Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Are We Honoring The Great Commission?

 “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them on ahead of him, two by two, into every town and place where he himself was about to go. And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” (Luke 10:1-2)
Jesus told those He sent out to not take money bags with them, apparently showing that God would support them, but since there were few laborers in that day, and it appears in our day too, He told them to “pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest” and today, we are still praying for more laborers as there’s a shortage of witnesses in the church (only one in ten in actively share their faith) and a shortage of missionaries due to a lack of financial support from the church. We can pray for more laborers but we must support the ones we already have!(http://www.patheos.com/blogs/christiancrier)
Many in the Church believe it is the Church's responsibility to support missions with the tithes and offerings collected. While it is true that the Church is to support missionaries and most do (my church supports dozens throughout the world), it is every believer's duty to pray for and financially support the work of missions worldwide as well. If we cannot "go" to all the ends of the earth then we are to support those that do! (Matthew 28:18-20).
As we are preparing to do just that in Puerto Rico, will you "join" with a financial contribtion to the work? One soul saved or encouraged could be because of your gift to God's work!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Wait by faith or work by faith . . . The Hall of Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the ]evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible. . . . But without faith, it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (Hebrews 11:1-6)
Scripture teaches, though, that we are called to exercise two different levels of faith at various times as Christians. At one level we are to be inactive and wait patiently for the Lord to move. Here faith involves believing that Christ will bring about a solution apart from any effort on our end. Yet Scripture just as frequently affirms the faith involved in taking personal responsibility. We find so many impressive pictures in the Bible of individuals who, without any divine revelation or special prompting, took bold steps to reach a personal goal. (Excerpt from Nehemiah ministries)

Wait by faith or work by faith? Life involves both as a Christ follower. The key is to his constant communicaton with the Lord, as were those in the Hall of Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Pray, Plan, Participate

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a city, spend a year there, buy and sell, and make a profit”; 14 whereas you do not know what will happentomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. 15 Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that.” 16 But now you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.17 Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.(James 4:13-17)

 Pray . . . Plan . . . Participate . . . It's all we can do as believers. We PRAY to the Lord discussing the things we desire and the things He desires for us. We then PLAN according to His leading. Then we receive the final decision and PARTICIPATE in what God eventually has put into place. We must be careful not to get in the way!

As we have prayed and planned to our mission trip to Puerto Rico, we have witnessed challenges in planning, funding, meeting times and even individual ups and downs. Yet we have seen God at work in so many ways. We have never stopped participating in His plan and look forward to the actual trip August 4! Even then, we need to stay in close touch with God the Holy Spirit as He leads and guides us daily!

Please PRAY with us and as we close our fundraising these next eight days, seek God to see if He PLANS for  you PARTICIPATE as a financial partner!


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Be Encouraged....Be Confident...Be About His Business

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.(Ephesians 3:14-21)

This life can lead to doubt. Even the most seasoned believer can find himself asking, "Why?", "How?", "When God?". But God is able! He was then and He is today. Like those in the past, we too are being tested in the fire. We WILL come out as gold if we keep our trust in Him and Him alone!

He will provide .  . . just when, how, and what we need from Him, for our good and for His glory. . . . Be Encouraged . . . Be confident  . . . Be about His business!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Just a Man

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months.  And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit.(James 5:16-18)
I, a man like Elijah, am praying earnestly for Jehovah Jirah to provide the remaining $1500 in funds we need for our Puerto Rico mission trip.  I am asking Jehovah Nissi to lead us into the battle/mission field. I am pleading  for a peace about it all.....Jehovah Shalom!

Rain down upon us Lord. Let people see and experience Your mighty works!


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Rain, Rain, Go Away?

Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. “But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand:  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.” And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching,  for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. (Matthew 7:24-29)
Rain rain go away . . . .but what if it brings us closer to Christ? It is hard to pray yet if we need hardship, grief, and disappointment, then we need to embrace the pain and seek the One Who knows our pain!

Who suffered more than our Savior? Who gave up more than the Son of God to be our sacrifice? Who are we to complain? We have to learn to praise Him the good times and in the rain!


Saturday, July 21, 2018

Family of God

While at the Douglas Family reunion....a more than sixty year tradition, I am reminded of what it means to be adopted into God's family. This historic (Frederick Douglass) and proud family has taken me in when even my own blood and personal friends have pushed me aside; Much like the family of God welcomes the outsider and stranger from a sin-sick world into the royal family of Almighty God. A gift I do not deserve, but am grateful to accept . . .
Thanking God for His many gifts, especially His grace and mercy and eternal life in Him!
But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5)

Friday, July 20, 2018

A Father's Love

Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13: 1-8)

As we are about to embark to a family reunion, I am reminded of the legacy a CHRISTian dad is to create and leave behind. It should be an eternal legacy of love, respect, selflessness and service. It should be a legacy that points toward our Lord and Savior, not us! I pray for myself and all fathers that we are simply challenged to do such, but equipped and obedient to follow through.

Spirit of God, move in me and through me and cause others, especially my family, to follow You!

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Do YOU Support Missions' Work?

What a great perspective on missions! As we prepare to leave for Puerto Rico, be reminded we also have been serving teens, families, schools and churches in the DMV and around the world since 1998.MIT has been a joy and a struggle! God is faithful through it all and like Paul, I am learning to be content whether in need or in excess. Please read and comment . . . and SUPPORT!



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

There is Still Time

Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,  speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:1-4)

Have we taken a serious look at the wood today? As one who works closely with the teens of today (as well as raising one and having grandkids close to teenage years), I have a close ear on the pulse of their social circles.

Some things I hear include;
          " Why is cursing so wrong?
          " Just because my friends do it doesn' mean I will."
          "Why can't I play video games all day?"
          " It's ok for teens to see 'mature' movies and videos."
           "It's ok to have sex if the couple is engaged,"
           "Masturbation is wrong?"
           "The bible is out of date."
           " What if God is not real and the bible is not true?"
           "Do I really have to go to church? Can't I just stay home and go to church on                     line?"
            "I was born this way!"
            "I'm not Jesus!"

Satan is planning out his strategy step by step, generation by generation. He is infiltrating the minds of our youth. Yet I love the fact that today's teens are questioning and debating! They could be simply accepting the "new normal".

But we still have a chance while it is still today.(Hebrews 3:13)


Monday, July 16, 2018

Please Join Us in Laboring....

After these things the Lord appointed seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go. Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves. (Luke 10:1-3)
While the "harvest " in Puerto Rico is indeed great, the workers who are truly sent by Christ are few. Oh sure, many have gone to fix things like electrical lines, homes, businesses, schools, and roadways, but how many have travelled to help with souls in mind?

Aiding those in need with souls at heart is at the very core of scripture. Jesus would feed, heal, and comfort and  forgive sin! We have that opportunity in Puerto Rico! Many are hurting and in need . . . of physical help yes, but also form the love and forgiveness Christ offers. Please send us . . . .we are only $1,800 shy of our go


Thursday, July 12, 2018

Faith or Fear?

And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease among the people. Then His fame went throughout all Syria; and they brought to Him all sick people who were afflicted with various diseases and torments, and those who were demon-possessed, epileptics, and paralytics; and He healed them. 25 Great multitudes followed Him—from Galilee, and from Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea, and beyond the Jordan. (Matthew 4: 23-25)
In this world we will have various trials, challenges, and PAIN . . . .    emotional, physical, relational, etc. My constant struggle is to know when to seek help or share the challenges and when to suck it up and bear the burden individually. Too many times I go it alone.

What about you?

I usually take the road of bearing the burden inwardly, first asking God to heal, whether it be an emotional or spiritual battle or even my physical pains. After all, JESUS is not simply a doctor, but a HEALER! He did not prescribe medication or therapy as often as He would simply say, "Get up and walk!". (John 5:8) I don't cherish others knowing I am in pain or seeing me in pain. Either way, I feel like I am being a burden.

I do not enjoy doctors, hospitals, or medications. I prefer to have a testimony saying God did it. However, as my wife always reminds me, God also gives us common sense and doctors (medicine). While I can stand a lot of pain, I cannot bear to see her suffer for me . . . and she does! Yet, I struggle between my faith in God and my fear of the white coats!

So, if you find yourself like me, guys especially, let's ask God for wisdom as often as we ask for healing! His grace is still sufficient and so is His wisdom! God, please give us bot

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Government and Christ Followers

Let's admit . . . We as Christ followers live in challenging days! But no more challenging than in the days of the writers of the New Testament. May I share a bit from Paul and Peter, two who died for their faith I might add? In days of poliical confusion and challenges, please read with an open heart and biblical world view . . .Please don't tell me this does not apply today!
Romans 13:1-7
Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. 2 So anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished. 3 For the authorities do not strike fear in people who are doing right, but in those who are doing wrong. Would you like to live without fear of the authorities? Do what is right, and they will honor you. 4 The authorities are God’s servants, sent for your good. But if you are doing wrong, of course you should be afraid, for they have the power to punish you. They are God’s servants, sent for the very purpose of punishing those who do what is wrong. 5 So you must submit to them, not only to avoid punishment, but also to keep a clear conscience.6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid. They are serving God in what they do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority.

 1 Peter 2:13-17 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men— 16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God. 17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.

Your thoughts?

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Do We Live to Give?

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 
  But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? (1 John 3:16-17)
I love the writings of John....believe in the Messiah and live like it. That's his theme throughout. The youngest of the disciples was perhaps the simplest. Live what you believe!

I guess that's why I love working with kids so much. They are genuine. They live what they like! Passion rules them! If I can just convince them to be passionate about Christ . . . . well, you know.

But adults, that is a different animal. We are so busy, so involved, so
rather than invested! We have been robbed of so much, banrupt of love and commitment by this world that we  no longer have much to give.  Much of what we have we hold on to as if it was "mine"!

Kids go all in though . . . sports, video games, anime, you name it .  . . . 24/7, eight days a week!

John calls us to live a life of sacrifice, like Jesus did. As we look at our lives, can people tell we walk with Jesus by how we live, how we share, how we give? Below is an opportunity to prove it. Join the mission work of God today. If you cannot "go", then "send"! It shows our love for Christ and others!


Storms and Faith

Jesus got into a boat. His disciples followed him.  Suddenly a terrible storm came up on the lake. The waves crashed over the boat. But Jesu...