“The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self controlled so that you can pray.” 1 Peter 4:7 Paul wrote in the thirteenth chapter of his letter to the Romans that…”The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.” (Rom.13:11) Now, if that was true for first century believers how much more so for us who are well int the third millennium. Two thousand years have past since Paul gave this exhortation to vigilance in the light of Christ’s return, and we may be tempted to think that He will never come. Peter addresses this kind of mistaken thinking in his second epistle, explaining that the ‘delay’ in Jesus return has to do with God’s kindness and patience in bringing many people to salvation. (see 2 Peter chapter 3) So the exhortation remains relevant. We are to rouse ourselves from spiritual lethargy
Tanzania tomorrow for final research and ministry. This time I’ll be introducing the Romans Project to the newly formed Gospel Partnership. Back in a couple of weeks.
Away for a couple of weeks. Study! ZSDS will be holding the fifth annual Doctoral Colloquim of Olivet University this September 7th to 14th. It’s to be at Olivet’s new western base, Riverside Campus in Southern California. The spacious campus, which formerly housed a technical school, is near Anza in Riverside County, southeast of Los Angeles and northeast of San Diego. Unlike the previous colloquia, this one will feature three intensive seminars for the doctoral students. Each will meet for two hours daily for a week, and then be followed over the coming months by participating in online classrooms. The seminars are to be on Global Theology, Global Missiology, and Research Methods. In the busy week, there are also to be eight general lectures, six by faculty (four of whom are coming over from Europe for the colloquium) and one each by a D.Min. [that’s me] and a Ph.D. student. The colloquium sessions will close in Saturday with introductions
Tomorrow I head for East Africa again. My current ministry in Tanzania is facilitating the formation of a Gospel Partnership among the pastors of Mbeya. Getting the central message of the bible right, and teaching and nurturing a gospel-centered koinonia into existance, is a wonderful privilege. There is great potential here to impact the nation for the Kingdom of God.
This coming week I’ll be attending a doctoral colloquium at the Zinzendorf School of Doctoral Studies, Olivet University, San Francisco. I’m very greatful for the scholarship that is making it possible for me to persue doctoral work that will eventually benefit the church in Tanzania.
Next ministry/missions trip is upon me. Tomorrow I fly to Bucharest and then head north to Focsani for a week of bible teaching and encouraging the churches. It’s been over 22 years since I visited Romania. I wonder if it has changed much? UPDATE: Last minute cancellation! My poorly travelling companion has been grounded due to ill health. So, everything is on hold. For the moment. The Lord knows! Proverbs 16:9 “The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.”
I leave tomorrow for Mbeya, Tanzania: 8th – Arrive 9th – Addressing Mbeya Pastors Fellowship 10th – In the churches 11th – 13th Teaching at City Pastors Conference 14th -16th Teaching at Tukuyu Pastors Conference 17th Churches again 18th Fly to Dar Es Salaam 20th Home I’m exhausted just thinking about it! Praise God, he gives more grace. UPDATE: Home again. Possibly the most significant ministry trip, ever! A great privilege to be instrumental in the forming of a Gospel Partnership in Tanzania.
Thanks for stopping by. I’m just about to head out to The Lebanon for a couple of weeks to teach at a conference aimed at preparing Christians for missional life and ministry, and preach in a number of churches. Looking forward to being with my pastor friends Josef and Elie. That’s iced coffee, by the way! UPDATE: Home safely from a very busy and blessed time of bible ministry. It is definitely gratifying to teach/preach among believers who have such a hunger to hear the word of God. Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Lebanon as the seek to minister to refugees fleeing into their country from neighbouring Syria.
If you’re interested, here are my sermons preached at Frinton Mission last week. My theme was The Goal of the Gospel – what it is, how it works, and why it’s important: Jesus is Building His Church (preached at St. Mary’s Parish Church) The Fall of Man The Essential Elements of the Gospel The Goal of the Gospel Beholding the Glory of Christ What it means to be Born Again Does it really matter what we believe? (evangelistic sermon)
I leave for Tanzania this morning to speak at a conference for pastors in Mbeya. These church leaders have formed a gospel partnership across the denominations in the 3rd largest city in Tanzania. What a joy and privilege to be teaching and serving brothers in Christ who love the gospel. May its God-glorifying transformative power be evident among us. UPDATE: Back home! Wonderful trip. Thanks to everyone who prayed. The week of conference ministry went very well. I expounded the book of Ephesians each morning, and then taught on related theological subjects in the afternoon. My aim was to introduce the benefits of consecutive expository preaching and teaching. Something quite new to these faithful pastors. Also to show them the connection between right biblical understanding and God-honouring Christian living. It is always a thrill to expound the gospel and to see the word begin to shape vision for a glorious local church. Hallelujah! I have now formed an official relationship with this
. The WordPress.com annual report for this blog: . Here’s an excerpt: The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 170,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 7 days for that many people to see it. Click here to see the complete report.
For the next couple of weeks I’ll be ministering in Tanzania. Lots of teaching and travelling. Wonderful! Preaching Christ! Wonderful grace!
Tomorrow I head out to Lebanon for a couple of weeks ministry. I’ll be teaching in a bible college and at least one church. I’m looking forward to sharing fellowship with my good friend Elie, a former Masters student with me several years ago. It’s only been six weeks, or so, since I started treatment for a DVT, and long-haul flights are not recommended within four months of diagnosis. So, two short-haul should be ok! I would nonetheless value prayer for myself and the family while I’m gone. Many thanks! Update: It’s now grown to preaching in four churches. Wonderful!
Long-haul flights come with a cost. In more ways than one. I have just been diagnosed with Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT). Probably as a result of a number of long journeys made to Africa and Asia several months ago. I have started the medication – injections of heparin into the midriff and the normal aural anti coagulant warfarin. These blood-thinning drugs will prevent any further clots forming, or moving around the body. Please pray that no complications occur during the treatment and that I’ll be mobile soon. In the initial stages of treatment it’s essential to get the anti-coagulants balanced just right. Lots of blood tests in the next couple of weeks. My next scheduled ministry trip is to a bible college and church in Beirut at the end of June. I’m hoping everything will be OK to travel. Grateful for your prayers.
Thank you for your prayers. This recent trip to Burma and Cambodia was a great blessing. The week teaching at the theological college in Yangon went really well, and the students seemed to get a good grasp of the book of Ephesians. My time in Burma also proved invaluable for making new friends and missions contacts. The highlight, undoubtedly, was my first time in Cambodia. I spent time in the capital, Pnom Penh, and the rural provinces ministering to the New Life network of churches. The congregations are very young; a reflection on the country’s troubled past. It was a great privilege to minister God’s word, particularly ‘the mercies of God’ from Paul’s letter to the Romans. God willing – Lebanon next!
Four East African countries, four conferences, two team meetings, one denominational forum, five church services, (and a partridge in a pear tree). All in two and a half weeks! In the words of Judges 8:4, “exhausted yet pursuing.” Praise God for a fruitful time of ministry. Thanks for praying.
Africa today with Watchmen. First Burundi, then Rwanda, then Uganda, and finally Ethiopia. Teaching, teaching, and more teaching! Love it! I can’t think of a greater privilege than making disciples of the Lord Jesus. Back in three weeks.
Off to speak at the FEBV (Fellowship for Evangelising Britain’s Villages) annual conference. This year it is being held at Kings Park, Northampton. I shall be speaking on the ‘Goal of the Gospel.’ This evening we’ll be looking at the ‘Essential Elements of the Gospel’ from Galatians 1:3-5. Tomorrow, I shall present Jesus as the ‘Goal’ of the gospel. In other words, Jesus saves us for Jesus. We’ll also see how we can behold him now, full of grace and truth. Yes, you’ve guessed it, we behold him supremely in the gospel itself. Sunday I’ll be expounding Psalm 73, because heaven and earth has nothing we should desire besides him. Monday? I’m off to Africa!
Thank you for your prayers for my latest ministry trip to Burma. Apart from the obligatory tummy bug everything went extremely well. The students in both colleges received the word of God with wonderful enthusiasm and great intention to apply it to their lives and future ministries. The churches too received the teaching eagerly. What a joy to serve God’s worldwide family in Jesus. Next month it will be more of the same in Burundi, Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia.
Two weeks of full-on bible teaching for students at Canon Theological College, Yangon. This semester we’ll be looking at the Pastoral Epistles. These letters are all about how the gospel shapes ministry and fuels Christian ethics. Please pray that this trip will yield gospel fruit.