Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Gospel – Of What Importance?

Being able to observe and discuss his interests and his ministry, I have learned that Dale is gifted in music. In fact, Music was his major in College. It is one of his passions. I can relate in my own terms of being passionate for Education. However, as I observed Dale's ministry here in Scotland, it became apparent to me that there is a difference between his passion and mine.
Dale does not consider his gift of music to be his main venue for his ministry. He considers discipleship first and foremost above that gift. In the Great Commission, Jesus calls his disciples to a life of making disciples all throughout the world (Matt 28:19-20).  Dale’s ministry with BMW takes hold of this calling. He sees that the need for church planting and discipleship is far above the need for a good worship team. When there are people who are solid in their theology and growing in the Lord, then he would begin to use his skills in Music. He holds the Gospel is of first importance. His gift is for the betterment of the body when there is a body that needs to be bettered.
I can see that I have not been thinking solely on the Gospel for the Gospels sake. I have focused on becoming an Educator and ministering the Gospel through that venue. But it is the pure and simple Gospel of Christ that I must be devoted to above all. Not just in the classroom, but everywhere and in every area. The Lord showed me through Dale’s example that I have to allow the Gospel to be the main endeavor of my life. This is of first importance. 

“For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raises on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures.” – 1 Corinthians 13:3-4

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fun Stuff in Scotland - Part 2

The picture above is a Royal Mail Post Box from a community in Glasgow, Scotland. The city does not preform house to house pickup for posting. Residents must mail their posts through a local box (such as this one) or mail through the local post office. 

Here is a patch of grass typical in Scotland. It is a very soft, mossy like grass. The soil is always moist here, so it has good color, but is easily uprooted because of the concentration of moisture. It somewhat reminds me of the grass you find on a golf green. Not surprising since Scotland has some of the coolest places to golf in the world. 

In Scotland, it seems that many of the manhole covers are square or triangular in shape. Interesting.  

The water here in Scotland is really good! Its clear, crisp, and cool! 
Below are some funny signs I hope you enjoy as I did :)

Friday, February 24, 2012

Fun Stuff in Scotland - Part 1

This is a outdoor mall called "The Fort" in Glasgow, Scotland. Its pretty cool. Some of the shops include Starbucks, Pizza Hut, Subway, and many UK based sporting goods and clothes shops. Below is one shop that I am sure some are familiar with...but wait! Take a second look...

 Its T. K. Maxx, not T. J. Fooled me at first too :) Apparently, the name T.K Maxx was adopted for stores in the UK, Ireland, Germany and Poland to avoid confusion with the existing but separate discount chain T J Hughes here in the UK. Below is another famous US chain...can you guess what business is pictured ???

I will give you a hint...I was LOVIN IT! ...That's right...its a UK McDonald's :) I had never seen a McDonald's look quite like this one. I thought it was a vary colorful and modern style interior design. In chatting to some Scottish friends, they said that McDonald's is not really a frequented place for Scots. They are not as interested in this kind of fast food. So the restaurant decided to make it with a little more flair and comfort in hopes of attracting more customers. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Wanted: Solid Foundations

          Besides the few loyal members of Churches I mentioned before, the Church at large in Scotland (and really in Europe) are in an alarming state of apostasy. In observing and talking with various Missionaries here regarding their ministry, they said there are very few people in my age group who are interested in Christianity. If you do find some who call themselves Christians, there is little fruit to show for it. Many of these Christian youth have no concept of separation from the world. They look, smell, sound, behave, and mostly believe what World’s values dictate to them. Literally, in my time here so far, I have only met two or three young people who seem to be committed to Christ.
          What has happened to the Church? In talking with the Missionaries here, one of the most critical areas they identified as being a cause is a diminishing value in solid doctrine. The Missionaries say that statements like “The details of doctrine do not matter. Just love Jesus” is where the foundation of the Church in Europe started to weaken. Theology was downplayed as extraneous and unnecessary. These statements were confirmed for me in interacting with a few Scottish Christian brothers who the Lord is leading them out of such churches. All this bolstered my thankfulness for the solid training I am receiving at Northland and how vital it is for every believer to be trained in Systematic Theology. It is not an extraneous endeavor reserved for preachers only, but a crucial foundation for every believer to live and serve rightly in this world today! 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Faithful Servants

Galatians 6:9-10 “And let us not be weary in well doing; for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. And let us do good to all men, especially unto them who are in the household of faith.”  
I have been able to observe three Churches now in the Glasgow, Scotland area. In all three churches, I have seen something they have in common with one another: Even though they are from different backgrounds and locations, they have a core group of faithful mature believers. Most of the members of these churches are over 60 years old and have stalwartly held on to the faith despite the hardness towards the Gospel in the culture. It is even more difficult when involving family members or close friends who are firmly resistant to the Gospel. I have heard many conversations where these members have said that they have been praying and witnessing to their family and friends for over 25-45 years. Still these believers continue to pray and grow in the Word. They come to Church, to Bible Study, to Ladies and Men’s fellowships; week after week, month after month, year after year.
I have been greatly challenged by these faithful servants to cast my cares on Christ and leave it there in His arms. Too often, I find myself taking things into my own hands. I desire to have a good thing I do not possess, or to rid myself of some painful thing in my life. Both responses are wrong. I need to surrender my agenda to Christ each day and leave it in His powerful arms. To do this every day requires faithfulness and humility. These mature believers show this fruit in their life. By their example, I have been challenged and encouraged not to carry my cares, but surrender them to Christ and be a faithful servant of the Lord. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

My Adventures of the Past Week

On Friday of last week, I had my first meal of Fish and Chips thanks to David and Morag Wilson. I have been staying at their house in Milngavie for 4 days. It was such a blessing. What's great is that they are both Scots, so I had the pleasure of staying with them and discussing about the Lord and the Ministry (as well as some great Scottish cooking!). 

David took me to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow. Awesome! It was founded originally for the International Exhibition of Science, Art and Industry in 1888. The main aim of the exhibition was to draw international attention to the city's achievements in applied sciences, industry and the arts during the Industrial Revolution. However, it was also hoped the Exhibition would raise enough money for a much-needed museum, art gallery and school of art in the city. 

On Friday (before the Fish and Chips mentioned above), David took me to see the ruins of Mugdock Castle. It was built in 1244 AD and housed several Dukes and Earls of Scotland until 1945.