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Archive for January, 2011

Time Management

Greetings one and all! The following post is something a classmate and I talked about in 2008 in our first year at Sunset International Bible Institute: the importance of time management.

Let’s say my classmates and I decided to forget about our homework, reading assignments, and school work all together and focused exclusively on meeting people and having Bible studies with them. After a while our teachers are going to come to us and ask us why we aren’t doing our school work. If we tell them we all decided to ditch our homework and focus on meeting people and Bible studies, how do you think our teachers would think about that?

I think our teachers would tell us it is great that we want to meet people and study the scriptures with them. BUT you’re in school too, so don’t forget about your school work.

In our ministries, if we don’t take time to work on our sermons and Bible classes during the week. If our Elders or anyone from the churches where we serve come up to us and ask us if we’re ready to preach or teach. What if we told them we didn’t have any time to study for our lessons, because everyone in the community or church called or came by wanting help of some kind, or we had people wanting a Bible study (which may or may not be true). If we tell them that, how would they respond to that?

My best guess is probably the same as our teachers. Then again, perhaps worse.

All of these things are important and must be done, but we must manage our resources. Or we’ll be run dry emotionally and financially.

The key here is time management. We’re all going to have people come to us for help. All Christians will at some point. We have to manage our time. All of us have twenty four hours in a day. We only have so much time to give. We all need rest and relaxation. We all need to eat. All of that has to fall into our day at some point.

And don’t forget about finances too. We must learn to manage our finances. (May I recommend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University?) We can’t give to every “worthy cause” we come across.  If we do, we’ll go broke.

All of this is important stuff that we must learn to manage. Time and money are all precious resources. We all have a limited amount of each. Once they are all gone, they’re all gone. They must be managed wisely.

Any comments, thoughts, questions? Any thing at all? Any and all questions, comments, etc are always welcome.

God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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Greetings one and all! First of all, I apologize for not blogging last week. I have a few ideas to write about in my head to write about this week.

Now on to the next segment of Acts, The Missional Church. The start of the chapter is a continuation of the havoc Saul of Tarsus was unleashing on the church from chapter 8. Saul was out to wipe Christianity off the face of the earth. No doubt he would have, until a very unlikely encounter.

Saul of Tarsus and his comrades were out to foreign soil to capture any and all Christ followers they could find. I imagine they were making serious headway. That is when Jesus appears to Saul and stops him dead in his tracks.

Jesus’ light is so bright Saul probably closed his eyes. Jesus asks him, “why are you persecuting Me?” Saul asks, “who are you sir?”. And Jesus declares to him who He is and tells him to go to Damascus (the city he was going to). No doubt Saul was so sure Jesus was dead and was out to destroy those who thought He was alive.  Now Saul sees how wrong he was.

When Saul gets up and opens his eyes, he can’t see anything. Those who were with Saul guided their leader into the city and to the house of Judas. Saul stayed there and fasted for three days.

In the mean time, the Lord appears to a believer named Ananias and tells him to go to Judas’ house and talk with Saul. Ananias knows who Saul is and what he was intending to do to Ananias and those like him in that city. Ananias must of been terrified. He says, “Lord, don’t you know about this man and what he intends to do to your followers here?”. But He tells Ananias to trust Him and go. And he did. Ananias touches Saul’s eyes and the scales fall off. Now he can see again. Ananias preaches to Saul then and baptizes him. Saul then ate some food and regain his strength.

At this point, Saul spent several days with Christ followers in Damascus. He was able to preach in the synagogues there several times proving to the Jews there that Jesus is the Messiah throughout the Old Testament. No doubt everyone there as surprised to hear all of that, because they had to know Saul was coming there to kill off those who believed in Jesus there.

When the believers discovered a plot to kill Saul, they sent him to Jerusalem. When Saul got there, he wanted to join the twelve disciples, but they were all afraid of him. They didn’t believe he was really a Christian. That is until Barnabus talked to them on Saul’s behalf and convinced them Saul was telling them the truth. So Saul traveled about freely with the disciples. But then word got about that the Jews in Jerusalem were plotting to kill Saul there too. So the brethren there took Saul to Caesarea and shipped him off to Tarsus.

After this that region had a season of peace and the churches there grew in God’s grace and in number.

Saul’s conversion is a very intriguing study. Ananias showed real bravery doing what he did. So we must be brave and go out in Jesus’ name to preach the gospel.

I hope what I am writing is making since. As always thoughts, questions, etc are encouraged and welcomed.

God bless you all. Grace and Peace.

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What Christians Do.

Greetings one and all. The following post is something I was thinking about. One of our teachers at Sunset talked to us about this, and I totally agree with what he said.

When someone in the church goes to the hospital, it is all the members’ responsibility to go visit their brother or sister in the hospital. I have heard when someone goes to the hospital, if the preacher goes to visit him then he considers that “the church” visited him. But if everyone in the church visited him in the hospital except the preacher, then he’ll say no one from the church visited him.

All Christians are supposed to visit those who haven’t been to church in a while. All Christians are supposed to be out their evangelizing.

All Christians are supposed to visit people in the hospital. That is every Christian’s responsibility. Yes I believe paid staff ministers and elders are supposed to visit people in the hospital. But when they do, they go for themselves. They ARE NOT a representative of the church when they go to visit people, no matter if they are in the hospital, or visiting those who haven’t been to the church in a while, or evangelizing, etc. ALL Christians are supposed to be doing those things.

We claim to believe in the priesthood of all believers, but when we put responsibility of visiting people in those circumstances on the church leadership (ie paid staff ministers and elders), than that seemingly betrays the “priesthood of all believers” statement.

Like we have stated above, ALL Christians have the responsibility of doing those things. When the ministers or elders do those things, they do it because they ARE Christians and NOT because they are ministers or elders. ALL Christians are supposed to be doing those things.

That’s what Christians DO.

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Greetings everyone! I hope and pray everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Welcome to 2011! I plan to write more frequently in this new year. I hope to write three or more times a week. We’ll see how it goes. Wish me luck.

Before I write about the next part of Acts, I wanted to share something I read in Mark Driscoll’s excellent book “Confessions Of A Reformission Rev: Hard Lessons From An Emerging Missional Church”.

“Pentecost community is not held together because people are similar but rather because they are on the same mission with the same Lord. Because of this, Pentecost community is marked by a desire to expand God’s kingdom through the salvation of many diverse people, who are hospitably welcomed to learn about the greatness of Jesus. People who think with a Pentecost mindset do not see the building of community in their church as their mission. Rather, they see their community as existing solely for God’s mission, and they accept that the only way to have healthy community to pursue God’s mission of reaching lost people because community is an effect of mission but not an effective mission.” (p 33.) I thought this was very telling when thinking about Acts, and the missional church. What happened on Pentecost day back in Acts 2 started it all with the Pentecost community.

Now in Part 8 of Acts, The Missional Church I wanted to talk about the activities of Phillip the evangelist. We are first introduced to Phillip in Acts 6 and the naming of the first deacons. When Saul of Tarsus began ferociously persecuting the church many of the disciples dispersed and preached the word wherever they went (v 4). In Samaria (vv 5ff) Phillip preached Christ there and did many miracles, like healing the sick and casting out demons. In verses 9 and following Phillip and other disciples encountered Simon the sorcerer. Simon was converted and hopefully changed his ways of sorcery and greed. And some of the best known scriptures, verses 28 through the end of the chapter Phillip encounters the Ethiopian Eunuch. When Phillip follows an angel’s direction and catches up with the chariot the Eunuch was riding in, he (Phillip) heard the Eunuch reading a key Old Testament prophecy: Isaiah 53:7-8. These verses talk about the Messiah would be like a sheep being lead out to be killed, and He would be deprived of justice. Phillip asked him if he understood what he was reading. The Eunuch said he didn’t and invited Phillip to come in the chariot and explain this to him. I heard an evangelist say there was no difference what Old Testament passage this man could be reading, because all of it points to Jesus.

Phillip was able to start with those two verses and told the Eunuch about Jesus and what He did for him. When they saw water, the Eunuch wanted to be baptized. When Phillip said “if you believe with all your heart, you may” (v 36) the Eunuch made the great confession. Then they stopped the chariot and Phillip immersed the Eunuch in the water. Phillip was then taken away to another place and the Ethiopian Eunuch went on his way rejoicing.

These are great verses! Another great example for us and the church today.

I hope and pray I am making since here and helping people with these posts. God bless you all in 2011. Grace and Peace.

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