Not As I Will…

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” (1 John 5:14–15)

I don’t know about you, but I have a big list of “wants” this year as our country readies itself to elect a new leader.  I want a leader who has Biblical values.  I want a leader who has strong moral conviction and will not compromise it.  I want a leader who is easy on my wallet and hard on terrorists.  I want a bigger stronger military and a smaller government.  I want to keep my guns, keep my healthcare, and frankly…I just want to keep my sanity.  My list could go on and on, but you get my point.  I have given my list to prayer and I pray A LOT for it.  I have been praying for a president who will give me the greatest chance of my seeing my list fulfilled. I want the president that I “will” to be elected to the office of this great nation.

However…do you realize that God has already made His choice for president.  The God of the Bible is a sovereign God, an omniscient One, who ordains powers and all who are in authority.  He has a divine will and in all of our praying, it is important that we keep in mind that God will not change His eternal purposes at the word of men.  A.W. Tozer in the book “The Price of Neglect” said this, “We do not pray in order to persuade God to change His mind.  Prayer is not an assault upon the reluctance of God, nor an effort to secure a suspension of His will for us or for those for whom we pray.  Prayer is not intended to overcome God and ‘move His arm’.  God will never be other than Himself, no matter how many people pray, nor how long, nor how earnestly.”  In other words…our prayers, for the president of our choice, will not change the mind of our God.  He has already ordained it. No one persuades Him.

“So why even pray?” you ask.  Well, we need to start praying according to God’s will and not our own.  Have confidence in the sovereign God of the Bible and the fact that we will have any thing we ask of Him if we pray accordingly.  I’m very thankful that God is not sitting in Heaven being on the verge of changing His mind because of my fervent persuading prayer for Ted Cruz one day.  Then, waffling the next day because of the fervent persuading prayer of another preacher friend for Marco Rubio.  To only hear the prayer of another christian on the next day to exalt Donald Trump to the Oval Office.  I didn’t mention Hillary at this point, because no God-fearing, Bible-believing, christian would petition God to elect her 😉 God is not an indecisive basket case.  Not my God anyway.

You see…prayer changes me, not God. I need to bring my will in line with God’s will.  I do that by communing with Him, by worshipping Him.  I need faith, I need godly contentment.  I need affections that are set on things above.  I need to have the mind of Christ.  I need the peace that only God can give…not a president…not any man.

Pray.  Pray lots.  Pray hard.  Fast.  BUT pray for what God wants…not what you want.  And see your prayers always answered.

Missions Conference 2010

I am looking forward to our annual missions conference that begins this Wednesday at Berean Baptist Church.  We are having my pastor, Mark Wagenschutz from Twin Ports Baptist Church in Superior, Wisconsin as our main speaker.  He will be preaching each evening of the meeting and I am excited to have my pastor here.  Also joining us this year will be two church planting missionaries to Washington State, Dennis Fountain Jr. to Moses Lake, WA and Andy Arrants to Burien, WA.  We will also be having Lance Hohenstreet, with Rock of Ages Prison Ministry during the conference.

I pray that we can be a blessing to our guests and that we can increase our faith promise commitments for this upcoming year.  Not only should we prayerfully support missionaries in to aid in fulfilling the great commission, but we need to understand that God will bless our ministries in a tremendous way as a result of our giving.  May the Lord help us to increase our faith…

Body Fitly Joined

The Bible states in Ephesians 4:16, “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase o the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

As our church was recently going through a Prayer Revival Meeting with Dr. Benny Beckum, something dawned on me.  Each night (as most pastors do) I looked around the auditorium and took inventory of who was not in attendance.  I pray that everyone in our church would come to the services when the church doors are opened and I would be lying to you if I said I wasn’t disappointed when I know people aren’t there.  Even though as  preacher we are to preach to those that are present and give our best, but my mind went to this Scripture in Ephesians 4.

Since the church is a body of believers that is fitly joined together I realized that I have never, ever been a member of the church where the body was completely intact on a Sunday…somebody has always been absent.  If we are to follow that analogy out, that would mean that if part of the body is missing and we have never  been whole, we have been “handicapped” all along the way?  What do you think would happened if the whole body showed up…once?

There’s No Place Like Home

Landed in Seattle at 7:15 pm last night and after a little bit of a wait in customs we were on our way home.  It is good to see my family again and we had a fun time looking at all of the pictures and talking about all that happened in the Philippines.  It wasn’t long and the kids were off to bed, I unpacked and cleaned up and then I slept until 1:30pm on Saturday…I was exhausted!  Gotta hit the ground running today though…some people with some serious health problems to attend to and preparations for our services tomorrow.  I really enjoyed my time in the Philippines…but there is no place like home.

Musing in Taipai

On my way home to the Northwest from Manila with an eight hour layover in Taipai.  Praising the Lord that they have a transit hotel inside of the terminal so we got to rest, clean up, and get some dinner.  With all of this time to sit and think, I can’t help but consider how blessed I am.  I have the world’s best wife and three wonderful kids…a blessed ministry with awesome people who love and support me in all that I do…lots of friends and only a few enemies (hehe), and I get to serve the Lord everyday with my life.  How can it get any better than that?

I am looking forward to getting home to my family and church, I miss them all very much.  I will be back through the weekend and all of our services through Wednesday, then we will be taking a group down to Waterflow, NM to work on the Navajo Reservation with Bro. Don Chitty and his church.  We are praying that the Lord will bless as we serve Him and that all that go will grow closer to Him and to each other.  Please pray that there will be fruit that remains both in the Philippines and in New Mexico…

Bible Baptist Mission

While here in the Philippines, I had the privilege of preaching at the Bible Baptist Mission in Calibutbut, Bacolor.  Pastor Duenas has been faithfully serving the Lord for many years and their mission church recently purchased the property we visited.  We had a great time with them that night and God blessed despite a dog that was howling the whole time.  The spirit was great, the people attentive,, and the altars full as nearly everyone in attendance came forward. We gave them some money to tear down a brick wall in front of the property and add an iron gate so that people can see that they are there.  I look forward to hearing how God will bless this church and their pastor.

Philippine Youth Revival

Had another great day of fellowship with the people of Mountain View Baptist Church here in the Philippines.  I am so grateful that the Lord has brought me back here again to serve Him and the wonderful people here.  We got to spend some time with the young people in the Christian School and the students of the Seminary today, as well as fellowship with some missionaries.  I had asked for the church to arrange to have a youth meeting while I was here so I could see some of the teens that were saved the last time I visited.  Little did I know that they had planned a revival where there were around 300 kids from churches in the area and a good group of first time visitors.

The theme for the meeting was “Are You Ready”, so I brought a message out of Amos 4 on “Preparing to Meet God”.  The spirit was great and the altars were full.  I am not sure how many kids got saved yet, but they were being dealt with throughout the buildings.  There were many other decisions made for the Lord and I feel absolutely privileged to have been here for it.  Following the services, we had a great time visiting with all of them while they fed everyone a meal.  It was great to see how well the seminary students worked in organizing the event and taking care of all of the youth that came.

Tomorrow will be filled with soul-winning and church visits as the church prepares for Sunday.  They are celebrating the church anniversary with a “Builder’s Day” where I will be challenging them to finish the construction on their new auditorium and to have vision as they move forward into the future.  Bro. Tom, one of the men from BBC who is with me, will be teaching a workers meeting tomorrow on lesson preparation and I am excited to see how God and this place is impacting his heart.  Please pray that God will continue to bless…

Lighthouse Baptist Church Anniversary and More

Sunday began with a trip to the church to load up everything we would need to hold services in the park…evidently, it takes pretty much everything in the church…lol. We had to load it up, transport it, then it was all carried into the park from a neighboring street…it was quite the undertaking. Mark and I went to one of the local markets to pick up the “fruit cakes” with chocolate on top, then headed back to the park.

Read More

Preaching in Lamamskoye, Ukraine

After a great day of fellowship with the missionaries, we loaded up a car and van at the church and headed out the village of Lamamskoye to preach.  It was a beautiful drive through the countryside and farmlands.  When we got to the outskirts of the village, we were flagged down by a police officer, who hitched a ride with us out near the church, where we dropped him off then proceeded to the missionaries’ home for dinner.

Read More

Mission Trip to Odessa Ukraine

I arrived in the Ukraine yesterday afternoon via Warsaw, Poland without incident.  Though the flights were long, and delayed, and long and delayed, I got to my destination intact, with all of my luggage…amen.  I was greeted at the small airport by Bro. Mark Priem and Bro. Jeff Christian.  They grabbed my bags and we headed back to the Priem’s house.  On the way, we stopped at an open air market where Mark was to order cakes for this upcoming Sunday’s anniversary services.  We also picked up some fresh fruits and vegetables, so they can keep me on track with my dietary needs.

Read More
Page 1 of 212