Have you ever prayed for someone and become discouraged? You pray, hope, pray some more, hope some more, and then the hope begans to deflate like a helium baloon that starts to fade a few days after a party.
For over 15 years, I have prayed for my sister, Heather to come to know the same love of Jesus Christ that I am so dependent upon each day of my own life. Though the years have come and gone without seeing the answer to the prayers that I have prayed, God has never ceased to be faithful to His promise. Just because I don't see the answers to the prayers I've prayed, doesn't mean He's not listening. God works on a time-table that I don't always (or ever) really understand. But He listens...He cares...He understands.
Four weeks ago, my sister, surrendered her life to Christ!!!! This past Sunday, I had the great opportunity to baptize her in water!!!
For all those who have ever prayed for a loved one, and have gotten discouraged because the answer to those prayers were not evidenced in the lives you were praying for, be encouraged!! Don't stop praying. God loves them more than you do!!!
Friday, November 19, 2010
This past Sunday was one of the happiest days of parenting so far. My son, Vincent, almost 6 years old, had already had a moment where HE made a choice to receive Christ as his personal Lord and Savior. This past Sunday, he decided that he wanted to be baptized!! How awesome!! Being the pastor and getting to be in the water with my son was an experience I'll never forget!!!
As a parent, my greatest prayer is that all of my children will come to know Jesus early and grow in intimacy with the Creator of the Universe. I'll never have perfect children (because the gene pool is already messed up!!), but children that KNOW they are loved by a loving mom and dad, and an even GREATER-LOVING God...that's all I can ask!!!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Well, this has been ONE LONG DAY! We met at our church in Pennsylvania a little before 3:30am and was headed for the airport by 3:45 to catch a 6am flight to Montego Bay, Jamaica via Atlanta. Atlanta was a 4 hour layover and proved to be a great time for lounging, napping, eating, and of course...card games in the middle of the waiting area! The team was laughing, talking, and just enjoying each other and the anticipation of what God is going to do this week.
Our first real test of the week was on the flight from Atlanta to Montego Bay. About an hour or so before we were to land, the flight attendants gave us the Customs forms that needed to be filled out. Their directions were fuzzy, and the form itself wasn't very helpful either. For most people on our team, we filled out the form 3, 4, 5, some people SIX times before it was right. We killed many a tree today on that airplane. I now believe that people in hell will be filling out countless immigration forms, with Satan constantly saying, "NO! DO IT AGAIN!!"
We got to Jamaica, got through immigration, and then through customs, met the missionaries, loaded into 2 CRAMPED vehicles and began our 20-30 mile journey to the orphanage. This journey would take upwards of 2 hours! Slow traffic, 2 lane roads, driving on the opposite side of the road would prove to be one INTERESTING ride!
We finally made it to MY FATHER'S HOUSE CHILDREN'S HOME. We unloaded, met the children and ate an INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS dinner of chicken, rice & beans, and some great hot sauce! We ended the day in the pool. YES, they have a pool here!!! What a great day! Tomorrow will be hot, challenging, and filled with opportunities to be the hands and feet of a Jesus who so loved the world that He came! We have come to be used of God and to be changed more and more into His likeness!!
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
"BUT YOU O LORD are shield around me. You are the One who bestows glory and the One who lifts my head up high" (Psalm 3:3)
No matter what you may be going through today, He is the glory and the lifter of your head. This means that THROUGH HIM you CAN face ANYTHING! You are who He says you are, because He is who He says HE is. He is the God who provides, the God who heals, the God who forgives, the One who gives purpose, the One who hears you. He LOVES you!
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Not too long ago, my son, Vincent (5 yrs), and I were heading into town to grab some things my wife needed from the store. Now, you have to understand something. I LOVE to tell my kids "I love you." I tell them, I show them, I make SURE they know. Besides...it's just really fun!! SO, we're heading out to get in the "soccer mom-mobile" and I say to Vincent, "I love you!" He replies back, "I love you, too, Daddy." I asked him, "Vincent, how do you know I love you?" He says, "because you tell me all the time." Then, he follows up with this statement, "but Daddy, even if you never told me that again, I would still love you." As they are at this moment, tears began to well up in my eyes. From the heart of a child.
It got me to thinking: "Is THAT our response to our Heavenly Father?" "Lord, even if you never did ANYTHING else to bless my life, I will love you!" "Even if you don't answer another prayer, I will love you." "Even if...I will love you!" What a perspective. I don't love God because of what He does or can do...I just love Him because....well...just because. He is!
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Services are still ON for Sunday morning, 2/7 @ 10am. The drive way has been plowed, as well as adequate parking spaces. We look forward to seeing you in the morning! Please be safe. If you don't feel you can get out, then please stay home. But if you can...we'll be there!
Friday, January 8, 2010
This morning I came up to the church where I work. First for those who are unfamiliar with me or where I pastor a church, let me paint you a picture. Our church is just north of Pittsburgh, PA. Winter here is cold, snowy, long, gray, snowy, expensive, and snowy. Sorry...no global warming here. Our building sits up on a beautiful picturesque hill on 17 acres of land, with a winding drive that completes the scene. Reminds one of something out of a Thomas Kinkade painting.
This beauty, however, comes with a cost! That hill, though it may be pleasing to the eyes winding up that hill, in the winter, it's a beast! This morning, I met a member of my staff at the bottom of this hill, and we hiked up this quarter mile drive in snow boots, as our cars could not make the incline.
As I began to huff and puff (listen...I just got through Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the imbalance of food and exercise had taken its toll), it made me think that my journey up this hill was nothing when compared to the painstaking journey my Savior made up His hill.
He traveled a hill that was not part of a picturesque scene. He was tired, bloody, dehydrated, and in much pain. Yet, not going up that hill was not an option. Something kept motivating Him, urging Him up that hill, to continue to put one foot in front of the other...just one more time. It was me. It was you.
I don't think I can ever drive up that hill again without thinking of what He did for me. I complain about the expense of plowing and salting that hill. I complained the other day about burning so much rubber on that hill that I needed new tires. He never complained. It was worth it to Him. I was worth it to Him. You are worth it to Him.