The Missionary’s Motto

•October 24, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Thanks to Adoniram Judson, here’s a question for you…are you in it for the long haul?

The following is an excerpt from a letter A.J. wrote while in Burma (now Myanmar) in 1833.  The United States was about to send over some missionary “reinforcements” to help with the work in Southeast Asia.  Some of them however, were only to be there temporarily.  They weren’t devoted long term to the work in Burma.  With that knowledge, A.J. wrote:

“I much fear [he complained to the Corresponding Secretary at home,] that this will occasion a breach in our mission.  How can we, who are devoted for life, cordially take to our hearts one who is a mere hireling?… I have seen the beginning, middle, and end of several limited term missionaries.  They are all good for nothing.  Though brilliant in an English pulpit, they are incompetent to any real missionary work.  They come out for a few years, with the view of acquiring a stock of credit on which they may vegetate the rest of their days, in the congenial climate of their native land… The motto of every missionary, whether preacher, printer, or schoolmaster, ought to be ‘Devoted for life.‘” (an excerpt from To the Golden Shore p. 409)

Obviously, by the last line, in A.J.’s mind the term “missionary” is synonymous for anyone (whether preacher, printer, or schoolmaster) who is a believer in Jesus Christ.  So, all you missionaries out there, is this your motto?  Are you devoted for life?  Are you in it for the long haul?  Or, are you doing what you’re doing now in an attempt to “acquire a stock of credit on which [you] may vegetate the rest of [your] days, in the congenial climate of [your] native land?”

How effective can you really be if your commitment to serve is only short term?  Better yet, how effective can you be if you’re not serving at all?

“Devoted for life.” That’s the missionary’s motto.  What’s yours?


Laying down some tracks for the FBC Choir

•September 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I had the opportunity today to lay down some vocal tracks for the FBC choir this week. Below is a one minute sample of one of the tracks we made.At the beginning you will hear Laney Wootten singing and Grant Keith playing the guitar and piano in the background. Turn up the volume and enjoy!

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What if the story ended there…maybe it did

•July 11, 2010 • 1 Comment

Last October at Paradigm we did a 5 week series and focus on prayer.  The third week of the series, I did a talk called “What If The Story Ended There.”  We looked at Acts 12:5 which says, “So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.”  For those of you who were there, you may remember at the end there were a couple of Christian men I mentioned who were currently in prison and being persecuted for their faith in Jesus.  One of their name’s was Son Jong Nam who had been in prison since 2006 awaiting execution.

Tonight I came across this video at (click here for the video) that reports Son Jong Nam’s death in North Korea.

I don’t know if you remember (October was a long time ago), but the whole point of us looking at Acts 12:5 was to see that after the church came together and earnestly prayed for Peter, he was miraculously released.  In fact, as a result of the church earnestly praying for their persecuted brother, three things happened: Peter experienced God’s miraculous deliverance, the church experience God’s miraculous answer to prayer, and a miraculous movement of God was set into motion.  The whole thought of the night though was, what if the church never came together and prayed for Peter?  What if Acts 12:5 just said, “So Peter was kept in prison.”  What if the story ended there?

At the end of the night, everyone was given a card with a persecuted Christian’s name and face on it and was challenged to commit to praying for that person.  I don’t know if you still have your card, but I still have mine.  My card had the face and name of Son Jong Nam on it.  I’m writing this tonight for three reasons.  1) To confess that I did not devote myself to praying for Son Jong Nam, and though I know that God is glorified in his death and every martyrs death (“The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church” -Tertullian), I am deeply convicted tonight for my lack of devotion to praying for my persecuted brothers and sisters throughout the world.  2) To re-challenge you all to get those cards back out that you were given and commit to praying for those believers.  The most powerful weapon that we have been given is the power of prayer.

3) The third reason I’m writing this tonight, is to say this: What in the world are we doing??  What is keeping us both individually and corporately from devoting ourselves to prayer?  Why is it that we are not to that place of maturity in our pursuit of God?  I can’t help but imagine what all I (and we) have missed out on because of a lack of devotion to prayer.  Could it be that we are missing out on God’s miraculous deliverance? Could it be that we are missing out on seeing and experiencing God’s miraculous answer to prayer?  Could it be that we are missing out on seeing, experiencing, and being a part of a miraculous movement of God?

The question last October was, “What if the story ended there?”  The way it is looking at this point is, it did, it has, and it will…unless something changes and you and I become people devoted to earnest prayer.


To access the sermon from Paradigm “What If The Story Ended There?” you can click here.

Thanks for the prayers!

•July 4, 2010 • Leave a Comment

To all who prayed for our team while we were in Southeast Asia a few weeks ago…thanks!  We made it there and back safely and with almost no problems traveling (minus one lost bag that we eventually got back at the end of the trip).   Everything we went there to accomplish, we accomplished (praise God)!  I think that it’s safe to say that by God’s grace we were able to do more than we actually expected to do (I know I, as well as the other guys from the team, would love to share those stories with you in person).

Continue to pray for the work in Southeast Asia.  Continue to pray for the people…because of the government restrictions, many people are yet to hear the gospel.   Pray for the local believers there.  Specifically pray that they would be strengthened and encouraged in their faith, and that they would be fearless in sharing the gospel.

Thanks again for your support through prayer!   There’s still a lot of work to be done…

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Trying not to be like Achan…

•May 13, 2010 • 1 Comment

This is going to be short, sweet and straight from the journal…so again, pardon the grammar.

Joshua 7:13 “You cannot stand against your enemies until you remove it.”

There’s a lot of context here to what’s happening when the LORD says this to Joshua, so I suggest you go back and read Joshua 6:15-7:13 (if you want to see how the story turns out, keep reading until the end of chapter 7) or else you may not understand what I’m about to say.

It’s pretty straightforward here the statement that God makes, and it’s a great example of God’s position on sin (especially hidden sin) and how it effects our relationship with God who fights on our behalf.

Why do we pray and ask God to answer prayer when we are hiding sin in our hearts?  It seems like we so often get upset that He doesn’t answer our prayers right away, yet we continue to hide sin in our hearts that He has blatantly told us to destroy as an act of devotion to Him (6:17-18).

After Israel gets dominated by the wimpy army of Ai (7:4-5), right after defeating the heavily fortified city of Jericho (the difference between Ai and Jericho is like the difference between Muggsy Bogues and Shaquille O’Neal), Joshua goes and falls on his knees before the LORD asking Him why this happened (7:6).  To this, the LORD responds to Joshua by saying, “Israel has sinned.” (7:11…like the convenient store).  He then goes on to explain in 7:12-13 that in order for them (the Israelites) to re-secure God’s presence and favor, they had to destroy those things that were supposed to be devoted/destroyed in the first place (in other words, they had to get rid of the sin).

If you were to read on a little further, what’s interesting about all of this is that nobody (except for one dude, Achan) knew about the sin that was essentially plaguing Israel.  Why?  Because Achan had literally hidden it.  This brings up the obvious question…WHAT SIN ARE YOU AND I HIDING IN OUR LIVES?  Though Achan had hidden the things He had kept (the things that were supposed to instead be destroyed as an act of devotion to the LORD), God still knew!  In the same way, God knows what you and I are hiding in our lives and in our hearts.

There’s two quick things we’ve got to hear from this passage:

  1. If we are hiding sin in our lives, it IS effecting our personal relationship with God.  We cannot draw closer to God and we cannot expect Him to be quick in answering our prayers if we continue to live in sin.
  2. If we are hiding sin in our lives, it IS effecting the church!  Yes, it’s true!  Notice from the story that Achan’s sin didn’t just effect him, it effected the entire nation of Israel.  Did you ever think about the fact that your sin could be effecting the whole church?

Peace, Love, and trying not to be like Achan,

Austin W.

The Splinter of the Church

•May 1, 2010 • 4 Comments

I’m literally copying this word for word from my journal so please excuse the horrible grammar and potentially weird train of thought.  That being said, here are some thoughts from Matthew 7:3-5…

Matthew 7:3-5 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?  You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

This is a message that I need to hear and this is a message my generation of church “goers” and church “reformers” need to hear.  So many college students and young adults are leaving their churches and starting new ones or just leaving the church altogether because they’re so frustrated with it (the stupid traditions that limit its impact, the hypocrisy, the Spirit-less teaching, the complacency, the lack of mission-mindedness, etc…).  All of these frustrations are leading to tons and tons of people abandoning the church.

Let me clarify what I just said (this wasn’t in my journal), I’m using 3rd person as I write only because it’s easier for me to write that way.  When I say “they,” I’m including myself.  I’m one of these people who is frustrated with the church.  When I say “church,” I don’t mean First Baptist Church or First United Methodist Church, or any specific church for that matter.  When I say “church,” I really mean the way we “do church” in our culture.  That being said, I want to clarify this as well.  I do NOT include myself in the category of those who have abandoned the church.  In my lack of spiritual maturity in college, I came close…but God spared me from doing that.

But here’s the problem…all of the people who are fed up with the church and who are leaving the church are part of the group of people who make up the church.  Which can only mean one thing and that’s this: they themselves are part of the problem in the church!  Unfortunately though, they don’t see that (again, when I say “they” I mean me too) because they (we) are so fixed on the splinter in the church’s eye that we don’t realize there’s a log in our own…or better yet, we don’t realize that WE are the splinter in the church!

If we are going to see reform in the church, the answer is not to leave out of frustration and go start a new church (or new “worship gathering”…because it’s not cool to use the word “church” anymore), the answer is to stick around and reform ourselves because WE ARE THE CHURCH!  When that happens, then I guarantee we will see a reformation in the church.

(Just as a side note: A.W. Tozer has some good things to say about this towards the end of his book “Whatever Happened to Worship”)

Peace, Love, and Reformation,

Austin W.

Twitter….Tweeter….I don’t know

•August 23, 2009 • 2 Comments

Yes, I am alive.

The blog has suffered greatly over the past months (my apologies…not that anyone reads this anyways).  Because I’m trying to make the best use of my time these days, I’ve decided to take a break from the blog (actions speak louder than words….so I guess you already knew that).

That being said, I’m not giving up totally on the whole intusive lifestyle lived under the eye of the general public through the Internet (thanks Al Gore).  Yes, today I did something I said I’d never do (just like I said I’d never be on Facebook, I ‘d never have a blog, and I’d never own a poodle…miniature).  I’m now a twitter…or a tweeter…whatever.

If you want to follow me on Twitter you can.  Here’s the address:

I think there is a way to subscribe to it, like some of you have to this blog.  So, if you have nothing else to do….there you go.

Peace, Love, and Twitterness