Monday, December 29, 2008

New Year's Party

Wednesday, December 31

6:00 Pm to 1:00 AM

Movies, Pizza, Games, Midnight Worship, and MORE

Bring $10 to cover Pizza and something special for the beginning of 2009!

A Prayer for Year's End


Let me share again today a prayer from The Valley of Vision that great collection of Puritan prayers. This one seems appropriate as we approach the end of another year and look forward to the year beyond.

O Love beyond Compare,
Thou art good when thou givest,
when thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless thee that thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for thy use.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Joey Update Vol. 7

Merry Christmas everyone! We are getting chilly weather over here too actually (and while we didn’t quite get snow, we DID have a bunch of locusts fly overhead the other day, which if you use your imagination and squint just right- still doesn’t quite equal snow)

Anyway, my month has gone well overall. There have been the usual ups and downs of language learning and meeting people. These go with good days and bad days. A verse we happened upon in house kanisa has kept returning to my mind these past weeks. I will share it here: “Who has despised the day of small things?” (Zech. 4:10a) This is encouraging to me when those days come when I have been sick or tired. It is important to remember that our Father is still working when we are unable. It is in fact all His work and my part in it all is His grace. We’ve been studying 2 Cor. In house kanisa and one of the last verses has become my memory verse: “Therefore my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” In recent weeks I have tried to do just this and He has been faithful to bless me in it.

Last week, I was walking around, and found two guys sitting outside their house. They happened to speak N. and I told them I was here to learn their language and would like to meet others who speak it. Somehow or another, an opportunity opened and I took it to share my story and the Story. People gathered around to hear, as they usually do whenever I stop anywhere- being one of the few nasara in town has its advantages. It was not a dramatic experience that day, but as I have been reminded, the work is His and not mine. How will I know in years to come how much our Father has done through the time I spent here, or the time you all have spent lifting the work up? Perhaps when we stand in Glory, we shall see there many from this very people group who might say to me, “Remember that time you told me the Story and you thought I wasn’t listening? Well, the Father used it in my life like this…” I look forward to having those conversations and praising His name, who can work in seemingly insignificant ways to bring about such change.

The Day when we will see Him is closer now than it has ever been. And the work still is great. Thank you for being moved by the Lord to participate in finishing the Task. Thank you for your prayers and fastings, for your encouragement to me and your giving to the work I am doing. One day the work shall be finished but until then, we press on together with Him, until the end.

The Hamdu’s:

-There are many long term workers who have joined us in the field here and they have been arriving safely- I think our Father’s on the move in this place.

-Many new relationships have opened up and old ones have deepened. I’ve gotten a few more chances to share the Story!

-Christmas is here and is providing opportunities to share why we celebrate it.

The Dua’s:

-Please lift up a Story trip happening next month, that He would go before them and prepare all hearts to listen.

-Please lift up sound health for our team so that there be no distractions from the work.

-Deepening of these new relationships and further opportunities to share.

-Further lang. learning.

I hope that the joy of this season would find you and abide with you into the new year. I hope your families are well and that the time spent with them is peaceful and blessed, not rushed. A Merry Christmas to you all.


Monday, December 22, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Funny or Not? Vo. 11


We are headed to vacation early tomorrow morning and then it's CHRISTMAS!!!

So, here is the upcoming schedule:

No Flood Zone Dec 14 or 21

No Deep End Dec 17 or 24

See you all at worship on the 21st, then at flood zone on the 28th and the new year's party on the 31st!

Proverbs Part XIII-From Hot Head to Cool Cucumber

Heading to vacation in the morning, so just a quick outline recap of what we learned last night about how to avoid anger and why we should root anger out of our lives:

The Art of the Anger Free Response:

1. The Slow Response...
a. Ignores (Proverbs 12:16)
b. Waits for understanding (Proverbs 14:29-30)
c. Brings Peace (Proverbs 15:18)
d. Stops and Thinks (Proverbs 15:28)
e. Controls the Situation (Proverbs 16:32)
f. Submits to God’s Authority (Proverbs 20:22; 24:29; Romans 12:19-21)

2. The Soft Response...
a. Diffuses (Proverbs 15:1; 29:8)
b. Shows Restraint (Proverbs 17:27)
c. Limits Venting (Proverbs 29:11)
Note: This does not mean we should bottle up our feelings. We need to pray that the Holy Spirit will bring us to the point of realizing that our feelings are deceptive! Only vent when it won’t cause “residual anger” and to someone you can trust just to listen and not rile you back up; walk away for a minute and pray; quote scripture to yourself;

3. The Shelter Response...
a. Covers sin with love (Proverbs 17:9; 1 Peter 4:8)
b. Protects Unity (Proverbs 17:9)
c. Forgives (Proverbs 19:11)
d. Avoids (Proverbs 20:3)

Why we should avoid anger:

1. Hard to stop a fight once it starts-Proverbs 17:14
(Here is a fun video for your viewing pleasure illustrating how hard it is even for a boxing ref to stop a fight once it gets started)

2. Brings Discipline-Proverbs 19:19; 18:6-7-mouth of a fool invites a beating and ensnare the soul

3. Ends Relationships-Proverbs 22:10-11-need to remove the one who causes anger from the relationship

4. Anger spreads easily-Proverbs 22:24-25-hang around people given to anger & become like them!

5. Breeds Sin (in you and others)-Proverbs 17:19; 29:22-angry people cause other people to sin

What about You?
What are those times in your life that you find it easy to respond in anger. Start by writing down some specifics. Pray that the Holy Spirit will remind you of the things we have talked about tonight as you find yourself in those “anger making” situations.

This week, as school wraps up, and in the next couple of weeks with the excitement, but weariness of the holidays, determine to have a slow, soft, and sheltered response to your parents, teachers, siblings, and friends in every irritating and anger producing situation. You have to start somewhere if you want the holy spirit to remove anger from your heart!

Proverbs Part XII-The Wagging Tongue

Just a quick recap of the type of Tongue we should pray the Holy Spirit to grow in our lives and the type of Tongue we want to avoid (all references are from Proverbs):

The Tongue You Don’t Want-the tongue of the wicked and the fool
lacks a place with God-cut off (10:31-32; 10:20)
only know perverse things (10:31-32)
uncaring of other people-belittling, slandering, revealing secretes (11:12-13, 18:8; 20:19; 10:11 )
lacks sense (10:19; 11:12-13)
break the spirit (15:4)
brings itself under discipline (14:3; 10:14)
cuts & destroys (12:6; 12:18; 16:27-28)

The Tongue You Do Want-the tongue of the righteous and the wise
express wisdom (10:31-32; 15:7)
Knows what is acceptable to God (10:31-32)
Cares about other people (11:12-13; 12:6; 13:3)
brings healing and gladness (10:11; 12:18; 12:25
Knows what to say and when to say it (15:23; 25:11
Better proves it’s point (25:15)
keeps out of trouble (10:19; 21:23
Holds great value (10:20)

She Must & Shall Go Free Part X: Beloved Part II

Here are the lyrics to Derek Webb's song Beloved

Beloved these are dangerous times
Because you are weightless like a leaf from the vine
and the wind has blown you all over town
Because there is nothing holding you to the ground

So now you would rather be
A slave again than free from the law

Beloved listen to me
Don't believe all that you see
and don't you ever let anyone tell you
That there's anything that you need
But me

Beloved these are perilous days
When your culture is so set in it's ways
That you will listen to salesmen and thieves
Preaching other than the truth you’ve received

Because they are telling lies
For they cannot circumcise your hearts

Beloved there is nothing more
No more blessings and no more rewards
Than the treasure of my body and blood
Given freely to all daughters and sons

I see this song as a warning to the church of what can happen when we remove scripture from it's proper place in our lives. We talked last week about the 3 ways we can deal with scripture: ignore it, remove it from situations in our lives that don't conform to scripture, or keep it as the centerpoint of our lives removing the parts of our lives that don't conform to scripture. What happens when we ignore scripture altogether or just when it's convenient for us?

1. Source Separation (John 15:4-5)-Jesus, the vine, is the true source of Truth and Life revealed in and through Scripture. If our lives are removed from the Word of God, they are removed from the source of Truth and Life.

2. Living Foundationless (Hebrews 2:1)-Pay closer attention to what you have heard/learned so you do not drift away from it. If you are not anchored in the word you are susceptible to every current of this world.

3. “Re-slavery” (Galatians 5:1) It is for freedom Christ has set us free
-Freedom in Christ when tied to the vine or anchored to Truth
-removing yourself from the vine or pulling up the anchor leave you completely at the mercy of unstable and incalculable currents and winds which have no rhyme, no reason, and no hope to bring you back to a place of safety and security.
-leads to death-how many leaves remain alive when they fall from the branch? NONE
-Ship is destined to smash against the rocks if it is adrift
-a life removed from THE vine, Jesus, is removed from its source of life
-a life that is not anchored in Truth is destined to smash against the rocks of false teaching/

4. Culture Dominance (2 Timothy 4:3)-We listen to this because we like to have our “ears tickled”. Those teachings are not consistent...culture is constantly it leaves us in a race to “keep up” and “stay cool and relevant” but it does nothing to move us toward holiness (“cannot circumcise our hearts"...cut away the parts of our heart that is not pleasing to God).

5. Syncretism (Galatians 1:6-10; Colossians 2:8-10)

6. Importance Reordering (2 Peter 1:3-7) We forget what matters most. Jesus is all we need so instead of working so hard toward the desires/passions of this world, work toward those desires/passions of God-faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love. The greatest need everyone has is Jesus...yes, they may be hungry, but a biscuit will not get them to heaven. Our actions in the name of Jesus to feed them will lead them to Truth.

What can result in your life from these 6 things?

No Witness, no joy, no real success, no direction, no hope for the future, no freedom from sin, no uniqueness,

Check your life and see if any of these characteristics we’ve studied tonight are present. If they are then you need to rethink the way you are dealing with scripture in your life and hear the warning and challenge of this song:

Beloved listen to me
Don't believe all that you see
and don't you ever let anyone tell you
That there's anything that you need
But me

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Joey Update Vol. 6

Hey Guys...remember that our Flood Zone snack purchases go to help support Joey in this ministry. Please continue to give as you can. You can see how great his needs are!

Hello everyone and happy Thanksgiving to you all! I hope each of your Turkey Days were spent with family and that the times were good. I also celebrated Thanksgiving (we even had turkey and pumpkin pie!) and I thank God for you; each of you God has used in some way to bless me greatly.

I went into the capital for Thanksgiving where among other things, I had to plan for the next few months for village time and travel to training outside the country. With the Onestory project, I need to attend training sessions that are outside the country because Onestory does what is called “Just in Time” training. It basically breaks the two to three year project span into smaller chunks and at the trainings, I will be taught what I’ll need to focus on for the next three to six months. My current chunk is spent learning language and culture and meeting native speakers to practice what I’m learning. Over the course of the project there are about five training sessions I’ll attend, all of which will be held outside my country.

I have my first training session in Amsterdam at the beginning of February. My next session is in April. This February training concerns CPM training and how to plant groups of Followers among my people group. My people do not have a written language yet and so it is necessary to be with them and put the stories in their language so they can meet together and grow in the Way. When this style of training has been used in other areas, the results were tremendous, seeing thousands of groups started in one people group in the course of just two or three years. If you would like more information, you can visit :

In order to attend these trainings, I need to be able to finance the travel and cost of staying for two to three weeks at a time. The amount I need in order to do this will be $1200 for the February training and another $1200 for the April. I want to ask you all pray about giving an extra amount this Christmas season to ensure that I have the money necessary to go to these trainings next year. These will each be a one time expense, so $2400 means that if 24 people give $100 one time, I will be able to go. Or 48 people giving $50 or 5 giving $500 each. Another factor is that since I will need the money before February to buy my ticket, I would like to have it by January 15th. It would also be necessary for me to buy my April ticket when I am in the capital because when I return from Amsterdam, I will stay out in the village from then until April ideally.

Please continue to lift me up. Also, please write to me at this address or call me (011 235 944 6349) because it is very encouraging to hear from you. I would love to tell you personally how the prayers you are praying for me are being answered by our Mighty One.

This letter is written in faith that He hears our prayers and in faith that you too have all heard my upcoming need. Thank you all for your support of this project by your prayers and faithful giving and your support of me by your encouragement along the way! I pray you all may be encouraged because He is on the move. And I follow close at His heels.

In His name and for His sake,