Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Drew is moving His blog

I have decided to move all my "stuff" to one place, and the best way to do that was to combine my blog with my web site. So in order to be more efficient and to have more control over what I can do with the blog, I have moved everything to;

www.drewboswell.com I hope to see you there and let me know what you think about the move.

God bless and thanks for reading.
Monday, October 4, 2010

A Path Toward Making A Difference

A Path Toward Making A Difference
Nehemiah 1

Let’s go through the first chapter of Nehemiah as a quick devotion together. First go ahead and read the text.

1:1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. Now it happened in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Susa the capital, 2 that Hanani, one of my brothers, came with certain men from Judah. And I asked them concerning the Jews who escaped, who had survived the exile, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, “The remnant there in the province who had survived the exile is in great trouble and shame. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates are destroyed by fire.” 4 As soon as I heard these words I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven. 5 And I said, “O Lord God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father's house have sinned. 7 We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. 8 Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, 9 but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ 10 They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. 11 O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”
Now I was cupbearer to the king. (ESV)

Nehemiah receives word from his brothers that Jerusalem was destroyed, and his response was brokenness over its condition. But this was not a new occurrence; it had sat this way for over a hundred years. His brothers bring him the news (again this was not “current events.”) and they also seem to upset – so our first question is why are they upset about something that has been that way for a long time and doesn’t really affect Nehemiah?

His response to the news is brokenness over the condition of the land, his own sin, and the sin of the people as a whole. He goes on to quote Scripture (vv.8-9) that says , if they turn from their sin their land could be restored and they could return. So what’s keeping the land in it’s current condition and their own exile was how they viewed their own sin.

He begins with consistent prayer, and the prayer is one of confession (v. 7). He recognizes that his sin (and the sin of the people) have caused them to be “scattered” v.8. He prays specifically for the meeting with the king.

So what do we see here? Nehemiah (and his brothers) is aware of his own sin and then repents. Then his eyes are opened to the spiritual condition of things around him. He can then “see” the condition of how the people are living, and it then breaks his heart. So what keeps us “blind?” – our sin. When we deal with the sin in our lives, we are then able to see the world in a different way.

What was the spiritual condition of Nehemiah’s brothers? They “see” the issue first, and they bring it to their brother’s attention. God then uses Nehemiah to lead an effort to rebuild the city (and it’s walls in 52 days!)

So let’s look at it graphically: (because I am a visual learner):

(1) Information Received (visit from family)

(2) Broken (made aware of his own and other’s sinful condition)

• Recognition of who God is (v. 5)
• Confession of sin – the condition of man (v.6)
• A trust/reliance upon God’s Word (v. 8)

(3) Praying in faith the truths from Scripture

(4) Development of a plan (over days of praying)
• Nehemiah’s plan begins by talking with the king about his condition and the condition of his people.

(5) The (first) meeting
• God works in the king’s heart to assist Nehemiah in the rebuilding project. It is always God’s heart to “rebuild” people’s lives and restore them to a proper relationship with Him. But we have to go through a process of dealing with our sin, and realizing that His ways are always best.

Big Idea from Chapter One: It is God in His grace that makes us aware of our sinful condition and the need for change. He promises us in His Word that if we change, he will put us back on a redemptive path (see Psalm 51, and Ezekiel 18). When we deal with sin our eyes will become open to things we have never “seen” or cared for before. When we pray and fast God will show us what to do. Then we step out in faith.

May javascript:void(0)God bless your journey with Him, step out and do something great today.
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Isaac's Photo Adventure

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

A couple weeks ago Kimberly lost her camera. She had taken it outside to the garage during a yard sale at our home but she was sure that she had brought it inside and had taken it with her to the basement. We both looked all over the house but had essentially given up. I was sure that once we cleaned the basement we would find. So we went on with our lives.

A few days later, Isaac was sitting on the couch and had pulled it out from one of the cushions and was playing with it – but was not able to hide it again once we saw him with it.

While we were not looking he was going around and taking pictures, and then hiding the camera again. He did this with peanut butter m&ms a few months ago. He kept breaking out with a rash (because he is allergic) and we could not find out why – until we found his stash of candy.

So the pictures above are his photos, enjoy. He definitely has his own style.
Monday, September 20, 2010

Life Changing Opportunities

Kimberly went to Orphanage Emmanuel last year and I could tell it really was a meaningful and spiritually revitalizing time in her life. Upon her return she said that I had to go next year and I was very reluctant to say the least. I did not want to take away from her experience but I had no desire to go – I was dealing with comments in my mind like, “it just about broke us to pay for her trip, how could we both go?” and “How would we take care of the kids?” and on top of all that I knew that if I went, I would probably be “hooked” too.

The last thing I wanted was to fall in love with hundreds of children, and then have to leave them. So I stuffed the thoughts deep in my brain, and Kimberly started praying. Well a year rolled around, Kimberly started raising money so she (we) could go and sure enough, she raised her amount so that it didn’t break us for her to go again.

Then the dreaded phone call came – the pastor who had planned to go had backed out for personal reasons and all eyes seemed to roll on to me. I said, “I couldn’t get my passport soon enough (I did). I couldn’t afford to go (turns out it was already paid for.) Great, they needed a pastor, it was paid for, and Kimberly’s prayers had been answered.

So I went, and the trip was amazing. I had never traveled over-seas, so I was introduced to the Honduran poverty and corruption, but far more importantly I was introduced to a ministry that is truly making a difference in the lives of hundreds of children and has done so for over twenty years.

I could have “knuckled-down” and refused to go, but that would have been going against all the evidence that God had worked it out for me to go (in spite of me). I also, would have missed a spiritually rejuvenating experience that comes once every decade or so. God wanted me to “go,” because he was going to use me to minister in His name, and he wanted to move in my heart; to change a piece that was beginning to grow cold and hard.

After over a decade of pastoring God in mercy would not let me become bitter, hardened, cold, and sarcastic. He renewed my hope (not in Him, for He is always faithful) in myself. When the world falls down around us, we begin to feel crushed, that is when God reaches down and pulls us from the rubble and says, let’s build. And he begins the building process in our hearts. If this is how you feel, then look around; there is more than likely someone praying for you, and His hand may be reaching out to you. I am thankful for the gifts of God, my wife and His providence.
Monday, September 13, 2010

We Make Life So Complicated

I have had several people ask me about Kimberly and my recent mission trip to Honduras. I had intended to journal while I was there but due to poor internet connection and a busy schedule I was unable to do so. And to be honest the experience was so emotionally overwhelming that my entries would have been trite and dishonest (only because I would be writing something just to get something out). I was asked by others on the team what I thought about the experience while we were on the field and I honestly could not adequately explain in a few words the emotions and feeling I was experiencing. I really can’t describe (this coming from a person who communicates for a living) what it was like, but I can put the feelings into the form of a few stories. So the next series of entries will be me trying to share a life changing experience with you.

I will begin by telling you of my experience of the toddler house. The children at Orphanage Emmanuel are divided into age groups and gender, but the youngest children have the boys and girls together, where they live in age graded housing. Kimberly and I on this particular morning were serving in the clinic (due to an outbreak of chicken pox) and because of fever and diarrhea the clinic was running low on diapers. So I was sent to the Toddler House to get some more and bring them back to the clinic.

As I approached the Toddler House I was first amazed at how orderly and clean everything was. All of the clothes were folded and sorted by color, and then stacked into cabinets. There were about six older girls from the orphanage who were helping a staff member. I approached the woman in charge of the home and explained why I was there and she began to talk with the other girls about where to get the diapers, and was giving them instructions. It was at this time when the children there became aware of my presence.

They all began to rush me, hugging my leg, pulling on my hands, pulling on shirt, and all speaking Spanish. I couldn’t understand their words but I understood their hearts. These children wanted me to hold them, hug them, touch them, just love them. I began to think about my three year old son Isaac. What if he were here, and had no mother, no father, no one to tell him how wonderful he is.

It was as if the air around me began to get thick, and I felt my heart in my throat. As they were pulling me I began to weep. All of these children, and all they want is someone to hug them, smile at them, hold their hand, and tell them that they are loved. The staff love them, but they are only a hand full in comparison to 415 orphans, and their focus is on clothing, preparing meals, organizing their day, etc. . . They need volunteer teams to come in and to love the children. So, my job for 10 days was to simply love children.

The first thing that I came to realize was that I went to Honduras to simply love, hug, smile at, and hold hands with children. My background is that of an organizer and “fixer.” I work at the executive level of a church -- I put out fires, and deal with problems. In Honduras there was nothing for me to “do” but love children. This filled my heart with joy like nothing I have done in a long time. We make life so complicated, there it became very clear and uncomplicated. God said to me, “Drew, just love the children.” Even now this brings tears to my eyes. Just love the children.
Sunday, September 12, 2010

For All of You Back-to School People Out There

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Preaching From an iPad

I had some PC friends as they left the church service today just shook their heads with disgust. Not only have I switched from PCs to Macs but I am quickly becoming zealous. After all, if you are going to do something then be obsessive about it, right? My friends were shaking their heads in disgust because not only have I purchased an ipad, but I was actually preaching from it. So this is a quick blog entry for anyone out there who gives presentations and is considering using an ipad for that purpose.

Out of the box it quickly connects with a wi-fi source and everything (just about) has to be done through itunes wirelessly. So in order to get my word documents from my Macbook Pro to the Ipad I had to set up a Drop Box account (online data storage) and pull it down when I need it. The drawback is that you can not edit it, only view it. But it automatically resizes the document to fit the screen and you can do some fine adjustment with your fingers on the screen. So today it worked really well. There are other apps available -- Evernote, for example. But after looking around I like Dropbox the best. Also, you can not store Word documents on it (as far as I can tell), so you have to have internet access at the location where you will give your presentation. This is becoming less and less of an issue as time goes by.

My immediate issue is that after about 2-3 minutes of me talking (and not touching it) it cut off. This is nerve wracking for a presenter (or preacher) who is heavily dependent upon notes, only to lose them. No amount of touching the screen will turn it back on. You have to touch the "on" button and go through the process of opening it up again. This happened three times while I was preaching. So this week I will see if there are any apps (like Caffeine), that will keep it awake.

I also have seen some nice looking ipad "pulpits." But instead of spending the $600-800, I am going to attempt to make one myself.

I have discovered on the "settings" and under general you can set the power down time to "never." this should deal with the lost notes mentioned earlier.

Gospel Magic

Gospel Magic
how did he do that?

About Me

My photo
I am the father of four wonderful children and the husband of the best woman on the planet. I am pastor at Daybreak Community Church, check us out at www.daybreak-church.com. I also have a web site at www.drewboswell.com.

Connect With Drew


Aren't Getting Our Newsletter?

join our mailing list
* indicates required