Sunday, 24 August 2014

Sermon for Today

Today, we had a chance to visit the Limbe Church of Christ again. It's been a while since we last visited and it was nice to see the brethren again.

Rainy Season is here, and the river was running high, so we parked on the other side and walked across the tyres to get to the church building. It was fun for the kids! 

I preached on the victory that overcomes the world- our faith! You can read my sermon below. 

Our kids are always friendly ambassadors. Here they are with the preachers' kids!

Here's the lesson that I preached today. I hope you are encouraged to build faith.

5 Ways to Build Your Faith
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. (I John 5:4) 
Do you want victory? Of course you do! What do you need to do? Well if victory is through faith, then have more faith! Here are some ways that you can build your faith and so have more victory. 

1-    Get into the Word of God
“So then, faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17. Want to build your faith? Your first step should be to get into the Word of God. Faith comes by way of the Word of God. If you want to build robust, world-conquering faith, then turn to the Word of God. John 20:30 “Therefore many other signs Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; 31 but these have been written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.”

2- Give and See God Supply
Faith involves acting upon the promises of God and seeing Him do the “impossible.” In II Corinthians 9, we have an example of one of these impossible promises of God. “8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed;” God promises that we will have enough for every good deed. This may seem impossible, which is exactly the point. Go out and act on this promise. Give and watch God supply you with all sufficiency in everything. It takes faith to give in the first place, but as you give, you will see your faith grow, strengthened by the power of God’s promise. 
3- Be Encouraged by Others’ Faith
One thing that will build your faith is to see and be encouraged by the faith of others. When you are refreshed and encouraged by others’ faith, you will be motivated to have more faith. Sometimes, we can grow stale in our faith or grow bored with the things that build faith. Seeing the faith of others makes things fresh again and spurs us on to have more faith. Paul said in Romans 1; “11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine.” Be sure to spend time with others whose faith encourages you… be at the church assemblies, spend time with fellow Christians in their homes, travel to other places and see the work that they are doing for the Lord, write or call someone to ask how they are doing in the Lord! You will be refreshed and renewed and your faith will grow! 

4- Speak Out of Faith
“13 But having the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, “I believed, therefore I spoke,” we also believe, therefore we also speak, 14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and will present us with you. .” These words from Paul in II Corinthians 4:13 show us another way that we can build our faith, speak out to others from faith. Much of the time, in thinking about evangelism, our focus is on reaching and saving the lost, which is very true. However, there is a beneficial side effect of our evangelism, and that is that as we evangelize, we are also building our own faith.  

5- Imitate Other’s Faith
A fifth way that we can build our faith is to imitate the faith of others. When we see others who are strong in faith, we should not be proud, and we should not be jealous, but rather, we should humble ourselves and become disciples, become people who imitate the faith of others. Hebrews 13:7 says “7 Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.” If you wished to become a better footballer, you would imitate Lionel Messi or Ronaldo. If you wished to become a better carpenter, as an apprentice you would imitate your master. So also, we should imitate the faith of others so that we can build our faith up. 

As we build up our faith, what will see? We will have victory! And this is one further way that our faith will be built up- by achieving victory! It will build on itself and push us to, like Jesus Christ Himself, overcome the world! 

Monday, 4 August 2014

Happy 1st Birthday Carys!

Our Carys Faith Hostetter turnd 1 on August 2nd! My has time flown! Here are a few fun facts about our sweet little girl:

- Carys was our only baby born in the States (due to complications) and at a "real" hospital.
- She shares her birthday with 2 other cousins (same day, diff year) and all 3 of them are 3rd born. (HAPPY BIRTHDAY HADASSAH AND NILE!)
- Carys may be the baby of the family but she can hold her own and she even growls at people... literally. It's so funny!
- She is also a very happy baby who smiles a lot. She is SO much fun and has quite the personality already!
- She is our only thumb sucker and I think it's cute.
- She likes singing aaaaaaaaaaaaa. (Hannah used to sing eeeeeeeee.
- Her favorite food is avocado but sucking on chicken bones is a close 2nd.
- Her name, Carys, is Greek for Grace and Welsh for Love and her middle name is Faith, both after my dad.

- She has 11 teeth now!

 Here are some pictures from her birthday:

Carys in her new dress from Hannah. Hannah worked hard for the 2,000cfa (about $4) she used to buy this dress for her sister.

I was going to make a decorated fondant cake but we decided we would go for a simple chocolate cake with CREAM CHEESE icing this time. It was yummy!

Some friends came over for fun, games, cake, and popcorn!

Balloon fight!

Happy Birthday Carys Faith! I love you with all my heart and we thank God for blessing us with such an amazing little girl!