real men (great short article)

This post here by Dane Ortlund is on “Gospel Men.”

He lists four types of men in the world. Only one is the best.

Which one are you?

“A mature oak tree is immovable when the storms rage against it, but it’s also beautiful, and invites shelter to others. Isn’t that what gospel men should be?”

Ecuador Post-Trip report tonight at church

Tonight at 6:00 we are gathering for church to have our Post-Mission Trip report. This year’s Ecuador trip was fantastic! I am praying to see how God will really use these short-term mission trips to impact our local church here in Fairdale.

Tonight’s meeting will be full of pictures and videos and shared experiences from the various team members.

Here are two pictures of some “cuy.” Cuy is a delicacy in Ecuador. The folks were so gracious to serve us some our last night there in Ecuador. It was very tasty. “Cuy” is guinea pig!

now that’s personal!

Often times you hear people say that Christianity “is not about a religion, its about a relationship.” When that is said, they are referring to having a personal relationship with Jesus.

And this is good. Because being a Christian is about having a personal relationship with Christ. Examples from the Bible that show this are limitless. (He is our shepherd and we are his sheep. He is our God and we are His people. Adoption. He is our Father. We have come to know Him. He loves us deeply. He knows us intimately. He desires for us to know and understand Him well. The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit. etc. etc.)

Well as I recently read through Second Samuel, I was challenged by David’s ability to speak of God in such a personal way.

If someone was to ask you “Please tell me about your personal relationship with God.” How would you respond? Does your faith have a real personal aspect to it?

Second Samuel 22 begins like this:

“And David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.”

So that is the context. What David is about to say next, the song he is about to sing, is based on how God has been working personally in David’s life. The next 3 verses (that is verses 2, 3 & 4) of chapter 22 are David’s song, or response to his personal relationship with God. Notice how personal this sounds.

“The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.”

Wow! What a connection to God that David has! In just three short verses he uses the word “my” ten times in referring to God. God, the God of the Bible, the one and only and true God is David’s God! Now that’s personal!

David says to God, you are:

  • my rock
  • my fortress
  • my deliverer
  • my God
  • my rock
  • my shield
  • my salvation
  • my stronghold
  • my refuge
  • my savior

David is able to speak of God in a way that is deeper and more meaningful than mere objective truths about the nature of God. David speaks (or sings) of God in a real and personal way.

No wonder God is able to say that David is “a man after God’s own heart.”

May we be real followers of Christ with a real personal relationship with the LORD like we see from David in 2 Samuel 22.

smelling manly

It has been my experience that Brut deodorant is associated with manliness. Let me explain.

Over the past few years, I have been thinking through common characteristics of men that I see as manly. Brut deodorant was one of the commonalities. My dad and my grandfather are manly men in my opinion. Both have worn Brut some time in their lives and I remember that from childhood. My High School basketball coach was a very tough and manly man… and he wore Brut. (I can still smell that strong scent spreading through the locker room.)

Recently a good friend of mine lost his grandfather. (I had previously been discussing with him my observation that Brut is common among manly men.) Well He was telling me about how his granddad was in so many ways the most “manly” man he knew. That was even mentioned at the funeral service. Well a few days after the funeral, my buddy was going through his grandfather’s home and opened the medicine cabinet in the bathroom only to find…. Brut! It made my friend laugh. He had already told me how manly his grandfather was so it was only fitting that there was Brut in his bathroom medicine cabinet.

Another great example of this happened just last week in Ecuador. The career missionary there is in every way a manly man. He lives in the mountains; drives a truck; wears jeans, boots, and a Carhartt vest everyday; and never complains. Well we were all travelling on the bus one day and another buddy of mine (who I have had this same conversation with about Brut and Manliness) decided to ask the missionary if he wears Brut deodorant. The missionary hesitated like why in the world are you asking me this- it is not manly for men to ask men about their deodorant in public and then he answered “yes, I have some Brut deodorant.” My observation was further vindicated.

So…. in a day when all the young guys are looking for something sweet smelling like “Axe” or “Swagger” perhaps they should learn from those “manly” men before them and start wearing some Brut.

Camp Chacauco

Here is a picture of the Mountain Camp in Patate, Ecuador. It is called Camp Chacauco. This is where we worked last year. This year we worked at its “sister” camp in the Jungle.

back from Ecuador

I apologize for the lack of blog posts here lately. In the jungle, I did not have as much access to the internet as I had hoped. I will begin posting pics and videos regularly over this next week.

Here is our mission team from this year’s trip. It was such a good trip. Life-changing as most mission trips are.

NEXT SUNDAY NIGHT AT 6PM WE WILL HAVE OUR POST TRIP REPORT AT CHURCH.

Everyone is invited. We will show pictures and videos, while all 9 of us share our experiences.

Ecuador gets its name from being located on the Equator. So one of the many wonderful tourist attractions in Ecuador is “La Mitad del Mundo.” This means “the Middle of the World.” Here is a picture of our team standing directly on the Equator of the world. One foot in the Northern Hemisphere and one foot in the Southern Hemisphere. It really is such a cool place to visit.

The main purpose of our trip was to go and work at a Youth Camp. This was a Youth Camp (just like youth camp in the US) for Ecuadorian teenagers. We served at the camp in any way possible. The name of the camp is UNPES. In this picture you can see the name painted on the dormitory building. It means UNPES Baptist Bible Camp.

The whole trip was such a blessing. Stay tuned for more updates.

llegamos! we here!

We made it! The nine of us are here safely in Quito, Ecuador.

Our Howard Johnson hotel is so nice. I am going to bed now at 830, I am so tired.

I have already eaten my favorite ice cream Coco! I also already had me a humita. And I already had some ceviche with shrimp. Delicious!

Tomorrow will be a day of touring and getting acquainted with the culture. Then we will head to the jungle on Saturday. Everyone is doing well. We are all happy.

PLEASE PRAY FOR US! I will attempt to give updates each day.

how can you be both?

In Psalm 86, David makes two statements back-to-back that are hard at first to understand together.

Here are verses 1 & 2 of Psalm 86:

“Incline your ear, O Lord, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you– you are my God.”

You see what David says? In verse 1, he says he is “poor and needy.” And then in verse 2, he says “I am godly.” How can you be both? Aren’t they the opposite?

No. Not the opposite. Not at all.

This is so important to understanding true life in Christ. True religion is not at all what you are doing for God, but moreover what God is doing through you!

This is exactly what Paul points out in 1 Corinthians 15:10. (“But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”)

But back to David now in Psalm 86. What then is he saying? David is aware of his sins, his wrong-doings, his shortcomings, and his struggles. He knows that he is not God, and therefore he needs God. So he prays to God “answer me, for I am poor and needy.” But then He knows that God is his God and that God is his Shepherd and that God is his maker and that God is his salvation. He knows that He is one of the people of God. He knows God’s covenant to his forefathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. So he knows that He is godly…. not because of his own life and works, but because of God’s graciousness toward him (see vv. 3, 5, 8, 11, 13, 15, 16).

So according to David’s own life, he is poor and needy. But according to God’s love and mercy toward him, his relationship with God, and his salvation in God, he is godly.

Its beautiful! Its Gospel Truth. Because of me, I am poor and needy. But Because of God, I am godly. Only by grace can this be true.

It reminds me of the first Beatitude in Matthew 5:

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

No wonder people aren’t happy

Are you blessed (content and happy)?

In Luke 6, Jesus gives 4 types of people who are blessed:

  1. the poor (v.20)
  2. the hungry (v.21)
  3. those who weep (v.21)
  4. those who are hated, excluded, reviled, and spurned

What in the world is he talking about? Is Jesus crazy?

John MacArthur says “everything he taught was so utterly opposite from everything they thought.” And Matthew Henry says β€œIt is so far from depriving you of your happiness that it will greatly add to it.”

What Jesus is teaching is that ‘a state of happiness’ can only come from God.
Psalm 16:11 “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”

Generally speaking, when one has wealth, a full belly, laughter, and everyone likes them then that one is unlikely to be aware of their need for God. So the one who is poor and hungry and weeping and at odds with people turns to God out of their great need and trusts in Christ the Lord.

When you read this teaching from Jesus, you are left thinking… if those are the people who are blessed, no wonder people aren’t happy.

Trust in the Lord and be happy, blessed and content! Be able to say “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”