Thursday, September 23, 2010

Mark and Logan

Mark is one of our pastors at Grace and Logan is an ordained minister who is a vital part of our congregation. Both are young men (much younger than me) and are committed to serving the Lord in any way they can, with a particular goal of teaching pastors overseas how to study the Bible, so they, in turn, can etach others. Logan's organization, THAT NONE SHALL PERISH, has overseen groups from Grace to India, Pakistan, Haiti, Puapa New Guinea--as well as other countries--where Logan has served previously.

This morning it is 8:00 a.m. here in California and 8:00 p.m. in Moulton, Pakistan where Logan and Mark are speaking in an outdooor meeting to Pakistanis from the the surrounding area, including, potentially, many Muslims, some hostile to the faith. Last night our church had a prayer meeting with purposeful praying for their safety and, especially, clarity of sharing the message of the gospel.

They will spend a week in Hyderabad, India, training seventy pastors in how to study the Bible, using the book of Romans as a template. Logan with be joining me in Haiti November 15-22 to do the same with 150-200 Haitian pastors.

I am telling you this because we all can do what Mark and Logan are doing--in our own spehere of influence. It requires of each of us a hunger for the Word, a desire to learn it and live it so we can, then, effectively share it with others. The Great Commission calls us all to be disciple-makers (Matthew 28:19,20) as we are going into the world as ambassadors for Christ.

If you think of it...pray for Mark and Logan this week and next!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A celebration of the first five years...

I just returned from a quick trip to San Luis Obispo to celebrate Haaken Theule's fifth birthday! It was worth the 500 mile round trip in two days.

Am I serious?

Absolutely! Here are a few reasons why...

1. Haaken is one of my eleven grandchildren.

2. Haaken is one of the brightest five year old's I know and I would go just to have him tell me about his creative dreams.

3. Haaken has one brother and two sisters that I am crazy about, too.

4. Haaken loves farm animals--especially roosters. How uncomplicated can life be for a five year old?

5. Haaken is growing up too quickly for me...soon enough he will be a teenager, and I don't want to miss these years, even if my visits are infrequent.

I take my assignment as a grandfather seriously. In this season of my live as I near retirement age I am excited about some of my new responsibilities...and one of them is making all the birthday celebrations of my grandchildren.

Maybe not this year...but soon!

Friday, September 03, 2010

A date with destiny

The title of this blog may have a sense of triteness except for how accurately it applies to my personal life. Let me explain.

I am aware that I will retire from my full-time responsibilities as a senior pastor in the next few years and I continue to ask myself, "What will I do?" I am confident God has something in mind for me but am curious (sometimes anxious, I confess) about what the future may hold.

In June I traveled to Haiti and "hooked up" with Gilbert Jules and have returned to organize a team to return November 15-22 to train 150-200 pastors and to hold a series of VBS classes for 2,000 children. I see that trip as a "date with destiny" since I can see myself as we build a sustainable relationship with those churches, returning often to minister and to give continuing oversight.

Last week Grace was blessed with the ministry of John Frances from India. In the last twenty years he has established/built 92 churches in India--18 are waiting to be funded (13 now as our church provided funds for five to be built now!--and he has also established a seminary to train pastors. Two of our ministry team will travel September 20-October 4 to India to teach at the seminary and I have been invited to come and teach students as well. Another "date with destiny".

We read at men's prayer time this morning from Psalm 139 and verse 16 caught my attention, "All the days you ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." It is exciting to see that God has planned for my life and Ephesians 2:10 affirms this, "For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do". How exciting it is to see how God is divinely orchestrating the steps of my life!

I believe we have an opportunity each day to discover what God has planned for us. The greatest joy is to join Him in His work!