Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Where to Start in Ministry

A pastor of a church mentioned that on one occasion he did not know what do to in ministry. The church was having so many problems he did not where to begin.

In reading James, he came to verse 27 in Chapter One, "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world" (James 1:27 nasb).

So, he decided to start with these three very simple steps: 1) to care for orphans, 2) to care for widows, and 3) to keep his heart pure.

That is where he started in ministry, and God began to bless and use him in a wonderful way in his church family to the glory of God, not only locally, but also worldwide.

This is a good place for you and I to start today, isn’t it? To care for orphans, widows, and to keep our heart pure.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Truth and Transformation ( A Manifesto for Ailing Nations) #2

by Vishal Mangalwade

Genuine compassion calls us to confront social structures and cultural practices that make people miserable. Atheism destroys compassion by making human beings accidental products of ran¬dom chance in an impersonal universe. This deprives compassion of all moral significance. If nature does not care for a creature too weak and powerless to care for itself, why should we, especially if he or she is of no use to us? Human beings are special only if they are seen as created beings, special to their Creator. If humans are created as image-bearers of the Creator himself, then they are even more special. And if individuals are to relate to the Creator in an intimate, personal relationship and carry out the Creator's will in this world, then they are very special indeed. That is how Jesus saw this blind beggar. "Neither this man nor his parents sinned ... but this happened that the work of God might be dis¬played in his life" (John 9:3).

Because an "unknown" blind beggar is special to God, we must have compassion for him individually. This compassion must be visible in specific acts of mercy, but our compassion for him must go deep enough to create a society that can see that a blind man is a special person. He should not have to live a hand¬-to-mouth, insecure existence until one day he falls sick, becomes too weak to beg, and rots by the roadside to be eaten by beasts, birds, and worms.

A society that cannot see the intrinsic value of a blind beggar ( Is blind to troth. Its blindness needs to be exposed so that it can be transformed into a humane and compassionate community. [pages 82-83]

Monday, May 9, 2011

Truth and Transformation (A Manifesto for Ailing Nations)

by Vishal Mangalwade

The answer came from historian Lynn White Jr.'s study Medieval Religion and Technology. His pioneering research into the his¬tory of technology led him to conclude that it was the Bible that made the medieval West the first civilization in history that did not rest on the backs of sweating slaves.

The first chapter of the Bible presents a God who is a worker, not a meditator. God worked for six days-so must we! To work is godly. The third chapter of the Bible teaches that toil came as a curse upon Adam's sin. Humans became the only species that had to eat of the sweat of their brow. Since toil is a result of sin, salva¬tion includes deliverance from sin as well as toil-from mindless, repetitive labor that requires no choice.

So, why don't Western women haul water or dung on their heads? It is because, while the elite in other cultures used tech¬nology for power and pleasure, prestige and torture, Christian monasteries began developing technologies that liberated power¬less individuals from dehumanizing slavery. Toil is dehumanizing because it forces a human being to do what can be done by an ox, a horse, wind, water, or wheels. [page 41]