Tuesday, October 31, 2006


**My previous newsletter prompted a bit of back and forth discussion between myself and a few other subscribers about just what I was trying to communicate. This is usually an indication that I need to write a follow-up article to further explain what I intended to communicate, and also to clarify what I did not intend to communicate.


What does Jesus mean when he says, "…whoever believes in (me) will not perish but have eternal life"? Is he talking about doctrine and theology? I doubt it. Specifically because, when he spoke these words, the New Testament had not been written yet, in fact, it was being lived out as he spoke these words, and this is my point. I believe that what Jesus was trying to communicate in John 3:16 is the importance of living out what you say you believe, not simply saying what you believe.

One way to express this is to ask yourself what it is you do each and every day of your life. I would suggest that Jesus could be paraphrased here, and in numerous other passages, as saying, "Show me what you do, how you behave, and that is what you really believe".

Again, I'm not against doctrine and this article is not in any way attempting to suggest that doctrine and theology are useless. Far from it. In fact, what I'm saying is that your doctrine and theology are a lie if you don't act out the principles contained in your doctrine and theology.

I am also not suggesting that our actions affect our salvation, which is 100% the work of Christ and his act of sacrifice upon the cross.

Dallas Willard, one of my spiritual heroes, has a great quote about this. He says, "What you really believe about Jesus is revealed by what you do when you realize that you cannot do anything (to earn your salvation*)".

(*From the Allelon Series on Kingdom Living, linked off of my main website at www.keithgiles.com. I recommend everyone go and download all of those and listen to them carefully).

So, what do you really believe about Jesus? It's revealed in the way you live your life. It's revealed in the way you treat people. It's revealed in the way you think of yourself. It's revealed in the way you behave when you think no one is looking.

If you have really confessed and believed that Jesus is Lord, then your life will reflect that reality as you submit to the rule and reign of God in your life. It will be revealed as you search the scriptures for wisdom and in the way you apply it to your everyday life. If you have confessed it and yet continue to rule your own life as you see fit, then in reality it is you in control and not Jesus, therefore, Jesus is not Lord.

There is a wonderful passage in a book called "Follow Me" by Jan David Hettinga (which I whole-heartedly recommend) where the author relates a counseling session between himself and a dear friend who is undergoing turmoil in his life. The author listen to his friend complain about his life and then challenges him about whether or not Jesus is really in charge of his life. At first this friend is angry at him for suggesting such a thing, but then the author calmly points out every event in his life where he has blatantly followed his own lusts and desires and kept Jesus out of control.

At the end of the conversation the author asks his friend, "What would your life look like if you really gave Jesus control over everything today?" His friend is quiet for a moment and then starts to say, "I guess I’d stop drinking so much and I’d have to cancel my poker night with the guys every week. I know I’d have to be a lot nicer to my wife and spend more time with my children, etc."

The author then asks his friend if he's willing to start allowing Jesus to be the Lord of his life or not.

As I've said before, one of the greatest challenges to living in the Kingdom of God is that most of us here in America have never been presented with the Gospel that Jesus preached throughout his ministry; "Repent for the Kingdom of God is near." (Matt 4:17,Luke 4:43, Mark 1:5, Matt 9:35, etc.)

The Gospel most of us have heard all our lives is the "Repeat after me" prayer and the pronouncement of instant salvation as a free gift. We never hear the "Live after me" message that Jesus taught and our lives suffer for it.

Because the part about surrendering to Christ is left out, most of us have never thought about it very much. But Jesus talked about it all the time. It's impossible to read the Gospels and to study the words of Jesus and miss the fact that he most definitely intended for his disciples to hear his words and to put them into practice.

A. W. Tozer (another of my spiritual heroes of the faith) has a great insight into this most recent neutering of the Gospel for American consumers. He says, "a notable heresy has come into being throughout evangelical Christian circles—the widely—accepted concept that we humans can choose to accept Christ only because we need Him as Savior and that we have the right to postpone our obedience to Him as Lord as long as we want to!" (From his book "I Call It Heresy")

He goes even as far as to suggest, "that salvation apart from obedience is unknown in the sacred scriptures."

I had to come to grips with this in my own life just a few years ago. After living for over two decades as a born-again Christian, licensed and ordained into the ministry of the Gospel, I came face to face with the reality that I had misunderstood the essence of the Gospel that Jesus came and died to preach. It shook me to realize that I had been trying to follow Jesus all that time without carrying my cross and dying to my self each day. The foolish thing was that Jesus specifically told us in scripture that we cannot follow him unless we take up our cross daily.
(see Luke 14:27)

I had to repent and to start over with Jesus as my Lord and my Savior. It has been a long process where Jesus patiently and lovingly reveals this truth to me over time...and I'm still learning!

The most challenging, and life-changing, part has been the daily walk with Jesus as I attempt to learn how to actually die to myself and surrender to his perfect plan for my life.

So, it is about belief, and it's also about how we practice what we believe, and that is where the real Christian life begins.

THE MISSION: WEEK 4- We had our fourth Sunday morning gathering last weekend. It has been so amazing to watch people growing in their faith, ministering to one another, teaching and worshiping and praying for one another. It's so great to have people share in an equal way, as equal members of the Body of Christ, where children and adults alike can share from God's Word, pray for each other and confess their weakness in order to be encouraged and blessed. One of our members, who only recently began playing worship songs on his guitar remarked that there was no other church in town who would dare allow him to join the Sunday morning worship team, and yet in our home he's free to do as God calls him to. There is a "Mission House Church" page here if you want to read more about what God has been doing: http://subversiveone.blogspot.com

APOLOGY: Sorry these have been getting later and later each week. I've been swamped with house church stuff, job hunting, work and life in general has been crazy. Thanks for hanging in there with me as I try to write these each week, work on my upcoming column for Ginkworld.net and push to finish up both book projects before the end of this year. I also appreciate your prayers for me during this time as I try to hear God's voice and find the job he has next for me.

COMING UP: I've been sitting on a few article ideas for like two months now. Hopefully between this newsletter and the column I can hammer these out. Here’s a sneak peek at what's in the works:

*House Church 101- It's not a home group. It's not taking what happens on Sunday at the church down the street and duplicating it in your living room. So...what IS house church all about? (A look at the basics of house church)

*"I Tell You The Truth" – Jesus commanded his disciples to go into all the word preaching the Gospel, baptizing new believers as they went, and "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you". Do you know what the commands of Jesus are? Why has the Church left this vital component out of the liturgy and teaching of disciples? How can we get it back?

*"Foreknowledge and Freewill"- Ali vs Frazier; Godzilla vs Mothra, Calvinism vs Armenism; There are few battles more heated, and hateful, than these, but why do Christians battle over the concepts of free will and predestination with such venom? Is there a sane resolution to the conflict? A Biblical response to seemingly conflicting sets of belief.

*”Grace and Works”- The resolution is alarmingly simple, and explained in a single verse of scripture, yet many Christians still don't grasp the symbiotic relationship between Grace and Works. Are the two mutually exclusive? Maybe we don't understand what Grace really is? Maybe we put too much emphasis on Works? Finding middle ground and staying there are two different things.


Monday, October 23, 2006

Practice and Belief

Practice and Belief
by Keith Giles

In the early church, the Christian faith was defined more by practice, not by doctrine. Islam, Judaism and the early Christians were all defined by what they did (practice) more so than a set of doctrines or beliefs. Jews kept the Sabbath. Muslims prayed several times a day, Christians gave to the poor. Faith was seen as a way of life, not a list of beliefs.

It was only after Constantine that the Church began to shift towards defining a Christian as someone who held to a set of beliefs and away from a person who lived a certain way. Mainly this was so that Constantine could have Christian soldiers who would profess Christ and still sign up to slay their enemies in combat. Previous to this, Christians were notoriously pascifists and went to their deaths when confronted rather than to take up a sword and defend themselves.

In our current culture, being a Christian is still understood as being more about having the right belief and less about having the character of Christ and practicing the faith.

A simple reading of the Gospels will reveal that Jesus expected that His disciples would obey His teachings. He was quite adamant that to call Him "Lord" wasn't enough if you weren't going to actually put His words into practice. (see Luke 6:46, Matt 7:21, John 14:23, etc.)

The book of James makes it clear that belief alone is not enough. "You believe that there is one God? Good! Even the demons believe and they shake with fear." (James 2:19) The passage goes on to point out how Abraham's faith was demonstrated by his actions. "You see that his faith and his actions were working together and his faith was made complete by what he did." (James 2:22). The most stunning statement in James is in verse 24 where he says, "You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone."

Whoa. Let that sink in for a moment.

Faith (belief) has to be accompanied by action (practice) in order for your faith to be justified (proven true).

My simple paraphrase of this goes like, "Swimming won’t make you a fish; but if you are a fish you will swim." So, if you do good works in order to be saved you’re wasting your time. However, if you have truly become a new creation through a relationship with Jesus, you will become the sort of person who does good works by nature.

So, in the mind of the earliest disciples of Jesus, following Him was all about practice, not simply agreeing with a doctrine or belief. Trusting in Jesus is about obedience, submission and relationship, not cerebral acknowledgement or knowledge.

My concern is for those people out there who are placing a false hope in a statement of faith in Jesus who have never actually surrendered their life to Christ as the Lord of their life.

I'm also concerned that our world is full of people who walk around proclaiming themselves to be Christians yet live any way they want; in complete oppostion to the words of Jesus.

"Now this is eternal life: that they may know you the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent." – JESUS (John 17:3)

The kind of knowledge Jesus is speaking of here corresponds with the idea of intimacy. In fact, it's closer to the word for sexual interaction. This is the kind of knowledge that conceives new life.

This is the kind of intimate knowledge of God and of Jesus we are meant to have.

Knowing stuff about Jesus is not the same as knowing Jesus. I could know all about Shaquille O'Neil but still not know him as a person. My knowledge of him would not mean that Shaq and I are friends. In the same way, it's possible for you and I to become experts on Bible Trivia about Jesus and still not really "know" Jesus personally.

A few months ago a friend of mine stood in my house and shared with me a story about someone who they were hoping would become a Christian. "If I can just get them to say they believe in Jesus, they’re saved," the person said.

We had an interesting discussion out of that statement, but what really kept gnawing on me was the mindset that my friend had, and that I observe that many others have, when it comes to the question of Salvation. Specifically, I think it has to do with what we believe it really means to be a Christian.

Obviously, my friend would say that to be a Christian is to say that you believe in Jesus. Maybe you don't even have to really do anything else except say it out loud, like a magic word, and then God has no choice but to let you into heaven. I have to question this line of reasoning.

I know that many Christians believe that all you have to do to get into Heaven is to repeat a prayer, believe that Jesus was real and make plans for the afterlife. But is that really what the Scriptures teach about what it means to inherit Eternal Life? Is that really what it means to be a Christian?

In scripture, and historically, the word "Christian" came from the followers in Antioch who were called such because they were so much like Jesus that the pagans around them called them "little Christ's" or, literally, "Christ-ians". The name doesn't mean what it used to mean in our society today.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life"- Jesus (John 3:16)

What does Jesus intend to teach here? I think it all hangs on how you understand his use of the word "Believes". If you think Jesus meant "to think that Jesus was an historical person", or even "to accept that Jesus was the Messiah", you’d be missing the real point.

In the actual passage, Jesus is having a conversation with a Pharisee by the name of Nicodemus. In the conversation Jesus is not asking Nicodemus to believe that Jesus is standing there. Obviously Nicodemus believed Jesus was real and alive, they were having an active conversation together. So, to "believe" in Jesus is more than mental knowledge or acceptance of a series of facts as being true.

What does the Bible mean when it says, "Believe" or "Know"? Many would tell us that this means simply accepting as factual or having the knowledge of something as being true. If this is what Jesus and Paul meant in these verses, then this would be the correct interpretation of these passages. But this is absolutely not what Jesus or Paul meant by the words "Believe" and "Know", therefore our understanding of these passages is seriously flawed and we have to take another look at what is really being said here.

One main clue as to what Jesus meant is to look up the passage in the Greek. The actual phrasing used in most cases is actually; "Believe into the Son" which suggests placing faith or trust for your life into the hands of Jesus. The best example of this is the Greek rendering of John 3:36 which says, "The one believing into the Son has everlasting life, but the one disobeying the Son will not see life..." Again, the choices are to obey/believe or to reject/disobey. Belief, then, is more about obedience and practice, not doctrine divorced from a way of life.

Many people quote Romans 10: 9-10 which says, "That if you confess with your mouth that 'Jesus is Lord' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Again, it is not the act of saying "Jesus is Lord," it’s very much about actually living like someone who is surrendered to Jesus and being someone who actually makes Jesus their Lord. It is not about saying a magic word in order to get a ticket to heaven.

I'm not suggesting that doctrine and belief are unnecessary. In fact, I feel that doctrine is quite important. But by itself it's not enough. What we need is Jesus.

Maybe what we need is to have a reinterpretation of what it means to believe? Better yet, perhaps we should simply take Jesus at his word and begin to do what he says?

I would love for the day to come when people can tell whether or not someone is a follower of Jesus by the way they practice the Jesus way of life.

Let's do our best to encourage one another to follow Jesus in this way.

"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching...he who does not love me will not obey my teaching." – JESUS (John 14:23-24)

JOB TRAIL: Still on the hunt for a full-time job. So far God has closed a lot of doors. He’s provided miraculously for us since the end of June. He has been faithful to us in the midst of uncertainty. I appreciate your prayers for me and for my family during this time.
NEW COLUMN: My new regular column, "SUBVERSIVE", will begin over at www.ginkworld.net as soon as the final installment of the "Gospel: For Here Or To Go?" series is done. (Which should go up this week, I believe). Watch for more details soon. I'd appreciate it if you could all come by and leave a comment, etc. once the articles are posted. It would really encourage me.
THE MISSION: Our third Sunday Morning house church service was the last weekend. I am so excited about what God is doing in each of our lives. This is seriously the best thing I've ever done in my life with the word "Church" on it!
According to my post counter this is post number 50. Wow. I can't believe I've been doing this for like, fifty weeks! And they said it wouldn't last...


Monday, October 16, 2006

DEFINITION by Keith Giles

DEFINITION by Keith Giles

It's always exciting for me to learn something new, especially when what you learn is something more about who you are as a person.

As an early birthday present to myself (I turn 40 next month) I bought myself the book, "U2 by U2". It's a fascinating, inspirational, and surprisingly moving account of the life of the band that is U2, as written in their own words.

I've never read any of the other books about U2 before, but this one really caught my attention, especially since it was a complete history of the band from inception to current events, told by the four members themselves.

Whether or not you agree with me that U2 is the greatest band in the history of rock and roll (I do realize that taste in music is subjective), you would hopefully agree that no other band has had such an impact on music, culture, politics, art, and faith as they have.

There are several astonishing quotes and stories in this book, but one that spoke to me the other day was a comment made by Bono regarding his fascination with people like Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. He admitted that his attraction to them was largely due to the fact that they were all such men of peace and he knew that deep inside he was a man of violence and anger. He was attracted to these men because they embodied virtues that he himself lacked.

That started me thinking. I have a friend who is always pounding the table about the lack of virtue in modern society. He is quite eloquent in the discussion of character and morality. Yet I've observed that this person is not really the moral giant one might assume he is, based on his passion and his convictions. I realized that, perhaps my friend is so obsessed with the issue of character and morality because deep down inside he realizes that he has a flaw in this area.

As my wife and I were discussing this, she admitted that she finds people who are quiet and patient to be quite fascinating, specifically because she knows that she lacks patience and can sometimes find herself talking very loud without realizing it. She is not a quiet person, although she loves the quiet. I am often asked to switch off the cd player in the car so that she can enjoy a moment of peace.

All this made me realize that I myself have an attraction to people who have a compassionate, servant's heart because I know that inside I can be a desperately selfish and self-centered person.

As an only child, I suppose I didn't have much of a chance of not being self-centered growing up. I enjoyed being an only child, especially because it meant that I got everything I wanted for my birthday and for Christmas. I never had to sacrifice my wants for a sister or a brother. Usually, if I want something, one way or the other, I will find a way to get it.

It's quite interesting to discover that my passion for serving others is rooted in the repulsion I have for my own selfishness. In some paradoxical way, if I weren't so sick of my own selfish heart, I would probably never have developed a heart for others.

My attraction to people with an outward focus is part of the reason I married Wendy. When we were first getting to know each other, in college, there was a time when we walked down to a nursing home to visit some people there. In all honesty, I was only going along because she was going and it gave me the chance to hang out with her.

I remember we walked up to the door of the nursing home and I instinctively rushed past an old woman in a wheel chair who was sitting outside the door, heading straight in to do my good deed for the day. However, when I grabbed the front door and stood there holding it open for Wendy (to show her what a gentleman I could be), I realized that she wasn't there. I turned around and I saw her, down on her knees, looking into this woman's eyes with genuine love and compassion. She smiled at her and gave her a big, warm hug as I stood frozen in place, holding open that door for no one.

In that moment I knew that I loved this girl. I had never witnessed such simple, sincere compassion in my life before. I wanted to know how she could do that. I wanted to know what it would take for my heart to be so changed that I would also love others this way.

Maybe that's why, after seventeen years of marriage, I am a different person than I was in college. All I know is that, over the years, my heart for others has been radically changed by my relationship with Wendy. I have also been eager to learn from people like David Ruis, Greg Russinger, Jackie Pullinger, and several others, about what it really means to live a life of love and selfless giving.

I know I still have a long way to go in this area. I am still a student of compassion and a large part of my walk with Jesus is wrapped up in discovering how I can be, like Him, a loving, compassionate person who is more interested in serving than in being served.

I've not yet fully realized my desire to become, like Jesus, the servant of all, but I do know that there is a part of me I wish were not there. I wish I had come "out of the box" as a more giving, sharing, compassionate person. This is the part of me that I have to work on, and the great thing is, somehow, at the end of my life, by the Grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, I will be like Jesus.

Until that day, I'm glad I have a wife like Wendy.

NEW REGULAR COLUMN: As soon as the six-part series "The Gospel: For Here Or To Go?" is complete over at www.ginkworld.net, my regular column called "SUBVERSIVE" will continue running in the same slot on the front page. So, now this will mean I will have to provide content for this weekly e-newsletter, the column, plus my website. I am an over-achiever.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY: Wendy and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary this past weekend (hence the lateness of this article). I'm not sure how I convinced her to marry me, but I'm holding on until the last! Any of you who know her can verify that she's the best thing that ever happened to me.

JOB UPDATE: No major news yet. I'm interviewing with Joey O'Conner on Friday about The Grove Center for the Arts possibility. I've got a call tomorrow with a guy who needs a dispatcher for his heavy equipment rental business (yeah...I'm not sure that's the one either....but I'm trying to be open to whatever God might be doing). I'm also hopeful about a possible job helping a local church lead their congregation into a more missional lifestyle. That one could work out, although it could just as easily be nothing.

Thanks, again, to everyone who has been praying for us. I know that God will lead us through this time.

*to reply to this email, do NOT hit "reply" because I WILL NOT get it. Instead, send your email to me directly at "elysiansky (at) hotmail (dot) com".


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Notes From The Edge

Notes From The Edge by Keith Giles

When I pulled up and parked in front of the Deseret Bookstore, I felt a bit of fear. Not unlike the fear I imagine a covert agent must feel before he enters a building in order to gather intelligence. As I passed through the front door I felt a tingle run up my spine, as if I had just passed the hostile roadblock into the evil empire undetected. Why? Because this bookstore was unlike any other bookstore you've ever been inside.

This was a Mormon Bookstore.

I tried to act casual and browse the aisles without looking too conspicuous. The last thing I wanted was for one of the salespeople to notice me and think I needed some help finding the "Pearl Of Great Price" in a leather edition, or maybe ask me if I wanted a Joseph Smith bumper sticker for my car.

I wondered if everyone I saw inside was a Mormon or if some were, like me, just curiosity-seekers. Perhaps some of them were simply oblivious to the fact that this was a Mormon-themed store. At any rate, I was not comfortable here. No one smiled at me or noticed me. I felt like an outsider and an intruder into their little world. Which, to be fair, I was.

On a whim I had decided to explore this Mormon-themed retail store. It happened to be in the same strip mall as the pizza place where I had ordered our family dinner and while our pie was in the oven I thought it might be interesting to see how the other side lived.

The inside was not unlike any mainline Christian store you’ve ever been in. There were rows of large, hardcover books that were written by various authors that you and I have never heard of, but that the average Mormon might recognize if he or she heard the names. The titles ranged from the devotional variety to fiction. (Mormon fiction?!) I was especially puzzled and even saddened to see a large section of paintings that depicted a laughing and loving Jesus. “Wow,” I thought, “How sad to offer pictures of Jesus for sale without offering any true concept of who Jesus really is.”

I soon found my way to the music section, as I usually do wherever I go, and was amazed to see a large wall covered with Cd’s and tapes. Yes. Cassette Tapes.

Except for that Amy Grant display on one shelf, most of the musical offerings were hymns collections performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. There were some “rock” offerings too, which surprised me. Most of these were packaged like early eighties new wave projects and had names like “Elemenopee” and “Chris Savage and the Rock-Tones”. I was not too impressed. This was, after all, just a sad imitation of what mainline Christian bookstores across America have to offer.

I immediately realized that this was probably what most non-Christians would feel should they venture into one of our Christian Bookstores. I had to ponder if we in the Christian World came across as irrelevant and as derivative as our Mormon counterparts. Most of what I saw in this cult music section was a laughably pathetic rip-off of what I could purchase at my local Christian store. It had the look and feel of the real stuff but was obviously an imitation of the real thing.

It kind of made me scrutinize the whole Secular versus Christian bookstore dichotomy from a similar perspective.

I can’t help but feel a little saddened by the fact that most Christian Art (and especially Christian Music), is nothing more than a pale imitation of what the world is doing.

Just the other day some friends and I were standing around and we overhead the local Christian Radio Station blasting out of a nearby car. They were playing a remake of a popular secular called “Love Is The Answer” but adding the words “Jesus” and “Lord” here and there to sanctify it for our righteous ears.

It made me want to puke.

Why can’t the art and music of the Christian Culture be different? Even if it were just weird for the sake of being weird, I’d prefer this to the “sounds-like” comparisons of most music and art in the Christian Marketplace today.

I once interviewed Mark Saloman from the band Stavesacre and he had an amazing insight regarding this. He noted that, “…the world creates music and art from a fleshly and vain pool of inspiration. Whereas we, the sons of God, have a unique relationship and connection to the very Creator of the entire Universe. Why shouldn’t the World be following us? Why are we the ones who are following them?”

That’s a great question.

Why are we the ones who are following them?

For over seven years I worked in the Christian Music Industry. I still have friends who are part of the CCM Machine and most of them are great, Godly people who are doing their best to change the system from within. But, sadly, at the end of the day, the Christian Music Industry is still a business and the bottom line is selling product, not ministry.

Why is it easier to copy what someone else is doing and “Christianize” it? Maybe because it’s much more difficult to take the time to submit your craft to God, allow the Holy Spirit to work through your talent to create something that may, or may not, be acceptable to the mainstream audience.

The problem is, sometimes the Truth is offensive. Sometimes the one’s most offended are the people who are supposed to be your brothers and sisters. If you’re supposed to be a “Christian Artist”, and especially if you’re trying to make a living at it, the last thing you’d ever want to do is to offend anyone.

What the world needs now is a new wave of true artists. Those who are more committed to using their talents to communicate a burning truth that sears the soul, rather than those who simply want to spread their own fame.

People like Derek Webb, Jars of Clay, Switchfoot and Over The Rhine come to mind. Artists who create what is sincere and true have more interesting things to say than those who are simply trying to sell us something.

Maybe the real problem is when we try to make a buck off of the Truth? I think maybe loving people and living out the Gospel should never get confused with commerce.

What do you think?

“Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me.”- Isaiah 6:8 (KJV)

FIRST SUNDAY: Today we had our very first Sunday Morning house church meeting. I am so excited about the way God has been leading this. It's truly something that He is doing, not me. In fact, the more I take my hands off of it, the better it goes. Please continue to pray for us as we seek His leadership and begin to pray about taking our church outside into the parks and open air of the community around us.

MAN OF GOD: Tonight our family participated in a "Right of Passage" for a young man in our "Mission" house church who is turning 13. It was such a blessing to celebrate this with everyone and to speak into his life, sharing with his family and acknowledging the hand of God in his development. Here's to Jacob Wright. A young man who has a heart for people, a divine, spiritual gift of evangelism and a small army of people who believe in him and support him in his walk with Jesus. Welcome to manhood Jacob. We're proud of you!

IN PROCESS: Working on several articles at the moment. Too busy to thumbnail them here, but watch your "inbox" for a few goodies soon.

THANK YOU: So many of you have emailed me to let me know you've been standing with me and my family in prayer as I search for a new full-time job. I know that God will show us His plans very soon and I look forward to sharing with all of you what He will do in our lives because of your faithfulness to pray and to stand with us during this time.