Saturday, February 18, 2012

New Blog

To everyone who is following me on this blog, I have a new blog.  If you're interested you can go to

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Matthew (learning)

What if there were no laws in our country? What do you think that would look like? The law is an essential part of any society that hopes to be healthy and safe. If we had no laws in our country, there would be no order. People would do what they wanted without boundaries, and we all know that people given such freedom would make decisions that would hurt the community as a whole. Every community, state, nation, province needs laws.

Something that really struck me this past week was how much I ignore the "law" that Jesus talked about. He said to the people that he came to fulfill the law of their day. They had laws like "Do not murder," "Do not commit adultery," and "Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce." In response to these things Jesus said, "Do not hate your brother," "Do not lust," and "Do not divorce, except on the grounds of sexual immorality." Jesus' law -- or way -- fulfills and trumps all the laws ever made by men. For example, those who hated another person would receive the same sentence as those who had murdered another person.

Jesus does not remove the law and replace it with love, but he fulfills it through love and if I'm not living in his law I am choosing to take the easier road, to do the bare minimum, to measure my goodness in the eyes of what men would say is good rather than the way God says is good. I have to admit, it's easier to justify hating my enemies, judging others, holding prejudices or bitterness, building my own financial security instead of thinking of others' needs, and hiding in religion.

I've resolved to go through what Jesus taught (Matthew 5-7) piece by piece and ask God to help me to live out the fulfilled law, BUT I have to say one more thing with this or else you will not understand what I mean. I am doing this with a prayerful understanding that I am not saved from my guilt of breaking the "law" by following the law better, but by asking God for his grace. This is my way of stepping out in my learning to love Jesus more fully rather than in complacency. leader, president, king, and ruler is Jesus. Our law says not to murder. Jesus tells us not to hate, to forgive and to love our enemies. Pornography, adultery and divorce are the norm. Jesus says not to lust, but to live faithfully towards each other. Everything in industry is about making money, even if we have to cover up the truth. Jesus says to let our "yes" be yes and our "no" be no. And still in all of this, I know that my strength or hope is not found in doing any of these things, but in God's amazing grace...because in the end, it's never going to be enough. But still these things are all I want to do because of his amazing grace. I want to love him in return.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

End of May Update

Hey Friends and Family,

NIV Scholar Visits SBS

A few weeks ago we had Dr. Youngblood, one of the twelve scholars who translated the NIV Bible, teaching us. Needless to say, we felt very blessed to be able to spend a whole week with someone who knows the Bible so well in its original language.

One thing I learned from him: "Humility is the most important aspect of being a Christian."

Changed Forever

"I've been changed forever." This phrase came to my mind this week during a meeting on our missions base this past week. My life will never be the same after doing the School of Biblical Studies.

Looking for...Prayer

Have you ever met a pastor who didn't know the story of David and Goliath? A few months ago Chris Lautsbaugh, a man who has been working with pastors in Africa for over ten years, told me he's met a few.

He invited me to join him. I prayed about it and now I'm on my way to join the YWAM Base in South Africa from June 24th-Sept 20th to help equip pastors and congregations with a Biblical foundation.

Please pray for me as I prepare and as I leave. It's going to be hard for me to say goodbye to everyone and go to a place I don't know. I also need another $1,000 by June 24th. Please pray for that to come in too (if you feel led to partner financially, reply to this e-mail and I'll send you the info where to send support).

Thank you for all of your prayers and encouragement as I've been in ministry and preparing for more ministry : )


p.s. - I recently did a teaching from Habakkuk I titled "Fear". Here's the link if you'd like to see it

Tuesday, May 31, 2011


When going through Isaiah I started asking God, “How do I seek you?” I started thinking about the word seek and I started to wonder if I really wanted to seek him. It’s been a challenging thought. Do I really seek God? Do I even want to seek God? What do I seek?

So, I've been seeking God and I've been growing so much. I'm looking forward to sharing this with others and getting back into minisrty.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Update: May 2011

It’s 7:30am now.  The sun is up and shining bright.
To start, I’m really excited to take what I’ve been learning and share it with places where there’s need for it.  We’re going through the prophets lately.

This week we’re going through Isaiah.  I see it as this huge mountain and I get to explore it, and look through the caves, and figure out and understand it and when I’m done, I can look back at the mountain and be like “Dude, you should check that out, and if you go this way there’s a really good look-out point.” I’m excited to dig into it and know it so I can get other people excited about who he was and all he said.

When I was trying to read Isaiah in one sitting (because that’s the first step we take in studying a book), and three hours had gone by and I was getting tired, bored and zoning out.  Then a thought came to my mind about how Paul had studied this book and he knew it, and I then got really excited and started putting effort into my reading because I really want to know what Paul knew.  I feel so honored to be able to study the same literature that Paul did.  How amazing it is that we still have these Scriptures!

One of the themes that I picked up is God’s focus towards people who have humility and who are not arrogant.  He will lift up the humble and bring down the arrogant/proud.  He will lift up those who turn to him and recognize him for who he is.

I’ve got two more months, and I am off to South Africa.  Hopefully you know that by now.  I’m going to be learning to teach the Inductive Method of studying the Bible and how to teach the Historical Background on the Bible.  Then I’ll be bringing that teaching to pastors and congregations around Southern Africa.  Right now I’m looking for people to partner with me in prayer and financially.  If you want a prayer letter, just let me know and I’ll send you one.

That’s it for now.  I hope you guys are doing awesome and being blessed.  If there’s anything you want prayer for, let me know.  I love to keep connected.

Isaiah 26:3-4

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Last Leg

The third quarter started about a month ago. I found out about a week ago that I was accepted to join a team with YWAM in Africa this summer. I’m still praying about it and working out details and I will send you more information as it comes together.

What To Do With Dirty Feet
I just returned from spring break and on my return I had an interesting conversation with a man angry at God and angry at the church.

Before I got on the plane I had prayed that God would open doors on my flight if he wanted to use me in someone’s life. When the man across the aisle started talking with me he eventually told me he hasn’t heard from God in years, and has lost his trust. His wife has turned from God. And he has noticed that the church is messed up, so he’s given up on the church. I encouraged him in the simplest way I knew and told him what I felt God put on my heart.

Later a thought came to mind, “Jesus washed the disciples’ feet!”

The church is not perfect, but Jesus set the example for believers in terms of the way we relate to a dysfunctional group of believers. We are not to tear it down, but to find ways to build it up. Our mindset should not be, “What church can I find for myself?” but rather, “God, where can I serve?” God can use anyone to humbly bring truth where it is lacking if they would only seek him and his kingdom first, to bring his Spirit and his love not just to neighborhoods, but to the groups of believers we participate with in simple ways.  

(Side note: I hurt for all the Christians out there who have been hurt by people in the church and I hope that they don’t judge God by the way imperfect people have treated them.)

The Last Leg
We’re on the last three months. Things are going well. We just finished Kings and Chronicles and continue to move forward. I can’t believe how fast it’s all gone. Over break I was able to do some teaching and participate/help with a few Bible studies, which was really good for me. I’m looking forward to the doors this training I am getting will open.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

1st Quarter of SBS Montana has studying 8-12 hours a day going?

Well, we finished the first semester (the School of Biblical Studies is three semesters...a tri-mester if you will). So much has happened. I made another video : ) (click on the link to see it) about what life has been like in this first quarter and wishing you a Merry Christmas. Here are just a few highlights from the 1st quarter.

We've gone through 18 “books” of the New Testament. Studying Paul’s life was like taking him out to coffee. I was able to really learn his heart and situation and to know the hearts and situations of the believers he was writing to. And when we went through the book of Hebrews I felt like I got so close to Jesus that I touched the holes in his hands and in his feet. He has become so much more real to me as I've studied the New Testament this semester.

Over-all though, God has continued to impress on me that even more important than knowing so much about the Bible and having these incredible experiences is actually applying to my life whatever he is teaching me.

We had a time of prayer for healing and I saw with my own eyes a guy’s leg extend out to the same length as his other leg (I asked him about it a week later and he said that it was sore that week because of the change in muscles being used, but it was starting to feel normal). That really challenged me in my faith in God's power to do miraculous things through ordinary people, even today.

We had the first snow. It had been two years since I saw snow falling and it was really weird, and also really fun for me. There were many epic snowball fights after that.

I taught a section from 2 Timothy (specifically 2 Timothy 2:22-26). I shared a story of when I was attacked verbally in the UK by an entire shop of people for being a missionary. I was able to share that as those who trust God through Jesus, when we are affronted by people who challenge us or mock us in what we believe we shouldn’t be argumentative. Instead we need to be kind to everyone and to speak the truth and correct with gentleness.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.