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Archive for May, 2010

Equipping

Greetings one and all :} I hope and pray all is well wherever you are.

The following post is something I have thought about a lot of late. I just wanted to share my thoughts with all of you. And, of course, I invite all of to share your own thoughts about this in the comments part or email (blaisdellzack14@gmail.com). OK? Here we go.

In Acts 6 the apostles get into deep trouble when the Grecian widows come forward saying they were being passed over in the daily distribution of food. The apostles take ownership of the problem, but instead of doing it themselves they give the church the opportunity to take ownership of this ministry. The apostles recognize they have their own tasks they need to be doing, and ask the church to select leaders from amongst themselves to take on this very important task. The church selects a core group of leaders to whom the apostles delegate this very important ministry. Thus the church continued to grow.

Now turn your attention to Ephesians 4:11-16. Here the apostle Paul says it was God Himself who gave the churches gifts of apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastors and teachers.  To do what? To help the church grow and mature so that the whole Body of Christ can grow numerically and spiritually as each part does the tasks each part was given to do.

No one part can do everything. Especially not the church leaders. Their job is to EQUIP the whole Body of Christ to do the work. Of course I believe the church leaders need to be out there doing their share of the work too in order to set the right example. But the leaders’s job is to equip the whole body of Christ to find their place and fulfill their individual ministries in the Lord’s Body.

Let me try this application. Steve Nash is one of my personal favorite NBA basketball players. He is the point guard. His primary job is to get each of his teammates involved in the game. I remember some time ago he and his team played a team who decided their defensive strategy was going to be to guard everyone else on the Suns and leave Nash open. Nash scored the vast majority of the Suns points that particular night and the other team won the game. Nash couldn’t carry the team scoring wise all by himself. He wasn’t able to get any of his teammates involved in the flow of the game at all that night. When Nash has a low point output but he has a lot of assists, your team is in trouble. Why? Because he got his teammates involved in the game. That’s Steve’s job as a basketball player. Its a lot more than just getting points himself. It’s also to get his teammates involved in the game as much as he can.

Likewise for church leaders. The leader’s job is equip each church member with the necessary skills to do what (s)he needs to do to help the church grow. Please correct me if I’m mistaken here, the leader’s job is to mature the flock- to grow spiritually, everyone’s job is to help the church grow numerically.

Did you notice how the apostles equipped the church in Acts 6 to notice the problem they were facing? How they charged the church to select those who would take over that particular work? And how they handed the ministry over to them? It’s exactly how Paul told the Ephesians to do it. And it’s how we are too.

As i said previously, I invite any and all feedback on this post. Please respond if you so desire. Thanks! God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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Greetings everyone! This past week was really good. My classmates and I finished the past week of classes and graduated yesterday from Sunset International Bible Institute. All of my classmates did their senior sermons through Friday. That afternoon there was a red ribbon cutting ceremony for the School of Missions building across the street from the church building. That evening there was a banquet dinner for the graduates and their families. My favorite person at Sunset delivered a wonderful lesson based on Elisha’s words to his servants that “those who are with us are more than those who are with them” in 2nd Kings 6. This is a great section in scripture. Elisha and his servant are camping out somewhere and the enemy camp who was trying find and capture them found them and encircled them. When Elisha’s servant saw the vast army circling them his heart must have jumped in this throat and gasped in horror. He runs and tells Elisha what is going on. Elisha tells him that there was more in our camp then on for them. And God surely was looking out for them. God is on our side. And our family and friends. And our supporters and churches who made it possible for us to go to and graduate from Sunset. And our Sunset family as well. We mustn’t ever forget that.

The graduation ceremony went great too. Our speaker spoke on preaching the word, remembering who the enemy is (the devil and his followers), and who isn’t (our fellow believers and Christians). Both lessons were excellent :} We finally got to see our classmates from the Seattle area face to face for the first time and got to see our classmate from Fall River, MA again. that was awesome too! I miss each of them and my classmates in Lubbock so much already. We all grew so much together. God’s richest blessings to each of them.

And how can I think my family and friends who made it possible for me to get to do this. It was great getting to learn all of this. I am truely blessed. I think the best way to say thanks is to go out in the world and do what we have been trained to do: out out and make disciples. A HUGE thank you (!!!!!) to everyone who made it possible for me to do this.

God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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Greetings everyone! I am making it a point to blog at least once a week. Hasn’t happened yet, but we’re working on it.

Here are a few blogs I have found randemly while surfing the internet at various sources:

Mike Cope’s blog: preachermike.com.

Jonathan Storment’s blog: stormented.com.

Mitchell Wiggains’ blog: mitchwiggains.net.

I have read a few books written by Mike Cope and deeply appreciate his words. I’ve heard him preach before a few different venues in the past, read a few of his books, and his blog as well. Very gifted speaker and writter.

I know both Jonathan and Mitch from our days as students at Harding University. All three of us were Bible majors together, so we have had a lot of the same classes together. We were all involved in the Bible majors club together. We did a lot of the same activities together also. Both of these gentlemen are very gifted speakers and writters themselves.

As students at Sunset we are closing up our time here at SIBI, cleaning up our bedrooms, and tying up loose ends. This is truly a bitter-sweet moment for me. Excited to go back home, yet I’ll miss Katie, Jacob, and Allie (sister, brother-in-law, and neice); all my classmates and teachers and everyone at Sunset; and others I have met and grew close to in Lubbock. With all of that being said, I have missed all of my family and friends in the Dallas area a lot as well. I’m looking forward to being with them. I don’t know if any of this makes since or no. And I hope its OK I said it. If not, please forgive me, and I will edit it.

 Thanks again everyone for everything. God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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Last Week

Greetings one and all. This is my last week as a SIBI student.

Last week we (mostly) finished up all the material for our classes. For the classes we didn’t finish, we’re finishing all of that this week.

So obviously we have alot of time on our hands now. So I’ve been packing up and cleaning my room, doing some reading, writing emails, etc. I’ve got most of my room taken care of. Most of my books are packed. Still have a few things to pack up.

During the symester my classmates and I were given the opportunity to preach in chapel. All of us have done a great job! I just hope I didn’t mess it all up with my senior sermon (sheepish grin). There are three more to go with that. One today(by our brother and classmate from Fall River, MA who is in town to graduate with us), one tomorrow, and the last one on Friday. All of the Senior Sermons have been recorded by the school and will be placed on the school’s main site shortly. A few of them are already on there. The rest will be on there in due time.

The one on Friday is an extra special one in many ways. All three of our brothers and classmates from the Seattle area  will be in town to graduate with us. One of these three dear brothers will speak Friday in Senior Chapel. On Friday all of our classes are officially done. After chapel we’ll have a practice run of our graduation exercises and be done for the rest of the day. 

Saturday we’ll graduate and no longer be SIBI students. (Wow now that’s a surreal feeling!) I hope I’ll always have a learners’ mindset and never think I’ve arrived where I don’t need to learn anything else. I love to read books (usually with theological, ministerial, and biblical content) and go to different lectureships or seminars. I always want to be a learner.

After graduation on Saturday, I will move back to Dallas. I love the Dallas area and have missed my family and friends there so much. I will miss Lubbock and Sunset as well and hope to come back to visit.

The education I recieved at Harding University and now at Sunset International Bible Institute is priceless and will always remember the friendships I have made with my classmates, AIMers, others who have gone through the school before us, coming after us, and all of our teachers. It has truely been an awesome and wonderful experience.

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On another note, can I make some prayer requests?

Please be praying for my classmates and I as we make final decisions of were we will go from here into the world of ministry.

Please pray for all of the AIMers as a few of them have arrived on their mission fields, some who haven’t yet, and waiting on visas. As well as other missionary families and friends. There’s a couple I know who are seeking a sponsoring congregation so they can go to Kharkov, Ukraine to join the team that is already there serving. As well as the three families who  are there.

Please pray for my Dad and I. He and I have operations ahead of us. I have receading gums, and need to have a gum graf within a week or two after getting back home to Dallas. And especially prayers for my Dad. He will have a heart valve replacement in June.

Any comments or questions? Anything else?

Thanks for reading today. God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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Hello everyone! Just wanted to wish all the mothers (and mothers to be) a very Happy Mother’s Day :}

My siblings and I have been very blessed with a wonderful mother, two wonderful grandmothers, and wonderful aunts as well. My two sisters are wonderful mothers to their little ones as well. And my cousins and cousin in law are all wonderful mothers as well.

An EXTRA SPECIAL Happy Mother’s Day to my Mom, Angie, Katie, Nana, Meme, Aunt Suzan, Aunt Nancy, Aunt Linda, Danielle, Lisa, Stacy, and Emily.

God bless all the mothers out there! Especially to all the mothers in my family! Happy Mother’s Day Especially to my Mom. Happy Mother’s Day Mom! Love and Miss you so much :}

God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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Greetings one and all! The last class I’m taking is our Friday class. It is on 2nd Corinthians. It one of the most personal and relationship-based letters Paul wrote (2nd Timothy is the other letter). In 1st Corinthians, Paul comes down on them pretty hard (in love of course). But in 2nd Corinthians, he encourages them. Loves on them. Pleads with them. All throughout this letter (as well as in 2nd Timothy), he really pours out his heart to the Corinthian brethren. He wants to see them mature and grow in Christ. He wants them to feel and know he loves them and just wants the best for them. It is a really deeply personal and gut-wrenching letter. Paul graphically will tell them how much he has suffered on behalf of the church. He tells them he is concerned about them. And not only them, but all the brethren he knows, and those he doesn’t know. He had gone hungry and he had gone tired. But even with his tiredness and sleepiness, he couldn’t sleep because of his concern for the churches.

It really makes me wonder something about myself. Have I suffered to these extincts and am I willing to do so? What about you? What about me? Thanks for reading about me today. God bless. Grace and Peace.

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Revelation

Another class my classmates and I are taking is Revelation. It is apocalyptic literature. To better understand Revelation a good understanding of Old Testament apocalyptic literature is imparitive. A lot of Revelation is steeped in Old Testament typology and imagry. Outside of class we are reading a study guide a good friend of mine and my family Steve Singleton (http://deeperstudy.com) wrote. It is called Overcoming: a study guide for the book of Revelation. It is really good and helpful. For a large degree most of Revelation just goes right over my head, but Mr Singleton’s study guide brings it closer to earth. So it is helping alot!

Obviously Revelation is about overcoming. But what exactly(?), you might be wondering. Persecution mostly. In the first few sentences, John the apostle will describe himself as a fellow sufferer. He had been banished to the island of Patmos, just below the boot of Italy. He was told to write seven letters to the seven churches of Asia. Six of the seven were about to suffer at the hands of the Roman government because they were Christians. In Rome many Christians suffered at the hands of Emperor Nero. Before too long, many more would suffer at the hands of the Emperor Domitian. These two men demanded worship that was reserved only for the Lord God and His Son Jesus the Christ. When our brethren would not, they suffered greatly for it. Many of them shed their blood in death. John’s purpose in writing Revelation was to warn them and encourage them to build up their courage in the face of death.

During this past week that we had off to study, I wrote a paper on a Greek word study on The Time Is Near. Wish me luck. I hope we all do good on our papers.

I like to write. It helps me organize my thoughts. Very helpful.

Please be praying for the AIM students. Many of them are with their families at home now. Throughout May and June all of them will leave their families and go to mission fields all over the world. Please pray for them as they get ready to leave home and go to several different mission points the world over. Please pray for them as they make it their AIM to preach the gospel (Romans). And as they strive to make disciples.

Thanks again for reading today. God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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