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

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Second Day in India

Its hard to convey what India is like to the Western mind. Someone aptly put it like this, "India is an assault on all of your senses." That pretty accurate. Every sense (what you hear, see, taste and feel) is so different that it must be experienced. I write this on Friday morning, March 6th while it is still Thursday in the West. I am getting ready to teach at the GFA headquarters in Delhi before flying southward to Cochin. The staff workers here are so sweet and so devoted to their calling and this is always a privilege for me. Since I first came to this country back in 1983, I have had a love for the people here, especially those who serve the Lord in these difficult circumstances. Yesterday was a long day of traveling and filming for a couple of different projects. A few photographs tell part of the story.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A Day Spent in Delhi

There's a twelve and a half hour time difference between where I live and where I am right now(where the half hour comes in I have no idea). I am feeling the time shift and jet lag right about now as I conclude this first day spent in and around the environs of Delhi, the seat of government for India. It was here the Mogul Kings fought and it was here the British Empire retained its grip of control over the commonwealth of India. But more exciting than it's history is the vibrant present day work among believers in this land. Our team woke up to a bright day filled with car horns beeping, bicycles and rickshaws dancing, cows meandering and trucks bullying there way through the same crowded streets of this town of 14 million people. We traveled about an hour from GFA offices to the Bible college to speak to over 200 students as well as missionaries that work with Gospel for Asia. When we arrived, they made a procession complete with dancing and singing a song of welcome. (See picture above). They all sat perfectly still for a few straight hours and seemed to not to just endure but enjoy the teachings. The school sits on 32 acres and includes a few acres of farmland. Afterward we visited two schools where children are rescued from off the streets and slums of India (usually from an abusive situation by drug pimps) and cared for, educated and taught the gospel. Its quite impressive to think that a total of 53,000 of these children so far have been removed from the streets and brought into these havens. A great work and a great day!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Just Delhi!

After a 3 hour flight to Chicago and another 15.5 hour flight to Delhi, we're safely on Indian soil. A moderate drive from the airport brought us safely to GFA headquarters. It's midnight here and we'll be up pretty early to go the the bible school to teach the 200 students about leadership and being sustained in ministry. I've got help (Gino Geraci and Chip Lusko) so they'll be teaching as well. Going to try to get some rest now and if the connection works tomorrow, I'll post with some pictures of the day.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Ouch! Ministry Can Hurt!

I'm at the airport traveling with Chip Lusko to India (Chip is in the
photo getting his shots for travel--he had to get four injections to prevent a host of diseases). We'll be going to Delhi for a few
days and then down south to teach at GFA's seminary. KP Yohannan began Gospel for Asia just about a year before we began Calvary of Albuquerque and we have partnered together for many years. I am privileged to serve on the Board of GFA and every few years I travel to India to speak to leaders, pastors and students at the bible schools there. This year will be a particular honor as The Biblical Seminary in south India will be conferring a doctorate to me. This will be alot of fun. We will also be filming while we are there for an upcoming documentary that I will tell you more about later.