Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Contentment- A Puritan Prayer

Heavenly Father, if I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty, make my heart prize Your love, know it, be constrained by it, though I be denied all blessings. It is Your mercy to afflict and try me with wants, for by these trials I see my sins, and desire severance from them. Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations, if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil, and be delivered from it with gratitude to You, acknowledging this as the highest testimony of Your love.

When Your Son, Jesus, came into my soul instead of sin He became more dear to me than sin had formerly been; His kindly rule replaced sin's tyranny. Teach me to believe that if ever I would have any sin subdued I must not only labour to overcome it, but must invite Christ to abide in the place of it, and He must become to me more than vile lust had been; that His sweetness, power, life may be there. Thus I must seek a grace from Him contrary to sin, but must not claim it apart from Himself.

When I am afraid of evils to come, comfort me by showing me that in myself I am a dying, condemned wretch, but in Christ I am reconciled and live; that in myself I find insufficiency and no rest, but in Christ there is satisfaction and peace; that in myself I am feeble and unable to do good, but in Christ I have ability to do all things. Though now I have His graces in part, I shall shortly have them perfectly in that state where You will show Yourself fully reconciled, and alone sufficient, efficient, loving me completely, with sin abolished. O Lord, hasten that day.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Gateway Fellowship / Cornerstone Fellowship - One Family

Gateway Fellowship, the church that I have been serving as the Lead Pastor for over 7 years, began to pray just a few short months ago that The Lord would do something special in us. You see, as a church plant, we have met in many different buildings but never really had one to call our own. We have met in store fronts, and day care centers, and have prayed specifically that one day God would give us a permanent home to meet in. Often times, we haven't been able to do some of the things that we felt The Lord leading us to simply because we didn't have the resources for it. We were in need of a great children's program, a place for youth, and some more people who had a deep passion for the Gospel. Little did we know, He already had a plan in mind.
Cornerstone Fellowship, a church in Caddo Mills, had begun praying almost the same prayer for their church about 4 months ago. They too were praying God would do something special in them. They were looking and praying for some new faces to help serve in ministry alongside them.
Cornerstone has a building and property and an established presence in Caddo Mills, which is exactly half the distance between Royse City and Greenville, where the majority of our church family resides.
The Lord put together a chance meeting between two pastors of two different churches, who in reality where praying basically the same prayer. Over the past month we have met and prayed together and talked about the possibility of our two churches coming together and becoming one church. I can't begin to tell you the "strength" I see with the possibility of us joining forces.
There were some things that needed to be discussed and prayed over. After many weeks of prayer and meeting with key leadership from both churches, Cornerstone Fellowship decided that they would vote on a pastoral shift in their church that would put me in the Lead Pastor role and their current pastor would function as the Executive Pastor. 
This morning, Cornerstone Fellowship, by unanimous decision, voted that I would become the Lead Pastor. Gateway Fellowship, will merge with into the fellowship at Cornerstone, and we will begin meeting together as one body of believers next week.
If you don't have a church home, I would like to invite you to worship with us at Cornerstone Fellowship in Caddo Mills. God is up to something and we are very excited about the future of the church. 

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Devotion- a Puritan prayer

God of my end,
It is my greatest, noblest pleasure
to be acquainted with thee
and with my rational, immortal soul;
It is sweet and entertaining
to look into my being
when all my powers and passions
are united and engaged in pursuit of thee,
when my soul longs and passionately breathes
after conformity to thee
and the full enjoyment of thee;
No hours pass away with so much pleasure
as those spent in communion with thee
and with my heart.
O how desirable, how profitable to the Christian life
is a spirit of holy watchfulness
and godly jealousy over myself,
when my soul is afraid of nothing
except grieving and offending thee,
the blessed God, my Father and friend,
whom I then love and long to please,
rather than be happy in myself!
Knowing, as I do, that this is the pious temper,
worthy of the highest ambition, and closest
pursuit of intelligent creatures
and holy Christians,
may my joy derive from glorifying and
delighting thee.
I long to fill all my time for thee,
whether at home or in the way;
to place all my concerns in thy hands;
to be entirely at thy disposal,
having no will or interest of my own.
Help me to live to thee for ever,
to make thee my last and only end,
so that I may never more in one instance
love my sinful self.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Worship without theology

John Stott writes that...

"All true worship is a response to the self-revelation of God in Christ and Scripture, and arises from our reflection on Who He is and what He has done. The worship of God is evoked, informed and inspired by the vision of God. Worship without theology is bound to degenerate into idolatry. Hence the indispensable place of Scripture in both public and private devotion. It is the Word of God which calls forth the worship of God. On the other hand, there should be no theology without doxology. There is something fundamentally flawed about a purely academic interest in God. God is not an appropriate object for cool, critical, detached, scientific observation and evaluation. No, the true knowledge of God will always lead us to worship, as it did Paul. Our place is on our faces before him in adoration....Bishop Handley Moule said at the end of the last [19th] century, we must "beware equally of an undevotional theology and of an untheological devotion."

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Dominican Recap

This morning as I sat and read The Word, while sipping on fresh brewed Dominican Coffee, I was thankful again for my most recent trip to the Dominican Republic. This trip was another reminder of the fact that He is in control, and He does what He says He will do. While walking through Santa Alicia, feeding the children in school, and chatting with Pastor Bona, I was once again brought to tears about His handiwork. This trip was not only beautiful, but it served as a confirmation and visual reminder of all the many things we have been praying about for years.
Through @25projectorg's NameChanger program, these children are being educated daily, have been given a school uniform, are being taught the Word of God, and are given breakfast daily, which might be the only meal they eat that day. All of this is possible because of people, like you, who have sacrificed in order to sponsor a child in the Dominican Republic. These children are Haitian immigrants who are living on sugarcane plantations, which are called bateys. We are so thankful for how The Lord has opened doors for us to minister there.
For the last several years, I have spent time in Santa Alicia and El Cea praying about all the things that He might have us do there. I am so thankful for @25projectorg and how The Lord has put together and orchestrated all of these things. Once again, an amazing confirmation of all that He is.
If you would like to get involved with the work that @25projectorg is doing in the Dominican Republic, I would love to talk about it with you. Would you consider coming alongside 25projectorg in order to help change the lives of children living in these bateys.
Not only is there an ongoing sponsorship program, called NameChangers, in Santa Alicia but we are also starting a breakfast program and sponsorship in El Cea. Why don't you pray about becoming a NameChanger and help us make an impact on the lives of these children. Pray with us for the people in Santa Alicia and El Cea, for Pastor Bona and Pastor Chile', and for our ministry partners there.

This is Mariyerlin, she is the little girl that my family sponsors. We pray for her daily and my children are so excited about the opportunity we have to invest in her life.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

El Cea- Dominican Republic

Today was another amazing day of dreaming and praying about what all HE has in store for @25projectorg here in the Dominican Republic.
We went to El Cea today, which is another batey that Haitian immigrants live in. You have to get an understanding of the history between the Haitians and the Dominican to get a proper perspective on the culture here in the DR.
All I that to say, God has birthed and orchestrated some very beautiful ministry opportunities we have here in the DR through @25projectorg.
25projectorg will begin a sponsorship program and breakfast program very soon in El Cea. For me, this is yet another answer to prayers that I've been praying for years. So thankful for His plan, His timing, and the fact that HE is in control.
It was good to see the El Cea community again today, as well as Pastor Chile'. Would you join me in praying for Pastor Chile' and the ministry partners and their work here in El Cea.
If you want to know how you can get involved with the work here in theDominican Republic through @25projectorg , contact me. I would love to share the vision with you and how you can get involved. 
-Here are a few pics from today:

One of my buddies, Carlos

- my favorite picture of the day

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Santa Alicia- Dominican Republic

It has been a great day today. We spent time in Santa Alicia, one of the Bateys that @25projectorg has an ongoing sponsorship program for Haitian children living in the Dominican Republic. 
Today was another very special day for me, in my journey, here in the Dominican. It allowed me to witness firsthand the answer to many of my prayers for the past few years. I'm so thankful for the ministry partners here and the passion and vision behind @25projectorg and the way The Lord has orchestrated it all. 
I have to admit that today, while holding in my arms, Jasmine, the girl that my mother sponsors through Name Changers at 25; I teared up while talking about the program and the changes it is making In this beautiful little community.
We were able to be there this morning during the breakfast program and witness one of the many benefits for the children in the Name Changers program. I want to thank all of you, who have made a sacrifice and become a Name Changer
Here are a few pictures from today:

The little girl in the middle of this picture is  sponsored by my family. My children pray for her daily and are excited about the opportunity we have to help make a difference in her life.

Bread, eggs and hot chocolate for breakfast today (the children here love hot chocolate) These meals are provided because of people like you, who have become Name Changers through @25projectorg. Once again, thank you!

Would you pray for Anna Maria, the school teacher here in Santa Alicia. She is awesome an does a phenomenal job with these children

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday Morning Meditation

Wherever you are going, go in safety, go in peace,
For the Lord your God goes with you,
He knows the path you travel and He knows your destiny.
Whatever you are doing, do it well and with integrity;
For the Lord your God empowers you,
He knows your weaknesses and He knows your strength.
Whenever you work, show your faith in all you do,
For the Lord your God inspires you
He triggers the inner desire to do what is right and good.
However you live, give yourself to others, not yourself;
For the Lord your God will keep you,
He knows your heart and soul, and will never let you down.
Whichever things come to pass, you will be blessed,
For the Lord your God has chosen you
He has promised good for you, and His pledge remains secure.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bringing HOPE through 25project

There are children all over the world that desperately need your help. Through the ministry of 25project we are are able to give hope to these children. I am so thankful for people, like you, who have answered the call to help us bring hope, through the Gospel, to the "least of these". For the past several years we have been working strategically in different parts of the world. One of those places is the Dominican Republic, where we have the opportunity to work with Haitian refugee children living in bateys. I would love for you to take a moment and watch the video below. If you have any questions on how you can get involved, please contact me.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Wednesday- DR download day4

This morning we finished painting some things here at the mission house and continued to dreaming about the ministry here.
On the way to the capital, Santo Domingo, we stopped at an orphanage called Casa De Luz (house of light). This orphanage is for handicapped children who were at one time just left out on the street or abandoned somewhere. Needless to say, just knowing their story will wreck you. On top of that, the handicaps that many of these children have are very severe and keep most of them immobile.
I had a great time just pushing children around in their wheelchairs am talking to them. They had such beautiful smiles on their faces as we simply just loved on them. We stayed through lunch and we were able to help feed them, which is all together another demanding task.
This orphanage and the people there nearly pulled my heart out of my chest. This is yet another opportunity for u to come alongside a Pastor who is doing a great work and really has little to no funding and is doing a very remarkable ministry. This will be a place that we will continue to work with.
We then headed to the capital for lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe, which sits right across the park from the first church of the Americas, and some quick shopping in the colonial zone. Of course, this task is nothing in comparison to what we were allowed to be a part of at Casa De Luz

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Tuesday- DR download day3

Today we spent here at the mission house, painting and building shelves in the new bathroom. That may not sound exciting, but when I brought a team of 22 last December there were only two bathroom here. Trust me, the new bathroom helps tremendously.
The team from Richmond Road in Texarkana is great. It's such a joy to see Josh, Erica, Chris, Dayna, Bart, Penny, and David responding to the gospel call on their lives to help reach the "least of these". We also have had the privilege of having Karly with us this week. She is an awesome girl who has a beautiful heart for the gospel and missions.
After working on the mission house we headed to El Sueno in Juan Dolio for some pizza. Every time I bring a group to the DR, we eat here. Their pizza is great.
I continue to be amazed at what The Lord is doing here in the DR. I'm so thankful for Julio and Mercy and the partnership we have with them through and . They are great to work with and are amazing at what they do. They truly are the hands and feet of who we are here.
The work here at the mission house is never really done. We have a huge desire to see as many groups come through here as possible that are partnering with chickenchurch and 25. We need more beds, which we painted today. We need twin size mattresses for those bunk beds and we need to continue painting areas here and there. This house truly has been an answer to a prayer we started praying 2 years ago. HE is good!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Monday- DR download day2

We headed back out to Santa Alicia this morning to work on school benches and desks and to teach gospel stories to the children. The team did a great job singing, and presenting the story of the resurrection. I'm already looking forward to this team from Richmond Road in Texarkana coming back. They are great with the kids.
A couple of us worked on putting together desks and benches that are used in the little school, in this batey. It's always great watching the children become very appreciative of what we are able to do. You can tell that these kids love school and love their teacher. It is sad that many of them will never go to school past the 6th grade.
After working, we spent some time playing baseball with the boys and men while the ladies held babies and played with the Children. It is always fun to watch and participate in a game of Dominican batey baseball. These bateys are sometimes filled with athletes, that unfortunately may never have the opportunity to get out of the batey life.
We loaded up and left he batey this afternoon and I began to hear the very familiar words again. Every time a team leaves I hear,"I don't want to go. I want to take them with me". Once again the few days this team has spent in the batey, has forever changed their view and opinion on the "least of these" and the gospel mandated call to "go&do". They are forever changed