Wednesday, August 29, 2012


And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:40 ESV)

My sister (Donna) and her husband (David) have been on quite the roller-coaster ride of emotions over the last year. However, God promises us in Romans 8:28 that he will work ALL things for the good of those who love him and Donna and David can now testify to this truth more so than ever. After dealing with infertility treatments and lab tests and Dr.'s visits and ultrasounds and blood work and disappointing phone call after disappointing phone call, God has made it clear to them that their firstborn child is supposed to be born somewhere else. They must simply trust him and wait for him to reveal the child he has planned for them. I am personally so excited for the joy that God has in store for them and their child when he finally brings together this family that he has assembled according to his good and gracious purpose. Please read their story on how God has led them to adopt a child...

We wanted to tell everyone about the journey that we have been on for over a year.  We decided that being open about everything going on will help us handle all of the emotions surrounding our struggles.  We have been dealing with infertility and I have been seeing a fertility specialist for a while now.  They discovered that I have polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), which is a very common infertility problem, but it is not common in thin women.  Therefore, the typical treatments that people do for this disorder will not work on me.  We have done every type of oral medication you can think of at extremely high doses, had an IUI, and I had surgery to remove a large polyp but no pregnancy.  I am constantly at the doctor’s office doing ultrasounds and blood work.  Every trip and phone call is a disappointment, as we never seem to have good news.  I feel like I have not been myself because the medicines completely alter my moods and hormones.  They cause me to feel depressed, and I do everything I can to hold it together when I am around people but am a mess when I get home.  We have spent countless hours praying for God to provide us with a child and.....

Please read the rest of their story here

With Peace and Much Anticipation,


Thursday, August 23, 2012


"But when they arrest you, do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say, for it will not be you speaking, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you." (Matthew 10:19, 20 NIV)

So this is the end part of the decree to the disciples. I find it pretty amazing that it says when you get arrested, not if you happen to get arrested. Then they are told not to worry about what they will say because the words will be given to them. They will be filled with the Spirit when the time comes. 

What an amazing couple of sentences. Would I sign up for this journey if these were just some of the stipulations coming into it? Sometimes I need a reality check when it comes to what it really means to follow Jesus. 

Thankful for this community,


"Belief is Not the Whole of Christianity"

I recently had to write a brief explanation for my Theological Seminar class on why theology is important and how I plan to approach theological study. I thought I would share two excerpts from my writing:

In an age and culture that demands instant access and immediate results, theology seems to be an ancient practice and a lost art. Even though we all make theological assumptions - simply meaning that we all have our own opinions about God and express those opinions in a variety of ways - many of these assumptions are not made as a result of careful study and examination of what the Bible has to say about God. For example, we have heard it been said that “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16 ESV). Therefore, we conclude that if we believe in God and his Son then we will gain eternal life. The problem here is that “belief is not the whole of Christianity.” Charles C. Ryrie says it well, “There is nothing wrong with being an amateur theologian or a professional theologian, but there is everything wrong about being an ignorant or a sloppy theologian.”.....

.....In his final commission to his disciples, Jesus instructs them to go and make more disciples and to teach them to observe all that he had commanded (Matthew 28:19-20). This final order was not to simply make believers but rather to make disciples. A true disciple is someone who respects, studies, and conforms to the teachings of his particular leader. How can we consider ourselves a true disciple of Jesus if we do not make a commitment to know more about him and study his teachings? How can we make an effort to observe all that he commanded if we do not know or understand his commands? James Orr explains, “He who with his whole heart believes in Jesus as the Son of God is thereby committed to much else besides. He is committed to a view of God, to a view of man, to a view of sin, to a view of Redemption, to a view of the purpose of God in creation and history, to a view of human destiny found only in Christianity.” Simply believing in God, Jesus, or facts about Jesus does not necessarily make you a disciple of Jesus (James 2:19-20). Christianity is not simply a belief. “It is a way of life, a kind of behavior, a style of living.” The apostle Peter encourages us to make every effort to supplement our faith with knowledge so that we might be effective and fruitful. He warns that whoever lacks knowledge is blind and will constantly stumble (2 Peter 1:5-11). Jesus commanded us to “love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37 ESV). May we embrace this call by making a commitment to the study of God and his teachings.

With Peace, 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dependent freedom

You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (Galatians 5:13 NIV)

I feel like I say this everytime, but what a powerful verse! It lays the truth out. 
1. "We are called to be free". So we should be aware of anything that moves us away from that truth. 
2. "Don't use your freedom to indulge the flesh". We should be intentional.
3. "Serve one another humbly in love". This is a huge verse for me. We are called to serve one another, and serve HUMBLY and serve IN LOVE.
I thank God for this verse because it challenges me to reexamine my motives in service. 
Serve one another humbly in love is a big verse to digest. It goes on later to say that the flesh desires what is contrary to the spirit. So we are called to serve others humbly in love yet we desire to gratify the flesh and are working contrary to the spirit. So how do we shorten the learning curve and get back to that place of dependence on God and being led by the Spirit. I think it all goes back to the first verse that says we are called to be free and that freedom is meant to be experienced in a state of dependence on God. Staying in the word and prayer enhance my dependence on God.  You?
Obviously these are just my thoughts on this. Please comment.

- Andrew

Explicit Gospel Bite

Finished this book called "The Explicit Gospel" by Matt Chandler and found several things to highlight along the way. The illustration that your about to read hit me pretty hard for several reasons... I think you'll agree, enjoy!

The True Heart of the Father 

There is a magical thing that happens in homes all over the world. When you have a child, you want your child to crawl, and then you want your kid to walk. My first child, Audrey, pulled herself to the coffee table. When she got to the coffee table, she began to bounce on her knees, and then she began to coast along. From there she started letting go and just being wobbly. At that point we began to get excited about the fact that Audrey was about to walk. Eventually she took her hands off of the coffee table, and we watched physics in motion. 
God has created children, specifically young children, with gargantuan heads and tiny little bodies. So when Audrey let go of the coffee table, her gigantic head fell forward, and suddenly she had a decision to make. She could stick that foot out to catch herself or she could die. So she stuck her foot out, and then she had momentum. It was step, step, step, fall. Do you know what we did? We exploded in celebration. We picked her up, spun her around, and kissed her face. Then we sat her down and pleaded with her to walk toward us again. After that we began e-mailing, Facebooking, taking pictures, tweeting, and all sorts of other things to get the word out that Audrey was walking. We did that with our son, Reid, and we’ve done that with our daughter Norah. 
What I have learned as I watched all of our friends have children is that there is always an epic celebration around the kid walking. This is news to be declared. “This kid is walking!” 
For all the people I have watched go through that process, I’ve never seen anybody watch their kid go step, step, step, fall and then say out loud, “Man, this kid is an idiot. Are you serious? Just three steps? Man, I can get the dog to walk two or three steps. Honey, this must be from your side of the family, because my side of the family is full of walkers. This must be some sort of genetic, shallow gene pool on your side of things.” 
No father does that. Every father rejoices in the steps of his child. The father celebrates the steps of his child. I think what we have here is a picture of God celebrating us walking. So we step, step, step, and fall, and heaven applauds. At what? At the obedience of taking those three steps. The Father in heaven is crying, “He’s walking!” “She’s doing it!” And maybe the Accuser’s saying, “No, he only took a couple of steps. That’s nothing.” 
But the celebration is in the steps, even if there are still falls. Here’s what I know about all of my children: they start to walk farther and farther and farther, and they begin to skip, they begin to run, they begin to jump, they begin to climb, and they begin to tear the house up. It’s beautiful. I knew even when they were step, step, step, falling that that process was the beginning of what would result in climbing trees, dancing, and sprinting. Knowing in my mind what’s to come, the three steps and the stumble were a celebration. 
Moralists see the fall and believe that the Father is ashamed and thinks they’re foolish. So, more often than not, they stop trying to walk because they can’t see the Father rejoicing in and celebrating his child. 
Church of Jesus, let us please be men and women who understand the difference between moralism and the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let’s be careful to preach the dos and don’ts of Scripture in the shadow of the cross’s “Done!” Resolve to know nothing but Jesus Christ crucified. We are not looking to conform people to a pattern of religion but pleading with the Holy Spirit to transform people’s lives. Let us move forward according to that upward call, holding firmly to the explicit gospel.

Matt Chandler (2012-04-09). The Explicit Gospel (p. 221). Good News Publishers/Crossway Books. Kindle Edition.

- Blake

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Good News

"For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (Romans 3:22-24)

If you have gone your entire life up to this point without committing a single sin then you have no reason to read this email. However, for what its worth, the apostle John said, "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us" (1 John 1:8).

In his letter to the believers in Rome, the apostle Paul declares that there is no one who has not sinned. Everyone has sinned. Would you argue with that? Since we sin then it seems obvious to admit that we fall short of the bar set by an Almighty Perfect God. Right? However, thanks to the grace of God displayed by Jesus humbling himself to the point of death on a cross, we are justified and redeemed.

How could this truth not change your entire perspective on life and radically transform the way you live your life? The fact is... this truth does radically change your life when you truly believe it. Its such a simple message of good news full of hope and joy. Don't complicate it - You either believe it or you don't. There is no middle ground - You're either following Jesus or you're not.

"For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:7-8). God loves you! - Do you believe that?

With peace,


"God made you and he rose for you... So you rise!" (Lecrae - Rise)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Get Your Mind Right

Colossians 3:2 "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth."

This verse is always a good nugget to help us get out of our own way and focus on things that are bigger than us which allows us to be more resourceful, grateful, loving, and productive. When we are caught up in "what's in it for me" then we can easily dip into depression. In those times is when the enemy gets his foothold. Let's press on and focus on the King and His Kingdom because we have so much to be grateful for and look forward to.

- Jules

Monday, August 6, 2012

Thursday, August 2, 2012

All His energy

  Col 1:28-29 "We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me".

The word perfect is from the Greek word "teleois" meaning mature.

Just some great verses to chew on. The thing that sticks out to me are those few words, "with all his energy".  If no other thought stays with me from these verses it would those words. Simple phrase with a huge point tucked in there. Lets not ever lose sight of who is running the show.