Viewpoint

The Problem with Power

  Photo from Myers Elementary School       This past week, I have been thinking a lot about the issue of power or authority. Everywhere you look there are people who have power and authority – the power to make decisions, the power to direct people, the power to open up opportunities and the power to shut things down. In many ways, power is similar to a fire. Fire is a useful and beneficial...

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The Reality of Spiritual Warfare

  Photo by weeklyrob       I remember growing up as a new Christian in high school and some of my spiritual leaders would tell me the catch-22 that Christians face, especially when it comes to spiritual warfare. The catch-22 goes like this – “If you are growing spiritually, Satan will come against you to hinder you from growing, but in order to fight off the attacks, you have to grow stronger. But if...

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Prelude to Revival

  Photo from chrisbraymusic.com       A. W. Tozer wrote, “Have you noticed how much praying for revival has been going on of late–and how little revival has resulted? I believe the problem is that we have been trying to substitute praying for obeying, and it simply will not work. To pray for revival while ignoring the plain precept laid down in Scripture is to waste a lot of words and get nothing for...

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From the Crowd to the Core

  Photo on dpnow.com       In all new church plants, one of the biggest concerns or dilemmas is trying to figure out how to get people who visit your church to become committed disciples who will take on the role of leadership. Usually the linear process is: bring visitors in, reach out to them, integrate them to the church, and equip them to reproduce themselves. I don’t think there is anything wrong with...

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Obsessed with Fame

  Photo by AP       The whole world was riveted with the thought of a boy stuck in a runaway balloon. But horror turned into shock when evidence slowly emerged with the possibility of the whole ordeal being a hoax made up by the parents. The shock then turned into disbelief and anger. The question that kept on running through the minds of people was – “How can parents involve their child in...

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Preaching the Gospel to Ourselves

  Photo from images.com       Over the years, I have been trying to teach our congregation(s) the importance of the Gospel. The Gospel is critical in our journey with Christ, not only when we get saved, but in the present and into the future. So often we apply the Gospel message towards a definitive point in time –the day we accepted the message of Christ’s death and resurrection by faith for salvation. The...

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The Reminders through the Call to Prayer

  Photo from Freewebs       I think one of the things that people have to get used to while they are in Indonesia is the daily calls to prayer. All throughout the day, you are able to hear the multiple calls to prayer for the Muslim people. The retreat center that I am preaching at has several mosques within a block distance. Therefore, the call to pray feels as if it is right...

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My First Exam as a Professor

  Photo from nomadlife.org       This past week was my first time writing up a midterm exam on the college level. So many things ran through my mind. I thought about some of the most difficult exams that I have taken in my life. I thought about some of the easiest test that I have taken in my life. Then I started to think about how easy/hard I should make the exam for...

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Power Outages

  Photo by uchicago.edu       I have heard about the power outages that occur once in awhile in Indonesia. People have told me to be prepared for them because it happens randomly and the electricity can be out for hours. It was all head knowledge until we experienced our first power outage. Now, in the last 3-4 days we have experienced daily power outages and a couple of them have lasted for 7...

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I Don’t Want a Revival

  Photo by Northview       Some years ago, I was reflecting on how God sent revivals throughout history. At first, I was baffled at the fact that we haven’t been experiencing the type of revival that we read about in history. There were some of the more recent revivals in the 1990’s and early 2000’s but many of them were shorted lived. This is when I began to ask God, “Why aren’t there...

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Enough is Enough

  Photo by pdesigner.com       I don’t know how many of you have been following the news this past week, but there are a lot of global things going on right now. Recently, the United Nations (U.N.) had their 61st General Assembly session in NYC. Not only was this meeting a bit tense due to all the political issues around the world, but I am still trying to understand what good came out...

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The Concept of Personal Space

  Photo by Reuters       As you can tell from the picture above, things are crowded in Indonesia. This picture describes not only the massive amount of motorcycles on the road, but also the chaos on the streets as people are all trying to get home for the Hari Raya Idul Fitri holiday. I am coming to understand the magnitude of being in a country that has the 4th largest population in the...

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The “I” in Idolatry

  Photo by Anne Elliott       The American Heritage Dictionary defines “idolatry” as, “blind or excessive devotion to something.” It is interesting that throughout the Bible one theme that keeps on coming up is the topic of idols. It is germane to who we are as God’s people. God created us to worship Him and to have no other gods or idols before Him (Ex 20:3-4), but we have not taken this command...

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True Freedom

  Photo on Diane Beeler website       In class yesterday, we had a good discussion on the topic of freedom. I challenged the students to think about the true meaning of freedom as we were going over the Old Testament. I pointed out that we see the plight of humankind constantly disobeying God, even though God clearly marks out the boundaries for us. Then I imposed the question, “Can we say that we...

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