it. We just had to drop it off. After saying a quick prayer of thanks, we loaded it up. As an added blessing, their house was only about a block away from us. After a quick unloading (and a nearly-destroyed back), we returned the truck around 9:52 pm, with 8 minutes to spare.

The point of this story is simple: even in our greatest moment of desperation—a desperation you might not understand from simply reading this story, but would definitely understand if you’d been there with us as we met with defeat over and over throughout the night—God was watching out for us.

Who knows what would’ve happened if we’d asked Him for help sooner? We might’ve gotten the couch off our hands in a matter of minutes. But either way, the fact that things aligned so perfectly is far too convenient to be coincidence.

For starters, we almost didn’t even put the “FREE COUCH” sign up. Then, if we’d put it up either 3 minutes sooner or 3 minutes later, we would’ve missed the people walking by entirely. And if they’d walked by without us there, they wouldn’t have offered to take it because they wouldn’t have had a truck to pick it up. It just so happened that they were walking by RIGHT when I was able to tell them that we would drop off the couch for them. Then, they were finally able to take it off our hands just MINUTES before we had to return the truck to its owner.

All in all, it’s too incredible to be coincidence as far as we’re concerned.

God is pretty amazing. Especially when you just trust Him to be amazing for you.

As a quick update, we’re in South Dakota, preparing for our walk. Ten days from now, it begins. Crazy, right?

We’ll have more news and updates soon.


Matter of the Heart

Malcolm Burleigh, National Director of Intercultural Ministries spoke yesterday at the weekly chapel service at the Assemblies of God National Leadership and Resource Center.  Click the link below to be forever changed by his powerful sermon.

Matter of the Heart

The Ripple Effect

“The ripple effect of your life is enormous – give your life to something that matters.”
–Isaac Smith

Sundays usually prove to be days of inspirational bliss for me.    Seeing God’s people take time out of their lives to worship gives me goosebumps as my whole being floods with his overwhelming presence.  I love spending that time with Jesus.

This week was no exception.  We had a guest speaker at church who talked about our lives as the body, the building and the bride of Christ.  Towards the end of his sermon, he told a story of a little old woman who lived in a small farm town around the turn of the century.  She devoutly attended the only church in town, giving her life to Jesus with every fiber of her being.

Slowly, people began losing interest.  Each week, the congregation grew more and more sparse as the business of life consumed the citizens of the small town.  Soon the church doors were closed for official services indefinitely.  The little old woman refused to give up that easily.  In spite of the lack of fellowship, she continued attending the abandoned church by herself Sunday after Sunday for the next year.

One Sunday on her way to church,  the woman ran into a boy in the streets outside the building.  After sharing the Gospel with the young boy, they prayed together and he accepted Jesus into his heart.  The two became quick friends as the woman poured her heart and soul into his young life.

Another year passed and the town remained spiritually lifeless.  The woman and the young boy spent every Sunday together reading their Bibles and praying that God would draw people into the church.  They began meeting in the middle of the week as well, yearning for God to send his Spirit to their town.

A year later, their prayers were answered.  A pastor was passing through the area and noticed the little building standing in the center of town.  He asked some of the townsfolk about it and they directed him to the home of the little old woman.  Overcome with joy, the woman accepted the pastor’s offer to preach the following Sunday.  Over the next several weeks as the pastor continued to preach, curiosity flooded the town and the congregation began to grow.  People’s lives were being changed and prayers were being answered.

This story may seem insignificant if I stop there.  But we are far from the end. The little boy in the story felt a calling to ministry after everything that happened to him in those few short years.  As he grew up, he pursued that calling and was entrusted to shepherd a congregation in a neighboring town.  During his years as a pastor, he had the opportunity to share Christ with another young boy.  This boy grew up and shared Christ with his son, who grew up and shared Christ with his son, who grew up and became the pastor of a church with one of the largest congregations in South Dakota.

Because one woman didn’t give up when everyone else had walked away, innumerable lives were changed.  As she sat in that church building virtually alone, she couldn’t even have imagined the kind of ripple effect her devotion would have.

Our lives have the ability to transcend time and space, both for good and bad. So I must pose a few questions: What are you living for?  Is it worth giving your life to?  Are you leaving a legacy to be admired and praised?  Do people know you love Jesus or is your faith hidden beneath layers of fear, compromise and worldly pursuits?

God made you on purpose.  He has a plan for your life.  No matter where you are or where you’ve been, it’s never too late to embrace the life God has in store for you.  He’s waiting for you.  What are you waiting for?

An Important Announcement from Mike and Linds

We are going to be walking across the country in a month.

Yes, you read that right. We’re almost exactly one month away from starting our walk across the country. Around the first part of June, we’ll start with our feet in the water in San Francisco, California and begin making our way along the American Discovery Trail until we hit the Atlantic Ocean on the coast of Delaware.

If we'll be walking your way, be sure to let us know!

We’ve started preparing and gathering some of our gear (once it’s all compiled we’ll be listing it out on the site) and we’ve been mentally preparing as much as possible. For me (Mike), it means multi-hour cram sessions reading survival handbooks. For Lindsie, it means putting up with me telling her every detail about how to avoid bears and how to use mirrors to signal for help in an emergency situation. The good thing is I know she’s loving every second of it (obviously).

Anyway, we’ll have more details soon, but we wanted to share the news and let people know it’s almost time. We’re readily accepting any and all prayers, advice, and general encouragement you feel like giving. There’s definitely a LOT we are still getting squared away, but we’ve already gotten a few sponsors and we’re getting more excited by the day. Minute even.

Feel free to leave a comment of support, any advice you might have about walking across the country, or anything else you want to share. We’ll have more updates coming soon and we hope you’ll follow along. Should be an adventure.

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A Little Inspiration

In case you’d like a little inspiration today, watch the video below and see a shining example of the fact that, while we may not always see Jesus’ presence in our lives, He’s always with us whether we see him or not.

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/23864881]

P.S. – Thanks to my mom, Paula Billeter, for passing the video along.

Back In Action

After a short hiatus while Lindsie was in Africa and I was sad and lonely without her, we’re back in action on Storming Jericho.

It’s funny what a little break can do to disrupt the flow of things. I missed church for two weeks while Lindsie was out (due to various, not really all that great reasons), but it was nice to have some accountability back in my life. We’re back searching for a good church home again, and while this week’s church didn’t quite seem to be “the one,” it was great to just be back in a church environment again. Even when you’re not 100% feeling like it’s “where you want to be,” being surrounded by fellow Christians isn’t ever a bad way to spend a Sunday morning, as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway, this isn’t much of an inspirational post so much as it is an update. We’re excited to be getting back in the groove of things and look forward to sharing more on here again as a result. Lindsie also plans to write a post (maybe several) talking about the experience, sharing photos and more. She also still has thank yous to write. And she just started school full-time again. Sooo, it might be a little while before she gets all of the posts/photos/thank yous done. But they are on the agenda, have no fear.

Like I said, we should be back with more soon.


P.S. – I’m currently doing some job searching down here in Springfield, as my temporary tenure at Evangel University is coming to a close. So, if you have any prayers to spare that I find a good situation, it would be much appreciated. Thanks!

I Am

I was talking to one of our missionaries yesterday whose husband has struggled with Alzheimer’s disease for 7 years.  As I prayed with her over the phone for healing in the name of Jesus, I felt a voice speak from the depths of my soul that the Lord is mighty and powerful to heal.  As I said amen, her voice gently came over the phone, thanking me for believing in the power of God as our Jehovah Rapha – the God of Healing.  She has believed for 7 years that the Lord will heal her husband, but when she says that, many think she’s crazy.  So she now keeps those thoughts and prayers to herself.

For the rest of the day, her words lingered in my mind.  Why don’t we believe in miracles anymore?  Why do we restrict God?  Is the created more knowledgeable than the Creator?

As I laid in bed last night, anxious for sleep, the Lord brought this missionary to my mind once again.  I began praying, and again, that voice deep within me began speaking, but this time, it was speaking directly to me.  I wanted to share with you what I heard.

I am.  I didn’t say I was or hopefully I will be.  I said I am.  Are you in need?  I am your provider.  Are you lonely?  I am your comforter.  Are you sick? I am your healer, your physician.  I am you deliver, your protector, your defender.  I am your rock, your cornerstone.  I am the same yesterday, today and forever.  My word is true.  It is a representation of me, but it does not constrain me.  I am not solely defined by those pages.  They are only a part of my story.  My work did not end when the last word was written.  I am still at work today and I want to work in you and through you.  You are a continuation of my story.  You are a testimony to my power and strength.  The miracles I did then I do today.  Don’t confine me to human understanding.  Trust me.  Have faith in me.  I will take care of you.  I will heal you.  I will provide for you.  I will give you the strength you need.  I know every step you take, every thought you think.  I care about you more than you can comprehend.  I am not constrained by your fears, your doubts, your understanding.  Where you are insufficient, I am sufficient.  Where you are weak, I am strong.  Where you fall short, I am more than enough.  Where you are afraid, I am already victorious.  Follow me, child.  Trust me to take care of you.  Know my word and believe in me.  I love you.

Please, brothers and sisters, claim what is rightfully yours as a child of God.  Don’t listen to the lies that God is not able. He is more than able.  Just ask him.


Amazing Grace