Thursday, August 31, 2006


Pah! (ASL for finally!!!)

"The PrayerMan" video is on YOUTUBE!! Visit @ this address:

Sorry, there's no voicing in this video.. I'm learning how to use "captioning" for the "deaf-impaired" people. ;) It's a joke, okay! SMILE!

Send this on to your friends, families and co-workers!!!

How People Develop Spiritual Growth Habits

Before we go deeper into the abyss of spiritual growth habits, we must put God first in our lives! If, today, you don't have God first in your life, then you'll likely to have problems trying to grow spiritually. The only person we all must follow is God alone.

Here's a long read but I believe it is worth to your soul! Print it out and take your time in reading each points:

The most practical and powerful way to get believers headed in the direction of spiritual maturity is to help them establish habits that promote spiritual growth.

Often called spiritual disciplines, we use the term habits at Fairfax because it is non-threatening to new believers.

While we teach that being a disciple certainly requires discipline, we believe these habits are to be enjoyed rather than endured. We don’t want people to be afraid of the spiritual exercises that will strengthen and develop them.

You cannot talk about character without talking about habits. Character is the way you habitually act. For example, if you are honest only part of the time, or you are honest only when you consciously choose to be honest, you cannot claim to have the character quality of integrity. In the same way, if you're committed part of the time, or you're committed when you choose to be committed, you cannot claim to have the character quality of commitment! Make sense!

Having integrity means you are always honest. It is your habit. You don’t even have to think about it. When someone asks you a question or gives you back too much change, you habitually do the honest thing.

There are five measurements of spiritual growth: Knowledge, perspective, conviction, skills, and character.

Knowledge of the Word

To begin building a spiritual growth curriculum you need to ask two questions: What do people already know? and What do they need to know?

A church that has grown primarily by biological growth (conversion of members’ children) or transfer growth may have many members that already have a working knowledge of the Bible. But in a church designed to reach the unchurched, it’s a different ball game. You cannot assume your new members know anything about the Bible. You must start from ground zero.


Perspective is understanding something because you see things from a larger frame of reference. It is the ability to perceive how things are interrelated and then judge their comparative importance.

In a spiritual sense, it means seeing life from God’s point of view. In the Bible, the words "understanding”, "wisdom”, and "discernment” all have to do with perspective. The opposite of perspective is “hardness of heart”, “blinded” and “dullness.”

Psalm 103:7 says “He (God) made known his ways to Moses, his deeds to the people of Israel.” The people of Israel got to see what God did, but Moses got to understand why God did it. This is the difference between knowledge and perspective. Knowledge is learning what God has said and done. Perspective is understanding why God said it or did it.

Perspective answers the “Why?” questions of lifeThe Bible says that unbelievers have no spiritual perspective (1 Cor. 2:14). Likewise a lack of perspective is a mark of spiritual immaturity ( 1 Cor. 3:1-2, 13:11, 14:20). God’s re-occurring complaint about the nation of Israel was that they lacked perspective. Many of the prophets rebuked this weakness (Isa. 44:18, Jer. 4:22, Micah 4:12).

There are dozens of benefits of learning to see everything from God's perspective:

Perspective causes us to love God more. The better we understand the nature and ways of God, the more we love him. Paul prayed (my favorite verse) "...may you be able to feel and understand, as all God's children should, how long, how wide, how deep, and how high his love really is;" (Eph. 3:18 LB)

Perspective helps us resist temptation. When we look at a situation from God’s viewpoint, we realize the long-term consequences of sin are greater than any short-term pleasure sin might provide. Without perspective we follow our own natural inclinations. "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." (Prov. 14:12)

Perspective helps us handle trials. When we have God’s perspective on life we realize that “... in all things God works for the good of those who love him...” (Rom 8:28) and that “the testing of your faith develops perseverance." (James 1:3). Perspective was one of the reasons Jesus was able to endure the cross (Heb. 12:2). He looked past the pain to the joy that was set before him. How about we work to look past our trials to the joy set before us??

Perspective protects us from error. If there was ever a time that Christians need to be grounded in the truth, it is today. We live in a society that rejects absolute truth and accepts every opinion as equally valid. Pluralism has created a very confused culture. The problem is not that our culture believes nothing but that it believes everything. Syncretism, not skepticism is our greatest enemy. Perspective, God's perspective, is the antidote. It is looking through the lens of God!

Jeremiah 3:15 say that shepherds that feed the flock the way God intends provide both knowledge and perspective. The result is believe that rock solid. Here's a powerful verse that we can apply to, today! "Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth." (Eph 4:14 LB)


Dictionaries usually define conviction as a fixed or strong belief. But, conviction is really much more than that. Your convictions include your values, commitments, and motivations. Our convictions determine our conduct. They motivate us to act in certain ways.

When you first became a Christian, you often do things simply because other Christians around you suggest them or model them. But, remember, not all Christians model the Jesus model! Though, a person may be a "Christian" for many years, their model may not be the Jesus model. You may pray, read the Bible and attend services because you see the examples of others. This is fine for a new Christian. Little children learn the same way. However, as you grow, you must eventually develop your own reasons for doing what you do. Those reasons become convictions. Biblical convictions are essential for spiritual growth and maturity.

Jellyfish Christians.. A person without conviction is at the mercy of circumstances. True, huh? If you don’t determine what’s important and how you’ll live, other people will determine it for you. But, be forewarned, that such determination of your peers may lead you in the wrong path. A person's conviction may depend on another person's conviction. If the other person doesn't want to go to church, then I won't go. A person without conviction is a weak, jellyfish type of individual who mindlessly follows the crowd. I believe Paul was talking about conviction when he said in Romans 12:2 “Don’t let the world squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your mind from within...” (Phillips)

Conviction helps us be diligent in continuing to grow spiritually. Growth requires time and effort. Without convictions about growth, people become discouraged and give up. No one stays with a difficult task unless he is convinced that there is a good reason for doing it. A church can teach people how to pray, how to study the Bible, and how to witness, but without imparting the corresponding convictions, people will not stick with it.

Knowing what to do (knowledge), why to do it (perspective) and how to do it (skill) is all worthless if you don’t have the conviction to motivate you to actually do it!


Now, here's something that many of us have not mastered today! Skills. A skill is an ability to do something with ease and accuracy. You develop a skill, not by listening to a lecture, but by practice and experience. You get yourselves involved. When you go to a Bible study, it's an opportunity to prepare to "act" in our community. When you go to worship, it's an opportunity to ask God to help us to be the stewards and servants God desires. In the Christian life, there are certain skills you must develop in order to mature: Bible study skills, ministry skills, evangelism skills, relational skills, time management skills, and many others.

Skills are the “how to”s of spiritual growth. Knowledge and perspective are concerned with knowing. Conviction and character are concerned with being. Skills are related to doing. We are to be “doers of the word, not hearers only” (James 1:22). Our actions prove we belong to God’s family. Jesus said, “My mother and brothers are those who hear God's word and put it into practice."(Luke 8:21)

If you want to be produced into becoming an effective Christian, you must learn the necessary skills for Christian living and ministry. Remember that skill, not dedication, is the key to effectiveness at anything. "If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success." (Eccl. 10:10) You need to rub yourselves with other Christians. You may feel uncomfortable for a number of reasons:

1. You just got out of the "comfort-zone".
2. You're not used to the Christian lifestyle (living for Christ).
3. You sense the pressure of Satan that you have never felt before. While in worldly ways, Satan leaves you alone because you're in his territory. But when you have left his territory, he'll work his evil desires around you.


And, at last but not least, Christ-like character is the ultimate goal of all Christian education. To settle for anything less is to miss the point of spiritual growth. We are to “...become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Eph. 4:13)

Developing the character of Christ is life’s most important task because it is the only thing we’ll take with us into eternity. Jesus made it quite clear in his sermon on the mount that eternal rewards in heaven will be based on the character we develop and demonstrate here on earth.

Suppose, I ask you what Galatians 5:22-23 is and list the nine fruit of the Spirit? The first year, you don't know what it means and I took the time to explain to you what it is, the 9 fruit and the meaning of each. Next year, I ask you again and you still don't know. Then I encourage you to study it throughout the year. You have 363 days to study it. Then the third year, I ask you what it is but you gave an excuse and say that you couldn't find the time to review it, even though you had 363 opportunities to put this simple verse in your heart. Three years, and still don't know this important Scripture.

I believe you know what I would say to this person, "...if you're committed part of the time, or you're committed when you choose to be committed, you cannot claim to have the character quality of commitment!" And how would you explain your excuse to God when you come to Him face to face in the last days?

I'm not limiting this to simply memorizing a verse. It's not only about YOU. It's about others in our community and throughout the world.

This means the objective of all our teaching must be to change lives, not merely provide information. Paul told Timothy that the purpose of his teaching was to develop character in those he taught: “But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.” (1 Tim. 1:5) Paul told Titus to do the same thing: “Now you must tell them the sort of character which should spring from sound teaching.”(Titus 2:1 Php)

So how prepared are you with the knowledge you have, the perspective you see through the eye-lens of God, the determined conviction and the skills God gave you to use for His glory?

Sow a thought and you reap an act;
Sow an act and you reap a habit;
Sow a habit and you reap a character;
Sow a character and you reap a destiny. - Samuel Smiles

When you put knowledge of the Word, perspective, conviction, and the corresponding skills together, the resulting product is character! First you know it; then you understand it; then you believe it with your whole heart, then you do it. The result is character.

Here are five questions you need to ask about your Christian education program:
- Are you learning the content and meaning of the Bible?
- Are you seeing themselves, life, and other people more clearly from God’s perspective?
- Are your values becoming more aligned with God’s values?
- Are you becoming more skilled in serving God?
- Are you becoming more like Christ?

In conclusion, last night, I talked with one of our dear friends and former member of the church on videophone. She was telling me how blessed the deaf are to have a church at Fairfax and a wonderful minister to be taught and encouraged by. She feels spiritually malnourished and is hungry for knowledge and fellowship. I really appreciate her thoughts and only hear this from a very few family within the Fairfax church family. She also said that those at Fairfax may not realize they're blessed beyond words because she formerly attended Fairfax and attended another deaf church in her state. In other words, she wished the world is smaller so travelling to Fairfax wouldn't be too far.

As Paul said in Colossians 1:28 “So we continue to preach Christ to each person, using all wisdom to warn and to teach everyone, in order to bring each one into God's presence as a mature person in Christ.” (ncv)

And so, "..fix your eyes on Jesus.. ..the perfector of our faith.."!!!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Monday, August 28, 2006

40 Days Of Prayer

Try this 40-day prayer plan to increase your prayer life. By reading these great Biblical prayers - one each day for 40 days- you'll be able to see remarkable growth in your prayer life.

Read one prayer each day. Meditate on it silently. Read it several times if needed. Then pray as the Biblical prayer motivates you.

By doing this, you'll learn to pray as these great Biblical characters prayed.

Day.... Prayer & Text:
1.... Prayer for the nations (Abraham's prayer) Gen. 18:20-33
2.... Prayer for mercy (Jacob's prayer) Gen. 32:6-12
3.... Prayer before God (Moses' prayer) Exod. 3:1-4:18
4.... Prayer of Praise (Moses' praise) Exod. 15:1-18
5.... Prayer for the sinners (Moses' first prayer) Exod. 32:7-14
6.... Continuing prayer for the sinners (Moses' second prayer) Exod. 32:30-34
7.... Prayer for God's Presence (Moses' prayer) Exod. 33:12-34:9
8.... Prayer of Discouragement (Moses' prayer) Num. 11:10-30
9.... Prayer for Rebellious People (Moses' prayer) Num. 14:10-20
10.... 40 Day Prayer (Moses' 40 Day Prayer) Deut. 9:18-20 & 9:25-29

11.... Prayer in Defeat (Joshua's prayer) Joshua 7:3-13
12.... Prayer for a Child (Hannah's prayer) 1 Samuel 1:1-20
13.... Prayer of Thanks (Hannah's prayer) 1 Samuel 2:1-10
14.... Prayer of Praise For God's Kingdom (David's prayer) 2 Samuel 7:18-29
15.... Prayer for Deliverance (David's prayer) 2 Samuel 22:1-51
16.... Prayer for Wisdom (Solomon's prayer) 1 Kings 3:4-15 (2 Chron. 1:5-12)
17.... Prayer of Dedication (Solomon's prayer to dedicate the Temple) 1 Kings 8:22-61
18.... Prayer of Self-pity (Elijah's prayer) 1 Kings 19:9-18
19.... Prayer for Deliverance 2 (Hezekiah's prayer) 2 Kings 19:9-18
20.... Prayer for Healing (Hezekiah's prayer) 2 Kings 20:1-6

21.... Prayer of Praise 2 (David's prayer) 1 Chron. 17:16-27
22.... Prayer at People's Generosity (David's prayer) 1 Chron. 29:10-20
23.... Prayer in a Crisis (Jehoshaphat's prayer) 2 Chron. 20:1-23
24.... Prayer for the nation's sin (Ezra's prayer) Ezra 9:3-10-4
25.... Prayer for our country's plight Nehemiah 1:3-11
26.... Prayer for our childrens' rebellion (David's son's) Psalm 3
27.... Prayer of Praise 3 (David's prayer) Psalm 8
28.... Prayer for a Pure Heart (David's prayer) Psalm 19
29.... Prayer to Our Shepherd (David's prayer) Psalm 23
30.... Prayer of Forgiveness (David's prayer) Psalm 51

31.... Prayer for Guidance (David's prayer) Psalm 139
32.... Prayer for mercy 2 (Isaiah's prayer) Isaiah 64:1-12
33.... Prayer of praise of God's wisdom (Jeremiah's prayer) Jer. 32:17-27
34.... Prayer of Confession (Daniel's prayer) Dan. 9:4-19
35.... Prayer of Praise 4 (Habakkuk's prayer) Hab. 3:1-19
36.... The Lord's Prayer Matthew 6:9-15
37.... Prayer for His Followers (Jesus' prayer) John 17
38.... Prayer for Boldness (The Church's prayer) Acts 4:23-31
39.... Prayer for the church (Paul's prayer) Ephesians 1:15-23 & 3:14-21
40.... Prayers of Worship in Heaven Rev. 11:15-19, 15:1-4; 16:5-7

Thank, Confess, Call, Speak & Praise

Here's the new york deaf gospel campaign ad for those in NYC. If you have friends living in the NYC area, send them this post. We'll be up there on Friday to sightsee the Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty and others. We'll also be at the Long Island Church of Christ on Saturday for the deaf gospel meeting on September 30th. Then will be going to Queens to worship with the hearing at 2 p.m. (I believe that's the time, interpreted). I'm really anxious to see all the wonderful New Yorkers. Spread the word!


May I ask each of you to lift us (The Lowenstein Family) up to the Lord in prayer! It's been a hectic month for us with a whole lot going on. Satan has been bombarding on us on every end. We will not back away and we're just allowing Satan to continue to do what he thinks he has to do until he gets weary of the strength the Lord provided in us!! We rather keep things discreet. After having a wonderful morning meeting with a friend (not within the Fairfax family), we feel the bombardment of Satan has diminished. In the meantime, do pray for us and all those in the D.C. area working to make a spiritual difference among the deaf (churches & communities). Let's work together to fight against Satan by reaching out to deaf souls for Jesus and not fight against each other over little things such as "issues of baptism", "issues of instrumental music in the church", and more! Seek His Word, meditate on it and pray!


"I love the Lord. He heard my voice; he heard my cry for mercy. Because he turned his ear to me, I will call on him as long as I live." Psalm 116:102 (niv)

Understanding the Lord's love, presence, and nearness should lead us to serve him and to deepen our relationship with him. While we love God for many reasons, we want to express our love to him today, tomorrow, the day after and forever especially for His personal concern for us. In a world where important people refuse to spend time with those "beneath" them, we are truly blessed with an incomparable God who listens to our every cry, recognizes our very own distinct voice, and tunes his ear and eye to hear every one of our whispers and grimaces.

Yes! I will call on him, praise him, thank him, confess to him, and speak with him as long as I live, regardless!

Let's pray: "Oh, Lord! You're awesome beyond description! Too marvelous for words! You know how many "strands" of hair we have on our head and it shows you continue to care for us. Though, we have lifted up alot of issues and people to you in prayer, we want to take the time to thank you for listening to them. Help us have a patient spirit as we await your answer according to your will. We must believe and trust that you're there and you're working on them. Though, we cannot see what you're doing, we know you will answer to your glory and our best interest.

Oh Lord, I pray for those within our community to live out their lives with the reverence we have in your Son, that we continue to obey your loving commands, that we grow in faith and love, that we become more and more committed than ever before, and that we continue to seek those within our community who continues to seek out the hope we have. Lord, help us seek out your will, not ours! Lord, strengthen our faith!

In Jesus' Name, Amen!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Great Friends

We had the Hammrich's over for dinner last Monday night. We had a wonderful time with them. It was a beautiful evening and we sat outside on our deck. We served grilled chicken fajitas and they served veggies and fruits! It was a very nice dinner.

Christina, in the aqua blue dress, is an interpreter. Brian works for Visa and also has his own home-based business. I thought you would check his business out by visiting his website:

He's just getting started on his business so bear with him as he gets things up and running. Think of this as a neat gift for someone who loves coffee, chai, or any other hot drinks with your family pictures on it: vacation, sporting events, church function, holidays, etc.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Changes In This Blog

Good morning, Bloggers!

There are a few new things in this Blog..

1. Two links have been added on this blog under Blog Links.
2. I have given you the opportunity to email post (it's a letter with an arrow) to anyone you think might benefit in reading the post(s).
3. I have decided to allow only "registered users" to post comments on this blog. Please feel free to register by doing the following:

Go to then create your own blog. It doesn't mean you have to put posts in your blog. You can simply leave it alone but use your blogger id to post comments on my blog or any other blogs.

4. I am working on adding a videoblog to this Nike Formula blog. I am aware of the YouTube services but am shopping around for other services to use to post a video clip on this blog. If you have any suggestions as to what services I should use, let me know. Thanks.

In Christ Alone!

More Resources Battling Against Da Vinci

Five B I G Questions From The Da Vinci:

Question One
Was Jesus Married to Mary Magdalene?

No. Mary Magdalene was certainly close to Jesus, but we have no reason to believe they were married...

Question Two
What about these alternative gospels that aren’t in the New Testament?

Church leaders applied important standards when compiling the Bible. The so-called Gnostic gospels did not meet the criteria the Church set up for inclusion in it...

Question Three
Were there really competing Christianities during the early church?

Yes—in the sense there were many disputes about the nature of Jesus. And the church has done its best to vanquish challengers to orthodoxy...

Question Four
What is Opus Dei?

A conservative religious group within the Roman Catholic Church that urges people to pursue holiness through everyday discipline...

Question Five
Does the Priory of Sion really exist?

Yes, but not as described by Brown. There is no evidence for this group beyond dubious documents...

Check out this site:

Monday, August 21, 2006

Man's Three-Fold Nature

2 Corinthians 4:16: "...our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day."

Body: physical (temporal) "; "Outer man"
Soul: intellect, emotions & will; mental
Spirit: spiritual

Both soul & Spirit: "inner man"; eternal

For us to appreciate how we can have a relationship with God, it is important for us to understand something about our human nature. The Bible describes us as a tri-fold being, "spirit, soul and body" (1 Thessalonians 5:23). The body is the outer physical part which we have in common with animals. The soul is our mental capacity which allows us to think, to feel and to choose. The spirit is the deepest part of our nature, a spark of God's eternal nature which gives us life and will exist eternally. The spirit is the part of us which is like God. This is the part of us that has been created for a relationship with God.

Paul wrote of Christians who were living in fellowship with God that, "our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day" (2 Corinthians 4:16). "Our outer man" is the physical body, which allows us to live here upon this earth. The physical body is "visible", and thus "temporal". Time is the enemy of the physical body. With each passing day "the outer man is decaying", which means the body is getting older and weaker.

However, the body is not all there is to mankind. There is also "an inner man" which consists of our psychological and spiritual natures. This is the "invisible" part of our nature which will never pass away. This is the part of us created in God's image; and since God is eternal, this part of us is eternal in its nature. We will always be living, thinking, feeling beings, because we bear God's spiritual and eternal image.

Most people understand that we all possess physical bodies and minds. However, many modern people are unaware of the fact that we also have eternal spirits. The spirit is our invisible, spiritual nature, created in the image of God for a relationship with Him. Until we recognize our spiritual nature and enter into a relationship with God, there will always be "an empty spot" deep down inside our hearts. Only Jesus can fill that void and live in us as the Lord of our lives. We may surround ourselves with many beautiful physical attractions and we may engage in many fleshly pleasures, but until Jesus makes His home in our spirits, we will never find true fulfillment in this life.

Those who have a true relationship with God dedicate their lives to loving God and to growing into a deeper relationship with Him. When this relationship is the focus of our lives, the inner man is renewed even as the outer man decays. Our relationship with God is the most important pursuit of our lives, for that is the only thing which will continue to exist 100, 1000 and even one million years from now!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Losing Joyfully In A Church Conflict Pt. 1

I have been doing some reading and thought I'd share with you this article in parts. It's a long read but to save your eyes, I'll break it down into four parts:

Written By Steve Pettit..

You know something I've noticed as I work with churches in conflict? This may come as a surprise to you, but people get angry - sometimes flat out nasty - when they're repeatedly stopped from doing the things they want to do. It seems saints can get downright unsaintly when somebody gets in their way.

And that's one of the major reasons for church conflict. You want to do something -- maybe even something that God has planted in your heart -- and other people are trying to stop you. Maybe they're not actually actively trying to stop you, but they're blocking the path to your objective. When that happens in a church, there are two dangers you need to be aware of:

First, your desires can easily transform into demands

You want to make a change and others are resisting your brilliant ideas! Without thinking, you begin to unconsciously insist that everyone must comply with your agenda. "Resistance is futile!" Yet - this weapon of the flesh - won't make it any easier for the others to join you in your quest to make a change. In fact, they may pick up another weapon of the flesh - pride - and use that to fight you to the bitter end.

Or, you'll start trying to control the people around you rather than cooperate with them

You'll try to rule them rather than serve them. You'll try to fix them rather than accept them (and maybe even learn something from them). Your objective becomes to control the outcome by force; you rule over the decision making process by manipulation; or you just plain begin to argue in a powerful attempt to "fix" the flawed logic of anyone who doesn't agree with your own point of view.

The problem with either of these strategies is that they're self-centered, and they only allow you to see the situation from the lens of self-interest.

And I hate to be the one to break the news, but if you begin to operate from a position of self- interest, that really shows there's a flaw in your basic belief system.

The Bible clearly teaches that what we believe changes the way we act, so, the question is - What do such self-centered actions say about your basic beliefs?

Why is it we operate as though self-determination, pressure or even sabotage is better than abandonment to God?

Here's the hard truth -- it's easier to grab for power than it is to love! It's easier to control than it is to love. And it's tempting to grab for power and control because it looks so strong - At first. In reality, they're quite weak because, by resorting to them, we will never achieve the long-term results that God desires in our lives or in our churches.

Listen to this: regardless of your circumstances, God's objective is for you to love, not control. But as Henri Nouwen says, it's easier to try being "God" than to love and trust God. I don't have to tell you that it's easier to control people than it is to love them. But when we make it our objective to love -- even those we're in conflict with -- then we become "other-centered," and we're able to analyze the conflict through God's eyes. This puts us in the best possible position to pursue a holy resolution to any conflict. Look at John 14:21: "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him." and you'll see that God chooses to reveal Himself to those who love, not those who control or fix.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

14 years and counting...

Yesterday (August 15th) was our 14th Anniversary. We were married on August 15, 1992 in Overland Park, Kansas where 450 people (250 was invited) jammed packed the Overland Park church of Christ auditorium to witness the wedding ceremony and the exchange of our vows, rings and love. There, we made a covenant to remain in oneness throughout the rest of our life!! It was a day we will never forget!

Though, we had so much going on yesterday, last week, I took her to a secret restaurant while my mother-in-law was in town. She was able to take care of our kids so I can steal her away from them for a few hours. She had no clue where we were going until we arrived at the entrance of the restaurant. We ate at P.F. Chang in Tyson Corner and enjoyed our moment together, children-less!

Looking forward to number 15, baby, and more!!

This picture was taken outside of Anchorage, Alaska at a beautiful ski resort.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Awesome week!


I'm aware that I haven't been doing my daily blogs recording my thoughts about God and His Word. Oh no, I have not stopped reading His Word because it's my life that I depend on. I think I have gone to my "mountain" to spend more personal time with God alone. Now, this week is another busy week for me and my family. But it's going to be an awesome week!

Starting tomorrow, we're caring for a niece (from California) of someone we love so dear. He's not with the Fairfax Church of Christ, he attends another church in the area. But he and his girlfriend has always been in our hearts! We'll have his niece for two days and it'll be fun! He and his girlfriend will also be with us to attack "The 'Que" (my new name for Bar-be-que) for hamburgers and stuff! Our companionship is long overdue and I might play tennis with this wonderful guy!

Then another fantastic and long-waited ocassion is Fred and Monica's wedding rehearsal this Friday and their big day on Saturday! We have been meeting together since May to discuss the ups-and-downs of marriage and that we keep Jesus at the core of their soon-to-be oneness together! I sense that this will be an extremely emotional day because of the journey Monica has been on. She's a great example to us all with all the obstacles she faced throughout her life. We pray that her oneness with Fred will bring joy, peace and stability in her life. May I ask that you lift them up to God in your prayers? Thanks! "For this reason a man will ... united to his wife, and they will become one flesh." Genesis 2:24 (niv) Beautiful, huh??

Then the most anticipated day is Sunday!! It's a time to come together to worship God. I wouldn't miss it for anything in the world, except when I'm out of town attending a gospel meeting, visiting families or on our much-needed vacation. I can't simply sleep in on God. I can't say to God, "I have other plans with my friends, or my kids activities, or my parent's are in town or you-name-it," and miss the opportunity to worship God. I enjoy coming together with my friends, families, brothers and sisters, mothers and daughters, fathers and sons to lift each other up in prayer, in songs and together remembering what the Lord has done for us and the rest of the people in the world (He bled and died on the cross to remove the gap, became Mediator between us and God), and see His untimely messages in our language (ASL) which fills our souls as Living Water and Spiritual Bread.

Last night, we had a wonderful meeting with the Elders. After discussing about various issues surrounding the Lord's church (people) at Fairfax, we gathered together, arm-in-arm, and pray over many things, issues, situations, and crises. One Elder pray over the deaf ministry for the people who have abandoned their faith with God at Fairfax simply have missed out God's best for their life. They left because of doctrinal issues, or they didn't like the people who comes to worship God, or the distance to the church is a factor, that I, as a minister, have abandoned them in which it was never my intention and that I have many others to attend to and several other reasons. He mentioned to God that there are people who simply leave because they may not really understand the whole purpose God has for them. He also prayed for me and my family and the leadership of the church and that we continue to march on fighting, not against each other, but against Satan and the forces of evil. I have so much to say but cannot explain this in words. We have so much to do but it is Satan that continues to battle against us and pressing us away from God into the quagmire of the world (compartmentalize living). Pray about this!

Please lift up my dad, Jerry Lowenstein, to God in prayer. I am in the process of calling my mom to find out more about their meeting with a neurologist (surgeon) to see what needs to be done. My dad isn't all that crazy about hospitals but I pray that he'll do what the doctor suggest he do. Thanks!

"I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin. O Lord, do not forsake me; be not far from me, O my God. Come quickly to help me, O Lord my Savior." Psalm 38: 18, 21-22 (niv)

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Sing this song with me:

As the deer pants for the water
So my soul longs after You
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship You

You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship You

I want you more than gold or silver
Only you can satisfy
You alone are the real joygiver
And the apple of my eye

You alone are my strength, my shield
To You alone may my spirit yield
You alone are my heart's desire
And I long to worship You

Lord, I long to worship You...


Poor old Wile E. Coyote. How many zillion Saturday mornings has he spent hopelessly trying to catch the Road Runner?
  • How many times have we watched him open yet another ACME package and put together ridiculous contraption, only to miss netting, yet again, that elusive bird?
  • How many times have we watched ourselves open yet another package of hope and put together a clever contraption of our own devices, only to miss netting, again and again, the elusive shreds of our faith and the truth that dangles on every end?
Everyone clings to the dream of knowing "the answer" as if actually knowing the answer might really be a cure-all. "Show us a miracle; give us a sign." the dogging crowds hounded Him day after day as He gave thirty-three of His eternal years to letting us follow Him around. But the more we asked, the more He seemed silent.

"What is the truth?" - to which even Pilate himself received no answer, and "what is the answer?" - to which we all still wait and watch for a reply.

On her deathbed, author Gertrude Stein purportly asked that universal question, "What is the answer?" When no answer came, she laughed and asked, "In that case, what is the question?" Famous last words.

Maybe it's not so strange that Jesus usually answers questions with another question. Maybe it's because it's not the answer that really matters, but the search itself that makes us who we are.

"To have found God and still to pursue Him is the soul's paradox of love," wrote A.W. Tozer. He, too, discovered that the joy may truly be on the road there, more than on the road back.

If you've ever taught a Sunday school class, you've probably discovered that most eager-to-please fiver-year-olds have quickly caught on to the idea that Jesus is the answer... to everything. Ask who crossed the Red Sea with the Israelites, who ran from God and was swept into the sea, or any other question, and you'll inevitably get a chorus of "Jesus" shouted back. They've figured out that Jesus is always the right answer. After all, how could a teacher ever say that Jesus isn't the answer? Problem is, both in Sunday school and in life, He very often is the problem more than He is the answer. But He is the only problem worth trying to solve and the only question worth trying to answer.

And He is the only road ever worth taking.

The pursuit of the dream does mean more than the dream itself. Maybe even the Coyote's devilish plotting and planning makes his life more worth living than any one dished-up meal of Road Runner ever could. Maybe endlessly hunting for God, in the long run, is better than actually thinking we've captured Him.

I still haven't found what I'm looking for.. But I think I'm starting to like it that way.

If you could build your own life to live over again, what would you change about yourself?

Your circumstances?

Without the power to really do that, what can you do today to make your life closer to the One you've just imagined?

- Inserted from "Desperate For You" book..

"Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come before Him with joyful songs." Ps. 100:1-2

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Thanks to Nancy Rarus for forwarding this email.. Thought you'd enjoy this..

Mildred, the church gossiper and self-appointed monitor of the church's morals, kept sticking her nose into other people's business. Several members did not approve of her extra curricular activities, but feared her enough to maintain their silence.

She made a mistake, however, when she accused Henry, a new member, of being an alcoholic after she saw his old pickup parked in front ofthe town's only bar one afternoon. She emphatically told Henry and several others that everyone seeing it there would know what he was doing.

Henry, a man of few words, stared at her for a moment and just turned and walked away. He didn't explain, defend, or deny. He said nothing.

Later that evening, Henry quietly parked his pickup in front of Mildred's house...walked home....and left it there all night.

You gotta love Henry!

Have a great day!!

Monday, August 07, 2006


I must say that it's been a rough month of July for me in terms of making myself available to those in our community. I have had some conflicts with people whom I love because they love the God I love as well. Sometimes, I spread myself way to thin making myself available to those in need of my spiritual advice (in which I am glad to give), eventually neglecting others also in need. It seems that I am torn between two, three or four places at the same time.

When I baptize a person bringing him/her into the Lord's Kingdom, thankfully, I was informed that I suddenly abandon them, leaving them alone in the dark world. They are a new creation whom Satan preys on. Assumingly, I thought the brothers and sisters within the Lord's church at Fairfax would give such a new creation the support he/she needs but I was wrong. It didn't happen. And such a new person in Christ did not know who to turn to or do they know the right person to help them build their life on the very foundation of Jesus Christ our Lord?

I cannot count how many souls we have brought to Jesus and, at the same time, how many we have lost! This opened the eyes of my heart and after sharing this newfound problem with a small group of strong faithful Christians at Fairfax, it opened theirs! We gathered together to quickly discuss the problem and search for a remedy to this ongoing problem. One member raised his hands up saying that he wants to take the "reins" forming a New Member Ministry where he and his group will put extra efforts to ensure the new person of Christ is growing on the very foundation of Jesus Christ, that they are being nutured and taught the very Word of God and that they are growing up in the Lord.

Another member raised her hand asking that we have an "All Family Meeting" again to discuss the weaknesses in the church and get the Lord's children involved putting attention on some of the top 3 ongoing problems in His church. She also mentioned that our community need to see the deaf minister and that's where he needs to be: out in the field ripe for harvest! Instead, he's in the office preparing sermons, bible study lessons, MediaShout, answering emails and more. Not that he should neglect this important responsibilities mentioned above but just to remember that Sunday's lessons aren't the "most important", it is the people out in our community that is the "most important". He needs to expose himself like Jesus did all over Judea and Samaria!

Though, we're an imperfect church with a perfect Savior Jesus Christ our Lord, we're grateful to the Lord for opening our eyes to see such a problem that deserves our attention and those souls who had craved for spiritual guidance had been neglected. Forgive us! You know it's never our intention. Thanks for waking us up and Lord willing, we'll tackle this problem down to the ground!

"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men,.." Colossians 3:23 (niv)

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Some of Alaska...


If you've been checking in to see if there's any new post(s) in the last few days or even all week, please accept my apologies. It's been a hectic three days for me after arriving from Alaska (red-eye) early Wednesday morning. I only had two days to prepare for this Sunday's lessons though I have been thinking about it for a whole month while reading the Bible. My precious mother-in-law is still in town and we're entertaining her. We're so grateful for her being with us and caring for our girls/her grandchildren! Here are a few beautiful pictures of us and Alaska!

Here's a picture of Eagle River, just north of Anchorage! Awesome scenery!

May Mahy buried her old life in the Lord in baptism. Andy and I had to help her as she couldn't bend back. So she knelt down fully immersed to give her life to the Lord and receive His forgiveness of her sins! Welcome to the family, May!

Michelle on this beautiful lake (will find out the name of it) not too far from the camp. It's the same lake I did a "body-board" with my knees. It's a frigid 50 degree ice cold water! Could barely breath for the first minute or two!! Then, amazingly, the water became warm! It felt like I was in a state of delusion! During the winter period, this lake is frozen solid that you can use a snowmobile on!!

Picture of the retreaters!!

Michelle and me near Bear Creek.. Later that day, a bear roamed among the anglers and flyfishermen!! We missed alot of action there!!

Me and Andy (red-dot man) signing, "Amen!" after helping May bury her old life in the Lord!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Leaving The Wilderness

We've been in Alaska since Wednesday, July 26th, for the Deaf Camp @ Midnight Sun Bible Camp. We had a superbly wonderful time here with the Deuschles and the Anchorage church!! It was a wonderful experience! We'll definitely come back to help the Deuschle family edify the Lord's church at ACC!

Today is the day! We'll be leaving the wilderness of Alaska, crossing through the sounds, oceans and mountains into the lower 48 States and on our way home to resume our work with God in the East! We're pumped and refreshed and ready to rock (Jesus) and roll (lead souls to life)!

Stand by for some great pictures of our retreat! But, first, give us time to overcome our jetlaggness!! :)

Wherever you are, keep the faith!