Archive for July, 2009

The Month of May, and the times in the Field

Posted in South Africa Stint, Sports world with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2009 by rylanreed

During my time here in South Africa, I have been fortunate enough to experience some of the sports that are so prevalent in these parts.  The sports aren’t as good as in the States, but it was fun to be able to witness the other side of sports.  Myself and James went to a rugby game in late April with one of the student leaders at UP. I started to somewhat understand the rules of the game and enjoyed the time spent with the guys.  “Our” team also won, which was fun to watch. 

In May, I was able to go to a cricket game in the IPL, which is the Indian Premier League.  This was a big deal, having the IPL playing on South African sole because it’s usually just played in India and some of the South African players were on some of the teams.  I would describe that league as just an all-star grouping of games, where it’s all about the showmanship and entertainment than playing safe ball.  The cool part about the game was one of the bowlers, or what we call pitchers, threw the ball side-armed instead of full circle overhead. (If you want to know what that looks like you can send me an email and I will send ya a link.) He is the only one that I know of that does that throw and it usually looks like he is or should be pitching in the major leagues. 

I also had the chance to take three students with me to the semi-final game for the Super 14 championships.  Great game, “we won”, and a great time spent with the guys and seeing how they reacted outside of their Christian little bubbles.  We talked as we walked about their lives and how they were trying to live their lives out for Christ. 

Good guys, good game, good times. 

Quick note: South Africa and Pretoria is a meca right now for Rugby.  Super 14 Champions Blue Bulls (Pretoria) — May 16th beat rival Sharks, May 23 beat Crusaders in Semi’s, May 30 beat Chiefs in Final. — The Springbok (SA’s country team) beat the British and Irish Lions three out of the four games and the Springboks are leading in the Tri-nations Championship tournament.

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what we’re giving

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 31, 2009 by rylanreed

Are we always trying to give our best, or are we just doing enough for us to look good enough to be a so called “follower of Christ”?  I know, for me personally, I don’t always give everything to Christ and live for Him fully each day.  We should also know that we are sinners and won’t be perfect, but its the desires of the heart that truly matters to God.  “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.” Matthew 22:37&38

I recieved this message from a friend here in South Africa, who is trying to reach out to those that have become outcasts to society.  This is the message that he challenged those in the group, Torch Bearers,  to think about, and I think it is good for us to think about it too…

Is this all you can give?

“Is this your salvation? Is this all you can give?”

These powerful lyrics by As I Lay Dying are a powerful challenge to us all. Meditate and pray on it.

“Open our eyes, to see the things that make Your heart cry, to be the church that You would desire. Your light to be seen.” -Hillsong

Matthew 4:20 They immediately left their nets and followed Him.

Wow, do we have the courage to do the same? It’s simple, but not easy, but trust that He will give the strength and ability to do it. we just need to choose.

André Baladi

good or bad

Posted in books, Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2009 by rylanreed

Have you ever wondered what your words do to those around you? Most of us have heard the phrase, “think before you speak”, but do we really follow that over an average period of time?  I would have to say, no, because of the fact that most of us are selfish sinners and don’t worry about the effects that our words or the tone in which the words were said will effect the person that those words were directed at.  Why should we care about words anyways, correct? They are only something that other people can hear, thoughts that come out of people’s mouths. 

Well, it’s so much more than that because words and speaking is the number one tool that we as humans communicate with one another and those words determine how someone perceives themselves and how they determine what you think of them.  As Christians, we are suppose to build one another up in what we say and how we live our lives.

“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”  Ephesians 4:29

I am not saying that everything has to be a flowers and candy, there can be judgment to help those that need to turn their lives back to Christ.   But the words that we say and the way that we say them, has a lasting effect on the people who are receiving those words.

“Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit — you choose.” Prov. 18:21

This verse speaks of the destruction or the life renewing aspect of the words that we choose.  And that is the operative word, our choosing, because we are the one’s that know exactly why we use different words and what those words mean in that certain situation.  We are sinners, so we will make mistakes and we won’t be able to do it on our own, we need God’s help.  Hopefully as you and I are living our lives to glorify God, our goal should be to ask for His help in those situations and follow what the Bible says we should do towards others.

I found this excerpt on the back of Paul Tripp’s book War of Words, by Steve Brown and thought it was really good.  Think about it:

“Few of us really think about the power, the blessing, the gift, the effect, and the danger of our words.” Steve Brown

Last two weeks of April

Posted in South Africa Stint with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2009 by rylanreed

I thought that I was going to be working most of the time here in South Africa, but I was strongly mistaken because of all the holidays they seem to take off the cuff.  I was totally fine with the circumstances, but it did give a bit of a problem in deciding exactly what to do for that time.  Election day was on the second to last Wednesday and good ole Zuma became the president for South Africa, (without any rioting or bad blood, thank God).  The next week flew by with little notice because of the holiday on Monday and the holiday on Friday (I should try and remember all of these holidays, but its too many and overloading my brain capacity).  Tuesday was also a day not on campus, but was used wisely in Crusade’s yearly day of prayer.  We prayed for the Continent as a whole, we prayed for individual countries in North Africa and for countries in Central Africa and then we prayed for Countries around and close to our border.  We prayed for our country, the leaders and president, and those that held high positions in the country.  We then prayed for each group of Crusade workers around the country, from Cape Town, to Johannesburg, to Pretoria, and Durban.  We prayed for the world cup and all who were coming as stinters and others to help for that great event.  It was a lot of praying, but it was a good time to have by all.

Heaven, and why its important to get it correct – 1

Posted in following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 13, 2009 by rylanreed

This is a message that I got from a friend, and its the answers of T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen on heaven, crazy…

T.D. Jakes and Joel Osteen – On Heaven

**UPDATED January 25, 2008 – See Below!**

Fellow blogger Robert Hunter recently reported on his site, Heresy Hunter, the sad “performance” of Dallas Pastor T.D. Jakes who had the following to say in a May 2 National Public Radio show, answering a Muslim woman’s question about heaven:

CALLER: I’m a Muslim here in Portland. I’m part of a Shiite community. And we had a wonderful interface dialogue last weekend with a local Unitarian church. And I’d like to ask you please to speak about concrete experiences you’ve had as far as interfaith dialogue goes. And also would like to ask you, do you feel that only Christians could hope to enter Heaven?

JAKES: Very great question. When it comes to interfaith experiences, I’m currently serving by the appointment of former President Bush and President Clinton, as co-chair of an interfaith advisory committee to help people get back up on their feet.

And we do have on the board Muslims, Catholics, a Jewish Rabbi, Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals across the board. And we’re working together very effectively because we all care about common goals. We have our distinct theologies and our own ideologies but there are common grounds that we can work together very effectively in many, many cases.

When it comes to Heaven, I try to leave that up to God. I certainly believe that Christianity is right, but when it comes down to the final test–who goes and who doesn’t go–Jesus said, Other sheep have I who are not of this fold. Them also must I bring. I’ll let Him identify who those sheep are and I stay out of the conversation.

Houston WE HAVE A PROBLEM: Pastor Joel Osteen’s abysmal showing on Larry King Live back in October 2005:

KING: Because we’ve had ministers on who said, your record don’t count. You either believe in Christ or you don’t. If you believe in Christ, you are, you are going to heaven. And if you don’t no matter what you’ve done in your life, you ain’t.

OSTEEN: Yeah, I don’t know. There’s probably a balance between. I believe you have to know Christ. But I think that if you know Christ, if you’re a believer in God, you’re going to have some good works. I think it’s a cop-out to say I’m a Christian but I don’t ever do anything …

KING: What if you’re Jewish or Muslim, you don’t accept Christ at all?

OSTEEN: You know, I’m very careful about saying who would and wouldn’t go to heaven. I don’t know …

KING: If you believe you have to believe in Christ? They’re wrong, aren’t they?

OSTEEN: Well, I don’t know if I believe they’re wrong. I believe here’s what the Bible teaches and from the Christian faith this is what I believe. But I just think that only God will judge a person’s heart. I spent a lot of time in India with my father. I don’t know all about their religion. But I know they love God. And I don’t know. I’ve seen their sincerity. So I don’t know. I know for me, and what the Bible teaches, I want to have a relationship with Jesus.

. . .

CALLER: Hello, Larry. You’re the best, and thank you, Joe — Joel — for your positive messages and your book. I’m wondering, though, why you side-stepped Larry’s earlier question about how we get to heaven? The bible clearly tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and the only way to the father is through him. That’s not really a message of condemnation but of truth.

OSTEEN: Yes, I would agree with her. I believe that…

KING: So then a Jew is not going to heaven?

OSTEEN: No. Here’s my thing, Larry, is I can’t judge somebody’s heart. You know? Only god can look at somebody’s heart, and so — I don’t know. To me, it’s not my business to say, you know, this one is or this one isn’t. I just say, here’s what the bible teaches and I’m going to put my faith in Christ. And I just I think it’s wrong when you go around saying, you’re saying you’re not going, you’re not going, you’re not going, because it’s not exactly my way. I’m just…

KING: But you believe your way.

OSTEEN: I believe my way. I believe my way with all my heart.

KING: But for someone who doesn’t share it is wrong, isn’t he?

OSTEEN: Well, yes. Well, I don’t know if I look at it like that. I would present my way, but I’m just going to let god be the judge of that. I don’t know. I don’t know.

Pastor Osteen, in an apology letter that is no longer on his website (was posted at http://www.joelosteen.com/site/PageServer?pagename=LarryKingLetter) said this of his interview: “God has given me a platform to present the Gospel to a very diverse audience. In my desire not to alienate the people that Jesus came to save, I did not clearly communicate the convictions that I hold so precious.”

Well I DO know, Joel, and the Bible tells me so! And Joel, and T.D., YES, doctrine – Biblical Doctrine – matters!

T. Decipha Morrissette

meeting some good guys

Posted in South Africa Stint with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 7, 2009 by rylanreed

In April, about the third week,  I was able to share with a guy that was already a Christian, or so he says, and get him involved with what Crusade is doing on the campus of Tuks-Pretoria.  Patrick is his name and when I first meet him, I was able to give another one of the guys that I meet with a change to share with Patrick what God has meant in his life which was really exciting to experience.  Patrick is going through confirmation at the Catholic church that he is attending, but wanted to get involved with something on campus.  Muta, who was the guy that came with me to share the gospel to Patrick, was asking me some questions that same week about God sovereignty in the face of natural disasters and other forms of disasters that take human lives.  I had a book that I got for free from the Desiring God conference this past September entitled What is Providence by Derek W. H. Thomas,  which really explains the answers that I was trying to give him.  I really like giving information and tools to others, tools that have helped me out in different situations, and that book gave Muta a new incite to the realities of how Big God is.

The next week as I went onto the Groenkloof campus, I was introduced to a guy through someone else I knew in the res and started talking with him about Christ and being born again.  His passion was evident because he sure loved to argue the specifics of Christianity and the circumstances of those that called themselves Christians.  I won’t get into the specifics of our different conversations, but it was good for me and enjoyable to share my thoughts and sort of argue with him on different subjects and issues of the Christian faith and how we are suppose to live our lives.  His name was also Patrick, and it was fun to come every Monday to the res, not just because of the Bible study that I was leading over there, but to also have stimulating conversations and help build in my own mind how to share my beliefs correctly to different crowds.  That same week, I was able to meet with a guy that was in his last year of college and looking to the future and what he will do in the business world when he graduates.  Bahati is his name, and he is looking to start his own on-line company, I can’t remember the specifics, but he is really yearning to use what he has learned in Christ to share with those around him.  He wanted to start meeting with me to grow more in his faith, but also get some more insight into what he can do with the things that he has after college.

These guys were just some of the men that I was able to get to know the last few weeks of classes, and by God’s will they will continue on next semester and after I leave, because i really don’t matter… God does!

Amazing babies!

Posted in Random, Video with tags , , , , on July 5, 2009 by rylanreed

Great video, couldn’t stop my self from laughing the whole time…