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Thanks for visiting our website! This month’s picture is from the August 2018 retreat of Colombian preachers in Santa Marta. I was honored to be asked to participate. [Click picture to enlarge.]

Colombian Preachers

Ministry and mission work is a team effort -- Jan and I have shared the work of ministry and missions for 49+ years! Countless people 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. One of my favorite breakfasts is huevos fritos, frijoles, and tortillas, with a good hot sauce and a cup of rich Colombian coffee! My greatest joy in life is being part of the kingdom; my #1 priority is to advance "kingdom things" and to 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 as disciples of 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 February, 2016

It’s Sunday Again: Valentine’s Day, Love and Power

Sunday, February 14th, 2016

We talk about love but do not understand it. We love love, we do not live love.

Love and power are opposites. They do not coexist. When I operate from power, love is not on display. A bad question: “Who’s going to rule the house?” Another bad question: “Who runs this church?”

Understand the contrast, difference, relationship of love and power. The one who loves most has the least power and the most authority. Power does not resolve marital problems, kid problems, church problems. Power ends in abuse. Love casts out fear because it casts out power relationships. Power casts out love. Not sure? Read 1 Cor. 13.

Jesus said power would not be the model among his followers, Mark 10:45, “not so among you.” The home and the church are not driven, not power, not rule and regimentation, domination, control. Power plays should not work. Two basic approaches—use the right one; do not be seduced by power. Power may accomplish the task but it is a shortcut. Jesus rejected that approach in his temptations.

Love is God’s attraction. Society doesn’t understand it. The macho approach is wrong—period! The world must see love; wives, husbands, children, church members must know love, especially when we are unloveable. The cure to every problem is God’s amazing grace.

Power is human. Psychology catalogs appetites and needs–survival, belong, accomplishment. One strong will is the lust to power. Tenacity and will to control, dominate, rule, have our own way, receive recognition.

Forgiveness is a demonstration of love. You cannot forgive and then run over someone like a steam roller. Some preachers, church leaders like to scold and whip and spank and punish. You cannot build a person, family, or church on power. You build on love.

How Jesus demonstrated his love. -1- No reputation/ego; totally centered in well-being of the other. -2- unselfish, -3- humble service to meet needs of others.

God’s love. God out there loved me, came down here, picked up the towel, washed feet, served. Can we be ministers of reconciliation, forgive, forget, unify, work, grow, build together—on the basis of love not power.

Love never fails. It conquers where power fails. It is greater force. The cross stands for love. Fill your space with a sweet spirit, amazing grace; be salt on the earth and light in the world. Blessed by the love of God, guided by the love of God, offering others the love of God.

What Kind of People Ought We to Be?

Sunday, February 7th, 2016

It is common to read the Bible in small sections, ignoring the larger context. One place that happens is in 1 Corinthians 3. The context of chapter 3 includes chapter 2 where Paul explains that authentic spiritual wisdom is available to spiritual people who think in spiritual ways and can apply spiritual truths to real life settings.
To explain the problem in Corinth, in chapter 3 Paul uses two similar adjectives. There is only a slight difference. The words are sarkinos and sarkikos. The root of both words is sarx (literally, flesh); they are different only in the suffix, the last four letters. The “inos” suffix points to the material of composition, “made of….” The “ikos” suffix points to characteristics, thus “characterized by, influenced by, or controlled by….”
Can you see Paul’s point? He would like to write to those who are characterized by spiritual realities (pneumatikos, 3:1, reflecting chapter 2). He cannot; he has to write to those who are very much like every other human being, composed of flesh (sarkinos, NET uses the phrase, “people of the flesh.”) He calls them babies in Christ.
They are not only “people of the flesh” (v. 1, sarkinos) they are still influenced or characterized by the flesh and fleshly concerns (v. 3, sarkikos). The evidence Paul cites is their jealousy and dissension. They are acting like mere human beings—-both by nature, and in their thinking.

A picture of the contemporary church! When we begin the faith journey, we face two challenges. One, our nature is transformed so that we become participants in the divine nature. Two, how we think and the things we value changes, so we are influenced and characterized by the spirit and not the flesh, described in chapter 2 as spiritual people discerning spiritual things.
Too many Christians are trying to live using only one or the other of these two powers. We cannot stop being humans and living in this world. (The New Testament never describes Christians as pneumatinos, made up or composed of spirit). Nevertheless, we have two natures—-human and image of God. As Christians, w are given a new nature and become participants in the divine nature. When we walk by the Spirit we do not fulfill fleshly desires (Gal. 5). We have a new outlook (Rom. 8) and live according to spiritual influences and values.
Christianity is not only how you act. Christianity is how you think! Some do reasonably well with actions but keep on thinking like the world. This method will eventually fail! When we bring every thought into control (2 Cor. 10), when we are influenced and characterized and controlled by spiritual realities, our actions follow. Our challenge is to grow until our spiritual nature supersedes our physical, fleshly nature. Our challenge is to be led by, characterized, influenced, and controlled by the Spirit. That is how one stops thinking like the world!

My Mother’s Birthday: 2/2/22

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

Today is my mother’s birthday. She would have been 94. She went to be with the Lord a little over 20 years ago, but she is present in my heart and mind rather than physically.
I still try to live my life in a way that would make her proud. She was and is my heroine. She would be amazed, but perhaps not surprised, at the opportunities God has afforded her son. Her faith, lived out in my life, has taken me around the world to places we never dreamed or imagined, always to the glory of God.
Today I remember my mother, her influence, her strength, her faith, and her love in the words of Paul to the Ephesians: “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus, throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (3:20-21).

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