Archive for August, 2014

The Lord helped me through the two annual events that come in August–the consultant seminar and the BI annual meeting. The first event was the busiest for me because of having to lead the seminar as well as host 3 people in my home. I put lots of time into planning and preparing for the seminar, so I was actually quite tired when the seminar began. But the Lord gave me the strength to make it through, and I think it was truly a success. We had around 15 out-of-town guests with us, and they all seemed quite pleased with how things went. Our prospective consultants all increased in their desires to help us. At least 4 of them are more seriously interested in joining BI because of having been with us. So, we can praise the Lord for that!

Plus, we can praise Him that we consultants who are already with BI had our skills sharpened and came to some good solutions about various issues. We enjoyed having Dr. Robert Bell from BJU teach us about various matters related to translating the OT. I loved not just the solid information he gave but also his devotional spirit. He would explain with precision the meaning of a word and then also add some thought to increase our love for the Lord. What a wonderful balance of scholarship and devotion!

The BI annual retreat normally comes before the seminar, but this year it was afterward. I’m thankful for that, because I could enjoy the retreat more, except that I was almost too tired to enjoy it. Our special speaker, Rev. Maynard Belt, gave excellent devotionals on the high priestly prayer of Christ in John 17. Plus, we heard encouraging and challenging testimonies from new and experienced BI members. And there was also time to rest and play together. My favorite part of the retreat is being able to sit in the mornings on the deck that overlooks a medium-sized lake and enjoy coffee and time with the Lord in His Word and in prayer. The beautiful stillness of that setting really helps me to have quality time with the Lord. Praise God!

Tomorrow I begin a big trip of speaking in churches in NY and PA. Please pray for safety as I travel and effective ministry. Pray also that the Lord would move in hearts so that I can see my support increase.

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I’ve been focusing most of my thoughts during the past few weeks on the annual consultant seminar that starts next Tuesday and goes until the following Tuesday. We are expecting 27 current and prospective consultants to be in attendance. It’s one of the highest attendance numbers in years, I think. I’ll be housing 3 out-of-town guests at my house, so the seminar is going to go by like a blur. But it’s the one time I can get most of my department into one location. Only one of the consultants from India is attending, though, so that’s why I’ve scheduled an Asia Consultant Seminar, which will take place in Feb 2015.

During this year’s seminar, we will be privileged to have Dr. Bob Bell from BJU join us for the first two days. He will be speaking to us about numerous different topics concerning the OT and Hebrew that will help us as we translate into minority languages: ancient Near Eastern culture and archeological finds, key terms in OT Theology, the relevance of the LXX and Vulgate for textual emendation issues, and the NET Bible notes on translation problems. We also look forward to other sessions on translation, literacy, and linguistics issues that will sharpen our ministerial swords! I will be doing one session on “Streamlining the Translation Process” in order to discuss how we can get our translations done more quickly. It currently takes us 13 years for a NT and 17.5 for an OT. I’d like to get that down to 9 and 15, respectively.

I’ll also be doing a session on “Literacy in Biblical Times.” We’ll try to determine just how literate people were in the OT and NT times and how God’s Word ministered to them in light of that. Then, we’ll figure out how to apply that to today’s situation in which we often confront oral cultures–i.e., those that are more dependent upon oral means of communication than written ones. I’ll share more on my blog after the seminar! (I don’t want to steal my own thunder.)

Update on my support raising efforts: I have been able to add 3 meetings to my furlough schedule in Sept. I’ve also had one supporter increase her support for my ministry. Praise the Lord!

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