Thursday, November 20, 2014

Support Letter

This week I am sending my support letter in place of my regular blog.

First I would like to say thank you for all of the prayers, encouraging words and support that I have received from you all. Over the last two years, I have been able to work in Guatemala with Iglesia Galilea for approximately 8 months. We have hosted about 18 teams. With them we have worked on hydroponics projects, medical clinics, constructed 7 houses and approximately 16 stoves, worked on 2 schools, and helped get a church started. Along with these team projects, I also helped as needed on various projects around the Church in San Lucas.
                In the coming year, we will have about 10 more teams beginning in January and going into November. While I was not able to work with the two teams that came in the fall this year, it is my intention to be there and work with them this year. In order for that to happen, I will not be spending nearly as much time in Illinois this year as I have in previous years. I do plan on coming back for a few weeks in late summer and then also for the holidays but gone the rest of the year. The schedule that I currently envision would have me there between 9 and 10 months in 2015.
With the teams that come this year, we will continue on construction of the Church in Membrillal, finish a couple more classrooms on the school there and continue working on the school in Zapote. We will do many more stoves and a few houses in Zapote along with two medical clinics there. We will host a Christian music festival in Santiago along with BMX and skateboarding demonstrations. The Church will hold and evangelistic outreach in San Lucas. We will also continue to work on honing and perfecting the hydroponics projects until they can be easily duplicated and successful for the average person, with inexpensive supplies and nutrients that are available to them. All of these things are done with the goal of promoting the Gospel of Jesus and making Him known in Guatemala.
You may ask what I will be doing when teams are not there. This year, I feel a pressing need to improve my Spanish. While I can get by most of the time, I am far from fluent. I desire to be able to convey the Gospel in Spanish as readily as I do in English.  In order for that to happen, I need to study and be in an immersive environment. I am not sure where but I will wind up but have been looking at schools in a couple of places about 2 to 3 hours’ drive away from San Lucas. I plan on attending one of them whenever scheduling allows. We will also be working on the Church building and property in San Lucas as we move toward construction of a new sanctuary to make room for the growing congregation there.
Because of the length of this trip, my expenses will obviously be considerably more this year than in previous years. This letter is not to cause anyone to feel compelled but only to inform.  I wanted to give you a breakdown of my anticipated expenses and ask you to pray about what role God is calling you to play if any. The one thing that I would ask of everybody though, is that you pray for success in work and study. I want to thank you in advance for that.

2015 anticipated expenses
  $1080   Spanish School $135 per week for 8 weeks                   
$1500   Airfare for 2 round trips
$  960   Living expenses for 16 weeks with teams
$  800   Living Expenses for 8 weeks of Spanish School
$2400   Living Expenses for 16 weeks with no teams
$  500   Internet
$  520   Telephone
$  365   Travel and Emergency Insurance
$  750   Personal Medical Supplies
$  550   Replacement Laptop   
Total      $9425

                This list of expenses is for basic expenses. They do not cover any extras that may arise. I have tried to be realistic but I kept my list to a minimum. I am planning on having some dental work done and would like to have transportation available. I can use the bus system but it is not always safe and the Church vehicles are not available much of the time.
                If God is putting it on your heart, you can give anytime. I am hoping to have 50% of my expenses in before I leave and the rest over the next 8 months. Please do not put my name on the check. Write Guatemala in the memo line. Monetary donations can be mailed to:

Life Church, Morris
P.O. Box 679
Morris, IL 6045

Thank you sincerely for everything

George Kresse

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Getting Prepared

As you have seen in my previous posts, I am preparing to go back to Guatemala at the end of the year and will be staying for an extended time.I am not sure exactly how long as of right now but it will be for several months, not just a few weeks. I wanted to take a little time and answer some of the questions that I am frequently asked.

  1. How do you make a living?  
    1. As of right now, I spend all of my time in ministry related activities. While I will occasionally do s small electrical job to help out friends, I do not make much of anything as a result of that. I am supported by a few people that believe the work I am doing is important enough to want me to continue it. Whether I am in Guatemala or helping out at CYC, my needs are met by people supporting me.
  2. What exactly do you do? 
    1. I pray that the purpose of everything that I do is to bring God glory and help a lost and hurting world to see the inexplicable love of Jesus in me.
    2. When I am in Morris, I spend many hours each week at CYCM. I try to be available to people that walk in the door to talk to them and share our ministry with them. I spend time with many kids through the course of a week and do what I can to let them know that Jesus loves them and that He has placed people in their lives to demonstrate that love.
    3. When I am in Guatemala, I spend much of my time working with teams that come to San Lucas to work with Iglesia Galilea. We currently are working on 2 schools, and a Church building. We build safe wood burning stoves and provide houses for those living in uninhabitable conditions. We are working on various hydroponics and aquaponics projects to help villages learn to become self sufficient for their food. We also provide support services to other Churches under the Iglesia Galilea banner in Guatemala. We have a goal of introducing communities to the love of Jesus and of helping those communities become less dependent on outside help for their daily needs.
    4. How do you know you are called?
      1. I did not have a clue what God was doing in my life. I just said yes when asked if I would go the first time. I experienced life and joy as I traveled through Mexico and to Guatemala.
      2. Matt 28 makes it clear that we all are called. Some will share the Gospel and make disciples at home. Others will go to the ends of the world. Every follower of Jesus is called to make disciples
      3. I do not believe that every Christian is called to leave their home and move to a foreign country to be a missionary. I do believe that every believer needs to occasionally go out of their comfort zone to another country to work with our brothers and sister there for the advancement of the Kingdom of God. I tell this to everybody that will listen because I believe that it is the most life changing and faith strengthening thing they can do.
    5. Are you going to move to Guatemala?
      1. It seems like I spend more time there each year and I do love it. I may move there but I want God to direct that decision. There are other places that are also in need of help and I want to be available if God calls me to one of those places also.
    6. What things can I do?
      1. Missions always needs the backing of good prayer support. Ask the Holy Spirit what He wants to do and then join your prayers in agreement to what He shows you.
      2. You can support the work of missions wherever they may be.
        1. Remember that most people in missions have no outside sources of income. They are dependent on the giving of others. God does not expect you to be a source of funding for everything that comes along. Ask Holy Spirit who you should support and for the amount. He is faithful to show you.
      3. Put together a team and go. The most encouraging thing is when family and friends come alongside and work in the field on projects that we are doing.  It is always encouraging and affirming to have people that you know and love join you in the work you are doing.
      4. When someone is back in their home area for a break or furlough, ask them what they need. Long term missionaries usually come home for a month or so each year and they have several needs, 
        1. Transportation - They do not maintain a car for such a short period of time.
        2. Airport pick ups - it is hard to ask for a ride from the airport when you have not seen someone for a long period of time.
        3. Someone to go to other Churches when they go to share their work. Even though they are home for a month, there is often supporting Churches that desire first hand updates so you may only see them once in their home or sending Church. It is always good to have a friend with when you go to a place that you are not familiar with.
        4. A place to stay. When travelling, hotels can be expensive for someone living on missions giving. people offering food and lodging can alleviate a big expense.
When you are spending money that comes from other people, it can be a very humbling thing. It helps you to understand that people love you and want to support you. It can also be difficult because you second guess much of your spending. You wonder if you can go out to eat with friends because it is not your money that you are spending. Encourage the people that you know in missions. They are not doing this to get rich but I believe God wants them to live and not walk in fear of spending a little on an occasional meal, movie or group outing.

Thank you for all the prayers, encouraging words and financial support over the years. I look forward to seeing you in Guatemala soon.

If you would like to support me and the missions of Iglesia Galilea, you can send checks to
Guatemala Mission
Life Church Morris
P.O. Box 679
Morris, IL 60450

Thursday, October 23, 2014

December is closer than you think!

The last two months have been amazing for me. With a new director at CYC and new pastor and name at Life Church, Morris I have had a lot going on. Building relationships with Jon and Caleb and hoping to help and encourage them in their new ministries has been fun. God has really been blessing my time in Illinois.

He has also allowed me to spend time with the kids at CYC. They may not always realize it but they give me joy. Some of them are going through difficult times right now but they keep coming back to us. I think that CYC's most important jobs are to be a beacon of hope when life is hard and to show the love of Jesus to people that may not often feel loved and valued. What an incredible blessing it is to be able to serve them.

In a little over two months, my focus will shift again. I will once again be leaving the people and ministries that I love here to return to my friends in Guatemala and to serve alongside my second family. While I have been enjoying my time here, I know that God is calling me back there. I am sure that I will be sad to leave but look forward to see what the next year of ministry is going to look like. 

People ask why I have not settled in one place but continue to go back and forth. Next year, I do plan on spending more time in Guatemala and it feels like home when I am there but I think God is calling me to be flexible. The world needs Christians that are available to go wherever and I want to be one of those people. I love my family and friends in both places but want to not be set on determining where I am going to be. God has called us to be mobile.

When I was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, the doctor told me that I had maybe 5  years so I should do everything that I intended to soon because I might not have an opportunity later. I never feared that I was going to die quickly but his words did help me to realize that we don't have a lot of time so we should find what God is calling us to and then be busy doing it. I have tried to embrace that idea

I will be leaving for Guatemala in a 2 short months but do not be surprised if you hear that I am trying to get a Guatemalan, American or mixed team together to go somewhere completely different. Time is short. God is moving and desires for us to move with Him. We miss out on great blessings when we become locked into a daily routine.

If you would like to support me in prayer or finances, contact me at or call me at 815-585-2844. I love to go and serve but it is only possible with your help. Thank you for all you have done and continue to do.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

People Are Asking

People have been asking me what's next. I have been back in Illinois for three weeks and everybody is asking how long I am here and what I will be doing next. I guess I wear my heart on my sleeve when it comes to traveling and missions. (Guatemala) I have thought a lot about what is next and spent time praying and discussing my future with others that understand me. I wanted to take a little time and share with you where things are as of right now.

I have been travelling to Guatemala for many years and studied Spanish a little in that time but I still have room for much improvement. Right now, I can often have some very basic conversations and am able to communicate my needs. I am not able to speak or understand well enough to have in depth conversation or to clearly convey the love of Jesus with words. Because of that, much of my ministry is limited to showing love while others have to convey what needs to be said. It is time for that to change.

After Christmas, I am planning to go to language school. I will go for the month of January and continue until just before the first teams begin to arrive. While teams are there, I will work with them and when they have left in April, I will return to school instead of coming to the States. Hopefully this will help me to get over the hump in being able to be more fluent in Spanish and help me become more confident.

I still plan on working with teams and there will be months of construction projects to be completed. I am looking forward to being able to return to the schools and work on these things. I am even more excited for that chance to speak more easily to the people there. 

I will be needing to raise funds for this endeavor. It is the longest that I will have spent at only single time and would ask that you pray for me. God always provides. He has used many of you to help. I want to say "Thank You". In the near future, I will be writing support letters and asking for people to help cover the costs as I begin to know what they will be. 

Once again, thank you all for all you done to make everything possible to this point and I pray that you will consider continuing this  for the God's glory and to make His kingdom known in Guatemala.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What Next

The kids in Membrillal saying good bye to Candace

Well, I am back in Illinois and I have to say that in some ways it feels like I was gone for years but in others, it feels like I just left yesterday. I certainly have mixed emotions about my return. I missed my family and friends here and am grateful for the opportunities to reunite that I will have in the next few days. At the same time, I am missing Guatemala and my friends there. The upside to living in two different places is that I am surrounded by friends wherever I am. The downside is that I am only surrounded by some of them and am missing the others. I guess that is why this world could never be our home. We were designed for eternal relationship not separation.
This summer, I had the chance  to spend time with the kids at the schools more than any previous trip. I got to play with them and hopefully show them the love of a Heavenly Father that enjoys them. 
 There were several times that I was able to be at the schools without a specific construction task. The kids would come and just want to play, watch a video on the tablet or have me take pictures of them. I have tried to share some of them but no picture could do justice to the fun that I was having. I believe that in the future this playful expression of the Father's love will become a bigger part of what God is calling me to. I do not know exactly how that will look but I continually see kids reaching out for loving. playful attention. I am excited to see where this leads.
Summer Crew 2014
As for the future, I am not sure what it will be. Right now, I am thinking, planning and praying about where to go next and what to do. I cannot share all of my plans at this time but feel like the next step is to go to language school in January. I have gone before but went in an area that was heavily populated by English speakers and I did not become immersed. This time, I am praying about going to Quetzaltenango in January to begin studying. If I am going to be able to minister in word as well as action, I need to speak Spanish much better than I do right now. After that I would begin working with teams again.
Some of our Galilea Team
I am asking all of this to keep me in prayer. I need wisdom and discernment to know God's leading in all of this. He has a plan. I have seen glimpses. I know what is in my heart and believe that it is aligned with His will.Please pray that I am in step with God and His timing. Thank You for your continued love, encouragement, prayer and support.

Monday, August 4, 2014

The World Needs Fathers

One of my favorite speakers over the years is a man name Jack Frost. He died several years ago but his ministry on discovering the Father's love has spoken to me many times over the years. I loved being where he was because of the sense of confidence that came from him as he spoke. He was so free and secure in who his Father had made him that he was unreserved. There were times that I saw him come out into a crowd and sit on another man's lap just to make his point clear. He talked a lot about being at home in love. This is a message that I think everyone needs to hear.

This summer, the words of Jack Frost have really began to take root in my life. Another man, John Washko, came to my Church just before I was preparing to come to Guatemala in the Spring. He said that he felt like God was showing him a picture of me as Papa Jorge and that kids, needing a father would begin to come to me. As with any word that people give to me, I put it on the shelf and prayed about it. Throughout the spring, as I went to the schools kids would high five me or fist bump but that was about as deep as it got. When I came home for a few weeks, I wondered if I had missed something. I was a little sad.

WOW, did God have something in store that completely caught me off guard! These last few months, kids just came to me. When I was reading, they wanted to see everything that my tablet could do. When I was sitting, they wanted to play. No matter what my reason for being at the schools, the kids just came to me. One day, I spent about two hours under a pile of kids that just swarmed around me while I was trying to read. Another day, they wanted me to slide down the wooden ramp and life them up to hang on a suspended walkway. For hours these things went on. Now I am having to be careful where I am when I go to the schools so I am not disruptive to the class.

Some of these kids have no dad in their lives and others have dads that have to be away from home for long periods of time to find work but cannot afford to take the families with them. I am seeing the need for substitute fathers to step in here just as much as I am seeing it in Illinois. If kids are ever going to have a good view of God as a heavenly Father, they are going to need people to demonstrate what that looks like to them. My role right now is to show them an adult man that just loves them and enjoys being around them, in supervised conditions of course. There are enough predators around that they need to experience this in a safe, controlled environment.

At the same time, God is showing me fears and insecurities in my own life that He needs to deal with. He has shown me areas where I have had a love deficit that will keep me from effectively loving these kids in the way that He desires to show Himself through me. Play and spending time with them is a first step. There is a need for something deeper and more substantial for them and I am just a part. I need to let the Holy Spirit deal with every area of my life where His love in me would be  blocked so I can be totally free and then, I need to let that love pour out of me so that they can know Jesus and He can be glorified in us all.

How are you doing today at being a vessel for the love of God to fill and overflow? I  need some work. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

How Do You Navigate?

This week has not been a normal team week for me. Usually when there is a team here, I am with them all of the time. I eat with them, work with them and drive them where they are going. This week started with me being separate from them for the first two days during their work time. Monday, I needed to take Patricia and her friend Joan to Zapote. they needed to visit our projects along with the Church and school and I had a couple of small projects to complete there. Tuesday, I needed to take Joan to the airport while they were out working in Membrillal.Both of these days had me driving more than working but I am here to do whatever they need.

While I was driving, I was thinking about how navigating here is different than at home. In Illinois, most of our roads and city streets are laid out on a grid.Navigation is usually pretty straightforward and does not require a lot of thought. Here, nothing is straight. I am often a landmark navigator. I turn at this building. I need to be in the right lane when I go past this spot to be prepared for the lane split ahead. Often, I determine my position by where I am in relation to a certain volcano or mountain. 

Yesterday there was a detour on the highway. The detour is actually the route that I usually take but because the main road was closed there was long delays. Because of the delays, I decided to take a route that I did not know. I knew that the Agua Volcano was south of Antigua and that I needed to go east until I was almost past it and hen go north. As we went through narrow streets in towns that I was not familiar with, I questioned my decisions several times until I started seeing familiar things. Even though I was not sure exactly where I was, I kept following the things I knew. After about 15 minutes, the same amount of time it would have taken without a detour, I would up where I thought I would.

This led me to ask: How does God lead me as I navigate through life? Is His word stored away so that I can call it up at the time I need it for a particular situation? Have I spent focused quiet time becoming familiar with the still small voice that the Holy Spirit usually uses?  Am I familiar enough with the way that I think to know the difference between my thoughts and Spirit inspired thinking? How many ways have I allowed God to develop in me so that I can discern where He is leading?

Just like I need to learn different ways of navigation that require different skills in Illinois and Guatemala, I need to allow God to develop different skills of discerning His will in me. Knowing and understanding Scripture is important. It is the basis for all discernment. Without sound Biblical understanding, we cannot trust anything else that we may here. We need to develop good Biblical knowledge just like we need to study a map before we go to a place and get lost. We also need to learn to distinguish the Holy Spirit speaking to us in thought, song, audible voice, impression or through others. If we do not learn and allow God to develop these things in us, we will frequently be wandering around trying to figure out the next step in life. If we develop these things, we can confidently take just the step that is in front of us at the moment, knowing that God will give us what we need after that when it is time. We no longer need to stress. We can rest in the leading of God and continue on until He tells us it is time to turn.

How are you navigating life today?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Lost World

Lately, I have been asking why there is so much work going into the proclamation of the Gospel and yet there is often little fruit. The Good News of the Kingdom of God should transform everything that it touches. There is no better word than that Jesus came to seek and to save that which is lost. Not only that but He came bringing a Spirit of adoption so we could be restored to our rightful place as children of God. It seems like our societies are not only not being transformed but they are becoming more openly hostile to this Good News. Are we doing something wrong?

The first thing that came to me is that we are not pursuing unity. I am often comfortable with Christians that agree with me but have little fellowship with those who come from a different tradition or understanding than me. I tend to hold to what I have been taught and cling to the limited revelation that I have without allowing myself to see that others may have a different understanding of something than me and they may be the one that is right. I am not advocating abandoning truth but rather being open to the idea that God may not reveal all truth to any one person or group. Someone else may be given a revelation of something that I may not have received. If I don't acknowledge, honor and learn from them, I will have a more limited view of the truth of God. He created us to need one another.

You might ask how this hinders our proclamation of the Gospel. First,they see us as hypocrites and phonies. Because we do not work together in spite of our differences, They believe we are not following the one true God. The rift that exists because of our different understandings keeps the world from seeing past us to the see the God we serve. When the disciples approached Jesus about those who were speaking about Him but were not with them, Jesus said that whoever was not against Him was for Him. How could they speak against Him if they were doing miracles in His name. We need to adopt this attitude in the body. Even if someone is not in our fellowship or tradition, we need to publicly bless them because there is One Lord over all of us.

Secondly, they do not see love from us toward our brothers and sisters when we do not get past our differences to proclaim His truth corporately. When we look for reasons to be divided, the lost world will pick up on  that. They already experience enough separation and rejection. Why would they want to be part of a body that claims to love Jesus yet cannot get along with one another. The world has enough strife without the Church adding to it. This theme is repeated in almost every chapter of 1 John. We need to take it to heart.

The other thing that has really struck me is how devoid of emotion much of my Christian walk is. I know the truth of God on an intellectual level. I study His word and know that it is true but I am unwilling to let my senses be overwhelmed by His majesty, glory, might, beauty or even terror. God is so much more than my finite mind can comprehend but yet He wants me to experience Him fully. Emotions and senses are to be as much a part of our Christian walk as intellect. His Spirit in me wants to work through all of these areas. How can God possess all of me if I do not allow these things to be involved in my walk with Him. The world needs to hear truth but they also need to see people overwhelmed by the bigness of God and not ashamed to let it be seen. Surrendering all of me means that God gets to reveal Himself to the world through every aspect of the life He has given me. 

We are between teams this week and this is what I have been thinking about the last few days. I have started to write this a few times but have to start over because I realized that my tone was one of accusation and that is the exact opposite of my desire. If you read this and you feel accused, I pray that you will know it is not my intention. What I am writing is born out of a conviction that God has placed in me over the last few days and months. If this causes you to question, I hope you do not feel condemned but rather, you come away with a feeling of hope for where God is leading.

Together as one in the proclamation of the Gospel.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Hard Work

There are many things that people think of when they think of missions. Often you have an image of sharing the Gospel through a translator, doing music and skits, preaching, and other similar things. These are part of missions, a very important part. What is overlooked though is that there are a lot of other things that go into missions that are just hard work or maybe a lot of down time.

Over the course of the last week, I have spend several days working in a town where the temperature flirts with the 100 degree mark daily, torn down a roach infested house, built two new houses, made 3 trips to the airport and one to the emergency room with a sick team member and spent a day in Antigua waiting while team members shopped in a market that I have been to countless times. These are all part of an ordinary week. sometimes, the only time that I share the Gospel is in conversations that I have with team members.

You might ask why those things are important or why am I wasting so much time with such little impact. The answer is because a lot goes into to preparing the way for the Gospel to be shared. Sometimes you have to build trust with people so that they will listen to what you have to say. Other times, people want to know that you love them before you can have any influence in their lives. You always have to help the people look after the people that come to help you out. None of these things is what you typically think of when the word missions is said.

Just like everything in life, missions is suppose to be about bringing glory to God above all and secondarily about helping Him bring people into His kingdom. If my goal is to accomplish a certain task, I will be frustrated often. My goal has become to ask God to show me how to do everything for His glory and to do it in a way that allows people to see Him in me. I am sometimes tired, sore, or bored but I have learned that I can have joy in the midst of it all. My job is to position myself in a place that Jesus can work through me. Do the things He gives me to do without complaining and do it to the best of my ability. If I can keep my eyes focused on Jesus, anything I do will build His kingdom.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Grumbling and Complaining

Last week was a busy week. We had a team come in on Friday, the 13th and start working the next morning on smoothing the roof of the Church building to make it more kid friendly since they are using the rooms and the open space more for Sunday School..We had to haul 35 . 100lb bags of cement along with countless buckets of sand and gravel to the third floor. The old surface had to be roughed up to accept new concrete and then we had to mix, carry and level all of that mix.

Throughout the following week, we worked on prepping for the foundation pour in Membrillal and building 2 stoves and a house in Zapote. The work is often tiring and tedious, whether you are digging and moving several dozen yards of dirt by hand or standing in one place all day tying re-bar for columns. I can say that in doing these things, the mind set on the flesh is death.

While I was working, I started noticing a pattern in my thought process. I always wanted to be doing what someone else was doing. If I was wheel-barreling, I wanted to shovel. If I was shoveling, I wanted to tie. If I was working on the house, I wanted to work on the stove. Contentment was never found when I focused on my work. The issue was, that I chose what I was doing. I would wait until all of the jobs were taken and look for what needed to be done so I willing chose to do what I was doing.

I started seeing how this plays out in all aspects of life. I frequently find myself comparing myself to others. What do they have that I do not? Why can they do something I cannot? Why did they get the job that I wanted? The devil brings these thoughts and jealousies in subtly. He does it in a way that we take ownership of them almost immediately and then dwell on them until they begin to consume us. Comparison is one  of the enemies worst schemes to destroy our lives.

As I recognized these thoughts, I started to see how to combat them. God is the one that has put me in this position. He has me there for a purpose. He is growing me into the person that I was created to be and I can praise Him for all of these things. He has not abandon me to be a manual laborer. He has made me a Kingdom builder. The work I do is all necessary for the building of His Kingdom in this place and it translates into a better inheritance for me as a joint heir with Jesus.

God does not need me, or any of us to accomplish His work on the earth. He could do the things that He has called us to more efficiently than we can do them. He brings us along like a Father bringing a child to work to learn the family business, assigning us tasks so that we can have the joy of accomplishment and a sense of belonging and ownership in what will be our inheritance. He gives us Kingdom building work because he knows it is important for us to learn that we have a place in His heart and in His creation. He calls us to do His work out of His overwhelming love for us. He does not need us to do it but we do need to do the work if we want to have assurance of our place in the kingdom of God.

If you get to feeling like me, remember that God is not using you because He needs you. he is giving you opportunities to grow as a son or daughter and learn to live in this community of family that is the Body of Christ. Stop comparing and complaining. Begin to praise God because he is making you into exactly what he has created  you to be.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Time to Quit Going to Church

I have been back in Guatemala for a few days now and have had a lot of time to read, pray and think. I have read several good books in the last week and they have stimulated much thought. Some of it has been good and other ideas have really challenged me. I just want to share one that is really sticking out to me these last few days.

It is time to stop going to Church. I have been in the habit of regular Church attendance for as long as I can remember. It has been a part of my life since I was to young to comprehend why were were going. There have been some Sundays that were fun, entertaining, enlightening and incredibly touched by God. There have also been some that were boring, dull and lifeless. Today, I decided it is time to stop going to Church. Many of you will ask why. Some may already be labeling me a heretic or at least a bad example to our kids. That is okay. If you feel that way. I am still not going to Church anymore.

What changes are we seeing in the world around us? Is going to Church making things better or worse? Is it having any effect on the way we live or the way society sees things. In all of the years of going to Church, can I truly say that I am salt and light? Has the world taken notice and submitted themselves tho the Lordship of Jesus? What good has it done the world hat I am there?

Well, you may ask what are my plans then. After all, I have spent most of my adult life in some form of ministry. What will I do now. I have decided to be the Church, the Body of Christ, or least the part of that body that I was called to be. I have a unique role in this body that only I have been created to fill. I intend to ask God to show more clearly what that will look like and then walk in it. To be the Church is to be a body, rightly connected to the Head, Jesus and fully functioning in everything that I was created for.

Going to Church lulls us to sleep. It makes us feel like we have completed an obligation for the week, maybe worshiped God or learned a previously hidden truth in His word. It does not transform the world. It is time to leave the pew behind and put our feet on the path of worship and service by filling our unique role in the body. I cannot tell you what your role is. That is the Holy Spirit's job, but when we each start fulfilling our role, the world will change and come alive.

I am not going to go to Church anymore but I will be gathering with my brothers and sisters on Sunday and throughout the week to join their voices in becoming one, united body. We will worship together, work together, eat together and fellowship in a way that Jesus is honored and we are drawn into our full potential as the Body of Christ. I will encourage my brothers and sisters to find their place in this body and help them as I receive their help also. I will be part of a living, dynamic organism made of numerous parts intertwined together for the glory of God.  Eph 2:11-22
Doesn't that sound much more exciting than going to Church?

Later this week, we will receive our first team of the summer. There is much to do. won't you pray for us as we begin this next chapter and won't you join me in being the body?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Time to Love

As many of you know, I spend a considerable amount of time in Guatemala working with Iglesia Galilea. Soon I will be returning there for three more months to pick up the construction projects that we worked on while I was there earlier this year. While some of the work is getting close to completion, there are other projects coming up to replace them as soon as they are finished. When you work with people that have a vision for making disciples of their nation, the work does not end until everyone has had the chance to respond to the call of Jesus to come and follow Him.

While I am excited to get back to work, I will also be missing some great people in Morris. While I am passionate about the work in Guatemala, I am also passionate about the work we do at CYC and the kids that we serve. Leaving them is difficult because they have become such a big part of my life.  God has used to teach me so many things that I believe are crucial for the success of any ministry. and the truths that I have learned from these kids are important for the work God calls me to everywhere. I would like to share a little with you about these things.

For many years I have worked with kids in the Morris community. I have shared in their victories and cried through their defeats. I have had them open up to me about very personal things. Often, we are the only adults that they share any deep things about their lives with. I have heard about family lives and situations that I never thought any kid should have to live through. My heart has experienced huge highs and crushing lows as I have shared with these kids. Many times, their circumstances have been far beyond my ability to reason or figure out and so I prayed about the best way to help and God began to show me a truth about ministry.

We can love people and work to help them out of their circumstances but there will always be another crisis. If we become firefighters helping people extinguish the fires of their lives, we are going to run out of water. Love for them and empathy for their situation is not enough to carry us. Life is to much and we are not up to the challenge.

The truth is ministry must come from a place of being seated with Jesus in heavenly places. He sits above their circumstances and sees the big picture in their lives. He can navigate through places that we cannot see. Jesus has a plan for healing and deliverance that my lead through difficult places. He loves us and the people that we love better than we, on our own, ever could. He has wisdom to lead people through the place that He desires and bring them out on the other side, leaving them healed and whole.

Our role in missions or any ministry is to harvest intimacy with Jesus. We need to spend so much time with Him that He fills our vision. The bigger our vision of God the more empowered we are when we step into the enemies attack. We will have more faith as He leads us into places of staring down the enemy are he charges in to attack. When we understand the strength of Jesus, we can stand with others in scary places and not fear for them or for the outcome.

The other thing we need to do is get familiar with the love of God for us. When we know and understand the love of God for us, we have something to give away. We can believe that God wants to change the circumstances of others. His love will transform lives, communities and nations. When we are secure in it, we can join Him in that work. When we are not, we try to manipulate circumstances or God to separate people from the things that are causing them pain. We often interrupt the thing that God is using them to make them free and more the person that He created them to be. We need to receive love first from God before we can really have it to give to others. Without God's love flowing through us, all of our help will be misguided and may even deepen the problems that we are trying to fix. We love because He first loved us.

I am excited about where God is leading but I am most excited that he is teaching me to live and walk in His presence so that I can bring His life into every circumstance. I have learned to be content in Morris or San Lucas as long as I am with Jesus. I know that I will be fruitful regardless of where I am because Jesus is there. Thanks for all of your support and prayers in this journey.

If you would consider supporting me financially, as well as in prayer, it would be greatly appreciated. Checks can be sent to:
My Father's House of Prayer
C/O Guatemala Missions
P.O. Box 679 
Morris, IL 60450 
Checks can be made out to MFHOP.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Going Forward

As many of you already know, soon I will be returning to Guatemala for 3 more months. We will be continuing the projects that we worked on this spring and will hopefully see the completion of the Church in Membrial. I plan on leaving on June 2 or 3 and staying until about August 28. While I have not yet bought my plane tickets, these plans are tentative but that covers the dates that the summer teams will be there and gives me a few days before they come and a few at the end to take care of anything that I need to do to be prepared.

When I left in the spring, I said that my goal was to raise $7,500 to $8,000 for this years work. That covers airfares, food, some personal travel expenses and my other needs and would also leave about $3,000 to $4,000 to go toward projects. As of  now, I have raised about $2,200 in support and that leaves me about $1,800 short of my personal expenses and nothing for the projects that we are working on. I would still really like to be able to take a gift from here to bless the Church in San Lucas.

As many of you know, in February my Church hired a new pastor. At the time, I felt like I was suppose to leave my position as Youth and Missions Pastor because I would not have time to build a relationship with our new pastor. I was not forced to leave or even asked but did feel that it was the right thing to do for the sake of the Church. I am still in fellowship and am quickly getting to know and appreciate Jon and Heidi, our new leaders. Because of this, I no longer have a salary so that means my only support is from people that want to be part of what I am doing.

I am not asking anyone to do anything but pray. If God lays it on your heart to give then obey. If He does not, please continue to pray for the us and the work we are doing. Spreading the Gospel is a team effort. Not everyone can go all of the time but everyone has a role to play. I know that God has called me to what I am doing and He is faithful to meet my needs. Ask Him what your role, if any should be in the continuation of this ministry. If He calls you to go with me, that would be a great thing to. If you would like to know more about what we are doing, I have a video you can see on youtube @

I love you all and want to say thank you for your support over the years and all of the time in Guatemala. I pray that you see God's blessings on your life as you continue to seek and obey the callings He places on your lives.


f you would consider supporting me financially, as well as in prayer, it would be greatly appreciated. Checks can be sent to:
My Father's House of Prayer
C/O Guatemala Missions
P.O. Box 679 
Morris, IL 60450 
Checks can be made out to MFHOP. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Where is home?

It has been a strange two weeks. I got sick for much of my last week in Guatemala so I was not able to work with the team after Monday. I spent two days in bed and then two more days driving but not working. I did not eat for about 4 days and was miserable. In spite of my sickness, the team kept working and they accomplished a lot. They finished the sidewalk and drive at the school, finished the playground did food distribution and poured Rudy's roof and three floors in his house. I was grateful to Merari for taking my place one driving when I could not.

On the 15th, I left to come back to Illinois for a few weeks. The CYCM Annual Promotional Banquet is on Friday and there is always a lot of work to do in the days leading up to that event. I figured that it made sense to come back and work here rather than stay in Guatemala when there were no teams. I jokingly told my Guatemalan friends that I needed to come back for a vacation because they had worked me to hard.

The reality is that I have come to think of San Lucas as home also. While I have family and friends in Illinois and I miss then when I am gone, God has also given me a second family in Guatemala. t is as hard to leave them as it is to leave Morris. Wherever I go, I am away from people that I have become very close to. It seems like I am always wanting to be with someone and they  are inevitably 2,500 miles away.

All of this has made me ponder life. We know that we are only here temporarily and that we have an eternal reward waiting. Unless we isolate ourselves and never build relationships, there will always be someone missing from our lives. If we have eternity, why don't we pour ourselves into building the Kingdom of God that lasts forever instead of building a temporary kingdom that will be destroyed. Why don't we choose a moments discomfort to build a treasure that an inheritance that can never be taken away.

Already this year, 2 more classrooms were constructed in Membrial, the driveway was put in, a playground was poured and then had play equipment build and the foundation for the new Church was dug. In Zapote, there was a clinic at the school that served 600 patients, The Food Machine received a good cleaning had the pump replaced and had work was done to balance the nutrients for optimal plant growth. There was a house and 6 stoves build and the Gospel was shared numerous times in many ways.

I will be returning to Guatemala in a few weeks and resume the work that we have been doing. There will be several more teams coming and by the end of the summer we should see the near completion of the Church and school in Membrial along with some good harvests from the food machine and other plant projects that Dennis Knutson helped us with in February.  I will be there approximately 12 more weeks. 

 If you would consider supporting me financially, as well as in prayer, it would be greatly appreciated. Checks can be sent to:
My Father's House of Prayer
C/O Guatemala Missions
P.O. Box 679 
Morris, IL 60450 
Checks can be made out to MFHOP. 

Friday, April 4, 2014

Blessed Beyond Measure

Today was an amazing day. We have been working hard all week trying to get several projects wrapped up before the Hinton team goes home. Hood River, Fox River and Fairhaven were all here working hard and now we are finishing all of the work the other teams started. We were surprised today with a special thank you from the children at the school in Membrial. They had prepared a short program of song and dance. They presented thank you cards to several of the members of the current team and then concluded with the children coming and hugging everybody.

As I watched and then was mobbed by small huggers, my heart was just full of joy. How could I have ever planned such a blessed life. These children have seen me around their school but only a few have gotten to know me but yet the outpouring of love was amazing. They expressed such gratitude for the work being done that many were crying. Their tears led to many team member tears.

As I witnessed this, I really began to think about how blessed I am. I have two distinct things that occupy my time and I love them both. When I am in Illinois, I get to hang out with and great bunch of kids and talk about life with them. They share their triumphs and sorrows and I get to be part of seeing God move in their lives. I also have gotten to work with some of my best friends in this ministry over the years. CYCM and the people that I have gotten to know through it have been a tremendous blessing.

When I am not in Morris, I am most likely in San Lucas, Sacatepequez. This place has become my second home and God has given me many more amazing friends here. I have been able to work on many projects that help people and bring God glory. The Church that I get to work with here has great vision for God's desire for this nation and they continue to press on to see it fulfilled.

Not many can say they have found the thing in life that gives them fulfillment but thanks be to God, I have found two places that fill my heart with the God's love and gratititude. I am not sure how long I can split my time between the two but for now, I am thankful for the opportunities in both places. 

It is hard to leave the people that I love whether I am leaving the US or leaving Guatemala. When my time is up in a place, I get nostalgic and want to live in the past victories but when I get where I am going, I am fully involved in life there and settle in quickly. When I think about it, how much more blessed can a man be than to have two places where he is at home and loved. I am truely blessed beyond measure.

I will be here until April 15 and then returning to Illinois for a few weeks. I will return here to resume working with teams for the months of June, July and August.  I will need to continue to raise support for the work we are doing. If you would consider supporting me financially, as well as in prayer, it would be greatly appreciated. I need to raise about $4,500 for the last three months of this time. Checks can be sent to: My Father's House of Prayer C/O Guatemala Missions P.O. Box 679  Morris, IL 60450  Checks can be made out to MFHOP.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Time flies

This week has flown by. It seems like just yesterday we were picking up the Hood River team from the airport and it has already been 6 days ago. They jumped right into a busy work schedule on the first morning. As soon as breakfast was over, we left for Membrial and started digging 2 classrooms out to get down to grade so we could pour the floors. By the end of the week, they had poured the classroom and office floors along with a sidewalk, excavated a lot of dirt with much concrete in it, done two Bible School days in Membrial and one in Zapote and built two stoves. They have been a very industrious team and I have heard them say on more than one occasion that they just want to be doing what God directs them to.

Over the course of his week, I have been reminded of something that I though about a lot when I was recovering from surgery and going through chemo. What would I do if I know that I only had a year to live? Is the thing that I am doing right now what I would want to be remembered for? 

When I first was diagnosed with cancer a little over three years ago, I was not fearful but I did think about things that I might not ever be able to do. I considered how much time I wasted on meaningless things along with the things that I had done that I was proud to have been part of. I felt like God was showing me that every day was a gift from Him to be used for His glory and to advance His Kingdom, a kingdom in which I have an inheritance.

I may not use every minute as wisely as I should but I have come to value the use of time much more. When I look at the effort that was expended by so many to accomplish what they did this week, I realized that it was worth it. Time was well spent. More kids will be able to attend school and hear the Gospel as a result of the work done. Jesus' name will be lifted up by some who would have never heard it if not for the efforts of those that came and worked this week. Sore, achy joints and stiff bodies are a small price to pay for the lives of the children that will come to know Jesus in Membrial and all the way up the road to Buena Vista.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Wet underwear

Fox River was here last week and I had a great time with friends. I have not been able to spend much time with the Marcouxs or Andrew for a while because at home we had so many conflicts in schedules that it is hard to get together. I was glad that they came and we got to work and hang out for a week. I was also grateful that they brought Dennis with them because I saw a spark in Tono's eyes that I have not seen for a while. Seeing someone with understanding of how things grow and working with him for the week was a blessing and an encouragement for my friend.

This week was an entirely different week for me. We went to Zapote to support a Kid's Alive/Oasis medical team from South Carolina.The first two days, I went and cleaned on the Food Machine because the panels had turned from white to green and brown.It is not the most glamorous job in the world but it needed to be done. By the end of the day I smelled like decayed plants, fish poop and sweat. I know that is an attractive picture but I got to ride home in the truck for 1 1/2 hours with 4 other people. They must of loved me. At least on the second day Rudy and Adolpho helped so I did not stink alone.

Wednesday and Thursday were different though. My job was to police the hall where people lined up for the clinic and keep them from trying to sneak in ahead of their turn. I did not have a lot of vision for this being a great experience but God had another plan for the day. Children were coming through with their families and had long waits to see the doctors and dentist. you cannot keep a 4 or 10 year old just sitting with nothing to do for 3 hours. As the day wore on, they grew restless and I started playing with them, chasing them in the confined space away from the "old people", playing with a beach ball and just being silly. By the end of the day I realized that I had an amazing day.

I love kids and those that know me know that they have always had my heart. Often, in a group, I would wonder away from adults and just hang out with the little ones. There is something about the simplicity of how they see things that I love to be around. it refreshes me and gives me energy. it also makes me pray that God will show us how to love and honor them in a way that they will be able to grow up different, without the cynical attitudes that the older generation has, to keep a childlike faith and hope alive in them.

God has taught me this week to look for signs of His life contacting mine each day and to be thankful whether I am in soggy underwear from the 95 degree temperatures, smelling like fish poop or if I am playing with children.Right now he is telling me that I need to be thankful for the 65 degree morning where I can sit with my feet up and relax with a cup of coffee. Soon enough, it will be time to get ready for the 22 people coming to stay with me next week and work on the school.

Remember to be thankful in all things. God is at work.

I will be here until April 15 and then returning to Illinois for a few weeks. I will return here to resume working with teams for the months of June, July and August.  I will need to continue to raise support for the work we are doing. If you would consider supporting me financially, as well as in prayer, it would be greatly appreciated. I need to raise about $4,500 for the last three months of this time. Checks can be sent to: My Father's House of Prayer C/O Guatemala Missions P.O. Box 679  Morris, IL 60450  Checks can be made out to MFHOP.

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Least of These

Last week, I had a trying day. I was taking a shuttle from Antigua to Panajachel and had 2 1/2 hours to kill as I waited for my van to leave. I decided to walk for a while since i would be sitting in cramped quarters for a couple of hours. As I walked, I noticed more beggars than I have ever seen in Antigua. I am sure they were always there but because I am usually there when a lot of tourists are around, I usually did not notice them all that much. After walking, I went to sit down in the Central Park for a while and had to turn down 15 different shoe shines in a half hour. I believe that God was opening my eyes to the people around me.

I was praying about all of these things as I walked, sat and rode the shuttle. I asked God what I could do that would have a real impact on the lives of these people. If I just gave out a dollar or two to each one, I would be out of money before the day was over and they would not have any lasting benefit from it. I could pray for them or maybe share the Gospel and that would be good but it would not fill their stomach. What could I do that would really impact them both in the here and now as well as for eternity? I prayed but did not receive any insight.

Two days later, I was at a children's home where I had gone to visit a friend. In the morning, I went with Jean as he was taking the preschoolers to their school so I could get a boat to take me across the lake. as I went to the house where the younger kids lived, they mobbed me. I had my hand held, received numerous hugs, put shoes on children and had on ask me to hold him as we drove in to the school. What a 40 minute experience.

I felt God clearly spoke the answer to my earlier prayer. I love those kids even though I seldom see them. My heart is full when I am around them and I just want to give them what they ask for even when it is inconvenient.Just being around so many little ones brings me joy. That is how God feels about the people on the streets begging or doing menial jobs that cannot support them. He loves them and when they look to Him, it makes His heart full. He wants to be their Abba, Father. Daddy.

God the Father, wants us to learn to see all people that He has created in that way. He has created them with worth, purpose and dignity whether they recognize it or not. He wants us to see people through His eyes, be filled with His love and act toward them out out hearts that are full. God does not have step-children. He wants all to come into His household and experience His love as adopted sons and daughters. He calls us to know no man after the flesh so that we can treat them in a way that points them to this love. We cannot, in the natural see all people this way. We all have some people group that we have a hard time with but Jesus laid down His life so that we could love them all. How do you see people today?

Nick and Amy Marcoux came with the For River group last Thursday and will be here until the end of the week. It has been great getting to spend time with old friends and work on things together. This week, they will be going to build a couple of stoves in Zapote and make a few changes to the aquaponics project to see if production can be increased. last week they disassembled,  moved and rebuild the storage building in Membrial. Pray that they would see how God can use them to change lives and build His kingdom while they are here.

I will be here until April 15 and then returning to Illinois for a few weeks. I will return here to resume working with teams for the months of June, July and August.  I will need to continue to raise support for the work we are doing. If you would consider supporting me financially, as well as in prayer, it would be greatly appreciated. I need to raise about $4,500 for the last three months of this time. Checks can be sent to: My Father's House of Prayer C/O Guatemala Missions P.O. Box 679  Morris, IL 60450  Checks can be made out to MFHOP.

Sunday, March 2, 2014


This has been a great week. I got to spend the last several days with Mike and Cindy Harrington. They spend a few says in Santiago, Atitlan and then came back to San Lucas to help out here. They did not come with an agenda but they were just open to doing whatever Tono felt like needed to be done. They came with servant hearts.

While they were here, we did something a little bit different than normal. We often work on projects like building houses, stoves, schools and churches for people in rural villages. Construction here is just one of the ways that people use their abilities and talents to show the love of Jesus. In that way, the project was not that different than any others but I felt like it was greatly different in one regard.

There is a brother here named Rudy that works for Iglesia Galilea. he does whatever is asked of him. He is one of the hardest working people that I  know. He regularly goes above and beyond what the job requires to make sure that everything that needs to be done is taken care of before the last minute, even if he does not go home until late the night before we start a project early the next morning.

In a little less than two months, he will be getting married. Because he has been waiting on permission to build, he had no home to take his new wife to. Time is getting short and there is a lot to do. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday, the Harringtons along with a group of people from the Church started digging the fopundation for his house and making the column supports for his exterior walls. By 7 last night, he had a foundation poured and is ready for construction to begin on Monday. Not only did we get the property ready for them to begin setting block on Monday, we saved him quite a bit of time and money.

It was such a blessing to be part of Rudy's future,  helping with the home that he will raise his family in. He serves and this week we were able to serve him. God has a plan to meet the needs of His Body. we need to remember that we are called to look out for the needs of our brothers and sisters. If we would all begin to do this with consistent, conscious effort, there would be few needs in the Church body.

The call to support, encourage and edify our fellow believes is for all of us. Whether we are at home or half a world away, we know people in need. We are to look after them as we would our own self. If we all do this, the world will see a unified force for transformation and the Bride of Christ will radiate His glory. Let's ask God who we are suppose to direct His love toward today and again every day  as we get up. It is like Heidi Baker says, "We are called to love the one in front of us, one person at a time." are you ready?

I will be here for another month and a half and then returning to Illinois for a few weeks. I will return here to resume working with teams for the months of June, July and August.  I will need to continue to raise support for the work we are doing. If you would consider supporting me financially, as well as in prayer, it would be greatly appreciated. Checks can be sent to:
My Father's House of Prayer
C/O Guatemala Missions
P.O. Box 679 
Morris, IL 60450 
Checks can be made out to MFHOP.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

In Unexpected Ways

This week has been a challenging week. With a couple of late nights always followed by early mornings. I was tired from about 5 o'clock Monday afternoon until I went to bed last night. I was having a hard time keeping up with this large team. The thing is, they were the oldest team that I have worked with. While there were many young and middle aged, there were several in their 70's and one, at least that was 80.

While the work went on this week, some of the older people were being worn down by the physical nature of construction work here. Everything is done by hand. They completed a pad for a play area and re dug the footers and poured them for the last of the first floor classrooms and the school office. They built columns and a cabinet and many smaller projects. It was a week of hard work.

The thing that stood out to me though was one man on the team. He is 80 years old, has had major heart surgery and both knees replaced. There were times when he would sit in a chair on the job sight and fall asleep. One day, he was shoveling sand into buckets for cement and could not stand so he sat in the chair and shoveled, taking about twice as long as it took anyone else. 

He has been faithfully coming to Guatemala for 14 years, working in Zapote and Membrial. I was wondering when do you say enough? By the end of the day, he could barely get in the van with his surgically repaired knees. What keeps him coming back when obviously he does not have the stamina for the work?

On Friday, I got to drive him along with about  or 9 others out to Zapote without any other members of the Church team. While at the school in Zapote, which this man helped build, I got a better picture of his motivation. He sponsors 6 children in the school and knows them all. He has been part of the work in that village since it began. While he was there, each of the kids was pulled out of class and brought to him. He had gifts and pictures for them. He also told them about his family and thanked them for their letters to him. he showed them the heart of a grandfather for the grandkids that he did not get to see often enough. His love and concern for them was genuine.

The reason that he keeps coming is because it does not matter how old you are. When we allow God to give us love for people, we love until there is nothing left of us. He may not be able to do all that he once did but he showed the love of Jesus as well as I am guessing anybody could. He is not going to quit demonstrating God's love to these children until he has no breath. Of this I am convinced so I just want to say "Thank You Dale for teaching me a valuable lesson this week."

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Family of God

Yesterday the first team of the year arrived. It is always difficult when a team comes to get to know people quickly. This team is hard for me because they are the one that has been working longest with the Church here and over that last 13 years, their relationships have been cemented. They have been coming to work with Tono and Merari for many years. I was feeling like the outsider as we began the day.

When we went to Church this morning, the presence of God was incredible during worship. He spoke to me about family and the unity of the body of believers. I went along very well with a chapter in a book titled "Kisses From A Good God" by Paul Manwaring. I was reminded that family and relationship are God's idea. He created them and is bringing us into a family for all eternity.

As I look toward the coming week, I am excited. Tomorrow we will start by moving a lot of dirt and getting the ground ready to form and pour a concrete drive and parking area at the school. It may not sound like a great day but I am getting to do it with family. I do not know them well yet but I know that in a week, they will be brothers and sisters living in a relationship that is eternal. My back will be sore but my family will have grown by 29.

I am so grateful that God has been showing me recently how connected we really are as the body of Christ. He is making us into one united whole. Wherever He leads and whoever is there, I have a family. I love the people back home and I miss hanging around with them when I am not there but God has really shown me how He provides for all of our needs, even the need for family.

If you would like to contribute to my expenses for the ministry in Guatemala, you can do so by mailing a check to:
My Father's House of Prayer
C/O Guatemala Missions
P.O. Box 679 
Morris, IL 60450 
Checks can be made out to MFHOP.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Chasing Happiness

When I was a young man, I chased after many things to make me happy. I thought more money, another party, more alcohol, vacations or many other things would finally give me the happiness that I was searching for. I was always chasing after something that was just out of my grasp. I wondered if it was just an illusion that some people had convinced themselves that they had achieved.

I went to Church as I was growing up. I continued to go even in the midst of my ungodly lifestyle because it was expected and that is what respectable people did. While I was sitting there with blurred vision smelling like smoke and hung over from the night before, I was not finding life. I saw rules for living but not life. I rejected the Church even though, by appearance, I was part of it.

One day I clearly heard God saying that I had rejected systems and rules that people had instilled in me but I had not even given Him a chance. I had never let my life be controlled by a relationship with Him. I was 21 years old and at that same time, a guy that I knew invited me to a College age Bibles Study. That was the beginning of a life transformation that is continuing today

Since that time, I have come to learn that happiness is found first in a relationship with Jesus and then in fellowship with others. He created us for both. Without Jesus, our relationships have a self serving purpose. When He becomes the center of our life, we can love and serve others without fear or hesitation.  Our circumstances become secondary to our purpose. We are here to love. When we love God and others, our lives are full whether we have money, health or any other thing that the world values.

Are you happy today? Do you have joy that persists regardless of circumstances? Have you given Jesus the opportunity to lead your life or does He just get to make occasional suggestions? If you are tired of playing the religious game, I encourage you today to ask Jesus to show you His desire for your life and then submit to whatever He shows you. Then begin to talk to people that are on the same journey of faith as you.

Thanks for taking time to read this today. I leave for Guatemala in just about 36 hours.

 If you would like to contribute to my expenses for the ministry in Guatemala, you can do so by mailing a check to:
My Father's House of Prayer
C/O Guatemala Missions
P.O. Box 679 
Morris, IL 60450 
Checks can be made out to MFHOP.

Monday, February 3, 2014

A New Way of Looking at Life

I was thinking about something this morning. As Christians, we are promised an eternity of rewards. All of them are because of the work that Jesus did on the cross. We cannot earn Heaven or cause our own salvation. Jesus accomplished what was necessary for us to be in relationship with Him. Heaven is mine not because of my righteousness but His.
There are however, references to rewards in Heaven. While we cannot earn Heaven, we are rewarded for our acts of obedience 
to God. I do not know how this all works out and I know that even my obedience is prompted and empowered by the Holy Spirit. I cannot take credit even for that. But, if there are eternal rewards for obeying Jesus here, on this earth, why do we settle for temporary enjoyment at the expense of eternity?
Obedience to the things Jesus calls us to may come with an earthly expense. It may cost us to follow and obey Him. Some are called to give up everything and live in poverty with the people that they serve. Others may be called to give up their life or spend it in a forced labor camp for the sake of the Gospel. I think that there is a reason that Jesus told people to count the cost. Following Him could cost us everything that we count as precious to us.
Bonhoeffer said "When Christ calls a man, He bids him 'come and die'." In our Western mindset, we do not often acknowledge that our call is a completely surrendered life to the cause of Jesus. We live for immediate rewards. The Church is in disarray because we have bought into the lies of immediate gratification.
Wanting out inheritance now, makes us much like the younger son in the story of the Prodigal. We are wasting an eternity of rewards and inheritance for the right to live it up now. We neglect to understand that the son was a son who had and inheritance that he squandered. When he came home, he was still a son but the inheritance all belonged to his older brother. He could live in the comfort of his father's house but it would never be his house.
What are we living for today? I think that it is time to fix our eyes on Jesus and our eternal reward. We need to live like that only thing that matters is God's purpose. Everything else needs to be laid aside. Let us learn to live for eternity.

If you would like to contribute to my expenses for the ministry in Guatemala, you can do so by mailing a check to:
My Father's House of Prayer
C/O Guatemala Missions
P.O. Box 679 
Morris, IL 60450 
Checks can be made out to MFHOP.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Time is getting short.

I will be leaving in two weeks. Time is getting short. I seem to forget that while I am away, family and friends will miss me as I miss them. It seem like it is easy to take them for granted until I am away. It gets easy to be caught up in 1,000 other things that need to be done in preparation to go. In a month, it will be easy to look back and see where I missed time with the people that I love at home. I think it is easy to do everyday. We assume that our family and friends will just be there when we are around. I pray for the wisdom to recognize opportunities to spend time with them.

People ask why go and be away from those that you love. Why leave your life behind, even for a few months? Are you going on vacation? looking for adventure?

The answer to all of these things is because I believe that Jesus calls us to it. Some are called for short periods of time and others for years but all are called to go. I do not believe that God calls us because He needs us. He is God and fully sufficient to accomplish His purposes without us. He calls us because He loves us and wants us to have the joy of serving Him and those He created. God's purpose is to manifest his love in the earth. We get to experience it best as we go and share it. He calls us to go because he wants to transform us into His image.

My challenge to each person that reads this today is to ask God where they are suppose to be working for the advancement of His kingdom. Look for an opportunity to serve and make His love known. It can be scary but will be the most rewarding and life transforming thing that you have ever done.

If you would like to contribute to my expenses, you can do so by mailing a check to:
My Father's House of Prayer
C/O Guatemala Missions
P.O. Box 679 
Morris, IL 60450 
Checks can be made out to MFHOP.