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Thanks for visiting our website! Picture of the Month: sharing the word in Pilanqui, Ibarra, Ecuador; a view of part of the crowd, two baptisms. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Preaching in Pilanqui

Ministry is always a team effort--Jan and I have shared the work of ministry and missions for 48+ years! Countless others have encouraged us, supported us, loved us, and prayed for us. In addition to the customary "Brother Bob," I am also known as dad and papaw. My favorite breakfast is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of quality coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and help develop authentic "kingdom people." I seek to serve and share the good news about Jesus everywhere I go, helping people find Jesus and helping people mature in Jesus. One of the greatest blessings of my life is to be loved by countless people around the world!

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Archive for July, 2009

Another Funeral

Wednesday, July 29th, 2009

I just came back to my office from lunch with the family.  I will leave for the funeral home in a few minutes.  Death is always surprising but never should be.  We merely participate in the rhythms of life.  We gather to celebrate life–we gather to acknowledge death, and along the way we establish memories.

Funerals are opportunities to put away the memories, to store them in those places where we can be sure to find them.  I cannot list for you all of the funerals that I have helped conduct over 40+ years of ministry.  I wish I had begun by keeping a list.  I am sure the number is well over 100–perhaps nearer 200.  While I do not have a list, I can assure you that if you mention a name of a person whose funeral I conducted, I will have a memory of that event with details.

Some do not like funerals.  There is finality, there is grieving, loss, questioning, uncertainty.  In that short list, we who minister should find guidance in what we will say.

Stars to Steer By: Small-Large

Friday, July 24th, 2009

“The chief way you and I are disloyal to Christ is when we make small what he intended to make large.” – Elton Trueblood

Stars to Steer By: Funerals

Friday, July 17th, 2009

I stayed in the first little place I served as minister for 27 months. During those 27 months, I did 27 funerals. This week I have had funerals on two consecutive days. Funerals get our attention. Funerals raise questions. Funerals cause us to think. I have chosen today’s quote out of this week’s experiences. It gives me perspective.

God promises a safe landing, not a calm passage.

Stars to Steer By: Priorities and Missions

Friday, July 10th, 2009

I have been reading a book about Asian missions this week.  The author has a passion for the people of Asia, especially in India. He is “hard on” the rich misfocused U.S. churches that spend money on creature comforts and hardly understand missions or conceptualize missions through the eyes of a colonialism that has been tried and found wanting.  As I have considered these concepts and prayed about my own ideas regarding missions, I came across this quote attributed to John Kay.

“You fill this house with things of gold
While handing crumbs to the old and poor
And then you preach about being pure
And wonder why we’re laughing?’

It’s Sunday Again: Praying for Honduras

Sunday, July 5th, 2009

The events of the past week in Honduras have been tumultuous–those of us who love Honduras and the people of Honduras have watched with sadness and hope.  We have prayed for our beloved brothers and sisters in Honduras, thousands of fellow-Christians in hundreds of churches established over the past 30 years.  We can hardly understand the emotions and experience they are enduring.  We continue to pray and ask you to pray as well–especially on this day when President Zelaya, who was escorted out of the country by the military a week ago, has vowed to return.

Emotions are running high and we can only wait and see what will happen with the presence and power of the Lord for which we pray.  All of the North American mission groups which were housed at Baxter Institute have been safely evacuated.  We are in a unique and potentially precarious situation in comparison to other mission efforts in Honduras.  We not only have dozens of Honduran employees that we want to protect, we also are concerned about the students who come from all across Latin America with connections and roots in various countries involved in this situation. 

We trust you can understand why we are purposefully maintaining a low profile with minimal postings about the situation.  Generally, our work goes on normally with minimal disruption, although we have taken some measures to limit the exposure of our students to potential harm on the streets.

Again, we solicit your prayers for Honduras–for the safety of Christians, for an outcome that encourages the spread of the gospel, and for the glory of God among his people and in the world.

One Nation–Under God?

Saturday, July 4th, 2009

This Fourth of July will likely pass fairly quietly–hard to get excited about #233. As a nation, we will celebrate, but many are no longer certain what we are celebrating. Are celebrating the freedom to do whatever we want? The Bible calls that license, and the concept yields the word licenciousness. Are we celebrating the protection and purpose of God as the guiding star of our country? An increasing number would deny such. The identity and value system of our nation is in question. A recent survey by George Barna suggests that our nation now has the following five characteristics:
• Absence of a shared vision for the future
• Value confusion leading to inability to make appropriate decisions
• Elimination of community and loss of a sense of common good
• Deterioration of respectful dialogue and fruitful exchange of competing ideas
• Abandonment of moral character and personal decency

George Washington said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.” At Valley Forge, he prayed: “Almighty and eternal Lord God, the great Creator of heaven and earth, and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ; look down from heaven in pity and compassion upon me Thy servant, who humbly prostrates myself before Thee.” He also said, “To the distinguished character of a patriot, it should be our highest glory to add the more distinguished character of a Christian.”

This nation was founded as a Christian nation. The founding fathers had a deep faith in Jesus Christ. Today, there is a movement to remove God from our history and our foundations. To paraphrase a thought often repeated: “If this occurs, America will no longer be good. And when America ceases to be good, we will cease to be great.”

England also had a great Christian statesman in its early years. A man named William Wilberforce grew to prominence at an early age. At age 28 he came to faith in Christ and almost gave up politics to pursue ministry. John Newton, author of “Amazing Grace”, convinced him to stay in politics. His initiatives changed the world; probably the best-known is the abolishment of slavery in England.

On this day, I invite to pray that our nation might acknowledge and embrace our godly heritage and God will raise up leaders who lead from the foundation of firm faith in the living God who has penetrated this world and demonstrated his love in giving his Son, Jesus Christ, that we might be redeemed–from sin, in relationships, in purpose, in life, and for eternity.

Stars to Steer By: Who Would Miss Us?

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

Today’s “quote” is two thought-provoking questions. Good questions, important questions. Questions that can guide and change life. Think about them. Pray about them. Accept the challenge they present. Make certain you are investing your life in others, in the things that matter for eterntiy.

If the church where you attend went away tomorrow, who would miss it?
If there were no me, who would miss me?

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