‘Leaf’ an Imprint 3 Column


Daisypath Anniversary tickers

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Matt's Going to Uganda!

Dear Family and Friends,
I hope you all are doing well. I wanted to communicate a short update and make you aware of an exciting new opportunity I have coming up.
Our family has been blessed to be a part of the body of Harvest Church for the past 3 years! Growing in the Lord together with our community there has brought great joy! God entrusted us with a sweet baby boy, Josiah Blaze, June 19th! Our girls, Elli, who will be 5 in October, and Eden, who will be 3 in November, are in love with their baby brother and enjoying being best friends.
I am  very exciting about this opportunity coming up in September – I will be sent by Harvest Church Cary through 127 Worldwide to travel to Uganda to serve widows, orphans, and train pastors. When I first mentioned to Lauren the possibility of going on this trip she laughed at me. Josiah is still a needy newborn and Elli and Eden are very active! But as she thought and prayed she was convicted by the Holy Spirit that in light of eternity, she could sacrifice her husband and her babies daddy for 10 days to go serve those who have no husband and no father. We are excited and expecting the Lord to do great things! 
127 Worldwide is a non-profit ministry committed to connecting people to the needs of orphans and widows around the globe. There are millions of orphaned and abandoned children around the world with no one to care for them. As a follower of Christ, I believe that it is the church’s place and responsibility to care for these children. 127 Worldwide takes the time to identify ministries in the developing world that are already caring for orphans and could do even more with support and encouragement from a western ministry partner. By partnering with 127 Worldwide, our team will get to see first-hand how God is working through organizations around the world to restore hope to orphans and widows. On my trip, I will be installing an aquaponics system, teaching Biblical interpretation at a pastor’s conference, and assisting with children’s programing. My prayer is that God uses this experience to reveal to me how I can serve as an advocate for the orphans and widows when I return home from this trip. I also hope that I can come along side these pastors as we grow together in our understanding of God’s Word and our obedience to His commands.  
There are a few ways I want to invite you to be involved. First, you can share this information. The more we talk about the problem of orphaned and abandoned children and share the exciting ways that God is at work caring for them, the more people will be involved and the more children will be cared for. You can visit the 127 Worldwide website at http://www.127worldwide.org to learn more. Secondly, you can pray. If you are interested in supporting me and my team in prayer, please contact me via email at matthewbbishop@gmail.com and I will add you to my e-mail list and keep you updated on how you can be praying. Finally, you can partner with me financially. I am raising $5,000 total. I am responsible for raising $3,000 on behalf of 127 Worldwide to help cover the cost of the trip. I also need to raise $2,000 to cover the cost of my lost income while out of work. I would be grateful if you wanted to give. You can give through my local church Harvest Church Cary. You can donate by check by making it out to Harvest Church. Please be sure to include my name in the memo line. Checks can be mailed to 505 Reedy Creek Road Cary, NC 27513. You can also donate online at https://harvestchurchcary.churchcenteronline.com/giving. Please click on the bar that reads “To: General fund” and select “Uganda Trip Matt Bishop” from the drop down. Harvest Church is a 501(c)3 organization and your donation is tax-deductible.
Please let me know if you have any questions. I would love to speak with you more about this opportunity and why I am so excited!
Feel free to forward this email to others who would be interested.
Thank you for your support ahead of time.
Be blessed and may God be glorified,
Matthew Bishop

Monday, June 27, 2016

7 Years

I have been anticipating this anniversary more than the rest so far. Matthew and I heard a statistic early on in marriage or maybe even before our wedding day that if you make it to year 7 you're more likely to stay together/less like to divorce. Well that is NOT why I've been anticipating it, 7 is just my favorite number AND we can sing Ben Rector's song "I Like You" all year ;) You see, from day one in our marriage there has been no "backdoor." The "D" word has never been used as a threat. It's just plain and simple not an option.

In a world that has exchanged sacred,  lifelong covenants for easily, revocable contracts it may be hard to understand this. 

However, our marriage covenant resolve isn't so much about me or Matt but about Christ. We cannot in our own strength, wisdom, or determination keep those precious vows we made to one another on June 27, 2009. We can't.

Only because our lives are anchored in Christ, the perfect, faithful spouse can we have hope to remain faithful to one another as long as we both shall live. 

Only because Christ laid His life down for His Bride, can we daily lay down our lives and our "rights" for the other. 

Only because we have been completed and received a new identity in Christ can we be free from looking for fulfillment and completion in another human being. 

When we get the end goal in view, an eternity worshipping and glorifying the risen and reigning King, then the journey of how to get there becomes less about me or Matt grabbing for temporary pleasures and more about allowing Jesus to grow us into "mature and complete, lacking nothing" image bearers of our great and glorious God. 

There is no one I'd rather have shaping me into my future glory self than you, Bish. Happy 7th Anniversary! Here's to another year of joys and trials, adventurous days and mundane days, triumphs and challenges! Thanks for holding my hand and my heart on this journey. I'll love you forever.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

A Gospel Focused Easter for Children

4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deuteronomy 6:4-9

As Christ-following parents (or grandparents!) seeking to be obedient to the Scripture above we should see holidays as a great opportunity for us to seize for extra Gospel focus and conversations with our children (and fun of course!).

I'd encourage each parent and couple to look holiday traditions carefully, not just doing something because it is what you have always done with your kids or what you did growing up. But rather, do what you do with conviction.
The Apostle Paul encourages us the same way: Romans 14:5b “Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.”
In a sermon from John Piper on Romans 14:5-9 he says: “‘Each one should be fully convinced...’ of what? I think the answer is this: I am fully convinced that what I am committed to is 1) not sinful, 2) honoring to Christ, and 3) the best way I can think of for me to act in this situation.”

Matt and I are still learning what this looks like practically in our home. We are still trying to figure out what traditions we enjoy and want to cultivate in our family. But the one thing we are sure about is whatever “secular/worldly/cultural” traditions we may participate in, egg hunts or Easter baskets or whatever, we want to emphasize JESUS 100x more. We don't want to fall into the trap of just tacking Him on at the end while our kids are stuffing their faces with chocolate bunnies, “Oh and kids, don't forget, Jesus died and rose again.”

We feel like one of the best ways to cultivate this in our own hearts, and the hearts of our children is to spend a little time on it every day.
Personally, we are going to do a handful of ideas from the links provided below. By making crafts, reading specific gospel focused books, and shorter passages of Scripture over this period of time, we pray and trust, Jesus will be much bigger than a 5 minute Easter egg hunt and a pile of candy and trinkets. We pray the same for each of the families in our lives, may we each seek to be faithful to God in how we shepherd and disciple the children He has entrusted to us! 

Here are just a few links of resources, ideas, crafts, bible story reading plans:

(This is a link to Amazon. You can google “resurrection eggs and find links where people made them themselves or possibly find a better deal:))
There are two great books that go along with this on the Amazon book list. One is called Benjamin’s Box. It is more geared toward preschool/elementary age, but Elli sat through it last year:) The other is called Lily's Easter Party. She has already had us read that one at least 3 times in one week!

Easter book list on Amazon:

Please share your own thoughts, ideas, crafts, & links in a comment! 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Full Assurance of Hope Until the End

Down? Discouraged? Hopeless? Prideful? Self-sufficient? Lonely? Weak?

Read the first several chapters in Hebrews. 

See the glory of God the Son. Fully God, Fully Man. Making purifications for sins. Crowned with glory & honor because of His suffering death, by the grace of God He tasted death for everyone. This Son calls us brothers! He is our merciful & faithful High Priest. Greater than Moses. "Able to help those who are being tempted." A Great High Priest. We are beckoned to DRAW NEAR to the throne of GRACE and RECEIVE MERCY & FIND GRACE to help in our time of need. 

See a warning: to not neglect such a great salvation. A warning not to harden hearts in rebellion. A warning not to give into an evil, unbelieving heart that caused us to fall away from the living God. A warning: "today, if you hear His voice, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS."

See a call :to EXHORT one another EVERY DAY so no one will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. 

See a promise: we have come to share in Christ, if we hold our original confidence firm to the end. A promise: "whoever has entered God's rest has also rested from his work as God did from His." A promise "that THROUGH DEATH He (Jesus) might DESTROY the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and DELIVER all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery." 

Friday, August 28, 2015

Harvest Church Cary

A few random snap shots from the last little while at Harvesr Church

Our pastors love membership and new membership so much they jump for joy!
Thankful for this faithful family
New Harvest members!!
Passing the hours with some harvest mommas
Elli and Hattie raiding the pantry..
Ms. Britt reading elli her bible story after community group!

Bennett and Eden 
born 11.15.14 and 11.14.14
Iris and Elli
Lyddie and Eden
Some Harvest Kids fun!
Uncle Ben teaching the kiddos
Love these beautiful mommas!!
Baby A and Eden hanging out

Lyddie and Eden
Iris and Elli
Installing our first deacons! Thankful for these faithful servants of the body!!
My wedding date for life 
Can't even put into words what this precious friend means to me!
We love you Holly and Michael!!!

Equip 1:8! So encouraging 
Ms. Britt loving on the kiddos!
The Baby whisperer 
Bennett and Eden 8 months old
Mrs. Mary and all her babies!
Matt had gotten the opportunity/privilege to preach a couple times at Harvest. I praise God for allowing him to grow and develop his gifts!
Nate getting baptized!!!
And new members!!
Post Community group bath/pjs/story time 
Landon/Elli/Hattie play date!

All the babies at the first Harvest Picnic
Love this family!!!