Monday, April 30, 2012

Doug Nichols' Ministry Responsibilities

" . . . for a wide door for effective service has opened to [us], and there are many adversaries . . . Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men [be mature], be strong. Let all that you do be done in love"  (1 Corinthians 16:9, 13-14, nasb).

A. Weekly and Regular Publications
1. Tuesday News & Views for Information, Prayer, and Action.
2. Thursday's Notes to God’s people worldwide to assist with information for life, ministry, and servant leadership.
3. Friday Info for pastors, missionaries and Christian workers.
[* Note: News & Views and Thursday’s Notes go to about 1900 weekly. Been encouraged to expand the address lists of both publications and would appreciate prayer.]
4. Key Servants and Leaders Worldwide: This special email is sent quarterly to key Christian leaders worldwide for encouragement, challenge, information, and research. This goes to pastors, NGO, and mission leaders (such as John Piper, Alistair Begg, George Verwer, Harold Sala, Stuart Briscoe, and over 214 others).
5. Notes from the Founder: These emails are for special projects, emergency relief, announcements, current events, Nichols’ Newsletter, and so forth.

B. Other Areas of Ministries and Responsibilities (for praise and prayer)
1. Speaks many weekends in churches and conferences as an advocate of missions worldwide and ACTION. I have limited ministry travel to the USA, Canada, and the Philippines because of age, health, and lack of strength.

2. Advocate for Christian Growth Ministries (CGM), Children in Crisis (CiC), Pastoral Leadership
Development (PLD), and Filipino International Network (FIN).

3. Works daily on ministry correspondence. Much is dictated while driving. These are typed by two excellent ministry assistants in the office. Two other assistants work from home.

4. Works regularly on research and needs for CGM, CiC, PLD, and FIN.

5. Writes and sends “bulk mailing” development letters weekly, such as CiC, PLD, CGM, missionary projects, etc. The main projects at present are the Life Application Study Bibles (LASBs) for the Philippines ($22,000) and the Shalom Christian Birthing Home in the Philippines ($169,000 balance of a $555,000 budget).

6. As an advocate for PLD BookShare and CGM, helps supervise 12 to 25 book publications annually for CGM/CLAIM (Christian Literature for Asians in Ministry) in the Philippines. Also writes and helps adapt books for BookShare, a ministry of PLD.

7. Helps arrange publications and book and LASB shipments for 1100 pastors attending the Purpose and Passion Pastors Conferences (PnP) yearly in the Philippines. Over 20 books are planned for this June’s PnP.
8. Advisor and member of Filipino International Network (FIN) (and International Board of Advisors, Global Diaspora Network - Lausanne Movement). There are 100 million people in the Philippines with 8 to 9 million Filipinos in other countries, such one million in Saudi Arabia.

9. Other ministries involve shipping book and relief supplies in large LBC shipping boxes to the Philippines; several boxes monthly. Last year 95 boxes (shipping cost at $60 per box) of books and supplies were sent out of the Mountlake Terrace office. This year the Founder’s Office goal is 100 boxes. As of April, 60 boxes of books, study Bibles, and ministry items have been sent at a value of $ 60,000. Praise the Lord!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Why Does ACTION Work in Crisis Relief? (updated 2/22/11)

by Doug Nichols Someone asked us recently “Why is ACTION involved with crisis relief? Why not just let large NGOs like World Vision handle it?” A brief answer is that we want to follow Jesus by loving our neighbors (Luke 10: 25-37). ACTION works with evangelical missions, workers, networks, evangelical churches, and local ministries who are often near the place where crises occur. These believers have a desire to reach out in compassion to those in need in the name of Jesus Christ. They know our heart is the same as theirs so we are invited to serve with them. ACTION is an evangelical mission committed to working in ministry (such as crisis relief) through local evangelical churches -- churches which minister compassionate care and the Gospel. It is true that ACTION is not a relief agency and it is not easy taking on added burdens of those in distress. However, Christ would have us do no less and we embrace His wish as our pleasure. Most relief agencies from our observation and experience are not integrated with local churches and ministries the way ACTION is. We conduct our relief and mercy projects alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ as the Lord leads. It is our privilege to contribute resources and personnel toward their initiatives or mutually envisioned relief efforts.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Godly Christian Sports Figures

by Doug Nichols

Bubba Watson won the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia, on Easter Sunday afternoon. He made a fantastic shot on the second hole of the Sudden Death round.

I saw an interview with Bubba who shared about his love for his wife, his newly adopted son, and his faith in the Lord Jesus. He gave thanks to God, special honor to his mother who was at the tournament with him and father who died a couple of years ago. His wife was not at the tournament as she was with their newly adopted son of six weeks.

In the interview Bubba was very appreciative of others, his fans, his fellow golf colleagues, and was very gracious and kind to the interviewer. What a wonderful testimony of a man whose work is golf, but seeking to play for God’s glory!

It is interesting how several recent sports figures who are godly Christian men and are prominent in their sports, such as Jeremy Lin of the Nation Basketball Association, Bubba Watson of the Professional Golfers Association, and Tim Tebow of the National Football League.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Helen & Walter Jespersen

On March 28, 1947, Mom and Dad (Helen and Walter Jespersen) sailed from San Francisco, California to Shanghai, China. They were accompanied by their daughter, Margaret (now my wife), who was 1 ½ years of age, and her sister, Carol, three months old.

The ship was crowded with passengers and everyone slept dormitory style; with men in one section of the ship and women in another.

The communist were on the move in China and there was much concern. In fact, the communists took over the complete country in 1949. Mom and Dad, along with two more children (Dave and Linda), left China in 1951after being held by the communists under house arrest for over one year.

On the morning they left from San Francisco to Shanghai, Mom and Dad read the following from the “Daily Light” scriptural devotional booklet.

Even today, at 99 years-of-age, Dad remembers what a great encouragement the following scripture was when he took his little family and sailed into danger.

March 28 (from Daily Light)

Be strong and courageous!

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?― He gives strength to the weary, and to him who lacks might He increases power. Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary.

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.― What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?― The LORD is for me; I will not fear; what can man do to me?― Through You we will push back our adversaries; through Your name we will trample down those who rise up against us.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us.―
Of the gold, the silver and the bronze and the iron there is no limit. “Arise and work, and may the LORD be with you.”

Joshua 1:8; Psalm 27:1; Isaiah 40:29-31; Psalm 73:26; Romans 8:31; Psalm 118:6, 44:5; Romans 8:37; 1 Chronicles 22:16 (nasb)

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hard Pews and Serving Tea at the Oldest Church in the Southern Hemisphere

by Doug Nichols

On a free Sunday during the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization in Cape Town, South Africa. I attended the Evangelical Lutheran Church located in downtown Cape Town. The building itself was built in the late 1700s and it considered the oldest church in Southern Hemisphere.

There were about 200 attending the Sunday morning service – many from the Lausanne Congress. They had beautiful, majestic music including a pipe organ imported from England in the 1800s and an excellent 15-minute message.

I asked the pastor why there was such a short message. He said that the old benches were so hard that people could not sit in the church for more than an hour. That was also the reason that congregation stood and sat often to keep one’s blood circulating. I told him that he should get cushions for the pews and he could preach longer. I don’t think he liked that idea.

After the service they held a reception in the church fellowship hall. They were not prepared for the extra visitors and there was quite the line for tea. It did not seem that there was anyone in charge of serving. Since no one knew anyone, I slipped up front and gathered some cups, saucers, and began to serve the tea and cake with the help of several Africans. Many of the guests took their tea and thanked me for the wonderful service thinking that I was a member of the church staff. One influential lady of the church came to me quite upset that I was serving tea. She said, “It is not your place to do this.”
I responded, “Would you help me?”

She replied, “On, no, I would not serve tea,” and move off visibly upset.

“…in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4, esv).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

What People Spend Money On!

While traveling recently (2010), I noticed a magazine on the plane and was quite shocked at the prices people pay for various items and accommodations.

For example: Watches

1 The Carnet de Bal watch from Audemars Piguet is a unique timepiece that transforms beautiful garden flowers into sparkling diamonds. $943,000

2. The C1 Chronograph Pure from Concord is a thick [16.7mm] block of stainless steel metal topped off with white rubber. $11,900

3. The Instrumentino S10 from de Grisogono is a white watch through and through. From its 18K white gold case set with 405 white diamonds to the white gold dial covered in another 312 white diamonds, this is a watch of pure beauty. $87,200
4. The whirlwind of white diamonds swirling around the mother-of-pearl dial and white gold bezel of Boucheron's Crazy Ma Jolie make for a stunning and unexpected timepiece. $77,000

One Night of Accommodations:

5. Los Cabos Three Bedroom Penthouse (Mexico)

Key selling points -- Enjoy spectacular bay views with large furnished terraces and private open-air Jacuzzis. Situated on the top level of the resort, all 13 spectacular Penthouses boast unobstructed, awe-inspiring vistas of the Sea of Cortez, Land's End and the vibrant Medano Beach. Amenities: Three 32-inch flatscreen and one 42-inch flatscreen satellite TVs, 2,000 to 4,500 sq. ft, 7 rooms, and 4 bathrooms. Nightly rates: $900 to $3500.

6. San Jose Del Cabo Villa Cortez (Mexico)

Private screening theater, 12-person staff in addition to 24-hour live-in staff, editing/production media studio and outdoor fire pits. 8,500 sq. foot; 113 rooms; and five and one half-bathrooms. Nightly rates from $7,000.

7. Puerto Vallarta Grand Velas (Mexico)

This suite features a master bedroom with king bed, plasma TV, walk-in closet and an interior bathroom with wall-to-wall marble, steam room, interior chromotherapy Jacuzzi and Aquatower shower with six jets, goose down comforters and pillows, 42-inch LCD flatscreen with digital cable, Nespresso coffee maker, and DVD/CD/ MP3 player, 5059 sq. ft., 5 rooms in a suite, and two and a half baths. Nightly rates $10,000.

8. Ixtapa/Zihuatenejo Penthouse Suite (Mexico)

The Penthouse Suite is a private and indulgent sanctuary with space to spare. The outdoor living room affords breathtaking and unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean, as well as a private plunge pool, built-in seating area, dining space and lounge. Bedside "touch" panel for all main room functions lights, fan, air conditioning, two LCD-TVs, WiFi, 1150 sq. ft., two rooms in the suite, and three and a half baths. Nightly rates from $1095.

9. Waldorf Astoria Penthouse Suite (Rome, Italy)

This lavish suite is adorned with important works of art [including an Andy Warhol series], furnished in palatial style with a magnificent Karl Lagerfeld sofa, and features a private panoramic roof terrace with a gazebo, a solarium and a memorable view over the Eternal City. Fiber-optic star-lit ceilings, private wine cellar, 43- and 61-inch plasma TVs, a 2,300-square-foot private roof garden, 2115 sq. ft., two rooms in suite, one and a half bathroom. Nightly rate $12,341.

10. St. Regis Royal Suite (Rome, Italy)

Enjoy a piano in the living room and a private wine cellar to yourself. This jewel of a suite offers a combination of restored Piedmontese, Louis XVI and other fine furnishings, dating back to the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. 4320 sq. ft., two and a half bathrooms. Nightly rate $19,000.

Rather than you or I desiring riches of watches and soft beds, let us follow the teaching of the God’s Word to gain godly insight and wisdom. “For the LORD gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding. He stores up sound wisdom for the upright; He is a shield to those who walk in integrity’ (Proverbs 2:6-7, nasb).

If the Lord has given us wealth, let us use it for God’s glory. “One who is gracious to a poor man lends to the LORD, and He will repay him for his good deed” (Proverbs 19: 17, nasb).

Monday, April 2, 2012

Pastor Hsi (One of China's Christians)

Have you read the book, Pastor Hsi (One of China's Christians), first published in 1900 by Mrs. Howard Taylor? My wife Margaret and I recently read a copy owned by her 98-year-old father which was printed in 1905, making it 107 years old! Reprinted editions are still available.

The book is possibly one of the most practical, spiritually encouraging, inspiring, challenging and ministry instructive biographies ever written. It is a book, which would greatly help missionaries, Christian workers and pastors in life and ministry today.

This very practical book will help readers learn from godly men and women from the past so as not to reinvent the wheel of life and ministry or make mistakes which could be avoided by simply reading and then applying godly principles such as the following:

1. Pastor Hsi (pronounced "she") prayed about everything.

2. He prayed and fasted for days at a time; especially during difficult times.

3. He was a man of great trust in God.

4. The book gives excellent illustrations on how to deal with difficult relationships.

5. Guidelines for growing in grace.

6. Encouragement for persevering under trials.

7. How to shepherd and train leaders.

8. Pastor Hsi was very practical in ministry.

9. He developed a very successful income generating ministry which completely supported the work and many full-time Christian workers.

10. Pastor and Mrs. Hsi worked very hard and lived sacrificial lives.

11. The young Chinese church was exceptional in hospitality.

12. The Chinese leaders and church had a great vision for the lost and worked well with the China Inland Mission (CIM) and constantly asked and prayed for more CIM missionaries for inland China.

13. The church prayed and pleaded for single women missionaries to work with women.

14. Pastor Hsi and his many disciples had a burning passion for the millions of Chinese without Christ and were continually praying and planning for advancement of the gospel!

In reading this excellent book, I was especially challenged to grow in grace and godliness and to renew my "passion for expansion," not to expand just for growth but for the sake of people without Christ!

For example, in my beloved adopted country the Philippines, even with the growth of the church, there is still an estimated 95% of the population of 100 million without Christ. This is 95 million people! Throughout the world there are 145 million orphans and 160 million street children most never having heard the gospel or receiving any type of compassionate care.

Therefore, should we not all pray that our ministry, mission and organization will grow to reach more for Christ and discipled? To pray that our teams will expand throughout the area, the country, and the regions of the world we are serving?

To pray, "Oh Lord, please be gracious to us Your people, Your church and raise up many more men and women like Pastor and Mrs. Hsi of China. Please do it Lord for Your glory and the salvation of many!"

“ . . . Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Colossians 1:27-29).

Let’s pray for one another and a great advancement of the gospel!