Sunday, August 12, 2018

KISII REPORT? LOG CHURCH SERMON? YOU DECIDE

Today we had a missionary speaker in our Log Church, so I did not have an actual sermon. Nevertheless, I did have a few words. Here they are:
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Today, since we are going to be casting our eyes to other lands, I thought that I would take a few minutes and talk about Kisii. Although I have written into our prayers a prayer for them every Sunday, I have not spoken a lot in church about the situation in that land. There are a couple of reasons why I have not:

The first is that this is not something that I am assuming that everyone is interested in. It is a calling that the Lord has given to me, personally. The story of how the Lord called me to this involves the Log Church of Tripoli, and I have been very grateful when others have contributed money, clothing and school supplies, but it was God’s calling to me, and I do not want to make assumptions about others. God can also call others to this task if he so desires, and I am grateful when he does.

The story of how I first became involved with the church and orphanage in Kenya is a long one, and I wrote about it quite a lot on my blog page (this one), but the short of it is that, in the end, I simply could not turn my back on the orphans. God’s calling to me for this particular task came to me one day when I was preparing a sermon for a Sunday many months ago. The story I was dealing with was the very familiar one of the feeding to the 5000.

As you remember the story, when the evening came the disciples told Jesus to send the crowds away because the people were hungry.

“Let them go find food,” The disciples told Jesus.

Do you remember what Jesus told the disciples? “You feed them,” he said.

I realized that I was like the disciples. When it came right down to it, I had to admit that I did not want any part in the feeding of the orphans. The church was using my sermons that I placed on my blog page as part of their teachings, and I was happy to have that involvement in the lives of those people, but when it came to providing food—that I thought I would leave to someone else to do.
 
I was acting just like those disciples on the mountainside. “Send them away,” I had been saying in so many words. 
Jesus said to me, “You feed them!”

That was my calling. But just as in the story of the 5000, I had not much to give. In the story, all that the disciples had at their disposal was the lunch provided by a small boy—five small loaves of barley bread and two little fish—that was all. But in the hands of Jesus, this small lunch fed a multitude.

This is why I have not been making appeals for money for the orphans. I do appreciate those, just like the small boy, who give what they have to help, but I have not been making passionate petitions for funds. I am giving whatever becomes available, even small lunches, and giving it into the hands of the Lord. He is the one who is feeding the children—not me.

(Link to song on youtube by Keith Green) - A Billion Starving People - Keith Green

That is one of the reasons that I have not spoken much about Kisii. The other is this:

In our Sunday services, my concern is for you. That is why I work very hard to bring you teachings from the Word of God. I am concerned for each of your lives.

There is not much that I can do to help you in your physical lives, but God has placed me here to “keep watch over your souls,” as it says in the book of Hebrews. That is my concern on Sunday mornings.

I want each of you to grow in your Christian lives and to realize that your relationship to God should not only be one of the many aspects of your life —it should not even be the most important aspect of your life—it should be the only thing in your life.

All other things that we have in our lives are like cheap toys and trinkets that we buy at the dollar store. We use them for a couple of weeks until they are broken. They all just eventually end up in the landfill.

I want each of you to realize how rich you are in Christ, and to grow in him. That is my concern and my desire.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

THE BRIDGE AND THE FENCE POST

To very many people, the things that this world has to offer have become so important that they give almost no thought at all to eternity. The entire sum of their thinking and planning concerns how they can extract the most pleasure and enjoyment out of the few years that they have alive on this earth.

But this perspective can change. One of the ways Jesus explained it is that it is like a new birth. When we were first born into this world and begin this life, most of our desires are conditioned to be for the world. We like the clothes, the cars, the electronic gadgets, and almost any other thing that the world has to offer. We save our money so that we can buy these things that we think will make us happy.

However, after we have been reborn into the kingdom of God, our desires begin to change.

Thursday, August 2, 2018

KISII REPORT #10

WHY I AM INVOLVED

Like it or not, to most of the people in the world, if you are an American, you have money—a lot of money. At least this has been my experience with people in most of the countries where I have worked. I suppose this is not true in some of the wealthier countries of Europe, Asia and elsewhere, but since the greatest portion by far of my work has been in financially strapped places, this is the perception of Americans that I have usually encountered.

In some sense this is of course true. Financially speaking, I believe that Vivian and I live below the poverty line here in the US, but we are still far, far wealthier than most of the people in the world.