Friday, June 26, 2009

Living the Gospel

To live incarnationally means to live the Gospel. From John T. Seamands, Tell It Well: Communicating the Gospel Across Cultures."

The effective communicator of the gospel must identify himself with the people to whom he minsters. He must become one of them, so that he might be aware of their ideas, understand their viewpoints, and be genuinely sympathetic with their struggles for self-expression, even though he may not condone its forms. He must identify himself with the people's trials and sufferings, with their longings and needs. He should adapt to the culture of the people, not necessarily in all externals, but certainly in inner mind and spirit. The receptor must be convinced that the messenger understands his-the receptor's -background and has respect for his views even though he may not agree with them.. In striving to identify ourselves with people, our aim is to achieve a feeling of togetherness or oneness. It is more than contact; it is communion.

How do you live the gospel?

MILK--it does the body good!

This section is taken from John T. Seamands book, "Tell It Well: Communicating the Gospel Across Cultures."

Milk can be delivered in a variety of containers. It my be in a tin can, a glass bottle, cardboard carton, or a plastic bottle. The type of container is not so important, as long as the milk is pure milk--not soured or watered down. The only condition in which the container might become an important item is when the buyer has a strong personal preference for a particular type of container. He may refuse to buy milk in a tin can, but be most willing to purchase it in a cardboard carton. In the same way, the Christian messenger has no right to water down the content of the gospel--it must be the truth--but he certainly must present it in such a form that will be meaningful to the listener.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tell It Well! Christ belongs to the Nations!

One of the books I have been reading in preparation for the mission field is, "Tell It Well: Communicating the Gospel Across Cultures." Mark 16:15 (NASB) "And He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.""

The overarching theme in this book is to share the good news, the gospel with people, and God will change hearts and minds, through His Word. Dr. E. Stanley Jones says, "I present what I have and leave him to come to his own conclusions. I am pressed to show the difference between faiths. I always refuse." Dr. Jones presents the gospel, and lets God do the work.

"Christianity is never to be compared with any other religion; it is always to be contrasted."

"Don't adulterate or tone down your religion."

"I would not walk across the street for religion, but I'm willing to go to (Ukraine) for the sake of the gospel!"

The last Sunday I was at my home church, our pastor, Rich Kannwischer preached on "The Gospel vs. Religion, via the Pharisees." "The best way to avoid Jesus, is to avoid sin." How timely!? And then at my Aunt Sheila and Uncle Driveway's church, Calvary Baptist, the speaker, Chris Price, preached on Religion vs. Gospel.
  • Religion is man-made; the gospel is God-given
  • Religion is what man does for God; the gospel is what God has done for man
  • Religion is good views; the gospel is good news
  • Religion says, "attain"; the gospel says, "obtain"
  • Religion says, "save yourself"; the gospel says, "surrender yourself"
  • Religion says, "do this and do that"; the gospel says, "it is done."

"The Christian faith is Christ, and is what it is because he is what He is."

The following quote I found interesting, because I taught at MacArthur HS, named after General Douglas MacArthur.

"Japan is another clear example of what happens to a spiritual vacuum when the Christian Church fails to move in at the appropriate time. The Japanese people soon discovered they were without a faith (after World War II). A feeling of frustration, hopelessness, and insecurity swept over the land. Sensing the situation, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, commander of the Allied Occupying Forces and a professing Christian, issued a call to the Church in the U.S.A. to send 1,000 missionaries and tens of thousands of bibles to Japan."

Monday, June 22, 2009

Cribbage, anyone?

I've had the wonderful opportunity to play crib with my grandparents, on a nightly basis! Hot tea and a crib game, then off to bed. Last night, Marion joined us, so Grandpa and I were on a team, and Grandma and Marion were on a team.

Upon receiving one hand, Grandpa said, "Well, my hand is better than being kicked in the rear with a frozen boot!" I laughed so hard, everyone else laughed!

You may wonder what crib has to do with great things God is doing...God has given me the opportunity to enjoy my extended family!

Happy Father's Day (21 June 2009) to all the Dad's out there!

My grandparents (shown in the picture above) celebrated 62 years of marriage on the 20 June 2009!