Monthly Archives: August 2012

Missionary of Hope

The resolution of morality based on force of will is why the Post-Christian culture is not very critical of Islam as the source of the problem (or when it does, it does so to accuse and excuse, rather than in a confessional manner): The west also adores power. Left or Right, few are willing to take up the cross. And when we must take up the cross, we are too often embarrassed.
Forgiveness is powerful. I need more power, the power of forgiveness that is.
I wonder how many times we just treat the trauma of abuse in Islam but never minister healing to the heart because the full power of forgiving and being forgiven is not understood.
Abuse is also present in America, even in the churches. But it goes by different names. In need of revival, the shame is the same. The guilt is the same in both cultures. It is just when the trauma gets so intense, as is the case in Islamic cultures of people clamoring for status, honor, pleasure, goods, etc., when the oppression intensifies, the only way to protect the soul is by being ashamed of being a victim and pretending to be a victor.
I must confess, I often feel beaten but not defeated. I think I can understand Paul the apostle in this regard. True victory comes in persevering in the midst of trial and difficulty because of what Jesus has already accomplished. I will be forever thankful for what I have learned from the persecuted church: to count it all joy and to be honest about the struggles-because otherwise I too would be a pretender. As it is, I am the worst of sinners, and the least of the saints, and …I am a missionary, a missionary of hope.
This much like telling a blind man that there is light … until the sighted saint sees that better glasses will not do. The blind man has no eyes. Only by faith can the blind be healed. Only by faith can Muslims be saved. So I am also a missionary of faith.
Because doubt demands power, but trust enables kindness to be given and received, I would suggest that we should also be missionaries of love and loving missionaries. This is an impossible task. In this life there is so much trouble, it is not funny. Yet we rejoice because the little love we show points to a Greater Love, a Perfect Love, revealed through what Christ Suffered. He knows what it is like to be in a power-conflicted society and to answer demons of abuse and isolation and arrogance and confusion with the wisdom and grace of His Word. Oh, how precious is His blood which speaks a better word than the blood of Abel!
Life is not easy for me.  So thank you for letting me pour out my heart. And thank you for praying with me in view of the redemption.
Peace in Jesus, the Fount of all hope,
– MertH., everyday saint
I believe in one holy universal-Christian church.
I believe in the resurrection.
I believe in the forgiveness of sins.
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Tear Not the Veil too Quickly

Why do you humuliate me like a slave girl,

who cannot run from her master?

I am a man of God, and should be honored as such,

And yet you drag me through the shame of the world.

Lord, wed me to yourself and let me see your face,

But do not let me be disgraced.

Tear not the veil too quickly when I turn to you,

Lest I blush in your splendid glory.

And yet, my heart pounds and my mind races rapturously

when you capture me

in your strong arm.

I want to be held,

only loose enough that I might wriggle free.

Take me not away too quickly,

draw me near to you and come quickly.

But let me hold my dignity …

Oh, I have nothing of my own, I’d trade it all to be with you again,

Do not leave me yet,

hold me fast, lest I must fast, and be torn deep within.

Categories: Fasting, Humility, Marriage, Poem, Prayer | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Better Than Gold: Marriage & Ministry Metals.

There is an international race going on right now for gold, or silver or bronze. Or just the opportunity to race.

May I suggest that it is not enough in the race of life to race. One must finish. It is not enough to have bronze skin, one needs a golden heart. It is not enough to have a silver head of hair, one needs a platinum record of solid faithfulness. A golden ring is useless if it is tarnished by infidelity and incest. No, to obtain the prize, one must finish the race and finish well.

Likewise, when we are ministering, a plaque on the wall and baptisms are not enough. Babies dedicated and large attendance are not the measures God uses. God is looking for obedience.

Congressional Medal of Honor

Better to speak in love than to be honored with gold for how well you can speak.

Oh, that we would obey more closely. We may intend well enough, but we still fall short. What use is hollow victory? What use is wood, hay, and stubble? A fire is coming. Your ministry will be tested by fire.  The best way to make sure that you ministry survives fire is to minister in the fire.

Get into a regular pattern of discipline. I am not talking about routine fasting, early rising, or late nights of prayer. No, I am talking about enduring suffering as a good soldier. A good soldier doesn’t complain just because it is hard. He is honest about difficulty, yes. But a good soldier is part of an army of one where he function as part of a broader unity. A good soldier looks not only after his own comfort, but also after the comfort of others. He is not looking to advance in the ranks. A good soldier is wanting all the ranks to advance.

In ministry, the only way that this is possible is if we advance in prayer. We must seek first the Kingdom of God & His righteousness. God will take care of who gets the gold. Our job is to get God. He will not avoid us. He is not ashamed to be called our God. Pursue Him.

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God’s Power, Jesus’ Faith, and World Mission: A study in Romans

Steve Mosher does an excellent job looking not only at the structure of Romans and the sources of Romans but and the significance of Romans for today when related to its original purpose: to ensure that the mission of Paul would continue beyond his journey to Jerusalem.

His exegesis is sound, and even when I felt his application was going to far, I couldn’t help but face the deepening conviction that my feelings were based more on my own shortcomings and on the present history of the local church than on the vision Paul originally had in mind under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Mosher has a big heart, a broad vision, a clear perception of history, a profound love, and a keen and balanced interpretive skill.

He does here what I have long wanted to do: integrate biblical teaching on the Gospel with a particular to the American Church enumerating where she has succeeded and fallen short in making disciples of all nations according to the pattern established in the first century. Mosher preaches to the choir in a way that should leave the choir crying out on a new minor note, like a minor prophet calling forth the sins of his people.

I commend this work with its clear writing, adequate footnotes, and extensive bibliography.

Categories: Book Review, Evangelism, Good News, Missions | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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