Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Back to the Jungle

We are heading back to the jungle this weekend.

Paola and I are taking 18 youth on a mission trip back to the "House of Hope" orphanage in the jungles outside of Caranavi. We took the youth there in May and they have been itching to go back.

So this weekend we will be taking a six hour bus ride outside of La Paz to share the love of Christ with about 80 kids. We are preparing a special program for them and also through a generous donation from the mens' group of our church back home we will be able to buy food and supplies for the orphanage and also material so that they can make new bed sheets for all the kids.

Paola and I continue to give God the glory for using us in the lives of the youth this year. It truly has been amazing and He is responsible for everything. Please keep us in your prayers this weekend as we travel and pray that these youth will have an experience with Christ that they have never had before. We don't want them to come back the same.

I will give you a recap next week when we get back.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

northpoint online

Buckhead Church, a church that I attended back in Atlanta, just recently started broadcasting their Sunday night 6 p.m. service live online.

Now. Wherever you are in the world you can tune in to great worship and an incredibly relevant message from the Bible every Sunday night.

I'm watching live right now. Will you join me?


He just might change your life.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Can't earn it

We cannot earn God’s approval. We try. But we can’t.
And that’s the point.

I have been thinking these last few days about something that I thought about back when I was getting ready to move here to Bolivia as a missionary.


Just let that sink in a little bit. There is nothing that you or I can do to make God love us more or love us less. His love for us is massive and it is constant and unchangeable.

I came face to face with this truth when I got on the plane to come to Bolivia as a missionary. I came here to serve God because I love Him and because of what He has done in my life. Not because He is going to love me more and give me a gold missionary star.

A lot of Christians are trying to “just be good enough” to win God’s favor. We try to pray enough, read the Bible enough, go to church enough and serve Him enough so that God will say, “Wow. Look at how good and disciplined they are.”

I am not saying that these things are bad. In fact that are essential for every Christian. I am just asking, “What is our motivation for reading, praying, going to church and serving?” Is it so God sees us and rewards us? Or is it because we love Him and we can’t help but do those things?

Sometimes we want to serve and accomplish things because we are selfish and egotistical. We want to say, “Look what I did.” We might not say it out loud but our spirit inside thinks it.

I am guilty of this. I wonder sometimes about my motivation for sharing with you all that we are doing here in Bolivia. Is it really to share the amazing things that God is doing in our lives or is it just a tool to raise more funds?

Again. Raising funds is not bad either. In fact, it is vital. What I am talking about here is our motivation.

Are we trying to DO things like read, pray, go to church and serve because we think that that is the formula to get into a relationship with God or do we DO all of those things BECAUSE WE ARE ALREADY in relationship with Him.

Let’s just think about it…why do we do what we do? As a great movie quote from “Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade” put it…is what you do for His glory or for Yours?

Service to God wherever we live and whatever we do should flow as a natural result of our love relationship with Him. We should love God so much and be so thankful and grateful for what He has done for us that we can’t help but serve Him.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


I consider my wife Paola to be one of the most well-rounded women that I have ever met. For me, she is the total package.

And when she puts her mind to something she usually gets it done.

Her latest challenge...drum roll please...knitting.

That's right...knitting.

Our baby already has his or her first little sweater thanks to Paola.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Every night this week Paola and I are attending classes at the church. We are studying and learning more about Paul's letters to the Romans and to the Galatians. Dr. Ford and his wife, Bible professors from the states, are here in La Paz teaching.

They are sharing alot of wisdom with us. In fact, God is really giving both Paola and I a desire to study the Bible more. How could studying the Bible more hurt? We are missionaries and more and more we are being placed in position to teach others.

So we are thinking about how we can study the Word more in order to be able to better teach those that God places in our path.

Speaking about Paul's battle between the flesh and the spirit last night Dr. Ford said, "Whatever you feed grows and whatever you starve dies."

Let's all think about what we need to feed and what we need to starve.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


Paola and I are kinda on a book reading frenzy right now.
We have a thirst to read. Yeah, we are reading about the baby but we are also just reading more. I have finished two books recently and I am working on # 3.

First, I read one called "The Ten Commandments of Marriage" by Ed Young. Great book. My sister gave this book to Paola in Spanish and then I found an English version and we both read it together. Great Godly insight for us newlyweds.

I just finished reading "Wild at Heart" by John Eldredge.
A pretty famous book among guys. I read it once back in the states but reading it again as a married missionary expecting a child here in La Paz, Bolivia was a completely different story.

Now I have in my hand "Through Gates of Splendor" by Elisabeth Elliot.
This is a true story of five missionaries who lost their lives in 1956 trying to take the Gospel to the Auca indians in Ecuador. The quote on the title page by Jim Elliot, one of the missionaries who lost his life, said it all for me as I opened this book...

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."


Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Where's the fruit?

Recently I was sent a daily devotional from Rick Warren that shared this info:

Noah waited 120 years from the time he started building the ark until it began to rain.
Abraham was told he would be the father of a great nation and didn’t have a child until he was 99.
God told Moses he would be the leader to lead his people out of 400 years of slavery, but then made him wait in the desert 40 years.
Joseph spent years in prison before God raised him up and he became the ruler God wanted him to be.
God had David anointed as king, but then David waited for years until he actually got to be king.

These guys had to wait. And sometimes you and I have to wait too.

Sometimes we get to see the blessings and fruit of serving God in our lives and sometimes we don't.

After sharing a great list of heroes of the faith, Hebrews 11:39 says...
"These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised."

And it got me thinking...God does not owe us fruit. We are not guaranteed to see the fruits of our labors. Seeing the fruit is a blessing and we should give thanks to God. God has already allowed Paola and I to see some fruits of our labors for Him and I thank Him for that.

Many people in the Bible died without ever seeing the blessing that God promised them. Yet there faith in what God had promised them never wavered. They remained strong and firm in their beliefs.

I want to be the same way. I want to be a person of strong faith even though I never see the fruits of my labors, never see the blessings or if God never answers another one of my prayers.

What He has already done in history is sufficient for me. How about you?

Monday, August 03, 2009

More to lose

I was thinking today and I realized that I think it gets harder for us to surrender to God the more that we have to lose. At least that is true in my case.

(Also, check out the case of the rich ruler in Luke 18:18-25)

For me, being single was one thing and then I got married. And I had to surrender the relationship with my wife to God. And then my wife got pregnant. And now I have to surrender the health of my child to God. Some people have more and more stuff and it gets harder and harder to let go and surrender our stuff to God because we have more to lose.

When we have more to lose it is harder to say "Ok God. You can have it ALL."

I didn't have as much too lose before but now that I have wife and a baby on the way I feel this "more to lose/surrender" tension like never before.

But when we do have more to lose and still decide to surrender to God then God just gets that much more glory. I forget sometimes that it all comes from Him anyway. He brought me to my wife. He blessed us with a baby. If He wants to take them away from me He can.

Surrendering gets easier when we realize that we are not responsible for our blessings and that everything we have comes from God.