At the end of his epistle to the Colossians, Paul greets a number of specific people. One of them must have neded some encouragement to continue the ministry he had been given.
And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.” Colossians 4:17
There have been a number of people who have encouraged me to get back into the full-time ministry over the past four years. While I appreciate the kind thoughts, I have often wondered what exactly my ministry should be. God seems to have gifted me with the ability to communicate with children. But I have also enjoyed speaking to small country churches. It would seem that my simple messages resonate with them. That has made me wonder if pastoring a small congregation might be in the future as well. In any event, I’m sure that God will make things plain at the right time.
If, for example, a church is filled only with people who “fit in” and have no problems (wink, wink), it may mean that they haven’t seen any conversions for many years! And if a church has down-and-outers, it may mean that they’re reaching their community for Christ—and they’re reaching lost people, not just families looking for strong churches! So a “mess” may mean “success”!
Think of it this way: a house that is perfectly clean is probably a house in which no babies reside. And a house strewn with toys and smelling of soiled diapers—as uncomfortable as it may be—is probably a house where there is new life! And that’s great! To put it the way Proverbs 14:4 does, “Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean, but abundant crops come by the strength of the ox.” Cleanliness and productivity are often incompatible. Ministry is messy!
A friend of mine is moving his family to Cambodia in two weeks. His family will be serving as missionaries with the goal of spreading the gospel throughout the country. And after 2½ years of deputation, they finally have 100% of their support and are ready to go. The only thing left for them to do is sell their van. If you know of anyone looking for a full-size passenger van, please take a look at the following link for more information about their 2005 Ford Econoline E-150 XLT. It is in very good condition and besides serving you well, buying the van would be a big help to a great missionary family.
Last week, Sharon and I served at Peniel Bible Camp’s Junior 1 week. Sharon was a cook and I was a counselor. Billy, my assistant counselor, and I had nine 3rd-4th grade boys in our cabin. That may sound like a lot until you find that there were up to 14 campers in the girls’ cabins. It was a good week and well worth the time spent.
Each night Billy and I used the Bridge tract with the boys in our cabin to point out their need to be reconciled with God through Jesus. I think it was Thursday night after Billy had completed his presentation that I felt led to speak some more about Proverbs 14:12. So often people have the idea that they are seeking God his way when they are actually walking in the opposite direction. Sadly, when most people discover their error, it will be too late.
Yes, we were tired by the end of the week, but hearing two Bible messages a day was a good experience. Just being under the ministry of the Word of God for five days was worth the time spent. It was like a spiritual cleansing for me — not just for the campers.
Cabin 5 singing the theme song in the Main Lodge
Cabin 5 singing “Jesus Paid it All” at the Mission Outpost
Bible Community Church of North Mentor is hosting a morning VBS each morning this week for children and teens. Pastor Scheiderer will be teaching the Bible stories for the children. And you will meet a living superhero such as Electric Erika or Dashing Dan. You won’t want to miss it! Call (440) 257-1238 or visit the website for more information.
The theme is Bible Heroes and to help with decorating, one department used some of Ron Wheeler’s excellent cartoon clip art. While the cell phone picture isn’t the greatest quality, you can see that the artwork worked well with the theme. Thanks, Ron!
When my parents were up last week, dad took pictures while I was giving the Bible lesson. It was nice to see the expressions on the faces of the children as they heard the story of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho. And we are happy to see evidence that the Lord is using the message of gospel in the lives of the children. Keep praying for God to use these times with the children. We have one more meeting at our home and then the Bible Club Challenge next week.
It is not fame, notoriety, or celebrity that gives us the “platform” for touching other lives. It is the life experiences that God gives us whereby we realize His grace and recognize that He alone can meet our deepest needs.