Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Puritan Prayer~ The Greatest Gift: The Incarnation

O Source of all good,

What shall I render to You for the gift of gifts,
thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
my Redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
his self-emptying incomprehensible,
his infinity of love beyond the heart’s grasp.

Herein is wonder of wonders:
he came below to raise me above,
was born like me that I might become like him.

Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on
wings of grace,
to raise me to himself.

Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
he united them in indissoluble unity,
the uncreated and the created.

Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me
to the uttermost,
as man to die my death,
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me.

O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds,
and enlarge my mind;
let me hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;
place me with ox, ass, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face,
and in him account myself delivered from sin;
let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child
to my heart,
embrace him with undying faith,
exulting that he is mind and I am his.

In him, you have given me so much
that heaven can give no more.

~ “The Gift of Gifts”
taken from The Valley of Vision

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Back Home

Well, it is now Tuesday and I have been back in the states for a total of 2 days. My heart is still processing all of things that took place on my recent trip to the Dominican Republic. Every time I go back, I leave a portion of my heart there. I am falling more and more in love with the people there.
Today, I am heading out to deliver Christmas to a needy family in our community that our church has adopted. I am so fortunate to be a part of a faith family that takes to heart the call to "the least of these" and the mandate to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly". It is the thing that resonates with me the most right now as I struggle with coming back to the states and feeling the urge to go and buy gift, after gift, after gift for my own family and pleasure. Yes, I am thankful and blessed that I can do these things but is it really what I am supposed to do, in light of the gospel?
We live during a time when the economy is not what it should be and nowhere near what it used to be. There are people who are hurting and in need all around us, and yet we will still stand in line for the newest gadget, pay top dollar for a 16oz cup of coffee, and drive for miles and miles to go get that "one special gift". Yet, all the while, people all around us need hope! They need the gospel lived out around them. They need the one and only thing that will get them through the trials and heartbreaks of life, Jesus!
On our last night in the Dominican, we took some time reflecting on what the Lord had done in us, to us, and through us. We asked questions like, "what does this mean for you, when you get back home". My answer was simple. More Sacrifice

Saturday, December 17, 2011


Today was our last day in the Dominican Republic. We had a great time this morning at breakfast and then spent the afternoon in Boca Chica at the beach. This has always been a great way for the students to have a relaxing day before heading back to the states. It also serves as an opportunity for them to reflect on all that has taken place these past 10 days.
We came back to camp this evening for our trip debriefing. This is always one of the highlights of the trip, as we get to hear the stories of the students and what the Lord has done in them during their time here. We asked a few questions that serves as our springboard tonight
1. Why did you come? Why did the Lord bring you on this trip
2. What changes took place during your time here? How have you changed?
3. How will this trip affect your life back in the states?
4. What can you do to change your school, church, community
5. What is He asking you to do? Where do you need to step in obedience?

Friday, December 16, 2011


Today we spent the morning at the CEA batay. We had a great time working with the people there. The students did a great job leading out in worship, sharing the gospel, and modeling the gospel with their attitudes and actions. They have been great
We spent some time walking around with Pastor Chile' trying to assess the needs of the batay. I am really excite about what we may be able to accomplish in the future with this batay.

The Lord continues to wreck me and my heart for these people. I will be writing soon about all of it.

We took the students to a baseball game this evening in San Pedro. Tomorrow will be spent in Boca Chica. And then we will head home on Sunday

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Today was our last day in the batays of Monte Largo and Dos Hermanos. The students did a great job sharing about the crucifixion, the death, and the resurrection of our Savior. It was a tough day because we know it will be awhile before we are able to see the people of these two batays.
We were also able to add two filling stations/ faucets to the water project in Monte Largo. It was awesome to see running water coming out of the tank and both faucets going at the same time. This water project will definitely change the future for this batay. I am super excited about what the Lord allowed us to do here.
Tomorrow morning we are heading out to see Bob and Diane. They are the ones who run the orphanage called Josiah's House.
We will also be spending some time in the batay called CEA sharing the gospel, playing with children, and looking for ways to partner with them in the future.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Today has been an awesome day. Spent some time with Steve and our new friend Jonnie, which happens to be the guy who can speak French. We finished putting in the pipes for the water project and watched as water filled the tank and was used.

I also spent some time with my friend Roberto. I remember Roberto well from last year. We had some time just hanging out.

We did our backyard Bible club stories in Monte Largo and Dos Hermanos today. The students led worship an shared the story of the birth of Jesus

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Today we went to Monte Largo first thing in the morning. We continued our work on the platform for the water tank to sit on. The guys enjoyed mixing the concrete by hand. 4 loads of sand+ 4 loads of rock+ 2 bags of cement. We are hoping to put the tank up tomorrow and put the pipes in.
We headed to Dos Hermanos this afternoon and started our backyard Bible club. The students led out in singing and then shared the story of David and Goliath.
The students are doing great. Today is the first day that we worked in two different batays, however we will keep this schedule for the rest of our time here. Looking forward to what He has for us the rest of this week. He has already done so much

Monday, December 12, 2011


We spent the morning today at Monte Largo where we are trying to finish the water project while we are here. We are working on fixing the pipes running from the water pump which will eventually attach to the water tank we are putting in, which will allow them to store water when the government turns it on. You can see that we are working on putting the platform together that the water tank will sit on. Once we get the foundation for the tank built, which needs to be about 6 feet in the air, we will install the tank and run new lines from pump to allow them to get water when they need it.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


This morning we went and visited the church in Monte Largo. The church in Monte Largo is pastored by Pastor Manny.
I had the opportunity this morning to share in the service. As soon as I walked in, Manny informed me tat I would be speaking. I spent some time this morning walking though Hebrews 1-4 talking about the fact that Jesus is greater than all.
We will be working there over the next few days building a pump system and installing a water tank. We will also be providing a backyard Bible club for 3 days as we share the gospel with the people.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dominican Republic2

We spent the morning at the CEA batay. This was a new batay for us to visit and we feel in love with it and the people there immediately. We spent some time singing with the children in the school that is run by the church and Pastor Chile. There are nearly 1000 people living there an about 85 percent of them are Haitian refugees.
This afternoon we were able to make it to Juan Dolio to take the students to the beach for about 1 1/2 hours and we were also able to see Irene. Irene is the lady that Steve and I made contact with this last summer. I am not totally sure she remembered us, but she did invite us back. Please continue to pray for Irene

Friday, December 9, 2011

Dominican Republic ..

We are in the colonial district eating lunch. We spent the morning ministering at a school in Santo Domingo. We had a great time with the children and are looking forward to what the Lord has for us and the school. The students are excited about going to the batays and seeing the communities that we have an ongoing ministry with. They are really looking forward to seeing some of the kids they taught and played with last year.

Stay tuned, more updates coming soon

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

The Church... John Stott

The church lies at the very center of the eternal purposes of God. It is not a divine afterthought. It is not an accident of history. On the contrary, the church is God's new community. For His purpose, conceived in past eternity, being worked out in history, and to be perfected in future eternity, is not just to save isolated individuals and so perpetuate our loneliness, but rather to build His church, that is, to call out of the world a people for His own glory

Monday, December 5, 2011

Puritan Prayer~ Scriptural Convictions


I approach thee with encouragements
derived from thy character,
for I am not left to feel after thee
in the darkness of my nature,
nor to worship thee as the unknown God.
I cannot find out thy perfections,
but I know thou art good,
ready to forgive, plenteous in mercy.
Thou hast displayed thy wisdom, power,
and goodness in all thy works,
and hast revealed thy will in the Scripture
of truth.

Thou hast caused it to be preserved, translated,
published, multiplied,
so that all men may possess it and find
thee in it.

Here I see thy greatness and thy grace,
thy pity and thy rectitude,
thy mercy and thy truth,
thy being and men’s hearts;
Through it thou hast magnified thy name,
and favoured mankind with the gospel.

Have mercy on me,
for I have ungratefully received thy benefits,
little improved my privileges,
made light of spiritual things,
disregarded thy messages,
contended with examples of the good,
rebukes of conscience,
admonitions of friends,
leadings of providence.

I deserve that thy kingdom be taken away from me.
Lord, I confess my sin with feeling, lamentation,
a broken heart,
a contrite spirit, self-abhorrence,
self-condemnation, self-despair.

Give me relief by Jesus my hope,
faith in his name of Saviour,
forgiveness by his blood,
strength by his presence,
holiness by his Spirit:
And let me love thee with all my heart.

(Taken from ‘The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers,’ edited by Arthur Bennett)