Thursday, January 29, 2009

Living Community, Part A Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22

Revelation 1

Prologue
1The revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John, 2who testifies to everything he saw—that is, the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. 3Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near.

Here is a message about Revelation that I appreciate Alistair Begg starting off with some rules of engagement by pointing out how important it is to stay focused on what the text is focused on. And that my friends is Christ. Everytime I am to listen to a sermon, I write at the top of my outline these words "focus on Christ." If your a preacher whose view is pre-millennial or amillennial or post-millennial and your message distracts you from Christ into all kinds of other things (like mice under the chair)(-now you're going to want to listen to figure out what I'm talking about) and not on Christ, then I don't have any use for that message at all. It is purely speculative and I believe it is just another distraction from Christ. I know I have much to learn about eschatology and yes I'm still in the amillennial camp, so you'll have to be patient with me if you think you need to challenge that. Right now I'm primarily interested in preaching Christ and Him Crucified and getting that Gospel right. I am drawn by the covenants of God and the thought that all things point to Christ. I was talking with a friend the other day about the thought that the Word is Christ, especially in light of John 1. Remembering that this is the same guy who wrote Revelation. And actuality now that I think about it some more, it is written by Christ about Christ through the pen and person of John. Just something to think about. So each time you see the reference to the Word or Scripture think about it being about Christ. Also remember that it was Jesus Himself who gave glory and honor to the Word during the temptations with the words "it is written." This is truly amazing if you follow this throughout scripture from beginning to end.

John 1

The Word Became Flesh
1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was with God in the beginning.

3Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4In him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood[a] it.

Grace and Peace,

Chris Allen

Coram Deo!!!

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Title: Living Community, Part A Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22

Series: You've Got Mail

Listen Now: Listen in Mini-Player


At the end of the Bible we’re introduced to seven churches, and their call to commitment is a wake-up call for us. These New Testament churches thought they were in good shape, but the words of Christ cut to the heart, and they are words that the church needs to hear today. Hear them on Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Chidamoyo Update

Here is the latest update from Chidamoyo Zimbabwe.  Please continue to pray for Kathy and the people impacted by the government and the cholera and other issues that have been impacting them every day.

Grace and Peace,
 
Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!


Subject: Chidamoyo Update

 

Chidamoyo Christian Hospital Update 24-January-2009

Welcome to another week of Survivor!  As my neighbor to my flat in Harare said to me recently, "we are all like reformed alcoholics—one day at a time!"  This week all of the nurses in government hospitals walked off the job on Wed night when they went to the bank to see how much they had deposited into their account.  It was equivalent to $3 US and 2 kg of sugar is $5 US.  The government doesn't care and continues to pay them so they have decided not to come to work at all.  Before they would show up 1-2 days and pretend to work; now they will just stay home.  Another sad day for Zimbabwe !

The government announced this week that as of Tuesday you can take your full amount paid by salary out of the bank with proof of your salary on a pay sheet.  Sounded too good to be true because money is always hard to get out of the bank, and sure enough—no pay slips came out this month from the government!  It isn't worth going to get the trillions of dollars from the bank as no place will take Zimbabwe dollars—except our hospital.  Everyone wants Obama dollars! 

Inflation continues to rage on and we have to change our prices almost once a week.  We know when to change our prices when we can't find change because people are bringing in bills we don't have change for!  We are now allowed to take Obama dollars, Rand , or other foreign currency, so that helps us when we go to buy things for the hospital.  We also barter and this week we got everything from a blanket to cooking oil to chickens and goats for our services.  Six chickens or 2 goats equals an X-ray.

This week we had an Inauguration party and the 2 doctors, Major's family, our medical student, Nura and Lori and I attended and we all had to wear red, white and blue!  We watched the swearing in of Barack Obama as President of the United States live and more for the next 4 hours.  We served an all-American dinner of hamburgers, chili, potato salad and chips and a R-W-B jello cake!  We were impressed and excited to view this piece of history live on CNN.

From Obama's speech on Tues:

 "To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy.To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.

To the people of poor nations, we pledge to work alongside you to make your farms flourish and let clean waters flow; to nourish starved bodies and feed hungry minds."  We do wish someone here might listen!

We had 2 C/Sections this week and lots of other very seriously ill patients and we continue to be busy at work.  We are now up to 521 cases of cholera and more are coming in.  We keep praying it might wind down, but not yet!  Thanks for all your prayers and thoughts.

Our new doctor, Dr. Vernon Murenje, is getting lots of experience and seems to enjoy it!  He called me up to do a vacuum extraction this week while he watched as he hasn't had much experience.  I am teaching Dr. Zimudzi how to do anesthesia for a C/Section so he can cover for me when I am away, and Dr. Murenje did the C/Section.

Thanks for all your support and love.  Our electricity seems to be a bit better this week—sometimes 24 hours in a row!  We had it for dinner 4 nights this week—a record!  We even had it for our Bible Study and movie night this week—wow!

Thanks for all your prayers and support!  In His Service, Kathy

 

Friday, January 23, 2009

Re: Ron Paul, Cynthia Mckinney, Ralph Nader, Chuck Baldwin press conference

Thanks for sharing this video by C-Span.  I attended the primaries and voted for Ron Paul.

That is very much needed to hear.  I also would like the people in my church and churches all across America who seem to think you can only side with the Republican party to see this video.

I have a video that I think you might find interesting since it really addresses a similar problem that  is affecting the churches in America.

Our country is supposed to be centered on the Constitution, but it has many things and people and organizations that are against the constitution and straying us away from it.

Our churches are supposed to be centered on Christ, but they have been preaching and teaching on everything but Christ and have been distracted and straying away from Him.

So, it sounds like we have a very similar battle going on.
Here is a website called Christless Christianity.  www.christlesschristianity.org also the website www.whitehorseinn.org

The video is also on my blog below.  Here I'll give you the link to the video:   http://www.whitehorseinn.org/2008_programs.htm#1116

Let me know how you are doing and what you think about the video.  I will post this email on my blog.

Thank you my friend,
Grace and Peace,
Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!



From: joe avery <joeavery66@gmail.com>
To: Christopher Allen <christopherallen@sbcglobal.net>
Sent: Thursday, January 22, 2009 9:17:45 PM
Subject: Ron Paul, Cynthia Mckinney, Ralph Nader, Chuck Baldwin press conference

I highly recommend that you find time to watch at least the first half of this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYALxUfEmfQ&NR=1

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fw: CICM India Trip, September 16-30

Hello,
Looks like there are some changes to the India trip.  We are now going in September of this year since the other churches have backed out and we did not want to have the missionaries spend so much effort on just two people so we will join another church that is going Sept. 16-30th.

This was a little surprising a couple weeks ago but now it is very understandable. 
We'll go in God's timing. 
Thank you for your prayers and support.      
 
Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!


Subject: CICM India Trip, September 16-30

L. V. Spencer and Tom Moen,

 

After prayerful consideration and group changes, we really feel that it is best to cancel our trip to India in March and reschedule our trip with CICM for September 15-30 to join the other group.  Since it was necessary for the other two church groups to drop out of the original March itinerary, we feel that it is would be inappropriate to request CICM to host two people alone; we would rather join a larger group later in the year.  As a result, Chris Allen and I are presently the only two members of our church that are preparing to join the team in September; Leanna is not available for either dates.  If more slots are available for other members of our church, I would be happy to begin advertising the openings; otherwise, we plan for just the two of us to join the team under the direction of Tom Moen.  I hope this meets your approval.  Thank you for your consideration and patience.

 

Phil Smith

 

P. S.  Leanna is still very interested in CICM and is beginning to pray and plan for 2010 instead.  She will be taking several business trips to Southern India this year and is looking to connect with the Christian community during her visits.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Chidamoyo update


Here is an email from an amazing missionary in Zimbabwe.  You'll have to read this and imagine what the days are like for Kathy.
Please pray for Kathy and the hospital in Chidamoyo.  Also pray for the people and please consider giving to this mission.  Looks like there is a link below where you can give through sadza.com.  Or you can give through Countryside Christian Church, in Wichita, KS.  Please let me know if you are praying or if you give and I'll let Kathy know when I email her soon.  I'm sure she would love to hear the encouragement.

Grace and Peace,
 
Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!




Sent: Saturday, January 17, 2009 1:40 PM
Subject: Chidamoyo update

Life in Zimbabwe continues to be a struggle.  Every day you see people just struggling to stay alive.  A new greeting has happened here.  Instead of Good morning—it is "How are you?" and the answer is "Hungry."  We noted yesterday to be a Zimbabwean means you are hungry all the time.    How sad that we have to deal with this all the time.  The question is how do you help people when everyone needs help?  We do our part by trying to help as we can.

Cholera continues to be with us and just when we think it is easing up another 10 people walk in wiped out.  As of this afternoon 468 people have been treated in our cholera ward!  We have visits by the Red Cross and local health officials every other day or so—they do bring us some supplies which help.  We have 3 nurses this week that are here to help with the cholera ward.  Today they brought us 50 kg of mealie meal (corn meal) to help us with feeding all of these mouths!  Many of our friends in the US and UK have responded and sent food via sadza.com or sent money direct to Sebastopol for food to be bought.  Thank you, thank you!

As of yesterday they printed a 100 trillion dollar note here.  Remember just in August they took 10 zeros off our currency and already we are back to 100 trillion!  The funny part is that legally you can only get your salary out of the bank per month and no one makes that much money so how can you ever get that bill to use?  It is worth 6 loaves of bread!  So the next time you buy bread remember you too are a trillionaire (in Zimbabwe)!

After a very busy week at work we were all looking forward to our Friday night prayer time and movie for the community.  We are playing the Indiana Jones movies and they love the excitement of them.  We have over 100-200 people that come to enjoy this each week.  Friday night is usually pizza night for dinner and I invited over two of our staff to join us for dinner.  Just as we sat down I got called to the hospital.  A pregnant woman presented with eclampsia—seizures due to high blood pressure in pregnancy.  She had been seizing since 4 a.m. and they had put her in a ox cart about 2 p.m. and brought her to the hospital.  Our driver on his way home from Karoi found them about 12 miles from here and brought her the rest of the way in, arriving at 7 p.m..  We immediately went to work on her as she was in a coma and the baby was dead—but we stabilized her and took her into theater for a C/Section.  During the C/Section she started bleeding and a common complication, stopped clotting her blood.  We have no blood or blood products and so we prayed a lot and held pressure on the incisions.  We were able to close her up but she continued to ooze blood.  We took her to her bed and finally got home about 11 p.m.  What a way to end an exhausting week.  Then I decided to check my e-mails before bed (because the electricity was on!)  and Major who was in Harare wrote to tell me he had been trying to buy X-ray films from the company we usually use and they wanted $1780 for a box of 100 films!  I went to bed that night wondering how my patients could afford that, how we could afford that and totally feeling tired and overwhelmed with trying to live and work in Zimbabwe.

I finally went to bed near midnight thinking I could finally sleep in since I had no visitors to get up and cook for and at 6 a.m. there was a knock on my door.  The kitchen people were looking for the keys and had gone to Mereki's house (where they are to get the keys from)  but no one answered so they thought they should wake me up to tell me—my answer was "go back and pound harder!"  Trying to go back to sleep I finally gave up and decided to check the e-mails—because, surprise the electricity was still on! 

The first e-mail was from Major saying he thought he wrote the X-ray film price was in US dollars but in fact it was in Rands (1/10th the price of US dollar).  Wow—did that make me happyJ!  Then the next e-mail was from new friends in Eureka, CA who told me they were taking the next 2 Sundays to take a special offering for Chidamoyo from their congregation.  One of the ladies in the church had a son and his partner that were with me recently.  He is a cholera expert and his partner a resident in Family Practice in Boston.  She had matched them up with me and we put them to work for their 10 days here.  Based on his reports sent home  ,his mom went to work raising awareness of our plight and the people's plight in Zimbabwe and has caused all of this to come into place!  She has done such a great job I asked her to come and take over our government and whip it into shape!

The next e-mail was from a church in Ames, Iowa.  They have a commitment that whenever they spend money on a capital expenditure to give 20% of that expense to outside their church mission projects.  This Sunday they are presenting a check to Chidamoyo Hospital for $10,000!  Boy I keep hoping they build on and on to their church!

Then finally there was an e-mail from a woman who runs our UK Trust in England.  She was happy to tell me that they have raised enough funds for an electric washing machine for our hospital! 

How can I be overwhelmed with the problems here when so many people are praying for us, giving to us and concerned for us—God is so great and powerful.  All these things really brightened my day and many others that I was able to share with too!

When I arrived at the hospital and found our patient from last night awake and talking to me that also proved to me how great God is!  Against all odds she is alive and improving!  Not through our work but through God's power. 

I just wanted to share all this great news with you and thank you for your continued love and care and concern.

In His Service, Kathy

Friday, January 09, 2009

Ravi Zacharias - University of Florida Q&A

University of Flor...


University of Florida Q&A
(part 2 of 3)
by Ravi Zacharias
Is there a moral or a natural law that transcends all else? Is there an irrepressible sense of right and wrong – or are they what we make them? Can God be known outside of the Scriptures? Tough questions – and Ravi answers them all in today’s interchange from the University of Florida.
______________________________

Here is part of a Q&A given by Ravi Zacharias at the University of Florida doing a Q&A session. I guess Ravi is a gluten for punishment. I really like his answer to a very tough question about the sanctity of life. I really appreciate Ravi's solution to the problem. Our human, intuitive idea is to change from the top down and to challenge these large groups and organizations that promote such things as "choice" or abortion and many times in the name of morality. But, that is not the way we have been given by Jesus Christ. He has chosen the preaching of the Gospel. He has chosen the changing of the hearts and minds of individuals. Then that will be what changes the laws and these organizations. Those organizations will lose their support one by one.

2 Corinthians 5 (English Standard Version)

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Notice this passage points to the fact that when someone is in Christ, that is the point to where they really change. It does no good to get people to abide or behave a certain way. We really have only deterred them from that sin if we really have deterred them. They still need a savior and so do we. Pointing to specific sins only seems to create Pharisees in Christianity. We can easily be pointing at the sins out there. But, what about the sin in here (pointing to the heart)? There has to be a solution for the sinful human heart. Well, it is Christ, the Savior of the wicked, and we are all humbled by His gift of grace and faith.

Ultimately, we are not to be hated for our stance on abortion or any other social or political view. If we are to be hated for anything, it would be for the sake of Christ and His Gospel message. This message does not come naturally to our minds we have to be reminded of this on a regular basis. It is crucial for the life and growth of the church to reach out to the lost and to keep the Found humbled. As Ravi says in this message and I have quoted him before. "Christ did not come to make bad people good... He came to make dead people live."

Thanks for visiting and for those who have been supporting me and returning and encouraging me. Please continue to pray for me as I prepare for my mission trip to India. I will continue to update the thermometer to show how it is going. I'm giving about half of what is needed myself.

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!