Monthly Archives: May 2011

a few pix from the journey

Here are a few select pix from the journey… of course there is espresso, this cup was in Orahovica, Croatia…

I walked across the Danube from Serbia to Croatia for that coffee…

and, of course, there is the all important interaction with the kids… Enoh (yes, THAT Enoh) and I are playing Legos whilst mum and dad are teaching at the high school, and oh what fine teachers Jeremy and Petra are…

But its not all about Legos, the first half of this trip was about travelling and seeking to encourage, here a gathering of folks in Szeged for worship and teaching on a Friday night…

a gathering organized by these two guys: Sam and Kyle…

When I travel I bring along books to read and give away   …during the first part of the trip I read this…

and there are friends… this is Andy, who is a fine example of the servant leader, not only does he cook the soup, but he mops up the kitchen afterward… he is the leader but he is a servant… very Jesus-like, eh?

Another important thing on these trips is worshiping and teaching in different churches, here at CC-Szeged, there’s Kyle again…

I got to spend a morning at the Szeged day festivities…

complete with people dressed in middle ages garb…

and stuff to buy at the bridge fair…

and music at night…

but I eventually had to complete the southern leg of the journey and move east, but first farewell to Gabor and son, Bruno who were my hosts whilst in Szeged… they saw me off on the early train…

on which I finished reading this…

and started reading this…

before having a cup of Starbucks with my Joanna at Nyugati and then farewell to my girl as I rode off to the airport…

to fly to Ukraine to visit my ministry partners, like Ruslan and Roman…

and visit shelters and take pix with kids…

and more shelters and more kids…

and more kids!!!

And then I gave a speech at a high school closing ceremony…

and finally bid my friends, the bishop, Anna and Alek and Sergei farewell as I pulled away from yet another city in another train and so ends the first half of this trip…

…you can read the continuing trip plan and the prayer requests and the answers to prayer by clicking the link in the right column.

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Dallas Willard

I saw this on JR’s blog… Dallas Willard is one of the more thoughtful persons writing Christian stuff… This is from a website I was unaware of, “Monvee” which looks pretty interesting… I would urge you to take seventeen minutes and listen to Dallas WIllard. Wait, you better make that twenty or thirty minutes, there are some places, if you are like me you are going to want to hit pause and go ‘huh… … …’ and you might even back this up. I think this interview could be a great conversation starter with people. OK, I shut up, you click HERE!

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in Ukraine

When this is published, the southern leg of the journey will be over and I should be in the air heading for Kyiv. Please pray for the eastern leg of the trip. The prayer update link is over on the right.

I always look forward to my visits to Ukraine, I love what my friends are doing there to bring justice and the Gospel to children. BUT, I will be without ready Internet for much of the week, so… less posts, Tweets and so forth until the 30th when I return to the web for sure in Budapest.

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The Heavenly Man

As I travel, I tend to get more reading done. This week I read The Heavenly Man. Josh suggested this book to me a few weeks ago, when we were at IHOP-KC (I sure miss The Prayer Room) this book had five facings in the bookstore, so I packed it for reading on trains and busses and what-not. … I had NO idea what I was in for.

This is the story of a leader in the Chinese house church movement… he sufferered horrible brutality at the hands of the Chinese authorities and suffered long in Chinese and Burmese prisons. He lived and suffered for the cause of the Gospel with great humility.

Here are some quotes that grabbed me…

In the context of working hard but lacking a deep abiding in Jesus (my term).

“I was still getting up every morning at five o’clock and praying with other church leaders, and I was still reading my Bible every day, but I was doing these things out of obligation and habit, and not from a willing heartflowing from my relationship with Jesus.” (p. 198)

This struck me bacause I know that feeling and I know how easy it is to do the spiritual disciplines for discipline’s sake. May our relationship with the Lord Jesus drive us to love dwelling with Him and not just doing our devotions for their own sake.

In his discussion about seeking unity:

“When I told him my vision for unity, Zhang laughed… …but I knew Zhang had been deeply hurt by the other leaders.” (p. 235)

I know this feeling too well for I know what it feels like to be hurt by fellow workers and how hard it is to forgive. I am so grateful for Matthew 18 which teaches me to forgive first.

A bit later he described the difficulty of getting leaders together for a time of reconcilliation and the result…

“Although not all differences were ironed out, the leaders got to know each other for the first times and saw how they had far more in common than they had reasons to remain seperate. They also found their theological differences centered upon issues that weren’t essential to the faith.”

Wow, did I love reading these words from this guy. It makes me want to go to Germany to meet him, but I know he would tell me to spend that time with the Lord Jesus in His Word. AMEN!

At another point, the Lord showed him that he had his priorities messed up again…

“I realized again that I was a laborer who worked witout real peace from the Lord. I loved doing things for the Lord so much that it had become my securrity and my source of joy. God wanted to remove this idol from my life.”

God help us not to make ministry an idol.

About the Chinese government…

“We never pray against our government or call down curses on them. Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our own lives and the government we live under. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, ‘The government will be upon his shoulders.’ Is. 9.6… we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.” (p.287)

He wrote this about the Chinese government.

About an attack by a Christian that cost him, he was told…

“Brother Yun,…  In China, Christians are persecuted with beatings and imprisonment. In the West, Christians are persecuted by the words of other Christians.”

I have been on the receiving end of this and I am guilty as charged. Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Saviour, have mercy on me, the sinner. I think it would be prudent for us to memorize 1 Tim. 5:19 –

19 Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. (1 Tim 5:19 ESV.)

There is tons more I could say about this book, but one more quote and I’m done:

In a Burmese prison when he learned of his impending release, he said “I feel so sorry that many Christians live in bondage even though Jesus has signed their release form with his own blood. When you’ve been set free, you should act like it!”

I think they got the title wrong… I know where the title comes from, but this is the story of The Humble Man.

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travelin’ ’round Szeged on two wheels

Here in the sunshine city of Szeged, I’ve been tooling around on my buddy’s bike. I don’t have to ride busses or pay for such. The weather is amazing, its sunny and 82 (f) degrees. I do have to learn about when to ride on the road and when to ride on the sidewalk and when to walk instead of ride, but its a great way to get around. Szeged is pretty flat so gear changing is unnecessary and there are always places to park the bike and lock it up. What a great way to get around… but that is ‘cuz this is a smaller city… I can’t imagine using a bike and covering the ground I need to cover to get around Budapest, need the BKV for that. Until then, I’ll crusie around on these two wheels…

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TRAVEL plans and prayers

I just updated my travel plan and prayer list.

click HERE to see what has, is and will (Lord willing) happen…

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what is essential?

A few weeks ago as Anna and I were basking in the experience in KC, we were prayed for by a young lady from Poland and a young man from Korea. When they prayed for me particularly, she reminded me to keep Jesus as the main thing as I travel and to give me a great confirmation, she pointed me to Col. 1 which has one of the most clear statements about the essential nature and centrality of Jesus in Scripture.

As I study and pray today for this weekend’s preaching, I will be drinking deeply from this text. Indeed, I am reminded of the question at the forum on the Bible last week: what makes your Christianity different from religion? Answer: A relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus instructed and guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit.

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