SEMPER GUMBY

Hello Everyone,

Greetings from NAIROBI. Why did I capitalize NAIROBI? Because I was supposed to be in Cameroon. My plan was to return to Nairobi from Kinshasa, DRC, spend a night, then fly to Yaounde, Cameroon.  But the rules for getting a visa to the DRC changed and they didn’t post the changed rules on their website. So I followed the procedures I’d followed for the past 19 years and the process got “messed up.” By the time I found out what the problem was and got the visa to the DRC, there was not enough time to get a visa for Cameroon.

,That means spending an extra three days in Nairobi. So, what to do?

SEMPER GUMBY

We know Semper Fi as the Marine motto, “Always Faithful (actually Fidelis).” I was once introduced to a take off of that. Gumby was an amazingly flexible cartoon character. So, Semper Gumby stands for “Always Flexible.” Something we do often in missions.

When I realized I was not going to Cameroon and had three extra days to spend in Nairobi, I contacted my friend and assistant in Nairobi, Nathan Chiroma, and he suggested a seminar in Utawala, a growing Nairobi suburb. That is what is going on now.

Flex number two started immediately today. The pastor who organized it for us told everyone we were going to start at 10. The plan was tea and snacks at 9:30 and the first lecture at 10. The schedule calls for 5 lectures on day one, 6 on day two, 5 on day three.

At 10 it was he and me. He said that some could not come today (Wed) but would be at the seminar on Thursday. So, what do we do? Wait!

Shortly after 10, one came. Then another. After some creative flexing, we decided to start at 10:40, plan for only four of the five lectures today and six on Thursday and another six on Friday. That’s what we did. And our challenge to them at the end of the day, “If this was valuable, bring some church leader with you tomorrow.

TODAY’S LECTURES

This is the same seminar we did in Mombasa last week and the lecture order is the same as it was on April 30. You can check that blog for more details if you wish.

We start with the foundational lecture on “Revelation, Inspiration, and Illumination” plus “Authority and Sufficiency of Scripture.” Then “A Biblical Philosophical of Ministry.” The “The Call and Role of the Pastor,” and “Qualifications for leadership.” The last two were given by Steven Mzungu, an ITEM team member.

Q&A

At the end of the lecture on Revelation, I mention (from Jude 3) that Revelation is closed. There is no new revelation.

Q: If revelation was received then written down by the apostles, help me understand 1 Cor 14:26, “What is the outcome then, brethren? When you assemble, each one has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, . . .” There were a couple of other similar verses.

ANS: I gave a quick answer, “Revelation was not finished yet because the Scriptures were still being written.” But I wasn’t completely satisfied with the answer and I told them so. I told them I’d do more study and let the know tomorrow.

ANS2: The word “revelation” in the original language is translated in various ways. E.G. “At the ‘appearing’ (revelation) of Jesus Christ.” So, context is key. In 1 Cor 14, the context is tongues and prophecy. According to Eph 3:5, “prophets” received revelation but not all prophets “wrote” down their prophecies. E.G. Agabua, Acts 21. In the early church, before the Scriptures were completely written there were still those “prophets” who received a direct message from God and shared it with the church. That is not going on today because these prophets were the foundation of the church and once the Scriptures had been written, the foundation was complete.

Q: When the co-lecturer, Steven Mzungu, gave the lecture on the qualifications of leadership he read 1 Tim 3:2, “. . . the husband on one wife…” (you probably know it literally means, “a one-woman man”). He repeated it and immediately questions started coming. “Explain what you mean.” I interrupted from the back of the room and said, “We’ll answer that later. Move on.” Which he did.

ANS: We go over this in almost every seminar. In 1 Tim 3:15, Paul explains his purpose in writing 1 Tomothy; to give instructions for setting up the church. And one of the guidelines is in 2:12-3:2. A woman is not to be the “teacher (preacher/pastor/elder),” and the preacher/pastor/elder is to be a “one-woman man.” We were asked to spend more time on this tomorrow, which we will.

A third question about 1 Tim 3:1 that speaks of a man desiring to be a pastor yet God gives pastors to the church (Eph 4:11). I’ll try to remember to cover that tomorrow.

Again, I’ve gone over my self-imposed limit. So, I will quit. Hopefully, by the end of tomorrow we’ll have a better feel about the response.

Pray for God’s Spirit to be at work.

By His grace,

Steve

Many new pics today. Here is the link: 

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTO ALBUM

 

 

 

 

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