Friday, September 17, 2010

How & Why I Become a Missionary



After I preached an emotive sermon at the age of seventeen, seeing young people running forward crying and asking God for forgiveness, I thought I would be an evangelist! Having been inspired by the historical accounts of revival, I thought I would become a catalyst for a great awakening. Discovering that I could sing, I thought, someday, I would become a country Gospel singer. Inspired by a book on mega-churches, I thought I would like to pastor a mega church! Having read dozens of books on prayer, I thought I would be one of the greatest intercessors. After I had been to a good seminary, I thought I would become a theologian. Having attended courses on Christian writing, I thought I would like to be a writer! BUT after I studied courses on Missions and read missionary accounts, I thought I would never become a missionary - foreign missions is for someone else.

God did not call me to become a missionary in the traditional missionary description and definition. When I was 18, God revealed His call to me very clearly that I would become a minister of the Gospel. Although I questioned God saying, “Why did You call me Lord,” I had never doubted God did call me to Himself and into the preaching ministry.

My call to cross-cultural ministry does not fit within the traditional understanding and common experiences of most missionaries I’ve known, heard or read. I am sometimes embarrassed when asked about my missionary call because there was nothing definite like others had. Some missionaries I knew, told me I am an experiment in the sense that I never professed a definite missionary calling. I was being observed if I survive in the field without definite call to missions. If my missionary call were measured according to the common testimonies of missionaries I often hear, mine will not pass the test. All testimony I have heard or read concerning the call to the mission field is different from mine. Some of them testified that it has been their passion to become a missionary to a foreign land at a young age. I am amazed how definite their call was; mine was different. Actually, I know more than 10 individuals who professed a missionary call to a foreign land. The only problem is that they are still in the Philippines serving as pastors and I wonder when will they ever go to mission field.  I sometimes think perhaps the call to mission they profess is mistakenly interpreted because of their passion for souls in general be it a pastor or in any other ministry.

Although my heart goes out for the hurting world and the perishing millions, going to a foreign land as missionary never came up to my imagination ever since I was newly converted. God called me, first and foremost, to become His child and to serve Him in the path of servanthood, yet He didn’t tell me I would, someday, be a missionary. God didn’t tell me specifically where to go either. I think if He did tell me where to go, there would be no thrills in the journey of faith. I like to believe that it is a part of God’s package to fill the journey of faith with surprises including where to go and serve. However, going to wherever He leads is a part of the package of His call, even if it would cost my dreams and ambitions, even if it would mean, giving up my comfort zones, if I ever had comfort zones.

Five Reasons We Came to Cambodia in 2003

First, my Wife and I Came to Cambodia Because Someone Prayed for Us to Come. We met Rev. Reynaldo Rafael Jr. and his family for the first time when they went to APNTS for further studies sometime in June 2000. We became close friends. Although I was thrilled by their missionary work in Cambodia, I did not feel the call or desire to go to Cambodia as missionary. When Rev. Rafael had asked me twice about my plans after graduation, I told him plainly that I want to plant a church or pastor a large church. He asked me, “What about cross-cultural ministry?” I said, “I don’t think I am called to a cross-cultural ministry.”

When the Rafaels went back to Cambodia in December of 2001, they had not forgotten us. Sometime in June 2002, the Rafaels began to pray for us to come and help them in the ministry in Cambodia. We believe God answered their prayers by sending us to be partners with them in ministering to the Cambodian people.

Second, We Came to Cambodia Because of Inner Peace we Felt During Times of Struggles. Our last year at APNTS was full of struggle, confusion, and questions (where to minister after graduation). I felt my wife and I are not going back to Cordillera Wesleyan Bible College (CWBC) to teach; although that was the reason we were sent to the seminary. My passion for church planting, to teach in Bible College part time, and to pursue my doctoral studies contributed to these confusion. I was also troubled by the top-down decision style of the church, and that I cannot choose for our own ministerial destiny. But one APNTS chapel service, I knelt down at the altar and surrendered my plans to the Lord: “Wherever you want me to go after graduation, I will go”.  The problem was, God didn’t tell me WHERE to go.

Sometime in January of 2003, my wife and I heard a rumor that we were being considered as the second option to go to Cambodia. Upon hearing the news, our hearts began to beat for the Lord’s work in Cambodia and felt that this might be the direction we wanted to go. Although our couple-friend was the first option to go, we were praying about God’s plan to be done. As we prayed, an inner peace came into our hearts that at the end we would be chosen to go instead. Meanwhile, everything has been planned that we would go back to CWBC to teach, and to pastor a church nearby. We are happy about it, and accepted the fact that it may not be God’s will for us to go to Cambodia after all. We believe God will never make a mistake. Nevertheless, my wife somehow still felt instinctively that at the end, we might not go to CWBC and but go somewhere else instead.

While sitting in my class sometime in April 2003, my Cell phone beeped after receiving a text message from Cambodia. The text message goes something like this, “How would you like to come to Cambodia.” I replied "this message is missed sent message", knowing that we were not the first option being considered to go. A message came back saying, “That is not a miss sent message. It is for you”. I texted back, “Well, that’s the thing I never dreamed about but I am opened wherever God wants me to work.” In the afternoon, I immediately went and surf the Internet to learn about Cambodia. I found out that Cambodia is a poor country like mine. Since, I grew up in poverty; I have no problem of the hardship in missionary work. But I was scared of learning the Khmer language.  I prayed, “If you are going to send us to Cambodia, you must performed miracle because I am not a linguist.”

We continued to pray about our missionary call to Cambodia whether we are really meant to go or not. During a praise and worship service I attended, although I am not a weepy person, my eyes began to be filled with tears as I reflect about the invitation to go to Cambodia. So I said, “Lord, I am ready to Go.” I am giving up my dream—a dream to build a mega church in my city. 

Third, We Came to Cambodia in Obedience to the Church. The church sent us and we obeyed the church. Sometime in April 2003, rumors began to spread that we were chosen to go to Cambodia, but no official word from the church has been given not until May 13, 2003. Rev. Vic Oximas, the general mission director of the Wesleyan Church of the Philippines, officially presented the church's decision to us to go to Cambodia. Without any hesitation, my wife and I accepted the offer: “In the name of the Church for the glory of God, we will go and will do our best,” was my reply to Rev. Vic Oximas and Rev. Amado Gacal. On that same evening, about 9 o’clock, I sent a text message to pastor Jun, saying, “Cambodia, here we come!”. After lots of preparation and delays regarding our passports, we left for Cambodia on the 16th of October 2003.

Fourth, We Came to Cambodia in Obedience to God’s Leading and direction for our life. I know without any shadow of doubt that God did call me to fulfill God’s mission for my life. I believe His mission for me is to obey His will and follow His purpose for me! To glorify HIM by doing what He wants me to do as revealed in the inspired Word of God, and to go where He wants me to minister prompted by the Spirit of God is my mission in life. Therefore, what I am doing in Cambodia today is an act of obedience to God’s will for my life. What my wife and I are doing in the Cambodian field is a humble response to God’s leading and direction! Someday, our mission in Cambodia will be over. When that time comes, we are ready to go wherever He would lead us!

Finally, being here in Cambodia is a Personal Choice. We could have chosen to go somewhere else not Cambodia. Coming to Cambodia is a choice we made and not a directive imposed on us. While we came in obedience to the church and to God, we still made the decision ourselves. I believe God does not violate human will when it comes to His call. If God does not force us to be saved, then He does not force us where to go and what to do in life either. As we have a freedom to choose our own eternal destiny in response to His divine invitation of salvation, so is our freedom to choose our vocation. When we made a choice to follow God we must be willing to give up both the good things and the bad things. In fact, when I made the choice, I had to give up other plans and ministry ambition.

By God’s grace, it’s almost seven years since we stepped in the Cambodian soil. There are struggles and questions but we enjoy being here. The nationals told us we are still needed. When we are no longer needed, it is time to leave.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Copping with Missionary Challenges

Pastor Nov Sopeak, Cambodian pastor 

It has been mentioned often that the most difficult challenges missionary encounters in the field are language and culture. Indeed language is perhaps one of most difficult a missionary encounters at the early stage of mission endeavors. Often, the root of misunderstanding in interpersonal relationships is miscommunication; and miscommunication occurs when language is not clear. This is the reason missionaries need to learn the language of the people so that they can communicate well. Although, this depends on the duration of the missionary term and the nature of the ministry, there is an advantage of knowing a few words.

Nevertheless, as missionaries stay longer in the field, they soon realized that learning the language is not enough; they need to understand the culture as well.  Understanding the cultural mindset is not easy, as it may appear to be. One of the reasons for interpersonal relational breakdown is not simply language a problem. The problem is deeply rooted in our unwillingness to understand the cultural pattern and mindset the people we seek to serve. Lack of understanding in our part can be corrected if we are only willing to listen and spend time with people. 

I must add, however, that it is one thing to understand the people's mindset and it is another thing to change your own. One of the most difficult parts for me being a missionary in a different culture is to change my own perspectives so that I can understand the people's perspective. Changing my worldview is necessary in seeking to understand others.

The temptation we face is to judge people without trying to understand them first, and then try to impose our own thinking to a situation without seeking to understand why people do what they do. 

I find it ironic that missionaries are willing to leave their own countries, giving up their own comfort zones, endangering their own lives and jeopardizing the future of their own children, but are not willing to give up their own perspective. To give up our own cultural point of view allows us to see the best in others and prevent us from critical and judgmental attitude. Understanding people's cultural pattern and changing our own way of seeing things will revolutionize our interpersonal relationship and increase our productivity.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Discipling All Nations or Making Disciples in all Nations?


There is a huge difference between making disciples of  all nations and making disciples in all nations. Making all peoples disciples is totally different concept from  making disciples from all peoples. 
 
From the dawn of creation to the death of Jesus Christ, and then to the ministry of the apostles it is obvious that not every person will become believers of God and followers of Jesus. During the time of Jesus Christ on the earth, not everyone in Palestine became His followers. In fact, He only focused His ministry on the 12, and only 120 disciples were waiting for the coming of the  Hoy Spirit after the ascension of Jesus Christ. When the church began to grow in its early stage of history, not everyone became disciples regardless of the thousands that become followers of The Way. Many thousands more did not turn to faith in Christ.  Despite the aggressive  advance of the Gospel, the majority remained non-Christians. As the church moves on, persecution against Christianity persisted. From God’s stand point, He does not force every person to be saved. The history proves this from the dawn of creation till this very day. Jesus came into the world because He loves everyone, and there is no other way to get to the Father except through Him. Yet God didn’t save everyone. John 3:16 didn’t say, “For God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten son so that ALL will be saved...” Everyone who believes in Jesus and all that believes will be saved but not all will be saved because not all will believe.

If God does not expect everyone to be save, who are we to think that we can do it? We should stop thinking that we can make every people a disciple of Jesus. It is obvious from the Great Commission that this is not the mandate. Did you know that the phrase "Great Commission" in not  found in Matthew 28:19-20? I believe Jesus expects us to go and make disciples in all nations, but not to disciple a "whole" nation. To go and make disciple in every people group is His commission and mandate. The Gospel should be preached to all nations and we all should become His witnesses from where we are to the end the earth but He does not expect us to disciple everyone. If Jesus didn’t attempt to save everyone, why are we trying to do otherwise? How many non-Christians do you know? How many have you witnessed? Why are they not Christians?

That every disciple should make disciple, is clear. We should disciple as many people as possible. We should win as many people to Christ as we can. But to save everyone is an elusive thinking not supported by the Scripture. No single nation today has been discipled wholly. To disciple a whole  is an idea that is not commanded in Bible.

I am not proposing a lethargic attitude towards world evangelization. My heart beats for the millions who do not know Christ. My heart cries for the millions who perish without Hope of eternal life week after week. I do everything I can to spread the Gospel. Yet still millions go down the grave without hope. If million goes into a christless eternity week after week it only proves the fact that not all people are indeed going to be saved. Some well meaning Christians would say, because we have not done our part the world remained unevangelized. The world remains unreach because Christians do not witness. Regardless of our reasoning, the world will never be fully discipled.  Read Acts again. The early disciples gave their lives fully to the evangelization of the unsaved proclaiming the Gospel but not all became believers. I think, even if every Christian on the planet earth will spend every day trying to win people to believe Jesus, not everyone will turn to Christ. WHY the pessimistic attitude? Because every person has a freedom to choose—not everyone will choose Jesus Christ no matter how skillful we are in our approach to evangelism. Not to mention what other people believe as reason—the doctrine of election! Freewill and doctrine of election provides reason to rethink our role in the fulfillment of the Great Commission. 

To “go and make disciples in all nations” is the mandate! Trying to do otherwise is unnecessary in God’s pursuit to a lost world.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

CAMBODIA IMPACT: A MISSIONS REPORT



CAMBODIA IMPACT: 2009 HIGHLIGHTS
 Missions Report
By Rev. Greg B. Fernandez Jr.
WBI, September 2010

Greetings to all in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I am glad to present my report to this Annual Conference. The highlights for the Cambodia ministry in 2009 is describe by the word IMPACT which stands for: Impetus, Miscellany, Partnership, Achievements, Challenges, Transitions.

I-IMPETUS

A. Our Lord
Our highest motivation for doing what we did and doing what we do is to please and honor God. What God has called us to do matters most regardless of what others think and do. The high call to glorify God is indeed an impetus regardless of the constraints and challenges of ministry. We thank Him greatly for carrying us through the year 2009.


B. Our Vision
Another impetus for our ministry is our vision. Our ultimate vision for ministry is to see Sustainable, Influential, and Powerful churches impacting lives for time and eternity. 


C. Our Partners and Friends
      Our partners and friends who supported and prayed with us deserve to be called an impetus. What I share in this report was possible because of your partnership with us and the ministry that we do. You are the backbone and the pillar of our ministry here in Cambodia. We are forever grateful for the abundant prayer and the financial support you have extended to us this year. Sharing your resources so that God’s kingdom will expand and grow is indeed an eternal investment. We are indebted to your generous heart and supportive spirit.

Your burning passion to support missions keeps us excited, motivated, and inspired. We sincerely thank you for your partnership making it possible for us to continue our ministry in Cambodia.


M-MISCELLANY

A. Marriages
Historic marriages happened in the Wesleyan Church of Cambodia this year. Pastor Vandy Hourng, the new elected WBI president, married Rolitess Galam from the Philippines in October. Two months later, Channy Kong, one of our WBI staff and the daughter of the District Superintendent, married Jeff Rasmussen from Oregon, USA. Marriages between Cambodian nationals and foreigners are very costly and complicated. After several months of paper works both marriages received approval from the Cambodian government. It was a relief for both and everyone concerned. 

B. Statistical Reports  
Here is a picture of the whole Cambodian Wesleyan church in a statistical form. You will notice here that membership is not listed. I think that telling you how many people are really worshiping every Sunday is more realistic than showing you how many members we have in the membership role. Excluding children, our 30 churches have a total of 560 worshipers every Sunday and average of about 18 people every church. While these worshipers are all members, we have more members in our list than the regular worship attendees. The Wesleyan Church of Cambodia is not far behind in comparison with most churches in Cambodia. While a few have hundreds attendance in worship, the majority are small.

PASTORS
CHURCHES
PREACHING POINTS
REGULAR  WORSHIP
ATTENDANCE
40
24
6
1,162

ADULT
YOUTH
CHILDREN
336
224
602
C. Personal Report
1.      WBI Ministry
In 2009, I taught more than 100 hours at the Wesleyan Bible Institute, conducted all WBI staff meeting; spoke during WBI prayer meeting and WBI chapel services. 

2.      National Church
At the national church level, I attended all the DBA meetings, visited 29 churches several times, and Preached 10 times to over 1, 500 people mostly non-Christians with only 10 seekers of salvation. While it is easy to have people raise their hands or to come to the altar to receive Christ, more often than not it is not the best way to determine whether a person is saved.

Last year, we hosted a total of 8 different teams and individuals with a total of 50 people from KCC, GP headquarter, Brookings Wesleyan Church, World Impact (Indiana Wesleyan University), Redfield Wesleyan Church, Mitchell Wesleyan Church, Brevard Community Church, and 3 guests from the Philippine Church.

D. Family
Resie, my wife is an excellent partner in ministry. She has done a great administrative work for the national church and WBI. She taught courses also at WBI that are very inspiring. I thank God for her partnership and the work that she does. She keeps me on track every time I go off the track. She is currently the WBI registrar and the missions’ treasurer and bookkeeper.  

Not everyone wants to go to school 7 days a week but for Aleeyah, that’s what she thinks school should be. At   4 years and 8 months   old, our first daughter, Aleeyah Charis, goes to pre-Kindergarten School.  She is excited about school every day and questions why her school closes on Saturdays and Sundays.  Esher is growing too and she loves to play, sing, and talk. Both Aleeyah and Esher are learning to speak Khmer.

P-PROJECTS

The DBA made plans for income generating projects to augment the ongoing deficit of funding.

A.     Income Generating Projects for the National Church

Income Generating Projects
Initial Investment
Income Generated
Remarks
1.      Church Property (Old WBI) Development and Renovation
$5,000
$390 monthly
Fund not available
2.      Purchase of Apartment Building
$80, 000
$500 Monthly
Fund not available
3.      National Church Vehicle for rent
$ 12, 000

Fund not available

B.      Some Church and WBI Projects
Project
Cost
Remarks
1.      Church Building
$1, 500
Ongoing
2.      Dirt fill (Siemreap Church)
$700
Fund available
3.      National Office
$3, 000
Project by the Wesleyan Church of the Philippines. Fund not yet available.
4.      Computers for the National Office
$1, 200
Fund not available
5.      Church repairs
$ 1,000
Completed
6.      WBI Road
$ 6, 000
Completed
7.      WBI computer Lab
$ 6,000
Completed

C.      Church Property for sale ($150, 000)
To sale this church property in order to fix a current problem is not the main motivation but to prepare for the future. In fact, the selling the property seems to be the best source to fund the income generating projects mentioned above. The selling of church property is not to be spent but to be invested to generate more income for kingdom expansion. 

A-ACHIEVEMENTS

A.     WBI new Facility Completed
The Greatest achievement that inspired us the beginning of the year was the completion of the new WBI facility. The 10th of January 2009 marked a wonderful celebration of God’s faithfulness and provision to the Cambodia ministry when the new building of the Wesleyan Bible Institute (WBI) was dedicated to the glory of God. After 6 years of praying, planning, and giving, the WBI building stand tall as a symbol of partnership between different supporters and the Cambodian ministry towards the fulfillment of a vision to train future pastors and leaders for the Cambodian church. 12 representatives from the two major donors for the WBI facility, 3 from Kentwood Community Church (KCC), and 9 from the Dakota District, were present during the event. KCC was the major financial force in the history of the new campus and facility. Along with KCC and other individual donors and churches, the Dakota District also plays a major financial role for the new facility.  More people will know Christ when more ministers will share Christ because more are trained as they are called by Christ.

B.      New Church Planted
Four Churches were planted in 2009 with an average attendance of 30 adult and young people. While several churches decline in membership, new churches were planted, and others grew.

A.      WBI Students visited the Philippines
Seven WBI students attended the 6th General conference and the national youth congress in the Philippines in April 2009. Thanks to the donors from Kentwood Community Church, Brookings Wesleyan ChurchMitchell Wesleyan Church and other individual donors for making the trip possible.  Thanks to the Philippine Wesleyan Church that hosted the team. The students’ perspective has never been the same after the trip. The students are accompanied by two WBI staffs, Rotha and Channy, and Rev. Kimsan, the national leader of the Wesleyan Church of Cambodia

C-CHALLENGES

A.     Thirty Thousand Dollars, Turned to Ashes
A fire tragedy struck the family of pastor Sideth while he was at the hospital being treated for serious illness. The family lost their home and almost everything they owned. A total of $30,000 turned to ashes in this tragedy. But thanks to the Generous support of KCC and GP to help the family start a new beginning. 

B.      Faithful Layman Went Home to Glory
In July 2009, we lost one of our most dedicated and faithful laymen in Cambodia. Lookru Moich had a motorcycle accident in April which led to a major surgery in his head. After three months of battle with his injury, he went to be with the Lord whom he faithfully serves on July 23, 5 o'clock in the morning. His ministerial legacy is seen in the two churches that he has pioneered and also to his active involvement in the ministry of the local church.

C.      Kratie Wesleyan Church was Shut Down by Government Authority
The church in Kratie has been shut down by government authorities in October 13, 2009. The reasons are complex but God is turning things around to our advantage. The paper work to reopen the church is still on hold by the Ministry of Cults and Religion.  The processing of the document is taking too long due to the involvement of some political figure with high profiles. A military General and a colonel from the Royal Cambodian Arm Forces though are helping us.

D.     Moral Integrity Challenged
It is a sad scenario that one of our pastors and one of our students faced a disciplinary action due to moral indecency. This is the first time in the history of the Wesleyan Church of Cambodia this one has occurred. Despite this, the church is slowly moving triumphantly.

E.      Financial Constraint
The challenge of finances is endless but the source is ceaseless—it never runs out. Such is the situation here in the field. The National Ministry Shares (NMS), a fund coming from the US churches and individuals, for the Cambodian national church has not always been enough to cover the pastors’ monthly support and national office expenses. There is a substantial drop of donation for this budget that will allow pastor to get their support less than half of what they normally receive in a monthly basis if this problem will not be solve in 6 months. This is a very alarming scenario because not one local church in Cambodia Wesleyan Church can afford to support its own pastor. Teaching church members on the subject of stewardship has always been difficult. But however difficult it may seem, there is no other alternative path if we are to build sustainable churches.

Our personal ministry budget towards the end of 2009 also dropped to one third of what is actually needed. It takes a miracle to survive the year 2010, but the miracle Worker is not limited with the financial crises. Our hopes never diminish because the best is yet to come! Robert Schuller put it well enough, “Tough times never last, but tough people do.” We are trying to be tough people during these tough times. 

T-TRANSITIONS
We are all aware that transition is the only constant experience in life. We transition from one place or state to another. Transition is indispensable and inevitable. From cradle to the grave, from womb to tomb, transition is constant. Perhaps the final transition is the transition from death to eternity. Although transition creates discomfort, it brings new challenges. It leads to new opportunities. It provides growth. Here in the field, several transitions have transpired that underline new challenges, opportunities, and growth.

A.     Leadership Transitions

1.      Trusting Cambodian with Cambodia
Missionaries come and go and go and come, but the field remains. It is therefore a must to train the locals to lead their own. In 2009 the time has come that a Cambodian national has to take the full leadership responsibility of the Wesleyan Bible Institute (WBI). With my recommendation, Pastor Vandy Hourng was nominated and elected during the pioneer district conference on April 24, 2009, and was installed on September 4, 2009, being the first Cambodian president to ever lead WBI. Pastor Vandy Hourng is one of the first graduates at WBI in 2003, and one of the first Cambodians to earned Bachelor of Theology degree at Rosales Wesleyan Bible College, Philippines. He brings into the school a rich pastoral experience and theological education.

2.      Trusting Missionaries with Cambodia
While, we trust Cambodians to lead the church, they also need to trust the missionaries if we are to work as a team. I used to be the WBI president but I now oversee the national church. Because we have 30 churches total, it is quite a challenge to supervise these churches and mentor pastors. While I remain as the WBI Academic Dean and teach one course a semester at WBI, our main focus of ministry is to the National Church. In 2009, I also started to revise and rewrite the Discipline of the Wesleyan Church of Cambodia hoping to complete in 2010.

B.      Transition from Full-time Pastoring to Bi-vocational
The DBA has approved a resolution last year allowing ministers to work bi-vocationally to augment their financial difficulty. This policy is under trial for one year and will be evaluated during the 2010 District Conference. It is too early to tell whether or not the bi-vocational minister has more positive results.

C.      6 WBI STUDENTS LEFT FOR MINISTRY ASSIGNMENT
In 2009, 6 WBI students left for their ministry assignment. WBI was their home for three years. The theoretical side of pastoral preparation has been completed, but the real test of learning is not in the classroom but in the field. The field is where they are truly shaped and molded.  Our six students officially began their ministry on October 12. It will be a one year internship, and if all goes well, they will graduate in September 2010.


CONCLUSION
What lies beyond the horizon is unclear but the place where we want to go is clear. The course is set and the journey continues. The path is not always smooth. There are valleys to walk, mountains to climb, and rivers to cross. With God leading us there is no reason to quit and with you partnering with us there is no reason to give up! Together, we can accomplish the impossible!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Step of Faith

Photo credit: http://sunshinereflections.wordpress.com/2010/07/29/walk-by-faith/
I woke up at 4:00 o'clock one morning with this message on my head, "Step out in faith". As if someone was telling me, “Greg, you must step out in faith on this.” I got up immediately, went to the living room and declare my decision I am going to step out in faith no matter what the cost may be. I will act without fear but with confidence on God’s Word.

For the last few months and weeks, my family had been struggling on something where there is no guarantee and security. This morning, I settled that question of uncertainty by moving ahead and stepping out on NOTHING. I agree with John Ortberg, “If you want to walk on Water, you've got to get out of the boat.” The message is clear, get out of the boat and step out on nothing. Doubt say, "What if I drown and die by getting out of the boat?" Can I trust the One who says’ “Come”? Getting out of the boat takes faith to the unknown result. To move from fear to faith is not normal. Doubt and fear must be replaced by trust and confidence! There is no way we can walk on water without first getting out of the boat.

What lies ahead is full of uncertainty but I know whom I have believed He is my security. My confidence is not on my own faith itself. My confidence is on the object of my faith--JESUS.

We can only move ahead and step on nothing without fear because we have confidence that God will be there. This means that either the water will turn to solid ground or God will catch me when there is nothing to land. 

As I type this, I was reminded immediately of the quote I read months ago:  
“When God leads you to the edge of the cliff, trust Him fully and let go. Only 1 of 2 things will happen, either He'll catch you when you fall, or He'll teach you how to fly!”

Saturday, September 4, 2010

It is a Lie to Tell Her, she is the Most Beautiful Woman in the Entire Planet


Our 11th year wedding anniversary photo

When men say, “My wife is the most beautiful woman in the world,” they are lying. 

Years ago, someone told me, "men are liar". I think they really are, sometimes. To tell your girlfriend or wife that she is the most beautiful woman only proves that men are liar. 

I would never tell my wife that she is the most beautiful woman in the entire world because I know for a fact that there are lots of women who are perhaps more beautiful her. It is an illusion to think that she is the fairest one of all; and it is a flattery to tell her that she is the best woman in the entire planet. Others would say, “my wife is the most beautiful woman in my own eyes.” When they say that, I don't think they really mean it. 

Unless you really mean it, don't tell your wife or girlfriend that she is the most beautiful woman. You don't need to tell a lie to prove your love for her. I tell my wife almost everyday that she is very beautiful, but I don't have to tell her that she is the most beautiful woman I've ever seen. When I do that, I am being truthful-telling her the truth. Just because I will not tell her that she is the most beautiful woman does not make my love for her less.

Although, more women are perhaps more beautiful than her, I have fallen in love with her alone-no one else.

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