Growing Up

3 02 2014


I just got back yesterday from a trip to Dallas, Texas, where we worked with Bhutanese Refugees. These are always fantastic trips! We have teamed up with Chris & Cheryl Read who have volunteered much time and effort to help the Bhutanese out. We took a total of eight people with us on this particular trip. We drove down to Dallas on Friday afternoon and arrived to a great ethnic meal cooked by our Bhutanese friends. The next day we spent going to different apartments to meet new Bhutanese refugees, many of whom have only been in the US for less than three months. Our desire was twofold: 1. to begin relationships with these new folks and connect them to the local Bhutanese Christian community and 2. to encourage our fellow Bhutanese workers to do outreach themselves.

The last time that we went to Dallas, we went over to new people’s apartments bearing many gifts to help them get started on their new life in America. I was pleasantly surprised to find out when we arrived this time, that the Bhutanese believers did not want us to bring any gifts with us at all. Their reasoning was that the gifts only serve to spoil the people. They have seen that all of these well-intentioned ministries have created a culture of enablement. Instead, we were just going to bring ourselves and God’s love. I see this as a positive sign that the Bhutanese Christian community is maturing in their faith. They are growing up into a wonderful church, and it is encouraging to see.

It really was an incredible weekend. We ministered to many people by praying for them and just hearing their remarkable stories of living in a refugee camp for twenty years. We saw many connections made between Bhutanese Christians and Bhutanese Hindus. We were also blessed to get to encourage a new church plant of about 40 Bhutanese. We were able to take their youth out bowling and to eat pizza. We intended to worship with them on Sunday morning, but the weather forced us to leave before the service started.

Please, email me if you are interested in this work. Our intention is to take about three trips to Dallas per year.

Mission Education

9 01 2014



I have had many opportunities to speak at different churches, and most of the time when I go, I share the same message. It is a simple message where I take people on a journey of the entire Bible and show them that it is one story. That story, from Genesis to Revelation, is that God desires to redeem sinful mankind back to Himself for His glory. That’s it! Jesus then left us with a mandate that God has now chosen us, in His great mercy, to be His instruments or ambassadors of reconciliation. In the book of Acts, we see the disciples flesh that mandate out by planting churches wherever they went. Then, in the book of Revelation, we see the culmination of the work that God appointed us to do in the picture of a representative crowd from every people group worshipping around His throne. I end my message with a simple question: In light of all of this, what do you think we ought to be doing? By then, the answer is obvious that we should be continuing the work that Jesus and the apostles started of planting churches among all the people groups of the world. We must complete the commission that Jesus gave us and finish writing the book of Acts, so that the picture in Revelation will be realized.

It never ceases to amaze me that every time I preach that message, I will have people come to me afterwards saying that they have never heard that before. I have also seen this story of the Bible change more people’s lives than any other message that I have preached.

We have churches that are full of people that can win Bible trivia games. We host Bible study after Bible study. Anyone can look up the Greek or Hebrew translation of a word in Scripture. Our children memorize verses for prizes. We sing theologically correct worship songs. And every week, we hear sermons that move us with the slickest graphics and most humorous illustrations. But within all of this Christianity, we see very few people making disciples of all nations. This was not just a cute saying that we should slap it on paintings with an eagle, but it was a command from our Boss and Savior. I have had people come up to me, patting my back, and say that missions is just not for them or it is not their calling or gifting. I want to ask them if they have ever read their Bible!

I believe that there are a lot of good people in our churches that have just been led astray from their purpose. I have seen that when some of these folks are faced with a simple mission education, their eyes are opened, real life-change takes place, and they start asking the right questions about what they should do with their lives. The best mission education out there that I have found is a course called Perspectives. God has used this course to do incredible things in people’s lives. I am constantly trying to get people to take this course, because I believe that it is the most important Bible study a person can take. If you are tired of running your own life and wasting it on frivolous things, Perspectives is the class for you.

This Perspectives class is not easy. It is a commitment of 15 weeks. It costs $225, and you do a lot of reading and some homework. But, I promise, it will be the best thing that you have ever done.

We are starting a new class at my church, Grand Avenue Baptist Church, this coming Monday at 6:30pm. If you are interested, you are welcome to attend this first class for free. We will have childcare available along with some great snacks. The speaker that night will be Sean Cooper. Sean is with an organization called the Traveling Team, and you will not want to miss him! He is a very gifted teacher with an incredibly challenging message. If you just know that you are going to take this class, you can register now at

If you have any questions about this class or other resources, please, contact me.

Why Adopt?

9 11 2012

My family and I have made the decision to adopt. We are going to be adopting a little boy from the country of Russia.

Since our church, Grand Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Smith, Arkansas, began talking about adoption almost a year ago, we have received many questions. Last year, on Orphan Sunday, we began a six month long emphasis on orphan care and adoption, which ended on Mother’s Day of this year with us unveiling the Grand Family Adoption Fund and our pastor, Jeff Crawford, announcing that their family was in the process of an international adoption. This coming Sunday marks Orphan Sunday again for us. It is amazing what has happened in our church in this one year. The amount of people that are talking about and supporting adoption has grown exponentially. The number of people who are actually adopting has grown in number. But with all of this has come a lot of questions. I will attempt to answer some here, but I have to say that some of these questions that people have asked reveal a heart that will not be satisfied with any answer. Some questions can only be answered by saying that God is leading, and, sadly, this is not a good enough answer for some.

  • Why adopt at all? – I am still blown away when I hear a believer ask this question. In the book of James, it says, “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after orphans…” It is obvious that the best way “to look after orphans” would be to bring them into your home. Now, I don’t believe that adoption is for everyone, but I do believe that it is for a lot more people than those that actually follow through. I also believe that if you are not one that feels called by God to adopt, you are still obligated scripturally to help and support in some way. Another basic reason for adoption is that it is a beautiful picture of what God did for us. God adopted us into his family, although we did not deserve it. When we adopt, we are showing a living example of the gospel.
  • You already have 3 biological sons. Why adopt another? – Adoption is not just for those couples who go through the heartbreak of not being able to have their own children. Of course, that is a wonderful option for those struggling to have their own children, but for those that already have children it is a wonderful opportunity to expand the family and teach your existing children incredibly valuable lessons. We have three boys (pictured above). They are awesome, and I would live fulfilled if they were all I had. When we told our boys about our decision to adopt, they were immediately excited. The first time that I heard them pray for their little brother confirmed for me that the decision we made to adopt was a good one.
  • Why adopt internationally when there are so many children here in America that need forever homes? – This is, essentially, the same question I get when I talk about international missions. People ask me why we go to the ends of the earth when we have lost people right next door. The very asking of this question tells a lot about a person, but I am not going to go there. If I were to sit two little girls in front of you – one that was dressed well, chubby, and sitting there with a full plate of food and the other with rags for clothes, skinny, and an empty plate AND both of them complaining about hunger – which one would you feed first? Both of them might very well be hungry, but we see that the first girl has the opportunity to eat the food on the plate in front of her, so, obviously, we give our food first to the other little girl that is literally starving. The reason that we do missions internationally and adopt internationally is because in many countries there is absolutely no hope. Your neighbor might be just as lost as the tribal Indian on the Amazon River, but how many churches will your neighbor pass by on his way to work today? At least he has a neighbor that is a believer. Your neighbor has a much better chance of hearing the gospel than most people in the world. The argument for international adoption is the same. As bad as the foster care system is here in America, it would be like heaven compared to an orphanage in Russia or Ethiopia.
  • Why spend the $45,000 it takes to adopt from Russia? – Believe me when I say that I have asked this question over and over again. Russia is the most expensive program in the world. We could have chosen a least expensive route (probably as much as half as much). We came to two conclusions. First, if God called us to do this, which we believe He has, then He is big enough to provide. Second, no matter the amount of money spent, and I literally type this with tears in my eyes, it is nothing compared to the life of my child. My son has probably been born and is living in a Russian orphanage right now, and I will do anything that I can to get him, even spend $45,000 and even ask you to help me. Adoption is not some process of picking a beautiful child out of a catalog and trying to get the best deal. Adoption, for us, is the birthing process of getting our son. It is messy, expensive, and requires sacrifice.
  • Why ask other people to help you with the finances? – God could, if He wanted to, drop a big bag of money from the sky into our laps, but for some reason He chooses to use people. We are asking for financial help, because we don’t have that amount of money sitting around, and we are desperate to get our son. I deal with this question all the time when I am working on planning mission trips. I always encourage our team members to send out letters to ask for financial support even if they don’t need it. The reason for this is that some people are called to go, some are called to pray, and some are called to give. If giving is a valid way to participate in missions, then we need to give people the chance to give so that they can be blessed and be involved in missions. In the same way, many people are not called to adopt, but their way of “looking after orphans” might be to give to support someone that is adopting. By not asking for help, we may be depriving someone of an incredible blessing.

On the mission field, we were very isolated. Our closest American neighbors were three hours away. Our children didn’t get to see their biological grandparents, uncles, aunts, nieces, nephews, etc., but our missionary families did get to come by from time to time. I loved the opportunity to get to go see our friends that lived on the coast. To their children, my name was Uncle Scott, and to my children they were Uncle Paul and Aunt Lana. They were our family, because as believers, we are all apart of the family of God. Our people at church need to not hide the fact that they are adopting. We need to celebrate it, and we need other “uncles” and “aunts” and “grandparents” to step up and pray for the difficult process and even pitch in financially if there is a need.

I know that some of you who read this will not agree with me, and that’s fine. I believe that when we all get to heaven, we will find out that we were all wrong about a lot of things.

If you would like to help us out financially to get our son from Russia, you can go to this website to donate…

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