Brasil Countdown

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