Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Our family survived the 2 weeks of training with CrossWorld. The first week was the more nerve-wracking of the two. We endured a 90 minute assessment time with a Christian counselor and 2 one-on-one interviews. We ate, sat, ate, sat, ate, sat every day for 10 days. It was a beautiful conference center in the farmland of Pennsylvania. There was a remarkable chef who helped all of us gain about 10 pounds each.

What I got out of the experience is that CrossWorld is a very caring missions agency. They want their missionaries to succeed and CrossWorld offers a lot of support. We had extensive training on personal fund raising taught by the president of the mission. Everyone, president included, raises their own support.

And, by the way, we were appointed as missionaries to work with the CrossWorld team in southern Ireland. Pray for us as we start this journey to share the light of Jesus.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Francis M. DuBose, Urban Missions Leader, Dies

I published a couple of weeks ago concerning the missions award I received from the Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary. Dr. DuBose recently passed away. I am honored to be one of the recipients of the award named for his efforts in missions.

Friday, June 12, 2009

A Two-Week Interview

Tomorrow morning my family leaves for the Traber Conference Center near Spring City, PA. We will be attending a Candidate Orientation (CO) with CrossWorld, a missions agency with missionaries serving in over 30 countries around the world. At the end of the 2 weeks, we will know if CrossWorld wants to appoint us as missionaries and if we want to continue a relationship with them. Please pray for us as we travel, go through several days of interviews and training. I will be out of the loop, technology-wise, for the next 2 weeks. I will post the outcome upon our return.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Honored and Humbled

Yes, that is me listed as receiving the missions award from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in my previous post. GGBTS is a wonderful seminary with a great president in Dr. Jeff Iorg and great faculty and staff. I am honored and humbled to be given this award. All the glory goes to God and I will keep plugging along, doing what He wants me to do. I am truly blessed through my association with GGBTS. Dr. Steve Veteto and Dr. Earl Waggoner have been wonderful academic mentors and professors and I look forward to more classes with them.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Golden Gate Seminary Awards

Awards Conferred at Honors Chapel

Graduates from all five campuses are recognized

Eighteen students from Golden Gate Seminary were recognized at Honors Chapel at the Northern California Campus of Golden Gate Seminary on May 14, 2009.

“Today we recognize those students who are making the most of what God has given them,” said President Jeff Iorg as he addressed the students, relatives, friends and seminary staff who gathered to acknowledge those receiving awards. “These students are celebrating the talents that God has given them, and are using them not for themselves, but for the glory of the Master.”

Baker Bookhouse Award (Theology) Victor Chayasirisobhon (SCC)
Borchert Prize in NT (NCC only) Katie Coddaire-Philpot
Broadman & Homan Seminarian Award Paul Gerritson (RMC)
Buren Higdon Christian Leadership Award Timothy Roe (NCC)
Lee Hall (RMC)
Craig Skinner Award in Biblical Preaching Rondall Leggett (NCC)
Educational Leadership Service in
Ministry Award
Annie Li (NCC)
Educational Leadership Pursuit of
Excellence Award
Rebecca Unrau (SCC)
Francis M. DuBose Award for Excellence
in Kingdom Missions
Mark Webb (RMC)
GGBTS Church Planting Award Travis Nichols (NCC)
Jack O'Neal Multi-Ethnic Award Jonathan Hoyt (AZC)
Lifeway Pastoral Leadership Award Victor Chayasirisobhon (SCC)
Zondervan Award in Biblical Greek Paul Gerrison (RMC)
Zondervan Award in Biblical Hebrew Amber Ayers (NCC)
James and Marjorie Swope Award Drew Cunningham (NCC)
Orin Suffern Award for Excellence in
Worship Arts
David Busch (NCC)
The Ronald Hornecker Award - DMIN Gary Dodrill, Morgan Kerr
Will Edd & LIla Fae Langford Award - DMIN Stewart Moody

“The Bible tells us that elders who rule well are worthy of ‘double honor’,” said Dr. Michael Martin, Academic Dean. “The spirit of this teaching reminds us to celebrate the achievements of exceptional brothers and sisters in tangible ways.” One way Golden Gate Seminary does so is through a special chapel devoted to honoring special people. “We give thanks to God that he has called such hard-working and talented workers into His service,” Dr. Martin continued, “and we look forward to seeing the great things the Father will do through them in the years to come.”

©2009 Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Ezekiel 4: A Very Weird Passage

This chapter is arguably the strangest in the whole Bible. This is even stranger than the vision from chapter 1-2. After Zeke's vision and call to ministry, what does God have him do first? He has him bound up and laying on his left side for 390 days, then on his right for 40 days. He can only eat a poor excuse for bread and 3/4 of a quart of water per day. God wanted him to cook the bread using his own dung, but after Zeke cried foul, God let him use cow dung. (my question is who brought him the dung?)

How does this apply today? Interestingly enough, the total days (430) represents the years of Egyptian captivity and will represent the years of Babylonian exile. Iain Duguid points out some interesting ideas in his NIV Commentary. The idea is that of a "sign-act" that was used on occasion in the Bible. A modern day version is a visual aid, but it is much more than a video, drama or flannel graph depiction of a Bible story. Ezekiel actually lived the visual aid. He was the visual aid. The sign act was delivered with divine authority and functioned as the divine word made visible and sure. As Duguid stated, the message took over the messenger (Ezekiel) in a life-dominating way.

What was the ultimate prophetic sign-act? The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. No drama or flannel graph but He lived in our midst for 33 years, preaching and teaching. The culmination of Jesus' ministry was the profound sing act of the cross, where God's wrath and mercy met.

We need to remember that the cross is an "in your face" message of God's love and wrath, justice and grace. We play too much to the "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life." There needs to be a balance. There is consequence for choosing NOT to follow the cross. The cross is the quintessential "fork in the road." A decision needs to be made. And, as in Ezekiel's case, God's plan was for him to suffer as an example to Israel of what will happen to them. God's plan for our life may be to suffer for Him to the point of martyrdom. As Paul said, "I count it all joy!" "To live is Christ and to die is gain."

Duguid ended this section with: "Like Jesus and Ezekiel, we are called to lives of identified purity, living in the world but not of it, loving every one of our neighbors even while living radically different lives from them."

Monday, June 01, 2009

Ministry Update

It has been awhile since I have posted an update to our ministry opportunity. We will be attending the Candidate Orientation (CO) hosted by CrossWorld. CrossWorld is a missions agency with missionaries all over the world. CrossWorld has been in existence since 1931. At the end of the 2 week training, we hope to be appointed as missionaries with CrossWorld. The training is June 13-27 in Philadelphia. CrossWorld will move its HQ to Kansas City, MO by the fall of 2010. I will post the outcome of the CO. Please pray that God's will be done and we accept whatever comes.

More thoughts, Part 2, Ezekiel 3:16-21

This post won't be very long. Daniel Block has written an excellent 2-volume commentary on Ezekiel due to his wonderful grasp of the original language. Much of his writing deals with the language aspect, but he always includes a "Theological Implications" section, which is really an application section. While he has a lot of good things to say, it is not new to what I have already posted from Iain Duguid's NIV Commentary. Yet, Block states a couple of things that are insightful:

1 - The responsibility of the called. It is ultimately God's evaluation of their (the wicked mentioned within the text) situation that the doomed need to hear, not the myopic opinions and panaceas of fellow human travelers. Sin and wickedness require a radical prescription: repentance and casting oneself totally on the mercy of God. That God speaks on this situation is itself an act of grace.

2 - The messenger of God is called to faithfulness, not success. Faithfulness in service is measured not by effectiveness but by fidelity to the divine charge.

That last phrase has really stuck with me " fidelity to the the divine charge." How many have strayed from the original call? Unless God tells you to do something else, you are still held by the parameters of the original call.

Any thoughts?