Archive for March, 2011


Colombia – Day 4


This has been a very exciting, yet very tiring day.

Cheri spoke first to the Pastor’s wives today regarding Guarding Your Heart. I then spoke to everyone concerning community and working together. During the break, the pastor proudly showed us his audio, video, and internet equipment. He was so proud of the assets in this area and we were proud for him. While he was showing us these things, I spied a Cartagena poster concerning our ministers’ convention. Pedro kept telling me in Spanish, “Pastor Jim, you’re famous.” apparently, these posters are all over town with Cheri’s and my picture on them.

We have won two new friends on this journey. One is a young worship leader named Wilson. I guess he is mid-20s to 30 and is simply a delightful young man that happens to know a little English.

Our other friend is a little girl name Dianna who has really attached to Cheri. (I think Cheri has fallen for her two. She is probably 6 or 7 and is simply adorable (and shy.)

After the break, I was up to speak again. This time i spoke concerning “doing versus being” and it launched that from the commandment to remember the Sabbath to keep it holy.

We broke for lunch and immediately travelled to The Colegio Corporacion Cartagena Latino-americano where I joyously addressed the teachers and staff of this 600+ member school. (he may have even told me 800 but I forget.) my message regarding needing one another was well received. We were also invited to speak at another church Sunday but unfortunately, we are already booked up with Cheri going in one direction and I in other.

After a brief rest, I once again ministered to the pastors and local church attendees where I spoke on the woman with the issue of blood and the need for memorials to remind us from where God has brought us. We had a marvelous time with strong prayer for healing afterwards.

We are really enjoying seeing what God is doing and we are humbled that He would choose us.

We are also excited that He has placed us in such a beautiful place among so many new friends.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Cartagena, Colombia

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Colombia-Day three


In some respects, this has been a relatively uneventful day. We did have one session today with the local ministerial association. We had a good time as I ministered to them about personal integrity and taking care of their personal lives, including their families. You should have seen their faces when i told them that it was ok to turn off their cell phones once in a while. After I spoke, they had their normal business and we had to leave before they were done. I would have liked to have spoken with some of the pastors afterward though.

We rested much of the afternoon; this heat and humidity is an energy killer.

Early in the afternoon, Cheri and I walked down to the bay. It was a very nice time squeezing off some photos and just being together in the fresh, salty aired breeze.

Cartagena is certainly a beautiful city and we are quickly reminded that we are staying right in the ritzy part of it. We have seen three bedroom apartments worth millions of dollars, live in maids, nannies, and dog walkers.(We’re not in Kansas anymore Toto.)

Tonight we ministered to couples and had a blast as we spoke life and truth into their lives … All peppered with fun and laughter.

Unfortunately, we did not get to call my grandson Carson for his birthday because of the timing and accessibility of phones. I am sure he had a great day AND we can celebrate with him at Disney in a couple of weeks.

It’s time to shut down for the night and I still have not figured out how to load photos through this iPad onto the blog … Oh well, we’ll just keep trying.

Hasta luego!

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Cartagena

Cartagena- Day 2


Today, we actually begin our conferences. Today’s and Tonight’s meetings are at the Iglesias de Arbol de Vidal hosted by Pastor Luis. Our initial group was small- maybe 75-100 people and was comprised of pastors and wives.

One very interesting thing happened today: we were actually cut off in traffic by a donkey-pulled cart. Again I can say, I’ve never seen that before.

I spoke in the first service alone BUT Cheri’s luggage did get here this am so she was able to speak in the second meeting.

My message was well received and won the approval of this reserved congregation.

Cheri was able to teach the second session (much to my relief.) She spoke for a good hour and won the respect of the people.

After these AM sessions, I shared a Greek thought of the day with the word used in Romans 8:26 concerning the Holy Spirit helping us in out weaknesses. Even the Senior Pastor of the church was moved upon by the Holy Spirit on this one.

We left for the day around lunch time and retired to the apartment for needed lunch and rest.

For the evening service, I spoke concerning the Lord of the Breakthroughs. We had an altar call with over 100 coming up for prayer. (by the way, there were probably about 250 in tonight’s service.

It has been a long time since I have seen God’s move so obvious. I don’t often get hyped up about people falling under God’s power because that CAN BE a result of too much emotionalism … but not so tonight. It was not really an emotional message.

We feel that we are already making some new friends among these precious pastors and their wives … and we are delighted.

We had a beautiful trip back to the apartment where we were met with supper. Our driver took us through the old city where we saw castles lit up at night, the home (at least one of them) of Julio Iglesias, and many historic sites. then we rode along the beach … again all I can say is, “BEAUTIFUL.”

Around the table, we had God-ordained conversation with Francelina, our hostess. It was truly precious.

I can’t wait to see what God is going to do tomorrow.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad.

Location:Cartagena, Colombia

Cartagena- Day One


Wow.

This day started with a bang as Cheri woke up at 1:30 AM to begin her preparations for Cartagena.

I woke up at 3:00 AM and we left our hotel shortly after 3:30 to go through security and all that good stuff at CHicago O’Hare.

Pretty uneventful although both of us realize that God really has a plan for us here.

Miami International was even smoother although we had to walk literally from one end of the airport to the other (and it’s a long airport.)

After a small layover, we boarded Avianca airlines to Cartagena. It was a very smooth ride … until we went to baggage and found that Cheri’s bag with all of her toiletries and lady-things didn’t make the flight with us. (Yes, we are supposed to speak at 9:00 AM and Cheri has almost none of here necessities.)

No panic though; we are in God’s hands and all things work together for good for those who are called according to His purpose and walk according to His will.

Avianca calls and finds her bag … in Bogota … several hours away.

We should have it later tonight or tomorrow.

We really have a booked schedule here speaking to pastors, wives, churches, schools, and youth group …. and that’s the first set of Pastors’ Seminars. I think, when I total it up, that we are speaking 19 times this week.

We also met with Pastor Luis tonight and scheduled the week out. He is a delightful man who has pastored his church for 35 years. I know we are here to teach and mentor, but I also hope to glean some of this man’s anointing.

We are delighted to be with Pedro Hernandez and to have Adam Cabeen as our translator again; we really have a connection with these two guys.

We have no pictures yet be we will have plenty over the next few days I’m sure.

OK, I know some of you who read my blog are waiting for this: Tonight’s meal was: water, jugo de naranja, braised pollo, ensalada, y arroz, a very typical Colombian meal. I am not sure what the dessert was but I will find out. It was something like dolce leche (and I WILL find out.) Of course this was topped off with a cup of delicioso Colombian cafe con leche.

By the way, our accommodations are great. We are staying in a nice apartment, 5th floor, overlooking the beach here in Cartagena. And our hostess and cook are marvelous.

We are going to have a good time AND enjoy what God is doing.

– Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Cartagena, Colombia


 

This book was a real Hate-Love relationship for me.Lyons is basically a proponent of the post-Christian era … not that he believes that this is as it should be; rather, he seemingly resigns himself in the concept that this is where the world now is. Certainly, he would be joined by many who would offer a similar opinion.

The book started off on a very negative slant (from my perspective) as it delineated the gradual digression of the church since its birth. In this digression, Lyons affirmed that there is a growing disdain for Christianity and the church.

What I failed to grasp at the initial stages, however, was that Lyons was building a foundation to introduce a counter culture similar to the original intent of Christianity (but from which Christianity has moved throughout the years.)

These “next Christians” as he called them are those who mingle among the world’s elite as well as the world’s down-and-outers.

They are those who are confident in their callings and who often choose to use those callings in their various venues.

In other words, these individuals who Lyons introduces are those who have the gifting to move in any circle but who choose to move among those whom many of us would define. as secular; they choose to ignore the lines between the sacred and the secular.

Perhaps this is all OK, but it sits strange with me.

While I have always stated that we need to allow the sacred to invade and influence the secular, what is see here is a “blurring of the lines” in which one can hardly tell the difference (if there is, in fact, such.)

My critique of The Next Christians: although it was a well-written book with many powerful vignettes of Christians participating in their local “worlds,” I felt there was a call for relevance when I would have preferred to have seen a call for difference.

On a scale of 1-5, I rate this book a 3.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

Isaiah 49:2- “I am like a polished arrow in His quiver.”

Garrett Ministries is a division of Polished Arrow Christian Endeavors, a Not-for-Profit Corporation licensed in the state of Illinois.


(This review concerns Radical by David Platt. It is published by Multnomah Books and bears ISBN 978-1-60142-221-7)

Wow!

I this day and time when many of our Christian books deal with branding, marketing, and … well, soft-peddling so as not to offend, we are given an in your face, challenging book that is … well, … radical.

Platt takes the reader on a journey where church is not lived within the four-walled entities with said title; instead, church is lived out in the streets, on the field, and where one works.

I think the most astounding challenge for me was to read of a life of simplification and incarnation. In other words, Platt makes a case for Christians having less and doing more with that less by being Jesus to the world … even to the point of selling businesses and going on the foreign mission field, selling the home in the suburbs and moving to the city that one is trying to reach, and in doing so, to alter the Western values we Americans have grown up with into the foundational values as presented by the early Christians in the book of Acts.

To reiterate that I was deeply challenged would be a gross understatement. In fact, I tend to read three or four (or more) books at the same time, and while I was reading this one, I was also reading a book on church growth and another one on unChristian America. Because of these latter two book’s inclination toward branding, relevance, and (IMHO) compromise, I found Radical to be a breath of fresh air.

I give it a 5 out of 5 and challenge all Christians to read and heed.

I am enrolled to receive and review books for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group. I did not receive this particular book from them but it is one of their books and I gladly post my review.

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Polished Arrow Christian Endeavors is a  Not-for-Profit Organization licensed in the state of Illinois.


We are conducting two Pastors’ Conferences: one in Cartagena, Colombia and the other in Medellin, Colombia. we love these Colombian pastors and cannot wait to speak into their lives BUT we only want to speak His thoughts, not ours. So please pray.

Here is a poster of the Medellin Conference (and yes, it is in Spanish.)

PrJim Medellin conference flyer