Growing up in a conservative farming environment, our family sought to carry out a sensible lifestyle with a focus on getting the work done. In every way possible, we kept things in balance to minimize the frequency of events that regularly threatened to upset the routine and harmony of life on the farm. Over time, this taught us not to complicate our daily patterns with extraneous ideas or methods, and never to take unnecessary risks.
When we are in the harvest, there are many kinds of people that we meet. We come across atheists, and we find fully-devoted believers, but most of the time, we find someone within the wide spectrum between those extremes.
When Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples, have you ever considered what He was expecting of them? Only 10 days after His ascension, the Holy Spirit came upon those same men, kicking off the great gospel movement that is the stuff of the book of Acts.
What we tend to forget is that Jesus knew, when He gave His commission, that all this was going to happen. He expected these often-selfish, and more-often-clueless men to do amazing things. And that they did. The rest is history.
Long ago in 1986, I took up a new hobby: beekeeping. I loved being around bees, learning their ways and of course enjoying the honey they produced. Moving to a new ministry area forced me to give it up, but years later in Australia, I once again took up beekeeping. It was during this time that at least 4 other people followed my interest in keeping bees, all of them quite passionately. These men have all taught other people how to keep bees and build hives, and this in itself is a great lesson and wonderful reminder of how we make and multiply disciples.
(The following was prepared for the CityReach Europe email distribution, April 2020)
Life is full of difficulties. If you are a devoted follower of Jesus, you probably understand that those difficulties don’t go away at conversion. Tough times and opposition are part of a disciple’s life! We often call this spiritual warfare, as we recognize that these things come from an enemy who wants to destroy us (John 10.10a).
Church planting movements are the result of the Holy Spirit working through faithful men and women around the world who are sharing the gospel boldly and making disciples that make disciples. Here is an excerpt from the most recent prayer bulletin sent out by the 24:14 prayer network:
Two specific markers are used to determine whether or not a CPM is happening in a UPG:
When Judy and I were first married, we lived in a mobile home. Despite the bad reputation of “trailer park” living, it was highly affordable and opened wonderful doors for ministry. Long before we bought it, our mobile home was pulled in behind a truck and backed into place. Workers situated it on concrete supports and removed wheels, so technically it was no longer mobile. Believe it or not, 36 years later our “no-longer-mobile home” teaches me a valuable lesson.
Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men” - Mark 1.16-17 (ESV)
Jesus beckoned a couple of ordinary fishermen to follow Him and to learn how to catch people for the Kingdom. Among those men was Peter, who would become the most well-known among the disciples. Despite his many mistakes and oft-ailing faith during his time with Jesus, this man would go on to spread the gospel message widely.
April 29, 1975 was a significant day in history. It was the day that a young man named Bill arrived in Thailand with his wife and 2 daughters to begin their missionary career.
However, you're more likely to remember this date as the day Saigon fell to Communist forces, bringing to an end the long and painful conflict known as the Vietnam War. Because of this major political crisis, many people--including missionaries who served in Vietnam--fled the country to take refuge in nearby Thailand.