Caring Is Sharing

“Sharing is caring” is a pretty well-known saying that implies when you share with someone, you show that you care about them. You might remember being taught this as a child. I know I do.

On Sunday, Silas had a few friends over after church services, and he had a blast. Like all of us, Silas enjoys spending time with people he likes. He enjoys sharing his time and his toys with them because he cares about them. The rest of our kids are no exception, and I imagine you are not an exception to this rule either.

There is a kind of sharing that is even more important, though – a kind that is even more caring. This kind of sharing comes as a result of caring – caring about Jesus and His commands and caring about others. Sharing which blesses someone not only for a day but for eternity is the most important kind of sharing. Of course, what I mean is the sharing of the Good News. There is no more important thing we can share with others than the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ for our salvation.

Have you trusted your life to Jesus? If so, are you prioritizing the kind of sharing that proves your life belongs to Him?

On Sunday morning, Lord willing, I will be preaching from John 1:45-51 on how, for followers of Jesus, “Caring Is Calling.” If you sincerely care about someone, you will call them to Jesus. You will call them to respond to the gospel. You will want them to experience the hope, joy, and peace you have experienced. Caring is calling.

If this is an ongoing struggle for you, pray for God’s help. Pray for His Spirit to grow your care for Him, for His Word, and for the people around you. To God be the glory!

Levi was a good sport with Silas and his buddies, willingly playing the bad guy they were trying to catch.

To WHOM is your thanksgiving?

No doubt the vast majority of Americans are, in some way or another, celebrating Thanksgiving today. We are giving thanks for various people and various blessings, whether we talk about them while we sit around the table together, share about them through social media, or remind ourselves of them in our own hearts and minds.

When you “give thanks,” though, to whom is your thanksgiving? Sure, you might be thankful for your spouse, for your family, for your friends, etc., but to whom are you thankful?

Generally, we give thanks to someone who has done something beneficial for us. For example, on a typical evening I certainly ought to give thanks to my wife for a delicious supper, for a clean house, and for the seemingly constant care she provides for our children. All of us ought to be able to think of people not only for whom we are thankful but also to whom we give thanks.

Most importantly for followers of Jesus Christ, of course, is our thanksgiving to God. Everything good we have is from Him and for His glory.

On Thanksgiving (and always) we ought not only to say, “I am thankful for ________.” We also ought to be saying, “Thanks be to God for ________.” And, at the top of that list should be resurrection life.

Lord willing, during our worship service with Richland Baptist Church Sunday morning, I will be preaching on “The Victory of Discipleship” from Mark 16:1-8. As I have been studying this passage of Scripture this week, I cannot help but think we do not rejoice and give thanks to God nearly enough for the victory that was and is won by Jesus’ resurrection from the dead.

If not for this victory of discipleship, my grief over the physical death of my dad (seen in the picture above teaching my sister Steph how to cut the turkey in 2013) would be too much to bear. If not for this victory, our lives would be hopeless. If not for this victory, we would ultimately have nothing for which to be thankful.

The victory over sin and death is the most important thing that has ever happened, and so God is the most important One to whom we need to give thanks.

Is your mind set on truly seeking and thanking Him, or are you more set on yourself? Are you intent about honoring Him, or are you more concerned about getting honored?

Seems like I have heard multiple people say (and I agree completely): the more life is all about you, the more miserable you are. May the Lord help us have the right focus and the right thanksgiving!

Tough but good summer so far

breakfast timeWith an extended, exhausting trip back to the U.S. a couple weeks ago, followed by my Grandpa David’s memorial service this past Saturday, this summer is off to a difficult start for our family. We slept in five different places (including the Chicago airport) our first 12 nights back in the U.S., but the good news is that we seemed to get over jet lag rather quickly. My grandpa’s memorial service was one of the toughest things of which I have ever been a part. Still, it was and has been an incredible blessing being with family, leaning on each other for comfort and looking to the the King of kings and Lord of lords for grace and strength. Preaching the gospel at the memorial service was an honor and a privilege, and I continue to pray that God will use His Word to soften hearts to the Truth.

So, even though the summer is off to a bit of a tough start, we are doing well. God has been so good and faithful, as always, and we certainly recognize that our family is blessed.

To see a bunch of pictures from the past month, please click HERE.

2011 in Pictures

This is our attempt at a "quality" family picture.

New Eng/Trksh computer for Noah's birthday.

Noah and Levi at the aquarium in Istanbul.

Posing with a major Johnny Depp wanna-be.

"Hold on, dudes. I know the way to find Nemo."

Birthday blast for Noah at the aquarium.

"Hold on, brother! I'll protect you from Jaws!"

The aquarium had the boys smiling for hours.

Armed with his new swords. Look out!

February 3rd - Noah turned six years old!

Noah's favorite gift - his big rhinoceros.

An "interesting" modern soldier battle-ready.

Friendship Security

One of Noah and Levi’s best friends spent the night a few weeks ago. They had a great time playing together, and as you can see in the picture, they are as comfortable as brothers. In fact, the next morning, Noah wanted to know why the sleepover couldn’t last a few days. There are not many things Noah and Levi like more than having friends over to play. Thankfully, they usually wear each other out and sleep well. Sleeping in late, though, is never an option for Noah and Levi. Even if they have a friend over who might sleep until 8 or 9, Noah and Levi are up and ready to start their day shortly after 6 a.m. Such is life with the Drake boys!

Thanks be to God!

Praise God for family and for so much more!On Thanksgiving, people give thanks for family, friends, health, freedom, etc. We, too, give thanks for all these things. Above all, though, we give thanks to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We give thanks to Him for who He is – He is the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no one gets to our Heavenly Father apart from Him (John 14:6). We give thanks to Him for what He has done – “You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, so that by His poverty He could make you rich” (2 Corinthians 8:9). We give thanks to Him for what He continues to do in our lives – “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!”

Happy Thanksgiving. Thanks be to God!