Thursday, February 5, 2015

Here it Goes...

As you can clearly see we have let our blog slip slowly behind the scenes since we went to Africa.  I would watch other people blogging away and really wasn't sure how they found the time to fit it in on top of sending out updates and keeping all the other "balls" in the air. What an amazing gift!

Truthfully, I think part of my problem is that my husband takes care of all things technological. Unless I feel comfortable with what I am doing, I push these type of projects off to him. Well, these past few months I have felt a nudging to take up the art of blogging. I guess this proves to be an exercise of stepping into the unknown and trusting that God will give me what I need.

Our first update comes as links to our past newsletters that we have written and sent via MailChimp.  You can find these in our links portion.  Hopefully this helps those of you who have missed an update or simply are not on our list to receive them.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sorry, it's been a while!

Hi, how has it been? I know, I know, it's been a long time!
So for those who don't follow us on Facebook or get our emails, we have been in Kenya for almost 4 months. We are dorm parents for 8, 5th and 6th grade boys and Amy and I are both teaching some classes. We are truly dependent on God's provision and we fully trust that God enables us to do that which He has called us to. Everyday we awake to God's beautiful country, with a gorgeous Africa sky and a vivacious valley below. We are often visited by baboons and other primates, making our stay a little more adventurous.
But what brings the most joy is being planted here by God to bear his fruit. Everyday, we get a chance to pour God's truth into the lives of boys and girls who desire to know Truth. We have also had the pleasure of making friends with some of the local Kenyans.
It is evident that we can not do all of this on our own strength, but need to constantly live according to the Spirit. We are thankful to all of our friends and family who pray for us and support us in many different ways. We are thankful to be here and we know it is only by God's grace and provision that we are here and we pray that God's will be done and not our own.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Running Ahead

When do we go to God the most? Isn't usually when we are in trouble and have no where to turn? That is usually when we cling to God the tightest...The dark, looming, tumultuous, clouds of life threaten to bring a storm or indeed brings a tornado that rips our "home" from its foundation but sooner or later the storm dissipates and eventually the sun comes out and in front of us we see green grass, rolling hills, and maybe a some beautiful sunflowers. Life couldn't be better, no worries, and we often get the urge to run free and do what we want to do! We don't even glance back to notice we have just left God in our dust. Instead of remaining next to him, we have left him. Maybe we just want God to get us out of jams, but God wants to give us a Life we have never even imagined! A life where He is our whole Portion. A life of Peace, Joy, a River of Life flowing through us to touch the dead among us so that they may be alive for the first time.

God wants us to trust and rely in Him during the good and the bad. The hard and the easy.

As June grows closer and the funds continue to come in and we grow closer to meeting our financial goals, there is a temptation to get over excited, to get spiritually careless, to forget how we got here in the first place. Thankfully the Lord is good and the Spirit gently reminds us to "heel."

Dog owners know what can happen if our dogs don't heel and they run...

Everyday, every hour, every minute, every second, let us submit ourselves to Christ and remain in Him.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why Can't I lose Weight?

Around this time of year, especially this time of year, we look in the mirror and are often disappointed in what we see. “I could really lose 10, 20, 50 pounds or so, then I would be happy!” So we hit the gym, buy some running shoes, or order that awesome workout video that will change your life in 30 days! What we really want is quick results. We want to see the results, we want to wear the results. “Wow I dropped 3 dress sizes!” or “Wow,  I can fit into my old slacks!” In addition we eat bland tasting food or little food at all and fight the beast known as hunger. After a week or two we get frustrated, we missed some work outs, over ate one day, and the scale seems to be stuck. So what do we do? Most of the time we give up. We want change now! And anybody who has tried and failed and tried and failed realize that change can happen but it happens over time, discipline, and a lot of grace. 
Its a lot like our relationship with Christ. We look in the mirror and notice we aren’t the man or woman we wish we were. We have some of the same bad habits, same faults, same baggage we have been carrying around for a while. We often get frustrated because we try a little of prayer, a little bit of giving, or maybe even volunteer a little bit, and yet sometimes we see very little if any change. And sometimes we feel like quitting. “Forget this religion stuff!” We are so used to instant results that we forget that God is not on our schedule. Oswald Chambers said,
...He explains things to us as we are able to understand them. The lives of others are examples for us, but God requires us to examine our own souls. It is slow work— so slow that it takes God all of time and eternity to make a man or woman conform to His purpose. We can only be used by God after we allow Him to show us the deep, hidden areas of our own character. (Jan. 12)”
So let us also remember what the writer of Hebrews said (10:22-25, 32-37), “22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.  32 Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. 33 Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. 34 You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
 36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,
   “In just a little while,
   he who is coming will come
   and will not delay.”

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Eating Humble Pie

One of the best parts of Thanksgiving is all the desserts. Chocolate covered Oreos, apple pie, pumpkin pie, you name it, I'll eat it. But recently I have been learning to eat more humble pie. I read 1 Peter 5:6 where Peter suggests that we should humble our selves before the Hand of God that in His due time, He will lift us up. I have also been contemplating the Advent season that's now upon us. It was through humility that Christ came down from the Glories of Heaven to be born in a dirty stable, a place any of us would be abhorred to deliver a child, especially with all the modern medical marvels we have today. It was in humility that Jesus grew up in Nazareth, for even his own people said, "Nothing good comes from Nazareth!" It was in humility that Christ lived as a homeless man. "Foxes have dens but I don't have a home to call my own." It was in humility that Christ hung out with "sinners." It was in humility that he asked 12 blue collars to be his closest friends. It was in humility that He rode into Jeruselum on a donkey. It was in humility that he was betrayed by one of his closest friends by a kiss. It was in humility that Christ remained silent as he was beat and whipped. He did not try to save face or defend himself. How quickly do we try to venerate our self at the slightest hint of personal offense?
In humility, Christ was executed as a criminal who was innocent. Imagine the police coming to your door and dragging your husband out in cuffs, being accused of a crime he didn't commit. How would that fly?
Isn't it through humility that we realize our need for Christ's forgiveness? Isn't it through humility that we are able to consider forgiveness and love towards those who don't deserve it?
Then there's the rub. Truly we do not deserve the grace forwarded to us by God through Christ. Isn't that humbling? And isn't it humbling that in reality we are weak. All our attempts to be the best fill in the blank by our own efforts come up very short, very short. Christ said that we can not do any good thing our own. What is impossible to man is possible for God.
It is humbling when we are reminded we were saved for God's purposes and not our own.
It is Humility that allows us to deny our selves, to put others first, to love our neighbors. And what makes humility possible in our lives? It is Christ in us. We are dead to ourselves and alive to Christ!
This advent, let us keep our eyes looking forward the 2nd advent that is soon upon us. Let us continue to submit ourselves to Christ so that He can live in us and through us. We are lamps, lamps of love, lamps of humility, the Love of Christ, the Humilty of Christ.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ode to Thee

Oh Lord how tired you know that I am! But you fill me up with you! The true bread and the true wine! Temptation to embrace self knocks at the door, but Christ remains to remind me that which is impossible to man is possible for Him. How quickly and easily we forget the kindness and grace that is bestowed upon us hour by hour. How is it that I forget to bestow the same that dwelleth in me to the ones who I say I love so much. Fatigue clouds the memory and one quickly falls back to survivor mode. Eyes narrow and the mind cinches. The serpent tongue begins to fork and flames begin to flicker. Bite thy tongue and cling to the cross with all your might. Don't not look back and do not give up but allow your self to fall into the great deep, the deep, deep love of Jesus that no one can fathom but yet when one has only waded in the shallowest part, one can not deny. A pearl of great price that one would sell or spend anything to swim in that deep. Often we think that God will suffocate us but when we let go, if we take the step of faith, when we step out into the raging sea, we find that God is in absolute control and even though we may feel like we are free falling, we also know that God is Solid, Rock solid and His great love dispels any hint of fear.  I land on solid ground. Enemies surround me yet I do not fear because I am not alone, God as already gone before me and the war is won. What is the worst that can happen? Take my life? Take my family? Take my health? All that I need is in Christ. None but thee, oh Lord, there is none but thee!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Breaking Point...

Remember as a kid when you found a rubber band and you would slowly pull it to see how far you can stretch it before it breaks? Well thats how it is at times as followers of Christ. God takes us beyond our physical limitations at times to show us our weaknesses and our need to trust wholly in Christ. I believe our preparation to go to Kenya is just the beginning to something much bigger and God is molding us for His purposes. He puts us to the fire to burn off the dross, to burn off the stuff we think may be important or even consider as a strength, to burn off ideas and assumptions we hold that are not of Christ. To determine what we really do believe and if we will act according to the words Christ has spoken. To burn away areas of pride or contempt so that we may wholly offer our selves to our Lord for His purposes. "Deny thy self and pick up your cross and follow me." All of us who consider Christ our Lord are called for His purposes no matter where we are or where we may go. Whether at home or over the big blue, do we truly recognize Christ as Lord? Will I take him at His word? Will I allow Christ to infiltrate every square inch of my soul or will I hold back? Oswald Chambers put it beautifully, "But when His life as been created in me by His redemption, I instantly recognize His right to absolute authority over me." When we have "experienced" Christ, we would/will sell everything to follow Him.
God is not in a hurry, He has a totally different time frame than we do, but if we submit to His will we will find an awesome life filled with mystery and awe as we witness the redeeming power of God in the lives of those around us! "Seek and you shall find, Ask and it shall be given, if anybody lacks anything, ask..."
To God be the glory and Honor, who is Worthy of all praise!