5 Things I Think I Think

It’s time again for another installment of what’s on Will J’s mind.  But this time, I’ll just keep it to 5 so as not to take too much time from your long Memorial Day weekend…

1. I think it’s awesome how just eating a Subway sandwich shows the difference in Maddie and Mahaney.  Mahaney opens up the bread, removes the ham to one side and cheese to the other and leaves the veggies on the bread.  She then proceeds to eat each part of the sandwich separately until everything is finished.  Maddie just eats the sandwich normally.

2. I think cricket is more fun than baseball.  No explanation needed…however, here’s 10 ways cricket is more manly than baseball:

cricket-211) No gloves.  You try catching the screaming line drive with bare hands.
2) 1 strike and you are out.  None of this 3 strikes and then you are out till you get to bat again.  One chance.
3) Batting until you get out takes endurance.
4) You ever try to hit an 85 mph ball off the bounce?
5) You try and make the ball twist and spin WITHOUT bending your elbow.
6) None of this foul territory business.
7) Short, exciting tournaments as opposed to a ridiculously long regular season.
8) It takes manly skill to throw the ball and hit the stick rather than a man with a glove.
9) You are allowed to skuff and doctor the ball.
10) Yurvay’s 6 “home-runs” in a row.  Nothing like a little trash talk from a Brit to spark a fire in an Indian. (Start from the 2 min mark).

3. I think I am excited to watch the World Cup next month.

4. I think I’ve been overseas too long when I am talking about cricket and soccer football in my posts.

5. I think it is amazing how much Maddie and Buggie can remember when it is put to song.  As Beth mentioned in the last post, she has been teaching them Bible verses, using the tunes from familiar songs.  At first, I was skeptical.  Yet now, I am a full believer.  It has even helped me!

6. One more…I think that my wife is amazing for caring so much about the future salvation of our children.

7. Two more…I am thankful for all of those who have served or are serving in our military.  It never was an interest of mine, but I am thankful for the freedom I have because of those who have protected it for us.  Happy Memorial Day!

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10 Things I Think I Think

Alright, here we go with another 10 Things I Think I Think.  As always, thanks to Peter King at the MMBQ for the idea (always love reading his)…..

1.  I think driving in the FLL has given me a new appreciation for NASCAR.  I used to be amazed out how they drove so fast with so little room between them and other cars.  Now, yes they drive at must faster speeds….but lets see them try to drive in close space with dogs, cows, people walking, people riding bikes, motocycles, 3-wheelers, small cars, big cars, buses, and cargo trucks all running 3 wide on a 1 lane road.

2. I think Scripture memory is way under-rated.  I never really got into much (and if I did I sure don’t remember them now).  Actually, I probably know more verses in Hindi than I do in English!  However, I highly recommend the Fighter Verses app from Desiring God.  It’s on your phone; it gives you quizzes to practice.  It’s great!  I started it right before Christmas, and I love it.  Even on those days where life is crazy and a quiet time is non-existent, I can still “feed on the Word.”

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3. Here are a few things I think about our vacation in Thailand…
a) Thai fashion is off the charts weird.  No words to describe.
b) It was quite refreshing not to see people peeing on the side of the road.
c) I love some Indian food, but I really love beef!
d) Krispy Kreme is in Bangkok……(you see the “Hot Now” light)
e) There is also a Sizzler with an all you can eat salad bar!
f) I think it’s weird that I was excited about an all you can eat salad bar!
g) Bumrungrad hospital has got to be in the Top 5 best hospitals in the world.  Amazing!
h) I thought I had seen some nice malls in America.  In Bangkok, bigger and nicer malls exist on EVERY CORNER!
i) Also beware the night market…(eyes forward or straight down….just saying)
j) Forgot how much I really love thick chocolate milkshakes.

4. I think I wish I had written down more of what I think.  10 things is hard…

5. I think that it would be hard to go back to America and work an office job.  For 2 years, I have been working from home.  Beth and I are together most everyday.  I see my kids all the time.  When I do travel, I’m gone for 3-4 days; however, when I am home I am home.  I can’t imagine only seeing my kids for a few hours a day before bedtime, or not having Beth around all day to talk with.  While there are some downsides to the job we have, this isn’t one of them!

6. I also think that working from home is tough.  Having to go from a structured office job to working from home with no real schedule or routine was really hard.  But here we are 2 years in and I think we finally are understanding how it works.  There are no real office hours so sometimes work happens early, sometimes late, or sometimes all throughout the day.  Yet we love what we do so that is what matters!

7. Final thoughts about football…
a) I should have won the company fantasy fooball league.  There was a tie in the semi-finals, but espn rules say that the higher seed moves on…I wasn’t the higher seed.  I would have won had I been in the finals.
b) I should have won the CCBC fantasy football league.  I had 1 bad week in the quarterfinals; that’s all it takes.  I would have won both the semi-final game and the championship game.
c) I was right that the CCBC East division was the hardest.  Congrats Jeremy on the win!
d) The “should haves” are for our CCBC Commish, Mr. Miller.  He loves it when I trash talk in the past.  He says I learned it as a Duke fan.
e) Speaking of Duke, I got to watch Duke play in December….and it was a football game!  We should have beat A&M.  In other news, I can’t name 1 player on Duke’s team.

8. I think it is crazy that we will be heading back to America for our furlough in 18 months.  There is so much happening in 2014 that I know it will come quickly.  We are looking forward to the many volunteer teams coming to visit.  I am also super excited to release our 6 church planters to begin training others!  They have been so faithful these past 6 months in sharing the gospel and seeing new churches started in brand new areas!

20140105_1902539. I think it is so much fun having 2 daughters.  Maddie and Mahaney have been so much fun this past year.  It has been a joy seeing them grow and mature.  Maddie is learning so much in school, and Mahaney is really developing her own personality.  They love to play monster and hide-n-seek and spin around with daddy, and they also love to just cuddle while we watch their girly, kiddy cartoons.

10. I think know that I have a wonderful wife.  In December, we celebrated 8 years of marriage!  What has amazed me the most is that the learning process never stops.  I am still learning new things about her.  And not just new things, but we are also growing deeper in our relationship.  Working from home together has it challenges, but I cannot imagine working a job where she is not right there beside me.  I love the in-between task flirtations and small conversations.  I love the encouragement and support that she offers me as we work together!20140105_190437

And we’re back!

It seems like forever before this blog gets updated…sorry ’bout that.  We are in the midst of selling all of our stuff and our house, so, it’s been a teensy (or is it tinsy?) bit busy…hopefully, there will be an update soon on our official timetable made by THE Will Jackson towards the beginning of August.  Me and the girls are really enjoying our time together this summer and have done a number of things….sleep in, eat, nap, play in the pool, eat, art time, eat, read, go to the zoo, go to church, eat….how many times a day do they eat?  It’s been great and there is more adventure yet to come, I’m sure…

We celebrated 4th of July weekend with my folks and had a nice, relaxing weekend…we haven’t had that in a long time…so, before the real madness, that is the month of July, starts, we wanted to veg out and chill w/ some family.  Oh, I wanted to share about a book I am reading, Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers…..WHOA.  Can’t put it down to save my life….I’m not a big book reader, repeat, I cannot stand reading…..but I really love this book.  It’s based on the Hosea/Gomer story in the Bible and I strongly encourage you to run out and buy it….go ahead!   I’d love to chat about it…it has captured me in 2 ways…1.  Just being so thankful that the Lord is a loving God that will always come after His people and 2. Thankful that my husband would do the same.  Now, don’t get any cheeky ideas, I’m not into that kind of business that Will would have to run out after me….but I am so grateful for a man who would if he had to.
Will has been….well, I’m not really sure….oh yes, he sprained his ankle a couple of weeks ago, so, I have been tending to him 🙂  He is projected to resume athletics in 2 more weeks…and get ready for his work’s golf tourney at the end of the month…

Which leads me to some very exciting weekends coming up!  We are planning on heading down to Knoxville one of the last weekends in July to see some friends and to see Mahaney’s namesake.  CJ Mahaney and his family will be preaching at the Alexander’s church and this is the man who we have named our 2nd kiddo after.  He (& his family) have been so influential Will and my faith journey and we just love him.  Granted, we don’t know him on a really personal level, we still have been affected by his love for Jesus.  Check out a little bit about him here.  Don’t you just love his squinty eyes when he smiles??  He is truly a hoot!
Also, my dear friends Anna and Taiter are planning a trip at the end of July to see us!  I can’t tell you how much this makes my heart leap.  It’s been a year since the triple threat has been reunited and I’m totally looking forward to the late nights, many laughs and hilarious stories we will share.  Too bad they’ll have to see me acting like the “mommy”….Stay tuned folks….

Gospel Ministry w/o the power of the Spirit?

I (Will) have been reading through Radical by David Platt over the past few months. Most (if not all) of the content I’ve heard before through the sermon podcasts. But there’s been a smaller theme in the book that’s really resonated with me and caused some soul searching on my part.

Platt spends one section talking about how [my paraphase] if we wanted to, church leaders in America could grow a huge mega-church without any help from the Holy Spirit. All we have to do is find the outgoing, charismatic speaker; build the greatest facilities w/ best technology; organize top-notch programs; and target the upper and middle suburban class. Before long, the church is booming and the leaders are being invited to all the speaking circuits with the other celeb-evangelicals. Yet, no where to be found is the Holy Spirit actually changing hearts rather than man playing with emotions.

As I read this, I began to think about who is really behind my gospel ministry. I’ve lived overseas for 2 years engaging unreached people groups; I’ve traveled around the southeast for 8 months promoting and recruiting for missions. I’ve had chance to preach and teach at churches. I’ve trained national church planter and pastors in Asia. Yet, I think I’ve come to the realization that much of my “ministry” falls into the category Platt is describing. Reflecting on the state of my personal walk with Christ during these times, I know that many of these efforts were completed in my own power. Bible reading was scarce; prayer even scarcer. Now, the Bible has plenty of examples of using someone’s sin or faults for the greater purpose (Joseph’s brothers, Cyrus, Judas, etc); so I don’t doubt that any who were impacted by what I said or did were impacted for the wrong reason necessarily. Yet, I have been reminded over and over the past few weeks about the missed opportunities this spiritless-ministry left on the table.

For too long, I’ve mostly relied on my head knowledge to carry me through ministry (and seminary) rather than opening my mind and heart to hear the Spirit’s leading. I know that the only way to completely follow God is 100% submission to him. I don’t doubt my salvation; I know that Christ is my Savior. What I look back on are the many times where my disobedience prevented me from seeing God at work through me, missing the opportunity to know him better. Yet, I know that the Spirit is always here in me. I trust God’s Word that the Spirit will lead and guide me; I trust that the Spirit will intercede for me when I know not what to say. I need to be more committed to being in God’s Word, to spending time in prayer, to listening to his voice. Only then will I be able to actually see the power of the Spirit in my gospel ministry.

I write this post not to publically confess my shortcomings. I write to possibly help and encourage any of the few readers we have to not fall into the same trap that I did. Don’t rely only on your own gifts, because your gifts and talents without the power of the Holy Spirit are fruitless. Gospel ministry without the power of the Spirit is no Gospel ministry at all.

Ramblings & Thoughts

This is the name of our blog, yet we probably should rename it “All about our kids.”  And with another due in Oct, it will probably be more that way than ever.  So Beth has encouraged me to write a non-baby post.  However, I don’t have all that much time to write at length like I would so I’m thinking about just starting a new style of Rambling blogging.  Welcome to first installment!

  • I am trippin on how much attention this pastor in Florida is getting for planning to burn copies of the Koran.  Might I say also that I wish the media would learn to pronounce it properly?  Anyway, I just think this pastor is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame.  The video footage I saw had maybe 15 people in the church for this service.  The abc interviewer asked him would Jesus burn the Koran, and his response was “absolutely.”  There’s the first example that this guy is preaching a false gospel with a false savior.  What a shame that this story is now out worldwide.
  • I am excited for NAMB that Kevin Ezell has been nominated to be the next President.  Many who know more will comment on him for this job (here, here), but I think it’s a good move considering the upcoming changes from the GCR Task Force report.  Which leads me to my next rambling . . .
  • I sure hope that the IMB President search committee is more tight-lipped than the NAMB search committee.  Why the NAMB committee would release a statement that they have a candidate but not give the name, then that very same day release the email to the Florida Baptist paper, all the while only giving Kevin Ezell 30 minutes notice while he was on vacation is insane.  The trustees should discipline anyone still a trustee or find a way to condemn Dr. Traylor’s release of the information as well as issue an apology to Highview Baptist Church and Pastor Ezell for this ridiculous handling of this announcement.  I’m sure there’s information I don’t know, but I have a friends at Highview who have verified that Pastor Ezell had to inform many in his church, staff, and deacons via email before the story went on the paper’s website.
  • Finally, observing a fun series of blog posts where 4 guys are drafting from the SBC for their fantasy team.  Check it out!