"This life therefore, is not godliness but the process of becoming godly, not health but getting well, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not now what we shall be, but we are on the way. The process is not yet finished, but it is actively going on. This is not the goal, but it is the right road. At present, everything does not gleam and sparkle, but everything is being cleansed." --Martin Luther

Monday, March 31, 2008

Nothing too serious

Sorry-it's been awhile, nothing too serious to say today. Just thought I'd better update something!
We (Brian) painted a room, and put border up (my mom). Now we've been rearranging a few things. Eventually we will be listing our house to sell, and since we have been packing off and on for the last few months, I have avoided REALLY cleaning. So, we (I) have been trying to do a thorough spring cleaning (who knows, maybe it's really early nesting??)
No, the container is not gone yet. we will write more on that later.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Third Culture Kids

So I (KJ) really should have written this as I was reading, or right after I read “Third Culture Kids” by David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken. But I suppose it’s good that now I have to go back and skim it again to write about it, but then again, I don’t really want to so much anymore…anyway, enough whining.

“A Third Culture Kid (TCK) is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The TCK builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the TCK’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationships to others of similar background.”

Now, reading that definition I would have never thought I was a TCK. I have always lived in the US. But the definition of a TCK has grown to include “in-country TCKs” too. Military kids or families who move often for work have also become included. Reading the descriptions and seeing glimpses of me in this book leads me to say I am a TCK too. Why? At age 9 we moved from a very small/rural/farming community of 1800 or so, to a city of 8000. Big difference. Still quite a few farmers and still rural, but definitely a different mindset even in this “small” of a jump in population. I also had a foot in two different cultures as I grew up-the secular/modern world, and a concentrated Christian bible camp environment that I moved in and out of for days, weeks or months at a time as I worked at and attended the bible camp for 10 years. I also made choices that led me to live two fairly different lives.
Looking back at the definition, it accounts for a significant part (which I consider I did) in developmental years (happened from age 9 to 17-that was when I actually moved to Bible College in a metro area-a whole other culture there!). I was able to develop relationships in all the “cultures”, but yes, didn’t feel like I totally belonged in any of them (I just figured it was because I was never one of the “cool kids”). Something from each culture is part of who I am.
Having read this book, I can’t say that I have all these wonderful ideas now on what to do or not do for our kids. There were hints and other useful information of course, a lot of it some common sense things. I think the biggest benefit for me was just reading it and seeing myself, and understanding a little about why I do the things I do, and why I am the way I am-normalizing my experiences.
Here’s an example-those who know me say I am highly organized. A learned and necessary part of moving back and forth often, and feeling unsettled when in a place for too long. I go through things just to do it, even though I can’t actually move. I don’t keep much, never have. They were just more things to move. We have lived in this house for 9 years in September. That matches the longest I ever lived in one place (birth to 9 years old). At 9 we moved and lived in that city for 9 years, but during that time I moved to camp for weeks or months in the summers and trips during the school year. Then it was off to college, married life had us in 3 places in 2 years before we moved here. So every once in a while I get antsy to go somewhere!
A plus-I am very adaptable, I have a sense of living life now. Challenge-I have a hard time feeling excited about things-going out and being asked did I have a good time? Sometimes I really don’t know-it was just a time, it was fine.
I am able to be friends with many, but only have a few “super close” friends. And when I decide who I want to invest that time in to be close with, I zoom in, am easily vulnerable, and bring it to a deep and personal and valued relationship very quickly. I am sure if any of you went to bible camp as a child, you remember you only had a week or two to make friends. You had to do it fast. That’s what I do, and if the relationship isn’t one that will be a close intimate one, I don’t put as much effort into it as I should. I seem to have lots of acquaintances, a handful of close friends, but not much “in-betweeners”.
I feel very comfortable around people older than me. It took me a long time to identify my self-was I like the people at school, was a strong Christian like those at camp, could I be a little of both? Guess which one I tried to be? Didn’t work out too well! I still struggle today with feeling like I fit in with people-I still need to be affirmed in my group.
I think I have unresolved grief somewhere inside-I can’t tell you what it is-it’s an unconscious thing. But it can hit at a moment’s notice, sometimes about the silliest or most insignificant things, sometimes just a thought of something. It could be a number of things: loss of status, relationships, role models, a system identity, the past that wasn’t, a past that was. I am not very good at allowing myself the permission to grieve (I keep shoving it in-I am a blubbering crier as it is, what would happen if I let it all out?). Due to the jumping back and forth and timing, there wasn’t a whole lot of time to grieve. Leave camp and say goodbye in one day, start school the next. I can cry when I think someone is thinking of crying-I can cry at commercials, I can cry at strangers saying goodbyes.
Okay, so I am suppose to be writing what I learned from this book, not pouring my soul out here. As I said, a lot of the information was common sense. Making sure your children still feel valued, protected, special, comforted. That their perception of the work we are doing is positive, that there are spiritual and moral values we are following and trying to teach them. There was a whole section on the actual transition and culture shock of course.
Looks like this book was more for me than the kids.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Disclaimer

Its 3 am. I awoke with some things bothering me. Why do things come to me at this hour instead of a more convenient time? Maybe my mind is too cluttered during the more convenient times.
So what is the disclaimer? It is what we so often say at the end of prayers, especially prayers for people to be healed. “If it is Your will”. Now I am thinking out loud so bare with me. Are we negating the power in the name of Jesus Christ by putting a disclaimer on the end? I’ve heard one argument to using that phrase is that Jesus prayed “Your will be done” at the Mount of Olives. “Jesus prayed that it be the Fathers will and not His own.” I’m not sure that justification flies, why? Jesus knew the Father’s will. They were one. Jesus was not praying for healing for someone. And to say we should pray that way because Jesus did is taking it out of context. When Jesus healed people, He just did it!
You say, well that was Jesus. What about the 12 disciples? They healed people in the name of Jesus. You say, well that was the 12, that’s different. Okay, what about the 72 Jesus sent out in Luke chapter 10? What about what the disciples said in Mark 9:40 and Luke 9:50 about those that were using the power in the name of Jesus that were not followers? (The disciples told these others to stop what they were doing in Jesus’ name, since they weren’t following Him. Basically Jesus says , if they are not against us, they are for us. The point being, these were others, not the “original 12” or even 72 who were doing signs and wonders in Jesus’ names). In ACTS 6 the disciples were getting caught up with waiting tables (doing business), so they called 7 others who were full of the Spirit. They were out doing ministry/healing people in the name of Jesus, but they were not of the “original”12. Go through the gospels, the epistles; just go through the whole Bible. I have not as of yet found where when someone prayed healing, that it was asked if it was God’s will. If you find somewhere let me know, please.
The Bible also does not talk about those that were not healed. Did Jesus or the followers of Christ heal everyone they came in contact with? No, I don’t think they did (not that He COULDN’T, but did He? Did He heal everyone at the pool of Bethsaida, or just the one guy? It doesn’t say. Why did He pass some by? I don’t know). I think this disclaimer we use, we use out of fear. We put it back on God. So if it does not happen, we have an out. (Why do we need an out? It’s GOD, not US anyway!) I believe we lose the power of Jesus name because of our fear and unbelief. What did Jesus say in Mt 21:22/ Mk 11:24? “Ask and believe and it will be give to you”.
In the church at large, I see very few that believe God can and/or will heal. Why? Because they have not seen it. But I ask: have we not seen it because we have not believed? We thank God for the doctors or the medicine. We give glory to everyone except who it belongs to. God is going to do something in which the ONLY one who can receive credit or glory will be HIM! What are you going to do when that happens? Will you be able to accept it?
I don’t want to come across as I’ve got it all figured out. The hardest thing for a preacher to do is stand up front and preach, because they are speaking to themselves-they don’t have it altogether (even though we assume they do). I feel the same way: I am talking to myself here too. When I write words of encouragement, rebuke, challenge, it’s as much for me as it is for anyone else.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Container Commissioning

Tonight our prayer group walked over to where our container is sitting and laid hands on it and prayed.

Please continue to pray with us for:
--the rates to come in we need to approve shipping
--protection/safety for cargo, for it to get to Zambia in one piece
--for miraclous timing in shipping and delivery
--that it doesn’t have any “extra stops” along the way
--for govt. officials to be honest as it passes through customs
--for it to arrive in plenty of time for Brian to get work done on the house with the supplies inside

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Battle for Intimacy

The greatest battle will always be intimacy.

What am I talking about? I am talking about your relationship with your Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. What is your relationship like with them? Is it close? Is it casual? Is it structured and rigid? Is it open and honest? Think about it for a minute… Do you desire more? Let me ask another question, in what manner do you read your Bible? How do you view the Holy Scriptures? A historical document? Is it something to look at only theologically? A book of interesting stories? A rules and regulation book? A guide book? Is your Bible precious to you? Do you cherish it? I believe your view of the Scriptures and your view of God are tied together.

If you received a letter from someone who loved you deeply and passionately, who would do anything for you, would you read it? Or just toss it aside? Or would you put it on shelf and not open it? If you read it, in what manner would you read it?
Our relationship with our Father and His Son is to be personal and intimate. I view the Scriptures as a letter written to me from my Father. A letter in which HE shares His heart. HE encourages and challenges. HE desires to give me guidance and direction for my protection because He loves me. HE is not going to make my life easy because HE wants me to grow into maturity. And that comes through trials and making mistakes. One of the hardest things for a parent is to give their child enough room to fail. I don’t think it is any different for our Heavenly Father. I think He designed the family the way HE did so we could better understand HIM and our relationship with HIM. Our family structure has gotten so messed up in this world that we (and the children) are losing the understanding of how HE created it. Thus it is becoming much more difficult to relate and understand who HE is.

There needs to be reverence, a fear of the Lord. I think it is healthy for children to have a fear of their father and his hand of discipline. We as a people like to talk about the love of GOD but we forget to mention that inside that love is the hand of discipline when necessary. Love and discipline, you cannot have one without the other.

How does one’s relationship become more intimate with the Creator? Reading GOD’S Word as a letter written to you helps. Obedience to GOD (His Word and His voice) will truly bring you closer to HIM. I want to make it clear, so I will say it again: following Christ does NOT mean that life will be a bed of roses. It does not mean that you will not have trials or tribulations, that you will get what you want. It’s not that God doesn’t bless, we just conveniently forget that we are called to suffer as Christ suffered. If you want an easier life on this side of eternity do not follow Christ. But you will not have meaning or purpose and you will not experience joy that can only come from the Lord. It is a choice that God gives us.

Here is a statement that I liked from this morning’s sermon:
(For each follower of Christ) Scripture clearly states…
--The Cross comes before the crown…
--Suffering comes before glory…
--Sacrifice comes before reward…

It doesn’t make sense if we look at it from a human perspective but spiritually…we win by losing. We gain by giving. We live by dying to self.

Now, did you ask yourself the above questions while you were reading? Did you really think and evaluate yourself and your relationship with the God of the universe?

Do you really want to get close to HIM? Do you really want to do what it takes (yes, it is work) to become intimate with the Father?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Heart Condition

Kelly read a statement the other day that I thought was simple but profound. That is “Dull hearts are uncomfortable around burning hearts.” It is a very true statement, I should know. I had a very dull heart not so many years ago; I remember what it felt like. And now I am experiencing the other side. The side where Jesus Christ sets your heart on fire. You experience joy, love, and passion like you never have before. You come to the realization that you have a Father in heaven, the creator of the universe and HE is absolutely crazy about you. HE desires a relationship with you. HE created you for a purpose. You are HIS son (or daughter). How awesome is that! You have a Father who sent HIS SON to die in your place just so you can have a relationship with and be with HIM forever. That is mind blowing! Then on top of that HE gives you the gift of HIS Holy Spirit to live inside you, to empower you, to comfort you, to live in and speak in and through you. And there is so much more! Our hearts should be on fire out of gratitude! We don’t deserve this. We deserve the death Christ suffered on that cross. Bruised from head to toe, beaten beyond recognition, nailed to a wooden cross naked for all the world to see until He died. That is what WE deserve, but that is not what we got. We got forgiveness while He suffered the pain, the shame.

Let me ask you, are you grateful? How grateful? Does your life show it? Or do you have a dull heart? Are you uncomfortable around those who have burning hearts? If you are, ask yourself why? Do you need to come to the cross in confession and repentance for not having a burning heart? GOD desires to set your heart on fire for HIM and HIM alone! You will find no greater purpose then to bring the Father and His Son pleasure by your obedience in walking out in faith to the Spirit’s leading. You noticed I did NOT say easy. It will be anything but easy. But nothing will be more fulfilling. It is all about HIM- not you, not me.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


It’s 2 am and I’m not sure why I can’t sleep, but it seems to be a rather common occurrence for me as of late. So I get up and read, pray, and write. It seems I can hear my Father better; it’s quiet, unlike any other part of the day around here. So what is on my mind tonight or should I say this morning? Some call it “The Last Days” or better known as the End Times. Why? Several reasons: one is that I believe we are living in the last days/end times. I believe I will be here for Jesus Christ’s return. I always have believed that; it makes me odd in the church today I think. I remember a survey done in my Sunday school class 5 yrs or so ago. We were asked if we thought we would be alive when Jesus returned. To my surprise I was in the vast minority. I could hardly believe it. Let me use this analogy from scripture. The Church is the Bride of Christ, Jesus Christ is the Bridegroom. If you do not expect the Bridegroom to come for you, are you going to be preparing yourself for Him? NO, probably not, and you will not be ready when HE comes for HIS Bride. You’re going to be busy doing everything else but what HE has asked/commanded you to do to prepare yourself as beautiful radiant, holy, pure bride. I believe we are to prepare individually as well as corporately. Personally I don’t care if your pre-tribulation or post-tribulation or somewhere in between. Are you doing what GOD has called you to do? Do you care if your relative or neighbor is going to hell or are you too concerned about global-warming or maybe you care more about animal welfare than peoples souls? Maybe it’s you just care more about your 401k or your IRA or the next toy you’re going to buy. Or are you just leaving it up to someone else to be a witness for Christ? That does not mean just deeds but also WORDS. I probably sound self-righteous right now; but the fact is the Spirit is convicting my heart as I type for all the times I have failed to speak. There needs to be a combination of words and actions. If you have not read the book of James in a while, I would strongly encourage you to do so. Paul also addresses similar issues in his letters to the churches.

Let me get back to a question I have: if you are pre-tribulation and you are wrong, what will that do to your faith? I kind of like a statement I heard the other day regarding this it was: “pray for pre- but plan for post”. I like that statement. I find it interesting that a lot of the same verses the pre-trib people use to make their points are the same ones the post-trib people use to make theirs. Same verse, different interpretation. But of course whatever teaching you are under must be the right one, right? Did you study it yourself or do you just believe what you are told? I’m learning not to say someone is wrong in their theology just because I may not agree, because I may not have taken the time to study it myself. The question that must also be asked is it a minor issue or a major issue (whether you are pre or post)? According to Scripture, not major, as Jesus said in Mark 13:32, “No one knows about that day or hour, not the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.” We can’t know the exact time or hour, but there are signs/birth pains. Mark 13:8 says: “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be earthquakes in various places, and there will be famines and troubles. These are the beginnings of sorrows.” There are signs of the birth pains increasing (how about over a half a dozen earthquakes in the world in the last month, look at the world news and the unrest in the world and so much more), and those should be a wake-up call to us all. Just remember knowledge is wonderful, but what really matters is what you do with it!

Well, I got to bed at 3:30am. Now imagine my surprise when I got up in the morning and checked the news online and the top story is the Vatican declaring the latest mortal sin “ruining the environment”. And below that in another head line, the Southern Baptists issue a call to fight climate change. Now do not get me wrong, I don’t think we should destroy the earth. The truth is we cannot and we won’t. The Bible is clear: God is going to do that! The Bible also says that “we are to have dominion over the land”. The earth is NOT a god! Many though have made the earth an idol and are worshiping her. That is wrong and that is sin! I wonder, does anyone else see that the devil is distracting and turning the church away from God to worship and serve false gods/idols? Wake up people! We are called to be good stewards of what God has given us, not to worship or idolize it. These are false doctrines being taught in our seminaries and in the pulpits in many places across our world.

The church as a whole is in store for a very large divide. There will be two very clear sides and the chasm between will be deep and wide. How can I say that? Once you go down the road of false doctrine it will eventually become heresy, it is a very, very slippery slope. We must hold fast to the inerrancy of Scripture, to the clear commands of GOD/JESUS. If you are not sure what they are, open your Bible and read.

Monday, March 10, 2008


Finally found out this morning that we got our reciept for our work permit!! YEAH!! Our understanding is that this is basically as good as the work permit itself! It's a huge relief that they accepted all of our information, certificates, and other paperwork!


Also an FYI for those of you who have signed up to be one of our prayer supporters: my list of supporters has gotten too big for gmail!! So I am trying to work with it to figure out how to get prayer and praise requests to all of you! I am looking at setting up a google group that would send the emails to you. I don't know...I am SOOOO not tech-savy with this stuff! But you may recieve this email a time or two over the next couple of days as I try to figure all this stuff out. Thank you for your patience!!

We also have a newsletter coming out this week...may end up having the same problems, I don't know...

Life in Zambia

This is another post from the Rodgers, who are in a village near us. I have also posted a link to their blog on the right too.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Finally...some pictures!!!

I am just not a picture person...it usually doesn't even occur to me to take pictures (never mind the fact that our camera is broken and we haven't gotten a new one yet).

So the other day Brian says we should be taking pictures; again, never mind the fact that we are now on the last few feet to fill!

Well, finally a few pictures. The first is the side view of the container.

This is where we are at. Not much room left. This container is packed TIGHT!!! We will be praying everything makes it there undamaged, and on time!!!

It will be nice just to get done with this. Get it sent so we don't have to think about it anymore (for now). Trying not to forget anything and trying not to pack stuff that really isn't necessary. I think it will be kind of like Christmas for a while after we get there, unpacking, finding stuff we forgot about over the last several months. It is time to be done with this so we can get going on our language studies as a family and get back to focusing on our support raising.
I spoke today in a church. I think it went pretty well, I'm still trying to figure out the best way for me to do this sort of thing. I had a PowerPoint thing but it was more of a distraction for me then a help. I've been told you should have a plan when you speak. For me I think it is better if I don't, at least not too detailed of a plan. I'm a lot better on the fly. Some may call it Spirit led, I'm often amazed what comes out of my mouth when I get out of the way. It is much easier for me to speak from the heart then from an outline or computer screen. I just probably have a tendency to get a little long winded (or at least that's what Kelly says). The truth is,I really enjoy having opportunities to speak to large or small groups or individuals. I never thought I would have but I have learned when God calls you to something and places a passion inside you, you find yourself doing things you never dreamed you would do and enjoying it!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Weekend at IHOP (no, not the pancake house, although John did make us pancakes Saturday morning)

We are back from Kansas City. We went for a time of rest and restoration at the House of Prayer. We were very busy yet we did find rest and renewal. How is that possible, being so busy? Our days started at 9am and went to after 8pm, now that is a full day. But the days consisted of worship, prayer, study of Scripture, and ministry. Everything revolves around prayer/fasting and worship (for you cannot have one without the other).
It is so easy to get caught up in stuff, good stuff, even Godly stuff and miss out. We/I get so caught up in trying to accomplish/attain/complete something for God, I forget I am not measured by my attainment but by my obedience!
What did I learn/remember this weekend? That all I do and all I go through, is UNTO the Lord. My trials, triumphs, sufferings, studies, giving, acts of service, planning and preparation for our mission in Zambia, leading my family, loving my wife and children, my life, it is ALL to be done unto the Lord!