Monday, May 19, 2008

Charity and Purity

A speaker at a pastor's conference in California where I was attending used the following quote from C.H. Spurgeon in relation to James 1:27.

The visitation of the fatherless and widows in their affliction is not left optional. It is not to be the privilege of a few worldly men who give all their substance to orphanages. Every Christian is bound to wear his part of the external dress of religion, that is, charity. This charity is to be manifested especially to those who need it most, whose need cannot be a matter of imposture, but must be real. These are the fatherless and widows, during the time of their destitution and affliction, when the orphans are not able to earn the bread that perishes, and the mother has her children weeping around her, and pining in poverty.

--Charles Spurgeon, Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit v. 39, p. 391(3rd paragraph into introduction) “Charity and Purity”

Friday, May 16, 2008

NFL Left Tackles Exist to Protect Teammates

In today's NFL, the players grabbing the most headlines are quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers. But according to Michael Lewis's book The Blind Side, the ones who grab the second-highest paychecks are left tackles.

In the book, Lewis explains the importance of these anonymous, but essential, offensive linemen. He traces their emerging importance back to the career-ending injury of star quarterback Joe Theismann on Monday Night Football in 1985. More than 17 million people watched as an incredibly athletic linebacker named Lawrence Taylor blindsided Theismann, breaking his leg.

Since most quarterbacks are right-handed, the left tackle's main role is to prevent his quarterback from being hit from behind, unseen. And with the next generation of athletic linebackers and defensive ends, it takes a special person to do it. Left tackles must weigh more than 300 pounds and have long arms to block, but they must also be quick on their feet. Today, teams are willing to pay for such a player. By 2004, the average salary of a left tackle in the NFL was $5.5 million a year. Only starting quarterbacks earned more.

The role of the left tackle is literally to be his "brother's keeper." This is the role that God plays on our behalf, and this should be the role of every player in God's church.
(Sam McKee, Sunnyvale, California; source: NPR, All Things Considered (10-10-06).
Published in Preaching Today, 12/11/06.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

It's Worth Doing Badly

Stuart Briscoe is on the International Council of Reference and a great friend of ACTION, and he and his wife, Jill, also serve as Advocates for Street Children. Mr. Briscoe once said, “If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing badly.” By this he meant there are many things that need to be done in the church (and missions) that are not being done (by many of us) because we know we would not do a very good job; we know others could do it better. So what happens? The task remains undone! God’s “simple” people need to step forward “in faith” and get the job done, even if it is done badly...but to do it for God’s glory. Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.(James 4:17)

Monday, May 12, 2008

Missionaries Needed in the Philippines with ACTION!

The Philippines, with about 90 million people (only 6-8 percent evangelical), need many more servant missionaries.

ACTION has over 220 missionaries in 17 countries worldwide. Many additional personnel are urgently needed to join the nearly 30-member ACTION team in the Philippines!

Missionaries to serve with 48,000 untrained needy pastors, with children in crisis (such as the 100,000 street children in Manila), to the poor, in prisons (such as the 14,000 in the maximum security prison) to the rich (in all aspects of evangelism, discipleship and development), and immediately in the ACTION Manila office in business, financial, personnel and administration assistance!

Teachers and administrators also needed at Faith Academy, a school for missionary children.

Please pray for 5 to 20 urgently needed additional missionaries to join the ACTION Philippine ministry as soon as possible!

Blessings and thank you for praying.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Ministry to Needy Children with Compassion

By Doug Nichols

Pure and lasting religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit [care for] orphans . . . in their distress . . .(James 1:27, nasb).

Over the years I have seen “child sponsorship” programs come and go, and witnessed various programs worldwide. Compassion International is one that is really appreciated.

Recently my wife and I had dinner in Manila with the Compassion International Philippine Director and his wife – a dedicated, generous, godly, self-sacrificing couple.

It was wonderful to hear of Compassion International’s ministry in the Philippines and its sponsorship through local evangelical churches of over 40,000 needy children!

Children in the city slums and in small provincial barrios are helped with the basics of education, food, clothing, and the Word of God. Special Compassion projects are held throughout the year, such as camps, sports days, medical and dental clinics.

As we fellowshipped over food and the things of God, I rejoiced how God raised up this business man to serve in ministry of the church (which we helped found over 30 years ago), and then how he was appointed to serve as Compassion International Director for the Philippines. He and his wife are example of those who have stepped forward in faith to trust God to use them in ministry to needy children.

As a result, the Gospel and “compassionate” care is being extending to thousands of needy children (and their families) to the glory of God.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Share the Gospel and Definitely Use Words!

Even though Jesus and the apostles taught and engaged in the ministry of good works, the Gospel was always proclaimed through the spoken word!

A friend and supporter of ACTION’s ministry of proclaiming the Gospel through word and deed is Stuart Briscoe. In his recent January “Telling the Truth” letter he emphasizes the power of words. His letter is as follows:


January 2008

Dear Friend,

In early June of 1940, Winston Churchill fully expected that he would have to report to the House of Commons, in his own words, "The greatest military disaster in our long history." But instead he announced, incredibly, that the British and allied armies had been rescued from the beaches of Dunkirk and more than 330,000 men lived to fight another day.

He reminded the Commons, however, that "wars are not won by evacuations." He went on to describe ways in which an expected invasion would be countered. Then came his famous rousing peroration: "We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. . . . we shall fight on the beaches . . . . we shall never surrender."

Franklin D. Roosevelt, upon hearing this speech, reportedly said (expletives deleted), "Our money won't be going down the drain if this fellow's in charge!" And years later in the diaries of Dr. Goebbels, we are told Adolph Hitler, on hearing Churchill's description of the plans to repel any Nazi invasion, backed off invading England, attacked Russia, and the tide of war changed. Words played a crucial role.

The power of the spoken and written word cannot be exaggerated. We should never forget that the story of creation hinges on what God said and what happened as a result! The power of the word.

But the power of the word can be overlooked, diminished, or disregarded - even in the church - sometimes with the very best of intentions.

For instance, irrelevance is one of the most common criticisms aimed at the evangelical church. With a view to countering this criticism, many churches have mobilized their people into effective and commendable social activities among the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized. Where this has happened, society has frequently applauded the church, and there is no doubt great good has been done.

But it is also very clear that when the church turns to proclaiming an uncompromising, uncomplicated message calling for repentance and faith in Christ as the only Savior, the same society becomes, at worst, hostile and, at best, less than pleased. So perhaps it is not surprising for this and other reasons that a new twist to evangelical witness has taken place - social concern has trumped evangelism, and "mission" has been increasingly defined as social action.

I have even heard St. Francis of Assisi's famous quote, "Preach the Gospel wherever you go, and if necessary, use words," cited in support of this emphasis. Where necessary, use words? . . . Of course it's necessary to use words!

It is clear you can communicate love with a cup of cold water - and we should and we must. Naturally, you can stand up for justice by picketing, and battle poverty by rebuilding a ravaged neighborhood. But why should we?

Because "Christ's love compels us" (2 Cor. 5:14), and the beneficiaries of our love and compassion need to know that. We do "good deeds before men" that men and women will "praise (y)our Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16). But how will they know to respond that way? How will they understand that? How will they connect the dots between good deeds and God? By an arm around their shoulders, by a warm meal in their stomachs? - No!

They will only grasp the significance of Christian action by words that explain what can only be explained by verbal communication . . . WORDS! We must articulate as we demonstrate; we must explain as we exhibit; we must tell as we show.

We've been exhorted for years to "walk the talk." Maybe now we need to be reminded to "talk the walk." Try communicating "Christ loves you" by rubbing a back. Try describing the holiness of God by hammering nails. There is no substitute for words.

As we embark on a new year, anything can happen - a Middle East peace accord? A major terrorist attack? A financial collapse? Tsunamis? Earthquakes? Worldwide spiritual revival? Who knows?

Amidst such uncertainty, this is what we plan to do in Telling the Truth, God willing:
• Keep our feet firmly planted in our world,
• Keep our hands filled with the things that need to be done,
• Keep our hearts in tune with heaven, and
• Keep our eyes fixed on the Risen Lord, our lips filled with praise, and our mouths filled with the Gospel - the Word of Truth (Eph. 1:13).

To this end, please pray regularly for us that we will have something to say, that we will say it well, and that it will be said in the power of the Spirit.
Please also remember that broadcasting the Word - Telling the Truth is another way of saying it - is expensive. So we cherish your regular, generous, and gracious financial support this month and in the new year. We wish you nothing less than His best in 2008.

Every Blessing,
Stuart Briscoe

Telling the Truth
777 South Barker Road
Brookfield, WI 53045

Friday, May 2, 2008

Missionaries Needed!

Missionaries needed to take the gospel and compassionate care to the world’s 160 MILLION STREET CHILDREN.

Over 100 additional missionaries age 20 to 70 are needed to serve with Action International Ministries (ACTION) to take the gospel and compassionate care to the 160 MILLION STREET CHILDREN of the world, especially those in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Missionaries are also needed to work with the 143 MILLION ORPHANS and other millions of CHILDREN IN CRISIS.

All missionaries with ACTION need to be recommended by their evangelical church, complete application and orientation with ACTION, and trust the Lord for complete personal support and funds for ministry to needy children.

For information and application procedures contact:

Pearl Kallio
Action International Ministries
PO Box 398
Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043-0398
Tel: 425-775-4800
Web site:

Scott Gillespie
Action International Ministries
3015 A 21st Street NE
Calgary T2E 7T1 Alberta, Canada
Tel: 403-204-1421
Web site: