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Archive for April, 2007

How God Answers Prayers

Greetings one and all. I found the following poem (or whatever you want to call this) while I was going through some things in my bed room. It is pretty cool. Please tell me what you think of it.
How God answers prayer:
I asked God to send me His friends- He sent you.
I asked God to take away my pain- God said, It is not for Me to take away, but for you to give it up”.
I asked God to make my handicapped child whole- God said, “Their spirit is whole; their body is temporary”.
I asked God to grant me patience- God said, “Patience is a by-product of tribulations; it isn’t granted, it is earned”.
I asked God to give me happiness- God said, “I give you blessings, happiness is up to you”.
I asked God to spare me pain- God said, “Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares and brings you closer to Me”.
I asked God to make my spirit grow- God said, “You must grow on your own, but I will prune you to make you fruitful”.
I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life- God said, “I will give you life so that you will enjoy all things”.
I asked God to help me love others, as much as He loves me- God said, “Finally, you have the idea”.
Your thoughts:
I finished reading Simple Church today. Tomorrow I’ll do a series of blogs about their ideas in the book. Simple Church is a facinating book! I loved it and highly endorse it.
Be blessed!
Zack

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Sorry

Hi y’all! Man! Sorry I haven’t blogged in so long! Crazy stuffs been happening. I’ll do better.
While at Harding I heard a really funny story about one of my professors. The following story didn’t occur in the class I took, but in an other class he teaches. I heard he told his class the next class meeting would take place by the school swimming pool. So for class that day they met at the swimming pool. The professor taught from the diving board. After he was done teaching he went to end of the diving board and jumped into the pool (he was wearing his suit, ty, slacks, the works)!
When he got his head above water he raised his fists and arms over his head and yelled out, “I’m gun ho for Jesus! Now who’s with me!”. And everyone started yelling, “Yeah! Yeah!” and they all jumped in too! Thinking about that story also got me thinking about who in the Bible was gun ho for Jesus? Of course there were tons of people, but impreticularly the Apostle Paul was. As we all recall Paul heated Christians at first, but was converted in Acts 9. Then he immediately turned his whole focus from hateing Jesus to loving Him. Acts tells of his missionary journeys and all the adventures he encountered in each of them. Each of the letters he wrote to various churches and friends, he instills in them huge doses of his insights and wisdom.
What I want to focus on now is what he said to the Corinthians in his second letter to them that we have. In chapter one verses 8 through 9 says, “We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not depend on ourselves but on God who raises the dead”. Remarkable! Paul and his companions obviously were fighting for their lives every step of the way. But they always believed in God and that He would rescue them, and He did. May we be like that too. Trusting God for everything.
Today is Wednesday, so let me close for the day with a plug to pray for missionaries and especially for the AIM students. And for more workers for the harvest field all over the world too. May God bless us all!
Be blessed! Peace out!
Zack

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Well howdy, howdy everybody! I pray all is well with you.
Our Church’s Outreach Minister has been teaching a Bible class series with the aim of transformation instead of just information. Which got me thinking (I try not to think so much, because thinking too much gives me headaches!) about some things. In John chapter five we read about Jesus healing a man at the pool at Bethesda. The Jews chastised Him for doing it, because it was on the Sabbath day. In the middle of the chapter through the remainder of it, Jesus tells them He does what His Father has been doing and He will continue to while it is still light. In verses 31 through 47 Jesus talks about John the Baptist and the Old Testament scriptures as testimonies about Himself. In verses 36 and following He tells them that the Old Testament scriptures are a weightier testimony than John the Baptist is. I want to focus on verses 39 through 40, which read, “You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the scriptures that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life”.
It’s amazing and scary to me that these men put their whole lives into studying the Old Testament scriptures and looking for the Messiah. They all must have had an errant view of what the Messiah was going to be, because He was right there under their noses and they all missed Him. Jesus tells them in the two verses in John listed above that they studied their Bibles very diligently, but they missed the Messiah they had been looking for. They thought they knew what He was supposed to be like, but they were wrong. Jesus didn’t fit their view of what the Messiah was. They thought the Messiah was going to be a military leader, but Jesus promoted peace and love. They thought he would keep all of their preconceived traditions, but Jesus broke quite a few of them (ie. healing on the Sabbath day, and calling God His Father, and many others). No, oh no, the true Messiah wasn’t what they thought He would be at all.
Obviously, the Jews had all the information one would want, but they weren’t transformed by what they knew. The Old Testament said He would be a Suffering Servant (in Isaiah somewhere I believe), and that He would be nailed to a cross and mistreated by man (Psalm 22). It was all right there, but they didn’t see it for what it was. I pray we will diligently study the scriptures as well, but may we also be eternally transformed by what we read!
May God bless us all to that end!
Be blessed!
Zack

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about books

Hi! Yo, yo, and hello! How’s it going everybody? I pray all is well.
There are a few things I wanted to say in this blog today. Let me put in a plug for The Way Of The Wild Heart by John Eldridge. This book is a map of sorts for the masculine journey. Eldridge says there are six stages to the journey. The first stage is boyhood. Here, a boy needs to know that he is the beloved son, that he is loved, and treasured. The second stage is the cowboy stage. In this stage he needs to be brought along in what he wants to do. He needs to be taught how to fish, drive, explore, and so forth. Next is the warrior stage. In the warrior stage the boy is becoming a man. He is now getting out in the work force. He is a fighter and conquerer (spelling error?). Then comes the lover stage. The man meets a girl, falls in love, and gets married. The next one after this is the king stage. He has faught and conquered. And now he is the ruler of his domain. And the last stage is the sage. This is the man who has a wealth of experience to share with his family, friends, and associates about the work force, church, and life in general. After he talks about most of these he also talks about how to raise your son in that aspect of the masculine journey. Great book!
The other book I’m reading right now is called Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger.
These men say that to become a simple church we need to form a strategy of evangelism and spiritual formation that is simple and concrete. To do this we need the following four things:
clarity (clearly stating the process), movement (a sequence that takes you through each step), alignment (each one matches with and is in unity with everything else), and focus (keeping your eyes on the prize of what your aiming for). They talk about each one of these in greater detail in the book. Both of these are great reads!
On a different note, this is Wednesday, so please be praying for the AIM students, those on the mission field and those who haven’t left yet. Please be praying for my friends Elijah and Kristan and their team heading to Auckland, New Zealand later on this year. Please be praying for my friends Rob and Denyce and their team as they prepare to go to Moscow, Russia. I believe they are in Advanced Missions right now or starting in the Fall. And lastly, please pray for Jeremy and Craig and their families as they raise funds and get ready to go to Sydney, Australia to work with the Preaching School there.
Sorry the e-book here. I pray God blesses each of you in Jesus’ name!
Be blessed!
Zack

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Stuff on my mind

Yo, yo, and hello! How’s everyone doing today? I hope all is well. Sorry it’s been a while since my last blog. Been really busy, but will do better at keeping this thing going.
Lately I’ve been reading Simple Church by Thom Rainer and Eric Geiger and The Way Of The Wild Heart by John Eldridge. Simple Church is about being simple. It talks about having a very simple and concrete plan to help us evangelise our friends and neighbors and help them along the way to spiritual formation. Too many churches have a wide assortment of programs. Simple Church suggests boiling it down considerably to just a hand full. They need to be sequential. You complete one then go on to the next one. All the ministries of the church need to be united under the church’s mission statement as well. It’s a great book! I highly recommend it.
Eldridge’s book is also very good. It is a road map for bringing boys on a jounrey to being a man, to masculinity (I hope I spelled that right). I’ll write more about them tomorrow.
My grandfather (we call him Granddaddy) had an angiogram (however you spell that) yesterday. He needed to have it in order to be cleared to have knee replacement surgery in the future. My grandmother (Nana) is recovering well from her operation a few weeks ago. Please be praying for them.
And lastly, as I’ve talked about before, we need to be praying for more workers for the Lord’s harvest fields. There are so many places in the world that need to hear the gospel. I’ve heard Asia has 60% of the world’s population and is recieving 10% of our attention in regard to mission work. The United States of America is truely a mission field now too. The Northeast is our most populated area, and the least evangelized. The West Coast (and especially the Pacific Northwest) needs our attention. And we can’t forget about the South (some people call it the Bible Belt) too. So many of our churches are loosing (spelling error?) too many people. We need more men to become Preachers, Youth workers, Outreach Ministers, and so forth. We need more workers in the harvest fields all throughout the world.
“… The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out more workers in to His harvest field”. Matthew 9:37-38
Be blessed!
Zack

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Celebrations

Yo, yo, and hello. Sorry it’s been so long since my last post. I’ll do better this next week. Last night my sister Katie and two of her girl friends from college came home. It’s great seeing Katie! Her friends are cool too. Then my brother Colby and his wife Cheryl came from Abilene. It’s great having them here too! We all sat around and talked for a long time. It was so much fun!
Today, we’re all going over to our cousin’s house to celebrate our grandmother Meme’s 92nd and our Great Aunt Mittie’s 95th birthdays. And, of course, tomorrow is Easter Sunday. THE Resurrection day of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. So, there is certainly alot to celebrate!
God bless you all in Jesus’ name today and everyday. Peace. Be blessed!
Zack

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Greetings one and all! I pray all is well and that you had a great weekend. My parents and I made a visit to Abilene and Lubbock, TX over the weekend. We visited with my brother and sister-in-law Colby and Cheryl in Abilene. We ate lunch with Colby on Thursday and ate Dinner with both of them on Saterday. We had a lovely time! They are doing very well!
We also had a lovely time seeing Katie in Lubbock. She is a sophmore at LCU. She performed in a play that weekend. We had a great time watching that! She is a very talented actress! It was a combination of a bunch of different sences from several different plays. It was very creative.
I was also able to visit Sunset and sat in on a Bible class during the school day there. It was an extremely productive weekend! I was greatly blessed by going! It was great seeing my siblings and visiting with them.
I have just recently learned about some very good missionary projects that are going on now. There are two gentlemen here in the States who are raising support so they and can their families can move to Australia. They will begin work with a Preaching School there that has just partnered with SIBI. SIBI has partnered with several other Preaching Schools all over the world to help teach men and women how to preach and teach the gospel on their native countries. The Preaching Schools will have their own administration and will use SIBI’s Bible School cirriculum and text books. I certainly believe this very beneficial for the churches world wide so they don’t have to send their people all the way to Lubbock. They can be trained right where they are.
They two brothers have their own websites and I will give them to you now so you can pray for them as well. One of them is Craig Peters. His website is http://www.austaliaforhim.com. And the second is Jeremy Derjarais. His website is http://www.aimingforsydney.com. Let’s be praying for them that they and their families can move to Australia some time soon. The South Pacific is an area of the world that has few churches of Christ. It is an area of the world that needs our attention. If you have any questions please direct them to Dwight Whitsett at dwight.whitsett@gmail.com. He is the Ministry Coordinator at SIBI. He spent a number of years in that region planting churches and is helping train more church planters at SIBI. God bless you all!
Zack

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