Showing posts from July, 2013


As I mentioned yesterday, I finished Becoming Who You Are by Dutch Sheets.  One statement has caused me to reflect a lot on how we teach and disciple.  The statement was:
"Because all truth comes to  you in seed form." I started to think about how we expect our children or other believers to hear a truth and then immediately see the fruit of it in their lives.  I realized this did not happen in my life.  Yet I can expect it  in others and can become impatient when it does not.  This pointed me to the parable of the soils found in Matthew 13, Mark 4 and Luke 8.

Sheets goes on to explain what he means by this quote:
"It became what I call the "seed principle." The concept of a seed indicates a process of growth until fruition. Suddenly I knew I couldn't expect freedom while short-circuiting the process. In the same way, you can't presume to gain freedom in problem areas of your life if you haven't abided in God's logos regarding those areas. . .…

Another Quote from Becoming Who You Are

I finished reading Becoming Who You Are last week.  I am still processing a lot from the book.  I loved this quote on the power of God's Word.
"So it is with God's Word, the logos. It's God's food for our soul. We went on a logos fast at the fall, and now we need a logos feast. When you need security, you must find portions of His Word that apply and eat them. When you need self-control or discipline, you have to find verses that apply to these things and eat them. When we do this, God's Word will feed our soul the nutrients it needs."

The Truth About the Lies of Condemnation by Steven Furtick

How does God's Word penetrate our hearts and minds?

Consider Hebrews 4:12 with definitions of the words included in quote below from Dutch Sheets:

"The logos of God is alive-actively alive. It is filled with the life and energy of God. It toils and works in us, is operative and effectual. It is also fully competent, adequate, sufficient, and ample. It has enough ability to channel itself through the various areas of the soul and spirit, reaching its goal and attaining its desired end. It will arrive and will accomplish its goal when it gets there."

Uncle Aaron's Wedding

Today is Bethany's brother's wedding. Here are a few pictures:

Who You Are and who you ain't

I know it is bad grammar.  However, this ties in with a great quote from Becoming Who You Are from Dutch Sheets.
"Becoming who we are begins with the demolition of who we ain't. God's Word tears down the exalted life-force and negative strongholds in the soul, while at the same time building into it positive strongholds of God's logic and truth. It will both demolish and restore."

Rules and Religion from Steven Furtick

Devotional Thought from Hidden in Christ

As I promised yesterday, here is a devotional thought to start your day from Hidden in Christ.

Today set aside ten minutes to simply reflect on some of the "things of the Spirit." They are (to name a few):
the unending and unchanging love of Godthe provision and power of Godthe forgiveness of sinsthe fact that God is with us in all we facethe adoption into the family of God for all believers Pick one or two of these and simply take a few minutes to tune your mind to these truths.

Set Your Mind from Hidden in Christ

I am slowly working my way through Hidden in Christ by James Bryan Smith.  This week, the word is "Set."  I am going to share two quotes this week-one today and one tomorrow.  Come back tomorrow for a great devotion to start your day.  But here is a quote to help better understand what it means to "Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth." (Colossians 3:2)
"When it comes down to it, living the Christian life is simply a matter of where we set our minds. Every waking moment we have a choice about where, and on what, we will set our minds. That is something we are free to do. Having been raised with Christ and forgiven forever, and having Jesus with us in all that we do, the primary practice of living as a Christian boils down to what we think about, what we dwell on, what values we keep before our minds, what truths (or lies) we have in our consciousness."
Stop by tomorrow for a reflection of how to do this!

Chewing gum and Discipleship

As I mentioned yesterday, I am sharing two quotes from Dutch Sheets book, Becoming Who You Are. Because they are longer, I wanted to give you a day to process them.  Here he shares the similarities to chewing gum and discipleship.
"What in the world does chewing gum have to do with discipleship and abiding? Don't burst my bubble--work with me, okay? When we listen to our pastor or someone else preach on the Word, we're taking in the rhema (spoken words). As we wake up each morning and spend time studying the Bible, we're consuming the graphe (written words). But the longer we spend chewing--thinking, rehashing--on God's truth, in my brother's terms, the "tastier" it gets. The more we chew, the more rhema and graphe become logos--the message in the words, the understanding--and this transforms the soul."

Wanted: True Disciples

This is the title of Chapter 13 of Dutch Sheets book, Becoming Who You Are. He talks about the importance of discipleship.  Sounds like another book I am reading called DiscipleShift. He had two great paragraphs that I am going to share-one today and one tomorrow. Think about how these quotes influence our discipleship.
"Tragically, the church's majority misses out on this call to commitment. Rather than pledge to a lifelong quest of soul renovation that comes from a deep relationship with Jesus, we coast as mere acquaintances of His who happen to be "converted." We are believers, yet we're not disciples. In fact, many of us approach our faith the same way we approached high school, as a necessary requirement, something we endure to get to heaven, rather than investing in it and experiencing fulfillment."

My baby turns 6 today!

It's hard to believe that Molly is now 6 years old.  This unexpected child has brought great joy to our lives as well as many others.  Here is a picture from the beginning and a more recent one:

Happy Birthday, Molly!

What are we saved from?

We know that Christ saved us.  But many times we have a small view of that salvation.  Mark Driscoll shares in Who Do You Think You Are? six things we are saved from.  He writes:
"In Christ, we're saved from six things: sin, death, worldly living, Satan, our old nature, and the wrath of God." Today, be thankful and encouraged knowing that salvation is more than just dealing with your sin.  Because we are in Christ, we have been saved from so much more!

Park & Pool Day 2013

Tonight was our Park & Pool Day for church. We eat together, play kickball & then head to the pool. We always have a great time. Thanks to all who attended.

If you missed tonight, we have a back to school pool party scheduled for Sunday August 11.

Quote of the Day from Who Do YOu Think You Are?

Today's quote comes from Mark Driscoll's book, Who Do You Think You Are? This is another great book on our identity in Christ.  Hopefully, you are encouraged to encourage. 
"The point is clear: we're to thank God for being faithful to his people and to thank his people for being faith to him. . .The truth is that God appreciates everything good that every one of his children does by the power of the Holy Spirit. In Christ, you're appreciated."

Video of my sermon from last week

Several of you asked about the video from my sermon last week.  Here it is:

Marriage Mentoring

Today, I am involved in a training workshop for our Marriage Mentoring at Hesston MB.  We will talk through what it means to be a mentor and how these relationships are essential for growth in our marriages as well as our Christian lives.  You don't have to be perfect or have it all together to be a mentor, you just need to be available and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you. 

We use a great resource titled, "12 Conversations".  So, if you attend Hesston MB and feel called to be a mentor, please contact me.  Or if you are looking for encouragement to your marriage and would like to request a mentor, please contact myself or Lu or Judie Willems. This is open to anyone in our community.

Be a disciple who makes disciples!

Quote of the Day from DiscipleShift

I am going to be sporadically sharing a longer quote with you.  Today's quote comes from DiscipleShift by Jim Putman.  Actually, Putman is quoting Geiger, Kelley & Nation from Transformational Discipleship. Be encouraged!

"As believers understand their identity, they are empowered by God to flesh out their identity in everyday life.  Leaders who view discipleship through the lens of identity encourage and train people to live in response to the great identity God has given. Instead of beginning with behavior, leader remind people of who they are in Christ. They connect the commands of God to the identity he secures for his followers, presenting obedience as the overflow of understanding and living the new nature Christ has given."

God is With You!

I am continuing to read through Hidden in Christ by James Bryan Smith.  What a blessing this devotional has been to me already.  This week's chapter is "With".  Here are a few Scriptures:

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, (Colossians 3:1) and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). (Matthew 1:23) which is Christ in you,the hope of glory. (Colossians 1:27) So as you go through your day today, focus on the fact that God is with you in all things.  He is with you at work, the store, the pool, ballgame, in the middle of an argument, when you are afraid, when you are sad, etc.  You are never alone and that is great news!

Dessert & DiscipleShift tonight

This summer, Pastor Brad has been leading those who are interested through the book, DiscipleShift by Jim Putman.  Every Wednesday night, the congregation enjoys ice cream and discussion together.  I will be attending for the first time tonight.  I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts as they reflect on this book. 

Here are a few quotes from the Chapters 5-7:

The biblical model for church community is an authentic and healthy transparency that repeatedly points people back to the gospel. A disciple maker makes disciples. Every Christian has that job. It is impossible to overstate the importance of getting into the Word of God for discipleship.

Greater Sermon

Dad & Kid Water Day 2013

Today's Dad & Kid Water Day was cooler than past years. However, we had fun despite a few sprinkles. London summed it up best--"next year make it hotter." Here are the pictures:

Ready To Preach

This Sunday, I am preaching on the topic of  "Greater" based on three passages in Scripture. 

They are:

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of Godis greater than he.” (Luke 7:28)

12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing,and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. (John 14:12)

4 You, dear childrenare from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in youis greater than the one who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

I look forward to talking about the greater life God has planned for us.  If you are in the Hesston area, join us at Hesston MB (610 W. Randall) at 10:10 a.m. 

Or come early at 9 a.m. and enjoy pancakes served by our youth as a fundraiser for their mission trip to Chicago.

Hidden in Christ for your day

As I mentioned yesterday, I just started reading through Hidden in Christ by James Bryan Smith.  I am only in Chapter 1, but I can already tell that I am going to like the features at the end of each chapter.  Smith includes four great helps at the end of each chapter to allow you to reflectively think through the chapter.  They are: Living Into the Truth, Affirmation, Prayer, and Reflection Questions.  For your reading pleasure, I have included below the affirmation and prayer from Chapter 1.

Jesus rose from the grave. There is nothing I cannot rise from. Even death cannot hold me down. Nothing can separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

Gracious Abba, thank you for sending you Son, Jesus, to die and to rise, to defeat sin and death and all that plagues humanity. His resurrection not only proves your victory but gives me new life, salvation, and hope. Thank you.

I would encourage you to stop by Faith and Life Bookstore in Newton or your local Christian book…


This past week, I attended the International Christian Retail Show in St. Louis.  This is my third year attending.  As someone who loves books, this is a dream vacation.  For Bethany, it is work, as she attends classes and meets with vendors, but I get to wait in lines to get free books signed by authors.

This year, I picked up Hidden in Christ by James Bryan Smith.  I started reading it this morning and thought I would share a picture of my favorite quote below.

Check back over the next few weeks as I continue to share thoughts from this great devotional book.