July 2008

The richness and fullness of God’s grace.

The power that raised the dead, far above
   all earthly power and authority.

Adoption as an heir and daughter.
Every spiritual blessing in heaven.

Made old and blameless before God.
Redemption and forgiveness.

Knowing the mystery of God’s will.

The riches of God’s glorious inheritance, promised and sealed with the Holy Spirit.

A Chosen Race-A Royal Priesthood-A Holy Nation!

The assembly of the firstborn- Free access to the inner courts of heaven!
Draw near with confidence to the throne of grace!

In Ephesians, Paul prays that God will give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. 

That we will have the eyes of our hearts enlightened THAT WE MAY KNOW the hope to which we have been called!

Pray that God will enlighten the eyes of our hearts to see that we already have ALL things in Christ. 

He has not withheld anything from us. More than that He has given us His SON and all of the blessings that come with being children of the KING!!!     

Rejoice today saint 🙂 You lack no good thing!


An excerpt from the sermon that changed my life and walk forever.

“We have retreated into our nice, big buildings. Where we sit in our nice, cushioned chairs. Where we are isolated and insulated from the inner cities and the spiritual lostness of the world. Were we give a tip of our hats to world missions and evangelism while we go on designing endless programs that all revolve around us. And while we should be on the firing line for God, many of us are still in the nurseries of our churches drinking spiritual milk!

We have two options: retreat into a land of religious formalism and wasted opportunity giving ourselves to a nice show every Sunday, pleasing our conscious but not really making a difference in the world. Or we can risk everything for the purpose for which we have been created. And I want to say to you this morning, Church at Brook Hills, let’s risk it all. For the sake of the billion people who havn’t heard the name of Jesus let’s risk it all. And for the million people in Metro Birmingham, let’s risk it all…

We will either die in our religion or die in our devotion.”

Dr. David Platt
The Church at Brook Hills

China (Voice of the Martyrs Update)
On July 2, Public Security Bureau (PSB) officers evicted prominent house church leader Pastor Hua Huiqi and his family from their home in Beijing, China.

According to China Aid Association (CAA), “Hua and his family were resting in their rental apartment when PSB officials led by Officer Yang Jian used a 10-pound hammer to break down the doors and locks of the apartment. Hua’s brother was beaten by police officers and suffered severe damage to his eye. Hua and his family, including his 90-year-old father, were forced onto the street with their furniture. They are currently in search of a new home and are being hosted by a Christian family in Beijing.”

According to CAA, “The Chinese government has expressed its intentions to either detain Hua until September 30, a date well after the Olympics, or to remove Hua and his family completely out of Beijing during the Games. The Chinese government had branded Hua and other human rights and religious activists as ‘troublemakers’ and is adamant about keeping such people from attending the games in August.”

“We have predicted that things like this would happen ahead of the Beijing Olympics,” said Todd Nettleton, Director of Media Development for The Voice of the Martyrs. “The Chinese government is determined that there will be no distractions and no embarrassment when the eyes of the world turn to Beijing next month. Our Christian brothers and sisters, like Brother Hua and his family, are not ‘troublemakers,’ as China’s government says. They are simply Christian people who want the freedom to follow Christ according to their conscience.”

This recent incident is the latest in a series of attacks, arrests and imprisonments Pastor Hua and his family have endured from the PSB. In January 2007, Hua and his 76-year-old mother, Shuang Shuying, were attacked and wounded by seven police officers while walking near a 2008 Olympic hotel site in Beijing. CAA reported, “They were kicked to the ground and later taken to the Olympic police station for questioning.” Hua’s mother was sentenced to two years in prison, while Hua served six months. In October, while under house arrest, Hua was repeatedly attacked and beaten by police at his home. CAA reported, “Hua was reading his Bible at his home despite police surrounding his house. He was sent to Beijing Tiantan Hospital because he lost consciousness after repeated beatings from the police.”

Shuang Shuying remains in prison and is very ill. According to CAA she is being held in a medical center because her health has deteriorated. “The doctor said she is too weak to send to a formal prison because of heart problems, diabetes and other medical problems,” CAA reported.VOM contacts say she is being held hostage by police in order to put pressure on Pastor Hua to reveal names and information of believers.

VOM encourages you to pray for believers in China. Pray for Hua’s family who are living under intense persecution. Ask God to watch over his elderly parents who are great examples of faith and courage. Ask the Holy Spirit to convict the persecutors and draw them into the knowledge of Jesus Christ.

After lunch with Amber and Heather the ice cream man showed up at Amber’s office. His name is Vincent and he is the happiest man I have met in quite a while 🙂 He was smiling, full of joy and enthusiastically sold me a strawberry popsicle. 

Vincent explained that he is from Guatemala and only works in the States during the summer months. Vincent goes home when it is too cold to sell ice cream and he prefers EVERYTHING in his homeland.

Vincent’s Observations:

1. People here are not as hospitable or friendly.
2. (North) Americans work too much and spend too little time with their families.
3. There aren’t enough lakes, rivers or volcanoes for his taste. 

I don’t think I have ever been as happy at work as Vincent was in his ice cream truck today. 

Lessons learned…

Amateur Lovers

“Everyone I know needs love like drugs
Like a common cold we could never shrug

My baby and me we’re missing the same stuff
We’ve all got a disease, deficiency of love
Every day we still try, every night we still cry
Driving home on the 805

We don’t know what we’re doing
We do it again
We’re just amateur lovers
With amateur friends.”

Jesus is the only professional Lover…

He Himself is the Answer
I was listening to Michael Card on the radio discussing prayer. He was talking about when we have questions and God gives Himself as the answer. Like with Job…God didn’t give him answers, He gave Himself.

Where Are You?
At a recent conference Card said the audience was asked, “Where are you? Not, where do you pretend to be spiritually or where do you wish you were, but where are you, right now, with God?”  A major, Christian leader stood up in tears saying, “I have never asked myself that question and I am afraid to ask. I am afraid to see into the darkness of my own soul. I am afraid to see what is behind the pretense and the facade.”

I needed to write this down to remind myself to ask. I am afraid too…

“The glory of the gospel is that when the Church is absolutely different from the world, she invariably attracts it. It is then that the world is made to listen to her message, though it may hate it at first. That is how revival comes. That must also be true of us as individuals.

It should not be our ambition to be as much like everybody else as we can, though we happen to be Christian, but rather to be as different from everybody who is not a Christian as we can possibly be. Our ambition should be to be like Christ, the more like Him the better, and the more like Him we become, the more we shall be unlike everybody who is not a Christian”

-Martyn Lloyd Jones

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