Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothedto Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus,for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:

“Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”

(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

“And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Matthew 6:7-15 (ESV)

Sunday, December 8, 2013


And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” And the chief priests accused him of many things. And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Matthew 15:1-15 (ESV)

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


For the readers who are interested in seeing what mission work looks like in Thailand, here is some information on the ministry we are a part of along with a few videos to watch. In June 2013, we joined with a Church planting team made up of Thais, Koreans, Filipinos, and Americans. On June 2, we opened up the Church of Blessing in Toong Sawang. Now we are a Church of about fifty people. Our mission is to bring the gospel message to the Toong Sawang community; seeing Jesus saving souls for His kingdom. We would be honored if you would pray with us in this endeavor.

Monday, December 2, 2013


"The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field."

"Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it." 

Matthew 13:44-46 (ESV) 

Friday, November 29, 2013


With the holidays come times of both joy and sorrow for many missionaries. Living in another culture can take its toll, and there are occasions when you just want to escape and go back to where you are from. In my experience, the holiday season usually accentuates these times of homesickness. You begin to feel nostalgic and really miss the family back home. Feasibly you cannot break away from the work you are doing and buy a plane ticket, so you gut it out until your next furlough.

What are missionaries to do? How can they make the best out of their holidays? Below, I tackle seven holiday issues most missionaries face. These are the tips I recommend to help remedy the situation. They are by no means perfect solutions, but they may brighten up your festive celebrations nonetheless.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


And as Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside, and on the way he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem. And the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and he will be raised on the third day.”

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, “What do you want?” She said to him, “Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom.” Jesus answered, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” They said to him, “We are able.” He said to them, “You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.” And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Matthew 20:17-28 (ESV)

Sunday, November 17, 2013


And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree. And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.’”Yet even about this their testimony did not agree. And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.

Mark 14:53-65 - ESV

Wednesday, November 13, 2013


Lately, I've been seeing a lot of comments knocking sound doctrine as if being concerned with sound doctrine goes against true Christian faith and all that Jesus stood for. Typically, I see things like, "It's about a relationship, not a set of doctrines," or, "Jesus came to give you life, not theology." Sometimes proponents of sound doctrine will be compared to the Pharisees. Oh, those nasty Pharisees! They were way too intellectual and full of themselves to see what Jesus was really doing! (If anyone ever plays the Pharisee card on you, be sure to send them to this link.)

What is ironic about these types of arguments, is that they are all doctrinal claims.  Say a person makes this argument, "Jesus didn't die on the cross for good theology," then that person just made a theological statement. Whether they admit it or not, this type of "down with doctrine" thinking has developed into a doctrine all its own for many people. The basic tenant is this, "Doctrine is intellectual. God is relational. Therefore, to be a true Christian, one must relate to God without letting your thoughts get in the way."

Sunday, November 10, 2013


He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Luke 18:9-14 (ESV)

Here we see Jesus laying out a parable with a specific audience in mind. This story is for those who trust in themselves that they are righteous, and treat other with contempt. The contrast that Jesus uses in this parable is striking to say the least.

Sunday, November 3, 2013


He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.”

He told them another parable. “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened.”

Sunday, October 27, 2013


"But many who are first will be last, and the last first."

“For the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house who went out early in the morning to hire laborers for his vineyard. After agreeing with the laborers for a denarius a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And going out about the third hour he saw others standing idle in the marketplace,and to them he said, ‘You go into the vineyard too, and whatever is right I will give you.’ So they went. Going out again about the sixth hour and the ninth hour, he did the same. And about the eleventh hour he went out and found others standing. And he said to them, ‘Why do you stand here idle all day?’ They said to him, ‘Because no one has hired us.’ He said to them, ‘You go into the vineyard too.’ And when evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his foreman, ‘Call the laborers and pay them their wages, beginning with the last, up to the first.’ And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius. And on receiving it they grumbled at the master of the house, saying, ‘These last worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us who have borne the burden of the day and the scorching heat.’ But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I am doing you no wrong. Did you not agree with me for a denarius? Take what belongs to you and go. I choose to give to this last worker as I give to you. Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?’ So the last will be first, and the first last.”

Matthew 19:30-20:16 (ESV)

Thursday, October 24, 2013


With all the fuss over the recent Strange Fire Conference that was put on by John MacArthur and company, I have came across a lot of differing opinions on the part of many. Some people are very upset by the things that were said, claiming that these leaders are being unloving and divisive. Others are saying, that it's been long past due that someone spoke out about this issue. Then there is the third group of people trying to make peace between the other two. 

This piece however isn't about whether the Strange Fire Conference was the start of something good or just Christians putting a bad foot forward. There are others who have better insight on this and offer up some good critique. If you are interested, I recommend Tim Challies, who covered the entire conference fairly and offers some good advice for people on both sides. If you want a Charismatic perspective, you should listen to Dr. Michael Brown's interview with Phil Johnson on his radio program Line of Fire.

That being said, there was one comment I saw on facebook that was posted by a friend of mine that I thought was very interesting. When talking about the purpose of MacArthur's conference, he said, "Hahah!! He's about 100 years too late... That pony's bolted out the barn door, grown, multiplied and now fills the prarie."

Sunday, October 20, 2013


Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”— yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil. So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.

James 4:13-17 (ESV)

The providence of God is a wonderful thing. Knowing God is control of all situations gives us confidence in two ways. First, we can trust in the promises of God. When we read a passages such as Ephesians 1, we can stand firm in the knowledge that God will never lose control and all that is written there is true. Second, when we pray, we don't pray to a God who is unable to do all that we ask. He is in control and if He wills it, nothing can stop it.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


This is a guest post by Jomo Thompson, who is a lawyer from Seattle, WA. Jomo and I were college roommates at the University of Michigan and for a brief period were coworkers for a campus church.

Are we trying to show the world we are better? What should we be doing instead?

This past spring I visited Japan for three weeks. It was my third time, but was by far the longest I had ever spent there or the deepest I had ever delved into the culture. The purpose of the trip was part vacation and part scouting, as my family has been invited to join a church plant in Tokyo as ‘tent makers.’

Japan has two major religions, the mostly indigenous Shinto, characterized by a reverence for nature and pantheism; and the mostly imported Buddhism, which has taken on some Japanese aspects, but retains at its core the karmic cycle and pursuing release from that cycle.

Some devotees praying at Kitano Tenmangu in Kyoto

Religion in Japan is practiced publicly. Shrines and temples are mostly outdoors and prayer gatherings, festivals, and ceremonies are open for all to see and available for anyone to join.

Sunday, October 6, 2013


He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat and went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. And the servants of the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers,Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’”

Sunday, September 29, 2013


Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Friday, September 27, 2013


(Best if read in an old-timey newspaper voice.)

This just in... Life exists for another day. Currently billions of people populate planet Earth. The atmosphere continues to provide the oxygen needed for survival. Clean sources of water flow from springs, streams and rivers. As you read this column, somewhere clouds are releasing their storehouses of liquid feeding the dry soil. Crops are still yielding their fruit as time moves forward. Plant and animal life give the necessary nourishment that men need to sustain them. What's more, everyday women are giving birth to more and more children.

"How can this be?" you might ask... It defies all logic. It stupefies the wisest of us all. It is the puzzle to top them all. While billions of creatures created in the image of God have decided to rebel against their Creator, God still allows it all to continue. One might say that God is crazy or that He isn't too bright. One might say that this Ruler of all just doesn't have the power to do anything about it. If you ask this reporter, I'd tell you to thank your lucky stars you're still around and pray that you can read a similar front page headline tomorrow.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But he said to him, “Man, who made me a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.” And he told them a parable, saying, “The land of a rich man produced plentifully, and he thought to himself, ‘What shall I do, for I have nowhere to store my crops?’ And he said, ‘I will do this: I will tear down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.”’ But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So is the one who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.”

Luke 12:13-21 (ESV)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


Going viral is the measure of success these days. Recently, TrueMove, a communications company in Thailand, put out an advertisement that has been shared by many all over different networking sites. As far as commercials go, this one is stunningly well produced. It has tugged at the heartstrings of many people, so much so, that they have begun to see a greater meaning behind the video. You can watch the video for yourself to see what I mean.

Feel free to wipe away the tears before you read further... Okay, now that I have your attention again, let us continue. 

Monday, September 16, 2013


Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.

And behold, a man came up to him, saying, “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” And he said to him, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” He said to him, “Which ones?” And Jesus said, “You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great possessions.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Recently I was involved in a facebook discussion about a short-term mission team coming to Thailand that had a small food budget.  The missionary responsible for them was stressing out over how to feed them.  This stress is pretty real and it isn't pleasant.  I have been in similar situations and have come away wondering whether hosting the team was worth it.

Short-term mission teams can either be a blessing or a burden.  I have experienced my fair share of both during my six years in Thailand.  What I've noticed, is this; the teams that prepare usually offer a blessing and the ones that don't become a burden on the missionaries and ministries they are trying to help.  How can a team be well prepared before embarking on their journey?  Below are three things to focus on before you get on the plane.

Monday, September 9, 2013


The Verge Network is having a contest for top Christian blogs and websites that their readers recommend.  In the hopes of drawing more attention to Reformation Missions, I have nominated my own blog.  Yes, I know this is self-promoting, but... No I can't think of any buts.  This is self-promoting.

Anyways, if you enjoy reading Reformation Missions and would like to expand its audience, then click on the link below, scroll down until you see "Reformation Missions" and then vote it up ^. If you don't enjoy reading this blog, but would rather vote other blogs and websites ahead of mine, then you can click the same link. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Hebrews 4:14-16 (ESV)

Friday, September 6, 2013


After waiting for two and a half years to get to the mission field and then being on the mission field for almost six years, I now know that ministry abroad has its own pace.  It is the pace of a snail.

My mission agency in particular is very careful before they send anyone overseas.  They have a tight screening process, psychiatric evaluations, pre-field counseling, fund raising and missionary training courses that you need to go through before they will send you.  At the time, I thought of these things as obstacles in my way, but I know better now.  I've seen way too many missionaries leave the field because they were ill prepared.  I know not every mission agency does it this way, but I'm thankful mine does.

Sunday, September 1, 2013


“Hear then the parable of the sower: When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Matthew 13:18-23 (ESV)

Thursday, August 29, 2013


There are many ways the enemy attacks.  Many times he tries to divert people away from God's Word.  You see this in the orchard with the question, "Did God actually say?"  This tactic has worked well on so many people.  But if a person continues to look to Jesus for help, then Satan uses a slightly different method of distortion.  He will try to contort your view of who Jesus really is.  You see, Satan doesn't mind you using the name of Jesus as long as you are never talking about the real Jesus.  

Since the first century, the church has been attacked by heretical teachings that distort our view of Jesus. The apostle John wrote about such people in his letters. (1 John 2:18,19) John calls these people antichrists, or against Christ. They distort the truth about who Jesus is. We see this again in 2 John 1:7.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha.  It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill.  So the sisters sent to him, saying, “Lord, he whom you love is ill.”  But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.  So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was.  Then after this he said to the disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.”  The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?”  Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours in the day?  If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world.  But if anyone walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him.”  After saying these things, he said to them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to awaken him.”  The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will recover.”  Now Jesus had spoken of his death, but they thought that he meant taking rest in sleep.  Then Jesus told them plainly,“Lazarus has died, and for your sake I am glad that I was not there, so that you may believe.  But let us go to him.”  So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go,that we may die with him.”

Sunday, August 18, 2013


Then the disciples came and said to him, “Why do you speak to them in parables?” And he answered them, “To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.  For to the one who has, more will be given, and he will have an abundance, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.  This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.  Indeed, in their case the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled that says:

“‘“You will indeed hear but never understand,
and you will indeed see but never perceive.”
For this people's heart has grown dull,
and with their ears they can barely hear,
and their eyes they have closed,
lest they should see with their eyes
and hear with their ears
and understand with their heart
and turn, and I would heal them.’

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised?  With what kind of body do they come?”  You foolish person!  What you sow does not come to life unless it dies.  And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain.  But God gives it a body as he has chosen, and to each kind of seed its own body.  For not all flesh is the same, but there is one kind for humans, another for animals, another for birds, and another for fish.  There are heavenly bodies and earthly bodies, but the glory of the heavenly is of one kind, and the glory of the earthly is of another.  There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars; for star differs from star in glory.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


So Jesus again said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the door.  If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me,

John 10:7-14 (ESV)

Sunday, August 4, 2013


Now when Jesus had finished these sayings, he went away from Galilee and entered the region of Judea beyond the Jordan. And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to him, “Why then did Moses command one to give a certificate of divorce and to send her away?” He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

Tuesday, July 30, 2013


As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” (John 9:1,2)

The other day I was involved in an impromptu worship session with a group of people from many different Christian backgrounds.  While I love to fellowship with Christian brothers and sisters, there have been times where I’ve felt uncomfortable about certain things that go on in situations like this.  This last time was no exception.  The worship was paused for a time of prayer.  Without asking for it, one woman was put on the spot by her friend saying she needed prayer.  So she went to the middle of the room where people laid hands on her and one man prayed for her.  Out of nowhere, this man began to pray for release from both demonic oppression and generational curses.  It was at this point that I kind of just shut down emotionally from the group.  Theologically I knew that I was too far apart to continue in true fellowship. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013


And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him.

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.

Mark 8:27-31 (ESV)

Who do you say Jesus is?  This is the most important question you can ask yourself.  Is Jesus just a good teacher?  Is He just a prophet?  Or is He the Christ, the Son of God?

Friday, July 12, 2013


How do you decide where to go as a missionary?  What criteria do you look at to figure out where to land?  This process took a very long time for me.  In fact, I had to be pushed out the door when I moved to Thailand.  I first felt called into missions in 1997, but I didn't arrive in Thailand until 2007.  Why did it take so long?  Part of the reason was figuring out where God would have me go.  Here are some of the steps I took in making this decision.

1) Prayer:  God should be the first One we look to.  He has insight into the unknown and helps to lead us by His Holy Spirit.  I prayed for God to show me a specific country to go to for many years.  I would love to tell you that I heard God audibly speak to me, "Go to Thailand!"  I would love to tell you that I heard God inaudibly speak to me, "Go to Thailand!"  Unfortunately, He did not.  Yet I know today that Thailand is the place where God wanted me to go.  I am certain of this because I did pray so much about it and God has opened doors for me and my family to be here.  Prayer is vital.

Monday, July 8, 2013


Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, 
lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”  (Matthew 4:5,6 ESV)

It occurred to me today that Satan knows the Bible better than I do.   My guess is that he has God’s Word memorized, not only in English, but also in the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek.  He probably has it memorized in many other languages as well.  Maybe I’m wrong about this, but I don’t think so. Satan loves to distort God’s Word.  It is his primary way to attack.  He first did it in the Garden of Eden.   He tempted Jesus by twisting the Scriptures mentioned above.  Today he attacks God’s people by bringing in doctrines of demons.  (1 Timothy 4:1)


“If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.”

Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often will my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times, but seventy-seven times.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


Again he began to teach beside the sea. And a very large crowd gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat in it on the sea, and the whole crowd was beside the sea on the land. And he was teaching them many things in parables, and in his teaching he said to them: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured it. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and immediately it sprang up, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched, and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. And other seeds fell into good soil and produced grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirtyfold and sixtyfold and a hundredfold.” And he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”
And when he was alone, those around him with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside everything is in parables, so that
“they may indeed see but not perceive,
    and may indeed hear but not understand,
lest they should turn and be forgiven.”

Monday, June 24, 2013


“The motto of all true servants of God must be, ‘We preach Christ; and him crucified.’ A sermon without Christ in it is like a loaf of bread without any flour in it. No Christ in your sermon, sir? Then go home, and never preach again until you have something worth preaching.”[1]  (For similar Charles Spurgeon quotes, check out this blog)

Spurgeon makes a great point here.  What should the focus of the pastor be when delivering a sermon?  Should it not focus on Christ?  I would like to point out a few passages of Scripture that speak to this issue.  First, the same passage that Dr. Spurgeon references.  “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”  (1 Corinthians 2:2 ESV)  When Paul went to Corinth, what did he focus his message on?  Was it not Christ dying on the cross, bearing the sins of the world?

Sunday, June 23, 2013


At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Friday, June 14, 2013


Half-life is a scientific term to describe the rate of decay of a radioactive material.  For instance, the half-life of Carbon 14 (C14) is  roughly 5730 years.   The material turns in to Nitrogen 14 (N14).  Suppose you have ten particles of C14, then in about 5730 years, you will have five particles of C14 remaining alongside five particles of N14.  Since C14 is present in organic life forms, this is how scientist determine the age of old dead things.[1]

Missionaries have been using English as a second language (ESL) as a means of missions for many generations now.  For some, it is a way in which they enter into a country that is closed to the gospel.  For others it is a way they can build relationships with a community in the hopes of spreading the gospel.  For the past five years, I have been a part of this dynamic, first in Chiang Mai and now in Nakhon Ratchasima (Korat for short).  I have seen the good it is capable of but also its limitations.  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


So how do you preach to a culture that has no Biblical framework to begin with?  What is the best way to feed God’s sheep, when the sheep are all newborns?  In America, Western culture has given the modern day pastor an edge.  (though this edge is slowing going away as secularism continues to strengthen)  The pastor can come to his audience knowing pretty well that the people he preaches to have some type of basic Biblical knowledge. Even if many have never gone to church before, references to Scripture still abound in pop culture.

Watch a sporting event and you can learn about David and Goliath.  Watch Bugs Bunny, and you will learn how Satan tempts you with his lies.  Go to any hospital, and you will see the image of the cross.  And think about some of the sayings we have.  "Turn the other cheek."  "Be a good Samaritan."  "Take the plank out of your own eye first."  "The handwriting is on the wall."  All these come from the Bible.  While more and more Americans are losing their religion, it’s just too hard for one to isolate him or herself from the message of the Bible. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013


Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.  And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.  And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” 

But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, “‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ and “‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.’”

Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’” 

Friday, June 7, 2013


Recently I got myself entangled in a facebook debate over the issue of free speech in America.  Facebook debates are never fun.  It really isn’t the best forum for debating.  It’s hard to tell how people are saying things and what type of emotion they have behind their words.  Are they truly angry, or are they just kidding around, trying to get at your goad.  I’ll admit, I have done this at times.  Anyways, I’m not writing this to talk about facebook etiquette, but rather about the things Americans bicker over and how they compare to similar problems in the rest of the world.

Recently, a high school valedictorian tore up his preapproved commencement speech and delivered a new one where he recited the Lord’s prayer.  Apparently Christian prayers aren’t allowed at that high school.  The arguments go as follows.  Those approving of this young man’s tactic will say that in the United States, there is freedom of speech and he should be allowed to say whatever he wants.  Those opposing will say that there is a separation of church and state, and this young man cannot say anything religious in a public school setting.  Who’s to decide who’s right?  I’ll leave that up to the courts.  Personally, I don’t care how they rule. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


“And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.”  (Acts 4:33 - ESV) 

Testimony is a legal term.  It is a witness’ account of an event that happened.  When you do a word study in the New Testament on “testimony”, you will find one of two things.  The word is either used as in a legal setting, such as Jesus’ trial, or it is used to proclaim the good news about Jesus.  Either it is a proclamation that He has risen from the dead or that He is Lord.  In the gospels, Jesus uses the word often to point to himself.  When questioned about healing a man on the Sabbath, Jesus points to John the Baptist’s testimony about Himself.  (John 5:31-35)  He then goes on to speak about his works that the Father has given him as a testimony.  (John 5:36)  He goes on to add that the Father himself bears witness to Jesus through the scriptures.  (John 5:37-39)  

Monday, June 3, 2013


Home is where the heart is, right?  What defines home for you?  Is it a place?  Is it your house?  City?  Country?  Is it when you are around family?  When you are around friends?  People who love their careers feel at home when they are at work.  Some people feel at home when they are eating the food they love.  Home can have a certain atmosphere or even a certain smell. 

For the missionary, home is a confusing question.  In one sense, home is where you came from.  In another sense, it is in the new country that you live in and minister to.  It’s not “either or”, but “both and”.  I can say home and mean Michigan or Ann Arbor.  I can also say home and mean Thailand or Korat.  To me, it has all become home and I would have it no other way. 

A new trend in missions today is to get rid of the word “furlough” and replace it with “home assignment”.  Furlough is an old army term used when soldiers would temporarily leave the battle and go back to visit family.  It is also used in the business world as a way to describe unpaid, temporary leave.  Why missionaries took up this terminology, I’m not sure, but it seems appropriate enough.  Comparing it to a soldier’s furlough is a pretty accurate assessment. 

Monday, May 27, 2013


“If I could only go back and do things differently.”  How often do we say that to ourselves?  Until somebody invents a time machine, there’s really nothing we can do to change the past.  And if anybody ever does, then we’d have to start worrying about the whole space-time continuum thing that never makes any sense in the movies we watch.  But the one thing we can do is to learn from other people’s mistakes and avoid them ourselves. 

Unfortunately for me, I chose not to learn from other’s mistakes but decided to repeat them myself.  The biggest piece of advice most missionaries get is to devote their first year or two in the country to language acquisition.  “Don’t get sucked into ministry.”  “Learn to say “no” to people.”  “Pack your schedule full with language classes and study time to give you an easy way out.”