Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photo Thought

One day as I was walking by the UGM's Men's Shelter, this stark contrast struck me -
Men without a home passing by a parked sports car.

It reminded me that as Christians we are to seek to reconcile this difference as it says in 2 Corinthians 8:14, "Your abundance at the present time should supply their need."

Friday, March 25, 2011

One Year of Journaling

This morning as I was cracking my journal open in order to jot down what God was speaking to me through His Word, I remembered this blog post from our Pastor marking the end of his first church planting journal. This prompted me to flip to the front of mine and wouldn't you know I've been writing in this journal now for a year, since March 24th, our second day in Brazil.

The first Scripture jotted down was Exodus 25:8 when the Lord says, "...make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midst."
The Scripture written on the same date a year later was John 17:17-18, "Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world."

Praise God that He sent Christ into the world to pay our penalty so that we may dwell in His midst without burning up in light of His glory.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

"Come. Repentance is a good place to be."

John Piper wrote these words in 2005 regarding the boxing day tsunami, but I think they are helpful for us today as we are overloaded with news of the ongoing crisis in Japan. Let's not despair as though our God is not in total and complete control with a purpose in mind for this earthly tragedy. Let's pray to Him for His sovereign hand of provision to be displayed and for many to repent and place their faith in His eternal salvation.

Jesus said that the minutest event in nature is under the control of God. “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father” (Matthew 10:29). He said this to give hope to those who would be killed for his name. He himself stood on the sea and stopped the waves with a single word (Mark 4:39). Even if Nature or Satan unleashed the deadly tidal wave, one word from Jesus would have stopped it. He did not speak it. This means there is design in this suffering. And all his designs are wise and just and good. One of his designs is my repentance. Therefore I will not put God on trial. I am on trial. Only because of Christ will the waves that one day carry me away bring me safely to his side. Come. Repentance is a good place to be.


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Interview with a Missionary

All scriptural references are from Philippians.

Where are you currently living?
In prison. 1:13

Who has come alongside and supported you through this time?
The church. 1:3-5

What kind of preaching do you rejoice in?
The preaching of Christ. 1:18

Do you know why you are still alive?
For the progress and joy of the church. 1:25

What's your life posture?
Humility like Christ. 2:5-7

Why's that your posture?
Because Christ humbled himself for us. 2:5-11

Are you willing to serve and sacrifice?
I am willing to be poured out. 2:17

Are you a righteous man?
No, but Christ has given me his righteousness. 3:9

What's your goal in all this?
To gain Christ. 3:8

Are you sure you can handle anything that may come your way?
Only in his strength. 4:13

Any closing statements?
To our God and Father be glory forever and ever. Amen. 4:20

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quick Trip to Texas

Sorry we've been away from the blog for so long. We took a quick trip to visit family and friends in suburban League City last week and boy were we busy! In fact, we tried to squeeze in so much that we both ended up sick. But we're on the recovery road now and are super thankful for this opportunity to stay connected to our family and our friends at Clear Creek Community Church. We were very encouraged by the vision presented by Pastor Bruce at the Wednesday night gathering and are expectant for what the Lord is doing in the Houston Bay Area. Last Sunday, the day after we returned, we hosted our first ever Cornerstone Kids training dinner. Twelve folks from our church came together to hear the vision of Cornerstone Kids, and God blessed us with a lot of fruitful discussion about what it means to be a God-focused, gospel-centered children's ministry. We're praising Him for providing more workers for CK so now we're just praying for a few more!

God has provided so much for this little church to plant, and we're praying He plants it deep. Recently Pastor Adam spoke on being deeply and vitally connected to the Vine, Christ, and it was a good reminder for us as we continue to work toward building a healthy kids ministry. It's not about us, it's not about the kids, it's about the Vine.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How do you respond when your 12-year-old dies?

Just read this article and I thought it would be worthy to share. It was written by a couple who lost their 12-year-old son Trent last Friday in a skiing accident. I praise God for his parents for diligently evangelizing and discipling him those ten years before he repented of his sin and asked for the salvation only Christ gives. This is why we, as the church family, come around parents to help disciple their kids. We cherish those sixty some-odd minutes we have each Sunday morning to teach, show and model who God is and what He has done for us through the person and work of Christ. And we pray hard. We pray that each child at a very young age will recognize that they are the worst of sinners in desperate need of a Savior because "we are not guaranteed any number of years in this world," as Trent's parents truthfully declared in the article.

How Do You Respond When Your 12-Year-Old Dies?
What we have asked nearly every person we have seen since Friday is “What if it had been you? Where would you be right now?” We diligently raised Trent up to know his sinful state and taught him what the Word of God says because we know the implications of denying Christ now, and God was gracious to answer our prayers and to save Him. Scripture says that the gospel will go forth with much sorrow and heartache. Please let Trent’s short life be a wake-up call to you. We are rejoicing in the sorrow because we know where our son is and that we will one day be with him again for eternity because of our own salvation.