Guatemala Highlights

Noah and Levi had the great privilege of going on a mission trip to Guatemala earlier this month with Marsha’s parents and eleven other members of our church family. Below are some of their highlights.

NOAH’S TESTIMONY OF FAITH

You can also listen to Noah’s quick testimony about the trip that he shared with our church family by clicking HERE.

LEVI’S TESTIMONY OF FAITH

PICTURE MEMORIES

NOTE: Some of the pictures are cropped below but can be seen fully by clicking on the image.

THANK YOU

A huge thank you to our church family and others who supported Noah and Levi through prayer, encouragement and financial assistance! This mission trip was obviously a life-changing experience of which they are beyond grateful to have been a part. Thanks be to God!

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Discipleship affects marriage.

If your faith and your marriage are not intertwined, then at least one of the two really does not matter to you. I would even argue that, according to God’s Word, neither truly matters to you, or at least you are sadly mistaken about the purpose of both.

During our morning worship service with Richland Baptist Church this morning, I preached on “Marriage in Discipleship,” challenging people to view and value marriage like God views and values marriage.

We don’t have the option of redefining what God has already established and defined. Furthermore, you will never be fulfilled and satisfied in life if you are not living for what God created you. This certainly includes your marriage (and even how we treat the marriages of those around us).

We were created and purposed for joy and contentment in life, but if we try to find that joy and contentment outside the will of God (as defined by the Word of God), we will always fall short.

Just as a child (like Micah below) is truly satisfied by the simple things in life, like swinging at Papa and Mema’s house, so can we be truly satisfied in and through a daily walk with Jesus Christ. That daily discipleship in Jesus affects everything, including our relationships.

Micah on the swing

The Heart of the Matter

What is the root of our most important calling in life? What is the reason someone faithfully follows Jesus? How is someone able to do so?

During our morning worship service at Richland Baptist Church today, I preached through Mark 7:1-23 on “The Heart of Discipleship.” My challenge: does your heart gladly reflect the heart of discipleship?

Frankly, one can “successfully” come across as a faithful follower of Jesus in the eyes of others. He can be devoted, zealous, consistent and committed. Yet, he can be headed straight for hell, relying on himself and looking “good” while doing so.

That is what I addressed in my message this morning. We need to understand the heart of discipleship, knowing that a genuine relationship with God is not earned by our obedience but rather a result of our humble surrender. Salvation from sin and death is not a result of what we can do, but rather the result of trusting in what Jesus Christ has already done.

When we were on family vacation at the beginning of this month, one of the fun things we had the privilege of doing a few times was a ropes course. The “Leap of Faith” was one of the obstacles at the course, and there were seven of us from our group of 27 who attempted the “Leap of Faith.” Four of us were able to complete the task, which involves climbing up a 20-foot telephone pole, figuring out how to turn around and stand on the top with only a rope on your back, and then leaping as far as you can to grab a trapeze bar.

If someone can successfully complete the “Leap of Faith” as seemingly easily as 13-year-old Noah did (see the below video), then it might be assumed that person is not afraid of heights. What we cannot see when watching someone do the “Leap of Faith,” though, is the condition of his heart.

There might be adventure and excitement consuming someone, and/or there might be fear and dread. There might be confident assurance, or there might be absolute horror.

The reality is that life is a lot like the “Leap of Faith,” but much harder. Really, we cannot do anything by merely “willing ourselves” to do so. We may be able to appear as if we have it figured out and are confidently moving along, but we are never at a point where we do not need the Lord.

Sure, you might successfully complete several “leaps of faith” along the way, but you also have several failures (We all do!), particularly when compared with a perfect, holy, righteous God.

So, what is the condition of your heart? Are you trusting in what you can do, or are you trusting in what Jesus has already done? Are you depending on your own abilities, or are you humbly surrendering to the Only One who paid it all?

Noah & Levi’s Baptisms

In the past year, Noah and Levi have both publicly professed their faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Although the gospel and discipleship in Christ have been regular discussions and processes since they were little, Marsha and I made clear that they each had to make individual decisions of faith and repentance. Because they made those decisions, have a clear understanding of what it means to follow Jesus and expressed their desire to be His disciples, I (Nick) had the incredible privilege of baptizing each of them in our local church.

Below are their short testimony videos and baptism videos. Praise God for His work of salvation in their hearts!

 
Noah’s Testimony

 
Levi’s Testimony

 
Noah’s Baptism

 
Levi’s Baptism