Monthly Archives: December 2010
One of the most amazing events all year is taking place at this very moment. Here’s some info from their website here:
“For the Sake of His Name will be the theme for all the Our Generation Events in our 2011 season. This is a theme that is very dear to the hearts of all us on the Our Generation Team. We believe as you hear stories from the past and present about young men and young ladies going “for the sake of His Name” you will be motivated to help those going in the future go for the same purpose. You can learn more about the story that inspired this theme by reading about the lives of John Leonard Dober and David Nitschman.
The Our Generation Summit is an annual gathering in Pigeon Forge, TN, of Christians with a heart for world missions. Pastors and missionaries, teachers and students, businessmen and families join for three days to address the needs of a world waiting for the Gospel.”
Have you ever been so dirty that you felt like you’d do just about anything for a good bath?
That was the case of our Toyota Matrix after a wonderful trip to Ohio and back over Christmas. The top picture really doesn’t do justice to the amount of cake-frosting-like-salt that was pasted all over our poor car. It got so bad that we’d have to stop every 100 miles to clean the windshield and windows just to see. And since it was below freezing when we returned to Georgia, it was several days before I could find an open car wash to clean off all the grime and junk that had built up.
But when bath time came, I think I almost heard my car breathe a sigh of deep relief and joy. Really.
OK, maybe not the car. It was probably me.
Anyways, it got me to thinking. You know, we need baths too. Life is dirty. We live in a dirty world. We’re heading to Heaven but the road there is covered in things that hinder our view, drag us down and make us feel filthy. Here are a few thoughts about this.
1. Christ Wants Us Clean
I think that’s why Paul said in Ephesians:
“…Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25b-27
Just as I couldn’t wait to get my car cleaned off of the build-up of junk on the outside, Christ gave himself to clean us by the washing of water by the word. This is an interesting concept. Cleansed by his word? Well just think… His word was powerful enough to create the universe… don’t you think it would be sufficient to wash me and you of every spot, wrinkle and blemish? And he wants to clean us just to be able to present us back to himself as holy and without blemish!
2. We Cannot Clean Ourselves
If my car would have cleaned itself, it sure would have saved me a lot of trouble. I had to find a car wash, fork out money to pay for it, and invest time that could be spent somewhere else… But I wanted a clean car. It was worth it. That’s why Christ gave himself for us. He laid down his own life on the cross to pay for our dirty sin. He died to rescue us from a life of filth! Now, it is with the washing of the water (the Holy Spirit) by the Word (Jesus Christ) that we’re made spotless.
3. It’s A Process
In the car wash there were 7 or 8 stages. (I opted for the “Ultimate Wash.” ) Each stage peeled back another layer of dirt. Each stage was important in itself but near worthless if done alone. I think we have the wrong idea about Spiritual Cleanliness. The Christian might study the Word of God once after messing up thinking, “Good, now I’m clean!” but it’s a process! You have to dwell in his word. The reason sin builds up in our life is because we don’t dwell in his word. We don’t spend enough time with him for him to be able to do his work of cleansing. I could have quickly sped through the car wash but it wouldn’t have effectively cleaned my car. It’s a process.
4. We Must Be Washed Often
I washed my car less than 24 hours ago. It’s already dirty again. It needs to be constantly washed. The same with us, we must constantly return to the Water by the Word for a fresh cleaning. One time won’t do it. That’s why I take a shower every day. If not, my wife and I might be having some problems. How often do you submit yourself for a spiritual bath by the Lord and his Word?
There’s nothing like a good bath!
1. A Christ Follower!
That phrase is a good summary of the purpose for which I live. Around Easter of 1991 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He changed my life and gave me not only Heaven, but a reason for existence here on earth. Now, each day is a new journey and a new opportunity to give HIM maximum glory!
2. A Cross Carrier!
There’s a special thing about living for God. It’s not always easy, but it is definitely fulfilling! As the Apostle Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”
3. A Commission Fulfiller!
“And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20. The command of God has not been to simply wait for His coming. It is to go. To preach the message of the Gospel in the entire world! This is why we are here–to fulfill his commission. The Great Commission!
So that’s me. What about you? What defines you? What do you live for? What makes up your persona?
Dear Friends and Family,
Merry Christmas from our family to yours! We love celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. It really is because of HIM and His saving grace that we do all that we do. This letter will give you a brief update about our family, our ministry and our trip to Colombia. If you’d like to stay even more connected with us, please visit our website and blog at: http://www.BeMagnified.org.
Amira is growing like crazy (they tell me that’s what babies do). She will be about 9 months old by the time many of you will get this letter. She’s saying all sorts of baby words (including the most important “mama” and “dada!”), and she’s learning how to get around pretty well. We also had a great time visiting my brother Zach at Pensacola Christian College with my family over Thanksgiving. He is a freshman there.
Things continue to go well at Iglesia Bautista El Faro (the Spanish Church in Georgia that I pastor). In October we worked a booth for 10 days at the County Fair where quite a few from our church turned out to help distribute literature and witness to people. We later celebrated our 4th Anniversary and the Lord blessed in incredible ways. In December we hosted our first Annual Family Conference with Ronald Tubillas preaching in three special services. I believe this upcoming year will be the best yet at El Faro.
Our upcoming survey trip to Colombia, South America is less than 2 months away! We have our tickets and are extremely excited to finally see this land that the Lord has called us to. God has miraculously provided most of the funds needed, and he has used many of you to do this. If you would like to have a part in sending us to Colombia, there’s still a chance. We still lack about $700 and every little bit helps. You can make a check out to Lighthouse Baptist Church and mark it “Vance Colombia Trip” and send it to the address below. This gift is tax-deductible. Also, please be praying for the people of Colombia during this time. They’ve had an unusually strong rainy season this year that has left over 1.7 million people homeless throughout the whole country and 223 souls have died. The need is great! Thank you, and may God continue to bless you and your family.
May Christ Be Magnified,
Aaron, Aubrie & Amira Vance
God has been so good to us this year! We’ve been blessed in so many ways. New additions to our home (isn’t she cute?), growth in our ministry, and open doors for new opportunities… (more on that later). The Lord has taken care of every need, taught us new things and poured out his amazing love and goodness on us. Our cup really is running over!!
We just got back from spending Christmas with Aubrie’s family up in Ohio last week. They really are a blessing to me. I couldn’t ask for better In-laws! We enjoyed seeing lots of snow the entire time (for a Georgia boy: Lots of snow=3 inches! lol), remembering the Christmas story, exchanging gifts and eating [probably] a little too much amazing food.
The road home late Sunday and early Monday morning was a bit rough but God kept us protected the entire time. Just like I told Aubrie, I’m pretty sure that if I have a guardian angel, he’s probably a little overworked. :)
Thanks for being part of our lives. Thanks for taking the time to keep up with our lives and ministry. Thanks for praying. We really need it.
May God bless you and your family this upcoming year with all spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord!
Aaron, Aubrie & Amira Vance