Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Lord has really blessed

After returning from our assigned mission project this past week, it is time to give everyone an update on the happenings. You will hopefully be hearing from other members of the team as they will be posting articles about their experience, but this is an effort to share with you, our friends, the wonderful provision of our Lord during the visit to the US/Mexico Border.

First, if we had a theme that could sum up what all happened, it would be based on Psalm 23. We experienced times of great provision. It became a point of laughter at times because every time we turned around there were people providing meals and other items to us as a way of expressing their love. We are so grateful for God watching over us and providing for us through His people. In addition to the provision there were times of a real presence of "attack" by the enemy. Members of our team really struggled with this and the Lord used this to remind us that even though we walk through very dark times, He is with us. His rod and his staff, they comforted us.

Second, we met a new congregation (Primera San Juan) and new brothers and sisters at this location. We were so blessed by the people and the great response for the Vacation Bible School. We had a regular crew of 10-15 adults that attended the Adult session, which I lead. This was in addition to the adults from the congregation with whom we had the privilege of working beside. The second night of VBS there were three adults in the class that made public professions of faith in Christ and repentance of sin. Praise the Lord!

Also, it was an encouragement to see some of the families we have met while working in the community around Iglesia Cristo El Rey. Some of these individuals have matured in the faith and are using the resources provided by some of you. We were also able to purchase some new Bibles and deliver them to those who have been meeting with us for Bible study. Would you please ask that the Lord would grant salvation to the children of the families with whom our teams have been working?

Finally, we need to discuss Sunday morning. Sunday morning there was a real "sense of oppression" to the point that some of us did not even feel as if we should go to the morning service. Some were physically ill. However, what we found is that after the sermon we heard a most wonderful message from a man that has been filling the pulpit at Cristo El Rey. The message has to be the best message I have heard in my time spent working along the border. This brother brought an expositional message that was sound and centered on Christ and the priority of the Gospel both proclaimed verbally and evident by the transformation of the lives of the followers of Christ. I cannot tell you how much joy this brings us as we have prayed for this congregation and have now experienced the blessing of seeing what could be their new Pastor, sharing the unashamed Gospel with them! Please continue to pray! I see this as a time of great outpouring of God's grace, His blessing on us, and the congregation. This will most likely result in us transitioning in working alongside them but in other areas as it appears that they are going to be able to put together a team of Godly leaders. (I hope to comment more for the future).

On behalf of all of us, I do wish to thank each and every one of you for praying, giving, and going. Thank you so much for your faithfulness. Please continue to pray that the Lord would raise up an army of people to go and take the Gospel and for partners that would continue to send the Gospel out through missionaries of all types.

In Christ,


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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Myth of Secularism

The Myth of Secularism

“Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.’” (Matthew 28.18-20)

I used to waste much time feasting my mind on role-playing games & video games, where I would be the conqueror, the hero, defeat the evil & help those in need. Much of my time, when I wasn’t playing the games, I was thinking about them. I was living in a fantasy world, avoiding the real world with its difficulties, and basically making myself the god of my own world.
Secularism here in America is very much the same thing, living in a fantasy world, living without reference to the God who made us. It is to pretend that the here & now are all that matters; there is no Creator, but only natural causes & processes; we are accountable to no one but other men; and the way things are is the way they will always be.

Practically, it looks like living to better our lot in this life, or that of our children. The American ideal is to get good grades, go to college, get a degree, get a great-paying job, buy a big house, car, and whatever else makes us happy, live comfortably, enjoy life, and retire in ease surrounded with all the stuff we’ve gained over the years. This is prevalent not only among people outside our churches, but also among the church-goers. The lives of “Christians” differ little in this way from those who make no claim to faith in Jesus. Sure, we talk about life after death, and going to heaven, but the main thrust of our lives is still the senseless accumulation of goods. This is not the real world, but a fantasy. It reminds me of the video games I used to play, where my goal would be to stockpile pretend treasure, and pretend resources, to build my pretend kingdom, and win a pretend victory.

The real world is what we see revealed in the Bible. The simple fact is that God did make everything: the universe, the earth, all living things, and us, too. God did not wind this world up, and let it go; rather, he is intimately involved & active in every part. The world is the way it is now because we rebelled against God to go our own way, and God subjected us & the whole world with us under sin, destruction & death, under Satan the Usurper. But it will not always be this way. The Son of God came as a man, Jesus, appointed by the Father to rule all things, the Messiah or Christ. He took dominion over the earth, controlling the winds & waves & walking on the sea. He took dominion over animals, causing fish to leap into the fishermen’s nets & riding on an unbroken donkey. He took dominion over sin’s curse, healing the sick, giving sight to one born blind & breaking up funerals by raising the dead with only a word. Christ took dominion over evil spirits, causing them to tremble with fear & leave the people they oppressed by His mere command. He took dominion over our sins, taking our guilt before God, suffering the full measure of God’s wrath, satisfying God’s perfect justice by his death, and rising again to demonstrate that He had put away our sins forever! Thereby Christ defeated Satan the Usurper, who had brought God’s curse upon us through sin, and He reconciling us to God. Then the Risen Man Jesus ascended to the throne of God, all authority & power & judgment being handed over to Him by the Father.

Thus a man, the Christ, now rules all things, and is spreading his Kingdom throughout the world, just as God promised (Daniel 2.34,35,44,45; 7.13,14; Philippians 2.9-11; Ephesians 1.19-23). This is why the Risen Lord now sends us, His people, out to the nations to spread His Kingdom, not by guns or legislation, but by simply proclaiming the Gospel, and discipling men to trust & follow Him. Right now, He is offering amnesty to all who will bow to His lordship by turning from their rebellion & trusting in Him to bring them to God.

Reality is that this same Jesus will return one day to complete His conquest of the world. The amnesty will be over. Then He will raise all the dead, judge every man, restore His creation, and usher in the eternal joy of His perfect Kingdom with His people, and the eternal punishment of the Lake of Fire for His enemies.

This present life is like a dream in the night, short-lived, from which we shall soon awake, when we die or Jesus returns. Christian, are you living like the dream is reality & the reality a dream? Practically, is your life all about the cares, labors, responsibilities, pleasures, treasures & comforts of this life? How shocked & horrified you will you be when the dream ends, and you awake to see Christ exalted, and all your treasures, even your life, lost! Beware, it is “the cares of the age and the deceitfulness of riches” which make false Christians (Mark 4.18,19). Believe God’s Word, not American mythology.

There is no area of our lives which can be divorced from reference to God & the Man He has set over all things. Everything we do, say & think—down to our very eating & drinking—relates to Him (1Corinthians 10.31; Colossians 3). Anything done without reference to Him is sin & rebellion (Romans 14.23; Matthew 12.30). There is no neutral ground. There simply is no secular. Living without reference to God & Christ is like trying to live without reference to the sun.

Therefore, let us be bold in proclaiming the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Because Jesus is the Lord over all, in our text He calls His people to make followers of Him from every people group on earth. His vision is global because His Kingdom embraces all of creation, and He is the heir of it all. And what kind of ruler is this Jesus? He is not like the rulers of this world, but rules for the good of His people. So much so, that He humbled Himself, took the guilt of our sins, suffered the wrath of God that we deserve, died in our place, and rose again so that we could have eternal life. All this He did for us, when we were his enemies & hated him. There is no king like this One, full of love & grace & truth. That is why it is “Good News” to proclaim His Lordship, and lead every people group to follow King Jesus.

Michael Pfleegor - Missionary to Suriname

Michael and his wife Erin have four children and one on the way. They are members of Rockport Baptist Church in Arnold (near St. Louis), Missouri and are currently preparing to be sent to Suriname as missionaries. Please visit their blog "Multiply the Blessing" at http://www.multiplytheblessing.blogspot.com/ find out how you can know more and partner with them in this ministry.

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Updates from the Border

Here we are again on the US/Mexico border in Southern Texas. Below is a list of a few updates during this trip:

A New Connection
We are being blessed by our new relationship with another small congregation along the US/Mexico border. We have been told that this congregation lost their building due to lack of funds to keep up with the maintenance. We were told that the building was condemned and they are now meeting in a home of one of the church members.

This being said, the congregation averages about 15-20 adults on a Sunday and about the same number of children. We are working with them conducting what is commonly referred to as "Vacation Bible School" by conducting Bible classes and activities for all ages. Our first evening we had 76 people in attendance. This was such a blessing. In additional to the multiple adults working in the event, we had about 16 adults in the Bible study class. The second night there were three adults in that Bible study class that made public professions that they believed the Lord brought them to salvation.

Tonight is the last night of this outreach effort. The rest of the week we will focus on follow up, attending a Pastor's meeting, assisting a local camp in their efforts to help other mission teams, as well as distribute literature to others.

Prayer Requests

We do ask that you pray for our team, for unity, and protection. We have experienced God's provision by people from different places blessing us with providing us with food and supplies on almost every day! In addition to this, pray that we would finish well.

Please pray for a few familiar families that are currently really struggling financially and concerns with their children. One family is preparing to have their fourth child and they live in a space of less than 700 square feet and have no air conditioning. Their older children also are in need of school supplies.

Thank you so much for all of your continued prayer and support!

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