Saturday, March 31, 2012
Growing up in my day, us Baptists "did" Church ... it was something we did. Doing Church was attending as many Church meetings as we could each week. The Church was the building and we "did Church" in our building. The building; White, cross on top; inside there were pews, podium, track rack, and a communion table ... and a sincere preacher who didn't make sense to us kids.
Our Church, like most Evangelical Churches, was "centripetal" to the core ... so our Christianity was pretty well self serving, simple and enjoyable.
Just maybe we could whirl some non-Christians our way and get 'em saved.
'Doing Church' gave you a good feeling. Every meeting had it's rewards; Bibles, singing and high calorie fellowships.
On occasion we had Revivals. We hired a good revivalist and he brought the revival banner ... Invitations went out to come to our Church and be saved and become like us. Sit, listen. study and pay tithe.
Learn to 'do Church!' and do it well.
Purpose of the Church? On occasion the purpose of the Early Church in the New Testament was taught but pretty well limited to history.
So our purpose ended up, well "doing Church."
'Doing Church' was much easier than 'Doing the Gospel'.
In Sunday school we were carefully schooled on what Christians couldn't do. NO fellowship with the worldly people and their pleasures. Dancing, parties, worldly music, and no shows. No alcohol or smoking. So we were known in the community ... for what we didn't.
And we didn't do a lot!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Am I disappointed in the direction America is going? Of course. I'm old and have experienced, to an extent, what America was. I lived in a good America. They say a man my age is the last of the Great Generation. I think that's true.
Because I lived in that era, I'm more sensitive to the contrast between those days and today.
The key word here is contrast.
Unlike the Baby Boomers and even younger generations, I can see a contrast they are unable to see. Why? The younger were born into the broken system. They live now, knowing nothing better. Indeed bonded to the system. Skillfully prepared to become ‘politically correct' college educated Lemmings.
Liberal, progressive and politically correct Lemmings by the millions! Sad. Dangerous.
I highlight the word system.
Believe me, Once upon a time America was a radically different country. America was different In a good way; in a sense society was "good" the people were "good". There seemed to be a little honesty and patriotism left. We were proud of our country and proud of the flag, which we saluted every morning along with giving the pledge of allegiance.
You would drive up to the gas station and a friendly face would greet you. "Can I help you?" Check oil, check water, wash windshield and fill it up with gas we could afford. We called it service.
We were a church going people in those days. Judeo Christian ethics spread among us. Not that America was truly "Christian" but we were brought up with those ethics. We generally agreed on what was right and what was wrong.
Praying in school wasn't unusual (or illegal.) Bible Clubs in school were popular. This was before B.C. L; before the Civil Liberties Union twisted and corrupted the interpretation of our Constitution.
Especially the definition of separation of Church and State.
Pure evil! Evil people with an evil agenda.
Oh yes, in the past there were criminals and crime but evil tended to be isolated in parts of society rather than a growing leaven running through society. The Judeo Christian ethic, today's liberals and progressives love to hate, tended to bring a richness and goodness to America of old. Who can deny it?
A blotch on Christianity in the south? Oh yes! Shameful! In the south, perverted Christian doctrine produced perverted Christians ... they kept slavery alive. Encouraging sick black or white societies.
We learned ethics early; I remember there were wrong things we did in school, and we were sternly disciplined for them; chewing gum in class, smoking, sassing the teacher ... admittedly different from today's school violations; such as coming to school with weapons, drugs, raping, or the random shooting of students and teachers.
Wow! What a change in just a few years.
Fortunately I lived my younger years on the tail-end of the "good" America. For these years I'm forever grateful.
Sadly, the predictable was obvious
America's momentum of Judeo Christian ethic, like a rolling wheel, slowed down in the sixties ... wobbled and fallen into ... today.
Saturday, March 17, 2012
I guess it was my recent accident that got me to thinking about cars. I'm glad God sees people as a higher priority than vehicles. In my case I walked out alive from a very dead vehicle, thanks to God's mercy. My old dead SUV had over 140,000 miles on it ... averaged 23,000 miles a year; most of those miles were driven in Tijuana, as a missionary. Very hard miles!
To be honest, my vehicle was pretty well thrashed; (beat up) from off-road and bad road conditions. The poor live in impossible places ... hard to get in and hard to get out places. Narrow twisty dirt 4X4 trails. Plus a car plum full of people. ( 11 in my little SUV? Often that was the load.)
Jesus said, "The poor we will have with us always," but Jesus did not say it was going to be easy getting to them and their needs.
I look at the happy child above, and he has eternal value ! He's invaluable ! A human life is irreplaceable.
But a car, van or truck has a dollar price tag. It's replaceable.
Yet my beat up Nissan Xterra SUV was a valuable tool. In that car I went to the need. I wonder how many needs I met in those seven years that I had my SUV ... in those hard 140,000 miles.
In Spectrum (Our ministry in Mexico) we are committed to going to the need, never demanding the need come to us. In His Gospel we see Jesus going to the need, never demanding the need come to Him. Jesus was on the road with his Gospel of compassion. (redemption) We're on the road with His Gospel and compassion. (However I don't remember Jesus having to pay for gas!)
One thing for sure, Spectrum's nine old cars and vans in Mexico fit in well with our culture ... but are totally undependable!
Our prayer each trip we take: Lord please get us there and back!
So your prayers protect our vehicles and even make the gas go further ... thank you!
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
It's hard to forget my accident Sunday night. Today I was ready to eat my lunch and some pieces of my X-car's window glass fell on my table. I have little pieces of window glass everywhere. Little reminders of one wild ride.
When your car gets creamed you need another to get around. It seems cars, like air, water and food are essential to life. So I have had to find an inexpensive (cheap) car to rent. Aaron and I walked into the cheapest rental office we could find; the man at the counter was friendly. "How can I help you?" he smiled ... "Just rent me a simple car" I replied, "all I need is four wheels and a motor". So we walked over past a number of sleek luxury cars to my "little" car in the corner; while we walked the man kept suggesting up-grades, and how inexpensive an upgrade would be.
Indeed my car was an economy model. Oh, it had little extras, like a cup-holder, two side mirrors, a dome-light and full tank of gas! No ash tray, but then I didn't need one.
After an accident like mine, you're thankful for your life ... but then the expenses hit you! If I had known what this accident would cost me, I wouldn't have had it in the first place! (Just kidding.)
Already my "kids" in Mexico are making suggestions for a replacement. A Hummer was first on the list, then a bright red Jeep and on to other novel ideas.
They think I'm a millionaire.
For any of you who might be interested; the reality is, my insurance company will probably give me around $6,000.for my totally totaled car. A more dependable used SUV with lower mileage, four doors and four-wheel drive, plus tax and license will probably cost me over $11,000. Then there is the rental car ... Looks like that's going to be a $5,000. stretch for me. As you might guess, the car will be used 95% for ministry. Spectrum work across the border.
At 83, I simply need dependable transportation for a couple more years ... it will probably be my last car.
I would appreciate your prayers and any of you that might be extra blessed and in a position to help me financially ... I would sincerely appreciate your help. My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday, March 12, 2012
Oh how we appreciate you who faithfully pray for us as we work Tijuana.
One night a few weeks ago as I was returning from Tijuana. I was coming to a stop sign, I stepped on my brakes to slow down and my brakes went to the floor! I had no brakes, so I slammed back into first gear and went through the stop and on down the block. Turning right, I eased up another block and parked my car, pausing for a moment to thank God that my brakes went out here rather than a matter of minutes back in Tijuana.
Oh, and next it was the power steering that went out ...
Late last night, I crossed the border and was driving the twenty some miles home. I was almost home when I hit a curb and rolled five times down an embankment on to the street below. It was fast ... it was sudden. As I rolled into the darkness, I wondered what was going to happen when I hit the bottom. Would some speeding car give me the final hit? Would my car burst into flame?
When my car stopped it was resting on it's side.
Fortunately someone rushed up and wedged my driver's side door open and I climbed out. I looked at my car and it was totaled. I checked myself out and only found a few scratches and bruises. So I'm O. K.
I knew one of the police that came to assist. They helped me collect my essential stuff before the car was hauled to the bone-yard. One of the police offered me a ride home. "Can I ride in the front seat?" I asked. "Yeah, (he smiled) you can ride in the front ... jump in."
Thanks again for your prayers.
Now I'm looking to buy a good used SUV. At my age it will probably be my last car, and because I'm no spring-chicken and I'm using it in Tijuana, I'll want it to be really dependable!
You might pray with me to that end. Thanks.
Thursday, March 08, 2012
Years ago I was visiting a missionary friend in Bolivia. He was a missionary to a tribe of Indians located in the hot sweaty Bolivian Amazon. He and his wife had been working with this 'small' group of very primitive Indians for a year. The tribe was once large, numbering hundreds but now there were only a handful. This group of people had been decimated by disease and warfare and were now down to one rugged family of about six individuals. A man, his two wives and some kids.
It wasn't long before the naked man spotted my buck-knife. I let him look at it, and watched him as he opened it up and slowly ran his finger over the edge of blade. He looked up at me and smiled. As I took my knife back, he came close to me and excitedly started a dialogue ... in his language.
The missionary, with a smile, translated his talk; indeed he liked that knife and wanted it bad! He made me an amazing offer ... my Buck Knife for his second wife. Swap, even ... I looked at my knife and I looked at the woman, then I looked at my knife again and ... I decided to keep my knife.
Tuesday, March 06, 2012
I note that there are not too many pidgins in urban Tijuana today; in years past Tijuana had a good share of plump free loading pidgins.
Maybe there is a reason the pidgin population is shrinking.
This afternoon I was spending some time at a new, small orphanage, in central Tijuana. Mexicans have great hospitality! They invited me to stay for lunch. I as I was waiting, I watched one of the lady cooks come in from outside with a happy smile, holding two dead pidgins, which she called doves.
A few grey feathers trailed their way down the stairs through the kitchen, where the feathers stopped. These were truly plump Tijuana pidgins. Within fifteen minutes they became part of a rich molae sauce to combine with the meal of rice. Rich and tasty the brown sauce over the rice made the meal.
This was a considerate and appropriate time for the pidgins to stop by.
Coincidence? I don't think so.
After the meal as I was walking outside through the side door I noted a wide area along the wall with a lot of bird seed scattered around. Could it be that the bird seed attracted "doves" or pidgins for dinner.
I think so!
You see, while the pidgins were busy eating their last dinner, they suddenly became dinner for the kids.
Just a quick grab and a bit of squawking ... fresh protein!
Free plump Tijuana pidgins for the taking. It seems the protein just flew in at the right time. Remember, God brought the quail in didn't He?. Now for TJ pidgins.
Are you hungry Tijuana? You bet you are!