Mission Trip Packing List

When it comes to packing for mission trips there are really only a few items that are on my required list. My highly recommended list is quit long, but if I was ever limited to five things, the SANSBUG Mosquito Net Tent is item number three, only after my Bible and water filter. Here is my top five required packing items.

  • BIBLE: The obvious is not to be under stated by calling it the obvious. But what is an ambassador of Christ’s reconciliation doing on a mission trip without the only reliable source of the revelation of who God is, who man is, and about the great fixed chasm between this holy God and wretched man?
  • FLASH LIGHT: In many places around the world electricity may or may not be available. If it is reliable it may not be consistent. A flash light with extra batteries or a hand crank generator is vitally important.
  • ANTI-BACTERIA OINTMENT: I could put bug spray as a requirement, and I don’t ever intend to travel without it, but bug bites are inevitable. Some way to ease the pain and potential infection is critical.
  • WATER FILTER: Small personal water filters are readily available and relatively inexpensive.
  • SANSBUG MOSQUITO NET TENT: If your sojourning takes you to hard places where bedding is complicated and bug populations are high, you should consider this investment. If you are going to remote places where mosquito borne disease is likely, this mosquito/bug net tent will help keep you from being a feast for the mosquitos/bugs. I highly recommend this as a required packing list item.

What is it like to be a human feast for the night time mosquitos? Here is a picture of what P101092919 days in Haiti is like without a SANSBUG tent. If this can be avoided, why not? Of course the circumstances may prohibit your using this kind of protection, but if given the opportunity I wouldn’t travel without one. Visit the SANSBUG Mosquito Net Tent website for more information or contact me with other information I can help you with.

(This is a non-paid endorsement)

Visit their website HERE. We found their customer service to be helpful, the shipment was timely and the product… I’m convinced!

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SANSBUG Mosquito Net Tent allows multiple people to sleep in small areas covered and protected from bug bites.

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SANSBUG Mosquito Net Tent fits on a twin sized bed/mattress.

 

 

 

 

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the SANSBUG Mosquito Net Tent folds up into a convenient carrying case and fits into your luggage/backpack easily

Saturated with the Gospel

Photos of our recent visit of New Horizon Home, a home saturated with the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Sunday morning after church

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Cody and Whitney

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Not one drop is wasted

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English class at Light Language Institute

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Cody talking with a student

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Whitney speaking to the English class

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Micah talking about God

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Well digger coming up for a lunch break

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Walking home from church

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Sunday morning sermon

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Casey helping the girls during church

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Phillip, Whitney, Micah, Cody, and Jacob sitting with the girls during the sermon

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Logan speaking with a student after class

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Light Language Institute

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Jaxson speaking to the English speaking students

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On our way to the beach

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Whitney talking with students

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Mommi Sonya and the older girls

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Logan meeting new friends

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Broke down

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Jaxson leading an evening devotion at New Horizon Home

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Monthly medical exams

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Dinner prep

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Micah

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Whitney

Springs of Salvation

You will joyfully draw water from the springs of salvation, and on that day you will say: “Give thanks to Yahweh; proclaim His name! Celebrate His works among the peoples. Declare that His name is exalted. Sing to Yahweh, for He has done glorious things. Let this be known throughout the earth. Cry out and sing, citizen of Zion , for the Holy One of Israel is among you in His greatness.”

I’ve just returned from a trip to New Horizon Home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The visit is always filled with anticipation of seeing family in Christ and time at New Horizon Home.

I’ll post some photos and a bit of explanation of all we were able to participate in; but first, let me introduce you to Foundation College ministry of Boise State University and the College of Western Idaho. Utah/Idaho Southern Baptist have a humble director of ministry to college students from across the state convention, under the direction of Phillip Grant. Phillip traveled with me and a group from my church last January to explore the possibility of bringing students back this summer.

Last week Phillip and his wife, Casey, brought 6 students from Boise State and the College of Western Idaho to our girls home. I was very pleased with the partnership of all who visited the ministry this past week. (Phillip and Casey Grant, Cody and Whitney Thornton, Jacob Ewing, Logan McDonald, Micah Liston, Jaxson Fanta)

The most important thing we do at New Horizon Home is build a home for at risk girls (orphaned, abandoned, rescued) in Port-au-prince where the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is the center piece of everything attempted. This is a faith-based ministry, meaning, we are committed to asking God to provide for everything and we wait until God provides before we do anything. If God doesn’t provide it one way we look and wait for His answer another way. This causes us to be a praying people, a patient people, a risk taking people, a humbling people, a weeping people and a joyful people.

Here is a collect of pictures from the past week of the work being accomplished on the well at New Horizon Home.

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Water supply for bathing and flushing.

Water, one of the most important physical needs of any people any where is no easy work at New Horizon Home. Over the past two years the water has been supplied by generous

Micah, drawing water from a neighbors cistern.

Micah, drawing water from a neighbors cistern.

neighbors and hard work of faithful workers at NHH.

Water for the bathrooms is hauled in, by hand, in 5 gallon buckets to each bathroom to use for bathing and flushing.

 

 

Recently, the complicated work on digging a well of our own began. Work on the well was not completed during the recent trip due to some complications with the pump. But very soon, there will be running water to the house.

Where water is critical. And make no mistake it is. The springs of salvation are of utmost importance. May all who live at New Horizon Home soon drink from the springs of salvation.

“Give thanks to Yahweh; proclaim His name! Celebrate His works among the peoples. Declare that His name is exalted. Sing to Yahweh, for He has done glorious things. Let this be known throughout the earth. Cry out and sing, citizen of Zion , for the Holy One of Israel is among you in His greatness.”

I will let the pictures tell you the story of the struggle for water.

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Hard workers digging the well, by hand.

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Filling the dump truck, by hand

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Approx. 100 feet deep

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yes, they really dug the well by hand.

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temporary covering

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fitting the pump and piping

The Problem is Not Only Legalized Sodomite-Marriages

There is not shortage of places or people weighing in on the legalization of same-sex marriages. Crimes against nature are no small matter, and now it is legal and celebrated.

But this is not the only matter weighing the nation in the balance of danger.

I get that unbelievers don’t want laws like believers do. They want laws, just laws that ease their conscience. But, that’s not really the problem either.

The Lord’s church has grown cold, complicit even with many other fleshly vices that are rarely addressed from the pulpit any more, and even encouraging sinful behavior by her silence or participation. No, really, many in the church have been for too long “drinking the intoxicating cup of worldly sensual pleasure.”

Watch how many who are all bothered by the legalization of sodomy (historically known as crimes against nature) will within the same moment indulge in the fleshly demands for any and/or all of the following…


The following bullet-points are excerpts and quotations from “Youth Warned” by John Angell James (1824)

  • Who is warning the Lord’s people of the danger of gambling? “There is virtually no difference in who frequents the game table, slot machine, or online gaming sites. What believer today knows that gambling is to the mind what alcohol is to the body. “
  • Who is warning the Lord’s people of the danger of the theater? “The theater is generally frequented by all; the theater, that corrupter of public morals; that school where nothing good and everything bad is learned; that resort of the wicked and school of vice; that broad and flowery avenue to the bottomless pit! Here a young man finds no hindrances to sin, no warnings against wickedness, no mementos of judgment to come! But, on the contrary, everything to inflame his passions, to excite his immoral desires, and to gratify his appetites for vice! The language, the music, and the company, are all adapted to a sensual taste—and calculated to demoralize the mind!”
    “It is by no means the author’s intention to affirm that all who frequent the theater are wicked people. Far be it from him to prefer an accusation so extensive and unfounded as this. No doubt many amiable and moral people are among the admirers of dramatic representation. That they receive no contamination from the scenes they witness, or the language they hear, is no stronger proof that the stage is not immoral in its tendency and effects, than that there is no contagion in the plague, because some constitutions resist the infection. That people fenced in by every conceivable moral defense and restraint, should escape uninjured, is saying little; but even in their case, I will contend that the mind is not altogether uninjured. Is it possible for an imperfect moral creature (and such are the best of us,) to hear the irreverent swearing, the filthy allusions, the anti-Christian sentiments, which are uttered during the representation of even our purest plays, and hear these for amusement, without some deterioration of mental purity?”
  • Who is warning the Lord’s people of the danger of gossip? The house of prayer is frequently visited with hungry gossips not ready to weep over their own sins and can’t quite wait to report to other gossips of all the worldly behaviors of all being prayed for.
  • Who is warning the Lord’s people of sensual pleasures? “Where [professing Christians] live in this way, it directs their reading, which is not pious or improving—but light, trifling, and polluting. Inflammatory novels, stimulating romances, lewd poetry, immoral songs, satires against pious characters, and arguments against Scripture and biblical morals—are in general the works consulted by corrupt and wicked youth, and by these they become still more wicked. Never did the press send forth streams of greater pollution than at this time. Authors are to be found, of no small abilities, who pander to every corruption of the youthful bosom. Almost every vice has its high-priest—to burn incense on its altar, and to lead its victims, decked with the garlands of poetry or fiction, to their ruin.”
  • Who is warning the Lord’s people of the danger of dancing? “Mirthful [dancing] where eating, drinking, and revelry, are carried on until midnight, or until morning, are another source of ruin! [Professor of Christ], such meetings unfit you not only for the serious pursuits of godliness—but even for the duties of business. Their expense impoverishes your purse, their influence impairs your health, and their guilt ruins your soul!”
  • Who is warning the Lord’s people of the danger of bad company? “[Professor of Christ], if you determine to live in the gratification of your passions and the indulgence of your sinful appetites, you will soon have associates suited to your taste, and that will never disturb your conscience with the language of warning or reproof. And will these be wicked fools, blaspheming scoffers, apostate people, hardened sinners, degraded sots, dissolute infidels, abandoned prostitutes! Look at the mirthful party. Can you approve it? Are there not moments, when you feel the last dying remains of moral feeling stirring within you in sickening revulsion at such society as this? But even these ‘dying, lingering signs of a conscience’ which are not quite dead, will soon vanish—and you will yield yourself without a struggle to all the corrupting, damning influence of bad company!”
    “The improvement and diffusion of modern education, have produced a bold and independent mode of thinking, which, though it be in itself a benefit, requires a proportionate degree of religious restraint to prevent it from degenerating into lawless licentiousness. It is probable also, that of late years parents have relaxed the salutary rigor of domestic discipline. Trade and commerce are now so widely extended, that our youth are more from beneath their parents’ inspection than formerly, and consequently more exposed to the contaminating influence of evil company.”
  • Who is warning the Lord’s people of the danger of alcohol? Where is it said that young people may innocently walk in all kinds of sensual indulgences? On what page of the book of God’s truth do you find these allowances for the excesses of youth, which you make for yourselves, and ill-judging friends make for you? “Woe to those who rise early in the morning, that they may run after strong drink, who tarry late into the evening as wine inflames them! They have lyre and harp, tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts, but they do not regard the deeds of the Lord, or see the work of his hands.” (Isaiah 5:11-12)
  • Who is warning the Lord’s people of the flirtatious behavior of immodesty? “Worldly pleasure, decked in the voluptuous attire and the gaudy ornaments of a harlot, appears to their heated imagination, with all the attractive charms of a most bewitching beauty”.
  • And many more….

Religion and boredom are not synonyms. For too long the church has been trying to make religion look cool by the world’s standards, essentially flirting with the sinful vices of the flesh and now when we speak on the matters of Scripture it sounds so prudish and full of piety that we avoid even using the word religion any more. Think about it; who doesn’t want a feel-good emotional friendship with God? Just so long as that god doesn’t hate everything we love about our self governed idolatrous life. And I’m only thinking of the majority of professing believers.

“In God’s name, I serve you with notice of the trial. Prepare to meet your God! He is coming! He is coming—and you must meet him! O think of judgment to come—in the midst of all your sinful pleasures and criminal liberties—think of it! Will you drink the drunkard’s cup; will you go to the brothel, to the gambling table, to the scene of riot and wickedness—knowing that for all these things God will bring you into judgment? With the terrible solemnities of the last day before your eyes—will you, can you, dare you—proceed in the career of vice? Conscience—O faithful monitor! O dreadful avenger! I charge you to whisper in the sinner’s ear, when going to the scene of his unholy pleasures, “But know, that for all of these things, God will bring you to judgment! For God will bring every act to judgment, including every hidden thing, whether good or evil.”

Return to your ordained duty church. The city needs you on the wall warning of an approaching enemy looking to devour all who will entertain his attractive disguise covering his hideous appearance. Who is warning of a devouring devil? Who is warning of a judgment to come? Who is pointing to the same, a saving Savior? If not the church, no one will take this duty on. No one volunteers for this kind of duty. Only called-out, redeemed sinners who know there is a devouring enemy conquered by a Redeeming Savior.

Arise, church! Arise!

 


all quotations are from Youth Warned by John Angell James.

 

The Sweetest Name I Know

New Series: From This Side of the Pulpit; A reflection of a preacher from his side of the pulpit. 

It was June, 2001 that the Lord’s people at Eastside Baptist Church invited me to become their pastor. While reflecting over the past 14 years of preaching I decided to hunt down a file of hand written sermon notes. It may come as a surprise to some, this practice of hand written sermon notes has not changed; with the exception of a few seasons of trying to do my sermon work on a computer, (not very consistent with this method.) There are about 40 sermons or so that are saved on 3.5 inch discs (yes, I was that cool).

For several years now, my sermon notes start out on a small notebook in my back pocket, they eventually get formulated into hand written notes in the margin of my wide-margin bible and eventually make way to blog posts.

For nearly the past 5 years, by the kindness of friends in Nevada, my audio sermons are archived at SermonAudio.com.

Today’s blog post was first a sermon preached at Eastside Baptist Church, circa 2001. While going over old sermon notes I noticed that I didn’t give good citation to some of the quotes or sources. This is not the work of a good writer. the main outline of this sermon came from hand written notes from a sermon by Paul Powell


The Sweetest Name I Know
Philippians 2:5-11

Shakespeare asked the question, “What’s in a name?” He said that a rose by any other name would smell just as sweet. In a sense that is true. You could call a rose a stink weed or a skunk blossom and not change the fragrance of that rose. But in another sense a name means everything. If I were to give you a check for $10,000.00, the people at the bank would laugh at you and tell you that the check was not worth it. But if you were to be given a check from a millionaire worth $10,000.00 you would be a richer man. It’s the name that makes the difference – there is something in a name.

If I announced that I was going to preach at the Roper Auditorium tonight, a few of our faithful members would be there. If I announce that Billy Graham was going to preach there tonight, there would not be enough seating.

The name of Jesus, there is a name that means something! It means something in heaven – it means something on earth – it means something in hell.

Philippians 2:5-11

Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

His Name is a Powerful Name:

Think of the names in the past.

  • Alexander the great: at the age of 33 he had conquered the known world. At the age of 33 he died in drunkenness and debauchery. (citation needed)
  • Caesar: He led the Roman legions to conquer one land after another. One day a dagger in the hand of his friend, Brutus, conquered him. (citation needed)
  • Napoleon: He brought Europe to her knees before him. He died in exile on the island of St. Helena. (citation needed)
  • The Kaiser, Hitler, Mussolini, each one powerful names that went down into defeat.
  • France once boasted of the power of Louis the Great. It was said that he was the one great man of the world. But one day he was conquered by death. At his funeral the great cathedral was packed with mourners. The came to pay a final tribute to the one whom they considered great. The cathedral was dark except for one lone candle which shone over the golden casket. At the appointed hour Massilon, the court preacher, stood up to address the assembly. He slowly reached over and snuffed out the one candle which had been put there to symbolize the greatness of the king. Then from the darkness came just four words, “God only is great.” (citation is needed)
  • The energizer bunny even wants you to “feel the power.” Everyone who has ever bought a battery knows that the power will eventually die.

People of the world claim greatness and power for a while, then death cuts them off.

But not so with Jesus. He had power to create the world. He has power to change the course of history and the destiny of nations. He has power over death and disease. He has power over the grave His power never diminishes and some day all of heaven and hell and earth will know this name.

Jesus; that’s the sweetest name I know!

His name is an Exalted Name:

Richard Whitney had a good name. His ancestors came from England. His father was president of a Boston Bank. His brother was a partner in J.P. Morgan Company. Richard was a leader in prep school and college. He bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange for $65,000.00. Five times he was elected president of the Exchange. He signed 2,000 membership certificates for the Exchange. Then one day they found that he had misappropriated funds which had been entrusted to him. He lost his good name, lost his big job, and was sent to prison for five years. Then the New York Stock Exchange called in all the certificates which he had signed, erased his name and had them signed by the new president. The name of Richard Whitney was no longer a good name for a broker to have hanging on his wall. (citation needed)

Today, this could be said of others like Jim and Tammy Faye Baker, Pete Rose, Daryl Strawberry, Arthur Anderson, and countless others whose name today carries nothing but shame.

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing. (Revelation 5:12)

The name of Jesus is and will be exalted.

Jesus, the sweetest name I know!

His Name is a Saving Name:

Listen to what the Scripture says about His  name:

  • “You will call His name Jesus, for he will save His people from their sins.” (Luke 1:31)
  • “There is no other name under heaven, given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)
  • “Whoever calls upon the name of Jesus shall be saved.” (Romans 10:13)

Call upon your goodness and there is no salvation.
Call upon your good works and there is no salvation.
Call upon your charitable gifts, and there is no salvation.
Call upon your religious formalities and there is no salvation.
But call upon Jesus and you will find full salvation.

His name is a powerful name, His name is an exalted name, and His name is a saving name.

Call upon His name!

We Stand Ready to Preach This Gospel

Dear Twin Falls and the Magic Valley,

The born-again, repenters of unspeakable sins, who gather at 204 Eastland Drive North in Twin Falls, Idaho cried out to Jesus who delivered us from the wrath to come (1 Thessalonians  1:10) and found a solid ground to stand upon.

By the grace of God we found a solid place to stand, a firm foundation that did not disappoint.

This was not a place filled with romance that never delivered on its false promises.

We, too, were once slipping down a slippery slope to certain disaster, accumulating false teachers and creating false doctrines to justify our fleshly cravings when a faithful soul, standing on a firm foundation, gave a clear warning; We didn’t even know we were sinners at the time. That faithful follower of the Lord Jesus spoke of a righteous God who would justly judge all sinners and find us guilty and already condemned.

This righteous, loving God invited us to respond to His holiness and repent. By His grace, we were rescued, in faith, by the satisfying requirement of the necessary death of a perfect life. Jesus Christ, this redeemer of sinners took our place, and appeased the wrath of God on our behalf. What a Savior.

Like us, when you discover that helpless estate of pride, selfishness, and unbelief, cry out to God in the name of Jesus the Christ, described by the bible, repent and be saved.

May He plant your feet on a firm foundation, on Christ the Solid Rock. Where “all other ground is sinking sand, may you in Him be found, dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.”

We stood ready to preach this gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ when it was popular; and now, when it’s not, with great patience and instruction, we ask God for strength to endure. We will not, by the grace of God, abandon our post in the city. We will steadfastly engage in the advancement of the gospel.

We strive to speak with compassion, as those before us, so as to call all sinners unto repentance.

To compromise our message is to compromise our duty. To abandon our duty is of unimaginable hatred.

We remain steadfast as ever, willing to endure hardship for payment. Come, all who deserve God’s wrath, come, come, to Jesus. He stands able and ready to redeem all repenting sinners.

Paul Thompson
Eastside Baptist Church
Twin Falls, Idaho

An Update About New Horizon Home

It is past time for an update on the ministry of Eastside Baptist Church in Port-au-Prince, Haiti at our girls home. A lot of things have been happening. Let me give a brief update with short testimony and a few pictures.

The faithful at Eastside Baptist Church continue steadfastly praying for all the needs to be met. We don’t put out pleas for help from others (we don’t oppose those who do). We take all of our request to God and trust Him to provide as He moves His people. We never turn down an opportunity to share about the work with those who ask and we don’t shy away from informing organization offering support upon requests nor from sharing with our church family how God answers our plea.

Here are some recent ways God answers those prayers:11649288_847866965301385_995787616_o

  • First of all: Meet Jean Alexander Veillard, born Tuesday morning to Alex and Johanne Veillard. Alex is the director of New Horizon Home in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.
  • There is not a week that goes by that God does not prompt someone to give to the ongoing ministry work of New Horizon International. Faithful giving of people every week at Eastside Baptist Church. Faithful giving of strangers we’ve never met. Faithful giving of churches from around the country. Faithful giving of children collecting pocket change. Faithful giving of widows on fixed income. Faithful giving of businessmen, labor workers, work-from-home moms, etc. The mail man has little idea of the kind of blessings from God he delivers regularly. May the Lord bless His people at the following churches… Second Baptist Church, Amarillo, TX. The Church at Quail Creek, Amarillo, TX. Bear River Valley Baptist Church, Tremonton, UT. Eastside Baptist Church, Twin Falls, ID. Berean Baptist Church, Wendell, ID. Magic Valley Baptist Association. Treasure Valley Baptist Association. The River, Twin Falls, ID.
  • In a few weeks a group of 8 college students from Boise State University will travel with me to do some bed 11638738_847357865352295_398248739_oconstruction (funds for the beds are provided by The Church at Quail Creek in Amarillo, TX), general care to the home, ministry in a local hospital, English school, and local Baptist Church. Work on our own water well has been going on since my last visit back in January. Until now we did not have our own water source. By the grace of God, we are nearing completion of our water well at New Horizon Home. Alex, our director at the home, is very careful with all money and understands that we can only buy and pay the workers with what God gives us. New Horizon Home continues to receive high inspection marks and Alex is told by officials that New Horizon Home is unlike most homes in the city; clean, efficient, happy. We count this a blessing from God.
  • We have received word that we now have about 10 acres of agriculture land to begin using. I don’t know how we received it, who gave it to us, or anything about it. On my upcoming trip I will discover all these details and bring report back to the Lord’s people at Eastside. Wow.
  • About one year ago I was asked to preach in Tremonton, UT at Bear River Valley Baptist Church on a Sunday morning. By the kindness of Eastside Baptist Church, Renee and I left early one hot July Sunday morning and drove to Tremonton to gather with the Lord’s people. We shared at the Lord’s Table together, sang and opened the word of God together. Through conversation with Nancy Nicholas after the service and later at lunch with Jim and Annette Williams I was able to share some of our gospel work God has called Eastside Baptist to in Haiti, they asked if they could begin collecting school supplies for our school.

    Yesterday, I received a phone call from Jim, an elder at Bear River Valley Baptist Church, asking if they could bring me the supplies they have for our upcoming trip. Of course I said “sure, thank you.”

    Here is a picture of Jim, his wife Annette, and a deacon Jerry today (June 25, 2015). Jim called me at about 11:30am this morning asking if we could meet them at the airport for lunch. I picked Renee up for lunch and to get the supplies. May the Lord bless His kind people at Bear River Valley Baptist Church.

    GE

    Annette, Jim, Jerry

 

Adoption of Worldly Methods are Insidious Inside the Church

The entire discussion panel at the Baptist21 meeting last week alongside of the SBC annual convention was very helpful. I recommend all ambassadors of the Lord Jesus Christ listen to the entire set of questions relating to 21st century Baptists.

The majority of the discussion was related to how a church today stays true to her duty of preaching the sufficiency of Scripture in relationship to the national discussion about marriage. Very helpful!

However, in the middle of a question about should churches offer support groups to converted homosexuals like we do divorce groups or those recovering from addiction. Where it is a good question the discussion quickly broadened to how churches should function in regards to the integration of all people with all kinds of issues of all ages. Dr. Akin, Dr. Moore, and Dr. Mohler all answered with compassion for anyone suffering in any sin of the flesh, but Dr. Mohler especially took to conversation here…

Where he doesn’t say churches should not segregate he clearly communicates the insidious marketing strategy of the world that most churches have adopted is of great danger inside the church. Where marketing strategies can show a notable progression from point A to point B or show steady numerical growth in a gradual, subtle way, many a church and church leaders, myself included, become oblivious to the harmful effects of HOW we do some things. We will convince ourselves that we should always be changing how we do things as long as we don’t change ‘the message’. I’ve done this. I’ve promoted this well meaning philosophy. I’ve been part of the strategy to rethink HOW we do some things.

Does Scripture speak at all to HOW to do some things? If so, how should the church and church leaders treat that instruction?

If you don’t have time to listen to the entire discussion panel, fast forward to about the 19 minute mark and listen in for the next several minutes, especially to Dr. Mohler’s response. The question, again, is about if churches should offer segregated support groups to converted homosexuals. Dr. Moore takes the conversation to where Dr. Mohler ends the discussion.

Let me know what you think.

B21 Panel – SBC 2015 from Baptist21 on Vimeo.

The Jurisdiction of God’s Law

I’ve been (increasingly) asked what I will do when (if) the Supreme Court’s opinion is against biblical/traditional marriage next week. (I think all of us should be prepared to give an answer.)

I’ve thought on this…

Will any Supreme Court opinion somehow alter or change my duty to God? Should I speak more or less to the matter? Will I adjust my preaching as a result of the approaching opinion? Will I go into hiding in fear of well being if a human court attempts to overrule the jurisdiction of God’s law? Will my church lose it’s privilege of not having to pay property tax or income tax if I don’t compromise to the law of the Land?

I’m not naive of the the ruthless means of the enemy of God; I have seen a face of evil wanting to intimidate, I’ve heard the threats of lawsuits from angry church attendees, I’ve been threatened with harm to my family if I don’t cease inquiring, I’ve been told that people who have left our church will come back when I stop promoting going to foreign countries to spread the Gospel (yes, I really have been told this), I’ve been verbally accosted in public places, maligned in private conversations, misrepresented by friends, accused of being a racists.  All of that, before being arrested on false charges, mocked in the media, and abandoned by fellow kinsmen in the faith for being a doer of the word.

Regardless of the legal opinion to come, my duty, and yours as ambassadors of God’s Kingdom, is to stay the course.

I’m no perfect being; I’m a perpetual repenter. I’ve been uncaring at times, rude, arrogant, selfish, foolish, fearful, but my duty is to strive to be a reflection of the great grace that has been shown to me in the good news of what Christ accomplished in His life, death, and resurrection and persevere in that grace as an ambassador of Christ reconciliation.

Saints of the Lord Jesus, we are a people; given a grace we don’t deserve, a message to preach to the nations, an invitation to persevere to the end, expected to be compassionate, instructed to be strong and courageous, called out to obey His commandments.

Obedience to the Lord Jesus is required, not for salvation, but of us under the gospel as an offering of gratitude to Christ and evidence of our love for Him. (“If you love me, keep my commandments…” John 14:15)

True love for Christ constrains us to live, not unto ourselves, but for Him who died for us and rose again. We have been bought by Him with a price that we may glorify Him in our bodies and our spirits, which are His.

So, how then shall I live on Monday (or Tuesday, depending on what day the court opinion is delivered)? I should live the same way I am expected to live today, yielding to the Spirit of God. America may not be the same after this ruling, but we are instructed by our Lord to obey Him. Where I don’t perfectly obey, I will perpetually repent.

God’s jurisdiction is supreme. I owe my allegiance to Him. I’ll ask Him to increase grace and compassion in my life as I live repenting of my sin and obeying His commands as a loving child.

I leave this word with the reader today: Remember, “by faith Abraham obeyed” (Hebrews 11:8). In your faith in God, obey, obey, obey, and keep on obeying until the return of the Lord Jesus. In this day we must remember that the matter of marriage is a battle we must not remain silent in. Marriage is important, but marriage does not redeem sin… Christ redeems sin. So, when we speak into our culture on the topic of marriage, and we must, we must not miss the gospel proclamation moment before us.

God grant His grace to us all! Amen.

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