Tuesday in Buffalo
The morning started with a breakfast provided by Gordon-Conwell for us alums and hosted by one of my favorite profs, from whom I learned much, Ken Swetland. The "worship" was again led by people from the church Dayle Keefer serves as senior pastor (on the right below) and his brother Ric (who is an assistant pastor there). A church with many musicians who assist us in the singing.
Here's a picture of us all singing together . .
In the evening, Dr. Jon Kimball, director of CCCC redevelopment and care, spoke about practically and clearheadedly living out the scriptures:
His powerpoint showed one of the central issues of real Christianity, his message based on Matthew 15. The missionary might look at a native culture (that's the eye of the missionary at the top right of the diagram) and see problem behavior (say, many wives) and try to change that behavior, not remembering that the heart remains unchanged, though the behavior might change. The biblical model is to change the heart, the world view, which in turn changes, then the beliefs, then the values, and finally the behavior, creating the kind of change the Bible is talking about.
Jon summarized his message with these powerpoint slides showing the heart work that calls out for the Lord to rule our hearts in repentence and truth:
During our first sabbatical, Deb and I had heard Mark Dever speak at the church he serves, Capitol Baptist in Washington. It is truly unfair to excerpt, as I have, these following short excerpts from his thorough study of Colossians 1:24 and following verses, but these are short and important nuggets and practical reminders, all part of our Bible study Tuesday morning. I look forward with great eagerness for his speaking tomorrow morning (when I'll take a picture for the blog as well).
How do you see the invisible God?
And you thought the Apostle Paul was judgmental!
Evidence that you are a believer.
The significance of the hard work of preaching.
How to find spiritual power (and the ways people try and fail)
Simply extraordinary biblical work and heart searching. I commend you to them, and thank you for your continued prayer. The conference choir is smallish and could use some more people, especially sopranos and altos. AND, it looks like we will be singing, "I Want to Be Like Jesus." Tomorrow, we hope to have dinner with Bob and Jeannie Hall and Burni and Suzi Burnock . . .
His and yours,
Steve and Deb