Faith, Love & Health

Archive for the month “June, 2007”

Time With God

Our morning devotions and worship time has been amazing.  We have our personal and corporate prayer on the roof of the hotel that we are staying.  What makes this so special is that surrounding Otavalo (which is north of Quito) are huge mountains. These mountains are beautiful and the clouds that cover the sky paint a gorgeous image that many of us have only seen in magazines.   I can’t leave out the fact that the tempature in the mornings here is in the 50’s and during the day they hit the high 70’s.  We are right on the equator.  In fact yesterday I was able to stand on o’ latitude. 

 Everyone connects to God differently, for me one of the ways I connect with God really well is when I am close to the out doors.   So spending time in prayer upstairs on the roof is very meaningful.  I would encourage you to find what way you connect with God the best and schedule time on a monthly basis try to position yourself to hang out with God outside of your regular time.   My other pathway that I connect really well with God is through reading books and intellectually process information.  Though this pathway can be a curse as well as a blessing it has been a great avenue for me to grow in my relationship with Christ through the years.   I gotta head to bed I have an early moring tomorrow.  Peace from Ecuador!

Ecuador Day 1 & 2

It is hard to believe that I am even able to blog right now.  I am in an Ecuadorian hotel on one bar of wireless from an unsecured feed.   How fun!  Everything has been so much fun.  Yesterday we ministered in an orphanage where Rachael Saint (The aunt of Nate Saint who helped Jim Elliott reach the Catcheway Indians in the jungles of Ecuador lived before she died.  She used the house in Quito when she needed to get away from ministering to the Catcheways.) use to live.  Now they have used her house and have built other facilities to house babies and handicapped children. 

Today we had a big day.  We started at 6 a.m. for prayer and worship.  Then we visited the market place where we were able to buy souvenirs.  (I still haven’t gotten my coffe yet,  but I should have time this weekend.)  After a fun morning in the market place we ministered in a pre-school.  The missionaries that we are working with have started a feeding program for these children and many other places throughout Ecuador.  During our time at the pre-school we sang songs, puppets, and dramas.  We also shared in helping prepare the food so we could feed the children for lunch.  This pre-school is a very poor school that has very little materials for their class and the need for health care is also huge in this area of Ecuador.  

After ministering in the pre-school we went to a local park where we ministered to 90 children and adults with song, puppets, and dramas.  During our time there a few of our students lead some teenagers that were in the park to Christ.  (Through an interpreter of course.)     

The food has been great and the experience will stick out in my mind for years

Venerate

venerate \VEN-uh-rayt\, transitive verb:
To treat someone or something with deep respect, reverence or deference; to revere.

I am about to walk out the door as I am on my way to Ecuador.  As I was learning a new word of the day I came past the word venerate.  It can also mean to adore or to cherish…and wow that is exactly how I feel about my family.  They are amazing!  Last night Hannah won 1st place in her heat 1 swim meet.  That’s all she could do because of a thunderstorm that came through. So they had to close down the meet.   My other daughter is just as amazing; though I can’t think of any event that she has succeeded in this week I venerate the fact that she is my eldest daughter who is growing to be an incredible young lady.   And my wife multi-tasked all day while I was with teenagers helping prepare them for Ecuador trip.  She got up early took me to the church, went shopping for a meal that we do every year with our parents and the teenagers who are going on the mission trip…then she left to swim practice, then went to work at the swim meet all evening while I was at the church!  WOW!  I definitely venerate wife with all my heart! 

Quito, Ecuador

ecuador

I am gearing up to leave for Quito, Ecuador with week so I thought I’d share some information about Ecuador.                                       Some important facts about Ecuador are:  – Quito (where I am going) is the Capital City

– The currency is U.S. Dollar (yea!)

The official language is Spanish (Lord help me! I know just enough Spanish to get some water and use the bathroom.  LoL)– The population is 13, 212, 700 million – The number one religion is Roman Catholic – 95%– 65% of the population struggle with poverty.  That is very high! 

– 45% of malnutrition are children under the age of 5. 

– It’s located is north western South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean at the Equator, between Colombia and Peru

– It’s roughly the size of the U.S. State of Colorado without the blue spruce.

– Ecuador does have a few active volcanoes which include the Cotopaxi, Sangay, Reventador, Tungurahua & Guagua Pichincha. (Alright they have a lot of active volcanoes.  They have never had a volcano eruption, but a volcano cloud did cover the city with ash on 2002.) 

They do have internet service providers, but were I am there will be no service….I don’t think!  Out of 31 Internet Providers only 1.7 out of 100 use the service. – One of my favorite Ecuadorian exports is coffee…so you better believe that I will bring some coffee home!  Sweet!  They also export bananas, shrimp, cocoa, cut flowers, and fish.  Just in case wanted to know that information. 

As soon as I get back I will let you know all the good news!  I’ll probably be sipping a cup of hot coffee from the Golapagos Islands.  Please keep my family and I in your prayers as I am gone. 

HARVEST ’07

harvest 07 

Wow!  What an amazing weekend!  This weekend we had 41, 500 people attend the Harvest Crusade out of those who attended 2, 471 came to Christ.  Not to mention over 600 individuals came to Christ through the SWAT Teams (Students With a Testimony) that went out to the malls and streets to share the gospel message.  These Harvest Church Student Ministry teams teamed up with local teenagers from surrounding churches and trained confrontational witnessing.  Then went out with us to reach people on the streets as we were getting ready Harvest Crusade.  There goal was to leave the local churches with tools that would help them continue to reach the unchurched after they left the Raleigh area.   I was really impressed with the heart of the leadership of this amazing church.  They have a huge heart to reach people with the gospel message. 

The only down side that I saw was the event  felt more like a churched venue.  I gauged this by watching individuals participate in worship.  Unchurched people don’t raise there hands during worship.   I also watched a large portion of those attending chanting “We love Jesus yes we do, We love Jesus how bout you?”  I am not saying that there were no unchurched individuals there.  I know for fact that there were also many unchurched people there. 

I believe it really goes back to one person reaching out to his or her neighbor, business associate, and family member.  The best witness is the individual who lives out his or her faith and intentionaily tries to reach people everyday. 

I am very thankful for the lives that were impacted and I am believing that more lives will continue to be transformed as we begin living our lives with the intent to reach this unchurched generation.  

Languid

I believe one way to increase our abilites to communicate is to learn how to phrase words and by learning new words to use to express your thoughts.  One way I have begun to do this is by learning a new word from Dictionary.com   Check out today’s word:  

 languid \LANG-gwid\, adjective:

1. Drooping or flagging from or as if from exhaustion; weak; weary; heavy.

2. Promoting or indicating weakness or heaviness.

3. Slow; lacking vigor or force.

As many of you know I have been preparing for multiple events this week.  As I walked through the door after a long day at work I felt languid, ready to go straight to bed.  As life goes on so do I, choosing to move forward with a good attitude choosing enjoy my time with the family.   

Amplify – Get Ready

amplify

As you may know this weekend is the Amplify Youth night. (Saturday Night)  It is expected to be a weekend that will impact lives for eternity.  Please pray with us as we are urging individuals to come out this weekend.  We have been working for over a year planning for this event and now is the time to see the harvest.   It is kinda like planting a garden we have worked hard preparing the soil and planting the seed and the momentum has grown.   

I was at a swim meet with my youngest daughter (which by the way she got first place in her 1st heat!) the other night and I was able to talk to a guy who was unchurched about coming out the event.  Because there is a small degree of the unknown about big event many just want to come out to see what it is. 

This week is our last big push Friday night is the opening night and then bam!  It’s here!   SWEET!  Please pray and if you are in the Raleigh area….invite, invite, invite!  Peace:)

Aquila

A

Today I want to focus on a guy named Aquila (Yes his name does sound a little feminine.) and his wife Priscilla.  These two amazing individuals made a huge impact on the church.  We see in Acts 18:1-3 that Paul met Aquila in Corinth where they worked together in the tent making business.  We also see Aquila is a strong support person, maybe even an accountability partner for Paul.  He was willing to stand by Paul’s side on one of his journeys and was someone that Paul valued and could rely on.  Multiple times we hear Paul greet the couple and you can ialmost magine the strong relationship between them both.  As I look at the character of Aquila I since that he was a great listener, someone easy to talk to.  I’m not sure if you have ever had a person like this in your life before, but this type of person is loyal and he has the ability to help you clarify things in your life that may seem a little fuzzy.  

One of the amazing aspects of Aquila is that he used his gift of teaching well.  One day Aquila and his wife heard Apollos speak in the synagogue and they pulled Apollos to the side and gave him a Theology lesson.  Many of us have heard people speak using Theology that was off.  This guy (Aquila) was willing to pull Apollos to the side and share Biblical truth with him directly, instead of just being passive or talking behind Apollos’s back.  What integrity we see here.  I have seen many who have butchered an individual behind their back about what they had spoke on. This was not a man sharing opinions of scripture, but he was willing to speak with Appollos about Biblical truth and Apollos respected him enough to listen and heed his consoltation.  What amazes me about Aquila is that he was secure enough in God’s Word and in himself to position himself to correct a leader.  He didn’t allow thoughts of discouragement or rejection to control his mind.  He valued helping a minister understand Biblical truth over the fear of rejection.  (Apollos could have easily rejected Aquila.)   

The last thing that we see in the life of Aquila and Priscilla is that they opened up their house to allow the church to gather there.   Anyone who has started a church plant or even a small group in their home understands the value of a meeting place.  If it were not for the gift of hospitality operating through these individuals many churches and lives may have never been transformed.   I see three spiritual gifts operating through Aquila:  teacher, mercy and hospitality.  What gifts do you have that you are using to edify the church? What step can you take today to best use your giftings to be used to spread the gospel?

Jason

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I have recently started reading through the Bible with the spiritual filter to target the little people of the Bible.  When I use that phrase, I am speaking of individuals in the Bible that most people pass by while they are reading and focus on the main characters.  I have found that these “little people” are the ones that are the support staff of the local church.  The ones that are doing the behind the scenes things that are making great impact for the Kingdom of God.  So my first little person I want to highlight on is “Jason.” 

Jason is a defender of the faith that we read about in Acts 17:5-10.  Paul had just entered the synagogue and debated scripture and now these unbelieving Jews have formed a mob of the roughest toughest individuls in the marketplace and now they are on the way to Jason’s house.  They are knocking down signs and booths in the streets and making a huge uproar in the town in Thessalonica.    They arrive at Jason’s house and look everywhere for Paul and Silas, but they can’t find them.  So they claim that Jason has privately protected Paul and Silas.  These unbelieving Jews charged Jason for assisting Paul and Silas for ignoring Ceasar’s decrees by declaring that Jesus is the one and only true King and not Ceasar!  After hearing this, everyone was so upset that they arrested Jason.  After they had arrested Jason for hidding Paul and Silas and assisting in treason, they took a bond payment from Jason and let him go. 

 Jason put his life in the path of these unbelieving Jews to ensure that the message of the gospel would continue to be preached.  So what does a modern day Jason look like?  I beleive that this individual is a person who values the gospel message so much that he or she are willing to take a stand with others that are speading the gospel message.  They are making sure that nothing will get in the way for these preachers of the faith!  So these guys are giving of their own finacial resources, time and even verbally communicating to others that are helping and supporting at all cost individuals who are willing to share the gospel message.  These evangelists, church planters, and market place believer’s of the faith would have more hurddles in their  life if we didn’t have the Jason’s in our life that are willing to stand beside us and ensure us that nothing will get in their way!  If you are Jason for a Paul…..Thank you!  Even though people don’t see you in the spot-light much, you are making a huge impact for the Kingdomof God. 

Choosing the Right People

team

I have been reading in Acts 15 and by the way Acts is a great book to go through in 28 days.   One of the things that emerges from this passage i s the value of choosing the right leaders to work with you.  I have worked with a lot of great leaders, but there is a great value about working with someone who has the same mission as you, pholosophy of ministry, and has great work ethics.  We all have worked with individuals that made completing a task difficult. 

So we read in Acts 15:36-40 that Paul and Barnabas have a discrepancy over having John Mark join there journey to strengthen the churches that they have preached to. Paul refusses to work with John Mark because he left them in Pamphylia.  Barnabas with the gift of mercy opperating strongly, desires to bring John Mark along on the journey, but they both come to the conclusion:  it is better that we seperate and further the kingdom of God then to stay together and open the door to divison.  So Barnabas takes John Mark and Paul takes Silas…..(Think we would have never had the awesome Paul and Silas prision story if they hadn’t split up.)

 These great men of God seen the value of choosing the right leaders accompany them as they further the kingdom of God.  So the conclusion is who we choose to work with does matter.  If we are going to impact lives and futher the Kingdom of God….we must work with the right leaders, with the right skills, and who have the right heart.  Are you working with somone that you can trust?  If not, go find your Silas and watch and see what God can in do your life. 

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