Monday, May 25, 2009

Restoring Brothers, Part 2

Last week we left off talking about Galatians 6:1 which says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” As Christians, we have a divine mandate to help others in the faith who are struggling with sin. There is no doubt that it can be very difficult to confront a brother or sister who has obviously erred from the faith, but the writer of Proverbs 27:6 reminds us, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.”

Think about it for a moment, who loves you more? Is it the one who simply allows you to walk the wrong way or the one who has the guts to tell you you’re going the wrong way? It reminds me of a time when I worked as a manager of a warehouse in my younger days. I had a competition with the forklift drivers as to who could come up with the best safety slogan. The winner was, “Stop Stupid!” There is a lot of wisdom in those words.

We also see in 1 Corinthians 5 where the Apostle Paul dealt with a problem of one of the younger men in the church who was having a sexual relationship with his stepmother. The church simply would not address the issue and was actually kind of proud of themselves for not dealing with it. Paul rebuked them pretty strongly and told them to throw the young man out of the church. Later, we see in 2 Corinthians that he repented and Paul once again had to intercede and ask them to restore him. Even the early church had a problem with church discipline. Of course, today it is virtually unheard of. To even try to discipline someone today makes you the bad guy. They would probably even try to sue you!

Jesus also dealt with the issue of restoration and the proper steps required in Luke 17:3-4 when he said, “Take heed to yourselves: If thy brother trespass against thee, rebuke him; and if he repent, forgive him. And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.” The key to forgiveness and restoration is repentance.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Our Greatest Need

Dear Friends and Family,

As most of you already know, we have committed to come along side of pastor John Bonner and the ministry of Calvary Chapel Bible College in Lima, Peru. This decision has not been reached lightly. We have spent months confirming this call from the Lord. It is a huge step, but one we feel totally convinced as ours for this time.

Once there, I will assume teaching responsibilities at the Bible College and will be directly involved in the lives, ministries and spiritual formation of the students. I will also be involved in the six-week Youth Summer of Missions Program where we will lead teens to serve in evangelism throughout Peru.

We are asking that you prayerfully consider how you might be a part of this ministry. At this point our greatest need is to establish a solid monthly support base that will enable us to remain on the field. Our projected budget need will be $2000.00 per month which includes housing, utilities, ministry expenses, taxes, visas and Shepherd’s Staff administration fees.

We will also need to raise a one time offering of $5000.00 to cover the cost of moving, airfare and shipping costs. We need to be fully supported by July 2009 so that we can proceed with plans to be on the field in time for the start of the Fall semester in August.

To support us, please go to "Support Information". If you feel led to commit to monthly support, please fill out the "Pledge Form" and return to Shepherd's Staff so that we can include you in our monthly budget. Our account number is 4507. God bless you!

Thank you for the many ways you have already been a blessing in our lives. We look forward to partnering with you!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Departure Date

Many have asked about our departure date for Peru. The answer is, Lord willing, the first of August. We have told our current ministry that we will give them a final decision on June 7th. Why June 7th? On that date, our mission board, Shepherd's Staff, will release our donation numbers to us as they do the 7th of every month. If we see that those numbers are reasonably close to what we need for monthly support and "one-time" offerings for flights, moving costs, etc..., we will make the move. If you would like more information, please visit our blog at

Friday, May 15, 2009

Restoring Brothers, Part 1

Let’s conclude our study of Galatians 5 with the last two verses which say, “If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.” Paul’s concluding remarks in this chapter are simple. If you are a Christian, walk like one. Of course the only way for that to happen is by living and walking in the Spirit instead of the flesh.

Now, let’s move on to Galatians 6:1 which says, “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” We have a mandate to try to restore and not to destroy brothers and sisters in Christ who are struggling in their Christian walks. After all, we’ve all struggled at times.

I heard an expression years ago that said that Christians are the only ones who shot their wounded. I’ve seen it enough times to know that it can be true at times. Restoring a struggling brother has been compared to resetting a broken bone. There is no doubt that it must be reset and that it will not be without pain. However, it should be done.

Barnes, in his commentary, says that the mandate here is for the church to “set him right, bring him back and recover him from his errors and his faults.” It is to be done by affectionate admonition, by faithful instruction, and by prayer. Discipline or punishment should not be resorted to until the other methods are tried in vain.

We see the design or model for how these things should be handled when problems arise in Matthew 18:15-17 where it says, “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.” More on this subject next week.