Kirsten Powers, reluctant follower of Jesus
Here is a story that might encourage all you small group Bible study leaders out there.
Every one has a unique story about how they come to trust in Jesus. In the case of Ms. Powers, a former political operative turned political pundit, it started with hearing some thoughtful preaching and eventually joining a Bible study. She concluded her article: The Hound of Heaven had pursued me and caught me—whether I liked it or not.
I remember walking into the Bible study. I had a knot in my stomach. In my mind, only weirdoes and zealots went to Bible studies. I don’t remember what was said that day. All I know is that when I left, everything had changed. I’ll never forget standing outside that apartment on the Upper East Side and saying to myself, “It’s true. It’s completely true.” The world looked entirely different, like a veil had been lifted off it. I had not an iota of doubt. I was filled with indescribable joy.
Matthew 9:37-38 Then He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest.”
Part II can be found here.
Part I over here.
Chinese Church Voices
In this third section of the article “The Chinese Church: Past, Present, and Future,” the author calls for the Chinese church to be engaged in the cause of evangelism and global missions, taking the gospel to the ends of the earth. A vision for missions begins with the pastor, and must be built on the following: 1) prayer, for individual churches and for the church in China as a whole; 2) adequate training for evangelists and missionaries; 3) the Chinese church producing its own missions leaders; and 4) the shedding of “Sino-centrist” attitudes.
Evangelism: The Chinese Church in the Future
A glance at long term trends shows that oppression of the Chinese church has relaxed and religious freedom is increasing. China’s entry to the WTO, hosting of the Olympic Games and election to the first UN Human Rights Council all provide impetus for the establishment of human rights in China.
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Interesting? What do you think?
Western Christians make a big deal of the rich young ruler story (Matt. 19:16–29; Mark 10:17-30; Luke 18:18–30). The account has become the quintessential expression of a legalist trying to earn his salvation. Is this interpretation correct or is it just a caricature of the rich man?
Our understanding of the story matters significantly because it shapes the way many people perceive a sinner’s problem and thus do evangelism. To explore this question further, let us consider what we would see if we read the text with a Chinese lens.
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In another periodic post under “old stuff,” below are the lyrics of a Charles Wesley hymn from the early days of my journey of faith during my high school years …
Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and king,
The triumphs of His grace!
My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad,
The honors of Thy name.
Jesus! the name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease—
’Tis music in the sinner’s ears,
’Tis life, and health, and peace.
He breaks the pow’r of canceled sin,
He sets the pris’ner free;
His blood can make the foulest clean,
His blood availed for me.
Photo above is of St. Pierre Cathedral in Geneva.
May God bless whomever reads these Bibles!
Chinese Church Voices
In a counter-intuitive and ironic twist, China has become one of the world’s top producer of Bibles, producing 3.5 million annually. At the recent Christian Congress held in Beijing, the China Christian Council, the governing body of China’s Protestant Church released a report on the work of Bible production in China. The following article, originally published in the Christian Times, reports on the Congress.
The Ninth Chinese Christian Congress opened in Beijing on September 9 and lasted 3 days. The conference is organized by the Chinese Christian Church’s Council and takes place every five years.
The day the Congress opened, the Chinese Three Self Patriotic Movement Committee Chairperson, elder Fu Xianwei, gave a work report and reviewed the work of the last five years. Included in his report on the last 5 years, he stated that the Chinese Christian Church Council’s publishers printed 17.5 million Bibles, and in the…
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West Coast Chinese Christian Conference, 12/27 – 12/30/2013
This annual conference started in 1969 and has been a space God has used to encourage, challenge, and train people to follow our Lord!
What to expect?
Great speakers, uplifting worship, and meaningful sharing in small groups.
This year’s theme: The Surpassing Worth of Knowing Christ.
Check it out and prayerfully consider participating!
Prof. Ben Witherington on Preaching, part I
Excerpt: ‘Preaching’,it’s what makes so much of the Protestant world go around. It’s what many people go to church to hear— not the singing, not the jingling of coins in the plate, not the appeals of the Sunday school class, or the peals of the church bells, but preaching. This is in some ways odd, as the NT say very little about preaching to the choir, or the already converted. …
Will be keeping an eye on this series of blog post from noted scholar and author Witherington.
In the meantime, be sure to pray for the pastor/preacher at your church!