Missions Trip 2009 Travelog


In several conversations recently I have been reliving our missions trip to Hong Kong and China from 2009. It was eventful and exceptionally rewarding couple of weeks. It also was full of unexpected adventure. For those interested in reading my “Travelog” here it is from July 2009.

Originally posted on PastorJD's Weblog:


July 16 – Joanna took Caleb and Stephen and me to RDU. We arrived just in front of Kyle and Christina. Her mom was going to keep their children. The little one was crying. This upset Joanna. We went inside the airport and proceeded to check in. We had no problems. I had two suitcases. One was mostly clothes. The other had booklets, fans, air mattresses and extra food. I also had a carry-on bag that contained some extra food, my laptop, the camp notebook, and extra clothes. The camera that I brought was disappointing. I’m not sure that I ever quite figured it out. Stephen had one suitcase and a little carry-on. Caleb had a suitcase and a back-pack carry-on. The others started to show up and I helped get the kids checked-in and their bags checked. We had a brief meeting with Dan Bowers and then headed through…

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Spurgeon’s Letter to an Unsaved Teenager

spurgeonWould you like to read a letter that the great prince of preachers, Charles H. Spurgeon, wrote to an unsaved boy? This is recorded in Spurgeon’s autobiography, by his wife, in Volume 1

“Knowing, in some humble measure, at least, the value of religion, let me also bring it before your attention. If you give yourself time to think, you will soon remember that you must die; and if you meditate one more moment, you will recollect that you have a soul, and that soul will never die, but will live for ever; and if you die in your present state, it must live in endless torment.

“You are an accountable being; God, who made you, demands perfect obedience. But you must own that you have sinned; say not, ‘I am not a great sinner,’ for one sin only would be sufficient to sink your soul for ever in the pit of perdition. The sentence of death stands against you, and mercy alone stays its execution. Seeing now that you are in such danger, how do you think to escape? Surely you will not be content to die as you are, for you will one day find it no light matter to endure the hot displeasure of an angry God. Do you imagine that, if you live better for the future, God will forgive your past offences? That is a mistake; see if you can find it in the Bible.

“Perhaps you intend to think about religion after you have enjoyed sin a little longer; or possibly you think that you are too young to die. But who knows whether that future time will be afforded, and who said that you can turn to Christ just when you please? Your heart is deceitful above all things, and your natural depravity so great that you will not turn to God. Trust not, then, to resolutions made in your own strength, they are but wind; nor I to yourself, who are but a broken reed; nor to your own heart, or you are a fool. There is no way of salvation but Christ; you cannot save yourself having no power even to think one good thought; neither can your parents’ love and prayers save you; none but Jesus can, He is the Saviour of the helpless, and I tell you that He died for all such as feel their vileness and come to Him for cleansing.

“You do not deserve salvation; well, there is not a jot of merit on the sinner’s part mentioned in the covenant. You have nothing; you are nothing; but Christ is all, and He must be everything to you, or you will never be saved. None reach Heaven but by free-grace, and through free-grace alone. Even a faint desire after any good thing came from God, from whom you must get more, for He giveth liberally, and no poor sinner, begging at His door, was ever yet sent empty away.

“Look at the blessedness of real religion, no one is truly happy but a child of God. The believer is safe, for God has promised to preserve him; and if once you have the pearl of great price, it cannot be taken from you. The way to Heaven is faith, ‘looking unto Jesus;’ this faith is the gift of God, and none but those who have it know its value. “Oh, may you possess it!” is the earnest prayer of −

Yours faithfully,


Sword Scrapbook I, p.124

What Do I Know About My God

For several years now my wife Joanna has been following the devotional plan outlined in her good friend Mardi Collier’s book, What Do I Know about My God? She has used this plan to start a devotional notebook for several of her friends to encourage them to get to know our God. She has even given out notebooks to the girls in her classes when she was teaching school. I highly recommend this book for both men and women. Below is an introduction from Mardi Collier.

What Do I Know About My God?

This is a start to a list of the characteristics of God that will help you in your study of beginning to know Him. It is vitally important to study Who our God is and have a knowledge of Him because it is the very foundation of our Christian faith. Every decision we make in our “every-day lives” should be impacted by what we believe about our God. Satan is the father of lies, and he wants us to believe lies about God, while the Bible teaches us the truth about God. Unless we study God’s Word and learn the truth about God, we will easily believe the lies of Satan instead of the truth about God. (Ex: If a loved one is seriously ill, I can either believe that God doesn’t love me and isn’t in control, or I can believe that God always loves me, hears my prayers, is always in control and wants me to grow to be more like Christ through this trial.)

I want to share a project that has helped me to begin to know God and to change my thinking about life. Purchase a loose-leaf notebook (so you can add pages as needed). Using this suggested alphabetical list of some of the characteristics of God put one characteristic at the top of each page. Start reading through the book of Psalms, and every time you come across a verse about God, write it under the appropriate category. Do this with any of your Scripture reading or any verses you hear about God. You will soon have a notebook full of truth about your God.

Any time a trial comes about your way, you need assurance or encouragement in your daily life, or you want help for yourself or someone else, ask the question, “What do I know about my God?” and your notebook full of Bible truth will be at your disposal. We often act according to our feelings (which are often wrong), but as we meditate on Who God is, and how it affects me daily, it changes our thinking and helps us respond to life biblically. Knowing God can mean the difference between victory or defeat, right choices or wrong, rest or distress, joy or depression! It’s also special to use the categories during your prayer time to praise God for Who He is. I number them and think about one each day and how it should affect my life. The next step is to memorize some of the verses and meditate on them until they become a firm part of your faith.

This study can be a tremendous blessing and help to you if you will take a few minutes a day to work on it. It’s overwhelming to see how good and great our God is!! This absolutely changed my life, and I hope it will be a help to you too!

  • My God answers prayer. – Ps 55:16, 17; Ps 86:6, 7; James 5:16
  • My God comforts me. – Ps 23:4; Ps 94:19; 2 Cor 1:3, 4
  • My God is compassionate (cares, kind). – Ps 86:15; Ps 103: 11-14; Lam 3:22, 23
  • My God is in control (rules, sovereign). – Ps 18:30, 32; Ps 115:3; 1 Chron 29:11, 12
  • My God corrects me (punishes, chastens). – Ps 32:3-5; Ps.38; Heb 12:5-7
  • My God is the Creator (creature, creation). – Gen 1; Isa 45:7, 9, 18; Ps 100:3
  • My God delivers (trouble, distress). – Ps 34:4, 6, 7, 18, 19; Ps 50:15
  • My God is faithful (doesn’t forsake). – Heb 13:5; Deut 31:6, 8; 1 Jn 1:9
  • My God is my Father. 1 Jn 3:1; Matt 6:26, 32; Prov 3:11, 12; Eph 2: 18, 19
  • My God wants me to fear Him (reverence, not to be afraid). – Psalm 111:10; Ps 6:3, 4
  • My God forgives (cleanses). – 1 Jn 1:9; Ps 86:5; Ps 103:3, 12
  • My God’s glory (majesty, exalted, King). – Ps 24:7-10; 1 Chron 29:11-13
  • My God is good. – Ps 31:19; Ps 100:5; Ps 107:1; Rom 2:4
  • My God is gracious (grace to me). – Ps 86:15; Eph 2:8, 9; 2 Cor. 12:9, 10; Heb 4:16
  • My God is great (mighty, His wonderful works). – Deut 3:24; Jer 32:17; Ps 96:4
  • My God guides me (leads, knows my way). – Ps 18:30, 32; Ps 37:5, 23; Prov 3:5, 6
  • My God wants me to be happy (blessed). – Ps 128:1, 2; Prov 3:13, 18; Ps 16:11
  • My God hates _________. – Prov 6:16-19; Ps 45:7; Prov 8:13; Num 11:1
  • My God hears me. – Ps 34:4, 6, 15, 17; Matt 6:6; 1 Jn 5:14; Ps 66:18-20
  • My God helps me. – Ps 46:1; Heb 13:6; Ps 40:17; Ps 121: 1, 2
  • My God is holy (worship and exalt Him). – Ex 15:11; Ps 46:10; Isa 6:3
  • My God is hope (gives hope). – Ps 42:5, 11; Ps 31:24; Col 1:27
  • My God gives joy (gladness). – Ps 16:11; Jn 15:9-11; Ps 35:9; Ps 100:2
  • My God is judge (just, convicts me). – Ps 9:4, 8; Deut 32:4; Jam 4:13
  • My God knows all (my thoughts). – Job 42:2; Ps 139:1, 3, 4, 23, 24; Heb 4:13
  • My God wants me to know Him. – Jam 4:8; Jer 9:23, 24; 1 Chron 28:9
  • My God is my life (gives life). – Deut 30:20; Acts 17:25, 28; Lk 20:38
  • My God is light. – Ps 27:1; Jn 1:7-9; 1 Jn 1:5-7; Ps 119:105
  • My God loves ________ (delights in). Prov 15:8, 9; 11:20; Jer 9:24; 2 Chron 9:7
  • My God loves me. Rom 5:8; 8:35, 37-39; 1 Jn 4:8, 10, 19; Jer 31:3
  • My God wants me to love others. – Matt 22:39; Phil 2:3, 4; Prov 3:27; Jn 13:34, 35
  • My God is merciful. – Ps 86:13, 15; Ps 100:5; Ps 103:8-17; Lk 6:36
  • My God wants me to be obedient. – Deut 10:12, 13; Lk 6:46; Jn 14:15, 21, 24
  • My God is powerful (omnipotent). – 1 Chron 29:11, 12; Eph 1:19, 20; Jer 32: 17, 27
  • My God wants me to praise Him. – Ps 34:1-3; Ps 100; 1 Chron 16:8-10, 23-29
  • My God preserves (generations). – Ps 31:23; Ps 37:28; Ps 33:11
  • My God hates pride. – Prov 6:16, 17; Prov 16: 5, 18, 19; 1 Pet 5:5, 6; Jam 4:6-12
  • My God protects (refuge, safety, keeps me, hides me). – Ps 4:8; Ps 91:2-15
  • My God provides. – Ps 23:1; Phil 4:19; 2 Pet 1:3; Ps 34:9, 10
  • My God is righteous. – Ps 92:15; Ps 71:16, 19; Jer 9:24; 1 Jn 3:7
  • My God wants me to be righteous (godly, rewards, blesses me). – Ps 37; Ps 11:7
  • My God is my rock (defends, foundation, fortress). – Ps 31:2, 3; Ps 71:3
  • My God is salvation (redeemer, saves). – Matt 1:21; Ps 27:1; Ps 98:2, 3
  • My God speaks (His voice). – Ps 29:3-9; Gen 1; Job 37:2-6
  • My God is strength (gives strength). – Ps 28:7; Ps 93:1 Phil 4:3
  • My God teaches. – Ps 25:4, 5, 8, 9, 12; Jn 14:26; Ps 27:11; Ps 94:10
  • My God wants me to be thankful. Ps 100:4, 5; 1 Thess 5:18; Eph 5:20
  • My God wants me to trust Him. – Psalm 34:8; Ps 56:3, 4, 9-13; Isa 26:3, 4
  • My God is truth. – Ps 100:5; Deut 32:4; Ps 117:2; Jn 14:6
  • My God is unchanging (everlasting, endures). – Heb 13:8; Mal 3:6; Ps 100:5
  • My God uplifts me (hold me sustains). – Ps 3:3; Ps 17:5; Deut 33:27
  • My God is wisdom (give wisdom). – Prov 2:1-6; Prov 8; Isa 55:8, 9; Rom 11:33, 34
  • My God is with me (present, omnipresent). – Matt 28:20; Deut 31:6, 8; Isa 41:10
  • My God gave me His Word. Ps 19:7-11; Heb 4:12; Ps 119:1, 2, 9, 11, 105
  • My God is a God of wrath (anger). Ps 76:7-10; Ps 90:7, 11; Rev 6:17

Mardi Collier ministers alongside her husband,
Dr. Ken Collier, who serves as director of
THE WILDS Christian Camp in North Carolina,
This resource sheet used by permission from THE WILDS

Click on this link to view the Emergency Pack which will help you (or your friends) when you are going through a difficult time. They can also be a great encouragement for daily life. (Thanks Mardi Collier for compiling these and making them available).

What Do I Know about My God?
Click Here to Purchase Online from Amazon
There also is a Kindle Edition

Amazon Trade-In: I Think I Will Try This

amazon trade-in

If you are like me and looking to de-clutter and would love to make a few extra bucks then I think I may have found something you may like.  Amazon has an awesome program where you can TRADE-IN YOUR USED STUFF in exchange for an Amazon gift card.

Trade-In Categories Include:

Phones | Cameras | Laptops & Tablets | Wearable Electronics
Books & Textbooks | Video Games | TV & Movies | Music | MP3 Players

How it Works:

Simply follow this link and then ENTER AN ITEM, Amazon will tell you if it is accepted and how much it is worth. There are different amounts based on the condition of the item. After you have entered everything, you’ll hit submit. It gives you a printable list of items to include and even a free shipping label.

You then box it up, send it in, and receive your gift card. If for some reason Amazon won’t accept one of your items, they will simply send it back to you for free. I’ve got a lot of books and old DVD’s I need to get rid of. A lot of the smaller items like that have a smaller return than my used iPhone 4s, but EVERY LITTLE BIT COUNTS.