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  • J. Randal Matheny 9:39 am on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , goodnewsin5words, 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? (More …)

    • Karen 10:51 am on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

      I don’t know if it’s appropriate for me to reply to this article, but I am speaking from my heart. Randal and Vicki are sort of my heroes. Long story, but because of their prayers, perseverance, and endless email discussions, I am now a Christian. I had been Catholic a large part of my life, but I was baptized last September and now am a member of the church of Christ. The journey was hard but rewards are awesome!
      My point of this reply is to note that even though Randal was a continent away, I was a part of his mission field via internet. One soul. Then I got to pray for another person in Brazil who also eventually became a Christian. Another soul. Now there are three others in their late teens who are going to church with me every Sunday. Two have rededicated their lives, and the third may be baptized soon. 5 souls. It’s a loving circle that originated by a single missionary in another country.
      How much does a soul cost? I guess as a new Christian I just do now understand these things, like how a thriving mission has lost a major amount of funding. It makes no sense when that is one of the basic commands given to us by Jesus. (Mt.28:19-20). We hear the last part of verse 19 a lot, but emphasis is seldom put on the first part. Sorry this was so log; I didn’t mean to “preach”, but a missionary from Brazil helped to save my life and my soul, and I am forever grateful.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:40 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

        Well said, Karen.

    • James Pasley 5:19 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

      Karen, thanks for your reply. It is always a blessing to hear good news even if it is in more than 5 words. Just one thought about the lost financial support: there is always more to do than there is money or time to do it. Each congregation is approached by multiple good (I want to emphasize the word good) mission works and they cannot afford to support them all, so they must choose some and reject others. In other situations, sad as it may be, a congregation’s giving may drop for some reason (loss of jobs, members moving away, members dying, members income dropping, inflation and rising costs, etc.) and they may be unable to continue financially supporting all of the work they once did. I am sure that the financial support Randall lost does not mean that those Christians no longer love and support him and his work, just that they are not able to with their dollars.

      • Katen 10:20 am on 2017-03-17 Permalink | Reply

        Oh no! I didn’t know there was a 5 word rule; sorry! Now I have to break it again! 🙂 I hope my reply did not offend anyone. That was not my intention. I did not mean to be disrespectful of the circumstances of others, and apologize that I did not make that clear. I know it is hard to make decisions when there are many good causes and not enough funds. My point was that sometimes there is a lot more going on behind the scenes than is indicated by statistical reports. My prayer is that God will provide a way for all those missions that help bring people to Jesus.

        • Karen 10:35 am on 2017-03-17 Permalink | Reply

          …and the reply was from Karen not Katan. I really should wear my glasses when I type!

          • Eugene Adkins 3:02 pm on 2017-03-18 Permalink | Reply

            Comments like the one you made aren’t limited to any number of words. No law against words of Christian love, even in the digital age (Galatians 5:22-23).

    • James McFerrin 6:55 pm on 2017-03-16 Permalink | Reply

      Karen, I attempted to reply to your recent comment on my post and for some reason, it seems that it did not go through. You asked about accessing the posts beginning at Genesis. My reply was that you could find them under “Chronological Bible Study” on the right side of this page or you can email me at ntpromise@gmail.com and I will send them to you.

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:57 am on 2017-02-10 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , 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: (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 9:48 am on 2016-06-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: 1Timothy, Missions,   

    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.

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:13 am on 2016-06-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Missions,   

    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

    • jsuiter68 7:35 am on 2016-06-13 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for letting us know Randal! I have heard you as a moderator before, but never in “preaching” mode. Your as amazing in the pulpit as you are with the pen! Good to see you all and hope you have a great and productive time this visit. God bless, Jamie

  • J. Randal Matheny 12:55 pm on 2016-04-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Missions,   

    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.) (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 7:37 am on 2016-01-28 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Missions, ,   

    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.) (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 6:36 am on 2015-12-23 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Missions, ,   

    Christian action verbs make for good study series 

    Our little project of studying Christian action verbs is close to the half-way point. There’ll be 52 of them, in all. I hope to use it this next year, so I’m writing them up and publishing them to the Brazilian devotional site. Some of them are getting translated for “Walking with God.” Today’s is entitled, “Action: Judge.”

    The format of the 3×5 index card is such an interesting one that a number of our projects are put in it, including this one. So one has to write with brevity and make every word count.

    The emphasis of this project comes from such passages as Mt 7.21, words of our Lord Jesus in the sermon on the mount, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven—only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven” (NET). So what does this doing of the Father’s will look like? We take a look at that. (More …)

    • John Henson 9:13 pm on 2015-12-23 Permalink | Reply

      Take care with those Zika-bearing mosquitoes down there!

      • J. Randal Matheny 4:56 am on 2015-12-24 Permalink | Reply

        And the dengue-skeeters, too! Somebody from the City comes around every few weeks and wants to inspect everything, make sure there’s no standing water. And here we have the river a few meters down from us, with weeds and backwaters everywhere. I haven’t yet told them to check down there, but biting the tongue gets old. 😉

  • J. Randal Matheny 3:26 am on 2015-11-24 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Missions   

    Baptist group cuts missionary numbers. What about us? 

    Yesterday, RNS published a story of a missionary couple in Africa supported by the Southern Baptist denomination’s International Missionary Board. They’re taking early retirement and returning to the US after 33 years abroad, because the IMB is reducing the number of missionaries it supports after a drop in funding. The SBC is losing members, thus income is down. This was announced back in August. The RNS report puts a face to the numbers. (More …)

  • TFRStaff 4:08 am on 2015-10-16 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Missions,   

    Moshers’ permanent residency approved in NZ 

    From Lance, Kristen, and Silas Mosher, received Oct 12: We just heard from Immigration New Zealand, and our residency has been approved. To save you from all of the details, this basically means we can live and work in New Zealand for as long as we would like, with a few conditions. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 8:38 pm on 2015-06-02 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Missions   

    Prayer: friend’s mission trip 

    A devoted brother in Christ will travel Thursday to a city with no church to teach a person interested in living according to Jesus’ principles in the 21st Century. If you’d like more info on his trip, see this link:


    May God use this opportunity to bring the gospel to yet another location where it has yet to be heard.

  • J. Randal Matheny 10:44 am on 2015-05-13 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Missions   

    Convenience and connectivity cost too much 

    Convenience comes at a price. It may seem paradoxical, but usually that price is measured in the loss of health. Convenience purports to save time, but we don’t seem to be better off in that area, do we? Often, too, we pay dearly in monetary cost. (More …)

  • J. Randal Matheny 3:06 pm on 2015-05-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Missions   

    Barton Kizer in Cusco, Peru: Another river baptism today 


    Barton writes: “Another river baptism today! Coritza was first introduced through the medical campaign in March and then studied the Bible with Corinne. Today she was baptized into Christ!” — via Photos from Barton Kizer’s post in Cusco Missions.

    So many good things happen in the kingdom of God, daily, that we just don’t know about. These are the things we ought to share, to encourage us and others.

    If you’ve come to this post from the Brotherhood News story, Facebook often blocks access, but you can try the link above. We didn’t want you to get a dead link.

  • TFRStaff 4:26 am on 2015-01-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Missions   

    'Financing the Kingdom': HCU Missions Seminar 

    From Heritage Christian University’s Center for Missions Training and Information, about the Missions Seminar: Financing the Kingdom.

    Are you interested in mission work, but can’t find the money to go? How can you get congregations to help you?

    How can you get people to understand that the work you’re planning to do will be a good work? (More …)

  • TFRStaff 12:42 pm on 2015-01-12 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Missions   

    India Missions Conference at HCU 

    Looks like a winner.

  • TFRStaff 4:39 pm on 2014-09-27 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: church fads, , , Jack P. Lewis, Missions   

    Jack P. Lewis on fads in the church 


    By David R. Kenney

    from the Wadworth OH church bulletin

    Jack P. Lewis has a Ph.D. from both Hebrew Union and Harvard University. He is Professor of Bible Emeritus of Harding Graduate School of Religion. He was written over 20 books and many articles. His scholarship is widely respected. He serves as an elder in the church at White Station in Memphis, and he has appeared on the Freed-Hardeman University Lectureship for several years beginning in 1954.

    Brother Lewis had previously suffered a fall including a broken shoulder. Some would possibly have cancelled their speaking appointment before a large audience, but not Jack Lewis. He completed his lecture on “Paul’s Visit” in reference to the church at Thessalonica which he presented from the chair on the stage of Lloyd Auditorium at the 2014 Freed-Hardeman University Bible Lectureship. Brother Lewis offered some additional words that I would like to share here. Jack P. Lewis was nearly 95 years of age when he delivered these words: (More …)

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