Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!!!!


  In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with God,
and the WORD was God. 
                                                   John 1:1
     As each of us prepare for Christmas in a few days, I wanted to get a blog written and to say Merry Christmas.  It is not Happy Holidays but truly Merry Christmas.  On Christmas, we celebrate the birth of our Lord and the World's Savior, Jesus Christ.  John 1:1, I feel and believe is the simplest verse in the Bible and pretty much explains everything.  When God created the Heavens and the Earth, at the very beginning Jesus was there.  And God knew someday He would have to send His Son to reconcile us so that we would be with them forever.  Oh, how I look forward to that day. 
    May each of you have a wonderful and blessed Christmas.  Thank you for reading this and blessing us so much.

My Life In Pictures

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Reasons


    It is an amazing event that has happened in my life.  I started this blog for 2 reasons.  The first to let all of our Partners in the Ministry know what was going on during those times that I am traveling or before I get a Partnership Newsletter sent.  The second reason was to be Transparent in my walk with the Lord and so that each of you would be able to get to know me better, as the person I am 24 hours a day.  So today there have been almost 1300 of you who have visited the blog and blessed me by reading what I have written. 
    I committed that when I started this, that at least every week I would strive to put something on the blog to let you know what is happening.  I have fulfilled that commitment but please have faith that I am trying very hard.  Although the ministry is very busy, sometimes I don't think you want to read about the mundane pieces of administration that happens, so I just hold off for  a little while.  Since the last update, that is pretty much what has transpired.  Next week, I will be able to tell you about projects that are happening in 2014, speaking at churches here in California and upcoming places that God has allowed me to come and speak about His work. 
     This week I would like to touch on my second reason for writing this blog and that is to be transparent to each of you.  1st Timothy 6:12 says:

                   "Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses. "

So now I am going to confess my second largest weakness to you.  Before I told you that I worry a whole lot, however a even bigger area that I fight and take to the Lord more than anything else is that I fight "depression."   You would think that being in the ministry I would not be depressed but I am.  Jeannine thinks that some my depression is genetic and that it is because I am always putting extra stress upon myself.  You know she is probably right in a whole lot ways (she usually is).  I am not talking about the dark depression that is debilitating, but the depression that causes me to become quiet (you know me, quiet is not, worry more, and question more things then I usually would.
     This depression does not happen a lot but I must confess it does happen.  And when it does I do take it to the Lord.  I ALWAYS get comfort from the Lord but sometimes it does not rid me of the depression.  You see, I am totally human and thankfully I have a Lord who understands me, forgives me, and does comfort me.  Praise Him that it doesn't last long because many of you are used to lift my spirits and bring me out of this.  Thank you. 
     So I pray I have not bored you to much and that you still love me or like me even with all of my faults.  I pray that by me sharing this with you that if you suffer from this same thing that God is there for you.  Just trust Him!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

End of the Year Partnership Gift Letter

End of the Year Partnership Gift Letter
At the end of each year, due to tax deductions; many faith based ministry send out a letter asking Partners or Perspective Partners to pray about making a special gift that is tax deductible.  It is recommended that we write one, also.  I deeply go into prayer when I have to send my letter out.  As is the case in Ministry Partnership development, it is really the toughest part of being in a faith based ministry and the idea of trust and not worrying about anything.  The letter below is the one that I recently sent out.  Please join me in prayer in regards to what God wants to happen with it this year.  If you want to make a special year end gift, please immediately get a hold of me so that we can get you the tax deduction for 2013 and I can send you the commitment card.  Thank you again for reading my blog.  Each of you that read it, make comments and share with me your thoughts mean so much to me.
    This year has led to many changes in our lives.  In May, I refocused on the Middle East and North Africa; leaving behind my role as Vice President of Area Strategy for International Commission.  Once following God in this refocused direction, we have seen doors opened to active churches in Southern Oman, Kuwait, Yemen, Libya, Israel, Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia, UAE, new partners in Lebanon, renewed partners in Jordan and new partners in Turkey.  God is opening doors in North Africa thorough existing contacts with groups working in the Muslim world. 
     Several years ago I met this wonderful young man and during one of our projects in his country we were able to share with him the one truth that would change his life forever.  He is from a very big family and he was one of the youngest.  In the culture that he lives in, being young and from a big family means very little influence or the opportunity to change his family or even the village or tribe he is from.  However, we serve a God who can change that.  Over the last couple of years, we have been able to reconnect when I have traveled to his country and I have seen him become bolder with his faith and the trust that he has.  On my last visit, I was able to again spend some time with him and to see his growth.  On this visit, I asked him how his family is adjusting to his faith; expecting to hear that they were rejecting him and the truth.  I was overwhelmed with his response that many in his family and in his village are now Followers of the True God.  His faith has grown and I look forward to hearing from him about what God is doing through him.  One project, one person, many changed lives.
     On my trip to Israel, we were able to share with many young people who are so hungry for a change and a better life.  While staying at the hotel, I met this young man and he changed my life as I know God has changed his life.  On the first night I was able to meet with him and be able to make a connection with him.  During the week, we would talk about his life, his family, his friends and what made our group different from the other groups in the hotel.  One night, I felt the need to share with him the truth about God.  He admitted that what I was telling him was the truth and that he knew in his heart that Jesus was the way.  Our conversation quickly turned to the costs involved in following Jesus in a Muslim family and my heart began to break.   God was not through with this young man and over the continuing week, we continued to have more conversations.  On our last night, we spoke again and this time he told me that when the time is right, he will follow what he knows is the truth.  So I pray for this young man, who now knows and I believe that Jesus has already changed his heart. 
     God is Amazing and We Could Not do the Work that God has Called Us to Do Without You.  Your prayers, love, letters of encouragement and financial support have made this journey and adventure possible.  I would like to ask you to pray about becoming more involved.   Pray about going on a project, pray about committing this year that you will increase your prayers for us and the ministry, and pray about becoming a financial Ministry Partner with us on a monthly basis or increasing your monthly gifts during the 2014 year or this month make a special financial gift.   We need you!  Please pray today about how God is leading you and answer Him right away.   I have enclosed a commitment card.  If God is leading you to make a special year end gift or to become a Monthly Financial Ministry Partner, all of your gifts are tax-deductible.  
      Thank you for allowing me to tell you just a few stories about what God has done this year.  It is because of your Partnership that we are able to continue to Follow The Lord in His Call.  May 2014, be the best year of your lives.

New House Pictures

Here are some pictures of the new house.   We have been so very blessed by this gift from God.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Worry...Is It Neccessary?

 One of my favorite pictures of Jeannine and I. 
 Enjoying a Stockton Ports baseball game.
Is It Necessary?
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own
Matthew 6:25-34
     How many of us read the above verses and really take the words to heart.  As November ended with us giving Thanks for the many blessings in our lives and the last month of 2013, December begins; each of us begin to look forward to what 2014 will bring us.  What are our lives going to be, will we have a better year then this last one, and what does God have planned for us this next year.  Many of us have already started worrying about it.  Yes, you read that word right....worrying. 
      Why do we worrying?  I ask myself that question everyday, not just once but several times each day.  Jeannine says when I am worrying, I don't sleep, I am always finding projects to do, I eat chocolate and I becoming quiet.  I think the quiet is the "giveaway."  You all know me and being quiet is definitely not one of my attributes.  Transparency:  I talk all the time, even in my sleep.  I will tell you my greatest worry in another BlogSpot to com, but back to the question of why we worry.  I really do believe that many of us are like the disciples.  We have "little faith." Many times I have asked myself, how the disciples could not have faith, since they actually walked with Jesus and saw Him do wonderful things everyday.  I think I am beginning to understand.  It is our human nature that makes us worry.  In the disciples defense, they were learning as they walked with Jesus and they only had 3 years.  I have been a Believer since I was 7.  I have been in the ministry for the last 12 years.  I have seen God do some really incredible miracles, bless friends and family over and over again, and answer so many prayers.  And I still have worry and it is because I must admit that I don't have enough faith.   I am learning and each day the worry gets less. 
      I believe that our Christian lives here are to become more like our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ more each day.  That our time, is to learn and grow to become more Christ-like.  I know I still have things to learn and I know God is working in my life.  So someday, probably when I get to Heaven, I will be stop worrying. 
      Thank you again for letting me ramble again on the BlogSpot.  This has been such a blessing to me as I am able to write what is on my heart.  If you would like to know more about us, if you would like to become more involved in our ministry whether through how you can specifically pray for us or to become financial Ministry Partners with us, please let me know.  If God is moving you to become more involved, please don't wait....when God Calls we all need to act immediately.

God Bless and have a great month....Ron



Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!

Thanksgiving is only a few days away, actually only 2 days now and I know many of us are hurry around getting the last minute things for the Thanksgiving Dinner.  Or in our case, trying to find all of the Christmas decorations because for us Thanksgiving is the day in which we decorate for the Christmas season.  So I wanted to take a few minutes this day to wish each of you a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving.
Alvin Slaughter wrote an amazing song, one that we sing pretty regularly in church called, "We Give You Thanks."   Below you will find the lyrics.  I pray that you will read them and be as blessed as I am every time I sing them.  May each of you have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving.  And as Jeannine and I  think about this day of Thanksgiving, we will be praying for each of you because we are so THANKFUL that God has blessed us with you.

In all things
We give you thanks
We give your praise
And thanksgiving
At all times
In everything
We give you thanks
We give you thanks

In the middle of the conflict
In the valleys of our lives
We will lift up songs of worship
For your goodness cannot be denied

Chorus 2x

For we know that every problem
Is a tool in your own hands
To refine us for your glory
Make us willing and able to stand

Chorus 2x

At all times
In everything
We give you thanks
We give you thanks
We give you thanks
We give you thanks
We give you thanks

Friday, November 22, 2013

Being Thankful

The Birth of Jesus in a picture

But this is truly what it was about!
    Starting on the first of November, I have seen many people mention each day one thing that they are thankful for.  Many of said their families, people in their lives and many other things.   What people are writing is such a blessing and to hear about what they are thankful for.  I have pretty much stayed away from this practice. The reason I have stayed away from each day mentioning what I am thankful for is that I have so very much to be thankful for.
Over the last 6 months, we have seen God reach down and bless us so much.  We have been able, even though our Ministry Partnership has been decreasing; to have the Lord bless us with our very first home.  We have seen both of children develop into fantastic young adults.  We seen God open so many doors in North Africa and the Middle East.  God has led me to work with churches in Kuwait, Oman, Jordan, Egypt, and Lebanon.  Then to make the last couple of months even better, I watched God do some very incredible things in Israel and was able to work with a FANTASTIC team.
Even with all that God has done and blessed us with, the GREATEST blessing that He has done for us is that He created a way for us to have an eternity.  It all started with the birth of His Son, Jesus Christ and was fulfilled on the cross.  With all the many things to be THANKFUL for, the one thing that I am thankful for each day is the LOVE my God has for me everyday.  An eternal love.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Israel Project: God Working Around the World

The Israel Team at Masada,
Praying for the Country, the People
and the Project about to
    On November 7th, 12 of us left from different locations around the US to begin the Call in our lives to follow to Israel and share with the Bedouin people of central Israel.  Little did we know what incredible things God would do.  Israel is one of the several countries in the region where it is illegal to tell people about Jesus Christ.  Yes, you read that statement correct.  Israel, the birthplace of Jesus Christ and Christianity; it is illegal to tell people of Jesus Christ.  Yes there are Christian churches in Israel, but they are persecuted it they are actively evangelizing, so little is done there to expand the Kingdom. 
    We had the priviledge of working with a wonderful group of people, whose love and caring for the Bedouin people was amazing.  We started our time in Israel with a trip to Masada, to walk around and pray for the people, the country and the upcoming project.  Amazing time of prayer.  Then for the next two days we worked with about 35 students on a English as a second language project for a local high school.  During this time we proposed questions to the young people and they were to answer then and write an article about the topic.  One of the questions was comparing Islam, Christianity and Judaism.  What was really fantastic about this was that since we are there to share the love of Christ, it was a great time to be able to tell them about what makes us Believers and to share with the love and truth about Jesus Christ.  Amazing being able to answer questions, pray with them and also to be able to share the whole story with them.  There was not one of them that did not hear that Jesus is the way, the truth and the only way to get to Heaven.
    One of the conversations that I thought was so interesting in another visit was a young man who said, I know that Jesus is the truth and I know that it is the right, however I must wait until I am an adult and away from my parents in order to let this be known.  The cost is so much for these young people who make decisions for Christ. 
     God allowed us to visit with numberous young people and adults and share with them the love and light of Jesus Christ.  Although we had some mid-morning starts, most our days started around 7 and went until 9 or 10 at night before we retired to our rooms.  The reports from the team have all been fantastic and they were thrilled to be able to share with the Bedouin people of Israel.  Approximately 300 people had the love and light of Jesus Christ shown to them and many of those are asking for further conversations about the way to eternity with Jesus Christ.  To God be the Glory.  In the Bedouin community of the Negav, which numbers at 250,000 and with the 60% of the population being 25 and under....imagine if only half of that became Believers of the one true and living how the country of Israel could be changed.
     The team that God called were some of the most humble and hard working people I have ever had the priviledge of being with.  They were flexible when they needed to be and humble enough to get down on the ground and love on a child or be in a home where this was required.  I truly was blessed.
     We ended our time with a trip to the Old City of Jerusalem.  The place where Jesus walked and paid the ultimate price for our sins and for us to have a way to Heaven. 
      My blog can never come close to telling you the blessings we had of being called by the Lord to do this work.  Thank you for your prayers, love and support of us.  

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Tel Be'er Sheva

    Please forgive the lack of pictures, I have been trying to no avail.  I will keep trying but in the meantime, I pray you can just visualize what is happening here.
    Today we went to a local high school to be with them and to share our lives with them.  As we went into the classroom of 36 students, ages 16 and 17; we had no idea what to expect.  Our plans are to spend 2 days with these students developing relationships and sharing.  Little did we know that the soon after our arrival, the Headmaster of the student was going to enter into the room to see what we were doing.  This allowed me and our country leader to share with him that we were Christians and we were here to share with the students.  He was very excited and before we left he was inviting us to come back and be part of his school again and would open his whole school to us.  Next as we were totally engulfed with the students, enters the new Mayor of the city.  He was told that there were 12 Americans at the school sharing.  Within a few minutes he was not only welcoming us and thanking us to the school and his city, he was invited us to come and share in all of the schools of the city.  God is so great and we were able to share openly about God and His Son without any fears.  And now to add to our excitement we now get to go and spend the whole morning with the students and we are so expectant about what God will do and has already done.

The First Day...Amazing Day

    I thought I would share with you some of the events of the day and what the Lord did today.  It was a pretty amazing day.  The day started with orientation (which was planned).  Every time you come to the Middle East and because of the cultural differences, it takes time during orientation and then during the first couple of evening debriefings to cover the differences.  After that it is all about sharing the stories of what God did during the day.  So this morning was orientation, then a surprise trip for the team to  Masada, and then a planned trip to the Dead Sea. 

    Masada was amazing.  If you have not seen the movie (there actually is one) or have read about it basically when Jerusalem fell many, many years ago; some of the rebels or citizens left to find refuge at Masada versus becoming Roman slaves.  Rome ended up building a ramp to the gates, which took years; and the right before Romans soldiers were to enter the city; the rebels/citizens committed suicide versus being Roman Slaves. Masada is a flat rock about that is approximately a 1300 feet above the level Dead Sea.  And from every angle you can see some fasticide of the country of Israel.  And then if you look further to the East you can see the country of Jordan.  My request to the team as they walked the perimeter of the Masada was that they pray for the people of Israel,  that God would bless the people and that God would use each of us in some do something for His Kingdom and His Glory during this next week.  Little did I know that God would start working this quickly.  Then after Masada was a trip to the Dead Sea.  Everyone has to experience the Dead Sea to fully understand its beauty and magnitude of it.  Everyone had a great day with orientation and prayers.

    Then it was back to the hotel where the conversations really began.  When we arrived there was a large group of Nigerians arriving and who knew but God what was going to happen.  Myself and one of the other group were catching up on email in the lounge when 2 of these men entered, Israel and Victor Man (not making up the names); and here is when the conversations really began.  Victor Man who spoke much better English led the conversation.  We found out that they part of 5 groups of approximately 1000 Nigerians who were in Israel on a pilgrimage.  Our conversation quickly turned to Eternal.  It was an amazing conversation about the need for the world to be evangelized for the Kingdom of God.  How each of need to become personally responsible for sharing the love and truth of Jesus Christ.  How God puts people together who are believers to encourage and uplift each other, and look what God did by bringing us together.  Then to make the conversation even better, Israel said this one thing….”Imagine when we get to Heaven, there will be no color, no language barriers, just an eternity of praising our Lord together.”  How very true he is about that comment.

    What a great first day it was!!!!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Arrival in Israel

    The team has arrived in Israel and ready (sort of) to get going.  All of the flights went relatively easy with the exception being the group from California.  Due to weather in Philadelphia, their (our) flight was delayed and moved around so much that we really didn't know if we would be making the connection.  But a quick run across the airport in Philly and we all arrived on the plane.  So it was a pretty fun time.
    It is amazing to enter into Israel and wonder what God has planned because we know His plans are so much GREATER than ours. 
    I am beginning to think that the enemy really does put on some extra attacks when I go on these trips, either by myself or with a team.  The last 3 teams I have led something has happened.   Oman last year, we lost my Mother in Law to cancer;  Turkey early in the summer, there was a national protests and riots;  and as I was boarding this flight I found out that a dear friend and brother in Christ, Mark Berryman went home to the Lord (Praise the Lord, he is Heaven) and then I was told that my son in law, Austin's Grandmother had a stroke.  But through it all God will win.  In the book of Revelation, we all are told how this story ends...GOD WINS!!!!! 
    I will be adding some pictures tomorrow of the team so that you can see who to pray for.  Here are some prayer for the team when you think of us:
         1.  Quick recovery of the team with jet lag and fatigue.
         2.  Open doors and receptive hearts of the people here who we are going to be in contact with.
         3.  The schools that we will be entering this week for boldness
         4.  The villages that are already expecting us to come and share.  These villages are excited!!
    Here are some prayers for us, if you would please pray for us:
         1.  The family of Mark Berryman and his recent Home going.
         2.  For Austin's Grandmother
         3.  Our financial needs.  God is good and we know He will take care of us..

Love you all, Ron

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Travel begins NOW

    My dear friends and family......
          It is time for the last blog before shutting down and heading to Israel with a team of 11 Called People.  It is amazing when God calls people.  Sometimes you never know what exactly you are going to do but that you are called to be obedient and to Follow Him in His Call.   Eleven people from California, Oklahoma, North Carolina and Texas have answered the Call and are going to Israel tomorrow. 
         For the next 10 days they will be sharing the Love of God to the people.  They will be planting seeds, they will be tilling the soil and they will sharing their faith and the Glory of our Lord.  I am so honored to be able to be the leader of this group.
        Please over the next couple of weeks pray for the following things for the team:
                       1.  The safety and health of the team.
                       2.  Opportunities to share
                       3.  Flexibility to do what the Lord wants and not what we want.

         Please pray for me the following:
                       1.  I lead the group with the Lord in mind
                       2.  That I am open to the guidance of the Lord
                       3.  Selfishly, my back which has gotten very bad over the last couple of days..

     I will be writing more over  the days and include pictures.  If you feel led to send a message to the team, here is my email: and I would love to share them with the team.

May God Bless Each of You...


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Israel Project Begins in One Day

    On Thursday, another adventure begins.  This time it is in Israel.  There will be 12 of us going over there for 9 nights and 10 days.  Please join us in prayer.   I will be adding stories, pictures and updates as the time goes by.  Please pray for the following:
         1.  Safety for the team as we travel
         2.  The health of the team while we are gone
         3.  Divine appointments and openness of the people
         4.  That we put our personal expectations aside and put the plans of the Lord FIRST
         5.  God's Will to be done
    Looking forward to giving each of you updates on what God is doing while we are gone. 

In His Name and Love

Friday, November 1, 2013

Ministry Partnership-Relationships


Relationships with an Eternal Purpose

    I have been really praying about writing about what is a Faith Based Ministry and its key to success, Ministry Partnership.    When Jeannine and I returned home from the Middle East and then answered God’s  Call to go to work with International Commission, one of the hardest aspects was seeking Ministry Partnership-Relationships .  However over the last nine years, we have found Ministry Partnership-Relationships to be one of the greatest blessings.

    Faith Based Ministry is, trusting the Lord to not only provide all of your physical needs, but to provide for all of your financial needs.  It is a ministry that walks totally by faith in everything.   Throughout the Bible, there are multitudes of examples of living by faith.  The first century church in Acts lived by faith, sharing everything;   Paul constantly lived by faith throughout his ministry; then there is Romans 11 which speaks about the many whose faith was unwavering. 

    One of the major components of a Faith Based Ministry is Ministry Partnerships.   Ministry Partnership is where others join in relationship with you as Partners in what God has called us all to do and that is to “be His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8).”  It is not about being a donor, it is not about being a source, it is ALL ABOUT THE RELATIONSHIP.    The relationship of caring for each other, communicating with each other, praying for each other and supporting each other. 

    International Commission has grown exponently since adopting Ministry Partnerships as the major avenue by which all of the field staff work for the organization.  How does it work is a common question asked of us.  Basically each of us from the beginning seek relationships in two ways, prayer and financial support.  Neither is more important than the other and thus we treasure them.   Prayer is needed for the reason all of us need prayers and financial support is so that we can concentrated on His Call.  An example of Ministry Partnerships in the Bible is the Apostle Paul and his relationship with Phillippians. 

    Ministry Partnership-Relationships are the backbone of continuing to work in the Ministry.  Without them, many of us struggle and eventually have to leave the ministry.  I know that is a harsh comment to make but it is the truth.  Without the prayers of our partners, we would be open to the attacks of Satan-the enemy.  Without the people who sacrifice for us financially, we would have to seek employment and jobs that would drastically reduce our time and focus on the ministry.

    How do you become involved?  First pray about being a Ministry Partner.  Let God reveal what He wants of  you, and if He leads you to partner; please don’t wait, do it today.  Second, let me know you want to be a partner, then we can start to develop the relationship to what God wants it to be.  Third, start.  If you are praying then start praying, if  you feel God wants you to become involved financially then here are the steps.

1.        You can become a monthly financial partner, an annual financial partner or you can also make special financial gifts.   Monthly financial partners commit to a specified amount each month to be given, this can be an automatic gift from the account you dictate or you can write a check, which you will receive a statement each month after the initial monthly gift is made.  Annual financial partners make one gift each time each year for an amount they feel led to give.  Special gifts are just that, they are given whenever the partner feels led to give by the Holy Spirit. 

2.       If you feel led to be either a monthly partner or annual partner,  please contact me through and I can assist you through the required steps needed.

3.       If you feel led to make a special gift;  you can send it to me,  directly to the office of International Commission and just put on the gift my name, or you can go on the website of International Commission and make a gift electronically.

4.       All financial gifts are tax deductible and should be made above your tithe to your church.
    Ministry Partnership-Relationships are a mutual journey we take together to further the Gospel of our Lord.   In this economically challenged world and a world where the enemy is attacking constantly,   Partnership-Relationships are more important now than ever before.  Please if you have any questions, want to become a Ministry Partner or just ask for prayer let me know. 
     Thank you again for allowing me to pour my heart and concerns to you through this blog.    

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Being Transparent

    Transparency is a very interesting concept.  A good definition is: "a transparent object, especially a photographic slide that is viewed by light shining through it from behind or by projection."  You might be wondering why I have decided to blog transparency tonight.  Transparency in ministry that God has called me into is something that I have really tried to be able to achieve. 
   The Bible talks a lot about being the same person wherever and whatever you are doing. Many Pastors have preached on the exact subject.  Why is it so important?  Simple answer is because God sees us wherever we are and whatever we are doing, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Throughout the Bible, God speaks to us about seeing us all the time.  He knew about Adam's sin in the Garden, He knew about David's sins with Bathsheba, and the list just keeps going.  So if we say we believe we must always remember that God sees us all the time.
    When I look at the definition and then with understanding what the Bible says; I find it interesting that the definition uses "that is viewed by light shining through it from behind."  Think about that for just a second....light shining through.  If we truly say we are a Believer then the Light that needs to shine through us is Jesus Christ.  So in my life I desire to be so transparent that Jesus shines through me.
    I know that I am far from being completely transparent, but I really try to be.  I try to be transparent in every aspect of my life.   I strive not to hide anything from my family, my friends and our Ministry Partners.  If God can see me, still care for me, and then forgive me...then I should be the same in all aspects of my life. 
    Thank you for letting me ramble tonight and I am sure that by now you have seen the pictures that I attached to this blog.  Yes that young man on the left is me and the one below is me, more closer to the age I am now.  I added these because I want to be transparent.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Saying Thank You is an ART....

I came across this about saying Thank You. I thought it was so relevant and important.  Although I did not write this.  I thought you might enjoy it.

"When I was growing up my mother instilled in me the importance of saying thank you.  The art of appreciation isn’t reserved just for when someone holds a door open for you or does a favor for you.  Saying thank you is truly a forgotten art.  I am trying to teach my children much in the same ways that my mother taught me.  Christmas and Birthdays are the two main times that I am dedicated to sending out thank you notes for, but I’m not stuck on just those two occasions either.  When someone sends a gift, you should say thank you.  They took the time to send it to you, and you should take the time to say thank you.

When sending thanks, many people just think that it is acceptable to pick up the phone and say thank you or to send an email saying thank you.  I disagree with this.  While I do pick up the phone and say thanks, on occasion, I still follow it up with an actual thank you note.  Many times if the sender doesn’t hear from you, they won’t know that you received what they sent, so calling to say you received the gift is a great way to let the sender know that you received the gift.  However, I still feel it is important to follow the call up by sending an actual thank you note.  If you are sent an electronic gift, such as an online gift certificate, or an email notifying you that someone ordered you a magazine subscription, or some other electronically sent gift, then an email thank you is warranted.  The sender sent a gift electronically, therefore sending an electronic thank you is acceptable.  This is the only time where I feel an electronic thank you is warranted.  If someone takes the time to mail something to you or to have something mailed to you, you should take the time to sit down and write them a note of thanks, and place that back into the mail to them. 

When writing a thank you note, you do not need to write a dissertation on how happy you were to receive the item, recanting your exact experience of opening the gift and how it made you feel.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, simply writing “thanks” or “thank you” in a card or on a piece of paper will not suffice either, mind you.  I use a simple formula when writing a thank you note: greet the sender, thank them for the specific item, wish them well and then close your note.  Sometimes a person may send you multiple items, in this case you can say “thank you for the gifts.  I especially liked” and insert your favorite item.  If someone sends you cash or a gift card, it is a nice idea to tell them what you bought or what you will buy with the gift they sent to you.  This way the sender knows that you put their gift to good use, whether it was a need or greed purchase that you made with the gift.  The sender just wants to know that you used it and that it went towards something you need or wanted.

To many out there, this may seem trivial or silly even.  Saying thank you is so important though.  It lets people know that they (or what they do) have been appreciated.  It takes only minutes, but the feeling of joy that it leaves lasts a life time."

Friday, October 11, 2013

House Hunting and Buying 101

    Last June, Jeannine and I started a journey that would be a very first for us:  the journey of finding our first house.  Yes, you read that right; our very first home.  We had thought that we would never be able to have our home.  Being in the ministry and especially being in a faith based ministry (I will explain faith based ministry in a future blog post),  we had pretty much concluded that we would never have our home.  Plus we didn't have the down payment.  However, our plans and thoughts were definitely not the plans of God and yesterday we signed the paperwork and on Monday we will get the keys for our first home. 
   Here is the story of how God got us where we are today.  In January, when Jeannine's Mother went home to Heaven, she gave us a gift that would change our lives; the 20% we would need to begin our journey of our own home.  Before we started, Jeannine and I prayed Philippians 4:6:  "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
    After praying this we met with a fantastic Godly woman, Sherry, our realtor.  She informed us what we needed to do.  She connected us with another Godly woman, Maureen;  whose company would become our mortgage company.  Maureen informed us what we needed to do and this amazing journey started.  For the next two months (June and July), we did exactly what we were told to and mid-August we met with Maureen again and this rapid process started for us.  She processed all of our paperwork (and for you that have homes already know that there is a whole lot of paperwork and time).  Within a week, everything was done and the search would begin with Sherry. 
    Jeannine and I sat down and made a list of what our "ideal" home would be.  We then prayed Philippians 4:6 again and this time said God;  "God, we know you control everything and everything is in your hands, we are thankful for what you have done for us and we are totally okay if you shut the door on this." 
    We had heard horror stories of friends looking for homes.  They had looked at 50 or more homes.  People were telling us that they were making offers on multiple home.  The news was informing us that the market in California was improving and home prices were increasing 10 to 20 percent and that people in order to be competitive were offering multiple thousands more than the asking price.  All of this news just made this journey scarier for us and more apprehensive. 
    The end of August we looked at our first potential home.   The week of September 10th, we looked at a house near where we live now and it was close to what we were looking for, still I had this not so good feeling about it.   During this week there was also a house that came on the market that, from pictures was pretty close to what we were looking for; but yet the time that it was open to view we were not available due to ministry opportunities, so we just crossed it off of our list as gone.  During my quiet time on Sunday the 15th of September I just felt compelled to ask Jeannine if she would contact Sherry and see if there was a possibility that we could see that house.  Jeannine contacted Sherry, Sherry called us on Monday morning and said we could see it at 5:45 that evening. 
    We walked into the house and immediately I knew it was the one.  As we were leaving, we were told that all offers were being presented the next morning to the sellers and if we wanted it, we would have to make the decision now.  We went home, we prayed (just saying God show us your direction and give us peace about it) and after praying Jeannine looked at me and said let's do it.  This would be our first legitimate offer on a house. 
     The offer was made at approximately 8 pm on the 16th and now the waiting begun.  The next day came and as Jeannine and I were wrapping up the next day (10pm), still no news.  We were wondering and the discussion turned to hopefully they (the sellers) were praying over the offers and that we just had to trust.  Although we were anxious to hear, we still had this incredible peace about the whole situation.  Jeannine and I had our prayer time and for us the day was over when our phones started buzzing,  it was Sherry.  The sellers had accepted our offer.  Praise the Lord!!!  Then soon after that call, Maureen texted us and said congratulations.  These two special and Godly Women were truly walking this road with us. 
     The next day (very unheard of) at 8:00 am we went into our 30 day escrow.  With everything done, now it was just getting all of the paperwork in order, which we were told would take the full 30 days.  On September 25th all of the paperwork done, faster than the inspections could be done.  September 27th, everything was done and all that was needed is our signatures to send everything to the title company.  10 days in escrow and we are done...we are Praising God all the way.  WAIT, where am Oman.  So everything has to wait until I arrive home on the 4th.  We sign the papers, basically on Monday October 7th, and yesterday we signed all of our papers and Monday we get our keys. 
Here are the God things that He has done immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine:
1.   Basically 20 days or less of escrow.
2.   Our ideal house desires and how God supplied them: 
             a.  Older home with is built in the 50's and has amazing character
             b.  On a quarter of an is on a third of an acre with lots of yard
             c.  A place for me to have a ministry office...It has outbuildings that are perfect for my office
             d.  We wanted to stay in the same area....we are moving only 8 miles away
             e.  One story is a ranch styled home layout
             f.  A family is perfect for us now and in the future for family and friends
3.   It must stay within our budget.....our mortgage payment including taxes and insurance is 
                 exactly the same as our rent is now.       

    These are just a few of the things that God did for us through this process.  It has been an amazing journey and we can never tell you how much God has done for us through this. 
    Jeannine and I just celebrated our 29th anniversary and we have been following the Lord in His Call for almost 13 years now.  It has been a FANTASTIC journey and a journey we would not trade for anything.  This adventure  of house hunting and buying is one that we never thought that we would be able to do and as I said above we were okay with because we were following the Lord.  Here we are today, very soon to get keys to our own home.  A home that we consider a GIGANTIC gift from God. 
    Jeannine and I would like to say THANK YOU to each of you for praying for us without knowing much about this adventure.  Your faithful prayers, on our behalf; have given us extra peace and even more blessings.  We have heard from a lot of you saying you are praying and this has lifted our hearts and spirits so much.  Thank you very much.

Oman/Kuwait: A Successful Report

Travelling to the Arabian Peninsula is always a challenge.  And every trip is a HUGE blessing and the best opportunity to see the Lord at work.  This one was no exception. 

     Evangelism is the key and establishing church to church evangelistic projects can be a interesting, especially where churches are either few and far between, established house churches or even underground church. 

    This trip had the best of all the worlds.  

    In Kuwait, I was able to meet and start a conversation with a church with an evangelistic heart and consists of over 1200 Believers that meet in 4 services every Sunday.  The Pastor and I have begun our discussions about how IC and the church can become partners in the future to reach the people of Kuwait.

    In Oman, although the goal was to explore if God was opening the door to Yemen; God had other plans.  I travelled to a city called Salalah, where I met with two local workers (one from the Midwest and the other from Brazil), who have huge hearts for evangelism. 

    Our conversations involved the evangelism of the multitude of ethnic groups there and also working with the PCO church, the Pakistani Church and the Indian/Hindi church. 

    It is amazing when you take your prayers and petitions to the Lord what He can accomplished. 

    Thank you for your prayers, love and support.  I look in the future being able to tell you how this trip willwork out in glorifying our Lord.


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Saving Everything in Our Hearts

I found this on a post as we were driving around and I found it so profound.  How many of us feel that we can "save everything" in our hearts?  A better question is: How many of us save our relationship with Jesus Christ in our hearts?  The problem arises when we don't share the love that he has given us to others.  I love what Luke 12:8-9: "I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God." In this one verse we get a call to go out and be transparent with our relationship with Jesus Christ.
I wonder why more people aren't publicly acknowledging their relationship with Jesus Christ.  I once sat with this very good friend and as a lot of my discussions progress, I told him about a future project and said he needs to go.  He looked at me and said, Ron, I believe there are many right here in our town that need Jesus Christ and I feel this is where I need to be.  My response was that is fantastic, because we are called to go to  "Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.(Acts 1:8)”  I didn't care that he didn't feel called to go to the ends of the earth with me but that he was just going out and acknowledging and sharing Jesus Christ.  The challenge is does our actions match the call in our lives. 
Luke 12:8-9 and Acts 1:8 are not optional.  Luke says that if we acknowledge Him, He will acknowledge us.  Acts says go.  It all goes back to that one comment on the post, this person is saving every thing in their hearts;  are we doing the same thing?  I sure hope and pray that I am not.  That I am acknowledging my Jesus Christ and that I am going, no matter what the call or job is. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Prophet Ayoub's Tomb...Aka: Job

It is believed that this is the tomb of the Job.  In the Bible, it says that be was blameless and that Satan appeared before the Lord and ask if he could, well pretty much destroy his life;  and that Job would turn from God when these things happened.  However Job did not turn from God and again the enemy lost.
In Islam, it is believed that Job prayed towards Jerusalem everyday but when God appeared to him that he turned and started praying towards Mecca.  Interesting right?  It is also believed that if as a Muslim you pray next to a Prophet's tomb, then you will receive all of his goodness, virtue and wisdom.  So while we were there, we actually experienced this happening. 
So while they were praying we were praying for the one and true Living God to present Himself to them.