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Changes in blog

Please note that all the Church of the Resurrection pages have now been permanently removed and placed on the new site at:

http://churchofthereswyo.wordpress.com/

I will continue to post my reflections and thoughts here, but for anything church related, please go to the above link.  Thanks.

Most recent newsletter from Benin

We’ve just posted our newest update from the ministry in Benin on our ministry blog.  Anyone interested in reading it can click here to get there.

New website for Church of the Res

I know I haven’t posted anything for some time now, what with a recent trip to Benin and the many community activities here I have been very busy.

However, we have now created a new site dedicated just for the Church of the Resurrection. There will be changes in the near future to this site, which will remain my own domain of thought & reflection, but I would ask anyone coming here for the Church of the Res to now begin going to:

http://churchofthereswyo.org

Thank you.

New church web site

Visit our new site dedicated to the Church of the Resurrection at

http://churchofthereswyo.org/

There’s a whole lot more on the church there, while I’ll continue to publish my personal views here.

Happy Mothers’ Day!

I wanted to take the time and say thank you to the mothers we have. I think especially of own mother who cherished and nurtured me and then let me go off to Africa for 19 long years with bad communications and long intervals of seeing one another. I am grateful that she raised me with a Kingdom perspective and despite the sacrifice of not being near to me or hearing from me as often as most, she released me (and eventually her daughter-in-love and grandchildren) to do Kingdom business. She could have whined, complained and just made our life hard, but instead she has the long view of life and encouraged us to stay always in the center of His will – by far the best place to be. Much like Jochebed, she encased us in her prayers and released us into life’s torrents knowing that in the end that God’s hands were best able to hold & guide us throughout.

Additionally, I am thankful for a wife who mothers my own little warriors.  Not only was she incredibly courageous to birth and raise our children in Africa, and does she have some stories for you, she’s sensitive to nurture them with the same Kingdom perspective that took us to Benin.  Not only does she provide the princess clothing for our daughter who loves frilly things, she provides the swords to my boys as they go off to fight the dragon – often with their sister too, by the way.  But she has an awesome balance of recognizing God’s design in our children and nurturing them along those paths.  I am also very blessed that despite the busyness of homeschooling and raising 3 active kids, she’s made our marriage covenant the priority in her life reminding our children that they are in orbit about us and not us about them – something a bit counter-cultural these days.

And finally, a thank you to all the “mothers in Israel” who make up the Church and who’ve had an impact upon my own life and others.  Godly women who pray, nurture and listen to all of us who need encouragement throughout our lives.  Thank you and Happy Mothers’ Day!

Timely Exhortation – YOU are the worship team!

Kim Walker exhorts us to come to church already prepared to worship, rather than coming to church looking for the preacher or music to “get them re-connected” with God after a hard week.

New Alpha Course Beginning Soon…

We’re going to begin a new Alpha this month, so I thought I would share a good video of Nicki interviewing “Bear” Grylls.  Edward Michael “Bear” Grylls (born 7 June 1974) is an English adventurer, writer and television presenter. He is best known for his television series Man vs. Wild.   Aside from this short YouTube video, more about his faith can read at Relevant Magazine.

Poverty and Isaiah 61

This week I’ve been working on a message from Isaiah 61, the passage that Jesus quotes in Luke 4, and as I was going through the first three verses I was particularly struck by the list of characteristics of those the Messiah came to minister to.  And I know that I myself am in that list, some days under one heading and others days under another.  However, I think it’s been the many years of missions’ work and my reading that made me spend more time digging deeper this Sunday into what poverty is and is not.  Poverty IS NOT just the lack of material assets, as many people seem to want to limit it.  Poverty may better be titled impoverishment, because poverty is far more multidimensional than the general public sees it to be.

The definition of poverty, or impoverishment, is important because as we go about our Kingdom business of announcing the Good News it helps us to shape how that news is shared.  If poverty is merely a lack of assets, then giving money or getting better jobs should solve poverty.  That, however, is manifestly untrue.  According to Wall Street Journal article, Why Foreign Aid is Hurting Africa, “Over the past 60 years at least $1 trillion of development-related aid has been transferred from rich countries to Africa. Yet real per-capita income today is lower than it was in the 1970s, and more than 50% of the population — over 350 million people — live on less than a dollar a day, a figure that has nearly doubled in two decades.”  You would imagine that $1 trillion could do something to relieve poverty, but in fact the average person is earning less that he was in 1970!  That’s simply because poverty is not merely lack of assets.

In his book, Walking With the Poor, Bryant Myers discusses the many facets to poverty.  In his book he uses diagrams and discussions by Dr. Christian and Dr. Jayakaran to illustrate his points.

You can see from this image that just giving money, a job, or even better education is just not going to resolve poverty.  It’s much more than that, and in the end only the Good News of Jesus the Messiah can sufficiently solve the problem of poverty, because the Good News is all about true peace – with God, with oneself, with men and with the creation around us.  If you carefully compare at each of the points where the “web of poverty” begins with promises out of the Bible, one will discover that God promises to transform our weaknesses into strengths.  A quick listing of them would be: material poverty with Mt. 6:25-34; vulnerability with 2 Tim. 1:7-8; powerlessness with Eph. 3:16-21; spiritual poverty with Eph. 1:1-3; isolation with Jn. 14:18-27; and physical weakness with 2 Cor. 12:9.

God through His Son and His Spirit seek to lift people out of their poverty (and grief, mourning, captivity and bondage) so that they may experience life abundantly.  It is His Church on earth that must faithful minister this truth and news to all peoples.  It is not a simple problem and our ministries will need to be equally multi-faceted to address them, but the solution lies ultimately in the One who was anointed to preach the good news.

He Is Risen Indeed!

Need I say more??

Recent newsletter just uploaded

We’ve just added our latest newsletter to our other ministry blog for those of you interested in following what’s going on in Benin and among the Cheyenne in Montana.  We’re very privileged to be working with these awesome brothers and sisters in Christ.