Monday, December 29, 2008

What a year!

It is so hard to believe that this year has come and gone. I know we probably all say that every year, but this year has been filled with so many unique and memorable moments for me personally.
Susan and I had the opportunity to travel to England together this year. I had always wanted her to be able to experience England so that she would be able to know a bit about where I spent some time as a teenager. We really had a tremendous time! That is also where I decided that I was going to lose some weight. Thankfully, as of right now, I have lost 20 pounds this past year.
In April, Patrick Carmichael and I had the chance to go to North Carolina to speak at a singles and youth conference for Jay Boyce in Asheville. I was very humbled by the opportunity to be used of God in such a fashion. I never feel worthy to stand and proclaim God's precious Word.
As summer approached God showed me once again how powerful He really is. Roland Lavoie came to trust Christ as His Savior. Of all the things that God accomplished this year in my ministry, I would have to say that this was the highlight. I never thought for once that Roland would be interested at all in coming to Jesus, but God has a way of getting us all to the point that the Holy Spirit can have His free course to draw us to Himself. To now see Roland, Angie, and Ben in church every time the doors are open and to watch them grow in the knowledge of Christ is truly the joy of my ministry.
God personally worked in my life during the month of June and on June 14 God performed a miracle in my soul. It is so deep and personal, but I am thankful for the change that He has brought in my heart.
Then came Africa. Michael, Tony, Travis, and I went to Togo to be with a missionary for close to three weeks. We saw poverty and despair on a scale that I will never forget. I have witnessed poverty in Haiti, but Togo seemed to be much more about hopelessness. Thankfully, God is using missionaries to reach men like the chief I met in a remote village. Small churches are being built to minister and reach these people. My contracting malaria taught me how to pray for the hurting and the suffering. It taught me complete dependence on God. It also made me focus on the love that I have for my wife and children. How desperately I needed them!
No sooner had I returned from Africa that school began. It has been a very difficult year with changes that have taken place. I have resolved however to let God use me as He sees fit, but I will not tie myself to another ministry. To do this would be to neglect the ministry that God has given me.
Susan and I were able to spend a week together on a cruise to the Bahamas. I am truly grateful for the gift of a wife that God has given me. Never has a woman fulfilled the text of Proverbs 31 like my wife. She and I also decided that the next cruise we take will be with the whole family. The kids would definitely have a blast.
This year also brought heartache in the loss of Susan's precious grandmother Kathy Rose. This dear lady served God faithfully next to her husband Gerald in South America for almost 50 years. Only Heaven knows how precious a treasure this world has lost. I am grateful however for the promise of our reunion with her and our precious Savior, Jesus Christ.
My children have grown this year, and I often find myself wanting to hide them from this world. I know that I must prepare them for the days ahead, but selfishly I want them to never leave. My prayer is that I might be an example of love to them. I hope that they know how wonderful Susan and I really believe they are. They were excited this year, because Susan and I gave in and got them a dog. We are now the happy owners of a long-haired dachshund named Dolly. The kids are in love with her, and I think she is pretty happy about them as well.
So, what does next year hold? I have no idea, but I know that God has already gone before us to prepare they way.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My Haitian Friends

My heart is heavy as I think of the situation in Haiti. Pastor and Sister Turner in Saut D'eau have kept us up to date of the difficult situation that is going on after three hurricanes hit them in less than two weeks. The last, Hurricane Ike, did so much damage that bridges were washed out and crops were completely destroyed. Having been there before and knowing how desperate conditions are normally, I cannot even fathom what it must be like for them. Now, on top of flooding and food shortages, the standing water is becoming a haven for disease such as malaria. At one time I did not understand what people meant when they said that there was an outbreak of malaria. Now, since my trip to Africa this summer where I contracted malaria, I have a completely different outlook on the situation. I know the pain and the sickness that are associated with this disease, and it truly breaks my heart to know that adults and little children who are already so weak are having to deal with this problem. As you read this, please pray for God to supply the need of food and medicine to this isolated region. It is critical that they get help this week. There has been a great revival in this area as of late, and please pray that God will use this to bring even more away from the emptiness of voodoo to peace and hope in Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Praying for Our Enemies

Last night at our cottage prayer meeting I gave a thought on this subject from Psalm 56:1-7. Often when we talk about praying for our enemies, we simply use the scriptures of loving our enemies and turning the other cheek. While there is a definite need for us to do both at times, I also believe that there is a time that we pray for God's hand of judgment to be made known in their lives. The real point then is our motivation for this prayer. If I truly love that person, I am asking God to do what He deems best to get their attention. Often we have tried many things, but we realize that they are only going to respond to the mighty hand of God. The Apostle Paul even instructed the church at Corinth to turn one of their own over to the devil so that he might be brought back to the faith. This type of prayer is not done lightly, but it is scriptural. We approach God in this way with humility wanting what He sees as best.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Learning through Teaching

This weekend I tried to teach one of my children how to ride a bike. Two of my children were fairly easy to teach, so I expected the same of the third. It went far different than I imagined. After almost two hours both of us were exhausted and frustrated, and in true "Dave" like fashion I became angry and irritated. You would have thought that I asked a Marine drill instructor to teach my child how to ride a bike. Then, God got a hold on my heart.
We took a break, and I challenged my child to realize that they can do all things through Christ. I challenged them to realize that they were capable if they would apply themselves. I began to use positive reinforcement instead of degrading criticism. After the 15 minute break we tried again with these new methods of encouragement. Within five minutes my child was riding away with ease.
As I contemplated this last night, I though that Christ must be the same way with us. Something that is so simple that it should be easy we make complicated. Yet God differs in that He does not quit on us or give up. As His creation He knows that we are capable to do all things through His power. Maybe we should stop trying to teach so much and start learning.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


While having family devotions with my family the other night, we read where Jesus told the man that was healed at the pool of Bethesda: "Sin no more."(14) Immediately I recalled the admonition that Jesus gave to the woman that was caught in the act of adultery: "Go, and sin no more."(John 8:11) I believe that the subject of repentance has been ignored by many that would call themselves followers of Jesus Christ. From Jesus to John the Baptist to the Apostles, they all preached a message of repentance. We have admonished people to confess their sins (to agree with God about their condition), but we must not stop there. We must teach them that they must turn away from their sin as well. Jesus Christ desires to make a change in people's lives and not simply have them agree that they are sinful.
This is the danger of simply having people repeat a prayer and then telling them that they are saved. Both children and adults alike will agree to pray a sinner's prayer to ease their conscience or make them feel better. Jesus Christ came to change lives and not simply make people feel at ease about themselves. 2 Corinthians 5:15 says, "He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again." Let us be bold in sharing the light of Jesus Christ and show them that Christ desires to change them from the inside out.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Shining the Light

Matthew 5:16 says, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father in heaven."
God gives us so many opporuntities to let the light of His love and grace shine through our daily lives. Now more than ever is that true. With the amazing advancement of technology we can let our lights shine to an entire world in just a matter of seconds. That is my prayer for this blog. I desire for God to use this outlet to broadcast His message to the lost, encourage believers, and share some personal things about my life.
I hope that you find it to be encouraging in your life! Thanks for reading and come again often.
Serving Him,
Pastor David