Friday, December 10, 2010
Even as a follower of Christ, when God has laid something out before me, I start creating a list of how I am going to accomplish it. I start doing this and that, I at times I feel like I am spinning my wheels and it is easy to get frustrated. And then the Holy Spirit whispers to me, "Don't stay on task, stay on Jesus!"
This day I submit to you my time, my thoughts, my strength, and all that is me to you!
Saturday, November 20, 2010
As our family continues to move forward in our Journey, we are going to have to walk on some water! We just recently moved into the Browncroft Community Church's missions house so that we can prep our other house for sale. There are a lot of winds and waves rising before us! The real estate market isn't great! This time of year isn't really the hot time for buying a house. We only have so much saved money to pay rent and a mortgage. But we are not going to look at the waves nor fear the winds, but look directly at Jesus so that when our house does sell and when all our support is raised, then all glory be to God our Father! Many will question and doubt, but we fix our eyes on Jesus who is our author and finisher of our faith!
Has not God already provided in so many ways before? Did not God help David kill a bear and a lion before he killed Goliath? Great is our God! Holy is the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
After getting home on Sunday, I talked to my sister in law, and was telling her about my trip. She told me that she was so afraid that I would hit a deer and that she was praying for me all night! Wow, I was amazed!
If the Spirit would compel a sister in Christ to pray over a deer and that we avoided hitting a deer, what more should we be praying for! Was that deer a dart from the devil? We should keep our families and friends in continual prayer for, Satan is a prowling lion looking to devour. Thankfully, our God has conquered death! Thankfully, we have nothing to fear! "Do not let your hearts be troubled, for I have overcome the world!"
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Friday, September 24, 2010
Obviously we have to eat and God provides for his people. I am not saying food is bad or evil or that we should all be anorexic. What I want to say is that as Christ followers, we should strive to live more by the Spirit, the food Jesus talks about when the Disciples offer him food when he talks with the woman at the well, than by our natural hungers and cravings. Can I with hold my own satisfaction for the sake of another? Can I live a life where I trust more on living by God's spirit than by hugging my self with a twinkie?
I look around and see people's lives consumed with consumption and honestly its killing them. On the other hand, I have students that go a whole day with out eating much. They don't eat breakfast and lunch is meager at best. Everyday they deal with hunger and have lived to deal with it. It affects their ability to learn and pay attention. So starving isn't the answer either. But can we learn to deny or delay self satisfaction in order to empty ourselves, so that Christ can flow out of us?
Fasting is mentioned quite a bit in the old testament and some in the new testament. When Christ talks about casting out demons, to pray and fast. I think we should talk about it more and practice it more as Christians, even though it is counter culture.
Christ is our model, who demonstrated complete submission to God, even through beatings and ultimately death. Can we not submit our bodies, hungers, and cravings to our Lord and Savior?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
God has been showing me that in all aspects of my life I need to trust in Him and find strength in Christ and wait for his perfect timing, not my own, even though at times it doesn't make sense!
Self sufficiency is instilled in us since we are little kids. Even our country was founded on the desire to seek self sufficiency and thanks to Ben Franklin, we have sayings like, "Pull yourself up by your own boot straps!" As humans, we tend to want to do things by ourselves, even from toddlerhood, we want to "Do it by my self!!!" And in addition, we also tend to focus our conscience on our own strength! I am good at this, I am good at that, and we begin to identify ourselves with our skills and talents. In sense we idolize our selves, negating the need for Christ. "Oh I don't need Jesus!" Oh YES we do! For our strengths are really weaknesses! When we are faced with problems in life, if we try to solve them with our own might and intelligence, we might find great frustration and disappointment. But if we put our trust in God and wait for His perfect timing, "He works out all things for good for those he loves!"
Common sense is not always Christ-sense. But it is following Christ-sense that brings joy, peace, and victory. I am sure it made no sense at all to Abraham to bring his son to be sacrificed, considering God's promise and how long it took to be fulfilled, but he trusted in God and waited on God and God provided a ram to be sacrificed. I am sure it made no sense for Peter to walk out on the water, but Peter did take a couple of steps and it wasn't until he took his eyes off Jesus did he begin to sink. Faith is not by sight, but believing that God will keep his promise in spite of the circumstances presented. God doesn't want the world to know how great I am, he wants the world to know how Great He is! It is through our weaknesses that God shines through. Instead of embracing our strengths, start to look your weaknesses in the eye and give them up to God and watch how his power will flow. For we are to be jars that God uses to pour out His love and grace. But he can't fill us up with him if we stuff ourselves in the jar.
Distractions are all around us, but God's word help us to keep focus on Him. "Remain in me and I will remain in you" - Jesus
Monday, August 2, 2010
- Distance in relationships, wives, parents, children, friends, church family. How often do we think others are creating distance when actually our sins slowly drift us down the coast of all our relationships.
- Money, how much money do we spend on fueling our lusts in order to find some satisfaction in life.
- Separation from God, loneliness, paranoia. A constant fear and anxiety that cripples us from daily life.
- Mental health: how stressed do we get trying to clean up after the messes we leave due to our sins.
- Lose trust and respect, our reputations may be at stake.
- Health, sickness, death, etc. I am not saying all sickness or health complications are directly due to sinful acts, but sometimes bad behavior has bad consequences (ex. drunk driving, stealing, promiscuity, etc.)
Sunday, July 18, 2010
Then out of no where, I am taken away by a wild horse, being swept away and I hold on for dear life but I know I won't fall off because the Hand of God is holding me on!
Sometimes I feel like I live each day at the mercy of God, hanging by a string of grace over the depths of death, but then God clearly reminds me that He is in absolute control and that I can, that I need to place 110% trust in Him for all things!
On Friday, on my way to work, we were in involved in a 3 car accident. The lady who hit us didn't even brake and ended up in the hospital. Thankfully the kids were overall ok. No major injuries. It definitely shook us up! But God kept us safe and this accident might actually help us as we take more steps to getting closer to RVA. God reminded us that He is in control and He wants me to be willing to let go of the control I think I have.
Every day I am humbled and overwhelmed by God's grace and provision. God is faithfull in keeping His promises and I pray for the faith of Abraham so that I can step when I can't see in front of me and the stength to hold on when God sweeps me away!
Worthy is the Lamb! Holy Holy Holy, is the Lord God Almighty!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
a song called, "he's going the distance!" If you just hear the lyrics
you think that they are singing about racing around in a car, but if
you see the video, they are talking about the "rat race." Ready, Set,
Go! Everybody loves a race, the feeling of sweet victory, the feeling
that you are better than someone else! Races come in different forms:
the previously mentioned rat race, foot race, who can drink the
fastest, who can eat the most hotdogs, marathons, Ironman, NASCAR, you
name it. The one who wins isn't always the strongest, but they that
perseveres! Winners are not born, they are forged out of sweat and
sacrifice in one way or the other. The whole goal of a race is to win,
win something; a crown, medal, money, bragging rights, whatever, but
the winner takes something home.
In the same way, our Journey with Christ is a race, a race that is
usually long, very long and when we finish, yes we get a crown, but we
also get to go home! How long have we yearned to be home with our real
family and to be with our true father!
Yet Paul alludes to the fact that not all finish the race. In Acts
20:24 Paul says, "however, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if
only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has
given me-the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace."
Like any race people fall, I fall, you fall and depending on the fall
or injury, it can be very easy to give up, to quit running, maybe try
something easier, but don't give up. Our strengh comes from the Lord,
ask and you shall recieve. We are not to run on our own because we
will defintely fail and get hurt.
As we run our spiritual race, we will discover weaknesses that were
once dormant, they appear to be obstacles but if we trust God to help
hurdle them, we become stronger in God's grace. If we fail to hurdle
the object, God picks us up in His grace and gets us back on track and
one day, one hour, or one minute we will come across the same hurdle,
and until we trust in God to help us over it, we will get stuck. But
God's grace is sufficient and doesn't allow us to be attempted more
than we can bear, we need to exercise our faith and trust in Jesus for
strength and victory.
Elite athletes train everyday and are disciplined, we too, me too,
need to live a disciplined life. The fight starts in the heart and
wages in the mind. Paul talks abou taking every thought captive in
obedience in Christ. When you're angry, pray for that person, when you
lust, pray for them for God loves all his sheep and will go to great
lengths to find them. God freely gave to us, so we too should freely
Glory to God who makes the impossible, possible!
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
started watching Cake Boss, amazing cakes and very entertaining. On
one episode, Buddy the Cake Boss is talking about how he has to put up
with his crazy relatives and he says, "when I die, I am going straight
to Heaven. I am talking about sainthood. "
Then today I was reading Isaiah 16 which was a prophecy against the
land of Moab, an enemy of Israel. In verse 11, God said, "My heart
laments for Moab like a harp, my inner most being for Kir Hareseh.
When Moab appears at her high place she only wears her self out, when
she goes to her shrine to pray, it is to no avail."
How do we get to our high place? What struggles and burdens do we go
through to get to our high place so that our "sacrifices" are
acceptable? Then, what idols do we build for ourselves? What is it
that we live for? Then we wonder why we feel so disappointed?
Jesus said he came to heal the sick, not the one who are well. The
ones who are sick know they are sick, but the lost are blind, deaf,
and paralyzed, so they build their own high places, make their own
idols, make their own rules to justify their lives and vindicate
themselves. But thankfully, Jesus makes the blind see, the deaf hear,
and the lame to walk.
God hurts watching his creation toil aimlessly trying to save
themselves. There is only one name under heaven whereby we must be
If we try to get our selves to heaven, we will fall so short it will
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Toys R Us always brings back great memories. Aisles and aisles of GI Joes, Nerf, Legos, power wheels, and the fun goes on and on forever...
2 Corinthians 4:18 (New International Version)18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Our family has a new addition! Elise Olivia arrived @ 14:14 weighing 8.25 lbs and 21" long. Amy did an awesome job! The doctors made it in the room just in the nick of time. There were no complications, hallelujah! Anika and Kevin Titus met their sister last night over a happy meal and can't wait to play with her. Amy's mom and sister were with her during the delivery and Amy was very grateful for their support.
We are very thankful for all the well wishes on Facebook and all the encouraging texts.
As we look forward to this summer, we see a horizon of many unknowns, but we continue to walk by Faith and focus on what is unseen. For as Paul says, what is seen is temporary and what is unseen is eternal. Paul also encourages us with 2 cor. 5:15, "And He dies for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again."
We also want to thank our famy and friends who continue to support us through prayers and monetary gifts. Each day we are encouraged and give thanks to God who makes the impossible, possible!
Please pray for Amy's parents who are missionaries in Ethiopia. They are facing some challeneges and could use prayer for wisdom and direction.
We pray that you are giving thanks in all situations and holding on to what you have been taught about Jesus Christ.
One Body, One Family, One Spirit, One Christ
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
"I am the way, the truth, and the light, no one gets to the Father but through me."The way to what? Really, the way to what?! Where do we want to go, what is it that men and women seek? Why do I wake up in the morning? Why do I go to sleep? One common thing I found in talking with friends and family was a sense of frustration, a disappointment, a discontentment with the place they were presently. I mean, are you satisfied, do you feel fulfilled? Even I have experienced the deep rub of the reality of a disillusioned life. You feel you are at a place where you don't belong. You feel that you should be in a better place! You feel like you should be doing something totally different than you currently are. You feel that the accomplishments that you have collected are less than satisfying. I found disappointment as I focus on my own dreams and desires for my life. And when I found myself disappointed, I would look for things to fulfill the emptiness. For me it was hobbies. One time I had an Airsoft kick, another, I was in video games, another, I was preoccupied with new technology. I was frustrated about my work and started to feel unmotivated. I felt unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and quickly found frustration as those kicks could not satisfy my soul.
21Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." 22When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.
Jeremiah 29:11For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Luke 9:25What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
Matthew 16:24Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his crossand follow me.
1 Corinthians 7:23You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
Sunday, April 11, 2010
7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8This is why it[a] says:"When he ascended on high,he led captives in his trainand gave gifts to men."[b]9(What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]?10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,12to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
3For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment,in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.4Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function,5so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6We have different gifts, according to the grace given us.If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his[b]faith. 7If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach;8if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously;if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
David recognized that the battle belongs to the Lord, but someone has to show up to the fight.
1 Samuel 17:45-47 (New International Version) David said to the Philistine, "You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."
Genesis 50: 19-21,19 But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.21 So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
Saturday, April 3, 2010
Contemplating the Passion of Christ, it reminds Amy and I why we seek to follow where Christ wants to send us, to serve the Savior who has brought us out of Death and into Life. More and more I know this journey is about glorifying God and that it is through God's power and will that we will find ourselves in a strange land among strange people.
Amy and I are overjoyed about the responses we have received from our generous family and friends and yet we also know we still have a long way to go. But we remain faithful and full of joy of what God is doing in our lives and the lives of His people.
I know some people are very happy for us and excited and some others are not so much. Why leave a well paying job? Why sell your house and most of your belongings? Where will you go when you come back? It is so hard to raise monies especially in the hard times we face today? What about your kids and their health and safety? So many questions and answers that aren't good enough.
in Corinthians 1, Paul talks about the wisdom of Man Vs. the Wisdom of God.
8For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 19For it is written:
"I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.[c]
20Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength...
27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are,29so that no one may boast before him. 30It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31Therefore, as it is written: "Let him who boasts boast in the Lord."
I am thankful for Paul's reminder that following Christ does not always make sense to our family and friends, or even us, but Christ wants us to trust and obey. Continue to pray for us as we continue to pray for you!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010