Friday, December 10, 2010

Task Master

"Stay on task, stay on task!" This is often heard in educational circles. We want the kids to stay on task. At home, I often have a "To Do List" and I like to plow through each task so I can check it off. It feels good to get stuff done! In order to get stuff done though, I feel like I need a good pair of blinders and good momentum.
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!"

O Lord,
This day I submit to you my time, my thoughts, my strength, and all that is me to you!


Saturday, November 20, 2010

Walking On Water

Have you ever tried to walk on water? I don't mean when its 20 degrees outside, I mean real water. it doesn't work. You put your foot on the water and it goes right through. Depending on your balance, your foot gets a little wet. It is impossible to humanly walk on water (in liquid form). Yet in Matthew 14:29, we read about Peter walking on the water! So it was only a couple of seconds, but he still walked on water when he had his eyes on Jesus! It wasn't only until he looked at the rolling waves and heard the whistling wind that he began to sink!
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

Oh Deer, oh Deer!

So Saturday was a very interesting day. First of all, we had a baby shower for my sister. While the ladies had fun with the baby shower, the boys, Kevin and Josh (Bro-in-law) had their own shower while they watched Gabe's football game as he played Alfred University in the pouring rain. It finally dried up around half time and in the end, St. John Fisher got rolled over like fresh sod. Later that evening, Gabe, Josh, and Kevin enjoyed some wings. Around 7:30pm Kevin got a call from his bro Joe. Joe, his wife Karen, and their son Devon were stranded due to their car breaking down. They were 1 hour from Rochester and 2 hours from home. Kevin drove down "deer" alley to go pick up his bro and his family to drive them home. The roads were pretty quiet and Kevin was nursing a "Rockstar" energy drink he got earlier from the football game. Any way all of a sudden, a big buck runs across the highway! Kevin swerved quickly and carefully, and thankfully missed the deer! Phew! Many prayers of thanks went up to God! Let me tell you, energy drinks  has nothing on a shot of adrenaline after narrowly missing a disaster! So thankfully the rest of the trip went with out incident.
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

Queens for a day.

I am so honored to write this post. The Wells family was honored by the opportunity to visit and share at the Chinese Envangel Mission Church in Queens, NY. We were welcomed with open arms and a bunch of flowers! They were very patient and gracious with our children who had a blast and didn't want to go! If you are in the NYC area and need a Church to check out, check out the CEMC Q church! Highly recommended! It is an honor to share with fellow believers God word. It is easy to try and think, "was the sermon good enough? Was I entertaining? Was I useful?" But the truth is, it is not about me, but about God speaking to his people! God always has something He wants us to know and it is through his people that his messages flow. God takes  care of his own. Yesterday, a very distant relative mentioned 2 Timothy 2:13 When we are faithless, he remains faithful. It is encouraging to know.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Breakfast part Deux

So I spent some time thinking about fasting a little bit after I had an interesting conversation with a colleague today. I asked her, "If you could do whatever, what would you be doing?" The cliff note version is that she would travel all over the world and eat at all the best restaurants in the world, not the "touristy" ones, but the real good ones, the treasures hidden away, maybe pay over $100 a plate. It got me thinking why we don't talk about fasting much. Here in America, most of us have access to food, lots and lots of food. Cheap food, healthy food, unhealthy food, food food food. We get hungry, we eat, we are full, we still eat because we can. For some its a hobby. For other's its a crutch. For some it means family for others it means the Devil. We often don't go with out, and once we feel a little rumble in the tummy, we go running around the kitchen or stop at a drive through. So the idea of fasting can be very scary, especially if you are afraid to be a little hungry. I think its interesting how influenced and manipulated we are by food.
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

Not so Fast!

Sorry it has been almost a month since I last updated. Boy/(Girl) have we been busy with family, traveling, and transitioning with 3 children! I hope you at least got a chuckle out of the "Vlog"...I was trying my best not to look or sound half dead, but some were meant to be in front of the camera and some were not...I don't think I was meant to be in front of the camera, but let me stop trying to get unneeded sympathy...
I want to write about fasting. It has been on my mind and in my heart, and I feel like its time to write about it. I really first started thinking about it after I had a discussion with a family friend on our visit to Chicagoland. He mentioned that during one of the hardest times during his missionary experience, he had fasted and prayed, and that the Lord gave him a clear vision for the direction his family should go. I asked him how often he fasted and he said about once a week to pray for his students and during Ramadan, which I thought was interesting as well. 
It got me thinking, should I fast? And so I have been praying on how I should start implementing fasting in my life. The more closer to Jesus I get, the more filled I get, the more of a spiritual life I live, and the further away I get from living according to my fleshly desires. But my body, my physical body has so many appetites, for example, chocolate, pizza, chocolate, me time, me time, me time, to be thinner, to be stronger,  to be right, to be entertained, etc, etc. Did I mention chocolate? My point being is I am constantly dealing with different things I desire, some things not so bad but at times can lead to selfishness and unhealthiness. Can I do with out? Are there things I really could give up? Can I rely on spiritual food a little more than food food? When Jesus was talking to the woman at the well, and the disciples went to get food, they returned and asked if he was hungry. Jesus replied, I have food that you don't know about. 
I guess what I am seeing is that fasting is a away to distance our selves from our selves and focus on Christ, where by we empty ourselves, God can fill us up. 
But I think we have to be careful not to fast as the Pharisees, because when I am hungry, I tend to get cranky, very cranky. "I want some pieeeee!" Or we might have a tendency to want to talk about it. "Yeah, I am fasting, I am so spiritual..." I see fasting as a way to worship God, to offer ourselves as a sacrifice. I also believe fasting helps us to recognize areas of need and growth. We can fast from more than just food. We can fast from anything that gets in the way of our relationship with God. 
I would encourage you to seek and pray about how God may want you to fast. 

In Christ, 

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"I am going to PUMP you up!"

So recently I have noticed some of my t-shirts still smell a little even after its been washed. Bad detergent you say? How about I forget to to put my dirty shirts in the laundry after my work outs and after they have marinated in my sweat. Ewww! For the last 6 months or so I have been working out in some form, swimming, basketball @ 6am, lifting weights or the good ol' elliptical. Over time I have noticed some changes; I am fitting into my old clothes, I am moving from flab to fab, (Yes I just said fab and meant it in the most masculine way!), and I am feeling more confident about myself.  I also notice I am looking at myself more in the mirror and thinking more about what I look like or what I want to look like. In other words I am idolizing myself. I find it easy to focus and celebrate my own strength at times, which means I am not focusing on God's word and I am not keeping my trust in Christ. I continually go to God in prayer, trying to focus on Him and giving thanks for the time to workout and give God the glory for any changes.
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

"Price check on aisle 4!"

Driving home this weekend, in the middle of a 3 hour drive, I noticed all the crazy drivers speeding, cutting off, tailgating, and practicing sign language. Then I remember how I used to drive like that minus the sign language, until the day I got the big one!!! Driving through Virginia, I wouldn't recommend it unless completely necessary, I got pulled over doing 80 in a 70 mph. Now if I was in NY, that wouldn't be that bad, but unbeknownst to me and left unmentioned by my father who happens to be a police officer in VA Beach, 80 mph and over is considered wreck-less driving which means a ticket and a court appearance to some where in Nowhere, VA. Also, considered a misdemeanor, jail time was also a possibility! Talk about freaking out on the side of the road! Thankfully no jail but I ended up paying close to $500 when everything was said and done! Not something I had just laying a round. Ever since, I have been very careful when I am driving and use my cruise control quite a bit. I got a glimpse of the high price for high speed and did not want to pay the piper again.
I write all of this because I think sin works a little like this. When we are tempted with sin and start considering it, we think about the benefits not the costs. I mean thats how Satan sells it, "its all about the now and no one will get hurt, its just between you and me!" We rarely consider the cost. What if we did consider the costs and ignore Satan's lie? His lie is that it won't cost much or anything at all, but we may never know the true costs of our sins. How many of us have realized that the ultimate cost of our sin is our own death and the death of Jesus. My sin put Christ on that cross, I was supposed to be there and He has taken my place, Hallelujah!
But what are the costs of our "cheap sins?"
Lets look at some of the costs:
  1. 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.
  2. Money, how much money do we spend on fueling our lusts in order to find some satisfaction in life.
  3. Separation from God, loneliness, paranoia. A constant fear and anxiety that cripples us from daily life.
  4. Mental health: how stressed do we get trying to clean up after the messes we leave due to our sins.
  5. Lose trust and respect, our reputations may be at stake.
  6. 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.)
Please note that this is not a completed list. Let us, let me, consider the true cost of sin when we are faced with temptation. Consider your family, your friends, your relationship with Christ. What have you lost to sin? Was it worth it? No, it never is!
Jesus does not allow us to be tempted more than we can bear, but we must remember to seek strength and help from God when we find ourselves tempted. We can not win on our own, Christ already beat death, it is up to us to allow God's power to work in us!

We must be wary of un checked sin, because that is how our hearts become hard against God and lead us down the road of Death! Thankfully, God takes the dead and raises it again!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Losing Control

At times my spiritual journey feels like I am tramping through a dense jungle, with very low visibility, maybe just past my boots. Every step and every turn taken in faith, not exactly sure where I am going but I know I'll eventually arrive. I feel hot and sweaty, legs are tired but I take one step at a time, trusting in God.
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

"He's going the Distance!"

I saw a band play in Boston many years ago called Cake and they played
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

Our High Places

Since Amy and I have watched all the LOST we can on Netflix, we
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

What Would You Do for an xBox 360?

I somehow I got a hold of an xBox 360 to borrow. I was very excited! I mainly wanted to use it to stream Netflix to our living room but I quickly began to think of all the other cool games I could play! I could see my self playing for hours I did not have! I thought of all the accessories I could buy with a bunch of money I didn't have! So I compromised, I started looking on ebay to find a used game. I wanted to buy it cheap and I got into one bidding war and I was up higher than I wanted to be. I was trying to picture my self explaining to my wife why I just bought a game for a system that I am borrowing and spending money we didn't have. I mean we just had a new kid, not sure on summer employment, and we are preparing to go over seas. I kept watching my iPhone to see if someone bid a little higher. It got down to less than one minute and I was the highest bidder. I was trying to accept the frustrated state I was in. Now I didn't want to win! Oh, I had the sickest feeling in my stomach! Finally I refreshed my ebay page and some one bid higher within one second to go. I was so relieved!!!!!! God, thank you!!!!!
So why do I tell this story you might ask?
I felt like I was under attack by a spirit of materialism. For a day or two I loss peace over a stupid game. I wanted something I thought would make me happy, but it brought distress. I was not concerned for what Christ wanted, I was concerned for what Kevin wanted. After some more thought, my battle could have been spiritual warfare or I think it was more of a test from God. "Are you really willing you lay down your life for me? Are you willing to lose your self interest and trade it for Christ interest? Can I be your portion?"
I found that the best way to battle envy, to battle lust, to battle discontentment is to give thanks to God right now! I need to thank Him for what I do have, that which he has allowed and blessed. I am his child and he takes care of his children. He knows what I really need and provides it! I am exactly where he wants me to be right now and I need to recognize God's sovereignty and awesomeness! Glory be to God, Worthy is the Lamb! If God is for me, who can be against me!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A good idea gone bad...

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...

And that is why my wife and I decided to take our two oldest there to pick out a special toy to reward them for their stellar efforts during this difficult time transitioning from 2 to 3 kids. We wanted to get them something they would really like, something they would play with more than 1 day. I was feeling really good! I felt a warmth in my heart as I prepared to shell out a couple greenbacks in order to give something to my kids just because. I figured I got a glimpse of how God feels as he blesses his people and gives good gifts. My son got a guitar which he will not put down. He will take you down if you try and take it away from him and he is 1 years old! He sleeps with it, eats with it, and would bathe with it if we'd let him. My daughter got a hoola-hoop and some toys for her dollies.
I quickly realized how much my son loved his guitar and how much my daughter loved trying to "play" with his guitar as much as possible. My son would scream, squeal, screeeeeech at the top of his lungs until he got his guitar back. This goes on back and forth at least 10 times a day but is slowly getting better. What did I just do!? In fact this was the first time we had bought our children toys just because and I was thinking, I am never going to buy toys again!!
I had to take my daughter aside and tell her God wants us to be thankful for things we have.
As I said that I felt the log in my own eye. Just the day before I was thinking about getting a new computer and upgrading an xbox 360 my mother in law let me borrow and other ways to spend money I didn't have on stuff that I didn't need.
Its funny how we, I, think that things will bring us happiness. If I just had this or that, I would be happy but I can't remember one thing that I have bought that has not disappointed me in one way or another. Here, I thought buying my children a special toy would bring them joy, but actually brought strife, envy, and discontentment. Its funny how we think know what we want and sometimes God just lets us have it and we find how foolish we were/are.
God knows our needs and promises to provide for us but we get confused with what we want and what we need.
When I feel myself yearning for "things" I remind my self of what Paul said:

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

Elise Olivia has arrived!

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.

Kevin is going to stay home for a couple weeks to help the transition from two kids to three.
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

Wells Family

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

If I see another Mc Donalds, I think I will puke...

Driving, lots of driving. Potty breaks, lots of potty breaks. McDonalds, way too much Mc Donanlds! We made a journey to visit friends and family over the Spring break. We reunited with old friends and distant family. Kevin Titus and Anika were super troopers! I couldn't imagine sitting in car seats for hours upon hours, wait a minute, yes I can, I drove for those hours! Each new destination brought new rewards. We watched our first Blue Ray Movie, Anika and Titus met new friends and had a blast chasing cats and calling cows! We had excellent pizza, marvelous Mexican food, and then there was the balloon guy. A modern day miracle worker, I mean who else could make a Tinkerbell out of balloons!? Long hours on long roads were met with joys of fellowship, food, and friendship. We want to send out a thank you to all the friends and family who put us up for a night or three.

Catching up with old friends, I realized that every one else is on their own journey, even if they aren't conscious of the path they are on. As a member of the Body of Christ, our true journey starts as we decide to follow Jesus. Christ said in John 14:6,
"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.
Our dreams can be our own treasure. Pretty diamonds and rubies formed by the dreams and hopes of what we want our life to be. We could fill up droves of treasure chests of all our dreams of what we think is good for our families and for our selves. We hold on tight, not to dare let go, or our identity would disappear with them. Jesus told the rich man to sell all he had and to follow him and the man went away sad because he was so rich. Matthew 19:21-22

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.

Am I willing to let go of my dreams and trade them for God's dream and desires for me? Absolutely! When I think of the Awesomeness of God, I feel as though I should sink through the ground on my hands and knees giving Him all the Glory and Honor that He is worthy of! God, the Author and finisher of my faith knows what is best for me. The material dreams and fantasies, even if experienced will turn to dust and will rot. My soul is to be preserved for ever, one way or the other and I want to share in the incredible presence of Jesus on the day of judgement. What is a flat screen compared to souls saved from Hell? What is a nice house compared to be in the presence of Jesus Himself. How can one explain the greatness and awesomeness we will experience?
God, our Author and Finisher of our faith, has us exactly where he wants us. He has plans and purposes beyond our knowledge and conscious and it is through our disappointments and frustrations that exposes the emptiness of the world we so many times long for.
Jeremiah 29:11
For 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.
When we are broken and left at a dead end, we can only look up. Our relationship with our Father, with Christ, is real. There is give and take. We ned to give thanks in all things. We need to give up our dreams and seek the dreams of God. And when I think of, "our dreams," I mean, human hopes and dreams that are mainly materialistic and selfish, not of the spiritual nature.
Luke 9:25
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?
If we are to find fulfillment in our lives, we need to make our hearts right with God today! We need to seek His will for our lives and let go of our own will.
Matthew 16:24
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his crossand follow me.
For we do not own ourselves. We were bought with a price.
1 Corinthians 7:23
You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of men.
We pray that our family and friends find peace and confidence in Christ in every situation. To God be the glory for the great things He has done and will do!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lessons from the Basketball Court

5 seconds on the shot clock, score is tied, ball is in bounded, I come a round a high screen, I shoot, the ball seems to float off my finger tips, a perfect rotation, locked onto the basket, and swishes through the net with the sweetest whisper. The crowd goes wild! Yeah, I wish! For the last couple of months, I have been playing basketball at the YMCA, nothing like the heart thumping scene described above. In my early morning hoop sessions, I have come to learn some important lessons about not only my role on a 5 man pick up team, but about my role as a member of the Body of Christ.

So here is what I know about my basketball skills; I can make a 3 pointer in warm ups, but not in a game, I handle a basketball like I have two left hands, and I am as fast as an old hobbled horse. Now, I have found some things that I am good at, I can move the ball around to the open person so they can make the buzzer beater, I can set screen and picks for my team mates so they can get an open shot, I can rebound and box out, if I am in the paint, I have a really good chance of making a basket and my biggest strength, I am really good at fouling! I have come to these conclusions after many early 6 am mornings, running up and down the court. I have tried to be the 3 point shooter and hitting brick after brick, have cost my team a win. I have also tried to be the point guard and end up turning the ball over like a stack of pancakes, costing our team a win, and I have tried to shoot the winning shot in order to be the big shot and turning the ball over again! Lord, I will give the ball up next time! On the other hand, when I dish the ball off, my team mates seem to score more. When I set picks and screens, my team mates seem to swish it more! When I let them make the shots and let them be the hero, they seem to finish! What I have determined, is when I play, I am a better assest when I support the others around me. Now there our times when there is an opportunity to score by utilizing one of my strengths and I will take it. I fully give credit for any of my basketball skills to God as well as thank him for any of my weaknesses. Playing for team Jesus, I too have been given spiritual gift as well as every one who has accepted Jesus Christ as their Saviour.
Paul, in Ephesian 4 talks about receiving Spiritual gifts from God:
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 train
and 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 up
13until 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.

I need to exercise the gifts that God has given to me so that Glory is given to God and not myself. I need to be careful not to seek gifts that glorify
myself for that comes from Satan. Paul, in Romans 12 says,
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.
As a family, I, you, should also encourage others to practice and exercise their gifts as well. If you are sitting on the fence wondering if you should step out in faith to exercise your gift, walk in faith and with courage, for in Christ, all things are possible. Don't hide your gift, your talents, for we will one day have to account for our actions.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Hurt Locker

Look left, look right, reach your hand out and touch the person closest to you and you just might hear the low roar of the battle rumbling in their heart! Rejection, isolation, loneliness, lies, liars, desire, desire, desire, rage, hurt, depression, betrayal, void, a deep, deep void, ambition, secrets, dark secrets, rage battle every day against our spirit and are blinded by the smoke, flames, percussion, and the smell of fear as spiritual weapons are discharged. Some days it feels like fighting for our lives, holding on by merely a thread. Somedays are full of peace, though it may be a false peace and we are ignorant to the fact that the battle in us as stopped because we don't recognize the inner war that is not of Flesh and Blood. All we see is the wars in the sand pits, the crumbling economy, weak real estate market, high unemployment, bankruptcy, and the list goes on and on. I read the news and listen to the radio and it all reminds me that this Hurt Locker we live in called Life, is one day all going to end as we know it. Things that were once important aren't so much and the things that weren't so important now are. Jesus walked the earth and he touched the sick people he encountered and showed them love by reaching out a merciful hand. Jesus talked about a resurrection, His resurrection and that we too can share in that if we confess our sins and believe that Christ is our Savior.
Each shoulder I bump, every ear I lend reveals souls fighting for survival, facing battalions that go on into the sunset. All I can do, all we can do is uplift our neighbors in prayer and wait in faith and confidence for God's power to show up in his perfect timing to save those that are lost and to bring back to life from which was once dead.
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."

Lets show up to battle and wait on the Lord. Let us face the giants with confidence in Christ alone. Let us pray, lifting up our neighbors so that Christ be glorified and watch how God takes what was meant to do harm save lives.

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

Happy Easter!

Tomorrow we celebrate the most important day in all of history! We have been challenged and honored to share the resurrection story with our 2 year old. Who knows how much she understands but we know she Loves Jesus as much as a two year old can and that warms our heart!
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.
1 Corinthians 1: 8- 25 & 27-31
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!

In Christ, who is the Head and seated at the right hand of the Father, Amen!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Check out this video from You Tube on RVA

This is an awesome video about how RVA supports the work of Christ in the continent of Africa.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Wells' African Journey

Welcome to our family blog as we prepare to journey over the Atlantic to Rift Valley Academy! Lord willing, we will be leaving in the summer of 2011. The purpose of this website is to keep our friends and family updated on our journey. We love sharing photos and prayer requests and ask that you do the same. We are all part of the Body of Christ and our journey is also your journey. We pray that God would use this blog to glorify Him and further his Kingdom!