Monthly Archives: December 2014

warning: fund raising appeal within – read at your own risk!

Consider yourself warned!

Happy New Year!

I hope that in 2015 you and yours will be well and grow in your knowledge of God! Looking back over 2014, I am thankful to God for the work He has done in and through us. Here is a ministry snapshot:

– I traveled over 50,000 miles by air, road and rail;
– invested 16 weeks among ministry partners in 7 countries in which I was honored to:
* teach and preach on over 40 occasions in churches, at conferences, and on retreats;
* have 700+ regular disciple making conversations with leaders in person and via Skype.
– and was honored to participate pastorally in communions, baptisms in partner churches, and officiate the weddings of some former students!

This was possible because I had the freedom and ability to travel and serve because of God’s provision through folks like you. If you’re among those financial partners, THANK YOU! As of this writing, we are progressing well toward our end-of-year fundraising goal of $25,000. But we could use your help.

Looking ahead to 2015: I will be back among ministry partners in two weeks; here is the link to my January trip, please pray! Later in the spring, I will be ministering in Ukraine, Hungary, Croatia, South Africa and Palestine (for a cross cultural ministry study program and visiting potential partner schools). I will also possibly serve in Serbia, Bosnia and the D.R. of Congo. Looking toward the fall I hope to facilitate more conferences and retreats. These are the plans I’m working on and praying through. Please join me in prayer because I know that “many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” (Proverbs 19:21, ESV)

As 2014 comes to a close, I hope you will consider joining our team by making an end-of-year (or even a beginning-of-year) gift to CEO. We have two on-line giving options available by clicking here. Every gift helps! My budget for the 3 week ministry trip in January is $2085. A $7 donation will pay for a day of buses and trams in Budapest. $16 will pay for a new book about prayer that I am giving to the pastors at a retreat. Your $20 gift will pay for a bus ticket to get me to the next city. $35 will sponsor a pastor at our retreat. Any amount will be greatly appreciated. Please consider joining our effort.

As we finish the year I am so thankful to God for family and friends. As we move forward I am hopeful, because God is guiding us and using us as He draws each of us to a deeper knowledge of Himself, I hope this for you as well in 2015.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Please pray!

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2nd annual Christmas Reading

Years ago a colleague did this reading to this music in a faculty meeting. I immediately read it to my classes and then, in Charlottesville, it became a Christmas Chapel tradition and then at the annual Live Nativity. Those days are past so here it is for those who remember or for those who have not heard it before.

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Filed under experience, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings

Thoughts on Christmas

Today there will be last minute trips to the store, the final wrapping of gifts, greeting family and friends, lots of cooking, for some there will be Christmas Eve services.

I remember my one Christmas in Budapest. Days before, signs were posted in the public transit informing the public that at about 3 pm on Christmas Eve the transit system would shift to night busses only until the morning of the 26th. Things really shut down. Christmas Eve night Sweet Anna and I walked a half hour or so through the cold snowy quiet from our daughter’s home to where we were staying. A silent night it truly was.
Then the next morning we went back for Christmas.

Upon our arrival something was needed from a store. The only thing open was a 24 hour shop the size of a closet. After I made my purchase I walked across the street to the local parish which was in the middle of one of many Christmas masses. It was packed with all ages. I hope they understood the real story.

In Cambridge, England today that story will be told. the annual Lessons and Carols event will originate from King’s College Chapel at 10 U.S. Eastern time… Click here for more it is a helpful reminder to me each year of what the whole Christmas is: from the Fall to the promise and then Redemption.

Here are Scriptures I’ve been meditating on:

For God so loved the world…

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a savior who is Christ the Lord…

Therefore since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…

How wonderful that the Prince of Peace has come to this world.

We live in a busy culture that rarely slows down.

Why not slow down today and consider the good news that the Incarnation happened so that you may live in a state of peace with God who sent His only begotten Son so that you and I can be His sons and daughters.

Merry Christmas!

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Filed under being a disciple, culture, disciple making, seeking understanding

someone will have to tell me I died

What?

I was having coffee with a guy the other day and we were talking about an author that both of us appreciate. This writer has had a great impact on the both of us. He told me that it was said near his death that this writer said that “someone will have to tell me I died.”

The idea is that the Christian life is one of growing so close to God in our prayer, in our reading of Scripture, in our relationships, in our day to day life that we have gotten to the point where we have disciplined ourselves into the joy of living in the very presence of God here on earth.

This, I think was what Jesus meant in the high priestly prayer of John, this, is I think what Paul was urging us toward in his letters.

Being a Christian is not just about getting to heaven. Being a Christian is the kingdom of heaven now.

This I think may very well be one of the better understandings of Immanuel, God with us.

Now.

That’s what.

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Filed under being a disciple, definitions, disciple making, seeking understanding, spiritual questions/musings/wonderings

Do you give or receive counsel? See below…

If you are in the habit of giving or receiving advice, the following article should be helpful to you.

Read Advice on Seeking Advice:

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pastors and leaders: important article for you and your team to read and discuss

This is a pretty long article that describes causes of and lessons from the failure of Mark Driscoll and the demise of Mars Hill.

It will take you a few minutes to read but there are so many important lessons to be learned that I urge you to read it and discuss with your team/elders/staff/mentor/fellow-disciple/or whomever. (If you’re out there all by yourself and have none of these, get a’hold of me.)

Click Here to read The Painful Lessons…

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12-13-14

Today, according to American calendar sequence, is the final sequential date in my lifetime.

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