Sunday, July 25, 2010

Todays Sermon

I preached Psalms 103 today.

"The Benefits of Being a Believer."
1 Personal Benefits
2 Public Benefits,
3Their Magnitude &
4Their Administration.

Then after church we got out the puppets & practiced for Vacation Bible School, which starts Tuesday.

Got an outline or illustration you like? Object lesson? Share them with me & we might just put them to work down here in Puerto Rico.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Showers of Blessing?

We are having record breaking rainfall. That is saying a lot, coming from Puerto Rico!

The good part:

The rains have cooled us from the 90-100 range into the mid-80s. Hurray! We can save on air-conditioning. Our new house has a 5500 watt power generator installed in the car-port. Now, when the rains cut off our electricity, we can save our food and have light during the frequent blackouts.

The not so good part:

These rains revealed a leaky roof plus faulty water reserve and pump system that we had to fix (three thousand dollars). The humid weather has really aggravated Tina’s allergy to mildew. Rainy days put a damper on our door to door visitation and Vacation Bible School is just around the corner. Though we love the convenience of our power generator , it’s loud and smelly and our neighbors don’t like it.

The bottom Line:

We will keep serving in the bad weather as well as the good and hope for blessings as we serve. These blessing often come from people who care, pray and give. We will keep plugging away, doing our part.

Please consider how you might share in our good times and not so good times and be an encouragement to the work and workers of missions.

Boy Saved by Ears (maybe we can be too...!)

I came across this article (see below) today and it reminded me of the verse:

"James 1:19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath"

Using your ears can keep you out of all kinds of trouble! Remember to use them.

PS. Use your ears to listen to your missionaries and your eyes to read our missionary updates!

Our Missionary updates (almost weekly):

Family, a general overview and missionary information:

The Article:

Saved by his ears.

A six-year-old boy was saved from certain death by his ears, which prevented him from falling from a high-rise apartment block. Adventurous Ming Ming managed to get his head stuck in window bars of his home in Yinchang, China. Crowds gathered after hearing his screams and rescuers moved into saving the child from an eight storey drop. An onlooker said: 'The only thing stopping him from plunging to the ground below was the fact his head was trapped between two window bars. 'Once inside the flat firefighters quickly used a hydraulic pressure expander to force the bars apart and pulled Ming Ming back into the apartment.”

Friday, July 16, 2010

Catching up on the paperwork!

Paperwork, the unglamorous part of missionary life: Doing quarterly taxes for Puerto Rico, writing schedules for Vacation Bible School, creating a syllabus for classes at the Bible college, writing a review of a couple of Spanish " Intro to Physics" book for use in our Christian Ed classes, etc

It is not all fun, but like the farmer, the hard work and the sweat of the brow come before the harvest. We are getting fruit, but paperwork is still paperwork.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Fading! Order more ink!

VBS (Vacation Bible School) is coming & we must print out a lot of invitations, craft instructions and Bible material. Ink runs $79 for a package of the six cartridges our Epson Artisan 710 printer uses. I do try and get the ink on eBay and by refilling the cartridges, but it is still expensive to print out all of what we need.

Sometimes I want to "economize" (get stingy with) our ink. But then I tell myself something like this: "Why do we even have ink? To use! That's what it's there for! We use ink to print out invitations and Sunday school material for our church. The more we use, the more invitations we can put in the hands of people we invite to church. So, don't get to stingy! Use up that ink and get the job done!"

I feel real good about it for a while. Then a few weeks go by and ...time to re-order. Ouch.

Care to keep us in the ink? About $20 a week would keep our printer fed and insure we have the tools we need to get the job done and give us material to hand out and use in our Sunday school. Or $20 a month would keep us in black ink.

We don't want to fade away in this area, so give us hand if you can.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Embarrased by a New Idea: Give Me One of Yours!

I was embarrassed a little bit recently, by not living up to a high reputation someone had for me.

Our head deacon said, “My friend’s pastor is sending text messages to his church member’s cell phones every week. He reminds them to think of spiritual things during the week. It also reminds them to come to church Sunday. Shouldn’t we do that too? You know a lot about computers Pastor; don’t you think that is a good idea?”

I do! I just never thought about it before. I had looked down on using text messaging in the past so I never gave it much thought. But, I had to admit, that the other pastor had a great Idea. After all, it seems tons of people are text messaging each other. Shouldn’t the church have a part in the content they are receiving every day?

I am usually the idea guy, ahead of the curve in technology. You have to be if you want to teach young college students computer skills they don’t already know. When I heard of the use of text messaging in ministry, it caught me off guard, and I had a “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?” moment.

I give a class lecture or two on the use of computers in the ministry, but I can see now I need to devote a lot more time to the subject and include more than just teaching on the use of Bible programs.

After considering the cell phones and texting idea, it made sense to examine how all social media could be used in ministry. In my research, I found a chart that supposedly clarifies how to connect with people, but it’s complexity really convinced me there is a need for an entire course on the subject.

An entire course on this makes perfect sense, using Social Media to connect and to minister to a societies of people, such as: Church members, supporting churches, and Bible college students for example.

Now for making the course: I NEED YOUR INPUT!

Do you have any ideas or have heard any stories of how churches, pastors and schools are using social media in their ministries? Please drop us a line at or “friend” us on Facebook and help us train a new generation of pastors using the newest and best tools available.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Learning to Be Quiet: Important Discipleship Skill

Last Sunday I asked a church member to preach. His name is Wilfredo Negron. Wilfredo is in his late forties, is married, has three college age kids at home and is employed making contact lenses in a local factory. I asked another man, Luis Lopez, to teach the Adult Sunday School class. Luis is an air-conditioner repairman for the University of Puerto Rico school campuses.

While they were employing their gifts for the good of the church, I went downstairs and substituted for a missing Sunday school teacher. I think I had the hardest job that morning!

I am learning something: the missionary or pastor can become a one-man show. It is easy to justify: after all, if you think you do every job in the church better than the members , why not do it all yourself? This feels right at times. Who wants a second rate service when it can be first rate? But there is a better way. More often than not, it is a better policy to shut up and let others use and develop their gifts.

Wilfredo and Luis both did a great job. The congregation was blessed. I got to thank them and see them leave the church happy. I felt like I was doing my job as a missionary. That is a win-win-win situation.

It really doesn’t take some of them very long to surpass us in skills, or at least in being a more enduring blessing to the church. After all, if we never shut up and let them serve, how will they ever mature to the point where they can do the work themselves, without our help? It is not easy, but as I see them grow, it certainly is very satisfying!