Thursday, June 28, 2012

Is There Really More to be Done?

One of the biggest concerns for mission leaders is that we start to think the job is finished. We need to celebrate when many come to Christ. The angels in heaven rejoice when just one sinner comes to repentance. But we must inform ourselves about the realities, and guard against the feeling that there is no more work to do:

The truth is, 4.4 billion people on our planet do not know Jesus.

The truth is, currently, at least 1.87 billion people live in areas with no gospel presence at all.

The truth is, in spite of major growth efforts, the percentage of people who call themselves Christian around the world has stayed essentially the same since the beginning of the 1900s (about 34%). We haven’t grown percentage-wise for the past 100 years. [Barrett and Johnson, World Christian Trends, 40; Market, “Global Christianity.”]

The truth is that 6500 people groups still do not have a Christian witness at all.

The truth is …only 5% to 10% of the 100 million people in the Philippines are evangelical believers, leaving 90 million people with Christ.

The truth is…we are not there yet. [Page 64]

Adapted by Doug Nichols from Daddy Are We There Yet? (A global check-in on the world of mission and kids), Kidzana Ministries, Mukilteo, 2009

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Message of the Bible

This is D.A. Carson’s summary of the Bible in 221 words. It has been excerpted from For Such a Time as This: Perspectives on Evangelicalism, Past, Present and Future.

God is the sovereign, transcendent and personal God who has made the universe, including us, His image-bearers. Our misery lies in our rebellion, our alienation from God, which, despite His forbearance, attracts his implacable wrath.

But God, precisely because love is of the very essence of His character, takes the initiative and prepared for the coming of His own Son by raising up a people who, by covenantal stipulations, temple worship, systems of sacrifice and of priesthood, by kings and by prophets, are taught something of what God is planning and what He expects.

In the fullness of time His Son comes and takes on human nature. He comes not, in the first instance, to judge but to save: He dies the death of His people, rises from the grave and, in returning to His heavenly Father, bequeaths the Holy Spirit as the down payment and guarantee of the ultimate gift He has secured for them—an eternity of bliss in the presence of God Himself, in a new heaven and a new earth, the home of righteousness. 

The only alternative is to be shut out from the presence of this God forever, in the torments of hell. What men and women must do, before it is too late, is repent and trust Christ; the alternative is to disobey the gospel (Romans 10:16;2 Thessalonians 1:8; 1 Peter 4:17).

Friday, June 22, 2012

Strength Returning and Margaret is Still Blessing Others

Greetings this rainy day in Seattle (surprise, surprise).  My strength is improving daily since my surgery.  On Father’s Day I preached, I have been walking a mile daily (one day two miles) and yesterday borrowed a lawn mower and mowed our small (but high and thick) lawn. As I am busy daily and on weekends with ACTION, Margaret is VERY busy caring for Dad Jespersen (age 99), me, and others. Her hobbies are quilting and knitting, but these quilts, knitted sweaters, and socks are always for others!  Today she is blessing several friends with a special tea and “beignets” (French doughnuts).  Our prayer target in “old age” is not to “settle in” but to keep moving forward with the gospel and for God’s glory!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Man, Did I Dance!

by Doug Nichols

As a non-Christian in junior high and high school, I began to dance.  Man, did I dance!  Anytime there was music, I was dancing – rock and roll, waltz, you name it. 

As a senior I was invited to the Girls’ League Ball (which the girl invites the boy).  This was the biggest event of the year, fancy dress and all.

My date picked me up in a chauffeured-driven limousine.  I was really dressed up.  I even wore shoes!
While I was dancing with my date, who wore a gown with a full petticoat, asked if her slip was showing.  Jokingly, I said, “Oh, yes!  It shows about a foot.”  Just about that time, the whole thing fell off!  Instead of slipping out of the slip, picking it up and going into the Ladies Room to put it back on, she scooted all the way across the dance floor to the laughter and howling of everyone there.

Needless to say, she did not take me home that night.  I had to hitch a ride.  Was she ever mad!

When I came to faith in Christ, I gave up drinking beer, whiskey, rum and vodka. Dancing also went, not because of it being sinful in itself, but because of where I went to dance and with whom I danced.

Yes, dancing is in the Old Testament in worship, but never in the New Testament or in any description of activity in Heaven.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What is wrong with that dumb driver?

 Here in Seattle, it seems like every day I hear on the news of some fight between drivers during rush hour traffic. People get out of their cars while stopped at stop signs, bang on car windows of others, start fights, pull guns and so forth.

Today I was trying to enter into traffic and it seemed like there was no hope of this happening. Surprisingly, a driver stopped and let me in and I waved to say thanks and he waved back. Other cars witnessed this action. It was very simple, polite and easy to do. Why don’t we do this more often?

Years ago in the Philippines, I had a dear friend, but I would never ride with him if he was driving. As soon as he got behind the wheel, started the engine and shut the door, his personality changed to one of anger and aggressiveness.

The characteristic of a Christian, even in traffic, is to “…put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience…” (Colossians 3:12).