Recently, I started a podcast on the Life of Christ. My goal is to take one truth from God’s Word and see how we can apply it to our lives. Lord willing, I will do this in Spanish also for the new church plant once we return to the Dominican Republic. I hope that it is a blessing to you. Below, there are a number of ways to listen and subscribe to the podcast Truth Applied.
Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/truth-applied/id1510850791
We hope that you take a few minutes to view our latest update regarding our family and furlough plans along with two specific prayer requests for the Dominican Republic.
We released a short video about furlough through the eyes of missionary kids. Stephanie and I also recorded one, and we hope that it can give you a little insight into furlough for the missionary.
This is a short video all about furlough through the eyes of our children. We hope that you enjoy it.
What do we do when we do not understand what God is trying to do in our lives? Have you ever asked God “why”? If we are honest with ourselves, we have all dones so. In our finite minds and understanding, we can only see what is going on around us or what has already happened. Our infinite God knows what has happened, is happening, and will happen. He has a plan for us. Habakkuk found himself in a similar situation of questioning and struggle. He asked God how long until He would judge Judah for their wickedness (Hab. 1:1-4). God responded by telling him that He was fully aware of their sin and that He would use the Babylonians to punish them (Hab. 1:5-11). This answer troubled Habakkuk, and he asked how God could use a wicked nation to judge His people (1:12-2:1). God answered him and told him that He would also hold them responsible for their wickedness (Hab. 2:2-20). In chapter three, Habakkuk offers a prayer to the Lord. We can know what to do when we do not understand by looking at how Habakkuk coped with surprising news and challenging answers.
First, he rested in the Lord (Hab. 3:16). He was troubled by what was going to happen, and he even felt rottenness and decay in his bones. He knew that in the midst of difficult times and in receiving challenging news that he could rest. This resting can only happen in the Lord. We cannot have the peace that we need in trying times without the Lord’s help. Isaiah 26:3 says, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” We can rest in our all-knowing God. He knows what is best for us!
Second, he rejoiced in the Lord (Hab. 3:17-18). Habakkuk stated in faith that even if everything that seemed certain failed (like the harvest, the livestock, one’s livelihood, etc.), he would still rejoice in the Lord. Even when everything around us that seems stable becomes unstable, we can rejoice in our God! We can joy in the God of our salvation! When we receive troubling news about our health or the health of a loved one, we can rejoice in God. When we lose our job or face financial hardship, we can rejoice in God! Our joy is found in God, not our circumstances. Psalms 46:1-3 says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah.” We can rejoice in our ever present God Who never changes!
Third, he relied on the Lord (Hab. 3:19). After everything that he faced, Habakkuk finished his prayer by stating the “The LORD God is my strength.” Even as a mountain goat can scale the steep precipices and cliffs without fear, we can weather the storms of life and the unknown by relying on God and His strength. There will be days that we feel as if we cannot go on, but we can only because God is with us and helps us! Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” We can make it through by relying on the Lord and His never-failing strength and help.
“Whatever God permits to come into our lives is designed to conform us to the image of His Son. When we see this, it takes the question mark out of our prayers. Our lives are not controlled by impersonal forces such as chance, luck, or fate, but by our wonderful, personal Lord, who is “too loving to be unkind and too wise to err.”William MacDonald
“As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him: Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” Colossians 2:6-7
Paul penned these verses to a church that he had not met yet. He was encouraged by what he heard from the city of Colosse, and he desired to help them even more through his epistle. He told them in Colossians 2:6 that since that had received Christ as their Savior, then they ought to walk in him. The word walk means conducting oneself. It means progress.The church was to be moving forward for the Lord and modeling their lives after his life. He described this walk in Colossians 2:7. I want to focus on the last part of the verse. He said, “Abounding therein with thanksgiving.” God desires that we abound in our walk with him. He does not want us to just “coast” through life and get by. I know that believers, myself included, too often are content with just checking off the boxes in their Christian walk. I go to church. I try to pray and read my Bible. I want to be a good testimony. But, God desires for us to do more than solely trudge along. He wants us to abound! The word abounding in the Greek means “to be over and above” (Strong’s Concordance). He wants us “to be over and above” in our walk in him. He wants us to be fruitful in this life. He wants us to abound in the qualities of a Christian who is conformed to the image of Christ!
Paul finished the thought of the verse, “Abounding therein with thanksgiving.” One of the ways that we abound in our walk with the Lord is in our thanksgiving. As we think of Thanksgiving this week, may we remember to abound in thanksgiving the other fifty-one weeks of the year! If we want to abound in our Christian walk, we must abound in gratitude to the Lord for who he is and what he has done. Paul told the Thessalonian believers, “In everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” God’s will for each and every believer is thankfulness in everything—the good, the bad, and the ugly! As we thank the Lord and dwell on him, we will walk as he walked. When we are thankful, it is hard to be negative! When we are praising the Lord for who he is, it is hard to criticize our brother! When we are offering gratitude to the Lord for what he has done, it is difficult to complain about our circumstances. May we abound in our Christian walk, and may we do so with thanksgiving in everything…each and every day of the year!
Here is our latest Germano Minute for October 2019. Also, take time to read our latest prayer letter.
We wanted to pass along to you an answer to prayer! We have been praying for Landon’s salvation since we knew that Stephanie was expecting him. In the past year, he has asked a number of questions about salvation, but he was not ready to admit his sin and ask God for forgiveness. We continued to work with him and to pray that God would show him his need of salvation. This past Sunday, he went to Tim after children’s church and told him that he asked Christ to save him. We talked with his teacher and later talked with him throughout the week about his decision. During Bible class in school, Stephanie reviewed the story of Nicodemus and how we must be born again in order to go to Heaven. When she was explaining it, Landon told her that he had made that decision and that he had asked Christ to save him! Please pray that God would solidify this decision in his heart and that he would grow in his new walk.
Please take a moment to read our latest prayer letter. We also would love for you to watch our latest video update entitled “Germano Minute.” Lord willing, we will be posting more of these videos during furlough as well as during our second term.
We are just over two weeks away from the beginning of our first furlough. It is hard to believe that we have been in the Dominican Republic for three and a half years already! We are currently finishing up many different odds and ends before our trip back on May 1. Will you please pray that we would be able to finish what we need to before our trip? Also, please pray as there are some things that we need to get in order like purchasing a vehicle and other matters once we arrive in the States. We would greatly appreciate it.
Below is our updated prayer card for furlough! We look forward to seeing many of you as we visit our supporting churches as well as present our ministry in a number of new ones.