Preaching to Myself

"do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." (Philippians 4:6)

This was the text I was going to preach on last week.

Maybe I will get to preach it this week.

It is hard to talk about not being anxious while struggling with not giving in to anxiety.

Maybe it started when my son broke his femur and spent 6 weeks in a cast and a month of physio. It could have been when my daughter fell on the ice figure skating right after that and developed a small fracture in her elbow. I guess it could have been the sinus infection I developed which has been followed by an abscessed tooth.

Or there is always work.

Whatever it was, this Scripture became more real to me as I began to question God and where He was in all this.

Maybe He was in the gentle reminder to be thankful in all circumstance! (1 Thess. 5:18) I found myself driving down the road giving thanks for my kids, their lives, etc.

Maybe it was in the unexpected way He answered a heartfelt prayer. On Sat. night I laid in bed and expressed my frustrations to God. My words were something like, "God, who pastors the pastor. I am tired and can use a little encouragement." The next day church started and for the first time in 3 years, no one walked in the door! 15 minutes later one of our members showed up and God used them to encourage Sarah and I for the next hour!

He is here, in the midst of these circumstances.

I'm so glad to know I am not alone!


Mission In Action

Here is a video you should definitely watch. However, you may want to have a tissue handy. I was sent this link via Compassion and my whole family watched it together.

It was an eye-opener to those who have never been outside N. America.

Produced by Missions in Action, this is an interactive web series that was created with the purpose to make a difference around the world. The team is:
  • traveling around the world to identify problems that people are facing. (Right now, this team is in the Philippines.)
  • highlighting the actions that individuals and/or companies are taking to help those in need. (The focus of this webisode is Compassion International.)
  • providing a way for viewers to help out.

This, their 1st Webisode, shows you how much the work of Compassion can impact a life. As a sponsor myself, I am encouraged to see how my small donation can impact a child for a lifetime.

If you are not sponsoring a child with Compassion, why not do so today? We have for nearly 10 years and seeing our sponsored child grow has been a blessing to our family!

You can find links to sponsoring a child and stay connected to Compassion via any of these networks:

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God In A Brothel - A Book Review

God In A Brothel, a book by Daniel Walker and published by InterVarsity Press, is not a book for the squeamish or faint of heart.

This book challenged me on many levels. I have tried to point people to various organizations that fight trafficking and feel passionate about this issue. Yet I have always thought of the victims and never gave much thought to the investigators who gather information about sex trafficking.

Daniel Walker changed that. This book is a look at his undercover journey into trafficking and how he gathered info to be used to rescue those caught in its clutches. As his story develops, you see how Daniel had a desire to be a "Superhero" and how this desire led him into dangerous and compromising situations. His sought the Lord but depended on his own strength at times.
This leads to his lines becoming blurred and impacted his life and marriage!

Daniel learns from his mistakes but still has to deal with the consequences of his actions. Ultimately, his experiences lead him to start an organization that seeks to reach those in bondage while also helping those doing the field work.

This book reminded me to pray not only for the victims of trafficking but for the investigators as well. I found this book riveting but it is not for everyone. If you read this book you will be challenged. My wife and I discussed this book together as it prompted many questions, thoughts and concerns. I cannot remember the last time a book did that.

Note: This book was provided for review free of charge by InterVarsity Press. I was not required to give a positive review.


There Is No Sin That I Have Done [Official Music Video]

A fellow blogger, Paul Wilkinson, sent me the link for this video today and it really spoke to me.

The song is really quite powerful I encourage you to sit back and listen to the words.



Martha, Mary and Lazarus - Just A Thought #49

Martha, Mary and Lazarus

How do you come to Jesus Christ?

I was looking at the various mentions of Martha, Mary and Lazarus in the new Testament this week and I found an interesting parallel between how they approached Christ and how we Christians approach Him today.

Let's just look at the various examples. You have Mary, whom we find at one point sitting at the feet of Christ. She came as one ready to learn at the Master's feet. (Luke 10:39) Mary also came to Jesus to anoint Him with oil and to wash his feet with her hair. I see this as an act of worship. (John 11:2). When her brother Lazarus died, Mary came out to Jesus with tears in her eyes. He called her and she responded She told Him that if He had been there this bad thing would not have happened. (John 11:32) Some of us, like Mary, come to worship Jesus--to listen to Him. We seek Him with our whole heart. Other times we may come to Him with accusations. (Why weren't you here?)

Martha also came to Jesus. She came in frustration, wondering why she had to do all the work! (Luke 10:40) When Lazarus passed away, Martha went out to Jesus with the "If" statement. If you had been here, this would not have happened. Yet she also believed He could do anything, though she was also confused by His statement that Lazarus would rise again. (John 11:21-24)

Finally we have Lazarus who came at the call of Jesus. He was dead and came to life when Jesus called him.

So how do you come to Jesus? Do you come like Mary, Martha or Lazarus? Are you feeling dead inside and needing to feel the life giving call of Christ? Do you come with questions or accusations? Are you frustrated? Maybe you are coming just to Worship! The neat thing about the way that each one came to Jesus was that He had the perfect response. He spoke truth, He spoke to the need. He had compassion and He restored those in need of restoration.

When you come to Jesus, He will meet you where you are and lead you the rest of the way. Step out in faith. Come! Don't think it will all be easy though. After Lazarus was restored to life, the chief priests sought to kill him to stop his testimony! Life with Christ is not easy in this world, but it is thrilling!

How will you come to Him today?