Thursday, July 17, 2014

Special Announcement...

You’re gonna think we’re crazy, but …

We’ve welcomed the cutest little bundle of joy into our family today. Grayson Brady was born yesterday, and over the next several months we will be working to finalize his adoption. All are healthy and well, and of course we are all very excited.

We covet your prayers, and appreciate your support and encouragement very much…

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Thinking in Vanuatu: Temporary dwelling

Vanuatu's capital, Port Vila, has residents from all over the archipelago's 80+ islands. Technically speaking, there is no "custom land" ownership in the municipality, rather all the land is leased out by the government. In the areas in and around Port Vila, there are a lot of nationals who are essentially "squatting" on land that is not their own.

Nevertheless, I had always found it odd that even people who have relatively good paying jobs still live in shacks made of pieced-together materials such as cardboard, corrugated roofing iron, masonite and tarpaulins. Why don't these people, who have the financial means to do so, save up some money and build a proper cement block house? Well, it's because they understand their dwelling to be temporary. Since they don't really have a right to live on the land where they are, and could therefore potentially be kicked out at any time, they are understandably hesitant to put down roots. As it now stands, if they are forced to move on, they really won't be out any money, and since they're content, I guess it makes total sense.

Which got me to thinking, perhaps we Christians, whose "citizenship is in heaven," should have a more temporary-dwelling mentality as we live here on earth. After all, we too are just a'passin thru. The situation has convicted me to think more about storing up treasures in heaven, rather than here on earth. How about you? Where is your focus?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thinking in Vanuatu: Dead to...

Since we were traveling a lot while in the States last year, I bought a couple of old iPod touch units off of eBay so the kids could be real Americans in the car ;). I got good deals on them because their screens were broken, and then I replaced the screens - cheapskate, I know.

The kids use them here when we travel by plane, and during our recent trip to Malekula I told Titus he could listen to some music on it with his friends while in the village. My mistake. When he was finished, he put it in his pocket, and subsequently waded out in the ocean ... rendering his iPod dead.

He was so confused, because though the iPod looked exactly the same as it did before, it wouldn't respond to any of his efforts to get it to function.

During the same trip, and in practically the same water, Billy was baptized into Christ. It got me to thinking, what if our baptism (like the iPod's) truly rendered us "dead" to sin, as Paul speaks of in Romans 6? When temptation "pushes your buttons," how responsive are you? Just something to think about...

Dead-to-sin Billy :)

Dead-to-function iPod :(

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I've always enjoyed mowing the yard, but since being in Vanuatu, I have realized that I REALLY enjoy mowing. I think it's about the objective sense of accomplishment I feel when I can look at the "before" and "after" of it all.

A few weeks ago I was listening to a class from this year's Freed Hardeman Lectures. It was actually a discussion about handling stress associated with full-time ministry. One of the participants said that he (like me) sometimes just needs to go out and do something that shows objective accomplishment ... I think he even used mowing as his example, too.

Though I try to refrain from worry and anxiety, and often remind myself to be thankful that I have small problems (we are all healthy and well taken care of), ministry is by nature a stressful endeavor. I mean, we are dealing with things eternal, after all. And imperfect humans. Some days I'm "on cloud nine" regarding our work, and others I am down in the dumps. It tends to be a never-ending cycle of wondering if I am serving God effectively. Am I being useful? And so sometimes, I just need a definitive "my efforts made a difference" moment.

Since our rental house yard is really small and maintained by our landlord, I have to busy myself with other "sense of accomplishment" projects. Most recently, I have been refinishing the doors at the church building on Saturday mornings...

Ahhh, sense of accomplishment :)