Monthly Archives: January 2015

Don’t Let Them Define Who You Are


Don’t let them put out the fire of your passion;

Don’t let them pour cold water on your infectious joy;

Don’t let them destroy your confidence in Christ;

Don’t let them make your life miserable through their negativity;

Don’t pay attention to their cynicism and derogatory comments;

Don’t let them define who you are.


You are a child of the Almighty God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

You are forgiven, and were bought at a high price – the blood of Jesus.

You are justified and declared righteous.

You are chosen, equipped and sent.

You are magnificently created in His image.

Stand up.  Stand firm. Be who Christ as ordained you to be.

“Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16

Man Up!

Man Up 1

1. Love God.

Your first love should be your love for God.  Let your family see you fall, stay, and grow in love with Jesus.

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:37-39)

  1. Love Your Wife.                 

Lust and infatuation are not real love.  Real love is more than a feeling.  It is a decision and commitment.  Real love takes work to develop and grow.  Go on dates with your spouse.

Be romantic.  Let yourself fall in love with her all over again.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” (Ephesians 5:25)

  1. Love your family.

Spend quality time with your family.  Be available.  Eat dinner together.  Share stories, play games, go on vacations together.  Take your children out on dates.  Teach them what to look for in a man.  Teach them how a man should treat a woman.

  1. Work. Work Hard.

God created men to work.  Men, you are supposed to be the provider.  Get off the couch. Turn off the TV. Quit the online games.  Go to work.

There is no problem with your woman working, but you should do your part.  It’s not about the job you have, or the salary, it is all about you having the discipline to hold down a gainful employment.  Your family is relying on you.

1 Timothy 5:8 says, “If a man fails to provide for his household, he is worse than a pagan.”

  1. Lead. Lead By Example.

Your children are watching you.  In fact, whether you want it or not, you are influencing them.  Your influence could be positive or negative.  Use your influence for the good.  You are the spiritual leader of your home.  Lead your family to church.  Lead your family in prayer.

Let your family see you pray, preach, praise God.  Be the pastor and mentor to your children. Teach and disciple your children.

  1. Let your guard down, emotionally, that is.

Men, it is OK to express your feelings.   Life is not about proving our manhood by shutting down our emotions.  Many wives and children cannot wait to hear you say these heartfelt words: “I Love You, Thank you, I am sorry, or excuse me.”  Swallow your pride, and express your feelings.  Talk with your family about deep issues. Do not just be a goofball.  You are the head of the house.

  1. Watch Your Words.

Do you know your words have power?  Do you know what you say can build up or destroy your family?  Watch what you say to your wife and children.  Be very careful what you say when you are angry.  There is nothing cool about cussing.  There is nothing good about gossip.  There is nothing respectful about sarcasm. Instead, learn to encourage and cheer others on.  Bless not curse.  Build up your children, commend your wife.  Be a voice that brings refreshment and hope to your family.

“The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.” – Proverbs 18:21

Man up

  1. Be Real.

Children can smell fakeness a mile away.  If you want your children to trust you, and to listen to your message, be authentic.  Make sure you are the same wherever you are.  Your words and deeds must match up. “Do as what I say, not as what I do,” does not work.  Be an honest, reliable and dependable person.  Do not over promise and then under deliver.  Be a man of integrity.

But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’” – Matthew 5:37

  1. Be faithful.

Be a one woman man.  Do not let your eyes wander.  Keep Your Heart Pure.  Some men do not have an affair, but they are struggling with pornography.  My heart breaks when I read about pornography’s hold on so many men in our society. Pornography’s strength is in its easy access , and secrecy.  It appears harmless.  Do not be fooled.  The devil is a liar.  Pornography is very harmful.  It enslaves you; it belittles women; it destroys marriages; it weakens the men of God.  It leads to a horrible addiction.  Think of what Jesus says, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5:27-28)

  1. Respect your wife.

Your wife is not a punching bag.  If you want to hit someone, go and sign up for boxing at a local club.  Go and compete in the UFC.  Go get beat up by other men your own size.  No matter how angry you become, never hit a woman.

“In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church.”  (Eph. 5:28-29)

  1. Be accountable to someone.      

Many men do not have close friends.  Many men avoid sharing their struggles with other men.  Let’s admit it, the men code is against the notion of men spilling their guts in front of other men.  It is thought of as weak to break down before other men, and then hold hands while singing “Kumbaya.”

Men, you need to have deep friendships.  You need other men to challenge you spiritually.  You need to be accountable to someone who checks up on your spiritual progress.  To whom are you accountable?

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17

The Revival of My Prayerless Life


Meet with you at sunrise I did

Afternoon prayers just splendid

At bedtime for countless blessings I prayed

Through the night the angels stood guard.

Now, fame and success I chase all day long

Rushed, meaningless prayers fail to make me strong

I am living just a life of Christian façade

Only as a shadow of the holy man God made

Daily devotions I avoid like a plague

I despise advice from a Godly colleague

In times past my heart would not settle

Through prayer the devil I would wrestle

My prayerless life today you have revived

Many days without prayer I barely survived

Today, you have renewed my strength.

In you, o Lord, I put my trust.

Jesus, you have shown me love despite my sin

Jesus, you have forgiven me to bring me in

No matter how stupid and lost I had become

You have always extended your loving arm

Weekly fasting, daily prayers my goal

Through it all, you will restore my soul

With your Holy Spirit’s power I will not fail

As I stay safe in your everlasting arms, oh God.

Your great blessings I anticipate

My life at your altar I consecrate

In your suffering and glory I partake

To receive the Glory in Heaven that awaits


Accepting God’s Will

Happy New Year!Matthew Peter

I pray your year has started well. For some, however, our plans and resolutions may not be going well already. Is your future looking gloomy and hopeless? Is the pain in your body causing you to lose hope? Are your finances in disarray? Do you call on God, and He seems silent? Are you wondering why every door is being slammed in your face? Why?  I am not be able to answer that question, but I want to encourage you to not lose hope. Hang on in there. Do not throw in the towel.

I would like to encourage you with the words penned by Matthew Ball. But first, please allow God to bless you through these verses:

Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Proverbs 19:21 – “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.”

2 Corinthians 4:7-9; 16-18 — “But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned;struck down, but not destroyed.”

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

Matthew Ball writes:

“To all who have prayed for us, loved us and supported this trip to Sudan,

Our trip to South Sudan has been postponed. The visa requirements changed and visas are now required before entering the country (aka before departure). We had been told that visas were available on entering the country. However, there was much confusion at the airport as my dad was allowed to board in error and Peter and I were kept from boarding.
Of course, while we are disappointed, God isn’t. Even as we prayed and planned and bought supplies and prayed some more and bought our tickets and arranged lodging and transportation in South Sudan and continued praying…, God knew we would still be home today. Nothing happens outside of his control and we are firmly in His will. Knowing that God had a different time in mind for our trip is very comforting. Also, knowing that our job is the same regardless of where we are: to bring glory to the name of God in everything (1 Corinthians 10:31). And so as I write this in my office in El Cajon, CA my prayer is that my life will bring glory to God today because of the things I do, think and say. God is good and he is worthy of my full devotion today.
About the situation with donations, flights, supplies etc. We will receive a refund for our flights minus a cancellation fee that I will replace myself. We have everything we need for a trip to South Sudan and we are actively planning our trip for a different day. Already we are tentatively looking at a trip in the summer perhaps. Pray that the way will be opened for us to go soon!
I wish you could all have talked with Peter when we found out at the airport that we couldn’t board. While I frantically began calling, texting and emailing to find a solution, Peter kept reminding me that, “This trip is not about us, it is about God.” He also kept quoting verses from Isaiah about God in control. He is totally ready for whatever God has in store and has his normal infectious God honoring attitude. It’s been 27 years since he’s been to his home country and yet he treasures God above everything. He was and is a fantastic reminder to me about what really matters in the face of disappointment.
As I’ve written many times in these updates, please pray for peace in South Sudan. On the day we were to depart, peace talks broke down yet again. The country is in constant turmoil and the peace of God is needed to bring reconciliation and forgiveness between the many tribes and people of the Sudanese region. God is at work there and we must pray that his kingdom come in South Sudan.
Thank you all for your prayers and support and know that I will continue to steward the resources and supplies you have generously provided. Lord willing, we are still going to travel to South Sudan and I will keep you posted as our plans progress!
In His name and for his glory,” – Matthew Ball