Monday, April 28, 2008

Miquel's Story

I have had several people ask me about this video, which I had posted on our old website, so I thought I would put it up again. This isn't made by us, but it is relevant to us. The setting is in our neighborhood. The streets that you see are next to ours. The beggars that you see, we give money to. The wheelbarrow boy that this movie is about is just like the young boys and girls that we minister each week. This is where we live, where we shop, and who we see every Saturday. It also gives you great insight into the lives of the people in Cochabamba. This boy's story is the same as about 40% of the kids that live here...only many of them have just been totally abandoned by their parents. The parents go to Spain, Italy, or the United States to find employment...and after a while stop sending money back. The children end up living on the street. It is a horrible situation that we hope to help as we train pastors to reach and minister their communities.

Leia Mais…

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dad--The Family Leader--In All Cultures

I spoke last Sunday in a church in La Paz. My subject was the title of this blog. In a machismo society, where the leadership of the husband is exercised through power and domination..where women are beaten and treated subject was not at first well received.

Until God brought to mind an illustratino that I had never thought of. I said that we have a view of leadership from a position of peace and the world of commerce. In this view, we think the leader tells others what to do, and demands to be served. Our gut response, and that of many wives, when their husband tells them what to do is this: "You don't tell me what to do!".

But what about times of war? Imagine if you would, that you are in a patrol, and you are in enemy territory. You know that there are enemy soldiers hidden in the jungles ahead. You konw that there are snipers somewhere. You know that the trail has covered anti-personel mines on it. All that lays ahead of you is danger.

One of your fellow soldiers looks at you and says, "I will walk point. I will go in front of the rest of you, watch out for danger, check for mines, and be willing to sacrifice myself for you.'

Would you respond, "No one tells me what to do!"?

As God spoke through this illustration, I saw heart attitudes change through body language. This is the role of Dad, the family leader. He is to go in front of the family, in this time of spiritual war, and watch out for the family. He is to sacrifice himself serving his wife and children. The purpose of leadership is not to tell others what to do, but to help them do what God has told them.

I was amazed once more at the timeless, cross cultural, and life changing truth of God.

Dad...are you the point man in your family?

Leia Mais…

Aquarium Or Ocean

Chances are, you either have an aquarium or you have an aquarium screen saver. I have a thought for you the next time you look at or see either one. It is another benefit of listening to good preaching! (just a plug for preaching).

My pastor said a short sentence the other day that I wrote down...and then later came back and meditated on. He said, "La mayoria de gente estudia la Biblia como esta veindo en un acuario". (most people study the Bible like they are looking at an aquarium) He then moved on....but that sentence stayed with me.

A couple of years ago, on a vacation, Seth, Jacob, Denise and I went scuba diving. (here is Jacob under the Caribean Sea)

What is the difference between these two photos...between looking at an aquarium and scuba diving?

The main one is immersion. When I look at an aquarium, I am never part of what I see. I am always an outsider looking in. I may like it, but I don't enjoy it. I have met passionate scuba divers, but I have never met a passionate aquarium screen saver watcher. As an outsider looking in, we notice things, but we don't experience them. However, when you scuba become part of the environment. You are not watching fish swim, you are swimming with the fish. You are not on the outside looking are inside.

When it comes to reading the Scripture, are you a scuba diver or an aquarium screen saver watcher? Do you see the Bible as written to you, for you, and about you? Or is it something written a long time ago about someone else? Does God speak to you through the Bible...or did He just speak the Bible to other people?

We are to be Bible Divers. Immerse yourself in the clean, clear water of God's truth and experience it as never before!

Leia Mais…

Walking By Faith

I had the joy of preaching at a new church this past Sunday in La Paz. I wasn't very energetic, since the church is in a home located at more than 11,500 ft.

But the story of the church is really cool. Here is a shot of it.

Anyway, the church is meeting in a home (but they are about to move to a school because they have outgrown the home). The home owner clears out the furniture in a couple of bedrooms, and the living room/den every Sunday morning for church and Sunday school. Marcelo, the man that lives there, moved into the area and wanted to have an evangelical church reach the community. He and his wife believed that God would one day use them to help start such a church. So they prayed and waited, waited and prayed.

But here is the neat part. They not only wanted God to start a church in their home, they believed that he much so that look at what they built.

When they built their house....they had a BAPTISMAL TUB built so that after the church started they would have a place to baptize converts!

A couple of months ago, the church started. It now has a full time pastor (which is an anomaly in Bolivia), and is reaching out to the community to bring people to Jesus. They hosted the parenting conference that Denise and I led this past weekend. They had 100 adults in attendance...representing over 300 people. This would be like a church of 100 in the States hosting a conference with 500 people was incredible.

Pray for our ministry there to bear much fruit. We have already received invitations from other churches to go back to La Paz to teach!

Leia Mais…