Impact Africa Update

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This summer Julie and I have the incredible privilege to lead a team to Africa through America World Adoption Agency. This is the same agency we went through to adopt our youngest daughter Klaire six years ago. Our team will be visiting several orphanages in Kenya and Uganda with the purpose of impacting the lives of these amazing children and their caregivers.

The dates for our trip are June 30th – July 13th.

Currently we have six team members representing three different states, Michigan, Virginia, and Kentucky. And, we would love to have many more. The registration deadline is Tuesday, April 30th. So, please join me in praying for our team to grow.  Some of the orphanages we will visit have hundreds of children. A larger team simply means more children will have the opportunity to be impacted by our ministry.

I currently have five people who are seriously praying about joining and several others who are considering it. 

Also, if you don’t mind, please share this ministry opportunity on your facebook page or blog by posting a link to the registration page for this team

Thank you for caring, praying, and helping us spread the word about this amazing opportunity!

Oceans, Catalyst West Coast Moment

Monday, April 22, 2013

This past week I had the privilege to attend Catalyst Leadership Conference in California. I've been to three other Catalyst conferences in the past but this was my first one on the West Coast. And, in true Catalyst fashion I wasn't disappointed  I truly enjoyed my time with our church staff, meeting new friends, being challenged to grow as a pastor/leader, and worship. 

There were several moments at Catalyst that left a mark on me. One of those moments came during worship when Joel Houston led us in the song "Oceans." The lyrics reached deep in to my heart and squeezed tightly. I've since purchased the song and downloaded it on my iphone to use during my morning worship time. I hope it speaks to you as well. 

"Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)"

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand

And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You've never failed and You won't start now

So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior

I will call upon Your Name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine

It's Time!

Friday, April 12, 2013

This post is for those who, like myself, are associated with the Free Will Baptist Denomination.

April is known as World Missions Month for our denomination. It is the one time of the year that our International Missions Department has designated for a special emphasis on global missions. It is an opportunity to educate our people of the amazing things God is doing around the globe through our FWB works and to remind them of God’s mandate to reach the nations for Christ. And, yes – it is an opportunity to give a special offering to help continue our efforts around the world.

I have been privileged to work in our International Missions office. They are some of the hardest working, talented, and passionate people I have served with. I have also been blessed with the opportunity to visit some of our FWB missionaries in five different countries. They are amazing people following God’s call to impact lives for Him.

As I have traveled the United States ministering and visiting many of our FWB churches. I have learned that our denomination is as diverse as they come. And, it should be. There is nothing wrong with diversity. Matter of fact, I believe we should celebrate our differences! God never intended for us to all be just alike.

And yet, I believe we would all agree that the one thing we must agree upon is the Bible. We must continue to stand on God’s Word. Our methods may vary greatly from Virginia to California but our foundation, as a denomination must remain steadfast and strong on the Holy Scriptures.

This is why I love World Missions Month. It gives our denomination an opportunity to come together and support the biblical mandate to reach the peoples of the world. It gives us a time to educate our people of Gods call and to celebrate all He is doing through those who are serving FWB around the world. And, it allows each of us to reach a little deeper in our pockets to support the work God has called us to.

Please understand, FWB International Missions needs our monthly support. I encourage you and your church to give monthly from your budget.

But, the World Missions Month is an opportunity for us to go above and beyond in our giving. It gives children a chance to fill up a coin bank and give it towards God’s work. It allows our families to partner with those we know serving on the field. It opens the door for those who are new in our churches to see our dedication to God’s mandate and get involved.

One of the greatest privileges we have on this side of heaven is to give of our finances – big or small – to help impact lives for Christ.

I realize I may be the odd man out on this – but I believe FWB can do so much more. I believe our denomination, when unified on God’s mandate, can come together and make a huge difference in this world. 

What would happen if every FWB church celebrated World Missions Month? What could be accomplished if we stood together to support those God has called and we as a denomination have commissioned and sent?  I believe ITS TIME we find out.

Please visit the World Missions website to see if your church is listed. If it is not, please talk to your pastor, deacons, WNAC leader, or mission’s coordinator about joining together in this incredible opportunity.

And please, for the sake of reaching the Nations for Christ – help spread the word about World Missions Month.

This is how they will know...

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

I was traveling back from a family spring break trip when I received the news that Rick and Kay Warren's 27 year old son had died. I was heartbroken.

Julie and I have had the privilege to meet Rick while at a conference in California. I have been to Saddleback a couple of times for training. I have read his books. I have listened to his messages. I have taught many of his lessons. He has become for me a sort of long distance mentor - helping me develop as a pastor and follower of Jesus over the past 10 years. I love the Warren's heart, vision, and passion for impacting the world for Christ.

Rick is a fellow believer, pastor, dad, and husband. So when I heard the news of his sons tragic death I was heartbroken for their family and church. Then, as the days passed, I once again witnessed the ugliness in this world we live. Ugliness from within our own family of God and ugliness from those outside of the faith we have in Christ. I expect it from those who don't know Jesus - who don't understand the Bible. But I just don't understand other believers throwing mud especially in such a time of dispair.

This morning I came across Beth Moore's blog - it's one of the best blogs I've read in a long time. I urge you to take the time to read it with an open heart. Then, pray for the Warren family - pray for your pastor and leadership at your church - and pray for the body of Christ to come together like never before. Pray that our love for each other within the body of Christ will grow - because ultimately this is how the world will know that we are truly His disciples.

34A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35 ESV

Here's the link to Beth's blog.