Has God’s Power changed you tonight? People respond during the Bat-Ongan Gospel Crusade in Masbate, Philippines in August 2013.
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The good news is that while we are lost, God finds us so we can be part of God’s family forever. Preaching from the gospel crusade in Bat-Ongan, Masbate, Philippines in August 2013.
When my wife and I got married, we had plans for a big family.
It didn’t take too long and soon she was pregnant. We had Asia nine months later.
But the next child took longer, years in fact. We thought something was wrong with us. We met with a fertility specialist. After a series of tests, she came back with her diagnosis—there was nothing wrong with either of us. The doctor called it “unexplained infertility.”
Unexplained infertility? What were we supposed to do with that? There was no clear problem to solve, and with no clear problem to solve, there was no way to fix it. And with no way to fix it, I had nothing to do. I felt useless.
Our friends were having babies left and right. They didn’t mean to conceive, but oh, it happened again. Teenagers were getting pregnant; delinquents were becoming parents. Why couldn’t we have a baby? We weren’t getting any younger.
We felt hopeless. But then…Continue Reading...
We’re waiting for Asher. We’ve been waiting for three years.
Asher is a boy in the Philippines. He’s our boy, we’re adopting him. In August Asher turns four. We should hear soon that we can schedule our trip. Then we’ll wait another four or five weeks until we can go.
It’s not easy to wait, would you agree?
Asher’s picture is on my phone and when I look at him, my heart hurts. We haven’t met yet, but we love him already. He’ll share a room with Rex, our other son. We just want him here.
Waiting is a fact of life. Sure, none of us wake up and hope to wait today. We don’t pray, “God, let me wait extra long.” If we get into waiting, we look for a way out. Waiting is painful.
But since we can’t avoid waiting, let’s make the best of it.
Here are some thoughts on how to wait well.Continue Reading...
I’m back from Sri Lanka and Myanmar. What an awesome time! Here are my top ten moments from the trip:
Passing out apples to children. What started as $40 of my daughter’s allowance money turned into $1200 thanks to some of you. We handed out big, red apples to everyone. We gave excess money to Pastor Sureshni for the conference. It was exactly what she needed for food, transportation, and other expenses.
Washing a pregnant elephant. In Sri Lanka, we stayed at the Elephant Park Hotel, which is near an elephant orphanage. Each morning the elephants parade down the road to the river, where they bathe. The timing was right for us to catch it, and I stepped into the river and washed the Mama.Continue Reading...
The book of Acts says God determines our times and the exact places we should live (Acts 17.26).
Not approximate places, the exact places. God has land for all of us. For the one who trusts God, this is comforting. For the one who doesn’t, this can be challenging.
What if you don’t like where God has placed you?
As I’ve traveled to various places, I’ve thought of God’s geographic placement of people. I’ve wondered why some have it so hard.
Why my friends in the Philippines are battered by so much bad weather. A recent storm caused massive flooding. I heard of the mother who clung to her baby until she was knocked unconsciousness by debris. When she regained consciousness, her arms were empty—her baby was gone. She later found her baby’s body in a pile of dead bodies.
Or why my friends in Myanmar have so few human rights. Life expectancy is 63 years, which ranks 171 in the world. Last year a Buddhist villager became a Jesus follower. A few months later he was at a widow’s house to share Jesus with her. He returned home, lay down, and died. I’m told this kind of thing is common in Myanmar.
But it’s a matter of perspective. What I think is “hard” is not as hard as hard can be.
Much harder is life without God. Much harder is being alive but not really living. Much harder is dying alone. Much harder is filling your life with stuff and food and sex but not love. Much harder is getting to the end of your days and realizing you wasted most of them. Much harder is a building a life of comfort and no risk. That’s hard.
My friends in the Philippines and Myanmar are really living. They’re letting their desperation lead them to God, who time and again proves He is their refuge and strength, their shield and song, their great reward and salvation. So while circumstances are hard, life is not.
In some ways, I envy them. When I’m with them, I experience revival. (Click here to watch kids worshipping in Myanmar). There is a common spirit among them, a vibrant fresh faith that overcomes doubt. A living breathing song on their lips. An assurance that God is enough. They find his abiding love lavished upon them. What else have they but God?
That’s why I’m so excited for an upcoming trip to Myanmar.
In February, five of us (maybe seven) are going to Myanmar. I have a feeling we’ll get more from the trip than the Burmese people will. We’re not going to be served, but to serve, but that’s the spirit of revival. It overwhelms you and overtakes you and changes you, turning you into the recipient of a great gift.
And then we’ll return to the place God set for us.