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Saturday, August 15, 2009

A Greek example

I was at a small men's Bible Study a week ago, and we read from Act 17, where Paul goes to Athens. I had the Message translation with me, and was quite moved by the story and found many links to the BSU Campus ministry. (Here is a link to the passage from the Message. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2017:16-34&version=65)

Here are the observations we made as a group that relate to the ministry:
1. Paul was angry with the idols, but his anger was not taken out on people. Rather, he got to know some of them pretty well (vs 17-18)
2. Some want to learn, some want to debate.
3. Paul takes what is already common, and uses the Athenian culture to build a bridge. And he uses what they value--Intelligence--as an entry way. Vs. 23. He is appealing to them intellectually. How true is that of a university setting? And he doesn't call them stupid, but rather calls them to know more, and make a good decision.
4. Paul then appeals to their own poets and writers...in other words, he has listened to them speak. Paul also shows a tremendous amount of respect towards the Athenian people. And some say he's crazy. Some say, "let's talk more." And some become Christ followers. I am so fascinated to see that Paul was so angry at all the idols, yet is so respectful of the people there. You'd never know he was angry with his words and respect that he shows.

As we encourage the BSU campus to drink deep of God's pure kindness, we want to do so with respect and gentleness. Understanding the culture, the people, and the values, listening first. And one day we, too, will have the right opportunity to tell people about their unknown God. And some will become Christ followers--until then, we pray.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


It seems the last week and a half have been full of distractions--some good, some not so good, but all seem to pull me away from focusing on the ministry. Here's a summary:

Friday July 24, 4:30 a.m. I take my son Bretton to the ER with excruxiating stomach pains. He'd been crying for 3+ hours. After several hours, they can't find anything wrong that caused the stomach pains, but did find a potentially difficulty in an enlarged kidney (we think he's had since birth.)

Friday July 24, 6 p.m. Teegan falls off the front porch putting many scratches, cuts and bruises on his face. This begins several days of not feeling well.

Saturday, July 25: I find out my grandpa is taken by ambulance to the ER.

Sat-Tue: Bretton rests and feels better. Teegan gets a low-grade fever.

Wednesday 7/29: Teegan's eye is al matted. Dr says Pink Eye.

My grandfather continues to go up and down, and we are prepared to make a trip to Missouri in a moment's notice. It could be days, it could be months.

Although these distractions are in many ways a priority over the ministry, it still is frustrating. And then comes the dsitraction of worry--how to pay for it all, how to balance the time, how to move ahead, etc. Is this the devil trying to get us down?

And then, the reminder that In His name, there is mercy for sin, there is safety within, there is strength to remain, to stand in spite of pain. And I remember that He regins. And quite frankly, we have it good compared to so many right now. And I come away more focused, more centered, and more looking forward to what God wants to do. Ironic that a distraction is becoming another place for me to see God at work and to reveal his Holy name to BSU! Whodathunkit?!