care more than some think is wise; risk more than some think is safe;
dream more than some think is practical; expect more than some think is possible


the Truth that transforms cultures...

To properly address poverty, environmental decimation, and underdevelopment in the world one must also seek out the centrality and necessity of a Biblical worldview. George Grant states, The most effective tool we can wield in our efforts on behalf of the needy is a biblical worldview;" and again, "In our struggle against poverty and depravation we must gird our concerns for ‘justice, mercy, and humility before Almighty God’ with a consistent biblical worldview.” My claim (and many others' as well) is that a Biblical worldview is the set of principles leading to healthy development among the impoverished and needy of the world. 
Recent history indicates that the largest need for evangelism lies within a region of the earth commonly referred to as the “10/40 Window,” describing the land areas from North Africa to West Asia. Missionaries and agencies, alike, are recognizing these peoples are not just spiritually bankrupt, but are among the neediest peoples in all the earth. We must ask, "Why is this so, why are they poor?"
Many suggest a mindset of poverty leads to physical poverty. A “poor” worldview and mindset leads to an individual, family, or huge portions of the earth’s population leading to lives rooted in a fatalistic worldview. God did not make man poor, quite to the contrary man was made to inherit all the revealed and secret treasures of God’s world (Gen. 1:26-31; Eph. 2:10). Poverty is not a surprise to God, but He did not design it. Poverty is a result of sin in the world; therefore poverty mindsets have deep-seated roots in man’s disobedience to God.
Consider, if God designed man to inherit His riches in the world, but poverty is worldwide, could man have believed a lie? I suggest YES! If we have believed a lie, and Satan is the Father of Lies, a liar by nature, are not poverty values then lies? Are they not ultimately from the devil? Unfortunately, Satan is the prince of this world, though he is doomed! However in the meantime, peoples yet to be freed by Jesus’ gospel truth are, by nature, subjected to live according Satan’s lies (Rom. 1:25; Col. 2:8), wrath (Eph. 2:2), and captivity. Second Timothy 2:26 states, “…and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, having been held captive by him to do his will,” indicating that those without the knowledge and acceptance of God’s truth in Jesus Christ are subjected to the devil’s will, and of this will is a mindset of poverty! Satan’s role in poverty is simply to lie to people, to distort their view of reality. Reality is that people are powerful, smart, and creative; capable of using God-given talents to change their circumstances.
However, the Father of Lies convinces people of countless lies such as, “There is no tomorrow;” “Truth … is unknowable;” and “Human life has no value.” These lies are the beliefs of fatalism, that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable. If all things that happen are those things that will happen, man’s morale and hopes of change will fade away to despair and acceptance of the status quo. When a man, family, community, or nation reaches this point surely Satan must be so pleased! His role in poverty must not be underestimated nor the importance thereof diminished, for breaking lies the hope of the gospel is the only answer!
The great Hope of life is that Christ is victor, that He has and will continue to dominate Satan’s fading reign in this world! Some steps for breaking down the lies of Satan are the following three: 1) preaching the gospel, 2) renewing wayward minds, and 3) discipling nations.
The Bible is full of mandates from beginning to end for the children of God to “preach the gospel,”[1] Consider Matthew 11:4, “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Go and report what you hear and see … the poor have the gospel preached to them…’” Poverty is rooted not in the material world, but in the inner man, and thus the solution must begin in man’s heart with the gospel. The great apostle, Paul, declares of himself, that he is under obligation to preach, is eager to preach, and is not ashamed of the gospel (Rom 1:14-16). The first step in destroying the enemy’s lie is boldly proclaiming Jesus’ gospel! He has given us the mandate, so we are under obligation. Christ is the greatest and He is the Christian’s Hope, so how is one not to be eager to proclaim the Good News? Lastly, as Christ himself bore sinners’ reproach unashamedly on the cross, Christians are to bear the name of Christ without shame, but rather with great conviction.
Pursuing the renewal of peoples’ minds is the second principle to breaking the encumbering lies of poverty. When Christ becomes Savior the heart is changed, next the mind must be changed too. Christ commands Christians pursue and love Him “with all your mind” (Mark 12:30). There remains no debate needed to recognize that the fall devastated man’s mind, for Paul informs Christians of their need to have their minds renewed with truth on a daily basis (Rom 12:2). A proper renewing of the mind is a two-fold process. First, the lies must be demolished and forsaken. Second, the void must necessarily be replaced with Biblical truths, principles, and foundations. In I Corinthians 1, Paul speaks of the word of God as foolishness to the world, but the power of God to those who believe! Christ is the living Word, He is the Christian’s power source and through Him a mind will not only be renewed, but totally transformed! Likewise, the Lord can “…destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the cleverness of the clever…” (Is. 29:14; I Cor. 1:19). The central theme must be based in truth, since the fight is against lies! Jesus declares, “Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). Having a transformed mind, knowing the truth, and declaring the promises of that truth lead to defeating Satan’s lies!
The final principle for total defeat of the enemy’s lies is to begin discipleship. It will never suffice to evangelize, teach, and leave without the practical instructions of How To’s. This aspect is “being a blessing to the nations,” just as God covenanted with Abraham (Gen 12:3). Discipleship must begin at the core values of a person, his or her beliefs, how he or she filters the world in their mind’s eye. Namely their worldview must be altered to match Jesus’ truth! This alteration requires radical change, in all spheres of life, a radical reorientation of a person’s life. This means changing the lie, “Human life has no value,” to “Human life is invaluable, because all humans are made intimately in the image of God!”
The model is based on a collection of individuals; no one can simply be a number, but an indispensible part of a revolution. So, for true community or national beliefs and worldviews to change it begins with an individual, then another, and another. It begins small and grows unstoppable, indicating that rebuilt societies do not occur instantly, but only after years of laboring to preach the gospel, teach the people truth, and disciple individuals who can then go and disciple others themselves. In short, discipling nations denotes that Christians are to take to the poor and ailing peoples, not only the gospel of Christ, nor simply food and water, but a message of total transformational development. Transformational development impacts spiritual and physical, but also societal domains such as development, economics, law, environmental care, the arts, family life, education, and politics.It is a call for empowering peoples rather than enabling people. Enablement is paternalism, or “individual charity to palliate poverty, while rejecting any radical social changes that would alleviate and eliminate poverty" (Wikipedia).
As I have contemplated all these issues offered, it has hit me hard, that above all else I have found it confirmed again in my heart, mind and soul that the gospel of Christ is the only force in all the created world that can spark the fire for any kind of change among the lost peoples of the world. Breaking down Satan’s lies must begin with the gospel, so the motivation of the Christian is spurred only from an encounter with Christ. Tim Keller describes, “The only true and enduring motivation for the ministry or mercy is an experience and a grasp of the grace of God in the gospel.” Christians can feed, provide water, teach and anything else under the sun, which is good, but without the gospel as the central theme of all actions taken to care for the poor, it is in vain! Yet, to open up hearts and minds, the ailing peoples of the world need to be loved on, cared for, fed, sheltered, and taught out of a motivation stemming from the gospel. Without deliberate action to care for people, the words of Christ mean nothing! On the other hand, without the words of hope of Christ, deliberate action means nothing! Again, what emerges from underneath al the information and knowledge presented is the clear and undeniable need for a two handed gospel.

[1] Matt 24:14, 28:18-20; Mark 3:14, 5:19, 6:7,12, 13:10, 16:20; Luke 9:2, 6, 10:1, 24:46-49; Acts 1:8, 4:12, 8:4, 11:1 “preach the gospel” references


Three Things

I am writing because somethings have happened that bring much joy to my heart and I am overly excited to share them with yall… so here goes.

First, it would appear – although uncertain as of now – that I may have the opportunity to spend 2 or so months in Haiti, between early-mid April to sometime in June for an outreach period after this training phase. This is a bit different than my initial reports of being in CR the whole time, however, the Lord changes plans and calls us to change with Him … and for me, that means potentially opening my plans to going to minister in Haiti, by loving and aiding a groaning nation, a groaning people! Everyone here and I all sense the Lord calling us to Haiti. Our prayer times asking the Lord where & what He wants us to do have been nothing short of amazing and intimate times with the Lord, where we have individually and together heard the Lord’s direction clearly on the matter.

Yet, for the time being, nothing is “for sure.” Plans have to be made, and in light of the chaos that Haiti is currently, that could be challenging. But praise the Lord; YWAM already has a strong presence in the nation, teams involved in rescue and relief work. Furthermore, things get even more complicated for me … yes, because of my lung transplant! So, PLEASE BE PRAYING! I have addressed this issue some with my folks, not with my docs yet … and so, I ask you to please PRAY for wisdom on the part of all involved – me, my parents, my doctors, my team here, the team(s) in Haiti we may meet up with, everyone! Pray for clear direction! Pray for obviously open doors! Pray for divine opportunities and appointments as preparations are made. I am totally stoked about this opportunity. Even though uncertain, my prayer is that the Lord finds it pleasing for me to be there!

Secondly … even more exciting … is a revelation from the Lord! The implications of this revelation have the potential to literally change my life, for the rest of my life. Much joy, overflowing into tears of joy, has been experienced because of this. I have no doubt in my mind, heart, soul or anything else that this is a major answer to prayer … about my cold heart as of recently.

It began of all the ways possible by generally neglecting my spiritual life as I succumbed to the lie of a cold heart. In the meantime, I the book, The Shack, which not to indorse anything, but I highly recommend it! It is surprising how the Lord uses such unexpected means to turn things upside down! In the book, the main character, Mack, has an encounter with the Trinity in a very distinct and personal way. The author does a great job of depicting God – all three persons – as extremely personal, loving, and intimate … but keeps Him dignified as the Almighty God (as a disclaimer, Yes I know its fiction, and very much fiction at that, and that the author takes liberties … so don’t think I am treating this as Truth).

This had its affect on me … the best I can do to fill you in is quote from my journal, I began,
“I feel like the author has some keen insights into the heart of God. I think mainly that He is oozing, overflowing, and swelled with love, and that love is not staunch, cold love; but a warm fatherly, motherly, brotherly, and friendly love. Aren’t all the people in my life made like Him? So don’t they portray a small facet of His love to me? YES!
            “There seems to be some disparity b/w the truth & how I perceive God … it’s shaking & stirring things up on the inside. He has got to be so much warmer, loving, approachable, and hospitable that I treat Him. I mean, He remains King over all and of all, but He is not so high and mighty that I cannot approach Him, to climb up in His lap as a child with a parent! This has to do with how personal He is, its not only that He knows me, but that He enjoys me & has invited me to enjoy Him!
            “I think I have been so focused on “bringing glory to God” that I have robbed Him & myself of true relationship … I mean, He has made me His own, but I have just regarded His as so cold, as a stand-offish King with unreachable, unattainable standards and expectations. But as pointed out in The Shack JESUS FULFILLS ALL THESE EXPECTATIONS! All God wants is for me to LOVE HIM! To love Him and nothing more, and this is no duty, but a joy! How great is it to love & be loved – even b/w humans & now, to think the God of all, my intimate Father God, Abba, and Daddy is calling me to love, to simply love!
            “I am loved perfectly! No height, no depth, no joy, no pain, no depression, no loneliness, no good, no sin, no anger, no wrong perceptions, no lack of wisdom, no nothing can separate me from the love of God! Who will separate me from the love of Christ? Will tribulation or distresses, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, for your sake we are being put to death all day long, we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered. But in all things we overwhelming conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, no angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor heights, nor depths, nor any created thing will be able to separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord! (Rom 8:35-39).
            “Oh freedom! To love is freedom, to be loved is freedom! Your love oh Lord is freedom … to live, to love, to risk, to be freed from all self-imposed expectations and burdens … to be freed from the law, Perfect love casts out all fear! (1 John 4:18). … The band NeedToBreathe has a song called Let Us Love … oh this is it!
            “God, I praise you! Help me to cast off these burdens that are not of you! Help me to love you in the great joy of your freeing love!”

Thirdly, as I mentioned in the bullet, I had the opportunity to learn how to slaughter a goat on Tuesday. This proved to be one of the most intense experiences of my life. Deliberately killing an animal – in a very personal way, I mean with a knife, as opposed to a high-powered rifle like in hunting – is no easy task. It was definitely a learning experience! And its all part of life on a farm. This goat has provided for one meal, will for dinner tonight, and once more later on. This is the full outworking of our call to have dominion over the world the Lord has given to us.

That’s all. Thanks for reading it all if you did. Now you know what is really happening in my life and heart. God is so good, to be made known to man in the Man, Jesus … how wonderful He is. I pray my personal experience with the Lord described above is encouraging to you.

Peace and Grace … and Pura Vida!