One of the things that I enjoy about Twitter is that it connects you with people who you would never connect with but that you have similar interests and passions. What I am sharing with you now to help me grow in Christ is something that I learned about because of a connection with Tim Brister on Twitter.
Starting with the New Year and going through Easter Sunday the goal is to memorize the book of Philippians. Tim came up with what he calls the Memory Moleskin. The Memory Moleskin is simply organized way of breaking down Philippians to memorize it in 16 weeks. This averages out to around 6 verses a week.
I am super excited to jump in and do this along with some good friends. Hopefully as we encourage one another we will be a little more successful at making our goal.
Today is only Monday and it isn’t to late to get in on memorizing Philippians. Click Here: Memory Moleskin
That link will give you the PDF to set up your Memory Moleskin. God Bless and may each of us be diligent at memorizing and meditating on the Word of God.
First if you would like to know more about 5k for 25 days then click here: 5k for 25 days
Yesterday I felt the need to do an update that isn’t so much an update but that is more of an explanation. I want to take a couple moments and lay out what has compelled me to do this “5k for 25 days”. Why would I take so much time out of this Christmas season to do this? I realized that if I fail to make the reasons why clear then I have failed at giving credit to whom credit is due.
There are three reasons specifically that led to me pursuing this little adventure but the first reason is the one that is the foundation for the other two. The first reason that I have been compelled to run and is essentially the reason that makes all other reasons valid is Jesus Christ. The Bible teaches that God sent His only Son, Jesus to the world to die for humanity. To die for our sins and take upon Himself the wrath of God to pay for all of our sins (John 3:16; Eph. 2:1-10). At about the age of five I confessed my sin and trusted Christ as my Savior. Now my life because of what He has done is lived for His glory. My prayer is that the way I live my life is a testimony to the majesty of God and His Son Jesus. So I run that God my receive all the glory. If His son had not come then I would not love nor care to do something like this.
The second reason that I run is that Christ has laid a burden on my heart for human trafficking and to join the fight against it. The slavery of individuals who were created by God in His image is an atrocity. Especially in regards to the children who are forced into sexual slavery. As a follower of Jesus Christ I am called to seek the Kingdom of God and in God’s kingdom justice reigns. I am drawn to see justice and justice is the freeing of individuals from slavery and the wicked punished. As God’s child not only am I called to seek His kingdom but I must also spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. If these individuals are freed physically that is a good thing, but if they are also freed spiritually by coming to Jesus Christ then that is a wonderful thing. Jesus calls me to not only fight for their freedom physically but also and more importantly their freedom spiritually. So I run secondly for freedom.
The final major reason I run is because of my family. God has blessed me with an amazing wife and four incredible children. As a husband and father I long for them also to know Jesus and to value the things of Jesus. I have learned in my short life that I pass things on to my kids best by how I live. So I run that they may see how important it is to sacrifice for others. Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice that we might have life and so I am called to sacrifice that others might come to know the love of Jesus. First and foremost this responsibility is to my children. I pray that they would seek Jesus and pursue the dreams and passions that He has given them. As a dad I pray that I will always support them in their dreams encourage them to have the faith that God can and will do great things through them. I hope that this 5k for 25 days will be an example to them.
So for those of you who may ask why is Wade running? The answer: Christ died for me and I want all of my life to bring glory to Him. I do not run because I am anything special but because God is great in me!
A elderly gentleman whom I know named Roscoe Napier came into my office today. When he came in he wanted to share with me a song that he had just written. He was so excited because he knew that every time he would share the song that he would be able to also share the gospel! Praise the Lord! I hope that as you enjoy the song you are encouraged to love your Savior more!
You may find yourself asking, “what does that title mean?” A couple nights ago I got contemplating how I could raise awareness around the issue of human trafficking and at the same time raise some funds to help a ministry involved in fighting this battle. Around 11 pm that night a plan came to my mind and now its time to make it happen.
I need your help though!
First take a few minutes to go to the Love146 website and learn about the human trafficking especially in regards to minors.
Second, take a few more minutes to learn about Gracehaven. Gracehaven is a home in Ohio that is being developed to helped minors who have been rescued from sexually slavery. These girls can stay at the home for as long as they need to or until they are 18. The home will have ten beds and have workers to help these young girls. Also realize this will only be the fourth house of it kind for minors. Two of them exist in Ohio. But please check out the website for more information.
So here is my plan. I would like to raise $5,000 to go to Gracehaven to help them get open. Of course I need your help because I don’t have $5000.
5k for 25 days is the plan. You can look at this two ways. The first is that for 25 days starting December 1 I will run a 5k. The final day will be Christmas day. The second way is that for 25 days of running I am going to raise $5000.
What I need is simply 50 sponsors who will give $100 to Gracehaven. Would you do this please? They need it to get closer to their goal of getting open. I would love to raise more than $5000 but that is the goal. Please if you can’t do $100 but would do less then please do less.
Here is how you can give:
1. Send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact me some on facebook or twitter to let me know that you will sponsor me and for how much.
2. Make out your check to Gracehaven.
3. Mail it to me: 8693 Shadycreek Dr., Centerville, OH 45458.
Also you can hear regular updates on how the 5k for 25 days is going on facebook and twitter.
If you would, please pass the link on for this post to others so they can get involved too. $5000 seems like a lot to me, but I know that if the word spreads enough this amount will be nothing.
On the my blog you can also find some other websites that will give you information about the problem of Human Trafficking. Breaking the Chains is another article that talks about Human Trafficking especially in Ohio.
Friends please consider how you may help so we can give a Christmas gift to Gracehaven!!!!
Last night I sat down and watched Robin Hoodand really enjoyed the movie. Honestly though I wasn’t surprised. Most movies that have action and adventure I enjoy, the kid in me comes to the surface. I especially like those kind of movies when I walk away inspired to live life better. Movies like Gladiator, The Patriot and the Lord of the Rings Trilogy are some other good ones that have at the same time entertained and inspired me. Those are the best movies.
While watching Robin Hood I could not help but be inspired by how the common folk came together to be a force to be reckoned with. Unfortunatly this didn’t work out to well for them in the movie and Robin ended up being outlawed but the idea moved me still. The quote from the movie that resonated with me as soon as I heard it was, “Rise and rise again, until lambs become lions!” Pastors are in the business of helping lambs become lions by the grace of God. Each week we need to rise up and pursue the raising up of disciples who are engaging their communities with the boldness of lions so that some might come to Christ. Without this passionate pursuit we can expect that the people in the pews will remain lambs who are comfortable with being a part of a club. While pondering this there were a couple of things that came to mind that must happen in order for the lambs to become lions.
1. Growth in the gospel- I know that we would say the people in the pews have said the sinner’s prayer and and trusted Christ as their savior. My response to this would be are they learning everyday what it means to live out the gospel? Are they growing in the knowledge of the holiness and greatness of God? As they know God more do they understand more how depraved they are? Then are they turning to Christ again everyday praising Him for the work He has done? This will result in men and women who are falling more deeply in love with Jesus everyday because they are growing in their understanding of the significance of the gospel. The gospel provides the motivation and the power to live for the glory of God. In 2 Peter 1:3-11 we learn that the gospel has given us everything we need to be fruitful as believers. If believers are going to move from being lambs to being lions they need to understand the implications of living the gospel and begin living it. This means if you are a leader in the church that every time you teach you must make sure that the gospel is central. This is why Martin Luther said to beat the gospel into their heads continually.
2. Love for People- At another point in Robin Hood, Robin is talking with the young boys who were essentially poachers and thieves and He told them that if they wanted to be more than theives that they needed to have a cause. Have the people in your church come to understand the great cause they have been called to? 2 Corinthians 5:18-19 teaches believers that they have been called to the ministry of reconciliation. God has given us a cause that is worth dying for. If you doubt that then simply ask yourself why is it that Jesus died? He believed the cause was worthy to die for. We are commissioned to go to the world with the message that they can be reconciled to God through Jesus Christ. Believers need to see and understand how broken the world around them is, if they don’t they will forget how desperately people need Jesus. Another thing we should be doing is praying often that the people in our churches would have an enlarged burden for their community. As they grow to love people more and understand their call to take the message of reconciliation to their hurting community they will begin to grow from lambs to lions.
You want to see the church work to have gospel change in your community, to move from being lambs to lions then work hard at helping them to grow in the gospel and to grow in their love for people. When these two things happen they will have the motivation and power needed to radically impact their community for the glory of God. You will have lions!
Yep all that from Robin Hood. I am thankful for the time to watch it last night.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. – John 15:5
Last night as I sat and listened to my pastor and friend Mark Simpson teach out of John 15 about Jesus being the vine I couldn’t help but think about something that happened a few years ago.
I believe it was when Alexa was just over a year old. She came down with a virus that led to her throwing up and as a result she stopped eating and drinking. No matter what we did she wouldn’t eat or drink. This didn’t go on very long when see became very lethargic and her body just started to shut down. We got in the car and headed to the ER because we weren’t sure what was going on and we were scared. At the hospital we learned that she was dehydrated and that things could have gotten much worse if we hadn’t gotten her to the hospital. They quickly got an IV in her and began pumping fluids. Before too long she was reenergized and ready to head home. Amy and I look back on this and are so thankful for God’s grace and protection in Alexa’s life.
Followers of Christ are to abide in Him so that we might receive His grace and His strength so that we might bear fruit and be sanctified. If we do not abide in Christ, remain connected to the vine we will stop bearing fruit and essentially shrivel up and die. At these times followers of Christ become vulnerable to bitterness and apathy that will draw them further away from the Lord.
As Alexa’s parents we could provide her food and nourishment but she rejected it because of the virus that was attacking her. She lost energy and eventually could have died. As her parents we didn’t let that happen instead we took her to the hospital where they inserted an IV that provided the nourishment that she needed. She got her energy back and was quickly back to full health.
God has called His children to live in community, to be connected to the body, His church. Alexa’s story in addition to Jesus being the vine helps us see why. At times as we are pruned by God or attack by the evil one we begin to want to run from God and the church. We lose connection to Christ and begin to spiritually shrivel. When we have the church in our life and they respond as they are called to respond then they will stick the IV in the child and help it receive the nourishment it needs. When we run the encouragement and prayers of the church can help us walk through the viruses that come into our lives. They will come and church is to help you walk through those times.
Friends abide in Christ and stay in fellowship with the church so that they may help you stay healthy in Christ. At times we all need a spiritual IV.