Sunday, September 19, 2010

Starting the Journey

Are you out there somewhere in your crib all alone
Staring at the ceiling or dreaming of a home
Does your little body quiver because your lonely and cold
Sleep tight my little one your story's yet to be told
We're praying and dreaming of the life you will lead
We pray that with God's help we can give you all that you need
We won't be perfect, we'll make a mistake or two
But one thing we promise is to always love you
We'll protect you and hug you and dry all your tears
We'll hold you and listen to all of your fears
Your mommy is sleeping right next to me tonight
She's dreaming about you and how your future is so bright
So sleep tight my little one and dry those tears too
We're praying and planning and coming soon for you

Jessica and I have started the journey toward adoption. We ask for your prayers. We know this will be a time where we will have to trust God fully. Jesus says "Let not your heart be troubled. Trust in God, trust also in me". We are clinging to this verse as we start this process. Right now we are looking at adopting from the Ukraine. We know God has already chosen a child for us. More  to come very soon.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Looking Back...

One thing I love about Jess is that she is always journaling her prayers and writing down notes during sermons at church. I heard David Platt ( I watch him on the computer a lot) say in a sermon that we need to be reproducers of the Word and not just receivers. Writing sermon notes down is a great way to not just receive God's word put also be able to talk about it to others. Having said  that, I am not very good at this. However, I was looking back through an old notebook today and  found a poem I wrote from about 5 or 6 years ago.  It's great to look back on your life and see what was going on then and how God has worked out his plan. Anyway I thought I would share.

God, you have been there for me fully through my reckless times of wandering
Through times when I have stumbled, fallen, and been left hurting
God when I have felt as if there was nowhere to turn
You have carried me and guided me so I could grow and learn
I can not seem to surrender to you whether because of fear or selfish pride
I have always found it easier to simply run from you and hide
Father mold me into the man You created me to be
Open up my tired eyes so I can finally see
The man I am trying to be hates the man I have been
Drowning in the ocean beneath a tidal wave of sin
Guide me Father so that Your will might be fully done
Give me wisdom, give me strength, and draw me closer to your Son
Revive my spirit, renew my mind, and make me more like You
God giving you my entire life is all I want to do.

I will never claim to be a poet but this is my prayer.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Had It All Wrong

Yes, I admit I had it all wrong. What am I talking about you ask? My thoughts on money, possessions and acquiring "stuff" that will fade away like a vapor. I am in sales so naturally you have to be money motivated to go out and succeed. My goal was to put my nose to the grindstone, work harder and make more money. Don't get me wrong working hard to make more money is  not bad in and of itself. I will follow up on this point later.  When it comes to this topic I have a tendency to run right past the Bible and right to Money Magazine or Kiplingers . God has been dealing with me on this topic.

We started doing "Crazy Love" by Francis Chan in our Sunday school class. I also read
"Radical " by David Platt and watched his sermon series on money and possessions. It opened my eyes more than you can imagine. I have also been thumbing through Randy Alcorn's "Money, Possessions, and Eternity". Alll of these books challenge believers to look at money in light of eternity.

Let me throw a few statistics at you. I didn't research these by myself but they are pretty telling. Check out this link if you want to see David Platt talk about this subject.

(http://www.brookhills.org/media/schurch/secret-church-the-gospel-possessions-and-prosperity

Did you know the Bible has about 2,350 verses that  talk about money (riches). That is twice as many as faith and prayer...combined. Did you know that there are 6.8 billion people in the world today and that 75% (5billion) of them live on less that $3,255 a year. 37% of those live on less than $825 or less a year. Yes, I said $825 a year. I was shocked to learn that if you make $50,000 a year that you were in the top 1% of the world as far as income. The average household income in America is $42,000. That means that we are on average in the top 2.5% of the richest people in the world. We are rich. When God talks about the rich in the Bible I have to believe he is talking to me.

So far I have painted the picture of money coming in to families around the world. Let's look at money going back out to poverty stricken areeas of the world. Again I was amazed to hear this as well. Christians in North America give on average 2.5% of their income to the church. The church gives 2% of these funds to oversees missions. That comes out to about 5 cents out of every  $100 given to the church that goes to missions oversees. We as Americans spend more of dog food, weight-loss programs, video games, chewing gum, cut flowers, about 26 times more on soft drinks than we do on oversees ministries.

Like I said earlier money is not bad at all in and of itself. Money is neutral. It is neither good nor bad. You can use money to spread the gospel to poverty stricken nations or you can use money to buy a prostitute or drugs. In both of these situations it is not the money that is good or bad. It is the person behind the money.  God intended for us to have good things and in the Old Testament he used money to build his people. God uses both wealth and famine as well as prosperity and pain to accomplish his purpose. And that is where I have to take a hard look in the mirror and recognize that the money I make and that we all make if we are His children is for His purpose.

I would hope that if God asked me to give up all my possession and follow Him that I wouldn't be like the rich young ruler in Luke. I don't think any of us like to think about being in that situation. I don't know about you but when I read that I think to myself  "I wouldn't do that what he did". But really, really ask yourself what you would do. God does not call us all to do what He called the rich ruler to do. But I believe He calls us to lay down that one thing that we put ahead of Him in order to fully follow Him. In this guys case it was his possessions. It really could be a number of things in each of our lives so ask God to show you what you need to lay down and He will let you know.

I have more questions than answers on this subject and by no means want to be "preachy". I just believe that we are called to give more than we do, serve more than we do and spread his word more than we do. That is what it really comes down to. Using what He has blessed us with to further His kingdom and live out the Great Commission. I don't have this figured out by a long shot. I need help figuring this out. I know when judgement comes I will have no excuse to not know his commands about money(or anything for that  matter) because He has laid them out in his Word.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Welcome to the Blogosphere

This is our first blog. We thought since everybody else in the world had one that we would graduate from Facebook and jump into the blogosphere. Jess always tells me I should start a blog. Maybe it's because she gets tired of hearing me talk so much. I am still trying to figure out how to work this thing. I just spent 20 minutes trying to upload a picture of us and then after I finally got it to load I didn't save it....NICE!! I think I am pretty good with computers and then I get on here and it dominates me. I (Justin) will probably be doing a majority of the blogging simply because if you have met me you know I like to run my mouth. That translates into I like to write as well. We will keep you updated on the things to come in our life. I pray that the Lord uses us to further his kingdom in any way he sees fit.