We serve an awesome God. He provides for us when we don't ask for it, he protects us without us knowing it, and he blesses us when we don't deserve it. Of his own will he chose us and caused us to be born again, a concept that has become very familiar recently.
The theme of our lives in these last few months has certainly been birth. The birth Jesus, the birth of the New Year, and the birth of our third child.
Each one of these births has had a different impact on our lives and provided us with different experiences and new perspectives. This newsletter will unfold these three events giving you a look into our lives and the impact these events have had on us.
To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.
- Martin Luther
We strive to make Christmas about Jesus and not about presents. We do give presents to each other but as our kids grow up we want them to know that Jesus is the ultimate giver and he is the reason we celebrate Christmas at all. Without Jesus becoming flesh and blood on earth we could never recieve forgiveness. Jesus' birth into this world is worth far more than the gingerbread houses, the hallmark movies, and the pretty lights. He is God incarnate. Immanuel. God with us.
Our church is reading through the bible together using the 5-day Reading Plan. Personally, I am reading and journaling through the Read Scripture plan which can be found on the iOS and Android app stores as well as downloaded online.
Melissa's discipleship group has memorized most of James 1 and a spattering of verses in Romans. My discipleship group has memorized a spattering of verses including Psalm 1, the Romans Road, and Hebrews 11:1-2.
We fail in our duty to study God's Word not so much because it is difficult to understand, not so much because it is dull and boring, but because it is work. Our problem is not a lack of intelligence or a lack of passion. Our problem is that we are lazy.
- R.C. Sproul
John Piper said it best when he said, "For me, the end of a year is like the end of my life. and 11:59 pm on December 31 is like the moment of my death."
Viewing the end of the year in this way gives us an opportunity to face the question, "did I live it well?" It gives us an opportunity to see whether or not we feel like Jesus is going to say, "Well done, good and faithful servant" Matthew 25:21, or "I never knew you; depart from me, you worker of lawlessness." Matthew 7:23
The true follower of Christ will not ask, "If I embrace this truth, what will it cost me?" Rather he will say, "This is truth. God help me to walk in it, let come what may!"
- A. W. Tozer
And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:28
God wants those whom he created in his image to "fill the earth and subdue it." It is hard to imagine the earth ever getting more full, or more of the earth ever being subdued if we only have 2.6 children per family, which is the American average.
We are obeying God by having more children. We are working to raise them up to be fuit bearers in this world expanding God's kingdom. We train them to worship, love, and obey the Lord so that they too can fill the earth and subdue it.
February 7, 2017. 7lbs 15oz & 20" long. Indie Grace Coston, our third baby and second baby girl, welcome to earth. Though I have seen the birth of all of our children there is always something new about it. Something you didn't realize before and something you would probably have never realized if you hadn't seen this one. For me this time, it was regeneration. How dramatically changed our life became in an instant when we were born, completely against our will and out of our control, is a phenomenon that is unimaginable; yet Jesus says when we put our faith in him this is the experience we receive in our new life with him. We must be born again, and your birth, Indie Grace, helped me understand what that means like never before.
Our church, in coordination with a few other local congregations, has been putting together plans to plant a church in one of the least reached areas in America. The area we are working in has more than 50,000 people and only a couple of evangelical churches. Compare that to our hometown with 30,000 people and dozens of evangelical churches.
There is a team of four people from our church that are going to Southern Asia for a week to help strenghten the spitirual knowledge of some of the local congregations there. Since we just had a new baby, we are helping support their trip. We are holding the rope as they enter the well, but we are both getting burns on our hands for the work of God.
Can we be casual in the work of God -- casual when the house is on fire, and people in danger of being burned?
- Duncan Campbell