“The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3:8 NKJV).
For the past couple of months I have been in Bangladesh. It was spring here when we arrived, and is now officially summer. As elsewhere, spring is a time of moderate weather and, generally, some wind or breeze. Those breezes typically lessen as summer arrives. Continue reading “Give the winds a mighty voice”
“If the priest examines it, and indeed the plague has faded after washing it, then he shall tear it out of the garment, whether out of the warp or out of the woof, or out of the leather” (Leviticus 13:56 NKJV).
Most modern readers of the Bible avoid the book of Leviticus, arguing that it is only a list of obsolete rules that no longer pertain to us, and besides, who can understand all that strange language? Though I agree that much of the reading is tedious at best, I believe there is much of value to be gleaned from its regulations. Continue reading “Tear it out”
“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12 NKJV).
There is nothing like teaching an audience which does not speak your language to make one appreciate the value of visual aids. Some things just don’t translate very well. Some English words or concepts don’t have an exact equivalent in other languages. When that happens, the speaker and the translator must resort to other means in order to communicate adequately. Continue reading “Visual aids”
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God” (Romans 13:1 NKJV).
The sight of burned out motorcycles lying half submerged in a pond and ballot boxes smashed with their contents torn and stomped on is not a ringing endorsement of democracy. Yet these were scenes depicted in the newspaper the day after local elections in Bangladesh. The motorcycles belonged to candidates and their supporters from one party who were attacked and beaten at a polling place by thugs hired by the opposition. Continue reading “What form of government?”
“And certain men came down from Judea and taught the brethren, ‘Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved'” (Acts 15:1 NKJV).
I recently had my computer to crash while outside the U.S. Though I had printed instructions as to how to possibly correct the problem, they were quite involved and technical and I did not feel qualified to attempt them, especially since I feared that an error might cause irreversible damage. So I took the computer and the instructions to several local technicians hoping to find one who either knew the procedure or could follow the instructions with confidence. Continue reading “Breaking out of the box”
“And the Lord said, ‘Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech” (Genesis 11:6-7 NKJV).
As I watched a mechanic and his helpers pull and replace the motor on the college van recently, I had one more occasion to feel resentment at the people of Babel. Continue reading “Confusion”
It has been another interesting week. It began on Monday as we watched Robi the mechanic and his two helpers put a new (rebuilt) engine in our school van, here on campus under a mango tree, with no winch or hoist – just a pipe and a rope and several strong backs. Who said there are no more shade tree mechanics?
The old engine was removed and stripped down on Saturday, a new one was ordered Sunday (yes Sunday is a business day here) from Dhaka, delivered overnight and installed and running by 3:00 p.m. Monday. Continue reading “Observations”
“And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me'” (Matthew 25:40 NKJV).
I recently served on a panel for a missions training program where we were asked the question, “Why is it important to develop relationships with locals in the mission field?” Continue reading “Relationships”
“Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the second time, saying, ‘Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and preach to it the message that I tell you.’ So Jonah arose and went to Nineveh, according to the word of the Lord. Now Nineveh was an exceedingly great city, a three-day journey in extent” (Jonah 3:1-3 NKJV).
If you ask the average person about the book of Jonah, they might respond, “Isn’t that the story about the man who was swallowed by a whale?” It is likely that that is the only feature of the book which they know. Continue reading “Urban evangelism”
People seem to love to complain. Nothing is ever good enough (or so it seems). Nothing ever goes right. Nobody likes things the way they are. Somehow it seems that if everything was perfect that people would complain about that, too!
Notice what James said about those things we normally complain about: “My brothers and sisters, consider it nothing but joy when you fall into all sorts of trials…” (James 1:2 NET). Joy when we fall into trials? Joy? What planet was he living on?! Continue reading “Consider it all joy”