Friday, October 28, 2011

Something you can do for us before Christmas

We are trying to find ways to finance our daughter's college education and have gotten a little
bit of help from an unexpected source. I thought I could get a discount on books, by joining an program and then ordering Sarah and Kristin's textbooks through them. I was right. Amazon paid us back 4%. It amounted to $16. That isn't very much, but every bit helps.

The way you can help is, either by helping us directly with the tuition the next three years or being so kind as to use our search bar to find your Christmas gifts this year. You can also order an e-mail gift certificate or a gift card to put into someones' stocking. It doesn't cost anything and we will still get the 4%.

What we would rather have is your prayers, monthly support and personal visits. But every bit helps, so if you are doing Christmas this year anyway, please consider doing it in such a way that could bring a bit of help to some missionary kids that are away from home in Bible college.

Don't Be Disrespecting the Church.

We need to join with others to fully express our faith. It is popular today to talk about faith without church or religion. But church is about people and religion is about finding a way to put faith to work. No Christ based relationships with people and no plan to put His teachings into practice make for what used to be called "practical atheism." Today this describes what some call their personal relationship with God.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

See Puerto Rico at Night & Learn Something New

People often ask me about the population and economy of Puerto Rico. I answer, but it is hard to visualize the statistics. This map of the North America at night might help. Puerto Rico is the third island to the right, starting from the tip of Florida. Notice how bright it is. Electricity is very expensive in the Caribbean, because it is almost all made by gas engines. Having so many lights on at night shows how dense the population is (4 million in a 35x113 mile rectangle) and how relatively better they are off than their neighbors.  While the average Puerto Rican makes half the income of the poorest US state, it is still higher than the other islands in the region.

On the one hand, it is a bad thing, because it means it cost us more to live here, and we do struggle with that. But on the other hand, the good economy comes from the fact that Puerto Ricans are US citizens and migrate back and forth frequently. That means that the ministry here is more productive, because evangelism done here then reaches directly into communities on the US mainland and makes an impact on the immigrants residing in our country.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Blessings x 3

I invited a graduate of our Puerto Rico Baptist College, Gabriel Rodriguez, to preach today at my church in Comerio, Puerto Rico. Gabriel not only can preach & teach, but developed his music skills as a guitarist so well that he won the classical guitar competition in Puerto Rico this year. He is going to preach on the role of music in the church.

 I consider him a triple blessing because he also teaches courses at our college and is now a colleague with impressive teaching ability. I still remember him as a chubby kid from Summer Bible camp. By the way, he lost a tremendous amount of weight and is looking great. If he wanted to, he could add fitness coach to his impressive resume.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Which Door Will You Choose?

I started a health blog ( Prediabetic HQ) a few months ago, mostly to motivate and educate myself out of the diabetic danger zone. So far it is working. I lost 25 lbs in the last 4 months and have just passed 1 week below my goal weight of 150 lbs. My A1c is 4.8, that means I am NOT even prediabetic anymore.

I have learned a lot, not just about health, in the process. In the fight to get to a better place health-wise, the drama of temptation vs self-control, discipline vs being a sluggard and many other themes familiar to Christians struggling to grow in Christ are evident. What I learned from a victory on one battle field has helped me win on others. I do not believe in "Prosperity Theology" or that the gospel needs to be supplemented with advice from diet gurus, but I do feel I have learned lessons in my struggles (an successes) to get healthier that I can apply in a positive way to my life work as a pastor, missionary, Bible College professor, husband and father.