Working Together for the Gospel

chan-multiplyIn his book Multiply, Francis Chan gives a great charge to every believer in regards to global missions. I read it this week and I think it’s worth your own consideration:

Once we start developing a passion for Christ’s glory to be seen around the world, we need to figure out what role we are called to play. Make no mistake, every Christian is called to be involved in spreading the gospel around the world! No one is off the hook. No one is called to a life that is separate from global missions. But this doesn’t mean that we all need to immediately start packing for the jungle.

God may well want you to take His gospel overseas. Too many Christians discount that possibility too quickly. Some people are too comfortable with their current lifestyle and would never dream of sacrificing their comfort for God’s glory. Others quickly assume that they are called to something else, something more normal. We shouldn’t make these assumptions. Have you ever genuinely told God that you would submit yourself to His will in this area? Right now, you should ask God if He wants you to pursue living in a different location for the sake of the gospel. It may be a terrifying thought, but we have to trust God more than we trust ourselves. We are here on this earth for His glory. God has blessed you so that you will use whatever He has given you for His glory,a not yours. Ultimately, we should expect God’s plan to lead us places that we wouldn’t naturally go.

You can read more and view videos at multiplymovement.com.


Day Out With Thomas (and Titus!)

For Titus’ third birthday we really wanted to do something special, and since Nana & Papa (aka: the grandparents) were flying into town to celebrate too, we thought we would go and enjoy the Day Out With Thomas event that was happening just 20 miles from our house.

If you’re not familiar with Thomas, he’s just a simple train engine that gets himself into trouble on occasion and has to find the right way to solve his problems. Titus really likes the show and honestly, who doesn’t love trains?! But every year in a little town near us called Fillmore, they host a special Thomas event where you get to ride a full-size Thomas train and enjoy some county fair-like activities. I was pleasantly surprised by how well done it was and Titus really, really loved it. It was a great start to an extended weekend with our family, and below are a few photos our time together. But for the full experience, you can view all 26 of our photos (with captions) on my Flickr page by clicking here.

Day Out with Thomas

Day Out with Thomas

Day Out with Thomas

Day Out with Thomas

Day Out with Thomas

Day Out with Thomas

Day Out with Thomas

Day Out with Thomas

Day Out with Thomas

Day Out with Thomas


The Hope of the Nations

TWR: Speaking Hope to the World from TWR on Vimeo.

Using technology to reach the lost is obviously not a new idea, but it’s something that I believe the church is still learning how to do, and how to do effectively. A classmate of ours from The Master’s College created the above video for the missions organization TWR (Trans World Radio) (who he and his wife also serve with). TWR’s desire is to use mass media to proclaim Christ to the nations and provide discipleship materials around the globe. This is exciting and if the work they’re doing is as good as that video, then I’m excited to see how God uses their ministry.

One of the ways that our family will serve with Josiah Venture is in the area of creative communications, which includes using mass media in creative ways to help support local churches and the ongoing ministry of JV in Central and Eastern Europe. God is raising up talented people around the globe to bring the gospel and provide materials to those who don’t have them. With the Internet, social media, video, radio, or whatever tools we have, we can continue to find new ways to communicate the Greatest Story ever told. We’re excited to help JV do just that and it’s always a joy to see this going on in other areas of the world as well.

P.S. One fun fact: the African man who narrates the video is a friend of ours named Peter. We were also classmates with him at The Master’s College and while he was in school we attended the same church. Peter is a man who loves Christ and it’s just a blessing to see his face and hear his voice on this video.


A Movement of God

Josiah Venture recently published this video profiling Mel & Amy Ellenwood who have been missionaries with JV for the past 15 years. Mel and Amy lead the “Bteam” which our family will be joining when we move to Czech Republic. The video is very well done and helps communicate the heart and vision of JV as well give a short look at the kind of families that are part of this huge movement of God in Central and Eastern Europe. Please take a minute and watch it.


For I Have More

I asked for the book The Best Poems of the English Language this past Christmas because I keep reading about how I should be reading more poetry. The book is a compilation of some of the best works of poetry “From Chaucer Through Robert Frost” and I’ve only picked it up a few times since December. A few nights ago I was finishing up some other reading and I saw my poetry book on the nightstand and said to myself, “There’s no better time than the present to start reading poetry,” so I dove in.

After looking at the appendix for some authors I recognized, John Donne seemed to stand out for some reason, so I began reading his poem “A Hymn to God the Father.” That’s when I realized I need to be reading more poetry. Poets have a way of saying things that make old truths new again. They can move the words in such a way that you begin to feel a certain way or see an old truth in a new light. That’s how I felt about Donne’s poem. It’s a poem about sin and I think it’s worth it for you to read. I’ve copied it below–enjoy.

Oh, one more thing. It just so happens that April is National Poetry Month. Reading this poem is not only helpful to your soul, but you can tell all your friends how cultured you are. You’re so cool–go you.

WILT Thou forgive that sin where I begun,
Which was my sin, though it were done before?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin, through which I run,
And do run still, though still I do deplore?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I have won
Others to sin, and made my sin their door?
Wilt Thou forgive that sin which I did shun
A year or two, but wallowed in a score?
When Thou hast done, Thou hast not done,
For I have more.

I have a sin of fear, that when I have spun
My last thread, I shall perish on the shore ;
But swear by Thyself, that at my death Thy Son
Shall shine as he shines now, and heretofore ;
And having done that, Thou hast done ;
I fear no more.