Weekly Photo Challenge – Culture

Culture from Yunnan Province, China

Advertisements

The Relocation Update

Followers of Ta Ethne have been praying for us as we have been contemplating moving the ministry. After much prayer and contemplation, we have chosen Jacksonville, Fl as the new home (at least for the foreseeable future) for Ta Ethne. We plan on moving in two phases, the first to be completed by June 1st, and the second phase by the end of the summer. Please continue to pray for us as we make this transition to our new headquarters, and keep reading our blog for updates.

Wednesday’s Book Reviews – 1 Good, 1 Bad

Okay, I admit the second review is quite different than the books I normally review. I don’t know if this makes me a Renaissance man or just an eccentric with eclectic tastes. At any rate, it was a fun read with my daughter and as I get older I cherish those times more and more.

Kicking HabitsKicking Habits by Thomas G. Bandy
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

To say that this book was devoid of any useful gleanings would be inaccurate and unfair. It had two or three useful bits of information. The rest was a mishmash of muddled mumbo-jumbo and pseudo-Christian jargon. Do churches and denominations become tradition bound? Yes. Does that mean all tradition is to be considered stifling and outdated – hardly. Following the advice in this book would lead one to forming a “church” without any biblical standards, no responsibilities from members (actually you would only have attenders because membership is also an addiction churches have) and a Laodicean approach to ministry that is already condemned by Jesus.
I am very disappointed in this book, but more so by the conclusion of churches being transformed into visionary motivators instead of places of spiritual growth according to biblical standards. I definitely do not recommend this as a good read.

View all my reviews

Bunnies Are for KissingBunnies Are for Kissing by Allia Zobel Nolan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My daughter and I love this book. The illustrations are priceless and the story is very cute. My little girl laughed at the bunny waking up, cried at the bunny falling off her bike and smiled as the parent bunnies tucked her into bed. This one has become a bedtime favorite. I also thought the inscription was pretty cool too.

View all my reviews

Celebrating Starting Over

Recently, followers of Ta Ethne have read posts of our impending relocation. While details are still being worked out, the opportunity we have to expand our ministry is something to be celebrated. Our partners know of the tremendous changes that have already taken place in the last 10 months. When we founded this ministry in 1995 under the name Discernment Ministries it quickly flourished as we made audio bible studies and personal investigative bible studies available worldwide. In 2004 we attempted an ambitious expansion that unfortunately failed – the launching of the short lived Montana Institute of Theology. While we had overseas students who enrolled and took classes over the internet, local classes never developed. We had the classroom space donated, qualified teachers volunteered (many of them experts in their field) but whether the timing was wrong or for other reasons only God knows the venture failed.
In 2005 we turned our attention to training church leaders overseas, primarily in SE Asia, and the response was overwhelming. To this day we have more requests to come and hold training seminars than we can financially do. God has blessed us tremendously in developing long term relationships flourish and churches started across the globe that we have had a part (albeit small) in.
In 2010 we began writing books to complement our bible studies, and dedicated ourselves to using any proceeds to fund overseas trips. To make sure we didn’t get prideful over money, we also promised to give away two books free for every one we sold. As God has blessed, we have given away over 2,500 books to Christians all across the world via e-books. Each month we place a resource free on Kindle for people to download as well.
In 2012 we re-launched under the name Ta Ethne to reflect our growing involvement in the world, among all peoples. Our ministry has followers from each inhabited continent and many in countries where Christianity is oppressed and afflicted. Almost 100 countries are represented among our correspondence. Truly we are reaching across the globe and that is due to the power of God.
Now, in 2013, we are relocating to the eastern US, where we will be closer to international airports, which will reduce costs for trips and allow us to speak to more churches. While Montana has been very conducive to allowing us the solitude to work on projects, it is quite a bit isolated in other regards. Many churches and people have requested training seminars but the travel costs have been prohibitive. With a relocation, we can be better stewards and reach even more people.
We are celebrating this time, even though it is stressful and busy. To see how God has grown the ministry over the years is nothing short of awe-inspiring. Only He could have opened the doors for us. Just since Easter, we have ministered to leaders from Peru to Korea, Angola to Latvia. How wonderful to see God bless us and direct us.
About the one failure, the short lived Bible institute? It isn’t completely a failure. It may be in a short while that it becomes a web institute to be accessible to even more people than we could ever have dreamed. God takes our mistakes, teaches us lessons and directs us in His will. What a gracious and merciful God we serve. Celebrate with us as we plan for even greater things in His service.

Wednesday Book Reviews

 Deep in the HeartDeep in the Heart by Staci Stallings
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A good Christian romance novel. Many of the characters experience the transformational power of Christ in their lives, which make the story an uplifting one. The only thing keeping it from 5 stars is that I thought it took too long for the protagonist/antagonist conflict to fully develop. The characters were believable and the story line was well written. If you know someone who is searching for something to fill the emptiness inside of them, toss ’em a copy of this book. You and they will find it a good read.

View all my reviews
Tough Faith: Trusting God in Troubled TimesTough Faith: Trusting God in Troubled Times by Janet Parshall
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

An excellent book that unapologetically deals the issues of our day. Moving past the nominal expression of so-called Christianity in our time, the authors give a compelling case for what true belief in Christ looks like. The manner in which they write is not abrasive and it is laid out in a manner that is easy to follow. I recommend this as a good read

View all my reviews

The 180 project

Ta Ethne is in the process of developing our newest resource, tentatively named the 180 project. This resource will focus on the concept of repentance. Plans are being drawn up for a book, study guide and supplemental lessons. Also being developed is a seminar/conference on this concept as well. The premise for all of these resources is built on the biblical definition of repentance. Repentance is much more than feeling remorse or sorrow over an action. It is much more than just stopping sinful behaviors. It includes replacing those behaviors with godly actions. Simply to stop doing wrong is only a 90 degree change. Replacing, for example, foul language with edifying language is a 180 degree shift.
Pray for us to finish the current project on Jude and to begin work on this exciting new venture.

Weekly Photo Challenge — Change

Why a picture of a diaper? Because my wife started a business manufacturing custom cloth diapers (www.damorydiapers.com) after a failed adoption. We thought we were adopting a little girl at birth, but a changed mind by the mom led to our disappointment. An even bigger change occurred when, 11 months later, we were contacted about adopting the same little girl — this time successfully. So change happened twice, a new business and a new daughter. Funny how life’s only constant is change.

Blue Alien Diaper