I grew up in a family that loved our church. Many of our best friends were also in our church community and I loved my friends and the way I was grown and encouraged to become a man who could follow after God. For me, church was not a once-a-week gathering, it was my extended family and support network. Even now, when I go home, I consider these friends as my family and I always make a point to connect with them. Continue reading
I love to see how you are growing in your love of God and your skills in the Kingdom! It makes me proud of you to see what fine men & women you are becoming. As you grow in your love and faith, you will go through many seasons – probably over and over – and I want you to be aware of what they are so that you can not be surprised but rather be confident that God is the Greatest Lover. And because he’s the Greatest Lover, He has set everything up so that you’ll fall more in love with Him and grow in your confidence that His love is secure.
I’m sitting in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, in a corner of some room filled with amazing paintings. Some of them are just tests – the artist was practicing so that he could later do a masterpiece. It’s a great place to be considering the longest story told in the book of Genesis (longer than Noah, creation or Joseph). I believe that this story, found in Genesis 24, is a vivid portrait (or allegory) of the God’s own search. The story is a masterpiece but the subject of the story is young and immature.
I would entitle the story of Genesis 24: “Rebekah’s Extravagant Responsiveness.”
This story starts with desire (every great love story does) – the desire of Abraham for a family. He wants a bride for his son. There is no mention of Isaac’s desire for a wife, but I think we can safely assume that his passions are coming alive and his dad wants a daughter-in-law who will carry on the family line that God started. This bride must be pure and carry the values of Abraham’s family. God is starting a family and this bride will be the mother of descendants as numerous as the sands on the beach. Continue reading
Today I’m reflecting on children and Jesus’ sufficiency in the feeding of the 5000. I’ve been reading in John 6, but you can find the story in each of the gospel accounts. To start, I’ve got some questions:
- What did Jesus see that the disciples did not see?
- What did the boy with fish and bread see that the disciples did not see?
- Are there other stories or events that demonstrate what Jesus want’s of me or for me?
- Is there an impossible challenge that I need either Jesus’ or a child’s help to see the solution?
The boy just seems to answer Jesus request. He trusted Jesus and didn’t worry about what he didn’t have. “I’ve got some fish and bread, Jesus needs it, I’ll give it.” He had that childlike faith that if he gave up this meal, that there’d be another.
So now, a child has become my role model for living the cultural values of the Kingdom. Jesus is a hard act to follow. He multiplied bread and fish. But this boy puts me to shame – I need to know again that my daddy in heaven has every resource that I need. As long as I’m providing for my needs, I don’t need God.
How can I move to seeing like a child or seeing what Jesus saw? Is there something I need to give away today? Do I have a resource that can be an answer to someone’s prayer? Am I afraid of running out of resources or am I able to trust more today than yesterday. Do I love Jesus more today?
Help me God.
“When I grow up, I want to be a little kid.” Joseph Heller
There are a few people in my life who, when I was a teenager, impacted me by their interest in me. Uncle George (one of the trusted adults at my growing up church) would come and find me after church, give me a special handshake and ask my opinion on some sporting event – imagine that, he asked my opinion! Mr. Warke didn’t know me well but he opened his home to our weekly Bible Study. I remember distinctly that he respected and showed real interest in me. He was a lawyer and rubbed shoulders with all sorts of powerful people every day, but he showed such curiosity about me. These men left a lasting impact on me.
Strangely, even though most of us were children (and teenagers) at one time, we forget what it means to be young. Continue reading
When I got married I thought that I was pretty selfless person – generous and forgiving in my life. Becoming a husband burst that fantasy – I was (though hopefully am less now) an arrogant & self-serving man. Likewise, when I became a dad I thought that I was a patient person and that I was beginning to really get a handle on my anger. It sure didn’t take too long to realize that I have a much greater capacity for impatience, self importance and anger than I thought.
Maybe you’ve heard others blame their adult temper tantrums on their children? I’ve even heard parents say that they have to drink heavily or use illegal drugs & painkillers because their children cause them so much stress. It’s easy for me to understand why they make these statements, but it’s not how God sees children. Continue reading
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