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Sunday, August 15, 2010


Thursday afternoon, Lucio Stanisci and I sat down in North Hills California as he told me about his work in Italy.  Less than .01% of the 70 million population is what we call Evangelical Christian.  That is, most of the country claims Catholicism while holding to things quite contrary to the gospel of Jesus the Messiah as presented in scripture.....but that will be dealt with in another post.

Friday evening, my family accepted an invitation from Lucio to attend an open house for friends and family of their ministry.  It was a wonderful evening hearing how the Lord is preparing men at the seminary to go to Italy, the "missionary graveyard" as it's called, to preach the clear gospel of Jesus Christ.  It's called the missionary graveyard because most missionaries leave Italy within 5 years never to return.  The gospel message is what Christ did on the cross, that He completely saves man, to those who believe and submit their lives to Him, and that good works play no part in salvation.  Good works are a result of salvation like turning the car on is a result of having gas in the tank.  But turning the car on (good works) does not put gas in the tank as Catholicism claims.  Catholicism says that we are saved by faith and justified by works, which is a heretical doctrine according to scripture.

There is a dire need in Italy for solid churches and a great need for men to be trained in the exegetical study of God's word.  That simply means that a man can look at the grammar, the context and the historical setting of a passage (among a few other things) and determine what the writer meant to convey to the original audience.  This sounds basic, that a person could read the Bible and understand what is means, but that very notion is under severe attack here in the USA as well as abroad.  "That's your interpretation", "what does the Bible mean to you?" are common ways this ideology is used.

Lucio and another missionary named Massimo Mollica are called to preach and teach the word of God, to plant Biblical churches and to train the indigenous leadership to shepherd their own sheep.  What a fun evening it was!  Tears were shed by some of the Italians that night as they dreamed the gospel will be once again spread to their people.

Lucio explains the situation much better than I.  Want to meet Lucio?  Watch this clip.

Want to meet Massimo?  Click here:

May the Word of the Lord go forth.
(Oh yah, two more days of Gladiator Greek!!!!)

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Fellowship of The Saints.  This is the Sunday morning class Ann and I are part of at Calvary Bible Church in Burbank.  It's comprised of people 25-90 years old.

This morning I had the opportunity to teach on "loving one another".  The capstone of our gift from the Holy Spirit.  The greatest gift we have.  Even if a man can do all miracles, but has not love, he is nothing.  If a person has the faith to move mountains, but has not love, he is nothing.  People will know that we are true disciples by our love.

It was a fun yet convicting lesson to teach.  Very encouraging too, as God continues His work in us and through us: a work that He will finish until the day of Christ Jesus.

I hope you are doing well.  I pray you are pursuing the Lord through His word and prayer on a daily basis.  I pray you are serving in a church and loving those who are your neighbor.  In John 13, Christ gave us a new command to love others as He has loved us.  Loving others is not new, but loving others as He has loved us, in His humanity here on earth, full of submission to the Father and gracious to even Judas as he washed his feet the night he would betray Jesus....yes, that is new.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Baptism Class

One of the many joys I have in being an intern at Calvary Bible Church is teaching their Baptism class.  After a person gets saved, that is they trust Jesus as Savior and live as His servant, they are told in the Holy Scriptures to be baptized as a public identification with him.

The best thing about the class is getting to work with people on writing out their testimony before they get baptized.  Their testimony is their story of how Christ drew them to Himself, saved them and changed their life.  It is pretty neat to see how many different ways a person comes to trust in Jesus as Savior.  They all hear and respond to the same gospel, but their circumstances are all very different.

A question for you.  How many kinds of baptism are spoken of in the New Testament?  1, 3 or 6?  The answer is 6.  Did you know that?  I didn't, until I looked into the scriptures just like I ask those who attend the class to do.  I'd encourage you to do the same.  Remember - Baptism means immerse.  So one can be immersed into many things.  The hard thing is not to bring your presuppositions to the scripture but to let the scripture speak for itself.