Monthly Archives: July 2014

The Spirit himself intercedes for the saints

As mentioned before I am doing an in depth study of Romans. This includes reading multiple commentaries, using Greek tools, and studying the Old Testament references that Paul makes. So I have just now after nearly three months made it to near the end of chapter 8. This morning I was reading Romans 8:26-30 and verses 26 through 28 really stuck out to me.

Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.

And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:26-28

The first thing to note is that we are weak! In fact the very next sentence says, “we do not know what to pray for as we ought.” Now I want to examine this morning. You see some translations actually translate this as “we do not know how to pray as we ought.” The NASB is the chief among these. The NASB happens to be one of my other favorite translations. This led to me doing some research. Why?

What I learned was that this word in Greek τίς and it is a “an interrogative pronoun, who, which or what (in direct or indirect questions)”. Further research showed that it could be translated as either how or what! Meaning either one is is valid. We do not know how or what we ought to pray for us.

This leads to the good news! “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness”! Dwell on that today. Not only does the “Spirit himself intercedes for us”, but he does so with “groanings too deep for words”! This chapter by and far does not end here. It goes on to show how God foreknew us -> predestined us -> called us -> justified us -> gloried us!

Paul does not stop there! Read the rest of Romans 8 today!





This Season of Transition

Sometimes it’s hard to put into words what this season of preparation and transition is like for us. Getting rid of things, packing, paperwork, saying good-bye to our church, friends, places, and comfort foods. This video does a much better job of communicating than our words can.

“There’s a cost to everything. I guess sometimes you don’t think about some of the things that it will cost you…”

10 of Our Favorite Questions

With our family preparing to go to PNG we thought it would be fun to give you 10 of our favorite questions. Now of course we added in some of the lighthearted ways we wanted to answer along with the ways in which we actually answered the question. So without further ado our favorite questions.

#1 Where is Papua New Guinea? Is it in Africa? 

God created Australia just perfectly to point to the most amazing island nation in the world. Papua New Guinea. It is in the Pacific just north of Australia and to the east of Indonesia. No where near Africa. You could be thinking of Guinea.

World Map with PNG Highlighted

#2 Are you taking all of your kids with you?

Um… no. You wanna keep one? Hold on a second. Oh Melissa just told me that yes we are taking them all.

#3 There are 830+ languages in PNG!? How many languages do you speak?

Computer or human? Human: 1 Computer: 6. Yeah I know I’m ashamed that I don’t speak more computer languages.

PNG Language Map

#4 How do the grandparents feel about you taking the grandkids all that way to PNG?

They are very supportive! Happy about their grandkids being around the world, well that is a little harder.

#5 Computer programming… Can’t you do that here in the states?

The answer is both yes and no. Yes I can, however like other organizations the needs of having a programmer on the ground is important. For example Microsoft has its main office in Redmond, WA. However, they have offices in several locations including Charlotte, NC. They hire programmers mostly in Redmond, but they also have programmers in Charlotte.

#6 How long is your missionary trip?

We are what is known as career missionaries. Meaning that we hope to be in PNG for as long as God allows us to stay!

Computers are being used to speed Bible translation.

#7 Why are you still here?

Oh believe me we are ready to be there! Wycliffe is a faith based organization and each of its members raises their own budget. We have to be at 100% of our budget in order to go to PNG. As of this post we are at 81%! If God is leading you check out how you can be a part of our team.

Momentum 81%

#8 Will you be writing translation software? 

Perhaps in the future, but at this point the software I will be writing will handle more day to day operations. Ukarumpa has anywhere from 500 to 1500 missionaries and Papua New Guineans in it at any given time. Not all of these missionaries are from the United States, so that creates many different and challenging software needs. Also there are training facilities in PNG. An airport. A general store. Auto mechanics. The list goes on. Some of these of course can use off the shelf software, but not all of them.

#9 So you will not be doing a translation. You do realize that means your name will never be on it right?

This is very true. It is something that Melissa and I realized very early. Our names more then likely will not be remembered for any one translation. Instead we will be a part of many many translations by supporting translators in their work!


#10 Will you come home during your term?

No. Unless there is some type of family emergency we will be there for our whole term of four years.

Quietness, in a Social Media age

When people first meet me, they might think I’m quiet. But anyone who knows me well knows that silence is not my strong point! I am an auditory processor…. meaning, I like to talk through things out loud, with someone else, in order to process them. This often translates to social media as well. I ran a blog with my sister-in-law for two years, and I loved processing things through blog posts. I often share from my Bible reading or just general thoughts on twitter and facebook.

Sunday, God prompted me to spend several days off of social media. He brought me to Isaiah 30:15 (emphasis mine),

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling.

Returning. Rest. Quietness. Trust. This week, God has shown me how quickly I fill my mind with the distraction of social media, rather than returning to His Word. He’s shown me how I struggle to quietly pour out my soul to Him, rather than to others. Honestly, social media can give such an illusion of community and closeness, but I will run there instead of my Lord and Savior, who knows me more intimately than anyone else. I don’t ever want the Lord to say to me, “I had all of Myself for you – but you were unwilling.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe and affirm that the Lord built us for relationships and community. I have exchanged some text messages and e-mails with a few dear ladies close to me during this week. But true, intentional relationships are different than “sharing” with 400 of our closest friends, aren’t they? If anything, social media can rob me of true community, because I can believe I’m experiencing community there, and am less likely to reach out personally.

I am not done with social media. I believe it has a place, and like many things, can either edify or tear down, depending on how it is used. God used these last few days to re-adjust my priorities though, and that was sorely needed.

Would we be strengthened to do what is required of us and to bear what is laid upon us? It must be in quietness and confidence; we must keep our spirits calm and sedate by a continual dependence upon God, and his power and goodness; we must retire into ourselves with a holy quietness, suppressing all turbulent and tumultuous passions, and keeping the peace in our minds. And we must rely upon God with a holy confidence that he can do what he will and will do what is best for his people. And this will be our strength; it will inspire us with such a holy fortitude as will carry us with ease and courage through all the difficulties we may meet with. – Matthew Henry