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Just Blogging Along About Jesus, Life, and Family.

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TGC13

It’s April 11, 2013, around 10:48pm EST, and I sit here, having been over a week since I last posted here on my blog. There are two main reasons for this: First, my wife and I were attending The Gospel Coalition Pre-Conference and National Conference in Orlando, FL, thus, we were busy listening to some of today’s most gifted speakers and preachers(more on that in a few minutes). Secondly, the internet in our hotel room was, well, let’s just say lacking. It was there, as in I could connect to it. But, beyond that, it didn’t really work.

For those of you not familiar with The Gospel Coalition, go click here and learn more about it. It’s an incredible organization. And this conference was amazing. I’m not going to put much up here about it now, as I am tired, however, you all need to look up the missionary J. Mack Stiles, who goes by Mack, and authored “Marks of the Messenger: Knowing, Living and Speaking the Gospel. I haven’t read it yet, however, it’s in my bags of books that came home with me from the conference. Yay! More coming later this week/next week depending on how busy work is.

John 21:25

“Now there are also many other things Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. -John 21:5.

I don’t have much to say on this verse, except that it is just amazing. However, borrowing from Matthew Henry, this verse is explained so well(From “The New Matthew Henry Commentary”). According to Matthew Henry, there are three reasons why more was not written of the things Jesus did:

1. “it was unnecessary to write more. What is written is a sufficient revelation of the message of Christ and the proof of that message. If we do not believe and make use of what is written, neither would we if there had been much more.”

2. “It was not possible to write everything down. It would be a history so large and overgrown that it could not be contained; it would jostle out all other writings and leave no room for them. A complete record would have been endless.”

3. “It was not advisable to write much, because the world, in a moral sense, could not contain the books that should be written. The world could not contain. It is the word Christ used in 8: 37, when he said, “My word has no place in you.””

It wasn’t necessary, it wasn’t(and still isn’t) possible, and it was not advisable because the world still wouldn’t understand, even if all the books in the world did just tell of the works of Jesus. Praise God!

God has completely changed my thought process! Praise and Glory to Him!

As the few people who read my blog may or may not know, my wife and I serve as house parents within the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes at their Jacksonville, FL campus. We work and live with, full time, four young ladies(with the potential to have up to six or eight). And these ladies are, currently all preteens or teens. They are in that state of life where they [think they] know everything, and trying to argue, reason, compromise, or just talk to them can be such an exhausting feat of strength that sometimes we feel like we need a two hour nap just to recover enough to make it through the day. Especially myself, I can get myself whipped up into a frenzy in no time, bringing to mind James 1:20, “The wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.”

Continuing on, I recently started in with the Men’s Ministry class, called Yolkfellows, at our church, FaithBridge Church in Jacksonville, FL. I’m in the 101 class, which is the first one in a series, and one of the major parts of that class is the implementation of a quiet time every day, something I regularly do already. I was kind of stressed about adding more reading and studying along with scripture memorization to boot. However, this morning, that extra reading of God’s word paid off. It was such an eye opening revelation of God’s AMAZINGLY AWESOME AWESOMENESS to me, that God completely changed my thought process. Here it goes:

“A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his opinion.” -Proverbs 18:2,ESV.

WOW! Praise The Lord! I read that verse several times over and it took a minute or two before I was able to continue on and finish my reading for that day. But, wow, the realization and change God’s word has brought to me once again. After reading a while ago about how arguing with a fool doesn’t work, I read now that fools have no desire to truly understand the situation they are in, they just want everyone to know why they are right, even if they are wrong. The best example I can give was earlier today while we were out, one of our girls didn’t understand why she had to go to her cheer leading practice because she is injured and cannot practice. We told her she had to go, then I began to explain why. My wife stopped me and told me that she is not listening..at all. Then I remembered this verse. Praise God! I must have read this verse numerous times before, but, it’s today that God really revealed it to me. Praise the Lord!

Follw Me: A call to Die. A call to Live…Trailer

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Who Do You Think You Are(part 2.5, haha)

I didn’t really get to finish my last post because I was working and work suddenly became demanding of my time, haha!

As I read through this book(I just finished reading I Am Heard), I see many useful things for my “job”. First, let me describe my job: My wife and I are houseparents with the Florida Baptist Children’s Homes in Jacksonville, FL. We live in a group-home foster-care setting. It’s my family(My wife, myself, and our two children), living along with, as of this post, five young ladies whom are all in foster care for one reason or another. To us, this is not a job, it is a lifestyle, it is our ministry. We are here to share and display by example the love of Christ. And, from reading this book, I see on a daily basis how people define themselves by everything BUT Christ. Even in myself sometimes. Now, most of the girls that live with this haven’t experience the sweetness of our Savior’s salvation in their lives, reading “Who Do You Think You Are” gives me a more specific set of things to look for and things to pray for for each of my girls. I love them as if they were each my own daughter, and I want nothing but the best for them.

As my girls come to Christ, Lord Willing, I plan on giving them a copy of this wonderful book, as well as helping lead them through it. Being there to help them understand anything they don’t; answer any questions they may have; pray with them when they are in need; and let borrow my shoulder to cry on.

As for myself, this book has truly opened my eyes to who I am: A child of God, a son of the Most High. I praise Him for this. I praise Him for my identity. I wish I had this book 16 years ago when I was a new Christian in highschool. Or even 5 years ago, as a newlywed. Or four years ago, as a new father. But, nonetheless, I am thankful to God for bringing this book into my life, as well as the chance to help promote it as a part of the Who Do You Think You Are Street Team. Praise and Glory to God!

Who Do You Think You Are? (part 2)

Once again, here I am posting about Mark Driscoll’s new book, “Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in Christ“. This book has truly blessed me, and I am not entirely finished with it. Too often have I, and many others around me, based our identities on what we do, what we’ve done, what’s happened to us, and what enslaves us. Too often to we toss by the wayside that we are saved, Children of God. God is using His word and Who Do You Think You Are? to open my eyes to the reality of who I am…In Christ.

Who Do You Think 3D

 

 

Also, starting next week, Mark Driscoll is starting a sermon series on Who Do You Think You Are which you can watch at marshill.com

 

Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in Christ by Mark Driscoll

Right now, I am reading Pastor Mark Driscoll’s new book, “Who Do You Think You Are? Finding Your True Identity in Christ” and so far, it’s a great read. I’m only a couple chapters in, but, I really do enjoy it and have gotten quite a few good insights and quotes from it.

“In Adam there is condemnation, but in Christ there is salvation. In Adam we receive a sin nature, but in Christ we receive a new nature. In Adam we’re cursed, but in Christ we’re blessed. In Adam there is wrath and death, but in Christ there is love and life.”

“We are not what we do. We do what we are. Our identity determines our activity.”

“Are you a Christian? If so, then in Christ you are a saint, redeemed and renewed in Christ, because every true Christian is a saint.”

So far, this is a great book. Reading it along with Paul’s letter to Ephesians(as recommended) I am looking forward to growing more in Christ.

17:18

“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God by keeping all the words of this law these statutes, and doing them…” Deuteronomy 17:18-19

The other day, my wife and I received a gift card to Family Christian Stores by a co-worker of ours. While we were out, we saw a devotional-journal, called a “journible”(you’ll understand in a minute). It’s part of what’s called the 17:18 Series by Reformation Heritage Books(www.heritagebooks.org). And, well, from reading Deuteronomy 17:18-19 above, it’s quite self explanatory. Each “Journible” has you, little bit by little bit, copy down by hand God’s word, verse by verse. And there is space for your comments and reflections, as well as the occasional question to spur discussion.

I haven’t started mine yet, I purchased the one for Romans, however, I really look forward to doing so.

Currently available are the Journibles for: Proverbs, Romans, John, Luke Psalms, Deuteronomy, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Collossians, 1st and 2nd Thessalonians, 1st and Second Timothy, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1st and 2nd Peter, 1st 2nd and 3rd John, Jude, 1st and 2nd Corinthians. For more information, visit http://www.the1718series.com and enjoy!

Religion Saves….

I haven’t really had a chance to post on here in a while, work has been busy. That, coupled with the fact that I work 24 hours a day, in stretches up to 16 days(and possibly longer), I don’t always have a chance to do what I want to do. However, I do want to write a bit about the book, “Religion Saves and Nine Other Misconceptions” by Mark Driscoll. For a quick background, Mark Driscoll, Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Washington state, opened up his website for questions, which were commented on and voted on. After 893 questions, and 343,203 votes, the top nine were chosen and he wrote a sermon about(The sermons can be viewed by clicking here!) While many great topics are covered, from birth control to humor, dating and sexual sin, the chapters that really hit home with me are the questions on Predestination(question 7), Grace(Question 6), and The Emerging Church(Question 2). Now don’t get me wrong, I have learned a lot from reading all the chapters, however, these three really stuck out to me and God used them to help me understand certain parts of what I believe that I didn’t fully understand before. Pastor Mark puts them in a very clear and concise manner, using scripture as his references to solidly back up his points. The chapter on Predestination is especially wonderful because I have never before seen it put so plainly in a more simple to understand wording. For those of you who read why I began this blog, about the guy who got jumped at in my Wednesday night class at church when he spoke about predestination and everything. Well, after reading the chapter on Predestination from Religion Saves, I went out and bought him a copy of the book. I haven’t heard back from him about it yet, and I can’t wait to hear back from him, either.

It’s a great book, a great read. You can even read the chapters out of order and it still makes sense(one of the few books you can do that with!) I highly recommend it!

Mission

Today, at church, our Pastor’s Daughter gave a testimony about her work and training with Word of Life Ministries in Argentina. It was amazing to hear. It was amazing to watch. You could hear her passion for global missions in her voice and see it in her body language. It was such a blessing. I could feel a physical pull on my heart to where my wife and I feel we belong, and that is in South American in Peru. She lived there at one point and I have been there twice now. Praise God! I can’t wait for Him to take us there!

It really puts into perspective what Pastor Paul preached on last week. 

Matthew 9:37-10:15(ESV)

37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; 38 therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.” Chapter 10 The Twelve Apostles 10  1 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. 2 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him. Jesus Sends Out the Twelve Apostles 5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ 8 Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay. 9 Acquire no gold or silver or copper for your belts, 10 no bag for your journey, or two tunics or sandals or a staff, for the laborer deserves his food. 11 And whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart. 12 As you enter the house, greet it. 13 And if the house is worthy, let your peace come upon it, but if it is not worthy, let your peace return to you. 14 And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town. 15 Truly, I say to you, it will be more bearable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah than for that town.

 

Hearing Pastor Paul preach on missions and then having his own daughter speak of living it out makes me miss the foreign mission field with a great fervor, one that brings me to tears. However, I know that right now, I know I am where God wants us to be as a Christians and a family and as missionaries. Remember, no matter where you are, you are on the mission field.

This, along with having just finished David Platt’s book Radical, has really gone on to help confirm our calling to long term missions. Praying every day for the churches around the world and the unreached lost people they strive to multiply in has been a blessing. Not only to be able to pray for them, but it has blessed my prayer life, as well. I Praise God for his divine appointment and awesome power and grace! 

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