IN ALL ERNESTNESS


Just call me foolish…

Some have said there is a fine line between faith and foolishness…

What do you think?

  • It would be foolish to believe a 99 yr old woman could conceive and give birth but Sarah did.
  • It would be foolish to believe a slave could rise to 2nd in command and save a nation but Joseph did.
  • It would be foolish to believe a child could defeat a well trained warrior giant but David did.
  • It would be foolish to believe 3 men could be thrown into a furnace and walk away unharmed but “Rack”, “Shack”, and “Benny” did.
  • It would be foolish to believe that a group of slaves could escape Egypt and cross a sea on dry land but the Isrealites led by Moses did.
  • It would be foolish to think a virgin could give birth but Mary did.
  • It would be foolish to think a man could raise the dead but Jesus did (on numerous occasions…including himself).

Shall I go on?

Jeremiah 32:17, “Nothing is too difficult for you (God)”

Mathew 19:26, “with God all things are possible”

Luke 1:37, “For nothing is impossible with God”

Ephesians 3:20, “to Him who is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think”

Maybe I am foolish; but for me, I would rather be foolish for believing too much than not enough!

My God is a big god and I choose to trust Him for big things!



Do you know someone?
February 16, 2010, 12:03 am
Filed under: justice, life, love, ministry, missions, people, prayer, religion, Uncategorized, whatever | Tags: , , , , , ,

Have you ever thought there is more to life than what you were living? Have you ever thought there is more to following God than what you were experiencing? These are the thoughts that have led us to where we are.

A few years ago I was on staff at a church and we were doing all the “church” things. On the outside all looked well, but on the inside there were spots of emptiness. There had to be more to God than what we were living and teaching, if there wasn’t then church and God really were boring. Eventually this caused us to leave our church position. To what, we really didn’t know. In the time that followed we developed a deeper meaning of what it means to love God, love people. We have a deeper compassion for others. We have been moved to live more simply, want less, and give more (not only monetarily but with our lives as well). We have been introduced to the homeless in the Houston Montrose area. We have been introduced to Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere and our hearts burn for them. We have made contacts and friends there and have been privileged to make several trips. We have been introduced to others whom God is moving; kindred hearts and kindred spirits. We are not the same and we are thankful.

Complacency is no longer an option. We want to be more and do more for the cause of Christ. We don’t want to just play church, we want to be the church. We don’t want to play Christian, we want to be true followers of Christ. We want to make a difference.

In the past few years God has allowed us to do some really cool things and be a part of some pretty amazing stories as He used this time to change us and grow us. However, lately I have not been able to rest and my mind has been constantly going over all the needs and the injustices in this world. I have been thinking about what it really looks like to love as God loves and to truly follow Him with our lives. I’ve been thinking of my own life and where I am. I have been meditating, praying, seeking…and I feel God leading…leading me away from my cubicle and back to full-time service with my life. Not to just join a church staff or play church but to really serve Him and live for Him. To be a part of a ministry, organization, or group of people who are passionate about the same things I am and have the same hunger and desire to see things done, to make a difference and create change. Do you know someone/somewhere who fits that description? Do you fit that description? If so, I would love to talk with you. Below are a few things about myself…

What I am not: I am not perfect. In fact, I am far from it. I make mistakes and have made mistakes, some really big ones to be exact. But ,as much as I hate them, those mistakes have helped make me to who I am today. God truly can bring beauty from ashes. He truly does not waste a hurt if we turn it over to Him.

What I am: I am passionate, dedicated, determined, and hungry.

Passionate: I am passionate about a God that loves me so much He sent His son, Jesus, the Liberating King, to die for me. I am passionate about a Gospel that is relevant to today and about introducing people to that Gospel. I am passionate about being Christ to those around me; about loving God, loving people. I am passionate about the needs and the injustices of this world. I am passionate about family.

Dedicated: I am dedicated to the various obligations, tasks, and goals set before me. I am dedicated to sharing the message and the love of the Liberating King with others. I am dedicated to loving God, loving people and living that love out loud. I am dedicated to confronting the injustices and meeting the needs of this world in any way possible. I am dedicated to my family; to be someone who they can trust, depend on, and to be a leader they can follow.

Determined: I am determined to do more than just exist. I am determined to do more than just make a living. I am determined to make a difference. I am determined to create change in this world for the name of Christ. I am determined to see the church be the church God intended it to be and to see Christians living lives of faith that are real and go beyond our typical Sunday and mid-week routines and rituals.

Hungry: I am hungry for something different, for change. Change in this world. Change in myself. Change in the church. Hungry to do something adventurous, amazing, and crazy for God and hungry to lead others to do the same. I am hungry to be a part of something bigger than myself.

Hungry to live out Isaiah 1:17 which says, “Learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Rebuke the oppressor. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.”

Plea: If you know of someone or a ministry/organization (or if you are that someone) who could use someone like me please let me know. I know this may seem crazy but I am serious. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you!



God…boring…really?
February 12, 2010, 4:57 pm
Filed under: adoption, family, friends, fun, justice, life, love, ministry, missions, people, religion, Uncategorized, whatever | Tags: , , , ,

Why don’t people like going to church? Although there are many different answers to this, one of the ones that I have heard the most is that church is boring…

Now, I was thinking about this on the way to work this morning and I really don’t think God intended for church to be boring. God is not a boring god. When we look to Scripture we don’t see Jesus, the disciples, or any of the other followers of Him leading boring lives…so why do we?

We are the ones that make church boring. We are the ones that make God boring. If anything has been reiterated in my life during the recent events, its that following God is not boring…God does not write boring stories…we make them boring with our mundane, safe lives of complacency and comfort.

Church isn’t boring due to the lack of programs and activities, or the style of music that’s played, the version of Scripture that’s used, etc…it’s boring due to the lack of passion and unabandoned love for God and our neighbor.

When we throw aside selfish ambition, when we throw aside the pursuit of comfort and complacency, when we realize following God is more than showing up to church on Sundays and Wed. (or whatever days you go), when we realize that following God is more than throwing a check into a plate as its passed by, when we realize that following God is more than putting a fish emblem on our car or listening to Christian radio, when we throw aside our own agenda and fully sell out to God’s it is then the true adventure begins…

May we all climb out of our cocoon of safety and complacency and join the wild adventurous life of truly following God and living lives of true love!!!



God’s Grin
February 10, 2010, 12:14 am
Filed under: adoption, family, friends, fun, Haiti, justice, life, love, ministry, people, Uncategorized, whatever | Tags: , , , , ,

It had been a long night. I hadn’t slept in over 34 hrs and even then only for a short spell. My mind is tired and my body exhausted. 9 days I’d been away from home and 8 days I’d camped inside the U.S. Embassy. Cold, hard tile doesn’t make the best of beds. Just 24 hrs earlier all hell had broke loose inside the Embassy (or should I say Consul General Donald Moore’s house) and we were being threatened to be removed by military force. We had all been told our paperwork was finalized and approved and we were ready to go. There were some beaurocratic issues with the military flights but if we could get a private flight we were good to go. We got the planes; they kept us there…they had lied. In fact, our papers hadn’t even been sent to Haitian PM. With limited sleep and high emotions our frustration poured out. The voices had been heard though because after things settled down we began to see progress and within 24 hrs we were being loaded onto a C-17 and headed for Miami. Now after 5-1/2 hrs in customs and immigration we were bussed to His House Childrens Home. Here the kids were all taken to be bathed, cleaned, an allowed to play while we, the adoptive parents, had to fill out paperwork to finalize the guardianship process for the humanitarian parole. I finished the paperwork after only a few hours and got to go play with R while they processed it all.
It’s almost over an we can’t wait to get home but minutes turn to hours as we await the call telling us we are released and free to go. We watch as family after family is released. There were 2 flights headed to Houston that night…we already missed the first and the 2nd is leaving at 6p. Time is slipping away and people are telling me there is no way we are going to make the flight. It’s now 5p and I look over to find R with his face buried into his hands. I have flashbacks of us in the Embassy when his eyes filled with discouragent as he told me we were all lying and we really weren’t going to get to leave. Please God, make this happen.
A car pulls up and a lady steps out to pick up another family who just got clearance…”Mam, I’ve really got to catch a 6pm flight, will you please see what the hold up is?” She calls the front office, talks for a little while then hangs up. “Mr. Parker, you’re finished now. You just need to get your paperwork and sign out, but you’ll never make a 6p flight. We are about 45 min from the airport.” “Thank you, I just want to try. Will you call me a cab?”
We drive to the front office and there is a man about to leave. He happens to be going to the airport an says we can hitch a ride. I ran inside, grabbed my paperwork, signed out, and jump into his van.” I felt like I was in an episode of the Amazing Race. My heart was beating so fast, sweat was dripping down my face, and prayers were going up. I get a message with my flight details. We are going first class, are you kidding me? It’s rush hour and we run into traffic…I gaze at my watch, it’s 5:35p. My heart is in my throat…please God, get us there.
We finally arrive at MIA and it’s 5:45p and we still have to get our tickets and go through security. We are definitely cutting it close.
We run to the ticket counter to find they have given our seats up…are you kidding me? “we are sorry, Mr. Parker, but we can get you in coach.” “Just get me home!” i tell her. She calls a guy over and tells him we are first class passengers and need to get on that plane. He takes us over and helps get us through security quicker than Ive ever made it before.
The race is on. We are running like crazy and poor R doesn’t understand what all is going on. “Papa!” “Papa!” “What?” I ask. “Papa, gotta pee pee!” Really? I see the desperation in his eyes so we find the nearest rest room and “go”.
As we finally reach our gate i realize the door to the Tarmac is closed…my heart falls. “Mam, can you get us on? We’ve got to make this flight!” she calls the captain, turns, smiles, and opens the door…we’ve made it!
At that very moment I knew we were going to be home that night. We would see Mama and Carly and Colton and Jude and many others. No more Embassy floor, no more fighting governemnt officials and beaurocracy, no more racing against time…we were going home! I felt like a kid on Christmas Eve.
As I sat and thought of all the prayers going up for us to make the flight, of the Amazing Race to the airport, the worries, the anxiety involved in making that flight to get home…all of the excitement…I thought of God. I imagined Him like a father who eagerly awaits for his kids to open thier gifts on Christmas morning…
He knew I was going to make the flight. He didn’t have to wait until the absolute last second to release us from the Childrens home…but He did. It added to the excitement…added to the story…and made making the flight that much sweeter!
I imagine Him as I was growing anxious an stressing an questioning…that He was sitting back with a grin in his face waiting for my gift to be opened…and what a great gift it was!



This is what Jesus looks like…

My wife directed me to this video today. It directly fits into the many conversations we have been having lately regarding our own family and our own lives. This is what Jesus looks like. Too many times we go to church and we play church but what if we actually were the church? What if we truly became the church to the world around us? What would that look like? What impact would that have? What if? What if I, what if you choose to be Christ and to be the church to those around us?



And 1 more makes 4!
April 20, 2009, 9:25 pm
Filed under: adoption, family, friends, fun, Haiti, life, love, people, prayer, Uncategorized, whatever | Tags: , , ,

Yes, 4. We will be going from 2 to 4 just like that. As most of you know we are adopting a boy from Haiti which would make our 3rd child. Well, we just found out that Debra is pregnant again! Yes, pregnant! I am actually very excited and couldn’t be happier! Thank you God for your many blessings!



Where does my help come from?
April 9, 2009, 10:12 pm
Filed under: life, love, ministry, people, prayer, religion, Uncategorized, whatever | Tags: , , ,

The battle rages. The war tarrying on. When will it ever end? Is victory in sight. I grow weary. My body, my mind, my soul; how they ache…tired from battle and wondering how much longer can I go on? How long until victory is obtained? Will it be obtained? Every time I think I have gained the advantage, that I have taken the higher ground, the momentum shifts swiftly and I find myself fighting again. I can’t do this on my own…I need reinforcements. I need rescue! But who will rescue me? Who can rescue me? Oh yes, it is He, my Savior, The Liberating King, Jesus Christ!

Oh, how often does my life reflect the battle Paul spoke of in Romans 7.

Spirit v. Flesh
Faith v. Fear
Confidence v. Doubt
Love v. Anger
and the list goes on…

Paul ends the narrative of his struggle with, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God–through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

Thanks be to God that through Jesus Christ our Lord we have the victory!

In Him we find true salvation. That’s what Easter is all about. Salvation. The thing we fail to remember sometimes is that salvation comes through resurrection and resurrection only occurs through death…and death as we all know, hurts.
May we find true salvation in Jesus Christ and as we strive to follow Him may we die to self daily so we may become more like Him.