Friday, February 22, 2008

Rains Devastate Peru

Pray for Peru.

Peru's northern states are being ravaged by the same rains that are devastating Ecuador. The government has declared a state of emergency in two departments (states) along Peru's northern coast.

Meanwhile, in southern Peru, agricultural workers have held violent strikes, interrupting daily life, blockading roads, and even shutting down the Cuzco airport.

Pray for men and women believers to know how to respond to these very unique circumstances.

Pray for Ecuador

I received this request today. Please join us in praying for the people of Ecuador.

Heavy rains in Ecuador during February have caused much flooding on the coast. Families are living in water that has flooded their houses. They are facing health problems from disease carried by mosquitoes and from being in water. Farmers have lost their crops and animals. The heavy rains have caused land slides in the mountains. Road conditions all over Ecuador are bad.
In the mountains, the volcano Tungarahua has continued to put out ash causing the farmers to loose crops and animals. The health of the people is endangered as they try to clean the ash off the crops and grass. They do not wear masks and breathe in the ash.

Food prices are going up due to these crises. The flour mills are holding back on grinding the wheat speculating the price to go up.

*Pray for direction for the government and Christians to know how to help.

*Pray that the people will be open to the gospel and come to know Jesus as their Savior.

*Pray that the Christians will be obedient to share the gospel.

*Ask God to use this to cause people to seek Him.

Thank you for being faithful to pray.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Don't Check Your Theology at the Door!

If you had the privilege or responsibility of giving one piece of advice to a new missionary or new pastor, what would it be?

One website I read said, “Be sure your belt fits, especially if you are large.” It was the first website that was listed for advice to ministers.

Another site said to write a business plan.

Then I found some more sage advice, such as, “Love God’s people.” That one was for pastors.
Adoniram Judson, that renown Baptist missionary of the 19th Century, said, “First, then, let it be a missionary life; that is, come out for life, and not for a limited term. Do not fancy that you have a true missionary spirit, while you are intending all along to leave the heathen soon after acquiring their language. Leave them! For what? To spend the rest of your days in enjoying the ease and plenty of your native land?” (Advice to Missionary Candidates, June 1832)

One of my daughters said to me, “To a pastor, I would say, ‘don’t be afraid of stepping on toes; preach the truth, no matter what.’ To new missionaries I would say, ‘Don’t go in assuming you know everything. Your expectations will get blown out of the water.’”

Someone else said, “To a missionary, ‘don’t lose hope; hang in there.’”

Here is my piece of advice, which applies to both missionaries and pastors: Don’t check your theology at the door. I am increasingly disappointed in the post-modern uncertainty that has begun to characterize our interaction with one another. In the name of tolerance, I fear, we are reluctant to have a strong and evident theology.

If you disciple men and women, but weaken your gospel to accommodate any given world view or culture, you have made weak disciples. And weak disciples equal a weak church.

Yes, there are areas of theology that are non-essential to the Christian faith; no, I am not referring to those areas. Yes, you will think some things to be non-essential that someone else will presume are essential; no, I don’t want to debate you on which are the essentials. I presume you are smart enough and have a walk with Christ that will allow you to develop a good theology.

Just don’t leave it at the door.

Now, what would your advice be?