The Holy Spirit's Role in Evangelism

The is a lot of talk in modern evangelical churches about the Holy Spirit and not all of it is helpful. It is not uncommon for people to talk or sing things like, "Let the fire of Holy Spirit fall on us" or "Come Holy Spirit, revive us again" or other similar things. I was in a church meeting the other day, and the pastor had written (in Thai) on a handout, "This is the age of the Holy Spirit. We all are living in this age. The Spirit is ready to move in the lives of Christians if only we give the Spirit the opportunity to work in our lives."

I want to ask, what exactly does it mean for the Holy Spirit to move in people's lives? What does it look like to have the fire of the Holy Spirit fall on someone? And isn't it our Sovereign God who takes the initiative in our sanctification, changing our hearts to respond and be transformed? Is the Holy Spirit really sitting around, wringing his hands, waiting for us to ask Him to fall on us? I am hard pressed to find any Biblical reference to needing to call the Holy Spirit to fall on us again and again or to light us (or the land) on fire, as it were. Sure, it happened at Pentecost but that was a rather unique event that was initiated by God, not the apostles. From that point in history, believers are henceforth indwelt with the Holy Spirit from conversion onwards (Eph. 1:13-14).


Coming Back to Phra Baht

It has been really good to finally arrive back in Phra Baht after four months in the States. We got in on Saturday evening and found our house in fine condition, with a very green yard due to all the rain during the past few months. Two of our banana trees had big big bunches on them, still quite green. Pastor Jarun and his wife had been taking care of the place while we had been gone. We are thankful for their help and are glad that they have been able to take advantage of our house while we have been away.

Aside from the surroundings, we really enjoyed seeing folks at church on Sunday morning and beginning to catch up with what has been going on in their lives while we have been away. One fellow may move to another province soon, one woman has changed jobs because her employer wouldn't allow her to go to church on Sunday. Sun chatted with two elderly ladies who may be interested in helping us with evangelism. Sun and I are both feeling rather strong these days and eager to get out there and share the Gospel - both on an individual basis and in more direct evangelism - tracting and open air evangelism. On Sunday evening, we got to chat with our neighbors who had gathered across the street from our house in the community area for our neighborhood. A few months ago, the neighborhood committee put in some

Bangkok Protests Turn Violent

Anti government protests are heating up in Bangkok, which is not good news for the nation. Our family is not anywhere in the vicinity but recent news is a cause for alarm and a reason to pray for the nation, not only the government but the people in general. It is an historical fact that God often uses times of unrest and instability to change people's hearts to trust in the only One who can bring true rest and stability. This world is twisted and evil but God is the one who can give people hope as they look forward to perfection and peace in the kingdom of heaven.

I include below links to two articles - one from the Bangkok Post as it has more details and pictures of recent events and one from Reuters as it gives a better birds-eye view of what's happening for the reader outside of Thailand.

Bangkok Post - PAD Mass Protest Special Coverage
Reuters - Thai Protesters Seek Revenge After Clashes

The Buddha's Footprint

After four months in the United States, we have finally arrived back in Thailand again. On our taxi ride from the Bangkok airport, I chatted with our Thai driver and caught up on the local weather and politics (apparently there is a new prime minister and I did not know it). Our driver asked what we were doing in Thailand and where we lived so I had an opportunity to ask him about the Temple of the Buddha’s Footprint, the focal point of the town that we call home here in Thailand. Something I have never understood about the shrine to the Buddha’s footprint at this temple is why the footprint is about four feet long. Surely people couldn’t believe that the Buddha’s foot was four feet long, could they? If his foot was that big, then certainly the rest of him must have been of gigantic proportions. The only other time I had asked Thai people about it, they had replied that you need to have faith. I am a man of faith and I believe many things that seem incredible but faith must also have some reason to it as well. If the man that is historically identified as the Buddha was of normal proportions, then certainly

Thailand Ministry Photos

Enjoy this slideshow of photos from our life and ministry in Thailand. We will wrap up our time in the States this month and fly back to Thailand on Sept. 30th. To those of you who are praying for us and for the Thai people - Thank you.

 

 

More Political Upheaval in Bangkok

It seems like big news always happens when I am out of the country. Tsunami. Coup. And now this. It remains to be seen how big this will become but large scale protests that threaten to shut down a part of Bangkok's infrastructure seem big enough to me. I am including below the link to the article in the New York Times.

This news doesn't change our plans to go back to Thailand, however. We are currently wrapping up our time in the States and will depart for Thailand on September 30th.


Published: September 3, 2008
Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej called on the military to stop a battle between supporters and opponents.

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