I admit I am quite troubled by what is going on in the world. When I talked with Pierre recently, he referred to what is happening between the US and China as a crisis, which is adversely affecting the economy in his part of Africa. I did not know this, but it now troubles me for the people I know there.

Then there is what is happening with the Kurds in Syria, the internal issues in NW China with imprisoned minorities, the unrest in Hong Kong and the political issues within the US. All of these have an impact on my “peace” or really, lack of it.

The last few days I have spent some time reflecting on Jesus’ words:

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

Perhaps you are like me and need to back up and take some time to calm down, gain perspective from Jesus’ point of view and trust Him that, as the King of Kings, He really will come again to set things straight. In the meantime, His words bring comfort to me.

List some of the things causing you anxiety. Take moment to reflect on Jesus’ words.

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)


Suffering and Persecution

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This past week I finished reading The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected, by Nik Ripken. Readers of my “thoughts” in the Prayer Updates know I don’t recommend books but I take exception on this book. For people who want to walk with Jesus, this is a must read.

Dr. Ripken takes the reader through his own experiences serving the starving and outcasts in Somalia and the personal losses he and his family faced. He then embarks on a journey to understand how to prepare the Church for persecution and suffering. He does this by interviewing many who have been persecuted. Starting in Eastern Europe, Russian, Ukraine and then goes to places in China, Asia, and even the Middle East. We see the Lord at work in miraculous and powerful ways. These are challenging, real stories.

I have personally been to many of these places and have met some who minister among the people in about every place Dr. Ripken talks about.

I found myself lifted and challenged by the stories and his challenges to us – to me. Paul said, “In the last days difficult times will come.” (2 Tim. 3:1) This book will give hope and challenge as we prepare ourselves and those we love.

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)

A Testimony

Last week we received a copy of the following email sent out to the global “GProCommission” network of pastoral trainers.

Kenyan Churches Strengthened with MentorLink Resources

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“With explosive numeric growth but few trained pastors, Christ’s Church in the great continent of Africa has been described by African leaders as “a mile wide and an inch deep”—a description which can fit many congregations anywhere. Kenyan pastoral trainer Pastor Alia Tasse rejoices over the rampant church planting in Africa. At the same time,​ he is concerned about the lack of theologically sound, trained pastors to lead these multiplying but fledgling church plants. Discipleship is vital to the survival and health of the local church, especially since many new believers face persecution from their family members, communities and even extremist groups.

In the face of this great need, the Lord led Pastor Tasse to launch a pastoral training center for both rural and urban pastors called Lifeway Mission International (LMI). LMI is “passionately committed to making disciples who make disciples by engaging with local communities to meet the immediate needs of the people.”

When Pastor Tasse conceived of LMI over twenty years ago, his region of Northern Kenya was home to 22 unreached people groups. Now LMI is working with 26 unreached people groups while operating in thirty countries. They have assisted indigenous groups in the planting of over 10,000 churches–churches which have impacted over 500,000 unreached people –and they train approximately 4,000 pastors yearly. LMI utilizes two instrumental training resources from MentorLink International, which are character driven and based on the life and leadership of Jesus.

Watch or read our interview with Pastor Tasse, access free downloads of the MentorLink International resources, and let us know what action steps you feel prompted to take in your own discipleship efforts, so we can encourage you.”

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)

I Waited


This past week I was pondering a difficult situation in my life. I went to a Psalm which is often my practice in such periods of trial. David did this often. In one such difficult season he wrote Psalm 40 to reflect his experience.

“I waited patiently for the LORD; And He inclined to me and heard my cry. He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear And will trust in the LORD. How blessed is the man who has made the LORD his trust, And has not turned to the proud, nor to those who lapse into falsehood.” (Psalms 40:1-4)

Take a few minutes to re-read these four verses and ponder these questions:

1. What difficult situation are you in now? How are you and the Lord doing with it?
2. How does David’s experience encourage you?
3. How does the Lord want you to proceed?

Maranatha (Come, Lord Jesus)