Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I forgot that I had this blog


It has been a while since I have posted something. Thank you all to reminding me of that! This past year I was blessed to be asked to take part in leading some of the camp ministry for the Jefferson Baptist Association. I recently made a post on the Facebook page to those who are listed as "fans" of this ministry. So, you too might be interested in this information.

Blog Post below:

I pray that everyone had a wonderful Christmas time! In looking over some of the highlights of the past year, I want to share my great sense of awe and wonder at the mighty things that the Lord has done in many of your lives this past year. What a privilege it was to serve along other brothers and sisters in the ministry of the Jefferson Baptist Association at Bates Creek Camp.

For the coming year, would you join me in praying over some things that are coming to mind?

1. Oh that we would see a revival among young people in our county! I long for the day that Jonathan Edwards (famous theologian from year’s ago) wrote about. He mentioned that during times of great revival the “young people” stayed up day and night sitting around discussing the excellencies of Christ and how wonderful were the attributes of God! Please join me in praying that Jefferson County, Missouri’s churches would be known for a young people who have “not lifted their souls to an idol” and who praise the Lord with a pure heart! (Psalm 24)

2. Please pray that the Lord would set aside Godly, leaders to serve you all well by being completely consumed with the glory of Christ and because of that, would pour out their hearts and lives in preaching the Gospel that hearts might be converted and that we, as Christians, might be strengthened in a genuine faith.

3. Pray that the Lord would raise up some of you to leave Jefferson County and never come back because the Lord has set you aside to give your life for the cause of Christ in an unreached area as a missionary. During our discussions this past year at camp, I was greatly humbled and overjoyed to hear that this is already a desire for some of you. Lord, please glorify your Name by raising up missionaries to proclaim Your glorious grace to the uttermost parts of the Earth!

There are so many more things that I want to mention, but I will start with these. Please do remember those who are going to be planning for the year to come. I am excited about what I am hearing already.

Your servant,


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Iglesia Bautista de la Gracia

Below is an e-mail that I sent out to others that are interested in receiving updates about the Hispanic Ministry at Rockport. I was thinking...you know, there are some that do browse this page and might be interested in the same information. So here you go. Let me say...please pray that we might be faithful in preaching the True Gospel, above everything else that we do or would like to do!

-----------E-mail attached below-------------

I believe that we are seeing some good things through Iglesia Bautista de la Gracia (IBG). We are averaging between 20 - 30 people on a consistent basis every Sunday. We have taken out an add in the Hispanic Yellow Pages as we are going to look at putting an add in the "Red Latina" which is the widest read newspaper among Hispanics in our area.

In addition to seeing people on Sunday, we typically have around 20 people meeting for our mid-week community group in South St. Louis Count. Prayer Request - Pray as we consider how we are going to start a new community group for Southern Jefferson County. In speaking with the brother that is working with us. Our desire is to begin getting to know more of the people in this area, and start a small group as the Lord provides leaders as well as financial resources.

Please be in prayer for us financially. The people who are coming are very immature at best, and most of them are not born-again. However, they are not resistant to hearing the Gospel, which leads me to believe that the Lord is going to bring about a great work here. We are collecting an offering each week, and we are receiving $100.00/month support from the Jefferson Baptist Association. We also receive $200.00/month from Rockport. However, we would like to take care of the brother that is helping us by teaching/preaching/visiting, etc. Right now we are not even capable of reimbursing his mileage, that is to say nothing of any sort of compensation for his time. Again, I am just asking that you would please set aside some time to pray over this matter.

Extra Worker during Christmas break. We are going to have a college student from southern Texas, originally from Mexico, coming to assist us for a few weeks in December. Please pray that we might have some extra funds to help bless him. He is going to work in the community, making visits, and lead some Bible study discussion as he serves a mini "internship" with us during this time. His name is Irian and I know that he would appreciate your prayers.

Brothers and sisters, thank you for praying over this ministry. Please do continue to pray that the Name of Christ would be exalted and proclaimed where it is not currently known. I am speaking now specifically of the Hispanic/Latino culture in the United States of America.

In all things...Christ preeminent!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Update on Spanish Service

It has been a while since I have updated everyone on where we are on the Spanish service at Rockport. We have been going by the name of "Iglesia Bautista Rockport" for quite some time now. (For those who don't know...this means "Rockport Baptist Church." We are often asked the question "what does 'Rockport' mean?" Well...it doesn't really translate all that well, so..we have decided to look at changing the name to something that would hopefully reflect our mission as well as would help native Spanish speakers identify with this theme. So, it looks like we are headed for changing the name to "Iglesia Bautista Gracia Soberana" or "Sovereign Grace Baptist Church." I hope to share more information with you about this very soon!

Another exciting thing that has been going on is with the Pastor that has been helping us out. Pastor Marco Sanchez has been assisting by preaching, teaching, and visiting regular attenders. In addition, we have been able to have great discussions over people such as the great missionary William Carey and men such as C.H. Spurgeon, Martin Luther, etc. This is exciting.

I would like to thank all of those who have put together time in copying/labeling Cds, DVDs and other items. Brother Sanchez was commenting last Wednesday on the fact that he was challenged by a message by Paul Washer. This message was preached in Texas and in Spanish is called "Christ Died for Us" or "Cristo Murio por Nosotros."

Please pray as we make transitions and seek the Lord on how to continue.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Prayer Requests

First, I would like to start by saying that I obviously haven't updated this page in a long time. I have been trying to be more disciplined in spending more time with my family and dedicating awake time to being with them after work in the evenings. This has lead me to slow off a little bit on posting here as well as the "Rockport Views" blog. I do intend on coming back to this very soon, but I would like to like to take the time to pass along some prayer requests to those who do read this blog.

There is going to be a meeting very soon with the missions team at Rockport Baptist Church. We are going to be talking about taking a very strong turn toward a greater commitment to missions both local and global. This is very exciting but also very scary!

Second, pray for the upcoming weekend on Biblical manhood and womanhood. This event is hopefully going to be the first of many events to come on a much needed subject. Pray for the young people in and near Jefferson County, Missouri that their hearts my be changed and we might see congregations transformed by the work of Christ in their lives!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I write this post as I am preparing to leave to speak at a Youth Retreat. The basic theme of this retreat is "missions on campus" focusing on areas that these young men and women have grown over the summer and now will be returning to their schools this fall. This theme excites me because it is all about missions.

Though missions is not our ultimate aim, it is incredible to be a part of what does bring about the ultimate aim of the church which is, the Worship of God. Missions is only temporary...we will only have missions as long as this world lasts, but Worship of the living God will last forever. We will never stop doing that! Missions exists because Worship does not exist among every nation, tribe, and tongue. (Thank you John Piper for that great thought!) You can read more about this in his book Let the Nations Be Glad.

It is my prayer that as students are returning to their campuses this fall that they might be consumed with a passion to see the Lord glorified and magnified in the hallways, football teams, school bus, and wherever else they might find themselves!

I hope to add some testimony about the event in the next few days!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Praise Reports from Mexico and Arnold, Missouri

First, I just got off the phone with a man named "Jorge" who came to Rockport before we started our services in Spanish. He was here on a work visa for 6 months and lived in South County. He was referred to me by Kurt McClure and his family who had a connection with the apartments where he was working. He attended Rockport for a few weeks before he returned to Mexico. This man was visited by Ruben Moreno from Corpus Christi, Texas while he was here to share with us. Jorge called me to let me know that almost 2 years later he still is following Christ, and his family has not been so supportive of him. He is back on a temporary work visa in Louisiana. He wanted to call to tell me that he truly believes that the Lord saved him while he was here with us and remembers having great fellowship, especially the meal at the Webers home! He also asked if there is any way that we might consider coming the state of Michoacan, Mexico to encourage the saints and work among the people there. Praise the Lord!

Second. Some of you all might Eneida. She attended our Spanish service for a while, went with her kids and others to go camping with many others from Rockport, and has since returned to Mexico. I want you all to know that Eneida keeps in contact with us, letting us know that she too came to know the Lord while she was here among us, and is now faithfully serving Christ in a congregation in Mexico!

I received a phone call today as soon as I got to the picnic. It was a call from someone returning from a mission trip to Oaxaca, Mexico. They received a lot of persecution from the people of the village, but they found sweet fellowship with some brothers who are pastors of evangelical churches outside of this particular village in La Barra de la cruz. The pastors asked this particular missionary if it would be possible to return with some sort of teaching and instruction for them as Pastors. The phone call today was a request for such an event.

Finally, we had a new visitor at the Spanish service this morning. He even came back for our picnic this afternoon and brought his five year-old son. I don't know much about this man yet except that he tells me that he is born again, was able to have a good conversation about the Scriptures this afternoon and is excited about going to a church that is closer to his home. He previously attended a Hispanic Southern Baptist Congregation in the north St. Louis County area, which is a long hall from where he lives.

We also saw David back at the Spanish service this morning and that was a real blessing.

Thank you Rockport for praying, giving, and going. I pray that this testimony might encourage the saints and stir us up unto further good works!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Prayer Request for Bates Creek Camp

I am writing this to those faithful prayer warriors that read this blog on a regular basis. Would you take a few moments to pray specifically for this Youth Camp that is coming up next week? Many people acknowledge that modern day ministries of all sort "dumb" down the gospel and actually preach a different gospel rather than that of the Scripture.

We just came back from a week of camp with Boys (grades 3-6) and I rejoice that we had a week of teaching the meaning of repentance and faith in Christ. The boys could tell you the meaning of these words as well as explain a basic meaning of the infallibility of the Scriptures. There were several young men that wept over their sins during this camp and made public professions that they came to camp as sinners apart from Christ, but God showed them their sins, they repent of their sins and are trusting in Jesus Christ. Let me tell you this was a amazing thing to be a part of. I don't recall seeing anything like this in a long time. It was truly amazing.

Pray this week for the teenagers that are going to be at the camp. Please pray that we would not fall for the world's pressure of trying to make the message "I'm okay, you're ok." Please pray that we will not succumb to the foolishness of trying to make the gospel "relevant" or do anything other than preach the "full counsel of God." Oh that the Lord would be pleased to save some souls this week and would call some people to give up their lives for the sake of missions to areas where Christ is not proclaimed!

Please join with me in asking the Lord to call people from darkness into light and to make His Name Great among the peoples at camp this week! If I have a moment, I am going to update this blog at least once during the week so that I can keep others informed.

Please stay tuned for more information on Mexico missions and Spanish language missions in and near the St. Louis, Missouri area!

Praise be to God!
He has hushed the law's loud thunder!
He has quenched Mt. Sinai's flame!
(Issac Watts)

In all things...Christ Preeminent!


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Prayer Requests from the Spanish Service

Brothers and Sisters,

We have been graced by some visitors that have come by to talk the last few days. These people attend out 8:00am service in Spanish at Rockport. Our group of people have become increasingly interested in the history of the reformation and after sharing with them about the story of Martin Luther, they are very excited about watching the movie. They only have one perspective of this man's life and death...what has been taught by the catholic church. Would you pray for the group of people that came to borrow the DVD and are watching it today?

New People
We had three new people last week: Erika, Guillermo, and Abram. Praise the Lord! One of these is a brother of one of regular attenders, Ismael. This new guy claims to be a believer and at least has some experience with church music.

Please pray that we might continue to purchase items that we need for teaching, as well as we might receive assistance from a native Spanish speaker that could help provide some guidance for the ministry. My Spanish is very limited. Don't get me wrong, it is better than what it was...but there is so much more that this group of people need to be taught.

Continued Passion for current believers and Church Leaders
I don't know if something like this would be possible, but as an effort to reach current believers, Pastors, and leaders, I would like to see if there is a way to offer something in Spanish in conjunction with our local Founder's conference. To my knowledge, there are not many resources, if any, that are available like this for the Spanish speaking community in North America, specifically the U.S.

Monday, July 14, 2008

God's Will for Slaves

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If you are going to be attending Youth Week at Bates Creek Camp, near St. Louis, Missouri the following week, I think that you might be interested in checking out this sermon! This sermon is going to be provided to the Cabin Leaders at this camp, but I am including the link here for your enjoyment! Our theme this year is going to focus on what it means to be taken from a slave of sin to a slave of righteousness.

The original Sermon Audio page can be found here.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Preparing for Camp

Next week is Boy's Camp at Bates Creek. As I was thinking over some things that would be good to meditate on concerning this week, and I was reading through a book that I have been pushing through for a few months now. This book is a good read and I would suggest it to everyone. It is entitled, "The Heart of Prayer - What Jesus Teaches Us" by Jerram Barrs, Professor at Covenant Theological Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri.

As I was thinking about the task that is set before us, here is a quote from the book that really spoke to me. He is speaking here about the High Priestly Prayer from John 17.

Jesus is showing us in the clearest possible way that our work in God's kingdom will be ineffective without our prayer for the Father to accomplish his purposes through his blessing on all we do. He is showing us that our attempts to teach the Word will fail unless we pray that the Father send the Spirit to render them powerful and effective. AS will our teaching of our own children at home, our teaching in our churches or any other kind of teaching ministry, our leading of worship, our music and our singing, our visiting, our serving, and our hospitality.

By the example of his High Priestly Prayer, Jesus is teaching us that in all the things we do, it is not enough to be busy for the Lord, not enough to be active in doing his work, not enough to be committed to teaching his Word. In addition to the work we do, we are always to bed the Lord to do his work in people's hearts and minds. For without his work, without his blessing, all our labors will be in vain.

This is why Acts records that the apostles devoted themselves to the ministry of the Word and prayer. In fact, the text reverses the order--the apostles said:

We will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:4)

Our ministry is to e prayer and the ministry of teaching; prayer and the ministry of serving; prayer and the ministry of music; prayer and the ministry of singing; prayer and the ministry of hospitality; prayer and the ministry of giving; prayer and the ministry off...You complete the sentence! All of us whatever our service to the Lord and to his people, are called to recognize that all our devotion and everything else we do will accomplish nothing unless we turn to the Lord in prayer, and unless the Lord blesses our efforts and establishes the labors of our hands.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

We are back in Texas

Brothers and Sisters,

Thank you for praying for us while we were in Mexico. We are back in Texas and we will all be heading back home tomorrow morning. Hopefully there will be many testimonies to post here and I would like to invite all of the members of our team to do so.

Please check back soon to see some of these comments as well as I will be posting a link to our church's missions website so that you can view the pictures and comments as well.

In all things....Christ preeminent!


Aaron called

Well, last night I heard from Aaron again! Things are just great there!

Aaron had to get up extremely early Tuesday morning, and didn't get back to Centenario until 10:30 last night. The "Senior Trip" to Ciudad Victoria was nice, but tiring. However, he was not complaining, because again, what an opportunity to spend such a special time with the young men. When he got back to the camp site last night, the rest of the team was so excited because they had such a wonderful day with the people.

Also, I WAY underestimated the amount of people that have been attending the Bible study! The women's group has been having about 25. That is amazing!

Today, Wednesday, the team will say their goodbye's and head back across the border into Texas. I know I mention this every trip, but please pray. It can be so difficult to say goodbye. Especially when you don't know if you'll ever see these people again. Also, not knowing the impact of the time spent there can be difficult. Especially with this kind of mission trip. So often you hear of people building houses, or libraries, etc. Also, I myself have been on a mission trip that the whole point was to walk into a village, talk someone into saying a prayer....and really meaning it...then going on our merry way.

This week, I have had a handful of people, all "Christian's" mind you, question me as to what my husband was doing in Mexico. I explain that he is there on a mission trip. They say...oh, what's he building. I say relationships. They say...yeah, but is he building houses? I say no. They say... well then what is he doing there? I say making friends and telling them about Christ. Preaching. Teaching. They say...oh, that's all! As if to say that preaching the Gospel of Christ is not as important as building a house! Unbelievable.

So, if any of you kids are reading this after you get home. And you're struggling with knowing whether or not your time there was used by God (even though you didn't build a house!) Know that the Lord has used you. Remember Carmen. We saw no fruit for two years. Who would've thought that Carmen would come to know Christ!

Thank you for spending your time off with these people that we have come to love. They need to know Christ, and what an honor it is that they have invited us there to share! Thank you Lord for making a way!

Love you ALL!!!!!

Monday, June 23, 2008


I can't believe I almost forgot!

The women's Bible study is going so well. They have had a great response.

Also, VBS is going well, just as always.

The big news however, is that the evening Bible study is bringing in more families than we've ever had in the past! I plan to get more specifics on this tonight when Aaron calls. He told me that several families were attending. Folks, although several doesn't sound like much, when you consider there were only about 4 women and their children attending in the past....several families is a considerable amount.

Also pray that the men in the village will continue attending, and that even more may show up tonight! This is exciting!

Ok, well that's it for now. I'm sure I'll think of something else in about 5 minutes!


Well, things are going just wonderfully in Centenario! The Lord is good, and he is bringing people out of the woodwork!

The people were sooooo happy & excited when our team arrived! They had once again been anticipating our arrival. As I've mentioned before, there have been many close relationships formed, and much trust has been gained over the past 4 years. The Lord has truly opened the door for us to share with the people there.

Friday was spent setting up camp, and catching up with a few friends.

Saturday, a few of the men went to San Juan (about 45 min from Centenario), to conduct a pastor's conference. One of the other churches that is participating with our group this year, brought a nice collection of books to give to each pastor in attendance. (Aaron will update with a list of the books, and the name of the church, later, I'm sure.) The books were all in Spanish, and were happily received. What a wonderful gift!! After a day of preaching, teaching & worshiping, it was back to Centenario. They were invited to come back to the church in San Juan on Sunday.

Sunday morning, Rick led worship, and Aaron did some teaching. About 20 people from our group were able to attend. Also, I hope I'm not making this up, but I'm pretty sure that Aaron said some of the locals went with them. (This is what I get for not posting immediately after talking to Aaron!) Then in the afternoon, they were able to attend a soccer game with some of the young men from the village.

Last night, (Sunday), the teacher from the school approached Aaron. The young men that are graduating this week, asked the teacher if Aaron can go on their "Senior Trip" with them. It's just a little field trip to the capital of the state Taumalipas. It is called Ciudad Victoria. They will be visiting a little museum and walking around the city. I'm not sure what day this will be. Maybe today?? This is an even greater sign that the Lord has opened a door with these young men. Even with the teacher, as he must have a great deal of trust with Aaron to invite him to come along.

Many of you are well aware that we had to make the trip shorter than originally planned. The desire was to stay in Mexico for 10 days this time. That was not a possibility due to the increased travel expenses. Normally, we are able to fly round trip for about 210. This year, one way was more than that! Please pray that the Lord will use their time there greatly.

Many of you have asked about Carmen. She is the lady that had the death saint around her neck. Last year, she ripped it from her neck, gave it to Aaron, and asked him to destroy it. She had placed her trust in Christ, and wanted nothing to do with the wicked way that she had been following! We thank the Lord for this over and over. Carmen is doing well. She continues to profess Christ as her salvation. She has been helping with the cooking this week.

Please pray for Can Can (Ivar) & Rudy. That their eyes might be opened to Christ!

Please pray for safe travel to & from the different towns in the area.

Please pray for me (Rachel) as I try to handle all things Bates Creek while Aaron is away. And for little Olivia who is REALLY missing her daddy! The last two times he went to Mexico she was only 3 months & 7 months. I wasn't convinced that she really knew what was going on. Now that she's almost 1 (July 5), she is really missing him. And she ABSOLUTELY knows what is going on! Every time my phone rings she says "Daddy!" She's just waiting to hear his voice on the other line! I can't wait to see her reach for him when he gets home!!!!! It's weird to think that last year's summer trip had me a nervous wreck, wondering if Olivia would come while he was gone! My how time flies.

Love to you all!

Mexico 2008

Hey Everyone! So sorry for the delay getting the first post up regarding our peeps in Mexico. This post is just a little blurb that I wrote up for our church, so that they can be praying accordingly each day.

The team has arrived in Centenario as of about 1pm today (Friday). They will be setting up camp and making initial visits this evening.

Saturday-Tuesday will be spent making home visits, having VBS, men's & women's Bible study, and helping with the locals in any way possible.

Saturday & Sunday, Aaron and a few of the other men will be conducting a pastor's conference in San Juan. They have a wonderful collection of books for the pastors that will be attending. It should be a wonderful time of discipleship & fellowship for the brothers that are living there in the neighboring villages.

Wednesday will be spent packing up & heading back across the border into Texas.

Thursday their flight leaves Harlingen at 9:00am and they will arrive in St. Louis at 1:30pm.

Please pray that this group would once again be well accepted among the community. Great accomplishment was made last year when the town officials gave us a letter of welcome to come there and minister as often as we would like. A great deal of trust has been gained through the repeated visits to this area in Mexico. We want the families there to realize that our people are there not to entertain them, and not for a vacation, but rather to show them the love of Christ.

Please pray for their safety while in Mexico, but also during their return.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Why do they leave when they graduate?

I am thankful to hear that there is a stirring in some of the leaders within the churches of the Jefferson Baptist Association (Jefferson County, Missouri). Recently the question has been asked, "why are teenagers leaving the church when the graduate and what can be done to keep them." Well, I would love to have a little conversation about this for those who would like to chime in. The reason why I am excited to hear that there is a stirring is because I think that people are waking up to realize that many, if not most, of the people in our "youth ministries" today are unregenerate and have never experienced the "new birth" that is in Jesus Christ. Second, there is a different phenomenon going on...that is that we are seeing people that are "graduating" from youth ministries and they are not entering in what should be "mature Christian adulthood" within the congregation. They are half-hearted about participating within the body of believers, they don't really know what it means to be accountable, etc.

There is a book that I am reading through regarding some of these issues. Now, as I would not agree with everything in this book, it has been useful on some points, and I would like for our Student Ministry Team at Rockport to discuss it's contents. The name of the book is "Family Driven Youth Ministry" by Mark DeVries. It has been sitting on my shelf now for quite some time and I am just now getting around to reading it. On page 26, I would like to quote the following statement.

The crisis in youth ministry is, simply put, that the ways we have been doing youth ministry have not been effective in leading our young people to mature Christian adulthood. Even with the massive increase in funding and training for youth ministry, even with the exponential increase in the number of resources available to those of us doing youth ministry, we are seeing no appreciable increase in the percentage of adults in our culture who are living out their faith for themselves.

Now, obviously there are some flaws with the above statement, however I would like to look at the intent of the quote that we have failed to present people as "mature Christian adults." I can't agree more. Perhaps the reason is because many, if not most, have failed to actually preach the gospel in their youth ministries (like me), thereby most of their teenagers have never heard their need to repent of their sins and to trust in Christ. Or perhaps even those with a great teaching and preaching of the gospel, fail to realize that having young people together just for the sake of "having young people together" makes no good sense at all.

Well, I have already commented more than I wanted to for this first post, because I am curious what others would say to this.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Article for Jefferson Baptist Association

It has been a while since I have posted an article on my blog. So, I figured I would kill two birds with one stone. Below is an article that I submitted to the Jefferson Baptist Association for their monthly newsletter. It is an article to review some of the information from this past weekend's Student Conference.

Thank you to all who helped put this together! To God be the Glory!

We had an amazing “kick off” to the 2008 year at Bates Creek Camp with our Spring Conference “Don’t Waste Your Life.” Approximately 200 students and leaders toughed out the extremely cold temperatures and messy, muddy, soaked ground, rain, drizzle, and all that other stuff to hear a powerful message on the need to repent of sin and turn to Jesus Christ, for to live your life with any other aim, is a failure and a loss.

Saturday featured different messages on discipleship, commitment to the local church body, and missions. We hope to share with you some of the testimonies of the students who stood up and in front of everyone made comments such as, “I’ve been living a lie, thinking that I have been saved, but now I know what it means to be dead to sin, and alive to Christ!” Let me encourage you to read through your Jefferson Baptist newsletter and except to see more information from this year’s spring retreat.

Our desire for our summer camps this year is that we might preach Christ. Oh that the Lord would move upon our young people in the association! Oh that a since of conviction of sin and a God-granted repentance and faith in Jesus Christ would sweep through the participants in these activities and we would see people saved, Pastors and Missionaries called, and all for one purpose. The GLORY OF GOD! Will you pray with me to this end? Will you pray with me that the Lord would glorify His Name through the faithful preaching of the Word of God? Don’t get me wrong…we have some really awesome activities and some fun stuff planned for the summer, but we want something more than just all the fun that you would expect from events at Bates Creek, we are asking for a sovereign move of God this summer.

To God be the glory…great things He hath done!


Friday, April 4, 2008

Baptists and Alcohol

Below is an e-mail sent out by a good brother here in Missouri. Recently there has been some very good discussion on this issue, and I appreciate this man posting this. For that reason, I am going to post it here for others to enjoy.

I recently wrote the ARBCA (Association of Reformed Baptist Churches in America) and asked what their position on alcohol is.

Here's their reply:

Dear Jim, ARBCA has no stand on the use of alcohol except to condemn the sin of drunkenness. We are a confessional association and we believe all three paragraphs of chapter 21 in the London Baptist Confession of 1689 to be a good summary of Bible doctrine on the matter. We see fermented wine, for example, as a food and nothing more, with no moral aspects whatsoever. It would be the immoderate use of this food that Holy Scripture condemns. We are careful to not make sin what the Scripture does not make sin, and end up perverting the very doctrine of sanctification in generating standards for holiness when the Scripture has not sanctioned such rules. I do hope this helps. This is a confusing issue for many. May the Lord bless you.

Bob Selph

All three paragraphs of chapter 21 of the LBC of 1689

21. Christian Liberty and Liberty of Conscience
The liberty which Christ has purchased for believers under the Gospel, lies in their freedom from the guilt of sin and the condemning wrath of God, from the rigours and curse of the law, and in their deliverance from this present evil world, from bondage to Satan, from dominion of sin, from the harm of afflictions, from the fear and sting of death, from the victory of the grave, and from everlasting damnation. - This liberty is also seen in their free access to God, and their ability to yield obedience to Him not out of slavish fear, but with childlike love and willing minds. All these freedoms were also experienced in substance by true believers under the Old Testament law, but for New Testament Christians this liberty is further enlarged, for they have freedom from the yoke of the ceremonial law to which the Jewish church was subjected. They also have greater boldness of access to the throne of grace and fuller communications of the free Spirit of God than believers under the law normally experienced.

God alone is Lord of the conscience, and has left it free from all doctrines and commandments of men which are in any respect contrary to His Word, or not contained in it. Thus to believe such doctrines or to obey such commands out of conscience, is to betray true liberty of conscience. The requiring of an implicit faith, an absolute and blind obedience, is to destroy liberty of conscience and reason also.

They who on pretence of Christian liberty practice any sin, or cherish any sinful lust, pervert the main purpose of the grace of the Gospel to their own destruction. They completely destroy the object of Christian liberty, which is that we, being delivered out of the hands of all our enemies, might serve the Lord without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days of our lives.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Something Fishy

The following post probably seems completely different than any that I have submitted in the past. However, I have been working with people with mental health issues, violent behaviors, etc. I would highly recommend anyone interested in knowing more about this consult http://www.nanc.org

However, I have been browsing around the Mayo Clinic's website to see what they say regarding scientific research on herbal supplements. I found something interesting that you might want to know.

We have been talking in our office about a doctor that is starting to take his patients with depression, bi-polar, etc., off of their psychotropic medications and placing them on high amounts of fish oil. I thought that you might be interested to know that there is significant research that fish oil has been proven to prevent and treat high blood pressure and most forms of heart disease. In addition, there has been new research that shows very, very, very favorable results in treatment of depression, anxiety, etc.

If you are interested, you can check out what the Mayo Clinic says. However, I believe that there has been more research proving it's effectiveness since this posting from Mayo Clinic.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Centenario (Report from February/March Team)

After returning from our trip to Centenario, there are many things that I would like to report. There was a team of 6 who participated. A total of 5 different congregations were represented. Though our focus was the village of Centenario, however we did enjoy spending time with our missionaries Steve and Robin Henry in La Poza, as well as fellowshipping with Iglesia “El Buen Pastor” in San Juan, Mexico.

During our most recent trip we were able to bring a much anticipated Giant Print Bible to Carmen. This is the lady who made a profession of faith during our November trip. We were able to sit down with her and ask her to explain again what she believed happened during that time. She recounted that since that point she has continued to renounce her trust in the things of the world, and specifically the “saint of death” necklace that she took off and gave to us to destroy. She spoke of her faith in Jesus Christ in front of the former director of the school. This really was a great time. She is looking forward to an adult Bible study this summer.

Rockport had also collected money, along with the community, to purchase a much-needed air conditioning unit for the school. John, a member of a congregation in Tennessee, went with me, along with the school teacher and a young man from the village to purchase this item. During the trip John and I shared with the school teacher why we are so committed to the education of the children in the village. We desire that they might be able to be educated so that they may have jobs and provide for their families. We also discussed the greater need and that is that children and adults need to be educated so that they might be able to read and to think through what the Lord has said in His Word! On Sunday, before we left, the teacher came to me and mentioned that the community officials would like to “fix up” a house for us so that we might have a place to shower, and place some of our belongings. This house used to belong to a retired school teacher, who has since moved.

On Sunday I also spoke to the Pastor of a church in San Juan, Mexico. I told him of our desire to be a blessing to the Pastors and church leaders in the area. He was very excited about this and requested more information.

It was a great blessing to have Charlie, John, Michael, Rick, and Irian involved in this trip. Each of them made special connections with the people there! Thank you to all who participated as well as thank you to the congregations and families that made this possible!

There will be more information to come, and I hope that there will soon be posts from the perspective of the other missionaries along on this trip.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

We are in Texas!!!

We are back in the United States! Thank you all for praying and for checking in on us while we were in Mexico. Our time was well spent and I hope that others on the trip can post testimonies here soon about things that they learned and from their perspective what all happened.

We were able to spend the usual time having coffee with Juana and visiting with the town folks. We were able to deliver the giant print Bible to Carmen, and visit with others that we have not seen in a while. This afternoon, after church, we had a great discussion with two of the young men from the village of Centenario. We discussed some of the depravity of man, and our desire that they would consider if God exists, and if He does, what does that mean. Please continue to pray for Rudy and Ivar. I told them that we would be!

The Lord has really blessed us with John and Charlie. The Lord brought together a great time of laughter, serious discussion, and great fellowship with one another. Hopefully they will be participating with us in future endeavors to Mexico!

There are so many things that I would like to say, but for now I will just ask that you continue to pray for the ongoing work in Mexico, and for our safe return to our families tomorrow. Soon I will be posting more information about our Summer conference for Pastor's and Leaders. We desire to have this in Mexico on June 19-20, 2008.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Things are going well

Aaron tells me that things are going well! Above, you can see a few pics from two different villages. They were able to visit La Posa yesterday which is where we were stationed our first year. It was a great time, and many of the people remembered Aaron, Rick, & Michael from four years ago. Robby, if you are reading this...Jesus was asking about you!

Last night, they were back in Centenario, where they were able to visit Carmen. This is the woman that professed faith in Christ back in November. They delivered a new large print Bible for her. Her eyesight is horrible, so hopefully this extra large print will be easier for her to read. I was able to talk to her on the phone....well, attempt to anyway....and she sounded so happy!

Today, they drove into the city to purchase the air conditioner. The town had raised part of the money, and the rest was provided by our team. They were able to purchase one unit that would supply air to two rooms. Not sure how that works, but I'm sure Aaron will expound when he comes home.

Tonight, there was a circus in town. However, rather than going, the young men in the town asked if they could just "hang" & talk. What a great opportunity! Praise the Lord!

As you pray, please remember a few specific names. Rudy, Ivar, & Daniel. There are many more, but those are the names for today. Salvation...that's what we're praying for!

Tomorrow evening, the guys will be packing up camp and heading back across the border into Texas. Pray for open hearts, that even in their last moments there, the Lord would make himself known! Also, for safe travel. And for ease at the border. Normally there are no problems, but it is always a possibility.

The Lord is so good!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Made it into Mexico

Well, Aaron asked me to keep things updated here on the old blog, so...I'll let you know what I know when I know it. For those of you that are the friends & family of John & Charlie, if you want more details, or if you have questions, please leave a comment in response to the messages, including your email address, and I will contact you asap.

The team members met up in Texas today at about noon. They headed for the Enterprise rental to pick up the van, then made their stop at the storage unit to pick up the tents, and finally dashed into Wal-Mart for a few last minute necessities. Everything went well except for the fact that my wonderful hubby left his driver's license at the rental place! EEK! Enterprise was so helpful...they brought the license to him! Soo....all is well. Thank you Lord!

Then it was time to head for the border....finally. They made it across the border at about 5pm. I have not yet heard any details about how they were accepted, but I am certain that the report will be very favorable.

Aaron normally calls me around bedtime when things settle down. However, tonight there seems to be a problem with the phone service. He sent a text message saying that he couldn't get a call to go through. He also said that camp is set up and that they are getting ready to hit the sac.

So, that's all for now. Please continue praying for the people of this village. Carmen is the woman that professed faith in Christ in November....as she ripped the saint of death from around her neck and denounced her previous beliefs. Also, for the school teachers (sorry, I don't know their names,) that they might be saved. They run the school and what a wonderful thing it would be for them to begin teaching the Bible...the Gospel...in the school! Also, for the pastors from neighboring areas that will be joining together to pray & fellowship. This will be a true time of encouragement to them as well.

And last for tonight, please remember the young men/boys that have spent much time listening and discussing and just being open to hearing the Gospel. For much of my life, I was of the belief that a mission trip was going somewhere and trying to get as many people as possible to say a prayer. I now realize that I was totally wrong. DUH! Showing someone Christ can (& does) take time.....and patience.....and persistence! Please pray that the Lord might be Magnified in Centenario this weekend. And that our team's patience & persistence will be seen by the people as nothing less than a sincere desire to show them our LORD!

Love to you all~ Rachel Sutton

Friday, February 15, 2008

Thoughts on Bates Creek Camp

Some of you all know that I am working with a team of people to administrate this year's camps for the Jefferson Baptist Association. Below you will find an article that is going out in this month's newsletter for the association. I ask you to pray for me, as well as others who are working on this.

To God Alone be the Glory!

I am writing this letter to you so that you might be challenged, along with those who are going to be attending this year’s Spring Student Conference. The theme this year is “Don’t Waste Your Life.” This is a message that I most desperately need to hear, and this is the message that needs to be the cry to our young people in our congregations, as well as the lost young person who lives next to you. Don’t Waste Your Life! Life is short, and it will soon be over! Are you ready to give an account for what you have done with your life that God has given you?

This year’s spring conference along with our summer camp will closely be related in theme. Both of those theme’s are related in the sense of it is our desire to urgently present before our young people the plea to follow Christ. Not just for the lost, but for those who are born again! Forsake this life, and you will save it for eternal life! Don’t Waste Your Life in this world! Below you will find a quote (pages 12-13) from a book by Pastor/Teacher John Piper, of Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The title of the book is “Don’t Waste Your Life.”

Another riveting force in my young life—small at first, but oh so

powerful over time—was a plaque that hung in our kitchen over

the sink. We moved into that house when I was six. So I suppose

I looked at the words on that plaque almost every day for twelve

years, till I went away to college at age eighteen. It was a simple

piece of glass painted black on the back with a gray link chain

snug around it for a border and for hanging. On the front, in old

English script, painted in white, were the words:

Only one life,

’Twill soon be past;

Only what’s done

for Christ will last.

To the left, beside these words, was a painted green hill with two

trees and a brown path that disappeared over the hill. How many

times, as a little boy, and then as a teenager with pimples and

longings and anxieties, I looked at that brown path (my life) and

wondered what would be over that hill. The message was clear.

You get one pass at life. That’s all. Only one. And the lasting measure

of that life is Jesus Christ. I am fifty-seven as I write, and that

very plaque hangs today on the wall by our front door. I see it

every time I leave home.

Let me encourage you to participate in this year’s Spring Conference and Summer Camp. That’s right; every single member of every single congregation in this association can participate. How? First, pray for the leaders and those who will be attending. Pray for your next door neighbor who doesn’t know Christ and consider discussing this very theme with them and invite them to the camp. Perhaps the Lord is leading you to help sponsor someone financially? Secondly, advocate that the young people of your church attend these events and that they come hungry, ready to receive the Word of the Christ that by believing in Him, will have life in His Name!

To God alone be the Glory!


Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Good News about Being a Sinner

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.
1 Timothy 1:15 ESV

In a discussion with a college student and another man last night, I was reminded again of this passage in Timothy. Now, this passage certainlly deserves much time and attention, as does the whole of the Scriptures. However this passage struck me again as we were praying and struggling together over a common theme among many whom would consider themselves "Christian"especially evangelical.

Friends, one of the sweetest and greatest doctrines that you will find in the Scripture, is the doctrine of the depravity of man. Without going in to a systematic theology lesson here, I sense it would be better to just simply summarize some of our discussion last night and it's relevance for me and for you as well.

We live in a day and age where common man does not realize, nor accept that he is a sinner. Our "fast-food evangelism" goes something like this. We give people a list of questions, and their ability to say "yes" determines whether or not they are "saved." You know what I'm talking about, we ask people questions like:
  • Do you know that you are a sinner?
  • Do you know that Jesus died for sinners?
  • Do you want to go to heaven or hell?
  • If you want to go to heaven, then pray this prayer.

The result is a staggering. You have many people report that they have made their decision because they do not want to go to hell, so they have decided to "invite Jesus into their heart" so that they can go to heaven. The whole time they are decieved. Folks, we have got to understand what it means to really know that we are "sinners." We are fully deserving of God's wrath. There is none who is righteous, the thoughts and intentions of man's heart are only evil all the time. God is Holy, and we deserve to be punished for our treason against the creator of the universe. You can rest assured that every single person apart from Christ will be sent to hell because God will punish them and bring about the due peanalty for their sin.

However, inbedded in this we find a great relief. Friends, if you recognize and understand that you are this sinner that Paul is talking about, you are blessed! When God releals to you that you deserve his wrath, anger, and punishment and this will certainlly be your fate if something is not changed. Then you find the scriptures that remind you, Christ died for the ungodly, while we were dead in our tresspasses and sins, without God, without hope in this World. It is by grace that we have been saved! Praise the Lord!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Post from Michael Schembre

Below is an e-mail from Michael Schembre, a young man who used to be a member of Rockport Baptist Church. Please pray for him as he shares his heart and prepares to make a return trip to Mexico. This is the first of what I hope will be many posts from people who have been to Mexico and who are preparing. Also, please be in prayer that the Lord would supply the finances for Michael for this February.

Dear Brothers and Sister in Christ,
After prayer and consideration, I feel that God has led me to write this letter first, in response to what Christ has recently done in and through me, and also because I feel that I simply can not contain the joy that is in my soul and the fire that God The Almighty has lit within me. I first want to say to anyone who will be receiving this email who has prayed for my soul recently or in the past, thank you so very much, for I know that much of what Christ has recently done in my life has been in response to prayer, and I am eternally grateful to all of have cared enough about me to lift my name up in prayer with concern for my soul.
After praying about what I should include in this letter, I feel led to share a little background to sort of set the stage. I first moved away from home this past summer (summer of 07). When I first moved away, if I'm honest I was mainly just excited to get away from my Christian parents so I would be finally be free to do some partying without the stress of trying to hide it from my loving parents. So that is exactly what I did for the first part of the summer. I partied and put my head down and ran away from Christ as fast as I could. I was living with my brother (whom God in his providence had saved the winter before) and some other roomates. My relationship with him was very wierd, because he didn't want to judge me, but yet God had changed his life so we had little in common. Since my brother had been saved he had started going to Karis Community Church in Columbia, Missouri (and since had joined the worship band playing the piano) The last thing that I wanted to do was go to church. I had spent my whole life in church, Sunday after Sunday, and this was my one time to get a break from it. But because of the guilt that I felt (mainly due to my brother urging me to go), towards the middle of the summer I started going with him. Every single Sunday I went, there would be a moment during the worship service when I would feel God pricking at my heart, and every single Sunday, by the end of the worship service, I would be an absolute snotty, teary mess, completely broken down and at the end of myself. If I'm honest with myself, every Saturday night I would lie in bed dreading the next day, knowing that God was going to break me down once again. I began to experience a very scary and heavy presence every single time I stepped into that church, and I knew exactly what was going to happen the next day in church. One night during the summer, after time and time again of God bringing me to the end of myself, and me continuing to run, and then repeating the same process again and again, something amazing happened. I was sitting in my room and thinking, and God spoke mightily to my soul. I knew at that moment if I did not "get off the fence" and commit to Christ, He was going to cut me off forever. I felt it was my last chance, and I knew that I must stop living a lie, and look to Christ.
God began to work in my life, and used the leaders of Karis to guide me through the very hard time that I was going through. I began playing the violin with my brother in the worship band, and soon began to become more and more deeply involved with the people of Karis. Things were really starting to turn around, and God was starting to work in me. But of course, as all Christians know, there was and is still much trial to come. When college started, a whole new wealth of temptation presented itself to me, and me being the week feeble man that I am, began to let satan convince me that my freshmen year at college would only come once, and I needed to take advantage of it. I began to fall right back into the same trap that I had fell into time and time again, and my walk with God began to suffer. The leaders at Karis new that something was up, and they, as well as many people from back home, I know were in prayer for my soul. Just as is going to happen many many times in my walk with Christ, God once again had to bring me to the end of myself. My first semester was pretty shaky at college, as I was struggling with resisting the wealth of temptation that college presented and staying involved and faithful with the church that I had joined. When I came home for Christmas break, I was still greatly struggling with following God, and trying to escape a past of seeking man's approval. Many people from home and at Rockport Baptist Church (the curuch I was at before college where my dad is the worship pastor) had very encouraging words for me, and God used many people to help me and give me wisdom through a controversial time in my life and I am very grateful for my Christian friends back home.
When I went back to college, Christ really began to due serious work in my life. I knew that it was time to grow up, and God began to give me incomprehensible strength in resisting sin at college that I had previously struggled greatly with and that was standing in the way of spiritual growth. I began to fall more and more in love with my Christian friends at Karis church, and God was using them to disciple me, and teach me. I began to develop a heart that loved to cry out to God in prayer, and study his word. I began to focus on my school work, church, and my Christian relationships rather than on being a typical immature dumb college freshmen. I started growing more and more in my walk with Christ, so much so that I almost wasn't prepared for how much work God was going to do in such a short period of time. One thing that has caused so much growth, is God providing so much accountability for me through Karis (but more on that later). A couple weeks into this semester, I began to experience things that I have never before experienced through God's unfailing grace. I recall several days in which I would come to my dorm room after a 10:00 class, and throw my bookbag down, thinking I was maybe going to catch some sleep before my next class, and the next thing I knew I was on my face on the floor in tears crying out to God in prayer for long periods of time. I had never experienced the power of God in such a way, and I was loving every second of it. I began to depend on prayer to get me through the day, and I began to get serious about studying the word and following Christ with my whole heart. The more I let go of my pride, and committed my life up into Christs hands, the more I began to experience amazing grace. These past couple of weeks have been absolutely a turning point in my life. God has began to put many people in my path to witness to, and God continues to throw me on my face in humbleness and prayer and give me a heart that is no longer ashamed of my God or His gospel...THANK GOD THANK GOD THANK GOD. Thats all I can say right now. As I look at my life right now, and then contemplate where it could be, I am absolutely humbled and amazed. I look at my "friends" at college, seeking for joy through alcohol, sex, and themselves, and know that apart from God's unbelievable grace I would be right there with them. I am so humbled at the church God has put me in and where I am at in my relationship with my church. Just to walk you through a typical week up here at college (in regards to my church): Sunday I obviously have church where I play in the worship band and meet new awesome people seemingly every week, Wednesday we have community groups at different Church member's humble homes, where we go through a lesson, then go around confessing and praying with one another, Thursday I have worship band practice where we also confess and pray and hold each other accountable as a worship team, and then usually on Friday or Saturday I meet with my accountability partner where we go through a very serious and hard (but awesome) accountability session confessing and crying to God in repentance for our sins throughout the week, as well as discussing different ways to assist each other in areas of struggle. God obviously knew how week I am for He has been so faithful in providing accountability for me as a young Christian who needs it sooo much. How gracious is God in providing so much loving accountability for my life that has been so very beneficial to my walk with Christ, especially at a hard time like freshmen year in college? I am again humbled and amazed.
So now to the main point of this letter..(long intro huh!) As I stated, these past couple of weeks have been absolutely incredible in my life. God is revealing so many new things to me daily, and growing me in ways I could never have imagined. Just an example, today I was driving home from a Q and A session with Dr. Shriener (part of our theology weekend at Karis) and I began to pray and was trying to really comprehend the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. In the blink of an eye, like scales were removed from my eyes, a revelation occurred in my soul and I began to realize like never before how in the world the sacrifice of Christ makes me counted righteous in Christ's eyes. I know it sounds basic, but I can not explain how clear it became. It sounds radical, but I can only be honest about what God is doing in my life. These types of these have been happening a lot lately, along with God putting many people in my path that I have been able to witness to and be a light to (including my roommate who last night I presented in great depth the gospel and walked him through some scripture...It was a very humbling and awesome time) and also just really giving me a needy heart for prayer. A couple of weeks ago when all of this kind of started happening, I really felt that God was preparing me for something for He was using me mightily as well as growing me more rapidly then I could really comprehend. One night I called my brother in Christ Aaron (and also my old youth pastor) and told him what God was doing and expressed that I felt that God was preparing me for something. Interestingly enough, he presented me with an oppurtunity to go on a mission trip with him to Mexico. I prayed a lot about it and God made it obvious to me that this is what He was preparing me for. God's sovereignty is truly amazing. I am not writing this letter asking for money (though if God leads you to take part in His work by giving, I will accept with humbleness and gratefulness)but rather asking for prayer that God would work mightily in Mexico in the hearts of the people there, and also to ask for prayer for God to continue to do mighty work in my life coming up to, through, and after this trip. I know that prayer has gotten me where I am, and prayer will sustain me. I have just felt so much joy in God for what He has done, I simply could not go another day without sharing God's grace in my life with other people. Thank you so much for reading this letter, and I ask sincerely for your prayers. College is still a wealth of temptation, and the devil tries to tempt me daily, but with the awesome accountability that God has provided for me, prayer, grace, and prayer from other brothers and sister in Christ (such as yourselves.. hint hint) I know that God will continue to sustain. Please keep me in your prayers, for God is doing a great work in me and I know He is going to use me mightily for His glory. I am passionate when I say I want to be a humble servant of the Most High, and I have a desire that is completely God given to be used in a way that makes me look like the nothing that I truly am, and makes God look like the everything that He truly is. What an amazing, all sufficient God.
In sincere love,
Michael Schembre
P.S. Please also keep my roomate in prayer as I know that God is using me in his life. His name is Greg. Thank you so much again.

Mission to Centenario - February/March 2008

I received some information over the past few days, and would like to pass that information along. First, let me thank you for praying for the team of us that have been working in this area. It is very obvious that you have been praying as the Lord has been moving through your prayers over the past 48 hours especially. Here are some things to mention.

First, I received a message from a teacher near Centenario, in the town of Emilio Zapata. This teacher had previously offered his classroom for us to teach his students whatever we like. He mentioned to me that he is looking forward to our return at the end of this month. (You must know that I haven't heard from this teacher since our trip in June of last year.

Secondly, I received a phone call today from a brother who works in the area and he told me that he mentioned to a few of the local Pastors about the idea of having a "mini conference" for them during our summer trip. The Pastors not only mentioned that they would like to participate, but they would like to contact their Pastor friends and ask them to take part as well. Praise the Lord! I am going to go in to more of this mission idea in future posts. For now, please be in prayer that we might be able to be a blessing to Pastors and congregations in Mexico. Pray that there might be those that will be committed to the true Gospel to partner with us in teaching, preaching, and supporting.

Finally, I am going to ask some of those who have participated in trips before or who will be going with us in the future to write a post on here to share with others the work of the Lord in this region of Mexico! To God Be the Glory.

Rachel will putting together information for you as we will be posting live updates from Mexico during our trip at the end of this month!

In all things...Christ Preeminent!


Friday, February 1, 2008

Grace Bible Conference/Camp Meeting

Paul Washer; Mike Morrow, Charles Leiter, Mike Williams

Seeking God
"You will seek me and find me. when you seek me with all your heart,"
Jeremiah 29:13

Conference begins Thursday, April 10th at 7 PM

Continues through Sunday Morning, April 13th.

Lunch and Dinner Provided for Registrants Friday and Saturday

Space is limited so please register

or call
(636) 464-1460

Grace Bible Conference/Camp Meeting is a ministry of Rockport Baptist Church, Arnold, Missouri

Monday, January 28, 2008


This weeking was a little challenging when it came to the Sunday morning Spanish service. You see, I received a phone call Saturday night that there were some problems with the thermostat in the building where Pastor Daniel Hernandez meets. He was calling me to tell me that he most likely would not be able to make it to the service. Now, Pastor Daniel has been assisting us for a year now, translating, teaching and preaching and now he wasn’t going to be able to make it. So, I tried to find someone to help, but was unsuccessful. Here was my text:

Por esta razón, también nosotros, desde el día que lo supimos, no hemos cesado de orar por vosotros y de rogar que seáis llenos del conocimiento de su voluntad en toda sabiduría y comprensión espiritual, para que andéis como es digno del Señor, agradándole en todo, dando fruto en toda buena obra y creciendo en el conocimiento de Dios; Colosenses 1:9-10 La Biblia de Las Americas

Now, unless you speak Spanish, the text above probably doesn’t mean much to you because you can’t understand it. When I looked at it, I was overwhelmed at the thought of preaching this text in Spanish!!! I was reminded of something; I don’t know the language like I should, or like I want to. This started my thought process.

This was a painful reminder that I must confess that not only do I not know Spanish as well as I should, even more important, I do not have the knowledge of the Scripture that I should. Oh how I long and desire to know the Word of God, but sadly I feel sometime like I am reading a foreign language, but my prayer concerning this matter is this:

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word.With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word. Psalm 119 9-18 ESV.

I have underlined some points here for emphasis. Oh, that I would delight myself in the Word of Christ. For there is no other rule that God hath given man by which we may know how to glorify and enjoy Him! Christian, delight yourself in the law of God! Meditate on His precepts, and store up His Word in Your heart.

You say, what can I do when I don’t understand it? Seek the Lord!! What about when it seems like I am reading a foreign language. Pray earnestly, and don’t let go! Ask the Lord to open His word to you and incline your heart to the Scripture!

Back to the Hispanic Mission at Rockport, we made it through. The Lord blessed, and He is good. We continue to see new faces on a regular basis. Pray for us as there are some specific prayer requests that I would like to share with you:

  • Pray that the Lord would bring people to salvation through the preaching of His word!

  • Pray that there might be permanent residents and citizens that are truly converted, whom also the Lord has set apart for teaching and preaching, so that they might take leadership roles in this ministry in the southern section of St. Louis, Missouri.

  • We will need funding to supply a permanent Pastor to this role and this is an urgent need.

  • Pray for wisdom as we consider contacting a church in Mexico or another Spanish-speaking area for a young man that has been set apart for ministry and desires to serve this summer.

  • Pray for Rick as he continues to lead the music, and prepares to put together a band to assist in leading music.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Mother Delays Cancer Treatments So Baby Can Live

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you"
Jeremiah 1:5a ESV

It's not very often that you will find a story from the liberal media worth repeating. However, I want to share this with you because I think that it is very timely in light of the Rowe vs. Wade Anniversary. Before you see the article below, I will share with you that the original article can be found at http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,325458,00.html

Also, I would like to share with you a paraphrase of something that Randy Alcorn mention during the Fall 2007 Desiring God Conference in Minneapolis. He simply asked how we would feel if a random sample of say 30 people from your congregation were singled out to be executed against their own will the following day. What great lengths would you go through to intervene? What would you do if you knew that your tax money was going to support that? Would your response and the response of your congregation be any different? Why or why not?

If you are looking for good resources on the topic of abortion, consider visiting http://www.abort73.com.

Mother Delays Cancer Treatments So Baby Can Live

Expectant mother Lorraine Allard learned the devastating news that she was in the advanced stages of liver cancer when she was four months pregnant, according to the Daily Mail.
Allard, of St. Olaves in the U.K., had a choice: Delay treatment to save her baby, or terminate the pregnancy to save herself.

She chose the former, waiting until the fetus was viable before scheduling a Caesarean section.
"If I am going to die, my baby is going to live," Allard told her husband, Martyn, according to the Mail.

The baby came a week early and Allard, 33, gave birth on Nov. 18 to a healthy but premature boy she named Liam.

Exactly two months later, Allard died. She'd begun chemotherapy just after her son's birth. But in the end, it was too late.

Doctors believe Allard had bowel cancer that had gone undetected for years, eventually spreading to her liver. She realized something was wrong after she began suffering from stomach cramps, and tests revealed that her liver was covered with malignant tumors, the Mail reported.
"The doctors said they couldn't do anything because she was pregnant," Martyn Allard, 34, told the Mail. "She told them straight away they were not going to get rid of it. She'd have lost the will to fight."

The courageous and selfless mother was able to get out of bed and hold her tiny son several times beside his incubator before her death. Liam is the Allards' fourth child and first boy; his sisters are Leah, 10; Amy, 8; and Courtney, 20 months.

"Lorraine was positive all the way through," Martyn Allard told the paper. "She had strength for both of us. I can't begin to describe how brave she was. Towards the end we knew things weren't going well, but she was overjoyed that she had given life to Liam."

What is Worship?

This seems to be a hot topic again and for good reasons. As I was surfing around the web, I was reading Bob Kauflin's Blog, and found a great post about this very subject. You know, when you just can't write anything better, I will always point someone to others who know what they are talking about! Enjoy...and feel free to following the link to his site, because you will find great resources on such an important matter!

Dutch humanist Desiderius Erasmus (1466-1536) once said “Every definition is dangerous.” That may explain why when we try to define a word simply and precisely we often end up missing significant aspects of the word we’re defining. Attempts at explaining worship as “love,” or “intimacy,” or “relationship” say something true, but end up leaving out more than they contribute to our understanding of worship.

In spite of Erasmus’ warning, over the years I’ve come across numerous definitions of “worship” that have caused me think about worship more biblically.
Harold Best, in his book Music Through the Eyes of Faith defines worship in the broadest sense as “acknowledging that someone or something else is greater – worth more – and by consequence, to be obeyed, feared, and adored…Worship is the sign that in giving myself completely to someone or something, I want to be mastered by it. (pg. 143)

We want to be mastered the objects of our worship. And indeed we are. We worship whatever rules our time, energy, thoughts, longings, and choices. “Those who make them [idols] become like them; so do all who trust in them.” ( Psa. 115:8, ESVPsalm 115:8
[8]Those who make them become like them;
so do all who trust in them.This text is from the ESV Bible. Visit www.esv.org to learn about the ESV.)

A definition of worship that I appreciate for its simplicity and clarity is by Warren Wiersbe, who writes: Worship is the believer’s response of all that they are – mind, emotions, will, body – to what God is and says and does. (Warren Wiersbe, Real Worship, p. 26)

I’ve used that definition, or something similar, when I want to accent that worship can’t be half-hearted, and is all about God’s character, words, and acts.

David Peterson, in his wonderful book Engaging with God unpacks what at first blush is a more sterile, but nevertheless insightful, definition:
“Worship of the living and true God is essentially an engagement with him on the terms that he proposes and in the way that he alone makes possible. (Engaging with God, pg. 20)

Peterson’s definition highlights God’s initiative, authority, and enabling power in our worship.
Dr. Dan Block, who until recently was a Professor of Old Testament at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, defines true worship as “reverential human acts of submission and homage before the divine Sovereign, in response to his gracious revelation of himself, and in accordance with his will.” (from Dr. Block’s For the Glory of God. course notes)

This is the first definition that specifically mentions what many of the biblical words for worship imply - submission and homage.

Well, this post is already longer than I anticipated. But, here’s one more from William Temple’s (1881-1944) Readings in St. John’s Gospel.

“Worship is the submission of all our nature to God. It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness; the nourishment of mind with His truth; the purifying of imagination by His Beauty; the opening of the heart to His love; the surrender of will to His purpose – and all of this gathered up in adoration, the most selfless emotion of which our nature is capable and therefore the chief remedy for that self-centeredness which is our original sin and the source of all actual sin”.