July 2008

Name: Jesse

Family: Sarah, Abigail (2 ½), Gloriah (8 months)

Where you are on the map: SE Asia

Full Time Job: Small business management

Is this what you thought you’d be doing when you were in college? 
Yes, for the most part.  Seeking to honor God in life and business, to bless the community, provide jobs, etc, etc. 

What do you dream about doing 10 years from now? 
I dream about helping start or improving businesses in the harder areas of the world, with my wife, mentoring and coaching others in this kind of work not only in the tasks at hand but in all of life.

Favorite UNI Memory:
Wow, many!  Clogged toilet overflowing from 1st floor Promised Land, dripping onto our kitchen table cloth, and us still using it.  Attending Sunday morning service and noticing various men wearing familiar articles of clothing from my closet.  Paul Shepard and the green chair.  Mark and his “borrowed” toothbrush.  Paul scaring the liver out of Doug.  Doug and his mobile mattress.  Fast asleep and then woken up buy JT coming into my bedroom dressed as an old lady, was I dreaming?!  BASIC, Friday Night Alives, Dave Busby Main Event, DC trip for PKeepers, etc. etc.

(Optional) Any other comments or shout-outs to specific people:  
My roommates (Doug, Mark and Paul) and other brothers…God used all of you to seal my heart to Him.  Junior/Senior year was such a life changer for me b/c of the fellowship.  It is amazing how He uses the Body in such powerful ways to change a life forever, thanks for the sharpening brothers!


Today my wife was taking a walk with our kids and overheard my oldest girl Emie asking Lily the following question: “Lily, did you know that your heart is really gross?”  Jaime’s ears perked up wondering if Emie was about to tell Lily all about her sinful heart and need for Jesus.  But instead, Emie went on to say, “I saw it [a heart] at Kindergarten and it doesn’t look like a real heart at all.  It looks like a big, gross pink fist!”

Don’t you love it?  It reminds me of a quote by Charles Spurgeon:

Learn from the Master’s words that you are not to try to make the child like yourself, but you are to be transformed until you yourself are like the child.

  • Read What Our Children Must Teach Us
  • Read Spiritual Parenting by Charles Spurgeon
  • Jonathan Dodson shares his “Dark Thoughts from The Dark Knight” here and Greg Boyd shares his thoughts along with his dangerous theology on The Dark Knight here.

    (HT: JD & Z)

    Sometimes we forget that we are in a war.  It’s easy to remain unaware and therefore unaffected by the ongoing turbulence and fighting overseas.  Indeed, the “War on Terror” is not all that terrifying as we sit down each night in our comfortable lazyboy chairs watching America’s Got Talent

    But we are at war.  Each day people are being killed.  Though we can’t see it, it’s happening.  The same is true in the spirtiual realm.  It’s easy to forget that we are at war–a war that is far greater than any we have studied in our history books.

    Paul told Timothy to “fight the good fight” (1 Tim. 6:12) and to “wage the good warfare” (1 Tim. 1:18).  He also said to “put on the whole armor of God” (Eph. 6:11) because the kind of war we fight in is “not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

    Life is war.  But, as John Piper says in his book Let the Nations Be Glad,

    Most people do not believe this in their heart.  Most people show by their priorities and their casual approach to spiritual things that they believe we are in peacetime not wartime.

    In wartime, life is different.  At least it used to be different.  Last week we had a “family movie night,” and we watched a movie called, Molly: An American Girl on the Home Front.  My girls loved it and so did we.  Here’s a brief description of the movie:

    Growing up during World War Two, Molly experiences many changes. Her dad is overseas caring for wounded soldiers, her mom takes a job at the local aircraft assembly plant, and Emily, an English girl, comes to stay with Molly’s family to escape the bombing in London. Through it all, Molly rallies hope for her family and friends and learns the importance of pulling together—just as her country must do to win the war.

    I’m so glad we watched this movie together.  It showed me what a wartime mindset looks like.  During World War II people united together.  They made sacrifices.  They lived on less.  They asked, “How can we help?”  They knew there was no time to think about themselves and all that they needed because there was a greater need, a greater cause bigger than them.

    I wonder what it would look like if we really took on a wartime mindset in our churches.  Think about it.  If everyone knew that there was a real spiritual battle where the casualties of this war would not just lose their lives but enter hell and everlasting punishment, how would it change us?  If we really knew we were living in wartime and everybody was affected, would we come together as a close community and volunteer to serve wherever we could?  Would we spend our money differently–living on less so that others could be freed up to go and take the gospel to the hard places around the world?  And would we think of this not as a duty but a joy and honor to follow after the One who laid down his life for us?

    If we want our churches to change we must change first.  I must change first.  I want a wartime mindset.  I know I’m too comfortable.  But what does it look like to live this way?  I’ll let Ralph D. Winter answer that question with this challenging word:

    The essential tactic to adopt a wartime lifestyle is to build on pioneer mission perspective and to do so by a very simple and dramatic method.  Those who are awakenend from the grogginess and stupor of our times can, of course, go as missionaries.  But they can also stay home and deliberately and decisively adopt at missionary support level as their standard of living and their basis of lifestyle, regardless of their income.

    This summer at Okoboji, IA - where we first met!

    Today Jaime and I celebrate our 10 Year Anniversary!  I can truly tell you that I have been blessed more than I deserve.  God has given me a wife whom I cherish so much.  We were best friends before we got married (which was a little weird!) and we are best friends to this day.  This morning I surprised her with with 10 roses and a homemade card that listed 10 Things I Love About Jaime.  I won’t share them here, but let me tell you that as I wrote that list, my heart was filled with thanksgiving to God for the wife he gave to me.  Yes, like any other marriage, we’ve had our share of ups and downs, but through it all God has given us much grace and joy.  Thanks to all of you who have encouraged us and strengthened us in our 10 years of marriage together. 

    Check out my wife’s blog to see how much we’ve changed in 10 years!  I personally think Jaime is more beautiful now (and she was amazingly beautiful) than she was on our wedding day!

    UPDATE:  This is crazy–especially for those of you who attend LBC with me.  A couple hours after typing my last post about A Tale of Two Trees, I left the church to go back home and saw a big truck with an attached crane pull into the parking lot.  You guessed it, it was there to cut down the dead tree!  I laughed and thought, “God, you either have a sense of humor, or you’re trying to really drive home this point to me about the two trees!”  I had heard from my fellow pastor, Scott Riggs, that the tree would eventually be cut down, but neither of us knew it would be today.  Instantly, my mind began to think about how none of us know when our time is up and when we will be judged.  All we know is that we must be prepared.  We must be connected to Jesus by faith like the fruit-bearing tree in Jeremiah 17 or we will be cut down and taken away like this dead tree on the final day of judgment.  Wow, I think I better spend a little more time meditating on Jeremiah 17.  God has gotten my attention, how about yours!

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