Myanmar Trip. June 13-19

Just returning from another memorable trip to Myanmar. The nation is changing rapidly – some are happy, others aren’t. Itis much more open, the atmosphere is so different from last year and a greater sense of freedom and openness. Loved being with our friends there and serving them with Arun Philip. Here are a few pictures that hopefully tell you a thousand words.

At the Grace Leadership Centre, Yangon

Our friends David & Mary with their children

Another friend, Pastor Va Bi and family

At the end of the final teaching day, Yangon

With David crossing the River Yangon to Daleth 

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Summer Update

Its been a busy Summer for us. In an unusual May I’ve travelled to Salem in the south and Jalandhar in the north. Before that we celebrated the completion of our two week Summer Bible School here in Nashik with friends from Masiha Church & One Nation Church from Mumbai. We have hosted a folder from the school here which includes hundreds of pages of notes and a slide presentation of the headlines – a resource that you will find helpful. Additionally you can order an audio DVD of the sessions for only Rs. 75/- by leaving a comment below and giving us your contact details.

WP_001065In Salem besides meeting with the church planting team there I also finally was able to visit the Foundations for Farming Centre in Pagadapattu. This will grow to be a valuable resource for serving the nation. As India moves into the cities we will have a growing need for better and more cost effective farming techniques. In sharing these methods we will also have the unique opportunity to root this in the God of the gospel.

Paul & Shanthy, our lead planters are hoping to move from Bangalore to Salem this month and we’d appreciate prayer for that.

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From Salem to Jalandhar, to celebrate the marriage of our Vicky to Pooja of our Kirpa Da Parivaar led by Gurmeet (Sushma). It was a joy being there despite the sweltering heat – the mercury rose on one day to 46 deg! For me the special joy was travelling all the way there and back with just our Deepa who hasn’t stopped thanking me for taking her to Punjab!

The following week Manju and I drove down to visit her parents with Roshan & Deepa. It was a lovely road trip and has whetted our appetite for a longer one next year. And no road trip can be complete without a good coffee – thanks to CCD for locating themselves at the right
spot on the Bangalore – Pune highway for thirsty travellers (the pic below is with our niece, Shruti)

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Finally a couple of updated sermon resources. I’ve collated three short sermons from the Summer Family Building Series into one called, ‘Generous, Accepting & Encouraging People’ and that is available for download here besides our BOX widget on this page. The big idea here is how we can give what we have received in Christ.

Also available here is the latest sermon from the continuing Acts series which I preached last Sunday from the shocking story of Annanias & Sapphira called ‘An Awesome People’ presenting the big idea that God wants His church to be held in high esteem and awe as we see in this chapter.

As we welcome the early rains, what we’re longing for more is the rain of God’s Spirit. May the outpouring of God’s revival presently seen in parts of the world (Victory Church, Wales) come on us too.

“How we have prayed for a Revival – we did not care whether it was old-fashioned or not – what we asked for was that it should be such that would cleanse and revive His children and set them on fire to win others”. – Mary Booth

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Posted in News, Preaching

Amazing Ads – Happy Mothers’ Day

Ever since I spent a short season many years ago in the advertisement industry I have followed that world with close interest. I almost always look for the legend in a print advert to see the captives behind it.

I also think the TV adverts in India a amongst the best in the world. One that we watched repeatedly today thanks to the repeats on Catoon Network (it was the kids choice, not mine) was the new Bournvita advert. You can see it here http://goo.gl/1OpGm.

The three standout principles:
1. Working for the victory makes it sweet.
2. Habits aren’t built overnight
But the standout one was the last one when the mother in the advert says,
“When I lose, I win”.

Here’s praying for more losers who aid and coach winners. Thank you Mom for losing so I could win. Happy Mother’s Day!

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Building Family with Acceptance, SBS Update

ImageThe second part of the Building Family Teaching Series on Acceptance is available here. In this short presentation we look at the unique ability of the Christ follower to accept others because he has been accepted by God. This issue of acceptance begins in the NT with Paul not welcomed in the Jerusalem Church (Acts 9:26) and becomes a huge problem when Gentiles turn to Christ later in Acts. It has also been one of the greatest struggles in the history of the Christian church

India Specific
A leader of our nation interested in the teachings of Christ went to a local South African church to discover more. Unfortunately this was apartheid South Africa and the church he went visiting was a ‘whites only’ church. The poor treatment he got there turned him away from any further exploration of the Christian faith. Another national leader found that there was a vast difference between the teaching of the Bible and the life of the Christians.

In our national history therefore we have a challenge to the work of the Christ which breaks every diving wall and makes ‘one new man’. This challenge also represents an opportunity that as we embrace the gospel, receive the vertical acceptance from God we can then bend that horizontally to accept people who are different, overcoming our preferences, prejudices and pride by the power provided in the grace of God.

Summer Bible School (SBS) Update
Week 1 covering the core teachings of the
1. God of the Bible
2. Word of God
3. Son of God and 
4. the Spirit of God
were done. An enjoyable week and a quiet weekend are behind us as we launch into week 2 tomorrow with days covering the man of God, the salvation of God, the church or God and finish with a future with God on Friday. Second week special rate: Rs. 65 per day. Come if you can.

Posted in Activities, Preaching

Preaching & Teaching Updates, Summer Series & Bible School

Lots has happened over the last week and we’re busy beavering away for the summer. Sunday before last I spoke at the church led by Pas Madhu Adbale (a first for me – preaching in a non Nf church here in Nashik!) on Lessons from Judas. I was delighted at and very grateful for the opportunity. I’d preached the same word in Jeevit Vishwas Kaleesiya, Chembur, Mumbai the previous Sunday. You can read it here.

MM 4Mazboot Marriage
That Sunday we also moved forward in our monthly marriage workshop (Mazboot Marriage) and completed the two sessions on the role and responsibility of husbands. As usual Prakash & Sujata did a super job of running the opening activity (pictured alongside) and then we had a Q&A and teaching time. My teaching notes are available here.

Hamara India
As posted on our FaceBook page, we had an excellent week with Ajoy Varghese & friends. He’d asked me to start the seminar with a word on God of the Nations whose outline you can read here.

Building Family Short Summer Series
Yesterday we began a short summer Sunday teaching series on Building Family where we are looking at 5 aspects of the church as a family based on the word GRACE. I opened the batting yesterday with G for Generosity. Against a backdrop of evident selfishness around us the call to the church is to be the generous community of Acts 4:32-37. Their generosity was rooted in a spiritual engagement with God, mediated through a relational connection with one another and demonstrated in very practical ways. The teaching notes, discussion questions and application planning worksheet are available here.

Through this series we are running our meetings differently, keeping them shorter and including a time for Life Groups to gather, have a short time for discussion and prayer in the meeting hall itself as they enjoy a snack & juice together.

Summer Bible School
Finally we’re getting ready for our 8 day Summer Bible School spread over two weeks. 32 sessions will cover 8 core doctrines of our faith with 4 daily sessions of discussion, Q&A and teaching. We’re encouraged with the response with folk coming from Mumbai too. There’s more room if you’d like to attend a day, few days or the whole school. More details including how you can register are available here.

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Acts Sermon Series: People of Prayer

Prayer-meeting-Church-Circle-Graphic3We continue our Acts sermon series seeking through the story to answer the question that god asks: “What kind of a house will you build for me?”. The answer is in the story itself for that is what Acts is – besides a story its also a blueprint of what the church should be like. Jesus’ passion is that His house be a house of prayer and the story of Acts reflect that passion for we see the church at prayer very often. From the narrative of Acts 4:23-31 we discover that this house of prayer consists of people who

  • Appreciate the privilege of prayer
  • Give prayer the priority
  • Enjoy the pleasure of prayer
  • Follow the pattern of prayer
  • Experience the power of prayer

And consequently make prayer a practice of our community life. Sprinkled with quotes like the one here below the sermon is available for download here or from our BOX widget alongside.

“The essence of prayer does not consist in asking God for something but in opening our hearts to God, in speaking with Him, and living with Him in perpetual communion. Prayer is continual abandonment to God. Prayer does not mean asking God for all kinds of things we want; it is rather the desire for God Himself, the only Giver of Life, Prayer is not asking, but union with God. Prayer is not a painful effort to gain from God help in the varying needs of our lives. Prayer is the desire to possess God Himself, the Source of all life. The true spirit of prayer does not consist in asking for blessings, but in receiving Him who is the giver of all blessings, and in living a life of fellowship with Him.” (Sadhu Sundar Singh)

 

 

 

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Posted in Preaching

Growing an Electronic Library

kindle-for-pc-logo Thanks to my growing Kindle Library I’m reading more these days that I have in recent years. After finishing

I’m continuing to read “Center Church by Tim Keller” and have just started Andy Stanley’s “Deep & Wide” which is the story of how Northpoint Church started. I find reading a very helpful discipline of focusing my thoughts, examining my heart and allowing my vision to be stretched. I’ve enjoyed those days I’ve been able to sneak away where I’ve spent most of it alternating an hour of prayer with an hour of reading. I am increasingly reading books that will help equip me to lead Grace Church, a responsibility I treasure and appreciate. Reading books rooted in the gospel and the sovereignty of God are strengthening my faith and increasing my confidence to lead.

I got God Built by Steve Farrar for free thanks to the outstanding people at http://www.gospelebooks.net who daily scan the Kindle Store to send daily updates of the free and best discounted offers by mail. Thanks to them besides God Built I’ve got a few other good books. Log in and sign up there if you can. To use a Kindle book you’d first need a Amazon account which you can get for free and then depending on your device download a kindle reader. With this good service from the folk at gospelbooks.net you can have access to an inexpensive electronic library. Ofcourse you can then share your library with about 7-8 devices so you can even get your friends together on one account and share the reading resources.

Happy reading and tell us what books you are currently reading?

- Indrajeet ‘Inder’ Pawar

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Posted in Equipping
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