Saturday, December 20, 2014

A Call to Prayer

God has opened a great door for us in Croatia among the Gypsy people. Brother Krešo, a Gypsy man who is a member of our church, has been and still is on fire for the Lord! Brother Krešo has secured a building for us in his village, so that we can preach the Gospel there weekly. We've now been meeting there for almost three weeks and God has blessed! Over 20 people have made professions of faith in the Lord Jesus and many of them are talking about getting baptized. There is an excitement in the air of what God is doing. However, we need your prayers! 

Last week we hung a banner on the building that simply reads, "Kuršanec Baptist Church". Apparently someone in the village took a picture of it and showed it to the local priest. He has declared that he won't baptize anymore of their children as long as the  Baptist Church is in the village. I know many of you are probably saying praise the Lord right now and so are we!

We need your prayers. Gypsies live in their own villages in Croatia and are very clanish and even primitive at times. The priest is trying to provoke the people to run us out of the village. Please pray for our protection as well as those who have been saved in the village. Please pray that God will use this for His good. Please pray that God will give me power as I preach that many more might be saved!

Thank you for reading!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Jesus never changes

It's hard to believe we're approaching the end of another year. Christmas will soon be here, 2014 will be gone and the new year will begin. As the years come and go our world seems to change, people seem to change and sadly even some churches change. I'm so glad that Jesus never changes! He's the same yesterday, today and forever. It's still the blood that saves! Over the last 14 years in Croatia our message has been Jesus and Him crucified! We have done our best and are doing our best to lift up the cross of Calvary that men and women, boys and girls, can see Jesus! We don't need a new method, for the preaching of the cross is still enough. Call me old fashion if you like, that's ok with me, for my Bible is old fashion, my God is old fashion, and even my Savior is old fashion! I'll stand with that which never changes! 

As the years come and go may we be faithful to preach the cross! For it will never change.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Touched by a Holy God!

Around eight years ago a young Gypsy man came to our church looking pretty rough and ragged. On that day he heard about a Savior who loved him and died for him. Krešo was gloriously saved when he believed on the Lord Jesus Christ! He was soon baptized. For a while he attended the meetings of our church. However, like so many others, the world, alcohol and sin was strong in his life. He soon quit church and we saw very little of him. Many would probably say that he must not have gotten saved.

Well thank God that's not the end of the story. For my Bible says, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" 
Philippians 1:6

I'm happy to tell you, that the Word of God is still true! This summer while we were on furlough, Brother Sam told me that Krešo had come back to church. To be perfectly honest I was a little skeptical for quite sometime. We've seen so many Gypsies come and go over the years. However, I was dead wrong about Bro. Krešo! God has done a work in him! When you get around him you cant help but smile. Here is a man that has very little of this world's goods, but he has something that can't be purchased with money. Brother Krešo has been touched by a Holy God!

Friday, November 21, 2014

My cup is full

Last night we had a glorious night in Church! I believe all of God's people left encouraged and filled with joy. God has given us a great group of people who love Him and want to serve Him. 

Our midweek service is simple, but encouraging! It is not so flashy, but effective. God's people meet together around the Word of God and God seems to show up! People who come in carrying great burdens sometimes leave lighter and refreshed.

Church was last night but as I write this my cup is still full! Thank God for the midweek service! We will not cancel ours it is needed in the life of believers. In this world where people live with real burdens they need more of church not less! 

Monday, November 10, 2014

Harvest Sunday 2014!

Every year in the fall, we have Harvest Sunday in our Church. We try our best to have at least 4 big days a year. Many in Croatia will not come to a Baptist Church, because of years of tradition. We have learned that though Croatians won't typically come to a Baptist Church on any given Sunday, they will come on one of our big days such as Harvest Sunday or Friend Day. Usually on these big days we have special music, preaching of the Gospel, and as all good Baptist do, dinner on the grounds. It has been one of our biggest tools in getting people to Church. 

God has used this method in reaching people with the Gospel. Over the years we've seen people saved and added to the Church on these big days. This year our Harvest Sunday was blessed by God. We had 4 visitors and 1 saved! To God be the Glory!

Here our a few highlights from Harvest Sunday 2014!

It was wonderful seeing the Church full! There were 33 in attendance!

Hannah does a great job playing the piano for us! Love her servant's heart!

I think we need a bigger Church building?

Yep, I know we need a bigger Church building! Traffic jam!

Serving Goulash!

Our ladies made some great desserts! Almost made me blow my diet!

Pastor Telebar joined us from Cakovec! He and his family are dear to us!

Saying goodbye to one of our visitors. 

One of the sweetest ladies in all of Croatia! She is a hoot, and keeps the whole church laughing! 

Pastor Telebar's daughter Rebekah. She is a godly young lady who has a sweet spirit!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Speak unto us smooth things

Isaiah 30:8-14

8  Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever:
9  That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD:
10  Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits:
11  Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.
12  Wherefore thus saith the Holy One of Israel, Because ye despise this word, and trust in oppression and perverseness, and stay thereon:
13  Therefore this iniquity shall be to you as a breach ready to fall, swelling out in a high wall, whose breaking cometh suddenly at an instant.
14  And he shall break it as the breaking of the potters' vessel that is broken in pieces; he shall not spare: so that there shall not be found in the bursting of it a sherd to take fire from the hearth, or to take water withal out of the pit.

As I read these verses in my daily devotion I couldn't help but think of how much it sounds like today's world. God is still speaking, but so many refuse to hear the Words of the Living God! God's word interferes with the lifestyle of so many that they simply do not want to hear the Word of God. It is troubling to me that this world doesn't want to hear the Words of God. However, more troubling than that is the very fact that God's people don't want to hear the Word of God, because it interferes with their lifestyle. Today in this modern error of Christianity so many Christians are crying out for men of God to preach to them some smooth thing. Some easy thing that won't interfere with their lifestyle. Too many are to close to Eygpt, the world, that they no longer want strong convicting type preaching. The kind of preaching that demands repentance! The kind of preaching that demands a change in lifestyle! Christianity needs old fashioned, leather lung, heartfelt and convicting preaching. Men of God, people throughout history have wanted smooth preaching. You and I will not stand in front of those people one day and give an account of our preaching. We will stand in front of a Holy God and give an account to Him for our preaching! May we have the conviction of Peter to bodily declare, "We ought to obey God rather than men!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Day of the Dead

Every year in Croatia the grave yards are lit up like Christmas trees! Stores are filled with candles, flowers and small battery operated lamps. People line up to buy these items by the droves. After being here 14 years it still amazes me of how many folks go out and spend money on loved ones who have already gone. On the 1st of November after a family meal, folks will gather at the grave yard  to pay their respects to a mom or dad, friend or sibling. They will place a flower or candle on the grave, most of the time not for any religious reason, but simply because the remembering that loved one who is with them no more. Last night we went to our local grave yard to see all the candles burning. As we walked through I couldn't help but ask my self, how many of these folks are burning in hell? How many of them never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. My heart is convicted to do more to get the Gospel to these precious people! We can't help those who are dead, but we can do all we can for those who are alive! 

Many folks made sure that Jesus wasn't left out. To honor their dead "Jesus" they went out and bought him some candles. Maybe they should have read John11:25 "Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:"


Sunday, October 26, 2014

It's Sunday again in Croatia!

It's Sunday again in Croatia! I've been preaching for many years, and Sunday is still my favorite day of the week. I wait with anticipation of what God might do today in our Church. Maybe today some sinner will get glorious saved! Maybe some home will be strengthened! Maybe a Christian who has drifted from their Savior's presence will come back today. Maybe, and prayerfully, God will work in my heart and mold me into the image of the blessed Christ! I don't know what today holds, but I'm sure glad it's Sunday in Croatia!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Lifting up Christ

Most Saturday mornings are spent lifting up Christ in Croatia. Over the years I've come to learn that all of my efforts are for nothing if Christ hasn't been lifted up. I spent many years frustrated and discouraged for lack of results. One of the greatest days in my ministry is when God showed me that it was not about me, and what I could do, but rather it was all about Christ! Because of this realization our emphasis every Saturday morning is to lift up Christ. 

Croatian people have religion, but what they truly need is Christ! They don't always, ok most of the time don't want Christ. But they desperately need Christ! In a place like this we don't always see great results, but I've learned that if Christ has been lifted up for all to see then we have not failed but succeeded. 

Where ever you may be serving, learn to lift up Christ! Give your people a fighting chance to stay out of hell! Remember my friend, it's not about you or your ability, it's all about Christ. Lift Him up so that all can see Christ!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Update on Tori and her mom

Update: Finally  Tori's mom was able to get approved for a Rehab center. She is there now. They are trying to find an assisted living facility for her. Please pray that they can find the right place for her as soon as possible. Also please pray for Tori. The stress and exhaustion is wearing her down.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Victory will come!

II Chronicles 20:12 O our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do: but our eyes are upon thee.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I want more!

I want more

We live in a day of Christianity that folks seem to always want less of God, not more. Churches are canceling their services so that they can have more time with their families. They are cutting soul-winning and replacing it with activities and community service to build relationships with people. It's almost like we live in a day where we are lukewarm, seems like I read that somewhere. In social media I see those who criticize others who want the old paths. They say that they are stuck in a rut; that they haven't changed with the times; that they are out of touch with this new technological generation. It grieves me when I hear those who criticize; especially when I know they were saved, and grew spiritually in a church that stayed with the old paths. My very life was a catastrophe when Jesus saved me. It was in an old fashion, hell hating, non compromising Baptist Church that my life was cleaned up. Under the hard preaching of Monty Hinson and Dr. Bob Smith my heart began to burn within me and my life was transformed dramatically. That has now been over 23 years ago! I want to declare to all that I still believe now what I was taught 23 years ago. You might be asking what were you taught 23 years ago. Well I'm glad you asked, because I want to answer that.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

More like Jesus!

God has and is good to me! I want to be good to him!

I love you Lord! Thank you for saving a wretch like me. 
Please help me to love when others hate, help me to praise when others criticize, help me to encourage others and not discourage, help me to be a friend not an enemy! Please Lord help me to be more like Jesus!  Romans 8:29