I can't believe it is already the first week of March 2018 and today would be my parents' 61st wedding anniversary.
It has been 2 years since my father passed away in February 2016. Since that time, I have been attempting to balance the work of Grace Network International (GNI), Shepherd's House Ministries (SHM), Gatley Family Trusts (Trustee), Grace Gate Community Church (GGCC), and my personal life at home with my family. It has not been easy which has led to my departure from SHM in Sep 2017.
Jesus knew his life would be sacrificed...Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” - John 2:19. Jesus asked if there was another way...And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” - Matthew 26:39.
...but, did he know how much he would have to suffer?
We never really had our full winter in Central Oregon and now, like most of the west, we are in drought conditions and are under extreme fire conditions. Typically, in June we are able to access the upper elevations of the mountains, but not without running into a lot of snow. This year, we have been able to access higher elevations WITHOUT much snow and now only glacier snow remains in the mountains.
If you spend much time on the Internet you have probably visited several websites that require a username and password. Maintaining your identity and securing your access to websites is important, therefore, secure usernames and passwords is important and is crucial to minimizing the risk of identity theft.
Here are the common mistakes we make when creating online passwords:
Can you believe it? Am I being a pessimist when I say “almost one-half of 2015 is over?” Or am I an optimist when I say “there's more than one-half of 2015 remaining?” Either way, I can’t believe May is almost over.
Very often we think of ministry as the work of a Christian church or organization, or of a missionary or someone working “in the ministry." But James tells us in chapter 1 verse 27 that "pure religion is to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
For me, email is one of my primary methods of communication and information gathering. I continue to try to find ways to consolidate my email, but I am involved with so many different organizations, that I have not been able to consolidate my email into just one (1) email account.
“Over the past 4 years God has taken The Shepherd’s House to places we never thought we could go. Christ is ministering to people every day at The Shepherd’s House in ways we wouldn’t have thought possible.” Cash Lowe, Director of Programs, The Shepherd’s House
For years I have journaled off and on...probably more 'off' than 'on'. I have tried handwritten journals. I've tried voice dictated journals. And I have tried electronic journals, because I can typically type faster than I can write by hand.
At the beginning of this year I started experimenting with handwriting apps for my iPad. I had several thoughts in doing this:
When I sat down to consider the best of 2014, I initially collected all of the statistics and events of the year (see below). But as I looked at these calendar events, number of meals, number of graduates, number of volunteers, number of teaching hours, and number of donations, one thing was glaringly missing...the names and faces of each and every individual who has served God and/or has been touched by God through the work of The Shepherd's House and Grace Network International.
We just returned from a somewhat spur of the moment trip to Disneyland in CA.
At Thanksgiving I wanted to get some time with the family away from our normal routine away from Central Oregon. It has been a busy year with a lot of changes and I decided we needed some "get away and have some fun" time as a family.
He said, “I heard you in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked. And I hid.” Gen 3:10
Then Job answered the Lord and said: “I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. Job 42:1-2
I didn’t ease into the chair, I kind of stumbled and plopped. I was nervous. I was concerned. I really didn’t want to be here. A week ago, I missed the appointment “accidentally”….or was it on purpose?
“The Twelve Days of Christmas” is a popular Christmas folk song. There are 30 days in June and I believe I had the opportunity to be involved in at least 30 different events and/or activities during the month of June.
All this is proceeding along lines planned all along by God and then executed in Christ Jesus. When we trust in him, we’re free to say whatever needs to be said, bold to go wherever we need to go. So don’t let my present trouble on your behalf get you down. Be proud!- Ephesians 3:11-13 MSG
"Moses my servant is dead. Get going. Cross this Jordan River, you and all the people...Strength! Courage! Don't be timid; don't get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take." - Joshua 1:1,9
We all face transitions in our lives. The nation of Israel faced quite a few significant transitions...from captivity to exodus out of Egypt; from the desert to the promised land; from Judges to Kings. Sometimes transitions are easy, fun and enjoyable. But, more often, they seem to be difficult, scary and something we don't want to go through. The first time Israel came to the edge of the promised land and were told to go in, they feared what they saw before them and ended up wandering in the desert for 40 years because of their lack of faith. They were again brought to the edge of the Jordan River and told to go in and possess the land. This time they took the step of faith and walked into the river.
“Go and make disciples of all nations…” Matthew 28:19 (NIV) “Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near…” Matthew 28:19 (MSG)
WHAT IS DISCIPLE MAKING?
A question I have been pondering lately is What is disciple making?
I recently read “WickiChurch” by Steve Murrell, Pastor of Victory Church in Manilla, Philippines. Pastor Murrell challenges the reader to “compassionately engage your community, intentionally establish biblical foundations, strategically equip believers, and constantly empower disciples.”