Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Beyond Our Ability

Several years ago the Lord birthed a vision for ministry in my heart that has been slowly coming to a reality.  The challenge has been to remain faithful to the vision in the midst of slow development of the actual hands on areas of the vision.  Yesterday, I had a great meeting with a friend in ministry that reminded me of some key points of this faith journey.  I thought I would share some of these thoughts from the journey.
  1. When God calls you to a life of ministry, He calls you to a lifelong journey that never stops growing and changing in its shape and appearance.
  2. When given the opportunity to impact people's lives with the hope of the Gospel, life never lacks joy in the midst of the daily tasks of life.
  3. The needs around the world are directly in proportion to the blessings He pours out on the Body!
  4. His heart always is trustworthy even when His hand is unseen!
  5. The future is always full of more hope than the desperation we see in front of our eyes.  
  6. The Father always knows what you need right when you need it!
  7. This journey is where I am to focus because my destination is secure!
  8. I have been re-created to walk this journey in community with others, no solo hikers.
  9. The Father uses other members of the body to help us hear His voice, listen to those He has placed around you for that Word you need.
  10. When God shows you what He is about to do that is His invitation to you to get involved in His    work. (from Henry Blackaby's Experiencing God)
There are days in our journey when the road seems too long and too tough.  The way we have chosen seems to be more than we can handle.  The journey seems to be much harder than we think we can endure.  If you find yourself in that spot, as I have on occasion, do not loose heart!  Sit for a moment and reflect on the amazing grace that has transformed your entire world.  Think for a while on the incredible blessings He has poured out on your life.  Ponder the length and width and depth and height of His love for you.  Seek Him in the midst of the struggle and see beyond your own ability to endure the day and press on!  He is able to do so much more than we can even measure in our lives...let us rejoice in the victory won on the cross and let us walk with confidence in His ability to finish what He started in our hearts!  

In His Grip,

Monday, January 21, 2013

Through Him All Might Believe!

In the first chapter of John's Gospel we read of a man sent from God to prepare the hearts of men for the coming of Jesus.  6"There came a man sent from God; his name was John.  He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe." John 1:6  John was sent to be a witness of the Light that was coming and to prepare hearts for the future.

We all think highly of this man named John.  We all have a great respect for the man even if we do not fully understand his ways.  He was a bit odd and out of the norm with his behavior and appearance.  His message was a very unique message.  His words were very simple and clear.  He was very much straight forward and to the point.  He did not sugar coat the message of shy away from speaking the truth.  He boldly proclaimed the whole truth of the message God had given him.

As I ponder the reality of this one verse of scripture, I catch a very important concept.  Through one witness, the Bible says, all men might believe!  I want to be a faithful steward of all that God has given to me.  I want to obey His words of instruction and learn to be a fully devoted follower of the Christ.  I want to be a faithful witness that helps every person I come in contact with believe!

God has a plan for each of our lives.  He knows who He will bring across our path and who will need to hear a word of truth from us.  God is actively orchestrating every step of our journey.  And at this point you are all with me...right?

God is also orchestrating every encounter I have each day for the glory of His name.  Every time my life touches another life on this planet it is for the glory of God.  If I spend time with other believers, He is glorified when our conversations are about His goodness and His ways and His discipline in our lives.  If I encounter one who does not know Him personally, He is glorified when I speak to that person boldly and compassionately the whole truth of God's Word!

Today, I would challenge you to consider how you can make decisions about your day, your week, your month and your year, that will allow God to bring many people across your path who need to believe in Him.  Are you planning your days in such a way as to impact those around you with the hope of the Gospel in every occasion of life?  Are you seeking to put yourself in situations where God can use you a that witness for His glory?  Will you be a witness through whom all who cross your path might believe?  

John was that kind of witness.  John's life was not very long and his ministry years were very short.  Potentially, his ministry was the shortest ministry of all the prophetic men in all of scripture.  Yet, Jesus said that of all the people born of a woman, there is no one greater than John!  This is the crowd God has allowed us to be named with!  The Father has chosen you to be a witness through whom many people will believe.  Now let us be about our Father's business and boldly share the message of repentance and hope to every one we can!  Come on let us reach the world and teach His Word together!

In His Grip,

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Mexico

As we begin the 2013 year I wanted to share some big picture ideas with you.  My desire is to help those of you reading these posts get a big picture concept of how you can be involved in the efforts to walk along side a ministry partner and help accomplish ministry goals together.

Tohatchi Baptist Church is about 30 minutes north of Gallup, NM on the Navajo Nation.  Pastor Aaron Jim is a Navajo native of Tohatchi pastoring and ministering among his own people for the sake of the Gospel.  The church has an older building that houses the sanctuary, classrooms, kitchen and bathrooms.  There is a barn for storage along with a storage shed (built summer 2012).  In addition they have a bunkhouse, a bath house and food pantry.  The church is in need of a few more bunk houses and a renovation of the barn.  A primary ministry is to the children and adults who cannot come to church if they are not picked up by the church vans.  The challenge of drivers and fuel is always present with Aaron bearing that responsibility often times himself.

Some of the ministry opportunities for teams are construction projects for community members like roof repairs, steps and ramps and renovations of rooms for more effective housing.  In addition we have helped the church with VBS in their own community as well as a community just north of the church with a family from the church.  There is also a boarding school across the highway from the church where young teens are in need of some outreach, fun and some authentic love through Gospel presentation, skits, crafts, songs and games.

There is much need among the Navajo for truth to be shown as much as it is shared.  As you pray for Pastor Aaron and the Tohatchi faith family, pray for the Lord to send teams who will commit to multiple years of work and develop some long-term relationships that will show the Gospel every time the Gospel is shared.  Consider how the Lord may use you this year to impact a Native American people group in need of the Truth!  Contact us for more information on trips, opportunities for ministry projects and a list of items you and your church can collect for the Navajo people.

2013 can be the year you join us for an exciting week of ministry among the largest Native American people group in the country.  This year you can walk with others as we share the love of Christ and show the Gospel in the high desert of New Mexico.  Come on let us reach the world and teach His Word together!

In His Grip,

Monday, January 7, 2013


The early morning hours before daybreak are being filled with many more people on their way to work out and get fit.  The typical new year's resolution is in full swing today as many people are getting into their new routine for the year.  This morning as I was slinging some weights and grunting in pain with some new friends at Glory To God Crossfit in Alabaster, I began to consider the whole concept.

This past year has been quite the journey for us as a family and we have seen amazing results in our obedience to the Lord with our health.  I personally have seen some numbers on the scale I have not seen since before Sheryl and I were married.  This has throughout the year caused me to think about my early days in college and ministry formation and how that is being played out in my life today.

I had some awesome opportunities early in my ministry career, if we can call it a career, to be taught by some great men of God.  I realize now that I had no idea how important some of those lectures and classes would be in the formation of a Biblical world view and solid ministry foundation.  The days I was stretched beyond belief by Dr. Edwards in Greek class or the pushing of the walls in my box by Dr. Joines.  The deep pondering that followed Dr. Bowden's philosophy class or his challenge in a discussion on world religions and how to know what I believed.  The amazing insight that came from listening to Dr. Whirley share from his years of experience on the mission field in Africa opened my eyes and heart up to a world I had never known.  Over and over the training came day after day class after class.

As if that was not enough, the Lord then allowed me many years of ministry work along side men who knew the Lord and loved people!  I also had the privilege of walking the road with some great men of God in the business world at the Chick-fil-A corporate office.  Over and over the Lord placed me around men and women who were pouring into me lessons of this faith journey that were forming a ministry outlook that is alive and active.  Again the Lord added to my formation by allowing me to attend seminary and learn from men who challenged me in every way possible with my knowledge and understanding of the Word.

All of this to bring me to this morning's workout and the light bulb in my mind!

                                            How fit am I really for the cross this year?  
This is a serious question we all should consider.  What am I doing to be fit to carry the cross?  How is my life being trained and challenged daily to improve my stamina and endurance to carry the cross at home and around the world?  Is my daily life an example for my children to follow and find the cross and His wisdom that comes in the joy of knowing His sufferings?  Can those who come behind me call me faithful?  Will there be an impact from the cross on my daily conversation, behavior and responses?

I am doing all that I can to be physically fit to carry the cross literally into the world the Father is sending me.  Am I dong all I can to be fit spiritually and in obedience to the whole truth of His Word to carry the cross?  This year I want to do all I can to carry the cross into every situation I find myself.  I want to be CROSS Fit for His glory and to make His ways known and His salvation known!  How about you?  Will you get fit this year to carry the cross with me?  Come on, let us take up our cross and carry it in such a way we can reach the world and teach the Word!