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With a Little Help From My Friends

5/28/2014Posted by Helene

"With many counselors they succeed." Until I read Dave Ramsey's books and avidly listened to his podcast I had never heard this proverb, but it's right there in the Bible (Proverbs15:22).  So when we were preparing ourselves to make the major move of leaving our host country here in Asia (our home for the last 8.5 years) and moving back to America, we knew we needed to ask some friends for help. (For more details see Daniel post)

To start with, I've been talking to Melissa extensively about how to keep house in America.  I'm sure it seems obvious to you, but I still find myself more than a little baffled. I am totally overwhelmed by the blessings of dryers.  Just imagine doing laundry without checking the weather first!  And Crisco? Don't even get me started on Crisco.

Answering God

5/26/2014Posted by Helene

Nebuchadnezzar needed a miracle.  The dream was beyond disturbing; it was also beyond the ability of his army of sycophants to interpret.  He needed someone who could see into the darkness, into his nightmares and reveal the truth.   His wise men thought he was crazy; only a man possessed by the gods could help him.  He thought they were a bunch of cheats and declared either one of their number would tell him his dream or he'd kill them all.

Daniel needed a miracle.  Lumped in together with hypocrites, fakes and conjurers he was slated for slaughter.  He begged the executioner for a little time and went to find Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.  

Then they prayed.  

It was a pretty gutsy prayer. I don't mean the part where they beg for mercy.

Prayer Changes Things

5/23/2014Posted by Melissa

Prayer changes things.  I'm not a huge fan of internet memes, but I've seen that phrase bandied about with varying pictures, and I like it.  We have abundant evidence in the Bible that it's true, from the prayers of Abraham all the way to the prayers of the apostles.  In Acts, we see Peter pray two times, and both times big changes happen.

Peter's prayer changed circumstances in the lives of other people.  In Acts 9, some Christians in Joppa begged the apostle to come quickly because a special woman had died.  Dorcas made garments for all the widows in town, and they all were eager to show the tunics to Peter and praise this woman.  Peter politely told them all to leave the room, got down on his knees and prayed.  We don't know what he said, but after his prayer, God used Peter to raise Dorcas up from the dead.

Muscle and a Shovel: An Evangelism Review

5/21/2014Posted by Melissa

There is a book that many Christians I know are talking about.   Muscle and a Shovel is one man's true story of conversion to Christ through the efforts of his coworker.  It's written almost as a diary in the past tense, kind of a cross between a biography and a novel.  Michael Shank, the author, was blessed enough to work with a man he calls Randall at a time when he needed to understand that studying the Bible is not the work of a few minutes reading or listening to a preacher, but a job that requires muscle and a shovel to dig out the truth.  Not only are a lot of evangelistic Scriptures presented in one place, but the story is engaging.   I've read of many people giving this book to their friends as a form of evangelism, and I can't say that's wrong.  In fact, the Facebook page for the book states that there have been 7000 baptisms related to the story.