Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Friday, November 05, 2010
We were exhorted by Os Guiness to remember the importance of truth in a plural world, heard from Tim Keller about the importance of taking the Gospel to the cities, learned from Femi Adeleye of Nigeria of the harm and false teaching of the prosperity gospel which is rampant across the world, heard from Antoine Rutayisire from Rwanda how only the Gospel can bring healing and reconciliation to a country torn apart by genocide.
We also heard riveting testimonies from people around the world including:
-Christians suffering from AIDS
-a Nigerian pastor who has routinely been beaten and had his life threatened for preaching the name of Christ
-a widow whose husband was martyred while on a medical mission in Afghanistan earlier this year who challenged us to be the aroma of Christ to those who are perishing so that they might seek and find the true bread of life
-an orphan from North Korea whose father was arrested and most likely killed by the North Korean government for his gospel ministry who now has a heart for the people of North Korea and is seeking to return to that country to spread the love of Christ, despite enormous dangers to her.
-a woman from India who works with International Justice Mission to free people caught in modern day slavery and many, many more stories of those laboring for the cause of Christ, people of “whom this world is not worthy.”
Some of you may have heard that the delegation of nearly 200 people from China was not allowed by their government to attend the conference. This reminder of the religious persecution faced by those around the world today spurred us on to pray for their protection and witness, while simultaneously being encouraged that the gospel of Jesus Christ will go forth, even under difficult circumstances.
Also very noticeable at the conference was the emphasis on the shift of the center of Christianity to the global south: to Africa, Latin America, and Asia. Christianity is no longer a Western religion, and the Western church was humble in seeking encouragement and partnership with those around the world while recognizing the need to hold fast to the truth of Scripture; to not be ensnared by the false idols of materialism, consumerism, and secularism; and to see that God truly is raising up for Himself a people from every tribe, tongue, people, and nation.
We were encouraged by letters from Billy Graham and John Stott, both who were pivotal in starting Lausanne decades ago, but who were not able to physically participate in this Congress due to their health and age. We were encouraged as Hebrews 13:7 states to “remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith.”
I was personally encouraged to meet and fellowship with people from around the globe who claimed the name of Christ and sought to make His name known in their countries and around the world. Meeting Christians whose lives are in danger for even speaking the name of Christ was humbling, but knowing that they are ministering the word of God in those contexts and were more zealous for the gospel than I have ever been was a challenge and exhortation to me unlike any I have ever experienced. It was incredible to see how God’s kingdom is expanding and Christianity is growing to reach every part of the world.
The closing worship ceremony last Sunday was a foretaste of heaven as people from around the globe gathered to take communion, hear the truth of God’s word, and worship our risen Lord together. Singing “In Christ Alone” together was a moving experience, and meditating on the words “for every sin on Him was laid,” knowing that the thousands present represented the billions of people on earth, making the cost of our salvation and the worth of Christ more real to me than ever before. We ended the conference by singing “Crown Him with Many Crowns,” as was sung at the 1910 World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh, Scotland and anticipation of the day when we will together with the whole world celebrate the lamb upon his throne!
Thursday, November 04, 2010
But, back to the Lausanne update. It's a little long to read, so I'll post it in two parts. Here's the first part:
I, along with Dr. Duncan, was privileged to recently participate in the third-ever worldwide Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism held in Capetown, South Africa. The Congress brought together over 4,000 representatives from evangelical Christianity from 198 countries. This global church council came together to discuss pressing issues facing the spread of the Gospel worldwide. The Capetown 2010 website states that meetings like this “allow the body of Christ to come together on issues which impact the integrity of the gospel and the future of the life and witness of the church.” Some of the issues discussed included “responding redemptively to challenges to the gospel by other beliefs; HIV/AIDS; poverty; the need for in-depth discipleship, environmental concerns; and globalization and urbanization” among others. Capetown 2010 was designed to allow brothers and sisters in Christ to come together as leaders in the church, prayerfully seeking God’s wisdom for solutions to overcome the barriers to sharing the good news of the Gospel.” The theme verse of the week was 2 Corinthians 5:19, “God in Christ, reconciling the world to himself,” a fitting verse as it points us to the truth that it is through Christ that we are reconciled to God and that this reconciliation is for the whole world.
For those of you not familiar with the Lausanne movement, it was started by Billy Graham, when in 1974 he initiated the first worldwide Congress on world evangelism in Lausanne, Switzerland, gathering leaders from around the globe for discussion, fellowship, worship, and prayer, seeking to be “The Whole Church taking the Whole Gospel to the Whole World". Since 1974, dozens of Lausanne-related global, regional, and topical conferences have been convened all over the world, with a second worldwide congress held in Manila, Philippines in 1989. The Capetown meeting sought “to discern where the church should put its efforts and energies so that we can most effectively respond to Christ’s call to take the gospel into all the world and make disciples of people,” with three primary goals: a greater sense of unity in the body of Christ, a greater sense of clarity of the gospel, and a greater sense of ordered priority in the task before us.
It is impossible to sum up all we learned, experienced, and felt during 7 very full days of sitting under the preaching of God’s word; worshipping with believers of different nationalities, cultures, and languages; discussing global issues and how the Gospel applies to them; networking and strategizing for possible partnerships; and hearing how God is at work around the world. It was a stimulating, encouraging, challenging, and humbling time.
The Congress was structured around table groups of 5 and 6 people, allowing you to get to know a small group of people from different countries and discuss the specific issues and how they related to their individual contexts. My table included people from Hong Kong, Germany, India, and Papua New Guinea, and I was thankful for all I learned from them. We studied through the book of Ephesians (which, we have also been reading through here at First Pres.!) with those at our table and heard daily expositions from Ephesians from teachers from around the world, including John Piper from the US who challenged us that we are to care about all human suffering, temporal and especially eternal, and that to not care about human suffering indicated that we either had a defective view of hell or a defective heart. Challenging words indeed!
Friday, October 29, 2010
The last two and a half weeks, I was in South Africa for the Lausanne Congress on World Evangelism, as well as a bit of sight-seeing. South Africa is a beautiful country with an interesting and often sad history, although grace and redemption abound in their story and people.
I hope to post more on what I learned and saw, but until then, check out the Lausanne website here and enjoy some of the pictures below while I get back to work!
Friday, July 30, 2010
I'm not really a huge fan of seeing myself on tv, but I do love to tell the story of Peru Paper, and I love for other folks to know us and give us business and tell others. I love how God is using this business to change the lives of women in Peru and encourage people all over the world.
So, watch the interview here if you have the time (and you can fast forward through the parts where the commercials would go on tv, or the cooking part in the middle where you can learn to make blueberry muffins. Unless you'd like to learn to make blueberry muffins...) or, if you're in the Jackson area, it will be on WAPT (ABC) on Sunday morning, Aug 1 (my mom's birthday!) from 10:30-11. I'll be in Sunday School then, but like I said earlier, I'm not a huge fan of seeing myself on tv, so watching it through once on my computer will do for me for now. Although I hope tons of people do watch it to learn more about Peru Paper. Anyway, enough rambling. Enjoy! And then go buy some cards. Really. We can't run a business without customers, and without this business, these ladies don't have these jobs (and, also, because they're just cool cards).
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
But, one thing I'm really excited about now is a very cool new product that we've been working on for a while- single initial monogram stationery sets! Yes, that's a mouthful for a product name, but they're very cool and would make great gifts (Father's Day is coming up! Lots of men have expressed interest in these sets.) Check them out, order a set (or 2...or 3!), and tell your friends!
Also, we're adding more retail locations where Peru Paper is sold. Check out the list here and visit the stores in your area!
Friday, May 21, 2010
But, you can check out this other blog to read about what my mom and sister Jackie have been doing lately in Japan! I can't wait to see them when they're home next week and see their pictures and hear how everything has gone.
Monday, May 03, 2010
We need the creation around us, including the waters and all they contain, because we are not gods. We are creatures who thrive when we live as we were made to live. We exercise dominion over the creation not only when we use it, but also when we conserve it for the generations who will come after.
So pray for the Gulf Coast, that the oil wouldn’t devastate a people and a land already devastated by so much. As you do, remember: real conservatives protect what God loves.