Browse Month: June 2010

Monday Musings – 28/06/10

Are you a ripe candidate?

 I just finished a book while here in Kitwe, Zambia by Reggie McNeal called “Missional Renaissance”. On the last page of the book he says these words: “Some of you reading this are ripe candidates for leading the missional church movement. You have a passion and a dream.”

The eyes of the world are on South Africa right now as the World Cup has moved to the next round.  On Saturday night I watched Ghana beat the United States and immediately following the game I heard what passion coupled with a dream sounds like. Within seconds of the end of the game, people poured into the streets of Kitwe and began to shout and celebrate, and this is just the second round!!! African’s are passionate about football and Ghana’s win keeps the dream alive that there is still an African team that has a chance to win the World Cup. Just having the World Cup in Africa is a dream come true, and to have an African country win the world cup, well, you fill in the blanks…

The last two years as MJ and I have traveled the world, we have caught a glimpse of what God can do in the church if only we will commit to His agenda and not our own. My passion level is rising with each country we visit. I have a dream to see significantly more existing churches work together with emerging leaders to return to the simplicity and power of the Acts 2 church. I dream of a visible and viable church that will see the community it serves as its mission field, moving outside its walls of comfort and security to connect people with the living, loving and transforming power of Jesus Christ!!!

Reggie McNeal says: “Your impact may be across the street or around the world. You will create new worlds of human possibility and kingdom reality…God will be pleased. People will be better off…You have been sent by God. The world is glad you came.”

By the way, take a minute to look at last week’s blog.  I was finally able to get sufficient Internet access to add some pictures.

Until next time…

Don

“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”

Monday Musings – 21/06/10

A Harley Wanna Be Rider…

MJ took this picture of me a few weeks ago in a mall in downtown Bangkok .  Using Harley Davidson as an illustration at some of our RTC seminars has raised my passion level for the bike to the point that many people ask me if I ride one. 

If the truth be known, I have never gotten beyond sitting on a Harley in the showroom.  Sitting on a Harley makes me dream of what it would be like to take that machine on the open road, invigorated by its distinct sound, and enjoying the open sky with MJ sitting behind me – well two out of three ain’t bad (MJ with me on the back of a Harley would cause anyone to believe in miracles!!!).

Think about it, how many of us dream about things in life but we never get our dreams out of the showroom?  We like the safety and security it provides and it doesn’t cost anything to look, but our dreams never experience the open road and open sky of reality.  Don’t content yourself with a show room moment when you can have a lifetime of adventure, challenge and fulfillment.

Hey, just days before my fiftieth birthday I learned to drive a standard transmission vehicle and today I can say I have experienced the reality of driving the roads of Nairobi Kenya and Kitwe Zambia (trust me when I say that is an adventure!!!!)  Maybe, just maybe, in the next half century of my life, I will get the courage to take a Harley out of the show room and enjoy the open road.  I figure the best place to start riding a Harley would be on the streets of Ho Chin Minh, Vietnam – population five million, number of motorbikes on the road – four million – not!!!

Until next time…

Don

“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”

 

Monday Musings – 06/14/10

A sobering week…

Today’s blog for the most part will be faceless and nameless in an effort to protect those involved.  I have included a few generic pictures for your enjoyment.

If you have been watching our schedule, you will know that MJ and I have just completed a week in a country where for many years the church met in homes “underground” (meaning in secret).  In recent years some restrictions have been lifted, but on the final day of our conference we were met with a sobering moment of reality.  The mood and tone of the leaders suddenly changed, the curtains on the floor to ceiling windows were drawn and we were asked to begin to pray in silence.  The local police had come to our conference location and began to ask why our group of about 120 people were gathering.  As a result, we suspended our meeting for one half hour in hopes that the police would leave.  Eventually they did, and with about three pastors posted outside the door to keep watch, we continued our meetings and completed the seminar all be it in quieter tone but with no less enthusiasm.

What amazed me was how calm the people were.  It was evident that this had happened before and it appeared that they simply took it in stride and everyone knew what to do.  In sharp contrast however, our team dealt with the sobering reality of what it is like to live with spiritual oppression and uncertainty.  As a team we did not know what the outcome would be and what explanations we may have to give the authorities.  This was something we had read of in the past but very sobering to experience it in “real” time.  We left the conference with a whole new appreciation for churches around the world who do not have the freedom that so many of us in the western world have.

MJ and I returned to Nairobi at six o’clock this morning.  During the taxi ride from the airport we picked up the Daily Nation newspaper with this front page story:  “Bloody Sunday”.  Yesterday, at a park about a five minute drive from where we are staying, churches from across Nairobi came together to pray against the new constitution that is being proposed for Kenya.  As thousands were praying, two grenade type bomb blasts occurred resulting in the death of five people and seventy-five others injured.  Another sobering moment…

As MJ and I travel the world and experience these “sobering” moments in the church, we have always said that upon returning to our home nation we will endeavour not to lay a sense of guilt on the local churches that we visit.  I must admit I am struggling this week with that commitment.

When twenty-seven of the one-hundred and twenty people you spent three days with have been arrested at one time or another for their faith, and when you return to a city where twelve hours before, five people were killed at a prayer rally, it is hard not to say anything.

I am discovering that church for me has been pretty comfortable over the years.  What I take for granted, others have paid a heavy price for!  What many fight over because they feel the church is not meeting their needs; others are going to jail for and even dying for because they know the church is the only hope for the spiritual need of their nation.  Just something to think about?????

Until next time…

Don

“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”

Monday Musings – 06/06/10

Black eye in Bangkok…

MJ and I found ourselves in downtown Bangkok (a city of ten million plus people) this past Tuesday, just two weeks after the confrontation that brought to an end a two month stand-off between the Red Shirts and the Thai army.  It was sobering to stand in front of the World Central shopping mall and witness the results of conflict.  As one person put it, burnt buildings and bullet holes in a traditionally peaceful culture have given Bangkok a black eye. 

The Sunday following the confrontation, the City of Bangkok invited its citizens to come downtown for a massive clean-up.  What they thought would take several days was completed in the one day because so many people showed up.

I read a newspaper article yesterday of a TV journalist from France (Canadian by birth) who was seriously wounded in the crossfire during the confrontation.  As he crawled across the street in an attempt to get out of harm’s way, a Red shirt security guard helped him on to a motorcycle, took him to the closest hospital and stayed with him several hours until he knew that he would survive his life threatening wounds.  These stories are a reminder to me that in the midst of conflict there are still a lot of good people in the world whose actions take the attention off the black eye!!!!

What a week we have had in Thailand.  Spending four days with over 100 pastors and church leaders, speaking 14 times in seminars and churches, and having time with choice global workers like Peter and Pat Dewit have made our time here incredibly fulfilling.

Today we fly to Vietnam and start another week of leadership seminars.  I look forward to writing you from Vietnam with some updates.

Until next time…

Don

“Taking risks for Kingdom impact!”


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