Monday, December 28, 2009

Pray for Chuck Smith

I got a call at about 2:30 in the morning on Sunday from my friend Raul Ries in California with an urgent request to pray for Pastor Chuck Smith. Chuck and Kay's daughter Jan called him informing him that her dad was being rushed to the hospital and that she thought something was wrong with his heart. It turns out that Chuck had a small stroke (probably a transient ischemic attack) and was being hospitalized to be monitored for 48 hours. He was scheduled to be released today but I'd like to enlist as many prayers for him as I can. Please pray that Pastor Chuck will recover expediently and that his family will be comforted and encouraged.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wishing You a Wonderful Christmas

This Christmas I pray that God will puts joy and laughter in your heart so that your face hurts from smiling! May His presence permeate every experience this year and may the pain of lost loved ones be eclipsed by the satisfaction of His perfect plan for you. We send our sincerest and warmest wishes your way for God highest and best in your lives this coming year. Merry Christmas 2009!

The Heitzigs

And just for fun, we've included a short video giving an inside look at our Christmas Eve service. Even though we had some wonderful musical guests: Rodrigo Rodriguez and the Albuquerque Mass Choir, the best part of the evening was watching those who came forward to make a commitment to Jesus. What a great present to give to the Lord: a life! Let's all give our lives to the Lord-for His purposes- this coming year.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Dennis Agajanian

Dennis Agajanian is a good friend and has been for many years. He makes me laugh; he encourages me and he loves to play guitar for God's people and bring them a smile. Brian Nixon was filming this behind-the-scenes-video and posted it here. I think people just appreciate someone who doesn't necessarily fit the mold of a Christian musician and plays in his refreshingly unique style.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

In Season or Out!

One thing you can always count on with Franklin Graham--when he opens his mouth the gospel comes out. It doesn't matter if the microphone is in a church or on the desk of Bill O'Reiley or from the studios of Al Jazeera, he will always vocalize the need for sinful humanity to repent and come to Jesus Christ. It's sort of like, "in his genes!" Like father, like son! Well this entire weekend Franklin is preaching at Calvary of Albuquerque and doing more of the same. This is a busy season for Franklin as he is winding up Operation Christmas Child, where 8.2 million shoe boxes will be collected and distributed to children around the world. I've had the opportunity of having Franklin speak here since the eighties (our friendship goes way back) and I love his unswerving commitment to the simple message of the gospel. Lots of rejoicing in heaven over those who responded this past weekend. Glory to God!

Friday, November 13, 2009

"The Things That I Didn't Plan"

Lenya and I had dinner last night with a friend and his wife that I met last year while I was teaching at the Cove on the Second Coming of Christ. Hank Cooper, a PhD and the "Starwars Defense Initiative" architect in the Reagan Administration is a strong believer and concerned citizen. Hank was personally picked by Ronald Reagan for that role and was often an adviser to the president. He is concerned about the current nuclear situation and international the players who are developing weapons--scary when you consider their worldview and political agendas. But Hank said something to me as we were discussing God's Providence and Sovereignty. "The best things that have happened to me in life were those things that I didn't plan". Now that's quite a statement from a top level strategist who's job it was to help plan and maintain the national defense of our country! But Hank and his wife Bobbye realize that we only know so much about God's workings in the current affairs of our world ("We know in part"--1Cor. 13) and that though we can (and should) plan, strategize and solve problems in life, that God is behind the scenes and there He directs all the scenes that He is behind! There are many things that have happened to Lenya and I that we never planned. But behind them all is an everlasting God who is working all things together for our highest good and His greatest glory! I've seen that truth play out time and time again and I am trusting God that He's still doing that. Thanks for the reminder, Hank!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

View From the Top

I'm out of the country right now. Lenya and I are enjoying the spicy hospitality of our southern neighbors in Mexico. Baja California Sur in the official name of this fine extended peninsula of the west where the Sea of Cortez kisses the Pacific Ocean in blue resplendence. About 30 miles from the Airport at Cabo, Rod and Nedra Farley (wonderful in-laws by the way) have a time-share villa. This is the view--not bad, eh? From here we can look down on the quiet valley below and watch the hawks gain altitude as the sun makes its westward daily journey. From here we can see the fishing boats take their early jaunt out to the deep for their daily catch. But its more than the view for me. I've left my world down below for these 5 days. Not answering cell phone calls or planning meetings via email has been a most welcome break (not to mention a difficult discipline for me). Today, its all about the jet ski trip around the arches of Cortez. Tomorrow its all about the ATV ride with Rod in the morning. I get up early (only because I go to bed early here) and read my bible with a cup of Starbuck's robust brew. After a cup or two and a brief scripture reading and song with Rod, I get Lenya up with a cup of very "milked-down" coffee. We enjoy the morning breezes and then its off to a stringent workout of lunch or water activity (or both). See ya...I think I feel a swim coming on!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

R and R

It's been awhile but Lenya and I get to enjoy a week in Cabo. We're
meeting Lenya's folks here for the week at their time share. I've
never been to Cabo San Lucas before but it look good so far. I'm
standing in the Passport line at the airport writing this--sweeeet!!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Over the years I have mentored several young men for the ministry and
the joy has been second to none. I never realized how the mentoring
principle extends to some of the others of God's creation mad on the
6th day. Tonight I found out. Winston (the bigger, older and wiser of
the two) could swing Mack (the smaller and cuter one) over the fence
if he wanted to. Winston is very strong and can play hard. But he
seems to be mentoring the wee one in how to play tug of war. While we
are training Mack these days it's nice to have a little help from a
wiser member of the Canine world.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Most Beautiful Picture I've Ever Seen

OK, unless you have a trained eye, this shot may not look like much, but this picture you're looking at is my future! This is my grandchild! How cool is that!? God has done it again! I've seen many an ultrasound image in my time and the only thing better was the one of my son, Nate (which I still have by the way...somewhere). Nate and Jane went to the Dr.'s office today for the exam and he sent my this picture via his iPhone. We've known about this for awhile, but NOW I can blab about it--and don't worry--I WILL! I am already devising ways to spoil this little or girl. Oh yeah! And I don't care what anyone will think or say. Gramps will lavish his love on this little one and will enjoy ever minute of it. Isn't life grand?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lee Strobel

We had a great weekend at Calvary of Albuquerque. Lee Strobel was with us talking about "The Unexpected Adventure," the title of a great and challenging new book. I've enjoyed reading it and I think you will too. Lee is a good friend of our ministry, and has been a great "sounding board" for me in ministry issues. I've appreciated his insights as well as his books and messages.

Check out the video for a quick highlight. And by the way, did you notice that he talked about Kareem Abdul Jabbar around me? I wonder why? That dude is tall--Kareem I mean--not Lee :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Now this is a hot dog, folks! The "Dog House" on Central Ave. in
Albuquerque serves up these babies smothered in Chilie with onions. If
these tastey treats are possible now, imagine what the Marriage Supper
in heaven will be like.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Do You Talk to God Much?

I've been drawn to a book I've had a long time on my shelf--written in 1821 by Edward Bickersteth, clergyman of the Church of England, sent to Africa by the church Missionary Society, rector of the church at Watton and one of the early founders of the Evangelical Alliance. I love reading OLD books, as lots of you already know. This one is a classic. Perhaps one of the reasons I love it it because the style in which it is written demands the reader slow down and mentally chew on small bites. At any rate, it it renewing a love for prayer, to meaningfully communicate to the Father as His child. Bickersteth underscores that our apprach must not be as a slave towards a harsh and demanding master but in a familial and tender manner--great stuff--and it's really "Old School"--like 200 years old school!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Folks I Want to Meet in Heaven

Job is one of them--one of the oldest guys in Bible and a real pioneer. I love his honesty and inquisitiveness about life. Starting a series on him this week has made me appreciate him all the more.

Jesus, of course!(this will be the best part of heaven)

Onesiphorus (he was such an encouragement to Paul & I love these kinds of low-key servants)

Chuck Spurgeon (AKA Charles Haddon Spurgeon). That dude could speak better than just about anyone about the things of God. I've visited his church building in London as well as his grave in East Norwood and will be stoked to actually meet him. (I also want to meet other preachers like G. Campbell Morgan, Joseph Parker, Alexander MacLaren & Richard Baxter)

I also can't wait for all those sweet surprises in heaven--those people that I knew in High School & college whom I never thought would become Christians but did anyway!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Not "HOW" but "WHAT?"

James spoke to a suffering group of believers when he wrote, "If any of you lacks wisdom, let Him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reporach, and it will be given to him,"(James 1:5) The point of the paragraph is that Christians shouldn't be asking God HOW they can get out of trials but rather WHAT they can get out of trials. That's what I have been praying these days. Suffering comes to us all in life, but God want to make sure that none of it ever gets wasted. He wants to use every bit of it--to shape, prune and beautify the lives of His children. I am excited about that. God will let nothing go to waste; He will use carefully prescribed seasons of suffering to make us better!

Now for the real issue about how Lenya is doing exactly! We went to the Dr. yesterday to get the low-down on the lab results and what he sees as the next steps. We really love Dr Ampuero. He is a gentleman and cares deeply about his patients. I'm praying the Lord will use us in his life as well. I'll let Lenya tell you the story in her own words:

"Every time Apple comes out with the latest, greatest gadget my guys jockey for position into long lines for the 'must have' upgrade. The iPhone rolls out a 3G and immediately they’re hooked up (I have to confess, I detest electronic devices at the dinner table. Grrrrrr!) It’s no wonder that most of us look at getting an upgrade as a good thing. We dream of a flight attendant calling our name over the loud speaker to say, 'We’re upgrading you to first class. Sorry we overbooked the flight.'

My grandest string of upgrades occurred during 1996 when the New York Yankees competed with the Atlanta Braves for the World Series. John Wetteland, the Yankees clean-up pitcher who led the American League with 43 saves, invited me and Nathan to come see an away game in Atlanta. Because we knew John, his name opened the door to untold opportunity wherever we went in Atlanta. It unlocked a hotel room at the Ritz Carlton after the Marriott overbooked our reservation—all expenses paid! Shopping with the team family members brought amazing discounts. It gained us entrance to the Yankee locker room and even provided seats on the team bus right next to Reggie Jackson. Nathan and I felt like we landed in a dream. And it was a dream come true!

Today I received an upgrade I could live without. I learned that my Stage 1 cancer was elevated to Stage 2. Yes, the pathology from my lymphs, omentum, colon, and abdominal fluid were all negative. On the positive side, it is not a clear cell carcinoma, which are notoriously virulent. Dr. Ampuero was astounded at how quickly I’m recovering from the surgery, saying, “You’re well ahead of schedule.” He added that youth and strength are on my side. However, since my hysterectomy in 1998, there’s no knowing if the peritoneal cancer originated elsewhere, like my ovaries or uterus. That and anything that impacts the colon brings unsolicited upgrades.

This Wednesday I have more blood work. On Thursday, I undergo a procedure to implant a “port” into my chest to receive the chemo. Next Tuesday, August 4th, I receive my first of six rounds of chemotherapy. The toxic cure will be a combo of Paclitaxel and Carboplatin. Most likely I’ll lose my hair, be fatigued, and have a compromised immune system until the first of the year.

On the average, the awesome upgrades I’ve received have far outweighed the aggravating ones. I will rest with Job on this thought, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (Job 1:21).


Friday, July 24, 2009

She's Back! She's Beautiful!

Went out on a date to CPK and a nice stroll. Lenya is feeling great
and has updated her status on her blog. (
Happy to be out again with my babe!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

What Skateboarders Do When It's Hot

Leaving church yesterday, getting ready to fly West to speak this
weekend, I encountered a group of skateboarders. We were hosting a
skate-park competition and outreach for skaters of different ages.
This guy however was unique. Check out the video!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Latest Update

Lenya made it home! She's doing great. She had all her staples and cutaneous sutures removed yesterday and is at her computer already today. She is up walking and eating (though not usually at the same time), and she is getting stringer daily. Her mom has been a great help--flying in from Michigan and staying with her all six nights in the hospital and helping here around the house (A great mother-in-Law). Nights are a bit restless but even that is a chance for the Lord to speak to our hearts! We are greatly encouraged and firmly rooted in God grace right now. Thanks to the many who have written to add to that encouragement and to all who have been praying--you're the best!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Again a hearty thanks to all who have been praying and writing with notes of love & concern. First of all, I want to say that God is good ALL THE TIME! We know He is the One who is aquatinted with all our ways and hedges us with His love (Psalm 139:3-5), and is ultimately at the helm of every one of life's situations. Even those thing that mystify our understanding never catch Him off guard nor do they escape His gracious gaze.
Lenya's surgery this morning went a little longer than expected (about an hour or so overtime). I will try to be descriptive without too much medical jargon: The tumor was taken out. It was malignant. The Oncologist gave it the designation, "Stage 1", but because it was encapsulated, he was encouraged. This hopefully means it hasn't metastasized (hasn't spread to grow anywhere else), but it's too early to tell without the pathology reports (they normally come a few days later). The complication was it's adherence to other organs which precipitated the need for an anastomosis which was done successfully. As a follow-up, she will be needing chemotherapy as well. To sum it up: she has done remarkably well and the prognosis is positive. She is resting comfortably, dozing in and out, having short conversations and then sleeping. Even in a hospital bed without makeup, she is absolutely beautiful!
Her mom and dad, Nate and I have all been with her most of the late morning and afternoon. I am very encouraged and confident in God's plan for her and for us all. Thanks for standing with us in prayer. We love you all.

Surgery Day

We awoke this morning at 5 a.m. after a good night's rest and got
Lenya go the hospital at 6:15. All the pre-op procedures went great--a
wonderful staff here. I'm just sitting in the waiting room with family
awaiting the results. We've had SO many friends from all around town,
different states and countries calling, texting and emailing who are
praying for her--we're happily surrounded! The surgery team was alert
and confident and so we wait to hear how it all goes.

Monday, July 6, 2009

So Thankful for the "Family"

The family of fellow-believers, called the "church" is one of God's greatest gifts. "He sets the solitary in families" writes the psalmist in Psalm 68:6. Even with a flock of 14,000 people, there is still a warmth and intimacy that we experience especially in times like these. I am so thankful for this. I took Lenya today for a pre-op PA and lateral chest X-ray and EKG. The surgery has been moved up from 1:00 in the afternoon to 7:45 in the morning on Wednesday. (earlier is better than later). The rest of today we're resting but we're resting gratefully to be so bathed in prayer and support. Besides salvation, Lenya is the BEST thing that ever happened to me! Thanks to all who have written and voiced their prayers and love both here, on Facebook and in person.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Update on Lenya

The rain this morning reminded me of God's faithfulness to provide. (Isa 55:9-11) We're doing well and are set for this unplanned journey. After setting a date for Lenya's surgery, we are now focused on the operation and recovery. I'll let Lenya tell you in her own words:

"Good Morning,

Thank you for you words or encouragement and prayers. I have had incredible peace throughout the whole discovery process. Skip has been an angel...barely leaving my side. The Dr.s have been strong advocates on our behalf. To have nearly a dozen test in 4 days...incredible! Also, to move from discovery to diagnosis in a week's time is amazing. I have every confidence in their care. More importantly, I trust the Great Physician with my life!

I have a couple of pre-op tests on Monday. I have a colonoscopy on Tuesday. My surgery is scheduled for Wednesday 7/8 at 1 PM. Dr. Francisco Ampuero GYN/ONC will perform the procedure. It is a small, highly professional facility. I will have a private room and top notch care.

The surgery will require a vertical incision from my belly button to my pubic bone. The mass is so large that it displaces several vital organs. Therefore, they need to open my abdomen wide enough to pull it out in tact and without compromising adjacent organs. Doctors say that the good news is that the tumor is encapsulated. It hasn't adhered to other organs, rather it imposes upon them. It is a consistent density. And it has not created fluid in the pelvic area. The even better news? My surgeon called me "thin with almost no belly fat!" He's now my new best friend.

My mother is flying in on Tuesday. They say I will need someone at the house for 2 weeks to help out. She'll be here for the entire time. Recovery time is expected to be 2-3 months.

Thanks for your love and prayers!



Thursday, July 2, 2009

I Would Love to Have Your Prayers

It's been quite a busy and eventful week at our home and I wanted to let everyone know what is going on in our personal lives. Lenya has been feeling quite a lot of pain lately (and believe me Lenya doesn't let on much when it comes to pain--she just plows ahead). So here's the run-down:

Monday: Lenya's Ob Gyn detected a pelvic mass upon examination. An ultrasound exam confirmed a 15cm mass present (the size of a large grapefruit)

Tuesday: Blood tests and a pelvic CT scan revealed that the mass is encapsulated(a good thing) but displacing other organs in the area.

Wednesday: CT scan of the lungs was done along with more blood tests. These showed an elevation of cancer cells in the bloodstream.

Thursday: We meet today with a GYN Oncologist to assemble a surgical team and schedule the removal of the mass.

The Heitzigs are really doing great. We have complete peace from God and are thankful for the way God sustains us. Honestly, we feel so blessed to have each other and with God's strength we'll march through this battle like we have other before it. God bless you.


Saturday, June 6, 2009

A Great Night of Jubilee

Myself, Josh McDowell, Sean McDowell and my son Nate.

I've know Josh McDowell for many years now. He's been a great influence to my Christian walk since almost the very beginning. He wrote "More than a Carpenter" and "Evidence That Demands a Verdict", two of the best books ever written. Josh and his family were a part of the church in California, when I was the pastor. We had the pleasure of having his family (He, his wife and their son Sean) speak out there about family life. But this week we hosted them here in New Mexico. Josh and Sean came out to be part of our Bible Literacy Study and to kick off the Jubilee Festival along with Jars of Clay. Sean, who has written a couple of great books ("Understanding Intelligent Design" and "Apologetics For A New Generation")shared, along with my son Nate, the importance of Bible literacy for this generation while Josh & I spoke as the older guys to a small press conference on Friday at Hotel Albuquerque. We conducted a poll to indicate the level of Bible literacy in this city--a study Josh praised--since he's one who loves hard research and had conducted a number of similar studies himself. Both father and son McDowell shared the stage at the Balloon Fiesta Park to speak about the relevance of truth to their own lives--a powerful night!

Josh McDowell speak to a crowd of 7,500 at Balloon Fiesta Park Friday Night

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Praying for Wisdom

I was struck by reading the account of Solomon's prayer in 2 Chronicles 1. Before Solomon built the great Temple and while the tabernacle still stood, Solomon gathered the leaders of the nation and together they prayed. There at Gibeon, after making an extensive sacrifice, Solomon was effectively given a "blank check" by God. He was told to ask for anything he wanted. It's what Solomon wanted that is to me most significant--he desired "Wisdom and knowledge" ("an understanding heart" in the 1 Kings account) to know how to serve God people. I have always loved Solomon's request and have echoed his prayer many times for myself, asking for God's wisdom and knowledge in shepherding His flock. I did so again this morning. I have always realized that the flock belongs to God and my task is to feed and nurture, equipping them through the knowledge of the truth (Acts 20:28). Solomon had the right focus at the beginning of his reign but as time wore on, he lost sight of it--a warning to all believers, especially to leaders that our hearts must be carefully guarded and motives constantly weighed. Shepherding God's flock is the greatest privilege in the world but it also demands the highest degree of integrity and purest of motives. "God, please grant that for your church."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Paul Clark and Phil Keaggy

Paul Clark and Phil Keaggy in 1980

Phil and Paul last night

OK, last night was a BLAST! I mean it was an epic combination of music and ministry as two of my dear friends came and shared their songs. Paul Clark and Phil Keaggy were at Calvary and delighted us. Thats the best way I can describe it. It was like a gift for our church body. The led in worship, helped with Communion and then played for the rest of the night. If you missed it, I'm really sorry because it was one of the most memorable nights ever.

Paul Clark and I have traveled the world together doing ministry from Jerusalem to Istanbul. He has been a musical troubadour, writing, singing and producing with some of the most capable musicians in the industry. We've been friends since way back! Phil Keaggy has been widely knwn as one of the planets best guitar players, yet he remains so sweet and humble, because he knws where his gift comes from!

These guys gave to our generation some of the most memorable Christian anthems like, "Abide" and "Love Broke Through" both of which were played last evening. To top it all off, the band joined them on stage for Paul's rendition of Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody." So cool! And so fun!

If you were unable to join us, check out this short highlight video. Also to get the full evening and all the songs go over to and go the the archive section.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day

I have so many fond memories of my mom. One of the greatest is her wonderful attitude and love for the simple things in life. A warm day with sunshine, working in her garden and a call from one of her boys was all she needed to beam. She was so encouraging to be around her and she loved to laugh! She also exuded a zest for life that was contagious. I miss her, but I know she's eally having a great Mother's Day with the Lord.

This Mother's Day at Calvary of Albuquerque we had Crystal Lewis, a mother of two teenagers. She shared stories, music, and her heart with those who attended.

As I continue my series on the Church, I am so glad to be part of this fellowship (Calvary of Albuquerque)- a place where people gather to worship God, study His word, and love one another. This family of believers genuinely and authentically follow Christ.

Happy Mother's Day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

A Perfect Day!

OK, so I haven't blogged for a while. With all of the busyness of normal life in the life of a pastor (people worried over the economy and the Swine Flu)and just the accelerated pace of postmodern technology between doing Facebook, the blog, Loopt, and just "regular" emails and website requests, life is CRAZY! So why am I blogging now? Perhaps out of guilt for not doing it awhile and perhaps because I have just a few quiet moments on my one day off to just say I love the space between the busyness. Today is what I would consider a perfect day. The weather is calm and warm, the outside air beckoned me to go out and poke around at yard work (a love I inherited from my mother)and I can now bicycle somewhere cool with Lenya. Ahhhh!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Easter Morning

I love it when God works in wonderful ways. This past Easter morning was one such day. Take a look at the video and see what I mean.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Plane is Almost Landed

Tonight I will be teaching through three books of the New Testament: 2 John, 3 John and Jude (Don't worry, they are only three chapters total--very short books). The Bible from 30,000 Feet is nearly over and the plane will and is just a couple of weeks. next week we will tackle half of the Book of Revelation. Tonight's message will really be fun. I've learned a lot reading through these short but powerful letters. I've learned a powerful lesson in 2 John: True Love Requires Love For Truth! I'll explain tonight!

Monday, March 23, 2009

God Uses Dentists Too

I had to go to the dentist today--just for a checkup. This was new guy for me and he turned out to be one of the kindest, nicest guys I've ever met. He is a strong
believer who radiates joy and clearly wants to make his patients feel
comfortable(and I did). It may be hard to believe but as I am leaving his office
I feel edified and peaceful. Yep, God uses dentists too!

Monday, March 16, 2009

One of My Favorite Towns!

THE most recognizable site in London--Big Ben

Getting footage outside of the Houses of Parliament in London

The Great Winston Churchill's statue looms large next to the seat of government.

I have loved London since I was a kid. This was the country that produced the Beatles and Vox amplifiers. This was the land that was the springboard for the United States of America and also has a cool-looking flag! London is a mix of both old and new--old-world architecture and new world fashion and attitude. Moreover this is also the country that produced some of the finest preachers EVER, some of my heroes. Today we visited two churches and the houses of Parliament for film shoots. Again the weather was very warm for London--mid to upper sixties and bright clear skies. Ahhhhh!!!!!! It was nice. My buddy John Ritchie from Scotland and I had the chance in between video set-ups to go out and visit Charles Spurgeon's grave at the East Norwood cemetary in Southeast London. I've always wanted to do it, so this was an added treat. So to visit his church, stand in his pulpit and then visit his grave was lots of fun and very inspiring. I have been reading Spurgeon since I was 18. Then we went over to Westminster Chapel for a shoot for our upcoming documentary. This was the church that G. Campbell Morgan and D. Martyn Lloyd Jones pastored and preached in, gracing London with a solid model of in-depth expository preaching. So, all in all it was a wonderful day. Going to bed now--taking an early morning flight back home. Tell me what you think of these pics.

The front of the Metropolitan Tabernacle--where Spurgeon preached

Spurgeon's body was placed here to await the resurrection

Westminster Chapel where Moragn and Lloyd Jones preached.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Super Nice!

That's how I can describe the balmy air of London tonight. After cold temps in Vienna, the weather started to warm up in Milstaat Austria (up in the alps). This castle was used by the Nazis during WWII to train SS officers for Hitler's war machine. This picturesque setting on the lake next to the town is like something out of the sound of music. Even though the altitude was higher, the wind stopped and the sun was bright. Its was ideal for the video clips we needed to show this Calvary Chapel Bible college in Austria. After a morning filming session, we made our way to Salzburg and then off to London where the weather is, get this, SUNNY! Tomorrow we'll shoot in front of what was CHarle Spurgeon's church, the Metropolitan Tabernacle, G. Campbell Morgan's church at Westminster Chapel and the Hyde Park. Above and are pictures of Austria.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Back to the Home of My Forefathers

Austria was where my forebears lived before migrating to America. I've been here before but it wasn't so cold then. Today we battled rain and wind as we set up shots for a few different projects including one called, "Riptide" which I'll tell you more about over time. The gist of it is about the impact of the modern church movement of the "Jesus people" and their impact on culture. We needed a few segments here so we were able to set up in front of the Belvadere with the help of a combined film crew from the states and locally from Vienna. This was the home of Mozart, Strauss and others who graced the world with their creative talent. Tomorrow after a morning shoot we'll be off to Milstaat, the home of one of the bible colleges we'll feature.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

I Wish You Were Either Cold or Hot!

This guy was just hanging out at the Red Fort in Agra

I know it's crazy but they encourage you to beep your horn--everywhere, all day long!

Well the change from the hundred degree wet jungles of south India to the windy hail of Vienna is dramatic as is the cultural change. Just landed in Austria for a couple of days of ministry here. I've always loved Vienna since my family heritage is from this country. But great memories still linger of the brothers and sisters I met or re-connected with while staying in India. I was greatly encouraged. I'll post pictures of this location tomorrow. 'Til then, here's a few more pictures of where I've been. According to an early tradition, Thomas, one of the twelve apostles came to India to bring the gospel and preached in the area as seen in the photos below. So there you have it. Anybody out there reading this?

According to tradition, the Apostle Thomas came to India and ministered in this town of Niranim.

Allegedly, the Apostle Thomas took the sea route to this inland waterway, landed here and used these waters to baptize his first Indian converts.

Yes everyone needs to see picture of a dancing monkey from time to time.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Leadership Conference and Graduation

This is The Believers Church in Thiruvala, Kerala, south India

Fresh coconut milk for lunch

Leaders from all over Asia have gathered to take part in meetings for encouragement and refreshment. I spoke to this fine group earlier today. They ate it up--attentive and excited to serve in their areas. A few notable people like the leader from Nepal who has been under intense restriction and government pressure until lately was there. He oversees several hundred churches in that country. Also the bishop from the state of Orissa was there. Hundreds of churches there have been burned to the ground, believers have been killed and the persecution is mounting. I can't tell you what a privilege to stand with such men, some of whom I've known and spoken to for almost the last thirty years. On Sunday evening, a packed auditorium of over 3000 family and friends watched as students graduated from the Seminary here. I gave the keynote and was honored with a Doctorate in Divinity by this prestigious university. I felt very humbled to receive it. Tomorrow we will make our long trip back to Delhi and then we're off to Austria for a few days to film our next documentary project. This week has been hot and very busy but so rewarding. I love coming to India for a perspective "tune up."

The Graduating Class and Families

KP Yohannan and I at Graduation

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Asia Biblical Seminary

Local Festival Near Thiruvala

Right now I'm in a village known as Thiruvala in south India. It is very tropical and very hot. The temps hover around 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the humidity is close to the same. Even the folks who live here think its hot! Today I taught the students at GFA's seminary. This is one of the largest in Asia and is a fully accredited seminary in India. Tomorrow is graduation day and I will have the privilege of conducting the Sunday morning service here for the community and then give the graduation commencement address in the afternoon. We expect a crowd of 3000 to attend both of these. The quality of training here is top notch and I am always humbled by the level of commitment to Christ and the Great Commission. I have been working with KP Yohannan and Gospel for Asia since the early 80's and KP and I have really been ministry partners, since we both began around the same time. The seminary asked me to present a paper on a theological topic and they confer a doctorate on me tomorrow as well. To have such a degree from this particular school is a great honor to me as I feel such a kindred heart with the workers here.

KP reflecting at his home on GFA Campus