Sunday, May 31, 2009

The "Don't Waste Your Life" Tour 2009!

Hi everyone! We got to go to the "Don't Waste Your Life" concert last night and it was an awesome show! Here are some pictures for your enjoyment, and a review of the concert is coming soon.

The concert we went to was a sold-out affair so if you want to go, buy your tickets ASAP. Find out if they are coming to your town at

P.S. ~ The Reach Records Crew were at our church this morning and two of our staff got to meet them!

And of course, they preached the Gospel, several times they stopped the music to speak to the crowd about Christ, sharing our faith and missions!


Friday, May 29, 2009

How to Spark Substantive Conversations with Your Spouse

Found this at Justin Taylor's Blog: Between Two Worlds and thought that it was great!

Tony Reinke:

[David] Powlison suggested three categories of questions to ask your husband or wife. Each of these categories can be asked on a daily basis. And each of these categories are simple and broad, but certainly provide helpful reminders. Here are the three:

1. What are your present burdens?The Bible tells us that we are born for trouble (Job 5:7). So what is the trouble? A sin? A responsibility? An issue at work? A particular conflict? What weighs you down? What was your lowlight of this day? These burdens are the “heat of life.”

2. What are your present joys?
What were your highlights from the day? These joys are the “dew of blessing.”

3. What is your calling?
This could include the mundane tasks, or broader life-purpose questions. What are your duties for this day? What do you need to do? What are your goals for this day? For example, a parent could say, “Today, I don’t want to lose my temper with the kids.” It could be as simple as this.

For more on this, see Powlison's very helpful little booklet on Renewing Marital Intimacy.


Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Love146 Safe House: A Place of Dreams

"Love Protects, Defends, Restores, Empowers"

Love146 has opened a new safe house for young women and children rescued from the Human Trafficking industry. Not as many children and young women are being rescued as could be because the safe houses simply do not have enough room. This is such a tragedy.

Children cannot be liberated from bondage only to end up at risk of starvation, homelessness, or being re-trafficked and exploited. At this very moment, children in brothels around the world could be set free if additional safe homes and trained caregivers existed.

In 2009, Love146 has also initiated these Aftercare programs:

Love146 Round Home: The first thing a child needs after being liberated from sexual slavery is a safe place. Love146 is committed to increasing the number of safe homes worldwide for survivors of child sexual exploitation and trafficking.

“My idea of a safe home is where we nurse the bird’s broken wing. If we do well with our nursing, then the bird should be able to fly again and out of the safe home, and soar to the heights it was meant to reach. If it casts a glance at the safe home again, then it should be from above, among the clouds of its achievements.” -Dr. Gundelina Velazco Director of Aftercare Love146

Love146 Aftercare Training: Children need trained caregivers to help in their healing and restoration. Love146 has devised training programs to be used to train participants at several levels. The programs aim at developing knowledge and skills for working with victims of child sexual exploitation (CSE). Through these training programs, caregivers learn to help CSE survivors by facilitating restorative experiences, teaching life skills, and providing hope for a better future.

Love146 Boys Aftercare Curriculum: This curriculum will be developed in Cambodia. Currently, no training exists for managers, social workers, supervisors and caregivers who work with male survivors. This results in the majority of boys’ needs being unmet – they are often ignored and frequently discriminated against in a variety of settings. Instead they require proper information, skills, confidence and effective support mechanisms to develop responses that meet the physical, psychosocial and social welfare needs of boys.

Click here for 146 ways to help Love146!

Please prayerfully consider how you can help these children and young women. Not just with a donation, but with your own life and actions. I have a friend who is going on the mission field in Asia to work with an Anti-Human Trafficking organisation and she reminded me that, "If something is on God's heart, it should be on mine as well."

If this issue and these girls are not breaking your heart, why? Go Do Something.

- Tavia Pitkanen


Monday, May 18, 2009

Star Trek v. Africa

Star Trek topped out at a $75.2 million opening weekend in the U.S. alone, per final numbers as of May 11th from Exhibitor Relations. And according to entertainment the movie was estimated to make $100 million this weekend. (And these numbers are just the price of the ticket for the movie, this does not take into consideration the price of gas to travel to and from the movie and all of the overpriced concessions bought in the theater).

Those numbers are so big I have a hard time wrapping my mind around them, but I got out my calculator and did a little math.

Did you know that for $35.00 a month ($420.00 for a year) you can support a child through World Vision? I did a little more math and discovered that if the money that was spent by America alone, in one weekend, to go sit in a dark theater for two hours watching Star Trek had been given to World Vision, over 179,048 children could have been supported for a an entire year!

Did you know that World Vision has programs in place for: Africa Food Aid (Every seven seconds, a child dies at the hand of a silent killer. Hunger...), Disaster Response (Cyclone-ravaged Myanmar, Western China, Darfur, Sudan...), Lifesaving Medicines and Supplies (your gift will multiply in impact to help children in the world's poorest countries.), Seeds, Tools, and Training in Africa (Millions of children all over the world are desperately hungry. Everyday is a fight for survival.) Water and Sanitation (Unsafe water kills 5,700 children a day. Start saving them with one small act.)?

Now, take into consideration that according to Yahoo movies, to date: X-Men Origins has grossed $129,032,435.00, at the U.S. Box Office, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past has grossed $30,054,386.00, Obsessed has grossed $56,207,576.00, 17 Again has grossed $53,994,515.00, Monsters v. Aliens has grossed $186,774,092.00, The Soloist has grossed $23,845,177.00, Earth has grossed $26,264,242.00, and the numbers for Angels and Demons are not in yet, but are predicted to surpass $70,000,000.00!

I am not criticising any of these movies specifically, but I am criticising our laps in judgment as a nation. The numbers above are absolutely staggering and I have only listed nine movies in their opening weeks. How can we possibly believe that it's alright to go and watch a mind numbing movie that does nothing for our souls, and for an already obese nation to gorge itself on soda and over-priced, extra buttered popcorn when according to World Vision (see quote above) every seven seconds a child dies of hunger! While you sat in a theater watching Captain Kirk and Spock "Save the Galaxy" for two hours, over 1,080 children died because they did not have enough to eat. What could you have accomplished in those two hours that you spent in a theater? You can't get that time back.

Next time, why don't you "Boldly go where none of your friends have gone before." Pick a cause to get behind: Poverty, hunger, AIDS, Human Trafficking, Child Solders, Prison Ministry...etc. and pour your money, time and heart into that.

I promise that it will be far more rewarding than seeing a fictional character save a fictional world. Go Do Something! - Tavia Pitkanen


Sunday, May 17, 2009

John Piper and the Prosperity Gospel


Friday, May 15, 2009

No, Mr. President: John Piper's Response to President Obama on Abortion


Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Real You Has to Meet the Real God

A friend found this on the Of First Importance blog and I decided to re-post it. (Thank you Andrew C.!)

The only way to come to God is by taking off any spiritual mask.
The real you has to meet the real God. He is a person.

Your heart could be, and often is, askew. That’s okay. You have to begin with what is real. Jesus didn’t come for the righteous. He came for sinners. All of us qualify. The very things we try to get rid of—our weariness, our distractedness, our messiness—are what get us in the front door! That’s how the gospel works. That’s how prayer works.

In bringing your real self to Jesus, you give him the opportunity to work on the real you, and you will slowly change. The kingdom comes when Jesus becomes king of your life. But is has to be your life. You can’t create a kingdom that doesn’t exist, where you try to be better than you really are. Jesus calls that hypocrisy—putting on a mask to cover the real you.

So instead of being paralyzed by who you are, begin with who you are. That’s how the gospel works. God begins with you.

—Paul Miller, A Praying Life (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress 2009), 33-34

This is such a brilliant post because it cuts right to the core of our fallen hearts. It identifies our "Religion" and then moves us to our need for Christ, His provision for us and what our response should be. "For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust." (Psalm 103:14)

Some verses for your contemplation:
"Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth." (John 17:17)
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law
." (Galatians 5:22-23)

Be sure to go subscribe to the Of First Importance Blog to read more edifying posts.


Sunday, May 3, 2009


From Caleb&Sol's Debut Album "Afloat" - Written and spoken by Sol Rexius, "Barabbas" is a unique and powerful deliverance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Video Production by Caleb Rexius. Audio Production by Jesiah.

You can check out more from Caleb and Sol at:


Friday, May 1, 2009

Travel the Road's Notes

I found this amazing story on Travel The Road's facebook fan page, and it was just too good not to post it on our blog!

Bowling Alley Salvation

Thursday, February 12, 2009 at 3:35pm

Late last night after a full day of meetings we came back to our hotel in Lima. Joseph, our Peruvian man on the ground who has set everything up and translated for us digs into his pocket and pulls out his cell. He starts talking Spanish and the laughs and hangs up. He looks at us and says, “That was a friend of mine who asked me if my uncle in Pucallpa was still a shaman.” We look at Joseph puzzled and ask, “Why does your friend need a shaman?” Joseph then sucks in air in preparation to tell the story in one breath.

“Well my friend has a friend who owns a bowling alley near by and she found some witchcraft at her business. When I say witchcraft, I mean there was a mutilated cat and some other things arrange around in obvious ways that someone has cursed her. Since she found these things her business has closed. She has taken ill. And most of her friends have abandoned her. She went to a local witchdoctor and they say there is nothing anyone can do for her… and that she will probably die this week. She is very afraid. So they want to go to Pucallpa and see my uncle who is a shaman.”
“How far away is this bowling alley?” we ask inquisitively.

“About 1-minute walk.” Joseph already knows what we are thinking and says, “I’ll make the call.”

Within a minute we are on our way to the alley, not knowing what we are walking into, but confident that God is going to do something great. (This is where your prayers have helped so much. We could certainly feel the prayers of many as covering us and preparing the way as we set off for the bowling alley. This all occurred at 7:40PM-9:20PM EST on 2-10-09.)

A larger man meets us on a corner and Joseph introduces us. We are lead down a dark parking ramp and to a small opening in the steel bars. We climb through. Faint neon lights illuminate the parking garage then it opens up into a bar and we see the bowling alley. It is empty and quiet. A young woman sits in a chair and walks about nervously trying not to show it. Joseph introduces us. “This is Jen. Jen, this is Tim and Will.”

“Mucho Gusto.” We respond.

After a quick greeting we walk slowly to the bowling lanes. The lanes are old and dilapidated. Bowling balls lay loosely around and haphazard construction make the place feel condemned. We are sure Jen feels the same way.

We ask Jen if we can pray for her. She agrees, not know what will happen. But before we pray we explain to her we do not pray in the name of a little demon, or a god of the forest, or sun, or anything that is of the earth, but that we pray in the name above all names. The name of the King of Kings. The name of the Son of God. The name of Jesus. She understands and nods her head. We begin to pray. We rebuke the demonic spirits and they flee. We rebuke all fear and worry from her mind and it goes. The Lord gives words of knowledge over Jen and she weeps. We finish and then we ask. “Do you see that the Lord is real?”


We then tell Jen about forgiveness of sins in Him. The cross, the blood, the new life. More tears. Then we ask if she is ready to believe in Christ and invite Him to live inside of her. She is ready. A new birth happens right there in the pale lights of the bowling alley.

Jen speaks in Spanish and Joseph translates. “She says she can feel no more weight or worry. She feels peace and she could feel it as we prayed for her. She says it’s like a light has come inside of her.” Jen is shocked and overjoyed. Happy to be rid of the witchcraft. Happy to have healing. Happy to have Jesus as her Lord.
We share more about church and Joseph tells her the next steps that he will help her with. Life has begun in Him.

We have all experienced the power of God in similar ways and it is marvelous to see the power of the Holy Spirit work. Please pray for our next journeys to the south and may the Lord bring more opportunities everyday.

In Him,

Tim and Will

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Posted by: Tana


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    GDS Theme Passage

    "For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus
    Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for
    Jesus' sake. For God, who said, 'Let light shine
    out of darkness,' has shone in our hearts to give
    the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in
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    in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power
    belongs to God and not to us."
    - 2 Corinthians 4:5-7

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