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January 25, 2011:

It was brought to my attention that some people thought the "eV&B" was just an online edition of the Vine & Branches magazine, a justifiable conclusion. For that reason the eV&B has been renamed "Tim's Blog" — an ineloquent though practical solution.

But maybe it's like the philosophic riddle about the tree falling in a forest with no one there to hear it. If Tim write a blog and no one reads it, is it still a blog?

I guess we'll find out!

The first month of the new year is drawing to a close. As always, there are projects that are moving forward but never at a pace that satisfies me….

This past month, my principle project has been making preparations for the audio recording of my class, In the Power of His Might. I've been amazed how different this has been from writing the book itself, or making a "live" presentation. I realized fairly quickly that I would need to write out a script. The challenge, of course, is to create a script that doesn't sound like a script. The words I use when I am writing tend to be different from the words I use when I am speaking. (For example, when I am speaking, I don't use phrases like "tend to be"!) It takes time to work it all out. But I hope to have the first portion of the presentation, subtitled "Why We Need the Gifts of the Spirit," ready for distribution by this spring.

Once it is finished, the audio presentation of In the Power of His Might will include questions for further study and topics for group discussion. I am hopeful that this material will find use in personal and group study sessions. One great advantage over the "live" presentation is that the material can be studied gradually, instead of being squeezed into a few days. The other benefit is that these studies can take place without me personally being there. I am painfully aware of the time and money it would take for me to go to all the places I've been invited to teach. I am also aware of the precarious condition of today's world. Who knows how long the mission doors will remain open before they slam shut?

The great disadvantage of a recorded class is that each "live" presentation is uniquely fitted by the Holy Spirit for that particular audience. Hopefully, what is gained will compensate for what is lost. As with everything I do, I'll be taking a "we will see" approach.

My first seminar of 2011 will be held in South Harrow, England in March. I will be teaching the subject of my newest book, The Principles of the Doctrine of Christ, over the weekend of March 5 and 6. Reverend Jerome Lucas, chairman of WTWH-UK, is making all the arrangements. I am anticipating a very high time in Harrow, a time to "root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant" (Jer. 1:10).

There seems to be growing resistance in the Christian world for presentations of doctrinal integrity. In a way I can understand this. Doctrine divides like a two-edged sword (see Heb. 4:12), and some people believe that Christians should be seeking common ground. But that inevitably leads to unity through compromise, and that is not a song I am willing to sing. I am a minister, not a politician. If the church is going to be united, it should unite on the truth, not on a lesser standard to which everyone can agree.

Of course, it is equally wrong to use the gospel for the sake of being different, or divisive. Jesus and the prophets spoke the truth for the sake of truth. Only the truth bears witness to God. Only the truth can make us free. That is why the Bible teaches me to love my neighbor, and even my enemy, but to hate every false way.

Psalm 119:104:
Through thy precepts I get understanding: therefore I hate every falseway.

Yes, we all see "through a glass, darkly" (1 Cor. 13:12). But as long as I am able, I will speak the truth as best I understand it, until the famine comes in full.

Amos 8:11:
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:

I feel happy and privileged that on the following weekend, March 11 to 13, I will be presenting this same seminar in Swansea, Wales. Reverend Carl Roberts has organized this event. Whether or not you attend, please remember these events when you speak to the Lord, making request that he guides us with a strong hand.

Preliminary plans have been made for Evan and me to return to Matebete Village in Tanzania in early April. If you read my eV&B report after we returned in November, you know the epiphany I experienced on our last trip, and why I am very excited to continue our work there.

Over the winter holidays it became very clear to me that, concerning my efforts in Africa, I should concentrate on the two areas that have been the most fruitful - my work in Matebete Village and my work with Reverend John Robert Opio of Christian Life Teachings International. Brother John has asked that my seminars be a permanent part of his curriculum for teaching rural pastors in Kenya and Uganda, and I am very glad for that. God willing, I expect to work with John later this year.

A new edition of the Vine & Branches magazine has been delivered to the printers and should be ready for mailing soon. I'm glad that you like the smaller format. When you are done reading it, I hope you'll want to get rid of it - by passing it on to your friends and relations!

May the Lord bless you and keep you always.
Greetings to you and your loved ones.

Tim

 


 

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