Sunday, August 23, 2015

52 Lessons from My Father

My father's life has had a major impact on mine.  And that's a good thing.  Recently for his birthday I wrote down, in no particular order, fifty two life lessons that dad has tried to teach me.  If you've hung around dad very long, you've probably picked up some of these.  Some are simple, some are profound.  But that's what fatherhood is, showing the less mature how to apply God's wisdom in all areas of life, from the mundane to the awesome.

These are not a complete compendium of everything you need to know for life.  (There's a Book for that.)  You may not even agree with all of these.  But maybe this will cause you to reflect on the legacy of your own life.  Maybe it will inspire you to write down some lessons your father taught you, and then share them with a new generation?

1. Don’t be the cheapest seller.
2. Don’t go in debt.
3. Never buy a new car.
4. Men need to read Proverbs.
5. Open rebuke is better than vague politeness.
6. Have as many kids as God gives you.
7. Get up early to spend time with God.
8. Do physical work.
9. Learn to repair your own stuff.
10. College is optional.
11. Teach your kids at home, and don’t make your wife do it all.
12. Go with your wife to her doctor appointments.
13. Surprise your wife with flowers.
14. Call friends to see how they’re doing.
15. Help widows.
16. Spank kids with a flexible stick while they’re young.  It saves a lot of trouble later.
17. Never be ashamed of Jesus.  Evangelize at work.
18. Jesus, wife, kids, ministry, work.  (In that order.)
19. Don’t listen to rock music.
20. Listen to your wife’s advice.
21. Be liberal in giving money.  You can’t outgive God.
22. Forgive quickly.  Bitterness will rot your bones.
23. Efficiency is more important than frugality.
24. Throw things away.
25. God loves new beginnings.
26. Persistence is better than brilliance.
27. Don’t cause division at church.
28. Remember people’s successes and forget their sins.
29. TV is a waste of life.
30. Don’t eat junk food.  Better to spend money on healthy food than on doctors.
31. Learn everything you can.
32. Doing something imperfect is generally better than doing nothing at all.
33. Pray with confidence.
34. Don’t fear visiting people in the hospital.
35. Seek the success of others more than your own.
36. Lead family devotions.
37. Praise your kids when they do something right.
38. Flee sexual temptation.
39. Memorize Romans 6.
40. Shake hands like a man.
41. Help in the kitchen.
42. Stay off motorcycles and ATVs!
43. Read the Bible every day.
44. When you’ve done something wrong, say “Will you forgive me?” and not just “I’m sorry.”
45. Divorce is always wrong.
46. Floss your teeth.
47. Look people in the eye.
48. Show your teeth when you smile.
49. Leave the top shirt button unbuttoned, unless you’re wearing a tie.
50. Don’t be afraid to do something that others think weird, if it is necessary.
51. Put off current gratification for future benefit.
52. And of course… Little is much when God is in it.  Labor not for wealth or fame!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Watch "Audacity" For Free!

Ray Comfort's movie Audacity is now available for free viewing on YouTube.  Learn how to share the gospel with homosexuals!  Watch it, and share it with your friends!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

The Calvinist Armenian and the Man from Madagascar

Two men from The Master's Academy International stayed with us and shared in our church last Sunday. One of them, Faly Ravohangy, just arrived in the US with his family from Madagascar early this year; the other, Bryan, is a descendant of Armenians who fled the Turkish genocide.  (But he is not an Arminian Armenian.) 
From left to right: Faly, Bryan, Jim (our pastor, praying for them)
The mission of TMAI is to establish training centers for pastors around the world.  The English speaking world has an abundance of resources for pastors who want to learn how to teach the Bible better: books, videos, schools, seminars, and conferences.  Many third world pastors barely have a Bible in their own language.  This makes it very easy for false teachings to capture individual Christians, churches, or even whole nations.  Moreover, most third world pastors cannot afford to come to the US, learn English, and study in a good seminary.  So TMAI is taking the training to them.  So far they have 17 training centers in various locations around the world.  Bryan spent 5 years in TMAI's center in Samara, Russia; Faly aims to start a training center in his native Madagascar when he graduates from seminary himself. 

One thing that initially worried me about TMAI's approach is that their training is intellectually rigorous, which limits the number of students who can successfully complete their training.  There are far too few pastors in the world already, so wouldn't it be better to give a simpler education to a larger number of men?  But after meeting and hearing Faly and Bryan, I understand now that it is not an "either/or" choice.  We need to do both.  All men need to be filled up to their educational capacity with knowledge of how to teach the Bible well.  Some can go further than others.  But without training some at very high levels, if everyone is receiving only a Sunday School education, the church will remain immature and vulnerable to theological wolves and winds of false doctrine. 

Thus, TMAI is strategically aiming to capture the intellectual mountaintops of theology in the countries they serve.  Where the headwaters are pure, the river of Bible teaching will bring life as it flows down to the masses in the valley below. 

I encourage you to watch the video below and consider inviting TMAI representatives to share in your church.

The Most Strategic Way of Doing Missions from TMAI on Vimeo.