Love from South Africa

•August 27, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I received the following email this morning from Pastor Shawn and he let us know that one of the babies in one of our villages in a child sponsorship program there recently passed away. HIV/ AIDS has taken three lives already in our One Life Child Sponsorship Program and now another little one. I write this not to ruin your day, but to ask you to keep praying and trusting that God will allow us to reach and touch as many as possible with His good news. We spoke in depth and frankly last night about social justice and the Gospel.  That is what this is all about…Jesus is Lord and we want the world to know. Please visit and read Kristi’s blogpost and also be praying for the family in the attached photograph, I am sure they are sad (the baby is currently rejoicing in the arms of Jesus).


Hello Dear,

    Hope you are all doing good by God’s grace.  Thanks for everything you are doing for these little ones. Every day you are all in our prayers. God united us one to do his work for his glory. Let’s pray our God to do many more wonderful and mighty things for the poor and needy in future. God will open the doors for everything.

      All the children are fine. Recently they had written monthly exams.

A boy in our home named Kuvvala  Krishna Murthy  got fever  recently so we took him to hospital for blood test. Blood test gave positive report   for HIV.   We came to know that his father died with HIV .Krishna Murthy ‘s  mother  doesn’t even know that she is HIV positive too. She wept a lot when she came to know this, it really touched my heart. I spent some time with her to console her. Dr Sowmya prescribed some medicines so we are following it and giving him special nutritious food………..Some HIV patients ,old people  are coming for some support .let’s  pray that  they too  receive some help very soon from us.

Our love to your family.

Love,

Neelima

Fighting

•August 14, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Most weeks I will be posting here on the blog but I think that is important to get a chorus of voices talking about what they see God doing. This is why I invited my friend Vanessa Petersen to post this week and this is what she had to say….


        https://i2.wp.com/www.thesweetscience.com/images/3171/boxer_eatsleft_240x230_061805.jpg

After Pastor Randy Coleman’s message this past Sunday I began thinking about what it looks like to fight with the sin (or hell as he called it) influencing people. It made me think of a passage in James that I’ve been studying recently.

  • James 3:13-16 “Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”
  • And James 4:1-5 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?

Some folks are made for fighting.  They are prepared, even seeking out an opponent. You see them and they are ready for anything from any direction and then there are some folks are blindsided every time.  A fight happens and they are in the middle of it before they know what happened.  People fight with people, girls fight, guys fight, we fight each other, and then we go schizophrenic and fight ourselves. What’s the deal?

Some of the spiritual battles we face everyday are within us, and some are external. We should never think that a fight is something that affects only the physical realm. Sin is the basis for all conflict. No sin, no fighting. All pain, struggle, and loss can be directly associated with “the Fall”. Why go through it? Why can’t we get away from it?

  • James 13:16 “For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.”

There is envy and selfish ambition around when it’s just you. Even if you are in a box and can’t see out the thought that somewhere else someone else has a bigger, better box will creep in. We’re all looking for a fight because we are all wired for dissatisfaction. When the snake tempted Eve in the garden he tempted her with the thought that she didn’t have something she deserved. Discontent entered God’s perfect world followed quickly by distrust. We’re also wired to only find true contentment in God. Battle anyone? It’s easier to fight the closest person than a “nagging feeling,” so we have at it. Someone took your stapler, you yell at him. Someone parked in the garage when it was your turn; you make sure they feel guilty about it. Is it really that hard to remember what belongs to you and where to park? Probably not, but what does it really matter? It matters because we feel inconvenienced and the need to equal the “score” can always be justified if we think we’re entitled.

  • James 4:5 adds “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that the spirit he caused to live in us envies intensely?

Just in case you may not know, God doesn’t lose. When He fights, He wins. When He puts someone else in a fight, He wins. Always. God loves us and He fights for us. His envy is right and when we choose to sin (aka, friendship with the world) we feel the fight between a loving God bringing us back to what is right and the sin nature innate within us. Each sin heightens the battle.

 So where do we find peace? When does the fighting end? Where can we rest?

·         James 4:7-10 “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Keeping up the pride is hard work. Humility is where you can rest. That is counterintuitive, but that intuition is sin based. Grieve, mourn and wail for your own foolishness. Release what you have accumulated because you thought it would make you happy. Stop thinking that what you’ve done apart from God has a defense or is worthy of praise. God has something better to give you, but you can’t receive it if your hands are full. 

 – Vanessa Peterson

A rebuttal to “Five Reasons I Hate Telling People I’m Christian”

•July 31, 2008 • 9 Comments

Every week I read multiple Blogs and Bloggers opinions and I can tell you that there are some very interesting ones out there.  This week I read a blog from a fellow blogger named John Smulo.  This week he wrote a post entitled “Five Reasons I Hate Telling People I’m Christian”.  As I read this simple post I was struck with this thought, I usually agree with most of his post this one I did not.  See what see said please check out his post here.  So I wanted to spend some time giving my “Six Reasons I Love Telling People I’m Christian”

  1. When I say, “I am a Christian,” I’m not shouting “I’ve been saved!” I’m whispering, “I was lost. That’s why I chose this way”
  2. When I say, “I am a Christian,” I don’t speak with human pride I’m confessing that I stumble, and need Christ to be my guide.
  3. When I say, “I am a Christian,” I’m not bragging of success I’m admitting that I’ve failed and cannot ever pay the debt.
  4. When I say, “I am a Christian,” I don’t think I know it all I submit to my confusion asking humbly to be taught.
  5. When I say, “I am a Christian,” I’m not claiming to be perfect My flaws are far too visible.
  6. When I say, “I am a Christian,” I still feel the sting of pain I have my share of heartache which is why I seek His name.

Despite the all of the preconceived notions that coincide with the word “Christian” I truly believe that it is my job to represent the one who saved us.  The first known usage of the term can be found in the New Testament, in Acts 11:26: “the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch.” The term was thus first used to denote those known or perceived to be disciples of Jesus Christ. In the two other New Testament uses of the word (Acts 26:28 and 1 Peter 4:16) it refers to the public identity of those who follow Jesus.  I think that the word should be redefined and fought for by those of us who follow Christ.  Because of my skin color many people have presuppositions on who I am and what I do/ sound like.  It may not be fair but I refuse to accept those false assumptions as true, neither should we do that with Christ name. This is just my opinion I could be wrong! 

What do you think?  Comment below…..

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Always Learning

•July 23, 2008 • 8 Comments

Most weeks I will be posting here on the blog but I think that is important to get a chorus of voices talking about what they see God doing. This is why I invited my friend Kyle Streeter to post this week and this is what he had to say….



    Today was one of most touching days that I’ve had in my life in a long time. I received a call today at work to rescue a young lady whose car broke down. But this recovery was everything but usual. I didn’t think anything different when I pulled up on this hot summer day and the operator of the car was crying. I see it all the time. However what made this different then any other I have had was what happened after her car was loaded onto my truck and we had taken off to the repair shop. Normally I pay no attention to customers personal calls while riding in my truck but one comment caught my ear. I heard this young lady ask what the point was of going on in life. “People who get more then they can handle from god always kill themselves.”

    What do you say to that comment? how do you react to that comment when you know its totally opposite? This young lady and myself had quite the conversation after that. I was unsure what to say but at the same point I was offended. So I tried to politely confront her about her comment. I made her aware of the problems in my life and she followed by telling me the problems she was having. The point Im getting at is that ths young lady left me thinking. If this occurs again how do I go about dealing with people like this? Does god really give people more then they can handle? Daily prayers of comfort and help do they really get answered before a tragic event happens? Do children really need materialistic items to be happy? Does god really work in EVERY PERSONS life? Does god only answer prayers from those who are church goers and regularly attend?



**Kyle Streeter
is a student at JCCC (c
………c………c………c) and avid KU fan. You can meet and talk to him at Westside’s College Ministry on Tuesday nights, just comment below, or email him at streetdogg76@hotmail.com**

Blogged with the Flock Browser

Perceptions

•July 10, 2008 • Leave a Comment

    So the other night we had a chance to discuss the relevancy of the church in America today.  It was actually funny to see some of the faces out in the crowd. Well last night I turned on ABC for a little mental break (again I watch these so that you do not have to).  The show that was a break of sorts, but was stressful in another way. Has anyone else watched Wife Swap? It’s a reality TV show, somewhat along the lines one where they rebuild your house (sorry i don’t know the name). Viewers get to play voyeur to another American family and feel better about their own dysfunction as adult men and women act childishly in front of the camera.  This episode was particularly disheartening given the conversation on Tuesday night because it showed a liberal Christian family (the Beckman-Hesketts) and a conservative Christian family (the Childs) switching places.  Ultimately, they both looked nuts, probably because the splicing and editing in these shows could make the nicest person you know out to look crazy. What was interesting to watch was the way that the arguments initially revolved around interpretation of the Bible but very quickly degenerated into hurling stereotypes at each other. Remeber I am supposedly talking about Christians here!  There was no sitting and “reasoning together”, but both sides were fearful and suspicious of the others’ intentions and relationship with God.
    Oddly, or perhaps appropriately, the “liberal” father  grew up in the Baptist church and was a pastor in it for 20 or 30 years, I didn’t get to hear exactly. He rejected his fundamentalist way of interpreting the Bible in favor of a different view of the Bible, seemingly considering it a guide, but not authoritative. The “conservative” father lived (according to the wife) a “sinful life booking  rock bands, skateboarding, and performing stand-up comedy”until they met and she guided him to Christianity. Now he is the family’s “gatekeeper” and he does no cooking, and his daughters are encouraged to find husbands, not careers.  I hope that you guys are getting the picture here.  At least according to the most recent Pew Forum study, Evangelicals like the Childs make up 26% of the United States population, with Mainline Protestants like the Beckman-Hesketts following with 18%. The interpretive clash depicted on ABC is inevitable, since the majority of Mainline Protestants think there are multiple interpretations of their religion’s teachings, but Evangelicals split almost 50-50 on that question (one versus multiple interpretations).
    The Pew Forum didn’t ask questions about gender and sex roles in their survey, though, only about homosexuality.  I would have been interested to see that kind of survey question asked, since I think there would be more variability. The strong “gatekeeper” and patriarchal mentality of the Childs is certainly a strand among Evangelicals (and a vocal one), but I don’t think it’s the majority view.  This just reiterated what we spoke about on Tuesday and what the video (at the top of the page) states also. *Click here to see the networks opinion on the episode.*
It’s your faith You decide!

    • Perception:  “Most people I meet assume the ‘Christian’ means very conservative, entrenched in their thinking, antigay, anti-choice, angry, violent, illogical, empire builders; they want to convert everyone, and they generally cannot live peacefully with anyone who doesn’t believe what they believe.”

                                                                                                                                                or

    • New Perception: Christians are the ones who love everyone unconditionally, regardless of their background.   Christians become more counter cultural within a cultural context. 
      Christians reach across racial lines and break down socio-economic walls that exist today.  Christians are known to be radically transparent while continually submitting to and glorifying Jesus Christ in all he is.



*I was listing to John Mark McMillan while writing this post*

Oops?!?!

•June 26, 2008 • Leave a Comment

    After the short marathon on Tuesday night I realized that we did not answer the second part of the question which was “Does God make mistakes?”  Below is my attempt at answering this question and I pray that it encourages you to dig into the things of God.  for those of you that have never read this blog before this may be a little heavy but, I pray that it is worth it.




    A
All earnest students of the Bible eventually find themselves facing a great problem – the apparent failure of God’s purpose for, and His promises to, the Israel people and nation.  Just so you know many people (especially Atheist) tend to go back to the King James to prove there point, be wary and search the Scriptures yourselves. 

  • Did God make a mistake when He brought the Israel people into being and said to them:“Thou art an holy people unto the Lord thy God; the Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.”  – Deuteronomy 7:6?
  • Did God make a mistake when he formed the Israel people into His own kingdom-nation to demonstrate the righteousness of His Will as the Law of human life and conduct, when He said: “Ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests and an holy nation.” – Exodus 19:6?
  • Did God make a mistake when He promised David a future regathering of the Israel people in a new home:“Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more.” – II Samuel 7:10?
  • Did this purpose fail, or did God change His mind?  Was God also mistaken when, long after Israel had disappeared, He promised that she would continue as a nation as long as the Sun, Moon and Stars remain, and as long as we continue to have day and night? “Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: if those ordinances depart from before me saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation.” – Jeremiah 31:35-36?
  • Was the fulfillment of this promise beyond the ability and power of God? Did God also make a mistake when He established the Royal House and Throne of David at the head of the Israel nation, and when He promised David: “Thine house and thy kingdom shall be established forever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.” – II Samuel 7:16?
  • This promise, which God swore to fulfill, requires the continuous and everlasting existence of the House and Throne of David. Did God fail to foresee their fall? Or was He unable to prevent it? Did God make a mistake when, in announcing the coming birth of His Son, He sent His Angel to say to Mary:Thou … shalt bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus … and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever.” – Luke 1 :31-33.

    Make no mistake about it, God makes no mistakes. “Great is the LORD,and greatly to be praised; and His greatness is unsearchable” Psalms145:3. The original language for “unsearchable” incorporates the thought of not being possible to fathom or find out or enumerate. It is obvious that this statement cannot be made for one who could make a
mistake, for then, even if only one mistake is made, it could be said that he were one who made at least one mistake; that is, his greatness could be quantified or enumerated as having been one who made one mistake, even if only one, and even if he were the only one who made only one.  “Great is our Lord, and of great power: His understanding is infinite” Psalms 147:5. Again, the understanding of anyone capable of mistakes would be finite, not infinite. 
  
     Perhaps someone would feign to find God having second thoughts about something He had done in the scripture: “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He had made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His
heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them” (Genesis 6:5-7). First, note that He did not say He would destroy all men, for in the next verse, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD” (Genesis 6:8). And so it followed that Jesus came through Noah’s son, Shem. No, God had not discovered a mistake in His works, not at all. He had a high and lofty purpose in permitting for a time the expression of the sin of mankind and angels.  You see, God made no mistake, but had a purpose in all of this and the outcome is no surprise to Him, for He declares the end from the beginning, “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure” (Isaiah 46:9-10).
   
    A word about the word “repent” as used in scripture, this is important. When used by God, according to original language the thought of grief, even compassionate grief, and consolation or comfort, and action taken thereupon. Yes, God felt suffering and grief on our behalf, but that is not a sign of error, or regret, or of mistake. Rather, it is a sign of  strength, of love on behalf of another; yes, of Agape love. In a word, it portrays specific action taken by God to counteract our mistakes; that is, our sins. “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound” (Romans 5:20b). When used of man, however, the word describes a change of heart, of thought and life’s direction, based necessarily on the  recognition of his own shortcomings, his sin, in the light of God’s gracious call for his repentance for his own good.
   
    Perhaps one may seem to think God has made a mistake in his or her own personal life’s experiences. However, we are told, “… we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). In all this we must understand that the things of this life are expendable and are
being spent for our eternal reward according to His grace who, “… is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy” (Jude 1:24). “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18). I am so glad my Lord and my God makes no mistakes with my life.
    There is no fault in our God; there are no mistakes He has made. There is no fault, no mistakes made by His Son. In all of Satan’s desperate effort to disclose one single fault in Jesus, he utterly failed while Pontius Pilate declared, “Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man” (Luke 23:4).

This has been a very short discourse which could go on forever, because we
serve an infallible God whose greatness cannot be enumerated  I pray that this attempt was at least enough to answer the base questions yet leave enough for you to want/need to dig deeper.


Recommended Resources:  Disappointment with God by Philip Yancey.or you can click here.

Blogged with the Flock Browser

She Must and Shall Go Free

•June 20, 2008 • Leave a Comment


I have been doing a lot of thinking lately and that one of many reasons why I haven’t posted in a while.  I want to share an artist with you that I think is raw and relative simple, which is so attractive to me.  I just want to invite you to listen to and read the words to this song and let me know how they hit you.  I am really interested.

Lyrics:

If you could love me as a wife

And for my wedding gift, your life

Should that be all I’d ever need?

Or is there more I’m looking for


And should I read between the lines

And look for blessings in disguise

To make me handsome, rich, and wise

Is that really what you want?

[Chorus]

‘Cause I am a whore I do confess

But I put you on just like a wedding dress

And I run down the aisle, I run down the aisle

I’m a prodigal with no way home

But I put you on just like a ring of gold

And I run down the aisle

I run down the aisle to you


So could you love this bastard child?

Though I don’t trust you to provide

With one hand in a pot of gold

And with the other in your side

‘Cause I am so easily satisfied

By the call of lovers so less wild

That I would take a little cash

Over your very flesh and blood


[Chorus x2]


Because money cannot buy

A husband’s jealous eye

When you have knowingly deceived his wife

[Chorus x2]


After ten years in a Christian band, backstage in the music industry
and in the hallways of church buildings across America, my attention as
a songwriter has turned to a fresh affection for the Church. It seems
we know all too little of who She is, how She should dress, or what She
was made for. I have found that Scripture is provocative when it comes
to these issues and so these songs are not for the faint of heart.
Truth is, God would rather die than be without Her, and She is both
wretched and radiant. I’m convinced that there is only one
righteousness suitable for Jesus’s bride, and He is jealous for Her
love. For the believe, truth is freedom. Even truth that is hard to
hear. May these songs stir all of us to see, as if for the first time,
that we have (still) a great need for a Savior, and a great Savior for our need.

God bless, derek

Blogged with the Flock Browser