Hello readers! I hope and pray all is well wherever you are.
Since my last blog entry I have talked with my good friend Ryan Steyn (thusiconfess.blogspot.com), who said that the key to successful ministry is to build it on relationships. I couldn’t agree more. For any ministry to be successful it has to be built on good, strong, and solid relationships. This can seen all through out the Bible. In Genesis 12 when God called Abram to leave his home and take all that he had (family and possessions) and go to where God wanted him to be. You know that Abram and Sarai had a good relationship and up root everything and move. Fast-forward to Genesis 22. Abram’s name had been changed to Abraham quit a few years back and now has Isaac, whom by now is probably 12 years of age. In this chapter God puts Abraham to the ultimate test of sacrificing the son of promise on an alter to Him. I think Abraham’s and Isaac’s relationship had to be unbelievable strong to go through an ordeal like this. And of course there are a host of others that we could talk about here from both the Old Testament and New Testament alike. Clearly having a good trusting relationship is the key to anything successful in life. If everyone trusts all of those in the group, they will go to the ends of the earth for one another. A great example of this is Jesus and the disciples. They all had been together for 2 or 3 years. The disciples, no doubt, didn’t understand a lot of what Jesus was teaching them at the time, but still they hung on every word He said to them. They were constantly together until Jesus was arrested in John 18 (and various places in the other 3 Gospel accounts). When He was arrested the 12 disciples ran like scared animals. But they could seem to get away. In John 19: 19 we read, “On the evening on the first day of the week, when the disciples were together, …”. It would go on to say why they locked the door, because they were afraid of the Jews. But I say this because they were drawn together and no doubt loved each other like brothers. In that verse Jesus appeared to them alive in that room! Wow! What an amazing sight that must have been. And no doubt that scared bunch got so excited they jumped out of their chairs all at once when they saw Him. When there is trust in a relationship between the leaders and followers and follower to follower, everyone will go to the ends of the earth for one another. I only hope and pray I will be that trusted to lead.
Any thoughts please? God bless you all! Peace!
Archive for October, 2007
Hello readers! I hope and pray all is well wherever you are.
Greetings one and all. Whew! It’s been a while, hasn’t it. This past weekend my family and I were in Monahans, TX for my sister’s wedding. Monahans is in west Texas close to El Paso. My sister Katie looked stunningly beautiful the whole weekend. We had the wedding in the Sand Dunes State Park there. It was a great site for the wedding. The sand was beautiful! Has anyone ever tried to walk on sand before? It was quit a work out. But oh my it was great being out there. We all drank a lot of water, because it was so hot out there. I took one of the water bottles and put some of the sand in it and put it in my bedroom to remember it. The wedding ceremony was beautiful as well. My brother-in-law Jake Chism did the ceremony and did a great job. Everything went according to plan. Jacob and Katie, congrats! I love and miss y’all! Be blessed!
While we were in Monahans we contacted one of the churches of Christ in the area about using a few tables and chairs. Not long after that we saw two vans come through and park. Then they all got out and started pulling out a bunch of tables and chairs for us to use. It was incredibly touching to see that and talk to them. We were all so thankful to that church for their fellowship with us! A bunch of people from our church came all the way out there to celebrate with us and that was very touching as well. We love the beautiful Body of Christ!
The last thing, I was thinking to myself over the weekend about what I could (or should) be doing in ministry. One thing that is of particular interest to me personally is spiritual development or natural church growth. Truitt Adair (the Director of Sunset International Bible Institute) has said that churches that are naturally healthy will naturally grow. My good friend Ryan Steyn has talked about this as well. Thank you Ryan for our conversations about that. To me, spiritual development and natural church growth are one and the same. Churches that are spiritually healthy will naturally grow. If you talk to any parent about their children, I am sure they will tell you that they want there children to grow. Back in May of this year my sister Angie and brother in law Jake gave birth to their first child Madelyn Grace Chism. She was so tiny when she was born. I think at the present moment she is between 17 and 20 pounds. She is beautiful and healthy.For that we are all very thankful! In fact Jake and Angie keep a blog about her as well. Check it out at mynameismadelyn.blogspot.com.
Sorry for that little detour. I think one thing that will help our churches to grow is to look the Saddleback Community Church that Rick Warren started in the Los Angles area. They offer four classes about the church in four different areas. Class 101 is about salvation, baptism, and communion along with the purposes structure, and applications of your church. Class 201 offers necessary tools for spiritual growth by focusing on four basic habits. Every Christian needs time in the Bible, prayer, tithing, and fellowship. Class 301 talks about developing your SHAPE: spiritual gifts, heart, abilities, personality, and experiences. And Class 401 helps core members learn to share their faith, discover their life mission, and how to serve. All of this is listed in Purpose Driven Church by Rick Warren and on his websites purposedriven.com and pastors.com. Does anyone else out there know of any good resources about natural church growth (ie. books, websites, music, radio stations, etc.)?
Here in the Dallas/ Fort Worth area we have KLTY (klty.com) and KCBI (kcbi.com). These are Christian radio stations and they are both very good stations and websites.
Please be in prayer for Jacob and Katie as they start their marriage and as they both finish school at LCU. I think they both want to teach Middle School in an inner city context.Please pray for my friends I usually talk about on here who are preparing to be missionaries all over the world. And please pray for me that I’ll get to attend Sunset next year. At some point (after school most likely) I hope to pursue a full-time ministry position especially in the Northeast or Northwest US. In the mean time I hope to develop in natural church growth and other areas.
Any thoughts please? God bless!
Hello everyone! I pray everyone is had a good day yesterday and will have a good one today.
I remember when I went through the AIM program in 2002. One of our instructors told us about when he and his family moved back to Lubbock, TX after being missionaries in Mexico for some time. He and his wife are Sunset grads and were coming back to teach for AIM and the Sunset School of Preaching. His first time to teach for the AIM students he got up there and started teaching in Spanish. Everyone started laughing at him. Then he finally realized what he was doing. Then he said, “You know what guys? This just isn’t working for me today. Y’all can go home”. I’m sure the AIM students were really excited about getting off school early that day. But the instructor was obviously having a really hard time. It’s what is often referred to as “reverse-culture shock”. That means when you have been out of the country for an extended period of time (ie. doing mission work, tour of duty with the Army, or whatever), when you “go home” you expect every thing to go back to where it was when you left. And that’s hardly the case. The truth of the matter is you have changed. Tremendously. And so has everyone else in your family too. There are new important things in your life now. And their are new important things in your family’s lives too.
Some of the AIM students who are in the 2005 class are making preparations to leave their mission fields and go back to their families again. Some have already done so. Some will later on. Please keep them all in your prayers. This will be extremely hard on them to leave the place were they have spent so much of their time and energy.
Of course, please be praying for the AIM students who are on their mission fields all over the world. Please pray for the AIM students who are in Lubbock now preparing for their time on the mission field.
Please pray for my friends Elijah and Kristan as they prepare to go to Auckland, New Zealand. Pray for Rob and Denyce as they go through Advanced Missions and as they prepare to go to Moscow, Russia. And please pray for my friends Robin and Chrissy as they go through Sunset in preparation to be missionaries.
Lord-willing I will attend Sunset next year in the Fall of 2008. I am currently raising funds to attend Sunset. If you are willing to support me please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will tell you more about my plans, as well as a resume and philosophy of ministry statement. If you know of anyone who can help me, please feel free to pass this info on to them as well. And please keep me in your prayers as well. Thanks! God bless you all!
Greetings one and all! I pray you all are having a great day today.
I have blogged about 1 Corinthians 1 already, so here is 1 Corinthians 2. “When I came to you, brothers, I didn’t come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power”.
It seems to me that this series of verses illustrates Paul’s humility. He isn’t watering down the gospel or putting any body down. He is simply proclaiming the gospel to them (vss. 1-2). In verse 3, he talks about coming “to you in weakness and fear …”. This might refer to Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” in 2 Corinthians 12. Verse 4 further talks about Paul’s not watering down the gospel, but he is putting it simply and succinctly. It is obvious he had studied extremely thoroughly and took extra pains to make sure it is easily understood by everyone who would hear him. And lastly in verse 5 he talks about making sure our faith is where it should be: focused on God and His power and not on man and man’s wisdom. Verse 5 perfectly leads into verse 6 through the rest of the chapter. We will discuss that the next time I blog about this.
Please feel free to drop a note about what you like and not like; what you agree with and not agree with, and so on. I know Pepperdine’s Bible Lectureship was about 1 Corinthians a few years ago. If anyone went to that Lectureship, what were the theme lectures about that year and who were the speakers? And also, feel free to comment on these posts.
God’s richest blessings to you all! Peace out. Power to the people!
Greetings one and all! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Sorry about that. I didn’t mean to take such a long break. A lot has happened since our last meeting. My mother’s and sister’s birthdays were last week (September 25 and 28 respectively). Happy belated birthday Mom and Angie! And our grandparents (we call them Granddaddy and Nana) celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Saturday. It was a beautiful ceremony! My dad did their re-exchanging of vows. He did a great job! During it he shared a story of Winston Churchill. He and his wife were at a dinner party and everyone was to share who they would most like to be. When it was Churchill’s turn he simply said, “If I couldn’t be myself, I would choose to be Mrs Churchill’s second husband”. He took her by the hand and kissed it, and said that he wouldn’t change a thing. That he would marry her all over again. That’s what my grandparents said to each other on Saturday. It was a great ceremony! Happy Anniversary Granddaddy and Nana!
I remember going to their 50th wedding anniversary 10 years ago in 1997. Granddaddy and Nana are our grandparents on our mom’s side of the family. That same year our grandparents on dad’s side (Meme and Pop) also celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. It was a great time for everyone in our family! But the next year (1998) Pop passed away from lung cancer. That has been hard on everyone. Especially on Saturday thinking about them and that they would be celebrating 60 years of marriage as well, if Pop were still alive. Pop, we love you and miss you like crazy! Rest in peace.
In closing, life is a wonderful thing. But let us never forget that this life on earth is not all there is. Eternity is on the other side. There are only two choices of where we will be for eternity too. We will either spend it with God in heaven or a way from Him in torment in hell. While we are on this side, we can choose to obey God and love each other. If we don’t, we’re in trouble. Let’s never forget that.