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October 6, 2011:

I’ve never felt it is right to say that God has given me a message to teach. Such a statement implies that I am speaking by prophesy or revelation, heralding a proclamation that was scripted in heaven. As far as my teachings are concerned, that is never the case. My teachings are never so perfect, so spontaneous. Still, I know what it is like to be set on a path toward an insight that transforms a mystery into something so obvious that I'm sure I'm the last person on earth to see it. That insight is indeed a gift of God's grace. But as the American humorist Arnold Glasow wrote, "Ideas not coupled with action never become bigger than the brain cells they occupied." Now the work of crafting a teaching begins: writing, rewriting, and revising.

In the end, the product is always less than its source of inspiration. No artist can ever duplicate the splendor of a sunrise. The same is true of Bible teachers. The best we can do is imperfectly point to God’s perfection.

The Vine & Branches Magazine

It’s funny how things work out. One of my ambitions for the Vine & Branches magazine is to give my fellow “workers together with him” a forum to present their teachings to a larger audience. But as the time approached for publication, I didn’t have enough articles to fill an entire issue – the first time this has happened since I began publishing the newsletter. At the same time I felt inspired to revisit some material I’ve been working on intermittently for about ten years. What I ended up writing was too long for an normal newsletter article, and too short for a book. This is how my presentation on The Week of Millenniums came to be the sole subject of the October issue of the Vine & Branches.

I believe that one reason so many Christians fall prey to strange doctrines is because they lack knowledge in the overall message of the Bible. With my class on The Principles of the Doctrine of Christ, and this article on The Week of Millenniums, I am trying to address that problem. My sister wrote me that my work on The Week of Millenniums was “like getting a Google Maps satellite view of the Bible, incredibly exciting and highly motivating as far as rereading the Scriptures with this in mind.” I hope it gives you the same lift.

Recordings of our Sunday Services

I have started recording the teaching portion of our home church here in Baton Rouge to post on this website. Most of the teachings are presented by our pastor, Evan Pyle, but he always makes room for anyone else who has something to share. I don’t expect to have a new recording ready to post every week, but keep checking back. Of course the teachings are only one part of our fellowship and there is nothing quite like “being there.” You are always most welcome to join us.

Mission to Kenya

On October 15th, Jay Pearson and I will be leaving for a mission in the town of Chesamis, in the area of Kamukuywa in western Kenya. Daniel Bucher will meet us in Amsterdam and together we will fly to Nairobi, arriving Sunday night. On Monday we will finish our journey to Chesamis. The mission itself will last from Tuesday to Friday.

Rev. John Robert Opio, founder of Christian Life Teachings International, has asked me to be part of his pastoral training program for church elders from rural areas in Uganda and Kenya. I will present my class on The Principles of the Doctrine of Christ. Jay and Daniel are coming prepared to teach as well. I want to record my presentation (which will be translated into Kiswahili) so John can have it in his curriculum even when we are not around. He has also asked me to take part in the ordination ceremonies for his students on the last day of the class.

The old saying, “God helps those who help themselves” is not really true. God helps those who SEEK his help. Without God’s help, all the labor we do in his name will be in vain. Please remember us in your prayers, that we will stay mindful of this throughout our mission and bring glory to his name.

May God bless us all in the name of his holy Son, Jesus,
Reverend Tim Sullivan

 

 


 

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