Thursday, February 19, 2009

Current Needs: Software and Audio


Wanted to share a list of the items I'm currently in need of for personal - mainly ministry focused projects and a few other projects as well.

Please let me know if you have any of the below items and are willing to pass them on to me or if you can help in some way:
  • XLR to USB Converter (to connect a professional XLR cabled microphone to a computer USB Port.)
  • Microsoft FrontPage 2000 or newer. (For web page maintenance)
  • Corel Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 Ultimate (A basic and more affordable program for Photo editing and graphics creation)
  • Or a Full Version of Adobe Photoshop (A feature rich Photo editing and graphics creation software - Photoshop remains the industry standard but unforunately you have to pay a less affordable fee.)
  • Swishmax2 or Swishmax (A more affordable Flash alternative creation software for creating flash elements for web, etc.)

Please pray that God provides these soon.
Thanks for stopping by and for your prayers!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

“For God so loved the world that He gave is One and Only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not parish but have eternal life.” ~John 3:16


Happy Valentine’s Day!

On this day dedicated to love, I wanted to pause for a moment to remember why we love in the first place.

We love because God first loved us and laid down his life for us!

On this theme, I’m sharing a passage from 1 John 4:7 – 1 John 5:5 regarding love (the other “Love” passage besides Corinthians) as well as some history and a narrative of “St. Valentine”. There are varying stories or opinions on who Valentine was but I thought that none-the-less I’d post a somewhat historical synopsis as well as a narrative as if Valentine was sharing his story himself. I say “somewhat historical” because I don’t really know if everything is factual or not however, it’s still good to have some understanding of where the “holiday” started.

I hope you have a great weekend and that you send a “Love Note” to God – a prayer of thanksgiving and devotion for His great love for you.

I also hope you’re surrounded by those who you love you!

Please see the below.

In His Strong Love,

1 John 4:7 – 1 John 5:5
1JN 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1JN 4:13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1JN 4:19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, "I love God," yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

1JN 5:1 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. 2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, 4 for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. 5 Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

Valentine's Day History

There are varying opinions as to the origin of Valentine's Day. Some experts state that it originated from St. Valentine, a Roman who was martyred for refusing to give up Christianity. He died on February 14, 269 A.D., the same day that had been devoted to love lotteries. Legend also says that St. Valentine left a farewell note for the jailer's daughter, who had become his friend, and signed it "From Your Valentine". Other aspects of the story say that Saint Valentine served as a priest at the temple during the reign of Emperor Claudius. Claudius then had Valentine jailed for defying him. In 496 A.D. Pope Gelasius set aside February 14 to honour St. Valentine.

Gradually, February 14 became the date for exchanging love messages and St. Valentine became the patron saint of lovers. The date was marked by sending poems and simple gifts such as flowers. There was often a social gathering or a ball.

In the United States, Miss Esther Howland is given credit for sending the first valentine cards. Commercial valentines were introduced in the 1800's and now the date is very commercialised. The town of Loveland, Colorado, does a large post office business around February 14. The spirit of good continues as valentines are sent out with sentimental verses and children exchange valentine cards at school.

St. Valentine's Story

Let me introduce myself. My name is Valentine. I lived in Rome during the third century. That was long, long ago! At that time, Rome was ruled by an emperor named Claudius. I didn't like Emperor Claudius, and I wasn't the only one! A lot of people shared my feelings.

Claudius wanted to have a big army. He expected men to volunteer to join. Many men just did not want to fight in wars. They did not want to leave their wives and families. As you might have guessed, not many men signed up. This made Claudius furious. So what happened? He had a crazy idea. He thought that if men were not married, they would not mind joining the army. So Claudius decided not to allow any more marriages. Young people thought his new law was cruel. I thought it was preposterous! I certainly wasn't going to support that law!

Did I mention that I was a priest? One of my favourite activities was to marry couples. Even after Emperor Claudius passed his law, I kept on performing marriage ceremonies -- secretly, of course. It was really quite exciting. Imagine a small candlelit room with only the bride and groom and myself. We would whisper the words of the ceremony, listening all the while for the steps of soldiers.

One night, we did hear footsteps. It was scary! Thank goodness the couple I was marrying escaped in time. I was caught. (Not quite as light on my feet as I used to be, I guess.) I was thrown in jail and told that my punishment was death.

I tried to stay cheerful. And do you know what? Wonderful things happened. Many young people came to the jail to visit me. They threw flowers and notes up to my window. They wanted me to know that they, too, believed in love.

One of these young people was the daughter of the prison guard. Her father allowed her to visit me in the cell. Sometimes we would sit and talk for hours. She helped me to keep my spirits up. She agreed that I did the right thing by ignoring the Emperor and going ahead with the secret marriages. On the day I was to die, I left my friend a little note thanking her for her friendship and loyalty. I signed it, "Love from your Valentine."

I believe that note started the custom of exchanging love messages on Valentine's Day. It was written on the day I died, February 14, 269 A.D. Now, every year on this day, people remember. But most importantly, they think about love and friendship. And when they think of Emperor Claudius, they remember how he tried to stand in the way of love, and they laugh -- because they know that love can't be beaten!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Lord is on your side! Encouragement during tough economic times.

The following is similar to a note I shared with a group of Christians in the workplace that I minister to/with and I thought I should share it with you as it is a universal message especially during these tough economic times!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I wanted to post a brief note of encouragement - specifically to you who are concerned about the tough economic times or are facing layoffs.

We live in unsettling times - this we all know but we also know that although the times may change God does not change and we can trust Him and come to Him with confidence!

I’m reminded of the following passage from the Psalms:
"The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" ~ Psalm 118:6 (ESV)
The Lord is on your side! Do not be afraid! Stand confident in who you are in Him and in His provision for you!

I know this isn’t easy to do but ask the Holy Spirit to help you and reach out to your brothers and sisters in Christ for encouragement, prayer, and to share your burdens with.

I’d like to ask you to remember to be faithful to pray and here are a few areas or prayers that came to mind:

  1. Pray for our leadership. For wisdom as they make tough decisions.
  2. Pray for our co-workers and ourselves that we wouldn’t worry as these things are out of our control.
  3. Pray that we as believers would trust in the Lord completely and be all the more wise with our finances and through what we do and say as well.
  4. Pray that we wouldn’t waiver in doing good and in doing what we are supposed to do in all areas of our lives.
  5. Pray that as many jobs can be retained as possible and for those of us that will be a part of any future layoffs that God would provide the next position rapidly.

In closing, let me encourage you again to hold fast to your faith and don’t lose hope. Don’t let these times get you down or provide an opportunity for the evil one to temp you to lose faith in God and in His provision for you.

If you need prayer or anything else, let me or others know. Know that I’m in prayer for you now and going forward.

In His Strong Love,
Your Servant and Brother,


Monday, February 09, 2009

Celestin Musekura's Story

The below brief video tells the story of Dr. Celestin Musekura , and his ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation in Africa as he endured much loss as part of the Rwandan Genocide.

I've had the privilege of hearing Dr. Musekura speak at my home church and have been blessed, encouraged and challenged by what he shared.

We have much to learn from his journey and his love and forgiveness and we should seek to do the same day-to-day.

Although it's brief, (and a promo for a seminary) I believe it still gives us a lot to think about.

I'd like to encourage and challenge you to do a study on forgiveness in the scriptures and then work hard, with the Holy Spirit's help to learn how to forgive others.

If your reading this and you're not a Christian I'm sure you realize that love and forgiveness is a powerful and needful thing! I hope that you also glean from this message and if you don't know the Lord that you seek His ultimate love and forgiveness as well - today!

In order to hear this message clearly, you'll want to scroll down on the right side of this blog to where it says Tunes and press pause on the music that plays on this site.

Questions to Consider:
Ask yourself....
-Who do I need to forgive today?
-How can I practice love and forgiveness right now and day-to-day?
-What do I need to forgive myself for?

Blessings in Christ,