Monday, December 31, 2007

Sunday Morning Spanish Service - The Doctrine of the Church

Thank you for your recent requests to be "informed" on what all is going on in our Spanish service at Rockport. I have been preaching through the Gospel According to John on Sunday mornings, but we are going to take a break to discuss the Doctrine of the Church. It is important for us to do this because there is so many conflicting views, and we must look at a verse by verse study of the true church and what the Scripture says.
Below I have given you the English translation of what will be in the bulletin this Sunday.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
Colossians 1:21-23 ESV

Many people have told me that they do not wish to “go to church” or belong to a certain “church” but they are “right with God” and that is all that matters. Sadly, these people are mistaken about what the church is, and what God’s desire is for his people.
“Church” is not something you “go to” but it is the name for the Bride of Christ, those whom He had redeemed. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that you are “right with God” and yet, you do not belong to the church. Do you see this?

Over the next few weeks we are going to take a break from our study in John to discuss an important topic, “What is the church.” We are going to look at some of the purposes, some of the responsibilities, joys, and struggles.

Paul gives a great description of who the church is. In Colossians 1:21-23 (quoted above) tells us that the “church” is the name for those people who:

Used to be alienated from Christ, dead in their sins.

Are now blameless before God because of God’s Sovereign work brought about by a new birth by grace through faith in Jesus Christ alone, by the preaching of the true gospel.

Are continuing, by the grace of God, in sanctification until death.

It is my prayer that through this study, we all might grow together in the grace of our Lord and have a better understanding of what it means to be called God’s people. To Him be the glory forever!


Saturday, December 29, 2007

Saturday Morning Post/Prayer Requests

We had a great time worshiping in the Word last night. Bro. Paul Washer brought the Word from Matthew Chapter 5:1-2. Specifically he focused on the grace of God that would cause Him to "sit down, and open His mouth."

Brothers and sisters, this was a great message. I hope that you have the opportunity to listen to this at or you will check out the Cds that will be available in the Rockport library.

Prayer Requests

There are many requests that we have been praying over. For those who faithfully read this blog, I am going to ask you to put a few items on the front burner.
  • Pray for those who are in attendance. Specifically those who are here from Rockport (or with us) Cyndi, Rob, Robby, Aaron W., Irian, Brady, Stephanie, Molli, Maggi, Mayci, Marie, and, of course, me.
  • For those who could not make it. -- Rachel is home with Olivia...we think that Rachel has pneumonia. Pray for Jonathan. He is lost and doesn't care. Oh Lord, his heart!
  • For the speakers, Jeff Noblitt, Paul Washer, and others.
  • For the Spanish Service at Rockport tomorrow. This past week we had someone from this service attend one of our Wednesday Night small groups. This was a great step. Irian has been helping me make visits over the past week, and he has done a great job.
  • Our upcoming Hispanic Ministry Meeting with some of the leaders from the Missouri Baptist Convention.
  • Our upcoming Spring Student Conference at Bates Creek Camp. (April 18-19, 2007) We need to find a Christ-honoring speaker for this event.
  • Our upcoming mission work to Mexico. Pray specifically for our team that will be going in February, that they might have success in finding Pastors that would be willing to get together during our trip in June and have Bible study, a time of prayer, and a time of teaching as well. Pray for the finances for several of our team members as there have been some changing in their situations, especially with employment.

Friday, December 28, 2007

We're here for the Anchored in Truth Conference

Our group of people arrived safely in Chattanooga, TN. We will be here over the next 3 days for challenging messages from men of God that are associated with First Baptist Church of Muscle Shoals, Alabama. Please be in prayer for those of us who are here.

I will blog throughout the days to let you know what all is going on. You will also be able to link to the conference itself as the messages and services will be broadcast live.

Click here to log-in.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A post from my brother, John

I was looking over the blog of my dear brother in Christ, John Jordan. Below is a link for a post that I wish that young men from Rockport and the rest of the world could take to heart. Following this link will allow you to download a great talk with questions answered from C.J. Mahaney. The theme is Biblical manhood.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Psalm 101 - Some thoughts from tonight

I Will Walk with Integrity

A Psalm of David.

101:1 I will sing of steadfast love and justice;
to you, O Lord, I will make music.
2 I will ponder the way that is blameless.
Oh when will you come to me?
I will walk with integrity of heart
within my house;
3 I will not set before my eyes
anything that is worthless.
I hate the work of those who fall away;
it shall not cling to me.
4 A perverse heart shall be far from me;
I will know nothing of evil.

5 Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly
I will destroy.
Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart
I will not endure.

6 I will look with favor on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
he who walks in the way that is blameless
shall minister to me.

7 No one who practices deceit
shall dwell in my house;
no one who utters lies
shall continue before my eyes.

8 Morning by morning I will destroy
all the wicked in the land,
cutting off all the evildoers
from the city of the Lord.

Tonight as I have been considering the word of the Lord, I was drawn to the Psalms and considering what has been said by the Lord for our own good. At the time, I must confess, that my heart was bent in the other direction than what David wrote as he was confessing the desire of his heart to walk in integrity.

What is integrity? Well, there are many different ways to define it. I have heard others give the explination that Integrity is "who you are when nobody else is looking." Webster defines it as "adherence to a special code of moral or artistic values." Well, you may know of other good ways of explaining this. After thinking about the meaning of integrity and reading this Psalm, here are some questions that I have for myself, I submit them to you for your benefit.

1. Are my thoughts those which think about the ways that are blameless? Am I thinking thoughts that allow me to talk to others, counsel others, preach to others, and guide others with a clear conscience? Do I consider, or dwell on heavenly things, or have I become preoccupied, not necessarily with the "things of the world" but have I shifted my thinking to unholy, selfish desires with which I would be ashamed to commit? If so, my thinking must be returned to the only one worthy of my full affections.

2. What are my thoughts regarding my "neighbors?" Do I recognize the disdain that God has for a "haughty eye" or a proud heart? When I consider evil the sinfulness of those around me, do I look upon them with a proud and arrogant heart, or do I look upon them with compassion. Pastors, do we speak the word of Christ, in love?

3. Am I seeking counsel from those whose way is the way of Christ? Do I consider what is influencing me and have I put away the counsel of the wicked for the wisdom of God?


You know the condition of my heart. You certainly know the thoughts and desires of this fallen, imperfect man. It is for this, that I cling to your grace to sustain me. Of all those times that I have tried to justify myself, I repent.

There is nothing in all this world that has ever existed other than the finished work of Jesus Christ that will satisfy Your wrath. Thank you for the free gift of Your son to pay the penalty for my sins. It is in this finished work that I trust, and am trusting both now and forever.

I ask that by Your word, I may consider the way that is blameless, renewing my mind and heart by the cleansing, refreshing words of Christ recorded in the Scriptures. Your word is sweet to my soul, correcting, teaching, and encouraging me. Renew me, and restore me, oh Lord my Rock, and my Redeemer.


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Missouri Baptist Convention Pastor's Conference

I think that the following article says enough. Below you will find a post from a Missouri Baptist Pastor stating his views on the recent Pastor's conference at the Missouri Baptist Convention. This year featured Mark Dever speaking on the importance of preaching the Word. Specifically, the necessity of correct, sound, expository preaching.

I have taken out the name of the man that posted this "Letter to the Editor" in the MBC Pathway's article. My desire is not to point out the man that commented, but to give you, a picture of the sad state of the Southern Baptist Churches in our state. I pray that the Lord would bring revival in our state and we would recognize our need for preaching of the Gospel, and rallying behind the truth of the Scripture rather than "man-made" religion.

Pastors’ Conference did not live up to expectations

Sunday evening, Oct. 28, I set my alarm for 5 a.m., excited about the anticipated blessing I would receive by attending the 2007 Pastors’ Conference. I go to the Missouri Baptist Convention (MBC) annual meeting every year as part of my job as pastor, to allow my church to participate in decisions made at the MBC and receive information I can take back to them about the ministries they generously support through their gifts to the Cooperative Program. But I go to the Pastors’ Conference for me. I love the MBC Pastors’ Conference and the spiritual lift I receive every year hearing sermons designed for where I live by fellow Missouri pastors, as well as pastors from other parts of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Imagine my surprise to discover this year’s Pastors’ Conference had been hijacked. Instead of being blessed by fiery sermons encouraging me in my struggles as pastor and challenging me to be more committed to Christ as I lead my church, I arrived a bit weary from my three-hour road trip to hear a couple of lectures on expository preaching, with the promise of more to come.

When time came to receive the offering, I left the Pastors’ Conference feeling betrayed instead of blessed by the “infomercial” on expository preaching that was substituted for the typical Pastors’ Conference. I did not return.

Who asked for this? Why the sudden change in direction? Can I please have my Pastors’ Conference back? I am certain the presenters had many good things to say about expository preaching. So sign them up for a MBC-sponsored touring conference on expository preaching and let pastors come who want to receive their seminar teachings. I may even come. But, please, return the Pastors’ Conference next year back to a format that will provide encouraging and inspirational preaching worth getting up at 5 a.m. to receive.

Do you see the danger in this sort of mentality? Can you believe that there would be such a comment about this? Sadly, here in our state, like much of the world now, we are focussed on easy-believism, how can we grow our church, and worldly agendas rather than the Gospel.

Monday, November 19, 2007

What do we do with "Adultolescents?"

I recently received an e-mail from our church's website from a young lady, in her twenties...looking for a "youth group" that she could connect with while attending college in St. Louis. Her request was for a group of people who like to "hang out" and have many activities. Hmmm...sadly, I think that this is the mindset of so many people that think of what church "ought to be." It seems as if there is a never-ending resounding of voices saying "when I was in the 'youth group' we did...", etc.

I am afraid that congregations all over America are continuing to follow the trend of society. We keep babysitting adults, prolonging childhood, and "entertaining goats rather than feeding sheep". (Yes, that quote was from Charles Spurgeon).

What do we say in response to this? How do we instruct young people today regarding things such as marriage, discipleship, financial responsibility, etc.? I was reading a recent article by John Piper, and thought that it was worth I have pasted it below. Feel free to comment!

A Church-Based Hope for “Adultolescents”
By John Piper November 13, 2007

Christian Smith, professor of sociology at Notre Dame, wrote in the most recent Books and Culture a review of six books that deal with the new phenomenon of “adultolescence”—that is, the postponement of adulthood into the thirties. I want to relate this phenomenon to the church. But first here is a summary from Smith’s article of what it is and how it came about.
What Is Adultolescence?
Smith writes,

“Teenager” and “adolescence” as representing a distinct stage of life were very much 20th-century inventions, brought into being by changes in mass education, child labor laws, urbanization and suburbanization, mass consumerism, and the media. Similarly, a new, distinct, and important stage in life, situated between the teenage years and full-fledged adulthood, has emerged in our culture in recent decades—reshaping the meaning of self, youth, relationships, and life commitments as well as a variety of behaviors and dispositions among the young.

What has emerged from this new situation has been variously labeled “extended adolescence,” “youthhood,” “adultolescence,” “young adulthood,” the “twenty-somethings,” and “emerging adulthood.”

One way of describing this group is to highlight the tendency to delay adulthood or stay in the
youth mindset longer than we used to. Smith suggests the following causes for this delay in arriving at mature, responsible adulthood.

First is the growth of higher education. The GI Bill, changes in the American economy, and government subsidizing of community colleges and state universities led in the second half of the last century to a dramatic rise in the number of high school graduates going on to college and university. More recently, many feel pressured—in pursuit of the American dream—to add years of graduate school education on top of their bachelor’s degree. As a result, a huge proportion of American youth are no longer stopping school and beginning stable careers at age 18 but are extending their formal schooling well into their twenties. And those who are aiming to join America's professional and knowledge classes—those who most powerfully shape our culture and society—are continuing in graduate and professional school programs often up until their thirties.

A second and related social change crucial to the rise of emerging adulthood is the delay of marriage by American youth over the last decades. Between 1950 and 2000, the median age of first marriage for women rose from 20 to 25 years old. For men during that same time the median age rose from 22 to 27 years old. The sharpest increase for both took place after 1970. Half a century ago, many young people were anxious to get out of high school, marry, settle down, have children, and start a long-term career. But many youth today, especially but not exclusively men, face almost a decade between high school graduation and marriage to spend exploring life's many options in unprecedented freedom.

A third major social transformation contributing to the rise of emerging adulthood as a distinct life phase concerns changes in the American and global economy that undermine stable, lifelong careers and replace them instead with careers of lower security, more frequent job changes, and an ongoing need for new training and education. Most young people today know they need to approach their careers with a variety of skills, maximal flexibility, and readiness to re tool as needed. That itself pushes youth toward extended schooling, delay of marriage, and, arguably, a general psychological orientation of maximizing options and postponing commitments.

Finally, and in part as a response to all of the above, parents of today’s youth, aware of the resources often required to succeed, seem increasingly willing to extend financial and other support to their children, well into their twenties and even into their early thirties.

The characteristics of the 18-30 year-olds that these four factors produce include:
(1) identity exploration, (2) instability, (3) focus on self, (4) feeling in limbo, in transition, in-between, and (5) sense of possibilities, opportunities, and unparalleled hope. These, of course, are also often accompanied by big doses of transience, confusion, anxiety, self-obsession, melodrama, conflict, and disappointment.

How Should the Church Respond?
How might the church respond to this phenomenon in our culture? Here are my suggestions.

1. The church will encourage maturity, not the opposite. “Do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature” (1 Corinthians 4:20).

2. The church will press the fact that maturity is not a function of being out of school but is possible to develop while in school.

3. While celebrating the call to life long singleness, the church will not encourage those who don’t have the cal to wait till late in their twenties or thirties to marry, even if it means marrying while in school.

4. The church will foster flexibility in life through living by faith and resist the notion that learning to be professionally flexible must happen through a decade of experimentation.

5. The church will help parents prepare their youth for independent financial living by age 22 or sooner, where disabilities do not prevent.

6. The church will provide a stability and steadiness in life for young adults who find a significant identity there.

7. The church will provide inspiring, worldview-forming teaching week in and week out that will deepen the mature mind.

8. The church will provide a web of serious, maturing relationships.

9. The church will be a corporate communion of believers with God in his word and his ordinances that provide a regular experience of universal significance.

10. The church will be a beacon of truth that helps young adults keep their bearings in the uncertainties of cultural fog and riptides.

11. The church will regularly sound the trumpet for young adults that Christ is Lord of their lives and that they are not dependent on mom and dad for ultimate guidance.

12. The church will provide leadership and service roles that call for the responsibility of maturity in the young adults who fill them.

13. The church will continually clarify and encourage a God-centered perspective on college and grad school and career development.

14. The church will lift up the incentives and values of chaste and holy singleness, as well as faithful and holy marriage.

15. The church will relentlessly extol the maturing and strengthening effects of the only infallible life charter for young adults, the Bible.

In these ways, I pray that the Lord Jesus, through his church, will nurture a provocative and compelling cultural alternative among our “emerging adults.” This counter-cultural band will have more stability, clearer identity, deeper wisdom, Christ-dependent flexibility, an orientation on the good of others not just themselves, a readiness to bear responsibility and not just demand rights, an expectation that they will suffer without returning evil for evil, an awareness that life is short and after that comes judgment, and a bent to defer gratification till heaven if necessary so as to do maximum good and not forfeit final joy in God.

Seeking to serve the next generation,

Pastor John

© Desiring God
Permissions: You are permitted and encouraged to reproduce and distribute this material in any format provided that you do not alter the wording in any way and do not charge a fee beyond the cost of reproduction. For web posting, a link to this document on our website is preferred. Any exceptions to the above must be approved by Desiring God. Please include the following statement on any distributed copy: By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website:

Monday, November 12, 2007

Salvation comes to Centenario

I am typing this from the United States in Harlingen, Texas. We are looking forward to returning this evening sometime. Thank you dear for updating everyone while we were gone.

We finished our last day in Centenario by attending a church service at Iglesia Bautista del Buen Pastor in a nearby city, San Juan. This is also the congregation that Steve and Robyn Henry as well as Chris Berger attends. This is a very small congregation, but the service was great and we enjoyed worshiping with them. Edgar, one of the boys from the village, on the left, went with us. When we returned, he told us that he was interested in knowing Christ, we discussed this with him further as well as prayed with him. At the end of the day we had further discussion with him and told him that when we return, we would like for him to come to us the first day and we would like to teach him more about what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Rachel is correct in what she reported about Carmen. Our team felt it necessary to follow up with her again before we left. I shared with her from Matthew 13:44 and Christ the treasure of our lives. It was great to have a large field close by to illustrate the message of this verse. I asked her again to share with us in her words what she believed happened the other day when we visited her. In summary, she told us that though she understands that she does not have a job, her husband has a hard time finding work to do, they don't own their own home, she has been trusting in the ability to be able to "hold things together financially." She has been trusting in the tradition of Catholicism, and the saint that was around her neck. She told us that many groups had been in the area before, and there are several Mormon groups as well as Seventh Day Adventist. She also told us that she had heard the message that we shared with her before, however for the first time, she said that she believes and that Christ is her Lord, Savior, and King. Praise the Lord!!! We ended our time with her praying and rejoicing and telling her that when we return, our primary goal is going to be to disciple her and teach her from the scriptures.

There is more that I am going to write about our visit to Centenario, however there are others waiting for the computer I must go. John, I want to thank you for your generosity. I am looking forward to future ministry opportunities together! For those who do not know, pray for another avenue of ministry that we pray that the Lord will develop. We are praying the Lord will expand this ministry to assisting and teaching Pastors and church leaders who do not have access to sound teaching and instruction.
In all things...Christ Preeminent!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Latest Word

Well, I spoke with Aaron briefly today. Things are still going well.

A few matters of prayer:

First, that they would manage their time wisely on Sunday, and make the most of the last full day that they will be there. To my understanding, they are taking a few of the teenage/young men to a church a little ways away. I'm not sure what the plan will be after that.

Sencond, Carmen, who is the lady that always does the cooking for our group, has made a profession of faith. After hearing the gospel, she said "I want this to be my testimony that I believe in Jesus, and nobody else...", and then she ripped the "saint" from around her neck and asked them to get rid of it. Aaron said that the necklace appeared to have been fairly expensive. It represented her dead ancestors and was the virgin holding a baby. Idolatry of this type is very serious to them, and this was a great testimony. Carmen is very sick, and her health is declining quickly. Please pray that the Lord would use her in the lives of her family members, that they too might be saved.

Third, for a few window A/C units. The school is apparently trying to get their hands on a few window units for two rooms. Aaron asked that we make this a matter of prayer.

Fourth, one of the boys, Daniel, who was very inquisitive over the summer, and who Aaron had come to be friends with, has seemed a little stand offish. Aaron was hoping to meet with him this evening, but I never received further report on that. Pray that the Lord would open his eyes that he might be saved.

Well, I guess that's all for now. I don't have any pictures to post yet...Aaron tried to send them, but I think the signal would not hold long enough for them to go through.

Night Night!
Rachel S.

First Report

Hello's me, Rachel. It is late, so I hope that I remember everything I am supposed to report!

First of all, Aaron, Rick, and Robby were supposed to have a layover in Houston for 3 hours...however, they were able to catch an earlier flight at no additional cost. They were only at the Houston airport for about 30 min if I understand correctly.

Then, they got to the car rental joint....Advantage in Harlingen, TX, if you need a good van rental into Mexico...anyway, there was supposed to be an upcharge of $26 per day for taking the van into Mexico. Advantage decided not to charge them the extra, Praise the Lord! That saved them over $100.

For those of you who don't know, Connie Reinhold was able to send a large amount of medical supplies with our team. The hospital that she works in provided them as a donation. THANK YOU CONNIE! I spoke to Aaron this evening, and they had stopped in La Posa to drop off the medical supplies to the nurse. There is always a great need for vitamins. It just so happened that Robin, the nurse, had run out, and of course, there were lots and lots of vitamins in the goodies that Connie was able to send! I'm sure you can imagine the excitement (and drama) in Aaron's voice rejoicing in how the Lord provided!

The last time I heard from Aaron, it was about 10:00 pm. They had just gotten done setting up camp, & meeting with the boys that were awaiting their arrival. Aaron said that once again, it seems that the Lord has gone before them in each step of the way thus far. Duh!

Anyhow, I'm sure that I'm forgetting something, but you'll have to forgive me!

Oh yes, and Pastor Ruben Moreno, who had been feeling ill, and said he would definitely not be able to make the trip.....he met up with them this morning...and is in Mexico!

Thank you Lord!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Mission to Centenario this Weekend

We are just a few hours from boarding the plane that will take us to southern Texas to spend the night and enter Mexico on Friday morning. I am going to include some specific areas where you can be praying for us in the next few days.

Our trip over the summer ended with the discussion of why we do not believe in the Virgin of Guadalupe. We also had a closing time with the people and shared with the community why we labor in making frequent trips to their village. The message was plain and simple, "that they may believe in Christ, and by believing in Him, have life in His Name."

Therefore, our primary goal with this small group is to follow up on the question, "If we do not believe in the Virgin of Guadalupe, then who do we believe?" This is going to be accomplished by small group discussions and individual conversations.

I would ask that you please pray about these details. Should their be people saved, our focus will immediately be discipleship and future missions would be to encourage these new believers, teaching them and walking with them as the Lord builds a community of believers. (I am getting chills just thinking about this!)

We are also going to have a storage facility available in southern Texas , and this will be a huge blessing. It will be great to have the ability to have people send supplies to a direct address in Texas and we will also be able to store items that cause problems for us to transport by airplane (tents, storage containers, etc.)

I ask you to please set aside some family time this weekend to be praying for us. Pray about the Lord's work in these areas and for wisdom as how to continue. Pray for the groups that are forming for next summer. We need people that are gifted in the areas of hospitality, evangelism, teaching, light construction (if necessary), recreation, and many other areas. We specifically could use those of you who are older than 30 years old!!!

Thank you so much for supporting these missions in the past and for your current support. We looking forward to giving report to the congregation upon our return. We will be sharing some of the information during our Spanish service at 8:00am on November 18th

Rachel is going to help keep everyone updated by keeping in touch with us while in Mexico. We will be sending more specific prayer requests, pictures, and testimony.

Finally, pray for permanent missionaries to this area. Pray for the people at To Every Tribe. I am specifically praying that Lord would supply their needs, and that He might provide laborers to go to the field to harvest! To God be the Glory!!!

In Christ,


Thursday, October 25, 2007

A comment on the ugliness of sin

Recently there have been some instances of public, deliberate sin among some of the people that I know. Some of this has been very difficult to deal with as they have just been a constant reminder that they, just like me, are not immune to the sin the crouches at the door and desires to have us. This has also required me to rethink my own heart, mind, and intentions and consider my life. After considering this, I am reminded of what Jonathan Edwards said in one of his resolutions:

Resolved, to act, in all respects, both speaking and doing, as if nobody had been so vile as I, and as if I had committed the same sins, or had the same infirmities or failings as others; and that I will let the knowledge of their failings promote nothing but shame in myself, and prove only an occasion of my confessing my own sins and misery to God.

Thinking upon this, and hearing about the great disappointments lately have caused me to say, "Lord have mercy on me, a sinner." We all must realize (I am emphasizing my need) that when we confront sin in others, that we ourselves are in danger of falling in to the same sin or even worse. Therefore, watch yourselves. As I am reading the book, "The Lord's Supper" by Thomas Watson, I find some passages that aid me in thinking about the severity and the stench of sin.

If a woman saw that sword which killed her husband, how hateful would the sight of it be to her! Do we count that sin light,k which made Christ's soul "exceeding sorrowful unto death" (Mark 14:24)? Can that be our joy, which made the Lord Jesus Christ "a man of sorrows" (Isa. 53:3)? Did he cry out, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Matt. 27:46? And shall not those sins be forsaken by us, which made Christ himself forsaken? Oh let us look upon sin with indignation....Sin has pierced and gored our Saviour: let it die the death. What a pity it is that that should live which would not suffer Christ to live. (29) Emphasis added.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Mexico Missions Initiative - Summer 2008

There have been many who have been asking about information on the mission trips for next year. You can obtain applications by contacting the office @ Rockport Baptist Church by calling (636) 464-1460.

The Deadline for registration and payment of deposits is December 16, 2007.

The dates for the trips are:
  • June 19 – June 28, 2008
  • July 24 – August 2, 2008

There is limited registration on both weeks. You can still register after the deadline, however there will be a late fee as well as possible higher price for airfare.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


We are just about four weeks away from another trip to Centenario, Mexico. Please be in prayer for the team that will be attending:

  • Aaron Sutton (me)

  • Rick Clausel

  • Robby Wann

  • Ruben Moreno

  • Irian Hernandez

I was reminded of the trip yesterday when I received a video from my friend John. Below you will find a video of a mission trip he participated in this year. Perhaps watching this will help you understand the magnitude of the needs that we have in just walking distance from the United States of America.

We still have some needs with our trip this November. These needs reflect our objective for this year. If you are interested in assisting with these, or would like more information, please contact our church office at (636) 464-1460, visit our church website @ or contact our church secretary directly at

Needs for this November:

  • We would like to take a bulk of "Ultimate Questions" books in Spanish.
  • We still need approximately $600.00 to help cover costs of airfare, ground transportation, supplies, and food. Any left over money will be used to go toward our trip in the Spring. (February 28 - March 3, 2008)
  • Case of Bibles
  • Teams of people to be praying for our team as we share the gospel one on one with the people with whom we are already connected.
  • We are forming the teams for our trips for Summer 2008. Space is limited. You will need to complete an "Application for Consideration", as well as the "TETM Application." Both of these can be obtained by contacting the church office or by visiting our website @

More information to come! We will also be sending updates while we are in Centenario, so please remember to check in so that you can know specifically how to pray for and rejoice with us!

Monday, October 1, 2007

DG Conference 2007

Messages from the Conference:

John MacArthur, keynote speaker for this year's DG conference, brought great messages on essential to persevering in the ministry. The main text that he taught from was 2 Corinthians 4:1-9

Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled only to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. 7 But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8 We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

Some points of impact for me:
  • The call to radical personal holiness and the training of a biblically informed conscience. MacArthur explained that the conscience is for the soul as pain is for the body. Pain is a very good thing because without it we might allow ourselves to die because we would not understand some of the danger of our actions or what is being done to us. The same way the conscience is for the soul. It is dangerous to sin against it, likewise we are foolish to think that we do not have to educate and train it with the Word of Christ.
  • I commend to you his teaching on the treasure in "jars of clay." What a great message on the treasure of the gospel, planted in us, these breakable, dispensable, ugly, jars.

You can listen/view his messages as well as the messages of others at

Conversation with John

Before the conference began, I received an e-mail from a man who stumbled upon this blog and wanted to get together to discuss missions in Mexico as well as theological training for leaders in that country. We later discovered that we would both be attending the Desiring God conference! So we met for coffee and I must tell you, it is great to see what the Lord is doing in this brother's life.

We both share a common interest in seeing leaders trained to correctly handle the Word! Would you join us in praying toward this? First, that there would be people saved in these areas. Second, that the Lord would set apart leaders for His people. Finally, that there would be some of us that would stop using the argument that "there must be people closer and more qualified to go" as a reason to not devote time, energy, and resources to this area.

John, if you read this, I want you to know that appreciate our short time together during the conference and I look forward to speaking with you more in the future!!!

Missions in 2008

Lord willing, we are going to take 2 larger trips to Centenario next summer. The information is now available. I am encouraging everyone to go ahead and register as soon as possible with the church office by calling 636-464-1460 or visiting our website at for more information.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Why Do You Believe- remix

I came from the upbringing of “cheap grace” and an era of “preachers” heralding from the pulpits, “ask Jesus into your heart” and make Him your Savior, and you will not go to hell. Then, we would hear testimony of so many that would say, “I made Jesus my Savior at age 6 at VBS, but did not make him Lord until I was 27 and almost died in an automobile accident.”

Sadly, this teaching has permeated the pulpits across denominational lines, and continues to do so even today. The message of “salvation” for most is nothing more than a great humanitarian effort rather than the reality of fleeing from the wrath of God and embracing Christ because he is worthy.

What has been the effect? Well, quite simply we are seeing generation after generation that say that they love God with their lips (when they are around other Christians), but yet their hearts are far from him. I hear of so many today that believe that they are going to heaven because of a “decision” that they made so many years ago, and they quote scripture out of context to support this claim, and they are deceiving themselves to think that “everything will be okay in the end.”

It reminds me of the Scripture in Isaiah 29:

13 And the Lord said:
“Because this people draw near with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
while their hearts are far from me,
and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men,
14 therefore, behold, I will again
do wonderful things with this people,
with wonder upon wonder;
and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish,
and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”

My friend, I pray that you might watch this video and that you might consider why you believe. Consider whether or not you are born-again. If not, repent and believe, do not continue to believe the lie. If you are born-again, then proclaim this gospel to others that they to may believe and be saved.

I praise the Lord for the ministry of Heartcry Missionary Society and the preaching ministry of Paul Washer.

Grace and Peace,


Monday, September 17, 2007

Latest Update on many things...

Mission trip in November

We will be leaving for Mexico on the weekend of November 9th. This will be a short-term trip, only about 3-4 days, but we have a specific agenda that we are going to be keeping (Lord willing). Please pray for those whom we already have contact with. Last night I spoke with Daniel, a 14 year-old young man whom we all got to know very well this past summer. He is looking forward to our group's return to Centenario. Our goal is going to be to have individual conversations with every person that we have a relationship with in this small village.

How can you pray? Here are just a few to mention:

  • Much needed funds for the trip. In addition to our own expenses for airfare, etc., an extra $600.00 would provide us a rental vehicle with insurance, meals, and supplies.

  • Pray for those who are considering going. I am really praying that my dear brother Ken will be able to go with us. Pray that the Lord would move some things around so that he might be able to minister there as well.

  • There are a couple of young men that are considering this trip. I pray that this would be a time for them to share the gospel with other young men in this village, but I pray that this might be a time of growing and maturing in their lives as well.

  • Pray for future missions endeavors to this area. We desire to have full time missionaries in this area and we are asking the Lord to raise up these people and that they might receive the training they need and go!

Update on our Worship Service in Spanish

We had a new couple attend this past Sunday! We had a total of 14 in attendance, and some of the people who have attended in the past, did not show up! Please continue to pray for this ministry and that the Lord would continue to grow his church. Our new couple this week asked if we would consider having a Sunday School class following our morning service. We are in desperate need of another teacher that can speak fluent Spanish.

We are also working at putting together a worship band. We already have 4 people that will be playing on a regular basis.

Update on Dad

Dad is home from the hospital now. He is resting and recuperating at our apartment here in St. Louis. Thank you all for your support and prayer. In about 6 weeks, dad will begin the radiation therapy.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Missions Report to the Jefferson Baptist Association

It was an honor to speak at the annual meeting of the Jefferson Baptist Association. Granted, I didn't really get the opportunity to "preach", but I did get the opportunity to share just a little bit of what the Lord had impressed on my heart regarding missions, and specifically those missions to the Hispanic community in and around Jefferson County, Missouri, as well as mission endeavors to the country of Mexico.

First, I would like to mention that if your measure of success in ministry is attendance or hype, then you would not consider our ministry to the Spanish-speaking community a success. However, I am so thankful that the Lord is still making His name great, despite the language barrier, and in the face of many other cultural obstacles.

In this meeting, I mentioned two major points that I felt needed to be covered at the time. I will post the full report at a later date. However, these points were not all that I could think of, but mainly because I was given such a short time, there was no opportunity for expounding.

Why is God serious about missions in Jefferson County, Missouri? Because God is serious about His glory! Why should we be serious about missions to unreached people groups in Jefferson County, Missouri? Because God is serious about His glory! Given all that was going on in the days of Malachi, look at what God said about His glory...(Malachi 1 ESV)

11For from the rising of the sun to its setting my name will be great among the nations, and in every place incense will be offered to my name, and a pure offering. For my name will be great among the nations, says the LORD of hosts.

14b I am a great King, says the LORD of hosts, and my name will be feared among the nations.

Obviously you could continue to quote many other passages, Isaiah 48, etc. However, what a great picture that this gives us about God being serious about His name being great among the nations! That was my charge to our association, that God's name would be made great among the nations.

Second, that our appetites would be whet for missions, specifically to unreached people groups, both local and global because we have the promise of God that there will be people saved! Looking at the Scripture again in Revelation 7

9After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10and crying out with a loud voice,"Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" 11And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen."

When we preach the gospel, we can know that there will be a representative of every tribe, tongue, and nation that will one day stand with us before the throne of God! That is the promise that we have when we preach the gospel. It is not because of our best efforts, but because of the promise of God!!! (Of course, I am not saying that we should not put forth our best efforts).

However, when we preach, we should preach for the Glory of God. Everything else, though it may be important, is a secondary issue. Feeding people, disaster relief, etc., are all very important, very necessary, and indeed is the intent behind "loving your neighbor as yourself", however we must do these things in the proper perspective. We do these things as an overflow of Christ in us, working in us, to do good works which he prepared in advance for us to do.

There is much more to come on this topic and a larger report on my speech to the Jefferson Baptist Association. However, let me leave you with this resource. I would like to suggest a sermon that will stir your heart. It is sermon on missions and ministry. The sermon is by the great Paris Reidhead. It is entitled "Ten Shekels and a Shirt." (I have not viewed this entire website, so I am only going to endorse the sermon audio at the link I have included.

In all things...Christ preeminent!


Tuesday, September 4, 2007

A few updates from the Hospital

Update on Dad 9/7/2007

Dad has been up and sitting in his chair. He asked me to take some pictures and pass them along to everyone! He is looking so much better and is sounding really good! I got to hear him speak last night and that was very encouraging. I spoke with mom on the phone this morning and found out that the doctors saw dad this morning and capped his traech tube, which is allowing him now to speak easier.

Thank you again for all of those who have sent cards, made visits, etc. They have been much appreciated. Please continue to pray for mom and dad as they have a long recovery together in the future. As it stands right now he may be in the hospital for several more days because the doctors would like for him to walk around the building and see how he responds to this.

There are some more prayer requests to pass along. The doctors did notice an irregular heart beat last night. They also reported one while he was in intensive care, therefore they are going to run some testing to ensure that this is not a problem. It very well could be just a response from the pain.

For those who are new to reading the blog, or for those who have not had a chance to read this article, I would like to share with you a wonderful piece for you to read regarding the glory of God in cancer. It is an article by John Piper, and it is entitled "Don't Waste Your Cancer." I beg you to please read this article, I believe that it will benefit you greatly.

Dad is open to visitors now, so please feel free to stop by and see how he is doing. (He will need the practice talking!!!)

A man named "Adam"

While we were in the surgery waiting room on Thursday, I met a man named "Phil" who was waiting while his young son was in surgery. We would later find out that he would be in the same Intensive Care Unit. On Monday I went to the Intensive care unit and could not find Phil, but I did find his sister-in law and visited with her. She told me that Phil had explained that I had been coming by to pray with them. She explained to me that she is concerned that Phil would not leave the hospital, most likely because five months ago his wife died suddenly at the hospital while he was away for lunch. She had undiagnosed cancer and died shortly after being admitted. She went on to tell me that she just wanted Adam to be able to open his eyes because he has been in a coma for over two weeks. So, I prayed with Adam and asked the Lord to open his eyes, prayed for the family, and asked God to show the family that He is more than worthy of their praise. After this, I left for lunch.

Upon returning from lunch, I visited with mom and dad for a moment. When the nurses came in to do some work on dad, I stepped out and went to the ICU unit to see if I could catch up with Phil before I left the hospital. I picked up the hospital phone to call the unit and asked to visit with Phil and Adam. Moments later, the unit doors flung open wide, Phil was briskly walking toward the doors motioning for me to come back. He grabbed my arm and began explaining to me that his sister-in-law told him that two minutes after I left, Adam opened his eyes and has been alert ever since! Praise the Lord! Please do pray for this family that I might be able to clearly communicate the gospel to them. I have been sharing with them little by little.

In Christ,


Friday, August 31, 2007

Update on Dad

Well, it's Friday now, and we are getting things together for a visit today at the ICU. Dad came through surgery last night just fine. Actually, the doctor was very impressed with how well the surgery went. We were at the hospital from 4:20am until 11:00pm. It was a very long day.

After the doctor explained how well the surgery went, he explained a serious concern of his. When they were inside testing the cells for cancer, they found a positive hit on a nerve and a blood vessel. The removed what they could, and traced it all the way to the base of the skull. When they ran tests there, it was still positive. So, the doctor says that this finding is serious. Most likely the cancer is on the other side of the skull. However, he did say that they have it located and that they will be able to focus radiation therapy to this area in an attempt to eradicate it.

Thank you all so much for praying. Please continue to pray for mom. It was very difficult for her to see him in the ICU after the surgery. Today they are going to start weaning him off of the medication that is keeping him sedated and comatose. We will know more later on today.

If you haven't been able to you, please read the post below on the reflection on the airline flight. This is something that the Lord was brining to my mind as I was preparing for yesterday's surgery. My hope and trust never has been in the technology or the doctors. Don't get me wrong, the doctors that we have are wonderful. However, they have no authority over this situation other than what the Lord has given them. Therefore, join with me in asking the maker of Heaven and of Earth to heal dad. I also ask that the Lord would exalt himself make His Name great among our family.

In all things...Christ preeminent!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Reflections from a Southwest Airlines Flight

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:13-15.

On our return flight home from Mexico this past year, everything seemed normal on the flight. I have been on many flights both domestic and international. Our team was conversing with others throughout the cabin, we were eating Pizza that we just purchased, everything was "just normal." All of the sudden, the captain turned on that "fasten seat belt sign" and the flight attendant asked everyone to please return to their seats, fasten their seat belts, etc. This is pretty standard when you might have some turbulence...but then the captain came on the overhead speaker and told the flight attendants to return to their seats immediately and to fasten their seat belts. (This is...well...not so typical.) Okay...I was thinking, well...I've been through some significant turbulence before, this is going to be just fine. I actually had to use the restroom at the time and asked the flight attendant sitting in front of me if I could use the restroom if I was careful (again...standard practice). The flight attendant looked at me with a nervous look on her face and told me absolutely not, it is going to be really bad. (Hmmm...not so typical response.)

Sitting in the row behind me with members of our mission team, was an off-duty Southwest Airlines pilot talking. What happened next was a sudden drop about 500-1000 feet (estimate given by the guy sitting behind me.) The cabin shook, people went "whoooooooo." My heart started jumping. Yes, I'm okay with admitting that. I didn't really want to go down in a plane crash. I started thinking...why didn't I drive, why didn't we drive!!! I don't know why I think that somehow I have more control over my life when I am the one driving. I don't know why I am so arrogant to think that by worrying I can add an hour to my life. It certainly is illogical and unreasonable to think that you or I have any more control over our own life or death. (Don't read into this...just take it for what it is...I am not saying that you can cast off restraint, live like you want, because it doesn't would have to be a fool to believe that.) What I am saying is that it was silly of me to think for a second that God is not in control of absolutely everything that was going on around me and despite what comes, God will not be shaken, taken by surprise, and certainly will never be out of control. I can rest assured of this promise. I can also rest assured that life is precious, we are not guaranteed tomorrow, and that our lives are here today and they are gone tomorrow. Isn't that what the scripture says from the earlier quote in James? This kind lesson on the airplane brought me back to reality that I am not in control, and that at a split second, our life can be over, but God is Sovereign!

We are getting ready for another reality check just like this. No, I'm not getting on a plane this month, that's coming in November. However, this next event involves dad going in for cancer surgery. Tomorrow morning, in less than 24 hours from right now, he will be undergoing a 10-14 hour surgery to remove most of his tongue, replace it with tissue from somewhere else. He may have a bone replacement, he may die in the middle of surgery, he may have further complications, or they may find no cancer tomorrow. Nothing is certain other than God is on His throne. Though we may have the most skilled physicians and surgeons in the area, they can only do what is allowed and ordained by the Lord. Therefore, it would be foolish to place our faith and hope in anyone or anything else than the God who is there.

I know that no matter what the outcome of the surgery, the Lord's Name is worthy to be praised. Please to pray for my family tomorrow, please do pray that there will be no cancer, that would be incredible, but most importantly, pray that our faith may indeed be strengthened in Jesus Christ, our only hope both now and forever.

Thank you again to everyone who has sent cards, letters, and other correspondence. They have been greatly appreciated. Rachel and I will be posting updates on dad's condition throughout the surgery. Please understand that we will not be taking a lot of calls, and will be making even fewer during this time.

How deep the Father's love for us! How vast, beyond all measure!

In all things...Christ preeminent!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Trip to Thebes, Illinois and an update on Dad

This past weekend, Rachel, Olivia, and I made a trip to my hometown, Thebes, IL. Nothing much has changed since the last time, sure there has been some additions to the town, some more "small town controversies", but that was really about it. Something that strikes me in this small little town of 500, is poverty, houses falling apart, and kinds roaming the streets with no direction in life, little or no supervision or care. It's kind of sad if you think about it, because it is just a continuous lifestyle that many people in this area continue to live. This once thriving little town, formally the county seat for Alexander county, Illinois, now gone down hill in many areas, though there are some that do not fit this description.

It reminds me of how quickly our own hearts turn from that which is good, sufficient, satisfying, and turn to that which is harmful. This is no new problem, it has been going on for a long time. If we too are not careful, we will find our hearts wondering away from the truth of Christ and find ourselves wanting to have the "easy life" with no struggle, no responsibility, and the end will lead in destruction. Our entire culture has been infected by this lazy, lackadaisical mindset. Is some ways you can see this is the "effeminate slackness" in men in our society. We have just set back, and let things just happen. We have lived our lives with the philosophy of "'m ok, your okay and we will both be the same, if you stay out of my way." Sad...devastating.

Why am I saying all of this, prayer for the village of Thebes is that they may turn to Christ. Pray for the ministry of the First Baptist Church and their Pastor Carl Fisher. Pray that in the midst of this small community that there would be a great awakening to truth and that the culture would be transformed as a result.

Update on Dad

Mom and Dad will be coming in to St. Louis today to settle in over the next few weeks. They would like me to thank all of those who have sent letters and cards of encouragement and exhortation. We will need your prayer and support over the next several months, because this is going to be one of the most, if not the most, difficult experience that we have gone through to this point.

Dad will go to the doctor tomorrow and have his final visit to prepare him for surgery. At 8:00am on Thursday, the doctor's will begin the 10-14 hour surgery. I will try to keep people updated on how things are going. I don't know how to say this any more lovingly than this, please check here for updates, because I am not sure how many phone calls that I will be making during this time. I hope that you all understand.

Following surgery, dad will be in the hospital for at least 2 weeks. (The doctor does not want him to remain there longer because of the risk of staff infections.) After this, mom and dad will remain with us for a while since they will have follow up visits.

Please pray for my family that will be here. There are several people who do not known Christ. They have never trusted in his loving kindness that has been extended to all who believe.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Missions, Mexico, 2008, Prayer request, Hurricane Dean...and more

First, the hurricane, if you didn't already know, is no longer expected to reach anywhere near the Mezquital region of Mexico. In fact, the area it did hit in Mexico is a very rural, unpopulated area where everyone evacuated. Praise the Lord!

On Sunday evening, I spoke with Daniel from Centenario. It was good to hear his voice and to visit with him. He, of course, wanted to know when we were going to return. I was very firm with him that I would not speak to that because I do not want to say something and then it not be able to come true. He understood. However, he did state that he is looking forward to our return. Please pray for this young man, my hope is that in November, I can have some time to speak with him further about the gospel. We had great discussion about the gospel over the summer, so the door is opened.

You said November?
Yes, please pray that the funds and the right airfare will come along because I will be making a return trip to Centenario the weekend of November 9, 2007. I have not explained this yet to Daniel or others in the area because I have not purchased the tickets or finalized the arrangements.

What about missions for next summer.
I had a great conversation with Rod Conner from To Every Tribe Ministries. I expressed our desire to bring two groups down during the summer next year, with the following changes. (This is a great new direction).
  • Our desire is to put together two teams of 25 people each
  • Each team will spend 1.5 days in Texas for training, teaching, praying, and we would like to have a tour of the School for Pioneer Church planting.
  • Each team will serve one full week in Mexico rather than 4 days.
  • We will do our own orientation and our own arrangements. There will be no day before and day after meetings.
  • We will also take teams down at various other times, as necessary, possible, and feasible.

So, I have two sets of dates that we are proposing for the trip next summer. They will be available very soon, so please check back! (I hope to have the dates posted this week, but next week at the latest). The application for consideration (new form) will be available online by this Friday, perhaps sooner.

How can you pray?

  • We need the participants for the trip.
  • We need financial assistance for those who have gifts that can be used, but yet are short on funds.
  • Pray for the people that we already know, that we will continue to work with. (Daniel, Ivar, Carlos, Mitchel, and others!)
  • Pray for the village "delegado" and the commissioner. Pray that we will continue to be welcome back to their village and that we might be a blessing to them.
  • Pray over the fact that many people are trapped by the lie of Catholicism. I understand that this statement might be offensive, however I don't know how else to explain it. It is quite possible that we will come in to conflict with others as we discuss this.
  • Pray that we will have the boldness to understand that the gospel is going to be an offense. People will be offended, but we should not shrink in fear or neglect preaching the whole counsel of God.
  • Did I mention, we need participants? Consider whether or not you have the gifts that are necessary for the trip. I will list them in a later post.

How can I get more information about future mission opportunities?

Visit -

Thank you all for your prayer and support! Rachel, Olivia, and I do value this very much. We are all doing well. Please also pray for us as dad's surgery is next week. That is going to be heavy on our minds, and if you have a moment and can pray for us specifically next Thursday, August 30, it would be much appreciated. This is the day of the surgery and it is going to be a very, very long day.

In all things...Christ preeminent!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

Hurricane Dean could be headed for familiar territory

The information include here is from the Nation Hurricane Center. The track of this storm leads to the most probably direct hit in the Mezquital region of Mexico.

This area includes the villages of Media Luna, La Poza, and Centenario. All of these villages are areas where we worked over the past three summers.

Please remember these people in prayer as they are preparing for what could be a devastating situation. Most areas are still not fully recovered from the great Hurricane that hit 2 years ago.

Also, Rachel and I have some friends are are located in downtown Cancun. We are going to try to contact them before time for the storm to hit that part of Mexico.

I will try to keep posts here as I get information. Though the map right now shows what could be a direct hit, things change at just a moment's notice. As in all things, the Lord is in control!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Report regarding Lima, Peru, and Heartcry Missionary Society

If you have not heard, there was a major earthquake that rocked the capital of Peru. Friends of our congregation Charles Leiter and Paul Washer were in this area when it hit. Below is an e-mail update from Charles' wife.

Charo Washer has received several emails this evening from her parents who live in Peru. They also emailed her the phone number of the hotel where the men with HeartCry are staying. Charo said I could call the hotel and that I should speak very slowly and clearly. I called the hotel (unsure as to whether they could even understand me) and they put me right through when I asked for Paul Washer. Paul said that they are all fine. They were in a taxi at the time of the earthquake and that the taxi began to move up and down and so did the street signs. It looked like the van behind them was trying to bump them. At that point they realized that they were in an earthquake. They got out of the taxi and stepped across the street away from the tall buildings (in case they would start to come down). The men were all in their rooms at the time of the phone call. Everything seems to be fine with all of them. Paul had been trying to call out, but had not been able to.

We are thanking and praising the Lord for this good report. The HeartCry conference in Lima started this past Monday morning and has been going well. Approximately 100 men are attending the conference and the theme is "Justification & Regeneration" . They are scheduled to start the second conference in a different city a few days from now. They will be flying in a small plane to get there. Please pray for continued safety, and for the communication from Lima to be restored. The men are to return to the United States, Friday, August 24th.

Thank you for praying at this time.

Because of Jesus,

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change
and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea.
Though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains quake at its swelling pride. Selah.
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
The holy dwelling places of the Most High. God is in the midst of her,
she will not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.
~Psalm 46:1-5

Monday, August 13, 2007

An update on some things....

First, for those who have been wondering about Dad's will be August 30th. I want to personally thank everyone who has opened up their homes, and those who have written letters to my parents during this difficult time. This past Saturday we had a wonderful time with them because we were able to celebrate their 40th anniversary.

For those interested in the Hispanic Ministry in Arnold...please continue to pray that we might have more and more opportunities for evangelism throughout the week. Sunday we had our first family (husband, wife, and son) attend our 8:00am service!) We are very excited about this and we had two new contacts this week, so pray as we follow up with them.

In the area of Student Ministry, I am working with a few others in putting together a monthly gathering of high school/twenty something students. The purpose for this gathering would be for cooperate worship, teaching/preaching, prayer, and intelligent conversation. Not really sure how things are going to work out...but we are going to start with just one meeting...sometime in September...and see where things lead from there.

Finally, regarding missions to Mexico, I need you to pray for a group of us that have been traveling to and from Centenario, Mexico. Here is what is before us. We are considering how we will be involved in the future, and the financing for future trips. Our intent would not be to set up permanent residence, but to evangelize and train so that native inhabitants may then, in turn, lead the church and participate in future missions.

For now, we are looking for the teams and the finances for a weekend trip this fall, over the winter, and in the Spring. We have a team for the Spring, and we are looking now to set the date. For those who might be reading this and would like to be considered to be part of a missions team, you will soon be able to find an application for consideration on I hope to have it available sometime this week.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I wouldn't sell those deer tags just yet...

Here is what we know so far about my dad. I am going to choose to send out updates on my blog to help people be informed rather than sending out mass e-mails, phone calls, etc. There are just too many people to call, so I appreciate if you all could help us "spread the word" so that everyone knows how to pray.

Yesterday, we went to the specialist at St. Louis University Hospital. They completed a quick biopsy on the base of dad's tongue, and it came back positive for cancer. In the words of the doctor "this is not near as serious as prostate, colon, or lung cancer." However, the treatment options were as follows: we could do nothing, radiation and chemo and see what happens (with this option the radiation would kill his jaw bone and would have to be replaced...pretty bad idea), or surgery with minimal radiation therapy following the surgery. The latter is the option that we have chosen as a family. I say we, because it is up to mom and to dad but the rest of us stand behind their decision all of the way.

Dad is having a PET scan today to determine if the cancer has spread beyond the tongue/mouth area...the doctor doesn't believe so, but he will not consider treatment until he knows for sure. Second, dad must undergo some testing to determine if his body is fit for the 12-14 hour surgery that he is facing. He will loose 50% or more of his tongue. They will be doing tissue replacement from his leg...and perhaps some bone replacement. There is a 1/20 chance that the body will reject the tissue that is being replaced.

They will have to do a tracheotomy, he will have a feeding tube for a while. The doctor told us to prepare for a year, but he doesn't think that it should last over 7-10 days...just depending on his recovery.

Once he has been cleared for surgery, he will be scheduled. (I think that this will happen within 1-2 weeks.) We are hoping for sooner...and mom is convinced that it will happen next week.

Hmmm...well...this is not a road that I dreamed that I would be going down...but I know that my Redeemer lives...and I know that I have a great High Priest whose name is Jesus Christ and He shall supply sufficient grace in our time of need. (Hebrews 4).

I would like to encourage people reading this to consider two resources...first, an article written by John Piper. Oh how I wish that all of my family would read this article and see this cancer for what it is rather than look at this as something simply to defeat. I pray that my family my come to know Christ and be transformed by new life in Him! The article is entitled "Don't Waste Your Cancer." It was written by John Piper when he was diagnosed in 2006.

Second, the book by the late Pastor/Teacher Rodney Stortz. Listening to Rodney's sermons over the years has greatly touched my life and has given me great insight in to God's Word. Rodney died of cancer a few years ago, but before he died, he wrote a book entitled "Diary of a Cancer." Both items I suggest for your to benefit your soul and understanding of God's Sovereign will in the lives of His people.

Oh how I pray that someone might look at this article and find not me rambling on, but that someone might think for just a second "why aren't these people absolutely angry and bitter about this?" I pray that others might be stunned at the grace of God and because of this cancer, they might know that apart from Christ they stand is God's judgement. After realizing this they might see and know how wide, how long, how high, and how deep is the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:14-21)

Now, what is up with this title??? Well, I have to tell the midst of all of the news of treatment, prognosis, possibility of death, etc., I saw my dad very serious and asked of the doctor a most interesting question. He looked at the doctor and said, "I have a question that I really need to ask you." I was thinking..."oh we go, this is where everyone is going to break down because we are going to talk about life support." Instead, Dad looked at the doctor and asked very seriously, "I just purchased two deer tags for the season coming in November, do you think that I ought to sell these?" The doctor looked at him and smiled, "If I were you, I would not sell those deer tags just yet, because I think that you will be ready for hunting by November."

In all things...Christ preeminent!


Friday, August 3, 2007

Why Did the Bridge Collapse?

I wanted to post this video that you may be challenged, that perhaps there would be an unbeliever that might stumble across this page and this message would make you consider your life.

Here is a message by Pastor/Author John Piper of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Video footage is from the bridge collapsing on 8/1/2007

There is also an excellent article written by John Piper as he was putting his daughter to bed following the collapse.

Click Here to read a poem written by Piper as he heard a newlywed woman waiting for her husband following the collapse of the bridge.

Shocking Message by Paul Washer...Please Watch!!

I would like to take this time to ask you to please consider watching this film. It is about the most shocking and most convicting sermon that I have ever heard in my life. I would ask that you please consider inviting others, especially young people, to listen to this message.

This is an intense message delivered by Paul David Washer of Heartcry Missionary Society to a youth conference in 2002.

Feel free to leave comment and to discuss.

In all things…Christ preeminent!


Thursday, August 2, 2007

My dad...

My family has been on a roller-coaster over the past year or so undergoing tests. He has been to several different specialists, treated for TMJ, been to dentists, neurologists, etc. Finally after almost 2 years of testing…his doctor has told him that apparently other doctors have been looking in the wrong area…it is s tumor under the tongue and he is very certain it is cancer.

My parents asked the doctor to make it plain to them and the doctor in Cape Girardeau has told him that he will defiantly loose his jaw bone and most, if not all of his tongue. He is also going to have to undergo chemotherapy.

My reaction? I know that that there will be times of overwhelming emotion very soon. However, I am asking for something specific. John Piper wrote an article entitled "Don't Waste Your Cancer" as he was undergoing treatment. Keeping this in mind, I would like to ask for prayer in this area.

First, of course, I am praying that this is not cancer, and when they come to the hospital next week (St. Louis University…thank you Rob and Kristi) the doctor confirm that it is a non-cancerous tumor. Secondly, I am praying that no matter what…the Lord will bring many in my family to a saving knowledge of Jesus.

Can I ask for a favor? Would it be possible for people to write notes of encouragement to my parents? Their names are Jim and Linda. I am praying that they might find strength and comfort in the Lord alone. I pray that the Lord might provide this time for them not to waste this opportunity to embrace the Sovereign Lord for help in our most desperate time of need.

In all things…Christ preeminent!


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More "traditional" Forms of Evangelism???

I must say, when I saw this article, I laughed at first, and then I will filled with sadness. Below you will find a excerpt from "Baptist Press News" from July 19, 2007.

LISBON, Portugal (BP)--What do missionaries do when serving in a
self-reliant urban location where the residents have little patience for gospel
tracts, EvangeCubes and other traditional forms of evangelism?

They find the nearest café, order espresso and a pastry, and spend time
getting to know one of the locals. Ideally, the small talk turns to spiritual
matters and presents an opportunity to share a personal testimony or even the
plan of salvation. But perhaps the conversation simply opens the door to a
deeper friendship, growing trust and future occasions to share the Word of
A team of 14 LifeWay Christian Resources employees received a crash
course in this type of relational evangelism during a LifeWay-sponsored mission
trip to Lisbon, Portugal in June.
"It isn't traditional evangelism -- it's
just life," said Scott George, team leader for the International Mission Board's
Young Lisbon ministry and contact for the LifeWay team. "Our bread and butter is
the relationship and reaching the people that the church doesn't
Lisbonites, he added, take part in an average of 68 positive
spiritual conversations before they come to a relationship with Christ.

Now...I could just stop here because you probably already see the problem with this. What in the world are people talking about when they say that "gospel tracts" and "evangecubes" are "TRADITIONAL" forms of evangelism and that intelligent, relational conversation and commitment are somehow a new concept in reaching the loss.

Brothers and Sisters we are in a sad state. We have generations of people who don't even have a clue of what real evangelism is. What is worse, I am finding groups of people who consider themselves "conservative" and they are attacking people that are advocating for relational Biblical-approached evangelism.

I pray that there might be an explosion of real mission efforts that seek to take the Christ of the Scriptures to the hard places and proclaim him and not just an image on an "evangecube." May we be those who proclaim the whole counsel of God and proclaim a salvation due to the finished work of Christ!

Not familiar with an's the scoop from (I've included the picture above.)
Clip it on your belt, fasten it to your backpack, or carry it as a keychain! The
EvangeCube keychain is a unique way to present the Gospel of Jesus to anyone!

What are your thoughts? Evangecube...traditional form of evangelism? More to come...

Monday, July 16, 2007

The First Place

In a recent discussion with someone regarding church music, hymns, etc., I was reflecting on some of the good old hymns that we have been singing for quite some time now.

I find that there are some camps that are wanting to "throw away" the hymns and go with all new music and on the other hand there are those that absolutely refuse to recognize anything beyond the Baptist Hymnal or for some of the older folks out there, the Broadman hymnal. Even among these camps, I still find that there are those that will only recognize the 1956 version of the Baptist Hymnal, some the 1975, and then now...the 1995 update...etc.

There are many songs in all of these hymnals that need to be thrown out the window and we should repent that we would ever associate with such nonsense in the words. However, let me say...from someone who is still considered "younger" by most of my contemporaries...I will never forget or "throw away" some of the great hymns of old. (I'll explain more later.) On the other side, I joyfully embrace some of the new music that is being written today. Many of these new hymns and songs are written with greater doctrinal accuracy than hymns out of the hymn book.

Why will I not forget or "throw away" some of the hymns of old? When I reflect upon things that are lovely, right, and just, I think about some of the memories that are associated with some of these songs. For instance, I remember singing some of these songs at the testimony of conversion in people's lives. I remember singing some of these songs at a celebration service reflecting on the life of a recently past saint, etc. Not to mention that I will not throw away those songs which are sound theologically and make much of our Lord. (I could go on and on with this).

All of that said, I would like to introduce to you a is a few years old, but I recently sang it at a Pastor's conference. I love this song because it goes right along with the title of the blog, but...more importantly because it focuses on the Preeminence of Christ above all things. I pray that you all might be blessed by reading the lyrics of this song.

The First Place

Jesus, the perfect picture of the unseen God
Maker of things we cannot comprehend.
Wisdom, the earth displays Your strength and beauty.
Sovereign, yes, every throne knows You are God.

Every inch of this universe belongs to You, O Christ.
For through You and for You it was made.
Your creation endures by the order of Your hand.
So You must have in all things the first place.

Victor, over sin and death You triumphed.
Firstborn, You've shown us life beyond the grave.
Bridegroom, we long for You in expectation.
Jesus, Your church rejoices to proclaim.
© 1999 Matthew Westerholm

In all things...Christ Preeminent!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Praise the Lord!!!

Praise the Lord!!!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;I will recount all of your
wonderful deeds.2 I will be glad and exult in you;I will sing praise to
your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2 ESV

I received some great news today regarding my father. First, I would like to thank you all for praying for all of us over the past several weeks. It is evident that the Lord works mightily through the prayers of His people!

My mother called today to let me know that the follow-up MRI shows no tumor!!! Praise the Lord! The doctor stated that my dad has a condition where an artery is pushing down on a nerve and this is causing the symptoms that he has been experiencing. Therefore, the doctor believes that all treatment can be completed in Cape Girardeau, Missouri (the city where my parents work). He also believes that it is quite possible for the problem to be treated with medication!

I do thank the Lord also for the conversation that I was able to have with my father while he and mom were visiting us in the hospital. We were able to talk about the majesty and holiness of God. This lead in to a great discussion of God's plan and purpose for suffering and our command to trust in, and exult in the Lord our God. I have never had a discussion quite like this with him. I am so thankful for the Lord opening the door for this!

Praise the Lord!!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

I am working on some posts on hymns, worship, and a few other things...but I can't get to them right now...but check back soon!

Aaron, Rachel, and Olivia