Saturday, September 20, 2008

One Class, Two Missionaries

Last weekend we held a class at our mobile Bible Training Center in Bonn, the subject was "New Testament Literature". This is a class that I normally teach in our week-day school and in some of the mobile schools, but this time we did something different. Another missionary, Mark Six, was in Bonn during this weekend so it was decided that he would teach this class. Mark was informed that I would be attending the class and because the class consists of 12 hours of teaching over two days, and because he would be speaking in our church on Sunday, I could do part of the class if he wanted me to. We ended up having Mark do the first six hours of the class and then I did the final six hours. Here are two pictures from the class, one with Mark Six teaching and the other of me teaching.

Mark received a copy of my notes to help him prepare for the class and he did an excellent job not only covering the material but also by adding some of his own personal insights on the New Testament. It was different for me to have someone teach the first half of a class and then coming in to finish it but it worked out great. I personally enjoyed the teaching that Mark did and I heard from others in the class that they also benefited from his teaching as well as mine. With two different missionaries teaching in the same class the students had a unique opportunity to gain insight from both of us on the subject of the New Testament.

Mark and his wife Robin have been missionaries in several countries for a number of years, and I actually met them both a few years ago. Previously they lived and ministered in Belgium and The Netherlands and a return trip to these two countries was why they were in Europe. Both Mark and Robin are graduates of RHEMA Bible Training Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma and they currently live and minister in Japan. If you are interested in learning more about Mark and Robin Six and their ministry you can visit their website at

Friday, September 12, 2008

Don't Get Weary While Doing Good

"And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint" - Galatians 6:9 (Amplified Bible)

Recently I have been thinking about this verse and how it can apply to growing and developing as a Christian and even making changes in everyday life. In July I posted a blog called "Making Changes" where I wrote about how we need to be open to change and growth in our lives. This blog might be called a second part to that one because they both fit together. There are many people who as they make changes in their life or as they take a further step to grow as a Christian they get tired and give up before they reap the results of their efforts.

There will always be growth "opportunities" and things that the Holy Spirit will show us that need to be changed and/or corrected. Usually we are enthusiastic at the beginning and ready to do whatever has to be done. But as time goes on we don't often see things change as fast as we want and we get weary in doing the right thing and we quit. In times like that I am so thankful that God is a good and gracious God and He will continue to work with us and help us get back on course if we get off track.

As I have been making some changes in my life, naturally and spiritually, I have sometimes become discouraged because it seems like it is taking me so long to get where I am going. God reminded me of that verse in Galatians 6:9 and He also gave me a good example to encourage me. One problem we have is that we live in such a fast paced society today and we want everything to happen right away without any waiting or delay. But the fact is that real growth and change will most often take time.

The example God gave me was that of a ship in the ocean. If one of those big oceangoing ships decides that they want to change course it is not an instant thing, especially if the course change is a big one. What God showed me is that making changes in life is more like a ship on the ocean than the drive through at McDonalds. We would like everything to be like the drive through where we place our order and a few minutes later we get what we want. Real change may take some time and realizing that can help us to hold steady as we make course corrections in our life. If we continue to follow the growth plan that God has for our lives we may not see changes overnight but if we don't get weary in doing the right things we will see the desired results. No matter what change you may be making or no matter how long you have been standing on God's Word in faith be assured that the time will come when you reap the rewards and it will be worth the effort!

Monday, September 1, 2008

What Would We Do Without You?

Last week I was helping someone move into a new apartment. There was some painting to do along with the moving of boxes and furniture. The person who was moving made the comment to me, "What would I do without all of you?" They were simply expressing their gratitude at the fact that a number of us were helping with the necessary work involved with relocating to a new apartment, but it got me thinking about a spiritual truth.

This comment made me think about the fact that today Christians are called the body of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 12:27 it says; "Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually". Then you can read in Ephesians 4:16 that every part of the body of Christ has something to supply, or give, to help the body. Too many times as Christians we do not realize the connection we have to one another and how important we are to each other. Often we think it is only the pastor or someone called into full time ministry who is really vital to what God is doing today. The truth is that we are all important parts of the body of Christ. If every Christian would see the value of what God has called them to do and then use the abilities that God has given them to help others it would change how they live and act.

Most of the time we put a high value on the gift and talent that someone else has and we minimize what God wants to do through us. The problem then is that every part of the body of Christ is not supplying what they have and so the body is not as well developed as it should be. Naturally speaking, if only half of our body was functioning we would have a problem. Spiritually speaking, too many Christians are not fulfilling their part in the body of Christ and we all suffer because of it. The answer to the question, "What would we do without you?" is that we will do far less than we should and not be as effective as we could.

If you are not sure about the plan that God has for you or about the gift and talent He has placed in you then ask God about it and get involved in your local church. God will help you see the ability that you have and how you can use it effectively to be a vital part of the body of Christ. Getting involved in your local church will give you a place to start contributing to what God is doing and it will give God something to work with in your life. We all need to understand our own importance to the body of Christ, take our place, and contribute with the abilities that God has blessed us with.