Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Champions of the Little League World Series

It was interesting to watch some of the Little League World Series games. These young boys between 9 and 12 years old were amazing to watch. In one of the early games, the Japanese team was going into the last inning ahead by one run. The pitcher was facing difficulties with only one out, and runners on first and second. The manager walked out to the mound to encourage him and the team. He sought to encourage the team and as he finished he spoke directly to the pitcher, “You have a good fast ball, use it!” The pitcher smiled and responded, “Hai! (Yes)” and use it, he did. Forgetting his curve ball and other pitches, he simply threw his fast ball striking out the last two batters and won the game. Eventually the team went on to win the Little League World Series.

You and I as Christians may not have a fast ball, but we have the power of the Holy Spirit. We have the fruit of the Spirit and need to use it. God has asked use to go into all the world with the Gospel and we need to obey. We need to say “Hai (Yes)!” moving forward in faith, not in fear or worry, but in confidence like the little Japanese pitcher in the Little League World Series. He was told what to do, and encouraged to do it, he simply responded “Hai (yes)!”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Steps to Becoming an ACTION Team Member: How to become a missionary with Action International Ministries

ACTION is an evangelical mission of 266 missionaries committed to evangelism, discipleship, and development in fulfillment of the Great Commission to the glory of God in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America!

Missionaries needed: There are over 200 ministry opportunities with ACTION. These opportunities are mainly in Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Examples are: Bible school teachers, children’s workers, college and seminary professors, discipleship and vocational instructors, evangelists, medical personnel, office administrators, and pastor trainers. Financial Support: all missionaries with ACTION trust the Lord for personal and ministry support. The mission does not guarantee salaries, which depend completely on donations designated for each worker.

Focus: As a mission, we work with all sectors of society but with a special emphasis on the poor, particularly street and other children in crisis. To put this in perspective, there are now 145 million orphans worldwide and 160 million street children. 70 additional missionaries are needed in ministry to street children done.

Length of service: Career missionaries serve at least two years; other opportunities are available for terms of varied lengths of time in such categories as tentmakers, short term (as few as ten days), project workers, and interns on a case-by-case basis.

How to become a missionary with ACTION: If God is giving you a special calling to ministry for any length of time and you would like prayerfully to consider serving with ACTION, you can begin by contacting the Personnel Department in any of the Action International Ministries offices:

USA – Pearl Kallio
PO Box 398, Mountlake Terrace, WA 98043-0398,Tel: 425-775-4800, Fax: 425-775-0643, email: info@actionusa.org

CANADA – Scott Gillespie
3015 A 21 Street NE, Calgary, Alberta T2E 7T1, Telephone: 403-204-1421
Fax: 403-204-1501, email: info@actioncanada.org

UNITED KINGDOM – Doris Abraham
PO Box 144, Wallasey, Wirral CH44 5WE, Registered Charity 1058661; Tel: 011-151-630-2451, email: info@actionuk.org

NEW ZEALAND – Karena George
PO Box 8928, Riccarton 8440, Christchurch, email: admin@brighthopeworld.com

PHILIPPINES – Mary Ann  Anderson
PO Box 110, Greenhills Post Office, 1502 Metro Manila, Tel: 011-632-531-3709,
email: action.philippines@actioninternational.org

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

No Time to Waste!

(adapted by Doug Nichols from the book Radical by David Platt)

What happens to people who never hear about Jesus? According to the book of Romans, all people know God, and all people reject God. All people are guilty before God, and all people are condemned for rejecting God. God has made a way of salvation for the lost, and people cannot come to God apart from faith in Christ. As a result, Christ commands the church to make the Gospel known to all peoples.

The implication of these facts for our lives is huge. If more than a billion people today are headed to a Christless eternity and have not heard the Gospel, then we do not have time to waste. There are at least 145 million orphans worldwide who need the Gospel and compassionate care. There are 160 million street children throughout the world who can only come to faith in Christ through the Gospel.

The will of God for us is to give our lives urgently and recklessly to making the Gospel and the glory of God known among all peoples, particularly those who have never even heard of Jesus.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Why We Cannot Just Leave Street Children on the Street (Orphanages Can Be Greatly Used by God!)

Updated By Doug Nichols (April 6, 2015)

(Missionary to Children in Africa, Asia, and Latin America since 1968)

It is very discouraging to read articles which are basically negative in regards to caring for orphans and street children in orphanages. Of course, a loving home is better than an orphanage, but does that mean we should give up on orphanages altogether? We do realize that there are some unacceptable orphanages in the world, but creating more loving God centered orphanages could bring glory to God and save thousands of children the pain and abuse they face every day on the street. We need to support both adoption and orphanages.

Although placing a child into a loving family should be our goal, it is not always possible. An orphan or a street child is not taken directly from the street to a home. There is usually some type of government orphanage or childcare agency in which the child is placed while proper records are made. Then the child is placed into a loving family if one can be found.

So, why shouldn’t the church of Jesus Christ start many more orphanages around the world to place street and underprivileged children and orphans into a loving, Christian environment? Orphanages can be safe harbors where children can be lovingly protected and cared for until a home can be found.

A Christian Children’s Village in each country in  Africa, Asia, Europe, and Latin America with separate homes housing 12 children per home could care for 280 to 500 children! The village would have staff, supervisors, house parents, a school, an all-purpose building, a chapel, a clinic, a play area, and gardens for each house.

Children from neighboring villages could also attend the school. This would enable the orphans to be incorporated into society with other children, families, and loved ones, with the purpose of being adopted whenever possible.

To those who are criticizing orphanages and children’s villages, please, stop doing so and consider what could be done through well-run orphanages. What is the alternative? I believe you would agree that we should not leave the street children and orphans in the sewers, and streets where they are likely to be abused, but that we should place them in a loving environment where they can be cared for, nurtured and ministered to by the grace of God and the Gospel?

Children are tortured, abused, spit upon, kicked, starved and burned on the streets of the world. Why don’t you and I, as Christians, do something about it? Please, encourage your government and church to protect these children, get them off the streets, and place them where they will be loved and cared for in Jesus’ name.

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction and to keep oneself unstained from the world.” (James 1:27, ESV)

(This article was adapted by Kevin Hollinger, author of Reactive Attachment Disorder.)

View a simple drawing of a village below.
Christian Children's Village

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Rudeness in Seattle (Do you take lessons in being rude?)

Friends of ours arrived at the Minneapolis airport from the Philippines. Even though they had their visas, papers and everything in order, they were treated very rudely by immigration.

Government officials can still do their job without being rude, especially with a sign hanging on the wall (for the immigration and custom officers) stating, “You are the face of the USA”, and then the 6 statements:

•We pledge to cordially greet and welcome you to the United States.
•We pledge to treat you with courtesy, dignity and respect.
•We pledge to explain the CBP process to you.
•We pledge to have a supervisor listen to your comments.
•We pledge to accept and respond to your comments in written, verbal or electronic form.
•We pledge to provide reasonable assistance due to delay or disability.

Source: http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/kbyg/pledge_travelers.xml

When some of our missionaries from India arrived in Seattle, rudeness in immigration was also the order of the day! So much so, that our very gracious and dignified Indian missionary Doctor asked the immigration officer very politely as she was leaving, “May I ask you a question? Do you and the other government workers here take lessons in being rude?”

Why do not government leadership deal with this? Is it because an immigration and custom officer has absolute power? People are afraid to complain, because if they do, their name may be flagged in the computer and the next time they travel into the USA, they will have difficulty.

When I go through immigration and customs, I try to be polite, kind, and gracious, but continue to face and witness rudeness, especially among immigration officers in Canada, the USA, and the UK (but surprisingly not in other countries).

What is sad about this is that Canada, the USA, and the UK all have a Christian heritage.

So, yes, I am wondering; do immigration and custom officers take lessons in rudeness?

This is also a good question for Christians. As God’s people, do we act like Christians? Are we kind, gracious, humble, and considerate of others (Colossians 3:12-14), or just as rude as the world, especially like the immigration and custom officials in Minneapolis and Seattle?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Jesus is Lord

The fundamental confession of a Christian is, “Jesus is Lord. He is my Lord. I am His slave.”

“…that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10, nasb).

"You call Me Teacher and Lord; and you are right, for so I am”
(John 14:13, nasb).

“Jesus is Lord
” means that He is sovereign, Master, and He is totally in charge.

Lord is used 747 times in the New Testament.

Even though we are called slaves of Christ, He calls us friends. Not only does he call us friends, but he has adopted us as Sons and exalted us as joint heirs with Him in glory.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Bible -- King James Version

These are notes taken over a period of time in studies (from KJV). If you see corrections, please let me know.

Books of the Bible

Books – 66
The O.T. – 39
The N.T. – 27
Middle book of the O.T. Proverbs
Middle book of the N.T. 2 Thessalonians
Middle book of the whole Bible – Micah and Nahum
Smallest book in the whole Bible – 3 John
Smallest book in the O.T. – Obadiah
Smallest book in the N.T. – 3 John

Chapters of the Bible

Entire Bible – 1,189 chapters
O.T. – 929 chapters
N.T. – 260 chapters
Middle chapter of O.T. – Job 29
Middle chapter of N.T. – Romans 13 (& 14)
Middle and shortest chapter of the Bible – Psalm 117
Longest chapter in the Bible – Psalm 119
Chapters that are alike in the Bible – 2 Kings 19 and Isaiah 37

Verses of the Bible

O.T. – 23,214 verses
N.T. – 7,959 Verses
Middle verse of the Bible – Psalm 118:8 – (This is debated. Some say Psalm 103 between verses 1 and 2 and some also say Psalm 117: between verses 1 and 2. Scholars can’t agree on how to get to the middle.)
Middle verse of the O.T. – 2 Chronicles 20:17
Middle verse of the N.T. – Acts 17:17
Shortest verse of the O.T. – 1 Chronicles 1:25
Shortest verse of the N.T. – John 11:35
Shortest verse of the whole Bible – John 11:35
Verses in the whole Bible – 31,173
Longest verse in the Bible – Esther 8:9
Verse containing all letters of the alphabet
except “J” – Ezra 7:21
Verse containing all letters of the alphabet
except “Q” – Daniel 4:37
Verses alike – Psalm 107 verse 8,15,21,31

Words of the Bible

O.T. – 592,439
N.T. – 181,253
Whole Bible – 773,692
Longest word – Mahershalalhashbaz 18 letters, Isaiah 8:1
Eternity – Isaiah 57:15 – (Some say 4x)
Reverend – Psalm 111:9
Grandmother – 2 Timothy 1:5
Gnat- Matthew 23:24
“And” occurs 35,543 in O.T., 10,684 in N.T.
God occurs 4,379 times – (3,358 times in some translation)
Lord occurs 7,738 times – (7,736 and 7,830 times in other translations)
Boy and boys – 3 times
Girl and girls – 2 times

Letters of the Bible

In O.T. – 2,728,100
In N.T. – 838,380
Whole Bible – 3,566,480

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Guidelines for Preaching from John Calvin.

The following are seven quotes from The Expository Genius of John Calvin by Steven Lawson.

We trust they are a blessing to you.

Approaching the Pulpit

1. Calvin was now Genevan dictator, ruling the population with a rod of iron. He was not even a citizen of Geneva throughout his time there, and was thus denied access to political authority. His status was simply that of a pastor who was in no position to dictate to the magisterial authorities who administered the city….Calvin’s influence over Geneva rested ultimately not in his formal legal standing (which was insignificant) but in his considerable personal authority as a preacher and pastor.- Alister E. McGrath [p.21]

Preparing the Preacher

2. Calvin always persevered in ministry, never slacking before his audience of One. Charles H. Spurgeon confessed, “I do love that man of God; suffering all his life long, enduring not only persecutions from without but a complication of disorders from within, and yet serving his Master with all his heart.”

However, Calvin was quick to credit divine grace for his endurance, affirming that “when anyone is drawn into arduous and difficult struggles he is, at the same time, especially strengthened by the Lord.” Calvin simply believed that strong preaching is the result of a strong drive within the preacher, and that fueled by God. He declared that mental and volitional weakness has no place in a pastor’s heart. He wrote, “Nothing is more contrary to the pure and free preaching of the gospel than the straits of a faint heart.”[p. 49-50]

Launching the Sermon

3. Calvin’s sermons usually lasted an hour and were in the nature of continuous expositions. He began at the first verse of a Bible book and then treated it in successive sections, averaging four or five verses, until he reached the end, at which point he began another book.- James Montgomery Boice [p.53]

4. As John Calvin ascended the pulpit, an all-absorbing purpose lay before him-the faithful exposition of scripture. His mind was not diverted by the varied tasks of the contemporary pulpit. He did not need to jump through the modern-day hoops of prolonged announcements, mostly of a trivial nature. He was not jolted by the artificial stimuli of the hard-driving music so often forced on churches today. Rather, with singularity of thought, sublimity of spirit, and spirituality of mind, Calvin stood to bring a sermon that would unveil the matchless glory of God. [p.53-54]

5. Calvin was not a sliver tongued orator, but a Bible-teaching expositor. Above all else, he desired to bring his people to the scriptures. [p.55]

6. When Calvin stepped into his pulpit, he did not bring a manuscript of his sermon with him. But that was not because he had neglected intense study and rigorous preparation, as some have charged. In fact, the Reformer was well-prepared in the text as he stood to preach. As we have seen, he studied with utmost diligence before he approached the pulpit. As Calvin himself said:

If I should enter the public without deigning to look at a book and should frivolously think to myself, “Oh, well, when I preach, God will give me enough to say,” and come here without troubling to read or think what I ought to declare, and do nor carefully consider how I must apply Holy Scripture to the edification of the people, then I should be an arrogant upstart.

Calvin made a conscious choice to expound the Scriptures with no preaching notes before him. Mindful that he must speak to everyday people where they lived, and not to professional theologians, he wanted his sermons to have a pastoral tone and natural delivery. Relying on the Holy Spirit, he stood before the people with only an open Bible and drew upon his thorough study of the passage. The resulting exposition was a clear, compact explanation of the text, accompanied by practical application and passionate exhortation. [p.58]

7. By this practice of stating his theme in the introduction, Calvin established the framework of a building argument before expositing the text itself. In doing so, he put his listeners into the mind of the biblical author from the very outset of the sermon. Laying out the overarching argument of the book and showing how a particular passage fit into it was a significant aspect of Calvin’s expository genius. [p.62]

Steven J. Lawson, The Expository Genius of John Calvin, Reformation Trust Publishing, Orlando, Florida, 2007.