Your Ministry of Reconciliation

I love the story of Mary Poplin. A sophisticated, scholarly professor at the very prestigious (and very liberal!) Claremont University, right here in Southern California. She was led to the Lord by one of her students! Can you believe it? A young 24-year-old minister of reconciliation. The story came out in an interview with Christianity Today several years ago. 

Mary Poplin was a Professor in the School of Educational Studies at Claremont. She was so successful in her work that she eventually became  Dean of the School. 

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A 'Narrow' World Never Turns


Editor's Note: Pastor Schorr was vacationing during our Messenger preparation time.  We have enclosed a previous article

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Because You're a Soldier





Sometimes when the long grind of affliction sets in, the faithful Christian will start to hear some discouraging words; the same words that Job heard during his long ordeal: "You probably have some secret sin," someone might suggest. "There's something wrong with your faith." "Your prayers are too weak." "You need to claim your deliverance more forcefully, and then it will happen." 

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Einstein's "Fudge"

by Bill Perkins, Exec. Dir. Compass International

Pastor's note: Too busy to write my own article this week, but—very providentially— Bernie and Donna put this wonderful piece on my desk from the excellent Creationist Group: Compass International.  I pass it on to you. (from Compass Communique 2018 #1 p. 1-2. Used, very gratefully, by permission).

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You Hold the Rope!


I read a wonderful story, in a missions magazine several years ago, about a British missionary doctor, back in the early 1900s. He was serving in a remote little outpost clinic, deep in the heart of China, doing everything he possibly could to help people with their afflictions. 

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Answers


Ours is the generation in which expecting answers—let alone having any!—is no longer in vogue. That puts Christians in the crosshairs, of course. We who claim to have found a "Way" are frowned upon as "smug", "arrogant", "presumptuous". You can't help wondering how we got this way as a nation. 

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This Awesome Book of God


Just in case you might have some doubts about the awesome, life-changing power of this mighty Word of God, let's pick a passage and sound the depths of it, shall we? And just for fun, let's pick the most obtuse, most (do I dare use the word?) uninteresting? (by carnal standards, yes!), most highly ignored and frequently glossed over passage in the New Testament and see what it has to offer.

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The 'Radical' Christian


 

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Without Excuse? (PART 3)


There is yet a third powerful proof of the existence of God that renders Man 'without excuse'. It is probably the most surprising of them all. 

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Without Excuse? (PART 2)


Surprisingly enough, the Bible makes it perfectly clear that the entire world is 'without excuse' in its ignorance of the existence of God. Isn't that an amazing assertion? "For that which can be known about God is plain to them," we read, in Romans 1:19, "because God has shown it to them." 

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Without Excuse?


 

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CCOT's 'Samaritan' Ministers



IT'S HARD WORK TO KEEP A DROP-OFF LOCATION HUMMING. 

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Tic...and...Toc


 

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The Case of the Red Cross Flag


 

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This Year, Make Room! - Final Edition for 2017


 

 

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It's Straight...and It's Narrow


 

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Ghost House (part 2)

Of course, I don't really believe in 'ghosts', nor that a house can be 'haunted', but that doesn't mean there weren't disturbing things present. An abandoned shed out back was teeming with fast-moving tarantula-like spiders, so I spent the very first week, spraying them and their horrible offspring to death. Then I exultantly tore down the entire shed, ridding the earth of its presence forever! 

I found a four-foot long snake-skin up in the attic, left behind, most likely, after a winter's hibernation. So I spent the next few days plugging up slots along the roof line where he must have crawled through. It was summer, after all. He was gone. I certainly hoped so anyway; otherwise I was sealing him in! 

And then there was the usual assortment of tropical things 'haunting' the house itself: beetles, roaches, centipedes and spiders. I sprayed, swatted, shooed and squashed until the place began to look fairly decent, then made sure all the windows and doors were sealed. 

For the rest of those months I worked on that dismal kitchen: built cabinets and counters, laid linoleum and dropped a ceiling. It was quite an undertaking and a quite a transformation. 

I didn't work alone; missionary friends would come down to help whenever they could: painting, laying floors, tiling walls. They are dear faithful friends, all of them: I still feel very indebted to them. 

There was one more thing 'haunting' the house: a 'ghost-shelf' on the living room wall. They are often referred to as 'god-shelves' actually, but this one was especially devoted to the ghosts of the two who had died in the home. Often I would show up for work and find fresh joss smoking up from it. 

Every week our landlord, Mr. Lai and his wife, would show up to bow before the shelf, lay their offerings upon it and plant a few more joss sticks into the ashes. They did all this with the same sad, nervous reverence so common to those who fear the dead. 

The 'ghost-shelf' made me uncomfortable. "I can't move my family in until it is removed," I kept warning Mr. Lai. "Oh, don't worry teacher, it will be gone before you're done working here." 

Well, I certainly hoped so. Many times I would be noising away with a hammer or a drill in one of the other rooms, while poor Mr. and Mrs. Lai would be standing there trying to honor the dead. Always I wanted to stop my work and give them a few moments of peace, but dear old Mr. Lai would have none of it. He would pick up on my silence and shout out to me:  

"Don't stop your work, Teacher, you're not bothering us. Just keep on, keep on!" And then—sadly—"This is nothing. We'll be done in just a few minutes." He somehow seemed embarrassed by it all; and very weary of it too! 

Throughout that long, hot summer I had been making the tedious 100-mile trip down from Taipei and back again each day. I was just too hot, sweaty and dirty at the end of the day to even think of spending the night. But when I finally got a shower installed, I decided it was time: I took a change of clothes and a cheap folding beach lounge and headed back down, glad to be done with the constant commute. After all, there was still a lot of work to be done and time was running out. 

That night, I slept soundly enough: as good as can be expected, I suppose, for someone sleeping in their clothes on a beach chair. But very early the next morning, I was awakened by the sound of voices! And the voices were in the house! For just the briefest moment, I assure you, the thought of a "haunted house" crossed my mind. 

And then I finally made out the words (in Mandarin, of course): "He's here," I heard someone say. "He did it!" 

They were neighbors. They had come in through the unlocked door; past the living room, down the hall to stand at the bedroom doorway and congratulate me: "You did it," they cheered. "You spent the night!" 

There must have been some kind of neighborhood betting pool on whether or not I could make it through one night. 

I didn't do it right then, but later we got to explain to many of them the glorious truth of the Christian: he shares his life—and his home as well!—with a 'holy ghost': the wonderful, comforting Spirit of God. And he never, ever has to be afraid. "Greater is He that is in you," remember, "than he that is in the world!" 1 Jn 4:4 

So good to worship with you each week. 

Next! See you there! RAS 

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The Things We Do Have!


 "Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus!" 1 Thes. 5:18

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Ghost House


Our recent move with all its "aches"—head, back, heart: you name it!—has got me thinking about the other times we've done it.  Just how and when and why did I allow myself to accumulate all this stuff, I'd like to know? How utterly un-missionary I've become! It's shocking. 

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The Trojan Horse and the American Home

Let's face it: the home is under siege in our culture today, and a lot of moms and dads are getting tired of fighting the battle. If you are not one of them—if you have built a home and are busy defending and protecting it, may God richly bless you for it! Don't stop now. Don't back down. Don't even relax, because you are doing something that our entire civilization will someday thank you for, if it does indeed survive!

One of my favorite stories is Virgil's Aeneid. I know that sounds a little stodgy; it's too bad the book has such a boring title: it could just as easily have been entitled "The Survivors of Troy".  But Aeneas is the main character: a Trojan hero who survived the terrible destruction of his city and who now sails the Mediterranean in search of a new home. 

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