World population in bubbles

It’s a deceptively simple visualization, but the story that gets distilled is loud and clear:

via Does Size Matter? Visualizing The Population Of Every Country (In Bubbles) | Zero Hedge

Think of evangelizing these countries, and how much is still needed to do.

#evangelism, #missions

Confession: This time it’s different

What follows is something of a confession. Through the years, I’ve felt no shame or embarrassment to invite churches and individuals to financially support our efforts in missions. In the past, I’ve joyfully extended that invitation, believing fully in our task, as I still do. After several occasions, however, where we have lost larger amounts of monthly support, that ease of asking, that freedom to invite, has been lost. Perhaps it’s partly age, partly feeling tired of the process of fundraising, which I am no professional at doing, nor do I wish I were.

We no longer have a wide base of contacts among Christians, after so many years on the field. In recent years, our friends have heard our pleas several times. How can we then place yet another burden upon them? Continue reading

#corollaries, #evangelism, #glory, #goodnewsin5words, #missions

USA travels (photos)

We arrived Wednesday at the Nashville airport. Our son Joel picked us up. Before leaving the city, he wanted to lunch at Café Mineiro, a Brazilian restaurant.

The next day I was already speaking at the FHU Lectureship on communication and technology. Our daughter studies here and Joel is a dorm dad, besides his regular day job.

We left temps of 95ºF and were greeted by 30º weather with wind. Jet lag, language switch. All our children came to support me.

And we’re finding time for the grandkids: Continue reading

#family, #missions, #technology, #usa

Capable of receiving: Wm. Barclay on 1 Tim 2.4

You did know that Barclay’s Daily Study Bible was online, right? Barclay has his detractors, but his work is a great resource. Read his great quote here on 1 Timothy 2.4, below.

E. F. Brown calls this passage “the charter of missionary work.” He says that it is the proof that all men are capax dei, capable of receiving God. They may be lost, but they can be found; they may be ignorant, but they can be enlightened; they may be sinners, but they can be saved. George Wishart, the forerunner of John Knox, writes in his translation of the First Swiss Confession: “The end and intent of the Scripture is to declare that God is benevolent and friendly-minded to mankind; and that he hath declared that kindness in and through Jesus Christ, his only Son; the which kindness is received by faith.” That is why prayer must be made for all. God wants all men, and so, therefore, must his Church.

#1timothy, #missions, #prayer

Anyone near Dyersburg this morning?

I’ll be speaking this morning near Dyersburg TN, specifically Newbern, at the Lemalsamac congregation. If you’re nearby, come and be with us. The meeting begins at 10 am. My sermon topic will be, “How to have the love of God in your life.” During the study hour, I’ll share recent news about the GoSpeak effort.

The church website is not appearing anywhere, but they do have a Facebook page. The building is located on Highway 77 toward Dyer.

#missions #churches #tennessee

A personal question answered, again, and rhetorical questions not needing answers

Last night, a brother in Christ — an American visitor — asked us if we had any plans to return to the US. It’s a question we still get now and again. And we’re happy to answer it.

My personal website once sported a FAQ, where this question was answered, since it qualified for the status of a FAQ. I’ve simplified that site, so it’s no longer there.

But the short answer is: We have no plans to return.

That doesn’t mean we won’t have to, at some point. But after spending more time here than there, and with more still to do here than ever before, it seems the right thing to remain.

And “have to” is a relative viewpoint, is it not? I’ve known not a few missionaries who left the field because of lost financial support. I don’t question their decision nor their motives. We’ve been in the same boat. We took, however, a different route.

Life brings changes. (Or, better, life is change.) All the children are out of the house and far away. We’re grateful for them. Age creeps up on us and our relatives. Frailty, accidents, illness, death, are all possibilities. (They always were, if we think about it.) Continue reading

#corollaries, #god, #missions, #questions

Frightfully good

Note: We continue to pray for our good brother John Henson’s recovery. He continues in ICU in a Nashville hospital. He writes both for TFR and Forthright Magazine.

Some frightfully good material is coming out of certain quarters among us. Some of it comes from people converted out of the world. They feel the sharpness of the gospel. They know the despair of the darkness and the freedom of the light. They do more than rail at the devil; they ramp up the beauty of redemption and the bounty of God’s plan. They do more than throw a verse at the reader only to launch into strange territory; they engage the text, explore its context, make pungent application.

I confess to feeling embarrassed by the insipidity of some other writings, especially in the area of devotionals. (Perhaps it’s a case of this pot calling the kettle black.) In the presence of the Almighty God, why offer up pablum that has been repeated so often it only rates yawns? It is one thing to be simple. Simplicity recommends itself every time. It is quite another to be simplistic and bland. (It seems best not to muddy the waters with names and addresses.) Continue reading

#corollaries, #missions, #prayer, #writing