Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Visitation makes a difference!

Whether you call it "Organized Obedience", "Shameless Sharing" or just plain "Visitation," it makes more than a world of difference when you go out and do it!

On Tuesday night, Wednesday morning and Saturday afternoon we have what we call "Visitation." I ask our church members to give us the names of their friends so that we might visit them sometime during the week. During these visits we share the word of God, pray, invite them to church, and help them with problems.

Tuesday night we visited the home of Jackie, a working/studying mother of four young children. Jackie is studying in a trade school to get a license to be an air-conditioner repair person. About two weeks ago I gave her some gospel tracts and spoke to her briefly. But last night my visitation partner Luis and I had the privilege of entering her home and speaking with her for about an hour and a half.

When I entered her home, I was introduced to her middle-aged sister, Diliris, who had stopped by for a visit. Diliris listened intently while I spoke and then said that she would like to receive Jesus as her Lord and Savior! Jackie, we discovered, had in the past made such a decision, but had drifted away from the Lord. Now she wanted to come back. We prayed with both sisters, one returning to the Lord and the other coming to Him for the first time!

Visitation is exciting! Today I spoke to a young woman who runs a tavern, but listened well to what we shared. Her name is Naida. Another visit we made was to the home of the son of a church member who has become estranged from his father because of old unresolved grudges. Every week there is something new.

It is often hard, always a bit scary, but also very exciting. When you get to see the power of God take a life and transform it, what could be better than that? We have learned by personal experience that Romans 1:16 is true: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth"

Someone told me, You don't need to defend a lion, just let him out of the cage. Visitation is like, when we open the word of God and share it, it is like releasing a tremendous power. It is amazing what that power can do. What a privilege to be present when that power is manifested, the moment a human soul is reconciled with its creator and a life is transformed! Posted by Picasa

Saturday, November 18, 2006

You Have to be Ready for Anything

It is quite a thrill to preach to about 100 people you don't know, in a funeral of someone you have never met and in a language that is not native to you, and all without any time for preparation!

Wednesday I went to a funeral of the Father-in-law of a former church member. I didn't know the man at all. I just went to show my support for the family. They had a Pentecostal woman preacher preaching the funeral sermon, so I thought I was just going to express my condolences and then leave a bit later. But someone told her I was a pastor and she called me up front and invited me to preach!

God was kind to me and it went well. At least they were all smiling at the end, and that is a good sign.

The next morning I was lying on the floor of the church fixing a toilet. I said to Tina, "Last night I preached to a hundred people, and now I am lying on the floor fixing a toilet!" Tina said, "I guess that means you are a real pastor!" I hope so!

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I never preached in a church with its own ALLIGATOR before!

I will be preaching this week at a missions conference in the pretty new building of Evangel Baptist Church in Bradenton (Close to Tampa), Florida. Pastor Brent Hockema pointed out the pond on the church property and told me about the alligator that lives there. He called the animal control people, but apparently they do not respond unless there has been an at least one ‘incident.” Yikes! I hope it’s not me!

Please pray for the churches of Florida, that they may become equipped to minister to the large Puerto Rican immigration to this area that is now underway. It is our hope that our ministry at the source of immigration and theirs at the receiving end, might compliment one another and thus become more effective in reaching the Hispanic community for Christ.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

It is amazing what God can do with what we put in His hands

The picture above tells the story of how a boy gave Jesus just five loaves of bread and two fish and how that Christ took that small offering and multiplied it to feed thousands. As a missionary, we play the part of the disciples in this story, by distributing the offerings of others among those who are in need. And like the disciples in the gospel account, we are amazed to see how Christ multiplies that which is placed in His hands.

But it all starts with an offering, albeit a small one.

We missionaries ask for such offerings during our visits in the Sates, a process sometimes called Deputation.

I came across this definition of Deputation. After reading it, I am amazed that we ever got to the field at all!

Deputation is an unknown period of time for calling, writing and visiting an unknown number of pastors you do not know, driving on unfamiliar roads in unbelievable conditions at unearthly hours, staying with people you have never met, and eating food you do not recognize, in order to convince unfamiliar churches to support a missionary they do not know, to go to a field where he has not been, to do a work he has not done in a language he does not know, with funds he does not have. (Contributed by Ed Woods)

Wow! God is Good.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Missions Week

Our kitten (below) thinks the world revolves around her. But the world belongs to those who are meek enough to put God's agenda first. I am happy to say that we are training a good number of Bible College students who fit into the better category. Here is a group of our students getting ready for a missions banquette. From students like these will come the missionaries of the future. These students are preparing for a future that includes important ministries such as church planting, Christian education and missions. Since the world will be inherited by the meek, I feel that these students will be greatly rewarded for the sacrifices they have made by making the Kingdom of God their first priority. Posted by Picasa

Know anybody like this?
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