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Posts Tagged ‘Dave Black’

I think this is the toughest blogpost I have ever read! There are times I wish I didn’t check certain websites. Men like Alan Knox and Dave Black, women who blog about doing it makes me question am I doing enough! I know, I know, the Gospel is about believing a bunch of abstract facts that really have no real bearing on our lives, other than accumulating good Podcasts, reading great books. Living the Gospel is an oxymoron right? Well tell Dave Black that who writes this wonderful post:

 

How Are Your Verbs?

 David Alan Black  

verbs

My sabbatical officially ends today. On Monday I’ll resume my teaching duties at the seminary with my J-term Greek class.

I can honestly say that 2008 was a tremendous year in every way. I have learned more about language than ever before – the language of love in particular. I have seen how the intellect is so easily enslaved by bizarre abstractions. Education has become a Utopia for Americans, and becoming a “Christian intellectual” a god.

What is the use? Knowledge is an impotent end incapable of creating the means. Why, then, do we so easily “Christianize” it? I refuse to believe in the power of education. For truth we need a source outside ourselves – a far greater Light than our puny human candles can provide. I want to proclaim only the Word of God this year – not by words alone but by sharing in Jesus’ sufferings. I no longer want to camouflage my bondage by calling it “scholarship.” Jesus alone is Truth. He Himself says so. It is Him I want to know. No more disguises! No more pedantic, puerile obfuscations! What good is life without Truth?

In Ethiopia I taught the book of Acts for a week. Here’s my rendering of a key verse (2:42): “They spent their time learning from the apostles, taking part in the fellowship, eating meals together, and praying for each other.” Note the second element if you will: “taking part in the fellowship.” That’s how the early believers spent a good deal of their time, says Luke. They emphasized Body Life and genuine relationships. Each one of them had a gift, a talent to share with others. The same is true today. Each one of us has a contribution to make to the health of the Body. Why is that so hard to see? It is a false humility that says, “I have nothing to contribute.” Your ability may be small or large, but your gifts are vitally important to the fellowship. No talent or ability is of our own making. Peter puts it like this: “As each of us has received a gift, we are to use it for the good of one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pet. 4:10). The Bible says plainly that I have a gift, and I am being just plain lazy if I do not exercise it!

The essence of stewardship is responsibility. I have a divinely-ordained responsibility to live a life of blessing to others. How, then, can I be so responsible with my finances but not with my gifts and talents? No gift is small in the eyes of God. Every gift is a token of His grace in our lives. And the early Christians realized this. They did not shake off or shirk their responsibility to serve others. They did not reason, “I have nothing to give.” They did not bury their talents in the ground. They did not write books about the New Testament but not practice its simple teachings.

This is the question I am asking myself this year: Am I giving to the Lord what is His? Is He first in the stewardship of my time, my friendships, my possessions, my resources, my strength, my abilities? I often think, How much more I could do for my Lord is I wasn’t so lazy and self-centered! It’s as if Jesus is telling me, “Don’t neglect the gift you have!” (1 Tim. 4:14). I returned from Ethiopia with a new realization that God will reward me in heaven according to my stewardship, not my knowledge. I must seek to be a wise and trustworthy steward of all He has given me. Only by a diligent application of the truth can I prove that I am a trainee of Jesus. My faith must be proved by my actions. Otherwise I will be like that student who once told me, “My Greek is excellent, except for the verbs.” My profession to be a Jesus-follower is worthless unless it has verbs to back it up!

I can say this: I am ready this year to lay down my life for Jesus if necessary. But even more, I am ready to forfeit things so that others might find the Way of Jesus more easily. I will not evade the burden. I will not say but not do. I will not pray for prisoners – I will visit them. I will not debate the morality of capitalism – I will feed the poor. I will not discuss the Gospel – I will share it with one and all. I am done with debates about this or that. How dare I claim to know truth and display the approachability of a porcupine!

So back to school I go – after a glorious rest and a wonderful romp in Africa. On Monday I will teach my students something about the Greek language. But I don’t want to stop there. I also want to teach them, by actions and not merely by words, that nothing remains more important yet more demanding than that we reflect in our lives the unfailing, scandalous love of Jesus.

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Current Needs for the Burji Ministry in

Ethiopia

 Becky Lynn Black  

In November twelve of us will travel the long distance to remote southern Ethiopia, to the land of the Burji and Guji tribes. As we have reported in other sections of this website, we will have a multi-faceted ministry, including animal workshops, farming workshops, hygiene classes, Bible classes, mentoring, medical assistance, solar power placement with loudspeakers, etc. In all these activities, our one focus is the Gospel. Right alongside these activities, simultaneous with these activities, we are teaching about Jesus and we are demonstrating His salvation!

Preparations for this trip involve more than just a few shots and an airplane ticket. Each person on our team has their own unique ministry. As I write this, each team member is diligently preparing for that ministry. In addition to the $2500 each person needs for their personal expenses of the trip, we must gather funds for other things. You see, these rural people are so poor that many households cannot afford even basic food or wash basins or seeds. What good does it do if we teach them, but do not give them the tools to implement our teaching? We submit a detailed list of these needs to you for your prayerful consideration.

1. Seeds to distribute in villages after Leigh’s farming workshop. Also, seeds to distribute to Gujis as part of the Reconciliation Conference. The drought of this year has not only caused the loss of food, but also the loss of seed. By teaching about farming productivity and by distributing seeds, we are helping much in the area of family nutrition and economic stability. We’ve purchased the seed (field peas, kale, Crowder peas, turnips, etc.) because seed is fast becoming unavailable. We purchased these on credit. Some gifts have been received toward this cost already; the remaining need is $285.

2. Food for widows and orphans as part of a Reconciliation Conference. We are dealing with about 10 widows who have been put in this condition by the warring of the Gujis upon the Burjis. Scripture commands us to care for the widows in the world, as evidence of God’s care for the down-trodden. It is an outward demonstration of His stooping to us in our poverty and need. The Guji churches are collecting an offering for the food for these widows as a way of making restitution for the sins of their tribe. We want to supplement that offering, so that we can offer more substantial help, and also to demonstrate the unity of the Body in dealing with spiritual issues. If we give $100/widow, this will buy a large sack of tef grain and some vegetables. So the total needed is about $1000.

3. Food for the rural church men and evangelists coming for the 4-day Bible Conference with Jon. In Ethiopian tradition, when conferences are held, those attending bring their food with them. Last year, the conference was cut short because their food ran out. They walked long distances to get home on an empty stomach. This year, we want to provide the food needed for these men. This conference is for men from the rural churches. The book of 1 Corinthians will be taught by Jon, pastor of Ca-Vel Baptist in Roxboro, NC.  These men have “homework” to do before the conference, and they have ministry assignments to do after the conference. Our goal is to develop the men of the rural churches so that they can better guide their rural flocks. Figuring 150 men at $3/day, this would be $1,800.

4. Purchase of the Oromo Jesus Film DVD and gasoline to run the generator in the Guji villages.  Dave and Jason are trekking village to village, teaching and preaching and visiting among the Guji people. The Jesus Film has been translated into their language. We want to get this film and show it in the evenings. Undoubtedly this will be the first time these people have ever seen a film, and it will draw large crowds for the Gospel. The film is about $15; our guess is $200 for the gasoline.

5. Warriors of Ethiopia book (in Amharic) for the evangelists and rural churches. This is a fantastic book about the primitive evangelists of Ethiopia in the Omo Valley. This valley is very close to the Burji valley. It is the story of their own people! And it is filled with testimonies of those who fully surrendered to the Gospel work. (It reads like Hebrews 11.) We would like to give this as a gift to the evangelists and rural churches of Burji. We will need 60 copies at about $4/copy, for a total of about $250.

6. Wash basins and soap for the village homes after Lynette’s hygiene workshop. There is very little hand washing in the typical rural Ethiopian home. This leads to big health problems. Lynette is teaching women and children about hand washing, and we want to give a wash basin and a bar of soap to each household that attends and passes a “quiz” on the material of the workshop. The price is $2/household; we are guessing 150 households/village X 4 villages, for a total of $1,200.

7. Food for the Burji Youth Corp as they help us. Half of Ethiopia’s population is under age 17! The church leaders have asked us to help them deal with the youth. As we know from Scripture, youth are simply young adults – they are not adolescents! So we have invited the Burji Youth to “compete” spiritually for the privilege of belonging to the Burji Youth Corp. After memorizing Scripture passages, and completing some other requirements, the leaders will choose 15 young people who will work alongside us in our ministry. They will cook, clean, teach, and assist. And in the process, we will mentor them in English and God’s way. They will sleep on the floors of the churches like we do.  But who will pay for the food of these young people? If we invited them to work with us, we should pay for their food. 12 corps members at $3/day X 12 days is $432.

8. Cloth pictorial timeline for the evangelists and rural churches. The IMB has a story cloth that tells the story of God’s working from Creation to Christ’s ascension. This cloth folds up and is easily carried to villages in the back pocket of an evangelist. Or it can be hung on the wall of a rural church and used for teaching. 45 clothes cost $485.

You may send your gifts, payable to BeckyLynn Black, to Bradford Hall, 2691 White House Road, Nelson, VA, 24580. And remember that every penny to goes to Ethiopia. We are completely self-supporting missionaries.

August 19, 2008

As you all know I don’t post stuff I don’t trust. The Blacks have being doing a work in Ethiopia for years on their own dime. I am honored that David and Becky would allow me to post this and I pray that God will reward them 100 fold for the work they are not only doing in Ethiopia but for their attempt to make disciples of the entire world. I will have the honor to meet them in a couple of weeks and I pray that it is a lasting relationship. Finally below are some links please check them out. Please don’t ignore this urgent plea. 100% of what you give goes to Ethiopia, that is right not one penny is used for salaries of administrators or electricity, rent or anything else. If you can only send $10 praise God and if possible you can repost this on your blog.

http://www.sebts.edu/faculty/faculty_directory/viewFaculty.cfm?BioID=23

http://www.daveblackonline.com/blog.htm

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