Monday, December 21

Psalm Two Twelve

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Monday, September 22

Other blogs updated.

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Thursday, July 10

The Last Drink

Cold Water is from "a distant land". Because of this reality, this will be the last post on this blog. I live in America now, and will remain here at least for the near future. I feel strongly that this blog has served it's purpose over the past two years. Initially keeping folks informed of the work in Ethiopia as well as family life while here in the States. But now there is no consistent "news" concerning the work because I live here now.

The work with PTI will be noted in the future at a different site.

Also, there is some small chance I will post concerning family updates and/or personal thoughts.
Those as well will be hosted in another spot.


Thursday, June 19

Reflections from Joseph Crampton

You’ve probably heard it said that we ought to eat our green vegetables because there are starving children in Africa (or at least that there are so many poor people across the globe that we ought to more rightly appreciate what we have). And it may well be safe to say that many people who live in poverty would love to come over here where no one really lacks necessities; in fact, I’d say that no one is really poor having been to Ethiopia. My little brother and Anthony spoke all week about how little the lack of material wealth really matters.
I can still not get far beyond the difference between common life over here in Mississippi and the common, everyday way of life over there, but I know that the same glorious God Who is over us is governing the frail beasts that plough the Ethiopian fields. I know also that the same Lord Jesus who was raised up on the third day to be a propitiatory and atoning sacrifice is preached by pastors on the countryside, several missionaries in the country, and by “Antony” when he’s there. I know that the same Holy One draws men to Himself through the preaching of His excellent Name, the reading of His Word, and even through the lives of believers.
I know that there are men and women in that country who say “Jesus is all I need” and then run to the mall to disprove their statement. We should be thankful for the woman whose only need is Jesus, the feet that bring the Good News, and the God Who brings about salvation for eternal beings.
So, while we ought to be concerned that 169 out of every 1,000 Ethiopian children under the age of five dies, we must not forget to pray that the Word of God would be a priority for the ministers. The salvation of souls ought to be our hearts’ cry.

Tuesday, June 10


I am very grateful for my church. When I left for Ethiopia, I left a house empty and dirty. I had just paid the rent for the remainder of 2008 and planned to get "moved in" upon my return from Africa. However, while away, most everything needing to be done in order for me to move in, was completed.
Everything...Cleaned. Furnished. Pantry Stocked. Flower beds weeded. Anything that was necessary was taken care of.

God continues to express wonderful kindness toward me in all things.
Please join me in thanking Him for His amazing mercy in my life.

Friday, May 30

In Amsterdam

I had to wait until I had adequate bandwidth in order to post the pictures in the previous post. We are in fact sitting in the airport in Amsterdam now waiting to board the plane to Memphis.

At about 5:00 p.m., we should be on the ground in Memphis.
Thanks for your prayers during the past week.

Thursday, May 29

Faiza Update.

Many of you do not know Faiza, and yet others will remember her from just over a year ago.

I went to visit her this week. It was the first time I had seen her since the accident. I cannot express how good it was for me to see her. She is a beautiful little girl. I had tea with she and her dad in a small cafe in her village one afternoon.

Here are some pictures for you to witness the answered prayers of the Lord for yourself.

Monday, May 26

Tuesday Morning.

It is bright and early this morning, with the birds fighting for time and space to get their voice in edge wise. We have watched them picking apart the pomegranate on the tree just outside the front door.  God is truly amazing in all His creation. Not only that, but He is wonderfully merciful in all His ways as well. It is mercy for Him to give us breath, and it is all the more merciful of Him to blow upon our dark, cold hearts and grant regeneration to our souls. Shockingly, He does not stop there either, but continues to work in us, ministering to us, based on Jesus' continued work for us and through the Spirit's work in us. He has been this for me this week, no doubt. I have really enjoyed my time here the past 4 days. I have been able to see so many people and take care of several issues that needed to be taken care of. I appreciate you praying for me thus far. We only have 3 days left here and will only spend two more nights here. The time has flown, as it always does. The guys with me are doing great. From what I can tell, they are enjoying everything about this place. Kurt has been so gracious to take care of the teaching, while at the same time doing a remarkable job with it. He has posted daily a bit about the sessions

Again, thank you for your continued prayers on our behalf.


Sunday, May 25

Thoughts from Jamie Crampton

 I asked Jamie to jot down some thoughts from the past couple of days. Jamie is a sixteen-year old that I attend church with in New Albany. He and his brother Joseph are two of the four guys that accompanied me on this trip. Please forgive the format...we are dealing with 3rd world technology.

Unsearchable Riches

There is more poverty in this land than I could have imagined. There have been

many times that I have wanted to sit down and weep. But the riches of Christ

shine brightly in the face of poverty. The poor and beggarly souls are invited

to stretch out their poor and withered hands to the Savior.

The bitter cup of poverty is a small taste of the emptiness of the soul, and

the hopelessness of the poor is nothing compared to the hopelessness of the

enemy of Christ. To be without God is to be without hope. But God, who is rich

in mercy, is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think.

We have been given so much; we have been given all things in Christ. Why are

we so slow to take up our crosses and follow Him? When He commands us to leave

all and follow Him, it is like telling a prisoner to leave His chains, the

debtor to leave His debt, and the beggar to leave His scraps so that He might

come to the feast. Oh, that we might live as beggars and pilgrims in this life

that we might be kings in the next. We might beg ourselves rich by the grace

that is in Christ.

Ultimately, the rich have nothing more than the poor. Either we have Christ,

or we have nothing. What are all the treasures of this life when we die?

Christ is all in all. "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where

moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for

yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where

thieves do not break in and steal." (Matthew 6:19-20) We who have nothing are

freely offered to buy the pearl of greatest price.

Look to the face of Christ, not the hand of providence. The LORD is all love

to His people. There have been moments were I questioned the sovereign love of

God to the Christians in Ethiopia. But it is high treason against the King to

lodge bitter thoughts about Christ. Circumstances may be dark to our eyes, but

the Sun of righteousness is all light. "Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is


Thursday, May 22


We are here and at the house. 

We are getting settled in and hoping to get some sleep soon.

Thanks for praying.

Tuesday, May 20


Well, Isaac is now really Isaac and really mine. The proceedings yesterday were nothing really, just me answering yes to about a dozen questions and the judge rather uninterestingly mumbling "yea, we'll grant it". So the petition to make Isaac my son was granted, and now we wait for the birth certificate and social security card. Thanks for praying, and for your constant concern.

Today I am packing for the children and I for the next 10 days. They will be off in about 4 hours to stay with friends and grandparents, while I will depart in the morning for Ethiopia. I do appreciate your prayers. I will make some attempt to update the work in Ethiopia while away, but the word I have on the situation there is very little electricity, water, and phone it the past month. Which also translates to internet issues. You may try Kurt's blog if I have not posted.

Again, thanks for praying for us.

Thursday, May 8

Isaac's Adoption

Many of you may not know that Isaac's adoption is not yet finalized. In actuality, he is not Isaac Anthony yet. But, I am hopeful that the finalization date is near, May 19, to be exact. Please do pray that I am able to get my petition for adopting him heard that day before I depart for Ethiopia just two days later.
There does not appear to be any hiccups in the process and for the most part all that is required is jumping through these last few hoops. Everything required to satisfy the state and the agency has been met, and a court date is all that remains.
I do appreciate your continued prayers in this regard.

Monday, April 21

No News... Good News?

This age-old adage is usually accurate, you know. However, due to the circumstances that I find myself in, there are scores of you who have suggested that you are, in fact, assuming otherwise. Many of you have said to me or have sent word to me that, due to my hiatus from writing here, you are “worried” or are “wondering if I am OK.” So, I am glad to take this opportunity to write what I feel truly is “Cold Water.”

The Lord, our Lord, does not change. He has not wavered one bit in His commitment to me. His great promise to uphold me with His strong, righteous right arm rings ever true in my heart and mind.

Tuesday (22nd) of this week marks three months since the wreck. Three months. My life, by the great help of God, seems so “normal” to me. I do not find myself struggling to rise in the mornings because of not wanting to face each day. Rather, God in His mercy grants much joy in what He has given me in life: a Savior like Christ who has born all my grief, a Savior like Jesus who sympathizes in all my weaknesses…

I often find myself wondering, “What more can He give than to me He has given?” I know that this quote is referring to the Scriptures and, in some way, so am I. Both the living Word who is Christ and the Scriptures as the Word of God are so wonderfully helpful and sweet to me right now.

Consider this verse that I have often noted here:
Romans 8:32 “He Who did not spare His own Son, but gave Him up for us all…how will He not, with Him, freely give us all things?”

I have Christ. God forsook Him for me—left Him on the tree to die. Why?
Well, a few clear reasons come to mind: God forsook His Son so that He might now freely grant me all that is needed for life and for godliness; so that, in the ages to come, He might show me the surpassing glories of that same dear Son; and so that, in the present, in the mundane, in the rising and lying down, in the child rearing, He might be my all in all. He gave His Own so that He Himself might really, experientially have first place in all things that pertain to me and my life.

I do realize that I have been all over the place in jotting down these thoughts, but the fact is: my heart is quite full—full of gratitude towards you all for your concern and prayers and full of thankfulness towards God for His Loving-kindness that endures forever.

I am also, in fact, busy these days. This is not an excuse for my lack of updating the blog, but it is a reason nonetheless. I was out of pocket last week, and even as I write, I am not at home (well, I am at what was home for me for ten years of my life—my parents house), but I am on the way to an eventful two weeks. The schedule on the right of this page tells the specifics of how you can pray for me. Please do remember that I am traveling, preaching, and visiting with friends, as well as being a dad to Ellie and Isaac. So, do pray for us.

Friday, April 18

PTI 5 -- Just One Month Away

I stated in my previous post that specifics would be coming "soon". Today is "soon".

Specifics have been spelled out by Kurt, who will be providing the training for the men this time in Ethiopia.

Also, I do realize that there are a number of you anxious to 'really' hear from me, and my goal is to post an update this weekend. My hope is that be mentioning it here, I will be motivated and accountable to do so.

Tuesday, April 1

PTI 5 -- Fast Approaching

I am in the planning phase for the logistics of PTI, round 5.
There are a few of us traveling to Ethiopia together for this round.

The emphasis will again be on Jesus, primarily in the book of Hebrews. Kurt Strassner will do the lion-share of the teaching.

I will spend most of my days meeting with friends and taking care of the necessary issues with the home there.

I am writing this with a three fold purpose:

1. Pray for PTI-5
2. If you are interested in traveling, notify me soon.
3. There are needs that must be met for the training to happen, and I will post concerning that soon.

Thursday, March 27

A Long Overdue Thank You

I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all, in view of your participation in the gospel from the first day until now.
Philippians 1:3-5

I want to express my gratitude to you for these past two months. The Lord has granted me great comfort and has poured out immense grace throughout these days, and He has used you to do it. Thank you.

From the concern expressed to the kindness shown to the love displayed toward me, I am forever grateful and appreciate it very much. The Lord has been wonderfully kind to use all that you have been and done for me for my comfort. Thank you.

God has dealt with me in such a merciful way during these recent weeks that I cannot imagine one thing that I would change in an attempt to improve upon what He has done in and for me. He is merciful in all His ways, and though His ways are past finding out, He does all things well.
My attempt to offer thanks via this small note is far too inferior when compared with what you all been for and done for me. Nonetheless, thank you.

God has definitely given me the best fathomable situation for living through these circumstances at this time. Sure, He dealt a heavy blow, but He has not left me alone. Rather, He has kept His loving hand hovered over me, protecting me, comforting me, loving me. What He has provided in family, friends, my church, and the Church worldwide is astounding even now for me to consider. Thank you.

And still the greatest thing that God has done for me was to not spare Christ, but to give Him up for me, so that He may freely give me all things. Not free to Him, it cost Him His Son. But wonderfully free to me.
Samuel Rutherford said it well when he penned these words, "To live on Christ's love is a king's life".

Please accept this 'thank-you' for all that you have done for me.
I do covet your continuing prayers on my behalf, and on behalf of Ellie and Isaac as well.

Thursday, March 20

Ellie & Isaac

These outfits were smocked by Amber this winter.

Wednesday, March 19