“And the kings of the earth, the great men, the rich men, the commanders, the mighty men, every slave and every free man, hid themselves in the caves and in the rocks of the mountains, and said to the mountains and rocks, ‘Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb! For the great day of His wrath has come, and who is able to stand” (Revelation 6:15-17 NKJV).
It is difficult to imagine a greater disaster than the one which occurred in Nepal, April 25, 2015. The nation was ravaged by a massive earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter Scale which shook the world’s highest mountain ranges, the Himalayas. Thousands died, tens of thousands suffered serious injury, and the damage to land, structure, and infrastructure amounts to many billions of dollars. Governments and relief agencies estimate the recovery process will take ten years or longer. Continue reading Let the mountains fall on us
“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen” (1 John 5:21 NKJV).
Recent tragedies in Nepal have caused me to think more seriously about the way I take my leave of people at the end of trips. One never knows when a visit will prove to be the last one he or she is ever going to be able to make. One or both of the persons who are parting may not live to come together again. And we rarely know when that will be the case. Continue reading Last words
“My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment” (James 3:1 NKJV).
It is almost inevitable whenever I make a report on my work in South Asia that members of the audience will come out saying something like, “We here in the U.S. are so blessed compared with those who live in other parts of the world.” Continue reading The peril of privilege
“In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, . . . Then Jerusalem, all Judea, and all the region around the Jordan went out to him” (Matthew 3:1, 5).
One of the attractions of preaching in countries like Nepal and Bangladesh is the number of people who will travel long distances under difficult circumstances to hear one’s lessons. On my very first trip to Nepal I met some brothers from the mountains who had come to Katmandu to hear me preach. When I asked where they lived they said, “It is two days walk from our village to the end of the bus route, then a 12 hour ride on the bus to Katmandu.” Continue reading Drawing an audience
“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it” (Matthew 7:14 NKJV).
I am planning a trip to Nepal soon to visit areas devastated by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake of April 25. The Nepali friend who is helping me to plan the trip wrote saying, “We can rent a vehicle (since the) road has opened from last week. We are not trekking to the villages as advised by brothers. But since there are landslides in several places on the way we may need to walk to cross those areas in rain. So I think it would be better to have back packs, trekking boots, rain cover, and hiking sticks.” Continue reading How badly do you want to go?
“But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her'” (Luke 10:40-42 NKJV).
In South Asia there is a popular saying that every evangelist soon learns: “No eating, no meeting!” In other words, if you plan for people to gather for hours listening to sermons or Bible lessons, there needs to be some thought given to providing refreshment. That may seem to us like greed or self-interest, but in those cultures if people give up several hours of their day for spiritual purposes they are also forfeiting the time that would ordinarily be spent in preparing meals for themselves and their families. There are few microwaves or frozen dinners in those nations. Continue reading That good part
“Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people” (Titus 3:1-2 ESV).
Sometimes, even in the midst of terrible tragedies, things happen that reinforce one’s faith in people. Perhaps I should have said “especially in the midst of tragedies” because it is the response of Christians to victims of disaster that has prompted the above thought. Continue reading Ready for every good work
“Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire” (Hebrews 12:28-29 ESV).
This week I received an email from a friend in Katmandu, Nepal which included the following paragraph: Continue reading Shaken
“To him who is afflicted, kindness should be shown by his friend, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty” (Job 6:14 NKJV).
Travelers often get into awkward situations simply because they are not familiar with the customs and practices of their hosts. This happens regularly when one is visiting people of his own nation, even from his own family. It often causes much more serious consequences when one is in another nation with a very different culture. Continue reading Expectations
Perhaps the most remarkable person to work at a Christian college was Zelma Lawyer, but she was not a professor, she was a “dorm mother.” For decades she “mothered” young women at Abilene Christian College with an iron hand and a loving touch. But she was much more than a mere “dorm mom.”
Zelma Lawyer was a hero. Continue reading She married a missionary