23 May, 2012

25 April, 2011

A Question Worth Asking (and answering...)

"The critical question for our generation—and for every generation—is this:
If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?"

— John Piper (God Is the Gospel: Meditations on God's Love as the Gift of Himself)

I came across this quote from John Piper while reading another book that referenced it and found it to be very troubling.

Why did I find it to be troubling?

I found it to be troubling because it caused me to do some soul-searching and to think about how I would answer the question.

Am I looking forward to heaven because of how great it will be, or am I most looking forward to heaven because I will finally get to be with Jesus in person?

The answer to that question is very telling of my list of priorities and where "my comfort" ranks on the list.

This question has caused me to re-examine my relationship with Jesus. Not in the general sense of my salvation, but in the personal sense of my relationship with the One who laid down his life that I might have life.

Do I really know this Jesus that loves me more than any other?

Do I know him so intimately that the thought of being with him one day in heaven causes all other inferior thoughts to melt away?

The answer is no. I don't know him that way.


But I want to. I long to. I must.


How would you answer the question?

I mean really answer it, from deep down inside you where you know that God already knows.


May we know you Lord Jesus, and may knowing you create in us a thirst for you that will one day be quenched when we see you face to face.

16 February, 2011

A Great Model for Making Disciples

I thought this was a simple way of describing what our interaction should be as we make  disciples who will follow Jesus Christ. Building relationships with those we are ministering to allows these steps to take place.


  1. I do, You watch.
  2. I do, You help.
  3. You do, I help.
  4. You do, I watch.
  5. You do, someone else watches.

What do you think? Have someone else done this with you? Have you done this with someone else?

08 July, 2010

In case winding your watches has you worn out...

I could hardly believe such a product exists, but there it is, ready for those weary souls whom have suffered needlessly at the hands of watchmakers too sentimental to use a battery.















Yep, it's a watch rotator.  It winds your watch for you.  It turns the little dial on your wind up watch so that you don't have to.

Wow.

I am trying to think of how I would explain this device to my neighbors here in El Salvador.

When does our drive to create labor-saving devices cross the line?

Sorry for the rant, just couldn't believe it.  :-)

23 June, 2010

Book Review - Crazy Love, by Francis Chan

Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless GodI just recently finished ready the book Crazy Love, by Francis Chan.  I was greatly challenged by this book to love God with abandon and with action.

Before reading the book I was concerned about it being too "touchy-feely" and not being firmly founded in the scripture.  I was pleasantly surprised to find that neither of my concerns were founded.  The approach that Francis Chan takes is very practical and very well rooted in the scriptures.  There were a handful of references that I felt were "stretched" a bit in order to support the idea being communicated, but these were few and far between.  Most of the concepts are clearly found in God's Word, but sadly seldom lived out in our lives as followers of Jesus Christ.

While reading the New Testament, one cannot help but be confronted with the idea of ministering to the poor.  For many years I have seen this clearly in the scriptures but have never acted upon it.  My tendency is to fall on the side of the skeptic, always assuming the poor person is either a con-artist or could just change their situation by making better decisions.  So how am I following the example and teaching of Jesus when it comes to ministering to the poor and needy?  I am not.  And that needs to change.

Rather than provide a blanket solution for every believer to blindly follow, Chan is careful to encourage the reader to seek out God's specific direction for them in regards to living out their love for the Father.

This book has encouraged me to seek out the specific ways God would have me to minister to others with the resources He has entrusted to my care.  Not just to be convicted about it, but to me moved to action.

This is a book I would highly recommend.  It is an easy read that propels you from one chapter to the next while maintaining a depth of content that will challenge you to live your life differently.

05 May, 2010

Do You Like Milk?

I like milk, a lot.  A tall glass of cold milk, a big bowl of cereal with milk, or a delicious piece of Tres Leches cake, I really like milk.

But I have a problem.  According to the doctors, I have a condition that causes my body to react to milk in an unpleasant way.  Yes, they say I have a milk allergy.

After drinking milk, my nose begins to fill with congestion and my throat begins to develop a thick coating.  It is not a pleasant experience.  For this reason, I have always avoided drinking much milk or eating foods containing a lot milk.  It is a high price to pay, but what can I do?

Living here in El Salvador, we have eaten a variety of things that we had never tried before.  One of the more exotic things I ate here was a type of lizard called a Garrobo.  It tastes like chicken of course.  But another thing we have enjoyed here is raw milk (yep, straight from the cow).  We tried it the first time when we got some from our neighbors that have a bunch of cows behind our house.

Raw milk is so delicious!  Creamy, tasty, and satisfying.

And possibly the best thing about raw milk is that it does not cause me an allergic reaction. Incredible huh?

Processed milk causes me an allergic reaction, but the raw milk does not.  So what is in the processed milk that causes the allergic reaction in my body?  I still don't know for sure what it is, but I know for sure that something that happens to the milk during the processing is guilty of causing my allergy.

So, do I really have an allergy to milk?  I don't think so.  What I do have is an allergy to something added to the milk during the processing.

This idea caused me to think about things that are added in.

There are people that appear to have an intense and unpleasant reaction to God and Jesus.  Of course, they must decide personally what they are going to think about God and Jesus, but do you think that it is possible that the unpleasant reaction they have to God and Jesus isn't actually an unpleasant reaction to God and Jesus, but rather an unpleasant reaction to something added to God and Jesus?

Is it possible that we as Christians are adding things to the image of God and Jesus that we present to the people all around us?  Are we causing in them an allergic reaction to God because we have misrepresented the fact of who the God of the Universe really is?

We cannot represent God if we do not know Him well.  Do you know the God of the Universe well?  We can know Him by spending time with Him in His Word.

Teach us Lord who you really are.  Help us Lord to represent you to the people how you really are in truth, without adding anything else that might cause in them an allergic reaction.

28 April, 2010

Book Review - The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life, by Hannah Whitall Smith

The Christian's Secret to a Happy LifeIt has been said, and I believe it to be true, that you can extract some kind of benefit from just about anything you read.

Some books are a lot of work to read, and even more work looking for that sometimes hidden bit of benefit. This book is not one of those books.

The copy of the The Christian's Secret of a Happy Life that I read was given to my wife by a good friend of ours and highly recommended. My wife read it first and would share bits and pieces with me as she went through it. These little appetizers helped to put this book at the top of the cue in my "Books to Read Next" list.

First published in 1870, this is not a shallow book that dances around and eventually touches some spiritual truth that can be a applied to your life. To borrow an excellent metaphor from the Bible, this book is meat and not milk.

Hannah Whitall Smith does not reveal some long lost secret of how to be happy, but rather leads you on a fantastic journey of drawing close to our Lord and learning how to live out in our life what has already been true since the day we entered into Christ through salvation.

One of a multitude of poignant illustrations the author uses is that of a farmer who has a hidden buried treasure beneath the ground in his field. The immense treasure is there and belongs to him, but he passes his entire life without ever realizing its existence or enjoying its benefits. Hannah Whitall Smith uses this illustration to describe the rich treasure of communion and fellowship that belong to each and every believer, there all along just below the surface, waiting to be discovered and enjoyed.

Some books can be read and absorbed quickly, and others need to be read slowly and savored, allowing each page and principle to sink in. This is a book to be read slowly. Take your time, savor the teaching, seek to draw closer to the Father with each page and chapter.  It is definitely a book to re-read again in the future, for as you grow in spiritual maturity, so will grow your ability to absorb and apply the truths contained in the pages.

This is an excellent book and I would highly recommend it to anyone that is ready to surrender self and uncover more of the wonderful treasure of truth that the Bible has written of our walk with the Father.

You can find the book on Amazon here:

31 March, 2010

Missions Dilemma

I am a big fan of Steve Saint's book, The Great Omission. This video is a trailer for the new missions training series he has developed. Can't wait to check it out.

25 March, 2010

What is "Que Dice la Biblia"?

Here is a great video giving the history of Que Dice and explaining its purpose. It was produced some years ago, so it is a little dated, but it will give you some great insight into what the ministry of Que Dice la Biblia is all about.

My involvement in overseeing the day to day operations of the ministry "Que Dice la Biblia" will be increasing this year. We will transition the operations from Kansas City to our location here in El Salvador (or where ever the Lord takes us in the future).


05 March, 2010

Welcome to MacJournal!

Welcome



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What's new in version 5?


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  • Performance enhancements for working with large numbers of entries.

23 February, 2010

The Missional Church

I liked the perspective this video had to offer on putting our focus on ministering to those outside of the church instead of trying to only draw them in. Enjoy.

29 September, 2009

A Double Blessing - Bragging on God

I want to share with you something that happened this week and in so doing give praise and honor and glory to our awesome God.

Each Saturday for the past six months I have been teaching a Discipleship II class at the church. We also have the classes for the new School for Pastors and Leaders on Saturday, so there are a lot of people there at the same time.

This past Saturday, after finishing with the class at around 6:30 in the evening, I was packing up my things to go when a young man walked into the classroom and asked if he could talk with me. This young man had recently started coming to the church and in addition to attending the services had gone on a youth activity to the water park on the 15th of September (Independence Day here in El Salvador).

While I had had the chance to say hi to him a few times, we hadn't really spoken much since he had been coming. I was a little surprised that he had singled me out to talk to, but of course agreed to speak with him.

We sat down and he immediately began to tell me his story. A mother who had moved to the United States and left he and his siblings behind. A hard life doing the things that young men often do without a stable home, and without Christ. Through his tears he explained to me that he didn't want that old life anymore and wanted to follow God instead.

I took some time to explain the gospel to him from Romans, and we talked about what it means to repent from your sins. He expressed that he wanted to receive the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, and so he cried out to God to save him.

It is always amazing to see the visible change in a person's countenance when they truly give their heart to the Lord. Praise God for another sinner that has come to repentance!

This young man's name is Eusebio (sounds like A-oo-say-be-O) and his is 22 years old. He is excited to begin the process of learning to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Please pray for this new believer that he will learn to walk with the Lord and know Him.

Now for the REALLY incredible part.

I was talking with one of my good friends today in Kansas City. He is Costa Rican and is faithful to pray for us and many other missionaries every day. He asked me how things were going and I told him the same story that I just shared with you. He paused for a moment and then asked again, "What day did you say that happened?". I told him again that it happened on Saturday and he could hardly believe it.

He then read to me from his prayer journal what he had written and been praying for this past Saturday. In summary, he had been praying specifically that each missionary on his list would have the opportunity to personally share the gospel with someone and see them come to put their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

We rejoiced together and gave God the glory for this young man and for the prayer God allowed us to see so powerfully answered.

Let us be faithful to pray. Let us be faithful to pray specifically.

Sometimes God will give us the tremendous blessing of finding out how the prayer was answered now, and sometimes we will not know until we are with the Lord, but let us be faithful to lift each other up in prayer.

To God be the glory, forever and ever. Amen.

28 September, 2009

What do you believe in?

I thought this was a hilarious video, but it made me think about how many Christians suffer from IDS when it comes to the truth of God's Word. Enjoy.

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