Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Farm Sermons, by C.H. Spurgeon (Book Review)

© Melinda Nagy | Dreamstime Stock Photos
What a joy it was to read this book!  Without a doubt this was one of the most challenging books I have ever read.  At the end of this review, you will see a link where you can read the entire book online.

This book is a collection of 19 full-length sermons by Charles Spurgeon all based upon Scripture texts that have to do with farming.  Since Spurgeon lived over 100 years ago, some may find his language a bit strange at times; however, the “down-to-earth” nature of Spurgeon’s preaching easily makes up for any words or phrases with which the reader may not be familiar.

Spurgeon is extremely adept at examining a brief text from all possible angles, and he employs colorful and descriptive imagery to drive each point home.  His well-thought and logical explanations are thought provoking, and his intense passion for both the saved and the lost comes through clearly in each sermon.  Let me highlight a few of my favorite sermons in this book.

Monday, April 19, 2010

7th Anniversary of Good News Baptist Church

This past Sunday the Good News Baptist Church of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, celebrated its 7th anniversary.  We had a wonderful day!  Some of the highlights included: 7 new converts getting baptized, meeting in our brand new auditorium, presenting awards to 36 people who said all 12 of the monthly memory verses last year, and having a guest speaker on Sunday night to kick off a four night revival meeting.  Here are a few photos from the day.  

This first picture is of part of the crowd that was there for the morning service.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Our New Theme

The 7th Anniversary of the Good News Baptist Church of Phnom Penh was the second Sunday of February; however, due to our remodeling project we postponed it.  Now that our project is 95% complete, we will be celebrating our church anniversary tomorrow.

One of the things that we do on our church anniversary is to present a new theme for the year.  I wanted to briefly share our new theme with you.  The theme for this year is:  "Prayer Is The Key!"  The verse at the bottom is Luke 11:1 which says in part, "Lord, teach us to pray."  Yes, that entire section in the smaller font is "Lord, teach us to pray."  In English, 5 syllables.  In Khmer, 21 syllables!

God has been laying this theme on my heart for a very long time.  Our church has many good points, but the area of prayer is one area which our church has much room to grow.  From the pulpit to the pew and from the pastor to the people, prayer is the key to every problem of life.  In this new year, we will be establishing some new times of corporate prayer as well as encouraging and equipping for growth in the area of private prayer.  Tomorrow night's service will kick off a 4 night revival meeting.  My good friend, Rodney Ruppel, will be preaching for three of the four nights (he had a previous engagement on Monday night, so I will be preaching that night).  Please pray for a good turnout, but more than a good crowd, please pray that God will do a work of revival in every heart, beginning in my own.  Also, please pray for Bro. Ruppel as he preaches, that God would use him in a great way.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Auditorium Project Update #4

This will be the final update on the auditorium project, because thankfully, we are getting close to being done!  Last week we spent the week sanding, painting, installing curtain rods, and making and hanging curtains.  I did not take many pictures last week, but did get a few pictures of the nearly finished auditorium Saturday night after setting up for the Sunday services.  Let me hasten to say that the two different ceiling heights as well as the lighting in the church made it difficult to get pictures which are a true representation of what it looks like.  It looks much better in person than in these pictures, but I wanted to at least share a couple of pictures for those of you who have been praying for our project.  All of the church people are just as pleased as can be with the finished product.

Insurance In Cambodia

I read an interesting article last week in The Cambodia Daily. The headline was “Insurance Industry Still in Its Infancy in Cambodia”. It didn’t come as a surprise to me to learn that there are only six operating insurers in all of Cambodia. Actually, that’s more than I expected. Basically nobody here has insurance of any kind even though several kinds of insurance are available (motor vehicle, fire, etc). But I did discover a piece of information of which I had not previously been aware. Even if a person wanted it, life insurance is not available in Cambodia at all! Here is an excerpt from the article:
Although companies can theoretically apply to the Ministry of Finance to acquire a license for life insurance no companies have yet decided that it is a product they want to offer Cambodian customers. (The Cambodia Daily, April 8th, 2010)
As I continued to read the article, I saw that there were a couple of underlying reasons which kept the six insurance providers from wanting to offer life insurance. Both of their reasons struck a chord in my heart. Their first reason bears a stunning resemblance to the difficulties that Gospel-preaching churches face here in Cambodia. But their second reason is exactly the opposite of our situation! Let me share the two reasons with you.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Auditorium Project Update #3

Last week the electrician got all of the electrical wiring done in the auditorium.  It was good to have lights, fans, and a piano yesterday for the services (above).  This morning our church folks came back in to get the interior painting started.  Most of the sanding of the walls had been done the first week, while the hired crew was tearing down the middle wall.  However, we had one very difficult part remaining: sanding the ceiling.  Half of the auditorium has about a 14 foot ceiling, and the other half is about 7 feet.  The new half of the auditorium (which was the landlord's living room) has not been painted in many years, so the discoloration was quite pronounced.  It required intense sanding.  I am thankful for the folks who came to help today.  Here are a few pictures of our day.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

He's Not Still In The Grave!

The angry crowd that demanded His blood
Was now satisfied that His fate was sure.
Satan laughed in derision;
The victory was secure.
The Roman soldiers sealed up the tomb,
Put a watch at the door;
But what they did not know, 
Was that in three short days
The Son of God would arise
To live forever more!

And I thank God
That He's not still in the grave.
He's presenting His blood on my account
So that my soul He could save.
So my friend don't you see
The reason why I sing?
Jesus is not still in the grave!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Soggy Cereal

I despise soggy cereal!  

When I was a kid, there was a grandmotherly woman named Mrs. Shelton who would sometimes care for us if my parents were out of town.  She had a very effective way of getting us out of bed in the morning.  She would turn on the bedroom light and sweetly say, "I just poured the milk in your cereal."  About 3.5 seconds later we were at the table eating breakfast!

My own children now hate soggy cereal as much as I did back then.  But recently we had a "soggy cereal" incident which taught me a very important spiritual truth.