Thursday, March 17, 2016

People Need People

Great week-end… packed from dusk to dawn every day. We finished the Marriage Seminar on Saturday and the response was everything we had hoped for. There were great questions being asked and we had some very strong and lively discussion times. A few people told us that this teaching could save their marriage. We reminded them that the teaching couldn’t save anything, but doing as the teaching taught could, because these are the words of the Holy Spirit. 

After dropping in the bed that Saturday night, it was up at 4:30 am for a 3 hour drive to Nairobi to speak at what looks to be our next StoneHouse church family and then on to pick up my beloved wife from the African Natural Medicine Seminar. We had a good safe drive home … thanks to our spiritual son Njeroge the Matatoo driver… and once again… we collapsed in bed. 

The pictures in this post are from the church we taught at Sunday morning. The man pictured is 86 years old. After a few songs, he came to the front and began to introduce ‘his’ children from the orphanage he takes care of. One after another he brought them up stroking their faces, patting their heads and telling the unbelievable horror stories of what these children have suffered before winding up in his care. I cannot tell you how deeply his stories touched us.  The teen girls and the little ones pictured here were horribly physically abused. I sat in my seat as the little one in the green and grey stripped shirt began to cry as their protector told of her horrifying life. My heart broke as I thought of the incredible need for people to come and minister to the hundreds of thousands of children just like these.

Being in Kenya has been an incredible eye-opening revelation. We have learned much.  Here is a short synopsis…

People… need people

To begin with please do not interpret this as criticism to any person or organization doing active ministry. Our Father has called many people to many different things. Many missionaries are doing an incredible work of compassionate service to the people of Kenya. 

But, our personal observation of things going on around us lead us to wonder if those things have any lasting effect on the advancement of the Kingdom of God. As the incredible missionary to India, Amy Carmichael, once wrote in her courageous book ‘Things As They Are’ … all things are not as they appear.

At first glance, East Africa seems to be inundated with Christian churches. It will even appear that many of these churches look like they are filled with zealous disciples of Christ. Sunday morning services are filled with emotion, exuberance, and stirring testimonies of how God has blessed them. Yet most of those blessings are centered around the accumulation of money or other physical enrichments. 

Yet, is this what excited the early church? No! This is the testimony of the early Christians … 

We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of your love for all the saints; because of the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, of which you heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel, which has come to you, as it has also in all the world, and is bringing forth fruit, as it is also among you since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth; (col. 1: 3-6)

Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles ’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need. (Acts 4: 32-35)

It was the revelation of the Life of God that first century disciples excitedly wrote about and not how much God gave them. They’re hearts were set on the advancement of the Kingdom of God… not the advancement of the kingdom of stuff. 

Secondly… Somehow we have imagined ourselves spiritually ahead of people who lived in the first 300 years of the church.. but sadly … we are not. They knew that when God had something to say to humanity… He didn’t do so through a book, track, or a teaching (much less Facebook). When God sent His word to humans in the early Church … He wrapped His word in a human. How else could they understand what is spoken? There is no substitute for human presence. It is how our Father designed the advancement of the gospel of the Kingdom of God. 

Just trying to teach the meaning of the scriptures, fails to do much spiritually, without a living example demonstration of what is meant by those scriptures! Please don’t misunderstand me … we need bibles, books, tracks but we equally need people to demonstrate what they mean! It has taken years for the people listening to our teachings to understand what we mean when we teach them even the basic doctrines of the faith. And rarely is this is ever accomplished without living out what you mean in front of them. 

It is revealing that Christ asks these questions to His disciples… 

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? 
And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? 
And how shall they hear without a preacher? 
And how shall they preach unless they are sent? (Romans 10:14,15)

The first two questions are answered by accepting the importance of the last two. Lost people don’t need materials and information as much as they need people who can demonstrate the message they bring. In the same way even saved people need gifted people who can demonstrate what they teach.

People… need people. 

That is why Christ gave people to the church and not just learning materials.

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;  (Eph. 4: 11-13)

Ask yourself… what am I doing with the majority of time in my life? Serving myself… or serving God?  People … children… women… are (literally) dying for help. What am I doing to help them? If you are not actively involved in ministry please help us… help them!! 

Much grace…and love … the StoneHouse Family of Disciples.

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Should We Ask For Donations?

I should begin this post by explaining that my opinions concerning asking for financial assistance with the work we do in Kenya has radically been altered over the past three years. This short message is for anyone wondering whether or not to financially help ‘missionaries’ with their work. I have put missionaries in quotes, because unfortunately not all missionaries are what they seem. Before you emotionally give to any request for funds … check them out. Enough said. 

Before we pulled up stakes and moved to Nakuru Kenya to live in the slums, I had some rather naive views of missionaries asking for financial help. Here are some of those very narrow thoughts…

Why can’t those sent out by God just depend on Him and not beg people for help? Why are they constantly asking for monetary assistance from those back home? Doesn’t God provide where He guides? Does every other correspondence have to include pictures of needy or dying children? 

Now to some of you, especially my missionary friends, that might seem pretty gross … and it is, but it is what I wondered and to my shame, sometimes even verbalised. When our Father sent my wife and I to Africa, we so desired (and still desire) to go in real faith and depend entirely on Him. We so wanted our work to glorify Him and not just be viewed as humanitarian efforts. 

Not that there is anything wrong with humanitarian efforts, they help many deserving poor here in Kenya and throughout the world. Its just that we wanted our work be seen as primarily being about His Kingdom, His work, and His provision. I think the patriarch Abraham felt that same way, because he was very passionate about our Father’s honour. 

After Abraham fought and rescued people from their captors he was offered a reward. He refused their offer and in so doing, revealed his single mindedness concerning the glory of God. Scriptures like this one made me jealous for God’s glory… 

“But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I have raised my hand to the Lord, God Most High, the Possessor of heaven and earth, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, “I have made Abram rich’—“               
(Gen. 14:22,23)

And yet, upon more closely examining the scriptures and the lives of the missionaries I admired, it was clear that most of the time God used His people to supply the needs of His workers and they let other people know what they were. See (1Tim. 5:17,18), (2 Cor. 11:9) etc. . 

The second reality check that changed those naive thoughts came when coming face to face with the incredible scope of the needs in third world people and especially those living in slums. Hundreds and thousands of needs, so vast, so dire, that it can completely overwhelm a western mind. 

Children die here for the lack of medicine costing the same price as a McDonalds happy meal. Widows with families are put out on the street for less than two trips to Starbucks. And yes… we know that we can cripple personal initiative by giving too much… but  for God’s sake (literally), … should we let people become homeless or even die for less than five dollars? 

Please understand… due to the corruption found in so much of the clergy here in Kenya, we don’t take one shilling from any of our churches or other ministries. We feel it important that Kenyans see we are not the ‘monetary benefactors’ of our ministries (see Luke 22: 24-27). That money goes back into the ministries. And yes, we know there are balancing scriptures that say a workman is worthy of his wages, don’t muzzle the ox as he threshes … etc., but the extent of leaders taking advantage of the flock in this area is enormous. As a result, all our support comes from God through family, friends and our Social Security checks. Sometimes if a personal need is beyond our ability to obtain, we will let other people know about it. Yet, it is important to us, that we know our Father is backing us up in whatever ministry we undertake. 

But… what should  we do when we see children with such immense potential, desperately wanting an education and the parent/s, having tried everything, still can’t afford it? Or abandoned mothers trying so hard to take care of her family’s needs with little or no hope of employment? And all the while, knowing there are people back home having both the will and means to alleviate such hardships? 

I will tell you what we’ve decided to do… we’re going to let those needs be known! 

Once I asked a dear Indian pastor friend of mine, what he felt about taking money from people who he knew were not being obedient to God. His ministry takes care of thousands of orphaned children and his reply was stingingly revealing. He said … I don’t care what those people do or don’t do… the blood of Jesus cleanses the money I receive … I need to take care of these children! I thought wow… perhaps that helps explain the second half of this proverb… “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children 's children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous”. (Proverbs 13:22)  

Sometimes I’m not sure of the theology of such ideas, but I sure know and agree with the heart behind it. 

So beloved friends and family…  all that to say this… when we post a need on Facebook or put up a request for assistance through our website, blogs etc., know that it is with great trepidation that we do so. Should our Father move on your hearts to help us (or any true missionary) help His people or the lost and dying of this corrupt world… please do so. And remember… every cent you give to StoneHouse Ministries goes exactly where you designate it to go. 

May this New Year be the best you’ve ever had, and thank you so much for helping us... help them. 

Much love from the StoneHouse Family.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Its time to be strong…

Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits. And those of the people who understand shall instruct many; yet for many days they shall fall by sword and flame, by captivity and plundering. (Daniel 11:32-33)

Recently I engaged in a communication with a dear friend about politics and speaking out against social evils. His concerns were centered around taking stands and speaking out on what Christ’s teaches. Although I believe there are times we should exercise restraint on public issues and should always let what we say be tempered with mercy and grace, I also firmly believe, this is not the time to remain silent. My response to him is below.

“The issue is not and never has been about politics or ranting... the issue is about promoting what our Master teaches through what we do and say. That Kingdom we want men to turn to, is categorically against the teachings of this world and we must be seen as standing with Him. (As He is in Heaven... aren't we to be in the earth?)

American culture and government has begun stating that Christians can believe whatever they want, but will not be allowed to put those beliefs into practice. Walking in and speaking what our Master teaches can land you in American prisons. His teachings will be labeled as 'intolerance, bigotry, hate speech and a host of other derogatory, inflammatory rhetoric.

Yet our choices will become increasingly simple... follow the ideology promoted by American culture and government or... follow Christ. If we choose to follow Christ then we will be ostracized and persecuted. Because ALL who desire to be godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. If all we offer our fellow human beings remains in the realm of what we think and not what we do and say... then we offer them nothing.

Consider American beliefs on promoting such things as ....the validity of homosexual lifestyles or pursuing the 'American Dream', etc. . Just as you can deny Christ by what you do just as well as denying him with your mouth. You can also deny Christ by what you don't say. If our lives aren't reflecting what we believe through what we do and say, then again, we offer the world nothing.

There is a vast difference between warning the world of the coming judgment and 'ranting', though many times they appear the same. Throughout history the Holy Spirit spoke openly against public leaders and cultural evils from the religious ones to the political ones and He always used His people to speak them. (see Ezek. 13:18, Zep. 2:5, Mat 23:13-29, Isaiah 23:13, Luke 13:32). If He is the same yesterday and today then He will cause His people to speak against the social evils of today as well. 

This is not a time to be quiet.

The effects of American Christianity remaining silent and enjoying the cultural norms are being manifested today. May God have mercy on us all. I write this not wanting to be argumentative, but because I know others will read this and I believe... need to consider what it means.
From your forever friend, David.”

The effects of Christians in America (or most Christianized nations) remaining silent amidst the disintegrating condition of Christianity, while enjoying the cultural wickedness in this age is now being manifested. Our Father has always moved His people to address wickedness in every age and I believe, even now, there are a few addressing this condition and it will cost them dearly to stand with Christ. Yet progressively today’s Christians are being told by culture and government … believe what you will, but don’t you dare talk about it or put it into practice.

It is time to be strong, instruct many on the words of Christ and do great exploits. The result will be persecution from government and ostracized by our culture. (See Daniel 11:32,33) Yet… what is the alternative?

Like Joshua of old… our Father wants to lead us into the next level of things and He is again telling us … only be strong and courageous. We are to make disciples of the nations teaching them everything He teaches us. May we never forget the fate awaiting those who ignore His word.

Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. Whoever rebels against your command and does not heed your words, in all that you command him, shall be put to death. Only be strong and of good courage." (Jos 1:6-7, 18)

The StoneHouse Family

Monday, February 23, 2015

Dormant Gifts?

Dormant Gifts?

Idolatry is a divided heart. If in any particular the heart is divided, and the Lord does not have the full and final place, that is idolatry. A reservation, another consideration and influence from another direction, an affection, ambition, possession, pursuit, indulgence, which stands in the way of the utter will of God and His Glory is idolatry. Upon that thing, and because of that divided heart the heavenly purpose will crash, the vocation will break down, the servant be a disappointment, and the blessing to the world be hindered. That servant will be set aside.                  
T. Austin Sparks. ‘The Servant of the Lord’.

"Many of those who once were so passionately in love with Christ now run about pursuing their own interests. They're burdened down with stress and problems, chasing after riches and the things of this world."    David Wilkerson

Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.  (1Timothy 4:14-16)

Now we all know that Christ is our Salvation, but this verse indicates, that there is a sense in which we must save ourselves and others. (Don’t argue with me, argue with the above verse). Because if resting in Jesus only means to you, living ‘the wonderful, good life of your culture’, you have completely missed the very reason you were saved in the first place.

Some of the hard questions we should be asking ourselves in response to the present state Christianity is in and the above verse should be…

Do I so fully give myself in the exercising of my gift, that it’s apparent to everyone around me?  Am I ignoring the gift God gave me? Am I meditating on the ramifications of what will happen to me and others if I neglect that gift? Am I really serious about the business of saving others and myself as well?

If you have been given new birth and consider yourself a part of Christ then you have already been given your spiritual gift and have already been called to live His life to the fullest, get in the fight and do great exploits. And yes, we know that Mother Teresa said… “We cannot do great things, but rather small things with great love”. But if that woman didn't do great things… then no one has.

Our message to our brothers and sisters who are patiently waiting for God to reveal their gift and tell them what their calling is, is rather simple… quit waiting… get up… and get into the fight!

"While women weep, as they do now, I'll fight; while children go
hungry, as they do now I'll fight; while men go to prison, in and out,
in and out, as they do now, I'll fight; while there is a drunkard
left, while there is a poor lost girl upon the streets, while there
remains one dark soul without the light of God, I'll fight, I'll fight
to the very end!" - William Booth

Young people, do you love to read about Jim Elliot, Nate Saint and others who  devoted their lives to the Kingdom?  Have you heard what Jim Elliot spoke to the youth of his generation?  He had some pretty stiff words for those who were ‘bored with the things of God’. I think this applies to the youth of this generation as well. 

Our point is simply this… being fully saved, includes working, fighting and even dying for our King. What are you doing with the supernatural gift God gave you to increase His Kingdom? Have you even bothered to find out what it is?

There is a world of lost, starving, dying, and freaking out people that need something more than religious pat answers.  I don’t know if anyone has noticed … but things are going downhill pretty quickly in America and the rest of the world.  
Do we really think we’re in this end time cosmic fight because we go to religious concerts and wear Christian T-shirts?

"Radical Christians are not people who wear Christian t-shirts.
Radical Christians are those who bear fruit of the Holy Spirit...A
little boy, Andrew, a Muslim shot him five times through the
stomach and left him on a sidewalk simply because he said, 'I
am so afraid, but I cannot deny Jesus Christ! Please don't kill
me! But I will not deny Him!' He died in a pool of blood, and you
talk about being a radical Christian because you wear a t-shirt!"
-Paul Washer

 So the question we are asking our readers is this … what are you doing? Not what are you discussing in your living rooms… not what stimulating teachings are you listening to … but what, in this fallen world … are you doing?  Our brothers and sister’s around the world are being persecuted and killed. Young people are leaving the church.  

Apathy and complacency is growing exponentially. So our question is … what in the world are you doing about it?

Grace and Mercy from your StoneHouse brothers and sisters.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

A Question of Timing...

Recently I received a letter from a dear saint in America, requesting advice on entering the foreign mission field. Because I feel this relates to anyone desiring to find God’s will for their life, I am publishing it here. This is my response. 

A Question of Timing…

Dear …… ; I just realized that I hadn't sent a response to your question concerning what to do about taking care of your parents before entering the foreign mission field. The issue of family responsibilities conflicting with the call to the mission field, is one that many disciples have had to struggle with. I know I did. And although I know you are aware of what the scripture states, but, I would like you to know what I think they mean.

First of all, finding an answer will require much prayer, wisdom and single mindedness, in seeking God’s truth. Any true answer concerning how and when to follow the Lord, must be based on what Christ taught, as revealed in the scriptures and not what is dictated by our personal feelings, the culture we live in or the fear of the opinions of others.

Christ was very clear about counting the cost before becoming His disciple. His reason was and is simple. There are two major issues that can potentially thwart the Lord’s will for our lives. Those issues being,  … people and possessions.  (Luke 14:26, 33)

Those issues are why Christ stated in no uncertain terms, that we must first examine (or count) the cost of following Him into the work of the Kingdom.  Then we must decide in our hearts, no matter what that cost, to obey Him.

                                  The Great Feast

The Great Feast of Luke 14: 15-35 is not about consuming great tasty food at some heavenly diner. It’s about eating the food that Christ referred to after confronting the woman at the well.

In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." But He said to them, "I have food to eat of which you do not know." Therefore the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work.            (John 4:31-34)

The food of the ‘Great Feast’, is to do the Father’s will and finish His work. Not just talk about it, or discuss it in living rooms. Please read the passage below and ask yourself… how does this, apply to my situation. It deals with the difference between the feelings of wanting to serve in the Kingdom and the reality of the cost. He loves you and will gladly share His wisdom.

Now when one of those who sat at the table with Him heard these things, he said to Him, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" Then He said to him, "A certain man gave a great supper and invited many, and sent his servant at supper time to say to those who were invited, 'Come, for all things are now ready.' But they all with one accord began to make excuses. The first said to him, 'I have bought a piece of ground, and I must go and see it. I ask you to have me excused.' And another said, 'I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to test them. I ask you to have me excused.' Still another said, 'I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come.' So that servant came and reported these things to his master.

Then the master of the house, being angry, said to his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in here the poor and the maimed and the lame and the blind.' And the servant said, 'Master, it is done as you commanded, and still there is room.' Then the master said to the servant, 'Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.'  " Now great multitudes went with Him. And He turned and said to them,

"If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.
For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it— lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going to make war against another king, does not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is still a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks conditions of peace.

So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple. "Salt is good; but if the salt has lost its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land nor for the dunghill, but men throw it out. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!" (Luke 14:15-35)

The Timing of His Call…

Our time to come to the great Feast (ie. doing His will)… is when we receive the invitation. You cannot ‘eat’ (do His will), without that invitation. And the timing of the Feast is not up to us either. It is determined by when we receive the invitation.

Notice their ‘reasons’ for not attending the Feast (or not doing God’s will) are completely valid (nothing sinful here and most reasons are good) … yet… their negative response, angered the King.

It was if they were saying to the King…  Hey! You didn't consider what I’m currently doing! The timing of this dinner engagement is just too inconvenient! It conflicts with what I think is important. We would love to come but… not today… maybe later.  It wasn't as though we don’t want to come, but just … not now. This response insulted the King’s knowledge of their circumstances … hence, His anger.

The punishment for not heeding the King’s voice, was and still is … For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.” They weren't condemned to hell, nor even cast away… they simply would not be allowed to eat (ie. do His work).

Following Jesus into Kingdom work demands absolute devotion to His will. Anything short of absolute commitment will leave us vulnerable in the terrific spiritual battles that will ensue when we begin His work. And trust me… they will come.

This is why, when a disciple is confronted with God’s call (invitation to do His will) and responsibilities toward loved ones, even that of family members in great need, His will must come first. A serious moment of reflection will remind us… that He is the God of the universe and has already taken in consideration all the ramifications and problems involved in my decision to follow Him, before He sent the invitation.

He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom Then of God." And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house." But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:59-62)

Now having said all that … please listen to me, when I say this. I am in no way trying to indicate what or when you should do, whatever it is you feel the Lord is leading you to do. That is completely between you and our King. But if you believe that He is asking something of you, take the time to be very clear as to what it might cost before you respond.

If our Father has asked you to stay and take care of your parents …by all means do so. Yet, if that is so… understand, He has not sent you His invitation to come work in the foreign mission field.

The Kingdom will only advance by our obedience and not our socially acceptable ideas. The only righteous thing to do in any given situation is … whatever He tells us to do. The mission field or the home field, are both valid places to lay down our lives, but only when it is at His bidding.

Someone asked me once when was we called to Africa? My response was… we were never called to Africa… we were called to follow Him and do His bidding. What we are saying is this… if He has told you to go or begin preparing to go out into the mission field, do not hesitate. But like Peter in the boat… wait for His command.

And Peter answered Him and said, "Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water." (Mat 14:28)

If you don’t know what He’s saying, then… wait until you do.

This is one of the reasons I hope (at some point) you can come and visit us, meet some other missionaries and see what missionary work is all about. If, presently, you are still seeking to know His will is in this matter then seeking to hear clearly His mind is exactly what you should be doing… presently.

Don’t try to ‘second guess’ whether you’re ready or not… faith cannot be taken out of ourselves and examined to see if we have it… but … in whatever He asks you to do …grace will be there when you need it. You really can… walk on water.

Ask the Lover of your soul for wisdom regarding this issue and he will not reproach you, but rather will delight in giving you His wisdom on the matter. Only, be ready to do whatever He says to do when He says do it… and  … and don’t look back.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.    (Jas 1:5-8)
But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." (Luke 9:62)

In Conclusion…

So in conclusion… take your time, expect Him to speak to you and be ready to be obey Him regardless of the cost. If you are willing to do His will… you will know what He is asking of you.  This is a spiritual principal to know anything spiritual.

If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine, (what I teach)  whether it is from God or whether I speak on My own authority. (John 7:17)

Concentrate on becoming completely His. His strong support will come to you, based on your loyalty and not your qualifications.

For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him." (2Ch 16:9)

Always remember… He’s the Father and we’re the children. Like any good Father it’s the Father’s responsibility to let us know His heart, and it should be ours … to obey it.

Much love … the StoneHouse Family of Believers

Friday, December 26, 2014

A very good year....

Dear brothers and sisters, family and friends;

On behalf of the entire StoneHouse family, we wish you all a very Blessed Christmas and an Anointed New Year! May they both be in the presence of everyone you love and be filled with your passionate service to our Father.

Secondly, we want to thank you for your continued support for  Cynthia, myself and the staff of StoneHouse Ministries International (SMI) here in Kenya. Your love is being felt half way around the world and is having an effect in the lives of hundreds of Kenyans.

It has been somewhat of an explosive year for us, with so many opportunities opening up to both preach and demonstrate the gospel of our beloved King. It has not been without its setbacks and heartaches, yet God’s grace has prevailed.

A few things happening this year are as follows...

It was a very moving year ! We moved the Sewing Center, we moved the school and Cynthia and I were able to move to Ponda Mali and finally be among the people we serve. This has been our desire ever since we first came to Kenya. Most of you know that we moved to Milimani, a very secure environment following the traumatic events happening to us two and a half years ago. We desperately needed that time in Milimani to recover.

But now, by our Father’s amazing grace, we live in the midst of our beloved church family. The cost of our rent is less than one fifth of what it was living in Milimani, enabling us to focus more of our resources on the ministry.

StoneHouse Fellowship Nakuru (our local church family in Nakuru) is now paying their meeting place rent, electric, water and caretaker … all on their own! This is another amazing accomplishment, given that most of our members live in extremely impoverished areas.

The church in Nakuru has grown and has begun raising up sister churches, Kmwaura , Engasura , and Ndunyu Njero. There are plans to open up three more church families the first of next year. These families are learning to take care of each other and interact through the whole week. Our intent in each of these churches is to make Disciples of Christ and train them to walk a holy and Spirit filled existence as revealed in the scriptures.

We are currently raising up young men and women to become servant/warriors who will, in the future, guide our church families. This last year SMI enabled two of our young men to attend a Spirit filled bible college just outside of Nakuru. Both these young men are working in establishing our churches in between semesters.

Our African Shepherds Alliance (ASA) members are being awakened to the weakened condition of Kenyan churches, who have little or no biblical foundation. We have had three teaching seminars with pastors from all over central Kenya.

The primary school, StoneHouse Academy with its eighty-five students, is growing and adding another grade level (grade 6) this year. We are very close to the school to being able to meet all its own bills and obligations, which is a major accomplishment, given its existence is in the slums.

The StoneHouse Sewing enter, is now teaching widows and single women how to live self-sustaining lives, through being taught how to use electric sewing machines. This year we moved out of James and Beatrice’s living room into our own little one room building. Soon after, we added another room to accommodate our growth.

SMI has almost fully acquired 3.5 acres for our ‘Solid Rock Christian Community’.  This shamba (farm) will be a place where StoneHouse workers plan to live, work and serve God together. There are plans to for a small conference center, orphanage, teaching center and to become a full on self-sustaining farm. We lack only four thousand dollars in owning it completely and being debt free. This has totally happened by God’s sovereignty. Click here to read how our Father provided this incredible blessing.

By God’s grace, SMI was able to pull off a wonderful spiritual festival called the ‘Ingathering’. This is something Cynthia and I have been desiring to happen for over five years. This was the first time all our church families were able to come together and celebrate something wholly for the Lord with no worldly additives. I am currently working on a pictorial post for ‘StoneHouse Chronicles’ that will be filled with three days worth of pictures.

SMI was able to put on free medical clinic this year, in the midst of the Rhonda slums and was able to see and treat over 200 people. This was done in concert with St. Mary’s Hospital, a prominent hospital just outside of Nakuru and seven wonderful nurses from America.

This year we visited and ministered to people of the Massai tribe. It was something we hope will continue all the way to the establishing of a local New Testament family near the Massai Mara .

Finally, this year was filled with new friends  and working relationships with other missionaries and mission organizations working here in Kenya. With all our different views and bents we are learning what it means to serve Christ together while enjoying each other’s fellowship.

Some of those ministries and missionaries are ….
The wonderful people of Heaven’s Family…
Deborra Darren of ‘Threads of Hope’…
Richard and Beth Kope….
Louie and Rita Self…
Robin and Kerry Nail…  and a many other beloved friends and  workers who are currently laying their lives down for the people of Kenya.

On a personal note, it has been for Cynthia and I, a year filled with many drastic changes and faith challenges. Moving to Ponda Mali, experiencing eye surgery surgery in Kenya, losing and gaining local workers, facing overwhelming needs, financial challenges and now going through four months of separation due to our daughter’s thyroid surgery, to list a few.

Yet I know I speak for my beloved wife as well, it has been one of the best years of our life. We have seen our beloved God meet every need and bring miraculous answers to every challenge.
If asked what we want for Christmas, it would be just this… that we could have more time to continue serving Him and His gospel… and that His grace would continue to uphold our children and grandchildren who are also paying a price by us not being able to be with them. Pray for us, pray for them and pray for this ministry to continue.

In conclusion; This year has been an incredible year, filled with challenges changes, new experiences. We are looking forward to the New Year with a quiet confidence that it will bring even more opportunities, challenges, changes, new experiences and accompanying them all … His amazing grace.

 May God bless you all…

The StoneHouse family.

Where we are on the web….

For our new friends... here is a list of places you can visit to know more about who we are, what we believe what we’re doing about it.

 StoneHouse Blog… updates what we’re doing here in Kenya
StoneHouse L.E.A.R.N. Ministry Blog… updates educational ministry
StoneHouse teaching Blog… updates things we believe
StoneHouse Website… gives basic information
StoneHouse Facebook page… updates almost everyday
My Facebook page…

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Ten Commandments for Leaders.

This is what we teach pastors and leaders here in Kenya. Today we taught a group of bible college students these concepts. They really, really liked it. 

The Ten Commandments… for Leaders
Five things leaders should always do and five things they should never do.…or
 How Not to ‘Lord Over’ God’s People.

 1. Always keep your relationship with Christ current and lead in spiritual unity with others of like heart.  

2.  Always lay down your life for the church family and show them how to lay their lives down for each other through a demonstration of your everyday life.

3.  Always seek the church family’s counsel and opinion on all matters concerning the church and ask them how you are doing as a shepherd.

4.  Always walk in openness and honesty and never hiding anything from them… let them see your weaknesses. Remain vulnerable.

5.  Always give them a chance to share their hearts with each other and do your best to ‘work yourself out of a job’ and not preach them to death.

6.  Never try to lead God’s people by fear, force or intimidation, but lead  them by way of your example.

7.  Never ask the church to do something you yourself aren’t doing.

8. Never say anything to the church other than what is from a motive of sincere love and their up-building.

9.  Never give them a ‘new word’ until they begin obeying and ‘walking out’ the previous one.

10. Never leave the church with just your opinions, but rather show them what the scriptures say and demonstrate what you mean in your teaching by the conduct of your everyday life.

For what we teach is what we think… but what we do is what we believe.
Scriptural References;

  Scriptural References...

1     2Cor 13:5, Psalm 129:33, 1Cor. 11:31, etc.
Acts 14:23, 15:2, 6, 22,23, 16:4, 20:17, 21:18, 22;5,  1Tim 5:17, James 5:14,  1 Pet. 5:1, 5:5… etc. etc. .
2      John 10:11, 15: 12-13, 1John 3:16, … 1Cor. 4:16, 11:1, Heb 6:12, 2Cor. 12:14
3     Acts 15:22-25, 6:4-5, … 2Cor 12:14
4      1Cor. 2:1-5, 2Cor. 4:2, 2:4  …. All of 2 Corinthians
5     1Cor. 14:23-26
6      2Cor.1:24, 2Cor. 5:20…  1Co. 4:16, 11:1, Heb 6:12, 2Cor. 12:14
7      1Cor. 4:16, 11:1, Heb. 6:12, 2Cor. 12:14
8     2Cor. 2:4,14, 2Cor 7:12
9     Mat. 13:12,  Heb. 5:11-14, Isa. 28:9-10, 1Cor.3:1-3

10             Isa. 8:20, 34:16, Acts 17:11, 2Tim. 3: 15-17, 1John 4:5-6