new blog!

it has been a while since i have blogged last and much of the reason is because ever since returning from south africa i have found myself in a significant transition phase.  God has no less been teaching me things and he is surely taking me through new experiences...

one of which is the fact that michelle and i are now engaged.  with this engagement comes a new blog.  we have created a new blog to keep (people who read this...and friends) up to date on what is going on regarding wedding planning...our life together...and what we are learning.  if you wish to view the new blog, feel free to go to:



i will continue to write on here when i feel that i have something to share...hopefully i will be sharing something very soon. 

by the way...i posted our engagement story and some pictures on the new blog...just for you jen.


bound by love | simba:samuel:john

love must be sincere. hate what is evil; cling to what is good. be devoted to one another in brotherly love. honor one another above yourselves. never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. share with God's people who are in need. practice hospitality.
romans 12:9-13

these brothers are not south african. they are zimbabweans, forced to move away from their homes, away from their families, their wives, their children....to collect the crumbs from under the south african table. their own country devastated by greed and corruption, they must work here in order to provide even a little for their families. and yet...these men are not held back by the potential of discouragement or injustice.

and they have every opportunity to be discouraged.

but they refuse to be trampled...to be overcome. they have something greater that has overcome that which fights against them. 

they understand the power of the Gospel.
they understand the strength that lies in community...in sharing brotherly love.

these brothers are mighty men of God...zealous for his kingdom and unwilling to compromise who they are in Jesus in order to gain worldly wealth or power. 

to be pitied is not their desire. instead, growing in spiritual fervor, they pray night and day for the reconciliation they have discovered in their own lives to be realized in their country. 

and so, in spite of their own affliction, these brothers pursue the Light of the Kingdom of God. meeting together daily...encouraging one another and others, and holding on to the hope they posess, expecting that this kingdom will reach their own country. because they understand...they know...what has been promised.

they know that the kingdom of God is space made for reconciliation.

and so they live with expectancy...believing that one day they will be reunited with their families and reconciliation will come to zimbabwe.


beauty for ashes | portia

he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance for our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve- to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.

isaiah 61:1-3

to anyone who first meets her...she is an orphan...an alien...a widow...and outcast. but spend time with her and all of those things disappear and are replaced with something new. on earth...portia is an orphan who came from zimbabwe to seek a better life. she raises her son, michael, by herself. but portia has learned something...this is not who she is.

she has been transformed...made new.

portia has begun to understand the abundant life she has in Jesus. and she has begun to see that he chooses for his work...the most unlikely of people. he values the ones who are seen as useless and unimportant...the ones who are voiceless. and he love the forgotten outcast. 

he loves portia.

jesus chose portia to be a part of His kingdom. He chose her to be his daughter. she is no longer an orphan but instead has a Father who is loving and will never leave her. and he gives good gifts. he has given portia the gifts of freedom and comfort. she has been adorned with royal robes and has been anointed with gladness.

he has crowned her with beauty.

and he has set her on the path to proclaim His goodness. to the one who was once voiceless...he has given a voice...a voice to proclaim His favor in her life and his love for all. portia has found freedom in jesus and in turn...he has chosen her to help bring that freedom to others...

...and to multiply His kingdom at the same time.


lost are found | stella

if a man has a hundred sheep and one of them gets lost, what will he do? won't he leave the ninety-nine others in the wilderness and go to search for the one that is lost until he finds it? and when he has found it, he will joyfully carry it home on his shoulders. when he arrives, he will call together his friends and neighbors, saying, 'rejoice with me because i have found my lost sheep.'

luke 15:4,5&6

looking into the eyes of this young zimbabwean woman, one would never know what she has had to endure. but in the winter of 2008, stella was lost and afraid...an alien in a country about which she knew very little.

stella...forced to flee her country because of the political and social unrest wreaking havoc on her people...arrived in south africa...


added to this was the weight she was carrying concerning the baby in her womb. unsure of what other options she had...stella contemplated suicide.

stella was lost.

but the arms of the good shepherd found her. she was found at her most desperate and lifeless place.  in her desperation...stella was met with...


and as a result...she found a Savior. and the response in both heaven and on earth was a celebration of great rejoicing. 

stella now beams with excitement...because she has been found...she has been rescued by the love of Jesus. it is a love that thrives on giving second...third...and fourth chances...

even to seventy times seven.

when the shepherd finds his sheep...he doesn't simply lead it back to the others...but he carries it...and rejoices all the way.  jesus is still carrying stella. he will continue to carry stella...and rejoice in the new life she has been given.

for though she was once lost...stella is now found.