July 4th & our Country
Happy 4th of July week! However you choose to celebrate over the next few days, I hope that you stop and give thanks to the Lord for the great country in which we live. While I do enjoy traveling abroad, it is always music to my ears to hear “Welcome back to the United States” from the Immigration/Passport officer upon my return from an international trip.
I certainly love fireworks and consider myself to be patriotic, but I’ll also admit that my patriotism has been shaken over the last couple of weeks. Jack Taylor, the spiritual father of P.I., often says, “Everything that can be shaken will be shaken. Anything that is not on the solid ground of the Kingdom will fall.” Undoubtedly, there are many things shaking and falling in our country. What will NEVER fall, however, is the Kingdom of Heaven, and the “secret” of which so many are unaware is that the Kingdom is available to us today! Those of us who have been saved by Jesus Christ do not have to wait until we arrive at the gates of eternity to begin operating in the realm of God’s Kingdom. Jesus proclaimed to the world upon the launch of His public ministry that the Kingdom was here, and it didn’t suddenly disappear when He ascended into Heaven! He gave the keys to the Kingdom (and thus, the authority of God) to His disciples, and they and millions since have been able to use them to continue in the work of Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is our right as sons and daughters as well!
When it comes to our country and the political climate that we are currently experiencing, I am as big an advocate as anybody of utilizing our right to vote and fighting for what’s right. Let’s keep that up, but we must never lose sight of the fact that without the Kingdom as our motivation and its power as our force, our fight is merely against flesh and blood. With God’s Word as our ultimate authority, however, and the Kingdom as our foundation, we are to fight a realm that is beyond what we see in the natural – powers that are not mere flesh and blood! Our world will continue to be shaken, there’s no doubt about that. My hope and prayer for all of us is that we will be faithful to employ the power of the Kingdom in every area in which our influence lies. There is great hope and power in the Lord Jesus! It is never too late! We have much work to do, though, to demonstrate that LOVE indeed did WIN… but not because of the Supreme Court’s ruling against Biblical marriage. Love won on the Cross and in the Resurrection, and still wins every day against the powers of sin and darkness in the lives of those who accept His sacrifice, receive His love, and choose to follow Him. May we be filled with assurance of His love, and confidently stand on the truth of His Word and the foundation of His Kingdom!
In about 7 weeks, all three of our kids will be full-time students at Trinity Christian School (grades 8, 3, 1). Dana & I have had many conversations through the years about what our lives will look like when the kids are in school every day. Well… here we go! The kids aren’t the only members of the Brew Crew who will be at TCS every day, however. Dana is currently working part-time there, but when the fall semester begins, she will officially transition to the full-time Director of Admissions & Communications for TCS! This opportunity is a blessing for our family, and for those who know Dana very well, it is a mutual blessing as she seems tailor-made for this exact role.
While it has been about 3 months since I last traveled for Prepare International, the travel pace is about to pick up! I will have the chance to be a part of Homefront Church in Arlington, Texas, on Sunday, July 12. This great church is pastored by long-time friends of ours, Keith & Jennifer Watson.
Dana & I then depart on July 29 for Macedonia, along with 17 people from Betenbough Homes. We will be ministering to 12 Macedonian families at a marriage retreat in the beautiful mountains east of the capital city of Skopje. We will also be spending a couple of days on a work project at the preschool in the Gypsy community of Skopje, of which you’ve likely heard me mention before. We will aim to complete the fence project that the Trinity School team began in March. Additionally, we will be leading a Sunday church service in Skopje, as well as enjoying a couple of days of sightseeing. We will conclude our trip by spending one night in the ancient city of Thessaloniki, Greece!
I will only be home about 6 weeks before I depart again for Europe in mid-September, and then again in mid-November to teach and minister alongside Prepare International partners in several different countries.
For any of you men… I am already looking ahead for potential travel partners beginning in January 2016. I would love to have you come along! Let me know if you’re interested.
As always, thanks for standing alongside us in this! You truly are are partners. Enjoy your week and the holiday weekend ahead!