Monday, November 5, 2012

Vote = Voice

It is my conviction that Americans should exercise their right to vote. And it is especially my conviction that American Christians should vote for the candidate whom will most uphold the biblical values of our nation.
  • Because voting is a patriotic privilege—and as such, a responsibility. Can you imagine how Christians in the first century would have responded to the opportunity to choose their national leaders? I believe that, given the choice, they definitely would have chosen leaders who would extend religious freedom and protect life. Paul himself exercised what privileges citizenship offered when he could. (See Acts 22:25–29, 25:11.)
  • Because we are to be salt and light in our spheres of influence. Although Jesus spoke primarily to our testimony and witness in reference to salt and light (Matthew 5:13–14), I believe this applies to any area in which we have influence. As Americans, we each have one vote, and we should use that vote toward preserving our nation—including the freedoms that give us liberty to extend the light of the Gospel.
  • Because your vote is your voice, and when you have a voice, you should use it. Our primary message is the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 1:23)! But that doesn’t negate our responsibility to lend our voice to the support of someone who will at least use his authority to help, rather than hinder, the cause of truth. One candidate in every election (presidential, congressional, etc.) is going to win, and I would like to see the candidate win who most supports biblical values and religious freedom.
Below are guidelines for Christian voters to follow as they seek to elect the candidates who most closely reflect scriptural values. These qualifications below apply not only to the presidential election, but to candidates on every level—federal, state, and county. Who should Christians vote for?
  • The candidate who most supports life—Every unborn child is a person. (See Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:13–16, and Luke 1:41.) Unfortunately for these youngest in our society, they are people without voices. As Christians, it is our responsibility to speak up for the poor and needy whose voice cannot be heard. (See Proverbs 31:8–9.)
  • The candidate who most supports the biblical family—From creation, God built the home as the foundation of society. (See Genesis 1:27, 2:24; Ephesians 5:22–25, 6:1). Any politician who attempts to redefine the biblical foundation of a home and marriage is, in fact, chipping away at the bedrock of society.
  • The candidate who most supports Israel—Besides the fact that Israel is our closest ally in a turbulent Middle East, she is also a special nation. God promised to bless those who bless her and to curse those who harm her. (See Genesis 12:3.) If our nation ever needed God’s blessing, it’s now. Slacking support for Israel is wrong on so many levels.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

|| Nigeria [and SEA] ||

This year myself and the next four siblings in line have the amazing opportunity to head to Nigeria in March. The purpose of the trip is to lead a VBS in an orphanage for children of martyrs run by VOM. What a humbling and amazing experience I am sure it will be. Please be in prayer for the remaining details to be worked out, supplies to be purchased, lessons prepared, and support raised.

Elizabeth and Julie also have the opportunity to return to South East Asia to lead/teach in the IBLP Childrens Institute. Elizabeth will be apart of the staff team this year!

Friday, February 3, 2012

|| El Salvador ||

What a blessed time the Lord gave us in December on the El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala missions trip. The Lord's hand was at work all year long in preparation behind the scenes in ways we did not even know until closer to the trip. Here are a few ways God provided:
- Funding
- 3,000 Gospels of John at amazing prices
- Gifts provided by the Hertzburg family for the Christmas Party at La Esperanza
- Money for gifts for the kids
- 400+ flashlights
- Medical Supplies
- Luggage
- Expedited passports for other members of the team
- Many other gracious friends who provided gifts and supplies to us or other members of the team
- And countless prayers

We would like to share a few of the stories and memories from the trip. Take a look here.

And you can check out the top 364 pictures from the trip HERE!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

|| Forgiveness ||

I seem to have taken a fancy to post about books I am reading. [Begin rabbit trail.... I have had many wise leaders encourage me to read as much about leadership, life, and Godliness that I can. There are so many great resources out there whereby we can increase our effectiveness for Christ as well as hone our skills in the business world, family life, emotional development, and more. End rabbit trail] I am also reading Improving Your Serve by Charles R. Swindoll. Sunday I was reading the chapter on forgiveness. What does it mean? Why is it important in the context of leadership? He takes us back to the model of God's forgiveness through Christ Jesus work on the cross. In the context of the the old Hymn:

          My Sin - oh the bliss of this glorious tho't-
          My Sin - not in part, but the whole,
          Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more,
          Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

And in Scripture the words of the Psalms:

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.
He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.
-Psalms 103:1-5, 10-12


As I thought about what I was reading and evaluated in my own life I was humbled by the love God has for me that even with my terrible sin I am able to approach my Savior though FORGIVENESS.

Friday, January 27, 2012

|| Focus ||

I am currently reading a book titled, "Thinking for a Change" by John Maxwell. As lame and corny as it sounds this book will change your thinking. While I enjoy thinking and solving problems at lot of times I am not very focused in my thinking. As I was reading the skill on focus I came across the following excerpt. Dr. Maxwell quoted from Al Ries' Focus: The future of your company depends on it. 

"The sun is a powerful source of energy. Every hour the sun washes the earth with billions of kilowatts of energy. Yet with a hat and some sun-screen, you can bathe in the light of the sun for hours at a time with few ill effects. A laser is a weak source of energy. A laser takes a few watts of energy and focuses them in a coherent stream of light. but with a laser you can drill a hole in a diamond, cut steel several inches thick, or wipe our cancer."

So what kind of light and focus will I have? Do I really want to make a difference? I had better start thinking that way.

I have been blessed to be apart of a reading discussion group where we are breaking this book down and working through it skill by skill. If you are near 20 years young or older and know me personally shoot me an email and I can give you the details of the group I am apart of. the group meets via conference call every Thursday mornings at 7am.

|| Quote ||

"Duty is OURS, Results are God's"

-John Quincy Adams.

Monday, January 23, 2012

|| Tongue ||

Below is an excerpt from a devotional email I wrote last week for a Bible Reading and Scripture Memorization team I am apart of.

This past week I have been thinking and meditating on a verse from our memorization in James. As I was running last week I was listening to the entire book on my phone and there was a verse that really stood out to me. It hit me like a tone of bricks right between the eyes. James 3:9 "With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God;..." What o what could this be talking about? Our mouth! Elsewhere in scripture we are warned about the power of the tongue and it damaging effects. But that is not really what  struck me. What struck me was the fact that our mouth that we are praying, praising God, and sharing His gospel with others is the same mouth that is tearing others down, issuing cutting remarks, and uttering unclean language. We use that same mouth to Praise God? What grace we have been shown! In the Old Testament we are preparing to read about some of the laws with which the Israelite's were to govern their lives by. Including such simple things so that if a lowly item like a clay pot was even to touch something unclean it was to be broken and cast out. As I was thinking on this and evaluating my own mouth and heart I was driven to me knees because of God's unconditional mercy and grace for me. What a humbling reminder to "Let NO unwholesome word proceed from my mouth". Blessings in the fight!Richard

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Status Quo

This Sunday I was specifically impacted by the message at church. The Message was titled, "Is This It? One of the points Eric brought out was, "Do I love myself to much"? Do I love my own comfort? Pleasure? Easy life? Fun Friends? My time is a pretty good indicator of what I love. But how do I know what is appropriate? Do I look at what everyone else is doing? Do I measure it by the actions of the church? Absolutely not. I must lay aside EVERY encumbrance and press on to the goal. We have to step out of the "norm", away from what we are comfortable with, and go against the status quo. The only measuring stick is God's Word. Eric shared the audio of the following song with us. Take a listen and contemplate the message.

So long status quo
I think I just let go
You make me want to be brave
The way it always was 
Is no longer good enough
You make me want to be brave
Brave, brave

Eric's Message: .mp3, notes, & slides

Monday, January 9, 2012

Reverse Thinking

When was the last time you reversed your thinking?

Hat tip to Kathy Allman for the link.