Reflections/Devotionals

Is Christmas Fair?

Is Christmas Fair?

Every year, everyone asks my kids if they’ve been good this year. Why? Because, as the legend goes, if they’ve been good then they’ll get presents. Not only that, but the presents-to-goodness ratio is directly proportionate, so the more goodness, the more presents...

Naomi’s Baptism

Naomi’s Baptism

This post is eight days overdue, and for that we apologize, but we wanted to share some happy news as well. It is our great pleasure to announce that on Sunday, May 3rd, 2015, Naomi Grace Costanzo was baptized into the church of Jesus Christ. Pastor Roth Reason of...

Naomi Grace Is With The Lord Jesus—Now and Forever

Our dear family & friends, At about 1:30am this morning, Naomi Grace Costanzo entered into the presence and joy of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. She fought bravely and endured much in her 44 days of life here on earth, but now she is free from it all. No more...

When I Leave, I Want To Go Out Like Elijah

When I Leave, I Want To Go Out Like Elijah

Death. Nobody really likes to talk about it. And for good reason; it's a raw, gritty topic that throbs with the pain of past losses, the fear of future losses, and the threat of the ultimate loss---ourselves. Even for Christians, who believe that death is the start of...

Three Criminals: Hope from Galatians 5

Three Criminals: Hope from Galatians 5

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.1 In the version of the Bible I read, the New Testament talks a lot about the “flesh”---that is, my sinful nature, the part of me that is hell-bent and always wanting to do the...

The τέλος of all things

The τέλος of all things

One of the things about my seminary experience that changed me for good was the opportunity to take introductory Greek and Hebrew classes. While I am no scholar and unfit to accurately translate anything not written by the apostle John on my own, I have nonetheless...

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

This morning in church my pastor said something profound: Why don't Christians make more of Easter? He didn't mean it in a guilt-inducing, shame-on-you sort of way; that doesn't help anybody. But he had a good point: on Christmas we give gifts and eat rich food and...

Moses and the Promised Land

Moses and the Promised Land

Oftentimes when God says, "No," to something we really want, it's hard to believe that His heart toward us is tender and loving and that He delights to give us good things (Psalm 107:9). But He has been teaching me recently that sometimes when He says "No," He is...

This only shall not pass…

This only shall not pass…

I'm reminded tonight that of all the things I put my time and energy into, only two will remain: people and the Bible. People last forever. Whether in Heaven or in Hell, I believe we all have a permanent, everlasting existence. Thus, my time spent with people is an...

What is God doing in Japan?

What is God doing in Japan?

What is God doing in Japan? God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at...

Please Pray for Japan!

Please Pray for Japan!

Please Pray for Japan! New earthquake retraumatizes millions According to recent news updates , Japan was rocked by a magnitude 7.1 earthquake near Sendai Thursday night. While there was no tsunami this time, there was still a tsunami warning for an hour and a half,...

UPDATE FROM JAPAN, PART TWO

UPDATE FROM JAPAN, PART TWO

Saturday After a very blessed stay in Iwaki, we drove straight through my old hometown of Funehiki (I really wanted to stop, but our schedule wouldn't allow it) up to the city of Sendai, which had arguably seen the most devastating effects of the earthquake and...

Update from Japan Relief Efforts 3/25/2011

Update from Japan Relief Efforts 3/25/2011

As of this writing, I have been in Japan three days, and already I have seen God move powerfully, first in my own heart as well as in others'. God is so good! Tuesday When we arrived on Tuesday evening, people at Honda Chapel were busy, busy busy! Some of them were...

Why I Am Still Going

Why I Am Still Going

These have been some crazy days...initially I was hoping to blog every day before the trip, but that got blown out of the water because God's plans have been so much bigger than ours! The team I'm with is now officially 8 people, and in only 6 days God has raised up...

Urgent Prayer Needed for Fukushima Daiichi Reactor Crisis

Urgent Prayer Needed for Fukushima Daiichi Reactor Crisis

Urgent Prayer Needed for Fukushima Daiichi Reactor Crisis Our dear family & friends, According to recent news updates , although the Japanese government's evacuation zone around the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant is still officially 12 miles (20km), the...

Update on Giving and Our Team’s Safety

Our dear family and friends, First of all, thank you for your patience as we got our fund-raising details taken care of! Our team has arranged two ways to donate to helping our brothers and sisters in Japan (electronically or by check). Gifts by check are tax...

Please Pray For Our Beloved Japan

Please Pray For Our Beloved Japan

Our hearts break for Japan. Never in all our years have we ever imagined that this kind of apocalyptic destruction could happen again in our hearts' country. Japan has always been the safest, most disaster-prepared country we have ever known. And in one day, we saw...

Japan and the Water of Life

Japan and the Water of Life

May the floods that they so much dread make blessings break upon their head. -John Piper On March 11, 2011, the dreaded tsunamis swept away hope and life, leaving death and ruin in its wake. The water that swept them forward was dirty and dark, and carried the...

URGENT: MIKE GOING TO JAPAN

Our dear family and friends, An opportunity has presented itself for Mike to go to Japan along with Danny Iverson (son of missionary Dan Iverson) to help out with relief efforts in some of the hardest-hit areas. We have heard first-hand reports from the missionaries...

The Lie of Studliness

The Lie of Studliness

When I was growing up, I was told a lie—by my family, by my peers, by the society in which I lived. I was told that the true value of a man is measured in how “studly” you are. I was told that manly men were those who were so charming, handsome, and strong that they...