2016 – What a year, and what a God! This has truly been the year of “Immeasurably More.” When I think about what God has accomplished in my life as well as at Rolling Hills Community Church and through Justice & Mercy International, I am simply in awe of Him. What all has God accomplished in your life this year?
Here are my Top Ten God-Experiences of 2016:
- Kate’s Baptism – baptizing my youngest daughter on Father’s Day – as a parent, it just doesn’t get any better than that.
- By God’s grace, was able to share the story of life-transformation through God’s church with others through a book called Immeasurably More – It has been amazing to see God transforming people’s lives for His glory and I love the stories of His people that can be read about in the book.
- Watched God provide the funds for another Transitional Living Home in Moldova – we have 10 precious orphan girls and a house mother ready to go into this new home.
- Church packing 108,000 meals for Haiti – I got to serve with 500 volunteers from church to pack this many meals, mostly for children in Haiti after the hurricane.
- Biblical Study Tour to Israel – I journeyed with a team of 25 from church for 2 weeks throughout Israel with our guide, Yoni. It sure is life-impacting to see the Bible come to life.
- Mission Trip to Moldova – a wonderful experience every summer, but this year was extra special with our Transitional Living Home Graduation Celebration.
- Pastor’s Conference in the Amazon – I thank God for my time with these amazing pastors and their wives for a week as well as the incredible team from the States. God’s mercies stretch beyond measure.
- Vacation with my girls – from taking my oldest daughter, Grace, to Washington D.C. for her 12th birthday to new places with the five of us, we had the best time! I love my family and am blessed to be their husband and dad.
- Father & Son Bowl extra day for the fatherless – the Father & Son Bowl is a highlight every year, but adding the extra day for the fatherless was the perfect next step for this amazing ministry.
- Wedding vow renewal for Dolly & Carl – an unexpected addition this year, but it was so special to officiate at Dolly Parton and Carl’s 50th Anniversary Wedding Vow Renewal. I am thankful for their marriage & influence.
Praise God for each of these moments, as well as His many other incredible blessings! It wasn’t all easy, however: 2016 was also a tough year in that my dad went home to be with Jesus. I truly miss him, but I know that he is experiencing the “Immeasurably More” life in heaven…right now! I am so proud and thankful for him.
This is my Top Ten – what about yours? What did you see God do in your life this year?
I pray your 2017 is even better. I pray you press into God even more, and see Him do miracles. I pray that you grow in your love for Him and for those around you. I actually pray that 2017 is your best year yet! Stay strong in the Lord. Give Him praise and follow Him all the days of your life. He is with you and He is for you.
Praise God for 2016 and blessings on you in 2017!
It’s Easter Sunday Morning! Praise God!
“‘Don’t be alarmed,’ he said, ‘You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.'” Mark 16:6-7
Jesus is alive! He conquered death. The one thing which has kept our world in fear, and Jesus beat it. The grave could not hold Him down. And, because of this, we can come alive – truly alive – this Easter. Because of Christ, death no longer has the final say. Our God is greater! And, He loves us!
May you have a wonderful Easter celebrating the goodness and grace of our God. And, may Easter come alive in you. He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed!
From my family to yours….Happy Easter!
The Cross. One of the most brutal, almost unthinkable ways to die, and yet the Cross of Christ is the most beautiful act of love our world has ever seen. Jesus, the perfect lamb of God who came to take away our sins, endures the sufferings of the cross in order that we might have eternal life with God. As Jesus hung on the cross, His seven sayings give us insight into His heart and mission.
In compiling all of the Gospels together, here are the seven sayings of Christ on the Cross (in the order in which they were said):
- “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Luke 23:34
- Forgiveness – As Jesus forgave them, may we forgive those who have wronged us.
- “Truly, I say to you today, you will be with Me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
- Salvation – Jesus redeeming and restoring even on the cross. May we see the needs of those around us and share the Gospel with others.
- “Woman, behold your son. Son, behold your mother.” John 19:26-27
- Relationships – Even on the cross, Jesus was looking out for His mother. The importance of taking care of those around us.
- “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” Matthew 27:46
- Abandonment – Jesus taking on the sins of the world. Holy God cannot be in the presence of sin, thus the pain of being separated from the Father.
- “I thirst.” John 19:28
- Distress – The humanity of Christ meets the divinity of Christ at the cross, and ultimately at the Resurrection. Jesus can identify with our hurt and pain. And, yet, He has the power to overcome it.
- “It is finished.” John 19:29-30
- Reunion – The price of sin is death. Jesus paid the price, thereby making a way for you and me to have eternal life with God.
- “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” Luke 23:46
- Triumph – Jesus is the only person who has been born with the mission to die. Jesus came to take away the sins of the world, and He did it. Now, the Gift of His grace is available to all who believe and will follow.
Ponder the power of these seven words:
Jesus reveals His heart and His mission through His sayings on the cross. He paid the price, so that we can have eternal life with God. May we never grow numb to the power of the Gospel. We are often tempted to skip over the time at the cross and go straight to the empty tomb. But, the cross is what makes the empty tomb possible. As 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” Through the price Jesus paid, we become the redeemed.
May we never lose the weight and the grace of the cross. May we hear the voice of Jesus – receive His forgiveness and thus share in His triumph. May we see how He suffered, and may we understand how He has called us to live. Thank You, Jesus, for the Cross!