Walking on the Water

You Gotta Get Out of the Boat to Walk On the Water

You Gotta Get Out of the Boat to Walk On the Water

Have you ever felt God calling you to do something greater with your life, yet you felt ill equipped or perhaps even terrified of the task? On our recent trip to Bulgaria (June 12th—30th) we asked one of our team members, Pastor Gilbert Silva (from Calvary Chapel Murrieta), to share the morning devotions for the entire trip. The reason we did this was because we are praying about moving back to Bulgaria and we wanted to hear from God in any manner that we could, whether that was through our daily personal devotions, morning devotions by another, Sunday and mid-week messages or simply walking down a road in a village with our hearts in tune to the Lord.

Keith Walking Down the Road in the Village

Keith Walking Down the Road in the Village

On the first morning for our team devotions Gilbert shared from Matthew 14 saying: If you want to walk on the water, you’ve got to get out of the boat. In fact, Jesus told Peter:

“Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

—Matthew 14:29

I too want to walk on the water. It is as simple as that! But walking on the water requires getting out of the boat—the boat of my comfort zone, the boat of life as I know it, the boat of the status quo. Yet I’m much like the disciples who were terrified when they saw Jesus walking on the water. Let’s pick up the story.

And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

—Matthew 14:25-33

Tiny Hotel for Sale

Tiny Hotel for Sale

I must say that as Keith and I are praying about giving up all that we have in the States (which God has richly blessed us) and following the Lord to a small village in Bulgaria it is quite terrifying. We are considering taking a huge chunk of an inheritance (which would be a nice nest egg for retirement) and investing it in a small hotel (that is more like a bed and breakfast). Yes, we are hoping that it is door number three for those of you who have been following the story.

But what if we lose it all? What if we buy property and our visas are denied? What if we get there and we hate living in a small village? What if we can never fully learn the language? What if the people don’t want us there? What if . . . ? And the terrifying thoughts continue. Yet listen to what Jesus spoke to His disciples.

 

The Village

The Village

But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

—Matthew 14:27

Take heart! Take heart; it is I! That’s what we need to rest on. If God wants us to purchase this little hotel and move to the village then He will open all the doors. (In fact, He has closed lots of doors along the way—praises to Him.) If the door opens this time we can truly take heart and know that it is God who is doing the work. And if He opens the door we do not need to be afraid for He will go before us.

So with that said, we fell in love with the little hotel. We rented the place for 4 days and invited friends to come with us. During our time there we had a fellowship day with two additional families from a local church. We also got to meet a Christian family who lives in the village. And I was blessed to do one of my favorite things–I discipled a teenager while we were there. So we were already using the little hotel to fulfill the vision the Lord has put on our heart many years ago. When our last day arrived Keith didn’t want to leave. We think it will be a perfect place to hold our small Go in Peace Weekends. In fact, we asked one of our Bulgarian friends about an hour after she arrived what her first impressions were of the place and she said, “It is like a fairy tale.” Just the type of response we were hoping to hear. What a perfect place for a small retreat center.

Fellowship with Friends in the Outdoor Kitchen

Fellowship with Friends in the Outdoor Kitchen

Therefore, I want to be like Peter who upon hearing Jesus’ words “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid” immediately said “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water” (Matthew 14:28).

You see, because if we don’t get out of the boat we can never walk on the water. So some of the words that Gilbert spoke that morning in our devotions which really ministered to my heart were:

God stories happen when you are out there.

It’s true. All the God stories of our lives have happened when we put our flesh and our fears aside and followed God in what He was calling us to do. I want more God stories in my life. Don’t you? I want to walk on the water and see what God does with my life.

And so, we are moving forward and getting out of the boat. We are choosing to take a chance and possibly walk on the water. Currently our Bulgarian attorney is in negotiations with the owner of the hotel. We would like to purchase it and also an additional parcel of land across the street. The only problem is the price is above what we want to pay.

Parcel of Land Across the Street

Parcel of Land Across the Street

But this is perfect! If God wants us to purchase the hotel and the land then He will work out the price. That’s how we will know that it is Him who is saying, “Come.”

[Jesus] said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.

—Matthew 14:29

In view of all this, we covet your prayers. Please join us in prayer that IF this is God’s perfect will that

 

  • He would open all the doors
  • He would close any doors that are not from Him
  • He would move upon the owner’s heart to accept a lower price
  • He would give us wisdom in which way to apply for our visas (there are a couple of options)
  • He would grant our visas
  • The dollar would be very strong compared to the Euro on the day we purchase the hotel. (This could save us thousands of dollars!)

 

The best part of all this:

What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open.

—Revelation 3:7b

We simply have to be willing to trust Him and He will direct our paths. Thanks for your prayers. We’ll keep you posted. There are some more photos of the place below. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

In the Small Hotel Complex this would be Our House

In the Small Hotel Complex this would be Our House

 

This would be the Guest House. The Outdoor Kitchen is to the Left.

This would be the Guest House. The Outdoor Kitchen is to the Left.

 

Pool Time

Pool Time

 

Fellowship Time

Fellowship Time

 

Morning Devotions in the Outdoor Kitchen--So Cool!

Morning Devotions in the Outdoor Kitchen–So Cool!

 

Our Daughter Jessica, Our Son-in-Law Matt and Our Grandsons. They Want to Move to Bulgaria as Well.

Our Daughter Jessica, Our Son-in-Law Matt and Our Grandsons. They Want to Move to Bulgaria as Well.

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4 Responses to Walking on the Water

  1. Ron Ciraulo July 13, 2014 at 5:38 pm #

    What a poignant and uplifting challenge you offer us, Cherie. Praying for you, and praying for our own willingness to have that same heart. My favorite line: “God stories happen when you are out there/” Isn’t that what we really want; more God stories?

    • Cherie Fresonke July 17, 2014 at 5:24 am #

      Ron, it is so true–the God stories happen when we are out there! We watched this in our own lives for so many year now and I want more of them!!!! Isn’t that why we were given life!?!

  2. Mary Shea July 15, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup; You have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance. Psalm 16:5,6
    We serve an amazing God and I think what a blessing you are no matter where you are. I am praying, believing that God will open wide the doors and in faith you and the family will be running through them. Daily God is teaching me about that walk of faith and in trusting Him with EVERYTHING 🙂 I love you and who knows maybe one day I will show up poolside in Bulgaria.

    • Cherie Fresonke July 17, 2014 at 5:22 am #

      Mary Shea, We would love you to come if we buy the place. The garden space is paradise on earth and I know you would have some great ideas for it to bloom forth abundantly.

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