Category Archives: Ministry Updates

These posts provide updates about our ministry work and what is happening on dedicated faith.

New Bible Discussion Channel on Disqus!

I want to invite everyone to come join me in discussing the wonderful faith we have from God on my new discussion channel hosted by Disqus: https://disqus.com/home/channel/proclaimingtheword/

This channel is focused on proclaiming the word of God with impactful truths and joyous celebrations of who God is; we encourage and welcome everyone who loves God’s word and heart to come participate!

We just started, so I also need the help getting the channel off the ground!  Small-fish like my channel don’t get the attention at first of the main page.

The reason I started this discussion channel even though I am already loaded to the max with work to do abroad over here is because I can’t escape the sense that the internet needs as many bastions of Biblical truth where peaceful, respectful, and faithful dialogues can encourage believers and reach out to curious onlookers with the hope of God’s word!  There are a lot of “Christian channels” claiming to be about Bible truth that get immersed in controversy, conspiracy, and malice – my endeavor will be to keep this channel free from such leaven.

So come and help us get started!

Prayer for President Trump

1 Timothy 2:1-3 “Therefore I exhort first of all that you make supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings for everyone, for kings and for all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty, for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior

Heavenly Father, I pray for Your grace upon the United States. May Your name be hallowed in those who love You and keep Your word in the days and years to come! May Your unfailing love burn brightly in those who know You and keep the faith! Grant your long-suffering mercy upon this nation, that peace might be prolonged and the gospel further spread.

Gracious Father I ask that Your gospel would penetrate the heart of Donald Trump, that in humility and repentance he would come to know You according to the truth. I thank You for the men You have surrounded Donald Trump with and I pray that You would give his administration the common grace of ruling wisdom to preside over the U.S. faithfully.

Lord, I ask you to stay the hands that run to shed innocent blood. I ask you to hold back them who delight in war, that widespread violence might not break forth over the face of the earth again.

Most eagerly I pray, “Come Lord Jesus, come!” – let Your will be done on earth, as it is also done in heaven! In Jesus name I pray, amen!

Romans 13:1-4 “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except from God, and those that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil works. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from him, for he is the servant of God for your good. But if you do what is evil, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain, for he is the servant of God, an avenger to execute wrath upon him who practices evil. “

Returning

Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

In 2013 the Lord led my wife and I back to the U.S. and gave us the word that He was going to send us to those who “hunger and thirst for righteousness”.  Although I am a little guilty of letting my imagination carry me away as to what that meant, the LORD has, indeed, led us to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness!  And I simply cannot give God enough praise and thanksgiving for bringing these people into our lives.

My heart started out hard against this call to return to the U.S.- and skeptical that I would find such persons in the U.S. who still had a hunger and thirst for righteousness.  Judge me as you will for thinking such a thought, but I am being honest about the condition of my heart.  My life in the States before we went to China in 2010 was one where I saw the Church in America as only interested in money, pleasure, success, and the interests of “self”- I saw a Church that compromised the truth of Christ to gain success; that vigorously protected sins of covetousness, divorce, and malice so that it could enlarge itself and gratify its own desires.  And there’s no doubt that the Church in America is still dominated by such Christians as this, but now I’ve seen a remnant of Christian believers who are zealous for the things of God and who are willing to sacrifice “self” for Christ!

But my heart never left China.  The people in China have been in my heart and on my prayers daily.  At times it has been very, very difficult to stay in America when my heart is so compelled to serve the people in China, but God gave me the grace that I lacked that I could serve Him with a joyful heart in thanksgiving even in America; I mean that sincerely- God has given me the love necessary to serve in this country with thanksgiving and joy!

In late 2014 I prayed and asked God to open a particular school in China as a sign to us that He wanted us to return if/when He so willed for us to go back to China.  But I nearly forgot about that until this year when some weeks back this prayer came back into my mind and I checked the school’s website to see if they had any listings; they are a good school and have very low turnover, so there are not often any listings posted.  But we saw a listing and subsequently applied for the school position, and, within a few weeks we were signing contracts!

The wind blows where it wants to, and you hear its sound, but don’t know where it comes from and where it is going.  So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. John 3:8

I could have never foreseen the things that came to pass during our time back in the States, or even that we would be returning to China now, but God has done a great work in my heart and given me the joy of the Lord as my strength!

Now is a timely season for a return to China in the lives of our brothers and sisters there.

So we are asking those of you who still support us in prayer to pray for us in the following ways:

  • May the LORD make our way back straight: we need our Visa’s and paperwork approved quickly.
  • May the LORD oversee our travels.
  • May the LORD give us wisdom for the decisions that we will need to make.
  • May the LORD give us ministering wisdom and grace to serve faithfully.
  • May the LORD protect my health and give me living strength.
  • May the LORD protect the purity of my daughter’s heart and mind.
  • May the LORD give my wife wisdom to serve and encourage.
  • May the LORD’s word run swiftly wherever we minister.

And so, if indeed it is our Father’s will, we return to China!

Trust in Yahweh with all your heart, and don’t lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6

2016 Election: Pray

As the U.S. enters the 2016 presidential election season I wanted to bring our minds back to God’s will and encourage my brethren everywhere, not just in the U.S. to pray for our leaders as those appointed by God.

Praying for our leaders takes wisdom and discernment.  But how can we pray for our leaders if we get swept into the polarizing and vitriolic landscape that typifies politics today?  Likewise, how can we pray for our leaders if we react to this landscape by sinking into an apathetic non-engagement mentality that holds so many Christians who are disillusioned by our corrupt political system?  Let me encourage you to avoid these snares altogether by being rooted and grounded in love according to the knowledge of God and praying earnestly for your leaders.

Remember God’s way according to His word:

Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.  ~Romans 13:1

I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. ~1 Timothy 2:1-2

Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.  For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men- as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.  Honor all people.  Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. ~1 Peter 2:13-17

I thought it would be beneficial to add videos from interviews and speeches of our President and upcoming presidential candidates so that you may listen with godly discernment and understand how to pray for our leaders and potential leaders.

My intention is not to promote any candidate in this post, rather, to provide a starting point by which you may carefully consider these men and women in prayer.  When we hear these men and women speak, we should endeavor to conform our minds to the mind of Christ, that He may have the preeminence among us and that our actions might reflect His good will even in the most vitriolic and divisive season of American politics.

I believe there are appropriate times to stand up and speak out over the sins and abuses committed by those in political leadership for the purposes of stemming incoming tides that would seek to sway and defile the Church, but I also believe there are times to call for earnest intercessory prayer from the Church for our political leaders.  I believe this is just such a time as this, so please join me in praying for our leaders.

The U.S. President

Barack Obama

Presidential Candidates

Donald Trump

Carly Fiorina

Ben Carson

Ted Cruz

Marco Rubio

Jeb Bush

Bernie Sanders

Hillary Clinton

 

Asking For Prayers

We have been blessed with a lot of work here in Kansas City- and sweet fellowship and unity with brethren that has been of immense blessing and refreshing- but with these blessings and increased work comes a greater strain on my time.

Consequently I will probably be posting fewer posts here for a few months.  However, I will continue to post my audio sermons from Sundays.   I also hope to catch up on a very backlog of posts that I have in the works- right now I have about 15 full posts that I’ve been working on but have been unable to complete.

So, I wanted to let everyone know there will be a slowdown in posts, but I am not quitting.  It is only because I can’t keep up!

PRAYERS NEEDED

I’ll start with an important, but necessarily vague prayer request: Mary and I are walking by faith through a period of decision as we wait on the Lord.  We’re asking for prayers of discernment, for wisdom, and for increased faith.  And, as if you needed any more ambiguity in this already ambiguous request, we offer thanksgiving to God, who has kept our hearts and minds girded up in peace thus far.

Evangelism here has been awesome- we’re witnessing to pastors, to drunks, to rich men, to homeless, to bouncers, and every kind of vain philosophy in this world; I’ve seen Jesus standing at the door of peoples hearts knocking!  The Holy Spirit is shaking strongholds as mighty thunder shakes a shack.  Therefore, please pray that our time witnessing is blessed and that Jesus would reveal Himself by grace and mercy to the lost!

We also ask that you pray for restored unity with dearly loved brethren who have forsaken us.  I have had to wrestle with the reality that I cannot force anyone to seek unity and reconciliation, but my heart is utterly broken because of the selfish reasoning’s of men’s hearts that have been exalted in the Church over Jesus’ most earnest prayer for Church unity!  Therefore, please pray that the body would humble itself before the high commandments of Jesus Christ and lay aside bitterness, selfish ambition, envy, deceit, gossip, contention, and begin to love one another in deed and in truth.

Forgive my preaching here for a moment, but I do want to add a note here about “love in deed and truth”: anyone who claims to love God but has not obeyed Jesus’ commandments to seek reconciliation with the body is deceiving themselves and does not love God- they love themselves over God, because they’re putting their own concerns, judgments, and thoughts above those of Jesus Christ.

Please join me in mourning for the sins of the Church and begging God to forgive our disunity and our selfishness!  I pray even for all you whom I may not know, but are ever bit as much part of this body as I am, that anyone whom you may have temporarily lost fellowship with may be restored to you quickly in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

Remember, love hopes!  It is certain of better things, even as Paul wrote, and pursues peace!  It never turns its back when someone gives an open door for reconciliation (again, dis-fellowship should only ever occur where the Bible explicitly says- all other dis-fellowship is cowardly and selfish).

Anyway, my last request for prayer is concern our financial provision and my health.  Please pray that my health would continue to get better and that God would continue to make miraculous provision for our needs, as He has been.

To all who pray for us in sincere unleavened love, I thank you!

We Need A Revival In The Ministry

Brothers and sisters, I’m asking for you to join with me in serious prayer over those who have been charged as leaders in the Body of Christ; to wage spiritual war with the mighty weapon of prayer on behalf of ministers all over this country who feel oppressed by darkness, discouragement, bondage, lukewarmness, and faithlessness.

We need revival in leadership.

Words fail to communicate the hopelessness many pastors feel and the weight of discouragement they bear on their shoulders as they are trying earnestly to lead their congregations faithfully before God.  Many face congregations filled with obstinate hearts, others grapple with disorder in their own homes.  Many are concealing hidden iniquity that is wrecking havoc in their hearts and destroying their churches.

FOR RENEWING

Pray hard for the leaders God has appointed in the body.

Brethren, we have preachers that have lost their anointing!  We have pastors that have lost their first love!  They have lost their zeal!  They have lost their courage!

Pray for God’s renewing to come upon our leaders to renew their anointing, refresh their love, invigorate their zeal, and embolden their courage!

These are not pastors who have fallen away or suffered shipwreck of their faith; they are those who earnestly love the Lord, who still lift their hearts to God alone, and who have not bowed the knee to the idols of this age; but they are filled with sorrow and surrounded by darkness.

FOR FORGIVENESS

Pray hard for the leaders God has appointed in the body.

Brethren, no one is impervious to the onslaught of Satan- even Jesus faced temptation- and no one is above stumbling; so many pulpits today are filled by pastors who carry the burden of guilt every Sunday.  So many pastors have chains of hidden iniquity upon them.

Satan is winning in our Churches because he has the Shepherds bound in sin!!!

But we serve a might God, and merciful, who appointed “mercy to triumph over judgment” and “good to overcome evil”.  Pray, my brethren, for the pastors who are held in bondage to sin!

FOR WINNOWING

Pray hard for the leaders God has appointed in the body.

Brethren, we have many pastors in our assemblies who are eloquent with words and well educated, but have never been appointed by God.  They are false ambassadors, wolves in sheep’s clothing, and men trained in covetousness.

Let us pray that Jesus would come swiftly and sift these men from the pulpits and heads of our assemblies!  For He knows whom He has appointed, and who is an imposter in the assembly!

PRAY

Brothers and sisters, you do  not bear the blessed privilege of prayer in vain!  God has appointed prayer to bear much fruit to His glory- if only you would pray!

Therefore, let perseverance prove the sincerity of your prayer as fire proves the quality of gold, and pray for your leaders!

A Personal Update: Naomi Elizabeth

My wife and I just had our first baby, little Naomi Elizabeth! She is a beautiful 8 lb 7 oz, 20 inches baby girl!

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The Lord has richly blessed my wife and I with a beautiful, healthy, sweet little baby girl.  She loves to sleep (right now), and appears content to just hang out for the moment.  So far her favorite song seems to be Amazing Grace.

O LORD, fill this child with Your Holy Spirit and pour out grace upon her that Your praise my be perfected out of the mouth of babes!  Strengthen my wife with Your joy and peace, and may Your wisdom fill us both to raise up this child in godliness that You might receive the desire of Your heart; godly offspring.  In the name of Your Son, Jesus Christ I pray, amen!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another Personal Update

Grace, mercy, and peace to my brethren in the Lord Jesus Christ, whom He has bought with a precious price, whom He has loved deeply, and whom He has made partakers of a most precious and holy inheritance as new creations who have put off the old person, which grows more and more corrupt, and been born of His incorruptible Seed!  Be always encouraged by these things in your spirit as you find fellowship with your Father in Heaven.

I know many of you have been praying for me and the things that have recently happened, and I am touched deeply by your prayers.

So, I wanted to provide an update for everyone to let you know how I am doing: although my vision in my left eye had fully disappeared for quite a period of time, it has begun to return and is now about 50% back (the middle portion is still black, so I can’t use the eye much yet, but the peripheral portion of my vision is coming in slowly).  I also came down with the flu during all of this, which knocked me out of commission for a while, but it is beginning to lift and pray that it will finish running its course soon!  On Monday I returned to work with thanksgiving in my heart to the LORD because I was worried they would let me go since all of this happened in the middle of my training.  But they kept me on board and I’m finishing up my training today, and will start work at this end of this week.  The doctors are running tests for the many things in my complicated family medical history, but they feel like it’s about a 75% chance that this is Multiple Sclerosis.

Through all of this the LORD has abounded in mercy towards me in pouring out the grace and peace of the Lord Jesus Christ to me; He has revealed Himself in greater depth to me and showed Himself sweeter and greater in power than I could possibly know.

I have begun writing an article that I will later post in the essay section of this website entitled “BLESS THE LORD”.  The LORD has given me an all-consuming desire for what is found in Psalm 103 regarding what it means to Bless the LORD.  But I encourage you all to enter your quiet place to learn from the LORD what it means to Bless the LORD.  Know what it means that God desires the pure and holy to come before Him and minister to Him!

MORE NEWS:

I also have another health update to share, though this one is good news, and it’s not about me: my wife is pregnant!  😀  We just found out last week and had it confirmed this week.  Again, the grace of the LORD abounds in wisdom!  We are praying for this little baby to be full of the blessings of Christ, to abound in purity and walk in holiness with righteousness all the days of his/her life!  Before, I was terrified at the prospect of bringing a little innocent life into this exceedingly corrupt world, but for this too, the LORD has given me great peace and I have greater confidence in the overwhelming victory of Christ that has been wrought in those who believe upon Him.  He has anointed fathers and mothers with a ministry to their children and equipped them with the conquering powers to fulfill their minister because God desires Godly offspring (Malachi 2:15).

Again, I thank all of you for your prayers and encouragements.  There is a lot happening here, and I thank God for His grace.

May our Father in Heaven abound in both grace and discipline towards us, His children, that we may be partakers of His holiness with pure hearts and minds, Amen!

Personal Update

Beloved brethren- you who are most precious to God, called the children of God, who have believed on Christ whom you have not seen, yet you love, and in love, followed Him with obedience from a sincere heart: grace, mercy, and peace abound to you all!

I want to thank you for your prayers for me.

Thursday I woke up with a quarter of my vision in my left eye gone; I went to the ER later that night to check for immediately threatening conditions and was cleared of any brain-bleeds or significant tumors with a CT scan.  Friday I went to an ophthalmologist who checked out my eyes and found no defects on my lens, blood vessels, or inner eye.  They referred me to a neurologist and I began steroid treatments Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; since then, I have lost the other half of my upper field of vision in my left eye.  Tomorrow I will go back in to the Neurologist to discuss my MRI and get more details.  They are checking for MS and will give me more details about that front later.  My body is hurting from the steroids and experiencing highs and lows of energy and exhaustion (unfortunately, medications seem to have an exaggerated effect on me), but I don’t have to get another infusion tomorrow and I will get some rest tonight since I don’t have to be into the doctors early tomorrow.

The Lord has made me a partaker of His mercy and filled me with peace beyond measure, of which I praise God, saying, “Oh how great is Your goodness, which you have ladi up for those who fear You, which You have prepared for those who trust in You in the presence of the sons of men!  Oh love the LORD, all you His saints!  For the LORD preserves the faithful, and fully repays the proud person.  Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart, all you who hope in the LORD!”

I do not deserve my eyesight; in all my years as a youth and early young man, I missused my eyesight, using it to satisfy my lust, look pridefully upon others, and gratify every other wicked thing my mind could conceive.  I entertained my mind with things God called evil and applied my eyes to every dark thing so that as the Lord said, “The eye is the lamp of the body; if therefore your eye is good, your whole body shall be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body shall be full of darkness.  If, therefore, the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22-23)

Truly the substantive mercy of the Lord has been given to me, that, just as Jesus blessed the pure, saying, “Blessed are the pure, for they shall see God!”, so also has the Lord been washing me with the water of the Word that I may be pure and filling me with light!

Oh the sweetness of God in Christ who made peace and grace abound, the lost who were dead, now in Christ forever found!

I want to receive my eyesight back so that I can work again and take care of  my wife, who has been so very faithful and strong, but know that it is the Spirit of God who quickens our mortal bodies, so that even I cannot see again, what will hinder me from every righteous thing of God in Christ?

Thank you for permitting me to ask for your prayers: most of all I ask that you earnestly pray to God that He would given me that most precious sight, for which I would gladly trade all things, and would open the opportunity that I may declare the hope of our calling in Christ to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, knowing that Christ blessed such as these that they would be filled!

If the Lord is willing and will permit, I hope I can begin training again at the job that I just got last week before all this happened, but, otherwise, I know He will provide!

 

May each of you behold the riches of CHRIST’s inheritance in the Saints, seeing how exceedingly more precious the least of His blessings are when compared to even the greatest treasure or joy of this passing world!  Behold through faith the judgments of God’s word, which are true and able to set free the soul from all oppression!  Amen!

Personal Prayer Request

Grace and peace to my brethren, and thanks to our Father in Heaven through His Son Jesus Christ who ever lives to make intercession on our behalf, whom He has redeemed to be a royal priesthood unto Himself.

I need to bring a personal prayer request to all of you: this morning I woke up and a quarter of my vision in my left eye is gone.  And by my estimate, it seems to be maybe getting worse.  I’ll be visiting an optical center tomorrow morning, but there is pressure in my eye, when I am exposed to light, it flushes the rest of my vision, and my eyes are not tracking together anymore.

just got a new job here that would support us and help pay for some of the ministry work we’re doing (literally, today would’ve been my 3rd day on training).  The manager said he thinks what I described is the same thing that happened to him a few years ago and said it was an ordeal for him.

I want to encourage all of you to abound in grace and make intercession before our Father on behalf of all the Saints.  Whether this is a temporary thing or permanent situation for me is according to the will of the Lord– but, beloved brethren, every day I live here on earth I see more of the enemies traps and snares being sprung as he prowls about looking for those he may consume.  Therefore, my beloved brethren, pray earnestly for the souls of the Saints, both those who are mature and well advanced in their faith, and those who are new born babes.

May the grace, mercy, and peace of Christ overflow towards all you who believe in Him and follow Him in faithfulness.