- The mission of Pioneer Bible Translators is to disciple the Bible-less and mobilize God’s people to provide enduring access to God’s word.
- Vision: Pioneer Bible Translators wants to see transformed lived through God’s word in every language.
- Their Primary Strategy is prayer.
- They also seek to accomplish this task through a multi-disciplinary approach on a Bible-less people group: Bible translation, church planting, community development, and literacy.
- They desire to reach the 900 least reached scripture-less people groups.
- To be in a culture with no Bible and no church is a very spiritually dark place.
- Southeast Asia is the largest Muslim country on the world.
- The Coopers live on the island of Java in Indonesia.
- Of the four disciplines, they fulfill the church planting part.
- They want to reach the Bumkapai people. While they practice Islam it is actually a veneer for Spiritism.
- Out of a population of 160,000 people, only 50 profess to a faith in Christ.
- Their theme verse is Luke 4:18-19, ““The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
- In this verse, Jesus is speaking to the spiritually blind and oppressed.
- Please pray for Hodi, a man open to Christ they have contacted.
- Their greatest challenge is to live a life according to the Holy Spirit.
- Pray for the Bumkapai who are living in false truths.
Jesus said, ““The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” Luke 4:18-19
Yesterday in C3 worship Shaun Cooper shared this verse of scripture as the vision for his ministry to reach the Bukumpai people in Southeast Asia.
When he shared this scripture, something just clicked in me that said this is your vision to for C3. First of all, Just as Jesus said in the beginning of this verse we have been give the gift of Holy Spirit, and just as Jesus was empowered by the Spirit so are we empowered by the Spirit to do good works.
Just like Jesus we are called to the same: proclaim freedom, give sight, set the oppressed free, to proclaim the Lord. This is our task in our Go! Groups and in our worship service. Like Jesus we are called to these activities spiritually and physically.
Our purpose is to proclaim and to serve. This is what a normal church looks like. Anything else is abnormal.
Prayer is a hard discipline to do judiciously. Here are the 5 common reasons why prayer and 5 ways to overcome the issues.
5 Common Issues:
- You don’t believe you can pray. Oh sure, you can pray a little bit, but pray for 15 minutes, 30 minutes, even an hour? The first thing that comes to mind is to simply say, “I can’t do that.” If you don’t believe that you can pray then the chances of you praying regularly by chance falls significantly.
- Your wandering mind. This is another common reason why we say we cannot pray. The worries and responsibilities of our day come rushing to our minds and our focus on God goes away.
- You run out of stuff to say. You said your praises, you quoted a Bible verse, you lifted up every concern you could think of, and it’s been two minutes. What else do you do?
- It doesn’t feel natural. You are right. Disciplined prayer does not come naturally to us. We have to work at it and so we struggle.
- We don’t view prayer as life giving. So many times prayer doesn’t refresh us but frustrates us. We come to prayer with high expectations from the stories we hear from others. Prayer is so wonderful, awesome. I feel so close to God when I pray! When we play the comparison game, we lose heart.
5 Easy Remedies
- God believes you can pray. Why else would Jesus simply instruct the disciples in how to pray? He said, “When you pray, pray like this.” Then he went onto give us the Lord ’s Prayer as the model prayer. When you don’t believe in yourself realize God believes in you.
- The wandering mind has been a common battle since prayer began. I struggled with it until I realized that all those concerns that I was trying to be rid of when I prayed were actually issues God wanted to be involved in anyway. Therefore, if an issue comes up in my mind I just take it to him right away. Yes, God is even interested in trivial things like grocery lists and dentist appointments.
- I used to think I had to talk to pray, and then I took on the discipline of silence and just saying, “God, here I am.” I quit putting the pressure on to perform for God in my prayers, to have something to say, and in the process I learned God has a lot to say to me.
- No, prayer is not natural in the sense that we talk to an invisible God and expect him to talk back. If we didn’t believe in prayer then religious people everywhere would look like wackos. It isn’t natural, but you know what, learning how to play drums didn’t come natural for me either. When you play drums all four limbs have to move independent of each other. To get good at it I have to learn from others and practice- a lot! The same is true in prayer.
- Too often, we want prayer to sound a certain way, or to have a certain experience in prayers. I have come to learn not to come with all these expectations with my prayer life, except to accept any experience God chooses to give me. The cool thing is when I embraced that attitude I found a God who mey my needs every time- and makes me whole-hearted.
Easter makes no sense for those who do not believe in Jesus Christ. You cannot prove scientifically Jesus rose from the dead. No one has ever done it before. When Jesus rose from the dead 100’s of others did so too at a cemeteries nearby. Then, if you are from another religion, the idea of an all-powerful God being hurt, cut, nailed, and dying by human hands is paradoxical.
Yet Paul writes, “If Christ had not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” 1 Corinthians 15:17
There is a lot of talk seeking to reduce Jesus to being a teacher of good works. The insidiousness of this talk is that it is true, Jesus did tell us to be a light of the world and to let our good works give glory to God; but to limit Jesus to that teaching would be unfair to the Biblical account. The resurrection says Jesus is so much more than a good teacher.
The reason the church lives today is because Jesus lives today. The reason you have life in Christ is because Jesus is alive. The reason we do good works is because we have a living Savior that has done a good work in us!
Easter makes all the difference
March 2015 Report Card
Malcolm shared with us 5 criteria CFR likes to be in healthy shape before going into a fundraising campaign. We need these statistics to be strong order to go into the campaign. Here is where we stand as of the end of March 2015.
- 30% of budget to be towards ministry.
- Status: Unchanged
- 84% of our 2015 budget goes to administrative costs (rent, insurance, land payment, salaries)
- 16% is dedicated to ministry
- Unless we revise the 2015 budget this number is set for the remainder of the year.
- The long term debt ratio is at $3-5000 per attendee.
- We averaged 122 people for the month of January.
- If you take $2,000,000 and divide it by 122 you get $16,393 per attendee.
- Meeting the budget or surpassing the budget in giving.
- Our Monthly Budget need is: 17,333.33 (208,000 divided by 12)
- February Giving: $19021
- March Giving: $18132
- April Giving: $14696 (Close to ½ of this number was given online)
- May Giving: $13616
- June Giving: 18,223 (6028 was given online)
- July Giving: $10.906 (Online: 4870)
- August Giving: 20,372
- September Giving: 18914
- October Giving: n/a
- November Giving: 15984
- December: n/a
- January 2015: 19,350
- Our Monthly Budget need is: 17,333.33 (208,000 divided by 12)
- February 2015: 15,775
- Trending upward in attendance.
- Avg Att January: 114
- Avg Att February: 113
- Avg Att March: 124
- Avg Att for April: 133 (196 for Easter)
- Avg Attendance for May: 111 (88 in 2013)
- Avg for June: 113 (100 in 2013)
- Avg for July: 104 (97 in 2013)
- Avg for August: 104 (97 in 2013)
- Avg for September: 112 (99 in 2013)
- Avg for October: 104 (106 in 2013)
- Avg for November: 97 (100 in 2013)
- Avg for December: 112 (120 in 2013)
- Avg for January 2015: 119 .
- Avg for February 2015: 122
- Debt to Loan Ratio
- We owe approximately $54,000 on the land and the land was independently assessed at $340,000 giving us an equity of $286,000 . So this number is strong.
- We can use the equity in the land as a down payment on the building.
We all go through tough times and sometimes those times seem senseless, purposeless, and random. Paul, the great missionary int he New Testament, went through hard times too.In the introductory remarks of 2 Corinthians Paul talks about the tough times he has gone through and how he learned God uses those tough times. He learned there is a purpose behind the pain, common sense in the senselessness, and a plan for a better future in the uncertainty.
First, Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:4 that we go through tough times so that we might comfort others. He writes, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in trouble.” In other words, don’t waste your pain. So many times the shame and disappointment we experience with our trouble causes us to hide while at the same time we want to help. God says go ahead and get it out and share. Help someone else. Don’t waste your pain in loneliness. The best way you can help someone is be open about your struggles and share how Jesus helped you through it.
Secondly, Paul writes he learned tough times produce in us a patient endurance (v. 6). God has a huge overarching plan for the entire universe and you have a vital role in that plan. When we go through troubling times it teaches us patience to wait on God’s plan coming together perfectly.
Then in verse 9 Paul writes, “This happened that we might not rely on ourselves, but on God who raises the dead.” So many times we have our plans that we want to do and all we want is God to help us with our plans. So many times our plans are “help me” and not getting in touch with God’s power and will for our lives.. When we go through a time that is beyond our control it teaches us follow God’s plan, to wait on his work to be done, and to depend on him. Paul points out that God has greater control anyway. Through Christ, he conquered death!
- When life gives you no deal / Death <Grid>
- What do you do with that emotion?
BODY 2 Corinthians 1:3-9
- God addresses this issue <>
- Paul / Background on passage / Not logical sequence / Something deeper
- 3 Reasons not to waste your circumstance
- So you can comfort others. v. 4
- To produce in you patient endurance, v. 6
- To teach you to rely on God, and not on yourself, v. 9
- 2 CR 1:3
- Compassion = feels with you
- Comfort = comes alongside you
- 2 Cr 1:4a
- God’s character > comfort
- <bumper sticker>
- Paul experienced this deeply
- Where do we gain our comfort in God?
- God’s character > comfort
- 2 CR1:5**
- Paul identifies his story with Jesus’ story <>
- God knows suffering
- God knows what it’s like to be locked in a circumstance
- My suffering has a divine purpose just as Christ’s did
- God delivered Jesus so he would deliver Paul
- Our comfort abounds “in Christ”
- For Paul, Jesus’ suffering was more than an act done on behalf for him. He took it personally.
- 2 CR 1:8-9 (Paul’s example)
- This is not abstract theology. I experience God’s comfort.
- ILL: CH 11, 40 lashes, lost at sea, <>
- Paul didn’t see any way out. <>
- What kept Paul going (Comfort in Christ)
- Just as God delivered Jesus so God would deliver Paul. He took the cross personally.
- In Christ we have set our hope that God will deliver us.
- God’s grace is bigger then your circumstance. Why? Jesus conquered death. And he can conquer yours too!
- Do you take the death and resurrection of Jesus personally? <>
- This is huge <>
- What do you do when you cannot change your circumstance? Dreams? Can’t figure it out? Emotions unbearable? Where do you find hope? You can’t cope without hope.
- What do you reach out to? Bottle? Well? Relationship?
- Sometimes we can think God left me, God failed me, etc..
- Paul says I had this experience, this shift in my thinking, that God is the God all comfort.
- When I was beaten, lost, rejected, criticized, I found the cross, personally.
- The story of the cross is my story. God will deliver me!
- You see in Paul carry the cross personally. He wanted to know Christ and his sufferings and somehow resurrect from the dead.
- People come and I ask, “Why are you here?” (hurt, hang onto, etc)
- You have someone to hang onto because God’s son hung on a cross for you.
- God is greater than your circumstance. He is the God of all comfort. Take the cross personally.