Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sweet Music

Ahh...sweet melodies!

"1-Praise the LORD!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty firmament!
2-Praise Him for His mighty acts;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!
3-Praise Him with the sound of the trumpet;
Praise Him with the lute and harp!
4-Praise Him with the timbrel and dance;
Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!
5-Praise Him with loud cymbals;
Praise Him with clashing cymbals!
6-Let everything that has breath praise the LORD.
Praise the LORD!"

Our little drummer boy applying verse 5 in our friend Vance's studio.
(Heads up! Turn the volume down, it's pretty loud and piercing)

Sunday, April 18, 2010


From my personal observations of people I've noticed, you either learn "patience" or you don't. As followers of Christ we see in God's word a challenge to embrace the development of "patience" in our lives.
"Patience" is a key ingredient to becoming complete and mature. As in any recipe, one missing ingredient can ruin the taste completely.Even so, any person lacking patience can quickly become bitter.

If patience is so important then how do we get it?
God's Word tells us in James 1:2-3 "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces PATIENCE."

So then, patience is a result of having our faith tested. And our faith is tested through various trials. We know by experience that's no piece of cake. No one enjoys trials! And we definitely don't enjoy "various" trials. It's natural to avoid trials and hardship, but it's supernatural to embrace trials and hardship with joy knowing that God has a plan and a purpose. 
God's Word gives us insight into His sweet purposes in allowing bitter trials and hardship into our lives. Through them God is producing patience. However, patience is not the end or the goal in mind.Then why do I need patience?
"Patience" is an essential ingredient for a believer to mature in Christ. As a matter of fact, patience, contrary to popular feeling, accomplishes a powerful work, even a "perfect work" in our lives as we follow Jesus.
God's word continues to tell us in James 1:4 "But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect(or mature) and complete, lacking nothing." You see, patience is simply a vehicle God uses to mature and complete His people. Without it we won't display the kind of character God desires in His children. God is very patient with us. Like any father, He desires His children to grow up, mature and become more like Him. Ephesians 5:1 "Therefore be imitators of God as dear children."

And so we see:
1- God will use various trial to test our faith
2- Through the testing of our faith patience is produced
3- Patience then works to make us perfect, mature and lacking nothing.

Think about it this way. Have you ever made a meal or a dessert and then tasted it only to think, "This needs a little more salt, or pepper, or sugar, or this or that..."? Or maybe you tasted it and thought, "Oh no, I forgot to add the... (whatever...fill in the blank.) You tasted it in hopes of it needing nothing, but found it lacking or incomplete. You were disappointed with the result. One ingredient can make all the difference in the world.
How about your life? Do you lack the ingredient of "patience"?
Perhaps we all do to some degree. Why do we lack patience?
Could it be that we are terrified of God's method or means of producing patience? He uses "various trials and tested faith." 
Every egg ever added to a cake first had to be broken and poured out.
But the final product was sweet, and the breaking of the egg wasn't wasted but had an ultimate purpose.
We should allow God, the Master Chef over our lives, to break us and pour us out into something greater than ourselves.Perhaps you're discouraged and have forgotten God's wonderful plan for your life. His plan for your life is greater than your life alone. He is using your various trial to strengthen your faith, develop patience and make you complete and sweet to His taste. We can't allow the bitterness of the trials at hand to blind us from God's promise and ultimate goal of making us complete and conforming us into the image of His Son, Jesus Christ.

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son..." Romans 8:28-29a
"Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6

As we hold fast to the promises of God we can maintain joy in the midst of various trials knowing that God is at work and never wastes a hurt. Then we too will relate with the prophets of old who said,
"Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I keep Your Word...It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn Your statutes...I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right, and that in faithfulness You have afflicted me." 
-Psalm 119:67,71,75

"Indeed it was for my own peace that I had great bitterness; but You have lovingly delivered my soul from the pit of corruption, for You have cast all my sins behind Your back." -Isaiah 38:17

God alone gives purpose, meaning and beauty to trials and pain.
Think about the cross and the suffering of Jesus Christ for us.
What divine purpose, what profound meaning, what mysterious beauty.

"...looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls." -Hebrews 12:3

If Jesus is the Author of our faith, and our faith is tested by various trials, then that would make Him the Author over our trials as well.
Are you trusting Jesus today with your trials and your faith?
Jesus is our hope and joy in the midst of pain and trial.
Jesus is the Author of our lives and our power for patience.

And its patience that enables us to finish one chapter before we begin another...


"Behold, children are an inheritance from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate." -Psalm 127:3-5

Here is our inheritance from LORD...greater than any amount of money the world could ever offer. Here is our single arrow from God that we will shoot into the future in hopes of destroying the work of the enemy and establishing the kingdom of God. One little boy, sharpened by God's Word, aimed at the next generation and launched by the prayers of his parents into the will of God.

"At that time the disciples came to Jesus saying, "Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven." -Matthew 18:1-3

So, I must become like a little child to enter the kingdom of heaven?
I must become dependent on God and needy, not independent...I must see myself as a child of God, created, owned and loved by Him. I must submit to God's authority rather than claiming my own. I must trust His wisdom, provision and protection over my life......otherwise, I will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.

baby james on keyboard

baby james on drums
our little guitar hero


Husband and wife

"Husbands, likewise dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker (more fragile) vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered." -1 Peter 3:7

According to this verse, what is God's standard for me as a husband?
1- That I would love dwelling with my wife and not just live with her
2- That I would seek to listen to and fully understand my wife
3- That I would honor and cherish my wife as valuable, and delicate
4- That I would know that she, as a daughter of God, has complete access to all of God's grace without my help
5- That I would understand that God refuses to hear or answer my prayers if I don't live this out practically

...thank you Lord for blessing me with a patient wife!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Welcome to our Family

Hi Everyone!
To those of you that know us we've set up this blog for you to journey along with us as we follow what we believe to be God's leading to North Carolina.
And for those of you who don't know us we invite you to enter into our plain and simple lives and hopefully see that Jesus Christ means everything to us. Our relationship with God is not a "religion" as some might insist. It's not going to church or pledging an allegiance to some denomination or creed. Our relationship with God has been a personal experience of God's power, love and forgiveness through faith in His Son Jesus Christ. We are absolutely committed to Jesus Christ and through Him we have found that God gives salvation, purpose and meaning to nerdy little nobodies.
And so, out of gratitude we are compelled to walk by faith in Him and not by sight.
-Greg, Angela and baby James