Friday, September 16, 2011

He Owns the Cattle On A Thousand Hills

We have been raising support for our trip to Uganda and God has provided our needs step by step.

The Steps God Took Us Through

Step 1 - The first expenses were the passports and visas. For those expenses I had been scheduled extra at work and had some extra money.

Step 2 - The next big expense was the plane tickets. This was the largest expense to our trip and we determined not to book the tickets until we had the money. Travel agents told me to "book now" because international flights don't drop in price. But, they were wrong. We had estimated around $4,000 for two plane tickets and fees for us to fly as a family with Andrew and Elizabeth on our lap. On our trip out west I was asked to preach at a church for their Sunday evening service. That church of about fifty people gave us a love offering of over $700. With that love offering we had enough money to book our tickets. When the tickets were booked the total cost was just under $3,000. Not only was the flight cheaper but it also was more convenient. Instead of flying for 10 hours from Chicago to Brussels and then 8 hours to Entebbe we are flying 10 hours from Chicago to Istanbul and then 6 hours to Entebbe. With children every hours is precious.

Step 3 - When we booked our tickets we still didn't have enough money for our living expenses while in Uganda. Wednesday night at Adelphi we were told what our home church planned to do for us. It was such a blessing and the timing was perfect. The money that our home church gave us was enough to pay for our living expenses and cover some of the other miscellaneous costs.

Thoughts To Put Things In Perspective 

Psalm 50:10 says, "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle upon a thousand hills." God owns the cattle upon a thousand hills but He owns so much more. He owns the hills themselves, the air, the sea,  and everything that we can perceive with our senses belongs to Him. To often as God's children we forget that God owns everything, but He loves us enough not to give us what we need until we need it. Often we like to find our security in having preparation and money laid up in store for the future and when we don't have all of our ducks in a row we think the end of the world is here. It is our desire for us to find our security in Him and not the earthly things that pass away. The story is told of George Mueller who sat down with the orphans in his orphanage and thanked God for the meal when there was no food to feed the children. Shortly after the prayer every need for that meal was provided. Living a life of faith like George Mueller is not an option. It is commanded for every believer. God doesn't call all of us to live exactly like George Mueller, but I feel that all to often our faith is not in the Faithful One.

God provided each step of the way for our needs to Uganda. We didn't need to borrow money or make payments with the travel agency. When God calls you to a task He will supply the need. I find much comfort resting in my Father's hands knowing that when I need a cow or two He will give me exactly what I need and when I need it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

God's Schedule is Best

My hours at work have been cut back drastically in the last few weeks. I gave my boss about a month notice that I would be going on a missions trip to Uganda for two months. Within a week of telling her this a replacement was hired to be trained and ready by the time I leave. As a result my hours were cut from thirty to forty hours down to eight to sixteen hours a week. Although my hours have been cut I have been able to pick up some extra shifts from other employees. But, the most significant blessing about my work schedule is this. I have been able to spend some very needed time with my wife's family as well as take a weekend to explore a ministry opportunity out west. If my schedule was full like normal neither of these would have been an option for me.

Praise God that He knows what He is doing and leads us step by step.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

God's Timing is Best

On Thursday night this last week we booked a hotel in Spencer, IA. Amanda was going to follow us with her dad's Buick and then the next day we would all travel down to the tractor show in Albert City. Plans changed a bit and instead of waiting for Becca, Amanda, and the kids. I took the Buick and headed for Spencer. When I arrived at 10:57pm I found that the front desk closed at 11pm. I had no idea that the desk would be closed at that time and if I didn't leave when I did we wouldn't have a room for the night. Becca, Amanda, and the kids arrived around 1-1:30am. If I had waited for them none of us would have had a room. Praise the Lord for His goodness and leading in the small areas of life.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

God Triumphs Over Satan

We all know and believe that God is more powerful than Satan. But, all to often in our practical experience Satan gets the best of us. Saturday night as I was preparing to preach and present our missions trip on Sunday at True Bible Baptist Church my computer crashed. It was about 7 pm when my computer crashed and I had saved my sermon, but it had not been printed because I just wasn't quite finished yet.  I made the conscience decision to not allow the Devil to get a victory. I prepared what I could from my notes, went to bed a little later than normal, and simply trusted that everything was in God's control and He knew what was best.

Sunday I woke up refreshed and ready for the day. I had some time to review my notes before leaving for church. While up in front it was amazing as God gave me a peace and power in preaching and presenting our ministry.

Satan did not get the victory this time! God is so Good!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Things Taken for Granted

The heat index has been in the triple digits for some time now. Yesterday while driving home from Church I thanked the Lord for the air conditioned car God has given us. I also praised the Lord for the air conditioned home we live in as well. Although Americans think air conditioning is a necessarily of life, the truth is it is a luxury that most of the world lives without. 

Thank the Lord for good air conditioning!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Seeing God's Blessings Sets Your Heart On Fire

Last night I was listening to preaching as I was at work folding laundry. I was listening to a sermon preached by Evangelist Mike Redick in September 2006 that he titled "Recapturing your Spiritual Passion." He made a statement that stuck out in my mind. He said,

"If your heart is not on fire than you are not seeing the blessings and power of God."

That short statement is packed full of truth. When believers are focused on God and His work in our lives the problems of this world don't seem so big. This vision of God sets our heart on fire for God.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Freedom Is Not Free and Praise the Lord He Died for Me

Romans 6:1-14
1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? 4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection: 6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin. 8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him. 10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. 13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. 
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 

Friday night we went to the Yankee Doodle Pops concert and fireworks display. I was reminded of the freedom that I enjoy living here in America. Freedom comes at a very high cost and America has certainly paid a high cost for the freedom that we enjoy. It seems that many political figures have forgotten what the price of freedom has been and are striving to take our freedoms away a little bit at a time. 

As I reflected on my freedom as an American it led me to remember my freedom as a Christian. I was bound in the chains of sin by my own doing. Christ was willing to become a man so that as the God Man He could lay down His life to save mine. There was no other way for my sin debt to be paid because death was required to pay my sin debt. God is the only one who can meet His righteous standard and yet He cannot die. This is why it is significant that Christ humbled Himself and became a man. As God Christ could be righteous and meet the Fathers standard and as man He could die to pay my debt of sin. 

Christ's finished work on the cross triumphed over the work of Satan and sets the believer free from the bondage of sin. Christ has freed believers from the penalty of sin (Hell), the power of sin in our lives now, and He will one day take His children home to be eternal saved from the presence of sin. Believers have been delivered from sin, but they still have the choice to serve sin. Satan delights in believers who feel they cannot be delivered from their sin because he wants believers to live as though they are bound by sin when in reality they are free. 

Praise the Lord for the victory that is provided through the finished work of Christ. This July 4th I don't just want to remember those who gave their lives to give me this great nation of America. I want to remember Christ who gave me freedom from the bondage of sin and hope as I look forward to spending eternity with Him in Heaven. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Open & Shut Doors

Sometimes I don't understand or know what God is doing in my life, but I always know that what He is doing is Good. Right now the Lord seems to be opening a door for our family to take a missions trip. He has shut the door to another opportunity and now it appears that He has opened this opportunity. We know that the Lord will lead us every step of the way. Praise the Lord for He is good to me!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Another Bundle of Joy

Praise the Lord for the new addition to our family. We thank the Lord for the safe delivery of Andrew Robert. Now Elizabeth has a little brother to play with.