Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Eternal Destruction

Where's Savannah. Too cold daddy. As long as my 13 yr. old calls me daddy, I'm good.

Do you know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior in a personal way? Listen to this: 2 Thessalonians 1:6-9(NASB) For after all it is only just for God to repay with affliction those who afflict you, 7) and to give relief to you who are afflicted and to us as well when the Lord Jesus will be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire, 8) dealing out retribution to those who do not know God and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9) These will pay the penalty of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.
You might say I'm a good person and I give to charities, and even go to Church on a regular basis. I do good things which will get me to Heaven. Ephesians 2:8,9 (NASB) For it is by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9) not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Also Matthew 7:21 (NASB) "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22) "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast our demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23) "And then I will declare to them, 'I never know you; Depart from me, you who practice lawlessness.'
Unless you have confessed your sins to him, asked forgiveness, and asked Him into your heart, you fit into the category of the above verses. Please come to Him right now, not later (because you will receive the penalty of eternal destruction if you don't). I have put a prayer of salvation in the upper right hand corner of this blog, please confess to him now. That decision will save your life (literally). I don't know everybody who reads this but I love you enough to care whether or not you live or die. Your choice.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Burning Fire

My two posers Iz and El.

Jeremiah 20:9 (NASB) But if I say "I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name," then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones: and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.
James 1:27 has that effect on me. "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself unstained by the world."
Listen, caring for orphans is more than a good deed, more than a humanitarian act, more than feeling good about yourself, it is Pure and Undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father. If you are reading this and know Christ as your Lord and Savior, please do something to care for orphans and widows. What, you might ask? You can adopt a child (many different scenarios), you can assist financially (someone you know who is adopting), Foster care, go on mission trip to help at an orphanage, etc. When your eyes are opened to the reality of orphans, their living conditions in 3rd world countries, their neglect (including in our own country), helplessness, you should feel as I do and James 1:27 becomes like a burning fire shut up in your bones. Wake up and help one or more of the 143 million orphans in the world. For most people orphans are out of sight out of mind. Let your heart burn as mine does and speak forth as loud and as often as you can about the need for people to step up and live out James 1:27.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Adoption Ministry

Melissa and I have been in the adoption arena for just shy of 15 years and been through a gamut of experiences. Some good and some not so good, but the outcome always good. Six children (5 from birth and 1 at 2yrs old) from the foster care system. We were licensed to foster so that we could get the children while we were waiting for the Decree of Adoption. Currently we are in the process of adopting 2 boys from Haiti (our 1st international adoption).

All this to say that out my passion for Christ and reaching the lost for Him, and our adoption experiences and heart for orphans, we have started an adoption ministry called Beauty for Ashes Adoption Ministry. The name comes from Isaiah 61:1-3 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has annointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives, and release from darkness the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengence of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion -- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of deapair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.

Our heart is to draw people into God's family by adoption Romans 8:15 For you have not recieved a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons for which we cry out "Abba !Father!" and to open people's eyes to the fact that God is passionate about orphans. James 1:27 "Pure and Udefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.

For more details please visit our website at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Psalm 16

Somebody had to take the picture. Noah, what are you doing?

Psalm 16 (NASB) 1 Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You. 2 I said to the Lord, "You are my Lord; I have no good besides You." 3 As for the saints who are in the earth, they are the majestic ones in whom is all my delight. 4 The sorrows of those who have bartered for another god will be multiplied; I shall not pour out their drink offerings of blood, nor will I take their names upon my lips. 5 The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You support my lot. 6 The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. 7 I will bless the Lord who has counseled me; indeed, my mind instructs me in the night. 8 I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken. 9 Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices; my flesh also will dwell securely. 10 For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol; nor will You allow Your Holy One to undergo decay. 11 You will make known to me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy; in Your right hand there are pleasures forever.
Have you set the Lord continually before you? I confess that I have struggled with this, but look what David says happens when he does this. 1) he will not be shaken 2) his heart is glad. 3) his glory rejoices. 4) his flesh will dwell securely. What does it mean to set the Lord continually before me? What does the apostle Paul mean when he says pray without ceasing in 1 Thessalonians 5:17? To have the mindset of the presence of Almighty God and the lifestyle of prayer through which you act on knowing He is there.
I've heard people say "I just need to find my path in life". Here David says that God will make that known to me. Read verse 11 again, and again. Do we like pleasures? Yes, we do. Do we think they are found in God's right hand. Be honest, that is probably not the first thing that comes to your mind. Change your mindset, change your lifestyle. Change is the key word when you choose to follow Christ. He will change you. Titus 3:5,6 He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewing by the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior. Read and open your heart. May God richly pour out the Holy spirit on you today.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Where hast thou stayed so long?



Praise the Lord for movement. We received word that we are out of one of the longer stages of the Adoption process in Haiti, called IBESR. Thank you Jesus. Still several processes to go, but my beautiful wife, Melissa will break it down for you on her blog

We came across this poem in a book Melissa is reading and it made us think about the waiting children in Haiti. I will only put the last 3 verses of "Endymion" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. I'll leave you with these words.

O weary hearts! o slumbering eyes!
O drooping souls, whose destinies
Are fraught with fear and pain,
Ye shall be loved again!

No one is so accursed by fate,
No one so utterly desolate,
But some heart, though unknown,
Responds unto his own.

Responds, --as if with unseen wings,
An angel touched its quivering strings;
And whispers, in its song,
"Where hast thou stayed so long?'

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Psalm 84

Hey Son - Schneider

Hey my man - Changlais

These are our boy's in Haiti. Dear Lord, please bring them home soon. Psalm 115:3 (NASB) But our God is in the Heavens; He does whatever He pleases. James 1:17 (NASB) Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
Our six year old Ella, bless her heart, prays everyday for Venessa, Djounela, Changlais, Schneider, Jean Tony, and Fabrice (the last two are names she has heard us mention and are being adopted by two other precious families). She also tells the mailman, children at the playground, just about anybody she comes in contact with. You go Ella.

Psalm 84 (NASB) Enjoy as I do every time I read this.
1 How lovely are Your dwelling places, O Lord of Hosts! 2 My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord; My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God. 3 The bird also has found a house, And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts, My King and my God. 4 How blessed are those who dwell in Your house! They are ever praising You. 5 How blessed is the man whose strength is in You, In whose heart are the highways to Zion! 6 Passing through the valley of Baca they make it a spring; The early rain also covers it with blessings. 7 They go from strength to strength , Every one of them appears before God in Zion. 8 O Lord God of hosts, hear my prayer; Give ear, O god of Jacob! 9 Behold our shield, O God. and look upon the face of Your anointed. 10 For a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside. I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God Than dwell in the tents of wickedness. 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield. The Lord gives grace and glory; No good thing does He withhold form those who walk uprightly. 12 O Lord of hosts, How blessed is the man who trusts in You!

Psalm 34:8 (NLT) Taste and see that the Lord is good. Oh, the joys of those who trust in Him!
The psalmist in psalm 84 has obviously experience God in a personal way. Have you? If you have you will relate to how wonderful it is to be near to God. Also Asaph in psalm 73:28 "But as for me, the nearness of God is my good" He know as well. If you have not experienced The King of Kings this way, do it now. I'm not usually pushy, but we are talking about you living or dying. Live with Him, do not die without Him.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Liberty (What a great word)

Noah and cousin Alex are playing with their Life Savers - right

Happy 8th Lilah on Wednesday - Above

Happy 5th Noah today (look out Matt Hoffman)- Left

4 birthdays in 17 day's. I guess I'm not complaining because one of them was mine. Would you believe 44? My parents can't.

Liberty, don't you love that word? It reminds me of a scene in the Alamo with John Wayne, when Colonel Travis is trying to talk Crockett into joining him in the Alamo. He uses the word republic, but the same happens to me when I hear the word Liberty. I could write the speech but it wouldn't be the same. Rent the 1960 version of the Alamo. You won't be disappointed.

2 Corinthians 3:17,18 (NASB) Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is Liberty. 18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.

You have to believe that the opposite of the first line is true as well. Where the Spirit of the Lord is not, then there is no liberty. So if the Spirit of the Lord does not dwell in you, than you are a slave and have no real freedom. Romans 8:15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, you have received spirit of Adoption as sons, by which we cry out. "Abba! Father!"

So if we have the Spirit, we reflect His glory and are being transformed to His likeness with increasing glory. Hallelujah!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Free Gift

Noah, Izza and Lona, show us how it is done.
Another memory verse that I learned long ago is Titus 3:5,6 (NIV) He saved us, not because of righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom He poured out on us generously, through Jesus Christ our Savior.
If you do not know Christ in a personal way (you will know if you do) and want to, don't be held back by the lie from Satan that you are not deserving. (Romans 3:10 as it is written. "There is none righteous, not even one;") I heard a pastor say one time, that "Grace is getting what you do not deserve, and Mercy is not getting what you do deserve." We do not deserve Salvation, but God chose to give it to us through His Son, Jesus (read above verse again). Romans 3:23 (NASB) for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God. I also heard a pastor say "All means all and that's all all means." So yes, you and me fall in to that category. We do deserve eternal death. The good new comes in Romans 6:23 (NASB) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Who doesn't like a free gift? Well my friend, this is the ultimate one, eternal life. All you have to do is receive it.
So if you want a free gift, even though you don't deserve it, say the prayer in the upper right hand corner of this blog, to Jesus from your heart (Romans 10:10 That if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.) and experience true salvation from the only one who can give it.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Where did everybody go?
I will probably post beach pictures until we go back.

We changed some of our sleeping arrangements around today and gave Noah his own room. He said "can this be my room forever?" We said, when Changlais and Schnieder come, can they share it with you? His reply was "Oh yes, they are my sons." Good Stuff.

If you are looking for a good verse to memorize I got one for you. I have memorized (psalm 119:11 I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you) many verses over the years, and the one I am about to give you is by far the one I use most. Now if we are talking about chapters Romans 8 tops the charts at #1, but for verses, 2 Timothy 1:7 comes in handy in almost every situation. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." I have to give credit to a mentor of mine who showed me this verse and the magnitude of it. I mean do you ever fear? Yes, of course you do, we all do. With this verse I have to stop in my tracks and say, wait a minute, the Bible says that this fear is not from God. If not from God, then who? You only have one choice left. Satan. If we live in fear, we will sin, and when we sin who does that please? Again satan. Grab hold of this verse and receive the power to resist, the love to be Christ-like and the sound mind to choose Him. Thanks Al, I love you brother.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

We are commanded to care for orphans

Classic moment - I was in the garage working out and Noah was quietly sitting in the big purple papa-san chair playing with his (play) cell phone. I finished and said, "I'm done let's go inside". Noah looked at me and said "Praise the waord (Lord) I'm itchy" Hilarious, even for a 4yr old.

The video above is moving and heart wrenching, but it is our (Peterson's) world and we are the blessed ones and privileged to be a part of it.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

When I see pictures of our family I automatically visualize Changlais and Schneider in the mix. We miss ya'll and hope you will be here for our next beach trip (probably likely since it has been about 5 yrs since our last one).
It is about 11:00pm and I am sitting on the balcony of our condo listening to the waves and drinking a strong cup of Jo (yes I am one of those crazy people who can drink leaded coffee at night and still sleep like a baby). Psalm 19 comes to mind when I observe His majestic creation. Enjoy. Psalm 19 (NLT) 1) For the choir director: A psalm of David. The heavens tell of the glory of God. The skies display His marvelous craftsmanship. 2) Day after they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. 3) They speak without a sound or a word; their voice is silent in the skies. 4) yet their message has gone out to all the earth, and their words to all the world. 5) It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding. It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race. 6) The sun rises at one of the heavens and follows it's course to the other end. Nothing can hide from its heat. 7) The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. 8) The commandments of the LORD are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are clear giving insight to life. 9) Reverence for the LORD is pure, lasting forever. The laws of the LORD are true; each one is fair. 10) They are more desirable than gold, even the finest gold. They are sweeter than honey, even honey dripping from the comb. 11) They are a warning to those who hear them; there is great reward for those who obey them. 12) How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults. 13) Keep me from deliberate sins! Don't let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. 14) May the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart be pleasing to you. O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
David had a way with words didn't he? I love to read David's Psalms because he was so in love with the Lord. He messed up, big time but he always humbly came back to the throne of Grace where God welcomed him back and where God welcomes us back. Psalm 51 is a great example of that.
Wherever you are, look out and marvel at God's creation. I do.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Love is Patient

Ella now (above)
Ella at Eighty (Left)
How would you define love? The bible defines it in 1 Corinthians 4:3-7 this way "Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy or boast, it is not proud. 5) It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7) It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
You might respond by saying "I don't know anybody who displays that kind of love". 1 John 4:7-9 says "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8) Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love. 9) This is how God showed his love among us: He sent His one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. Then verse 19 says "We loved because He first loved us"
You might also say "I can't love like that because I am not God". Read verse 19 again. Also read 1 Timothy 1:7 and know that God has given us a spirit of love along with power and a sound mind. Go back to 1 Cor 4:3-7 and ask God to help you love that way. It will have an impact on your life and those close to you. God bless you my friend.

Friday, July 10, 2009


Crepe Myrtles are not very strong. That branch broke a few hours later. Noah and Izzy will climb, hang, jump, traverse any thing they see. Noah can stand on an outlet cover (approx 1/8" thick) with one foot as long as he wants. I admit, they may have seen me do some things like that. I am an extreme sportsman at heart.
Has God given you a promise? Do you trust him to fulfill that promise? Are you dissapointed that it has been a week, six months, or a year since God gave you that promise and nothing has happened? Hebrews 6:13-19 (NASB) For when God made the promise to Abraham, since He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself. 14) saying, "I WILL SURELY BLESS YOU AND I WILL SURELY MULTIPLY YOU." 15) And so, having patiently waited, he obtained the promise. 16) For men swear by one greater than themselves, and with them an oath given as comfirmation is an end of every dispute. 17) In the same way God, desiring even more to show to the heirs of the promise the unchangeableness of His purpose, interposed with an oath. 18) so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to Lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. 19) This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil.
When we were waiting on the adoption process of our 3rd and 4th children (same birth mother), we were standing on the promise that God had chosen us to be the parents of these beautiful girls. For 2 years we experienced birth mother issues, social worker issues, court issues, delay after delay, and yet I kept telling Melissa that God had promised and He will deliver. It seemed unlikely that the birth mother would sign relinqueshment after what had transpired, but I knew from the Holy Spirit that, that is how it would happen. Guess what? She signed after a 2 year struggle. We were in sweet shock but if we really know who God is and what he is capable of, we wouldn't have been.
Abraham was old when God promised him a Son, but believed. Romans 4:18-21 (NLT) Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping - believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, "That's how many descendants you will have!" 19) And Abraham's faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead - and so was Sarah's womb. 20) Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith frew stronger,, and in this he brought glory to God. 21) He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises.
Stand on the promise God has given you, God does not waste words.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Give me Liberty or give me Death

"Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us. Besides, sir, we shall not fight our battles alone. There is a just God who presides over the destinies of nations, and who will raise up friends to fight our battles for us. The battle, sir is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.
"Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, It is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat, but in submission and slavery. Our chains are forged. Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable -and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!
"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, peace, peace - but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? what is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!"

Patrick Henry delivered this speech (this is only the conclusion) before the Virginia Provincial Convention on March 23, 1775

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Sweet Isabella, when did you get so big? I think it happened the week we were in Haiti.

A much respected Pastor on the radio was asked if he believed we were living in the end times. He said yes and the he believed that it would happen during his lifetime. He is in his sixties. 1 Thessalonians 5:1-6 (NASB) says "Now as to the times and the epochs, brethren, you have no need of anything to be written to you. 2 For you yourselves know full well that the day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night. 3 While they are saying, "Peace and safety!" then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. 4 But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief; 5 for you are all sons of light and sons of day. We are not of night nor of darkness; 6 so then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober." Paul is talking to believers here and is telling them to be ready at all times. If you have not said yes to him, you will witness destruction and be rejected by Him. Matthew 7:21-23 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.' Think about this if you think you are a good person and do good things but have never asked Jesus into your heart. When you stand before God in Judgement he will say "DEPART FROM ME" If that is you, come to him today, it is a matter of life and death. You might say, I would never choose death, but by not following Christ, that is exactly what you are doing. 1 John 5:11,12 (NIV) And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

These boy's were so affectionate and quick to hug or snuggle (that is Schneider in the picture). Changlais snuggled next to me the last night and rubbed the back of my ear until I thought I smelled smoke. It was quite a change from last trip when the girls that we lost were sickly and weak. They didn't want to be held for long and they didn't want to be put down. The youngest was struggling (4yrs old and 13 lbs.) and miserable the whole time. Don't get me wrong, We loved it because they were our girls (at the time) and we felt privileged to care for them and love on them. We will always love them and cherish the time we spent with them. This trip, we got to meet our boy's for the first time and they took to us right away. Pretty early on the first day they started calling us Ma Ma and Pa Pa (we loved that) and were full of energy. Changlais reminded us of our Noah (who is about the same age) because they both have enough energy to power an aircraft carrier. It was hard to say goodbye. Changlais did not understand what was happening when we put him in the van and we did not get in. He did a double take, saying with his expression "Aren't you coming too"? We will be back my sons. Hang in there.
I usually let my wife tell about our Haiti adoption on her blog, but I figured that after this trip we could double team for a few posts.
A Scripture to leave you with Psalm 24:1 (NLT) "The earth is the Lord's and everything in it. The world and all it's people belong to him".

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Naturally I think of Haiti when I watch the video in the upper right hand corner.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Yo, from Hickory, NC. We got back from Haiti last night and I wanted to put up a few pics from the trip. My wife will have some as well at Please pray for Haiti, the many many orphans (so many are so sick) and that we and all of the other families in our little group can start bringing our children home.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

We found out on our last trip, that dry formula is a big hit, plus it has nutrients that they desperately need. They love it as you can see. They are almost as handsome as me aren't they (you know I'm joking, they are way handsomer than me)?
We are thrilled to be with them and give all glory to our Heavenly Father. Thank you Jesus.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Live from Haiti

Hallo, (that is how they say it). Meet my boys Changlais (on the right) & Schneider. We are in Haiti visiting them while the adoption process is going on. For details see my wife's blog at For some reason uploading pictures is slow but between Melissa and I, we will try to keep them coming. God Bless and keep lifting us up to the Savior.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Jesus Paid It All

I was sitting in Church on Sunday, when It hit me. What? The worship team started singing "Jesus Paid it All" a hymn that most of you have sung many times. When I let the words sink in I realized that no matter what I am going through, no matter how difficult it may seem, it is pale in comparison with his cleansing blood. Listen to the first stanza - I hear the Savior say, "Thy strength in-deed is small. Child of weakness watch and pray, find in me thine all in all." I could write 10 pages on trusting in Him and how Worthy He is, based on my experiences and His faithfulness but for now I will let music and the video do that. Play the Video in the upper right hand corner. Be still and worship.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Prayer for Haiti Trip

I can't see but I look good.
Dear Lord, I thank you for your love for me and what you did by sending your Son to die on the cross for me, cleansing me and washing me with His blood. Please protect us and the people that are travelling with us to Haiti next week. Keep all of us healthy as we care for our precious children. Please continue to watch over them and everyone at the orphanage. We trust in you and know that the orphans are near and dear to your very heart. James 1:27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this:to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world. Thank you that we are able to take nourishment to them through "Feed My Starving Children". Please help us to conduct ourselves in a manner that reflects you and your character. We ultimately pray for lost souls and that many will be won for Christ in a country where that seems insurmountable. Your word say's in Matthew 19:26 "With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God." We also ask that you protect our precious children here while we travel. Please be with our precious friends Ashley and Erin, who are lovingly volunteering their time and making sacrifices to do this generous thing for us. I love you and I praise you. In your holy matchless name, Amen.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Adoption Part 2

Changlais and Schneider, hurry up and come home so we can play.

We were visiting a church this past Sunday and they had a visiting pastor. He is involved with a children's ministry that gives them opportunities that they wouldn't otherwise have. (something like that, I didn't hear all of the details) Anyway what I heard that got my attention, was when he said that he had been asked to be involved with a prison ministry and he said that he felt like that was not his thing but the children ministry was. When I think about adoption, I think there are Christians that say the same thing. For example "So and so adopted and I think that is wonderful, but that is not our calling". I say that just as Matthew 28:18-20 (the Great Commission) is for all believers, so is James 1:27. I'm not saying that all believers should adopt (wouldn't that be nice), but I am saying that all believers should be involved with caring for orphans and widows. When you get involved and are exposed to what an orphan goes through, physically as well as mentally, how can you not be swept away with compassion and passion and love.

Saturday, May 16, 2009


The next Food Network show. Cooking with Izza.

Romans 8:15 NASB For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as son's by which we cry out "Abba Father".
Slavery? What does that mean? It means before we knew Christ we were slaves to this world (where Satan rules), but now we have a new Father. Romans 8:15 is saying that you are not a slave but a son, an adopted son. As believers of Christ, we are all adopted, but if you do not know Christ you are a slave to this world.
If we are adopted, then why wouldn't we be passionate about the subject. Now read James 1:27. "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world". If you are not called to adopt an orphan as your own child, than you are at the very least called to care for them. Please ask God how you may do that and follow through. Many of the people who read this blog already understand and do what I am talking about. For the ones that haven't looked at adoption this way please consider and open your hearts to what God's word says.

Friday, May 8, 2009


How I have beautiful children, I'll never know. My fellow movie quoter on the left, and my karate sparring partner on the right.

Do you remember the story of Zaccheus from when you were young? I do, but recently discovered that as an adult (some people may disagree with the adult part) this passage has a great message. Luke 19:1-10 (NASB) He entered Jericho and was passing through. 2 And there was a man called by the name of Zaccheus, he was a chief tax collector and he was rich. 3 Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature. 4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way. 5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, "Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house." 6 And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly. 7 When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, "He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner." 8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, "Behold, Lord, half of my possessions, I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much." 9 And Jesus said to him "Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham." 10 "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost". This man was disliked, an outcast by choice of profession, probably had zero friends but was wealthy. We all have an empty hole the size of the Grand Canyon that we try to fill, but never seem to be able to. Zaccheus was obviously searching for something but probably even he didn't know what. Guess What? He found it up in a Sycamore tree. What did he find you might ask? He found Jesus, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Prince of Peace, the Wonderful Counselor and much more. He changed drastically in a blink of an eye. To believers this should sound familiar and bring back memories of our own conversion. 2nd Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. In verse 9 Jesus said "Today salvation has come to this house". If Jesus has not said that about you, then it is time. Do you want to continue to be miserable with an empty hole that is impossible to fill or do you want to have peace with the Prince of Peace? Receive Him with open arms when He Say's "your name, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house."

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Prodigal Son

I highly recommend a book by Henri J.M. Nouwen called " The Return Of The Prodigal Son". He takes the painting by Rembrandt and looks at it from 3 perspectives. The son, the father, and the older brother. I think I have mentioned this before, but Luke 15:11-32 is one of my favorite stories in the bible. Why? Because I am in it. I have been a prodigal son. I grew up in a Christian home, but ignored everything I was taught and did much like the son in the parable. It wasn't until I was 30 that I came to my senses and returned to the Father (Heavenly Father).
If you look at the painting, you will see how tattered, worn out and weary the son appears when he returns. The father, even though the son hurt him and left, shows tremendous compassion and love for his son. In the parable you will read that the father does not condemn, ridicule or embarras the son. What does he do? Luke 15:20 "So he got up and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him." Wow, how much do you think he loved his son? Luke 15:22-24 "Quickly bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and snadals on his feet; 23 and bring the fattened calf, kill it and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and has come to life again: he was lost and has been found." and they began to celebrate.
See the gentleness in the fathers face. That is how God receives us when we come to him. If you believe that and you have been running away from Him, turn around like this son and run to him. I promise he will run to you with open arms and kiss you (as in the parable).

Tuesday, April 28, 2009



I have been reading Daniel lately and if you haven't read it in a while, or ever, I highly recommend it. In chapter 10, Daniel fasts and prays for 3 weeks concerning the vision in Chapter 9. Chapter 10:10-14 (NASB) Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees. 11 He said to me, "O Daniel, man of high esteem, understand the words that I am about to tell and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you." And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling. 12 Then he said to me, "Do not be afraid, Daniel, for from the first that you set your heart on understanding this and on humbling yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come in response to your words. 13 "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia was withstanding me for twenty-one days; then behold, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me, for I had been left there with the kings of Persia. 14 "Now I have come to give you an understanding of what will happen to your people in the latter days, for the vision pertains to the days yet future." So God sent an answer to Daniel's prayer immediately, but the messenger was in battle with Satan's forces (the prince of the kingdom of Persia) for 21 days. Do you pray and think God does not hear you because you do not get an answer right away. Ephesians 6:12 say's "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places." We don't see the spiritual battle but we know it exists and we know that God has defeated Satan, when Jesus conquered death on the cross. Know that God hears you and he will answer you even though His messenger may be detained. God fights for you in a heavenly realm the we cannot see. Be glad brother or sister, that you can't. Read Daniel and be encouraged.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Savannah and her new roller blades. Looks like a pro doesn't she. I got a pair as well, but unless someone tries to bribe me, you won't ever see that picture.

Listen to the song "The Motions" by Matthew West in the upper right hand corner (listen to the words, don't just look at the pictures). I don't need to say much about it other than, Believer or not, you should be able to relate.

Monday, April 20, 2009

You know that I am standing behind Melissa (who is taking the picture), making faces that I would deny if ever accused.

Psalm 73:25-28 (NASB) 25 Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You, I desire nothing on earth. 26 My flesh and my heart may fail, But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. 27 For, behold, those who are far from You will perish; You have destroyed all those who are unfaithful to You. 28 But as for me, the nearness of God is my Good; I have made the Lord God my refuge, That I may tell of all Your works.
The nearness of God is my good. Think about that. Does this mean that when God is not near, that we are bad. John 15:5 "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. You might be good in Man's eyes for doing good deeds and being generally nice to people. To God, the only way we can be good is to be near to him. The last part says "That I may tell of all Your works". This is what God has laid on my heart, as well as gifted me in the area of evangelism. My desire is to truly live every day for Him and reach the lost, and care for the Orphan (James 1:27). If you don't have the Joy of knowing Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, or do not have joy at all, please choose a relationship with him right now (Upper right hand corner of this blog). His joy is eternal.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


That's my Izzy. Yes my large can of shaving cream (35% bigger) that I bought the other day is gone. In addition to this picture, every toilet in the house is filled with shaving cream. Reminds us of the time we found Lilah covered (I mean covered) in shaving cream, she looked up with a totally relaxed demeanor and said "shaving cream is happy".

Easter is tomorrow and although we should reflect on the Crucifixion of Jesus daily and what it means to us as believers, we celebrate this annually because it is a magnificent victory. Sadly, we put more emphasis on the 4th of July than we do Easter. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely patriotic, but I am also extremely grateful for Jesus dying on the cross for me. Read Psalm 22 (yes the whole thing) and then read Matthew 27:35,46. David was obviously suffering and crying out to God for deliverance. Isn't it amazing that approx. 1,000 years before Christ was crucified, David predicted almost precisely the event of Jesus hanging on the cross (even graphically) In verses 22 & 23 David praised God and gave him glory even out of his suffering. Do we do that? Or do we say, God why did you let this happen, or Why did you do that to me? God will deliver you, Now or for eternity. Think about (really meditate) what Jesus did. Read John19:17-37 for the full account of our Saviour's death on the cross. Thank him right now for dying so that you can live.
If you have never seen the movie "The Passion of the Christ" get in your car and drive to Blockbuster and get it. We live in a visual age, so seeing this event on the screen may grab you and draw you to Jesus. For me, seeing the face of the women accused of adultery (actress Monica Bellucci) when Jesus said (John 8:11) And Jesus said "I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more" had a huge effect on me and brought tears to my eyes (not a regular thing for me).

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I wanted to thank my wife Melissa (that's her holding me up) for putting up with me, supporting me and making sacrifices over the past 4 years so that I could pursue and achieve the goal of earning my 1st degree black belt in Tang Soo Do. That happened yesterday and She brought all six of our children to see their daddy get a black belt wrapped around his waist at the end of 3 1/2 hours. (we did hire a baby sitter to be there with us). Also thanks to My 12 year old Savannah who took karate for 3 years with me and still helps me go over techniques at home. Thank you both, I love you.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Savannah doing her circus act. We went to a circus exhibit in Charlotte and got to do a few things like this. I won't post the picture of me walking the high wire. When the man said "do a plie or flourishes" I said speak English brother and decided to blow his mind and walk backwards. Besides, John Wayne would not approve.

Isaiah 61:1 NIV "The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, 2 to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, 3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion; to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair, They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor."
These verses speak to our hearts (Melissa and I) and cry out for us to make a difference and follow a calling to help orphans and families who are considering adoption. We are still praying about what that looks like and how he would have us fulfill that calling. Please be praying with us for that and that we would be still and know that he is God as it says in Psalm 46:10.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Finally warm enough to have a picnic in the woods.

Sorry I have not posted in about 2 1/2 weeks. The flu hit our family like a forest fire. Everybody but Melissa, got it. And I thought I was the strong one.

Romans 8:14 "For as many as are led by the spirit of God, these are sons of God." Are you saved into the family of God. When you hear the word adoption, do you think of yourself as adopted, or do you know someone that has a brother that works with someone that has adopted. I'm not being facetious, I am simply wondering what comes to your mind when you think of adoption. The next verse say's "For you have not recieved a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have recieved a spirit of adoptions as sons, for which we cry out Abba Father." So not only is adoption a wonderful way to grow your family, it is how God grows His. To take this a step further read James 1:27 NLT "Pure and lasting religion in the sight of God our Father means that we must care for orphans and widows in their troubles, and refuse to let the world corrupt us." If you feel a pull towards adoption, seek God's direction and ask him to go before you and prepare the way. He will. If you don't know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, pray to recieve Him (see upper right hand corner of this blog) and start your adoption journey by being adopted into His family right now.

Friday, March 6, 2009

When I cook supper, we usually Blast the Christian music and praise the Lord. I think it was Chris Tomlin (excellent praise music). Hallelujah

Read Luke 23:32-43 and see the thief hanging beside Jesus make a death bed conversion. Why don't you go to church? Because I don't want to be a hypocrite like everybody else in church. I have had many people tell me that over the years. I like what I heard a Pastor say one time. "If you find the perfect church don't join it because you'll ruin it". Satan is the father of lies (John 8:44 NIV) and he wants you to think that you have no business being in God's house when you are so bad. The truth is we are all bad ,Romans 3:23 NIV For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 6:23 NIV The wages of Sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. The thief was most likely bad his whole life, but was moved by Jesus in the last few minutes before his death. Vs 42 "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom". How did Jesus respond? Vs 43 Jesus answered him "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise." This proves that it is never too late to come to Jesus. Do it now, so that you can hear the same words when you die. Today you will be with me in paradise. Hallelujah!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Birthday sweet D'Jounela who turns 3 today. We miss you. We and especially my 5 yr old Ella, pray for her and Vanessa everyday.

Please read the book of Nehemiah on your own, but to follow up on my last post where Nehemiah out of passion for his people fasted, prayed, mourned, and wept, here is the rest of the story as Paul Harvey says. As you read to chapter 7 you will find that Nehemiah put his faith in the Lord time and time again even in the face of much opposition. He stood firm in what he knew God had called him to do. We pick up at the end of Chapter 6:15 NLT "So on October 2 the wall was finished-just fifty two days after we had begun. 16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God." God has a timed (perfectly I might add) result to everything he calls us to, Nehemiah's was 52 days. With Haiti adoptions it feels like 52 years, but to God a day is a thousand years a thousand years a day. Continue to pray about what you are passionate about and see God move in a huge way. One day you will say like Nehemiah, On such and such a date the wall (your passion) was finished in so many days (or years) after we began.

Thursday, February 26, 2009



I can't wait to see Changlais and Schneider (Our boy's in Haiti) sitting around this table with Ice Cream dripping off of their chins too.

When Nehemiah received word in exile that the walls of Jerusalem were broken, here's how he reacted. Nehemiah 1:4 NIV "When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of Heaven." Wow, what would make you do that? Read his prayer Nehemiah 1:5-11. Nehemiah was passionate about Jerusalem and later on you will read that God answered him and rewarded him for his seeking after Him. I think of Haiti and the poverty and the conditions that our children live in. We have fasted and prayed and wept like Nehemiah. God sent Nehemiah to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall and restore His people. We know God has called us to not only rescue these precious children, but spread awareness as well. Approach the throne of Grace with your passion (whatever it is, ours is Haiti) and watch Him work. To learn more about Haiti adoptions, visit some of the blogs from other passionate parents(on my blog list) as well as the awesome agency(Wasatch International Adoptions at we are working with. I hope you are starting to see the picture that Nehemiah is a must read.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Again, who needs snow, just cold hard ground. (don't get me wrong, snow would be nice).

If you'll recall, I wrote about despair a few posts ago. Today I received this weekly devotion I get from Pastor James McDonald from Harvest Bible Chapel in Chicago, and thought it would be a good idea to let ya'll read it. Enjoy:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Who needs snow to make good use of a hill? Dump truck coming through! Go Lilah!

Read John 9:1-35. You say, wow that's too much. I say, No it's not. It is worth it. The kicker is when the man born blind says in the second part of vs. 25, "one thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see." The pharisees were trying to trip him up and find holes in his story, but he put it as simple as possible. Do you have a hard time sharing your faith and telling people about Jesus? Just tell what He did for you. At the very least, He saved your life. Our story is "I was dead, but now I am alive, in Christ Jesus". Tell it to the next person you come in contact with.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Don't Despair

Ella, you just gotta do it!

Greetings from Lansing, MI. I know, a southerner going North during winter is crazy. I will be back in 70 degree weather tomorrow.
Discouraged about the news. Stimulus or not, agree with our President or not, don't despair. That reminds me of a line from my favorite movie (If you know me you may get tired of hearing me use the phrase "My Favorite Movie"). Actually this is categorized as a trilogy. The Lord of the Rings. In "The Two Towers", Legolas tells Aragorn while they are being attacked by the Uruk-hai "Please forgive me for my despair". At that point he started to trust Aragorn and believe that he would deliver them. Please Lord, forgive me for my despair. Psalm 19:7-14 NASB "7 The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether. 10 They are more desirable than gold, yes than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the drippings of the honeycomb. 11 Moreover, by them Your servant is warned; In keeping them there is great reward. 12 Who can discern his errors? Acquit me of hidden faults. 13 Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous sins; Let them not rule over me; then I will be blameless, And I shall be acquitted of great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer". These are comforting words in troubled times. God bless you.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

God's Grace is sufficient

The Boys. (not pictured: Changlais & Schneider) Can't you see the resemblance? What a handsome boy (I am talking about Noah).

Speaking of boys. You can read Melissa's blog for details but the short is, that Vanessa and D'Jounela are going to remain with their birth mother, and after seeking the Lords wisdom and guidance, we are moving forward with 2 brothers from the same orphanage. It has been a tough week, but we have been sustained by Gods love and grace. Without it we would be crushed with sorrow. It doesn't mean we don't mourn, but it means we mourn with the knowledge that God's grace is sufficient for us. 2 Cor 12:9 NIV "But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness". Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me." Also He sees the future like we see the past, as if it had already happened. So his sovereign plan is in motion and we desire to be in his will. Another great verse is Romans 8:28 NASB. You should know this one by heart if you have read my blog before because I quote it often. To God be the Glory and honor for ever and ever.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Girls (not pictured Vanessa, D'Jounela)

Let's say for example that you knew for sure who was going to win the Superbowl before the game. You would bet everything you have. Colossians 2:15 NLT "In this way, God disarmed the evil rulers and authorities. He shamed them publicly by His victory over them on the cross of Christ". Jesus has already defeated Satan, so since we know who wins, wouldn't it be foolish to follow the loser (Satan) and not the winner (Christ)? You might say "I don't follow Satan, I don't follow anybody". If you are not with God, then you are his enemy. Satan is God's enemy, you do the math. I used this verse before but it applies here as well. 1 John 5:11,12 "And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life, he who does not have the Son of God does not have life". Those who do not have the Son, will suffer the same fate as Satan, eternal damnation. Whose side are you on?