Brasil Countdown

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A.W. Tozer Download!!! DO IT!!!

I first off need to thank A.W. Tozer for what he means to me. I know he's gone to be with the Lord for quite some time now, but he is the reason I am who I am today. His book, The Pursuit of God, opened the door to practically the entire library of book that have deepened my understanding of God and His Word!
Anyways, that book is a free download of the month, and everyone should download it, listen, and learn! Here's a link to my sister's blog, which you should also check out (simplifiedsaving.com). Thanks once again for anyone who reads this thing!
God Bless!
Rob Lauter

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Blog

I've been thinking a lot lately, and this time my thoughts have lead to a series of short "thoughts" that I've taken the time to write down. If anyone is interested, visit glory2come.blogspot.com. Thanks to anyone who actually reads this little blog!

Family Reunion!!!


First off, I just have to say that I LOVE MY FAMILY!!! As always, our reunion was a blast. We had tons of food, spent lots of time catching up, played some football (The "Old Guys" beat my team, the "Young Guys" mainly due to the fact that Brian slept through the game!), and lots of other fun stuff. This year was different because it rained on and off, so some of the day was spent indoors. Either way, everyone had a ton of fun! It was a great day I will always remember! (by the way, some of this picture is cut off, so CLICK ON THE PICTURE!)

Brasil Wrap Up

Howdy one and all! Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday were some of the best days of the trip so far and I'm so excited for what God is doing and is continuing to do in Brasil!
Tuesday started off with construction yet again. I talked to the guys about trials and how they each can overcome them because of 2 things: the fact that Christ is with them through it all (because we serve a God who knows suffering!) and because our current pain is nothing compared to our future glory! In the afternoon, after pouring lots and lots of concrete to the floor, we finally played some USA vs. Brasil soccer. Needless to say, we lost about 17-4 (maybe worse, I'm not positive). Either way, it was loads of fun! That night, Jordan and I taught our last lesson at church over Communicating with God. I spoke on the importance of prayer: talking with God as our Father. Jordan spoke on the importance of reading The Word: God's love letter to us and the way He speaks to us. It went extremely well! That night, we (all the white folks) ended the night with some much-needed worship to a greatly-deserving God!

Wednesday was beach day! We all went early in the morning to Future Beach and the nice restaurant there, Atlantis. During the morning I swam, played both kinds of football (yeah that's right, there are two kinds. The American is the better kind though), including loser to Pastor Eudes and his team 4-2. After a shower and some yummy lunch, we were off to the Central Market. Picture a ginormous mall consistent of flea market-esque shops. There, I found jewelry for my mom, jerseys for friends (including one for Pastor! Love that guy!) After a while of hanging with Jordan, Dougito, and Patrick, we went straight back. We were going to see the sunset, but the sky was super cloudy :( So after getting back, we went to the Wednesday night study, where J.T. (Copperfield's youth pastor) spoke very nicely about murder and the redefinition of murder (by Jesus himself). He's a real good speaker. That night, I gave Fabricio a Tiery Henry jersey (his favorite player). Earlier in the week, he gave me one of his favorite jerseys. He was really touched by the gesture.

Thursday from start to finish went extremely well. At 7:15, Thiago, Renan, Fabricio, Manuel, Evair, and Toim-Toim were here to learn, sing, and pray... and that we did! I gave them 5 things to focus on in order to grow and become men of God, all with scriptures (Encourgae, Lead, Love, Pray, Serve). Around 8, we started praying for each other and the community for a good 45 minutes! I knew at this point I hadn't just made friends, I had made disciples! We even laid hands on Evair and prayed . Something was troubling him, so we laid hands on him and one by one thanked God for him and prayed for his needs. It was so cool. By 8:45, breakfast came and we all went to eat. After breakfast, I played some basketball with the guys before packing up my stuff. Then we all (including the guys from Brasil) "rated the week". We talked about what we learned and our high points. After a great time of sharing and encouraging, we circled up and prayed for one another. After a great lunch, Jordan and I had our lesson over being lukewarm. We had Julianna, Benjamin, and Renan taste 3 things, the last being nasty. Julianna spit out the stuff, making the illustration perfect (thanks again!) We talked about what is lukewarm and why God hates it so much. We then had a time to share testimonies. On the bright side, Evair, Michael (brasilian), Fabricio, Renan, Fatima, Josh, Juli, Blaise, Alyssa, Jordan, and I all shared our testimonies. There still are many who didn't, so I pray God continues to write His story in the kids' lives and gives them the strength to tell the story well. In the afternoon, Bill told me Pastor Eudes and his family could use some money (they just found out his wife is pregnant!), so whatever extra money I have I could give to him as an "offering". After rounding up some money, Bill informed me this was 4x's more than Pastor even prayed for! I was brought to tears realizing I was used by God as an answer to prayer. I got the amazing opportunity to give him the gift and to pray with them about their ministry and their family. After a final time with the kids in worship, we ate and showered up and were on the road. I did get a final picture with the guys, something I treasure very much! Anyways, after a sad busride to the airport (with thoughts of my time still running through my head), we arrived. After a good Bob's milkshake, I finally had to say my goodbyes :( Oh, how I look toward the day when I will never say goodbye again! Anyways, thanks for all the prayers and all the encouragement. I'm excited to see what God has in store for me in the near future!

Signing off for now but never done,
Rob Lauter

Monday, July 5, 2010

What Can I Boast About?


Hello one and all once again. This will in all reality be the 2nd to last post of my time in Brasil! Needless to say, this Saturday-Sunday have been some of the best days of my time down here- hands down! Saturday started off with a baptism where 5 people got baptized. 3 ladies from the community did, including one who once was the leader of witchcraft in the community. Jordan got the privilege of baptizing her good friend Joyce and I got the incredible opportunity to baptize Fabricio, one of the guys I've got very close to while being down here. He got saved a few months ago through Groupo CEO, and he is loving God big time! It's so awesome! After singing a few hymns altogether (in English and Portuguese), Jordan and I spoke to the teens about missions and why we do it. After some hangout time and lunch, we traveled with Copperfield and some locals to VQ, an inland town 3 hours away from Groupo CEO. On the bus ride there, I caught a little nap and got to plan stuff with Jordan for Monday and Tuesday. During our time there, we got to minister to kids by doing a story and a craft. Also, Drew and I got to play some music for the group as well. At night, the service went as followed: Everyone danced with some sweet Brasilian kids'songs. Mark told a short story that very precisely explained the Gospel! We followed that by singing Prince of Peace in English and Portuguese. It was the coolest little snapshot of heaven. As J.T. says, it "geeks me out". Bob then spoke about how similar the Americans and Brasilians are because we are all under one great God! We ended with testimonies by some different people and prayer! The walk back to the bus was amazing because of the picturesque starry night there was! On the busride back, Jordan and I talked about a lot of different things, one of which I call the "Broken Mirror"(something I'll blog about eventually). That was all one day!!!

Sunday was slower but still awesome! Happy 4th of July everybody! Started off with church at IBC (a large church in Fortaleza) with a sermon about Jonah and God's mercy. After lunch, Douglas, Evair, Hallie, Alyssa, Josh, and I went on an hour-long prayer walk around the community, stopping and praying with many Christians and non-Christians alike. After getting back, we all got to go out to eat to a local chicken eatery (if you really want to know the name, check Jordan's blog... cause I don't care that much really haha). I had some great Brasilian food and Guarana! The service Sunday night was Groupo CEO's 1 year anniversary celebration! There was singing, dancing, skits, and Drew and I got the opportunity to play a few songs to be sung bilingually! After Pastor Eudes spoke, one man, a relative of Toim-Toim and Evair, got saved right there and then! The two guys were very emotional about it all! Afterwords, I got another glimpse of heaven as we ended the service singing Prince of Peace in English and Portuguese with well over 100 people present! Afterwords, I spent some time singing and playing songs in the street with the guys before coming in to swim with the Copperfield group. This was also all on one day!!!

Today is Jordan Lee Placencia's 18th birthday, something I'm luck enough to be here for this year! The day started off with me giving her her gifts from her parents, her sister, and myself as well, which got quite a smile out of her. After breakfast and a devo on Miriam, the boys and I were off to work. After a devotional about praying without ceasing, we prayed (duh, right?) and went to work. We got almost the entire roof done in just 2 hours! After coming back, grabbing a nap, and lunch, I went off to construction again. After doing very little besides moving a little tile, I came back for Jordan's surprise party, which I was unaware of also... probably more unaware than Jordan (surprise! haha). A few girls choreographed a dance for her and the kids wrote her a card. It was a very emotional time for many of the kids. After cake and a prayer, guys went to basketball and girls went to soccer (a switcharoo of sorts). Later, Jordan and I, along with Alyssa and Blaise, about being a missionary everywhere you go. This was follwed by some knockout and some great prayer by a few of the kids, including my boy Evair!
Please be praying for my last few days here, that God will use me, Jordan, Copperfield, and the Moore family still for His Glory and to advance His Kingdom!

Image of invisible God
Stretched across a tree
And all to take my place
Oh, the divine mystery
A savior who turns tragic endings
into love stories
This is the God I know
You have overcome, You have overcome deathʼs sting
Celebrate the rising of a king
You have overcome, You have overcome, letʼs sing
The power of an everlasting king

God Bless!
Rob Lauter

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I Serve a Risen Savior!

What a week, what a week! Saturday was Jordan's going away party (since after that Saturday, all the Saturdays would be busy). We went to the beach for the day, a day filled with 4-wheeling, eating ginormous shrimp, downing Guarana, and watching USA lose 2-1 in overtime to Ghana :( After the game, we went to Tequila's for a pastel (think elephant ear, but instead of sweet, filled with meat and cheese)! It was delicious!
Sunday was rather uneventful until church, where Pastor Eudes decided out of the blue to make me sing Voce Tem Um Valor (a song I kinda know in Portuguese). Anyways, it was fun and church was good.
Monday started off bright and early by working on Evair's house. In the afternoon, the family and I went to the site of the retreat Lakewood Park is going to host with these kids. It was a beautiful beach-front property! After, we went to Erika's parents house to watch Brasil beat Chile 3-0! From there, Bill stopped to get ingredients for his world-famous chocolate-peanut butter-banana milkshakes! Jordan and I downed those suckers down before another great night of worship! It's a great way to end a night, you should try it sometime!
Tuesday was a work day in preparation for Copperfield. Later that day, Bill, Douglas and I went with Va (a guy who tends to the property) to get his cow from his house and transport it to Bill's house... That's right. We transported a cow in the back of Bill's truck! That night, Jordan and I spoke to the community at the Bible study about idolatry and how it's a worship disorder we all suffer from. Think about this: what are you putting your everything into??
Wednesday came at 5 in the morning as Jordan and I went will Bill and Erika to the fruit market to get supplies for the incoming weeks. After that, I went and worked at Evair's house again. It was good to hang out with the guys yet again. Wednesday ended with some children's worship and Jordan and I having our own time of worship!
Thursday was the day that the group from Copperfield, a church from Texas, came down. We went to the airport at 5:00 to pick them up and, because of my chicken dancing skills, we all got Bob's Milkshakes! After picking up the group and taking a nap, some of the guys went to the construction site. After dinner, we had children's worship and the men's meeting. At the meeting, every man, both Brasilian and American, gave a testimony. It was great to hear the same story repeated over and over in the life of all of us guys: "I had a problem and God came into my life and saved me."
Friday, Douglas and I went to the construction only to realize no adults were there. So instead, I took the time to do a devotional with the guys and then we played Ninja. Later, we prayed at Evair's house as a group and got a tour of his old house (which was totally crooked). After some great time with the kids at the playground, we watched Brasil played Holland. Brasil looked good going up 1-0 at halftime. And I made a little song making fun of Holland and those who supported them (Fabricio and Douglas). However, the 2nd half was tragic. Holland scored two goals and Brasil played awful. Long story short, Brasil lost 2-1 :( After lunch basketball and lunch, Copperfield (along with Jordan and I) did some pre-teen VBS stuff. It was fun to be able to show these kids the love of Christ. From VBS came soccer, where I picked a stellar team with Fabricio, Evair, Cece, and Thiago 2 on it (2 other guys from the community). We went 2-1, the best record that day! That night, Jordan and I talked about worship with the teens. It was neat to see how many of them seemed to get it. Afterwords, the group of us played Ninja for practically an hour. Once we went back home, Fabricio, Michael, Renan, Patrick, Douglas and I spent the evening talking about dating, relationships, and marriage. It was pretty awesome hanging out with the those guys!
Needless to say, I've been super busy and have been super blessed! I'll do a whole different post about Saturday-Monday (Lord Willing I have time). Keep praying for the lives of the people down here that God would send people to minister to them.

I serve a risen Savior, he's in the world today;
I know that he is living whatever men may say;
I see his hand of mercy; I hear his voice of cheer,
And just the time I need him, he's always near.
He lives, he lives, Christ Jesus lives today!
He walks with me and talks with me
Along life's narrow way.
He lives, he lives, salvation to impart!
You ask my how I know he lives?
He lives within my heart.

God Bless!
Rob Lauter

Friday, June 25, 2010

"When I Survey the Wondrous Cross"


What a week, what a week! Welcome, one and all. Sunday was another relaxing day that mainly consisted of watching Brasil beat Ivory Coast 3-1 (although Kaka got a red card) and I also planned lessons for the rest of the week with Jordan. In the evening, Pastor Eudes gave another sermon in the Family Series the church is going through on Sundays.
Monday started off as normal (which is a pretty awesome "normal") of me hanging out with the guys, singing, doing a devotional, and playing basketball. After that, I watched The Passion to prepare for Friday's lesson on the cross. It was unbelievably moving to me to see all the pain and suffering the Savior went through for me and my sin! Anyways, Jordan watched the last bit of it with me and then lunch came around. Monday's lunch consisted of cow guts and rice... Yummy! Soccer was later in the afternoon, another good time to fellowship with the guys. After Jordan helped me write a devo for the guys, we shared a great night of worship and prayer!
Tuesday was yet another blessed day! Started my devotional series through James (a 3 parter) with the boys and then we played some basketball. After, I watched a video by Mark Driscoll on the Immergent Church and what the Bible says. I also got a good nap and some good studying done for the lesson that night. We had soccer, followed by Tuesday night study. Jordan and I spoke on the relationship between God and man and how we were once sinful and depraved but are now redeemed and worshipers of God. Jordan then talked about God and how He is worthy of Praise and a live devoted to Him. By God's grace, people really seemed to understand (through the Holy Spirit, of course). Jordan and I ended the night yet again with a great night of lifting our voices through prayer and song!
Wednesday marked the day I normally leave, but thanks to God's Will, I'm here another 2 weeks! Did another devo on James and Pastor, the boys, and I cleaned the soccer field for an hour. Afterwords, we celebrated by playing on said field. I scored a few goals (no really, I did!) After soccer, I came inside to watch USA play Algeria, and we won 1-0! In the 91st minute! That means that we qualified for the next round and won our group! When the gang got back, I watched a Mars Hill video on the Trinity before church.
Thursday started off with the weekly prayer meeting at Groupo CEO. After a good 45 min of prayer (mostly the on-your-face kind) we went to play basketball and swim over at the house. Later that day, there was Children's Worship Hour followed by the Weekly Men's Meeting. At this one, we talked about following God's commandments and about following through well. I had some of the strongest coffee I've ever tasted (some that Bill said will "put hair on your chest"). After the meeting, the men traveled to Beto's house, one of the other men in the community. He sliced the tendons in his ankle, but praise God they sewed them back together quickly enough that it should heal. We conversed at his house about the World Cup and then prayed for him. It was neat seeing the older men of the community caring for one another like that. Thursday night ended the was most good days end, with my wonderful sister-in-Christ and I giving it all back to the One who deserves it!
Today, Erika's somewhat crazy family came over to watch the Brasil game (I only say crazy because I come from quite a crazy family!!). Brasil tied Portugal 0-0, somewhat of a dissapointment. After a nap, I got my hair buzzed in honor of Clint Dempsey and the USA World Cup Team (which plays Ghana tomorrow!) After the new "Dempsey doo" I played some soccer and did Children's Worship Hour 2 before the Teen Bible Study. Tonight, Jordan and I explained the foundation of Christianity, the cross. Not the "Sunday School, Jesus died on the cross (and that's it)" cross. The cross that is brutal, excruciating and that is a death we all deserve.
Praise God for sending His son to die for us. Praise Jesus for sending the Holy Spirit, that we can even understand the mysteries of God. God is good. All the time. All the time. God is good.

God Bless!
Rob Lauter

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"What a Friend We Have in Jesus"

Hello again, one and all. The second half of this week has been a busy, but very good one. Thursday was a great day that started very well: with a prayer meeting at 8. After that, the guys came over for soccer and basketball (for the record, I scored 3 goals against actual Brasilians that day). In the afternoon, Bill and Erika came home! Praise God for Bill safely coming home to his family! After spending some quality "family" time together, later that evening I joined Patrick, Evair, Thiago, and Fabricio to go to Pastor Eudes' house. Later, Bill came and I attended the weekly men's meeting, consisting of Pastor, Bill, Thiago, Evair, and I. Bill talked to them (mainly the teens) about responsibility and leading the community. It was quite a blessing.

The next day, I woke up early and left with the gang to drop them off at school. After I got the 10 cent tour from Jordan, I went with Bill and Erika to a cafe for an amazing 2nd breakfast (although it was only 8 at this point). After breakfast, we traveled to their nice apartment in Fortaleza. I got a nice tour of the place, and then Bill and I were off to run some errands. We went to Claro (a phone company) to get Bill's replacement phone, and were there a good 1.5 hours before he finally got it. We ran from there to the local electronic store to get an iPhone case for Erika. While there, I got to see the National Anthem played for USA in their game vs. Slovenia. From there Bill and I went to the mall. While he ran his errand I got to watch more of the USA game, and Bill was kind enough to get me a Top Sunday from McDonalds. After picknig up the gang from school, we went to a local buffet-style restaurant and saw USA tie up the game 2-2! USA, USA!!! Later that day, Jordan and I spoke on submission to authority at the teen meeting at the church. And again, by God's grace, I think the kids really understood! Actually, I know some did (more on that later).

Saturday, once it got going, was quite a busy day! After helping out some for time at a function for IBC (a large church in Fortaleza), I met once again with Elo, a translator I became friends with last year! Her, Jordan, and I caught up for quite some time! Later, we went to a wedding. How do I know some kids got our lessons on submission to authority? Fabricio said the only reason he would go is because Erika said he should, and he was said he was going to submit to authority. Praise God!! At the wedding, the bride came out of a sweet, classic, blue car and the Bridal Theme was "schredded" out on a Gibson Les Paul and then it led straight into the band playing Yellow by Coldplay!!! It was nuts!!! After the wedding, we all went to a girl's birthday party right down the street from Groupo CEO. It was nice hanging out with the guys and just enjoying each other's company.
Keep praying that God uses Jordan and I and the Moore's however He'd have us be used for his glory. And keep praying for everything! Big and small!

"What a Friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer."
God Bless!
Rob Lauter

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Voce Tem Um Valor

Hello one and all! The title of this blog is the name of a song in Portuguese I'm learning that talks about the value you have to God and how the Holy Spirit moves through you, which is a very appropriate title for this post!

Got to sleep in on Sunday and then spent the morning shooting hoops with Jordan and watching the World Cup. After talking to my dad and watching more World Cup games, I played with Patrick and Renan out on the basketball court, although I'm sure "basketball" is what you would call it exactly... After we finished, I got ready and went to church. Before church started, some of the teens asked me to play Prince of Peace and Reign in Me (two songs they know in Portuguese) so after some practice I got into church and got to play in front of all the people! It was really neat! After a sermon by Pastor Eudes, the night ended with a delicious dinner.

Monday was similar to some of the other days down here. Started off with great fellowship time with Pastor Eudes and the boys. We sang, had a quick devo on humility, played basketball, and swam! After swimming, I lost to Pastor Eudes in arm wrestling (picture Arni Placencia but smaller, not built as well). After the gang got back from school, Douglas and I shot some hoops while the tutor was with Jordan and Patrick. At 4, I played some soccer with Patrick out at the field. After soccer, Jordan and I planned out our lessons for Tuesday and Friday. After that, we shared a time of worship and hitting our knees for prayer. It was hardcore! I praise God daily for what a great sister in Christ that I have in Jordan.

Tuesday was a very good day. After doing a devo on anger with the boys and Pastor, we had our usual hour of shooting hoops. Once the gang got back, we watched Brasil win unconvincingly 2-1 over North Korea. It was quite crazy every time Brasil scored, just ask Erika. Anyways, that night at the Bible Study, Jordan and I spoke on being a rebel against the world and the ways of this world. The Holy Spirit was very present as many kids and adults alike signed a paper at the end signifying that they were choosing to be rebels and were holding themselves accountable for it. After another great night of worship and prayer with Jordan, I got some good sleep.

Things are going so much better here than I ever could have expected. I have a real opportunity to be used by God to change people's lives! As one of my favorite songs says, "The strength to follow Your commands could never come from me.Oh Father, use my ransomed life In any way You choose. And let my song forever be my only boast is You."
God bless!
Rob Lauter

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Off to a Great Start

Welcome one and all, live from Brasil! Well, I didn't leave a laptop on a plane or make any "Rob Lauter Guarantees", so I'm already off to a better start than last year. In all seriousness though, it's been a great start! On the first day, Almost immediately I got to be in a prayer meeting at Groupo CEO (the church right next door to the house). Pastor Eudes, its pastor, led the group. We spent a good 25-30 minutes praying and singing. It does a man's soul well to pray and sing, because we all need to learn to depend more on God and less on ourselves.
After playing some guitar and a yummy dinner, we all watched the World Cup opening ceremonies! Quite exciting! Afterwords, we went over to Children's Worship Hour at Groupo CEO and had a blast dancing around with all the kids. That night, I learned what my job was going to be in the morning most days. From 8-10, I'll be hanging out with a small group of teenage boys, having a short "Bible study" and time for singing, and then either play basketball, soccer, or swim.
The next morning, I did just that. From 8-12:30 (yeah... we ran a little over), I met with Thiago, Evair, Bejamin, and Fabrisio. The 5 of us played guitar and sang and played a couple of different basketball games. Just as they left, the gang came back from school and Jordan and I played some more basketball. Later on, we played some soccer and I played with some kids on the playground shortly before going to Children's Worship Hour (for different age group). After that, we showered up and went to a Chuhaskeria (a brasilian style restaurant, like Fogo de Tchau in Chicago) for a kid's birthday party. I didn't know anyone other than Jordan and Patrick, and therefore couldn't speak to anyone, but the food was good. The one person Jordan and I did talk with was the English teacher at Jordan's school. He was a really nice guy.
Anyways, I did the same thing the next morning with the guys (and Pastor Eudes this time too). Later that day after the crew got back from school, we watched USA tie England in the World Cup 1-1. Not great, but ties are better than losses I suppose... Very soon Jordan and I will be starting to teach our lessons with the kids.
If you want to pray for me, pray for a few things:That Jordan and I will be an example with the mission field we've been given (me with the boys, her with her school, and both of us with the teens overall). Also, pray for protection from temptation and distractions. With the potential of what can happen down here, Satan's gonna try to be all over this next month. Don't worry though, our God is greater!!!
Well, I'm going to try to post every Sunday and possibly Wednesday or Thursday depending on the schedule.
God Bless!
Rob Lauter

Thursday, June 10, 2010

This Is Not a Test!!!

Well, Praise God I'm safely here! This is more of an introductory post for the next few weeks. I arrived safely in Maracanau, Brasil this morning around 6:30 in the morning. Jordan and I, along with the Moore kids, Patrick, Douglas, and Amanda have spent the day enjoying time with each other. You see, the World Cup starts today, which is basically a national holiday in Brasil. For the record, I totally beat Jordan at h-o-r-s-e, or c-a-m-a-r-ã-o is what we really played (the Portuguese word for shrimp).
Anyways, I'll be trying to post twice a week, possibly more or less depending on how the week goes. Also, check out my good friend Jordan Placencia's blog (rom1136.blogspot.com) for a more informed opinion of things since she knows this community 100x's better than me.
Anyways, thanks for following me and I'll be telling you of all the wonderful ways God is Oh So Good soon!

Your friend, brother in Christ, son
Rob Lauter

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Countdown: Day 0

That's right, it's finally time. After waiting and preparing and praying, it's finally time! I'm so happy that today I will be flying down to meet with the Moore family, including my good friend Jordan Placencia! Please pray for our ministry down there as these kids have unbelievable potential to lead their community toward Christ! Please also pray for traveling mercies. Most of all, I ask you'd pray for Jordan and I to be protected from the attacks Satan will be throwing at us while in Brasil... Satan doesn't like God working in peoples' lives.
Anywho, for anyone who actually reads this blog, today I had an idea of sorts. I think I'm going to try to write a group of songs, an "album" if you will, based upon a story line, writing from the character's perspective. I see it as an opportunity to write from a different point of view. One idea I had was to write of a man trying to leave the Mob/Gangster scene of the late 1800/early 1900 in Chicago. What are your ideas? Comment here or send something to my facebook.
Most importantly, I hope for you, dear reader, to have a wonderful summer. If you're a follower of Christ, take this summer as a grand opportunity to minister in one way or another to those around you. It can simple, it can be big. If I know you, let me know what your summer plans are and I will make sure to pray for you! God's got plenty of soldiers doing plenty of things for His Will around the globe! I will tell you of my travels and first few days shortly. Please keep me in your prayers!

Your friend, brother in Christ, son,
Robert Lauter

Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Hymn of Sorts...

Oh God, I’m leavin here
But you’re not leavin me
Resurrect me again
I can feel the air fill my lungs
I can see your Will being done again
I’m alive, I’m alive for the very first time

Jesus Christ break my deathly soul
I celebrate your death
I celebrate that I’m recompense
I celebrate your love
Coming from your blood

Oh my God absolve me
Wash away my stains
Tell me I’m forgiven
And that I’m whole again

I am ready
I am ready
I’m alive for the very first time

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The End is Always the Beginning

Hey there again! For any of you who actually follow this little blog, I apologize for the inconsistency. Things have been so busy lately! I'm almost ready to graduate, it's crazy! I had a blast at banquet and will soon be off on my senior trip! Anyways, I've been having a thought lately.
With school ending and college beginning, I see a pattern in life: "The end is always the beginning". Think about it, almost every time something ends always begins. It's a simple fact that applies from the simplest of things to the most complex. When today ends, tomorrow begins. When this life ends, the next begins. When high school ends, college begins. Even the very essence of life, the fact that Jesus gave life to us all- it came through his death. Death gives birth to life. There are so many things that seem to contradict simply because the end marks the beginning.
For anyone who happens to stumble upon this blog post, please take heart and be encouraged by what I'm trying to say. When going through someone's death, realize it's a beginning as well. When going through hard times, know all things on this earth have an end, and therefore something new will begin. In my life, I know that no matter what life throws my way, there is always life coming from death. For "if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Together 4 The Gospel (T4G) Day 1

What a day, what a day! Derek spent the night Monday night and we woke up at 6 and Coach Atkins picked us up at 6:30. Derek slept in the back and Coach Atkins and I discussed various conversations about church, life, and many other topics. After 4 hours of driving (which we made great time), we arrived at our hotel. We checked in and walked a mile on the bridge to the convention center. Derek went in the M-Z line, while Coach Atkins and I were stuck in the A-L line for over an hour. Eventually, for the sake of time, they let everyone in without registering first.
Right away we found our seats with 4 books on it! Bob Kauflin led us in worship. It was cool hearing the sound of roughly 7,000 men singing loud praises to God. Mark Dever started off things by talking for an hour and a half about the Church and how it correlates to the Gospel.
After a quick break, we came back to listen to R.C. Sproul speak on syncretism within the church about the Gospel and about messing with the gospel. It was amazing! Some of it was above my head, but it's ok because it was over some of the lead pastor's heads as well.
After getting registered, we went to the ginormous bookstore they had! I got Sproul's commentary on Romans and The Valley of Vision (a book of Puritan Poetry). After shopping, we went to Qdoba with one of Coach's friends from college.
Once we ate a delicious burrito, we sang more with Bob Kauflin and then heard Albert Mohler preach a great sermon talking about different ways that churches start to preach the "adjusted gospel", something of which I find very prevalent in my own life. Oh, and when we got back to our seats before all this we found 4 more books on our seats, including an ESV Study Bible. After we dismissed, I wandered around some of the booths that were set up there. As God's providence would have it, I ran into Bob Kauflin at the Sovereign Grace Music booth and Derek and I talked to him about how to engage our peers in worship without sacrificing the substance and Gospel Truth of the lyrics. It was so cool to have carried on a discussion with a man of God such as Kauflin.
On the walk back from the convention center to the hotel, the three of us carried on a discussion about election and the sovereignty of God. It was very in depth and I appreciated the insightful, and most importantly Biblical, discussion that was had.
I'll be sure to update you on all the wonderful blessings God has in store for us tomorrow.

Until next time,
Rob Lauter

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Sleep

Before you sleep tonight, consider what a Puritan poet had to say on sleep and make this part of your nightly prayers to God!

Blessed Creator,

Thou has promised thy beloved sleep;
Give me restoring rest needful for tomorrow’s toil.
If dreams be mine,
let them not be tinged with evil.
Let thy Spirit make my time of repose
a blessed temple of his holy presence.
May my frequent lying down make me familiar with death,
the bed I approach remind my of the grave,
the eyes I now close picture to me their final closing.
Keep me always ready, waiting for admittance
to they presence.
Weaken my attachment to earthly things.
May I hold life loosely in my hand,
knowing that I receive it on condition of its surrender.
As pain and suffering betoken transitory health,
may I not shrink from a death that introduces me
to the freshness of eternal youth.
I retire this night in full assurance of one day
awakening with thee.
All glory for this blessed hope,
for the gospel of grace,
for thine unspeakable gift of Jesus,
for the fellowship of the Trinity.
Withhold not thy mercies in the night season;
thy hand never wearies,
thy power needs no repose,
thine eye never sleeps.

Help me when I helpless lie,
when my conscience accuses me of sin,
when my mind is harassed by foreboding thoughts,
when my eyes are held awake by personal anxieties.

Show thyself to me as the God of all grace, love and power;
thou hast a balm for every wound,
a solace for all anguish,
a remedy for every pain,
a peace for all disquietude.
Permit me to commit myself to thee
awake or sleep.

Amen.

Guatemala Summary

I have to apologize for not blogging the last few days of Guatemala. Because of the busy schedule, I didn't find great time to do it. Thank you for all your prayers and encouragements.
On Wednesday, one could say I saw the Heights of God and the Depths of Man. In the morning, we did our last VBS sessions with the kids. Brian gave the Gospel presentation the first session after Mikayla and I gave our lesson our Zaccheus an Jesus. With the 2nd session being mainly little kids, Brian decided not to give the same presentation since the kids would not fully understand. The last session, Brian asked if I wanted to give the Gospel presentation. So I said yes. Because of the 2 Gospel presentations that day, 27 kids came forward and said that they asked Jesus into their heart. It was amazing!!! After saying goodbye to all the kids, a lot of our team was crying. Emotions were felt by most that have never been felt before. After getting prayed up and eating lunch, we went out to the Guatemala City Dump. I cannot fully describe to you the heartbreaking scene, but I will try to paint everyone a mental picture: Imagine the biggest dump you've ever seen. Now double the size. Now double the size again. Now drop the dump hundreds of feet below a graveyard area. Now stick 100,000+ people down there whose families go 6+ generations deep into POVERTY. Imagine thousands of vultures flying above, and imagine a terrible, nostril-burning smell in the air. This was close to describing the physical situation of the dump. Please pray that the physical needs, and more importantly the spiritual needs, of these unreached people get met. After the dump, we went home for most of the night. I played Inside Out for devos and we went to bed.
Thursday we went to Antigua for a day of fun and shopping. I got to sit on the way down and back with Ellie, a girl from a missions team that flew down from Maryland earlier in the week. It was encouraging to talk with her and to hear her love for missions (she's been to Guatemala 6 times in 2 years!).Before we got there, Mike took us to a ginormous cross statue where an old church used to be. This church overlooks the city of Antigua and is beautiful! Upon arriving in the city, we ate lunch at Pollo Campero (Tony Campolos). I had chicken strips with fries and an amazing donut with vanilla icecream on top! We took the next few hours shopping. I got something for my mom, dad, Laura (for her bday) and for a friend. After much walking we ate dinner at Las Palmas. I had tropical chicken kabobs that were delicioso! After the busride back with Ellie, we cleaned up and packed up to go home. I watched some of the blindside and then went to bed.
After all this, we had to leave :( it was sad leaving the Parkers and the Maryland team with all the friendships I had made. At the airport we played 5-card draw with the loser having the get whipped on the forearm by everyone else. I only lost once but got dominated! I read all four accounts of the last day of Christ while on the plane. It was truly humbling, indeed! After a short layover in Houston we got on the 2nd plane. We arrived to Knoxville to many greetings from family and friends.
Thank you so much for following me on my journey and for all the prayers and I hope you continue to pray for the Parker family's ministry down there. Their website is www.clubhouseguatemala.com so please visit that for more info. I'll try to post more things in between now and T4G.

Until next time,
Rob Lauter

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Guatemala- Day 4

Today was super good! We started off with another early morning before heading over to the church in San Mateo. We were greeted there by two dozen or so smiling kids. After going and gathering all their friends, the total number increased to about 80 kids! Because one of the cars carrying our supplies broke down, we decided to change up the schedule a little today. Instead of breaking up into three groups, we did the Bible lesson about Joseph as one big group. After that, we split up into doing crafts and recreation. My natural inclination was to go to rec, but Michelle challenged to stretch me by going to do crafts. The kids made bandanas with different stuff on them. It was neat to help them paint stuff on their bandanas! After the groups rotated, we came together for one big worship time. It was neat to see the kids participate and really getting into it. After lunch, we took the rest of the day building a chicken coop for a family. My team (team Gaillos) built it for a widow and her family of seven, two of which were married and lived there. These people lived up far away from the village in an even more rundown area of San Mateo. There were dozens of kids running around, and it was cool to see the mother's appreciation after hours of us working. After I prayed for her and her family, we got back on the bus and went home... After chilling for a bit, we ate a burger dinner including McDonalds fries! We had devotions where we sang Mighty to Save and I Love You, Lord and we talked about today. After some reading, we made bandanas and went to bed. Thank you so much for following me so far and please pray for the kids as Brian will share the Gospel message with the kids at the conclusion of tomorrow.

Until Next Time,
Rob

Monday, March 29, 2010

Days 1, 2, and 3 (Guatemala)

Hey there everyone! Things have been busy so I apologize for the delay on the update... Things are going great in Guatemala! We got up at 3:30 AM on Saturday to fly out from Knoxville. After falling asleep on the way to Newark, Brian decided to put his already-chewed gum in my mouth (pictures I'm sure are to follow). Anyways, after chillin at the Newark airport and grabbin some lunch, we hopped on the 4 hour flight to Guatemala City. I got a little bit of sleep and read up a ton! After landing and going through customs, we got to the missionary family's house. We relaxed most of that day, and at night we did devos. I played Mighty to Save during that time, and brian talked to us from Romans 10:14-15. Day 2 was super exciting. We set up a block party for the people of the mountain village of San Mateo. I dressed up as Roberto the Firefighter Clown (pictures to come as well). I found a little neat cube called an Evangicube. On it, it shared the whole gospel story through pictures. I carried that around, and as God would have it, a little girl asked me what it was. Because of that, I got to share the gospel with that little girl and she prayed for Jesus to forgive her sins and come into her heart! I got this same opportunity with 2 boys as well! Well, the block party was a huge success and as today would show we had a lot of kids come. After lunch, we went to the local "evangelical" church in San Mateo (it's called this because of it not being Catholic). The church service was neat because for Palm Sunday the villagers literally brought their "first fruits" for the church to sell and make money. The music was a little shaky, but it was very heart-felt. The pastor spoke out of Deut. 8 about not forgetting God in times of prosperity. Woe be to you, oh reader. For chances are you take advantage the computer you use and the roof you sleep under and in doing so can easily forget God. After church, we came back and debriefed after a sweet spaghetti dinner. After dinner, we sang Jesus Messiah. We also took communion, something that was great on Palm Sunday. Day 3 was super cool too! Today was the start to our VBS program, and originally about 30 or 45 kids came. We asked them to go find their friends and bring them back, and about 150 kids ended up attending! Me and the worship/teaching team did exactly that! It was cool to see stuff happening there. We also opened a "tienda" in the church where poor families had the opportunity to get clothes and toiletries and toys for their kids. At the end of every trip, a student that was with the family gave them a Bible and shared the Gospel with them. Over 10 people got saved today, including an entire family! God is working in huge ways down here. Please commit yourself to prayer- the fuel that empowers missions and the advancement of the Gospel!

Until next time,
Rob

Friday, March 26, 2010

Travels...

Yesterday was quite the day by my standards.... Went to the airport around 3 and barely got on the flight due to overbooking. On the flight from Manchester, NH to Detroit, I read a lot of the book of Acts. I figure if I want to be a great missionary, I might as well start looking at the original missionaries. I sat next to a soldier, a signal officer whose name I later found out was Will Martin. He was asleep next to me most of the flight, but when he woke up we talked for a good 25 minutes about his life, family, faith, etc. It was really neat to see a guy so commited to his country. After thanking him for what he does and telling him I'd pray for him, I was off to the next gate.... which was one gate over! So after walking around and grabbing a Baconator from Wendys, I sat at my gate and finished off reading Acts. It truly is amazing how bodly Paul and his companions preached the good news of Christ crucified. It also was amazing how well Paul could preach to his specific audience. Anyways, on my second flight I sat next to an Albanian man named Sokol. When I asked him his views on God, he told me growing up in a Soviet state that religion altogether was outlawed. We carried on an hour long conversation about his life, God, and a good discussion on creation. I'm so thankful for Coach Atkins and UTT class because I caught him off guard a little using terms like "irreducible complexity" and using the "design inferenece" argument. Basically, I had the knowledge to hold an hour-long intellectual discussion with an Albanian neurophysicist (yeah, he has his PHD in neurophysics). Praise God! Landed safe and sound and came back to Laura and Brian's house only to be greeted by 3 of the most beautiful little girls in the whole world! Please continue to pray for the group that God's work will be done and that He'll get more and more GLORY daily!!!

Until then,
Rob Lauter

Sunday, March 21, 2010

T-Minus 1 Week and Counting...

Hey there once again! This time, I'm live from North Hampton, New Hampshire on the front end of my spring break. This Saturday I depart for Guatemala! I figured out I'm doing Worship and Teaching VBS while I'm down there, so please pray for God to soften the hearts of the people down there in order for our time to be made useful! Also, we will be doing various construction activities down there. Please also pray for travel safety going down and while we're down there. One of my favorite verses and my good friend Jordan's favorite verse, Romans 11:36- "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen."

Until next time,
Rob Lauter

Monday, February 8, 2010

Another Dumb Name? Really Rob?

Well, to all those who don't speak Latin, I absolutely love the new name for this blog! The meaning is literally "cross truth"! What a lovely name for the greatest truth I know! Just an update: Lord-willing, I'll being going not only to Brasil for all of June, but also to Guatamala in the end of March! Please continue to pray for Jordan and the work God is doing for my dear sister in Christ. Also, please pray for me, that God will work through me here at home and soften my heart and mold it into whatever it needs to be, so that, at the end, He is most glorified! Gloria Deus!

Your brother in Christ,
Robert Lauter
1 Cor. 9:16

Final Update (for this site)

It's been along time since my last post and God has grown me intensely since last summer! Because of the change of year, i'm changing my blog name. it now will be held at cruxveritas.blogspot.com. Hope to see you there!

Rob Lauter
Gal. 2:20