Thursday, May 10, 2018

THURSDAY'S THOUGHTS

HEAT...
IT IS ALREADY HERE

The days over 100 have already begun. The reports tell us it was 110 F on Wednesday. Friends, it is not even the middle of May yet. To complain is useless, for who do you complain too? No one forced the Expats to move here, we did it by our own free will. Now, I am not saying we have to like it but our choice in this reality is... our choice.

Dubai has a solution... [1] air-condition everything that can be air-conditioned. If you can add water to something to make that something cooler - add the water. [2] Travel to another part of the world to escape. Many do this and it is seen in the drop in traffic on the streets... in the malls... at church. Those who chose to stay know well that stepping outside from your home or office to your car or train is a sweltering event.

Here are some cool spots you can take advantage of...
  • Malls - They will be air-conditioned
  • Diners - They will be air-conditioned
  • Bus stops - They will be air-conditioned
  • EBCI meeting at DECC on Saturdays - we will have it air-conditioned.
    • We meet at 9 for Bible Study and then hold worship at 10. 
    • All of it is air-conditioned.
So whatever you find yourself doing this summer - find a cool spot and enjoy the fact that you are not out in the heat. Join us on Saturday mornings so we can worship[ Jesus together... in the air-conditioning.
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GET YOUR INVITATION TO SHARE

On Saturday you will be able to collect 2 copies of an invitation for you to give to those persons you will be inviting to join you on May 26. Once you collect yours and before you give it to those you will be inviting, write your contact information on the back of the card in case the person you give it to wants to seek information about FRIEND DAY, EBCI or anything else.

Begin praying daily for this special day at EBCI. Pray for those being invited and those who will join us in the worship of Jesus. Pray for your Bible Study teacher (Gunawan) for that day. He will be teaching from Acts 8 on the "Spirit Empowered Evangelist". Pray for your Pastor as he prepares for the message on "Even IF", taken from Daniel.
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to him, “King Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to defend ourselves before you in this matter. 17 If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and he will deliver us[c] from Your Majesty’s hand. 18 But EVEN IF He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up.  --- DANIEL 3:16-18
This will be a message for the church (EBCI specifically) and for the lost (those who God brings into the Hall that day). 

If any of my friends outside the UAE want to join us for this great event, get your airline tickets now and join us. Let me know (I am serious)... I will do all I can to get you free housing, if not with Pamela and I, then in the homes of the some of the greatest Christian families, outside the USA.

You can get round trip airfare on Emirates (the best way to fly to Dubai) for as low as USD $1208.00 per person. This is from Dulles to Dubai - direct flight (about 13.5 hours), in one of the best airlines around. That rate was pulled off of Emirates website at 1:45 pm UAE time on May 9. Be brave... accept my invitation... let me know you are coming so I can arrange a place for you to stay if more than one family takes the challenge.
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SCOTSDALE BAPTIST
EL PASO, TX

When God called us away from the church we had been serving in western PA, He relocated us where the opportunity... with the potential to expand and see a church become very multi-cultural was just a few wise decisions away. This church was sitting in a city and community where 70% or more of the people were of Mexican heritage. A city and community where English was for many the second language or not the language at all. It was at this church where the joy of interacting and loving on people who were not white filled a void God was wanting to be filled so He could continue to prepare me for the ministry I now am involved and in love with.

These were good people and many of those we worked with were hungry for more. I give a shout out to Bill Coon (future Mayor maybe). I love you man. If you read this, I know you know. 

Lots of good things can be said but let me mention one. The pulpit committee shared with me that there was one thing, among many, that they wanted the new pastor to do. I am able to say... what they asked for was done. I must also say this... the call to evangelize and reach the lost was what God used to accomplish what they asked to happen.

One more ministry stop before we shift to Dubai. Don't miss the next installment of Jon's Ministry Journey. A time spent in NASCAR country.
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RESPECTING THOSE AROUND US

Living in a Muslim country has allowed me to experience things close up that many of my fellow Americans have not. Ramadan is one of those things. For me, getting ready to enter my 4th Ramadan since moving to the UAE, I think I know how to do things so not to disrespect those who allow me to live among them. I do not know all the rules and/or traditions of Ramadan but I know enough to not embarrass myself or to not get arrested. The main thing is to not do anything in public that would cause a Muslim to stumble or do something to break Ramadan. This simply means do not eat in a public place. Do not drink in a public place. This means in your car as you are driving also. Do not even chew gum in public. Things like this may seem silly to those who have no clue to the importance of Ramadan to Muslims.

As a guest in this country who wants to be salt and light, I must show respect to those who hold a different faith than the Christian faith. If I ever want to gain an opportunity to share my faith, I need to love these people as they are and build bridges for conversations around the gospel. Treating these wonderful people and/or their faith with disrespect will shut doors and burn bridges. I refuse to do that intentionally.

As the Muslim community here in Dubai begin at sundown this coming Tuesday for their 30 day fast and prayers, pray for me and all the other believers here who do all we can to love these people to see the Jesus in us and open doors for conversations that lead others to come to know the Christ I know.
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IT DOES NOT MAKE A SOUND


I mentioned recently to Paul R that had gotten something that I believe will help us on Saturdays. I did not tell him what it was. I forgot he was traveling to the US for 2 graduations (2 of his kids), so I am breaking the news here on my blog and letter to the church. EBCI has a new toy. I know that most of you have no clue what that thing in the picture is but I do and I know exactly how it can be used to help make our worship experience better It is not electric, nor does it have speakers. Those who will benefit from it first are those who have to walk on and off the stage, making sure they do not trip on a wire or kick one and have it disconnect and squeal... pop... sound like it is exploding... This cool toy (or better, tool) will turn a complicated mess into a workable mess. Over the next few Saturdays, we will be testing the different spots to see what is the best location to place it to be used most efficiently and productively. Pray that it works better than the mind of your Pastor thinks it will.-----

Friday is the day we once met together
Now it seems we are in the land of Nether
Not a place we consider wrong or bad
Yet, it is a place where I feel like a nomad

Tomorrow's Friday is filled from sun up to sun down
Several speaking engagements in and  around town
With a Bible in my hand, I will set out to complete
The duties of the day for which I am upbeat

From a study in Jeremiah to the Gospel, I will share
That there is a God who loves them who died their sins to bare.
Who knows... this simple seed thrower might hit some good soil
And as to the schemes of Satan, may his ploys and plans foil
- jle









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