He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" - Romans 8:32

Friday, May 30, 2008 

Remarkable - Lost Tribe Discovered


See more pictures here.

Read Article here.

 

Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Baseball, Biblical Masculinity, and Godly Character, 4 Part Series

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Thursday, May 29, 2008 

China Calls on Former Enemy (Japan)

CHINA has reportedly requested Japanese military help to cope with the devastating Sichuan earthquake that has killed more than 68,000 people and displaced another 15 million.

It would be the first deployment of Japanese soldiers in China since Japan invaded in World War II, creating a bitterness that continues today.

Japanese civilian teams were the first foreign emergency workers invited to assist in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.

"The Chinese Government has submitted a new request regarding provision of relief materials as well as transportation means, including that possibly to be extended by the SDF," a Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Hiroshi Suzuki, said. Japan refers to its military as the SDF - Self-Defence Forces.

The Kyodo news agency said China had sounded out Tokyo about sending military planes to deliver relief materials.

The Foreign Ministry said it was holding discussions with the Defence Ministry about what kind of help it could provide.

The Japanese embassy in Beijing said yesterday it could not comment. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not reply.

Sino-Japanese ties chilled during Junichiro Koizumi's 2001-06 term as Japan's prime minister over his visits to the Yasukuni war shrine in Tokyo, seen by critics as an offensive symbol of wartime misdeeds.

They improved after he stepped down and relations between the two Asian giants have further warmed since the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, visited Japan this month, the first state visit in a decade by a Chinese leader.

The aid request comes as the quake area continues to be stricken with aftershocks that toppled another 420,000 homes in Qingchuan county on Tuesday.

Mr Hu has called the Sichuan earthquake China's biggest and most challenging relief operation since Communist China's founding in 1949. The Government said 15 million people - three times the original estimate - have been displaced.

Soldiers are battling to prevent the biggest "quake lake", Tangjiashan in Beichuan county, from bursting, and 150,000 people living below the swollen lake have been evacuated.

Mr Hu's remarks, released on Tuesday after he presided over a meeting of the politburo, indicated that the relief operations were at a critical stage as officials coped with crowded refugee camps and rising temperatures.

The area has suffered almost 200 aftershocks.

The banking regulator has ordered banks to write off bad loans caused by the earthquake as education authorities promised to preserve all school sites for investigation into alleged shoddy construction.

 

"How much weight should our opposition to abortion carry in our voting decisions?"

God calls us to think His thoughts after Him. That means all of His thoughts. That is, we ought to have a sound and biblical view on everything the Bible touches on. Where it touches on political issues, we are called, again to have sound an biblical views. We need to think biblically about what is just war and what is not. We need to think faithfully about taxation, and the size and scope of government. We need to think through what obligation, if any the state has to protect property, to protect our lives.

That said, there are precious few things that frustrate me more about the evangelical right than its utter foolishness with respect to proportion politically. We bundle together this issue and that, everything from tax rates to school vouchers to flag burning to abortion, and call it “family values.” There is a right and a wrong answer on all these issues. But abortion is not like any of the others. It stands out all on its own. In a hundred years, the Christian church will not hang its head in shame that it did so little to pass a Constitutional Amendment against the burning of the flag. In a hundred years, no elderly Christian will be looked at with suspicion by the younger generation because they didn’t do more to lower the tax rate. In a hundred years, if God should be so gracious, we will be looked upon as that godless generation of the church that watched tens of millions of babies go to their deaths. Indeed, we’ll be remembered as those “Christians” who elected men to office who believed that the state ought to protect the rights of some mothers to murder their babies.

It is unfair to draw too tight a comparison between abortion in America and the Holocaust in Nazi Germany. There are significant differences. First, the Holocaust was carried out, by and large, in secret. The rank and file Germans had no idea what was going on. We, on the other hand, every last one of us, woke up today knowing that four thousand babies would die today. We, on the other hand, have four thousand mothers, every day, who knowingly do this. We, on the other hand, have four thousand fathers, boyfriends and husbands who every day encourage this. The Holocaust lasted roughly ten years, and the Nazi’s killed roughly six million people. We, on the other hand, have been at this for 35 years, and have killed more than fifty million babies. It is an unfair comparison, unfair to the Nazis. We are far worse monsters.

How much weight should our opposition carry? I have purposed in my heart that I would never vote for a man for any office that is not committed to using every power at his disposal to protect and defend every unborn child. Never. Ever. If every Christian would simply make that simple pledge, then we would win this battle. As it stands, at best we vote for candidates who might nominate or support judicial candidates who might vote for this small impediment or that to abortion on demand. At worst, we vote for the guy with the R by his name. We need to get rid of our strategies, and get on our knees in repentance. We need to stop negotiating with candidates over the bodies of dead babies.

- R.C. Sproul, Jr.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008 

Babies Orphaned by Earthquake for Sale

Senior Chinese police officer warned the death penalty awaited evil gangs who are selling babies orphaned by the recent earthquake.

Police believe there is a grim trade of tragic infants, who are sold to childless couples for as little as £100.

The gang members are believed to be targeting the hospitals and makeshift shelters in the worst-affected areas of the quake-hit Sichuan province.

Police battling to restore order after the quake, which claimed more than 60,000 lives, have already arrested five women who stole four baby girls and a baby boy. More than 30 other cases of child stealing have also been reported.

The Chinese authorities have strictly enforced a controversial one baby per couple rule since 1979 in an attempt to limit population growth.

The restriction heightened the devastating impact of the quake on thousands of families.

Police are now using DNA techniques to try to match babies to surviving relatives.

Aftershocks in the region continued to cause injuries yesterday as more buildings collapsed.

The Chinese authorities today said more than 20,000 people are still missing.


- thelondonpaper.com

 

Bizarre New Suicide Trend in Japan

Story 1

Story 2

Story 3

Tuesday, May 27, 2008 

Take Me Out to the Ballgame: Baseball, Biblical Masculinity, and Godly Character, Part I

Baseball

Now that the hype of the Final Four is over, and since hardly anyone pays attention to professional basketball, its time to turn some attention to the "boys of summer." Baseball, otherwise known in our home as the greatest sport ever played, is the sport of choice for our family. Over the next three days, I will point out some ways in which we use the game of baseball in the lives of our sons to build Christian character and cultivate biblical masculinity.

Why We Love Baseball for Character Building

We believe that sports in general can help us observe our children in various contexts to see how their character is developing. As a dad it is particularly important to me. I am gone during the day because of vocational responsibilities and since my job is such that I cannot bring my children with me (such as a farming situation) I do not have the opportunity to see them in a crisis or under pressure.

Baseball helps me with this. Since the game is played at a slower pace than some sports, each play, and player, is highlighted on every pitch. You do not need to watch the game film later to know who missed a fly ball, who struck out, or who got thrown out stealing second base. I can easily observe what my sons do when they miss a ground ball, when they strike out, and when they are put in to pitch under a pressure situation with no outs and bases loaded.

The game is so full of subjectivity that I can easily see them in situations when they are treated unfairly. A ball is called a strike. A safe slide into third is called out. And most of the time, because of the easy access to players in the dugout, I can make mid-game character corrections, without waiting until we all get home.

I can see what they do when they lose big, when they win big. It gives me an opportunity to see what comes out of them in situations that I cannot possibly manufacture at home. I am not living for the day when my sons become the next Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez. In fact, I would generally not wish the life of a professional baseball player on anyone. And although we love to play the game, we are not living for it. It is a parental tool that also happens to be really fun.

Beginning tomorrow, I will look at the first four of 12 connecting points between baseball, biblical masculinity and godly character.


- Randy Stinson | CBMW

Monday, May 26, 2008 

VBS is for Teaching

One of the men I admire most in the world who used to be an associate pastor is now fulfilling his life's calling as a senior pastor. In his latest newsletter to his church, he gives a faithful reminder of what VBS is all about:

I wanted to say how encouraged I am as your
pastor to have my wife come home from a VBS
meeting and share with me a small but crucial
matter from that meeting. [She] told me our
Children’s Minister. . .challenged the
teachers to not place so much emphasis on
decorating; but, instead, focus on teaching! In
every church we have served, there seems to be
something of a competition to see who can out
decorate everyone else for VBS. Don’t get me
wrong…I love the themes and decorations, and I
know the kids appreciate the effort. It transforms
the normal into the abnormal and, perhaps, this
helps the kids learn better. At any rate, it is sad
to see so much effort placed on converting the
rooms while the conversion of souls suffers.
Teaching was the primary point of all that Jesus
did. He even rebuked the fickle crowds for
wanting signs and wonders but no
transformation. So when VBS rolls around, it
will be fun to see the transformed rooms; but it
will be infinitely better to see transformed kids.

Sunday, May 25, 2008 

Calvinism: A Southern Baptist Dialogue


Calvinism
Editor: Brad J. Waggoner and E. Ray Clendenen

What impact is the Calvinist/non-Calvinist debate having on the Southern Baptist Convention today? This book holds a theological conversation between followers of Christ about issues on which they often disagree. And while such controversial points of doctrine cannot be ignored, neither should they put up impenetrable walls between groups that are committed to the same essential Christian beliefs.

Calvinism: A Southern Baptist Dialogue brings together new presentations from noted Southern Baptists including Daniel Akin, Tom Ascol, David Dockery, Charles Lawless, and Ed Stetzer that address misperceptions, stereotypes, and caricatures of the debate over Reformed theology. Each strives to speak the truth in love and humility while seeking clarity in the presentation of the Gospel, improving the health of our churches, and seeking the kingdom of Christ above all.

- available @ B&H Publishing Group

 

Appeasing Fuji


Spiritual Bondage Wrapped up in Mt. Fuji

Saturday, May 24, 2008 

Mercy & Motherhood

Laurie over at the blog Ordinary Mother has a helpful and convicting post about mercy and motherhood (dads will find it useful, too). She writes:
Being a merciful mom is more than kissing a boo-boo, or soothing a sick child. It is being part of the rescue mission when my child chooses to live for self rather than live for God. And the goal isn't just to show him mercy, but to bring him to the source of all mercy: the cross of Jesus Christ. And here at the cross a sinful mom and a sinful child lift their gaze to a merciful Savior and find that He demonstrated the greatest act of mercy ever when He took our place on the cross. Part of my calling as a mother, as a believer, is to show mercy. This begins with those right here in my home. Blessed are the merciful, indeed.
I encourage you to read the full post.

- Josh Harris | JOSHHARRIS.COM

 

Gospel Cyclone

Judson canoed down the Salween River back into the jungle to a tribe called the Karen, whose pagan traditions were strangely amenable to the gospel—they had a Creator of man, and woman from his rib; an ancient temptation and fall; expectation of a white man's appearance with a sacred parchment. Breakthrough. When Adoniram Judson died, there were 8,000 believers and 100 churches in Burma, which today, known as Myanmar, has the third-largest population of Baptists in the world, mostly the Karen and Kachin tribe.

Adoniram Judson. "Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated—of whom the world was not worthy" (Hebrews 11: 35-38). They were fools for Christ (1 Corinthians 4:10).

They did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11).


- Andrée Seu | World Magazine (click to read entire article)

Friday, May 23, 2008 

Hope in the Rubble

RICHMOND, Va. (BP)--Natural and manmade disasters have torn at our hearts in recent weeks.

The Myanmar cyclone and China earthquake killed tens of thousands of people and left millions more homeless and vulnerable to disease and starvation. Ongoing political crises threaten entire populations in several African nations.

Soaring food prices have caused suffering and food riots in many countries – and could put an additional 100 million people at risk of hunger worldwide, according to World Bank estimates.

As grim as recent news has been, however, positive long-term developments have proceeded more quietly.

A study by the Human Security Centre at the University of British Columbia (highlighted in this column in 2006) showed that mass political violence – with the exception of terrorism – has declined rapidly since the end of the Cold War. Armed conflicts worldwide have decreased by more than 40 percent since 1992. Wars have killed far fewer people in recent decades. Wars between countries now constitute less than 5 percent of all armed conflicts, and the post-World War II period has been the longest interval without wars between major powers in centuries. Most current wars are low-intensity conflicts, consisting of skirmishes between government forces and internal rebels.

The United Nations counted 56 armed conflicts, mostly of the low-intensity variety, going on worldwide during the most recent reporting period. Two of those conflicts are raging in Iraq and Afghanistan, of course, so we hear a lot about them.

Wars, turmoil and ongoing poverty continue to cause massive human suffering. But here are some hopeful signs, according to a recent overview by The Economist magazine:

-- More than 600 million people in China were living in extreme poverty ($1 a day or less) 25 years ago. Today, that number has fallen below 180 million.

-- Many more people have access to safe drinking water, and mortality rates from infectious diseases such as malaria and tuberculosis are falling in most poor countries, with the exception of African nations.

-- For the first time in modern history, UNICEF reported last year, fewer than 10 million children are dying each year before they reach age 5 – still a heartbreaking number, but a drop of about 25 percent since 1990.

-- The global economy entered its fifth straight year of 4 percent-plus growth in 2007, the longest such expansion in more than 30 years. “Moreover, the growth was spread around fairly evenly” – including Africa, which experienced a more than 6 percent jump. “Almost half of humanity, spread over more than 40 nations, lives in countries growing at 7 percent a year or more, a rate that doubles the size of the economy in a decade. This is twice the number of fast growers that existed in the years between 1980 and 2000.” China and India will be the two top contributors to world growth this year, predicts the International Monetary Fund.

-- If current growth rates hold, the proportion of “very poor people” to the total world population could shrink to 10 percent by 2015.

Many of these gains could be wiped out by the global economic slowdown currently brewing – or by the food crisis, if steps aren’t taken to address the factors that caused it. But the long-term progress of the last generation is undeniable.

“Violence in the Middle East is a reminder, as if one were needed, of the many ills … that need to be set against the achievements of the past few years,” cautions The Economist. The number of “fragile” and failed states verging on collapse is another. “But the successes provide some perspective, both to the extent of the world’s problems, and to their setting.”

World-hearted Christians need that perspective, because God opens doors for sharing the hope of Christ in all circumstances. Our challenge is not only to continue delivering practical aid and the Gospel to lost peoples wracked by physical suffering, ignorance and violence, but to share hope with prospering societies that increasingly experience the wealth once enjoyed by the few. As education and health rates climb, economies grow and choices multiply in many places, people urgently need to be reminded that man does not live by bread alone, but by the words that proceed from the mouth of God.

As we Americans have learned from our own struggles with plenty, that truth is easy to forget.

- Erich Bridges | Baptist Press

Thursday, May 22, 2008 

The Missionary Call

Dr. David Sills, gifted SBTS professor of Christian missions & cultural anthropology, also a former missionary, will be releasing what is sure to be a helpful book on discerning a calling to the mission field:

about the book

“The highest and best use of anyone’s life is to do exactly what God leads them to do in the places where He leads them to do it.”

Christians of all ages recognize the heartbeat of God to take the Gospel to the nations and often wrestle with the implications of the Great Commission in their own lives. The Missionary Call explores the biblical, historical, and practical aspects of discerning and following God’s call to nations. Dr. Sills addresses common misconceptions about the missionary call while also answering key practical questions on the minds of those discerning a call to missions:

• Do all Christians have the missionary call?

• How can you know whether you have the missionary call?

• Is the missionary call a lifelong call?

• How does being single impact the missionary call?

• What should you do if your spouse does not share your sense of call?

• If you have the missionary call, how do you know where to serve?

Whether you know you are called, or are still struggling to know God’s will, The Missionary Call will help you discern your place in God’s plan for the world.

Visit his website about the book, along with a download of the first chapter, endorsements, & author bio at http://www.themissionarycall.com/

Tuesday, May 20, 2008 

You Could Have Been Born in Angola

Indicator Value (year)
Age-standardized mortality rate for cancer (per 100 000 population) ? 179.0 (2002)
Age-standardized mortality rate for cardiovascular diseases (per 100 000 population) ? 486.0 (2002)
Age-standardized mortality rate for injuries (per 100 000 population) ? 231.0 (2002)
Age-standardized mortality rate for non-communicable diseases (per 100 000 population) ? 982.0 (2002)
Deaths among children under five years of age due to diarrhoeal diseases (%) ? 19.1 (2000)
Deaths among children under five years of age due to HIV/AIDS (%) ? 2.2 (2000)
Deaths among children under five years of age due to injuries (%) ? 1.4 (2000)
Deaths among children under five years of age due to malaria (%) ? 8.3 (2000)
Deaths among children under five years of age due to measles (%) ? 4.8 (2000)
Deaths among children under five years of age due to neonatal causes (%) ? 22.2 (2000)
Deaths among children under five years of age due to other causes (%) ? 17.2 (2000)
Deaths among children under five years of age due to pneumonia (%) ? 24.8 (2000)
Deaths due to HIV/AIDS (per 100 000 population per year) ? 188 (2005)
Deaths due to tuberculosis among HIV-negative people (per 100 000 population) 27.0 (2006)
Deaths due to tuberculosis among HIV-positive people (per 100 000 population) 2 (2006)
Healthy life expectancy (HALE) at birth (years) both sexes ? 33.0 (2003)
Healthy life expectancy (HALE) at birth (years) female ? 35.0 (2003)
Healthy life expectancy (HALE) at birth (years) male ? 32.0 (2003)
Infant mortality rate (per 1 000 live births) both sexes ? 154.0 (2006)
Infant mortality rate (per 1 000 live births) female ? 147 (2006)
Infant mortality rate (per 1 000 live births) male ? 161.0 (2006)
Life expectancy at birth (years) ? 41.0 (2006)
Life expectancy at birth (years) female ? 43.0 (2006)
Life expectancy at birth (years) male ? 40.0 (2006)
Maternal mortality ratio (per 100 000 live births) ? 1400 (2005)
Neonatal mortality rate (per 1 000 live births) ? 54 (2004)
Probability of dying (per 1 000 live births) under five years of age (under-5 mortality rate) both sexes ? 260 (2006)
Probability of dying (per 1 000 live births) under five years of age (under-5 mortality rate) female ? 243 (2006)
Probability of dying (per 1 000 live births) under five years of age (under-5 mortality rate) male ? 276 (2006)
Probability of dying (per 1 000 population) between 15 and 60 years (adult mortality rate) both sexes ? 493 (2006)
Probability of dying (per 1 000 population) between 15 and 60 years (adult mortality rate) female ? 447 (2006)
Probability of dying (per 1 000 population) between 15 and 60 years (adult mortality rate) male ? 539 (2006)
Years of life lost to communicable diseases (%) ? 84.0 (2002)
Years of life lost to injuries (%) ? 8.0 (2002)
Years of life lost to non-communicable diseases (%) ? 8.0 (2002)
Incidence of tuberculosis (per 100 000 population per year) ? 285.0 (2006)
Number of confirmed poliomyelitis cases ? 8 (2007)
Prevalence of HIV among adults aged =15 years (per 100 000 population) ? 3281 (2005)
Prevalence of tuberculosis (per 100 000 population) ? 344.0 (2006)
Antiretroviral therapy coverage among HIV-infected pregnant women for PMTCT (%) ? 14.0 (2006)
Antiretroviral therapy coverage among people with advanced HIV infections (%) ? 16 (2006)
Births attended by skilled health personnel (%) ? 45.0 (2001)
Contraceptive prevalence (%) ? 6.2 (2001)
Neonates protected at birth against neonatal tetanus (PAB) (%) ? 80.0 (2006)
One-year-olds immunized with MCV ? 48 (2006)
One-year-olds immunized with three doses of diphtheria tetanus toxoid and pertussis (DTP3) (%) ? 44 (2006)
Tuberculosis detection rate under DOTS (%) ? 76.0 (2006)
Tuberculosis treatment success under DOTS (%) ? 72 (2006)
Children under five years of age overweight for age (%) 5.3 (2001)
Children under five years of age stunted for age (%) 50.8 (2001)
Children under five years of age underweight for age (%) 27.5 (2001)
Newborns with low birth weight (%) ? 12 (2000)
Per capita recorded alcohol consumption (litres of pure alcohol) among adults (>=15 years) ? 3.9 (2003)
Population with sustainable access to improved drinking water sources (%) rural ? 39 (2006)
Population with sustainable access to improved drinking water sources (%) total ? 51 (2006)
Population with sustainable access to improved drinking water sources (%) urban ? 62 (2006)
Population with sustainable access to improved sanitation (%) rural ? 16 (2006)
Population with sustainable access to improved sanitation (%) total ? 50 (2006)
Population with sustainable access to improved sanitation (%) urban ? 79 (2006)
Dentistry personnel density (per 10 000 population) ? <1 (2004)
External resources for health as percentage of total expenditure on health ? 7.3 (2005)
General government expenditure on health as percentage of total expenditure on health ? 4.7 (2005)
General government expenditure on health as percentage of total government expenditure ? 81.5 (2005)
Hospital beds (per 10 000 population) 1.0 (2005)
Laboratory health workers density (per 10 000 population) ? 1.00 (2004)
Number of dentistry personnel ? 222 (2004)
Number of laboratory health workers ? 2,029 (2004)
Number of nursing and midwifery personnel ? 18,977 (2004)
Number of other health service providers ? 254 (2004)
Number of Pharmaceutical personnel ? 919 (2004)
Number of Physicians ? 1,165 (2004)
Nursing and midwifery personnel density (per 10 000 population) ? 14.00 (2004)
Other health service providers density (per 10 000 population) ? <1 (2004)
Out-of-pocket expenditure as percentage of private expenditure on health ? 100.00 (2005)
Per capita government expenditure on health at average exchange rate (US$) ? 30.0 (2005)
Per capita government expenditure on health(PPP int. $) ? 34.0 (2005)
Per capita total expenditure on health (PPP int. $) ? 41.0 (2005)
Per capita total expenditure on health at average exchange rate (US$) ? 36.0 (2005)
Pharmaceutical personnel density (per 10 000 population) ? <1 (2004)
Physicians density (per 10 000 population) ? <1 (2004)
Private expenditure on health as percentage of total expenditure on health ? 18.5 (2005)
Private prepaid plans as percentage of private expenditure on health ? 0.0 (2005)
Ratio of health management and support workers to health service providers ? <0.01 (2004)
Ratio of nurses and midwives to physicians ? 16.9 (2004)
Social security expenditure on health as percentage of general government expenditure on health ? 0.0 (2005)
Total expenditure on health as percentage of gross domestic product ? 1.8 (2005)
Adult literacy rate (%) 67.4 (2001)
Gross national income per capita (PPP international $) 2360 (2006)
Net primary school enrolment ratio (%) females 49.0 (1991)
Net primary school enrolment ratio males (%) 51.0 (1991)
Population (in thousands) total 16557 (2006)
Population annual growth rate (%) 2.8 (2006)
Population in urban areas (%) 54.0 (2006)
Population median age (years) 17 (2006)
Population proportion over 60 (%) 4.0 (2006)
Population proportion under 15 (%) 46.0 (2006)
Registration coverage of births (%) 29.0 (2000)
Registration coverage of deaths (%) <25 (2005)
Total fertility rate (per woman) 6.5 (2006)

Monday, May 19, 2008 

Japanese Pizza Order

When Mindy & I were in Indonesia for the summer this time last year, I was blown away by how quickly Mindy was able to call & order food online using her phrase book. Indonesia is considered one of the easiest languages in the world to learn. Enter Japanese: One of our greatest challenges in going to Japan is in learning this beautiful but complicated language so that we can share the Gospel & the love of God with the Japanese.

Watch this video & as you hear what it sounds like to simply order a pizza in Japanese, pray for us & other missionaries that we would have a supernatural ability to learn the language sufficiently.
video

 

Pornography Leads to Impotence

I highly recommend taking a look at Judith Reisman’s September article, “The Impotence Pandemic.”

It has long been touted by relationship therapists that a little pornography can spice up our sex lives. It is believed that male impotence is caused by a mere lack of visual stimulation: add a little porn and the problem goes away. Or so some think . . .

Reisman quotes a sampling of psychiatry professors, neurobiologists, and neuroscientists to demonstrate that rather the opposite is true: Pornography actually does more to contribute to impotence than cure it.

(more…)

- Luke Gilkerson | Breaking Free

Sunday, May 18, 2008 

A Seminarians Prayer

Thought this was fitting on ordination night & graduation weekend:

Savior and King,
I find it so easy to revel in knowledge for knowledge’s sake,
avoiding the goal of instruction: to learn love.
A puffed-up mind may be able to hide an impure heart,
an aching conscience
or insincere motives from others,
but before you, all is laid bare.
The purpose of my training is to grow in love and faithfulness,
purity and authenticity.
Help me, O Lord, to keep in mind your purposes
for the instruction I receive.
I pray that when I leave here,
my love will have grown,
many sinful habits will have been left behind,
and any insincere motivations or spiritual facade will have been shattered.
May you work in my heart to draw me closer to yourself.
Help me to love, O Lord.
Give me a heart that breaks
for those held in the chains of sin.
Clear my conscience
and authenticate my faith.
May the knowledge I obtain be for your glory
and for the growth of your love in my all-too-hardened heart.
And help conform me to the image of Christ, in whose name I pray. Amen.

- Trevin Wax | Kingdom People

Thursday, May 15, 2008 

Toilet Education

Friend Jarod Juriga & future team member in Japan's cities, towns, & villages gives an entertaining & oh so important educational video on the proper use of the Japanese toilet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008 

Ga. Church Tempts With $500 Raffle

Like my former pastor used to say - what you get them in with is what you have to keep them with. In other words, if they come because of gimmicks you'll have to keep gimmicks going to keep them there. This is sad to me.

SNELLVILLE, Ga. -- So much for spaghetti suppers: The First Baptist Church of Snellville is fueling its membership drive with a sign in front of its sprawling campus proclaiming "Free Gasoline."

There's a catch, of course. The offer is a not a giveaway. Instead, each time newcomers or members attend a church event during a Sunday-to-Wednesday revival they get a pink raffle ticket for a chance to win one of two $500 gas cards.

"We don't know how far it will go with these soaring prices," said Rusty Newman, the church's senior pastor. "But it may make someone's night."

Newman's congregation boasts roughly 9,000 members, but only about 2,500 regularly attend Sunday services.

The church, like others, has long relied on special dinners and giveaways to draw in members, but elders wanted something a little more timely for this latest pitch.

- read the rest here

Monday, May 12, 2008 

God's Grace is Sufficient & Satisfying

My good friend Aaron Martin gives a helpful side by side comparison from his Mother's Day message this past Sunday.

After the sermon on 2Corinthians 12:9-10 yesterday morning it was suggested to me that the more visual learners of our lot may benefit from a side-by-side comparison of examples of our weakness (human fragility and its response to changing circumstances) and the gift of grace given to those who submit their weakness to God as a conduit of His power and blessing. So here you go. It’s just a general outline so if you need more detail I encourage you to listen to the sermon.

WEAKNESS | GRACE

Suffering | Comfort (for us and others; 1:3-7)

Belief | All the promises of God find their “yes” in Jesus (1:20)

Offense | Forgiveness (2:5-11)

Unqualified | Competent for discipleship (3:5-6; 4:1-6)

Perspective | Power revealed in weakness (4:7-1 8)

Passivity | Partnership with God in the gospel (6:1)

Easily Satisfied | Longing for holiness (7:1)

Community | Pursue Neighbor Love (1:1-13:4)

Complaining | Joy in Affliction (7:4)

Sunday, May 11, 2008 

Open Source Missions

Friday, May 09, 2008 

Mindy, Mama, My Sister & Mother's Day Weekend

Yet she will be saved through childbearing—if they continue in faith and love and holiness, with self-control. - 1 Timothy 2:15

I really don’t have any clue what the true meaning of that passage is. It is obvious from the whole of Scripture that child-birth or any other work will not reconcile you to God. But that passage, as mysterious as it is to me, has provoked my thought over the last week or so.

Just over 2 weeks ago we had our first child, a son named Luke. For 9 months I watched as my wife selflessly used her body to share with Luke while he ate from her, grew, and formed in her womb. As she got bigger sleep became harder to come by & in the final weeks, just existing was uncomfortable as she was stretched to her limit of existing skin!

Now, as Luke is here, I’ve watched with amazement as she feeds him every 3 hours from her own body. This means if a feeding takes an hour, as it can with our son who likes to take breaks when feeding, that she has at max 2 hrs before he’s latched on again. It is a joy for her to do, but nonetheless painful at times, & there are days when he wants to eat every 2 hrs. This schedule doesn’t stop just because it’s 2 am or 4 am, so not only is she giving her body, her time, but she’s sacrificing her sleep too. Again – she’s awesome – she wouldn’t speak of it as sacrificing or hard but would simply tell you it can be taxing.

My role has been to try & do everything for her I can so that she can be the mother she needs to be at such a young stage for Luke. That means doing laundry, the dishes, simply being the one that makes the bed, cooking sometimes, cleaning up the kitchen after meals, grocery shopping, errand running, trash collecting, diaper changing, getting Luke awake & ready to eat, taking him for an hour or 2 so she can get some much needed rest during the day & not be worn out doing the other less important stuff.

But what has blown my mind about doing all those little things (& don’t get me wrong, she’s still doing plenty of it herself) is that she has been the one that has primarily done those things over the last 5 years while I finished up undergrad & now seminary. Not only that, she did all that & held a full-time job to put me through school. Only now, while I’m trying to serve her in the ways she’s served me, have I been able to truly appreciate all she did for me to allow me to obey God’s calling. It has been a joy as I realized the sacrifices she’s made for me to be able to do all these little things – which I usually hate in & of themselves – but in the Spirit am finding great satisfaction from doing because the giver gets the joy.

What does all this have to do with the Scripture passage above? As I realize exactly what my wife did to free me up for school – as I watch my wife sacrifice & give of her body in carrying a child, the physical pain of having a child, the task of feeding a child from your own flesh, the loss of sleep to care & love the child when he’s hungry – I think that maybe one of the reasons childbirthing can carry the language of salvation close to it is because of how Christ-like it is. I’m not saying it’s the point of the text above, but think of how very Christ-like it is to carry, have, then mother a child. You give up your life for the life of another, you give of your very flesh & blood for them, you die to your rights of sleep, recreation, self for the betterment of the one you now love & would your very life for. Maybe the use of the word “saved” has something to do with the fact that the very role of women in motherhood, in “childbearing,” is so selfless, so God-glorifying, & so Christ-exemplifying, that it is an evidence of a life reborn.

So to my wife & to my mother – I’m finally learning your love for us over all these years Mama – & to my baby sister Rachel who is raising her first as well, I wish you a Happy, Happy Mother’s Day. You have all my love, admiration, & respect.

Thursday, May 08, 2008 

Pastor's 13 yr. old Daughter Gang-Raped

Can You Imagine...Our Christian Brothers & Sisters are Counting the Cost

DHAKA, Bangladesh - Muslim villagers in Mymensingh district eager to rid the area of the Christian work of a local pastor have gang-raped his 13-year-old daughter, the girl's father said.

Pastor Motilal Das of United Bethany Church said that at around 3 a.m. on Friday (May 2) the villagers sexually assaulted his daughter, Elina Das, and left her unconscious in front of his house in an attempt to drive him and his Christian ministry out of Laksmipur village in Fulbaria sub-district, 120 kilometers (75 miles) north of the capital.

Local residents have long been angry with him for his ministry and evangelism, he said, and he has received death threats.

“I did not pay attention to any of the threats or hindrances – I continued evangelical and pastoral activities with prayer,” Das told Compass. “They targeted me to evict from this area to stop the Christian activities. When nothing stopped me, then they wanted to leave me scarred for life, so that I would be upset and not be able to show my face to the society for shame, and therefore I would leave the village.”

Das, who became the first Christian in the area in 1986 and has been key in an increase to more than 250 Christians and the emergence of 12 churches, said the brutal attack was pre-planned and calculated to stop further expansion of Christianity in northern Bangladesh.

- read rest of article here

 

The Best


I cannot think of a better vision statement for a missions agency than the one that the Pacific Rim region of the IMB has. I'm so grateful I will get a chance to be a part of this team.

VISION: To glorify God by planting reproducing churches where Christ is not known.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 

Baseball to the Glory of God

I wouldn't care if the Cardinals never won another game in their history. I wouldn't care if they never lost another game, although that would be annoying.

However, this defensive show by Rick Ankiel just makes you just drop your jaw. Before you get to carried away with him - just remember, God created Him & gave him those abilities. He also hit a homerun that night too!

SEE VIDEO

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 

Christian Relief to the Myanmar Cyclone

Baptist Global Response, a Southern Baptist international relief and development organization, is working with its local partners in Myanmar to get an on-ground assessment of the situation, but the massive disruption of communications and travel ports is making that difficult, said Jeff Palmer, executive director of Baptist Global Response. Stringent rules placed upon foreigners by the military government also complicate matters.

"At this time, BGR is doing all it can to assess and respond to this urgent need," Palmer said. "We have made initial contact with some on-ground partners and have readied funds to be used for food, shelter and other emergency needs.

"It looks, however, as if it will be a few days before we can get government permission and resources in place to respond in an adequate manner," Palmer added. "This seems to be a pattern that all relief and development agencies are experiencing at this point.

"Please pray for the people of Myanmar and those who are suffering," Palmer said. "Pray also that we will find ways to get to the people in need in a timely manner."

Myanmar's military regime has signaled it will welcome aid from international organizations, which is unusual because the isolated country usually is suspicious of international organizations and closely controls their activities.

- Baptist Press News

 

God in the Dark

When I travelled to Myanmar last month, I was asked what prompted my decision to go. I told my questioner, “I get to see God’s grace at work in some surprising places.” One of the most surprising is my own heart. That is, it takes God’s grace to teach fools like me that we should never be surprised where God’s grace is at work. I’m writing not just from prison, but from one of the most notorious prisons in America . Angola Prison in Louisiana was once considered the darkest prison in the country. Ninety percent of the men sent here will leave in a casket.
Seventeen years ago, within a prison population of roughly 5000 men, there were 500 assaults among the prisoners in a year. A year ago there were 50. Three things happened in the interim. Warden Cain came here thirteen years ago. He determined to treat the men with respect. New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary opened an extension within the prison. They determined to feed the men with the Word of God. And Lyndon Azcuna, of Awana Ministries, began training the men to be godly fathers. Or, to put it another way, one thing happened- the Spirit blew where it wished.
The Spirit did not merely blow into Angola prison. Instead, He blew into the hearts of the elect who live therein. The glory of this story, in other words, isn’t the prison, but the prisoners. I was privileged not only to preach and teach to these men, but to learn from them. I was welcomed in their love. I was both shamed and fed by their joy. I walked in the midst of their peace. I was humbled by their patience. I was touched by their kindness. Walking through Angola was like walking through an abundant orchard, with the fruit of the Spirit swelling round about me. I got to enter into Kyle’s passion. I got to drink deep of George’s contentment. I got to draw strength from Big Lou. The men I met there were not merely worthy of our attention and our prayers. They are not merely worthy of our respect. Instead I came away hoping that by that same grace I might one day be like these men. They are clearly my spiritual superiors. Is it just possible that Jesus calls us to visit the saints in prison for the sake of we visitors, rather than for the sake of the prisoners?
God is at work, in all the places we ought to expect. Where there is brokenness, He is there. Where there is despair, He is there. Where there is suffering, He is there. Where there is great sin, He is there equipped with great mercy. Which means we have reason to hope.

- R.C. Sproul Jr.

 

15,000 Dead & Counting

Falling in the Pacific Rim, the region the Lord just has caused my heart to deeply love, Myanmar/Burma deaths from the cyclone continue to swell. It is heartbreaking to read about & to watch footage of especially in a country that has been & continues to be raped by its own wicked regime/government. There is no adequate infrastructure to handle a problem of this magnitude.

BUT - as soon as I thought that it reminded me of the 2004 tsunami. Mindy & I had the chance to go in to Banda Aceh, Indonesia, a place that had been literally closed off to the outside world for decades. Staunchly Muslim, the utter destruction caused made the government have to open its doors to outside help. Enter Christian disaster relief efforts & a perfect bridge to the Gospel.

Pray that this destruction will be of such a magnitude that it will cause the government to have to open the door to outside aid & help & that Christians would be the first ones in - yes, to improve their physical lives & help them recover, but primarily to testify to the new life that will reconcile them to their God.

Monday, May 05, 2008 

TULIP

Tulips - no seriously, tulips - like the flowers, not the 5 points of Calvinism. This is an aerial photo of the Netherlands. Tulips are a symbol & major export of that country. Did you know that tulips originated in Kazakhstan & in northwest China & did not come to Europe until the 16th century? Me either...pretty, eh?

- CS Monitor Photo of the Day


 

Burma Update - As many as 10,000 Feared Dead


The death toll from a devastating cyclone in Myanmar could reach more than 10,000 in the low-lying area where the storm wreaked the most havoc, the country's foreign minister warned Monday.

- The Associated Press

Birmingham native reports chaos in Myanmar

Sunday, May 04, 2008 

Japan's Child Population at All Time Low for 27th Straight Year

TOKYO — Japan, which designates every May 5 as Children's Day, has fewer children to celebrate than any time in the last century.

A government report says there were 17.25 million children aged 14 or younger as of April - a record low for the 27th consecutive year.

The last time Japan had fewer children was in 1908, and children's share of the general population - 13.5 per cent - is the lowest ever recorded. The report says Japan now has the lowest percentage of children among 31 major countries.

With a declining birthrate and high life expectancies, Japan faces an unprecedented demographic shift that is expected to strain government services and lead to labour shortages.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications says that in 12 years, the percentage of children is projected to drop to 10.8 per cent, while the proportion of those 65 and older is likely to rise to 29.2 per cent.

By 2040, ministry forecasts say children will be only 9.3 per cent of the population and the over-65 portion will grow to 36.5 per cent.


- The Canadian Press

 

Pray for Burma - at least 351 Dead


Cyclone Nagris Hits Burma

Saturday, May 03, 2008 

This Day in History in 1947

Post-War Japanese Constitution Goes into Effect (1947)

The constitution of Japan was drawn up under the Allied occupation that followed World War II. It was intended to replace Japan's previous imperial system with a form of liberal democracy, which provides for a parliamentary system of government and guarantees certain fundamental rights. Under its terms, the right to wage war is renounced and the Emperor of Japan exercises a purely ceremonial role. What, if any, amendments have been made to this constitution since its adoption?

More...

Friday, May 02, 2008 

I'm Not Looking for a Hill To Die On

A Hill To Die On?Tonight, I had a long conversation with my friend Trevin Wax that made its way back to our calling as local church pastors. We were discussing how ministering to real people tends to help young guys, like us, learn some much needed humility and maturity.

Zeal Without Love

Of course, none of us are qualified for the ministry. It’s only God’s kindness that calls and equips us. But I think I might be worse than most, and I could prove it if you knew me.

I remember a time when I thought any accommodation was equal to compromise. I don’t mean preaching a soft Gospel. Rather, I was worried about third and fourth tier theological issues like the plurality of elders, alter calls, and the exact order of the salvation process. Other guys may have their own pet doctrines, perhaps an eschatological time line or a narrow view of the atonement. By the time I finished Bible College, my list was getting long.

I was sure that these issues were beyond debate, and I was ready to go to the mat to defend them. My zeal runneth over…

This attitude would be bad enough if I were an apologist, but when the context for ministry is the church it could get ugly fast. Yes, churches need brave pastors who will stand up for the truth. But without love, I’d only be making noise or burning without profit. (I Cor. 13:1, 3)

Who (Not What) Should We Lay Down Our Lives For?

I’m learning that ministry is more about serving God’s flock than defending my pet doctrines. Jesus never told me to die on those hills, and self-appointed martyrs don’t last long enough to feed the sheep. It’s like the other John 3:16 says:

“We know love by this, that He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.” (1 John 3:16 NASB)

For me, serving a real church is making difference. Fighting with other believers over non-essentials seems like childish thinking now.

Free Help For The Teachable

I’m only 30, and have only served on staff at my church for 2+ years. But I have been around seminary people for almost 10 years and know that my sins are far too common. In my case, God used experience to teach me. Maybe you can benefit from hearing my story.

Looking back, I’m certain that my heart issue was (and still is) pride. I was convinced of my own inerrancy and superiority. I’m praying that God will continue to help me replace that with humility and love for others.

Here are a few thoughts if you’ve seen yourself in this post:

  1. Listen to your critics, they can be your best teachers.
  2. Always repent of bitterness before it takes root.
  3. Try to think of something to affirm about people you don’t like.
  4. Read Ken Sande’s Peacemaker and C.J. Mahaney’s Humility

- excellent post by Tony Kummer | Said at Southern

 

My Blind Baby Girl

CharisMy baby girl is blind. She’s seven months old, cuter than a basketful of puppies, and completely blind. Don’t get me wrong, her eyes work just fine. She can see her dad’s ugly mug with no problem. But she’s spiritually blind. She doesn’t know Jesus yet, and people that don’t know Jesus don’t have spiritual eyes. It’s hard, but it’s true. Listen to John 3:3 -

Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

Unless someone is born again they can’t even see the kingdom of God. Complete and total spiritual blindness.

This verse compels me to pray passionately for my little girl. I pray that God will invade her life at a young age and open her eyes to the glories of Christ. I pray that God will breathe spiritual life into her heart. I can teach her about Jesus, but I can’t make her love Jesus. I can tell her about heaven, but I can’t get her into heaven. Only God can do this.

This truth would be terrifying if not for the sweet words found just a few verses later:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

God loves Charis. Deeply, passionately. He desires that she would place saving faith in Christ. These truths put faith into my prayers. Yes she’s spiritually blind. Yeah, she is dead in her sins. But she’s got a dad who loves her and prays for her, and she’s got a God who loves her even more. My hope is not in my ability to save Charis. My hope is in my great, loving God who brings dead people to life.

Today, as you pray for your children, pray that God would give them spiritual eyes. As you pray for your unbelieving friends, ask God to breathe life into them. We can’t save anyone, but we serve a God who sent his son to save sinners. That’s our hope.

- Stephen Altrogge | The Blazing Center

 

Books I'm Looking Forward To This Year From Crossway

Spectacular Sins: And Their Global Purpose in the Glory of Christ - John Piper

Expected: Sep 30, 2008

“John Piper delivers powerful biblical reassurances to bolster readers’ trust in the sovereignty of God and the supremacy of Christ when evil and tragedy come.

If God governs the sinful acts of men, then does the devastation caused by those terrorists, dictators, murderers, cheats, and abusers discredit Jesus’ words: “All authority in heaven and earth belongs to me”? When heart-rending news comes of the latest accident, illness, or natural disaster, can we really believe that in Jesus, “all things hold together”?

Though God has not answered all of our questions about sin and suffering, there are things he wants us to know, things he declares in his Word—such as what’s at stake in the “spectacular” sins of others and the horrible tragedies of this life; their global purpose, both historically and today; and what these events say to us personally.

As John Piper works through these biblical truths, this book will bolster readers’ trust in the utter sovereignty of God such that they’ll be less timid in their witness and less afraid of whatever may come. It is also a joy-infused declaration that because everything occurs through Christ and for Christ and his glory, they are forever secure in him.”

Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World (Foreword by John Piper)
C. J. Mahaney (Editor), John Piper (Foreword), Dave Harvey, Bob Kauflin, Jeff Purswell, Craig Cabaniss

Availability: Not yet published. Coming Sep 30, 2008

“This resource uncovers the presence of worldliness and helps believers learn to relate to the world while resisting its influence in their lives.

People today are saturated in technology and prosperity. They are bombarded with endless luxuries: clothes to wear, cars to buy, vacations to take, entertainment to enjoy. Yet this world, which offers so many pleasures, is actively opposed to God and the truth of His Word. How, then, is the believer to relate to the world in which he or she lives?

Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World uncovers the presence of worldliness—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes, and the boasting of what he has or does. Worldliness then reveals how Christians are to engage a fallen world and boldly preach the gospel, yet not be conformed and ultimately seduced by the system of this world.

As readers learn to identify the presence of worldliness in the areas of media, modesty, music, and material possessions, they can begin to resist its influence in their lives and instead pursue eternal godliness.”

Whiter Than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy - Paul David Tripp

Availability: Not yet published. Coming Jul 31, 2008

“Through these meditations on David’s words in Psalm 51, readers discover there is mercy for every wrong and grace for every new beginning.

What do you do when you’ve really blown it? Is sin really as dangerous and is grace really as powerful as the Bible says they are? Is there such a thing as a new beginning?

Sin and grace—these are the two themes of our lives. We all blow it and we all need to start over again. In Psalm 51, David tells his story of moral failure, personal awareness, grief, confession, repentance, commitment, and hope. And because David’s story is every believer’s story, Psalm 51 is every believer’s psalm. It tells how we, as broken sinners, can be brutally honest with God and yet stand before him without fear.

Whiter Than Snow unpacks this powerful little psalm in fifty-two meditations, reminding readers that by God’s grace there is mercy for every wrong and grace for every new beginning. Designed for busy believers, these brief and engaging meditations are made practical by the reflection questions that conclude each chapter.”

(Descriptions were taken from Crossway)

- taken from my friend's blog: Jonathan Ignacio | The Crimson Window

Thursday, May 01, 2008 

The Rising Sun & Thoughtful Brothers

A mentor/friend recently bought & gave me a copy of John Toland's The Rising Sun. This was significant not only because it is a book of a few years history on the nation & people group the Lord is sending us to, but because someone was both thinking of me & caring enough to give me something. But above all else, this book is a gift in more ways than one because this person took the time to write a message on the title page that was moving, thoughtful, loving, & pointed to Christ:

DR, My original two volume (2 book) set of John Toland's books were given to me . . . in 1976. These pages, if you examine the Japanese mindset, might give some useful insight in the greater war for their souls. The question is, will you be ready to pay the price like my Daddy's generation did? There is more at stake - the eternal souls of the Japanese people. DR can't do it, but Christ in David Rainer can. Let Him live Himself out as you. For His praise in His glory and...

For the final victory,

XXXX

 

Golden Week in Japan

Golden Week in Japan is a collection of four national holidays within seven days.

April 29 - Showa Day - Birthday of the former Emperor Showa, who died in 1989.

May 3 - Constitution Day - The new post war constitution was put into effect on this day in 1947.

May 4 - Greenery Day - A day dedicated to the environment and nature, because the Emperor Showa loved plants and nature. Before being declared Greenery Day, May 4 used to be a national holiday due to a law which declares a day that falls between two national holidays as a national holiday.

May 5 - Children's Day - The Boy's Festival is celebrated on this day. Families pray for the health and future success of their sons by hanging up carp streamers and displaying samurai dolls, both symbolizing strength, power and success in life.

Golden Week is in full swing in Japan and people are on the move. Going on vacation across Japan or across the world and taking off work for a week. Almost unheard of!!! But this years golden week is longer than usual and people are taking advantage. Even in vacation time the pace is fast.

That is unless you are visiting the country side where you see the farmers flooding the rice fields and planting rice. If you look past the rice field you may see the carp streamers flying from tall poles beside large old farm houses. These huge carp are flown by families where there are boys as the commemorate Boy’s Day, May 5th.

If you stop to watch the farmers you will hear the frogs croaking and the birds singing. If you visit the parks you will see couples or families leisurely strolling around ponds. At a nearby temple you will see the elderly visiting the graves. Japanese culture is in full bloom during Golden Week.

Pray for the Japanese to have open hearts to receive the seeds of the gospel and for those seeds to become fruit which bloom and yeild a rich harvest of souls coming into the kingdom of God!!!


- Lana Oue | Outreach Japan

 

Creating World Christian Kids

Here are some easy-to-do suggestions for helping your children become world Christians:

  • Read National Geographic.

  • Check out library books about countries or regions of the U.S. where you have friends or special interest.

  • Take and make opportunities to hear and learn different languages.

  • Read aloud together missionary biographies and stories with foreign settings.

  • Keep a globe or large world map handy for easy reference.

  • Mark the locations of friends on the map-Detroit, Almaty, Madison, Bangkok.

  • Notice aloud newscasts or articles about distant countries.

  • Read together the Global Prayer Digest and pray for the day's unreached people group. Your minds will be sent daily to a different part of the world. Your children will learn what kinds of words to use when they hear you praying for God's will to be done in the world.

  • Include children in conversations with foreign students, missionaries, world travelers and emigrants to this country.

  • In conversation, assume a future anywhere in the world for your children, not just the U.S.

  • Read letters from missionaries as personal letters, not as mass mailings-children love to get mail.

  • Put missionary pictures on the bulletin board alongside your other favorite friends. Your child will grow up knowing, "Some friends live far away in Nebraska, some live far away in Cote d'Ivoire. It's all in the same world that's on my map. Who knows where I might live when I grow up?"

  • Go to the airport to send off missionary friends. When you gather in a circle for one last song and prayer together, you give older children a sense of the importance of aligning with God's purposes in the world. A younger child will grasp that it's great fun to go to the airport, and this must be something special because we don't usually sing and cry at the airport!

  • Most of all, help your children learn that the U.S. is not the only country God made, our ways are not necessarily the best ways, and English is not the only language.
Lord, cause us and our children to anticipate and yearn for that glorious scene of Revelation 7:9-10 - of "a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes . . . [crying] out with a loud voice, saying, 'Salvation to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.'" Lord, cause the vision of your glory to burn so strongly in us, that our children ignite for you.

- Noel Piper | Home Grown World Christians

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  • From Exiled
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