Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Faith Comes by Hearing

Yesterday (Monday) we loaded up after staff meeting and we headed to Meridian, MS to the evangelism conference. It was a longer trip that I remembered; we got there just in time to hear them dismiss us for lunch. But it was a worthwhile journey.

I stopped on the way in a town with gasoline much cheaper than in our town. To my delight, they offered ethanol-free gasoline. My vehicle despises ethanol. It burns up the plugs and plug wires. To my greater delight I met a man from Yemen. By the way he shook my hand after our conversation, I gathered that touching me was not what he wanted to do. Little did he know that I made a point of taking his hand to establish contact with him. Neither does he know that our evangelism pastor just ordered a supply of tracts in Arabic. I will be back soon to see my new acquaintance.

The next divine encounter was the joy of sitting at the feet of three very good speakers/preachers. My heart was stirred. The men held up a mirror for me to see myself. They held up God's standards. I needed to see it. I was hungry for that. Some may wonder how a preacher can possibly be hungry for preaching; after all, he hears himself each week. That is precisely the problem. We hear ourselves. If you hear yourself long enough you will become the standard by which you measure all others. Elijah fell for that. He told God he was all alone in his work and tired of it. Every preacher needs to sit at the feet of others from time to time. It does not happen often enough, in my opinion.

The more I heard, the more excited I became. Faith truly comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. So be it!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The World, or Something Like It

I am stateside now. I have not seen an international airport for over 9 months. I will travel again, but not to live in another nation.

Still, for me, the world is my parrish, much as it was for John Wesley. I find myself tormented at times over what goes on in the world. I read world newspapers (online, of course) to see what I can see about places that the Lord places on my heart. At other times I find myself rejoicing; God is still at work.

One place that has caught my mind of late, as it should have, is Egypt. I know people there. I can't and won't say who it is I know. But I find myself concerned for them. It's not a safe place these days. In spite of that insecurity, I think the Lord is up to something that will shape the final days before his great appearing.

But for the sake of those who bear the good news, often with great peril to their lives, I would ask you to pray for peace in Egypt. Pray for the safety of those believers who live there. And most of all, pray for the gospel to advance in the face of the current friction.