Category Archives: Kingdom Events

Special Moments Honduras 2016

IMG_5175January 5-13 I went along with five friends on a spiritual adventure to Olanchito, Honduras. It was my third mission trip to Honduras in the past two years, and the second with XMA (Extreme Missionary Adventures), a para-church ministry facilitating and leading small groups on short term mission trips to countries around the globe.

IMG_5109But the story I witnessed started many years before.

Once upon a time there was a little boy growing up in and around Olanchito, Honduras. His dad was a gifted cattle man and business man who rose to oversee a huge ranch and cattle operation in the area. The boy would in time come to oversee security at the American Embassy in Honduras, a very responsible, respectable, and good paying job.

IMG_5073In time he would come to know Jesus as Christ and King. Later he would feel the desire and call to leave that job and make Christ known to the people in the mountains around his boyhood home of Olanchito. His beautiful and charming wife said, “Why don’t you do that without me.” 🙂 But soon she joined him. For twenty years he labored to that end and prayed for the Lord to send help. Then, sixteen years ago, through chance meetings, relationships and friendships; mission teams from The States started going several times each year, mostly led by XMA, to work with Pastor Dario, and his vision is in full swing with no signs of abating.

IMG_4870On a long 4-wheel drive truck ride to a remote mountain village, I had the joy of sitting in the front seat with Dario and hearing some of his story as I queried him. Our ride was going to take us 3 hours, farther and higher into the mountains than I’d ever been. The village chief (also now the pastor) and his wife sat in the back seat, while others we would drop along the way filled the back of the pickup. They had traveled to the pastor’s conference by foot, and we were taking some of them home, as well as checking on the ministry and church in the village of La Bassa. They conversed with Dario in Spanish about their lives and ministry, punctuated with laughter and smiles. I enjoyed it even though I understood very little. It was a happy and peaceful time.

IMG_4880When there was a period of quiet and looking at the beauty of the steep mountains amid carving rivers, I took the opportunity to ask some counsel from Dario for some friends in my city who are considering starting an orphanage in Honduras. After hearing his sage and heart-felt counsel, I asked him about his personal and ministry journey. With a heart of peace, joy, and gratitude he told me he oversees twenty-seven pastors and churches now in the mountains around Olanchito, in addition to pastoring his own congregation in Olanchito, a city of about 80,000 inhabitants.

IMG_4891I was about to see one of those remote villages myself. We turned off the main road, stopped to lock the hubs and put our two 4×4 pickups, still packed with people, in four-wheel-drive low-range, for the forty-five minute steep, winding plunge into the valley floor where the village lay. I grew up in the highest parts of the Ozark Mountains, driving jeeps and 4×4 pickups as a boy and young man. This was a joyful and peaceful experience for me, albeit impressive! The rest of our six-man team was from flat Louisiana and some told me later they weren’t experiencing the same emotions on our descent. 🙂

About ten minutes from the village, with its thatched and tin roofs in sight from time to time, our lead truck came to a stop. The doors opened, and I was about to have one of the most surprising and meaningful moments of my trip.

IMG_4900During the week, sitting around the dinner table of the mission house we had heard bits and pieces of a story about a man named Larry on a short term mission trip years earlier, hiking six hours into a village for ministry who had experienced a sudden, fatal heart attack. Our second truck pulled in behind us and stopped. I looked at Dario momentarily and he softly said, “We always stop here.” I then noticed off the road up the hill a metal cross with flowers inside a little fenced and well-cared-for plot of ground. It hit me all of a sudden, this is the village and this was the spot where Larry entered eternity. The village chief opened the wire-gap gate and stood back looking at the cross. All was peaceful and quiet in the trucks and with our team who had gotten out by now to see what was going on. After a time, I asked Kevin “Do you want to go up there with me and pray?” He nodded and the two of us stepped through the wire gate up to the cross, knelt on the freshly cut grass and prayed that the Lord would honor Larry’s sacrifice and care for his widow, children, and their descendants forever. We prayed the kingdom work in this village he cared for would flourish as well. It was a somber, sacred moment for us all as we pondered sacrifice and eternity in our own ways.

After hearing earlier that someone had died on one of these short term mission trips and getting over the initial shock of it, a thought occurred to me that I shared  with the others as they nodded their agreement. “What a way to go! Serving the Lord one second — seeing Him face to face the next!”

As it turned out Larry had been to this village twice and developed a friendship bond with the chief. Until the time of Larry’s home going, the chief had a still in the area and sold alcohol to the villagers. Being touched by Larry’s sacrifice and death, the chief was moved to destroy his still and change his ways, eventually becoming a Christian and the pastor of the village church.

Pastor Dario had also told me on the steep descent into the deep valley that when he first came to the villages here he found seventeen people living in a one room hut with a dirt floor. Each burrowed out his or her sleeping place in the soil. Pastors, wives and missionaries also educated village households to stop spitting on their dirt floors, as it transmitted sickness, and other hygiene education. Some villagers he told me were still squatting in place for meals and using unwashed hands to eat food from their bowls instead of utensils. He smiled pleased at the quality of life and health changes he’d seen in the villages as well as moral and social changes due to the gospel.

IMG_4917None of us knew what was in store for us that day, but after a little milling around and looking at the village surrounded by smiling children with eager eyes, we were invited to the newest and most beautiful building in the village. It was a concrete block and metal roofed church completed two years ago by volunteer groups from The States and the villagers. A gentle wind blew simple scarlet and gold curtains filing the open air windows as children lined the stage and began to sing worship songs to Jesus accompanied by a man with a guitar and at the direction of the village chief playing a well-worn accordion. What an incredible, beautiful site!IMG_4943


Our team was introduced one by one to the applause of the villagers. Then one of our number, Tim, gave a short testimony and message from the Bible with Pastor Dario translating. An invitation was given and the team prayed for the sick and those coming with spiritual needs. The peaceful and joyful service completed, we were invited to the chief’s home for a dinner of rice, beans, and chicken  prepared and served by his wife and daughter. Following the meal we enjoyed a hot cup of home grown and roasted coffee before heading outside to goodbye hugs, waves, and our trucks.

IMG_4931The sunshine had disappeared with wind and clouds threatening imminent rain showers which could render our accent back up the mountains treacherous if not halted. So we quickly got underway and made the thirty minute plus climb to the main road just as the showers began. Driving back to the mission compound, and then to church in the city that night, our hearts were full of joy and wonder at what God had done in that village with those people, allowing us to see it and be a small part of their community.

“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matthew 24:14)

“And I saw another angel flying in midheaven, having an eternal gospel to preach to those who live on the earth, and to every nation and tribe and tongue and people;” (Revelation 14:6)

 “And they sang a new song, saying, “Worthy are You to take the book and to break its seals; for You were slain, and purchased for God with Your blood men from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.” (Revelation 5:9)


Honduras 2016

IMG_5105During mid-January I went with a six-man team from Louisiana on a short-term mission trip to the mountains around Olanchito, Honduras. Some on our team have a long-term relationship with a local pastor there, as does our mission-facilitating organization XMA (Extreme Missionary Adventures).

IMG_4530Let me stop and give a shout out to XMA for their service and value to the Kingdom of God, especially the world of short-term missions! In their short history they have developed relationships with indigenous church leaders, pastors, and missionaries around the globe. I’ve seen this wonderful association myself and benefited from it twice now. They serve church groups and individuals like you and me by organizing and leading us on spiritual adventures to serve proven people they know. You can and should read about their organization and opportunities to help you or your group go on an adventure! One of their mottos is “Adventure with a Purpose!” They perform a wonderful service and do a wonderful job! Give them a look!

IMG_2631Honduras is in Central America about a three hour flight from Houston or Miami. It’ s the second largest country in CA, beautiful, mostly mountainous, with both an Caribbean and Pacific coast line. According to Operation World, considered by many the authority  on world missions, Honduras is “one of the Western hemisphere’s poorest countries,” with “widespread unemployment, low wages, and long lasting devastation from  Hurricane Mitch (1998)”… making it a country of great need. “Thirty-seven percent of the population is under fifteen years old.” So there are lots of needs and opportunities to sow into and help children in Honduras.

IMG_4645What you may not know (I didn’t!)  is that Honduras has experienced “five decades of evangelical growth. In 1960, evangelicals numbered 32,000 and were 1.7% of the population. They are now 1,750,000 and 23%, and growth shows little sign of stopping. Some polls show that up to 36% of the population identify with evangelical beliefs.” These statistics and what I’ve seen on three trips to Honduras in the last fourteen months make me believe God’s heart and ear is turned to the people there.

IMG_4629 IMG_4792What did we do there? Two of our number had prepared for and subsequently taught a pastors conference. About 20-30 pastors and some of their family members walked as many as twelve hours through the mountains to the mission compound and camped in the crude dorms. They attended the teaching sessions about six hours each day for three days, in addition to worship and prayer times. During this time the rest of us did construction work, putting a metal roof on a partially completed church building in a nearby village about five miles upstream of the mission complex in the mountains.



We also ministered one afternoon in the Olanchito state prison, sharing the gospel and our testimonies. There we saw five men come to faith in Christ for the first time. Others came forward so we moved among the prisoners, laying our hands on them, praying for them and their families as the Spirit gave us impressions. We didn’t have translators, nor were they needed. It was a special time.

One of our team had shared with the group at devotional time the day before, “Last year this time I was in prison myself, and I haven’t been a Christian very long. This is my first mission trip and I don’t know the Scriptures like the rest of you guys so I’m a little nervous.” We said in response, “Are you kidding? You are the sharpest tool in the Lord’s pouch! His saving grace is very fresh to you, and they will be able to relate to you fully.” He did a great job sharing his testimony, with the prisoners hanging on his every word! 🙂 All the while the Spirit bore witness to his words. 🙂

IMG_3301 IMG_4400To keep it brief I’ll stop for now and write again about a couple more special Honduran experiences in separate blogs. In summary, pray for Honduras! And consider going! The people and country will be blessed eternally, and you more so!

Photos 🙂

Foster Care Summer Camp 2015

SONY DSCFriday morning at 6:00 a.m. I had the pleasure of attending the 44th annual Fort Smith Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast downtown. The event is hosted by the CBMC (Christian Business Men’s Committee) and was very inspirational. Some inspired prayers where offered up to the Lord by area pastors, and among the honored guests was Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchison, who briefly addressed the crowd before the main speaker, NFL running back William Green, took the podium.


SONY DSCT. Ray Grandstaff, Arkansas Director of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, introduced Mr. Green saying that he had arrived in our area a couple days early and addressed several area high school football team members resulting in 59 young men professing faith in Jesus Christ. He was an outstanding man, an excellent speaker, with a great story. (When his talk becomes available digitally, I’ll include a link here!)

SONY DSCGov. Hutchison was brief with his remarks praising the committee for their efforts in hosting this event and underscoring the value and need for prayer in the political and government arenas. He went on to passionately promote two initiatives asking faith based groups to come along side the State of Arkansas in service and leadership with their help and support. He  framed the need and opportunity by asking churches and faith-based groups to help in giving some Arkansans a much needed 1st chance in life, and by giving others a much needed 2nd chance in life.

DSCN1672The two groups of Arkansans, he went on to say are (1) prisoners being reintroduced into society after they’ve served their time. And (2) foster homes for kids. He said that there were presently 500 foster children in Sebastian County who were in need of a place to stay with only 125 homes currently serving. Please pray about these situations and act as the Spirit leads you. Foster children need a 1st chance in life, while released prisoners need a 2nd chance.


SONY DSCOn Father’s Day this year, a local faith-based organization hosted their 11th annual summer camp for foster kids  with volunteers from four area churches and  their children. The organization, Matthew Eighteen, is organized and lead by a local couple who have served foster kids in their homes for several years, and adopted foster children.

SONY DSCThis 2015 Matthew 18 camp saw 25 volunteers serving 23 children. And according to Curtis, the director, there were eight baptisms at camp’s end. He said, “This year’s camp was characterized by healing. The camp’s theme was, ‘You are more.'” For a photo album of this year’s camp, click here. For a short story of this year’s camp by video, click here.


If you’re interested in Governor Asa Hutchinson’s call for faith based help, attend and talk up the Restore Hope Summit explained below.

“This morning, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced a call to action for faith-based leaders to discuss solutions to two seemingly disparate issues facing the state: the shortage of foster homes for children in Department of Human Services custody, and the lack of services for former prison inmates reentering society. The “Restore Hope Summit” will be held on August 25 and 26 at the Marriott Hotel in Little Rock. Those interested in attending can register online here.” Arkansas Times

Another Camp Hope Video

Video “A Day at Camp Hope”

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” (Philippians 4:8–9)



The Footsteps of Paul

Ready for Adventure?

Ready for Adventure?

Greetings in the Name of the Lord,

I’m planning a spiritual adventure that I want to make public. It’s a trip to Turkey and Greece this coming June 2015. I led a wonderful group of  thirty folks to Israel in 2009, and many of them requested I put together a follow-on trip covering the footsteps of Paul — his missionary journeys. Then earlier this year a pastor friend of mine mentioned he had promised his people a similar trip, but was having trouble finding the time to plan it. I offered my assistance. The resulting trip is on the books and available to you or any friends who may  be interested. We have twenty folks signed up and have room for ten or so more to make an optimum size group.

I am! :)

I am! 🙂

Paul covered an amazing amount of territory in his missionary journeys, even by today’s standards. We’ve arranged our travel to cover about 80-90% of it, including the Churches of Revelation, and the Isle of Patmos where John wrote the Apocalypse. Pastor Wes has been teaching on the book of Acts in preparation for the trip, and you can access his teachings here. You can find a basic map of our trip that I hope to update soon here.

IMG_0446Or you can read the itinerary for the trip here, along with phone numbers for answers to any questions you might have. You can also email me for information from this website. We’ll visit a beautiful part of the earth, as well as an important part of church history and western civilization. I’ve not been to Greece and am very much looking forward to that. I was in Turkey on an USAF deployment in the 1980’s and found it warm, beautiful, and enchanting. Ephesus is still the most amazing archaeological site I’ve ever seen. I look forward to seeing it again!





Today I received  this insight from Dr. Tuttle, who will be the Paul expert on our trip, along with Pastor Wes, myself, and our Turkish/Greek guides. “I’m just back from Israel and we had a great time.  Turkey/Greece and Rome will be even better.  I’m reminded that this pilgrimage completes the NT begun in Israel.  Israel gets us into the Gospels but Turkey/Greece/Rome get us into the rest of the NT.”

I hope you can join us! Pass the word and this link to anyone who might be interested in this earth-life adventure!

Shalom All,








Honduras 2015

Honduran Coast at Tela

Honduran Coast at Tela

Honduras, about the size of England, is the second largest country in Central America after Nicaragua, it’s neighbor to the south. It’s  home to about 8 million people. According to Operation World, Seventh Edition, about 50% live in cities, and about 37% are under the age of 15!  It’s one of the poorest countries in the Western hemisphere with an average income per person of $1,826 (4% of USA), and 28% unemployment.

New Guitars Put to Use

New Guitars Put to Use

Commenting on the religious landscape Operation World states, “In 1960, evangelicals numbered 32,000 and 1.7% of the population. They are now 1,750,000 and 23% , and growth shows little sign of stopping. Some polls show that up to 36% of the population identify with evangelical beliefs.”

Beautiful Young People

Beautiful Young People

Moon’s travel guide reports the religious landscape according to a 2008 poll as 47% Catholic, 36% evangelical Christians, and 17% “other.” They also note that, “A belief in magic and witchcraft is common among Hondurans in both rural and urban areas.” And commenting on it’s history they note, “For reasons not entirely clear, Copan (in Honduras) was the greatest center for arts, astronomy, and science among the Maya.”

5 Hour Drive to Olanchita

5 Hour Drive from San Pedro Sula to Olanchita

From January 7th to January 13th, sixteen folks from Louisiana, California, and Arkansas went on a ministry and friendship mission adventure to Central America organized and hosted by Extreme Missionary Adventures (XMA) and initiated by my friend Robert Lindsay, our leader at age 75, making his 10th and perhaps last mission trip to Honduras. He’s passing the leadership torch and mantle to others he’s trained along the way.


Prison Ministry

Prison Ministry

During the week long adventure we did prison ministry, a three-day pastor’s conference, construction at the mission complex, and visited two villages, praying for the sick, sharing the gospel, distributing Bibles, tooth brushes, and clothing.

Bunk Bed Construction

Bunk Bed Construction

If you’d like to view some photos of those activities, places, and people click here.

XMA exists to help groups of friends, individuals, or church groups go on mission adventures and make a difference in the lives of others while broadening their own perspectives, fulfilling the great commission given by Jesus to disciples of all ages until He returns. You can get a feel for their philosophy and hearts to serve from visiting their website, as well as a look at opportunities for future missions. I’ve been on ten short term mission trips now, and I can attest to the fact that they are experienced, organized, and excellent in all phases of making such trips meaningful and successful. It was a pleasure.

Robert with Leo

Robert with Leo

Speaking of a pleasure, meeting the other fifteen team members, all but one for the first time, was a real pleasure. We bonded immediately and had a great time together, building memories that will last a lifetime and beyond.

I found Honduras a beautiful country, with beautiful, warm hearted people, who were generous, gracious, and truly appreciative of our help. XMA has a ten year relationship in Olanchito with a pastor who pastors a church in the city while mentoring pastors from several neighboring villages. We partnered with Pastor Dario, helping his ministry while he made many of his relationships available to us. Working with him gave us meaningful and immediate entrance into communities and lives there, opportunities to really see into the culture and into people’s individual lives that simply being a tourist can’t replicate. I can’t say enough about it. It was truly another life event and memory, as most short term mission trips are. Go! Soon! You’ll be glad you did.



Bill with Bear Wittness and an armed Guard

Bill with Bear Wittness and an armed Guard!

Youth Leading Worship

Youth Leading Worship…Honduras’ Future


My Goodness 2015

January 1 Greetings,


Making new Friends

This time of the year and this day of the year are excellent for pondering one’s life, and especially the years — the passing of time. My wife and I have each remarked that 2014 was the fastest passing year of our lives. With technology and communication being what they are, there is no reason to expect time to slow down going forward! Unless, unless we make a quality, personal decision to make it so, and then take some necessary action!

Reconnected with Old Friends

Reconnecting with Old Friends

Quickly said, our times are against us in the matter of enjoying our lives and making the most of them. We’re at each and every turn confronted with images, voices, talking heads, technology to use, learn, and play with, and the list goes on, growing larger seemingly by the day. What’s a person to do?

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” That’s what I hear in the Spirit when I ask that question.

I want my life to count for something — for something bigger than me, and for something eternal.

When I look around it seems as if the kingdom might be loosing ground? At least in our time and place.

Enjoy Life with Present Friends

Enjoying Life with Present Friends

But then I reflect on Abraham (2000 B.C.), David (1000 B.C.), Daniel (600 B.C.), Esther (470 B.C.), Paul and Peter (30-70 A.D.), and I realize the kingdom is never losing ground — only we, perhaps are loosing ground!

“In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.” (Daniel 2:44)

I reflect from time to time about writing another book (only if the Spirit leads of course. :)) I might title it, “The Laugh of the King!” from Psalm 2.

Peanuts Cartoon appearing while our home group studied Job :)

Peanuts Cartoon appearing while our home group studied the Book of  Job 🙂

Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand And the rulers take counsel together Against the Lord and against His Anointed, …!” He who sits in the heavens laughs, ….” (Psalm 2:1–4)

So what can you do to overcome your flesh and the distractions of our complex times? Seek a relationship with the King and the King’s people — His followers, His disciples, His Bride, His Church. These relationships are all you can take with you! Not possessions which will end up in the trash heap or burning up. People are eternal. Sow your life into relationships, into people. They are eternal.  Their hearts, and lives, and character, and love are all that will make it to the other side.

Family Vacation Celebration

Family Vacation and Significant Birthday Celebration

Someone has said, “In the end all that will matter is who you loved and who loved you.”

So for me it’s: [1] Read the Bible daily. [2] Talk to God, listen, mediate, ( spelled “pray”) daily, and occasionally journal impressions that come during these times. [3] Seek out and get to know others who are passionate about Jesus and want to know Him better. [4] Doing these things  helps me keep the trappings of our culture and times from stealing my attention, my affections, and my time — my life.

Cousins at Family Dutch Oven Event

Cousins at Family Dutch Oven Dinner

By doing these things, perhaps something of my life will count for others, for the King, for something bigger than myself, and for something eternal?

I look to Him who loved me and called me; and I trust Him to make it so! The Lord is my Shepherd, He leads….

Slowing to the Speed of Life

Slowing to the Speed of Life 2014

May you have a great and prosperous new year in 2015, as your soul prospers.


OBTW, Short term mission trips are another way to get your mind and heart on the bigger world and greater good, serving others and seeing what God is doing in other cultures. It is perspective changing, paradigm changing, and life changing.

It’s a win/win situation, but those who go and serve get more from the experience than those who are served. 🙂 Our Lord Jesus said it this way, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” And of course everything He said is true.

Go on a mission adventure soon!

Go on a mission adventure soon!

You'll be glad you did!

You’ll be glad you did!

On that note, I’m leaving soon on a short term mission trip to Honduras. Please pray that God will bless this trip as He wishes with purpose, provision, and protection. And consider contacting the folks at XMA to go on one of their mission adventures around the world. Take a look at their website. Grab a friend or friends and go! You’ll be blessed more than you know!

Why are the nations in an uproar And the peoples devising a vain thing? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying, “Let us tear their fetters apart and cast away their cords from us!” He who sits in the heavens laughs, The Lord scoffs at them. Then He will speak to them in His anger and terrify them in His fury, saying, “But as for Me, I have installed My King Upon Zion, My holy mountain.”” (Psalm 2:1–6)

“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.” (John 3:14–17)


Camp Hope 2014

DSC03986Last week I volunteered for the second annual Camp Hope for Kids,  July 23-26, 2014, at Shoal Creek Camp near Subiaco, AR. The camp for at risk kids is a ministry of City Christian Fellowship, Fort Smith, AR, with help from Jubilee Christian Center in Van Buren, AR and other area churches providing volunteer staff and assistance. This year 60 children, ages 5-13, attended, more than twice as many as last year, along with about 40 adult staff. DSC03057Camp Hope provides kids a safe place to enjoy the outdoors, camp activities, fellowship with other kids their age, and an opportunity to hear the message of Christ through the teaching of Bible stories and worship.

Enjoy the photos by clicking here.

This on-going ministry meeting the first three Sundays of each month is welcoming volunteer help transporting Hope Kids in the afternoon and early evening to and from the church, or help in other ways. If you’d like to help or serve kids, the next generation, contact me from the contact page and let’s discuss it.DSCN1799

There were amazing activities and instruction provided for the kids by a giving, loving volunteer staff. May the seeds planted grow in these young lives, and may the Lord bless and keep them all, as they continue to grow in some pretty tough places

And even when I am old and gray, O God, do not forsake me,Until I declare Your strength to this generation,Your power to all who are to come.” (Psalm 71:18)

IMG_3465DSC03876 DSC03441 DSC03064IMG_3365

Nicaragua… Who Knew?

Nicaragua Day3 - 183Last week I was in Nicaragua with some friends, old and new, on a mission trip and an adventure!

I went with a group from Grace Community Church, Fort Smith, AR, on a mission to La Flor Village, Nicaragua, July 14-21, under the leadership of Ken Duncan, and in cooperation with El Porvenir, an NGO with a 20+ year history of helping the poor villages of Nicaragua with clean water and health related issues. Our task was finishing the job of installing efficient wood cooking stoves with chimneys in 17 village homes, as well as sharing love, hugs, our faith, and our lives with the children and people of the village. It was a great week, and a joy to get to know all who served the people of La Flor Village and the King.Nicaragua Day 5 - 208

Click here for some photos of our mission.

While there is no way to see the whole world or volunteer for every opportunity that comes along, I do pray you are asking the Lord to guide you in ways you can be involved in people’s lives, discipling and serving others. He will lead you if it’s your heart’s desire and you ask. You’ll find yourself enjoying the relationships that follow and storing up treasure in heaven, real treasure for a real eternity. The Bible teaches us, and Jesus taught us by rising from the dead that people are eternal, and not the stuff we spend much time and energy accumulating.

Nicaragua Day3 - 286 Nicaragua Day 5 - 229This was the group’s second time in the village. And there’s a chance we might be returning next year. A pastor of a thirty member congregation asked us to come back and help them build a church building on land they own. They are presently meeting in his home and others that are scarcely large enough to hold that many folks. Let me know if you’re interested in helping and going next year!

Nicaragua Day 4 - 067I learned Nicaragua is the largest country in Central America, and also the poorest due to nearly two centuries of dictatorships, civil wars and natural calamities. The average income per person is $1,028 (2% of USA). They are about 6 million people with 60% living in urban communities making it the most sparsely populated country in Central America. 75% of the population is less than 30 years old, and 35% is less than 15 years old, making it a very youth filled nation. They have a  Pacific and Atlantic coast with mountains in the middle, the highest being 7300′, and there are  eight active volcanoes! It’s very U.S. friendly these days with businesses and tourists beginning to pour in. And if you haven’t heard, the Chinese are about to start building a canal across the country much larger than the current Panama Canal. That will be a game changer hopefully of benefit for them, and certainly the world economy. The most important thing I came away saying about the country is that the people are warm and friendly, engaging and precious.

Nicaragua Day 4 - 156Spiritually speaking, possibly due to the poverty and suffering, many have and are turning to Christ. Operation World reports, “Evangelical growth is high and sustained amid the upheaval. Evangelicals grew from 2.2% in 1960 to 29.8% in 2010. This is more than a 40-fold numeric increase in 50 years, with no sign of such growth abating.” Who knew? I don’t think I saw that on CNN, did you?

Nicaragua Day 4 - 282Indeed, while people talk politics, war, corruption, and how to humanly solve the world’s problems, it seemed to our little troop that the Lord is quietly, consistently sending people to help the poor and needy, the downcast and afflicted, to help lift people up. That’s always been His Way and His Heart. The experience was a joy for us!




While It Is Day

Sharing Thai Experiences on the Patio with Friends

Sharing Thai Experiences on the Patio with Friends

“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”― John Wesley

“We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work.” (John 9:4)  Jesus

The quote and verse came to me as I was considering the work of two special friends and their young family who spent the last two years in Thailand, from where they have just returned for some needed rest, refreshment and recharging. They are soon headed back!IMG_7674

Alex, Brook, and their three children visited our church last Sunday to share with our community what they experienced in Thailand and what they sense the Lord is doing there. It was a great time as they shared openly from their hearts, something any listener appreciates.

IMG_7585They returned to our city and our patio three days later to share more of their experiences with 25 friends invited for that purpose. Challenging, courageous, inspiring, thought provoking, and beautiful is how I would summarize their story.

IMG_7594IMG_7555There isn’t time or space to recreate it here, and I couldn’t anyway, but it serves as a reminder to be about the King’s business, in your realm, wherever He’s planted you.

And it’s a chance for me to introduce you to friends Alex and Brook. If you’re looking for a place to sow into the kingdom of God some prayers, money, friendship, communication?  Their lives are good soil. They’re heading back to Thailand for the next chapter of adventure to make disciples of Jesus, and to serve His people there soon. Here’s a link to their webpage if you wish can learn more or contribute.

IMG_7559 IMG_7566 IMG_7562 IMG_7573 IMG_7576Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1)

“… give to charity; make yourselves … an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near nor moth destroys.” (Luke 12:33)


Celebrate Freedom Where You Find It!

Alma HS ROTC Presents the Colors

Alma HS ROTC Presents the Colors at Oaks Manor Celebration of Freedom

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

There are forces at play in our world, our country, and our lives that seek our harm. They seek to enslave us and take away the God-given gift which is to live free; free from tyranny, free from fear, free from self. That freedom is found spiritually and historically in Christ, and the Cross.

SONY DSCChrist and the Cross is the well-docmented foundation of these United States of America, and Christ living in our fore fathers that made our nation great and the envy of the modern world, bringing God’s blessings which in turn have been extended to the world.

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,The people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.” (Psalm 33:12)

SONY DSCBut of these blessings, wealth and possessions are not the greatest. Consider “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness!” Especially today consider “liberty.”

Consider with me also personal liberty. Freedom from self and freedom from sin (an ancient archery term which means “missing the mark”). That’s the real issue since the beginning of time. That’s why Christ came, to make a way through forgiveness, and by giving us the power to live a life from above while journeying here.

LTC Tom Smith brings some challenging and heart stirring words.

LTC Tom Smith brings some challenging and heart stirring words.

So the major price for our liberty has been paid for us, and given as a costly gift from above and from our forefathers. But still, as in all times and all places we have our part to play. As Thomas Jefferson said, “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”

Oaks Manor Conference and Retreat Center has been assisting Christ followers in that quest for 10 years now, and has a bright future for doing so for many years to come. Last Sunday evening they invited the public to a gathering to celebrate the freedom of and in our country.

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

They exist to provide a peaceful, beautiful place for Christians to come aside and rest for awhile, to get out of the rush of our culture to read, study, mediate, relax, rest — refresh themselves spiritually and physically. It’s a great service and greatly needed. I encourage you to give them a look and take advantages of their services as often as you can and “come aside.” We all need this kind of retreat. Even our Lord did. And His disciples.

SONY DSCBlessings in Christ! Celebrate!!

Photos of the Oaks Manor Celebration!

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.)” (Mark 6:31)