Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mr and Mrs Jason Schmick

Celebrating 13 years together. 13 going on 14, that is! God has been abundantly FAITHFUL! Hallelujah!

(a little celebration tune)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Doing Missions When Dying Is Gain


The other day when I went to Desiring God HQ they gave me a CD of Piper's sermons on missions. These are golden. By the way, you can purchase the CD here for $2.50. I highly suggest going there right now and get it on the way. I started listening on my commute to work. I have a couple down and am looking forward to listening again on Monday. This one was particularly good and challenging: Doing Missions When Dying Is Gain. You can listen for free at that link or even download it. I've been dreaming about it at night when I sleep.


Friday, July 16, 2010

God is Wisdom

From Scotty Smith's Blog on the topic of wisdom...

A Prayer About Needing Some Wisdom


If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. James 1:5

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Desiring God International Outreach


One of our desires for Haitian churches and pastors, as we build relationships with them, is to help them attain resources to make pastoral training and discipleship more accessible and effective. This morning I went to Desiring God headquarters in Minneapolis to visit with them about their efforts in international outreach and specifically what they are doing in regards to Haiti. First I want to say that this ministry is one of the coolest in existence. They are very approachable and generous. Seth, in the
International Outreach department, spent about two hours with me talking about Haiti and showing me around Desiring God. He told me about their first translation and publishing effort of For Your Joy into Haitian Creole and about their future projects. I also spoke with Jim in Children Desiring God about the challenges of translating Sunday school curriculum into another language. We also talked about how to make efforts more effective by exporting the vision of Children Desiring God as well as the resource of curriculum. My hope is that when we get to Haiti, if the Lord wills, we will be able to be a part of this exciting work. Part of our vision is to help equip local pastors to better lead their flocks and to help train up younger men for the task of Christ-like teaching and leadership in their homes, churches and communities. Although there are many challenges to these goals, one of the greatest seems to be a lack of training- and equipping-resources in the churches. I hope to assist Haitian pastors and partner with Desiring God to end the theological famine in Haiti. If you are looking for a good ministry to give to, I highly recommend this one.

God is Omnipresent & Omniscient

Psalm 139

1 O LORD, You have searched me and known me.

2 You know my sitting down and my rising up;
You understand my thought afar off.
3 You comprehend my path and my lying down,
And are acquainted with all my ways.
4 For there is not a word on my tongue,
But behold, O LORD, You know it altogether.
5 You have hedged me behind and before,
And laid Your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is high, I cannot
attain it.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence?
8 If I ascend into heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in hell, behold, You
are there.
9 If I take the wings of the morning,
And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 Even there Your hand shall lead me, And Your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,”
Even the night shall be light about me;
12 Indeed, the darkness shall not hide from You,
But the night shines as the day;
The darkness and the light
are both alike to You.

13 For You formed my inward parts;
You covered me in my mother’s womb.
14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works,
And
that my soul knows very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written,
The days fashioned for me,
When
as yet there were none of them

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Paul's Guardianship

"(Paul) sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions..." 1Thess 3:2,3

I'm repeatedly bumping into Paul's superb guardianship of the church. I see such a splendid pattern for us to emulate in Haiti. Paul's love for the Bride, in her varying locations & difficulties, is often expressed by sending another saint to encourage & strengthen them. He was not concerned so much on natural comforts but their spiritual quality of life - their faith was of supreme importance. MacArthur explains that "faith includes the foundations of the body of doctrine and their believing response to God in living out that truth."

This nurturing & establishing of their faith came through the practical kindness and formal training of another saint. How true when we find ourselves in different difficulties that we often times just need another soul to say, "I'm here. I've got your back. Go this way - not that. Keep going. Good job!" We need brothers & ministers of God, fellow laborers in the gospel of Christ. It is just vital!

While teaching Children Desiring God we learned three very helpful key doctrinal questions that are crucial to the faith: 1) Who is God? 2) What is He like? and 3) How should I act toward Him?

This is Paul's ministry concentration (his believing response) to nurture the Bride's faith.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

To-Day's Aim

THE SPIRITUAL SAINT
Oswald Chambers

"That I may know Him." Philippians 3:10

The initiative of the saint is not towards self-realization, but towards knowing Jesus Christ. The spiritual saint never believes circumstances to be haphazard, or thinks of his life as secular and sacred; he sees everything he is dumped down in as the means of securing the knowledge of Jesus Christ. There is a reckless abandonment about him. The Holy Spirit is determined that we shall realize Jesus Christ in every domain of life, and He will bring us back to the same point again and again until we do. Self-realization leads to the enthronement of work; whereas the saint enthrones Jesus Christ in his work. Whether it be eating or drinking or washing disciples feet, whatever it is, we have to take the initiative of realizing Jesus Christ in it. Every phase of our actual life has its counterpart in the life of Jesus. Our Lord realized His relationship to the Father even in the most menial work. "Jesus knowing . . . that He was come from God, and went to God . . . took a towel . . . and began to wash the disciples' feet."

The aim of the spiritual saint is "that I may know Him." Do I know Him where I am to-day? If not, I am failing Him. I am here not to realize myself, but to know Jesus. In Christian work the initiative is too often the realization that something has to be done and I must do it. That is never the attitude of the spiritual saint, his aim is to secure the realization of Jesus Christ in every set of circumstances he is in.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

John Mark McMillan - Skeleton Bones


This morning, on my way to work, I was listening to The Medicine by John Mark McMillan. It's a great album and some of the songs are very worship-inspiring. As I was listening my mind and heart and mouth were saying: Come Lord Jesus! I was so ready for His return. Longing for the return of Christ is a good place to be. Joy, anticipation, purpose, optimism, energy, and most importantly a love for Christ are all emotions that accompany the Christian heart when eagerly awaiting the return of the King.

When He returns skeleton bones will stand and grave stones will roll.

Here's the lyrics:

Peel back our ribs again
and stand inside of our chest.
We just wanna' love you
We just wanna' love you

Peel back the veil of time
And let us see You with our naked eyes
We just wanna' love you
We just wanna' love you

We want your blood to flow inside our body
We want your wind inside our lungs
We just wanna' love you
We just wanna' love you

Skeleton bones stand at the sound of eternity
On the lips of the found
And gravestones roll
To the rhythm of the sound of you
Skeleton bones stand at the sound of eternity
On the lips of the found
So separate those doors
And let the son of resurrection in.

Oh let us adore the
Son of Glory drenched in love
Open up your gates before him
Crown Him, stand Him up




Runnin' & Rappin'

One thing I KNOW for sure...white girls can't rap BUT I like to run to Lecrae's talent. This song came on the ipod just as I was "dashing" home. It is inspiring & convicting. Lyrics here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Littlest Things


"What joy our lives can be
when we continually prove His tenderness in the very little things.
There is nothing too small for Him to help."

"My Father, Maybe I've been ashamed to admit it, but it's true...It's those petty, little things that make me fail.
It's the moment's small distraction when I'm busy that brings out my impatience...the word that slights or insults that brings out my anger...all the small expenses that bring out my doubts and your ability to provide...
I've let these enemies come inside my "barrier"...and raid my peace.
But today, Father, I come to hide myself again in you..." -amy carmichael


How priceless is your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men find refuge
in the shadow of your wings!" Psalm 36:7

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Footsteps

  • Step #1 - Vision For Missions & Hearts For Haiti - check
You are more than welcome to read our vision and heart for missions and Haiti posted below. They are one in the same though we are two individuals. We've found we communicate best together. Jason fills up what is lacking in me and vice versa. Marriage is just cool like that!
*warning* - they are a bit lengthy...you're under no obligation

  • Step #2 - Applications filled out and sent to C.W.O.'s board of directors by July 31. At this time they will meet & officially decide if we are partnering with them.

  • Step #3 - We're praying about where we should live. Our lease is up in August and we'd like to conserve our month to month living expenses to better steward.

Will you pray for our next steps? Thanks.

Jason's Vision & Heart

Motivation for Missions

God’s main goal and our main goal in missions ought to be the same. God’s chief desire is to be worshipped and glorified. He wants us to praise Him and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. He also wants this adoration and worship from every nation and people-group around the entire globe. Our heart and vision for our potential work in Haiti needs to be primarily centered on God’s glory. This is the starting point. We purposely do not want to begin from a humanitarian or people-focused perspective. Please don’t misunderstand us; we desperately want to be a source of encouragement to church leaders in Haiti. Andrea and I have a continual desire to help orphans. We want people to have enough clean water to drink and food to eat. We want the justice of God to prevail in a hurting world. Helping to alleviate poverty and caring for the orphan and widow, as James the apostle commanded, is the desire of our heart. We just want to make certain that our driving force and starting point is a desire for God to be worshipped and glorified among all people.

“Whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength God provides - in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever.” 1 Peter 4:11

From this perspective I will outline more specifically what we want to do in Haiti and our vision for it.

Barnabas

In Acts 4:36, Luke tells us that the name Barnabas means “the son of encouragement”. By the grace of God, our ministry will mirror that of Barnabas. We want to develop relationships with people, and specifically church leadership. From the time we got back on the plane to leave Haiti from our missions trip last summer we both had a driving burden to help pastors and leaders in the church. We saw faithful men and women of God serving the Lord and their churches in, as Billy put it, “a very hard place.” They are helping people who are facing troubles from every side and they are doing it with the joy of the Lord in their hearts. Relationship building is our first goal. We want to be a great support to them, both spiritually and practically. We desire to love people and be friends with people in the Haitian churches. We hope to gain their confidence and trust. We want to help them in everyday situations and problems. We want to encourage them towards God-centered and Spirit-filled marriages and parenting for His glory. And we know without a doubt that we will gain as much or more from them. One of the highlights of the trip was Sunday morning worship. This time encouraged us greatly and it continues to be a motivator to go back. We have a good deal to learn from the Haitian believers and are eager to give and receive in this context.

The Theological Famine

Another goal that I have in Haiti is to partner with Desiring God International Outreach to provide biblical resources in Haitian Creole. Below I have included the vision statement from Desiring God International Outreach:

“Global Christianity is radically changing. Africa, Asia, and South America are experiencing explosive church growth: 77,000 new believers worldwide everyday. Yet, thousands of Christians in these regions are deprived of sound biblical teaching. Leaders and congregations lack sound theology, leaving them malnourished and vulnerable. International Outreach is working to relieve this theological famine. We are building a network of collaborators who provide biblical resources, in appropriate languages and formats, to equip church and missions leaders around the world.”

While I am aware of the great men of God in Haiti that are, in fact, preaching sound biblical truth every week, it also seems that there is a lack of discipleship and focus on Christian growth. This may be caused, in part, from a shortage of good resources. I want to help them get those resources in their native tongue. I desire to help pastors obtain books in Haitian Creole that will help them be better pastors, husbands and fathers. Biblical resources and books have been a great encouragement to us in our Christian walk. We have learned what the Bible says about God in greater detail and accuracy and it has shaped us in profound ways. We hope to help them develop biblical resources in their language so they can also benefit in these ways. At this point I think it is appropriate to include a good definition of theology. So many times, in our culture, words like theology and doctrine have been misunderstood or misrepresented. Paul Tripp and Tim Lane in their book Relationships, A Mess Worth Making, define it well:

“We see theology as a systematic study of religious thought that has little to do with everyday life. But, rightly understood, theology is the real life story of God’s relationship to us and our relationship to one another lived out in a broken world. By this definition, whether you “think” theologically or not, you are “doing” theology every day in the decisions you make, the words you speak, the feelings you have, and the attitudes you nurture in your heart. All of these responses are rooted in your perspective on the nature of God, yourself, your relationships, and the world around you. These “perspectives” are theology because they inform and frame the way you live your life. The question is not whether you are a theologian, but what kind of a theologian you are!”

Children

In Christ’s time on earth it was evident that His heart was for children. When the disciples tried to send away children He rebuked them and said let the children come to Me. He stoops down and ministers to the seemingly lowest and the least. We desire to have His heart for children in our work in Haiti. While we are not completely sure what form our ministry to children will take, we are sure that it will be a part of what we do. Some of our ideas include helping to implement a Christ-exalting, Bible-saturated, God-glorifying children’s ministry program in churches that are lacking that. We desire to help orphans in very practical ways such as assisting in CWO’s feeding program and possibly growing it. We want to explore sustainable ways to provide food and income to families and churches that would in turn help orphans in their communities. We have also been praying and thinking about adding to our family through adoption. We see God’s example and approval of adoption throughout Scripture. He has adopted us into His family and we want to follow His example.

Partner Churches

In one of my conversations with Greg he mentioned an idea that resonated with us. It is churches in the U.S. partnering with Haitian churches. We would like to be instrumental in pairing churches in the States with the churches in Haiti for the purpose of mutual edification. As he said, the relationships wouldn’t be about financial support as much as they would be for mutual encouragement and spiritual growth. There are many benefits that could potentially come from this relationship for both sides. We recently shared this idea with some close friends of ours and they shared in our excitement for it. I think it would be well received in American churches and Haitian churches alike.

Haitian Churches = Sending Churches

Finally, our long-term desire is to see the Haitian churches participating in missionary sending and church-planting. A church’s spiritual growth and sanctification will be hastened when the church tastes and sees God’s love for the world and His unrelenting passion to reach people from every nation and tongue. An ongoing opportunity for growth in the Haitian church is independence on American resources and more initiative-taking for their own support, growth and training. I would like to see this idea expanded. My desire is for these believers to catch God’s heart for the lost in their own country and around the world; fostering a risk-taking, war-like attitude towards winning the lost and unreached for Christ. I want them to think of themselves as being a part of something much bigger. Christ gave them the Great Commission too. They are a part of the true global church and the true historical church. And as they see, my hope is that they would have a strong desire for the message of the gospel to be heard in every people and every language and for God’s glory to be seen everywhere. In essence, their goal will be the same as God’s goal.

Andrea's Vision & Heart


Vision For Missions

“Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!” John 4:35b




Missions is supremely the preeminence of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, in all things. It can be distilled into these two categories, evangelism and discipleship; to which both include Christ’s exampled compassion for humanity shown in very practical ways. Missions is empowered by His equipping spiritual blessings, to make His Name known to the nations. Missions is a harvesting of His crops for the day that Jesus returns to judge mankind and life, as we know it is finished. The Gospel is the well of life for the missionary and lost sinners to be found. Missions is the ministering of the Gospel in word and deed.

Man, in his sin, exchanged the glory of God for a lie, offending our Holy God. Now, Adam’s entire race is corrupted by nature. God is right to punish sin with death (separation from God forever). But, while we were children of wrath, “God, Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, made us alive together with Christ. The Incorruptible Seed, Jesus the Son of God, came and gave his life as a ransom for many. We cannot know peace with God apart from faith in the Person and work of Jesus. He alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No man comes to the Father but by Him. Faith is a gift of grace and it comes by hearing the Word of God. Thus before Jesus was taken to the right hand of the Father He commissioned His children to share the Gospel. This is the Good News by which we are saved. This is the fuel for every saint to serve and not to be served. This is the good news that we must search for lost souls with. This is the good news by which the church is strengthened and made a glorious Bride to be presented to Christ as not having spot or wrinkle.

The Great Commission in Matthew 28:18-20 is Jesus’ Mission for every Christian.

“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen”

I am commanded, as His child, to love Him by obeying His commands, which makes the Great Commission just as much my responsibility as it was the disciples that surrounded Him at his ascent. I hear Jesus saying to me, like He said to Peter, “Do you love me?” “Feed My sheep.”

The more I grow in relationship with God, the more I see and desire His supremacy in the church, the nations and myself. I see God’s love and wisdom from Genesis to Revelation, the Fullness of Grace and Truth, Jesus our Rescuer. He is lifting up His Kingdom and His Kingdom is everlasting. It is altogether good and just. I see His love for sinners, for the weak, for the poor and the orphaned. I rejoice with Paul, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!”

He is altogether worthy of my devotion. I can’t fully comprehend how He brings His advancing Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven by the means of His children but I am so thankful He does.

“For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Whom be glory forever. Amen.” Romans 11:36


Heart For Haiti

“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light”. Col 1:9-12

After, visiting Haiti last summer on a short-term mission trip with C.W.O., we came away with a deep respect for the country’s tenacious people. We were challenged and encouraged by the local church staff we met. They are laboring in love for God and their people, even in unlikely circumstances. The local church is where the burden has rested heavy on our hearts. Along with having so much to learn from these faithful, faithful men and women there is a compelling desire to fortify them in a timely way according to the gifts God has given - so that His work prevails within them individually, as a community of Christians and throughout Haiti. We are a global body of believers growing into the Head, Jesus, each receiving and supplying the gifts of the Spirit to one another.

Crossing cultures will take time; requiring teachable hearts, love, and wisdom. We’re eager to build relationships and minister according to Romans 12:9-18.

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

For me personally as a potential missionary in Haiti, I see Romans 12 applied more specifically in these ways: Maintaining my personal relationship with Jesus through prayer & Bible reading, growing in and modeling a Christ-like home (loving my husband, caring for my home and training my children), supporting the ongoing work of C.W.O., using our home to minister to the needs of others, encouraging women to love God & others through prayer, Bible study and friendship, children’s ministry, creatively & effectively responding to natural crisis as it may arise (i.e. hurricanes, recent earth quake, etc.) and maybe even hosting short term mission groups to further love & care for Haiti’s people. Along with each of these I want to grow in the knowledge of James 1:27 in both a personal and corporate way, 
”…to look after orphans and widows in their distress...”

I am confident that our small one-week observations of Haiti will grow, as we better know the church, the people, the culture and the needs. We are excited about the opportunity to love God and love others in Haiti alongside of C.W.O. for the glory of His Name!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oswald Shoots It Straight


VISION AND REALITY

"And the parched ground shall become a pool." Isaiah 35:7

We always have visions, before a thing is made real. When we realize that although the vision is real, it is not real in us, then is the time that Satan comes in with his temptations, and we are apt to say it is no use to go on. Instead of the vision becoming real, there has come the valley of humiliation.

"Life is not as idle ore,
But iron dug from central gloom,
And batter'd by the shocks of doom
To shape and use."

God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way. Every vision will be made real if we will have patience. Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry. We are always in such a frantic hurry. In the light of the glory of the vision we

go forth to do things, but the vision is not real in us yet; and God has to take us into the valley, and put us through fires and floods to batter us into shape, until we get to the place where He can trust us with the veritable reality. Ever since we had the vision God has been at work, getting us into the shape of the ideal, and over and over again we escape from His hand and try to batter ourselves into our own shape.

The vision is not a castle in the air, but a vision of what God wants you to be. Let Him put you on His wheel and whirl you as He likes, and as sure as God is God and you are you, you will turn out exactly in accordance with the vision. Don't lose heart in the process. If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.


Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ethan's Thoughts


When I heard that we were going to Haiti, God willing, I was so excited about it. But when I watched sum Haiti movies I wanted to stay in this comfy house and I said no no no I need to love people.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Missions is This Kind of Worship

"And behold, a woman in the city what was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at the table in the Pharisee's house, brought an alabaster flask of fragrant oil and stood at His feet behind Him weeping; and she began to wash His feet with her tears, and wiped them with the hair of her head; and she kissed His feet and anointed them with fragrant oil."

"Therefore I say to you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. But to whom little is forgiven, the same loves little." luke 7:37,38,47

Lord, make us to know the depth of our sin so that we better understand Who You are and what Your forgiveness means. Permeate every layer of our hearts and the recesses of our minds with the reality of the Cross - the reality of JESUS, our only righteousness. Lord, may we love in light of Your Son, may we serve in light of your son, may we count our lives as cheap in light of your Son, Jesus. Oh that we may supremely love and worship Jesus alone like the forgiven prostitute.


Kingdom Wired

"I'm part of the fellowship of the unashamed, the die has been cast, I have stepped over the line, the decision has been made-I'm a disciple of Jesus Christ-I won't look back, let up, slow down, back away or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, sight walking, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven, my road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I won't give up, shut up, let up until I have stayed up, stored up, prayed up for the cause of Jesus Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till everyone knows, work till He stops me and when He comes for His own, He will have no trouble recognizing me because my banner will have been clear." ~~Found written on the prison cell of an African martyr

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Junkie Song

Took a walk in my neighborhood
It was two in the mourning
By the skytrain station

The streets were full of junkies and homeless
And they all wanted something
They all wanted something

And what am I supposed to do?
There are too many of you
Too many of you

And sometimes they look you straight in the eye
Saying 'I too am human, you could easily be here
Easily be here'

Although we all hover between apathy and compassion
Fill up all our days with so much distraction
Whatever makes it easier to see what we don't want to

But we all live here
We all live here
We all live here don't we?

Took a walk in my neighbourhood
It was two in the mourning
By the skytrain station

The streets were full of junkies and homeless
And they all wanted something
They all wanted something

And what am I supposed to do?
There are too many of you
Too many of you

Therefore, as
God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. col 3:12