I Like Adoption

Friday, December 21, 2012

Here's a powerful video on adoption. I like adoption too!

The Story of God

Friday, December 7, 2012

Here's an incredible video by Matt Papa. Get ready - this is powerful! The Story of the Bible in 10 minutes.

Written and Performed by Matt Papa

Filmed and Edited by Josh Sliffe

Musical score by Jordan Shababy


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Last year our daughter Kassidy attended Sunset Middle School in Brentwood, TN. A young man named Jared also attended Sunset. We often saw him at the basketball games in his wheel chair. The coaches would wheel Jared across the court and place him close to the bench. You could tell that he loved sports and being with his friends. I was impressed with how the coaches and the other students included him. For you see, Jared has severe cerebral palsy.

I remember thinking, "this kid is an inspiration!" 

Then, a few days ago, I caught a post on facebook by Kassidy's former basketball coach at Sunset, Mario Moore. He posted a video of Jared's latest sports accomplishment. Wow. If this video doesn't touch your heart I'm not sure you have one.

Duck Commander

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Along with millions of other Americans I have become a big fan of the reality tv show Duck Dynasty. Today I came across some video footage of CEO Willie Roberton giving a speech at Harding Universtiy in which he discusses being an adoptive dad and his faith in Christ. Just more reasons for me to love and respect this family and their television show!

Willie discusses adoption

Willie discusses his faith in Christ and the importance of living it out

I'm an Ambassador

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Last week I interviewed two different people at Kirby Church and used the interviews in my message. I love how these guys get the fact that Jesus has called us all to be Ambassadors! Thank you Ron and Jeff!

How is God challenging you to live out your faith?

Miss you dad.

Monday, November 26, 2012

 I'm finding myself missing my dad quite a bit over the past few days. Its almost been one year since he stepped into eternity and was reunited my sister Ronda, his dad & mom, sister and so many other friends and family members.

Shortly after he passed away someone told me that it helped them through their loss by always remembering their loved one in the context of heaven. I have to admit it has helped me more than I thought. I have actually found myself wondering about dad walking and talking with Jesus - spending time with his friends and family - enjoying his first Thanksgiving in heaven - and more.

I love this song by Matthew West, "Save a Place for Me." I'm thankful for the promise of heaven and the gift of salvation. And, until the day my Jesus calls me home - I will strive to know and love Him more each day...and enjoy thinking of my dad loving his new home in heaven.

Relentless Detroit 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

 This past Saturday, Kirby Church hosted a power lifting benefit for nine year old Austin Valentine who is facing the fight of his life - brain cancer.

Several families at Kirby and in one of the Life Groups had connections to Austin and his family through sports, the Children's Hospital, and school. So, when they heard about what this little guy was going through they begin to pray about ways to help. That's when Tommy Westhoff, one of our church members and a power lifter, approached them with the idea of hosting the power lifting competition as a way of raising financial support for the family and of providing encouragement to Austin.

The "Relentless" power lifting events have been around for several years and have raised thousands of dollars to help families facing difficult times.

I'm not sure if you have ever been around the power lifting tribe or not but these lifters are big - really big. Not just in stature but also in heart. Something more powerful than pressing hundreds of pounds in the air took place on Saturday. I've been in ministry for over 20 years and attended a lot of conferences, events, concerts, and services. But I have rarely seen anything as incredible as "Relentless Detroit" at Kirby Church!

I was blown away by the people of Kirby - their hearts for serving and loving others - the planning and hard work - their vision and faith - it took a lot to pull something like this off!

I was blown away by the power lifting community and creators of Relentless - their strength, huge hearts, and ability to inspire others to press on through difficulties and hardships.

I was blown away by the amount of money raised for the Valentine family - over $30,000!

But more than anything, I was once again blown away by how God showed up in a big way and touched peoples lives.

If you would like to help Austin Valentine please do one of of two things; 1.) pray for him and his family 2.) give. If you would like to make a donation please contact Kirby Church.

Happy Gotcha Day!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Six years ago today...
Klaire was passed from her dear nanny into our families arms.
The miracle of adoption became real to us.
Our family grew by one precious little girl and one great big adoption family.
God blessed our socks off!

Our experience that day is still hard to describe. And unless you have experienced the miracle of adoption for yourself you simply can't fully understand. I realize adoption is not for everyone but today I'm so thankful God chose our family to experience the miracle. 

Oh be careful what you TWEET!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A couple of days ago I received a tweet from @Sean_Breslin telling me he had used one of my tweets in an article for The Weather Channel. To say I was surprised is a major understatement. I was shocked even more when I saw that it was simply a random tweet I hurled into cyber-space about my morning run in Tennessee. However, he thought it fit his story and he used it.

Now, the funny thing is Sean never asked permission. He just used it. And, I was okay with him posting it on a major website for millions of people to read without my permission.

You see, here’s what I understand about social media;

*What you tweet can and will be used against or for you.
*Once you tweet it or facebook it – you can’t take it back.
*Like it or not, some people will judge you by what you tweet.
*Social media has the power to influence others in a positive or negative way.

Social media is the use of words. And words are POWERFUL. James reminds us of the power of our words in James chapter 3.

 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse human beings, who have been made in God's likeness.10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers and sisters, this should not be.11 Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring?12 My brothers and sisters, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. (NIV)

So, the next time you post a random tweet or write something on your facebook wall remember the words of James – it may seem harmless – but it can destroy – start a fire – ruin your world – bring chaos. Or your words can bring encouragement, hope, joy, praise, influence and blessing.

Here are a few rules that might help you when considering what to post or tweet;

1.) If you wouldn’t say it to your mom’s face then don’t tweet it.

2.) Never air out your dirty laundry between friends, your kids, your family, or your spouse in a tweet.

3.) Never tweet in anger. 

What rules would you add?

Our last week in Nashville

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The last 6 to 8 months have been crazy. I’m not sure how else to put it. My decision to leave The Hanna Project has been excruciatingly difficult. I have loved the work and feel incredibly blessed to have had this opportunity.

I have struggled with leaving all that my current position offers. I’ve been able to travel the world, work with people I consider to be heroes (our missionaries), visit many churches, district & state meetings in the US, work with the IM office staff.

And yet, all along I have missed being a pastor. I have missed discipling new believers. I have missed having my wife by my side as we minister together. I have missed seeing my girls grow up. I have missed being a part of a local church and leading it to impact their community and world for Christ.

This is our last week in Nashville and yes it is hard to leave all of our friends, family, home, and work. We love middle-Tennessee! And yet, we are excited about all God has for us in Michigan as we once again step out in faith and trust His leading. 

Thank you for praying for our family during this transition. For our home to sell, Julie to find a job, the girls as they transition, as we look for a place to live, and as we adjust back into local church ministry. 


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

One of the great things about visiting other cultures is sampling the different foods. Well, while in France with our E-Team one of our host missionary families, the Price's, fixed Escargot for our team. Here's a video of their experience.

E-Team France Closing Ceremony Video

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Our experience in leading E-Team France was truly unforgettable. We had an amazing team of 9 teens from around the world and visited some incredible missionaries, churches, and sites. The believers in France are amazing. And, the need to share the gospel is huge. Less than 1% of France are believers. Less than 1%! I hope you will let that sink in. Its a sobering statistic.

In spite of this, there are some amazing things happening in the evangelical community of France. This video is such a short summation of our time in this incredible mission field. May God challenge you to support the work around the world by praying, giving, and going!

For more information on our missionaries in France or other parts of the world and how you can get involved please visit; Free Will Baptist International Missions

For more information about E-Team please visit; E-Team

Hello Kirby Church!

Our family is super excited to be joining the staff at Kirby Church in Flat Rock, Michigan. Our first official Sunday will be July 15th. Here's a quick video Julie and I made for the church while in France.

Working in Chateaubriant, France

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Yesterday, our E-Team was privileged to work with the only evangelical church in the city of Chateaubriant, France. Missionaries, Steve& Becky Riggs have started this work in this city of approximately 12,500 people. It also serves as the county seat making a central hub for activity.

Our team purchased and installed flooring for the church. As well as tear out a couple of walls.  We worked along side Jean-Charles, one of the men who is helping plant the work. It was an amazing day for our entire team. The need to share the gospel here in France is beyond words. I'm so thankful for our missionaries serving here in this great country and the eternal impact that is being made!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Our time in France has been amazing! You can read updates from our team members on the FWBGO.COM website.

Our theme verse for E-Team is Matthew 7:20 "Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them."

My prayer for our team (including myself) is that we will grow in our relationship with Christ and in following Him we will produce fruit - much fruit. Our group has grown close. We have been amazed by France - the need, the believers, our missionaries, and so much more. 

Please keep praying for us as we continue to dive deeper in our relationship with Jesus!



Sunday, June 17, 2012

Our team enjoyed an incredible meal last night at Matt & Christina Price's home. One special treat was letting our team try escargot!

An Interview in Nantes, France.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Today we were privileged to here Myriam and Deborah’s testimony. Please check out the video.

We have arrived in France!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Our entire team made it to France today! Here's a quick video of our journey from Nashville to Nantes.

You can also read updates written by our team members HERE.

Many more pictures are posted on my Facebook Page.

Thank you to our family and friends!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tonight we decided to do a thank you video to our family and friends. Our team is flat out hilarious! I love how close we have become in such a short amount of time. I’m thankful for each of our team members, their passion and love for Christ is contagious.

Please pray for our team, the missionaries we will visit, and the ministry opportunities along the way.

E-Team Leaders to France!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On Tuesday, June 4th Julie, Kassidy, Klaire, and myself drove to the FWBBC campus to begin our team leader training for E-Team. We are so excited to be leading E-Team France! For those of you who have never heard of E-Team, here is a basic description from FWB International Missions site:

E-TEAM is a life-changing, short-term summer missions experience for students who have just completed grades 10, 11, or 12. The program provides a week of intensive training and two weeks of hands-on cross-cultural experience where students learn from and serve with Free Will Baptist missionaries. The experience wraps up with a time of debriefing and closing ceremonies.
Groups consist of seven to nine students led by an adult couple. Destinations have included Japan, France, St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Chicago, Mexico, Spain, Uruguay, Panama, Brazil, and Cuba.

We will train with other leaders for a few days then our teens will arrive on Thursday, June 6th. Then, on Wednesday, June 13 we will fly to Paris to meet up with our host missionaries. Julie and I are so excited about this opportunity! We have wanted to be a part of this amazing ministry for over 15 years but just couldn’t work into our crazy busy schedules. Please pray for us as we lead. Also, pray for our daughters – Karlee will be on a missions trip in Florida with Campus Crusade, Kassidy will attend two church camps and Klaire will get to hang out in Illinois with her grandparents.

A very hard decision...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This week, I formally announced my resignation as the state side administrator for The Hanna Project. This decision comes after more than six months of prayer and deep soul searching. It was hard. Very hard.

The last few years have been very special for our family. God has allowed us to rub shoulders with men and women we consider to be heroes. He has blessed us with an amazing church, jobs, opportunities for our children, neighborhood, home, and so much more. We are extremely thankful.

And yet, God’s leading back into church ministry has been very clear. We are extremely thankful for this opportunity and look forward to all God has for us at Kirby Church.

Many have asked about when we will move? Well, we haven’t nailed that down yet. More than likely our family will transition around the middle of July – either before or after the FWB National Convention.

Please say a prayer for us as we take this leap of faith. Transition for our girls, job for Julie, house to sell, finding a place to live, saying good bye’s, saying “hello!” We are thankful for all of our friends and family – for the love and support, kind words, and prayer. And, we are looking forward to following God in this next phase of our lives.  

We are moving.

Monday, June 4, 2012

We are moving.

Today I formally announced my resignation. Here is the official press release.

Wilson Moves Back into Church Ministry
Antioch, TN—Joe Wilson, stateside administrator for The Hanna Project (THP), announced his resignation today, June 4, 2012. He has accepted a position with Kirby Free Will Baptist Church in Michigan. “I’ve loved the years I’ve spent with International Missions and THP. However, my pastor’s heart has missed serving a local congregation of believers,” Joe explained. “At Kirby, I’ll have the opportunity to exercise my pastoral gifts as well as practice, in a local church context, my passion for reaching the world for Christ.”
Wilson transitioned into his THP role on September 1, 2010, after a tremendously successful 14-month assignment as special project coordinator for the Go10 Walk for the World.
“My understanding and love of missions has grown exponentially over the past three years,” Joe stated. “And my respect for our missionaries, along with the IM staff, has soared to new heights. They are some of the most dedicated and hard working people with whom I have had the privilege to serve.”
“In recent months, Joe has added incredible enthusiasm and dedicated effort to aiding the 2012 World Missions Offering efforts,” stated Mark McPeak, director of advancement. “He helped provide continuity as Sam McVay returned to Spain and I re-joined the Mission team. We will greatly miss Joe’s enthusiasm, can-do spirit, and positive attitude.”
General Director Clint Morgan echoed McPeak’s sentiments adding, “Joe has left an indelible mark on THP and the IM family. Although we will greatly miss him, we cannot discourage him from following the Lord’s leading.”
According to Morgan, the effective date of Wilson’s departure has not yet been established. “Joe and his wife Julie plan to fulfill their commitment to lead E-TEAM France. Training for leaders begins tomorrow and E-TEAM responsibilities do not conclude until June 28,” Morgan explained.
“It is my desire,” said Wilson, “to finish my time here well. When I return from France, I will need a few weeks to tie up loose ends and leave things in good order for my successor.”
“I commend Joe for the work he has done, and the attitude with which he has done it,” Morgan said. “It is my prayer that God will bless him and his family as they transition to ministry in Michigan.”

Take Me Out To The Ball Game - Korean Style!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A couple of weeks ago I was privileged to visit South Korea. While there, the family I was staying with invited me to attend a professional baseball game with their son. They told me it was vastly different than our American baseball.

Being a huge baseball fan, it wasn’t hard to convince me to go. Just before we left for the ballpark, my new Korean friend asked me to wear his prized Twins jersey. Turns out a tall American - at a Korean baseball park - wearing a Twins jersey creates quite a stir. I think that was my friend’s intent.

We showed up to the stadium and found our seats. And, I have to say I was extremely surprised. Korean baseball fans love their baseball. The Koreans have done an amazing job of creating a crazy baseball culture for the fans that truly turns them into participants. These fans sang, cheered, clapped, and danced for their team. It was like a mix between American World Series baseball and World Cup Soccer. Don’t believe me – check out the video below.

“Participation” is such an important key in our walk with Christ. Jesus never called us as followers to sit on the sideline and simply watch church happen. We are called to go – to make disciples – to teach – to serve – to give – to care – to impact the world. The challenge for us as leaders in the church is to create an atmosphere of participation. An atmosphere that encourages imperfect people to get involved, to allow God to stretch and use them for His glory.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I still love American baseball. I just have a new appreciation for how the Korean baseball fans participate in the game.  If you ever get a chance to visit South Korea (which I highly recommend) I suggest you catch a baseball game. It’s a great cultural experience!

The True Definition of Missional

Saturday, May 26, 2012

This week I came across the post below by Artie Davis. (http://pastors.com/the-true-definition-of-missional/)  

I love the fact that his article is simple and encourages churches/ministries to focus on results. I believe in vision, purpose, planning, discussions, defining your goals, etc. But we often get caught up in planning and never spend any time in evaluating the outcome. This may be the most difficult and yet the most critical success in impacting lives for Christ.

What would happen if our churches/ministries focused on asking the three questions Artie mentions below? How would our ministries change?

 The True Definition of Missional

Measuring UpMissional – The church buzz word of the last five years. It’s what we’re supposed to be. It’s what we’re supposed to do, but understanding that, well… there seems to be some “Tension-al.”
This is the way I see it. I’m a very simple guy, therefore things have  GOT TO BE simple. I never see God trying to make things hard to understand, or difficult to define. Jesus equipped a circle of “uneducated and untrained men.” He didn’t do that by making their mission hard to understand, or define!
I think we spend way to much time debating the what something means, and not measuring the outcome of what we are doing. Really…I care far less of what your definition is, or what you’re doing, the big question is…
What are you getting DONE?
1- How many people are you seeing come to know Jesus?
2- How many people are learning what it means to follow Jesus?
3- How many people are becoming LIKE Jesus, and bringing others in?
If those (3) questions are measured and are being DONE and growing. Then guess what, it doesn’t matter what others may say about how, why and where you are doing it, it only matters that you are getting it DONE!
When you give an account before the Father don’t want to hear, “Good system”, “Well executed definition.” What we want to hear is … “Well DONE!”
That is all…
Source: ArtieDavis.com

Friday Fun!

Friday, May 25, 2012

I love Friday! So, just for fun here's a video someone shared at the office this morning from Hoops and Yoyo. Enjoy!

You Steady My Heart

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

I love to plan. I love to create a list and mark things off as they are accomplished. I believe in vision casting and planning for the future. I think its biblical.

And yet, I've been reminded lately that as we plan we must hold those plans loosely realizing God may have other ideas. Sometimes the best thing we can do is determine our next step. Not our tenth or eleventh step but the next one.

I'm thankful that God promises to guide us and never leave our side. If we focus on Him instead of the unknown worry goes away. He steadies our heart.

I love this new song by Kari Jobe and the truth it conveys! This is a great reminder for me today.

The Most Important Thing

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

One of the greatest lessons in life that I am still learning is that the most important thing I can do every day is…spend time with Jesus.

This is neither a luxury nor an option rather it is the most important thing we can do as believers. It is a necessity. Everything good in my life is outflow from my relationship with Jesus. Spending time developing my relationship with Him makes me a better husband, father, friend, son, brother, neighbor, minister, and person.

It seems so simple yet experience reminds me it is not easy. My biggest hindrance is myself.
·      My busy schedule makes it easy for me to make excuses.
·      My wondering mind often makes it hard to focus.
·      Sometimes guilt even makes me feel like I need to do a better job at my to-do-list rather than spend time alone with God. Time alone with God doesn’t seem very productive to many church members.

And yet, this must be our focus. We must make this a priority.  It is the most important thing.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind.” Matthew 22:37

Yesterday I turned 44 - Now What?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I have now lived an incredible 15,696 days on this earth. That’s a lot of living; 22 years married to my high school sweetheart/best friend, 3 amazing daughters, a ton of unforgettable moments, living in five different states, visiting 10 countries, and making plenty of mistakes along the way.

Now that I’ve lived 43 years and one day, what’s next?

Here’s my thoughts:

·      I want to love Jesus more. My hearts desire is to grow my relationship with Jesus more than ever in the days I have left on this planet. This must be my first and highest priority.

·      I want to love Julie more. God blessed my socks off when He blessed me with my wife and best friend. I more than married up and I want to love her with all that I have in the days, months, and years ahead.

·      I want to love my daughters more. I have lived long enough to realize the most important thing I can give my children is my time and to live out my faith in front of them. So many things are competing for my time. There are many fun and incredible options. But, nothing compares to loving and pouring myself into these amazing girls that God has given us.

·      I want to love others more. Our world continually invites us to live for ourselves. And yet, God’s word encourages us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. May God help me to see the opportunities in front of me each day. May I have the His heart for those who cross my path.

·      I want to continue learning. I may have lived over 15,000 days but I still have a lot to learn. I want to read, study, and be stretched. I never want to stop being a learner.

·      I want to continue taking risks. The older I get the harder it is to accept change and challenges. Its easy to set back and get comfortable. I don’t ever want to be in that place. I want to continually take risks – to be challenged – to try new things – to go new places – to push myself beyond my comfort zone.

·      I want to be used by God. I want to impact lives for Christ. I want to be a part of something bigger than myself. I want to be used up for Him!

Holy Cow!!! Thank you for Voting!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Why I hate Religion, But love Jesus

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I friend of mine posted this video on her facebook page and I simply had to share it!

New Years Resolutions

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

I’ve been thinking some over the past several weeks about my New Years Resolutions but simply haven’t put anything down on paper. Then, on my drive in to work today, I heard Wally talking about resolutions on WayFM and how a lot of people just don’t like making them because they never stick to them.

I have always tried to take the time to sit down and write out some things that I would like to change or improve in the New Year. I think its important to set goals and to strive to better ourselves and the New Year seems to give us a perfect starting point.

This morning while working on my list I came across a great blog post by Pete Wilson about his resolutions. I love his and will use some of them myself! Especially this; "I want to live in 2012 with the awareness of LIFE GOES BY FAST and MY DAYS ARE NUMBERED." -Pete Wilson

How about you? What are some of your New Year Resolutions?