Friday, February 22, 2013

"Preaching Christ for Christ's sake"

From the Memoir and Remains of Robert Murray M'Cheyne by Andrew Bonar, page 45.

(Excerpt from M'Cheyne's journal) "July 8- Since Tuesday have been laid up with illness. Set by once more for a season to feel my unprofitableness and cure my pride. When shall this self-choosing temper be healed? 'Lord, I will preach, run, visit, wrestle,' said I. 'No, thou shalt lie in thy bed and suffer,' said the Lord. Today missed some fine opportunities of speaking a word for Christ. The Lord saw I would have spoken as much for my own honor as His, and therefore shut my mouth. I see a man cannot be a faithful minister, until he preaches Christ for Christ's sake- until he gives up striving to attract people to himself, and seeks only to attract them to Christ."

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Highlights from Our Week

  • I've been praying that God would open my eyes to more opportunities to give the Gospel to those I meet in our travels. Last week I was able to give the Gospel to the manager at CiCi's pizza in Jacksonville, Arkansas. She didn't make a decision for Christ, but I hope I at least put a pebble in her shoe.
  • Had the opportunity to teach a missions class at Bethel Baptist College in Jacksonville, Arkansas. Taught on "The Missionary and His Materials", as well as some helpful things I learned from the book "The Deputation Manual" by Pastor Austin Gardner.
  • Had a great time visiting two guys from my home church (Victory Baptist Church, Loganville, Georgia)- Matthew Sewell and Steven Ayers- down at Champion Baptist College in Hot Springs, Arkansas. We went down for a few hours last Thursday, and I sat in on two of the classes. Heard some of the best teaching on the topic of prayer I have ever heard.
  • Sunday morning, Feb. 17th, we stopped in and worshipped with one of our supporting churches, Colonial Baptist Church in Rogers, Arkansas, Pastor Claude Slate. Was personally stirred to see God's grace at work in Pastor Slate and his family, as just over one year ago his daughter, Kim Boling, went home to be with the Lord. We are still praying for God's grace and comfort towards the Slate family and toward Kim's husband, Michael Boling. 
  • Sunday night, Feb. 17th, we were with another supporting church in Rogers, Arkansas- Gospel Light Baptist Church, Pastor Noel Cwenar. Was able to give a report, sing, and hear a timely message from God's Word.
  • My daughter, Elisabeth (4 yrs. old) is proving to be quite the analyzer. She asked me out of the blue earlier today, "Daddy, do strangers think that we are strangers?" I don't think I started thinking those kind of thoughts until I was a good ways further down the road of life than she is presently at. 
  • Please pray for the wife of one of the men I will be working with when we get back to Cambodia. The man's name is Tho. His wife, Jan, has been very sick, and they are looking for a doctor who can give her a correct diagnosis.

Friday, February 15, 2013

When Choosing a Veteran Missionary...

Picture taken in 2006 during my first survey trip

The choice of which veteran missionary you will work with during your first term on the mission field is incredibly important. I thank God that He led us to the Benefield family to work with during our first term in Cambodia. To the glory of God, I can tell you that during time that we were in the Benefield's ministry, Bro. Benefield and I never had a cross word with each other. And I thank God for that. My outlook on ministry in Cambodia is extremely positive, and I owe much of that to Bro. Benefield's leadership. In this post I want to list some facets of my experience working under Stephen Benefield that may prove helpful to a missionary who is still considering which veteran missionary he will work with for the first term.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Missionary and His Materials

Yesterday I had the privilege to teach a practical missions class at Bethel Baptist College in Jacksonville, Arkansas. I wanted to leave something with the class that would really be a practical help to them when they begin the deputation process. These simple thoughts surely helped me when I was on deputation, and these principles certainly apply to furlough as well. These thoughts specifically apply to the materials- the prayer letter, letterhead, website, display, packet, and, most importantly (in my opinion), the DVD presentation. In this post, I will focus more on the DVD presentation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

John and Linda Wilkerson- Used of God to Teach Me True Christianity

I thank God for several men whom I count as my counsellors and godly examples in my life. They are the Paul, and I'm the Timothy. One of those men is John Wilkerson. God has used him to make a great impact on my life. This is one of many instances in which God used Pastor Wilkerson and his family to make me more Christ-like, and I will never forget it as long as I live.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Highlights from Our Week

  • Last Sunday, Feb. 3, we were in two of our supporting churches- New Life Baptist Church in Columbia, SC, and Sumter Baptist Temple in Sumter, SC.
  • We are having a blast being able to see friends from our supporting churches. The relationships a missionary builds on deputation are priceless.
  • On Wednesday, Feb. 6, we were in a supporting church, Forrest Hills @ Mountain View Baptist Church in Snellville, GA. Was able to give a report as well as preach. 
  • Was blessed to see missionary to Cambodia, Matthew Brown and his family at Forrest Hills. We met them in Cambodia when they were on their survey trip, and they just happened to drop in on the night we were at Forrest Hills. We're excited for them- they're at 55% after 10 months of deputation!
  • We just finished up a missions conference at a supporting church, Bible Baptist Church in Jacksonville, AR. What a great conference it was. Was able to teach Sunday school and give a report, and spend time with many precious friends. The church substantially increased its missions giving for this year and took on two new missionaries.
  • Enjoyed the preaching of Dr. Ed Thierbach. First time to hear him preach, and was blessed by his extremely biblical and practical preaching.
  • Yesterday was a bittersweet day at our "second" home church, First Baptist Church of Long Beach, CA. They said goodbye to their beloved pastor, John Wilkerson, and his precious family by having a send-off service as he begins his responsibilities as pastor of First Baptist Church of Hammond, IN next Sunday. 
  • Pastor Wilkerson is Linda's first pastor. She was saved under his ministry when she was 19 years old. We also lived our first two years of marriage under Pastor Wilkerson's pastoral leadership when I was on staff at FBCLB from 2007 to 2009. It sure is going to be strange going to FBCLB without seeing the Wilkersons, but we know that God has a wonderful plan for this special church, and for the Wilkersons as well.