Archive for January, 2009

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In the darkness of our miseries,the grace of God shines more brightly.” -John Calvin

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for tose who are called according to his purpose.” -Romans 8:28

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Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

-Hebrews 13:16

After hearing of our great hope, of the “kingdom that cannot be shaken” –Heb 12:28, and the “city that is to come” -Heb 13:14, we are exhorted to “not neglect to do  good and share what [we] have.” We are exhorted to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, and encouraged to do so not by our own power to be good and obedient but by God’s promise to us. “I will never leave you or forsake you” -Heb 13:5. Being assured of God’s unfailing love we may say with confidence, in the midst of trials, lackings, and even the sinful desires of our selfish hearts, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

Is the Lord our Helper? Is He the one who sovereignly rules? Are not all riches His? Is our hope here in this world where we have no lasting city, or is it in the city that is to come?

Oh Lord, You have blessed us so greatly. May we see your blessing in making us your children by adoption. All that we have spiritually and physically is from you and for your glory so let us deny ourselves and serve one another for Your great name’s sake.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:1-2

Update on Mihaela

Posted: 01/23/2009 in Prayer Requests

I just wanted to quickly update you all on yesterdays Doctor’s appointment. Basically, both Miha and Katie (Katie, though not as bad, has very puffy eyes and purplish black bags under her eyes.) have some allergies to something either here in the house or here in town. Miha was pretty good all day but after being home for a about an hour she started feeling bad once again and had to take her medicine. The doctor prescribed a steroid spray for Miha for when she can’t breathe. He also suggested that we get out of our house for a week, to see if it is from our house or not.

We ask for continual prayer to keep our minds focused on God’s unfailing love for his children and His sovereign rule. Pray that we would have wisdom from God, and not be discouraged by these trials…

Oh and in some lighter news, the trials continue… Our dryer stopped working last night. More repairs. 🙂

If you somehow happened to miss our original prayer requests, here’s the link. Click me!!!!

4 weeks have gone by since we’ve been back in Romania and I thought it’d be good to let you know what you can be praying for.

Health Issues- Since we’ve been back we’ve been going through various trials and thus we need our eyes fixed upon our heavenly hope. Our first 2 1/2 weeks were marred by continual sickness. If it wasn’t Katie, it was Miha. If it wasn’t Miha it was me (Joey). Anyway hopefully we are done with the colds for a while. More serious however is Miha who seems to still have some bad allergic reaction to something in our house. Just like last year, the moment we got home she started sneezing and having shortness of breath. Last night was the worst as she seemed to have some kind of asthma-like attack (not quite sure what’s wrong with her, but she could barely breathe). We’ve been working on the house where we live for the last few years trying to clean it up thinking that mold or dust is the problem, but no matter what we do, she keeps having these repeated problems. We need wisdom in knowing what is the best thing to do concerning her condition. I pray that she would  be healed completely.

Other Trials– As we returned home we’ve also had a ton of “mechanical” problems as well. Our first Sunday morning my bass amp decided that it no longer wanted to hear me play, and thus decided to quit on me.

Our car also rebelled against us as well. Maybe it was sad that we were gone for 2 months. Anyway, it’s in the shop with a plethora of “diseases”… Grand total…. $1200…

Our appartment needs pipes changed that are still leaking after “being fixed” 3 times already… The down stairs neighbor still gets a dripping ceiling in their bathroom.

Ministry– It’s great being back with our church here and we are hoping God will work in us His love. Pray that we’d be more united in His great love with which He first loved us.

Pray for the new fellowship that the ladies have started on Saturday afternoons that much fruit would be produced in their efforts to encourage one another to good works. Pray that the gospel would quicken their hearts to rejoice in doing His will. Pray that Miha would have wisdom and insight in sharing from scripture during this time of  fellowship.

Pray for me  to have rich times of study in God’s Word and that I’d be able to share the fruit of those times through preaching, blogging and the personal fellowship with those in the church.

Pray for my dad and I as we lead this flock in His ways; that we’d have wisdom, humility, love, patience and much grace in pastoring.

Family – Pray for us as a family to be glorifying and enjoying God in all the things we do. Pray that we’d be wise and giving concerning our finances, that looking to our great inheritance we’d trust him for all our needs and thus be willing to help others even in hard times.

Pray for us as parents to know how to raise Katie in the Lord’s ways. We constantly see our failures and depend upon God to teach us and give us patience with her. She turns 3 this weekend and is a huge blessing for us. Pray that she would have a hunger for God and to learn and love Jesus as soon as possible.

Well, I imagine that’s enough for now… Please do pray for us!!! especially Miha’s current condition, as it’s scary, frustrating, discouraging, and honestly we don’t know what to do… We love and appreciate you all. May God’s blessing be upon you all!

Joey Hahne

Well a few days ago I finally finished the book Worldliness by C. J. Mahaney and company. I started reading (and posting) very enthusiastically about the book as I thought it to be a subject that I needed to work on in my own personal life and know more about to help others. I was excited to hear that Mahaney considered it more of a heart issue than anything else, but as I read through the book, he and his guests focused more on the outside; the way we dress, what kind of movies we watch, what kind of music we listen too, how much time we spend blogging etc. It almost got legalistic… I dunno, maybe I just was expecting them all to deal with the issues of the heart that make us crave for the things of the world. The subjects that they talked about are all gray issues. For one man they could be a sin, for others, not.

Though sadly to say i found a lot of the book a waste of time there were some good points and a few good chapters. I especially enjoyed Dave Harvey’s chapter called “God, My Heart, and Stuff” in which he dealt with the sin of materialism. One thing that he said that stuck in my head was this. “Covetousness chains the heart to things that are passing away.”  I thought it to be a true picture of the stupidity of our covetous hearts.

Though I am a big fan of Mahaney, I didn’t care too much for this one… I’d stick to his more gospel-centered books, like Living the Cross  Centered Life or Humility.

Well I am off to my pile of remaining books… Next up: Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges and War of Words by Paul David Tripp.

Blessing to you all,

J. C. Hahne

I just read this over at the Desiring God site and thought it’s a good solid article/interview on Prayer. It’s called “Does it matter which person of the Trinity we pray to?” I’ve heard this question several times and I think Piper gives a well balanced answer. Here’s the Linkage!!! (it’s in written, and/or video form.)

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

The LORD has taken away the judgments against you;
he has cleared away your enemies.
The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall never again fear evil.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:”Fear not, O Zion;
let not your hands grow weak.
The LORD your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.

Zephania 3:15-17

A few days ago I received a question on our Romanian blog and so I decided to answer it by way of post. The question was as follows:

“Are things like fear, deterrence, or shyness sins? Let me tell you what I think. I think they are more like weakness or problems with ones character. If I am wrong please tell me, it won’t bother me. I await your answer.”

Well, here are a few of my thoughts concerning this question:

First of I think it’s safe to say that every human being fights with these things to a certain extent. It doesn’t matter if you are  the Apostle Paul, the President of America, or just a simple little child. We are all born in sin, and thus our nature, our character is stained by these “weaknesses”.

I don’t think it’s necessarily sinful to be shy, however because of our shyness, we can be overcome with fear, and when overcome with fear we will be inhibited to do that which is good. Fear is sin because it keeps us from serving God, and loving one another. Fearful people seem to concentrate on their own needs, or on the things that they might lose. In situations where one fears something or someone, he will be looking only to his own interests, and this we know is the opposite of love. ” Love seeks not it’s own.” 1 Corinthians 13:5 Yes, fearful people are very selfish and sinful.

We all have this weakness that causes us to sin, but how do we overcome this sin with which we fight? My answer is to take the promises of God and hide them deep in our hearts and minds.

For example, when we are afraid of something, we take a promise like Romans 8:31 which says “If God is for us who can be against us?” or Romans 8:37-39 “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. And so reminding ourselves of these Gospel promises we receive grace and courage to do that which God is calling us to do.

I like the example of Moses given to us in Hebrews 11. Moses conquers fear by faith in the promised reward.

“By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,  esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward. By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.”

May God strengthen our faith so that we can conquer the sin of fear that wars against us.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you,  casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:6-7

If anyone else has some other opinions I’d love to hear them.

J. C. Hahne