Tuesday, December 24, 2013
I was just reading in Isaiah (chapter 47) about the judgment that would come on Babylon because they trusted in their own strength and their magick instead of giving credit to the One True God. God had used them to judge Judah for their sin, but they would be punished for their own wickedness and pride. Today being the day before Christmas, I was reminded of the magi (Matthew 2:1-12). These were of the same people that God pronounced judgment on, but some of them recognized the birth of the Savior. Centuries before, Judah had been taken captive by Babylon for 70 years, and that was bad, but through that many Babylonians and later Persians came to know about the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
In Acts we read about the development of the Church in the first century, and whenever there was persecution, the Church spread and grew. Many of the persecutors came to be believers themselves because the first Christians were ready to give a defense for the hope that was in them with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15). That is how God works--He must judge sin, but there are always some He has called from every tribe, people, and language.
We are still in the world, and the world is corrupt. We cannot change people, and even if we could it would not matter because nobody can earn salvation by their own works. Share what Christ has done for the world and trust the Holy Spirit to change individuals after they have accepted Jesus as Savior.
We mostly just hear the bad news through the media, but God is building His Church!
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Romans 1:18 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things." (ESV)
People reject creation, not because it cannot be supported scientifically, but because they suppress the truth in unrighteousness. Secularism (often called evolution) is this generation's idolatry.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Friday, December 9, 2011
Monday, May 23, 2011
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
It's amazing to see how God has worked in the past 10 years since I graduated from New Tribes Bible Institute (NTBI)! I remember at that time thinking I was doing pretty well, but the truth is I still had a lot of growing to do. The summer after I graduated I went on a short-term missions trip with Pioneers to Buryatia in Siberia, Russia, and I thought maybe I would be a full-time missionary there, but I needed to pursue further education first. After working as a cook at NTBI Jackson for a year, I went to Appalachian Bible College (ABC) in West Virginia, where I met my future wife, Angelina, and got my Bachelor's degree. Over those years the church in Buryatia had been growing—praise the Lord!—and maybe I wasn't as suited for that ministry as I thought I was...
While I was at ABC I went on a couple missions trips to Utah, and I saw that as a mostly unreached place dominated by the LDS, so my wife and I thought maybe that would be the place for us—but we had to pay off our school loans first. We settled in Columbus, Ohio to wait for the Lord to direct us to the next place. I got a job at Wal-mart nearby our apartment, so I rode a bicycle to work. Six weeks after Angie and I were married, I was hit by a Ford F-250 truck as I was riding my bike. I needed immediate brain surgery, but there were people praying for me all over the world, and after 3 weeks I was able to go home. I wasn't able to work at all for about 6 months after that, but God provided for us in many amazing ways, and I had a lot of time to think. Even though I didn't suffer much injury in the rest of my body, the head trauma did present me with some limitations I didn't have before, so I had to learn what I could do and serve God with that. I realized that much of what I had planned on doing was because I thought it was what I should do, and I didn't really think about whether it was what I was designed to do. Angie helped me a lot with that, and getting hit by a truck helped me get my head on straight, so to speak.
I was so focused on life in church groups and Bible Colleges that I really didn't know anything about real life—and there's a lot more to ministry than getting good grades. God used the "accident" to help me slow down and see what is going on in the world. I learned that I am an intellectual, information guy, and while Angie helps me to care about people more than I used to, I needed to use the skills God produced in me. It was time for me to become a librarian.
Looking back, I could see how God had been directing me towards this all along—I had worked in the library at ABC all 3 years I was there, never knowing what it was preparing me for. I worked for Legal Services for the state of Ohio, and during that time I developed some handy computer skills. I went to Clarion University of Pennsylvania to get my Master’s in Library Science, and I was kind of expecting to become a Young Adult Librarian at a public library somewhere. I worked in the public library while I was in graduate school, and I was amazed at the opportunities I had to share the gospel being a part of that community. Then God worked it out that it was time for ABC to look into getting a new librarian, and everything fit together. I am now the Associate Librarian at Appalachian Bible College, assisting students as they prepare to go into ministry all over the world! I never could have seen this coming—God is totally in control!