"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

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

thanking god for the pain????

There are times when I really wish I didn’t quit using tobacco. These are those times right now. For many that probably doesn’t sound the most “Christian”. It is how I use to relax. It was my pacifier. And right now I feel really stressed. Kelly copes by organizing and after a while that begins to drive me nuts. But I understand this is something she needs to do right now. We are starting to see it in the kids some now too. Acting out in different ways, being more emotional about things. That doesn’t surprise us; we are, why not them. It is so incredibly draining. I know it is for our parents. I can not even imagine how hard it is for them right now. I ask GOD, why does this have to be so hard??? Because love hurts sometimes, that is reality. What would really be sad is if we didn’t feel anything. If we had no problem leaving. If there were no ties, no family that was close who love us and care, no friends who genuinely love us. If there was no one we cared about here. Now that would really be sad. So I guess in that I can be thankful for the pain.

Friday, October 17, 2008


While I was in Zambia I started working through The Complete Works of E.M. Bounds. He died in 1913, these are his manuscripts
on prayer (essentially there are 8 books). You want a challenging, thought provoking, convicting read? Work your way through his writings, but take your time. Maybe I’m just slow but I have to read each chapter 2-3 times just to begin to grasp some of it. One thing I like about him, he doesn’t pull any punches. Some of it may cause you to dig deeper elsewhere to be able to better understand what he is saying. That’s great.
I just finished the 1st book, The Essentials of Prayer. The section on prayer and consecration was very eye opening and convicting for me. The question I ask myself is “are you a man who prays, or are you a man of prayer?” There is a difference, a big difference. To be honest I only see myself as a man who prays. Consecration can not take place apart from prayer. Consecration is not a word you hear much of in teachings/preaching today. It is not a word I yet fully understand the meaning or depth.

E.M.B. definition: Consecration is the voluntary set dedication of one’s self to God, an offering definitely made, and made without any reservation whatever. It is the setting apart of all we are, all we have, and all we expect to have or be, to God first of all. It is not so much the giving of ourselves to the Church, or the mere engaging in some one line of Church work. Almighty God is in view and He is the end of all consecration. It is a separation of one’s self to God, a devotement of all that he is and has to a sacred use. Some things may be devoted to a special purpose, but it is not consecration in the true sense. Consecration has a sacred nature. It is devoted to holy ends. It is the voluntary putting of one’s self in God’s hands to be used sacredly, holily, with sanctifying ends in view.
Consecration is not so much the setting one’s self apart from sinful things and wicked ends, but rather it is the separation from worldly, secular and even legitimate things (emphasis mine) if they come in conflict with God’s plans, to holy uses. It is the devoting of all we have to God for His own specific use. It is a separation from things questionable, or even legitimate, when the choice is to be made between the things of this life and the claims of God.
Consecration being the intelligent, voluntary act of the believer, this act is the direct result of praying. No prayerless man ever conceives the idea of a full consecration. Prayerlessness and consecration have nothing whatever in common. A life of prayer naturally leads up to full consecration. It leads nowhere else. In fact, a life of prayer is satisfied with nothing else but an entire dedication of one’s self to God. Consecration recognizes fully God’s ownership to us. It cheerfully assents to the truth set forth by Paul:
“Ye are not your own. For ye are bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body and spirit, which are God’s.”
Consecration is really the setting apart of one’s self to a life of prayer. It means not only to pray, but to pray habitually, and to pray more effectually. It is the consecrated man who accomplishes most by His praying. God must hear the man wholly given up to God. God cannot deny the requests of him who has renounced all claims to himself, and who has wholly dedicated himself to God and His service. This act of the consecrated man puts him “on praying ground and pleading terms” with God. It puts Him in reach of God in prayer. It places him where he can get hold of God, and where he can influence God to do things which He would not otherwise do. Consecration brings answers to prayer. God can depend upon consecrated men. God can afford to commit Himself in prayer to those who have fully committed themselves to God. He who gives all to God will get all from God. Having given all to God, he can claim all that God has for him.
There is much talk today of consecration, and many are termed consecrated people who know not the alphabet of it. Much modern consecration falls far below the Scripture standard. There is really no real consecration in it. Just as there is much praying without any real prayer in it, so there is much so-called consecration current, today, in the Church which has no real consecration in it. Much for consecration in the Church which receives the praise and plaudits of superficial, formal professors, but which is wide of the mark. There is much hurrying to and fro, here and there, much fuss and feathers, much going about and doing many things, and those who busy themselves after this fashion are called consecrated men and women. The central trouble with all this false consecration is that there is no prayer in it, nor is it in any sense the direct result of praying. People can do many excellent and commendable things in the Church and be utter strangers to a life of consecration, just as they can do many things and be prayerless.
—Complete Works of E. M. Bounds

This is only a few excerpts. In reading something as this, you need to pray over and through it as you go. You need to listen to what God may be saying to you as you read. It is a time for refection on oneself not on others. That is a real easy thing to type but can be very difficult to do. It is always easier to point out others faults that way you don’t have to look at your own. Conviction alone is not enough you have to take the next steps.
Consecration is what we are all supposed to strive for and something I don’t think we ever can fully attain here on earth. The Spirit that lives inside us will lead us to consecration if we are being obedient to His leading, spending time in prayer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

preparing, fellowship & accountability

Tried to talk to the kids the other night about goodbyes, asking them to think back about their training at MTI. I think some things maybe began to sink in, at least for the older 2. They have been asking why mommy has been crying a lot lately. We have just been more emotional as of late. We will be talking about stuff- reminiscing and we will begin to tear up. We don’t seem to have much control over it and it seems neither do our friends, so it kind of has a tendency to feed on it self. We just know that the next 2weeks are going to be really hard, and by the time we leave we will be completely drained. This is part of the process, a very important part. As much as we do not like this part now, in 6 months we are going to probably long for it. We spend a lot of time talking to our Heavenly Father about what is going on-the frustrations, the pain, and the heartache of what is going on. You know what? HE understands. HE continues to remind me that HE told me this would be hard and not a lot of fun. I talk to the kids about it as well. I am very honest with them about what it means to be a follower of CHRIST, the cost involved. It is something not often talked about today. And if there is no difference between you and the world (you, meaning your church or you personally), then I would have to ask, what side of the fence are you on? If you are wondering what I’m talking about, read the book of James. I did a study on it a while back and wrote a short commentary on it but have not had the courage to post it, still struggle at times a fear of man issue. The fact is people and churches today have become so concerned with being liked by others/the world that they have become offensive to GOD. I just have to say it-the seeker sensitive model that has been out for many years now is CRAP (there is another word I would like to use but my wife says no). It has done more harm to the church and the Gospel then it has done good. We have watered down the WORD of GOD so much that we pick and choose what is “relevant” for today. We have decided that culture should supersede SCRIPTURE, when the fact is SCRIPTURE supersedes culture. IT should determine the direction of the culture. But we seem to think we know better then GOD. The fact is a lot of people today in the church are scripturally illiterate. And frankly, I often have to put myself in that category. We are often more concerned about being tolerant then what GOD says. We are more concerned about getting people to come into the church (and have a good time) than seeing them grow in there faith and learning the TRUTH/ GODS WORD. Churches have become social clubs. There is no depth in social clubs and when life hits the fan a social club is not what you need or are going to look for. You need some one who cares, a relationship that has depth. You need true fellowship. The kind that only comes from relationships built on prayer and hard honesty. The kind of relationships where you care too much to remain silent. Those kinds of relationships today I believe are very rare and I am afraid that a lot of people don’t want them. Why? Because it is work. If you don’t want to be accountable to anyone, why would you want to hold someone else accountable? I have truly been blessed with several true fellowship kind-of relationships. They are hard work, they take time, and… they are a gift from GOD! If you don’t have that you better start praying for it, working at it and doing it.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Answers to Prayer

I just got to say, GOD is AWESOME!!!
We have been praying (as have many of you) for a couple who has been praying about whether or not to move to Zambia and work at the bible school. My prayer has always been that God would speak loud and clear, one way or the other. If this was not where God had called them, I didn’t want them to go. Last Sunday God spoke loud and clear. Paul and Lori had already been called to obedience. They had already made the decision to say yes if God called. Last Sunday sitting in church they were very restless. The sermon was about Abraham and Sara and their obedience. The challenge for the congregation was to take their obedience to the next level-that it was time to step out. P & L were going to head to Sunday school but decided to stop off at the rest rooms. Paul came out and was looking for Lori. He looked in the sanctuary and saw 2 of the elders up front and he knew he needed to go pray with them. Paul said he only made it about half way down and he just lost it. He broke down and wept. The elders asked what was wrong. All he could say (when he finally got his composer) was “I’m supposed to be in Africa”. As they were down front praying, Lori came walking down the aisle crying. And what does she say but “we are supposed to be in Africa”. God made it clear to them at the same time what they were supposed to do. How cool is that??
Paul went and talked to the Pastor this week. The pastor decided to do a call to obedience this last Sunday. After the sermon he called P and L up front. They shared what God has called them to do. The pastor wanted to highlight the cost of obedience, and then he put out a call to the people. If God is calling you to step out, then come forward. Man I wish I could have been there to see what God was doing. HE did something awesome! He called many men in the church forward. God has and is going to use P & L to affect a lot of people, to make a lot of people uncomfortable. That’s good- it’s just not always a lot of fun being the instrument that is used by GOD ( we know that to be true!).
Welcome to the ride of your life P & L!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Better get this out there before I forget!!! More details to follow...

Friday, October 24th
5:30 pm
Our house-233 North 7th St
Kandiyohi, MN
Please bring a dessert to share or fixings for smores. We'll sit by the fire and visit and tell stories and...say goodbyes.

Commissioning Service
Sunday, October 26th
8:15 or 11 am
Potluck meal to follow
Evangelical Free Church of WIllmar
1305 SW 19th Ave
Willmar, MN

Friday, October 3, 2008

the start of goodbye

Well I’m back, still recuperating. Just having the flu and all the travel, I’m not bouncing back quite as fast. But there is a lot to get done in the next 3 wks. Like going through our house, storing, selling, throwing, packing or giving away everything we have left here. Also we need to start to say our goodbyes. Yes, our goodbyes. At our training at MTI we learned about how important goodbyes are and to not wait till the last minute to say them.
So let me put this out there, if you would like to get together before we go, call us and tell us! We will do coffee or lunch or whatever. So please let us know. We don’t want to forget anyone but we will. Time is going to go by very fast, we know that. We also want to make sure we keep our priorities in the right order during this time.
I know there are many who are wondering how the 3wks went. Well, I can honestly say it was the hardest 3 wks I have had over there. It started off bad and never got a lot better. My dad was a lifesaver. I don’t know what I would have done with out him. I know he was completely emotionally and physically drained by the middle of the 2nd wk, because I was as well. That also helps explain why I got sick at the end of the 2nd wk. We each lost over 10 lbs in the 3wks, if that says anything. My dad and I have worked together for a lot years. And for the most part we have worked really well together. One of the things I realized over there and had to grieve over was that us working together is coming to an end. This is one of those things that really sucks about all this. I see why GOD brought just my dad and me on this trip. It was a gift to us, to help us in this process.
We got the house sort of livable. By American standards, not exactly livable. By African standards, definitely livable. I have many months of work to complete the house. The main thing is we will all be there together this time. In the last 5 months I have been gone from my family 3 of those months. That is too much.

Two continued prayer requests:
-Sale of our house-someone wrote a purchase agreement except one detail, but they haven't come back in to finish. Pray it all comes together.
-Sale of our van (pictures to come!). We are also looking at a vehicle in Zambia, waiting on acceptance of an offer.

Thanks for praying!
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