We still have needs for a couple of families to host international students right after Christmas. See the booth this Sunday for more info or contact Helen Dean.
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
A Christmas Prayerby Max Lucado • December 14Dear Jesus,It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.Hopefully,Your Children
© 2012 Max Lucado
Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Many people today reject moral absolutes, are deeply skeptical of religion, and know very little about the Bible. All of that makes evangelism in this new millennium more difficult than before. Often, people won’t be willing to listen to the Gospel message until you’ve first engaged them in spiritual conversations that prepare their hearts and minds to hear it.
Here’s how you can use conversations to help people get ready to respond to the Gospel:
View evangelism as a process rather than an event. Sharing your faith is a process that’s best done gradually through a series of conversations with people, building trusting relationships with them over time. Evangelism is helping your non-believing friends take one step closer to Christ every day and in every way. Try to make the most of every encounter with your non-believing friends to help them take steps toward Christ.
Pray for more passion. Ask God to give you more passion for lost people so you’ll be motivated every day to use your conversations strategically to help them find Christ.
Focus on availability rather than ability. Remember that it’s the Holy Spirit who ultimately draws people to Christ. You shouldn’t feel the pressure of being responsible for how people respond to the Gospel. Your job is simply to lead them to it and give them opportunities to respond. As you make yourself available to God every day, His Spirit will empower you to speak the truth to others in your conversations.
Be a musician. Listen carefully to what your non-believing friends have to say, and hear the sour notes – things that don’t sound right – that they’re singing to you. When you hear what people actually believe and detect discrepancies in their viewpoints, you’ll know better how to reach them for Christ. So listen well, giving people your full attention when they speak. Eliminate distractions and focus on what they’re saying rather than thinking of your response while they’re still talking. Make eye contact with them. Reflect back what you think you’ve heard them say, paraphrasing it to clarify whether or not you truly understand them. Notice the different types of sour notes that people may be singing to you: discrepancies between their worldview and their heart longings, inconsistencies between what they say they believe and how they live, two or more beliefs that are mutually contradictory, and illogical beliefs. When you understand people’s perspectives more clearly, you’re more likely to engage them in meaningful dialogue. Page 23
Be an artist. Paint a picture using questions to help your non-believing friends see themselves in a true light. Rather than telling them what they should believe, tactfully ask probing questions in ways that allow them to surface the truth for themselves and evaluate the strength of their beliefs. When they see for themselves the inadequacies and inconsistencies of what they believe, they’ll be curious to hear more about Christ. Phrase your questions in non-threatening ways to minimize people’s defensiveness. Ask questions that clarify the meaning of unclear terms they’re using (for example, if someone says, “I’m a pretty good person so I’m going to get into heaven,” you could ask, “What do you mean by ‘good’?”.). Ask questions that surface uncertainty and expose false beliefs to help people see the cracks in the foundation of their worldview (for example, you could ask, “Do you think that all religious beliefs basically teach the same thing?” and then follow up by asking, “How is it possible for all religions to be the same when some of them contradict each other’s key beliefs?”). To avoid overwhelming people with too many questions, pray for the wisdom to know which issues you should focus on.
Be an archaeologist. Dig up people’s history to find the real barriers that are standing between them and Christ. People often have unspoken issues that are getting in the way of them coming to faith in Christ. They may have intellectual issues that are keeping them from understanding why Christianity is true; in that case, they need answers from apologetics. They may have emotional issues that are preventing them from considering the truth; in that case, they need you to listen to their concerns, demonstrate compassion, and pray for them. They may have volitional issues in which they simply don’t want to consider Christianity because they’d rather run their own lives than let God guide them; in that case, they need love and prayer. Determine whether the questions people are asking are legitimate or a diversion designed to avoid the truth. Uncover the nature of their barriers and the concerns behind their questions. Find out what would motivate them to get answers to their questions about Christ.
Be a builder. Build bridges to the Gospel for people. Find the right balance in your approach between objective evidence (such as evidence for Christ’s resurrection) and subjective experience (such as how people see God at work in your own life as a role model to them). Find common ground with the people you’re trying to reach, and use those areas you have in common as the basis for meaningful dialogue. Earn the right to be heard. Then build a bridge from a point of shared beliefs toward the Gospel. Build “head bridges” by helping people come to understand the Christian faith better.
Calvary Chapel Antigua is looking for good used instruments for their inaugural service January 6th in Guatemala. They have been doing a Friday night Bible study but with the new facility we are renting, we will be doing a Sunday night service at 6pm. Guitars (electric and acoustic, keyboard, cajon, etc). Thanks! Gracias, Merci, Asante Sana, Danke, 谢谢, คุณขอบคุณ, Спасибо.
We have only 19 families and students come on Dec 27th. We need 60 homes to house the 4 bus loads from various colleges. The group that brings the students to the Christmas conference each year is called Interface. They are like campus crusade for foreign college students. They work with the internationals year round, providing english classes, help with finding housing and taking care of visas, along with other trips and weekly events and bible studies. They really minister to these folks and are seeing much more openness to the gospel. They are seeing fruit!!!
A big part of the breakthrough comes via this conference. Students come for sight-seeing and an opportunity to stay in an american home and leave with a whole new perspective. The conference at church is fun and they learn about the true meaning of Christmas and what we believe as followers of Jesus. We hand out free bibles in their language and books on america.
The students ALWAYS rate the host family experience as the best part of the trip. The host families really love it too.
Anyone wanting to host can sign up online at this link:
Thursday, Dec. 27: Pick up students at 7 p.m. at Calvary Chapel and take them to your home for a snack or light meal and to sleep.
Friday, Dec. 28: Provide breakfast in your home, then deliver students to Calvary Chapel by 8:30 a.m. Pick up students at 6:30 p.m. and provide dinner and sleeping facilities.
Saturday, Dec. 29: Provide breakfast in your home, then deliver students to Calvary Chapel by 8:30 a.m. Pick up students at 1 p.m. and provide dinner and sleeping facilities.
Sunday, Dec. 30: Provide breakfast in your home, drop them off at Calvary Chapel by 8:30 a.m., offer hugs, smiles and fond farewells.
Friday, November 30, 2012
It should give you a much better idea of what we are up to in Guatemala!
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012
At any given time, there are over one million international students from 181 countries studying in the United States. Let’s do what we can so that none of them return home without visiting a Christian American home.
Fleeing war, famine and deprivation refugees gratefully accept entry to the U.S. and living support for six months. After that, churches are often their lifeline to jobs, housing and social services.
International Business people, already in places of leadership in their own countries, visit the U.S. briefly for economic reasons. U.S. Christians have unique opportunities to speak into their lives.
With the sagging U.S. dollar, America has become a bit of a bargain for international visitors. The window is open briefly, but what a chance to welcome them to the U.S., change perceptions of Americans, and perhaps invite them to think of Jesus in new ways.
As foreigners gain formal residence in the U.S., they begin to gather in communities of similar background. They build businesses, educate their children and contribute to their communities. Visit these areas, eat the food, and delight in the greatness of the God who created such diversity.
Likely more than ten million people live in the U.S. sans documents. Among many tricky issues associated with this, observant believers find ample opportunity for the Gospel.
If they followed a traditional path of four year of service and one year for furlough, children of career missionaries may return to college and life in the U.S. having lived in their now home culture for no more than three years. They may appear to be Americans on the outside, but look closer and be amazed at the cultural stew bubbling inside them. The need mentoring as internationals in our midst.
If you can host this year please sign up as soon as possible at the link below.
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Well, our government may not be prolife, that is no excuse for us not to continue the fight. Check out the Alliance at http://www.tampabayprolife.org/ and also the conference in January.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
Friday, July 6, 2012
Trying to overcome sin by focusing on it has the exact opposite effect of what we want in our lives. If we fixate on what we do wrong and try to figure out how to conquer the bad behavior, we will always come up with some sort of plan that involves our own willpower and determination. We are setting ourselves up to fail no matter how sincere we are and no matter how much we ask for God's help as it is an unbiblical approach and is a human method. Any approach we take in overcoming our own sins through self discipline is legalistic because it stirs up within us the false hope that there is something we can do to defeat it. We don't have to conquer sin because Jesus already has. We try to do what he's already done, we are then denying the sufficiency of His grace and are attempting to utilize a legalistic method to do it ourselves and it dooms us to failure. The only way to enjoy victory over sin is to rest in the victory that is already ours because of Christ's finished work. He defeated sin. Transformation comes to our lifestyle when we simply believe that reality and stop trying to do something he has already done. We rest in his victory and (GET THIS PART!) DIRECT OUR ATTENTION TO HIM. When we do that, the sins that have wielded power over us fall aside into impotency.
Jesus fully dealt with the matter of our sins so that we don't have to focus on them anymore. Then He sat down by the right hand of God, not because He was tired, but because there is nothing left to do regarding the matter of our sins. The lie that we need to focus on overcoming our sins is so dangerous because it takes our eyes off of Jesus and puts them on our sins and an imaginary ability we think we have to solve the matter ourselves. Don't ever think that sin is so weak that it can be overcome by religious self discipline. Only one person can effectively deal with yours sins and He did—perfectly and completely. If you fall down, He will pick you up, dust you off, and set you back on your course again. With assurance of that reality, you never have to focus on sins again. Just focus on Him, and as you do, you'll be amazed at the way sinful inclination and temptations lose their power over you. Like the hymn: Turn your eyes to Jesus, look full on his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
Saturday, June 2, 2012
Sunday, May 20, 2012
But he was forced to drop the lawsuit after doctors told him that , according to the . Shortly thereafter, Greene's failing vision forced him to quit his job as a taxi driver and he was left with the challenge of supporting himself and his wife of 33 years.
That's when Jessica Crye, a Christian woman who read about Greene's troubles in the paper, went to members of her church and asked if they would be willing to donate money to help Greene. They ended up , which left him "flabbergasted that Christians would help atheists," the reported at the time.
"There's been one lingering thought in the back of my head my entire life, and it's one thought that I've never been able to reconcile, and that is the vast difference between all the animals and us," .
He added later, "I kind of realized that the questions I [was] asking you just had to accept on faith without doubting every period and every comma."
Now Greene says he plans to use some of the money he received from good samaritans to move out of San Antonio and buy his wife her "dream" mobile home, according to the . He's also planning to write a that he's tentatively titled "The Real Christians of Henderson County."
Here is the post on the internet http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/04/patrick-greene-atheist-christianity-conversion_n_1404196.html?fb_action_ids=3361463009330&fb_action_types=news.reads&fb_source=other_multiline
Thursday, May 10, 2012
World Prayer Assembly
What impact could tens of millions of Christians from across the planet and united in prayer, have on the course of history?
Momentum is growing for the World Prayer Assembly (WPA) gathering that is being co-hosted by the Indonesian and Korean Prayer movements, two of the most powerful prayer forces in the world. On May 17, 2012, 100,000 believers will be gathering to pray in the national stadium of Jakarta. It is estimated that another five million Christians, from 400 cities throughout the nation, could also be participating. Global Day of Prayer will be broadcasting the event globally through satellite TV to tens of millions more believers. The result of this venture will mark the WPA as an unparalleled day of united prayer around the world.
We expect at least 5 million believers in Indonesia on that day will pray together.
Indonesia already stands as a powerful nation in prayer. They currently have fifty-two "prayer towers"that are continually manned by intercessors praying 24-7-365. There are almost 1100 "prayer bases"where believers and leaders meet weekly to pray together. However, they are increasing the effort before WPA with a further 2000 believers gathering weekly in Jakarta until May 17th.
· That the people the Lord is calling from every nation will be able to come to WPA.
· That hundreds of children and youth from all 12 world regions would be able to take part.
· That the WPA would be abundantly financially supplied for every individual need.
· Unity between the leaders of the co-hosting countries, Indonesia and Korea.
· Humility, joy, unity, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit during the planning process.
· Continued favor of the political authorities and the people of Indonesia.
· Protection over the people and WPA venues and a creative solution for Jakarta's legendary traffic problem.
· A great wave of the spirit of revival and transformation to be released during the WPA to flow through Indonesia and all the Nations of the Earth.
Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Monday, April 9, 2012
Rick Hermanns, a member of our church, has a foundation through his business that supports ministries around the world through Tilapia ponds. This is what he wrote about them.
Fishers of Men
Most of us have heard the expression, “Teach a man to fish, feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, feed him for life.” But what can this look like in a Christian context and in practice? For five years now, the HigherQuest Foundation has been building fish farms for ministries across the globe. These fish farms provide an excellent way to provide not only daily sustenance for the people served by the ministry but they help the ministry itself thrive by relieving it of fundraising worries and brings the satisfaction that comes with ownership.
There are several excellent reasons to set up fish farms for ministries overseas. Some of these include:
Fish Farms Provide an Excellent Return on Investment
As a general rule, in most countries and with proper supervision, a fish farm will produce 150 to 200% per year in fish value relative to the cost of installing the fish farm. That is, if the fish farm cost $1000, it should produce about $1500 to $2000 worth of fish per year. As such, the recipient of the fish farm sees significant value from his/her effort.
Fish Farms Provide More or Less Permanent Income
A typical fish farm will last for years and even when it needs to be rehabilitated, it will have already earned enough funds to provide for the rehabilitation. This fact has several important ramifications. For example, a donor can know that he or she has not just “stood in the gap” for a temporary period of time, but rather has given a gift that will continue for years to come. This further allows the donor to gracefully support a different ministry in the future while knowing that they have not abandoned the first. Let me give you an example, our second and third fish farms were built for an orphanage and an old age home in India. While there are numerous other needs there, the HigherQuest Foundation can know that it is providing ongoing assistance even while we have moved on to work with other ministries. That is, each year, our fish farms are providing for the ministry there.
Another important aspect of the permanence of the fish farm is that the ministry can expand its use. Some ministries are better than others at this but we have seen ministries take one small fish farm and parlay it into 5 or 6 fish farms.
Fish Farms Can Provide a Great Way to Assist Pastors
Our last project was a collaborative effort in Indonesia with Pioneers, Clean Waters, and Mustard Seed. In only six weeks and with only $7,800 we built 21 fish farms, 2 hatcheries, and a fish food making facility. The fish farms are basically backyard fish farms designed primarily to allow pastors to support themselves. In countries like Indonesia and India, it is incredibly difficult for pastors to support themselves. Their congregations tend to be poor, forcing them to typically be bi-vocational. However, as it is known that they are Christian, finding proper employment is usually very difficult , if not impossible. Thus the backyard fish farm provides for about half of what the pastor needs to live—all for a minimal upfront investment. In our Indonesian effort, the strong local organizations are allowing the seeds we planted to grow dramatically.
Fish Farms Provide a Basic Need
Other than air and water, food is about as basic a need as we have. Lack of access to protein has huge long-term ramifications to our health. In the orphanages where we have installed fish farms, the children have been supplied with a high quality source of protein in their diet that would otherwise have been unaffordable.
Fish Farms are Versatile
We have built systems as small as a large hot tub and as large as a system with three interconnected ponds totaling several acres. Based upon the land available, the funds available, access to power and water, our fish farms can be tailored to the needs of the ministry being supported.
Of course, there are many factors that are critical to the success of fish farming and the purpose of this article is not to be exhaustive. However, if there was one critical element to the success of the fish farm, it is the commitment of the recipient ministry. Only if the ministry sees the value and is sold on the concept will the fish farm(s) succeed.
Into the Future
From just a nifty idea a few years back, we have grown and learned a great deal. As we have learned from our experience and mistakes, we have adapted and planned for an even bigger future. Some of the exciting plans are as follows:
· We are building a training center near Orangeburg, South Carolina. The training facility will have housing and all that is needed to learn to set up a fish farm. We expect our first classes to start next summer. Our hope is that any individual or organization with the desire to build fish farms will participate. We have very limited resources and want to help maximize what we do have. In short, it is not about how many fish farms we install, it is about making the most of the talents God has given us.
· We are in the process of establishing the ability of individuals to loan money to ministries overseas to set up a fish farm. By requiring the recipient to repay the cost of the fish farm creates even more “ownership”, helps encourage seriousness of purpose, and allows us to extend our resources. Of course, a person can always donate but the loan program will allow donors to connect even closer to the recipients of their aid. Simply put, the more financial resources we have, the more fish farms we can build.
· We are building partnerships with other churches and organizations to identify overseas ministries that would benefit from our services. As stated earlier, the commitment and quality of the donation recipient is the single biggest determinant of success in the long run.
Your Future in Mission
40 Practical 'Next Steps' to help you find your role in God's global drama.
by Andrew Russell
To put them in some type of helpful order I'm going to use the Trail Guide Map from Jeff Lewis' book
'God's Heart for the Nations'. His steps include:
1. Begin. 2. Get Good Shoes. 3.Get Informed. 4 Get Cross‐Cultural. 5. Get Evangelistic. 6. Get
Counselled. 7. Get Prayer. 8. Get Going!
1. So let's Begin
1. Don't wait for a call; rather see the great commission as a command. So many don't go beyond
exploring because they are yet to experience a specific call.
2. Be attentive to the Holy Spirit leading you where he wants you to go.
3. Learn to be a learner/observer – the mission world doesn't need any more experts.
4. See yourselves as a servant – go to the place to serve.
5. The world doesn't need more of you – it needs more of God. Devote yourself to knowing God,
know his book, people are hungry for it.
6. Hold nothing back – surrender everything!
2. Get Good Shoes
7. Find God's mission in the Bible. Do Bible studies like Jeff Lewis' "God's Heart For The Nations"
8. Do the Perspective's course or the Encountering Islam course.
9. Discover the gifts and abilities that God has given you and find ministry outlets and mentors
who will help you to intentionally develop those gifts.
10. Spend significant time and energy developing your ability to interact with God and discern his
voice through the Word and prayer.
11. Look at how God has been equipping you so far.
12. Be intentional – only those who are intentional and take the initiative and keep moving in the
direction of the mission field are the ones who get there.
13. Keep a journal of your daily devotionals/notes on your readings, thoughts and prayers as you
journey – these will help to encourage you in the low times.
14. Develop strong habits in the spiritual disciplines (being able to feed yourself deeply).
3. Get Informed
15. Know the globe and its needs. Get a world map; watch the news, read newspapers – world
section, surf websites like the BBC and CNN.
16. Get a copy of Patrick Johnstone's Operation World or 100 Gateway Cities and start praying daily
for the needs of the world.
17. Read stories about missionaries/biographies of ordinary people used extraordinarily by God.
18. Write to cross‐cultural workers on the field and commit to praying for them – they will be so
encouraged and so will you.
19. Read Duane Elmer's, book Cross‐Cultural Servant hood, also Sherwood Lingenfelter's book
20. Learn to live more simply.
21. Undertake a Bible college course if you can – get a good Biblical foundation for mission.
22. Do some good cross‐cultural subjects before heading overseas.
23. Start learning another language. It doesn't have to be one you might use – just learn the process
of language learning. It will come in very handy.
4. Get Cross‐Cultural
24. Start at home and get to know your cross‐cultural neighbours
25. Spend time with people from other cultures, learning, listening, getting involved in their lives.
26. Experience the unreached face to face – take a missions trip and get exposure – be intentional
about where you go – spy out the land God has put on your heart.
27. Befriend internationals – talk to them about their faith/become familiar with what they believe
28. Become a good question asker and do so in a way that conveys care and concern for the person.
29. Live in community – it is essential that potential cross‐cultural workers learn to live in
community with others they will serve with.
5. Get Evangelistic
30. Develop a witnessing lifestyle – get involved in outreach where you are now. If you can't do it at
home you won't do it overseas.
31. Get out of yourself. Every cross‐cultural worker needs to seek to meet the needs of others – it is
what Jesus did.
32. Get involved in your sending churches' ministries – start serving at home as you will need the
33. Start a discipleship group on your campus, at work or at home – share your lives with others.
34. Try to church plant in your home country first before you attempt to do it overseas among
6. Get Counselled
35. Seek accountability and advice for the journey ahead – find a mentor or coach you respect. Let
them speak honestly into your life.
36. Interact with cross‐cultural workers – be encouraged by them and their stories.
37. Share your heart for missions with your home church leaders and see how you can pursue this
together as a body. It is not your work alone – explore how cross‐cultural ministry can be a
natural extension of what your home church is already doing.
38. Start doing an informal survey of mission agencies – it is never too early to narrow it down to 2
or 3 you want to really get to know. Then ask them tough questions and find out which one will
celebrate who you are and how God has uniquely shaped you for mission.
7. Get Prayer
39. Share your vision with others, start gathering to pray for the nations with like‐minded brothers
and sisters. It is never too early to invite people on the journey with you.
40. Stay in regular contact with these supporters – remember that these people are real partners in
your work and treat them as such with frequent communications and invitations to pray and
share their perspectives and insights with you.
41. Build a strong prayer team now no matter how far away you are from serving cross‐culturally.
42. Make good use of the latest technology to bring people on this journey with you. Blogs, Face
book, email, Skype, phone calls, faxes, telegrams, courier pigeons. (Well maybe not the last
8. Get Going
Get going because it is later than you think!
So remember ‐
"Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given and sink yourself into
that! Don't be impressed with yourself don't compare yourself with others. Each of you must take
responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life."
Galatians 6 v 3‐5 The Message
"Twenty years from now, you'll be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did.
So throw off the bowlines. Leave the still waters of the harbor. Catch the trade winds with your sail!"
One final thought and word of encouragement ‐
"But I solemnly swear to keep you safe in the boat, with your wife and sons and their wives."
Genesis 6 v18
"Finally, the day came when the Lord said to Noah; go into the boat with all your family, for among all
the people of the earth, I consider you alone to be righteous."
Genesis 7 v 1
These verses are from the New Living Translation of the Bible. What is interesting is that in some
versions the word 'go' is replaced with the word 'come'. This gives it a totally different meaning.
Come into the ark, come thou and all thy house into the ark.
What a beautiful thought. The Lord was not saying to Noah and his family to go into the ark but to come,
signifying that God was already in the place he was calling Noah and his family too.
So remember God is not telling you to 'GO' anywhere but to 'COME' and join him in his redemptive