Santo Domingo One


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Santo Domingo on a rainy day.

 

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This was a monument to the Miraval Sisters, considered heroes in Santo Domingo

 

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Offering box at the Catedral Primada built in the early 1500’s. It’s the oldest cathedral in the Amricas

 

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Pigeons in the park

 

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Jose getting his shoes shined

 

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Street side preacher

 

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Santo Domingo at night time

 

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Paella!

 

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A yummy sculpture

 

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Santo Domingo

 

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Mary talking to our tour guide Miguel at The Catedral Primada

 

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Light in the Catedral Primada coming from the sun

 

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Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist in this stain glass window. Notice that John’s head is upside down because he gets beheaded.

 

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Pirate par excellence, Sir Francis Drake, stole treasures at La Catedral Primada. Wherever he would steal he would leave the mark of the skull.

 

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Pope John Paul

 

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Edict against abortion by John Paul

 

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Monument to the unborn child in protest of the murder of the most innocent through abortion. A genuine holocaust.

 

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Heaven and hell

 

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A fortress from the days of Christopher Colombus

 

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Mary and Lorena

 

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Speaks for itself at the Santo Domingo Hard Rock Cafe

 

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Santo Domingo Hard Rock Cafe

 

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Santo Domingo at dusk

 

Our Kenyan Safari! ( A Picture Album )


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The famed wildibeest

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The Hippo!

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From left to right...Sarah, Timmy, Hannah and Lexy

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The “Master Safari Maker”, Mr. James Karanja

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Our buddy The Laughing Hyena

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The mosque where the bomb that destroyed the USA Embassy in Kenya was constructed.

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God’s mountain, and the highest mountain in Africa, Mt. Kilimanjaro.

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One of the world’s strongest animals, the water buffalo. This dude can even kill a lion.

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Mt. Kili!

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Our hotel

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The kids @ Ernest Hemingway’s African home where he wrote “ The Snows of Kilimanjaro

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The man, the myth, the legend: Maasai man of God , Pastor John, demonstrates what it is to be bit by a lion, since we are on the subject of safari animals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lion bites

Baptizing, Africa Style! ( A Picture Album )


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Mary getting down from the truck at the scene of the baptisms in Maasai Land in Mashuruu, Kenya

 

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Getting ready to baptize in a cattle through

 

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Getting ready to baptize in a cattle through

 

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Getting ready to baptize in a cattle through

 

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Baptizing in massive Lake Victoria, Kenya. A dream come true. Who says that God does not fulfill the desires of our heart?

 

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As it happens frequently; Africans get slained by the Spirit of the Living God as they get baptized. This the Lake Victoria aftermath! Glory

 

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The truck that carried the “baptized to be” in Mashuuru Kenya

 

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A precious Maasai woman ready to be baptized. Twenty years ago the Maasais had not heard the Name of Jesus. Today they are getting saved daily.

 

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As it happens frequently; Africans get slained by the Spirit of the Living God as they get baptized.

 

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As it happens frequently; Africans get slained by the Spirit of the Living God as they get baptized.

 

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Glory Hallelujah for the mighty power of God!

 

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Glory Hallelujah for the mighty power of God!

 

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As it happens frequently; Africans get slained by the Spirit of the Living God as they get baptized.

 

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The ultimate baptism. After preaching for twelve days my wife Mary and friends receive a baptism of rest from the Lord.

 

The Magical Mystery Toilet In the Corn Field Potty Tour.


Ndeda Island is a Kenya landmass of fishermen in Lake Victoria. This huge lake is Africa’s largest.  It is renowned in part for its abundant yield of brown bass and tilapia.

The 10,000 who live in Ndeda Island catch the fish and haul it to coastal towns such as Kisumu where it is sold.

Mary, my wife, and I, were invited in 2007 to host a Bible conference on this bustling island.

Upon our arrival to the shores of the island, most of its children hurriedly gathered  around our boat. For most, they had never seen a white person (mzungu).  We were a novelty, a new toy for them to play with, and for the next five days,  they were glued to us.

I was sadly informed that Ndeda Island did not have a single toilet ( choo) to accommodate its thousands of inhabitants. Their potty was a vast corn field which also served as  food that had been cultivated through human manure.

Mary, is genuine missionary.  Being part of Youth With  Mission in the 80’s, she knows how to rough it, every time and anywhere.

Mary was an evangelist in Amsterdam’s red light district, smuggled Bibles into then communist Russia, and served Bogota’s street kids, los gamines.

I, however, am  a tourist missionary. I love the mission field but do need hot baths, and American toilets if possible. I don’t like eating weird food as well.

I tried to wrap around my brain  the concept of how do 10,000  people go potty  daily in one corn field?

It wasn’t long till I found out.

As we closed upon the tall  vegetation I took my leap of faith and soared “where no man had gone before.”

“Ughhh!”

“Oh My God!”

“Yippers!”

“Oh No, Watch Out!”

What I discovered, I would not wish  on my worst enemy.

This was a mine field of excrement.

Separating one husk, and one tree one from another, I could not find a two by two square feet space that was free from human feces.

Every other stride was met by yet another horribly dirty deed that must be sidestepped.

It was the most ghastly sight ever.

I did my number one and rushed out of the horrid field.

“Oh my God, what will I do when its number two?”

It was unfathomable to think of going back into the corn husks, and this time to squat.  I am a tourist missionary after all!

For Mary, this was not a  problem. That night with flashlight and toilet paper, she nonchalantly skipped back into the trees like Mel Gibson did in “ Signs”.

Ephesians 2: 4  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love wherewith He loved us,

God is rich in mercy! Hallelujah!

Reports came to us that the one choo, the only real toilet in Ndeda Island, would open for its first business day the next morning.  Indeed this was a magical toilet!

All this transpired as we stepped onto the shores of  the island.  Such is the walk of faith, where God splits the Red Sea as you step into it. But, you must step into it!

For every visit to the magical toilet it was three Kenyan shillings, equal to two cents.

We woke early the next morning and proceeded up the hill to the potty with toilet paper in our hands. The entourage of kids caught glimpse of us and quickly assembled behind like ducklings.

What a sight! Two wzungu ( white people) toilet paper in hands, going to the choo, and trailed by twenty kids.

This choo was clean and fresh. We gave the lady who managed it our three shillings and were  grateful to God for the rest of our visit to Ndeda Island.

This magical toilet is the rich man’s potty . Not many have the three shillings to spend  on a choo and continued fancying the corn field potty.

As for me, I gave every member of our evangelistic team 21 shillings so they could relish seven visits to the Magical Mystery Toilet In the Corn Field Potty Tour.

And no, these are not strawberry, but corn fields, forever!

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The Magical Mystery Toilet!

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Our personal entourage

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Coming into Ndeda Island via Lake Victoria

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Ndeda Island

Dancing the Boda Boda In Never Never Land


Never say never, to God!

The things that I’ve said never to are the things I’ve done.

In my twenties I vowed I would never give up my promiscuous playboy life style.

God then kept me as a nine-year celibate till He brought my wife Mary.

Or after leaving Miami, Florida, in the 90’s I vowed never to go back.

I did not like Miami’s lack of seasons, insane Cuban/ Venezuelan drivers, and its mundane “concrete jungle” image.  Now we are back, pastoring.

I said that I would never go to Africa.  Not only have we gone there for seven years, we lived in Africa, and love going back.

So this is another saga in the “never say never” land.

We are not your common missionaries travelling overseas to help with the construction of homes or wells. We are Bible teachers.  In Kenya, for example, we’d spend three weeks on a Bible conference whirlwind tour to three or four locales.

So many preachers go to the big cities, Nairobi, Mombasa, and Nakuru, where the offerings are big.  Few, go to the rural towns where honorariums are corn, eggs and a goat. Or where there are no toilets, running water, or electricity.

But this is where we felt led to go.  Who will teach these precious ones God’s Word?  I’m so glad that God sends us to where few go.

So here we were at Ugunja, Kenya, close to Lake Victoria and Kogelo, Mr. Obama’s Kenyan hometown.

We were staying at Pastor Elias Onduas.

This man of God oversees forty churches in Kenya, and yet lives in Ugunja’s abject poverty. His hut is three miles from greater Ugunja, the site of our Bible conferences.

Every morning we’d eat breakfast, and shower and shave enfolded in nature’s sounds.

With an attaché case full of Greek and Hebrew reference books we’d walk nearly two miles through trees and dusty paths to the highway.  Once there, Elias would flag down the fourteen seater Toyota minivan called a matatu.  If eleven people were on board we could squeeze in, if not, we’d have to wait for the next one to zoom by us.

Sometimes, the larger bus would also swing by. If it was not packed we’d get on.

The only other transport is the infamous bicycle taxis, the Boda Boda’s.

The Boda Boda, is a bicycle with a modified basket or extension suitable for one passenger.

They were commandeered by young, tall, slender Kenyan guys.

On occasions when it seemed that only crammed buses whirred by us, Elias would suggest, “Let’s take the Boda Boda into town.”

I’d smugly reply, anger coursing up my veins, “ There is no way I will take the Boda Boda. I will never get on a Boda Boda.”

I would be a fat American white ( mzungu) preacher, with a bag full of books, long sleeve shirt and tie, riding on the back of a Boda Boda!

Can these skinny guys hoist me up the Ugunjan hills for the next two miles?

What if I fall?

Are the Kenyans going to laugh at me?  “Look at the fat mzungu on the Boda Boda!”

“ No Pastor Elias, I will never take the Boda Boda”, I cynically reassured him.

The next morning back we were on the highway’s edge.  Matatu after matatu crammed with folk like sardines whooshed by us.

“Let’s walk to Ugunja, Pastor Elias”; Anything but the Boda Boda, I thought.

The walk was long and hot. Vehicles whizzed by us kicking rocks and dust in our faces.   At our pace we’d get to the conference late.

“Well, are you going to humble yourself and take the Boda Boda?” the Holy Spirit asked me.

“Alright Pastor Elias”, I blabbered loudly; “Get the Boda Boda!”

After being helped unto the basket, I was astounded at how this skinny Kenyan bicycled me effortlessly up to my hilly destination.

By gosh, it was the most enjoyable trip of my life time!

From then on I’d ride on Boda Bodas when possible.

I  learned to dance the Boda Boda in never never land.

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Mary and Pastor Elias with the boda bodas

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The highway buses that you pray have space for you.

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My beloved Mary, always so full of child like faith, on the boda boda

My Experience With Florida International University Students: Part One


My Experience With Florida International University Students: Part One

Our church, has been privileged to be invited twice by the FIU ( Florida International University) Wesley House to offer a homemade meal specifically for its international students.

All of us who went to college know the phenomena of eating a homemade meal after being subjected to years of cafeteria food.

Part of what Wesley does, and does well, is to give students opportunity to know each other and  discuss matters about God informally over a hot meal.

I  met neat kids from Nepal, India, China, the Caribbean and South America.

Quite honestly, I was a bit tentative when I went to FIU.

Since 2004 I have been heavily involved with the church. Doing mission trips to, and later moving to East Africa, our emphasis was on the church.

Since coming back to the USA to pastor, my focus has continued with the church.

In many ways I’ve lost contact with the unchurched world. I do believe that it’s been all in God’s timing.

The unchurched world of the 90’s is different to the unchurched world of the 2000’s.

The American 90’s were a time of prosperity. There was little “perceived” need for God.  I say “ perceived’, because God is who people need the most.

America was relatively resistant to the gospel. People were busy making money  and segregated along political and social fronts.

With the inception of social media the world has become one huge amalgamated melting pot of interactive ideas, opinions and statements.

The ghettoized lines between, liberals and conservatives, gays and straights, atheists, Christians and Muslims have in many ways been erased.

The extravagances of the 90’s are being replaced by belt-tightening of the 2000’s.

The self-sufficiency of the last decade is being exchanged by the realization that the guarantee of jobs after college, or a thriving capitalist economy is gone.

The integrity of the USA political system is at its lowest ebb. Leaders with godly convictions, and a backbone to support them are an endangered species. It appears that our political system is beyond hope or repair.

Activist judges abound, who issue verdicts along political lines and not with righteous integrity.

The churches’ prosperity teachers, which sadly turned off many, are now the exception.

In the 90’s the liberals spouted off while conservatives held their tongues. Now, no one holds back.

The unchurched are no longer going to church to hear another religious message or an appeal for more money.

The America of today, is much more assimilated along social lines.  In many ways our nation is unknowinlgly coming back to God’s design for people.

I don’t see the hunger for God that I see in Africa. I do see a fresh hunger though, for authenticity, relationships, a need to be heard and accepted, and to be loved for what one is, and not for what one is not.

I see a world that is hungry for fathers and mothers.

I see a world that wants to interact along the line of being  people rather than labels.

I see people who want to belong.

I see a world that is hungry to interact and discuss.

The new generations are shunning divisions and labels. They are also shunning church for the sake of going to  another meeting.

People are looking for authenticity, reality and genuine relationships.

They are looking for true love. Love to me, is the ability to accept the other person while still being true to my convictions in word and deed.

The media tells me that Christianity is dying in the USA, but I believe that they are wrong.

That’s not been my experience at the two Wesley luncheons. Never did I meet disparagement or scorn when talking about God. Nor did I see walls come up  with my remarks about God.

I think that the issue of political correctness has been grossly magnified by our socialist media, when  it’s only relevant to a minority of folks. Our media knows how to take the issues affecting minorities and amplify them to the point  that scares society who in turn adopts them as their prevailing position.

I think that most young people do not wish to be politically correct. They are looking to intelligent discussion and intelligent relationships as they carve out their own destinies.

For us who profess Christ, we must step out of our Christian ghettos and into a world that is seeking authenticity, belonging and honest relationships.

As a Christian, I do not compromise my beliefs, and I express them boldly,  but in love. I don’t think that those around me want me to relinquish,  politicize or sweeten them. People are  attracted to those who are willing to pay the high price to stand by their convictions.

I went to these luncheons with a 90’s mindset to be pleasantly surprised.

The independence and arrogance of last decade has been replaced by the authenticity for honest relationships of this decade.

My daughter who still has doubts about Christianity works in a high end Chuck E Cheese in NYC. Sometimes they  hold events for kids who have cancer or physical defects. She comments to me,  “Daddy, why don’t I see the church doing this kind of stuff instead of just going to another meeting?” I can’t reply, because I know she’s right.

I say to the church in closing; reach out, step out, do the uncomfortable, be interactive, be real, and love unhypocritically  those outside the church. People are people who want to know Christians as people before they know them as Christians.  I believe that you will be pleasantly surprised.

Going Potty in East Africa is a Walk of Faith.


Warning: If you don’t like reading funny but kinda gross bathroom stories, please stop right here!

Going Potty in East Africa is a Walk of Faith.

On of our first mission trips to Kenya in 2004, we were escorted to the pastor’s toilet. Walking outside his flat I came to a little wooden outhouse. I opened the door expecting the luxury of my America toilet. Behold, there was a little ceramic hole carved in a concrete floor. I was shocked. What was I to do?  I had preached and had slacks, a long sleeve shirt and a neck tie.

“Do I really have to squat here? Do I have to aim by faith?”

That event inaugurated my ongoing seven-year love affair with the East African potty endearingly christened in Swahili, the “choo.”

Of my many choo tales, I’d like to share two.

The Maasais are the folks with the big ears, the big earrings, the lion hunters and blood drinkers.

They are also some of the globe’s nicest people and a nation which God is touching poignantly with revival.  Daily, are Maasais being added unto  the Lord.

I was invited to teach a Bible conference in the heart of Maasai land in Simba, Kenya.

I was met by pastors on the highway to Mombasa, Kenya.  After enjoying cold sofdas ( soda baridi) we commenced our track into the Simba bush and to the pastor’s home. My bags were hoisted on bicycles.

The savanna was tall and there were tons and tons of mud ( matope ).

Simba had been experiencing nonstop rains for weeks.

Today, was to be no different. The skies above were menacingly black.

As we went, the heavens split and down came the blinding rains.

No umbrella, no trees to hide beneath, just mud and flowing gullies of water all around.  I was soaked to the bitter bones. All that we could do was  to get more and more drenched.

In ankle deep mud, we lugged and dragged until our arrival to his cow dung hut.

As the rushing rains continued , his wife met us with towels. I went into my tiny bedroom and changed everything including my water logged  handkerchief.

Now this pastor did not have a choo.

His choo was the bush.

Tonight the walk to the potty would be in drenching rain, ankle high mud, and who knows what kind of night critter to bite me as I bent over.

I prayed and made my deal with God.

“Ok Lord, I’m going to ask you a big favor,” I conjured my demands to the Almighty.

“ While I’m in Simba for the next five days, I don’t want to go Number Two. I want you to honor me and until get to my home town of Kitengela and my America toilet, don’t let me go number two. In the Name of Jesus, I bind Number Two from coming out!”

I was done with my prayers and went to sleep in my six by eight foot room.

At three in the morning, I woke up to roar of hammering rains, and an irresistible urge to do Number Two.  I could not believe it!

“God, I told you that I did not want to do number two for the next five days!” I quipped.

The need just got worse and worse. I was angry at God.

“But God, you need to honor my deal!…”

Now I knew that if I did not proceed to the rain and into the mud I would do number two in my room.

Let me teach you some basic Swahili, so that when you guys  go to Kenya on your safari, you will know these words.

Number one is “short col”

Number two is “long col.”

I got my roll of toilet paper and flashlight.

The pastor was sleeping in the other room.

“Pastor, pastor, I have to go to the choo, I have to go long col.”

Dutifully, the pastor rolled the big wooden door aside.

I pointed my flashlight into the gaping night, its beams catching the huge drops of rain.

As I stepped into the mud, the rain stopped. Bang!

From a trouncing down pour to a nothing in sixty seconds flat.

I looked up in disbelief.

“ My God you are so great and so good!”

I went to my bush choo full of confidence and did my long col.

Going potty in East Africa is a walk of faith.

My second and more dramatic choo story occurred in Kisangaji, Tanzania.

Kisangaji, is even more remote than Simba.

The pastor’s cow dung hut was a couple of miles from the township of Simba. Kisangaji, however, is about 10 miles from the nearest town of Mbati.

I was here on a five day Bible conference.

In Kisangaji I did not have a bush choo but the regular rural choo which is a hole in the dirt inside of a tiny structure.

I did not pray what I had prayed in Simba, but my wish was just as strong.

“Lord, until I get back to the pastor’s nice home in Arusha, Tanzania with my American choo, please don’t let me go long col in Kisangaji.”

What made it extra tricky was that our food for five days , was,  ahhh yes, rice and beans. Beans, beans and more beans.

Everything, was so far, so good.  It was Sunday, the fourth day of the conference. I was heading out to Arusha the next morning.

No urges for long col.  Praise Him!

After the Sunday morning service we walked for nearly two miles to a small river in scorching heat.

We were to baptize several converts.

I muttered under my breath as I sweltered with perspiration running down my face.

To my utter amazement, these Tanzanians who had nothing, went on leaping and praising God, drums banging, and voices raised all the way to the river.

Africa, has taught me how ungrateful, spoiled and pampered I can be.

On the journey back, the crisis hit me.

OMG, I got the worse urge to go long col of my whole life.

I had no toilet paper, and there were no trees. It was just rocky grounds spotted with occasional Acacia trees.

“What am I going to do Lord, have mercy on me!”

I was bursting and busting. Panicking, I fold one of my fellow walkers.

I marched like a high-speed soldier, legs tucked in,  frantically doing the penguin shuffle, trying just to make it back to the camp.

I spotted my wonderful Tanzanian hostess Teresia whose house I was lodging in.

“ Teresia” I gasped, “long col!”  She muttered something back to me.

“ L O N G  C OL!”, I articulated.

Little did I know that the Tanzanian Swahili is different to its Kenyan counterpart. She had no idea what I said!

I froze in time, now beyond exploding. Suddenly, another pastor rushed to the scene and spoke to her.

Teresia grabbed my hand and rushed me to my bedroom.

I hysterically dug through my luggage, got the roll of toilet paper and lunged to the outhouse.

Breaking in through the roosters and children I must have looked like an utter fool.

As I pulled my pants down I sprung for the hole, but did not make it.

The diarrhea came out on the floor, all over my pants and my legs.  As a penguin I straddled over the hole and finished my business.

“ Oh, God, how could you allow this to happen to me?”  Squatting over the hole I continued my diatribe with God.

I swear that in the midst of my complaints, God sent an angel who tapped the roll of toilet paper, which I had let on a mud ledge inside the outhouse, with his finger.

As I looked up, the toilet paper fell off the ledge, magically rolled right towards me, in  between my legs, and into the hole!

“ Oh My God!” This was the utter low blow!

I think that I heard God chuckle and say, “ LOL! This is what happens when you complain too much!”

What could I do but put my diarrhea pants back on and proceeded back to the bedroom.

Past the children and the roosters I stumbled once again; I was so embarrassed!

From my door cracked open,  I said. “Teresia, could you please bring me magi ( water) and soap?”

I washed myself down, put the dirty clothes in a bag and proceeded with them to where the pastors where. Quietly I told them what happened. Laughter erupted everywhere. No one mocked me. It was just so darn funny.

In conclusion, the women washed down the choo, and proceeded to stick the dirty clothes down the magical hole. I had my bottle of anointing oil in the pants. The joke was that Kisangaji had been permanently anointed.

As I said Going potty in East Africa is a walk of faith!

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The Rural Choo Hole

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The infamous choo in Kisangaji Tanzania

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The rural choo in Masat, Kenya, home district of Mr. Obama and his family

 

Who I Am; Who Are You?


Ro 1:18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

In my devotions I asked God to show me my sin.

He told me that that I hold His truth in unrighteousness.

That’s a heavy indictment coming from God.

To “hold” is the Greek to keep, suppress, hinder, prevent, retain, or obstruct.

Kind of sounds what some of our politicians are good at!

When the memories of who I was, becomes who I am, I’ve suppressed  God’s truth in unrighteousness.

Who  I am is  a Person.  Christ raised from a corpse and into a life where all things are new, and newly birthed , is who I am.

A corpse has nothing left but to come up again.  All sign of life, memory, and sickness is gone.  The privilege of coming back to live brand new belongs to a corpse.

1 Pter 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

4  to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that fadeth not away, reserved in Heaven for you,

“To an inheritance” should read “ into an inheritance”.

Who I am is as twenty four seven heir.  I have been raised into an inheritance. If my end is an inheritance, then I must be an heir.

Because Christ is an heir of the universe, so am I.  I have a heck of a lot to inherit. I better get on with the business of inheriting, right here and now. Nothing more than inheriting, inheriting, inheriting. That’s Christianity.

Who am I?

Heb 7:3  Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning ( arche) of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually ( dienekes).

I am a  Melchisedec. He was unnfathered, unmothered, ungenerated, neither had he beginning or originals of days, and neither did he have an extermination, ending or completion of living and life.

Who I am is disconnected with the sinful lineage of Adam weaseling itself through all earthly fathers and mothers.

Neither am I generated from anything sinful in this word.

I am unfathered, unmothered, and ungenerated.

My Father is God, my nature is His, and my blood is Christ’s.

 1 Peter 1:8  whom having not seen, ye love. In Him, though now ye see Him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory,

Full of glory, is the verb “ having been permanently glorified”

Who I am has been permanently glorified to the same measure that God is.

Who I am is a pitcher which reflects the fullness of the image and likeness of God.

 2 Cor 3;18  But we all, with uncovered face beholding as in a glass ( mirror) the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

I have the ability to reflect this fullness from the mirror in me, which mirror is the face of Christ.

Rom 1:4  and was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead,

Ac 4:33  And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all.

Who I am is a vessel which authenticates the Christ who has been declared as The One having risen from the dead.

2 Peter 1: 3  His divine power hath given (dorea/ perfect tense) unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him that hath called us to glory and virtue.

4  Thereby are given (dorea/ perfect tense)  unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Dorea, is  unlimited, extravagant, abundant  giving, without the giver attaching strings to it, or expecting something back from me.   This is how God gives.

All that Christ inherited, I extravagantly inherited so that I may live as He lives in a God race,  a  God genealogy,  a God nature, and  executing a God power.  This is who I am.

Anything thing less is not who I am.  Who are you?

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“ Et Verbum Caro Factum Est”


“ Et Verbum Caro Factum Est” is  Latin for “and the Word was made flesh.”

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

At last Sunday’s church we heard an excellent message by Andre Rabe a South African preacher.  Excellent is not the correct term, at least not with the preaching of The Word.  Revelatory is a more precise wording.

 Eph 5:25  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

26  That he might sanctify  ( the church) and cleanse it with the washing of water by the ( RHEMA)  word,

27  That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

It is the revelatory nature of the rhema word of God that washes and sets the Christian free.

The employment of a Bible teacher is not to deliver a good word, but a word that is revelatory, and will metamorphose the hearers to a next level with the Lord.

If a Biblical teaching is not metamorphosing others into the image of Christ, it’s not revelatory enough.

Brother Rabe did just that.

For me, the crux of his message was that The Word  became flesh. “ Et Verbum Caro Factum Est”

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus’s ambition is to make the invisible God, visible.

He, being God invisible, came as a visible man. After resurrection and becoming invisible again, He now comes back to make God visible, but this time in the flesh of Christians.

Gen 1:26   And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness..” was  another fountainhead of Brother Rabe’s teaching.

God said “let us make!”

Ah, yes!!  The unmitigated  gospel of Jesus Christ resides with these words.

God pronounced them in the Hebrew cohortative mood.

The cohortative expresses desire, wish, will, hope, and volition,  in the first person.

Without the cohortative it would simply be, “make.”

But because God’s  passion is to have part of His creation completed in His invisible image, and after His tangible likeness, He,  in the depths of His Spirit uttered,  “Let us make.”

John 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Jesus devotion is to make the invisible, visible. His yearning is always manifestation.  That the spoken word of God becomes flesh, becomes reality, was His work on earth, and now upon His throne.

Eph 1:22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Eph 1:23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Christ uses the human body to make the invisible Word into visible flesh.

In and through His body the invisible God, became visible. Today, He uses the human bodies of Christians. The human body gives tangible realities to the invisible realities of God.

A Christian’s human body is the receptacle for all that God is, owns, and desires to do to, to be contained and visibly displayed.

I think back  on my high school chemistry days. We’d take a jar and fill it with a clear substance. Then, pouring another chemical into it, we’d  see it turn purple.

The flask allowed me to witness the workings of these two chemicals and their purple outcome.

The human body is no more than a flask  where the workings of God are visibly demonstrated. And so the human body is central to God’s eternal purposes. No wonder, it has been so assaulted by the devil’s lusts in order pervert it into a container that display his workings.

The human body either gives tangible reality to the invisible God or tangible reality to the invisible devil.

But God still says “ I want humans to make Me flesh in the vessels of their bodies.” “ Et Verbum Caro Factum Est”

Eph 1:22  And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,

Eph 1:23  Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

So what is it to be made in God’s image and after His likeness?

I am not sure, for the subject is too vast.

God gave  us a few glimpses through Brother Rabe’s message.

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

“ In the beginning was the Word..”

The beginning point is the place where something is birthed or formed. It’s the point of newness.

A brand new thing works perfectly, it is without defect. It smells new, has no wrinkles, white hair, or age spots.

We know that Christ, The Word, has no beginning. But everything which He created by the Word has a beginning point.  Everything was created, new, unmarred, unblemished, without defect, not subject to corruption, and eternal.

Sin messed everything up.

But in the beginning everything was new.

God in His image and in His likeness contains every created thing, in their beginnings. Not only does He supersedes the beginning of all things but contains within Himself the beginnings, the points of their conception,  inception, in their utter newness.

Col 1:16  For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:

In His image are the  beginnings of all hierarchical heavenly powers before demonic principalities and authorities perverted some of them.  This gives the Christian absolute authority over all governmental  powers whether heavenly or earthly, by the rule of the rod and the sword of God, the rhema word.

In Christ’s image are resident, the schematics, the blueprints,  archetypes, and prototypes of all created things, when they were simply a creative imagination in His mind, and at the very moment, where they were created.

Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

When Jesus stated “it is finished,” He gave the Christian, the privilege of receiving the fullness of God’s image and all archetypes and prototypes of creation with it.

By Jesus’s words ‘ it is finished’ we have received all of creation, in its brand new untarnished beginnings in us. We got the full package.

Ro 6:4  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

There is nothing left to be done, except to obey, surrender, receive, and manifest the beginnings of all created things through the jar of our human body.  This is what it means to walk in newness of life.

As we are perfected, we can perfect others.

A jar does nothing more than to display what it has. It sits and exhibits. It sits and demonstrates.

This is the necessity of being continually metamorphosed into the image of Christ by the renewing of our minds.

This is why I said that the crux of Brother Rabe’s revelatory message was,

“ And the Word was made flesh, ..” “Et Verbum Caro Factum Est”

Image

Brother Andre Rabe probably in a Little Havana restaurant.

Dont Be Busy, Be Excellent


Philipp 1:9   And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment,

Php 1:10  that ye may approve things that are excellent, and that ye may be sincere and without offense until the Day of Christ,

Verses nine and ten of Philippians One literally tell us this.

That your love for the Lord may always exceed and abound like a river,  but always be contained within the river banks of a full, correct, and precise knowledge of His will.

Secondly,  that the love of God and the things which it propels you to do, will not only come through what your five senses tells you, but through the discernment  of the will of God which comes with your spirit, mind and intellect.

Verse ten goes on to say, so that then, after doing these two things, you may be able to test and approve the things which are differing, excelling and are carried in different directions from the rest of the mass of busyness.

Ro 10:2  For I bear them record that they have a zeal ( boiling) for God, but not according to knowledge.

Verse two of Romans Ten employs the same word for knowledge as is found in Philippians One and nine.

This type of knowledge is one which so thorough, profound and precise, that it will change a situation, just  by our knowledge of it.

Paul tells us that, yes, it’s important for us to boil in passion and zeal for things of the Lord,  but always in accordance to full and precise knowledge about His will and execution of it.

Philipp 1:9   And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment,

Php 1:10  that ye may approve things that are excellent, and that ye may be sincere and without offense until the Day of Christ,

Likewise, we are to be doing and loving for God, but always according to discernment and a full and precise knowledge of what we do, and how we do it.

The result will be that we will test for ourselves and approve the things which are excellent.  This word as I said, is demarcated, as a thing which is differing.

God is not happy if we  do the many good ideas. He wants us to carry out the one thing which is differing from all the good ideas, that one thing which is excellent. He wants us to accomplish, the one or two things which stand out above the rest.

The devil can give us many goods ideas and lets us run helter skelter in many directions, and yet causes us to miss the one or two excellent things which God had wanted us to do to first.

Satan knows that God does not function by worthy ideas but through a full and precise knowledge of the excelling and differing things which make up His will.

Da 7:25  And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time, and times, and the dividing of time.

The devil will entice a Christian with many noble things and their busyness, and  wear her out.  A burned out Christian is of little use to the Lord.

The anointing of God comes as a  proportion to how precisely we carry out the few excellent and differing things.

Heb 8:5  Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.

As Moses was preparing to embark upon the building of the desert tabernacle, God warned him to complete its construction exactly in line to the pattern which He revealed  to him.

A pattern is an architectural  blueprint or schematic. God is an architect. Look at His creation. Discern the thoroughness of the human body’s formation or the fixed placement of the sun to the earth.

If God willed creation with such precision, should His will for us be any different?

 1 Cor 3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder (architect), I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.

Masterbuilder, is the Greek word architect. Quite well does Paul say that he is an architect of the New Testament church. Paul founds the blueprint for its erection and those who build upon it, must be meticulous in following his revealed schematics.

This is the definition of an apostle.  An apostle is an architect of the NT church.  He lays groundwork according to, you guess it, a precise and thorough knowledge of the will of God. Others come and construct upon his blueprint.

Until authentic apostles are acknowledged and admitted into the church, the precise architectural foundations for its construction will not be present.

The scriptures tell us that Christ will come back for a church that neither has spots or wrinkles.

I cannot see this occurring until the church builds according to apostolic blue prints.

Eph 1:10  that in the dispensation of the fullness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth, even in Him.

Eph 3:2  if ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me towards you,

Col 1:25  of which I am made a minister according to the dispensation of God, which is given to me for you, to fulfill the Word of God

Paul can say that he is an architect of the NT church, because he came to understand the God who is The Great Architect.

He goes further in his architectural pursuits by introducing the word “dispensation”.

The literal Greek defines a dispensation as “ the law of the house.”

A dispensation, in the context of these scriptures, is a set of laws, or principles for the successful administration and management of a household.

We can take this further and define a dispensation as the principles, ideologies, ethics, codes, and values which direct a business or corporation.

Paul knows that if God is an architect, He must likewise employ dispensations to manifest not only His blueprints, but their correct implementation.

To end, God does everything through dispensations. Not only does He give us the full, precise and accurate knowledge of His will, but  He reveals to us the administrations, managements and supervisions of it.

We can simplify a dispensation to mean a plan. God is a God of plans. He has plans for us. He wants us to execute His plans by the precise and exact knowledge of His blue prints.

The longer I walk with God , the less busy I become with ministerial stuff and worthy tasks.

As Christian ministers we can run around doing lots of great things, but God is not content with that.

God does not have a bunch of things for us to do.

He has blueprints to reveal to you and their dispensations to carry them out. They are the schematics for His excellent and differing things. These are the few things which stand out from the rest.

As I get older in God, I comprehend that the most indispensable thing  for me is  to hear His still small voice every morning.

Every day, as much as possible, I get on my knees and quietly ask the Lord to reveal His blueprints for my life and ministry.

Once I understand His blueprint,  than I ask Him to reveal  His dispensation or plans on how to execute, manage and administer them.

Nothing in your life will be more important than this.

God is not impressed with our ministerial busyness. God is impressed with His few  excellent and differing things.