Category Archives: Uncategorized

Above And Beyond The Call

AdrianGermanRon

Adrian, German & Ron

These have been busy times but I finally was able to get caught up on some needed correspondence with our pastors. I was communicating today with our newest work that we organized last December in Costa Rica, Mexico (don’t be confused – Costa Rica is a town near the Guatemalan border and the larger city of Comalapa, Chiapas, Mexico). The pastor we are working with there is Pastor Adrian Gonzalez. He and his family are a tremendous blessing. The work is growing AND even better they are beginning another work about 20 km away in Agua Zarca. He reports they are meeting with 12 adults not counting the children. Not a bad start! Some might say that is above and beyond – but I say that is the regular function of New Testament churches. We are also very thankful for the extra effort that Pastor German Sylvestre makes for us each week as he travels across the border from Tzisbaj, Guatemala to teach discipleship and help in the ministry.  cr1

I wanted to share these blessings with you and I wanted to make known some of the needs they are praying for today. They are in need of a van or good transportation to use between these two works. Also they are looking into the purchase of land for Costa Rica. Presently they are meeting on the porch of Pastor Adrian’s house. Please keep these things in prayer.


cr

 

 

ibflpromo1

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

In The Potter’s Hands

IMG_3526I am sitting in the hospital in Virginia as my dad recovers from an amputation that was necessary because he developed an infection in his right leg. He has sure been through the mill. Retiring after pastoring the same church more than 50 years. He was still preaching from time to time until late last year when he suffered a stroke. Since that time he has required a great deal of care. Some wonder and have asked, why doesn’t God take him? Mom hovers over him not remembering from moment to moment where he is and what happened to him. She suffers from Alzheimers. Why is she still here?

 

A dear friend, Dr Fred Carroll sent out a letter yesterday that was so timely. I asked him if I could use his letter. He kindly agreed. He says it better than I can.  Here is his letter:

WE ARE NOT THE POTTER, WE ARE ONLY CLAY.

pottershands Years ago when I became pastor of Central Baptist Church  ( January 1,1998) there was a man, Philip Minni that was in charge of making sure the 10 acres of  grass on the property was cut each week.  Saturday October 6, Phil will be 97 years old.

I visited Phil for over 14 years (once a week) — first, as a shut-in at his home, then in his small apartment at the Friends House in Sandy Spring, MD and  then in their nursing home, where he is now..

In 2017 he had lost most of his current memory, and at times did not know who I was. But each week he would carry on a conversation and we would talk of the Lord. Phil said many times “He did not know how people could live without Christ being their personal S

avior.”

He still is living and will celebrate 97 years the Lord has given him this Saturday.  Why is he still here on earth?? I really don’t know, but you know what, the Heavenly Potter does!!!

I am now 76+ years old. There are many aches and pains that we experience every day that come with older age. I am reminded of Hebrews 9:27  “and as  it is appointed unto man once to die” which all of us must do one day, it is inevitable.  But praise the Lord for v 28 “so Christ was once delivered to bear the sins of many”

Jannette & I have accepted Christ as our personal Savior as did Phil Minni many years ago.

So why are we still here??  Well, that brings me to the holy  Scripture for the answer:

Jeremiah 18:1-4 (KJV)
1  The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying,
2  Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words.
3  Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels.
4  And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.

Isaiah 45:9 (KJV)
9  Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?

You see we are not the potter. We are only clay. The proper thing for the clay to do is to trust the Potter and yield to His skillful hands.  The Reformer Ulrich Zwingli (1484- 1531) once wrote to a friend: “I beseech Christ for this one thing daily, that He will enable me to endure all things courageously, and that He break me as a potter’s vessel or make me strong, as it pleases Him.”

The question is, are we willing to trust the Potter? Do we really believe that He knows best, designs best, shapes best and fashions best?  If we have truly given our hearts to God for our salvation, we can trust Him to transform us into something useful and beautiful.  It seems hard to believe, doesn’t it, but it is because He is not even close to being finished yet working things out in our lives. Our Savior is taking the time to work on the parts of our lives that are lumpy and off-centered.  Some parts He may need to smash down and raise up all over again. Will we really trust Him – really trust Him – to do what is best??

Adelaide Pollard (1862-1934) wrote a hymn for willing clay, the kind of clay that stays on the wheel to be shaped in the Potter’s hands:

Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!

                          Thou art the potter, I am the clay.

                          Mold me and make me after thy will.

                          While I am waiting, yielded and still.

                        Have thine own way, Lord! Have thine own way!

                          Hold over my being absolute sway!

                          Fill with thy Spirit till all shall see

                                    Christ only, always, living in me!

May the above thoughts be a blessing to you – no matter what your age or circumstances – and encourage you at this time of your life – October 3, 2018.

Your brother in Christ, Frederick W. Carroll  “a piece of clay in the Divine Potter’s hands.”

Thank you Dr Carroll. The above words are so true and very appropriate for me at this time. We are In The Potter’s Hands. Dad and Mom are in His loving hands. He knows best. Dad always said he wanted to wear out and not rust out. Well, he is pretty much worn out – but, yes, still in the Potter’s hands. Mom is too. You are too. So am I. And thankful to be there – IN THE POTTER’S HANDS.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Moments In Bible Study

From my Bible study this morning: Orderliness and details matter to the Lord. Are we too haphazard, too disorganized – too set on doing everything our own way – how we like it and have not a care for what God wants. (Exodus 39:42-40:34) “THEN a cloud covered the tent … the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.” No, we don’t live in tabernacle / temple days. But the orderliness, the pattern of things that mattered to God then give us an idea of how instructions and details STILL matter to God. Just think what might happen if we followed closely the pattern of evangelism, church planting, discipleship and all things spiritual. Today we look for kingdom advancement, revival and church growth while every man does what he deems as “right in his own eyes”. (Judges 17:6) May God help us!

tabernacle-glory

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Where Do Missionaries Come From?

Seminaries? Bible Colleges? Churches?

 

 

 

 

Now there were in the church … the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. Acts 13:1-2

It is clear from the Biblical text above that in the church of Antioch were good men deemed worthy by their church family and more importantly called by the Holy Spirit to be sent forth as missionaries to bring the gospel to other cities, countries and continents.

There is a clear lesson here: We cannot wait for missionaries to come from seminaries and colleges. The churches MUST stand up to the task given her by Jesus Christ.

The Unfortunate And Sad Truth About Missionary Attrition.

This year more than 7000 missionaries will quit. Nearly half of those will have managed only one term on the field. But that’s not the worst part.

At least twenty missionaries will pull the plug today. Every fifteen minutes one decides to throw in the towel. (from Paracletos)

How will we fill the ranks from those lost to attrition?

How will we move ahead for World Evangelism?

Biblically they MUST come from our churches. How many missionary candidates do you have in your church preparing for career missions? I travel to many churches each year and sadly I don’t see where these missionaries will come from. For many churches the missionary focus is mainly one week a year – their mission conference. Others may have a month long emphasis and of course there are sporadic missionary speakers scattered through the year. The missionary decorations, flags and banners go up. Then come down. Is this enough for fulfilling the MISSION of the church of Jesus Christ?

How many messages are preached in our churches emphasizing the need for missionaries, servants some being called, surrendering and entering gospel ministry? I believe many are hesitant to preach these messages for fear perhaps, of loosing some of their best and brightest from the home ministry.

Here Is Another Very Powerful Option – Short Term Missions!

An informal study  found that between 2010 and 2016 eighty-four percent of new long term missionaries indicated they had previously served on a one – two week mission trip prior to signing up for long-term mission service. Another mission reported in 2000 that “almost 99% of our applicants today have had some sort of cross-cultural experience.”  “Some studies have shown that short-term mission trips increase participants’ financial giving and prayer for missions, as well as the likelihood that they will become career missionaries.”

Some have questioned the validity of short term missions but I am here to validate the benefit. I am presently working with several couples who have come to our field on a short term trips and have written to me to share that it was a “life changing experience” and how they are praying along with their churches about the pursuit of career missions. But beyond my personal validation I believe we have too much Biblical validation to ignore short term missions:

When Jesus gathered 12 of his disciples and sent them out he was giving his 12 Apostles a missions apprenticeship that would pay long-term dividends for the kingdom well after his ascension. Dan Williams wrote, “Jesus knew that there was a time for the twelve disciples to be together in basic training (which, by the way, included short-term mission experiences for them) and a time for them to be propelled into full-blown mission.”

In referencing the city of Nineveh Philip Ryken said, “God’s plan for saving the city began with recruiting Jonah to go on a short-term missions trip.” The short-term mission work of Jonah resulted in long-term glory for God. Scripture calls the disciples of Christ to commit their lives to expanding the gospel. (The Aquila Report)

Plan Your Short Term Mission Trip Now – Let Us Begin Filling Our Churches With Missionary Candidates!

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

WHY GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS

OUR BIG PRAYER  – Pray with us! $72,000 more needed to purchase this property for Iglesia Bautista Faro de Luz in Santo Tomas, Guatemala. PayPal.me/becarelink or Carelink International 8153 SE Carlton Street, Hobe Sound, FL 33455 

 

Psalm 86

Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy.

God hears and answers our prayers when we call upon him because we recognize how poor and needy we are. (James 4:6-8)

Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee.

God answers our prayers to preserve us when we strive for holiness or godliness and trust in Him. (Psalm 4:3)

Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily.

God answers our prayers with His mercy when we  are importunate and persistent to in our cries unto the Lord. (Luke 18:1-8)

Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

God answers our prayers and fills us with joy as we lift our soul to Him in prayer. (Psalm 25:1)

For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.

God answers our prayers and forgives us through His goodness and mercy when we call upon Him. (Psalm 50:15; 51:1-5)

Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications.

God answers our prayer and is interested in all our earnest pleadings when He hears our voice. (Psalm 61:1-3; 1 Timothy 2:1-5)

In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me.

God answers our prayers because we are perpetually in trouble and He is God and there is no other like Him. (Hebrews 13:8; Acts 4:12; Jeremiah 33:3)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

“Signs On The Way To Christmas”

A Christmas Message (outline)
“Signs On The Way To Christmas”
Luke 2:1-8

Intro: For many Christmas doesn’t mean much. For some it is only Santa Claus. For others it is getting gifts. For the store owners and merchants it is a great time to make money. Toy makers. Auto sales. Groceries. There are lots of decorations, lights and … “its beginning to look a lot like Christmas …”

But to us who are Christians it is Christ. We are ____ days from Christmas. We are on the way to Christmas. As we think of being on the way – I want us to go WAY back. Back to the beginning and see some of the signs, the lights along the way.

Gen 3:15 – An unusual sign for Christmas. A serpent. This was a promise of coming victory. Not yet, but coming – we are on our way to Christmas. The Devil defeated and God’s covenant for grace. This help us see ahead on the way to Christmas.

Gen 9:13 – A colorful sign on the way to Christmas. A bow. This was a promise of coming peace. After judgment by flood. A promise connected to the flood that came and the rescue of Noah in the ark. No more total destruction by water. Someone was coming to rescue all mankind

Gen 22:10-18 – Another strange sign for Christmas. A knife. The promise of a son. The son to be sacrificed. But here is a sign that showed the way to Christmas. Another son was coming. Another sacrifice was imminent. Another Lamb but this one would take away the sins of the world.

Exo 12:3; 7;11 – The sign of the passover lamb. Slain. Bloody. The promise that God was making provision for sin.

Exodus 24:3; 8 – Moses had received the law, the commandments. He read them. The people promised to do them. They made a covenant in blood. The law was a sign to point us to Christmas. Rom 10:4

2 Sam 7:8; 13 The covenant / sign of an everlasting kingdom. Promise that in the midst of failing kingdoms and passing kings one was coming that would reign eternally.

Then after the long way – all the signs. We come to Christmas. One night the angels announced his coming to the shepherd. Go. See. Tell. Have you traveled to Christmas. Have you seen the Christ who came / Who is the fulfillment of all those early signs the fulfillment of all those promise. He came to defeat sin and give victory to rescue you from judgment and give you peace to be the sacrifice that was needed – God’s lamb to take away your sins – to cover your sins to pass over you / no condemnation – to guide you to holiness – new creature and to make you part of an everlasting kingdom that will know NO end. Christmas!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Are You Looking?

Are You Looking?

From my Bible study in 2 Peter 3:10-18 I send out these few thoughts:

Just what are you looking for? The attitudes and actions, the beliefs and practices of many would indicate that they are looking and preparing for something entirely different than the apostle Peter was writing about. Many seem to be preparing for a place that makes them comfortable, that allows looseness and sin, that elevates worldliness and sinfulness in our midst. BUT …

For those of us LOOKING for the coming day of the Lord and that new heaven and new earth need to understand and realize THIS place we are looking for is a place of RIGHTEOUSNESS not WORLDLINESS.

The apostle Peter asked this question. It is as appropriate when he wrote it as it is for us today.

What manner of persons ought ye to be? Good question! WHAT KIND OF PERSON DO I NEED TO BE? As THE END draws nearer, as all the world events, wars and disasters align with prophecy WHAT MANNER OF PERSON are you?

Peter gives us some counsel in his words while asking this question – he writes, “in all HOLY conversation and godliness.” (vs 11)

Peter continues by saying that if you are one of those looking, (vs 14) “be diligent that you may be found of Him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

Conclusion:

So, if you are LOOKING for JESUS, take a look in your mirror right now and ask yourself this question: What do I see? What does my life show? Do I see holiness? Do I see godliness?

PRAYER

Lord help me. I am looking today. Help me be diligent for You. Help me be a person of peace, clean up my life and help me have a testimony today that will help me fit in with that place you are making for me in the future.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized