India Update # 3 And the Answer is…

India Update # 3 And the Answer is…

I received a couple of responses regarding how much of the chicken I ate.   One said that they thought I had eaten it all.   Another said that I had probably divided it evenly so that I could get four meals out of it.   The answer is, I ate a comfortable amount and there was plenty of left overs.
The first 36 hours here are being spent mostly with people who do not speak English and of course I do not speak any Kannada.   However, their number one goal is to be sure that I am comfortable and have everything I need.   This morning the lady came who takes care of the house and does the  cooking.   Before long the Pastor who lives downstairs came up to visit.  We had a brief conversation about lunch where I explained that there was plenty of leftover chicken for lunch.  He (Pastor Naveen) spoke to Cecilia and said to me….”today is fish”.   I replied that there is still plenty of chicken.  They spoke some more and he said to me, “Today will be chicken and fish”.  So…chicken and fish it will be.     I had better eat plenty or else tomorrow it will be chicken, fish, and whatever is on the menu for tomorrow.  Not a very good diet plan.
It was very hot last night.  The only consolation was the ceiling fan.    This morning the water tank was empty and so a shower had to be delayed.    Water is pumped up into a tank on the roof.   It then feeds by gravity to create running water.   They system is such that the pump only has to run once a day or so depending upon how many are here.   Today it is sunny but a little overcast.    The result..not nearly as hot as it could be.
Today I have been studying for tomorrow.    At our Missions Conference a couple of weeks ago Pastor Wood pointed out that when we use the phrase, “What would Jesus do” we are speculating.   The speculating does not do any harm, however, it might do us well to remember the things He DID do.  In particular he mentioned Eph. 5:25 where we are told that Christ loved the church and gave Himself for it.   Pastor Wood challenged us to do what Jesus did…to love the church…and…to give ourselves for it.   By God’s grace and with His help that is what Nancy and I have sought to do for these almost 31 years of ministry.   That is not a boast, but, rather a statement of the fact.   Our service has been far from perfect, but, it was sincere.  It is what every Pastor and every Christian ought to do.   If we can come to the end of our days and say that we loved the church and gave ourselves for it we will have lived a worthwhile life.
Of course church life can be challenging.  There are no perfect Pastors.   It has been hurtful but also amusing over the years when people have “discovered” my imperfections and sought to “expose” them to as many people as possible.   You would think that they had made the world’s most shocking discovery.  There are no perfect churches either.  God’s work is done by sinners who are saved by grace….and…in some cases probably done by unsaved people.   Someone has said that the richest, ripest mission field in the world is in Bible believing churches in the United States.
Ok, so how will we manage to be committed to a church in spite of the Pastor and the people.   First, we need to be genuine.   II Cor. 7:5  Second, we need to be forgiving.  Eph. 4:32 & I Peter 4:8.   Finally, we need to be focused.  I Cor. 10:31       What is needed most in our churches is a revival of commitment to the church where God has placed us.
Think about that the next time your Pastor puts his foot in his mouth and only opens it to change feet.   Think about that the next time one of God’s people reminds you by their words or actions that they are a sinner who has been saved by grace.  Don’t bother lending an ear to those who would try to convince you otherwise.  The work of dividing and destroying a church is not God’s work.   It is amazing that on Mt. Sinai God only gave Ten Commandments.  Had it been me I would have given about 1975 and reserved the right to add more.  In Proverbs 6 God lists seven things that He hates.  Again, if it had been me I would have been sure to cover the gamut.  Just a reminder that the seventh is “he that soweth discord among brethren”.

2019-01-14T16:51:41+00:00