Friday, December 28, 2012

Hobby Evangelism?

The Bible says "go into all the world ..." in order to share Christ. Part of that world meets in little rooms or classes that are orientated around hobbies. 

A teacher once told me: "Try something new every two years. Meet new people, make new friends and explore new interests."

Instead of having a passive hobby such as television, I thought that pursuing a hobby that could lead to witnessing would be a good idea. Sometimes it works well. Sometime, not so much.

I tried Chess, ( ) but chess players aren't very talkative, and it wasn't as conducive to witnessing as I had hoped. I did enjoy it though. I met some nice people and learned a lot of neat openings.

I joined the "Civil Air Patrol" as a Chaplain, and this is proving to be a more effective opportunity. I get to speak to young people and also rub shoulders with the Search and Rescue community. I also upgraded my Ham radio license to "General Class" so that I may be a person of value to people in that community. To them I am "WP4NVR."

Am I still knocking on doors? Yes. But I am also getting through some formerly closed doors by adopting a new hobby or two. I will keep you posted on how it turns out.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Motivating Our Members to Witness

About once a year we have a "Tract Day."

I order a "Sampler Pack" or assortment of gospel tracts from a couple of places and bring them to the church. During our Sunday school class,  I put the people in small groups and give each group a pile of tracts. I ask them to each read a couple and evaluate them on:

1. Clarity in communicating the Gospel

2. Was it really good, mildly interesting, OK, dull or offensive?"

3. Would it be something they would feel good about giving to someone? 

I have the groups come together and I ask a spokesperson from each group to give a quick review on their experience and share which were their favorite tracts.  I ask which ones we should order. 

I say "I am going to order our favorite tracts, but I want them all passed out. Who will pass out a tract if I order them?"

I place the order, and when they come in, I make a big deal about it. 
We have a scheduled Saturday as "Tract Blitz Day." We try and have every member come and pass out tracts for about 2 hours. Then we have a lunch at the church and share our experiences of what happened. 

The following Sunday, I ask them to give testimonies and praise their efforts in evangelism. We encourage and motivate each other to do more evangelism this way. 

I find that our church is more likely to pass out tracts they have read and got exited about then they would if we just had a few that we picked and put out for them to take. It works!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Starting Something New

Our little church is going along great; we have visited, had special meetings, got college kids to help, there something more or something new that we could be doing? I invited Phil Bell, a pastor friend from a town near us, to come by and talk to me about a new ministry idea for our church.

Phil began an AWANA program in his church. AWANA is a club for kids that my home church uses and I have seen work very well. Phil liked the program so much that he became the Regional Ministry Directors for AWANA for Latin America.

I interviewed him all about it and also what it was like to be a missionary. It is about a 45 min. interview. I don't have a podcast yet, but I will put the mp3 recording of it in my Dropbox folder. You may listen to it by going here.You can download the file and are welcome to listen in on our conversation.

Four people from our church came to the meeting we had about it at my house and we had a great time of orientation and training. We plan on getting everything ready, having a few practices and then officially starting the program when school starts up again, after the Three Kings' Day Holiday, around the 3rd Sunday of January.

Pray for us! If you have AWANA in your church, consider us as an AWANA missionary project that your club can get behind and help get of the ground!

We are willing to do some new things in the new year to have some new growth. But we need some new support and new helpers to make that happen. Please pray and plan on doing something new yourself this year. We hope that you will have a fruitful year and that you might help us have one also here on the mission field of Puerto Rico.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Don't Let Your Help Get Hijacked.

Don't Let Your Help Get Hijacked.

We see it all the time. A well meaning visitor to Puerto Rico sees a beggar and gives him aid, only to find out from us later that they just boosted the local drug trade. The sad thing is, there really are worthy poor people here on the island who could use the help, but it just gets hijacked by some hoodlum and it never makes it to the person who truly needs it. It hurts us to see church members  and Bible college students in tragic conditions while needed funds are hijacked away from unwary, but well meaning, loving people.

What to Do?
1. When you hear of a hurricane, earthquake or other tragedy  and your heart goes out to those people, ask your church if they know of a missionary or of a good church in that area. Contact those missionaries and churches and ask about the needs they have among their own people and the other needs that they see. Contribute to the afflicted through them to the people they minister to. Offering sent to relieve the poor and needy in our own churches and within reach of our own missionaries should be a priority. People who you can trust and who are local to the event are in a better position to make sure the sacrificial offerings of God's people are not sacrificed in vain.

2. Call a Bible College, Seminary, or other institution that you respect and tell them that you would like to make a donation to help pay the school bill of a worthy but struggling student, or alumni. This way the school gets the funds it needs to help others and the student gets to finish his training and begin his ministry. Funds directed in this way can help both at the same time.

Why Bother
You could just forget the church and give towards helping someone through McDonalds. But then there will be a photo shoot of Ronald McDonald giving a big check to some hospital and everyone saying how wonderful they are.

Some might say: "Who cares who gets the credit as long as people get the help they need?"

But I say this: "Why should some clown get the credit for your love, when our sacrificial love is designed to bring glory to God? "

Here are some suggestions of where you could start:
A Good Mission agency: Continental Baptist Missions
A Good Bible College: Puerto Rico Baptist College
Our Ministry: (This blog, go to the right hand margin, under"Support" and "Offering Plate")

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Comfort food from Puerto Rico: Spanish Soup

People have been asking my wife Tina for her "Spanish Soup" recipe. I checked the copywrite laws and found that recipes can be shared, it's just the description of the product that is copy-writable.

So here is a copy of the recipe without the description.

We are trying to eat a more Mediterranean diet than before and I think it is improving our health.

How Bad Do You Want that Fish?

If you want fish bad enough, you will find a way to get them. These Sri Lanka fishermen did. Shouldn't those of us who are called to be "Fishers of Men" find a way to make it happen as well?

In Puerto Rico where we serve as missionaries, we often have to wait for what seems a very long time for someone to finally accept Christ as their Savior, be baptized, join the church, become disciples and then take their place in helping our church grow. But we have learned that patience all by itself doesn't make that happen.

We find that, like the fishermen of Sri Lanka, we have to go where the "fish" are, and do everything we can do first, before we can expect our patient waiting to be productive.

What is to be done first? Go. Extend yourself. Have something to offer of value. Offer it. Patiently bring the fish in. Have a plan on what to do with it and a place prepared for it when you get one. How can all this be done? Fortunately, your Bible will tell you just how to do these very things.

We have seen a book called "The Fisherman's Bible." Fortunately for Christian fishermen, our "Fisherman's Bible" is the Bible itself! The Real Bible. I say that gives us a real advantage. Also, our fish don't stink! The longer we keep them the sweeter they get!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Jackie Evancho's Missionary Encouraging Song "I Believe"

The Uncle of Jackie Evancho, child singer, just wrote a great song that touched my heart. When Jackie sang this song for her uncle in church, I felt that she did more than just sing. I felt that she unveiled the heart and compassion of God.

The song is about having a sharing, caring heart and reaching out to troubled people with God's hope and help.

The songs lyrics are simple, profound and sweet, containing child like wishes and prayers to God for peace. But the faith of a child is held as precious in the Kingdom of God and we are to have just that kind of faith.

I praise the Lord that an older missionary like me can be encouraged to do his missionary work by this simple song, sung by a child.

I'm Getting Tired of "I Love Jesus, but Hate Religion" Talk.

I am getting tired of all that "I hate religion, but I love Jesus" talk. It sounds like people who date but never marry. They want the benefits of a relationship, but without the responsibility.

Religion is just an orderly organized way to carry out the responsibilities of a relationship with God. If you don't care to do that, do you really have a relationship?

Something to think about.

God has the World in His Hands. What is in Yours?

You know that children's church song "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands?"

Well, He put some of it into our hands.

It's time we did our part to reach this world for Christ.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Audio Update: The Prelgovisk's in Puerto Rico

A deacon I served with a few years ago provided me with a nice portable recorder so I could begin posting missionary activity, lessons and even Bible College classes on line.  I thought I would give it a preliminary trial here and give an audio update.

The Prelgovisk's in Puerto Rico- 21 Oct 2012

Friday, October 19, 2012

Buy Something for Yourself and Help a Missionary

Do you sometimes want to get yourself a nice present but also wish you could help a missionary or your church? Well, there is a way you can do just that and still get yourself that special something.

We have been granted permission to receive 4% of any product purchased from, as long as the person gets to Amazon from a link in our blog articles or from the search bar you can see on the right hand side margin of this web page.

As this Christmas season approaches, we hope that you may enjoy the fruits of your labors and find contentment in the blessings the Lord has sent your way. But while seeking to please yourself and your loved ones, please take a second to consider the missionaries far from home. If you plan on getting anything through Amazon, please do it from our web page here so we might share in a small portion of your Christmas cheer.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Proper Pride

This is Roger, a student I taught and watched grow through his years at our Bible College here in Puerto Rico. Now he is teaching others!

 The fruits of missionary work may seem small to some, but there are great blessings if you keep at it for enough time.

That is one thing I see a lot: blessing for longevity, perseverance and faithfulness.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Missionary Home Repair Help Needed

I recently found a bulge in the living room ceiling. A short time later, it burst and
soaked the arm of our sofa. Up the ladder we went to inspect our typical Puerto Rican roof. The roofs here are flat, made of cement and used as an extension of the house. We have our air-conditioning units, solar water heater and a 400 gallon water cistern sitting up there. What we don't have is good roof protection that will resist our hot sun and hurricane season climate.

We had put a lot of work and spent some money last year painting it, but the product we used just wasn't up to the job.

We had three different people come out and show us their products and give us an estimate. The last and best offer we got was for over $6,000, but after some haggling, we got it down to $5,500.

The product we settled on is the same kind of roof protection a lot of concrete stores use on their flat roofs in the USA. It is a very reflective white and looks like it will help reduce air-conditioning costs as well as seal our leaky roof. It is called "EPOX-Z." It is a mixture of two chemicals that harden into a kind of flexible plastic that adheres well to the cement. It has a 10 year guarantee, which I REALLY hope means that we won't have to spend every summer pressure washing and repainting our roof for quite a while.

We are keeping an eye on the men applying it, but desire your prayers for this project, so that the workers would deliver and apply their product as advertised.

A dry house, free of wet furniture and mildew is important to us. The expense is difficult , but it is a necessary one. If you could help us defray the cost of this missionary home repair project , we would appreciate it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Fiery Motivation for Missions

What Fire?
Could a mariner sit idle if he heard the drowning cry?
Could a doctor sit in comfort and just let his patients die?
Could a fireman sit idle, let men burn and give no hand?
Can you sit at ease in Zion with the world around you DAMNED? 

The poem and the fiery message below are from: "Why Revival Tarries" by Leonard Ravenhill

America cannot fall - because she is already fallen! This goes for Britain, too. She cannot go into slavery - because her people are fettered at the moment in the chains of self-forged, self-chosen moral anarchy. Here are millions, diseased morally, with no longing for healing. Here are men paying for shadows at the price of their immortal souls. 

An unprecedented tidal wave of commandment-breaking, God-defying, soul-destroying iniquity sweeps the ocean of human affairs. Never before have men in the masses sold their souls to the devil at such bargain prices. "There is none. . . that stirreth up himself to take hold of Thee" (Isa. 64:7). What hell-born mesmerism holds them? How does the spell bind? Who brainwashed them? Why don't they wake and stir themselves? If the Church had something vital and victorious to offer, these men who choose golf clubs by day and night clubs by night, they might be drawn from these fleshpots. 

This is an hour in need of burning hearts, bursting lips and brimming eyes! If we were a tenth as spiritual as we think we are, our streets would be filled each Sunday with throngs of believers marching to Zion - with sacks on their bodies and ashes on their shaking heads, shaking at the calamity that has brought the Church to be the unlovely, unnerved, unproductive thing that she is! 

If we wept as much in the prayer closet as devout Jews have done at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, we would now be enjoying a prevailing, purging revival! If we would return to apostolic practice - waiting upon the Lord for apostolic power - we could then go forth to apostolic possibilities! This is the hour when we are asked over and over again, "Is everybody happy?" God's purpose for us is not happiness, but HOLINESS! 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Reverse Robbery: We FIND money IN the offering plate!

I was waiting to preach Sunday morning when I noticed our song leader was unhappy. He found a letter in the offering plate from someone who stopped going to our church about 6 months ago. No one knew how it got there.

Apparently The ex-church member had a key to our church that he never returned and just let himself in, leaving a letter where we would find it during the service. The idea that someone had access to the building upset a few of our members.

After the service, the song leader and I opened the letter in private and were surprised. Inside were two money orders for $200! We had forgotten but, over a year ago during a time of need, our church had lent the individual $400 to repair his refrigerator and for some other needs he had.

He decided to pay us back, the note said, because he had just been robbed at gunpoint by someone and had to testify against them in court. It seems this convinced that he didn't want to owe God's church anything, so he made the effort to paid off his debt as fast as he could.

When I got in the car to drive home, Tina was talking about changing the church lock and was still upset about the "break in," and asked what nasty thing the gentlemen said to us in the letter.

I said, "Well, he just gave us $400!"

Tina exclaimed, "Well, if that's how it's going to be, let's make sure he keeps that key!"

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Harvest Time Limited

We preach, teach, visit and call. Each week that passes I have at least four scheduled opportunities to share the gospel: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Sometimes the best sharing comes outside that schedule.

It takes time, shoe leather, a tank of gas and commitment. We have made the commitment and ordered our days to win souls for Christ. If you could help get one tank of gas a month, that would help us. Small gifts given every month add up and makes it possible for us to do this work.

What is our motivation? We love people and know something that they don't that will help them. So do you, if you are a Christian.

There's a storm coming. Help us get the harvest in before its too late.

A Modest Proposal

As much fun as it is for us to come to the USA, buy a used car and travel around the country on a very tight budge, there may be a better way for you to see what we have been doing.

(We really do like visiting you. It's those times on the road between visits that wear us down. Seeing you back home in the USA lifts us back up again.)

Come visit us!

Yes, instead of buying a time share or going on a "secular" vacation, consider visiting a missionary, seeing the work, and maybe even participating in it.

They say enthusiasm is better "caught than taught." Come down and catch some! Then take it back and YOU can tell the churches what you have seen.

Or read our reports and share them with your church. We try and publish a report at least every month. If you could pick one Sunday a month to share our praises and prayer requests, we would appreciate it.

I hope we can see you here someday. I hope also that we may visit you. Either way, we can be a blessing to each other. I hope you will be blessed. We have been blessed by your prayers and support.

Than You!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

A Surprise Phone Call and a Gift from a Kind Stranger

Did you ever get a gift from someone you never met before? I just did!

A few weeks ago, I shared an opportunity I have. I got a radio license from the FCC (WP4NVR) but I did not have a radio to go with it. I could participate in the SAR (Search and Rescue) Community if I had one. But since they are very expensive for my budget, I could not just go get one on my own. I put out an appeal to see what would happen.

I got a phone call about a week ago from someone I never met and did not know:  Hermino Rios, a Puerto Rican living in New Jersey.

Hermino Rios; "Pastor, Do you still need a radio?"

Me; "Yes. Who is this?"
Hermino Rios; "I used to live in the center of Puerto Rico, in Jayuya. I felt led of the Lord to send you a radio. Maybe I will send a power supply and tuner also."

Me; "Wow! You are going to send me your radio?"

Hermino Rios; "No! I am buying one, a Kenwood TS680S, and sending it to you. I lived in Puerto Rico over 30 years ago. I bought the radio for your needs and will send it next week."

Well, I was amazed. These radios are NOT cheap. Plus, someone I never met read my blog and was moved to help us here in Puerto Rico. Even more impressive is that he took the time and effort to go out and purchase what I needed and then called to offer his assistence to guide me through the steps in using it.

Dear Brother Hermino Rios, who I have never met...THANK YOU! I hope that we can get an antenna and get on the air soon and put your sacrifice of love to good use by reaching the Puerto Rican people for Christ.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

How a Radio Can Open a Door for a Missionary

Lost children, hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis get a lot of attention, and there is a team of volunteers that band together to help rescue people in these calamities. These volunteers are great people and willing to help others but they could use some help themselves. I have an opportunity to rub shoulders with these people through volunteer work with the Civil Air Patrol as a chaplain and also as a HAM radio operator.

I was invited to become the chaplain in charge of the Civil Air Patrol in Puerto Rico recently and am following up on that open door to see what opportunities that position might give us in reaching our community for Christ. My main job would be to give devotionals to teenagers interested in flying, preparing for a future with the Air Force or engaging in SAR (Search and Rescue).

I also was able to pass an exam by the FCC to qualify for a General Class amateur radio licence. With my license, WP4NVR, I can participate in search and rescue, and emergency relief. I could also be seen as a person of value by the leaders of the community we are trying to reach.

Do we need to do these things to build a church here in Puerto Rico? No. We can keep visiting door to door, and we will continue to do that. But many people are not on the other side of those doors. They are off somewhere doing activities. If we could participate in those community activities we would meet people we would never have met during our regular visitation.

Will we do it? I am willing to walk through these doors. I do need the equipment though.

I hope to get a good portable radio like the Yaesu FT-857D Amateur Radio Transceiver so I can set up a portable radio station during emergency drills and get to know the men and women of the emergency response group in our area. The radio runs for around just under a  thousand, but with a good power supply, portable antenna system, etc., it will be more like $1,500.

There are many opportunities and ways to reach people. I would like to try this one. If you agree and could help us do it, please lend us a hand. We have the preparation and the will to do this. Please help us with the means to make it happen.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Helping a missionary help their children.

My daughters Sarah and Kristin are to begin their second year at Pensacola Christian College in a few weeks and, besides their tuition, they need some materials that are hard for us to supply.

Sarah is scheduled to take a photography course and is looking for a camera she can learn photography on and one that we can afford to give her. Some one recommended we should get the Nikon 3200 as a basic entry camera, but the price is close to $700.00, which may be a bargain, but beyond our means to provide. We have lots of experience getting by on a tight budget and could get a very cheap camera, but we do want to provide a good enough camera that will allow her to get a full value from her time in the class. Another model might do, but we don't know what it is and again, will have difficulty providing it.

Kristin is taking writing classes and has asked for us to get her "Microsoft Office 2010: Student Edition" for her classes. I have a copy, but will have to uninstall it on my computer so she can have my copy. I hope Microsoft can figure out I did this so she can use it without any trouble.

Our married daughter Rachel has 4 children now, but her husband Max is not working full time yet and their car broke down, needing major repair work. They would like to get a better used car, but hauling around a family of 6 requires a bigger car and a bigger expense.

Please pray for us. It is hard seeing that our kids need things that we are unable to provide. Our hearts go out to our children. If they are meant to struggle, we can accept that. But if you can help them by prayer, or by helping us provide the things they need, please do so. We would greatly appreciate it.

Hurricane Issac : We celebrate your passing

Issac is an example of the best kind of Hurricane: One that comes close enough to cancel school and work and fills the cisterns with water, but stays just that perfect distance away to where it doesn't cause any damage.

Yes, even though it didn't hit, it is disruptive. But it does give us a chance to catch up on other projects and do some long over due maintenance.

How could we be so lucky? Well, I don't think it's luck. I think someone prayed for us and the prayer was answered.

Thank you someone. Please keep praying for us.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sign up for our "new" newsletter

I sent out a printed prayer letter by US mail for my friends that like reading a "real" letter, rather than following our blog, and that is fine by us. BUT I did receive a suggestion and an actual phone call from one of our supporters with this suggestion:

"I love your blog, but I don't  remember to check it often. Would you please send me summary of your posts once a month or so in the form of an email newsletter? That way I will see it and not forget to read it."

Well, what a great idea! If you feel the same way then please subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here.You will start getting our updates as we put them out, about once a month.

Please share our news and prayer requests with others. We believe that your prayers, united with the prayers of others, make a difference in our life and work here on the mission field.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Viral Nerve Attack (warning: gross picture)

I thought I was coming down with the Dengue fever, because I have had that tropical disease and the symptoms were initially the same. But then something didn't happen. I expected a fever to set in but nothing like that happened. I thought I must have a mild case of it and would recover quickly.

No such luck.

The itching became worse and broke into extremely painful fiery red sores on my right side. I went to the doctor and he said that I had "Shingles," a painful infection of the nerve cells by the same virus (Herpes Zoster) that causes Chicken Pox. It lies dormant and for unknown reasons reactivates and causes havoc from inside the nerve cells.

I was given an antiviral pill to take 3x a day, a pain pill to take 2x a day and some sleeping pills. Managing the medications, the pain and trying to get all our work done lately has been a challenge. I am thankful for Tina's good attitude and loving care during this time. Please for our family, our health and our ministry.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Our Prayer letter- June 2012

I embedded our prayer letter here in this post. Please download, print and share it where people will read it and pray for us.

Prelgovisk Prayer Letter June 2012

Do Puerto Ricans Really Eat Iguana?

I found an iguana warming himself by a fire. Two Puerto Ricans nearby explained that they eat them. Here is a short video from my Ipod all about it.

Caribbean Business has a good article on the practice:

PR to kill invasive iguanas, export meat

Thursday, June 14, 2012

My Dengue Dilemma

I am feeling some symptoms of Dengue Fever. It starts out as burning, sensitive skin, like an invisible sunburn. If it is the Dengue, then it wil be followed by a fever, then an few days of extremely itchy hands and feet and then general weakness for about a week. 

Dengue is a tropical desease carried by mosquitos. There is no treatment for it other than rest and not getting dehydrated. Tina justmade me a berry smoothie, so I am glad she is keeping an eye on me. 

I don't expect it to be full blown Dengue, that involves internal bleeding and is called "Break Bone Fever" but the Dengue does leave you very tired for a week after you get it. I just read an article that said it was "Seldom fatal," so I suppose that should cheer me up.

Anyway, please keep us in prayer. My frustration isn't in just being sick, but not being able to do all the things that need doing.

Quick Craft Workshop Idea for Vacation Bible School

This would make a fun and quick craft area for Vacation Bible School or other group activity. I saw it at a Home Depot here in Puerto Rico that was setting up a workshop to teach kids to make small projects like birdhouses.         

Saturday, June 02, 2012

How I Study and Make My Sermons

1. First, I have my own personal devotions. I open "Our Daily Bread" and read the devotion they have, read the scripture and pray.

2. I check with my wife to see when she needs my help during the day and schedule helping her and my study time for the best possible hours.

3. I select some background music for study. I like "Solo Piano Radio" ( or the "Music to Pray By" Podcast  (  I make sure all interrupting electronic devices are off. I have a stack of 3x5 cards for when I am tempted to be distracted by my own random thought or questions. When they pop into my head, I note them on a card so I can deal with them later, then I focus again on the task at hand.

4. I open "e-Sword," a free Bible program that has English, Spanish and other language Bibles, plus dictionaries and commentaries. My old computer is getting cranky, so I might have to get a new one. Some days I just use the Bible and 3x5 cards and some rubber bands. I have made some better sermons that way, but they are hard to share when people ask me for a copy.

5. I begin in Spanish from the beginning, to avoid translation pauses during my sermon delivery.  I open Microsoft Word 2010 and use it with a bilingual spell checking dictionary.

6. I copy the verses I plan one using and paste them into the Word document. Then I use e-Sword, and especially TSK (Treasury of Scripture Knowledge) to expand on the themes in the text.  I cut and paste the entire Bible verses listed into the document, not just the references.  I do this so that when I give the sermon and the people are looking for the verses in their Bibles, I have the verses right before my eyes and use those moments to gather my thoughts.

7. I look for a "Coherence Coordinator," a unifying structure that will aid in presenting the message and in remembering the message.

8. I look for illustrations, local proverbs, idioms or stories that might serve as an introduction to the main theme of the sermon. I like it best when the same illustration serves as the intro, provides the structure and can be used in the conclusion to echo the introduction and tie everything together well.

9. I run the sermon through my mind, asking these questions: a. What do I want them to think? To feel? To do? B. Why should they care about this? Show them how this makes a difference in their life. C. Does the topic require motivation to some kind of action? If so, provide a “call to action” and an opportunity to make a decision.

10. I try to make it all shorter. I ask myself, "If for some reason I only had 10 min. to teach this, what would be the points I wouldn't want to skip?" I mark those sections. If I am running short on time, I can jump to those marked sections and still deliver a coherent message.

11. I stand up and preach it without apology or referring to the time. If it is good or bad, they will know, I don't have to forewarn them. If I have very little time, why waste it talking about the time? In the time it takes to mention the lack of time, you can teach one more truth.

12. When I'm done, I remind myself that God can use what I just preached any way He likes, whether I get praise for it or not. I have preached sermons where I got a lot of praise, but then nothing happened. On the other hand, some sermons that I have been embarrassed by have produced amazing results. To God be the glory.

PS . If you don’t like my method, please show me how you do it. I will be pleased to learn from your real life experience.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The "Drug Problem" that kids SHOULD have...

I found this funny article about a special kind of "Drug Problem" that would help our kids have a better life. Please comment if your parents ever "drugged" you in this way!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Immigrants becoming the Majority in many US cities

"For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S.....348 of the nation's 3,143 counties, or 1 in 9, have minority populations across all age groups that total more than 50 percent." says CBS News

There is a very good reason churches should support missionaries that can help them reach the minorities in their own neighborhoods. These minorities  are becoming the majority. Not only is it good policy to reach them for Christ, it is Biblical obedience to do so. Soon it might just be essential for the survival of the church itself. If the population of a city is replaced by one race and no evangelism has occurred, what will the future of our churches be in those communities?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

People Who Find A Way to Help Those They Love

I was blessed lately when I saw this. This girl can cook and paddles up and down the river inside her own cooking pot. She uses her wooden cooking spoon as a paddle. She uses the little she has to get what she needs to help those she loves. And she does it with a smile. I guess there will always be work for those who hustle and are creative.

In my missionary experience, I meet a lot of people who promise to help us but never seem to get around to doing it. On the other hand, we are blessed greatly by people who sacrifice much and find creative ways to help. Out here on the field, far from home, friends and family, that help is profoundly felt.

It seems to me that if you really want to help someone, you won't allow circumstance to stop you. We didn't let circumstances stop us from coming to the mission field. I hope that someone who loves missions and missionaries might find a way to help us do the work of missions. And be happy that they did.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Got feet? Don't Compare, Go Out and Share

A man stood up in church Sunday and announced to everyone that he knew who had the most beautiful feet. He said that it was me because I had come to Puerto Rico to preach the gospel. He said it must be true because the Bible says: "How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"  (Romans 10:15)

Well, I thanked him, but I kept my shoes on. 

In fact my feet are a bit flat and get sore walking on the side walks and the cement or tile covered floors common to our island. We don't use carpet in the tropics, so walking about here takes a toll on your feet. I understood that he just meant to be appreciative of our efforts to reach them for Christ..

It is nice of someone to say that I have the best feet in the church, but I think we shouldn't compare our feet to see whose are the best. I think the people I teach have great feet, because they can carry the gospel to places I can't go. Instead of comparing them, I teach our people to use them.

Even the poorest people, without shoes can still have feet that are blessed by God if they are involved in his work. It is time we stood up and started using our feet to take the good news to those who need it. 

Got feet? Don't Compare, Go Out and Share

Monday, April 09, 2012

How many a sad story has begun...

Don't let this happen to you.

Yes, you may have a tax return coming and things are looking up, but remember your church, your missionaries out on the field and that little thing called a family budget?

Sure, get yourself a present for your hard work. But beware, some things you come to own, come to own you, and then your stuck. 

Don't worry. If you do the right thing, you won't miss out on any fun. You will be free to enjoy it when it comes along.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard

The most enduring missionary success comes from hard work done slowly over a long time. Some talented folk have come to work here, but left when things got slow. But we find that slow work is the most fruitful kind of work on our mission field here in Puerto Rico.

I call the slow but fruitful method: "Plan Tortuga" (the turtle plan). It is where we steadily keep moving toward our goals and don't stop. It helps to have a thick shell also. Turtles aren't very flashy, but they made it to Noah's Ark on time by putting one foot in front of the other till they got to their goal.

Successful  missionary work is more about perseverance than talent. I'm betting it is the same where you work. It might be a t-shirt slogan, but it is a good one to have if you want to be a successful missionary:

"Hard Work Beats Talent When Talent Fails to Work Hard"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Scary Picnic: Tina Lost and Found

The church I pastor church here in Puerto Rico organized a picnic Saturday. It was a bit more exciting than we had planned for.

The first surprise was that we had to cross a river in our car and then descend a very steep mud and rock road.  We were in our old '92 Previa and I was worried about getting stuck. The car groaned a bit but finally made it. The site was very rustic but beautiful. But then I noticed a cow skull wedged between some vines and a tree. I had a sense that must be a pretty remote area for a whole cow to decay and leave its head in a tree and not have it removed by anybody.

We had a great lunch, then had games, and even a movie (we had a generator, projector and a bed sheet for a screen). But then I noticed Tina was missing. She was waiting to hear if our daughter Rachel had our new grandson yet, so she went searching for good reception for her cell phone. Tina found a hill and got through, but afterwards she took the wrong path coming back down and ended up in a dry river bed. She eventually got to the river and was trying to follow it back to where we had forded it earlier.

Four of our people went out looking for her, but had no luck. I  went down a road to the river and found a gap in the barbed wire fence and decided to just shout to see if she would hear me. She heard me the first time I called, but couldn't believe it, so she waited till I called again before she answered. I walked back to our camp with a very happy wife.

We got a lot of jokes about the lost sheep and the pastor who left all the others behind to go find her. But that is just what happened! We are glad the story had a good ending!

Sunday I felt a closer bond with our people. I think it is because of the shared experiences of fun, excitement and even danger. I am happy to be in a church where our members are more than just members. They are our friends.

PS. Rachel DID have her baby! Our new grandson. Our daughter Rachel is OK but had a last min. C-section due to the baby being sideways. Baby is doing fine now. Tina will fly in today and help for about 2 weeks. Stephen Ben Kennedy weighs in at 9 lbs 11 oz, born approx. 11:45 pm cst at sacred heart hospital in Pensacola,Florida 3-25-12

Saturday, March 10, 2012

My Wife Tina Wants a Computer

When our daughters went to college they took our house-hold computers with them. Since I take mine to work, Tina is often left alone without a way to do email or search online for recipes and other things she likes to do. She told me today something simple and cheap would be fine.

I would like to get an Apple Macbook Pro, and give Tina my old laptop, but with two daughters in Bible College I think we could do OK with a cheaper and simple internet device, like  Kindle Fire or an I-Pad 2.

Could you help? It is really important for a missionary to have a happy wife. "Happy wife, happy life" is a saying I find to be true. I hope I can give her some good news about this soon.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Enjoy Being on the Rock? Fine. Don't Forget What it's For.

OK, you can enjoy being on the rock. That is fine. But we are supposed to BUILD on the rock. Done any building lately?  I know this guy brought his house with him, but we are not told to park our mobile home on the rock. We are supposed to build something on it that won't move.

Matt 7:24 "..whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock"

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Working for Christ on the Wrong Side of the Line

I called a church the other day and asked for a meeting to present our mission field.

Pastor: "What parallel is Puerto Rico at?"

Me: "We are at 18 degrees North Latitude."

Pastor: "Sorry, we can't support you. You are at the wrong parallel."

Ouch! I found out later that the 4 million people in Puerto Rico are 2 degrees off from their cut off point.

I have to admit that I was a bit confused by this conversation and the calculation. I guess I missed the section of the Bible that deals with missionary mathematics. I wonder if Phillip did any demographic research before he allowed the Holy Spirit to take him into the desert to minister to an area that had a population of 1, an Ethiopian in a chariot?

Somehow reducing missions to a math equation strikes me more as modern marketing than as a God ordained way to reach this lost world for Christ. I hope that I will always be the missionary that says: "Here I am Lord, send me" and NOT the missionary that says, "Show me the numbers Lord, and I'll let you know..."

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How a sentence I read in a Children’s book multiplied my ministry

A few years ago I helped start a church in a small interior mountain town in Puerto Rico. I was part of a team that was led by a senior missionary and we also had some other people working beside us as part-time partners. One team member retired and others I worked with left the field until I was left with the sole responsibility of the work in my hands.

This was not part of my plan, but since I was the last missionary standing and the work was not complete, I could not imagine abandoning it. I felt that to do evangelism and then not disciple the believers into a good church would be like having children and then not providing a home for them. So I stayed and kept trying to build a church home for them. I must confess that although I love the Lord and doing His work, I did feel let down by others and “stuck” with a small ministry in the country.

A while later I came across a parable kind of story written by George MacDonald. The story is about two spoiled girls who become victims of too much self-esteem and the great damage it caused. I was fascinated by it because “A Double Tale” by George MacDonald is exactly the opposite of what you might have been taught, even in Christian circles about self-esteem. Anyway I came across this paragraph. The next to the last sentence really caught my attention:

It really made me think. Instead of feeling sorry as if I was left in a corner while others ran off to play elsewhere, I should use this opportunity to do a great job and let my light shine brightly in this little corner of the world. My job became a joy to me and our little church, although still small, has turned out pastors and missionaries that are serving God all around the world. Our church is a very small lighthouse, but it is a marvel how far and brightly the light has shone from this humble work.

I am sure George MacDonald did not plan on helping us start churches across Latin America when he wrote this story over 100 years ago, but it helped that very thing come to pass. I guess you never know when the little things you do will make a difference in the world, if ever. But they do and they will. It happened to me. So cheer up and praise God and do your job well. It is worth doing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Funny, but important short video from Puerto Rico Baptist College.

A few of our very talented students used their considerable skills to make this funny mini-movie that also touches a more serious theme. It was made to honor 3 recent graduates and pokes fun at some of the students, but it also points out the importance of the missions of our Bible College and taking the gospel to the world. If  you look fast and don't blink you may see me teaching a computer class for about 1 millisecond. I am at min. 8:54 teaching a computer class. The video has three parts, the first introduces our recent 3 graduates, the second is a funny "Missions Impossible" type skit and the third is about our Bible College. There is even a blooper segment at the end.

Monday, January 09, 2012

For my "M.O.P" (Mothers of Preschoolers) Friends

"If You Give a Mom a Muffin...." by Kathy Fictorie, 
(based on "If you Give a Mouse a Cookie" by Laura Numeroff)

If you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it. She'll pour herself some. Her three-year-old will spill the coffee.  She'll wipe it up. Wiping the floor, she will find dirty socks. She'll remember she has to do laundry. When she puts the laundry in the  washer, she'll trip over boots and bump into the freezer. Bumping into the freezer will remind her she has to plan supper. She will get out a pound of hamburger. She'll look for her cookbook. (101 Things To Make With A Pound Of Hamburger.) The cookbook is sitting under a pile of mail. She will see the phone bill, which is due tomorrow. She will look for her checkbook. The checkbook is in her purse that is being dumped out by her two-year-old. She'll smell something funny. She'll change the two-year-old. While she is changing the two-year-old the phone will ring. Her five-year-old will answer and hang up. She'll remember that she wants to phone a friend to come for coffee. Thinking of coffee will remind her that she was going to have a cup. She will pour herself some. And chances are, if she has a cup of coffee, her kids will have eaten the muffin that went with it.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Motive Malignment: A game anyone can play (but that no one should).

I am getting tired of the word "homophobia." This word is an accusation that assumes people against the practice of homosexuality are afraid of homosexual people. It also assumes that the accusers know the hearts, minds and motives of the accused. But is this really fair?

 Have you never heard of someone rebuked for saying "I know how you feel," when trying to express sympathy in a tragedy? Even though they mean well, they are often rebuked, with “No you don’t! No one can know how I feel!” It is understandable because no one can really know another’s inner feelings. Likewise, assuming to know a person has a phobia because they don't like something is equally unfair. They may have personal reasons unknown to anyone.

I know individuals who are very sympathetic to homosexual people but feel that the practice of homosexuality is harmful. They oppose it to help their friends avoid problems. The motive for opposing the practice of homosexuality can be an altruistic one, such as friendship or even love for the homosexual. One might not agree with the position, but to attack the motive of person involved in not right. How can it even ever be truly know?

Besides, motive accusation is a two-edged sword. One could just as easily say that those who call others “homophobic” are secretly using a debate trick called the “straw man.” Why? Because in their inner selves they are afraid their arguments are weak and so use “homophobia” to redirect the argument to the personality of the position holder. Since this “straw man” is the invention of the accusers, they make it easy to beat up on, in order to give themselves the illusion of a victory. They do this so they can feel better about a position they could not defend in an honest debate.

See? Once questioning motives is the name of the game, anyone can play. Please do not question motives anymore. Do not call anyone homophobic because they do not like homosexuality. They might not be afraid of you or it at all. They may be the person that loves you the most in the entire world.