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January 2011
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March 2011

Proverbs 28:13

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"He who conceals his sins does not prosper,
but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy" - 28:13.

When you confess your sins and ask forgiveness, God is faithful to forgive. When you ask others for forgiveness, it is the first step toward reconciliation. Yet pride can cause you to blame others or deny your faults. Is acknowledging your sins a regular part of your spiritual practices?  Read what Jesus said about forgiveness in the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6:12 and then read what John wrote in 1 John 1:8-10.

The Final Tally on the BIG GOAL

Last December, I set a goal to raise $10,000 for my work in Kenya and called the campaign the BIG GOAL.  Last night I counted up what we received and the grand total is -- $12,648!  What a great blessing. Thank you for your support.  Here is the breakdown of how the money will be distributed:

$2,000 for Operation Chicken Coop:  This will finish the first chicken farm for the Each One Touch One Orphanage.

$5,000 for the Deborah Foundation:  We have already purchased $1,622 in supplies to take over; the Kenya Shoes remainder will pay for the excess luggage fees to get our supplies over to Kenya. We packed 38 bags today, filled with toys, games, atheletic and artistic supplies, shoes, books, bedding and a whole lot more.  It all weighs about 2,000 pounds, so we can honestly say we are taking a ton of stuff over to be distributed. 

$5,648 for the Sophia Fund: The Sophia Fund is used to feed orphans and widows in Kenya.  We will give a grant to every orphanage and women's ministry we visit while in Kenya.

My heart is joyful as I consider how many people will be helped and blessed by your generosity.  Many years ago I felt the Lord impress me that I was not using my administrative gift for the poor in a way He Kenya Stuff wanted, so I have tried to correct that over the years.  This effort and others like them are my attempts to use my gift for people that are close to God's heart.  When I behold the total we raised, I can't help but think of Ephesians 3:20-21:

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

Thank you and now please pray for our safe passage to and from Kenya and safe and successful ministry while we are there.  We depart this Friday and will be home on March 19. 

Proverbs 27:8

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home" - 27:8. 

God has a "place' or purpose for everyone that involves not only what you do but where you will do it.  Do you know your "place" or sphere of influence?  Are you working to expand your place so that you can reach and help more people? Give some thought today to what your place and what your mission or purpose in life are. See how Paul did that very thing in Romans 15:22-24.

Proverbs 26:24-25

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

" A malicious man disguises himself with his lips,
but in his heart he harbors deceit.
Though his speech is charming, do not believe him,
for seven abominations fill his heart" - 26:24-25.

Talk is cheap. How many times have you been "taken in" by what someone convincingly said, or covered your own heart intent or content with dishonest words? Determine today to speak the truth to yourself and others, and allow time for those who speak well to prove that they also back up their words with action. David and Paul addressed the need for integrity in speech with one another in Psalm 55:21 and Ephesians 5:5-7.

Proverbs 25:5

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Remove the wicked from the king's presence,
and his throne will be established through righteousness" - 25:5.

Leaders need good people around them.  No leader is smart, gifted or anointed enough to get any job done. Plus working in a team can be much more rewarding and fulfilling. Of whose team are you a member?  Are you contributing all you possibly can? If you are a leader, who is on your team? A picture of a great team can be found in 2 Samuel 23:8-39Do you think this team was an important part of David's success? What can you learn from that team to apply to your own?

Proverbs 24:9

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"The schemes of folly are sin,
and men detest a mocker"- 24:9.

Schemers and mockers are selfish, trying to impose their insight and plans on everyone else. They are not good team players and consequently seldom achieve anything, but always sound like experts. Do you want to be a valued team player? Then learn to contribute and encourage according to your gifts and experience. This is what Barnabas did as reported in Acts 4:36-37 and Acts 9:26-28. Compare this to Judas and his behavior in John 12:4-6.

Proverbs 23:12

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Apply your heart to instruction
and your ears to words of knowledge" - 23:12.

You learn with your heart as you remove all barriers to effective listening. You may not listen well because you are thinking of a response or question, or you are simply distracted with worry or anxiety. If you are not a good listener, then you are not a good learner!  How good are your listening skills? Read what Jesus had to say about listening in Luke 8:17-18 and see how it ties into today's verse.

Proverbs 22:4

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Humility and the fear of the Lord
bring wealth and honor and life" - 22:4. 

You can never go wrong when you humble yourself and do what God wants.  What's more, God always rewards you when keep Him first and foremost in your life!  How can you humble yourself and fear Him today? As an example of this, read how Abraham humbled himself in his situation with Lot, yet see how God blessed him in Genesis 13 (It is of note that when Lot chose his land first, he chose the region of Sodom and Gomorrah! What does that tell you about Lot?)

Proverbs 21:4

Your daily dose of Proverbs:

"Haughty eyes and a proud heart,
the lamp of the wicked, are sin!" -- 21:4.

How you think determines how you "see" things.  If your thinking is colored by pride, then you will see yourself as superior to others and it will effect your speech and action. Pride can also be like garlic; everyone else can detect it but you. Is it time to ask the Lord and others if they detect any arrogance and pride in you? Is it also time to determine if you need to repent of any prideful acts?  A good (or bad) example of pride in the Bible is a man named Nebuchadnezzar, and you can read about how God dealt with his pride in Daniel 4.

One More Update

I also received this update from Pastor Francis at the Upako Centre. We will be with Pastor Francis and his children on Monday, March 7.  Here is what he had to say:

Dear Dr.John,
Since you begun feeding orphans at Upako through sophia funds,tremendous changes has occurred in our program that we could not hold back our joy.Attached are photos of our 6 children(Mary,Hassan,Eddah,Derick,John and Rodah) who sat for their primary exams last year and are now through with their primary education and have secured places in high schools.

They were able to learn because you considered their stomachs and this has contributed to their stable learning.Thank you so much and we really appreciate all those who helped in one way or the other. You continuously fed 43 from the beggining and last year we decided to have the number down to 37 as 6 ophans joined high school.We now only have the six during school vacation since upako is their home.
May God Continue to do good through your efforts.
Pastor Francis

Francis sent some pictures of the children, but they were embedded in his email and I could not copy them.  If you would like to see them, I will gladly forward the email to you.  They all look healthy, but a bit sad.  If you would like to help Pastor Francis, there is still time before I leave on March 4. The fastest way to give is through my website or you can send a check made payable to PurposeQuest, PO  Box 8882, Pittsburgh, PA  15221-0882.  Join Pastor Francis' team and bring much needed help to the children he is working to save.  Thank you and God bless you.