Elias

Elias is the most humble man that I think I’ve ever had in my class. Howard told me that he had never learned how to read until recently and now he’s in Bible School. I understand he came out of drug rehab and now works to help others in the same addiction. After our interview today he asked me “Is it normal to feel afraid when you have to speak in front of a lot of people?” He said, “Whenever I have to stand in front of people to speak this great terror comes over me and I can’t think.” I said, “Yes, it’s normal. Used to happen to me and still does at times, but usually once you have thoughts from the Lord in your heart to share that nervousness goes away. Besides, it’s good that we are not self confident. It makes us cry out to God in all we do.”

Elias can now read and does a good job reading out loud the sections I give him to read in class. He doesn’t know some Bible words. Like today in class he asked what “transgressions” meant.

Elias is a pleasant person. He asked me today who I was sending the video to. I said to about 150 people who were interested in his life and wanted to pray for him. His eyes lit up real big and he said, “thank you”.

Here’s his interview from this morning:

“God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty;  and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, that no flesh should glory in His presence.” 
1 Corinthians 1:27-29

Juan David

I’d like to share a little more with you from my students. In the following video clips, I asked Juan to share a little about himself and what he is learning here at CEC. Juan’s Spanish is poor. Can you imagine the academic setting of a Bible School and then not being able to study in your heart language? I’ve seen this dilemma first hand with the P’s. It’s just SO hard to really learn things in a second language, and in Juan’s case, he doesn’t speak Spanish very well.
 
In my class, I am constantly asking questions as it reveals what people are understanding and it also forces them to think for themselves. I don’t think we will ever learn anything from God if we don’t think for ourselves. Jesus quoted the OT scripture “…and they shall all be taught by God.” He then said,  “Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.” (John 6:45)
 
As I have been contemplating Juan in my class, his answers often reveal that he’s not really tracking or getting the concepts. I wonder though what God’s purpose for him is through this time in his life here. He is learning things even though they may not be the central focus of a given class. I see that he has a genuine hunger to know God and to serve God and his own people. He told me today that when he’s in his village, he speaks pure Guarijío. He also told me that he wants to be able to serve his people through prayer. I think he goes around to those who are hurting among his people and prays for them. He came here to CEC in order to learn more of God in the hopes of serving God there in his village. I asked him if there is a Bible in his language. He said, “yes, there is but you can’t understand it”.
 
So, may God fulfill his purpose for Juan in his time here and may we be aware of what God is doing in Juan’s life so that we may work along with God. Some plant, and some water, but God gives the increase.
 
Click the videos below to watch this morning’s interview with Juan.
I appreciate your prayers for Juan,
 
t.

Foundation stones which put the heart at rest

I have just under two weeks left of classes. In our Bible interpretation class, we will be using Romans as our sample text. I have formatted it more similarly as it was written, taken out titles and printed it in paragraph units as a letter to read. We will read it together seeing it as a whole, and where it fits in the greater whole of the Bible and God’s great plan for mankind.

Latin churches especially seem to be given towards building a foundation of self effort, strict rules (the elementary principles of the world which Paul teaches are useless in his letter to the Galatians and Colossians). My desire and prayer is that God would lay the true foundations of life in their hearts through these next two weeks. It is the truth which sets us free, yet we need eyes to see the truth and only the Spirit of Truth can reveal and show these things in the heart.

Pray that God lays foundations in hearts, foundations that will last for the rest of their lives and make them immovable as they see un-mistakenly who they are “in Christ”, seated, pure, glorious and eternal in the heavens forever.

t.

“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
1 Cor 3:11

MRI

My MRI got postponed due to maintenance on the equipment. They said it would take another 10 days before the equipment would be ready. So I didn’t want to leave you hanging since otherwise we would have had some results today.

Thank you for your prayers. I’ll keep you posted. I haven’t had any more migraines since my email on that topic, but I’ve been avoiding exercise so a to not aggravate things.

t.

Bible School Class of 2022

It is always a joy to have the privilege to teach a class of hungry hearted believers each year as we have been working out of Mexico. It is also always a challenge every single class. The greatest challenge for me always seems to simply abide in Christ and be sensitive to His leading Spirit to guide. Funny how easy it can be at times to teach the class that the most important thing is to abide in Christ through faith and while teaching that very thing you yourself can slip into a disposition of self confidence or control.

At the end of last week, I finished the class on the Bible overview. This class, though it is an “overview” of the Bible, is unique as it relentlessly focuses on the main point of it all, constantly returning to Christ in all things from Genesis to Revelation. At the culmination of the class is the “great work of Christ” through His death, burial, descension, resurrection and ascension being seated on high. It is always exciting to see how students receive the spiritual truths of God’s work not only for them, but with them… “God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself”. This means you and I, before we were ever born, God knew us and we were reconciled to Him. What a mystery how timeless God’s work is. “What the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did!” What did God do? He baptized you into Christ’s death and you went along with Christ from then all the way into heaven “in Him”. The salvation you received when you first believed was already done and waiting for you the whole time you walked in an aimless dead condition prior to your hearing about it and believing it. What settling news. How finished is your salvation, for it is Christ who died, was buried and rose. How righteous and secure is Christ? The answer to that question answers also the question of how righteous and secure you are.

On Monday, we began the second class I teach which is “How to interpret the Bible”. It’s a lot of fun to relay the basic tools of Bible exegesis which have been my job for the past 27 years or so. After about 5 classes on basic principles of the Bible (i.e. where it came from, original languages, manuscripts and texts, translations, culture, context, etc.), the main point of this class is to exercise your inner senses to above all these things “hear what the Spirit” is saying. After teaching all these tools, it’s fun then to spend the a few weeks actually studying the Bible together with no agenda other than to read what it says and listen to the Lord seeking to put these things into practice.

I took this small video this morning of the class with you in mind.

I’ve been pondering that all this work is meaningless if it is not the Lord who teaches us what He wants to and so, I was hoping you may pray for these people as the Spirit leads you to. Maybe there is one person that stands out to you. It’s is certainly a mystery how that one prayer could completely change a life, which could completely change the world around that life.

Thanks so much. I’ve stayed away from tennis or exercise for now and no more migraines. I want to understand what’s happening in my neck before I continue to do the things which may aggravate it.

t.

“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”

Matthew 11:27