Tuesday, July 24, 2007

More "traditional" Forms of Evangelism???

I must say, when I saw this article, I laughed at first, and then I will filled with sadness. Below you will find a excerpt from "Baptist Press News" from July 19, 2007.

LISBON, Portugal (BP)--What do missionaries do when serving in a
self-reliant urban location where the residents have little patience for gospel
tracts, EvangeCubes and other traditional forms of evangelism?

They find the nearest café, order espresso and a pastry, and spend time
getting to know one of the locals. Ideally, the small talk turns to spiritual
matters and presents an opportunity to share a personal testimony or even the
plan of salvation. But perhaps the conversation simply opens the door to a
deeper friendship, growing trust and future occasions to share the Word of
A team of 14 LifeWay Christian Resources employees received a crash
course in this type of relational evangelism during a LifeWay-sponsored mission
trip to Lisbon, Portugal in June.
"It isn't traditional evangelism -- it's
just life," said Scott George, team leader for the International Mission Board's
Young Lisbon ministry and contact for the LifeWay team. "Our bread and butter is
the relationship and reaching the people that the church doesn't
Lisbonites, he added, take part in an average of 68 positive
spiritual conversations before they come to a relationship with Christ.

Now...I could just stop here because you probably already see the problem with this. What in the world are people talking about when they say that "gospel tracts" and "evangecubes" are "TRADITIONAL" forms of evangelism and that intelligent, relational conversation and commitment are somehow a new concept in reaching the loss.

Brothers and Sisters we are in a sad state. We have generations of people who don't even have a clue of what real evangelism is. What is worse, I am finding groups of people who consider themselves "conservative" and they are attacking people that are advocating for relational Biblical-approached evangelism.

I pray that there might be an explosion of real mission efforts that seek to take the Christ of the Scriptures to the hard places and proclaim him and not just an image on an "evangecube." May we be those who proclaim the whole counsel of God and proclaim a salvation due to the finished work of Christ!

Not familiar with an evangecube...here's the scoop from lifewaystores.com (I've included the picture above.)
Clip it on your belt, fasten it to your backpack, or carry it as a keychain! The
EvangeCube keychain is a unique way to present the Gospel of Jesus to anyone!

What are your thoughts? Evangecube...traditional form of evangelism? More to come...

Monday, July 16, 2007

The First Place

In a recent discussion with someone regarding church music, hymns, etc., I was reflecting on some of the good old hymns that we have been singing for quite some time now.

I find that there are some camps that are wanting to "throw away" the hymns and go with all new music and on the other hand there are those that absolutely refuse to recognize anything beyond the Baptist Hymnal or for some of the older folks out there, the Broadman hymnal. Even among these camps, I still find that there are those that will only recognize the 1956 version of the Baptist Hymnal, some the 1975, and then now...the 1995 update...etc.

There are many songs in all of these hymnals that need to be thrown out the window and we should repent that we would ever associate with such nonsense in the words. However, let me say...from someone who is still considered "younger" by most of my contemporaries...I will never forget or "throw away" some of the great hymns of old. (I'll explain more later.) On the other side, I joyfully embrace some of the new music that is being written today. Many of these new hymns and songs are written with greater doctrinal accuracy than hymns out of the hymn book.

Why will I not forget or "throw away" some of the hymns of old? When I reflect upon things that are lovely, right, and just, I think about some of the memories that are associated with some of these songs. For instance, I remember singing some of these songs at the testimony of conversion in people's lives. I remember singing some of these songs at a celebration service reflecting on the life of a recently past saint, etc. Not to mention that I will not throw away those songs which are sound theologically and make much of our Lord. (I could go on and on with this).

All of that said, I would like to introduce to you a song...it is a few years old, but I recently sang it at a Pastor's conference. I love this song because it goes right along with the title of the blog, but...more importantly because it focuses on the Preeminence of Christ above all things. I pray that you all might be blessed by reading the lyrics of this song.

The First Place

Jesus, the perfect picture of the unseen God
Maker of things we cannot comprehend.
Wisdom, the earth displays Your strength and beauty.
Sovereign, yes, every throne knows You are God.

Every inch of this universe belongs to You, O Christ.
For through You and for You it was made.
Your creation endures by the order of Your hand.
So You must have in all things the first place.

Victor, over sin and death You triumphed.
Firstborn, You've shown us life beyond the grave.
Bridegroom, we long for You in expectation.
Jesus, Your church rejoices to proclaim.
© 1999 Matthew Westerholm

In all things...Christ Preeminent!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Praise the Lord!!!

Praise the Lord!!!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart;I will recount all of your
wonderful deeds.2 I will be glad and exult in you;I will sing praise to
your name, O Most High. Psalm 9:1-2 ESV

I received some great news today regarding my father. First, I would like to thank you all for praying for all of us over the past several weeks. It is evident that the Lord works mightily through the prayers of His people!

My mother called today to let me know that the follow-up MRI shows no tumor!!! Praise the Lord! The doctor stated that my dad has a condition where an artery is pushing down on a nerve and this is causing the symptoms that he has been experiencing. Therefore, the doctor believes that all treatment can be completed in Cape Girardeau, Missouri (the city where my parents work). He also believes that it is quite possible for the problem to be treated with medication!

I do thank the Lord also for the conversation that I was able to have with my father while he and mom were visiting us in the hospital. We were able to talk about the majesty and holiness of God. This lead in to a great discussion of God's plan and purpose for suffering and our command to trust in, and exult in the Lord our God. I have never had a discussion quite like this with him. I am so thankful for the Lord opening the door for this!

Praise the Lord!!

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.

I am working on some posts on hymns, worship, and a few other things...but I can't get to them right now...but check back soon!

Aaron, Rachel, and Olivia

Coming Home on Monday!!!

I want to personally thank everyone for their prayer and support for all of us during Rachel's pregnancy. Thank you all for the gifts, visits, and time spent at the hospital. Praise the Lord...Rachel and Olivia get to come home from the hospital tomorrow!!!

Please continue to remember my father Jim in prayer. He is going to the neurologist tomorrow to find the results of his MRI from Friday. The plan is that he will be coming to Washing University Hospital for an extremely rare surgery on the back of his skull. This surgery is very risky and is going to difficult.

In Christ,


Friday, July 6, 2007

Rachel v2.0

This is Michael. Just got another update from Aaron about Rachel and Olivia, and everything's still going very well.

Aaron is still a little bit in shock, so I don't think the gravity has hit him yet ;)

There was a C-Section done because of complications which was fine. Also, a tumor was found which was easily removed. The doctor said that he's never seen a tumor of this kind that turned out to be cancerous but it's being sent to be biopsied anyway.

Olivia was 18 inches long, weighing in at 8 lbs. 9 oz. Everybody gets to leave on Monday and Rachel will be unhooked from a lot of the equipment she's on and be allowed to get on her feet sometime around noon.

All your prayers are appreciated through this. Thank you so much for all your support!

Take care,

Freshly Prepared!

Sorry for the lack of update but there was no internet where I was at.

I got the call that Olivia was born around 9:30 pm, weighing in at 8 lbs. 9 oz. Praise the Lord!
Rachel and Olivia are just beautiful. Thank you all for praying. We are all just fine. Michael is going to help keep everyone up to date.

Thursday, July 5, 2007


Rachel's blood pressure is a little low. Please pray that she gets back to normal. Also, pray that the family and friends there are calmed and know that things are in good hands, and also in the hands of the Lord.

New Arrival

Hi folks, this is Michael. Aaron asked me to keep everybody updated on the birth of his baby girl, Olivia, since he's at the hospital.

Everything's going perfectly. Rachel was given the epidural at around noon today and was pretty loopy when I saw her. Fortunately, the medicine is limiting the pain with contractions.

Otherwise, I'm still in the dark. I'll post pictures as soon as I receive some.

Take care,
Rachel's water just broke. Doctor still thinks Olivia will be here this evening. I'll send pics. Love you all!
Well. The doctors think that the baby is coming later Thursday afternoon/evening. I'll keep everyone posted. Thank you for your prayer!

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Baby is coming!!!

Tonight we go to the hospital! We are really excited...but nervous...all at the same time. The hospital is going to call us when they are ready for us to come. When the baby arrives, we will post pictures here for all to see!!! (Thank you Terry for your help with this!!)

Please be in prayer for my father, Jim...well and also for my mother Linda. The doctor's have located a tumor in the back of his skull. Right now we do not know if it is cancerous. He is scheduled for an MRI in Cape Girardeau early Friday. He is going to be transfered next week to St. Louis to have surgery.

Please also continue to pray for Rick. The doctors are continuing to run tests, but as of this moment, they are not exactly certain what type of infection he has. At first the hospital thought he would be released today, but this is not likely.

Finally, please be in prayer for the meeting today with the Spanish Language mission.

Love in Christ,

Aaron and Rachel

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Prayer Requests for Today

There are many things going on at this time...and I would like to fill everyone in so that you all may be in prayer.

First...please be in prayer for Rick. Since returning from Mexico he has been sick and has been in the hospital. Now, don't freak out because he is doing better and the doctor's believe that he contracted something viral from a mosquito while in Texas.

Second, please remember my father in prayer. For over a year now he has been having problems with his jaw. The doctors have been treating him for TMJ and this is not helping. After a visit with the specialist today he has an MRI scheduled for Friday morning and pending transfer to Washington University Medical Center in St. Louis. (He is facing potential surgery on his jawbone)

Rachel and I will be going in to the hospital tomorrow evening. If she does not go in to labor tomorrow evening then the doctor will induce her on Thursday morning. We are so excited! I cannot even begin to tell you all how we are feeling over this! Praise the Lord!

Please be in prayer for the Spanish Language ministry at Rockport. We have a brother from Honduras, his name is Manuel, and he is going to be assisting Daniel and I in the ministry here. He is searching for a permanent position as a Pastor somewhere in the United States. We are praying that perhaps he might be able to connect with a congregation in need of someone. Also pray because we need some people to help show him around the St. Louis area and take him to some Hispanic populated areas where he might make contacts for us.

Regarding our mission trip to Mexico I have several thoughts. Pray for those of us who sense an obligation now to the ministry there. Pray for the leaders and the students of To Every Tribe Ministries. Members from two congregations are really praying and seeking the Lord on how we might minister effectively and provide the necessary support to Centenario until a permanent missionary team can be placed there! To God be the Glory! (There is more to come on this issue.)

Finally, I would like to encourage you to read Bob Schembre's blog entry regarding worship. This is my dear brother in the faith. He and his precious wife have been such a blessing. His exposition on the scriptures will profit your soul. Brother, thank you so much for your years of service to the ministry of our Lord!

Que Dios Les Bendiga,


Monday, July 2, 2007

Update on Spanish-Language Ministry

For those who have been waiting for an update regarding the Spanish language ministry...here we go!!!

Please be in prayer for Pastor Manuel. He is coming to us today from Memphis, TN and has been working with Baptist Churches there. He is from Honduras and will be spending the next 6-7 weeks working with us at Rockport, with Paul Garcia, and hopefully also with Daniel Hernandez. What a blessing! We are receiving financial assistance from Jefferson Baptist Association as well as the Missouri Baptist Convention to help pay him while he is here! He will be residing with Kurt and Cindy Boehm.

We had another service yesterday morning at 8:00am. This is going to be our main focus throughout the time that Manuel is with us. Things are working well having me preach and Daniel to translate. However, I most likely will not be able to make it this week due to the fact that the baby will be coming this weekend! (Praise the Lord!!!)

I am very thankful that Scott mentioned the invitation for others to attend the service at 8:00am. If you are learning Spanish or already know Spanish, we invite you to join us in support of this ministry to the Hispanic community.