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.