What It’s Like To Be A Mission Project

As a pastor who ministered many years in Montana, I also know what it is like to be a “mission project.” Churches on the sending end need to heed these words of wisdom. Those on the receiving end also need to look at themselves so they don’t become mere recipients of “church welfare” but develop true partnerships.

Broken Shepherd

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Perry County, Alabama is among the poorest counties in the United States.

Some studies say that 46.9% of Perry County’s residents live under the poverty line.

A study that was done just a few years ago showed 41% of the county, with 72% of all children in the county, are on food stamps, which is the 11th highest in the nation.

If you don’t live in Perry County, then these are just statistics. But this is my home. These are the people I go to church with and wave to every day. These are the people that ask me for a couple of bucks at the gas station just to get home. These are the people I’m in line with at the grocery store as they sift through all of there WIC stamps and EBT cards or sit beside at the doctor’s office. These are my friends and family whom…

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A new (to me) Christmas Hymn

A wonderful heritage

The Shepherd's Staff

Ambrose of Milan (A.D. 339-397), stands as an important character from the history of the earlImage result for ambrose of milany church. I was dimly acquainted with this remarkable figure, as he was the first leader of the church acknowledged to have won a victory over the state during the reign of Theodosius, (you can read more about him here.) however, I was completely unaware of his prolific hymn writing until a short, few days ago.

Ambrose was the veritable “Chris Tomlin” of the early church and, blessedly, some of those hymns have been preserved for us. You will note the startling lack of repetitive phrasing and the rich theological content of this hymn. I post it for your enlightenment and Christmas enjoyment.

Come, Thou Redeemer of the earth,
And manifest Thy virgin birth:
Let every age adoring fall;
Such birth befits the God of all.

Begotten of no human will,
But of the Spirit, Thou art…

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Sabbatical Over, Gearing Up for 2017

Refreshed, invigorated, ready to roll. These words sum up how I feel after taking a sabbatical over this last year. While still speaking in churches and serving in the community, a much needed break has allowed me to refocus on potential avenues of service.

One such opportunity has presented itself just recently. Berean Bible Baptist in Binalbagan, Philippines has invited me to come and speak at a youth event in April of 2017. This is a great opportunity for Ta Ethne. I have been friends with Pastor Janel Vergara Nemeno for 5 years now and he is doing a fantastic job in Binalbagan.

In keeping with the mission to provide teaching and discipleship resources at little or no cost to churches worldwide, we will be going free of charge to this event, God willing. Because of the sabbatical, I have started a Go Fund Me account to help offset the cost of the trip. Normal channels of funding will take time to re-establish due to the long period of relative inactivity from this site, but I believe that God will provide.

Should you desire to help fund this trip, there is a paypal button on our site or you can go to .gofundme.com/th-mission-trip-to-the-philippines and donate through there.

Keep us in your prayers and know that 2017 is shaping up to be an exciting chapter in the history of Ta Ethne.

 

Voluntary Sabbatical Nearing The End

For those wondering why no new content has been published in the last several months, wonder no longer. While the Twitter feed has been constantly updated, this website has not. The main reason was a self imposed sabbatical.

During this time away from blogging, I sought to determine what direction Ta Ethne needed to go in. While blogging is fun and there are many issues that need to be addressed, I realized that the main calling of this ministry, to teach and train Christian leaders worldwide, was suffering from a lack of focus. With many things clamoring for attention, the purpose of providing training materials was being lost.

This time of reflection and seeking direction is nearly at an end. Soon, in the next few months God willing, Ta Ethne will begin offering training courses online. While the courses are under construction, one main decision is still to be made. There are lots of e-learning course management systems available and picking the right one is a labor intensive project.

With systems ranging from Moodle to Blackboard, MyICourse to Schoology, picking the right one for this project is a challenge. Any thoughts anyone has on formats can be emailed to me at taethne@outlook.com.

Here’s to a great fall as we get back to re-focusing on our calling to train and equip Christian leaders worldwide.

Challenging Words of Wisdom

newton

I have been reading in the fascinating book (that my wife gifted me with) and it has been a tremendously challenging read. There are hymns of Newtons that I never knew existed, full of deep and meaningful lyrics. There are excerpts from many of his pastoral letters that resonate with compassion and grace. Above all, there is the ringing theme that we must look to Christ and Christ alone for all that we need.

This is a practical book. It is full of statements and insights that require deep thinking on and much pondering to grasp all that Newton says, but it is practical in application. I would recommend this book to anyone who desires to know more of Christ and His grace. This is a book that I will come back to time and time again to mine more of its depths.

As you read Newton’s letters, hymns and sermons, you will come to a greater appreciation of how sufficient Jesus is for every need and how truly amazing His grace is.