Sunday, July 23, 2017 - Saturday, July 29, 2017
Camp Summit is a special needs camp in Argyle, Texas, where our students have an opportunity to work with 6-12 year old physically and mentally handicapped children. This...
It’s summer time and for many people it’s time to hit the pool, the beach and maybe even spend some extra time on the ballfield. When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for summer. It was all of that and a bowl of homemade ice cream. It was hot but no one cared, we had bikes to ride, games to be played and pools that need people. Summer time was awesome as a kid in small town Texas.
Oh, how God has a way of changing things and people! This summer, God has been amazing! We have had missionary families at TBC from the Philippines, Romania, Honduras, Haiti, Mexico, and Southern California (and it’s only the middle of July!). We have seen God use His people to financially support the needs of the missionary partners of TBC. God has been blessing a local ministry through the coins gathered in baby bottles. Several TBC servants have been feeding the hungry in Parker County and serving the homeless in Fort Worth. Some of the young adults in the TBC family have ventured off to “far away” places to serve people who need to see the real love of Jesus Christ! There have been mission trips to Haiti, Canada and Uganda this summer…
Summer time as an Outreach Pastor is crazy (in a great way!)…and God has expanded my world to the ends of His world…where there are still people that need to see and hear the Good News of Jesus Christ!
So, what about you and the summer of 2017? What are you going to do to make a difference?
Could I suggest one thing? The Kingdom Rally is on August 12-13, 2017 at Heritage Park (The first Monday Grounds) in Weatherford, you find more details at www.kingdomrally.com. Here is my ask for you; on Saturday August 12, from 1:00-3:00PM we want 100 TBC Servants to pack into the Rise Against Hunger Tent and pack rice, soy, dehydrated vegetables and a flavoring mix including 23 essential vitamins and minerals into small meal packages. These meal packages are shipped around the world to support school feeding programs and crisis relief.
I look forward to making some more summer 2017 memories with you at the Kingdom Rally 2017!
"Who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies” (Hebrews 11:33-34).
WOW! These men and women got it. They understood the existence of faith had to be demonstrated by action despite what the world thought. Noah builds an ark when others would dismiss it as paranoia. Moses stands before a sea and knows God will part it when others would have panicked and surrendered to Pharaoh. Abraham endures a heart wrenching trial when others would have faltered and decided that God was asking too much. Their faith was empowered by a belief in the promises of God.
Have you ever sat down to think: "If you could add onto Hebrews 11, -in a modern day context, who would you write down?" Would it be a parent? A friend? A teacher? A stranger who you only really know by their stories on Facebook?
Well, one of mine is Jenny Clark.
I met Jenny 6 years ago. It was our first time going to Africa. We were on an all female team full of estrogen and fun. I quickly learned that Jenny had left her two little ones at home with her parents while she chased after this journey the Lord called her to. We made a lot of memories on that trip to Africa, but before we knew it, it was time to say goodbye and part ways. I went back to Texas, and she returned to Alabama. Thankfully social media was a thing, and we were able to keep up with each other through Facebook. I watched her kids grow up, we would talk about planning trips to see each other (sorry I never flew out to see y'all), and I watched as she stepped into one of the biggest callings of her life.
Jenny is a single momma... and I point this out because I feel like most women wait to do something BIG for God until they have a man by their side (not all, but most... like they aren't complete until they have their other half to help them in ministry). And this woman right here, does not! She continues to humble herself to care for the least of these (Matt. 25:40). The journey started about four years ago...
Not only is Jenny a foster momma, but she is a foster momma to babies who are medically fragile. These are little baby boys and girls who have NO ONE waiting in line for them. Babies who if someone does not step up, they will die without knowing the love of a family. This is what Jenny has signed up for. She has taken loving care of many foster kids throughout the four years... but three little boys, have stolen the hearts of many.
I'm not going to tell you about all three boys, but I am going to briefly share about one. This is what her father said:
"About a year ago Jenny agreed to take responsibility for the care of a two-year-old baby with Down's Syndrome and with very fragile health. Elynn's heart and lung condition was severe, his needs were many and his life expectancy short. He didn't have much hope for belonging to family or even having a good place to live. Jenny brought him home and gave him a family, a good place to live, good medical care and all the love and affirmation with which any son could be blessed." Elynn battled his health conditions until he couldn't fight any longer. On Thursday, June 29, Elynn took his last breath here on earth and took his first breath in heaven. His body is restored and he is dancing hand-in-hand with Jesus.
I'm not telling you this story to make you sad. I am telling you this story for two reasons...
Jenny's journey is not over! She continues to lean into the hard things and love the kids whom the world deems as unlovable. Follow her story, http://www.jennymo.com/, I promise you, you'll be encouraged.
Elynn, keep smiling sweet boy! Keep dancing with Jesus.
There is a picture on this website: http://caitlincarpenter.theworldrace.org/post/beautiful-crazy-faith
These words – horribly beautiful – sum up the past couple years for me. The details are not important, but they are the instrument that has taught me about trusting God with my whole heart. In this season, God is finishing the “blank” of this sentence in many different areas: I TRUST GOD ENOUGH TO __________.
In 2014, my “blank” was: I TRUST GOD ENOUGH TO LET GO. With my daughter’s unplanned pregnancy, we went through the journey of adoption. This heart-breaking experience has turned into a beautiful journey with our adoptive family who send emails of pictures and updates almost weekly for the past 3 years. God created a family and it is beautiful.
In 2015, the blank I filled in was: I TRUST GOD ENOUGH TO GO TO BED AND GO TO SLEEP when one of my children went through a horrible experience of being arrested and the depression and grief of a tragic accident involving her boyfriend. God taught me about the peace that passes understanding. My trust meant that I went to bed instead of staying up with worry and fear.
God also taught me to TRUST HIM ENOUGH TO STOP PRAYING MANIPULATIVE PRAYERS. I so wanted God to “fix” things that were happening and my motives for prayer were ugly. I prayed because I wanted to be able to say, “I prayed for you every day” when the miracle came. I made praying about me. So God beautifully showed me the Body of Christ as women daily texted, emailed and sent cards to tell me they were praying for my daughter. The miracle that will someday happen is not dependent on me; it is dependent on Him.
In 2016 and still today, God is teaching me to TRUST HIM ENOUGH TO BELIEVE HE CAN MOVE A MOUNTAIN for my child with mental illness. In Matthew 18, Jesus talked about the faith of a mustard seed that can move a mountain. That day as I sat in the pit of despair, I acknowledged that my faith looked more like a poppy-seed. But God in His goodness, takes my little bit of faith and we water it together and I’m watching it grow. The “mountain” is still there, but by faith I choose not to look at the mountain, but keep my eyes on Jesus.
Just 3 things I remember for the things that look horrible:
No matter how horrible the events of life can be, God promises to make it beautiful… above what we could ask or imagine. I will choose to believe it, whether I see it or not.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the King’s horses, and all the Kings men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again!
Broken…it’s an unfortunate condition of an increasing number of women in the Church today. Our lives are plagued with broken circumstances and broken choices. We live in broken bodies whose ultimate end is death. To be mentally healthy is to be in the minority as depression and anxiety become household words. Like Humpty we’ve fallen, and we’re broken, and we just can’t seem to put ourselves back together again.
Why is it that women suffer such devastating brokenness? Men can take that brokenness and put it away for a time. They can be a diligent employee, a faithful husband, and a loving father while struggling with life-altering brokenness. But most women lack that resilience. When we break it affects every area of our life. It affects our relationships, our performance, our concentration, our sleep, our appetite…brokenness captivates our attention and affects us physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Could this possibly have anything to do with Peter’s description of women having a “weaker nature” (1 Peter 3:7)? When God created woman, He created her lovingly and with a purpose. Eve was Adam’s help meet, his compliment. She was suitable to him and comparable to him, but not the same; and Peter explains why. “Husbands, in the same way, live with your wives with an understanding of their weaker nature yet showing them honor as coheirs of the grace of life, so that your prayers will not be hindered.”
I’ve heard this verse explained many times, but never so eloquently as by Dr. Tony Evans. He explains that this verse isn’t saying women are weak. It isn’t saying that men are dinner plates, but women are paper plates. No, this verse is explaining that women are like fine china. China is very delicately created and perfected to the point that it is fragile and beautiful. Spiritually, we as women are created both fragile and beautiful. While a man may break as a result of the stress of this life, women will shatter.
Just like Humpty, we are broken; and our earthly efforts to repair the damage fall woefully short. Only a faithful Creator can perfectly transform us. Only a loving Savior can heal us through the power of His own sacrificial wounds. It is the Holy Spirit alive in us, who gives us this newness of life. God doesn’t just put us back together again; He sets us free. He remakes us in His image, whole and complete because of grace.
It’s amazing. When I finally see my brokenness from God’s perspective, it changed everything. His words of truth transform me from the inside out.
“Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are pressured in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9).
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, new things have come” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
“He was pierced by our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we are healed by His wounds” (Isaiah 53:5).
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32).
Hillsong United has been pushing the creative envelope in the modern worship scene for over a decade. The release of their new album, Wonder is no different in that regard.
I remember being blown away by the energy and lyrical anthems that early Hillsong United released for young Christians to play on repeat on their early generation iPods. Songs like “From the Inside Out” and “The Stand” quickly became anthems in youth ministries across the world. Then “Oceans” and “Scandal of Grace” began to shape the Sunday morning set lists in churches. Today, it is rare for a church community to go more than a week or two without singing something off of the Australian band’s discography.
Two weeks ago, United released it’s 20th full length album, Wonder, and it blew me away like I was in middle school all over again. This album fights doubt and the struggle with the everyday battle of letting our flesh dictate our response and reaction to life.
Wonder, the title track, is an incredible declaration of being in a state of wonder because of the beauty and color of creation the way that God would have it. This track describes the unique experience of living as a new creation in awe of who God is and in the reality that he has made us new. The gospel is the sole proponent of this new reality that the artist is describing.
In my opinion, “So Will I” is the best song on this record. This beautifully versed song takes you on a journey through creation and our response to everything God is doing, saying, and creating. The artist is making the simple response being “so will I” in response to creation worshiping, obeying, and overcoming. However, one time is not simply enough for worship, obedience, and overcoming. The writer goes on to say he will do all of these things one hundred billion times in the same way Jesus would. This song is the perfect combination of conviction and exaltation in a song meant for corporate worship.
Hillsong United has continued their transition from an alternative youth band to modern day creatives and psalmists for all followers of Jesus. The have continually adapted style and means of conveying the same message. This is the same message that has echoed in buildings of worship for years and that is that Jesus Christ is King and our only response to that is a life completely surrendered to Him.