Sunday, November 30, 2008

Go to Your Family - Church Retreat Teaching

Here is the second session from our church retreat, October 24-26, 2008.

Thanksgiving in Bucuresti

Here are some photos that Claudia and I took during our Thanksgiving celebration at Rebekah's apartment. We celebrated with a dinner including chicken and for desert we had pumpkin pie!

Please pray for Karen Barrentine as she is has finally offically adopted Beta. She has been at this for over nine years, can you believe that! She has overcome incredible obstacles over the year through the grace of God. She really wants to be able to take Beta home before Christmas so please pray that all the remaining legal and paperwork will get done with no problem so they can go home to the States for Christmas. Karen and Beta are in the second photo in the slideshow.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Go to the Feet of Jesus - Church Retreat Teaching

Here is the first session from our church retreat near Bran, October 24-26, 2008. Shane Herman, who was our pastor till health problems caused him to return to the States, shared with us over the weekend. The theme of the retreat was "Equipped to Go". The sound and lighting are not so great but the teaching is.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Best Gospel Posts of the Week

Just like I did with the "best living the gospel" posts on Thursday today I will get caught up with the best blog posts and articles on explaining the gospel I came across on the web for the past several weeks. Between doing two weekend workshops on the gospel, having a church retreat, putting on an outreach concert here in Bucuresti and videoing another weekend workshop plus our regular ministries it has been extremly busy here the past six weeks or so.

Please understand that I don't necessarily agree with everything in the articles and blog posts but I post them to show what people are thinking and writing concerning the gospel. Be careful to be discerning.

October 18-24

October 25-31

November 1-7

November 8-14

November 15-21
November 22-28

Best "Living the Gospel" Posts of the Week

It's been some time since I shared what I thought were some of the best articles and blog posts that I came across on the web regarding living the gospel. Long busy days made it hard to do everything I wanted so now I'm catching up. Here they are listed by week for the last five weeks.

October 23-29

October 30-November 5

November 6-12

November 13-19

November 20-26

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bible Overview Workshop Worship Video

Here are some moments from the worship during the Bible Overview Workshop. I videoed the three workshop sessions and I will be posting them as well when I get them done. First I have to figure out how to include the animated powerpoints used in the workshop into the video.

Photos from Bible Overview Workshop

Here are some photos taken at the Bible Overview Workshop in Ciorani on Saturday, November 22, 2008.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Back from Bulgaria

When to Ruse, Bulgaria today to finish taking care of the visa problem I've had for about 16 months. We left early, six in the morning, so that we wouldn't have to deal with long lines of cars. You have to pay a $10 tax to use the bridge that goes over the Danube and when we paid it two guys asked us for a ride so we took them with us. They both spoke English, though one guy (Tudor) much better than the other, which gave me an opportunity to share my testimony and the gospel. Before we dropped them off I gave them one of our cards "Five Things God Wants You to Know" which has the despreisus (about Jesus) website address on it. Tudor said he would check it out so please pray for him.

The whole process since last week to take care of my problem was a lot easier than I expected though it did cost money and time. I thank the Lord for the favor and understanding I had with the people we dealt with at the immigration office and the police station. Even at the border the guard only wanted to know why I had this problem cause he had never seen an American need an interdiction paper before. Once Florin explained the situation he was cool with it.

With this, stage one is taken care of and so now on to stage two which is to get a one year visa. I have 90 days to get it taken care of. After that is done stage three will be trying to get a five year visa. I look forward to when that becomes a reality!

Thanks for your prayers regarding my visa problem, please continue to pray that I will get the one-year and also the five-year visa.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Videoing Sunday Sermons

Florin started preaching in Romanian only with no translation yesterday. Over the past month or so most of the foreigners, other than the missionaries serving in the church, have either moved back to where they are from or are going somewhere else. While we are sad for losing people we are close to, it does provide the opportunity to focus the church on Romanians. It has been my prayer for this to happen so I praise God for bringing this about in His timing.

Because of the change I decided to start videoing the sermons on Sundays. There will be times occasionally I will preach in English with Florin translating into Romanian but for the most part from now on it will be only in Romanian. I won't be posting them here on my blog except when I preach so if you want to see them they will be embedded on the home page of church or on my account on Vimeo which has a RSS feed if you want to be notified when I post new videos.

Some of you may noticed a humming sound in the audio. Next week I will do things a bit different and see if that will take of the problem. If I had the time I would have edited out the audio but it's not that bad and I'm pretty busy.

Study Series on the Gospel

I came across the study series below on The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical Celebration on the site Teaching Minds Changing Hearts. If you have not read this statement developed in 1999, which was signed by a large group of recognizable leaders in the evangelical world, I would highly recommend doing so. There are other study series on the site as well if you are interested.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ: An Evangelical CelebrationRequires Acrobat Reader
A 13-part study series on
the Statement, which was written to clarify the essential teachings of the Gospel. The study series below was designed for a small group setting, but could easily be adapted to sermon form.

Introduction: History and Significance The Provision of the Gospel, Part II

The Nature of the Gospel The Triumph of the Gospel, Part I

The Supposition of the Gospel The Triumph of the Gospel, Part II

The Span of the Gospel The Application of the Gospel, Part I

The Selectivity of the Gospel The Application of the Gospel, Part II

The Person of the Gospel The Application of the Gospel, Part III

The Provision of the Gospel, Part I

Gospel Quote - Nothing Attractive About the Gospel

Oswald Chambers
There is nothing attractive about the gospel to the natural man; the only man who finds the gospel attractive is the man who is convicted of sin

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Free Downloads of Worship Songs

If you enjoy getting free quality worship songs you can download over 50 songs at Recent Rainfall. This is from their home page:

Welcome to Recent Rainfall Worship where you will find original contemporary worship music resources.

Our MP3s and chord charts can be freely downloaded for use in church services, or for your own enjoyment. For any other type of use, please contact us for permission.

We join with you in the song of the redeemed which rises to Heaven from every nation.

Friday, November 21, 2008

At Your Service - Great Article on Service

I just read a great article on service by Jimmy Davis who has the blog The Cruciform Life. The article appeared in the new issue of Worldview Church (Breakpoint). You can read it here. I wish I had more time to explain what I like about it but here is an excerpt for you.

The profile of Jesus’ life described in the gospels fits hand-in-glove with the profile of the cruciform disciple that is prescribed by the Apostles in their letters. When Paul was laying out his God-given plan for building up the church in Ephesians 4, he mentioned that pastors and church leaders were to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,” resulting in a unity and maturity that finds its final expression in love. The Greek word translated “ministry” here is related to the word diakonos (dee-AH-ko-nahs), a servant who waited tables at meals (e.g. Luke 10:40, 12:37, 17:8, 22:27; John 12:2). At banquets the diakonos was assigned a certain number of tables over which he or she presided as one who watches, waits, and willingly serves the people who reclined and dined there. This is very similar to how our modern day restaurants assign servers to care for the guests at a particular section of tables.

Each follower of Jesus has been assigned a “section” of “tables,” each of which is full of people who are in need of the ministry (diakonian, service) of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-21). Paul called that section of tables our “area of influence,” the boundaries in which and the limits to which God has placed us to advance His Kingdom through gospel works and witness (2 Corinthians 10:13-18). Our section of tables is what we’ll call our Personal Mission Field (PMF), and each table represents a different circle of influence in which we live (i.e. home, work, neighborhood, school, stores, restaurants, the gym, extended family, clubs, teams, associations, church, etc.). The work of ministry to which each of us is called is “to serve, not to be served,” to live among those in our Personal Mission Fields “as one who serves.”

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Supremacy of Christ

Basic Definitions of the Gospel

Here are some more basic definitions of the gospel that I have come across on the internet. If you have any constructive thoughts and insights please comment.

Trevor Burke
That God the Father would desire and determine to redeem and adopt disobedient sons to Himself and welcome them into His household is the essence of the Gospel.

Darryl Dash
The Gospel is about what God has accomplished through the person and work of Jesus Christ. This is big news. It involves rescue from judgment for sin and a restored relationship with God,
and his restoration of creation.

Martyn Lloyd-Jones
He [Jesus] deliberately went to the cross and suffered the shame and the spitting and the indignity of it all; and this He did to bear my sins; to receive my punishment; to suffer the penalty that my guilt had deserved; and infinitely more important, to deliver me from the bondage of sin and of Satan; to separate me unto Himself; and to make of me a man zealous of good works, delighting in holiness. He died; He was raised from the dead; He returned to heaven, and He sent down the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost in order that I might have the assurance of my faith, and the joy, and the power. He has given me a new life and a new nature; He has joined me unto Himself; I am a member of His mystical body; I am a child of God, I am an heir of heaven

Friday, November 14, 2008

In Bistrita for Gospel Workshop

I'm in Bistrita to do the Gospel Workshop this weekend. I've been able to spend time with some of my friends here which is great. I really look forward to doing this workshop. May the Lord give me grace to serve Him well and to be His instrument of grace. Please pray for those coming to the workshop to come away with a passion to know, live and share the gospel.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Biblical Parenting Conference Audio or Video

I watched some of the sessions from a Biblical parenting conference held at Mars Hill Church in Seattle and found them very good. There were some things that were even applicable to pastoring and discipling. How awesome it is that Mars Hill makes their resources available for free. May the Lord bless them greatly for their service to the greater body of Christ! Check out the link for more info on the conference and links to download the audio or video of the conference.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Basic Definitions of the Gospel

Below are three more basic definitions that I have come across on the web. If you have any constructive thoughts and insights please comment.

Andy Crouch
The gospel is the proclamation of Jesus, in [two] senses. It is the proclamation announced by Jesus - the arrival of God’s realm of possibility (his “kingdom”) in the midst of human structures of possibility. But it is also the proclamation about Jesus - the good news that in dying and rising, Jesus has made the kingdom he proclaimed available to us.

Ray Ortlund
But here is the good news. God has made God our salvation. He did it at the cross. God has provided a way of escape from God: in God. We run from his wrath by running toward his grace in Christ. And if God is for us, who can be against us?

TC Robinson
Jesus was commissioned by the Father to proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God—it is “good news” because it is news about a restoration: 1. of our original relationship with God. 2. of our original position of his vice-regents over the earth. And 3. of our original home—earth.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Gospel Quote - What Idolatry Is

Mike Metzger
In the Bible, idolatry is making anyone or anything, other than God, responsible for my sense of well-being today and tomorrow.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Dowload Video of Clips from Concert

If you would like to download the 21 minute video with the clips from the concert you can download the 720x480 version (947 MB) from Vimeo and a 640x480 version (169 MB) can be download from A Drive.

Video Clips from Concert

Here are some video clips from our outreach concert on Friday, November 7, 2008 featuring the band "Decean" and the pantomime group "Impact Team". We had a porfessional guy video the concert for us so in a week or two we should have video of the whole two hours of the concert.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Basic Definitions of the Gospel

Here are some more basic definitions of the gospel for your consideration. If you have any thoughtful comments please add them.

Gilbert Beebe - 1846
Like so many Bible terms, the word GOSPEL has been given various definitions contrary to its original and proper meaning. The word has its origin "in Christ before the foundation of the world." This was contained in the "promise" God made before the foundation of the world. (Tit. 1:2) The "gospel," the "good news" or "good tidings" is the declared fulfilment of that promise.

Robert A. Guelich
The “gospel” then is the message that God acted in and through Jesus Messiah, God’s anointed one, to effect God’s promise of shalom, salvation, God’s reign.’

Rob Wilkerson
That man needed to be made right with God before God comes to judge the world. And the only way to be made right with God is through a righteousness that is opposite our self-righteousness That kind of of righteousness belongs to God who is, however, willing to credit it to us who don't deserve it. Meanwhile, our self-righteousness and the punishment it so richly deserves was credited to Jesus Christ who didn't deserve any of it. On the cross, Jesus suffered the unmitigated wrath of God to the last drop, so that those who desire to repent and live a life of faith following Jesus will be found in His group and therefore recipients of God's eternal blessings rather than eternal wrath.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Poster for Our Outreach Concert

Here is the poster for our outreach concert this Friday here in Bucuresti. It was done by my friend Cristi in Brasov.

Gospel Quote - Original Meaning of "Gospel"

Derek Leman
"Gospel is a coined word from the Old English “godspell,” that fails to capture the original meaning of the New Testament word: evangelion. Far from being a religious word, evangelion was a concept of wartime and messengers and people huddled in their city walls fearful of a coming invasion. The army had marched out to meet the coming enemy and the people behind the city walls knew if their army failed, there would be a siege. There would be death, starvation, and brutality.

But along comes a messenger, a runner approaching the city walls from the front lines of the battle. The entire city would hold its collective breath. Is the message good or evil? Will it be life or death?

A good report from the battle was called evangelion, good news, a good report, a message of life and hope."

Sunday, November 02, 2008