Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas from Bogota, Colombia!

I hope you guys had a merry Christmas!

Daddy and Mommy bought me this little owl and I LOVE him. He is so cool. 
-Post by Kimberly

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Stolen Briefcase Miracle

Some of you know that a few days ago my briefcase was stolen.  That morning our family left to go to apply for our lifetime Colombian residency status after 6 years of working toward this.  We carried years worth of paperwork and important documents with us in my briefcase.  This included years of Colombia visas, all of our passports, all our birth certificates, our marriage license, and a good amount of money to pay for our paperwork.  Also contained were a special book for me to read while waiting in the offices, my daily planner with messages preached this last year, plus more.  Our final office was closed early, so we took care of some errands and started home.  On the bus home we were robbed  For more details of how we were robbed click here and here. 

The night it was stolen we reported it to the police, they took me to the station and I spent the night filing reports.  While I was there they hauled in two suspects one of which had our 10 passports, my electronic Spanish dictionary, and much of my money on her.   

Every day since then I've spent several hours at the prosecutor's office filing reports.  I've been asked to help in bringing about justice.  When one is dealing with a professional thief and a repeat offender, it is much more serious than one desperately stealing due to hunger.  I told them I would do everything I can do to cooperate with justice, but that I would not lie.  A lot of people are afraid to take these buses due to things like this as well as violence.  So these situations need to be dealt in with in a proper manner or else people become even bolder.

Today I got a call from the prosecuting attorney asking me to come in.  When I got there they gave me my briefcase with all of our important papers, my special book, and my messages.  This is a miracle.  God has given us back just about everything so far except a USB drive with important documents on it.  The papers God brought back to us represent years of work and thousands of dollars.  I even have my needed electronic dictionary back.  All of our Colombian friends are saying that this never happens; that it is a complete miracle.  They are right!  God is so good!!!

God's miracle briefcase after getting it back.  Praise God!
At this point in time, this is still a case that is going through the due process of law.  And so far this has been taking a lot of my time with trips to the other side of Bogota to meet with police, attorneys, etc.  Pray that God guides us in this process and protects our family in all of this.  

But in the meantime, after Christmas we will again try to acquire our lifetime Colombian residency status.  Pray for God's will in this too.
Thanks so much,  

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blessed peace we have through Jesus

 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:  Romans 5:1

Peace is both the absence of conviction over unforgiven sin and the assurance that we are reconciled with God.
Peace cannot be reduced to a subjective emotional feeling; it means that the hostilities have ceased (v. 10; 8:7) and that we no longer fear God's wrath (v. 9).   -Vic Reasoner, Commentary on Romans, 182.

But peace also includes the emotions.  F. F. Bruce said that peace and joy are twin blessings of the Gospel and then quoted an old Scottish preacher who said, "Peace is joy resting; joy is peace dancing." - F.F. Bruce's Commentary, 6:120.

Lloyd-Jones warns us that there is a false peace and gives 5 Indicators of a False Peace:
1.  It is characterized by an intellectual assent to certain truths.
2.  They rest in their own faith rather than the work of Christ.
3.  They are too glib and do not show adequate concern for their shortcomings.
4.  They are interested only in forgiveness and not in righteousness.
5.  They take sin much too lightly.   - Assurance, Romans 5, pp. 24-25, quoted by Reasoner

Truly as Joseph Sutcliffe exclaimed, "Justification is never alone; all the graces follow in clusters, with privileges of the highest order." (Commentary 2:453)  Great peace is just one of these many blessings!  Praise God!             - Phillip

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

God's Tender Mercies for Christians in Great Tribulation

Rome's siege and destruction of Jerusalem under Titus
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.  (Matthew 24:21-22)

Here Jesus prophesies of the most tragic and horror filled siege of Jerusalem by the merciless Romans in 70 AD.  Only 37 years earlier the hate filled Jews had cried for the Blood of Jesus to be upon them and on their children.  Josephus in his Wars of the Jews recounts the description of the most awful siege.  Jerusalem’s towers composed the most impregnable fort which, if well stockpiled and guarded, no army could conquer.  But the corrupt and merciless Romans were disgusted with the “rebel Jews” who would never stoop to surrender to their hated conquerors.  Clarke said, “No history can furnish us with a parallel to the calamities and miseries of the Jews: - rapine, murder, famine, and pestilence within: fire and sword, and all the horrors of war, without. Our Lord wept at the foresight of these calamities.”  These were days of vengeance.  Over 1,100,000 persons perished, women ate their children from starvation, and 100,000 survivors were sold into slavery.  But Josephus also recounts how this siege was miraculously cut short by providential circumstances.  According to Vincent, “Titus himself confessed that God was against the Jews, since otherwise neither his armies nor his engines would have availed against their defenses.”  And Gill states, “In all likelihood, if these days had been continued a little longer, there had not been a Jew left in all the land.”  God shortened those days for the sake of His elect.  Christians were there, and God wanted His church to survive and thrive.  So He put a stop to the siege before all the Christians would perish.   

So Jesus prophecy above was fulfilled.  Some think that it might have a greater fulfillment yet to come for the Christians.  To imagine worse for the church used to overwhelm me.  But the more I learn of God, His Word, and how He deals with His church, I now look forward to the future, for God will advance His church.  Holy Noah was preserved when the whole world perished for their wickedness.  God couldn’t rain fire down upon Sodom until he had snatched just Lot from Sodom.  God made beloved Daniel to pass the night in peace with hungry lions all around.  And we could continue with many more stories of God miraculously preserving his elect with destruction all around.   

Matthew Henry wrote sweetly comforting thoughts on this passage regarding calamity.
“Note, 1.) In times of common calamity God manifests his favor to the elect remnant; his jewels, which he will then make up; his peculiar treasure, which he will secure when the lumber is abandoned to the spoiler. 2.) The shortening of calamities is a kindness God often grants for the elects' sake. Instead of complaining that our afflictions last so long, if we consider our defects, we shall see reason to be thankful that they do not last always; when it is bad with us, it becomes us to say, “Blessed be God that it is no worse; blessed be God that it is not hell, endless and remediless misery.” It was a lamenting church that said, It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed; and it is for the sake of the elect, lest their spirit should fail before them, if he should contend for ever, and lest they should be tempted to put forth, if not their heart, yet their hand, to iniquity.”

We deserve nothing, not even one good thing from God, yet He daily loadeth us with benefits.  Even wicked sinners must admit in their heart that every good and every perfect gift comes from above, from the Father of lights.  How much more does our Father pity His children who love and fear Him, and who hope in His mercy and cry out to Him daily for his tender loving mercies.  For the future and for every situation today I rest in the favor and care of our Father who lovingly chooses only the best path for His children. 
                                                                                      - Phillip

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wise John Wesley on Voting

I found this nice bit over at ArminianBooks.com blog.  From Wesley’s journal, October 3, 1774.
I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them:
1) To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy.
2) To speak no evil of the person they voted against.
3) To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.
It's been interesting hearing the little bit of USA presidential election coverage on radio from here in Bogota, Colombia.  It does seem less biased.  But now it's time for bed.  We'll have to wait 'til tomorrow to find out who God has ordained, for the powers that be ARE ordained of God.  Our family has been praying for God to put into power he who will best advance God's kingdom.
                                                                                  - Phillip

Monday, October 22, 2012

Being vs. Doing

"I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect."   -- Genesis 17:1 

There are two types of Christians:

1.)  The Doing based Christian.  Busy doing great things for God.  Frustrated that others don’t do what they should do.

2.)  The Being based Christian.  Busy seeking after more of God.  Longs to please God any every little area no matter what others around him are doing or don’t do or are thinking or don’t think.
Many people judge their level of Spirituality and that of others by what they Do for God.  So if they do not see God doing great things with their life or ministry they get discouraged.   

Then they are tempted to brow-beat others around them to try harder to get more done.  This does nothing to change people unless they are willing to be put on a guilt-trip to try harder.   

For instance, a Doing or Performance based Pastor will be tempted to get impatient with his church because they are too dry or they aren’t working enough or they’re not praying enough to see revival or to see the church grow, etc.   

A Pastor who is Being oriented will tend to look at his own self for the source of any lack in his church since he is the leader.  And even if his church is thriving, he will be humbly striving to please God and have an even closer walk with God and he will yet yearn to love God even more.  

 To God the most important thing for me to worry about is my own Spiritual state.  So the most important thing with which I can concern myself is for me to Be through God more than to Do for God.  

 If I am most concerned about my Being, then I am going to be hard only on myself and concern myself about my own attitude.  I will be striving to do whatever God’s will is for me.  And I will be kind, patient, and sweet to others even if they do not seem to measure up to the standard which I impose upon myself.   

God will accomplish His will around me if I myself am Being all that God wants me to be.  God will use the person who is committed to Being the person God wants.  He will use him to lead others to do the same.  Only by Being will God’s will be done in my life and in my ministry. 

"For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him."   -- 2 Chronicles 16:9     

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Quotes on Moral Character

"Two indications of a person's character are what makes him laugh and what makes him cry." 
                                     Guide Lamps For God's Lambs by Mary Duren, American holiness missionary

"If I take care of my character, my reputation will take care of itself."
                                     Dwight L. Moody, American evangelist (1837-99)

"The character is like white paper: if once blotted, it can hardly ever be made to appear white as before."
                                     Joel Hawes, American clergy (1789-1867) 

"Meantime, bear your cross, and it will bear you.  Seek an inward, not an outward change."
                                     John Wesley, English preacher, founder of Methodism, author (1703-91)

"A tree will not only lie as it falls, but it will fall as it leans."
                                     John Joseph Gurney, English Quaker (1788-1847)

"It is not what a man gets, but what he is, that he should think of.  He should think first of his character, and then of his condition: for if he will have the former, he need have no fears about the latter.  Character will draw condition after it.  Circumstances obey principles."  
                                     Henry Ward Beecher, American clergy (1813-87)

"Actions, looks, words, steps, form the alphabet by which you may spell characters."
                                     John Caspar Lavater, Swiss theologian (1741-1801)

"The best characters are made by vigorous and persistent resistance to evil tendencies: whose amiability has been built upon the ruins of ill-temper, and whose generosity springs from an over-mastered and transformed selfishness.  Such a character, built up in the presence of enemies, has far more attraction than one which is natively pleasing."
                                     Henry Martin Dexter, American clergy (1821-1891) 

"A holy man or woman has a character that penetrates and moves society wherever they dwell."
                                     G.A. McLaughlin, American clergy, author 

"Make but few exceptions.  The character that cannot defend itself is not worth vindicating."
                                     Frederick William Robertson, English divine (1816-53)

"Since you were born of the Spirit, for it is He who gives you spiritual life.  Read Romans 8:9.  You are, therefore, spiritually alive, and you ought to be growing in Christian character and conduct.  But in your earliest Christian experience there are defects in your inner nature which will always prevent your growing up to be like the Son of God until they are corrected.  It is the filling with the Spirit which will correct these defects and will add to your personality positive qualities to make you like Jesus."
                                      James Elliot, American clergy, missionary, prof. Marion College, author (1947)

"I am not concerned that I have no office; I am concerned how I may fit myself for one.  I am not concerned that I am not known: I seek to be worthy to be known."
                              Francios Duc de La Rochefoucauld, French courtier, moralist (1830-80)


Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Blessed Ministry of Prayer

It used to be common to meet someone called to a ministry of prayer.  Where are those called to such today?  Nowadays when you meet someone who prays much, you have met an endangered species.   

I also believe that there are too many who used to be intercessors but are now living off the blessings of a past life.  They are still good people, but has-beens in prayer living a busy life.   

Those given to a ministry of prayer if they are wholly sanctified are marked by a sweetness, a brokenness, a carefulness.  The Spirit of God rests on them.  To be with them is to be in the presence of Jesus.   

God’s answers to prayer are spiritual blessings.  Revivals and awakenings sweep down by prayer.  God fearing congregations, glorious denominations, saintly grandparents, godly parents, holy youth have all been birthed by prayer.  Pastors and missionaries, evangelists and faithful laity rise up as armies in answer to prayer.   

Who could place a value on prayer?  To try would be fruitless.   

Oh, we must pray that the Lord of the Harvest would send forth [prayer] laborers!  For prayer begets prayer.  And much prayer begets much glory, holiness, and blessings from the God who inspires and leads us in such a high calling.       

- Phillip, 2009

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Happy Birthday, Dad!

 Happy Birthday, Dad!

You are a wonderful Daddy to me, Father-In-Law to Heather, and Grandpa to our children.  Our whole family as well as our extended family loves you and Mom dearly.  And we hope God gives you many more blessed birthdays to come. 

Thank you for being a great example to us and for causing us to want to follow you in so many ways but also as you follow Christ.  Thank you for being a hard worker, a faithful and caring husband, a beloved and wise father, a Spirit-led elder Christian, a classy gentleman, a genius mechanic, and a jack-of-all-trades.  Thanks for fearing God and for being passionate for the "old paths" of holiness.

Normally, I haven't been posting for other family member's special occasions.  But I wanted to post these sharp pictures of you and Mom in your handsome Model T. 

With much love,
Phillip and family


Friday, August 17, 2012

The Best Education Textbook In Early America...

Photo: http://www.cedarville.edu/cf/advancement/cbts/heritagegallery/exhibits/one-nation-under-god/
"In contemplating the political institutions of the United States, I lament that we waste so much time and money in punishing crimes, and take so little pains to prevent them. We profess to be republicans and yet we neglect the only means of establishing and perpetuating our republican forms of government. That is, the universal education of our youth in the principles of Christianity by the means of the Bible."
- Benjamin Rush, “A Defense of the Use of the Bible as a School Book”, 1798
Thanks to Jim

Monday, July 30, 2012

What happens when a young person intercedes...

I believe that those Christians who spend their time and strength in intercession are doing a more valuable work than those who are too busy doing "great things" for God to take the time to intercede.  This "knee work" lays the proper foundation for a life of obedience with results given by God. 
Without the struggle to leave its cocoon, the butterfly would never have the strength to fly in life.
Some Christians spend their lives busy for God and then near the end of their days they finally take the time to intercede.  Great indeed is the young person who forsakes all youthful busyness in order to bear the yoke of intercession in their youth.  His/her life is marked and blessed eternally due to interceding before God.  And they bear fruit early which other gifted young people never see in a lifetime. 

Young person, let me beg of you, please carve out time and learn to spend much time with God in prayer.

The LORD is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh him. 
It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.  
(Lamentations 3:25,27) 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Original purpose of schooling

photo credit: kansasheritage.org
“...if the study of the Bible is to be excluded from all state schools; if the inculcation of the principles of Christianity is to have no place in the daily program; if the worship of God is to form no part of the general exercises of these public elementary schools; then the good of the state would be better served by restoring all schools to church control.” - National Education Association (NEA), 1892
-Thanks to Jim.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

If you want to have a big harvest...

"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  Galatians 6:9 (see below picture for more verses.)

He that sows sparingly will reap sparingly.
He that sows liberally will reap liberally,

Whether it be sowing via.
seeds, giving, investing in souls, prayer, preaching, fasting,
study, the training and blessing of your children, family altar,
habits of honesty, hard work,
or in much more.

Keep sowing with all of your might!
"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days."  Ecclesiastes 11:1
"In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand:"  Ecclesiastes 11:6
"And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not."  Galatians 6:9
"The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself."  Proverbs 11:25
"He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich. He that gathereth in summer is a wise son: but he that sleepeth in harvest is a son that causeth shame."  Proverbs 10:4-5
"Prepare thy work without, and make it fit for thyself in the field; and afterwards build thine house."  Proverbs 24:27
"Blessed are ye that sow beside all waters,"  Isaiah 32:20

Sunday, July 1, 2012

What does God say about Gambling?

  1.  God presents work as the normal way to get the money we need (Eph 4:28; II Thess. 3:12; Prov. 31). When a person cannot work, the second choice is prayer (Phil. 4:6, 19).
  2. All my income belongs to God, not me (Psa. 24:1), and I am not free to use it as I wish. I am a steward, who should use it for God's purposes. Christians are called on to meet the needs of their family (I Tim. 5:8), and share with others, particularly Christians who have needs (2 Cor 8-9; Gal. 6:6-10; 3 John).
Ask: Does God want me to use His money to buy me a lottery ticket?
  1. God uses money to accomplish important purposes in my life:
    1. Meet basic needs (Matt. 6:11; I Tim. 6:8).
    2. Build character (Phil 4:10-13)
    3. Give direction, by providing or withholding resources.
    4. Helping others through me.
    5. Show His power by providing miraculously.
Ask: Does gambling accomplish these results? Am I looking to God or to the lottery for my needs?
  1. Greed and covetousness are sin (Ex. 20:18; I Tim. 6:9; Heb 13:5), and these are motives in most gambling.
  2. Proverbs warns of disaster for people who want to get rich quickly (28:20,22).
  3. Wealth that comes easily goes just as easily (Prov. 13:11).
  4. Wealth gained the wrong way breaks up families (Prov. 15:27).
  5. Gambling can be addictive, and even if you don't fall prey to it as a compulsive habit, your example may cause others to be enslaved by it (I Cor. 8:9, 13).
Studies show that lotteries are the favorite legal gambling game for teenagers. Statistically, one of seven who play will become addicted. But teenagers aren't the only ones affected. One out of 10 adults who gamble will become addicted too. In fact, gambling is the fastest growing addiction in America. Like alcoholism and drug addiction, compulsive gambling is costly to the economy. Families are the ones who suffer the most. Many people feel gambling is only a game that is fun, but the Bible tells us this evil is a terrible sin that will lead to poverty.
"He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him" (Proverbs 28:22).
Gambling in our nation is spreading as the number of states operating lotteries has more than doubled since 1980, making them the ultimate "get-rich-quick" schemes. As gambling spreads to more and more states, Christians need to have the Bible's instruction about this money robber. The Bible declares that it is wrong to bet money on the possibility of becoming instantly rich.
"He who oppresses the poor to get gain for himself, and he who gives to the rich will surely come to want" (Proverbs 22:16).
States who legalize lotteries and gambling are oppressing the poor for gain. According to a 1988 study of the Michigan lottery, that state sells the greatest number of tickets in low-income and ethnic neighborhoods in urban areas. Lottery tickets made available in grocery marts and drive-in markets make it easy for people to purchase these "chances to win the big hit." Some spend money on the lottery tickets instead of groceries for their families. Many compulsive gamblers wreck their lives and their families as they are encouraged to risk money that they usually cannot afford to lose. An estimated 15 million people are compulsive gamblers.
The lie that is used to promote this evil in our society is that legalized gambling doesn't promote crime and will lower taxes. Actually just the opposite is true -- gambling promotes other vices which attract the criminal element. This results in higher, not lower taxes as the cost for additional policing must be increased. Indian reservations and the big gambling centers of Las Vegas and Atlantic City are taking in billions of dollars. Casinos rob those who play the games with them as the odds are stacked 80% to 90% in favor of the casino. Even those that do win big on occasion statistics have proven that within two years most winners have totally spent the money they won.
Proverbs 21:20 says, "There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up."
People who gamble give to the pool of money that composes great wealth. This causes them to give to the rich and as Proverbs 22:16 says "...he who gives to the rich will surely come to want." Our states are also reaping a type of "poverty" where gambling exists because it undermines the American work ethic. The result is lowered productivity, use of work time to gamble, absenteeism, high rates of business failure, and repeated non-payment of loans, mortgages and other financial obligations. Gambling is, to many, a scheme to escape labor.
Some Christians argue that gambling does no harm. However, the scripture is clear that this activity is sinful. Anytime someone is enticed to gain money at someone's else's certain loss, this is definitely not practicing the principals taught by Christ. Also, the practice of gambling takes away from the Bible's principals of economics -- working, saving and giving. Discipline and accountability for spending are ignored. Gambling preys on the weakness of others.
Let me mention here that entering free sweepstakes or drawings are not sinful as they are advertising ploys paid for by the sponsors. They use these to advertise their products while giving their customers a chance to win in a drawing. There is no gambling involved as the participants give no money for a chance to win the prize.
However, many Christians are guilty of supporting lotteries, bingo, horse racing, and even playing at the casinos. Video poker has become so popular it is now referred to as "the crack cocaine of gambling." Some do not realize the gravity of their sin. They justify gambling simply because they have needs that cannot be met through their present earned income. The Lord desires to meet those needs for them and will give them a plan for becoming debt free if they seek him and His economic principles in the Bible.
The Lord can bring deliverance to those caught in this web of compulsive gambling. Through admission of this sin and repentance God will break the bondage of it in those who desire to be set free. Gamblers need love and acceptance but they must repent in order to be free. The Lord loves those who are addicted to gambling and will help all that call upon Him for deliverance.
The above is not original with me, but I cannot remember who to give credit to.  I will happily give credit if shown the author.  Thanks, Phillip

Monday, June 18, 2012

This must come to those who would impact others.

God requires us to reign.  He commanded us to exercise dominion over the earth.  Today that happens spiritually as we pray.  But according to our faithfulness today shall we be entrusted to reign in the next life.  (Mt. 25:21)   

Another preparation for this future authority in God’s glorious kingdom is suffering.  For if we suffer we shall also reign with Him and be glorified together.  This suffering is not self-flagellation.  But God may ordain or allow this suffering for the sake of Christ by persecution, infirmities, pain, difficulty, grief, disappointment, delay of hopes, injustice, slander, manifold temptations, maltreatment, government, and more.   

Noah Webster in 1828 explained suffering as the bearing of pain, inconvenience or loss; pain endured; distress, loss or injury incurred; as sufferings by pain or sorrow; sufferings by want or by wrongs. 

Because of King Saul's hatred David had to flee his wife and home in order to save his very life.
History proves when Christians suffer even be it at the hands of politicians or tyrants, the church advances most.  This is one reason we are commanded not to resist evil, nor the powers that be, nor despise government, nor even to speak evil against them.   

The great saints of Hebrews 11 endured evil against them.  They suffered in faith waiting for the promise.   

Undervalued David also for years wandered as a man of tears before he was fit to rule.  He who never learns to be content with his lot of suffering may throw off that yoke and never be a David in this life nor the next.   

Suffering also teaches obedience.  And submission to authority is essential to welding authority.   

Learn to not only be content but also rejoice in suffering like the Apostle Paul, especially since we shall reign forever and ever in God’s glory.  (Rev 22:5)  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.  In fact our sufferings are not even worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.         -Phillip

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

~Pics from our Sunday & our time with Edgar and Joanna!~

I wanted to share some pics from our recent Sunday.  
~Here is Noah, our neighbor Nicolas on your right, and Noah's church friend Adrian on your left before they started Sunday school.~
 ~2 adorable baby girls playing in the baby bed.  Heather Sofia on your left and Jimmy's niece Stephanie on your right. =) ~
 ~After service this lady Marina wanted a picture with Phillip and I and Pastor Jimmy.  She's been faithful to church since Phillip first started pastoring her back in 2006.   She (and often her small granddaughter) have to take 2 LONG, VERY BOUNCY, DIRTY, bus rides (lasting up to an hour or more) to get to church!!   
Are we (who have an easier way to get to church) as faithful?
Please pray for her and her family that they will serve Jesus with their whole heart.  Thank you!~
 ~Then, our family was excited for we had a dinner invitation to Edgar and Joanna's house for Sunday dinner.  We rode home from church with them...on a long bus ride, in a teensy bus, and about 45 mins. later we arrived at their lovely new apt. that Jesus just helped them to rent.   =)
 ~Here's Joanna making our delicious meal! (The reason I'm on the couch is because they wanted to treat me this day and giving me a day of rest, although I offered LOTS of times to help her.   It was nice, but I surely HATED to have them do all the work, when the girls and I could have helped.
But, I was a good girl and sat in the living room like they wanted me to.  =) ~
 ~Our Sarah and precious Heather Sofia.~
 ~Our Noah with Elijah and Mary squatting down, and Sarah and Heather Sofia.~
 ~Noah and Elijah eating their lunch.~
 ~They served us a DELICIOUS lunch of fried plantain, rice, a special hamburger, and a wonderful recipe for beans.  YUMMY!~
 ~We had a delightful afternoon visiting, eating their wonderful food, and challenging each other in the Lord!  Kimberly snapped this picture of "my boyfriend and I" =)... before we all walked the 15 mins. to catch our bus to go back home that evening. ~

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mary is growing!

 This is Sarah.  I decided to do a post on how our little Mary is growing.  Here she is in Mommy's tummy.
Baby Mary "kneeling to pray!" =)
~Mary loved the sand in Uruguay!~
She already repeats after us, "Good Girl", "I am a baby", "I am so cute".  She's is so very big and very cute, and we Thank God for her.  We love our Mary!
~Little Blue-eyed Elijah and Mary!~

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Need more time to pray?

I'd be happy to say that the following quote is original with me.  But it isn't:

"One of the greatest uses of Twitter and Facebook will be to prove at the Last Day that prayerlessness was not from lack of time."  (John Piper)

Take time to pray.  Someday you will wish you had left off much of what you're doing to pray.  When we stand before the Judgement our priorities of today will be turned upside down.  Let's meet around the Mercy Seat.  - Phillip   

"See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,   Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.   Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is."    (Ephesians 5:15-17)   

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How To Have Spiritual Success

"And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go . . . and enquire . . . for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth..."  (Acts 9:11)

"You become like those with whom you spend the most time."

The one point where you will have success or failure Spiritually is in the place of prayer.
Daily prayer is daily communion with God.  The weak human coming in contact with the Almighty Divine.

You forsake God along with His strength and growth when you neglect Him in prayer.
Your partake of God and His miracle working resources when you carve out time for God in Prayer.

And your growth, usefulness, power, and communion with God comes in direct proportion to your obedience, desire, love, and time with God in prayer.

Your future (and the future of multitudes, including your offspring) will be affected by how you pray today.
Your life is changed (and others' lives will change) when you pray.

Precious things in life cost us the most.  And some Christians choose to spend more one-on-one time with their Lord.  It is they to whom the world looks to see Jesus. 
         - Phillip

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Christian with No Worries.

Today there is a lot of whipped up fear (might be a good idea to take a break from the Press).

Terrorism, Drug War, Economic Risk, Race Warfare, Class Warfare, Political Problems, Corruption, Injustice, Natural Calamities, Military Enemies, et cetera.   

Don't let it bother you.  Receive all this as from the hand of the Lord for our good.  For at least it causes us to pray more.  And forgive, pray for, and labor for the good of  your "enemies" in all this too.

Many people's hearts are going to fail them for fear in these worsening times. 

But for the Christian there is nothing to worry about.  Nothin'.  Nada.  Zilch.
Because for the Christian, all things, ALL THINGS work together for GOOD, to them who love the Lord.          Romans 8:28  

Friday, April 13, 2012

Seek the One in life, gain the rest.

In this life

Health, Youth, and Beauty cannot be retained
Even if you would seek after these with all of your heart.

In this life

Wisdom, Love, and God's Glory may not only be gained
But continually increased
But only when you seek after Jesus Christ with all of your heart.

But in the next life

Those who gained Jesus Christ will enjoy all mentioned and infinitely much more.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Is God's power which raised Christ from the dead also for the Christian?

In Ephesians 1 & 2, the Apostle Paul prayed that God would help us to understand the "exceeding greatness of His power." 

This same power of God did the following for Christ:
Raised Christ from the dead.  (1:20)  After He had already been dead for 3 days and for 3 nights.
Set Christ at God's right hand in Heavenly places.  (1:20)
Put all things under Christ's feet.  (1:22)
Made Christ head over all things.  (1:22)

This same power of God is also for us who believe. (1:19)  For us believers God's same power has:

Made you, believer, alive in Christ, having once been dead in sins.  (2:1)
Raised us up from sins.  (2:6)  Now that's complete victory! 
Puts us in heavenly places in Jesus.  (2:6)
He did all that for us so that in eternity to come He might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us!  (2:7)

God gives you His limitless power!  God's power resurrected Christ, and now He places His same power at your service.  Imagine that.  Now what do you need from God for the glory of Jesus Christ?  Ask, and it shall be given unto you.

Ephesians 1:17  That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 
18  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 
19  And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power,
20  Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places,
21  Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 
22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,
23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all. 
Ephesians 2:1  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
2  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 
3  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 
4  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 
5  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 
6  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
7  That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
-Post by Phillip
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