Alone, together

“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. . . . But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another. For each one must bear his own load” (Galatians 6:2,4-5 NKJV).

Brenda cooks our meals at Khulna Bible College in a tiny kitchen over a two burner gas cook top. When she cooks omelets or pancakes for our breakfasts, she cannot do one serving at a time. Continue reading “Alone, together”

Good in unexpected places

“And a certain centurion’s servant, who was dear to him, was sick and ready to die. So when he heard about Jesus, he sent elders of the Jews to Him, pleading with him to come and heal his servant. And when they came to Jesus, they begged Him earnestly, saying that the one for whom He should do this was deserving” (Luke 7:2-4).

The title of this article could easily serve as the theme, or at least one of the themes, of the Gospel according to Luke. The stories of the good Samaritan (chapter 10), Zacchaeus (19), Lazarus the beggar, and others are about people normally despised by the supposedly righteous Jews, but shown in the third gospel with good qualities. Continue reading “Good in unexpected places”

Encouragement

“And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24 NKJV).

When Moses, the Man of God, died at the end of Israel’s wilderness travel, the young man Joshua was elevated to the leadership of the nation. At the time of his appointment he was told to “be strong and of good courage” by three different beings: first by Moses who appointed him (Deuteronomy 31:7), then by God himself (Joshua 1:6, 7, 9), and finally by the men of the tribes of Reuben, Gad and Manasseh (Joshua 1:18). Continue reading “Encouragement”

Upgraded!

“But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:10-11 NKJV).

When I handed in my boarding pass to go onto the airplane in Doha, Qatar, on my most recent flight, I was told to wait a moment. The agent went to the counter, exchanged my economy pass for a business class seat and returned to give it to me. Continue reading “Upgraded!”

Nowhere to turn around

“Lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright. For you know that afterward, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no place for repentance, though he sought it diligently with tears” (Hebrews 12:16-17 NKJV).

I set out to direct our group to a favorite place in Dhaka. We had a new driver, and most of the Banglas with whom I was traveling had not been in Dhaka very much. Therefore I, the foreigner, turned out to be the one who knew the route, or at least that is what we thought. Continue reading “Nowhere to turn around”

The accepted time

Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the time of salvation” (2 Corinthians 6:2).

Most Americans who travel to “far places” experience various types of culture shock. One of the most common and severe is that related to a different perception of time. We tend to be clock and calendar oriented. One hour means 60 minutes. An appointment for 4:00 p.m. is expected to commence at that point in time or in very close proximity to it. Other peoples in the world simply do not work to the same kind of schedule. Continue reading “The accepted time”

You can get there from here

“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14).

It seems that every time we begin preparing for another trip, connections are harder to find. Many airlines have abandoned routes, consolidated flights, and otherwise reduced options. Sometimes we get the impression that “we just can’t get there from here.”

Once we get into the countries it may get even worse. Roads are often damaged because of landslides or flooding; sometimes travel is halted by strikes and political unrest. On one recent trip there were severe shortages of fuel which made even local short-distance travel very difficult. Continue reading “You can get there from here”

Memory

“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” ( Philippians 3:13-14 NKJV).

Another year is coming to a close. Next week we will celebrate a new beginning, but we will also observe an ending. 2016 will be no more. Our relationship with the past is complex and often difficult. We find ourselves torn with conflicting needs, and advised by contradictory proverbs. Continue reading “Memory”

What do we not know?

“Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, ‘Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples'” (Luke 11:1 NKJV).

Let me preface my comments by stating that I have attended worship assemblies in the church since infancy. My father was an elder and Bible Class teacher. I have attended Christian elementary and Junior High schools, as well as Christian universities. I have also served as minister, evangelist, and missionary for almost 50 years. Continue reading “What do we not know?”