We have entered Wyoming!
We spent a few unexpected days in Pierre, SD. As we pulled into the capital of South Dakota, our power steering completely shut down. No joke.
Turns out 2 hoses were leaking fluid and, without that particular fluid, it is impossible to turn the steering wheel of a large bus. So, there we sat for the weekend.
As we have learned, we are rarely stuck; we are just where God wants us to be.
We spent 4 nights in Pierre meeting new friends and connecting with AMAZING believers. God is definitely on the move in that region!
As the 2nd smallest capital city in population, we believe that God is speaking significance over them. God is declaring that the region of Pierre, SD is vitally significant for the outpouring of the glory of God in the coming harvest!
With that understanding, we entered the city and toured the capital building. Then, we gathered on the steps outside the entrance and prayed for God's goodness to be released and for revival to hit this land!
This journey of ours brings us into places where we are in constant reliance of God. We never know what we are going to do or who we are going to meet. We simply move forward in continual communion with God and He faithfully directs our path. We are amazed how He always puts is right where we need to be…
ps: the power steering is completely fixed and the bus is running smoothly once again...
We are ON THE ROAD AGAIN!! As I type, Josh is driving the bus South, with cornfields on one side of the road and a herd of cattle on the other. The skies up here in the Dakotas are massive and filled with clouds all varying shades of blue. There is so much beauty in nature 😍
We left Ottertail, MN yesterday afternoon. We had spent the past 2 months in MN and North Dakota, visiting friends and family and working on some major projects on our bus. Here is a quick rundown of projects we got done:
We had so many beautiful moments with our friends and family. So many dinners and late nights and worship times and prayer times and fun parties and quality conversations. God has really connected our hearts with AMAZING people in this region of the world.
Now, new things are in store for our family! We have felt that God is bringing us into the next level of our journey of traveling with Jesus. This summer we have had numerous encouraging words from people we trust that have spoken to this very thing. As we walk in obedience with God, we will be walking into new and greater things.
So, now as we walk (or drive 😏) off into the sunset, we feel ready. All of us feel that the timing of our departure is just perfect. We arrived at our first Walmart to shop and sleep last night. When we were walking around by the milk and eggs and day old bread stand, Judah exclaimed, "oh! I remember this!" We feel as though we have finally returned to our normal.
It's funny, but it's true. This nomadic life we live with Holy Spirit leading us is our normal. This traveling life is when we feel at home. Home has become a feeling in our spirits and not actually a physical place. Home is when we are walking in step with our Father God. In fact, home is, simply put, being with Him.
"From Peter, an apostle of Jesus the Anointed One, to the chosen ones who have been scattered abroad like “seed” into the nations living as refugees,... You are not forgotten , for you have been chosen and destined by Father God. The Holy Spirit has set you apart to be God’s holy ones, obedient followers of Jesus Christ who have been gloriously sprinkled with his blood. May God’s delightful grace and peace cascade over you many times over! Celebrate with praises the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has shown us his extravagant mercy. For his fountain of mercy has given us a new life—we are reborn to experience a living, energetic hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."
1 Peter 1:1-3 TPT
My junior and senior years of college were a time of God’s grace in many ways. I began leading worship on a regular basis, I led small groups and I mostly stayed away from any kind of physical intimacy with women.
God was teaching me and growing me despite my repeated failures with addiction to pornography. That addiction hadn’t become the ‘web’ of lies it would grow into, primarily because no one asked me about purity--and I wasn’t volunteering any information.
I had Christian community and friends, but like many communities and churches, there was not a lot of depth. No one really talked about their struggles in life until they had already successfully dealt with them. I won’t get on my soapbox about the importance of an Acts 2 type community of believers, but I will say it’s one of the most important pillars of the Christian faith. If you read any of our past blogs, you will see it again and again. It is one of the primary reasons we are in a bus living the gospel of Jesus.
There was one relationship, during the latter half of college, where the devil really got a foothold in my life. This “root” would have an affect on me for years to come. We never really dated, but I was good friends with a Godly woman for nearly two years. When I finally got enough courage to tell her about my struggles with pornography, she graciously prayed for me. However, within a month, she called it quits on any friendship or relationship. I honestly don’t blame her one bit! She was right to get out and knew that the healing I needed would not come through her.
I felt like I had lost my best friend. God showed me many years later that this was where the real root of fear began in connection with pornography. It was this fear of rejection that would keep me from sharing things with my wife in the future.
Fear of failure and fear of rejection can be some of the strongest forces in our lives… if we let them. Although this event was a root for the devil to get into my life and my heart, Jesus is always greater! Always. I fed that root again and again through my actions and decisions, and it continued to grow. I believed lies and fears more than I believed God. I chose to stay bound up by living a lie. My pride and my fears ruled me and yet, God’s grace abounded in my life.
As I finished my last semester, I was hired by a local church to run their college ministry. I also was the assistant youth director and served on the worship team. I knew my calling was to serve the Lord and serve others, but I had a hidden secret and I would let no one into it. I was a captive in a web of my own making. I created my own prison
One year later I met my wife at a college ministry retreat. And there starts the REAL story!
When I gave away my virginity, it seemed like God and all of heaven were screaming, “NOOOO!!” I had found a girlfriend who was a christian, so in my mind, that’s all that was needed. If christianity ever becomes a status only in your life, please seek help.
God’s word says, “If you love me, keep my commands.” (John 14:15 NIV) Not only was I not loving God, but I was being a destructive force in a young woman’s life. All this sadly happened, while being very active in a church.
Looking back on my life during that time, it’s hard to even believe where I was at spiritually. I had started to lead worship and play bass guitar on Sunday mornings, but I shrugged off any truth from the Bible about sex.
Sexual sin is so destructive. The wages of sin is death, it’s a progressive road… or maybe regressive is the correct term. What starts as lust in our hearts, leads to so many unforeseen sins: Lies, cheating, concealing, anger, jealousy, not trusting, insecurity,... I could go on and on.
In Acts 15, there is a sharp dispute in the early church over the requirement for all the Gentiles to be circumcised. After James refers to the book of Amos, showing that the Gentiles were meant to be part of the family of God, they decide to only encourage the new believers to do four things. One of them is abstain from fornication or sexual immorality.
Why is this so important? First and foremost, it’s contrary to God’s will. He knows what’s best, always.
“Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.” 1 Corinthians 6:18 (NASB)
I remember reading this verse in college and thinking, “What do they mean against his own body?” Well, one possible explanation is that it actually physically damages your body. We don’t know even close to everything about the human body, but we do know the effects of pornography on the brain. The brain is actually damaged the more you are seduced by the screen!
When looking at pornography, the brain releases chemicals 4 times more potent than morphine. It’s no wonder people become addicted to it. Your conscience is also destroyed. It may not happen after 1 or 2 times, but like any sin, the more you do it, the less your conscience says, “This is wrong.”
I would say the only reason I continued to know that pornography was wrong all those years was because I consistently heard the word of God. I spent time reading my Bible. I worshiped. I heard many sermons. Truth consistently confronted the way I was living. You might say, well, truth must not be very convincing then. There is no diminishing the power of truth! God is eternal and He is truth. However, I think my experience shows how strong of a hold sin can have in someone’s life.
I am so thankful that young lady had a close personal friend that advised her that sex before marriage was wrong. Deep down, I knew it too, but I had chosen to ignore it. That relationship ended as quick as it started, because it’s foundation was lust.
The Lord kept me from going down a destructive path any further. I didn’t have a true girlfriend again until I met my wife, but there were still a lot of mistakes in my future.
I love how God speaks to us and how He gives us dreams and visions for the future. It is an amazing concept that the God who created the universe, and who created us, has chosen to partner with us. I believe His plan is to work with us to display His glory to the world. This concept consistently blows my mind.
What I've begun to notice is how we, as humans, can respond to what God speaks to us. He tells us secrets from Heaven of how we are meant to carry out our part of His plan. Then, we tend to operate out of a mindset that our part is the ONLY part, or the most significant part.
This mindset proves to be extremely damaging when other people enter the story. The temptation is to view people for what they can do for our part of the plan, instead of who they were created to be. One of the main areas this affects is the intrinsic need all people have to be accepted.
This is harmful is many ways, one of which is that we may not be allowing people to become all that God created them to be. If our focus is on how people can help us fulfill God's calling on our lives, we run the risk of diminishing the calling God has put on their lives.
I've been learning more about how the Kingdom of God functions, and there are vast differences from how the kingdoms of this world function. “Outside Christ, people perform to create an identity so they might be accepted. The longing of everyone's heart is to belong. It is vital. But, in Christ, things are different. We start out accepted by God. From that place of acceptance, our identity is formed. And it is out of our identity that we perform” (Raising Giant Killers, Bill and Beni Johnson).
I believe this has happened way too often within the body of Christ, the Church. People come into a group of believers and sense a role that is expected to be filled. Therefore, they pick up that role as their identity in order to belong.
That is a major bummer because we miss out on all of the wonderful and unique giftings of people. God, in His radical goodness, has declared that we all belong to the family of God. He has adopted us first and then invites into a journey of discovering who He created us to be.
First, we are accepted and loved. Second, we begin discovering our true identity as a child of God. Third, we choose to perform out of a place of love and boldness.
Well, that's not totally true... and we actually aren't sad about it :-)We are officially done roasting coffee as a part-time business! It has helped support us on the road, but God has given us peace about laying it down and trusting Him to provide in all things.
We're definitely a little sentimental about roasting coffee and keeping bees, but God's path for our lives is always better than our own. When Jesus said, "I have come that they (we) may have life and have it to the full," He meant it. The fullest life imaginable on this earth is in relationship with our heavenly Father through Jesus.
P.S. We're keeping our roaster in our bus and will continue to give coffee away to everyone we meet! If you can't stand to not have our coffee, you'll have to come and visit us on the road!
Thank you all for supporting us through purchasing our coffee and honey! For other ways to support us in the future, check out the Support Page.
The culmination of my high school years would end in the ‘96-’97 school year. I was involved in everything I could be: basketball, track, band, choir, acting, etc. God was working through all of it, even in the area of women.
I had met a girl at Bible camp during the summer that really loved God. It was the first person in my life (my age) that really loved the Lord and I was attracted to that devotion. We only went on two dates, but from then on, I really knew I wanted to marry a woman that was sold out for Jesus.
High school ended, we broke up and I was off to UND, the biggest university in the state. I kind of always assumed I would find my future wife in college. I heard my parents’ story so many times of how God brought them together. So, I expected my freshman year to be one of finding my soulmate.
I didn’t, in fact, I didn’t even go on one date. It may have had something to do with always wearing a $6 leather jacket from a thrift store (that I still have) and being attached to a guitar. Or, maybe it was that I had long hair and an ever changing beard and sideburn trim. Whatever the case, God kept me from any type of relationship that year.
I got involved running and setting up sound with a church plant that started at a bar. I loved it and felt a part of the band. I also got involved in Campus Crusade for Christ, and for the first time in my life, was living near and getting to know a hundred or more christians my age.
It was an amazing time, but something else was taking off… the internet.
Although the internet has changed the world in many ways for the better, it’s also brought pornography to us with the touch of a button.
The university had huge computer labs (because computers were expensive) where any student could use a computer, but that kind of stuff was pretty well blocked. Unfortunately, one of the four guys I shared a bathroom with in the dorms had a computer.
It was like a gateway into temptation. We spent countless hours playing games like Quake and Warcraft. We chatted with people all over the world, and we had direct access to pornography.
It was way too easy. Before, it was a temptation, but for the most part you couldn’t act on that temptation. Now, it was a few keystrokes and you were there: Countless sites, countless women, and all being objectified and lusted after by countless men.
When I think about where I was at spiritually, it’s so sad. I was really pressing into God, but my addiction was separate from that. It’s like I was saying, “God you can have it all… except this part.” I knew it was wrong, but I was developing a cycle where I’d come back to it like a dog coming back to its vomit (Proverbs 26:11).
I was a fool. I justified my addiction. I made excuses. I didn’t get help, and really didn’t see the need for it. In many respects, I was lost. I would not bring my sin into the light, and so it grew bigger, worse, closer to death. My heart was stone and yet, God was walking with me all the way.
He was pursuing me. He loved me, and deep down in my soul I knew that. Then came Sophomore year...
I know I know... I have missed WAYYYY too many posts. We bought a bus that needs A LOT of work-- we still don't have running water:-)-- however, no more excuses, Holy Spirit told me to write and I'll be catching up on many missed posts over the next week. Without further ado, here we go!
Then he said to me, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel saying, 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' says the LORD of hosts (Zechariah 4:6 NASB).
So many, many times I tried in my own strength, in my own power; only to fail again and again.
Do you ever notice in Christian circles how we quote half of a verse? We also take verses out of context. But, many times the other half of the verse is pretty important!
I think I have heard, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” over 100 times. Do you think repeating that ½ verse is helpful to your walk with the Lord? I don’t. I think it’s pretty depressing. To me, it means your spirit wants communion with God, but alas, your flesh can’t make it happen.
Jesus is always more encouraging than that. Matthew 26: 41 says, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Watch and pray! Watch and pray! Jesus is inferring that if we watch and pray, He gives us the power to OVERCOME weak flesh. It’s only by us aligning ourselves with Him, through the power of the Holy Spirit, that we are able to withstand the temptations of our flesh.
I just met a 19 year old that is sold out for Jesus. He led us and some other families in worship and I couldn’t help but think, “Wow! I wish I was in this place at 19.” We have the saying, “The sky is the limit,” however, with our wondrous heavenly Father, the sky isn’t even the limit. This 19 year doesn’t have a limit! Oh, what God can do with a humble, willing heart!
When I was 19, I had gone down the road of satisfying my own sinful desires that had grown and grown. That’s what sin does. If you make those poor decisions, if you don’t watch and pray, it always leads to death… one step at a time. It’s like you’re slowly digging your own grave!
I’m getting ahead of the story, but next, I’ll be sharing about a glimmer of hope during the later part of high school. We’ll also be looking at a sovereign Father showing me what a Godly woman actually looked like. Stay tuned!
1 year ago marks the beginning of the end for us. 1 year ago at this point in time, there was a culmination of a week of prophetic words and declarations over our family. 1 year ago, 4/18/18, we knew that we were about to embark on an adventure that would be unlike anything we had ever experienced before…
Luke 4:18, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the favor of the Lord.”
Over the course of this past year, we have learned so much about the heart of God. We have grown in love and trust as a family and God has spoken repeatedly to us about the importance and significance of FAMILY in the Church. God is impressing upon us to pursue family-living with those God puts in our lives.
The theme of FAMILY is ringing out across our land and we believe God is bringing us into the fulfillment of so many promises He has given to us: promises of family; promises of doing life full-on with people; promises that this truly is the heart of a good and perfect Father, to see his children operate and live and love as a thriving family on this side of Heaven.
Join us this year in proclaiming the GOOD NEWS of the Gospel of Jesus: FREEDOM and HEALING and ADOPTION into FAMILY!
Josh and I continue to knock on the doors of Heaven, looking forward to a breakthrough in this area for the Church. We long to see the bride of Christ step into their destiny to love and live as true family.
We believe that God has spoken so clearly that to bring in revival, He needs us to walk in this mandate of family. Please pray with us that there would be others who would catch this fire. Pray that God would continue to connect us with those He has destined us to link arms with through this life.
We love you and can't wait to see you all soon 💜💜
My apologies for missing Tuesday! We have been meeting with four other families and some locals in Staunton, VA to pray and seek God's face for the future. God is doing a new thing!! We will be telling more about this story soon, but please pray with us through Wednesday next week when we'll be traveling to Washington, D.C. Here is part 6!
Hitting high school in the mid-nineties kept me from easy access to pornography via the internet. However, the TV could be almost as bad. I prided myself as being one of the only kids in my class who didn’t party on the weekends. On Saturday nights, I would go to the school gym and play volleyball with all ages from the community.
But, the devil had gotten a foothold. You see, while others were out drinking and doing other dumb things, I was watching movies that were bringing sexual images into my mind. Sometimes I remember even hitting record on the VCR and going to bed. The late night shows were even worse, or at that time in my life, I thought better!
I would use these late-night recordings later to feed the lust in my eyes. I don't remember having much conviction over doing this. I do remember it being secretive and exciting. I knew I didn't want my parents to find out, but I never thought about how it affected a holy God's heart.
I also remember many of the shows from the 70s through the 90s -- even the ones that were considered "family" shows -- regularly had seductive women in bikinis, men who had all the women attracted to them (James Bond, Face from the A-Team, etc.), and countless other things that polluted a growing young man's mind.
Thankfully, I wasn’t exposed to continual hardcore pornography, but my steps toward spiritual death were continuing down an ugly path. When a person continues taking these steps in succession, it is a slow, and many times unknowing, process toward destruction. Someone doesn’t just decide one day to commit adultery. They arrive at that awful destination one bad decision at a time.
The bible says, "The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light that is in you is darkness, how great is the darkness! (Matthew 6:22-23)” Although Jesus said this in the context of money, I believe it applies to other lusts as well. In other words, if your eye is feasting on things that feed lust, how can you stay pure?
I think 1 John 2:16 backs this up, “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” The lust of the eyes goes all the way back to Eve in the garden. It absolutely applies to both money and sex.
And of course, Paul’s answer to this problem is found in Romans 8:13, “for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
Lord, help us to walk by the Spirit! It says, “by the Spirit…” It doesn’t say by your hard work, by your diligence, or by your discipline that you will succeed. You are powerless to change some things in your life without the work of the Holy Spirit. Please go back and read that last sentence again. Seriously. OK, I’m going to type it again: You are powerless to change some things in your life without the work of the Holy Spirit. Think on that for awhile, and we’ll discuss that idea next.
Hi! We're the Hoeckles.
We're a family of six living full-time in a skoolie (aka a school bus converted into an RV). We are inviting you to join us as we live life to its fullest and empower others to do the same. Welcome to the family!