The Narrow Path

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

Thank you Mom for all you did for me!

Thank you Julie for doing this many, many times and for each blessing you have brought to us.

Thursday, May 1, 2014


Say "Hello" to Abigail.  Born on April 30th at 9:44pm and weighing in at 6 lbs and 12 ounces.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


For those of you around the world wide web who follow, read, or just stop in on occasion to see what we Zilkies are up to, we have some news.  Most folks local to St. Louis already know, but we recently realized that some of our friends from a distance don't yet know.  (Drum roll please...)

The Zilkies are expecting child #7 here any day.  On Monday, Julie will be 38 weeks along in her pregnancy.  At any moment there could be a blog post with what I know will be an adorable picture.

Anyway, please be praying for Julie, the baby, and a smooth delivery.  Thus far everything has been fine minus a lot of discomfort and some non-pregnancy maladies that Julie has endured.  She is a trooper for sure!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

James 4:8

Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. - James 4:8

These words from the the book of James in the New Testament have been of great importance to me since I first read and internalized them back in my youth.  God gives us a promise here--one of many incredible promises in the book of James--that His presence is available to those who will seek after Him.  This verse reaffirms another verse from the Old Testament which I have also loved since my youth...

You will seek Me and find Me when you seek for Me with all of your heart. - Jeremiah 29:13

So what does it mean to "draw near to God" or to "seek God"?  This is a great question because these terms can seem opaque and not achievable since God is God and we are not.  Yet, God has given all mankind a pathway to come near to Him through Jesus Christ, His Son.  Sadly, many folks, even those who have believed in Jesus for salvation from their sins, struggle daily due to an absence of God's presence in their lives.

This is where the ancient practice of Lent comes in and can provide you and I in 2014 a wonderful opportunity to draw near to God.  The author of Hebrews, after discussing the amazing glory of God and the grace of God given to us in Christ Jesus, exhorts us to seek after God..

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

We are instructed to "lay aside" those things that get in the way, weigh us down, distract us, consume our time and affections, in order that we may run the race God has set before us...looking to Jesus.  The world in which we live is always competing for that which is most valuable to us...our time and our affections.  

Part of the expectation of being a Christian and following Jesus is to willfully deny ourselves of the lesser things we "want" so that we will have space and hunger enough to "want" and "desire" Jesus and communion with God through His Holy Spirit.  Because we are human and our lives fill up with lesser stuff, we must make room and put aside these things because God is not going to squeeze Himself into the cracks of what is left.

So on this Ash Wednesday, maybe God is calling you to draw closer to him with tangible steps that:
  • combat our natural desires and impulses...
  • and tell ourselves and Him that we are serious in our desire to be closer to Him.  
Jesus' words in Luke are a great reminder and capstone for this post, because the love of God in Christ should compel us to nothing less...

 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny 
himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. - Luke 9:23 

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Retro Child Training - Parts 4,5

These two videos cover the last two parts (4 and 5) of the first parenting seminar we hosted at Rooftop Church. There was a second seminar that built on this one that we hope to post in the near future.  Reminder that the first three three sections are in a previous blog:

Part 4 - The Great Commission and Raising Global Christians

Part 5 - Creating a Faith Community

***The resources we mention can be found In these two earlier blog posts:

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Retro Child Training - Parts 1,2 & 3

I say "RETRO" for two reasons:

(1) These are the first three segments of a parenting seminar Julie and I did in 2012...

(2) Some of these are "old-fashioned" approaches to parenting that have stood the test of time, yet presented in a manner applicable for our modern day.  We hope they are an encouragement to you in your journey as a parent or parent-to-be.

Part 1 - The Importance of a Christian Worldview

Part 2 - The "Big Picture" About Faith

Part 3 - The Importance of Godly Wisdom

***The resources we mention can be found In these two earlier blog posts:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Jesus Storybook Bible

For many years now, Julie and I have been recommending "The Jesus Storybook Bible" as a great children's Bible for your family:

We still think so and wanted to provide some additional information and background from a great article written by the author Sally Lloyd-Jones.

A couple years ago, Rooftop sent dozens of these books in Spanish with our Reynosa, Mexico short term mission team to distribute while serving there.  If you don't yet have may want to consider getting one as well.

Friday, February 14, 2014

What Is Heaven Like?

I recently preached a message on Heaven at Rooftop and I wanted to post it your viewing pleasure.  As a little teaser, I talk about what the New Heaven will be like and a "cubic city" that is as high as it is long and wide...right there in the Bible.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Long Time Coming

This past Sunday I finished reading the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, a journey I began back in July of last year.  I hadn't read the Bible from cover to cover in a long, long time.  The Holy Spirit lovingly convicted me that my reticence to do so was an indicator of my reticence to make time in my life for God, to quiet myself on a daily basis and to listen to Him and what He would have to say to me in His word.  This feeling was amplified last summer after listening to this podcast by Jerry Bridges which I would recommend if you have 15-20 minutes to listen.

Along with the Bible, I wanted to read and review the resource "How to Read the Bible Book by Book" by Gordon Fee & Douglas Stuart.  There are some parts of the Bible that are just plain confusing.  Basic questions like who is writing?  To whom are they writing to?  What is happening in their world that would give context to their writing?  How does this passage fit into the larger story of God?  These are all important questions and ones we should not just brush aside when reading the Bible.  We should ask them and this book is a good resource in answering many of them.

Friday, February 7, 2014

A Whole Decade

Today was our son Jonathan's birthday...he turned 10.  Wow!!! A whole decade of life for the young man and what a blessed decade it has been. Jonathan, being our second child, is our natural joker. Whereas David plays the traditional "straight man" as the oldest child, Jonathan is full of hi-jinx, humor, and hilarity. He does not take himself very seriously and has already learned to play along with my fatherly jokes and friendly teasing.