Category Archives: The Word

THANK YOU

There are many ways to raise funds for an adoption but we really liked the Both Hands Foundation because their projects are designed to help the orphan AND the widow. As you all know, we are in the process of bringing an orphan home but this past Saturday, we also had the privilege of serving a widow in our community. Our team of dedicated family and friends had the privilege of patching and painting Lorene’s entire house and garage.

Thank you so much to the team who served this weekend! You probably discovered that living out Scripture is not only hard work but is also extremely fulfilling and fun. Thank you also to those who sponsored the team to work and to help bring Eden home. Your generosity has been overwhelming. Know your investment is worthwhile and appreciated. In the video above, you can catch a little glimpse of the fruits of your gifts.

To see the video in HD, click here.

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Personal Retreat

I’m on a personal retreat starting last night and not ending until tomorrow evening. Trying to spend time away to pray, read and write toward a renewed vision for our church. So, all that is to say I don’t have much time to blog right now, but I leave you with some pictures of my surroundings today.

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Life Passage

I believe the two most important keys to parenting is prayer and the Word. While this may sound like typical Sunday School answers, the longer I parent, the more I am convinced of this. If one of the primary goals of parenting is to shepherd our children’s hearts and if only God can convict and change those hearts, then we are helpless to do so apart from intercession and the Bible.

One of the ways that Sonia and I have applied this is through the giving of “life passages.” Before each of our children were born or received, we asked the Lord to give us a specific passage of Scripture for each of them. For Kristin, he gave Psalm 1:1-3. For Evan, Psalm 139:13-16. For Eden, Psalm 16:5-11. And for Jaren, Psalm 86:11-13. If you knew each of our children’s personalities and histories, you would see the Father’s wisdom in how he perfectly matched His Word to each of them.

While all of the Bible is God-breathed and profitable for all, these selected life verses are to serve as a lifelong encouragement, a guiding truth and a Spirit-empowered life theme specifically for each individual child. At times when they are led astray, I trust that the truth of God’s Word will convict them and guide them back to his path of life. At times when they doubt His purpose and love for them, I trust that the truth of God’s Word will encourage them and dispel the lies of the enemy.

These verses are not only for our children’s benefit but also for their parents’ as well. I don’t know about you, but if you’re like me, you may sometimes find it difficult to know what to pray for your children. As much as we know and love our children, don’t we sometimes find ourselves repeating the same, general, rote prayers for them over and over and over again? When I get stuck, the Word helps me to pray for them specifically in alignment with his will and his truth. Praying scripture and more specifically their life verses for them not only helps me to be precise in what I ask but also to ask in accordance with the things that glorify the Father.

Whether your child has come to you through pregnancy or through adoption, God’s Word is vital for raising them. Study it. Give it. Pray it for your children.

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In Season and Out of Season

Believe it or not, this is a church building. Every Sunday, over one hundred people hike up a hill, gather to worship God and hear the preaching of His Word under this decrepit structure. The pastor of this church has faithfully preached God’s Word from this post for over ten years and while God has blessed the ministry, they have continually been praying for a breakthrough to impact the community. After ten years of faithful ministry, God answered those prayers through an informal partnership with ESMI. ESMI is planning to plant a church close by but also wanted to bless the surrounding gospel-centered churches in the area. So, ESMI plans to build this church a new building on the same sight to strengthen the permanence of their ministry.

This story convicted me of three things. One was that the church does not need a fancy building to thrive. This structure is living proof of that. Craig joked that if we kicked out the large diagonal stick in the front, the entire building would probably come tumbling down. The second thing that was impressed upon me was the need for faithful prayer. This church prayed for a breakthrough for ten years and while they were not necessarily praying for a physical structure, that is what God provided to strengthen the witness of the people there.

Thirdly, what convicted me the most was the need to preach the Word faithfully. I picture this pastor preaching the Word, literally, in season and out of season over the course of ten years: under the┬áscorching heat of 95 degree weather, drenched by countless tropical storms, competing with the howling winds that rip across the hilltops, all without the protection of a walled shelter. I just had to take a picture of the pulpit because of all that it has endured over the years. If this pastor could preach the Word under these extreme conditions, certainly I could do so under the comfort of mine. “Preach the Word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” (2 Tim. 4:2)

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