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February 2007
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April 2007

Entries from March 2007

Graduation

Today I am attending the graduation of a man we helped to send to school. He feels that God has called him into full time ministry and felt that he needed to attend a Bible School. I disagreed with the Bible School idea, but believed in him enough to go along with what he felt he needed.

In the end it seems he was right. He has been blessed, enriched, and inspired by attending this Bible School, and I am glad to have been a part of it.


The Great Commission

Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
18) Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20) and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I used to think of the Great Commission as work, and not easy work. The word commission conjures up images of a commander passing you orders, which you have no choice but to accept. Hard work that you did not even have a say in. When we put aside our religious notions and look at this passage in proper context, we start to see that maybe this was not a Great Commission at all. It is more like the natural outflow of the faith of the disciples. Jesus was not ordering. Instead he was saying this is what you do with the faith you have. He was teaching, which is vastly different than ordering.

Somehow I had in my mind that the Great Commission was preaching the death and resurrection of Jesus to people, but on closer examination I see that is not what Jesus says here.

He tells the disciples, which are people he has relationship with. Most people I know going around proclaiming the Gospel do not know Jesus from Pat Robertson. If you do not know Jesus how can you expect to convince anyone of his message?

He tells them to make disciples. Disciples do not equal converts. Disciples follow Jesus. Disciples give up their jobs, family, and dreams to pick up a cross. We need to preach that to follow Jesus means to die, and not just denying ourselves chocolate during one week out of the year. I am talking about having a life long dream, career, or relationships that upon meeting Jesus you just abandon to follow him.

There is no formula to follow here, no sinners prayer that can magically assure you of an eternity in Heaven. Instead you first must hear Jesus' voice calling you to follow him. In order to hear his voice you might have to slow down a little and notice the people around you. He speaks through them, most of the time. I cannot give you a prescription to follow here. You have to first hear the call and then decide to respond or not.

If you decide to respond Jesus will let you know what to do after that.

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Weather in Nakuru

Today has been overcast and cooler than the past few weeks have been. One of the things I love most about Nakuru is the steady, predictable, and mild weather.

Having lived in Southeast Texas for many years I got used to the weather making abrupt changes, sometimes daily. It could be a nice 75 degrees Fahrenheit one day, and you wake up in the morning to a temperature of 50. Rain, sunshine, gusty wind, and sleet can all occur on the same day. It is a must that you watch the weather reports, that away you know rather to pack a jacket, umbrella, or flotation device.

Here there is no need to watch the weather reports. It is always the same; During the rainy season you know it is around 70 to 75 degrees and it will rain. During the dry season you know it is 70 to 75 and it is not going to rain. I love the steady nature of the weather here.

Right now it is dry, and consequently dusty. Nakuru means dusty, and during these times of no rain you quickly realize that the town was aptly named.

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What Do Missionaries Eat?

What do missionaries eat?

Food.

I know it is a short answer, but hey what do you eat? Food. Just kidding. My wife has learned to cook all kinds of good food in the past few years.

You know when we first got married back in 1995 she pretty much knew how to cook one meal; bacon and eggs. She claims that her mother never allowed her in the kitchen. I am not sure why she did not know how to cook, I just know that bacon and eggs is cool for a couple of days. Bacon and eggs for breakfast, lunch, and dinner gets old real quick.

Being here in Kenya she has been forced to experiment and come up with some good and tasty meals. For example; tonight we had burritos. Now I know what you are saying "That is easy just grab some tortillas from the grocery store and put all the stuffing in."

There are no tortillas here in Kenya. They do have a similar food called chapati, but it is too thick and oily to be used as a tortilla. So my wife, Kate Brooks the woman who could only cook bacon and eggs, made her own home made tortillas. They were actually good. In fact I ate so many that I may not need to eat for a week.

I am thankful that God blessed me with a woman who can learn.

What do missionaries eat?

Food. Homemade food.

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Regard for the Weak

I read this today and thought I would share it with you guys:

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak;
     the LORD delivers him in times of trouble.
The LORD will protect him and preserve his life;
     he will bless him in the land
     and not surrender him to the desire of his foes.
The LORD will sustain him on his sickbed
     and restore him from his bed of illness.

That is Psalm 41 verses 1 through 4 in the New International Version of the Bible. It spoke to me. I see so many people in the world who are powerless to affect any kind of change in their lives. It is nice to see that God also knows those people and cares about them.

Blessed is he who has regard for the weak.

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Favor

I once saw this lady preacher on TV speaking about favor. I remember her show because she produced it in the style of an infomercial. It was weird. She just kept trying to sell her message, which was that we have favor from God. According to her this favor would basically allow us to walk all over people to get whatever we wanted.

She was teaching that the favor of God would bring you good parking spaces at the grocery store. This favor would force your boss to give you a raise, and so on. It is hard for me to understand how people fall for that stuff. Favor is easy to obtain.

If you want to get good service be nice to the people giving you the service. For example people send us care packages here in Kenya. They do this because they love us and want to bless us with things from home. When you ship a package to us here in Kenya it first has to go through customs. I have to wait for these officers to come to the post office to check out the package, which means that sometimes I am waiting at the post office a good amount of time. This gives me a chance to either be grumpy and complain to the employees there, who have no control over the customs agents, or I could be friendly and concerned with their lives. I have seen other missionaries really complain and gripe about the delays, and consequently they are delayed even more. Here is a little secret that I learned from working for the government; civil servants do not care about customer service. Complaining about delays will only produce more delays.

Eventually the customs officer comes by the post office, and in my presence, opens the parcel. He/she does this to see what is inside and assess a tax. I have gone out of my way to be nice and make friends with these people. I'm not talking about bribing, I am just friendly and polite.

Because of my friendliness they often wave the taxes for us, and when they have to charge they place the lowest possible value on the items. This is not because of some mysterious supernatural favor from God, but because I read somewhere in the Bible that a friendly person has friends, and that we should live at peace with the government.

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Internet Problems

We are still here in Kenya, but have been having some internet problems. Actually it all started with a car problem, which seemed to be fixed with a new alternator. Next I discovered that the local internet cafe's were not working. They are still not working today so I came to town, but I forgot the adapter for my laptop's plug. So only a short note today. Hopefully things will be back to normal tomorrow.