Thursday, December 17, 2009

How to Read Books You'll Never Read

This month's free book on Christianaudio is Fyodor Dostoevsky's classic: The Brothers Karamazov. I forgot to tell you about last months free book (it was a great one) and thought I'd get you to forgive me with this. Simple add the book to your basket, enter the discount code: DEC2009 and check out (create an account). Done! All you then need to do is download the book (divided into 16 mp3 files).

Audiobooks are a great way of listening to something good in all walks of life: driving, jogging, while attending class or spending quality time with family. OK, I know you know what are the right moments for this. Enjoy!

PS. This version is abridged… AHHHHHH!!!! Forgive me!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cold orthodoxy and Emotionalism

"Cold orthodoxy is the result of absorbing doctrine without gratitude.
Emotionalism is the result of gratitude without doctrine. We need both.
the former tendency leads to an obsession with intellectual data with-
out expression  in love, humility, charity, goodworks, and genuine wor-
ship. The latter is like saying “Thank You“ 142 time without knowing
exactly why."    
(Michael Horton)

Monday, December 7, 2009

A Bunch of Nuts Serving the King Nut

Jérémie is off serving onboard the Logos Hope (as you may know). And now he's off the ship for an inland team. They'll be dramatizing a lot… the Gospel. You can read all about it on his blog (or hope for more news soon).

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A Video for All Us "Frozen Saints"

I liked this video and knew you'd enjoy it also. Have fun watching George Verwer. He hasn't changed much in 50 years of ministry. Love that guy!

Monday, November 30, 2009

What are we listening to?

Just thought I'd tell you what I've been listening to lately. To stay spiritually "fit" (or not get disqualified) I read my Bible, try to commune with God, listen to people that contagiously make me want to know God more deeply and tell the world about the supreme worth of Jesus.

Here are the people that help me. If you click on their name, you'll be able to listen to and download the most recent sermon I've heard:

John Piper  (Excellent sermon on "Going out of the camp"
CJ Mahaney (This man has the gift of encouragement)
Mark Dever  (Does God give second-chances? The message of Zachariah)
Francis Chan (Holy Anguish)
Matt Chandler (This is particularly good for anyone that listens to a lot of sermons, attends a lot of conferences and reads a lot of books)
Mark Driscoll (This isn't the most recent I listened to, but the 1st of an excellent series)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Have Fun With 15 Google Interview Questions

Doulos Ends Its Operations This Year

Doulos Decommissioning  
Questions and Answers

20 November 2009

Please feel free to distribute this information widely. There are no restrictions on its use. It is suitable for all media, including the internet.

What has happened?
While Doulos has been undergoing her annual period of dry dock and maintenance in Singapore, the ship’s classification society (RINA) has been conducting a ‘special survey’ of the ship’s structure, machinery and systems, which takes place every five years. This survey has identified a significant number of additional works to be completed. No extension of time has been given to do this work while the ship continues to operate.

What does this mean?
The additional work would have to start right away, since the surveyors have confirmed that they will not issue new certificates for the ship until this work has been completed. The present certificates run out on Dec 31, 2009.

How much work would have to be done, how long would it take, and how much would it cost?
Quite a number of work projects have been identified, but the primary one is replacing sections of steel on the main deck. An initial quote has been received from the shipyard in Singapore where Doulos has been in dry dock. This, together with other additional costs, would be well over €10 million. The work would take at least five months and, because of other commitments, this yard could not even start the work until September 2010. 

Why can you not do the works needed?  
The OM Ships executive leadership team and board believes that it is not appropriate to invest resources of this scale into the ship, since Doulos would have a limited ministry future.

Is this a surprise or did you see this coming?
Yes, this is a surprise. We expected that the ship would be able to sail until at least September 2010, with the hope for longer. Out technical team has been working towards this five-year ‘special survey’ for some time. The ship has passed many such inspections, but work to keep the ship compliant with marine regulations is continual. Additionally, a new set of ‘Safety of Life at Sea’ (SOLAS) regulations applying to all passenger ships with more than 36 passengers is due to come into effect in October 2010. Meeting these new requirements would have meant huge investment in the ship to remove all remaining non-fireproof construction materials.

What events led up to this point?
Earlier this year, we reached agreement with the Malta Maritime Authority that we could add our ‘staff’ to the official ‘crew list’, and change the ship’s ‘class’ to that of a passenger ship with fewer than 36 passengers. This would have allowed the ship to continue to sail beyond October 2010. Our technical personnel then commissioned a comprehensive assessment of the ship’s construction to see what work would be needed to sail the ship beyond that date. This revealed significant work needing to be done in a number of areas, including replacement of steel in sections of the ship’s main deck. The surveys in Singapore have confirmed this, and early indications were that the ship would be able to sail until the end of September 2010, as long as conditions would be met. It is only in the last week that it has become clear what these conditions are.

Does OM Ships have a contingency plan for this?
Work had been going on for many months to identify the issues and establish the options for the ship not being able to sail beyond September 2010. Things have moved very quickly now and we are responding to the reality that the ship will need to be decommissioned much sooner than anyone expected. Initial plans are coming together and these will continue to be developed and implemented over the coming days and weeks.

What are the next steps?
The people on board are our top priority and our personnel team is already responding to manage the issues and help people work out their next steps.
We want to communicate as clearly as possible and provide regular communication updates as new information becomes available.
Our technical team is working with the marine authorities and making plans to decommission the vessel.
We are looking at the possibility of chartering a ship in the interim.

What will happen to Doulos now?
The ship will remain in Singapore, alongside and/or at anchor until the end of December. Meanwhile, a group will investigate possible options for the vessel, including discussion with ship preservation groups, since Doulos is unique and registered in the Guinness Book of Records as ‘the world’s oldest ocean-going passenger ship’.

What will happen to the ship after Dec 31?
Options include changing the vessel class and obtaining a single voyage certificate for a smaller group of essential crew to sail the ship to a port for handover to a new owner.

What about all those on board and how many are they?
There are around 300 people on board at this point, including singles, couples and families. Our Personnel team on board intends to interview every individual on board over the next weeks, and look together with them at the best options for them. We are also appointing pastoral support to deal with the emotional issues that many of them will be facing. At this stage the future options could include a number of different scenarios such as relocating to a chartered vessel as an interim replacement forDoulos, relocating to another OM field, or returning home.

Who should family members and representatives of sending churches be in touch with?
First and foremost with their relative or church member on board directly, but also with the OM office in their country.

What about the future ports on the schedule?
All future ports on the schedule will have to be cancelled. The team responsible for schedule planning and port preparations will be in communication with government authorities and other partners in these ports. Line-up teams already in place will bring their work to a close and leave.

What about friends, family who were planning to visit the ship in one of those ports?
Planned visits to the ship in these ports will no longer be possible and we regret these visits will have to be cancelled. Due to the uncertainty of the ship’s location and whether access for visitors will be possible, we would advise against making plans to travel to the ship in Singapore. Staying on board will not be possible.

Where can I get regular up-dates and information about next steps?
Regular updates will be sent out by e-mail. Additionally, news will be posted to More detailed information will be available at and we encourage you to visit this special section of the site frequently. Please also contact your local OM office for help and advice.

How can I/we help you financially?
If you would like to give to help the ministry through these very challenging times, please contact your local OM office, or give online. Visit the OM website in your country or Please designate your gift as ‘Doulos Project’. Thank you for your generosity and partnership.

Will OM replace Doulos?
The board has expressed their commitment to continuing to operate two ships. Initial work was already under way to consider options for replacing Doulos, believing that the ship would not be able to sail for many more years. The executive leadership team and the board are considering all interim and longer-term options to continue as a two-ship ministry into the future, in close co-operation with our OM partners around the world.

Who should I ask if I have a question? 
There are many unanswered questions right now. For parents, crew and staff, home offices, sending churches, partners, supporters etc, we have set up a special email account at: for questions and to ask for advice.

Where is our faith in all of this?  
Although the sudden end of the Doulos ministry has come as a surprise to us, we know that God is in control. We would ask our partners around the world to pray with us as we seek His plan for the future. We are confident of the Lord’s sovereignty and grace at this time.

OM Ships International – bringing knowledge, help and hope

E-mail:                    Internet:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Storms in Barbados, Bring Up the Anchor!

Jérémie posted a report on their time in Barbados, life onboard the Logos Hope, the storm brewing in the Caribbean and tells us how we can be helping him.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Mormons Love Rick Warren? Ha!

It's been awhile since I've last posted in English. But I thought I had to put this up for whoever is interested. I was looking through different lists of "Top 10 Mission Books" and came upon a Latter Day Saint (thats a Mormon for the non-initiate) web page.

In their top twelve, Rick Warren gets two of his books. Funny! But that doesn't mean Warren is a heretic (at least you won't catch me saying that), it just shows how cults and sects can use decent books to spread false gospels.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Phuket, Thailand: Paradis (lost)?

I've just read an email from friends in Phuket, Thailand. I was there in 2006. It is in many ways picture perfect. Everything about the scenery is gorgeous. In fact, near Phuket is James Bond Island, the beautiful island in The Man With the Golden Gun (1974).

But there is another side to life in that lush region. Here is what my friends report as they ask us to pray:

"From the 18th - 27th of October, Buddhists and other interested people (incl. Tourists) are celebrating the annual “Vegetarian Festival”, which celebrates the Chinese community's belief that abstinence from meat and various stimulants during the ninth lunar month of the Chinese calendar will help them obtain good health and peace of mind. During the festival participants are praying to the Nine Emperor gods and have to keep themselves ceremonially “clean”. Monks and people in trance are walking on hot coals or sharp blades or piercing themselves with various instruments. It is a gruesome and demonic festival with huge tourism attraction.

I'll only add, "and pray for the people that are not yet believers in Phuket." Let's pray. 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Does God Exist? Video

This video has been going around. There is no way of knowing if Einstein ever said these things. The arguments made me think and I hope you also grow from the video. Now let it be said, from gut instinct, I don't agree with "Einstein's" argument, but cannot really provide a reason (yet).

Friday, September 25, 2009

Are Demons For Real? Is Satan A Real Person?

We discussed this among other things in our Bible study last night. That same evening, I came home and instead of sleeping, I turned on a Mars Hill Church sermon and listened to over an hour of preaching.

I thought I would post the sermon here. I would love feedback. Mark Driscoll talks about some crazy stuff. So if this sermon gives you a bad impression, first go and listen to Christ Died In Our Place, it's a great sermon. Then come back and listen to Christ Died To Crush Our Enemies. It's perplexing and edgy. God is so real, but so is Satan and so are demons. As a post-it on my computer says, "There's a war for your soul: FIGHT!"

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Little Brother Onboard the Logos Hope

I thought I would remind everyone that we still have a Kapi clan member onboard OM Ships. Jérémie joined the Logos Hope in January 2009. He posts regularly on his blog Current News. The photo posted here is the LH drama team (Jérémie among them) performing for the crowds waiting on the quayside.

After 8 months as an Engine Watchkeeper, Jérémie has taken on a new job. He's the Logos Hope plumber! You can read about the recent changes here.

If you want to keep up with life on the Logos Hope. Do think of signing up on Jérémie's blogs for his updates.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What Can The Black Eyed Peas Teach The Church?

You've probably already seen this great video. I just saw it on Ragumuffinsoul. He says the following:

"I believe this video annihilates the idea that people want to show up to an event (church) and stand in rows and be sung and talked to.
Safety is overrated.
People want to be a part of something big.
What can we, the church, learn from The Black Eyed Peas?"

I also find the video thought provoking. It's a great video. So there you go.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Photos of the Summer on the Family Blog

Mom has put up some nice photos. You can find them and enjoy them on the family blog: La Ferme Kapi.

Do think of signing up for Mom's blog. The updates are irregular, that way you'll be sure to not miss the great photos!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

New Recruits On Logos Hope (Video)

Enjoy this fun little video showing the new PST that arrived onboard the Logos Hope. Please pray that they would have the glory of God at heart. There is so much potential in their work onboard.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Attitudes of a Believer according to Jésus (and Spurgeon)

It's been a long time since I last blogged. If you're reading this, I must tell you this very important thing: there are great blogs out there, why are you reading mine? You now understand my lack of blogging.

With that being said, I've just read some vital gospel-verses and HAD to share them with you.

This is what I read (from the mouth of Jesus):
"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 [Pharisee]. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 18.13-14)

I don't know if lights are going on in your mind. But tonight, as I read this, something clicked. "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" If you are a believer, do you talk to God that way? Frankly, I rarely do. But Jesus' comments are devastating for those of us who do not say: "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!"
Why is that? Because, Jesus goes on to say: "this man went down to his house justified (right with God), but not the Pharisee." Do you see how crucial it is that we have this kind of attitude? We must realize that God would be just to punish us with eternal hell for our sins. That is what we deserve. Only when we realize this and cry out to God in anguish: "God, be merciful to me, a sinner!" can we be washed clean, justified by our merciful Judge.

I pray that Jesus' words alone would convince you. But since I just recently read a sermon by Charles.H. Spurgeon, I thought I would quote him.
"As we read in history of one who was met with a pardon just when the rope was round his neck, just so does God deal with poor souls; when they feel the rope about their necks, acknowledge that God's sentence is just, and confess that if they perish they cannot complain, it is then that sovereign mercy steps in and cries, "I have blotted out like a cloud thine iniquities, and like a thick cloud; thy sins which are many are all forgiven thee."

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Total Abandon by Gary Witherall

I've just finished reading Total Abandon: The Powerful True Story of Life Lived in Radical Devotion to God by Gary Witherall. In order for this review to ever get posted, I must keep it short. 

I met Gary a couple of weeks ago and really wanted to read his book (after my best-friend recommended it to me). It hasn't been published in French (yet) and so we may be interested in it.

The story:
Gary and Bonnie Witherall were living among the Lebanese, a war-torn people. Gary discribes how God led both their individual lives to meet one another, led them to Lebanon and finally led Bonnie to pay the ultimate price. While working in a clinic for Palestinian women, she is shot-dead by a gunman.

My review:
I recommend it. I have a few things that pleased me less, but all in all, this is a good book.

I love Jesus because he first loved me. And in the same way Jesus came out of his rightful place in heaven, to live among us, we are called to go to all nations to make Him known to all peoples. So I love mission-stories, because I grow comfortable too easily.
The book is well-written, pleasant (in style) and well put together. The Gospel is clearly there. Gary is portrayed in a very human manner. By that, I would mean that there are times when I'd like to ask him why he did this or that. But that has the advantage of clearly not being polished PR. Gary is the real thing. 
In closing I would say that such recent stories (the events take place in 2002) are good for the church, good for the believers and good for the Gospel. I'm sure much good has come of Bonnie's murder. The description of her funeral service in Sidon, Lebanon is very moving. But God continues to use Gary and Bonnie's death for great good, just read the book to find out.

You can buy it on Amazon

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Manga Metamorphosis in French!

If you've been wondering what kind of job I have, here's a little something. We're impatiently waiting for the shipment to arrive from Japan with the second volume to Manga Messiah. Here are the first few pages that I'm putting here as a test. We're working on a version with more pages that could be put on all websites.

Manga Metamorphosis in French!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

A Word From George Verwer

A matter of urgency 
Logos Hope :: Cork, Ireland
Founder George Verwer (USA) enjoying a day at sea after leaving London and the London Launch.OM Founder George Verwer (USA) sailed on board Logos Hope from London to Cork after the ship's successful visit to the UK's capital city. He shared the need to recognise our limitations: we can't do everything, but we should do what we know how to do best. He stated that OM's gifting is to mobilise the church to share the Gospel, and to help with seven global challenges: children at risk, abused women, extreme poverty, HIV /AIDS, people with impure water, protecting the unborn, and the environment. Stressing the urgency, he said, "We have to redeem time, to prioritise it, not waste it while the world is perishing without hope."

(Taken from the OM Ships Currents)

Crazy Love by Francis Chan for Free!

I just saw the info on the rebelution. Have you heard of the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan? Its been a big hit in the USA and it actually is a really good book. Francis Chan hits hard and lovingly. It's well written and short. I think it takes about 4 hours to read.

In any case, if you're looking for something good to listen to on your ipod, you can download Crazy Love Audiobook, read by the author. It's completely free on, I downloaded it today. Just click on Free Crazy Love Audio Book, create and account and type JUL2009 when asked if you have a coupon.


Wednesday, July 15, 2009

A Few Break Days in Northern Ireland

A buddy of mine is getting married this weekend. I was able to get a great flight to Dublin, followed by the usual bus to Belfast. From there I'll make it to his wedding on Saturday. I also was informed that DA Carson will be in the area. I'll definitely try to drop by and hear him. Its kind of strange how that goes. The Internet, podcasts and live feeds don't really decrease my desire to listen to men of God preach. On the contrary…

If you think of me, please be praying that I can find some time to be quiet before God. I really need time with him. I don't really know where I'm headed and I'm concerned with my attitude towards him. Thanks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jérémie and the Logos Hope On the High Seas!

Jérémie is sailing to the Caribbean with the rest of the Logos Hope crew. He gives an update in this post: Caribbean Here We Come!

Before that he was able to come and surprise Mélanie by attending her baptism. You can go on the family blog for some really nice photos.

Walk in Their Shoes (With Open Doors)

Friday, July 10, 2009

It may look sophisticated, but its still idolatry

Millions watched MJ's funeral last week. I didn't, but would have certainly watched a bit if I'd thought of it. Tim Challies writes a good post on the topic. He compares Indian religion and the funeral. Thought provoking. His conclusion:

"Yesterday we saw idolatry of a whole different order yet idolatry that is so similar to what I saw in The Story of India. There are some who, in their idolatry, bow low before gods of wood and stone and burnished bronze. There are others who, in their idolatry, live vicariously through celebrities and who bow low before the spirit of the age. Michael Jackson’s funeral, where God’s name was invoked and where Jesus’ name was supposedly held high, was as vivid an expression of idolatry as was the footage of hordes of Indian Hindus dancing with joy and veneration before their statues. One is a base idolatry, the other is sophisticated and proper. Both are the same ancient sin, the same ancient rebellion against the one true God."

Read it all here

Friday, June 26, 2009

The Difference in the Death of Two People

I was informed of the death of two people today. One is Michael Jackson, the "King of Pop". The other is Christopher Leggett, an American working in Mauritania. The former will be talked about, the latter will remain unknown but to a few. Both are before King Jesus and have to give account for the life they lived in this life.

The BBC gives the report of Leggett's murder by Al Queda Maghreb in this article.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day! My Gift: A Little Book

Mars Hill Church is offering a free book to all fathers. In their usual manner, they've designed a cool website to distribute the book. It's called Pastor Dad: Scriptural Insight on Fatherhood.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Having Some Laughs at a Convention for Secretaries

Stéphane and hundreds of women in the same room. Occasionaly I bump into a suited male. I sat through a conference on note-taking and was the only guy sitting in the room. What shall I say? Life is hard, but someone has to live it. No seriously, I'm surprised to see so many secretaries for a convention. Most seem quite old and are looking for all the training they can get. I think the girls from my class are the youngest attendees.

On a side note, I found a great job opportunity. And even if it doesn't turn into a job, it would make a great scam. There was a bald, well-dressed middle-aged man drawing a large crowd around his booth. With a professional camera, an iMac, and photography equipement, he was offering his "coaching" services. He claims that his coaching allows people to project the image they have of themselves to the world. In other words, your self-image meeting what others think of you.
I'm not saying his services are great, but boy was he drawing a crowd! Coaching has a lot of potential. Image the hundreds of women that will meet him today. He takes some photos of them and then takes their email addresses to send more information. You don't need a lot of clients and the future is bright. There's never been such an image-conscious society.

Nathan Talking About Jesus in French-Class

Nathan is one of the staff working at BLF Europe. He shares with us a little glimpse of life in France and the daily morning French-classes. Recently, the topic of religion was brought up and Nathan was asked to explain (in French) Christianity's beliefs.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Recapping the Short-Term Missions Blog Series (by Abraham Piper)

Posted: 29 May 2009 11:19 PM PDT
(Author: Abraham Piper)
We thought it might be helpful to collect all the posts from this week's short-term missions blog series in one place:
We received a lot of good feedback from readers including this:
I've seen some disturbing trends form…. Volunteers are now dictating to the field what they will and won't be doing on their trip instead of being instructed by the field as to what is needed. We missionaries have allowed this…usually under pressure from sending or supporting agencies for an increase in volunteer activity.
The short-term mission trip has become sort of a spiritual merit badge that churches collect…I've actually had leaders, on several occasions, tell me my projects weren't exciting or flashy enough. On the flip side, the teams that come willing to do whatever and are ready to share their faith blow my socks off in the way they glorify Christ during the span of 5 or 6 days.
I pray that we can put the short-term mission trip back into the proper perspective because they can be such wonderful tools for advancing the Kingdom. I hope a lot of leaders will…be challenged and energized to make their short-term mission trip everything it can be for Christ and the sake of the gospel.

Book Review of Vintage Jesus by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Bresheare

This isn't the indepth kind of book review. I don't have the time, nor the desire for that. Instead, I just wanted to mention reading this book and what I liked about it.

A quick review
If you haven't heard of Mark Driscoll, you must live in a log cabin somewhere in Russia (as I've been for the past three years). All I can say is that God is using this guy. He's still a bit young on the job (a church-planter), but he's gifted and he's working on the humility part.

If you haven't heard of Jesus, you really need to. I know, what an original book topic: Jesus. But you know what? Mark and Gerry really pull it off! This is a great book about the greatest and most controversial man who's ever lived. Now for those who like reading religious books, let me warn you, this isn't for you. This is a deep book, but written with everyday words and some of the better parts are occasionally (seemingly) irreverent.

For your information
I would love to see a book like this come out in France. Of course, the media coverage would be a hard thing to get. But what ran through my mind was all other. I haven't heard of a French equivalent of Driscoll. You need someone with charisma, broad shoulders and loads of talent to pull off a book like this. I'm praying for such men in France.

What other books about Jesus have you found remarkable?

Buy the book on Amazon

Monday, June 15, 2009

Books, Where and When I Read Them

As I was going through the routines common to all men, I had a laugh. I really have books everywhere. It's almost obsessive compulsive. I'm not sure what is the limit, but you can tell me.

Francis Schaeffer's Christian Manifesto in the bathroom. Alcorn's Purity Principle in my school bag. The Deliberate Church, The Power of Mentoring, Mornings and Evenings (Dever/Alexander, Martin Sanders and Charles Spurgeon) at my bedside.
A New Testament in my coat pocket, a cheap Bible (1€50) always at hand and various books by John Piper can be found everywhere (did I mention how much I loved God is the Gospel?). From my bedroom, to the top of the stairs, the door and everywhere in between (almost), you can find books. Then there are the newspapers and magazines.

Most evenings, as I crawl into bed, I'm too tired to even read the growing pile of books. On top of all that, there are many books that BLF asks me to evaluate (and I gladly do). I recently read Vintage Jesus AND Vintage Church by Mark Driscoll and Gerry Breshears. Both were good.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Importance of Doing Missions as Servants (by Mike Stachura)

To finish our series on short-term missions, we go to “Seven Principles for Highly Effective Short-Term Missions” by Mike Stachura of Operation Mobilization. He points us toward the importance of a Christ-like attitude as we move out to serve those in need.
Nothing is more damaging to cross-cultural missions, short-term or long-term, than a patronizing, paternalistic attitude.  Paul came determined not to present himself, but Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  As for Paul, he wanted to be known as Christ's bondservant. A servant's spirit starts in the home church or group with a willingness to do whatever is asked. It is reflected in the team life where all members are willing to take their share of the workload. It means esteeming others, particularly national Christian workers, as better than ourselves.
As we prepare to go and serve this summer, let’s humble ourselves and ask the Lord to change our hearts as we meditate on his sacrifice for us.
Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. (Philippians 2:3-8)
May God grant you fruitful and joyful service in short-term missions!

So Operation Mobilization does have some thinkers after all. No seriously, I love OM, but I often wonder if we've forgotten that people have gone before us and have things to teach us. I really recommend Mike's seven principles. They may appear obvious, but their not. Nope not even for you. Thats right, you.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Teaching as a Short-Term Missions Strategy (by Bill Walsh)

Day four in our series on short-term missions. David Livermore has written a book on this topic that we highly recommend, Serving with Eyes Wide Open: Doing Short-Term Missions with Cultural Intelligence.
In "American or American’t: A Critical Analysis of Western Training to the World," he addresses a  particular application of the short-term missions strategy: Teaching.
Some say that globally 85% of pastors have had little to no theological training whatsoever. Here at DG International Outreach, we are partnering with an increasing number of ministries using an informal, short-term approach for training pastors in developing nations.
David has some provocative analysis aimed to make us more aware of our cultural blind sides. This longer article is essential reading if you are focused on theological training of church leaders in developing countries.
Indigenous expressions of Christ’s Church exist in every geopolitical nation of the world. The entrepreneurial drive of American culture infiltrates our missions endeavors and therefore spills over into our cross-cultural leadership development initiatives. When we hear about the relentless growth of the global church, we’re inspired to bring our value-added contributions. But while the North American pastors consistently talked about urgency, the nationals consistently talked about the importance of process and of taking time to grow in relationship before developing a strategy for the kinds of collaborative exchanges that are truly needed for mutual benefit.

Absolutely. Teaching AND of course keeping a learning heart as you do so. Just because someone is not theologically trained doesn't mean he's stupid. SPK

Monday, June 8, 2009

We Need Them at Least as Much as They Need Us (By Bill Walsh)

Still following the posts on short-term missions. Everything is already online at Desiring God. But I'll still post it here in the next few days.

On day three of our series on short-term missions, we turn to Andy Crouch, author of Culture Making, for an article with some unique twists, "Unexpected Global Lessons: How Short-term Mission Is Becoming a Two-way Street."
[T]he whole apparatus of preparation for short-term trips assumes that the reason Americans invest their time and treasure is to do something for others—to check off a list of activities that will supposedly help advance the gospel. In fact, it is the rare short-term team (with the notable, partial exception of medical and dental missions) that brings such unique skills and cross-cultural sensitivity that they can make a net contribution in their brief visit. Our counterparts in the developing world are more resourceful than we imagine—and we need them at least as much as they need us.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Church-Planting in France (Part 3)

This is the final post of a series of videos by Ed Stetzer. This video is particularly interesting as it is an American giving his impressions of his European church-tour.

John or Joan? The Good News for Transgendered

I thank God for Justin Taylor's blog. Several times this year I've been led through it to think about deep and important things about God and His Gospel. Yesterday he posted a link to Russell Moore's blog. The topic was assigned in a Christian Ethics examination. Here is the very real scenario I've just copy-pasted from JT's blog.

Here's the "ethics dilemma" Russell Moore presented to his ethics class for them to answer for their final:
Joan is a fifty year-old woman who has been visiting your church for a little over a year. She sits on the third row from the back, and usually exits during the closing hymn, often with tears in her eyes. Joan approaches you after the service on Sunday to tell you that she wants to follow Jesus as her Lord.
You ask Joan a series of diagnostic questions about her faith, and it is clear she understands the gospel. She still seems distressed though. When you ask if she’s repented of her sin, she starts to cry and grit her teeth.
“I don’t know,” she says. “I don’t know how…I don’t know where to start…Can I meet with you privately?”
You, Joan, and a godly Titus 2-type women’s ministry leader in your church meet in your office right away, and Joan tells you her story.
She wasn’t born Joan. She was born John. From early on in John’s life, though, he felt as though he was “a woman trapped in a man’s body.” Joan says, “I don’t mean to repeat that old shopworn cliché, but it really is what I felt like.”
Joan tells you that when she was twenty she began the process of “transitioning” from life as a man to life as a woman. She underwent extensive hormone therapy, followed by extensive plastic surgery—including so-called “gender reassignment surgery.” She has lived for the past thirty years—physically and socially—as a woman.
“I want to do whatever it takes to follow Jesus,” Joan tells you. “I want to repent…I just, I don’t know how to do it.”
“I am surgically now a woman. I’ve taken hormones that give me the appearance and physical makeup of a woman,” she says. “Even if I were to put on a suit and tie right now, I’d just look like a woman with a suit and tie. Not to mention the fact that, well, I am physically…a woman.”
“To complicate matters further,” Joan says through tears, “I adopted my daughter, Clarissa, when she was eight months old and she’s ten years old now. She doesn’t know about my past life as…as a man. She just knows me as her Mom.”
“I know the sex change surgery was wrong. I know that my life is twisted. I’m willing to do whatever Jesus would have me to do to make it right,” she says. “But what would Jesus have me to do?”
Joan asks you, “Am I too messed up to repent and be saved? If not, what does it mean for me to repent and live my life as a follower of Jesus? What is right for me to do?”
For Dr. Moore's insightful answer, see
Here's the conclusion:
You see, the scenario about “Joan” isn’t really all that hypothetical. Chances are in your town right now, there are people in that situation. Why don’t they show up in our churches? Is it because they doubt if our gospel is really addressed to them? Is it because we doubt it too?
If Joan comes to your church this Sunday and hears the gospel, if “she” decides to throw away everything “she” knows and follow Christ, will your church be there to love him, and to show him how to stop pretending and to fight his way toward what he was created to be? Maybe it would take a Joan at the altar call to make us question whether we really believe what we say and what we sing. Is there really power, wonder-working power, in the blood of the Lamb? Is our gospel really good news for prodigal sons, even for sons so lost they once thought they were daughters?

Update: The posts are now collected in one printable PDF.