9 Ways Marriage Glorifies God among the Nations

Is it actually a legitmate idea that our marriages can help spread the glory of God around the world?  A Christ honoring marriage can only be brought about by those who truly love Christ.  It could be argued, in fact, that a Christ honoring marriage can only be brought about by Christ Himself.  With this thought in mind, and with the hope that my marriage is one that glorifies God among the nations, here are 9 ways marriage can glorify God among the nations.

  1. Husbands, loving your wife as Christ loves the church provides a beautiful picture of the gospel.
  2. Wives, loving your husband as the church loves Christ provides a beautiful picture of the church.
  3. When Christian marriages last they provide a beautiful picture of covenant relationships.
  4. When Christian marriages invest together they provide a beautiful picture of service.
  5. When Christian marriages celebrate together they provide a beautiful picture of joy.
  6. When Christian marriages weep together they provide a beautiful picture of mourning.
  7. When Christians marriages are fruitful and multiply they provide a beautiful picture of discipleship.
  8. When Christian marriages aren’t able to have children they provide a beautiful picture of contentment.
  9. When Christian marriages love their neighbors they provide a beautiful picture of hospitality.
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Hungry?

Let me tell you a few brief stories from some of my past experiences.

Uganda – In order for church leaders to be able to gather to receive training they walked over 2 hours to make sure they were on time.  They sat for 6 hours listening to preaching and then walked back 2 hours.  And then they did it again the next day.  Why?: Uganda Believers Hunger for the Word

Philippines – In order for church leaders to have training they drove for 4 to 6 hours on a motorcycle with four people on it through the jungle.  They slept in the ground and they sat on a small wooden bench for 8 hours a day for 3 days to study God’s Word.  They listened to 4 sermons in a row without a break because they didn’t want to accidentally miss anything.  Why?: Philippines Believers Hunger for the Word

China – In order for the church leaders to have training they had to come at night.  They couldn’t come all at once and they had to all leave at different times.  They had to be very quiet as we sat in the apartment.  And two weeks after I left the police raided the apartment and warned them all to never meet like that again.  Why?: Chinese Believers Hunger for the Word

Russia – In order for the church leaders to have training they traveled by car for hours to a campground, slept in tents, and sat on stumps from the forrest.  They sat for hours at a time studying and learning so that they could take it back to their churches.  Why?: Russian Believers Hunger for the Word

Keep these truths in mind and then ask yourself the question: Do I hunger for the Word?

5 ways to know God

Do you want to know God?  Here are 5 ways in which we, as believers can know God more intimately.

  1. Read the Bible.
  2. Study the Bible.
  3. Listen to the Bible being taught.
  4. Meditate on the Bible.
  5. Memorize the Bible.

I realize that this seems foundational and maybe too basic.  But, the truth is, it is foundational and it is basic and yet many of us fail to do it!

9 Quotes on prayer

 

  1. “Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this, for your sermons last but an hour or two; your life preaches all the week. If Satan can only make a covetous minister a lover of praise, of pleasure, of good eating, he has ruined your ministry. Give yourself to prayer, and get your texts, your thoughts, your words from God. Luther spent his best three hours in prayer.” – ROBERT MURRAY MCCHEYNE
  2. What the Church needs to-day is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use — men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men — men of prayer. – EM BOUNDS
  3. Prayer – secret, fervent, believing praying – lies at the root of all personal godliness. A competent knowledge of the language where a missionary lives, a mild and winning temper, a heart given up to God in closet religion – these, these are the attainments which, more than all knowledge, or all other gifts, will lift us to become the instruments of God in the great work of human redemption. – CASEY’S BROTHERHOOD, SERAMPORE
  4. You know the value of prayer: it is precious beyond all price. Never, never neglect it. – SIR THOMAS BUXTON
  5. Prayer is the first thing, the second thing, the third thing necessary to a minister. Pray, then, my dear brother; pray, pray, pray. – EDWARD PAYSON
  6. If the anointing which we bear come not from the Lord of hosts, we are deceivers, since only in prayer can we obtain it. Let us continue instant, constant, fervent in supplication. – CHARLES SPURGEON
  7. If some Christians that have been complaining of their ministers had said and acted less before men and had applied themselves with all their might to cry to God for their ministers – had, as it were, risen and stormed heaven with their humble, fervent, and incessant prayers for them – they would have been much more in the way of success. – JONATHAN EDWARDS
  8. Air is not more necessary to the lungs than prayer is to the preacher. It is absolutely necessary for the preacher to pray. It is an absolute necessity that the preacher be prayed for. – EM BOUNDS
  9. If I should neglect prayer but a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith. – MARTIN LUTHER

Ways to Increase Intimacy with God

Some of us, as believers, struggle with the idea of growing closer to God.  To be honest, from conversations I have with some believers, it’s that they just don’t know how to increase their intimacy with God.  While others simply don’t realize that they are missing something if they are not intimate with Him.  They called on Him for salvation, they try to obey His commands, but they don’t live their lives in deep relationship with Him.  The following steps can be taken to increase your intimacy with God.

  1. Confirm your salvation.  Evaluate your life and the fruit of it and make sure that you are actually a follower of Christ and not just going through the motions.
  2. Consider your church.  Make sure you are attending a Bible-believing, God-glorifying, Christ-exalting church. Now, make it a habit to stay plugged in and miss as seldom as possible.
  3. Cast your cares.  (1 Peter 5:7) Make prayer a vital part of your life.  Remember this is the way that Scripture dictates that we communicate with God.  Communication is key for any healthy relationship.
  4. Contemplate the Scripture.  Read it, study it, meditate on it, and memorize it.  Remember, the Bible is breathed out by God and is useful for believers (2 Timothy 3:16).
  5. Count your blessings.  As you evaluate your daily life realize how many gifts have been give to you by God and remember that every good gift is from Him (James 1:17).

A new journey- Fostering

What does fostering mean?

This past weekend our family began a new journey.  We officially entered into the world of fostering.  We have been certified as a foster family for 9 or 10 months now, we just received our first placement this weekend.

We received a call Friday evening and a short 4 hours later K-Man (that’s not his name but that’s what we will call him on here) arrived at our house.  The little guy, 2 years old, was tired and afraid as he arrived.  After about an hour of helping him settle down he went to sleep and Gloria and I quietly starred at each other as if to say, “here we go, let’s do this.”  The next 24 hours were incredibly hectic as we had to get him clothes, hygiene items, shoes, and even make a doctor visit.  Through it all our kids did a great job of loving on and caring for K-Man.  In fact, he did quite well himself.

Some of you might not be aware of the foster care system but let me tell you that there are essentially three ways in which fostering works.  One way is to foster only.  This means that there are foster parents that offer their home during the in between time.  The time while the state has custody of a child for any myriad of reasons.  During this fostering period, the foster only parents have no intentions of adopting but simply to be an aide during this difficult time in the child’s life.  There is a great need for more people to fill in this role.  On the other end of the spectrum there are those that are Adoption only.  This means that they are only wanting to have a child placed in their home that is eligible for adoption.  In many cases, the child might leave a “foster-only” house to go to an “adopt-only” house.  We, however, are on the foster to adopt list.  What this means is that we are willing to foster a child with a willingness to adopt them.  They may be in our home for just a short time and then be able to go back to stay with their family.  Or they may end up needing to be adopted and if so, we would take the steps necessary to bring this about.

We consider it a great privilege to help care for this little boy during this challenging time in his life.  We do not know very much about his background and we do not have to right now.  We simply know that we are responsible to love him and care for him as long as he is with us.  Gloria and I want to thank you already for your prayers for our family as we adjust to this new situation.  Please also pray for K-Man as he adjusts to us crazy Hunsbergers.  In addition, please pray for his parents who are certainly struggling in some manner during this time.  Pray that God would use this as an opportunity to display the love of Christ to K-Man and his parents.