Tuesday, December 18, 2007



Hi all,

This couple is dear to me because Beth was on our teams to Nicaragua and El Salvador. Beth is a nurse/accountant and David was a truck driver/builder. They both came to Nicaragua last year Nov 06 and they both heard the call of God to go to Zambia. They have sold everything and are going to Zambia! They are almost there!!! This would be a great place to go on a short term mission project. Check out their Blog.

It is crazy how God works and who he chooses to use. Are you on the bench?? Are you ready to get in the game? LETS PLAY!


Trust the Lord

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust...a big word. Can we really trust God with everything? As I look at the bible true story of Jesus' father Joseph, I could only imagine the call of his heart and the pain inside when Mary told him she was preganant.

God, this can't be true. How can she do this to me! the ultimate betrayal!! I loved her so much and she is coming to me with child! I was never with her! She goes away for a couple of days and this! She is a liar!

Trust...Have you ever been hurt that bad, someone dispace you trust. Do you find it hard to trust again? Matt 1:19 states that " Because Joseph her husband was a righteous man and did not want to expose her to public disgrace, he had in mind to divorce her quietly."

Listen to his heart... I love you, Mary! How could you do this? With who? What did that conversation sound like? What did his prayers sound like as he cried out to God?

The key is that Joseph was a "righteous man". I am sure it hurt alot but he knew how to handle the disapointment in his life as a righteous man because he probrbaly learned at a young age to trust God and lean not on his own understanding. The angel comes to Joseph and he obeys. "IF YOU LOVE ME...IF YOU TRUST ME...YOU WILL OBEY ME!!" EVEN WHEN IT DOES NOT MAKE SENSE.

Are you in a position were something does not make sense? Does it hurt? Are you asking God some tough question?

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6

Go to God and trust him.

ET Ramblings...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Truth matters!

Ravi Zacharias begins chapter one:

“Philosophically, you can believe anything, so long as you do not claim it to be true. Morally, you can practice anything, so long as you do not claim that it is a “better” way. Religiously, you can hold to anything, so long as you do not bring Jesus Christ into it.” “all religions, plainly and simply, can not be true. Some beliefs are false, and we know them to be false. So it does not good to put a halo on the notion of tolerance as if everything could be equally true. In the real life struggles between right and wrong, justice and injustice, life and death, we all realize that truth does matter.”

(Ravi Zacharias Jesus Among Other Gods p. 4)


Fenelon said: "Peace is what God wants for us, no matter what is happening around us." Peace therefor involves harmony or being able to live with people of different cultures and backgrounds. In the church, peace should mean working together for unity...for a single cause, to connect with God and Others through JESUS.

When conflict enters what is our responsibility?

Matt 5:9 Blessed are the peacemakers; for they will be called sons of God.

Wesley states: "The peace makers - They that out of love to God and man do all possible good to all men. Peace in the Scripture sense implies all blessings temporal and eternal. They shall be called the children of God - Shall be acknowledged such by God and man."

Thomas Merton writes: "Man is not at peace with his fellow man because he is not at peace with God.

Are you out of fellowship with someone? Have you made peace with everyone you have a conflict with?

I guess the first question should be... Are you out of fellowship with God? Are you at peace with Him? Know this...you cannot be at peace with God without being at peace with others.



Friday, December 07, 2007


Being a driven, compulsive, everything or bust person, it is easy to look at success and numbers and rejoice in God!

Yet, being a compulsive, everything or bust person, does the success take the place of God?

Does succeeding take a front seat to the actual relationship that is the core behind our success?

Does being saved mean more than the actual relationship with God through Jesus?

Are we worshiping the success?

Seeing people come to the Lord and Grow is our mandate. In Dan 12, it talks about those who lead others to righteousness, for they are like stars! Are we celebrating the hunt and training of others to become stars over our deep relationship with GOD? I know what God wants me to do...to share the Good News of Jesus! It is the best high you can ever have!

God has always had me on the freeway in serving Him. things moved forwards at a fast pace as we took ground for the Lord. It seems that I took a exit that led to a country road and everything slowed down. I miss the evangelistic speeches and trips to talk to people about Jesus. I feel like I am moving in slow motion in a community that is far from God.

Habakkuk 3:16-19 "I heard and my heart pounded, my lips quivered at the sound; decay crept into my bones, and my legs trembled. Yet I will wait patiently for the day of calamity to come on the nation invading us. Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to go on the heights."

As a man who has worked all of his life at producing to succeed in business, I cannot tell you how hard this is to work and not see immediate fruit. Yet God in his sovereignty has a plan! Evil is prospering around me and the righteous suffer. The church is fighting itself and God is saying here I am worship me, I have a plan. Is this a season of internal growth to make sure the way for the future? I don't know...but I need to trust God and drive the speed limit until such a time that he tells me to open up the throttle.

While I miss the numbers and success of seeing large numbers of people accept and grow in Christ, I know God is building a foundation for the future. Hey, I'm not in control anyway! God is in control and He will do what is right. I can have confidence in that fact as I drive the speed limit.


Thursday, December 06, 2007

Pass the test

Here is a lesson from John Piper...


Revelation 2:10

When huge pain comes into your life—like divorce, or the loss of a precious family member, or the dream of wholeness shattered—it is good to have a few things settled with God ahead of time. The reason for this is not because it makes grieving easy, but because it gives focus and boundaries for the pain.
Being confident in God does not make the pain less deep, but less broad. If some things are settled with God, there are boundaries around the field of pain. In fact, by being focused and bounded, the pain of loss may go deeper—as a river with banks runs deeper than a flood plain. But with God in his firm and proper place, the pain need not spread out into the endless spaces of ultimate meaning. This is a great blessing, though at the time it may simply feel no more tender than a brick wall. But what a precious wall it is!
As a father, I want to help our twelve-year-old daughter Talitha settle some things with God now, so that when little or big losses come—and they will come—her pain will be bounded and will not carry her out, like a riptide, into the terrifying darkness of doubt about God. So as we read God’s word together twice a day, I point out the mysterious ways of God.
Two days ago, we read this from the lips of Jesus to the church at Smyrna in Revelation 2:10:
Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.
I asked Talitha, “Is Jesus stronger than the devil?” “Yes,” she said. Indeed, I added, ten million times stronger. It’s not even close. In fact, as Mark 1:27 says, “He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” So all Jesus has to do is say to the devil, “You shall not throw my loved ones into prison,” and the devil will not be able to do it. Right, Talitha? Right.
So, Talitha, why does Jesus let the devil do this? Why does he let the devil throw his precious followers in jail and even kill some of them? She shook her head. I said, well, let’s read it again slowly, and you tell me the reason that the Bible gives. Slowly, “Behold the devil is about to throw some of you into prison . . . that . . . you . . . may . . . be . . . tested.” So why does Jesus let this happen, Talitha? “That they may be tested.” That’s right.
And what is being tested? The answer is given in the way Jesus describes what passing the test looks like. He says, “Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Faithfulness to Jesus is being tested. Will his loved ones keep trusting him? Will they keep believing that he has their best interest at heart? That he is wise? That he is good? That he is stronger than all?
So, Talitha, there are a thousand things that God is doing every time something painful happens to you. Most of these you do not know or understand. Job, Joseph, and Esther did not know what God was doing in their losses. But there is always one thing you can know God is doing when pain comes into your life. This is something you can settle with God ahead of time. He is always testing you.
If the test leads to your death, as it did for some of the Christians in Smyrna, Jesus wants you to know something ahead of time. “You will receive the crown of life.” That means he will raise you from the dead and will crown you with the kind of everlasting joy in his presence that will make up for your loses ten-thousand-fold. “Crown” signifies majestic, royal restoration and exaltation.
James says the same thing:
Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.
Passing the test means loving God to the end.
So settle it, Talitha. Loss and pain are coming into your life, but Jesus is infinitely stronger than the devil. So even if the devil is causing it, as he did in Smyrna, Jesus is letting it happen. And he always has his reasons—more than we can know. One of those reasons is always testing, namely, the testing of our faith and our love for him.
We cannot answer every why question. But there is always this answer: My faith is being tested. And our Lord never wastes his tests. Whether we believe this truth is, in fact, part of the test. In the mind of Jesus, the promise that he would give them the crown of life was enough to sustain the Christians in Smyrna. I pray that it will be enough for Talitha—and for you.
Trusting the wisdom and goodness of Jesus in loss,

Pastor John



Wednesday, December 05, 2007


It has been quite a while since I blogged. I have to admit, I don't know how others can keep up with blogging on a daily basis. I find myself overwhelmed by the daily struggles between church, family and time alone with God. Will my time of blogging, interfere with any of the three that are currently competing for my time.

I guess I am going to have to choose to cheat on someone! (as Andy Stanley says)

I feel myself more and more responsible for ministries that call for a commitment from others. I want to share my intimacy with Christ with other adults (thank you Mick!) yet there are very little lining up! Busyness, dryness, lack of really wanting to know the God that holds our lives in HIS hand...Talk about a SCARY MOVIE!

Yet God says that upon this rock (Jesus) I will build my church. So as I struggle, I need to prioritize the top three in a way that will glorify God. Focus on the family put out a publication on "How to encourage your spirit, strengthen your family and energize your ministry."


1. GOD

Just think ... if in fact you live your lives void of "freshness," you get into a rut and simply go through the motions. If there is not "newness," then you live on "leftovers and warm-ups." If there is no "revival," then you settle for "what is" and lose the desire for growth, both in your own spirit and your ministry. (Focus on the Family email encourager)

I knew about the right list before yet in a new church as the solo pilot you do everything and hear from everybody.

Hey, if I blog about God! Does it fall in number 1? or number 3?

I guess the question for the season your in is...

Who is number one?


Who are you going to choose to cheat on when everything is important! We are fighting for an eternal destiny in the lives of people that would otherwise awake "...to shame and everlasting contempt." (Dan 12:2)

That is indeed the struggle!!

"O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid; O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years made known; in wrath remember mercy" (Habakkuk 3:2 KJV).

Et Ramblings...