When God Calls Your Children, Let Them Come

New FriendsI talked to God recently and told Him that I am weary of the challenges that church-planting presents. I reminded Him of what we have been through in the past year with relocating, raising support, gathering a core group, and trying to lead people when you have more questions than answers. So in case He forgot, I rehearsed the details. I’m not sure you are supposed to do that, but I did. I wanted relief. I wanted rest. I wanted calm. A few days later, my oldest son came to me and asked if he can tell me five reasons why he hates his school. I guess God was listening but not agreeing with my desires for a break. (Right: New friends)

Keep in mind that one of the decisions we made after much prayer and discussion was to put our school-age kids—Hudson, Champlin, and Paton—into a public school. That was a change for us. My wife and I are both Christian school graduates and have always put our kids in a private Christian school. We feel privileged to have had that opportunity and are grateful for the sacrifices our parents made to provide that for us. We planned on doing the same until God called us to church plant in the inner city. We initially opted for homeschooling for a year as it best fit our economic pinch and our travel schedule while we raised support. But it soon became obvious that we were not cut out for homeschooling.
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True to the End

by Norm Olson
Pillsbury SignDec. 12, 2008, the last day of the semester! The gray skies and beautiful blanket of white snow on the ground, so typical of Minnesota the weeks before Christmas, reminded me of the last day of my first semester 42 years ago. I had spent the afternoon in my dorm room getting ahead on my Scripture verse memorization for Personal Evangelism class. Occasionally I would look out the window for Dad, who would take me home 90 miles away for Christmas break.

Now it is my turn to take someone home for Christmas break—our freshman daughter, Julie. But while I returned to the college after my Christmas break in 1966, Julie will not be returning in 2009, not to the same college.

Today is the end of 52 years for Pillsbury Baptist Bible College, Owatonna, Minn. A bastion of Biblical Christianity since 1957, Pillsbury has been forced to close mostly due to the current economic situation and a less-than-anticipated fall student enrollment. The closing has been a difficult, yes tearful, time for everyone involved—students, faculty, administration, parents, churches, and supporters.

Yesterday, the day before campus closed, I had the opportunity to interview Greg Huffman, president of the college. “All of our hearts are saddened by the events of Pillsbury Baptist Bible College,” Huffman said. “For 52 years we have seen hundreds and hundreds of students leave our halls and go out into the harvest.”
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Missions Mandate Interview

Missions MandateIn August a new fundamental Baptist missions effort launched on the Web: Missions Mandate. To introduce this ministry to the SI readership (and because I was curious), I interviewed director Tim Aynes about MM’s history and the reason for being as well as missions matters in general.

SI: Tell us a bit about yourself. What’s your background, and what led to your decision to serve as director of Missions Mandate?
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Noteworthy Book Recommendations 2008

The Christmas season is upon us, and some of you may still be finishing up your shopping for gifts. Others of us are hoping that there will be some “book money” in the stocking. By the way, gift certificates are usually the safest way to go when a book lover is on your list and you have no idea which book to select. (They’re also very easy to wrap!) Our favorite bookstores offer gift certificates that can be purchased online. They are as follows:

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The Superiority of Jesus Christ, Part 2

Editor’s Note: This article was reprinted with permission from Warren Vanhetloo’s newsletter “Cogitation.”
Read Part 1.

Both as to person and to task, Jesus of Nazareth was superior to all the Old Testament prophets, to all angels, to the patriarch Abraham, to the law-giver Moses, and to Aaron and other high priests who served in the tabernacle and in Jerusalem. Jesus was by God’s appointment the supreme Apostle and High Priest of our profession (Heb 3:1). He was faithful and successful in His appointment. As the Son of God, born of a virgin and without sin, He was qualified to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He did not, as human priests do, need to offer payment for His Own sins. He performed His substitutionary work in the true heavenly temple, not in one on this earth.
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Confessions of a Recovering Teenager

by Pastor Dan Miller

Editor’s Note: This article was reprinted with permission from Dan Miller’s book Spiritual Reflections.
654292_moods_4.jpgNow that the sunlight of middle age has burned off the haze of teenaged confusion, I see the specter of my past sins and humbly confess but a few of them to a mom and dad who astonishingly chose not to murder me. These are the earnest confessions of a recovering teenager.

CONFESSION: Please forgive the bland indifference with which I listened to stories about your past. I realize now that even the simplest of your recollections were a bequest of familial roots. You were teaching me who I was and where I came from. You were helping me discern my place in the grand design of a sovereign God. How I wish I could hear all those stories again with the inquisitiveness I should have once had; but there is no time for that now—an excuse I suspect will find its way into my “Confessions of a Recovering Middle-Ager” someday.
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