Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Different Kind Of Memorial

One of the things that the city of Bonn is known for is the fact that Beethoven was born here. The house he was born in has been turned into a museum and they have placed a statue in the center of the city as a way to remember and honor Beethoven. While I was in Bonn the other day I took this picture of Beethoven’s statue.

As I was riding the train home I got to thinking about this statue of Beethoven that was set up as a memorial to remind people of who Beethoven was and that he once lived in Bonn. This got me thinking about Good Friday and Easter, which were only a few days away at the time, and how these days are used to remember Jesus, who He was and how He died and rose again. Today Beethoven is dead and you can listen to some music that he wrote. Today Jesus is alive and He gave us more than just some music; Jesus came to die on the cross for us and to bring us into a new covenant relationship with God.

As Christians we are the temple of God and living stones in the spiritual house of God, which is the church, the Body of Christ on the earth (1 Corinthians 3:16; 12:27; 1 Peter 2:5). To me this is an amazing thing and it is what makes Christianity different than every other belief system in the world. We are a different kind of memorial, a living representative of Jesus on the earth here to show the world who He is and what His life meant for us and everyone else. Easter is a special time to remember Jesus but we need to keep in mind that we are ambassadors for Christ everyday and we all have a “mission field” to work in. From now on when I am in Bonn and I look at this statue it will make me think of more than just a great composer; it will remind me that I am a different kind of memorial.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Traveling, Traveling, Traveling

This past year I have done a lot of traveling. In fact, I just returned to Germany from a two week trip to the USA to speak in some churches and to attend the Winter Bible Seminar at RHEMA USA in Tulsa, Oklahoma. When I look back at the past twelve months I realize that I have done quite a bit of traveling.

In the past 12 months I have taken 3 trips back to the states as well as several trips inside of Germany and Europe. I have traveled in cars, trains, and airplanes through 4 different countries and in 6 different states. During my travels I have spoken in 12 churches and shared about my missionary work at 2 others. I have spoken in 4 different Bible schools, including our regular weekly Bible school here in Bonn, on 9 different subjects. I have also been through 14 different airports and I have flown on 7 different airlines.

Not every trip was as smooth as I would have liked it to be but I was satisfied with what I was able to accomplish on these trips. My first goal is of course to teach people about the Word of God. Many of my trips also included times of me telling people about my ministry to give them the chance to get involved with what I do through their financial support. I do like to travel but after a few delayed flights and several different hotel rooms it does not seem so glamorous any more. But don't get me wrong, I think what I do is the greatest "job" in the world even though it isn't always the easiest thing to do.

One other aspect I like about traveling is that it gives me the opportunity to see what God is doing in other churches and through other people. As I travel I also have the chance to visit with many people that I have been friends with for several years and even to make a new friend or two along the way. Besides all that, just with all the traveling and interacting with other people you end up with a lot of stories to tell. I already have a few ideas about some blogs I could write about some of these stories so that is coming up. Traveling can be a busy and tiring experience but it can also be very rewarding. This time next year I suppose I will have to look back again and see if I traveled more or less than these past twelve busy months.