Greetings to you all. We hope you find some interesting bit of news of our family and what we are up to. May the Lord bless you and keep you.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Salvation Cometh...

Merry Christmas! What a joyful time of year. Cookies, presents, trees shedding needles on the floor, a jolly prowler breaking in to leave presents(Squidward in Spongebob's first Christmas), oh yeah, and a new born baby born to die. Wait a minute, that doesn't quite fit in with the rest of the list does it? But isn't this the very reason we celebrate Christmas?

Why did Jesus come as a baby, grow as a boy, become a man, suffer three different types of temptations, go to the cross, get buried, and then raise to life to ascend to heaven? What was really the point of it all? For this very purpose, to save us from death, an intruder into God's perfect creation, and bring us back into the presence of God from whose presence we so foolishly hid in our sins, as if we really could hide from God.

But why would Jesus be able to save us? How is it that He even has the authority or ability? Upon Adam's rebellion against God sin entered the world, and death by sin. All of creation was subjected unwillingly to the corruption of death and decay, also known as the law of entropy, or the second law of thermodynamics. All things eventually wind down. Jesus is the creator of all things. In Him all things breath, move and have there being and by Him were all things made and nothing exists apart from Him. All creation declares the glory of God. So why would He come down and live as one of us? Well, answer this, can anyone of us give the excuse that Jesus doesn't know what it was like to have this happen, or live through this..fill in the blank? Jesus knew what it was like to be born, to leave the warmth of the womb. He knew what it was like to flee from possible death as a child, to loose everything. He knew what it meant to grow up under a foreign oppressive government, having his rights trampled on. He knew what it meant to undergo temptation from the enemy. He literally has "been there, done that, and bought the t-shirt." We have no excuse.

But more importantly, He is the Creator of Life, and it is only He who can restore life to our still born bodies in this shadowland. We all are born dead, dead in sins that will lead to death. If He is not the Creator then His death has no meaning. Any one of us can give our lives for another, maybe even more than one if we're lucky, but those we save can still die later, and those born later can not be saved by our sacrifice. And if death was always a norm in this world then why would He die to save us from what He had instigated from the very beginning? To say that death ever reigned from the beginning, or in some distant forgotten past is to insult the very reason our saviour came to save us.

The Birth of Christ was a once in a world history event. Foretold from the beginning of the world, looked for and hoped for by many and then when came was missed by many. Never will it happen again. We must believe with the eyes of our hearts. For as Paul said, it is with the heart that man believes, and with the mouth is saved. He had the right, He had the authority, and He had the ability. He made it knowable so we would be without excuse. "Mary did you know that...this sleeping child your holding, is the Great I Am!" I think she knew. To be in the hands of God is where there is life, love, and hope. Truly it is a Merry Christmas to be in the hands of our Saviour.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Just how old is our Earth?

No one is without bias. Everything we do is based on our worldview, our presuppositions, or what we chose to believe. All studies of origins begin with our presuppositions. Either we believe in a God who created it all or we believe everything happened by random chance processes.


There are two Laws that we need to take a look at here. They are called the Laws of Thermodynamics. The first law states that there is no new matter/energy being formed today. The second law states that as energy is used it becomes irretrievable, or the law of entropy, all things are winding down. Now if no new matter is being made then matter is not eternal, and since all matter is winding down then it had a beginning. What and how was its beginning and how long ago did it begin? If it is not eternal then what started it? The big bang needs something, even if it is hydrogen; it needs something to start with, but how if matter is not eternal?


In November’s issue of the Journey we saw Larry Larason’s article on the age of the earth and he mentioned Ussher’s chronology which says our earth was created in the year 4004. So we have an earth around 6000 years old. Already you are probably thinking that is not possible because how could evolution happen in such a short time. Already you show a bias thought because you assume evolution to be true and therefore needs time to act. But what if evolution is not true and God created everything in its own kind such as dog kinds and cat kinds? Small change in the way of adaptation can happen in a very short time, even within a few generations. There was no reason given as to why to reject Ussher’s age just that it didn’t seem to make sense with all the “evidence” of antiquity around us. But what evidence is there for great antiquity other than the assumption that it is evidence of great antiquity? What if that so called evidence has just as logical an alternative?


Geology is the study of rocks, and there are three types of rocks, igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic. Igneous (Latin ignis, fire) is volcanic rock. Sedimentary rock is made of wind or water sediment. Metamorphic (Greek meta, change, morphe, form) which is rock transformed through heat and pressure.


A brief overview of the dating of rocks is this, only igneous rocks make for good radiometric dating as they are new formed rocks from lava and thus are least likely to be contaminated by older rocks. Sedimentary rocks are not good for dating with radiometric dating as they are laid down sediment from flood waters usually and are a mix of old and new rocks. And metamorphic rocks are also a mix of old and new rocks that have only been shaped or changed by heat and pressure, so not good for radiometric dating. In radiometric dating scientists are looking for various elements like potassium and then seeing how much of it has decayed into its “daughter” element argon. Then taking the decay rate and calculating that by the amount of potassium there is to the amount of argon there is and you can come up with your age. Here is the problem. You have to assume how much potassium there was to begin with. Then you have to assume there was no argon to start with. You need to assume that the rock you are dating has not been contaminated by human intervention, or that more potassium or argon has not seeped in from outside. And lastly you need to assume that the decay rate was not increased or decreased due to outside forces, forces such as solar flares and or environmental conditions like floods or earthquakes. Basically you need to start with a lot of assumptions, any one of which could be off.


All this is to say that evolution is not a proven fact of science. It is more accurately a belief, a belief that says we survived on our own, without any God. If evolution is true then life is nothing but survival. We don’t mean anything. Death is good and normal. If God ordained evolution is true then life is still not worth much as God just sat back and watched as millions of creatures died for supremacy. “Religion, in our day, has accommodated itself to the doctrine of evolution… when animals were torturing each other with ferocious horns and agonizing stings, Omnipotence was quietly waiting for the ultimate emergence of man, with his still more widely diffused cruelty. Why the Creator should have preferred to reach His goal by a process, instead of going straight to it, these modern theologians do not tell us.” This quote is from Bertrand Russell, an atheist scientist/philosopher in Religion and Science Oxford University Press 1961 page 73.


Why would God use evolution when He could have done it from the beginning? Because He didn’t, He started with everything in six days as it says in Genesis and Man in a fully created state, perfect and without evil. Free will to choose to love or not love God was also given man. Man chose to not love God. All our problems today are from man’s sin, not God. This time of year we celebrate Christmas. Why? To celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Why would Jesus need to be born into this world as a man and then die for us to save us from death if death was a normal event? If we believe in evolution then there was no point, and if we try to make the theory of evolution compatible with the bible’s beginnings then we void the whole reason for the Creator’s death. But if Genesis is absolute truth from God, if man started in a perfect state and then fell from that state in sin with no way out, then there is no other reason for Christ’s death than salvation from sin and freedom from death. We only need to choose Him.


What you believe determines what you think, what you think dictates what you do, and what you do dominates your life. Our worldview plays a role in everything.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pilgrims

Have you ever noticed how quickly time flies by. It happens in a blink as the song goes by Revive. Our oldest has turned four over two months ago now and our second has just turned two. Today our third boy has reached his ninth month on this world. You hate to see them grow while at the same time you can't wait for it so they understand when you say "no, the bathroom is not a place to play", or "don't stick your finger in the socket or it will shock you." Time is funny. It is the one thing we can't control, the one thing we don't want to lose, the one thing we spend our whole lives fighting until we are old and saggy and realize what was truly important, the very life we had just lived.

Do you ever get that feeling that you are not where you should be? We have been dreaming of this backpacking ministry for the last four to five years of our lives. Everyday we thought about the possibility but our life and work at the time was where we were focused. Now we are trying to raise 500,000 dollars to move to Scotland, buy a house, and invite young weary travelers into our home and show them the Creator of all things. It is exciting and scary at the same time. Our hearts are in a strange place. I look at the pictures and staff info for YWAM Paisley in Scotland where we will be based for a short time and I feel a strange attraction to them, like I know greater things are in store for my family. And yet I look through old photo albums at our life together in Yei and I see a family that however flawed they may have been was my family. My heart is still there. There is pain, some pain not dealt with, some pain forgiven, released, healed, but through it all the voice of truth shows me how special I am in my Lord's eyes.

Isn't it a strange thing how the only wizard of note was Gandalf. Of the five wizards he was the only one to carry out his God given task of standing against the dark lord, and he was called the Grey Pilgrim. A pilgrim knows that his real home is else where so he is busy with the journey for he knows rest comes at the end. Are we pilgrims? Are we standing against the evil in this world today? Or have we set up house and roots? "We all want love, we all want honor, nobody wants to pay the asking price." FFH, Undone. What is the asking price? Any soldier will tell you, any missionary, any martyr.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Road Trip





Here are some pictures from our recent road trip to Pennsylvania via Oklahoma, Ohio, and then back again. Hope you enjoy them.































































































Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Where we're at now

Hello friends. Well we just wanted to let everyone of you know that we have received our official welcome from YWAM in Scotland. So we have begun our fundraising in earnest now. It is an exciting thing knowing we need such a huge amount by next year and just trusting in God to come through. Our faith after all is in the Awesome, Almighty Creator of this world and everything belongs to Him. So please keep us in your prayers now as we try to prepare for such a big move. Thank you all for reading our updates and God Bless you all.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Chunky Monkey News



How is everyone out there. We are fine and we thought it was time to let you all know where we are at with the backpacking plans. So lets take a look.

As some of you know the original idea was that we would be opening a hostel in Amsterdam to use as a tool to attract backpackers to come and stay with us and while there we would share the Gospel with them. Well through much prayer and thought and process that plan has changed a little, although the actual backbone of the vision is still the same.
Amsterdam became an out as we were looking at the different visa options open to us and started to realize there really weren't any that fit what we wanted to do. Through searching we found the UK might be a better option. So after different phone calls to friends and internet searches we came to talk with the National Leaders of YWAM Scotland. Through YWAM we hope to have the covering of an orginization to be in Scotland long term to minister to backpackers from our home instead of a hostel. A hostel was looking to be a big bite for a growing family to chew on all at once. So the plan changed a bit to buy a house and instead have backpackers stay in our home for free or donation basis and while there we still share the gospel with them. The specific details of how this will take place is still under planning and prayer.

We are also in the process of trying to set up an account through a christian orginization called ACI to handle our support checks and finances while on the field. Our application is in but, like YWAM, still waiting approval.

Now I know it sounds still a bit up in the air and some of you may think we are making plans with out having approval from these orginizations. Yes we are, but it is only because we are confident that this is where the Lord is leading. I'm not saying that we can see the future, because as we have seen in our year at home some plans that we thought were sure God has changed on us. The thing is that it was only through steps done in faith that one contact was made which then led to another, and then another, which has led us to where we are now. Through it all we learned to really and totally keep the Lord at the center of every prayer and plan. It is His dream to see these "prodigal sons and daughters" be brought back to His Father, and we are just the tool He chose to use. We are honored and humbled, and must therefore keep Him at the heart of the vision.

So if the plans make another change, well as Bilbo use to say.. "the road goes ever on and on...." We are after all one chapter in a much larger story. God Bless you all and we will keep you updated as things progress.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Disneyland, The Happiest Place on Earth











Well we had one amazing vacation. We rode on Dumbo, saw the Wicked Witch of Snow White, played with lightsabers and Mickey Mouse, and had some really great fun as a family. It was a dream come true quite literally for all of us. We had wanted to go to Disneyland since we were still in Africa and with all the stuff we have been mulling over in our minds and working two jobs to have one week with absolutly nothing on our plates but Bubba Gump Shrimp and Carmeled Micky Mouse apples it was a small taste of Heaven. We had fun under the sun and it was a great trip. Hope you all like some of these pictures.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Cracked and Condemned

"Please, come inside and pull up a chair," said the man. However, as you walk through the door you see the floor is cracked and crumbling everywhere. It is so bad in fact that the walls are even showing signs of collapsing. Then you look up and see a very nice roof.


"Why," you ask, "is the roof so nice and clean and in good repair but your floor is all cracked?"


"Oh," he says, "pay no attention to that. I didn't think it was necessary to have a good floor. After all it isn't as important as having a roof over your head. You see, now if it rains or storms, I'm covered." He then goes about as if there was never any problem at all. Just then you see a corner of the house shake a bit and the roof sag. In no time you are out the door. Weeks later you drive by and see much of the roof has fallen in and the man just can't figure out why.


What does this story mean? Well it's like this. I(Nate) have been doing a lot of study over the last four months or so into a creationist worldview. Through my studies i have come to see a few things. One is just the very large holes in an evolutionary worldview, but two is just how much bigger those holes seem to appear when the person holding this worldview is a believer in Jesus Christ, the very Creator of the world.


The other day as I was driving with Lia and telling her about my most recent reading I had finished I came up with this picture of a christian witnessing to a non christian. He is telling him of Jesus and how Christ is the savior and how He died and rose again to save him from his sin. But then when the man asks the christian about some views on evolution the christian says that it isn't really important what you hold to and that he himself holds to an old earth that God just used evolution. The man from that point on didn't understand how the christian could talk about a kind God who would use death to come to a "good" creation, or why would Jesus need to save us from death if death was natural, etc, etc, etc.


Now, people can come to know Christ through the message of his death and resurrection, but what is the foundation. In the new testament we see the combination of Christ's death with his creative acts in Genesis, Revelation 14:6-7, Colossians 1:15-20. There are more but the point is this, if the new testament writers felt it necessary to combine the two in order to show who Jesus is then why do we think we can take the very word of God and believe in the inaccurate worldviews of man, and still hope to give a non-believer a solid foundation. If evolutionists don't compromise their beliefs why do we think we as Christians can. Paul spoke to the Athenians by way of declaring to them a Creator God in Acts 17. He used it as a foundation for the message of Christ's death and resurrection.


What is our choice. Literal creation at the hands of our Creator, or misinterpretation at the hands of man?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Visas, Houses, and Moving

Hello all. We wanted to tell you all of our progress so far. There really isn't much to say but to ask for your continued prayers as we follow God down this rather difficult path. But nothing is to difficult for our God. If He can make all that we see around us and the stars and the heavens then He can take us from one side of this planet to the other.



So here is what we have so far. Both the UK and Holland have rather strict rules for immigration, surprise surprise. Like I said, my God is bigger than borders. We have emailed both countries immigration offices and are just now waiting to hear back from them as to cost, possibility, length of process time and so on. We have seen for the UK anyways that certain visa application processes take around three weeks to three months. One option looks hopefull and that is a long term visit visa however it has us leaving the UK every six months for about six month periods, but they can be got for 10 years. So we'll see.



On the house option we have a very beautiful option in my favorite little scottish town of Oban on the west coast. The town is called the Gateway to the Isles as many of the ferry trips to the western scottish islands depart out of the harbor there. So it sees alot of traffic which is ideal for backpackers. and the house is great. Eight bedrooms, use to be run as a bed and breakfast. Wonderful location in the town, situated between two hostels so great for attracting attention from backpackers. The price, a mere 430,000 dollars. Our God is bigger right? Well He made the sun and the stars that are bigger than our sun, and He made the gold and silver backing those dollars and pounds so yes, He is bigger.



As you can see we are facing a very daunting task, but we have a very big God on our side. Please be praying for us as we face these giants, 1 that we would keep God at the center of all this, 2 that we would remember how Big He really is, and 3 that all this would come together in His time. Thank you all for reading up on us and God Bless you all.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Death and suffering


Those of you who know me (nate) well know that I have a dog named Mish. I got her as a christmas present 14 years ago when we moved down here to New Mexico. Well my good friend Mish died just a few days ago. It was a very hard time for me because for years while I was in africa no matter what I always asked how she was doing when I called home. She had always been there. When I went over to put her in for the night after I got off work that is when I found her. She had got so old that she was no longer able to walk on her own so you had to pick her up just to move her. The day before she gave me a sign. She bit me on the arm and on the ear when i tried to pick her up. Then the next morning I put her out for the day. Later that day is when i found her. I am happy because I was praying that God would take her home so that I would not need to make the decision to put her down, but all the same it hurts.

Why does it hurt? Because in this fallen world death is our enemy. Everything is affected because of our sin against God. Romans 8:20 makes it clear that the creation was unwillingly subjected to death becuase of one man's sin. There was no death before, and praise God that through Jesus there will be no death again. Death hurts, the loss of a friend hurts, but there will come a day when all our tears are wiped away. I don't know if I will see Mish again. While animals have a soul scripture does not say if they have an eternal spirit like us. But I thank God that I was blessed with her for a little while.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Prodigal Son Project

Hello all. We are trying this out for the first time so bear with us.
We wanted to post our ideas that we shared in church on sunday of the 23rd. We started out by sharing a slide show about our new ministry. I will try to post this as well for any who missed it or would like to see it again.

So as I was saying, we shared about our new vision for the hostel ministry to start next year. We shared our ideas about starting out of our home on a small scale first and then as we grow we will see about moving into a larger building. The idea for this came from an old couple that I (Nate) stayed with in Ireland a few years ago. They had a few extra rooms in their house that they would let out to backpackers who could not stay in the local hostel because of it being full up. So we thought it might be a good idea to try to do the same thing to start with and then we would grow from there.

We shared about the need to reach backpackers with the gospel because if they are willing to travel the world for fun how much more would they be willing to travel with the gospel.

We also shared the word from God we got about how this ministry was like trying to bring back the prodigal son as told about in Luke chapter 15 starting at verse 11. In the story we read how the younger brother left home to live a free and exciting lifestyle, but soon finds that his lifestyle is not what he thought it would be. He ends up depressed and poor and having nothing. This is many times the case of many backpackers. They go out to experience the world and then return home. However the return home is not quite what they think it to be and many times fall into depression. But they, unlike the prodigal son, are unwilling to return to the Father. They need a guide. We said how God told us not to be like the older brother and be angry but to bring these lost brothers back to the Father and rejoice at their being found, rejoice at their return to the Father.

I hope you all enjoy this news and that this finds you well. God Bless you and talk to you all soon.
video