Monday, August 27, 2012

Flexibility and Faith

Preparation, anticipation, excitement.

Disappointment, frustration, confusion.

That was the story during a stormy week here and in Haiti.

The real problem was Hurricance Isaac which wreaked its devastation on Haiti, causing flooding, creating impassable roads and encouraging the spread of cholera.  Our scheduled trip to teach and train pastors was a casualty of the storm.

All the preparation meeting printing and translation deadlines for materials, all the anticipation of seeing our brothers in Haiit, all the excitement of sharing the Word...

Traded for disappointment because it was obvious we could not get there from here, nor could they get to a seminar there.  Frustration because we so desperately wanted to go and they were so anxious for us to come.  Confusion..."Why, God?"

Faith in a sovereign God has to rest in Him even when the storm obscures our clear vision of what is happening in the moment.  I arrived at that point, kicking and screaming inwardly.  I am confident God knows what's best.  I know because in similar circumstances when my vision has been unclear, my retrospect has enabled me to see how God worked things out for His glory.

I don't have that picture yet, but a flexible schedule is allowing me the opportunity to travel to Haiti September1-6 to see what special things churches and believers can do to respond to the current crisis in Haiti.  Additionally, I'll be meeting with some church and small group leaders, trying to discern how we can help most.

It's not what we planned.  But it  may be what God has in mind.

So, I am willing to be flexible, and to step out in faith and to see what God will do.  Pray for us as we travel and seek to minister to our Haitian brothers.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


I leave for Haiti in a few days and I am experiencing some apprehension about some challenges before me.

I have been praying and I know God is hearing and answering.

Today God sent me a friend whose input I value greatly, especially when it comes to missionary labor, where he has served faithfully all over the world.  we have a similar heart, I believe, for the training of pastors to understand the Word so they can teach it clearly.

He encouraged me and reminded me of some special passages in I Thessalonians 2 where Paul talks about how he behaved among the Thessalonians.  I Thessalonians 2:11 caught my attention, this being a favorite verse of mine.
"For you know that we dealt with each of you as a a father deals with his own children, encouraging , comforting and urging you to live lives worthy of God, who calls you into His kingdom and glory".

I am refreshed, leaving with that goal in mind--to be an encourager and comforter by proclaiming the Word, and to urge my Haitian brother pastors to join me in living lives that bring glory to God.

Pray for me that I'll go and teach in God's strength, not mine. It would be frightening to undertake such a privileged task on my own!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Off to college...

I joined a fellow pastor with his wife and teenage daughter for lunch today.  She leaves for college this weekend.

Lots of emotions for me.  More for them.

I knew her when she was four years old introducing me to her play area in her bedroom as we visited her parents inquiring about their willingness to come work with us in ministry.    Little did I know that the next fourteen years we would watch her grow and blossom into an outstanding young woman.

She is an artist of unquestionable talent, a competitive athlete, an excellent scholar, her high school home-coming queen, and a singer.

I've watched her learn to sing.  Musically-gifted parents jump-started her but she has emerged as a special talent.

Her last  Sunday here she joined her sister in singing a duet that left us all breathless...

And thankful...that the four year old, now eighteen years off to college, where she will surely  continue to grow and blossom.

We'll miss her.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Watching the body work...

I love this part of ministry.  It's incredible how the pieces so neatly fit together as God directs His people to do His work.

*Today we helped three families outside the church with their rent through our Benevolence Fund.

*A church air conditioning contractor had to go out of town but still made time to send  someone to repair the unit in the midst of hot summer weather.

*A lawyer in our church who travels out of state made  time to orchestrate our third family camp that serviced over a hundred people...a great ministry!

*A man hospitalized over an hour away testified of how caring and loving the church people were in their visits and expressed concern towards him during a protracted stay.

*Stephen's Ministers at Grace are connected with 15-20 individuals who are benefitting weekly from their love and care.

*A group ministered at a local rest home on Sunday, sharing Christ's love with those shut-in there.

* A group of church men are working together to assist a church member who is undergoing preparation for a kidney transplant with transportation and funds for traveling between here and Los Angeles.

Just some examples of how the body works!

Should encourage you to be connected to the body.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012


One of my favorite means of communication is blogging.  I currently write three blogs, including this one and two others.  I am blessed by a  number of friends who read my blogs but very few choose to respond on line.  I am hoping you might choose today to just respond and say, "I read your blog site" so I can determine how many weekly contacts I have.

I have a blog site that relates to my counseling-coaching practice, full-lifecoaching.blogspot,com, and another relating to my new work in Haiti,    If you have an opportunity, take a look at those as well and it will introduce you to some other areas of ministry in which I am invested.

Thanks for reading.