Saturday, April 30, 2005

The Blue Screen of Death

Our home school is slowing down this week because of a computer that is trying to die on us. Sarah and Kristin have a computer based curriculum that we really enjoy...until a computer crashes. Fortunately we have all the work backed upped and saved. But unfortunately, we will have the expense of replacing the computer. I fixed it temporarily, but after it showed me the "Blue screen of death" and a few other symptoms, I could tell it did not have long to live.

I can get one down here for about $500. This will be hard for us to do because just last week we spent $280 for a new car radiator. But school must go I will go to Sam's club here in Puerto Rico and bring home a machine within the next day or so. We are short on computers. I don't have a laptop or a computer for the church, so if anyone has a spare in good condition, let us know. That way, if a homeschool computer crashes, we could have a back up and not lose any school time.
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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

The Wet Blanket of Fear!

We visited door-to-door Saturday, what we call "Cold Turkey" Evangelism. It is an essential part of our ministry and we schedule it for Tuesday night, Wednesday morning and Saturday afternoon. But it is hard to get people to visit with us. Fear of others, I think is the main problem. We have the medicine for this disease: ( For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Tim 1:7). Unfortunately, many would rather live in fear than take their medicine!

Not only does it affect our visitation, but our classes at Puerto Rico Baptist College. I tried to buy some test tubes and flasks for our chemistry class but was told by a store owner that they were illegal to sell in Puerto Rico.

"Why are test tubes, flasks and such things illegal to sell here?" I asked.

"The government is afraid chemistry equipment might be used to make and process drugs." Complained the store owner.

Well, no kidding! The government is right. Drug dealers are using test tubes and such things in drug labs. But, since the law was passed, I have not noticed any drop off in drug activity around here! It just makes us have to by used science equipment on Ebay!

Fear is a major hindrance to missionary work, an impediment to exploration and a wet blanket that snuffs out sparks of enthusiasm. A spirit of fear can suck all the joy right out of living. Let's take our medicine and get over it!


I read a GREAT article on the national sickness of "risk aversion" from a mothers point of view, a mother who felt she was being manipulated towards having an abortion, just because she was older and of what might happen. Here is an excerpt and the link if you want more:

(“Don’t You Want to Be Prepared?”
I don't want to sound unpatriotic, and I realize that this is not a wildly original point, but there is something creepy about how risk aversion has become a kind of unofficial American creed. It's creepy in the way that it has crept stealthily into our national life, and creepier still in its sinister, innumerate, fear-fanning, joy-squashing effects. There have been days lately when I have caught myself wondering aloud, "Can we really be the people who settled the Great Plains?"

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Thursday, April 21, 2005

What Never Changes

I don't look like my college yearbook photo anymore! I used to memorize Bible verses that would motivate young men like me to serve the Lord. Now that I am 50, I still find motivation in the Word of God, but from other kinds of verses!

Here is one I found this morning:
Psalm 71: 18 Now also when I am old and greyheaded, O God, forsake me not; until I have shewed thy strength unto this generation, and thy power to every one that is to come.
Even though we change and grow old, the Word of God changes not. It remains powerful, able still to move, motivate and comfort, not just the young, but also those of us who are now joining the ranks of the senior saints. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Bad Bugs Banished. Lesson Learned.

We had a long day Monday. I taught for five hours at Puerto Rico Baptist College and was about to head home when I got involved in another project. Some viruses infected our college computers. A few had what we call " Web page Hijackers." Our Bible college computers were taking our students to casino gambling sites! Something had to be done!

My new assistant (Irving, from Barcelona, Spain) and I had already downloaded a couple of free virus eliminators before, but our machines kept getting re-infected. I finally figured out what was happening. The computers have "restore points" that we use to reset the machines every once in a while. I realized Saturday that some older viruses were hiding among the protected restore point programs and would infect us again each time we restored a past configuration. We have to open up the restore points and unprotect what we did in the past to get the viruses fully eliminated. There probably is a spiritual application in this for high tech types*.

I got home at 10PM tired, but I feel better now that our students can work without being misdirected by evil programs.

It is not enough to eliminate the negative. We have to replace it with something positive and powerful. I have found it helpful to set this site "Our Daily Bread" ( as my homepage. Try it!

* What you don't fully clear up in the past can come back and hurt you again when you least expect it! Posted by Hello

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Faithful Friends Fire Us Up!

Rosendo came from Mexico to study with us, became my assistant pastor and in the process became our good friend. Today he preached a tremendous sermon in our church. His great love for our people and passion for his faith was evident and greatly moved us.

Rosendo married another of my students, Sugely, who is a certified Public accountant here in Puerto Rico. He left our church last year to be a youth pastor and a Christian school teacher in another part of the island, but returned to preach and minister among us this week. He is a gifted young man: a great preacher, a compassionate evangelist and has a number of academic achievements. Besides his degree from our college, he earned a degree in Education from Mexico and is qualified to teach in the Mexican public school system. Rosendo hopes to return to his homeland and start a Church with a Christian education emphasis.

We were so proud of him today and thrilled at the news that these high quality young people are dedicating themselves to the important work of missions. If the only thing I accomplished in Puerto Rico was to train Rosendo for the ministry, I would say that it was time well spent. But there was Alex from the Dominican Republic, now a pastor in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, Tulio from Peru, Irving from Spain...! It feels like the Lord has opened wide the windows of heaven and showered us with many great opportunities for service and blessed us beyond measure by comforting us with these great assistants.
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Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Our Twins Sarah and Kristin go on a Church Youth Activity. Tina drove part of our youth group to the Phosphorescent Bay Friday night and the twins went along. The rest followed in another mini van. They stopped in the big town of Ponce on the Caribbean side of the island and did a little shopping. Later, they drove to the Phosphorescent Bay and went out on a boat to see the glowing waters. One of the men on the boat put on a wet suit and swam in the water when it got dark. When he swam, it caused the unusual sea life we have here to glow in the dark. He was swimming in a pool of green light.

Our assistant pastor from Peru, Tulio, brought his 16-year-old sister to the activity. She came to Puerto Rico to visit him and our school, Puerto Rico Baptist College. She spent the weekend with us and stayed on campus for a week, attending classes. She is thinking of coming here when she graduates from high school. It was quite crowded in our mini van and the mini van of our youth leader during the long trip to the bay, about two hours each way. We really could use a mid to larger size van for the church and transporting our college students back and forth between church and school. It is out of our reach financially for the present.

The Youth Group seems to be growing and doing well. We hope shared experiences like this activity will have a positive effect and encourage good and godly fellowship. Posted by Hello

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Our school, Puerto Rico Baptist College, hosted the Fundamentalist Caribbean Christian Conference. Dr Bob Jones the III and many other great preachers came and were a real blessing to us down here in the US territory of Puerto Rico. We do this every year. Want a vacation some year that will refresh your spirt as well as your tired body? Come and visit us on the mission field. I think you could get a great blessing while you are here!
 Posted by Hello

Monday, April 11, 2005

Over heated Sunday

Church went great today. I asked our 18-year-old assistant Tulio from Peru to preach and he did a great job. But later we had some problems.

After church Sunday, I drove the college student helpers back to our College but had trouble getting back home. Our 1992 Toyota mini van overheated and left me stranded right in the middle of traffic. The twins were with me, so I asked them to wait on the side of the road in case we were rear-ended and did all I could do to cool down the engine. About 15 min later, I restarted the car and got to a gas station, where it died again. I sent Sarah and Kristin inside the gas station to wait and I worked on the car another hour or so and finally got it full of fluids and risked the winding mountain road back home.

I would like a day off to unwind, but Church planting, my college classes, the IRS and some furlough plans all need their due attention this week. Posted by Hello

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Music for Untaxing Taxes

Tax time for missionaries can be unnerving, especially in a US territory like Puerto Rico. But I came across this Acoustic/Classical Christian radio station on the Internet that helped keep my spirit joyful even during my tax preparation! I even said, "Amen!" and got goose bumps while sorting through our old receipts. Now, if it can put a smile on your face and a song in your heart during tax time, it has got to be a great radio station! My next favorite is "Rejoice Radio" from Pensacola Christian College. Here are the links if you would like to try them.

Rejoice Radio: (

Word of Truth Radio: (

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Victor Baptized! It was a close call, but we finally got him into the water today. Victor changed his clothes in the bathroom and came out, but suddenly had a struggle with fear when he saw the water. I spoke to him, our deacon Luis spoke to him and finally our youth director Wilfredo spoke to him. After he got into the water he calmed down and did just fine. But for about 15 min or so, there was some real doubt if he would win that struggle with his inner fear. We praise the Lord for Victor's victory and hope this is just the beginning of a better life for 27 year old Victor Fontanes. I just drove by the city plaza about 20 min. ago and saw him there. He gave us a big smile and waved us a friendly hello. It looks like he is still on the victory side in his walk with the Lord. Amen! Posted by Hello

Friday, April 01, 2005

Walking for Jesus

I walk to town and our church often for a couple of reasons: to save gas, lose weight and to leave the car with Tina and the girls in case of an emergency. But the MAIN reason is to meet and get to know the people of our town, so we may make new friends and minister to them. On the way back from the post office yesterday, a man stopped and offered me a ride home. He is a man who lives on my street and has seen me walk by his home often on my way to church. He was curious to meet me and I wanted to meet him, so I got in the car and during the ride home we had a bit of conversation. When we got to my house, he invited Tina and I to meet his wife and stay for dinner! His name is Raul Serrano, a Puerto Rican who served in Vietnam in the Airforce. He would like our prayers. I am looking forward to seeing what the Lord may do in his life. In the mean time, I will keep on walking for Jesus! Posted by Hello