Entry 17 / Norway after two weeks

As of  Wednesday past, we have been on the ground in Norway for two weeks. After landing we stayed a day and a half in the Oslo area (The Normisjon Ga Ut Center) catching up on sleep and getting our land legs. We will be going back there tomorrow where on Monday I will teach a day long seminar on “Contemporary Evangelism Methods” or “Communicating Christian Thought in a Post-Christian, Post-Modern World.”

For the last two weeks we have been mostly encouraging, teaching and mentoring students.

Promotional Poster

Last Sunday I preached here at SBI and Oasen on, “The Plague of the Heart – The High Cost of Sin Management” apparently resulting in good fruit especially with two young ladies, C and J who seemed impacted by the call to Christ and righteousness.

On Sunday evening we were at Betel in Halden across the Oslo fiord near Sweden where I spoke on “Justice, Mercy and Grace – The Unjust Steward.”

During the first week I taught everyday for about four hours. If I were to title the course I might have called it, “Rightly Dividing’ or “Discerning the Full Counsel of God,” where first I explained the divisions of systematic theology and the purpose of theological study. After explaining why theology is important, I took denominational distinctions and various doctrinal positions such as water regeneration, universalism, second work of grace, etc. along with statements like, “What Happens to the Poor Innocent Native who Never Heard of Christ,” and provided biblical answers. We were lost at first with a certain air of anti-intellectualism but once they could see it they got on board and we wound up having a good class which I think will greatly benefit them in the future.


Jeanne and Sara sizing up the Mexican food at the local grocery

Jeanne and I also organized an outreach whereby we hope to entertain many first time guests. You can read about it on one of the earlier blogs, “Mexicali Rosa’s, Cafe’ del Sol.” We hope to serve over three-hundred and fifty tacos and burritos today between five and seven pm today.

On the next Friday evening I spoke at a youth meeting on “So What Makes Jesus So Likeable?” Jesus commended the social outcasts (sinners) while turning away the self – righteous. He was and is a friend of sinners. All other religions teach exactly the opposite and this is why the gate is narrow. People simply have to put away their pride which they are not apt to do. People can’t seem to get this concept without divine revelation.

This past Thursday evening I spoke to a combined church, bible college meeting on “Totemism – Living in the Culture of  the King.” All cultures tend to remake Jesus into themselves by making our cultural values his. When we do this we wind up worshipping ourselves. We become God. This is true in America where Jesus is upwardly mobile, successful and wealthy. By putting cultural grids over the New Testament many “Christian’s” wind up as tourists to the kingdom of God rather than immigrants. We should not be forcing Jesus to be the culture learner. He is King.

Last night I talked on the subject, “Who Switched the Price Tags,” using “What does it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul.” All persons, place high value on trivial things and fail to give importance to  the things that  really matter.

I will finish the series on Sunday morning when I have chosen to talk on Hebrews 12: 1-2, “Jason’s Marathon and Laying Aside Every Weight.” Many people need to unload their anger, bitterness and pain. I will also take them to the bitter water’s of Marah in Exodus 14. To sweeten the poison of life we must put in the stick as Moses did. This stick is a type of  the cross of Christ.

Entry 11 / Norway

“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”



What does a class look like?

Frankly, not much different from what it does anywhere else I teach,  Bethany College of Missions, YWAM, Bethany Wesleyan College, Progetto Archippo and others.

Mostly I am engaged in one of two things. Either I am involved in spiritual formation or ministry preparation. This past week I taught on why theology matters. Though this sounds like a rather dry subject, I think, by the end of the week, most had a handle on the importance of the course and life was breathed into the verse “rightly dividing the Word of God.”  

Over thirty years ago the Lord spoke to us from Hebrews 5, as we were driving between Brantford and  Toronto, Ontario. He made it clear that we would be involved in raising up ministry leaders. At the time it seemed rather unlikely, but we took it as His voice and though we didn’t particularly pursue this calling, it turned out to be the case and here we have been for at least 15 years.

I sometimes wonder. It seems that I am “unknown, and yet well-known” as Paul described himself. I always wanted to have a huge impact, like leading major crusades, but God has seen fit to make my venues  rather small and out-of-the-way. I don’t have huge crowds flocking to sit under my instruction and so I question God’s economics ability. In spite of this, in talking to Jeanne, we discovered that, even though we are not well-known, we have (by God’s grace) significantly imprinted the lives of many who are engaged in world-changing far beyond our capacity. They do “greater things than we do” and we feel as though we have multiplied ourselves. So, it really doesn’t matter as much how big the crowd as it does who is in the crowd. I often feel very privileged to be given permission to speak into the hearts of many of these future missionaries, pastors, youth leaders and Christian professionals. We are blessed in the doing!