September 2007


I wanted to invite you to read a tremendous article about the youth ministry.  You can do so by clicking here.

I think that the article says a lot of things that really need to be said and it says them very well.  We are in the process of training leaders and getting them to the stage that they can accomplish great things for the Lord Jesus.  Be sure and read it and come back here and let me know what you thought of the article through your comments.

I also want to invite you to be reading the blog that I am dedicating to Church Planting for the foreseeable future.  You can get there by clicking here.

Also you can always keep up with what God is doing at Vision Baptist Church on Vision News. 

Then believe it or not I have started a blog that I do not work on that much about my favorite candidate for president of the US called I like Mike!

ill we are rooted and grounded in the truth, new things have great charms for us, especially if they have about them a great show of holiness and zeal for God.

Listen, then, dear children but newly born into the Savior’s family: “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning.”

Alas, even those who are older in grace than you are have shown a sad readiness to be duped by plausible persons who have invented fresh notions and methods. I have lived long enough to have seen a considerable variety of follies and manias in the religious world. They have sprung up, grown great, declined, and vanished. One day it has been one thing, another another.

I have lived to see those things justly ridiculed which a few years before were cried up as the wonders of the age. I thank God I have not been moved by any of these periodical fits of frenzy, but have been content to keep to the one old truth which I have gathered from the Scriptures and made my own by experience, and by the teaching of the Holy Spirit.

I have not had to tack about, for I have been enabled to steam ahead; and I hope I shall do so to the end. I have no respect for these upstart inventions; but I regard them as so many phases of human delusion. One never knows what will come next; but of this we are pretty sure, that every now and then a new doctrine is brought forth which turns out to be an old heresy with a fresh coat of varnish on it; or else some new method of saving souls is found out, and the work blazes away like a house on fire till it dies out in smoke.

Let us not be carried off our feet by every wind of doctrine. We may live to see the present craze ended and another or two after it; only be it ours to be steadfast, immovable. “Little children, let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning:” leave to others the soon-exhausted novelties and do you keep to the eternal unchangeable truth which is taught you in God’s word and in your own soul’s experience.

from Charles Spurgeon

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I like Mike

Dear praying friends and family,

Greetings from Peru! There are many people who have asked me what really happened. There have been tons of people tell me that they are praying for me. The prayers for my family and I are appreciated more than you know! This email is just a recap of what happened, and also of my thoughts after the fact. I don’t fully know the extent of the people that have prayed, so if you would like to forward this email, please do so as a way of saying thank you on my part. Thank you again, and I hope that this email will encourage your hearts. God bless.

On September 17, around 9:30pm, I was going back to my house in a taxi when the taxi driver stopped the car and two men jumped in the car and pulled me into the back seat. I tried resisting several times and got punched and cut a little bit with the knife I had with me. They made me pass out several times and when I woke up for the last time I was on a mat with a guy smacking me in the face saying “Breathe, Wake up.”
After kicking and punching me many times, they finally got the password they wanted and believed me that I was telling them the truth. And while they went to try to get money from the ATMs, the beating stopped and the guys started to talk with me. The show The Unit actually helped me know what to do! I tried to befriend one of the guys there, and it worked to some extent. He gave me back my Nextel and kept the other guys from hitting and kicking me. He gave me a little bit of Gatorade, and in return, I taught him some English. He assured me that he would tell them that I had behaved myself once I got in the house, and that they didn’t need to do anything else to me, as long as I kept on behaving.
Well, they finally got all the money they could from my account and came back to the house. We left the house in the same taxi that started everything. We drove for several minutes and we stopped. They carried me down the first flight of stairs in an old stairwell and said to count to three hundred. They said that after counting to 300 I was supposed to go up the stairs and I could find a taxi at a park near there. Well I went down the stairs instead of up. I finally found a taxi and was off to my house with the guys following at a distance. We pulled some evasive maneuvers and finally arrived at my house. Thank the Lord for His protection!

Before the last section, I want to thank each and every one of you that have prayed for me, for my parents, and for my future protection. As a result of the TV interviews, various emails, and even an article in the paper, my God has been glorified. This was the burning desire of my heart as I was released and even up until now. I wanted to use this incident to bring glory to God and use it as a witnessing tool. As I talked to my parents on Wednesday night, they told me about how several strangers came and told them that they were praying and their churches as well. They also told me about the offering that my church has taken up for me. As my sister told me about what my old youth pastor said during the youth service Wednesday, I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. My Lord is awesome, and HE answered my prayers beyond my wildest imagination.

There were many thoughts that ran through my head during this time, but the overriding thought was that God was with me and that HIS GRACE IS SUFFICIENT. God saw fit for me to pass through this trying time, but He also told us that He would NEVER leave us or forsake us. He said that He would never put anything in our path that we could not handle. Those two thoughts comforted me. I asked God many times to let me be able to have a Spirit-filled attitude afterwards. As I was in the stairwell, I began to praise God and thank Him for allowing that trial to come my way.
Many have asked, “Why aren’t you going to come home?” My answer is very simple- that would be the victory that Satan is after. Satan has tried many times since my arrival in July to get me depressed and ready to come home. But this time, my faith and resolve to stay here were greatly STRENGTHENED. If Satan is so eager to get me to come home, he must know what God has in store for me down here, and what God plans on doing in the ministry here. I do NOT want to pass up this chance that God has given me. My God deserves that at the very least. Life is so fragile. We never know what is going to happen around the next corner. God knows, but that is why He expects us to take every opportunity given to us to glorify Him. The people that we love need to know that we love them. Our God needs to know that we love Him.
We must serve our God with everything that we have in us, until the day we die; however, God is going to put good times, sad times, hard and trying times, and exciting times in all of our lives as Christians but it is our reaction afterwards that God wants to see the most. My reaction could have been one of depression and bitterness towards God for allowing me to pass through a difficult time, but what about Paul? Paul went through sooo many hard times as a believer that it is hard to imagine. Even Paul’s own people attacked him, beat him, and made him suffer for the cause of Christ. Paul refused to let his attitude to be filled with bitterness and his resolve to diminish. He knew how big his God was and still is today. Rom. 1:16 tells of his unashamed faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and what better lesson can I learn from that. What happened to me was nothing compared to what Paul suffered throughout his life. If I can “suffer” for Christ even a little bit while doing the Lord’s work, I hope that it will help me be able to say at the end of my life, “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.”

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I Like Mike 

hey thank you . i almost didn’t send this email out but i know that
you all can help me.

i have devotions with grace and taylor every night, but it is horrible when
i don’t get mine done. i would like if you maybe you could email me and i
can be acountable to you, we get home at all different hours so calling
would be a little bit difficult. but thank you so much for offering. but if
you have time maybe you could email me for a while to see how everything is
going.
thank you girlie. love you too!

Hey,
another thing I do is I do my Bible reading on my computer (I actually do
about everything on the computer bills, shopping you name it) but I use
this web site http://www.heartlight.org/devotionals/reading_plans/ it has
different ways to read the bible through. It also has where you can follow
along someone reading it to you so you can’t speed read. I really have
enjoyed it, it keeps me organized, which if you know me, know that I stink
at. I also keep my devotion journal on the computer, I just copy and
paste verses that stand out and I write something about the verse, it really
has transformed my devotions.

Thank you for “sermonette” , as I read it, I kept thinking how
true, how true, how true….
That was an encouragement!
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thank you . i enjoyed your sermon hehe!! i’ve started being
accountable to a girl at church and that has helped me alot. the biggest
thing for me is not speed reading like you said. i get it done but really
fast. which isn’t a good thing. and i have even got mad at the girls for
always interrupting me while i’m reading which like you said is the worst
thing you could do while doing your devotions.
anyways, thank you for listening and for your words of wisdom.

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‘s email reminded me that when my kids were younger, I taught them they
couldn’t leave their rooms until 7:30, they could wake up but couldn’t come
out. If your kids are too young to tell time try doing some with a stuffed
animal or some toy, when it’s sitting up you can come out, but when it’s
laying down you have to stay in your room. It worked welll for me, they
learn mommy needs her time. Of course now my daughter is the only early riser,
my boys don’t know what 7:30 is!! Except when they have to get up Sunday to
go to early church!

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You are too sweet! You must have caught me on a good day! ha!

I have had my own ups and downs as far as devotions go, in fact, to be
honest, right now, even though I am faithful at “doing them” I feel I’m at a
dry spot so I need to change things up a bit. I read a great book on the
devotional life by Nancy Leigh DeMoss called A Place of Quiet Rest, I’m
thinking about getting it back out to read again, it’s really a wonderful
book on the in’s and out’s of your devotional life. On her website, Revive
our Hearts, I signed up for her morning devotions, I think they are called
seeking Him, so everyday I get an email with a small devotional, they are
really good and I put them in a file right on my email so I have them, my
plan is to print the ones I want, they will make great lesson starters as
well.

I think you’ve gotten some great advice, I have to admit I am a
morning person so I love to get up to the quiet house with a cup of coffee
(now if I could just get one with a timer that’d be great!ha). I remember
really struggling on deputation, we all know how crazy that can be,
traveling small kids, etc, I can’t say I was very faithful then, but I
remember during language school, for me it was do or die!!!! I do have to
have quiet, I am easily distracted and once everyone else is up, forget
it…I try to keep a pen and paper handy to write down all those things that
I think of that I should do that day, or else I can’t get my mind where it
should be!

if you make it a habit and stick to it I think you’ll find what works
for you, the hardest part is discipling ourselves to be consistent.
love ya and praying for you

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I’m not a morning person, and I’ve used that as an excuse not to do my
devotions early for years. Guess what? For years, I never got around to
doing them, at all! What has majorly helped me is having an accountability
partner, and we chat every morning about what we learned from a passage.
my husband got a booklet from ???? I think, is that right ?????? that listed
a passage for the day and a blank for truths you found and another for
applications. You and your partner have to sign off on each other’s paper
for each day. There is also a place for questions and a section with memory
verses. You can use the same principle even if you have no booklet. I
never got serious about my devotions until I started doing this. My partner
is my houseworker. I started it as a way to disciple her, but it’s kept me
faithful, both to read, and to try and learn. I mean, how embarrassing for
her to show up and have her passages read if the missionary wife hasn’t done
it! It’s really kept me on track. So many times, I would speed read
something just to say I read it, and now, I’m looking for truths to share
with her. I also do more research when I don’t understand something because
I know she might ask what it means. Before, I would ignore sections I
didn’t understand and just go on.

Lately, though, I am struggling, and I’m thinking I’m going to have to get
up earlier. My kids interrupt me so much that I get really frustrated,
even, yes, MAD, while I’m trying to read my Bible. I’m thinking that kind
of hinders the work of the Holy Spirit, don’t you? (although this morning,
one of my girls plopped down next to me with a little New Testament to
“read” her Bible too. More and more they do that lately.) Usually, we don’t
have many distractions early in the morning, but sometimes we do and that
messes me up too so I can’t blame it all on the kids. (doorbell, husband’s
cell phone, husband going out the very squeeky door, husband coming back in
the very squeeky door, dog barking etc.) I’ve never been one to be able to
concentrate with lots of stuff going on around me. In high school and
college I couldn’t stand to study with background music on or anything like
that. Especially when it comes to the Bible, I get so easily distracted.
Isn’t that horrible? All this to say, I feel your pain! Mornings may not be
best for you, but most people will never “get back around to it” if they
don’t do it in the mornings. I also saw a verse the other day, can’t give
you a reference, that talked about the Israelites giving God the fruit of
the land first, before they even ATE any of it. I know our tithe is
similar. We set aside what’s his first, but I think we can apply it to our
time too. I think He blesses when we are willing to give him the first part
of our day too. If you absolutely can’t do mornings though, you could go
with whenever you feel you’re at your “best.” For me though, “I can’t do
mornings” was an excuse. Not saying that’s the case with you or anyone else
though.

We can blame so many things that keep us away from Him, but as one pointed
out in her analogy, we make time for the things and people we want to make
time for. Sure, the kids are a distraction, but for me, being disciplined
enough to do devotions was a struggle way before I ever even had kids or got
married for that matter! Okay, so how do you like my little sermonette? I
really am preaching to myself because it’s such a temptation to give it up
sometimes. I can’t though, or I absolutely will not make it. I’m going to
just have to work harder to get to bed earlier so I can get up even earlier
and do devotions with fewer interruptions.

I don’t want to embarrass her, but I remember when I went on a mission trip
to Peru and stayed with the ??????’s. I got up really early in the morning,
when it was still dark and the house was all quiet to go to the restroom. I
saw Mrs. ????? kneeling in prayer. To this day, I remember that scene, and
it touches my heart. It was so EARLY and COLD. Not even daylight. I HATE
getting up in when it’s dark and cold, though remember cold never happens
here. At the time, Mrs. ????? had three little kids, was in language
school, and was playing hostess for a houseful of people. She needed sleep!
Instead, she got up before the rest of us lazy bones to spend time with the
Lord. What a testimony that was to me as a young college student. My
responsibilities were zero compared to hers and I wasn’t spending that much
time with the Lord! I hope that I can one day be the godly wife and mother
that she is, but I know it will require those quiet moments with the Lord
first.

Hang in there, and find what works for you. It will be worth it. I’ve
a long way to go myself and am probably the last one that should be giving
advice, but I do enjoy these questions that get us all thinking and
responding. They help me lots.

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