Ta Ethne is continuing to grow. 2012 saw some amazing results, many more ministry opportunities and some wonderful friends made from different parts of the world. Resources were added and the support has been overwhelming. 2013 seems to be full of even more opportunity. Currently we are exploring a new web host for our ministry, which will allow us to post videos and podcasts that are more accessible than what we are using now. With the Lord’s blessing, we will be looking to launch the new website before April.
The blog here will continue as before, and hopefully we will be able to integrate it into our new web site as well. WordPress has been a terrific partner, with their customer support being very helpful with us. For that reason, we will continue using this forum as our primary news outlet in keeping you updated with the day-to-day activities here at Ta Ethne.
Ta Ethne also has a new email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
We also hope to start using our Facebook page more consistently in 2013. So many of our followers use this particular social media application that we are working on a schedule to use our page more effectively.
Continue to be in pray as God grows us and enables us to serve His ministers even more effectively this year. If you have a prayer need, please email us at email@example.com
In The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority there is a conversation between the late Adrian Rogers and Josef Tson, the revered Romanian pastor, author, and president of the Romanian Missionary Society. Pastor Tson survived years of persecution and exile under cruel Communist rule and was noted for his outstanding faithfulness to God, even during persecution. Adrian Rogers asked Dr. Tson for his perception of American Christianity.
After some hesitation, he replied, “Well, Adrian, since you have asked me, I’ll tell you. The key word in American Christianity is commitment.” Rather than being a positive thing, he saw it as an inadequate replacement of an older Christian teaching: surrender.
Tson described the difference, “When you make a commitment, you are still in control, no matter how noble the thing you commit to. One can commit to pray, to study the Bible, to give his money, or to commit to automobile payments, or to lose weight. Whatever he chooses to do, he commits to. But surrender is different. If someone holds a gun and asks you to lift your hands in the air as a token of surrender, you don’t tell that person what you are committed to. You simply surrender and do as you are told. . . . Americans love commitment because they are still in control. But the key word is surrender. We are to be slaves to the Lord Jesus Christ.”
This is a good observation. The Bible calls us to surrender our lives to Jesus. To give up our wants, desires and dreams and to let Him replace them with His desires for us, His goals for our lives.
During the New Year season, it is fashionable to make resolutions. Even Christians do this, resolving to give more to Kingdom work, read the Bible more, pray longer, serve somewhere, etc… The problem is that, like resolutions of diet and exercise, somewhere in mid-February we have slipped back into old habits. We try to do better in our own power and this is impossible. Without God’s empowering Spirit, we cannot do anything. With Him, nothing is impossible.
My resolve this year is not to commit to anything other than surrendering to God’s Spirit, and letting Him control my life, my ministry, my service. Even to do that, I must yield to His power. What about you? Are you tired of trying and failing? Why don’t you also resolve to surrender, and ask for the power to let Him use you as He wills?
Another free resource has been uploaded for your use – a personal, investigative Bible study on the Letter to the Colossians. Check it out below or on our Bible Study resource page. A study on how to get the most out of sermons will also be uploaded this weekend.
As usual, you are free to copy and distribute any of Ta Ethne’s resources, podcasts or studies as long as you do not charge for them. Freely you have received, freely give. God bless you in your studies.
One of the cardinal beliefs we hold about God is that He is all-knowing. That means that He knows everything that you or I will ever do. He knows this in advance from the day you were born, stretching into infinity. One of the ramifications of this is that He can never be disappointed in us. Disappointment, by definition, means to be discouraged or saddened by the failure to live up to hopes, dreams or expectations. Since God knows everything we will ever do in advance, He cannot be disappointed by our failures, simply because He isn’t expecting us to do anything other than He already knows we will do.
He knows these things, and yet loves us anyway. We can sadden Him, grieve Him, anger Him – but we will not disappoint Him. This is both exhilarating and sobering. It is exhilarating because I don’t have to carry around a false sense of guilt of causing Him disappointment. It is sobering, though, when I realize He couldn’t expect better from me because He already knew when and where I would fail.
The amazing thing of all this is that is shows God’s grace standing above all. Despite knowing my failures in advance, He still calls me to ministry. He still empowers me. He still loves me.
One of the other things you can’t do to God is surprise Him. That, though, will be a subject for another day. Praise God for His omniscience.
Here at Ta Ethne we salute companies that see their work as a ministry for God rather than for making profit. Not that making profit is wrong. After all, if one doesn’t make a profit, one cannot stay in business. We salute those who see the reason for their business as being a vehicle or platform to extend works of mercy and ministry in God’s name to others. One such business is DaMory Diapers (www.damorydiapers.com). This small business does big Kingdom work. They manufacture cloth diapers, which are good for the environment and for babies. More than that, though, is the fact that they give away new diapers to local crisis pregnancy centers, give discounts to clergy families and discounts to those in financial need. Many times they donate almost as many diapers as they sell in a month. The reason – by sharing with those in need, it builds relationships and opens the door to sharing the gospel.
When a company or business sees itself as an instrument of God’s Kingdom, God blesses them with the ability to continue to impact others. Let us know of other businesses that see themselves as ministers of the gospel so we can salute them too.