Tag Archives: church

How to be disappointed in your pastor (Reasons 1-10)

The original comes from Pastor Joe McKeever, about whom I know nothing other than that he wrote a great article.  🙂  Enjoy!

“Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching” (I Timothy 5:17).

The first step toward running a pastor off or leaving the church in search of a better preacher is rejecting the one you have.

We have some pointers on how to do that.

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Prayer Letter – October 2013

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Wanted: Worshipers

worshipers wantedWhen I went back to the U.S., almost everyone asked me what I missed most while in Romania.  Although I would usually answer with a list of food (cheddar cheese, milk, Pizza Hut…), those were all secondary (or even “thirdary”).  The one thing I have missed most while living in Romania is passionate and free worship.

At Biserica Piatra Vie, we are trying to develop a church of worshipers.

What will that look like?  Well, as God is the one in charge of building the church (Matthew 16:18) and as he is the one looking hardest for worshipers (John 4:23) and as he is the one who draws men to himself (John 12:32), I’m not entirely sure just what we’ll end up like.  With that said, though, here is some of what we’re envisioning:

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Holiness and Liberty

As we go through this roller-coaster ride of planting a church in Bucureşti, I have often found myself asking:  “Why on earth did we decide we needed to do this, anyhow?”  These last few weeks, as numbers have dipped especially low, this question has had a tendency to come to mind much more frequently.

So, why are we planting a church here in Bucureşti?

There are many reasons.  Here’s one:  România needs more bodies of believers who trust God for total holiness and experience his total liberty.

Some churches believe that holiness isn’t really attainable and so you might as well just go on sinning and trust Jesus forgives you.  Others seem to think the entire Christian life is an austere and painful struggle to live holy and free from any and every minute imperfection in spirit, soul, and body.

I believe the Bible teaches holiness is completely attainable and that through Jesus we also have incredible liberty.  This is an important dichotomy:  we can be totally and fully pure before God, in body, soul, and spirit; and we can also enjoy life to the full and experience tremendous liberty.

Here are thirteen quick thoughts related to holiness and liberty:

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It was… interesting today.

Today was an interesting day.  It seems every Sunday ends up being interesting over here, but today was more so than usual.

First, I joined my friend and ministry partner Alex at the local LDS chapel (I have no idea if “chapel” is the right word or not).  Alex and I aren’t Mormons, so I should probably explain this.  A few weeks ago, Alex had met a couple of missionaries while he was out sharing the gospel.  Rather than debating them or challenging them concerning the unbiblical doctrines of the LDS (which is more Alex’s natural style), he felt called to simply share his testimony with them, his story of deliverance from drugs, life-threatening disease, and a life of crime.  The two were so struck by his story that they came to church with him the next Sunday.  Later, they invited him to join them for their monthly “testimony Sunday” where the pulpit was open for anyone to share.  Of course, Alex can’t turn down any chance to share his testimony, even if it means going to an LDS meeting.

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Prayer Letter – September 2013

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Prayer Letter – August 2013

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Religion Kills Twice, part 2: The Yeast of Pharisees

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    But the disciples had forgotten to bring any food. They
had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat. As they 
were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, "Watch out! 
Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod."
    At this, they began to argue with each other because 
they hadn't brought any bread.
    Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, "Why are 
you arguing about having no bread?  Don't you know or 
understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in?
                                    Mark 8:14-17

I know I’m probably confusing at least half my readers with my title.  You’re saying right now, “But… aren’t you into religion?  You’re a missionary in Romania, after all…  What do you mean ‘religion kills’?”  So, if you’re totally confused right now, just bear with me as I look at part two in this series on the dangers of religion.  (For part one, visit  The Yeast of Herod.)

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Religion Kills Twice, part 1: The Yeast of Herod

Religion-Kills-JB

    But the disciples had forgotten to bring any food. They
had only one loaf of bread with them in the boat. As they 
were crossing the lake, Jesus warned them, "Watch out! 
Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and of Herod."
    At this, they began to argue with each other because 
they hadn't brought any bread.
    Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, "Why are 
you arguing about having no bread?  Don't you know or 
understand even yet? Are your hearts too hard to take it in?
                                    Mark 8:14-17

Now, I know a third of you will read my title and think, “Awesome!  I hate God, too.”  And another third will read it and say, “What the–?!?!  I thought you were a Christian…”  And the final third will say, “Huh…?,” scratch their heads, and then move right back to looking at pictures of kittens on Facebook.

So, bear with me.  Or you can always go laugh at another cat trying to catch a laser.

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Thursday Nights in Our Living Room

I’d been thinking about giving an update on our Thursday night church meeting, but why write my own when I can “steal” my brother’s? Besides, he said it better than I would, anyhow.

It Doesn't Matter Where

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Thursday nights, we invite English speakers to our home for worship, prayer, and Bible teaching.  It’s one of the meetings I’m most excited about, but it’s also been the slowest to get going.

Why am I most excited about this meeting?  Well, honestly, I’ve got a lot of selfish reasons – I get to speak in my native language, without a translator, and worship God in English, using songs that I like, with people who speak and understand the language really well.  Plus, I get really ministered to during the meetings, no matter how many other people show up.  The presence of God has been really strong at our little meetings, so I always leave encouraged and strengthened.

But beyond the selfish reasons, having a meeting in English should, by nature, draw young people who have a desire to change the world.  From what we’ve learned about Romania, if you…

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