The greatest struggle of my adult life

Marriage is the second biggest choice anyone ever makes outside of their choice to accept Jesus. Every culture the world over has marriage of some kind, along with religion and alcohol. The choice of these three go far in making up the characteristic of a person. Marriage should be taken very seriously.


When I first discovered about marriage by faith I was in shock. For those who are new readers marriage by faith typically works like this. Your personal mentor, usually referred to as a shepherd, decides you are ready to marry. He asks you if you are ready to marry. If you say no he waits and prays. He might ask you from time to time. But eventually once you say yes he picks someone from UBF and puts the two of you together. You are encouraged to make a choice quickly for God, and once that happens you marry in a short period of time. Your marriage from the start is all about honoring God, which means you are expected to become a missionary, pastor, or personal shepherd yourself. This is the mission of marriage as explained by most UBF people. Continue reading →

Learning from Forests

What do you want to rdavid_thornes_spider_8581ead? As many of you know I am about to be back from the Philippines after nearly a month stay. I have many things I could write about from this trip, but I am not sure what people are interested in. With that aim I want to hear from you! What do you want to read. Let me know in the comments. The topics are as follows.

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The Secret of Happiness in 2015

lThe last day of the year sets the stage for the first day of a brand new year. It inclines us toward having a bright optimistic outlook to start over anew and afresh—regardless of how the past year had been, and regardless of certain disheartening discouragements and unpleasant disasters that may have occurred. As for me a most sad and tearful day was when I had to relinquish my dear aged cat to an animal shelter. It was so heartbreaking and painful for me because she had lived with my family for the last 13 years ever since 2001. Continue reading →

Thank God for 2014

22014 has been by far the most exciting year since 2009 when I went to college. I have so much to be thankful for. God’s grace has truly been with me.
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West Loop UBF, 2008-2014

GraceH&SarahPLiving with my head in the clouds. Last year I shared how West Loop (WL) UBF began in 2008. This is a follow up random, limited and selective reflection of our happy and eventful 6 year story and journey as a church. It mainly explains how my ideological perspectives changed. It is “heady” and not practical. As I’ve often told my wife, “Sorry that I live with my head in the clouds. Therefore, your feet has to be on the ground.” I hope this does not sound bad for her!

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Lessons from Travis: The Marriage game

rWho wants to play a game? The group of students paused in anticipation.

“What’s the game?” a student asked excitedly.

“Well it’s simple” Travis went on “You are going to flip a coin. If you get a heads you get a candy bar.” Travis revealed a selection of candy bars like Vanna White showing a prize. The boy with glasses eyes the Snickers ready to fend off a resolution rarely see outside of fights to the death and Black Friday shoppers (although to be fair that might be redundant).“Ok I will play.” The boy said as he reached to his pocket for a quarter.

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From Certainty to Uncertainty

certaintyFor 34 years and counting of being in UBF, I’ve heard countless testimonies titled something like, “From a Samaritan Woman to a Mother of Prayer,” or “From a Gerasene Demoniac to a Good Shepherd like Jesus.” Well, my title is “From Certainty to Uncertainty.” This thought came to me after reading an excellent post that Joe just shared on Facebook: When Certainty Kills.

After becoming a Christian in 1980 I became certain and convinced by the work of the Holy Spirit that living for Jesus is the only worthwhile reason to live (Jn 10:10b; 20:31). Only by God’s mercy and grace, this is still as true for me today as it was when I experienced my mystical conversion in 1980.

But along with this glorious, mystical, loving, gracious, mysterious certainty of Christ, I realize that I also added “other certainties,” which were basically non-negotiable to me, such as: Continue reading →

Forests Top 10 Movie Quotes

aThe past few articles had various references to movies. I am a big can on top 10 lists. So in that aim I decided to give you my top 10 movie quotes. These quotes have greatly influenced me in various ways. As a disclaimer, some of these clips might have some amount of violence or strong language.

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My Mother

hIt seems like every other week in the comments I see people arguing about Samuel Lee. Some think the judgment is if he was a terrible, or the most terrible man who ever lived. Others think he might have had some redeeming qualities but overall he was a bad guy. Others present a stance that he was ok but made a few mistakes which people soon point out don’t matter because he was such a terrible person. A common topic I hear repeated about Dr. Samuel Lee is that he was a man who loved God but he was overbearing. To be clear I have never met Dr. Samuel Lee, I never met him and did not know who he was until several years after his death. His teachings live on through his disciples to varying degrees. I have heard he was the worst man who has ever and will ever live. I have heard is the best man who has ever and will ever live. Although I never met him he in many ways reminds me of my mother.

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To be or not to be…a shepherd

dI recently heard a story of a man from a UBF chapter far far away from me. The topic of him becoming a “Shepherd” had been raised numerous times to him and felt as though he was being pressured. He asked me about the topic. I was in an interesting position, as I suddenly felt I could push the man from UBF forever or try to convince him to stay. This is what I told him.
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