Monday, February 27, 2006

Men or Methods?

E.M. Bounds is well known for his books on prayer. For those of you not familiar with him, he was Civil War chaplain for the south. He even spent time in a Union prison camp. He served with a unit out of his home state of Missouri. After a battle in Nashville, in which the south lost, E.M. Bounds took an oath of loyalty to the United States. After the war, he returned to the site of the battle and became pastor of a Methodist church in Nashville. I would not agree with much of his ecclesiology and a few other doctrinal areas, but have been impressed with his works on the subject of prayer.

One book of his that has really impressed me is "Power through Prayer". Here is a quote from page one: “The Church is looking for better methods, God is looking for better men.” Oh, how true this is. Today, churches are striving to find new methods for accomplishing the work of God. Some are turning to “seeker friendly” type programs. Others are turning to psychology. Some are turning to entertainment. Pastors go from conference to conference to try and find the best new way to “build a church.”

It is not about programs and methods. It is not about this soul winning course, or this soul winning method. God does not use methods, He uses men! He is looking for better men, not better methods. If we as Christians would concentrate on our personal walk before the Lord we would have the key to success. God has chosen to use men as the means to work in this world. He has chosen men to proclaim the gospel. The key, then, is the man himself. A man that is yielded to God, so God’s power can be manifested through him. Look throughout scripture and you will see this; David a man after God’s own heart, Job who was perfect, upright, and stayed away from evil, Daniel who purposed in is heart not to defile himself, etc….

If you are lacking the power in your ministry, it is not time to find a new method; it is time to examine your heart! It is not time to change your music in the church to give life to your service. It is time for you to humble yourself before an Almighty God, and seek Him. Too many churches today are built on programs and methods of men and not the power of God. You don’t need a drum set or a NIV to give life to your church, you need the Holy Spirit! If your own personal life lacks God’s touch, it is not time to find a new church; it is time to look at your own heart. It is not time to drop your standards and convictions. It is not time to turn to Calvinism. It is time to seek the Lord!!!

Here are a few verses about this:

(Romans 12:1,2) I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

(2Ti 2:20-22) But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

(2Ch 16:9a) For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him.

The Lord desires to show himself strong before us. The question is, then, are you “…The vessel unto honor”? Are you the “…Living sacrifice holy acceptable unto God”? It is our character, not our methodology, that God is looking for!

Friday, February 24, 2006


(The following blog was written by wife. I give her a lot of credit, for all that she has gone through here. Not many women would have left the states to come and live in area that can be very difficult on a daily basis. Some time she will have to write a blog about our first months here in PNG. It was quite the experience! She loves the Lord and desires to please Him.)

When my husband asked me to share a story on his blog, the first one that came to mind was our first Sunday in Kudukudu. We have started a church in the village of Kudukudu, about an hour’s drive from where we live. It is in pretty deep bush, and though the villagers have seen “white-skins”, (as they refer to us), they have hardly ever seen “white skin” children.

Terry was the one going back and forth to Kudukudu, setting up the church services and temporary meeting place. Everyone at the services was very anxious to meet the children and I. They were very reserved until services were over and fellowship time began. Then, the ladies and girls were asking tons of questions about our hair and skin. They touched and rubbed and even licked our skin, and when we let down our long hair for them, they went crazy! They even pulled some out to keep! The funniest part was when one little girl was looking through my daughter Heather’s hair and exclaimed, “Em I nogat louse!” She doesn’t have lice! Now, the people in the church in Kudukudu take great pride in knowing us personally, and being able to tell others about our hair and skin, how we take care from the sun, and how our skin does get darker, but not as dark as theirs! We, in turn, marvel at how they are able to work so hard and live off the land, and at the many ingenious ways they are able to get things done.

This story also brings to mind our new baby, Levi’s, first Sunday in Kudukudu. We went to Australia for his birth and first month. We were gone for two months, and as soon as we returned, I heard from friends how anxious the church in Kudukudu was to see the baby. I must admit, I was worried about him getting sick there in the deep bush. I knew everyone would want to hold him. I asked the Lord to give me peace. I know He called us to PNG, and gave us a new baby, and He is in control. Anyway, when we pulled in to the church ground on our first Sunday back with the baby, everyone ran full-speed up to out truck from the beach. I got out of the car with my one-month-old, and they grabbed him and took off running with him! I knew they were just so happy to finally see him, after watching me throughout my pregnancy, (there are some funny stories to tell about that, too), and praying I would have another boy. So, here I was, trying not to run after them too fast, and trying not to hyperventilate as they grabbed him and ran off! They ran a short way, and then came back in a group, with Levi in the middle. They actually did not touch him for several minutes. Everyone just stared at him, and he stared at them. I told them they could touch him, just not his face, please! (I didn’t let anyone touch my babies’ faces in the US, either.) No one’s hands went near his face. Some began to suck on his legs! People still do this, and I still do not know why. I am just going to ask them one of these days.

The other day, Terry, Levi and I were at the little store in town. I was feeding Levi while Terry talked with someone outside the truck. Two school children walked by and in tok pisin they were talking about the baby and I. They said, “There is the white woman with her baby. He wants some milk, so she’s giving him some. I have seen him. His skin is very, very white!”

Mariann McGovern

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

(Part III)

(This is the third part of a three part series. I highly recommend you read Part I and II first on this series.)

Does the gift of tongues still exist today?

I Corinthians 13:8-10 talks of the time when the gift of tongues will be over. Tongues is spoken of as something in “part”, and then the I Corinthians 13 teaches that which is in “part” shall be done away. When will it be done away? When “that which is perfect is come.” So, whenever this “that” has arrived, tongues will be over with!

So what is the “That”?
Some might say the “that” is Jesus Christ. No way. Jesus Christ is not a “that”. It does not say when “He” which is perfect is come. Many Scholars believe this “that” in I Corinthians 13 to be the Word of God, after it has all been written down.

Upon the completion of the New Testament, these certain gifts would be over with. Why? No longer a need. Now, one can go to the inspired Word of God, in the New Testament to get understanding and confirm the Truth.

What are Charismatic tongues then, if not the Biblical tongues?

Let’s first look at the history of Charismatic tongues. (Most of this information I received from a great book on the subject written by Dr. Dennis Corle)

Modern day tongues began in 1900 in a Pentecostal bible school in Topeka Kansas. A woman named Agnes Ozman was the first to speak in the gibberish language. (Interesting to note how a women was the first one influenced, much like the devil did with Eve in the Garden of Eden. According to I Corinthians 14:34, the gift of tongues was not for women. Even today still in this movement many of those who, “speak in tongues”, are women. Also note how it was not first in a church, but in a school.)

After this event it did not happen again until 1906. At this time, the Azuza St. Assembly was founded in Los Angles, Ca. Their main emphasis was seeking your personal Pentecost. They were seeking tongues. From here the modern day tongues movement really began to grow.

Charismatics claim if you are truly Spirit filled, and received the, "second blessing", you will speak in tongues.

Let’s examine testimony to see if those who "speak in tongues" in this Charismatic movement are truly Spirit filled.
-One known Episcopalian Priest speaks in tongues, yet he denies the virgin birth, and the resurrection!

-Homosexuals in the metropolitan church speak in tongues.

-Pentecostal Pastors were found to be keeping women for immoral practices, and at times found drunk. Yet during the time this all was going on they still spoke in tongues. (Something tells me they were not, Spirit filled.)

-How about well known American Evangelist Jimmy Swagart! At church or on broadcast he would speak in tongues, after service/broadcst, he would get involved in immorality with a prostitute. ( I don’t remember reading where that is one of the fruits of the Spirit.)

-Roman Catholics are now known to speak in tongues.

(Also many leading “clergy” have said tongues will be the issue that brings the churches together. Interesting. The basis of fellowship being if you speak in tongues, not what doctrine you believe. That ought to raise a red flag in your thinking, Christian.)

So what is the modem day tongues? It will fall into one of four categories.

1. It is something taught in many cases
- Many well known Charismatic leaders have books on how
to speak in tongues. (I thought it was a gift of the Spirit.)

- One church in West Virginia distributes a pamphlet
teaching people how to speak in tongues.

- The Evangel Tabernacle gives their people a phrase to repeat
over and over and faster and faster until they speak in
"tongues”. (None sense)

-Wayne Robinson, a tongue speaking Pastor, teaches his people to say, "Blessed Jesus, suffering savior, save the sin sick souls of sinful man. We wait willingly wonderfully, wistfully, right now." (What chapter in the Bible teaches this?)

(In this following example, I have known people personally, that have had a simular experinace.)
A young man went to a Charismatic service; he went forward to pray for his father. There he was met by several men, who he said began to "babble." Then the preacher looked at him and told him to speak in tongues. He was scared. He did nothing. The preacher then gave words to repeat a gibberish that he had trouble pronouncing. When he attempted to say the gibbersish words, the pastor proclaimed to the church that the “young man is now speaking in tongues."

Ask yourself, did those in Acts 2, 10, 19 have to be taught before they spoke in tongues?! Did they read a how-to-book first? Did they have to follow some gibberish of another man? NO! NO! NO! Try the spirits!

If you have been taught to speak in tongues, you can be sure, it is not the tongues of the Bible.

2. For some it is faked because of pressure or pride. ­
There is a great deal of pressure to speak in tongues in these movements. In many Charismatic circles, your spirituality is determined by your ability to speak in tongues. Many who have left the movement have said it was fake for them, nothing but pure flesh.

3. In some cases, it is an emotional experience.
Remember, the Holy Spirit is not a seducing spirit. He does not take over a person by force. Many primitive religions speak in “tongues”, and it is clearly an emotional state, worked up, much like many charismatic services.

4. In some cases, it is demonic activity.

(Isaiah 29:4 And thou shalt be brought down, and shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust, and thy voice shall be, as of one that hath a familiar spirit, out of the ground, and thy speech shall whisper out of the dust.)

I have personally seen in charismatic services, where women fall to the ground revealing their bodies, and have to be covered up. Sometimes men and women falling on each other in compromising positions. Does that sound like it is off God?

A missionary, back from the orient, was in a charismatic service, and some people began to speak in tongues. The missionary went to the Pastor and told him the lady who spoke in tongues spoke in Chinese, and it was pure filth that came out of her mouth! There are many other accounts similar to this one.

Some say, "but these people are sincere". True, many are, but all you have to do is seek something God has not promised you, and the devil will be happy to give it to you, to keep you from truth.

I hoped this study helps.

If anyone is out theeeeerrrrreeeeee reaaddddinnnggg thiiiiisssss.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Tongues Tongues Tongues
Part II

Now let’s go on to the second occurrence of Tongues (Acts 10:1-48). Acts 10 is the first time, one of the Apostles (Peter), gives the gospel to a Gentile (a non-Jew).

Notice what the Lord did to get Peter to go and preach to Cornelius (Acts 10:9-20). The Lord had to show Peter in a vision that he has also chosen the gospel to go to the Gentiles. Peter was the only one who saw the vision. The rest of the Jews did not. The Lord used the vision to get Peter to go and preach to Cornelius, a Gentile. When Peter traveled to see Cornelius, he took certain brethren with him. This would be important!

Now, upon meeting Cornelius, Peter preaches the Gospel. To Peter’s surprise (vs. 45) Cornelius and others with him are converted. The Lord now gives the gift of tongues to these new converts. Who is present to hear this? Jews! Why? To prove to the Jews the gospel is for all men. (vs. 45, 46) Tongues are a sign for whom? Yes that’s right, the Jews. Without this sign, the Jews would have doubted that the gospel had truly gone to the Gentiles.

Remember, tongues are a sign to the Jews! Here the Lord used tongues as a sign to the Jews, to show the gospel goes to all men, not only the Jews. The fact that Gentiles had been converted was a HUGE revelation to the saved believers at this time.

Acts 2 and Acts 10 are both big days in church history. The day of Pentecost and then the conversion of Gentiles! At both events tongues are present. Why? As a sign to the Jews in both cases.

Now Acts 19:1-8. This is not a significant event as the other two times, but it is still clear the gift of tongues was given as a sign to the Jews. Here you have 12 Jews in Ephesus that meet up with Paul. They had become disciples of John the Baptist before they left Palestine, but still did not know Jesus Christ. When Paul meets these 12 men and hears they are “disciples”, he asks for their testimony. It was clear from their words, they did not know Jesus Christ, and thus Paul preaches Christ, not the Holy Spirit. (vs 4.). They hear they need to repent and believe in Christ (vs4). They put their faith in Christ and are immediately baptized in water (vs 5). Then they speak in tongues (vs 6). Who was present to hear this? Yes, that's right Jews. Who was present in Acts 2? Jews. Who was present in Acts 10? Jews. Lastly, who was present in Acts 19? Jews. Again, this gift was a sign to the nation of Israel that truth has come.

Those are the three times tongues occur in Scripture. Each time it served as a sign for the Jews, just as Isaiah 28:11-14 said it would.

What is tongues?

Tongues in the Charismatic movement are some gibberish language. However, the Biblical tongues were a foreign language. Look at Acts 2:9-11; it lists the languages the men spoke, as a result of the gift of tongues. Back in Bible times, one did not say, “I speak a foreign language”. In Bible times one would say, “I speak another tongue”.

Look at I Corinthians 14:10. “There are, it may be, so many kinds of voices in the world, and none of them is without signification.”

In context, this verse is talking about the gift of tongues. (Pretty much the whole chapter is teaching on tongues.) Notice the verse refers to tongues as, “voices in the world”, or languages of the world. Based on Acts 2:9-11 and I Corinthians 14:10 we know that Biblical tongues were a foreign language and not a gibberish language.

Next post, we will look to see if we still have this gift today, and then we will see what the Charismatic “tongues” of today really are.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Tongues Tongues Tongues

Tongues Tongues Tongues
Part I

Today, many Christians are confused over the issue of “Tongues”. When I arrived here in PNG, the Charismatic movement had a grip on many of the people. It did not matter if you were Catholic, Pentecostal or Methodist, everyone wanted to speak in tongues. People would come and ask if you had “spoken in the heavenly language yet”. I knew I would need to do a Biblical series on this issue.

Honestly, it is not as difficult as everyone makes it out to be when studied in light of the scripture. It is very clear in the Bible what exactly tongues was, who it was for, and how long it would last.

In this study, we will look at Biblical Tongues (Who, What, Why, When) and the Charismatic tongues of today. (This is the first of three or four parts to this study.)

First, we will look at the true Biblical Tongues, and then we will look at the “tongues” of today’s Charismatic movement.

Biblical gift of “Tongues.”
History: Occurs three times in scripture. (That is all!)
1. Acts 2:1-11
2. Acts 10:44-16
3. Acts 19:5-8
4. The only other time brought up in Scripture is I Corinthians chapters 12,13,14, Mark 16:17

Please notice that each time someone spoke in tongues it occurred at a significant event. Acts 2 we have the Day of Pentecost. Acts 10: 44-16 was the account of the conversion of a Gentile, Cornelius, a major event to the saved Jews. Lastly in Acts 19, we have the conversion of Jews who were in Ephesus who as of yet had not heard of Jesus Christ, but had heard the preaching of John the Baptist, back when they were in their home country.

Now what is the purpose of Tongues?

To answer this question we must first go to the Old Testament, and look at when tongues were first prophesied. Let’s look at Isaiah 28:11-14:

(Isa 28:11-14) For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.

Wherefore hear the word of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.

These verses are key to understanding the Biblical gift of tongues. Here is where the Bible talks about this coming gift of “Tongues.” Isaiah 28:11 is quoted again in I Corinthians 14:21, in relation to the Biblical gift of tongues. So we know that this portion of scripture, in Isaiah 28 is talking about the gift of Tongues. These verses teach us the purpose of the gift.

Notice, the part I put in bold in verse 11 and 14. Verse 11 tells us that tongues are for “THIS PEOPLE”. Now we must find out who “THIS PEOPLE” is in order to find the purpose of Biblical tongues. Look at verse 14 and the Bible tells us who “THIS PEOPLE” is. Who does it say the gift of tongues is for? Who? “This people which is in Jerusalem.” Is this the home of Charismatics, of Benny Hinn, of Oral Roberts? Is the home of the Pentecostal movement. NO! Jerusalem is the home of Jews. “This people” is referring to the nation of Israel. The gift of tongues was a sign to the Jews. In context, when the day would come that some would speak in tongues, they would be rejecting truth. It was a sign that truth has come, but you (the Jews) have rejected it!

That is exactly what happened when Jesus came. Did the Jews as a nation receive their Messiah? No. Thus, the gift of tongues.

When we look at the three occurrences of tongues in the Bible you will see it matches up with what Isaiah 28 was talking about. Each time it served as a sign to the Jews!

Let’s examine each occurrence. (For this post we will only examine Acts 2:1-11, and look at the rest later.)

Acts 2:1-11
The Day of Pentecost

By the time Acts 2 tongues occurs, Jesus has already been rejected by his own nation. Those in Jerusalem knew what had happened just a few short weeks before with the killing of Jesus Christ. The disciples filled with the Spirit of God speak in tongues.
Who was present when tongues occur here? Who? Yes, that is correct, Jews. Why? Because this gift is a sign to them, and them only. It was a sign that truth has come to you, but you have rejected it has a nation. After this Peter preaches, and thousands trust Jesus Christ.

Remember biblical tongues according to I Cor 14:21-22 is a sign to those who don’t believe, not those who believe. More specifically it is a sign to unbelieving Jews. (vs21)

I will post more later on this subject.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Pastor and A Deacon!!

(The following Story took place in November of 2004.)

Missionary Terry Thrun is an IFB missionary in Kavieng, New Ireland. Kavieng is on the north tip of our Island, and it is about a 5 hour drive from me. I usually travel to Kavieng once a month to get supplies and our families get together and fellowship. We did not know each other prior to meeting here in PNG, but since we have become good friends.

In the summer of 2004, he had asked me to travel with him to New Hanover, to do some outreach. He had some members, in the church he started in Kavieng, that had family there. They desired for us to go and preach at New Hanover. (New Hanover is one of our many islands that make up the New Ireland province.) I told him yes, and we planned a November 2004 trip for New Hanover.

Both of us anxiously, prayerfully awaited this trip. On a Wednesday morning that November, I left my house and began the five hour drive to Kavieng. From there, I would be meeting up with Bro Thrun and getting on a banana boat and heading to New Hanover. It was not long into the trip, that I knew this would be an adventurous one. I took my son, Daniel, with me. We were not 1 hour from our house, when the front passenger side of my truck fell through a bridge. I simply heard a large crack, and boom, the left front wheel had broken through the bridge. (Many of our bridges here are very old, and worn out.) Quickly, though, several of the people from the village we were in came and helped. We were back on the road, headed to Kavieng. Once in Kavieng we rested there at Bro Thruns house and left the next morning for Kavieng.

The boat ride to the coast of the island itself was about two and half hours. The ocean was great. When traveling in the ocean in these banana boats, the ocean can be very dangerous. Many lives have been lost, since I have been here, when the weather has turned, and these boats are caught out on the water. Once at the coast, we came to a mouth of a river. We then began a long journey down this river. The scenery was spectacular. Most of this area has been unchanged for hundreds of years, including the way the people live. We traveled for several hours down the river. At times we had to be pulled through the water because it was so shallow. After traveling for several hours on the river alone, it was now time to walk. This is deep bush. There is no road for cars, no landing strip for planes, just trails leading through the jungle. As we walked in this beautiful place, we were mesmerized by the scenery. At times, it felt surreal. After walking for one hour, we arrived at the village we would be preaching in. We greeted many of the people, and then rested. In just a short time, the preaching would begin. We would only be here for two nights and three days.

As it was drawing closer to service time, I noticed there was a large hollowed out log behind me. I thought it was just something for decoration. From where I was sitting it was behind me. Then a man walked over to it, with a big stick in his hand, and began beating inside of this log. The noise reverberated, throughout the entire valley! This was a communication device for them. I have always heard of these things, and seen them in a smaller scale, but have seen it used before. The noise let the people in the valley know, that the preaching service was getting ready to start. They needed to wash up and come to the meeting place. I was amazed at how this thing echoed through out the valley.

Sure enough the people started coming, and it was dark by now. There are no light poles, no head lights in the distance, just darkness. We brought with us a pressure lamp that we would be using when the preaching started. I was hoping for hundreds to come, but it did not happen. We had well over a hundred, and we were thankful that they came to hear the preaching.

As I was preaching, I could see the Lord working on hearts. There was one man, sitting about four rows back on the end, where I could see the Lord was really working on his heart. At the end of the preaching, he had put his hand up asking to be dealt with as well as two others. When Isaac saw his hand go up, he quickly came to me and said, “He is the United Church Pastor in a village about an hour away!” I took this “pastor” to the side and began dealing with him, one on one. As he listened, the Lord was clearly working on his heart. Then with tears in his eyes he repented, and put his faith in Jesus Christ! He was so excited. He told me how his church needs to hear this! He told me how his family needs to hear this! I was thrilled, as the Lord just saved this Pastor of the United Church! We talked for awhile more that night, before I retired and went to bed.

During services the next day, the Lord would be working on hearts once again. There were several new faces this night. After the service, again there were a few who asked to be dealt with. I dealt with a man who had just arrived, as services began. He, too, put his trust in Jesus Christ! After he put his faith in Christ, we talked. This man was the Deacon of the church belonging to the Pastor who was saved the night before! He had no idea that his Pastor had come forward the night before and trusted Christ! Amen! The Pastor and Deacon of a United church both coming to Christ!!!

What has happened since…..? (As of February 2006)

Upon going back to his village after we left, the Pastor had his church split, and he started a new one. A few months later, brother Thrun brought Henry to Kavieng for training. During training, he had a lot of problems with family and other things that I do not know. He returned back, not finishing his schooling. Please do pray for him (Henry) that this will work out and a solid Baptist church can be planted.

I can not tell you how thrilling it was to see this Pastor, Deacon, and a few others, come to know Jesus Christ in truth!

Missionary/Pastor Terry McGovern

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Three Key Elements To Successful Service For The Lord. John 9 (Part II)

Now let’s continue with John Chapter nine.

Again, in this chapter, we see three attributes in Jesus’ life, which if these three are in our life, we too will have success. The three attributes we see are:

1) Considerate of Time

2) Compassionate

3) Courage

In my earlier post, we looked at Considerate of Time. We saw how we need to use our time wisely here on the earth. We need to “work while it is day for the night cometh.”

In this post we will look at Compassion and Courage, and how all three attributes resulted in a Changed life.


Let’s look at vs. 1
(John 9:1) And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.

(Oh, to have the eyes of Christ! To see men as he saw men. To see needs as he saw needs. I am so thankful Jesus passed by me, a poor, wretched, blind man, and had compassion.)

Jesus looks upon this man, but he does not see this man as the disciples saw this man.

1) Notice, Jesus saw a need; the disciples only saw their circle of friends.

It was not the disciples who noticed the blind man, it was Jesus. The disciples were, no doubt, talking amongst themselves, as they traveled. They were with Jesus Christ, the Son of God. They knew the Savior. I would imagine their talk was even about spiritual things. It was even good for edification. John, talking with Peter. James talking with Matthew. Jesus teaching the truths as they walked on the road. Sometimes even good things can hinder our service for God.

As they walked, only Jesus notices the blind man. No doubt, all the disciples looked upon him, when they saw Jesus look upon him. Had Jesus not noticed, they would have passed him right by. Keep in mind, this blind man did not yell out to Jesus, as others did. He did not even ask to be healed as others did. Yet Jesus still took notice of him.

How many times are we limited in our vision, by our current company, by our “circle of friends”? How many times do we fail to look beyond our comfort zone, and see the needs that are out there? Yes, we all need our circle of friends, in our Christian life. They are there to encourage and help us with our Christian life. Fellowship is a very important part of the Christian life. However, let us not limit our vision to just “our circles” and miss the needs that are there.

We are to be lights in this world!

Compassion is what opens our eyes to the needs around us. Compassion Searches and Sees

2) In the blind man, Jesus saw an opportunity for service. The disciples saw a chance for a theological discussion.

(John 9:2) And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind

This is so true of us today. Instead of seeing needs, we desire to debate. We like to talk, but we do not like to work. Thus we will not meet needs as we should! When we look upon people are eyes to tend to focus on problems, instead of solutions. We don’t see an opportunity, we see opposition. When someone who has a need comes to us, we say, “I will pray for you, may the Lord bless you.” Then we head the other direction, or do our best to find a reason why we should not help this person. (Most of the time never even praying for them.)

Without eyes of compassion our service will be with a hard heart and we will fail to see many “blind beggars”
(The blind beggar in this chapter represents the lost.)

Compassion is what opens our eyes to the needs around us. Compassion Searches and Sees.


Jesus healed this man on the Sabbath day!!! In John chapter 5, is where the opposition to Jesus ministry began. It is here that the Jews began to desire to kill him. Why? What happened in John chapter 5? In that chapter, Jesus heals a lame man and tells to pick up his bed and walk. He did this on the SABBATH. The Jews were furious, and thus the opposition begins.

Jesus knew full well, what would take place if he healed this man on the Sabbath. He showed courage/boldness, and continued with the work the Father had sent him to do.

We too need courage/boldness in our work for the Lord. Many times we will face opposition. Without courage we will back down. We will never see lives changed. We will never see great victories. Lord give us boldness!!!

We need to keep our eyes on God not on circumstances.

How do we receive boldness? Boldness come from being Spirit filled. Acts 4:31. I don’t care what your personality is. Don’t tell me about your “temperament” and thus you can’t do this work. Boldness is not about our personality. It does not come from me or you. It comes from the Spirit of God. Thus if I am yielded to the Spirit, he will provide the boldness needed for the Work!!

In conclusion:

Think of the new life of this blind man. He had been blind from birth. He had never seen a tree, never seen water, a mountain, his own Mother or Father. He never saw a cloud, a star, or the sun. He had never even seen himself. WOW! What a new world is open to him now. Think of the Joy he must have had, when he washed the mud off and saw! Think about how he wondered at all that there was to see. How true is this when one repents and puts his faith Jesus Christ. He can now see! He knows what life is about. He can see himself as he truly is. He can also now see the Son! There is joy when one receives their sight, but there is also storms.

Even though the blind man had joy, he still had trials. In verse 34, the Jews threw him out of the temple. However, in the very next verse, Jesus was there to help! The Christian life is not an easy life. There is great joy and great trials. Yet, when the trials come, since our eyes have been open we can look for the Son. Jesus is there to help!

If we desire to see lives Changed, to see “blind beggars” receive their sight. We too need to be Considerate of Time, Compassionate and Courageous.

Missionary/Pastor Terry McGovern

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Is That A “Pot Hole” Or A Canyon?……
( This story took place on the morning of Febraury 11, 2006.)

As I woke up this morning, the rain was still falling. We are in the midst of a late rainy season. I left the house about 7:00am. From all the rain, our road is getting worse and worse. I came upon some, “potholes”, that were deeper than my truck and four times the length of it, with no way around them. For a second, I though I was in northern Arizona looking at the Grand Canyon. :) (FYI, our road is a dirt road, no pavement.) I was concerned; I would not be able to make it to the village of Kudukudu because of the rain. There are two rivers to cross that do not have bridges, and with all the rain lately, they have been difficult to cross. (Two weeks ago, I was coming back from the village of Wilo, and when I came to one river, I asked the man with me if he thought it was okay to cross. The river was very swollen from the rain. He said, “Yes”, so I drove in. We both quickly looked at each other, as the river came over my hood!!!!!!!!! I thought we were going to be swept away, or have the truck die from water going into the air cleaner. The deep part only lasted for a few feet and then the river was then just above my bumper. We made it across and I expected my engine to start miss-firing. It never did! Praise the Lord!). The rivers on this day were fine, so I was able to make it into the village.

Upon arrival, I spent the first hour working some discipleship with Len. Len was the very first man saved in the work. I will be posting later an amazing story of how the Lord led in the start of the work in Kudukudu. Len played a key role in that. After discipleship, it was time for visits in the village.

On this day, I have one visit that I have been praying about for some time. I am going to see a man named, Joel. Joel’s wife, (Rose,) was saved a few weeks back. She had been coming to services off an on for over a year, and just a few weeks ago she trusted Jesus Christ as her Savior! However, Joel would not come to services during this time. I knew Rose was married, but I had no idea who her husband was, until the day she was saved. The day Rose accepted Christ, her husband was in church that day. I did not know yet that this “visitor” was Rose’s husband. (Here in PNG the families do not sit together. All the men sit one side, and all the ladies sit on the other side.) I did notice that while preaching, Joel was listening intently.

Rose told me the Sunday she was saved, (the first Sunday Joel came to church), that they came to church as a last effort to save their marriage. She said, that Sunday morning she decided to leave him, and go back to her home village. I am so glad they came to church!!! AMEN!!! The devil not only lost his attempt to destroy a marriage, he lost one soul as well that Sunday morning. However he still had Joel. I parked my truck a few feet in the bush and begin the walk to Joel’s and Roses home (bush hut). Due to the rain the ground is very muddy and slippery. It is not a long walk at all. I would say about 200 yards from the road.

I had previously told Joel I wanted to come by and see him at this time. I had prayed plenty, in the two weeks leading up to this, that he would be there. Many times when I have set a time to visit someone, they head off into the bush. Joel was there. He greeted me as I was walking up a small muddy hill to his home. Rose then came behind with the children. We sat down and I made some “small talk”, and then went into the gospel. (By the way, the homes here are for sleeping. You do not go inside them for visits. The socializing is done outside.) Joel was listening intently. A light rain was falling, and one large pig began making a disturbance. A quick prayer took care of that. Then one of the children began crying. Again, after a quick silent prayer, the child calmed down. The battle was clearly on for the soul of this man. As I was talking with Joel, he realized that if he died right then he would go to Hell. He had now seen the wages of his sin in the Bible. I then took him to Jesus Christ. I showed what it meant when Jesus died on the cross and rose again. How Christ took all of his sin and freely offers His righteousness to him, if he would repent and believe on Jesus Christ. After talking for some time, I asked if he would like to put his faith in Christ. He was silent and this worried me. I expected a quick, “yes”. I began praying for him. It was silent. I was saying nothing, just praying. I wanted the next words to come from him. I wanted his decision to be only from him. He then looked at me, and said “Yes”. AMEN! As he prayed to trust Christ, his voice crackled from emotion. He did not cry, but he did wipe his eyes as they teared up. Now the devil had lost another! After he prayed, all three of us rejoiced, Joel, Rose and I. Oh the joy of seeing one birthed into the family of God! I then spent some more time with them giving them marital advice. The devil will begin working hard now at destroying their marriage. Pray for Rose and Joel, brand new Christians, as they began their new life in Christ.

Terry McGovern

Friday, February 10, 2006

Three Key Elements To Successful Service For The Lord. John 9 (Part I)

(I have been preaching through the book of John for a year now, and I am currently in John Chapter nine. Today, I will be posting some of what I will be preaching on this Sunday.)

We all know, to be successful in whatever field one works in, one needs certain skills. For instance, if you are employed as a salesmen, you need to be able to work well with people, to be convincing, as well as many other attributes to assist you. If you lack certain key attributes then it is best you find another line of work, or it is likely your current employer will fire you.

In our service for God, if we lack certain attributes, it is likely we will not be successful. All of us who are Christians are in the Lord’s service. If the Lord, was to come to you today and weigh your performance in His service, how would you fair?

In John nine, we see Jesus Christ showing the Pharisees, the truth that was brought up in John chapter one, and the Truth that Jesus proclaimed in John chapter eight. The Truth that Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. The Jews were not at all accepting this, so Jesus demonstrates this truth through a blind man. We see Jesus, as always, successfully accomplishing His work for the Father. We need to learn from Him and pattern ourselves after Him.

Look at verses 9: 1-5. Verses four and five are key (Joh 9:1-5) And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. 4) I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.(Joh 9:5) As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

After he makes this statement in verse 5, he then turns attention to the blind man and heals him. Keep in mind it is the Sabbath day.

Jesus miraculously heals this man and his life is changed forever. The rest of the chapter deals with the Jews denying this miracle showing Jesus to be the Messiah. The chapter concludes with the man who was blind putting his faith in Jesus Christ for salvation.

What do we see here in the life of Jesus that led to the healing of the blind man and his salvation. (If we want to be successful for the Lord, we will follow the pattern given to us by Jesus..

Three elements we see in the Life of Jesus here:

1) Considerate of Time - Understanding we have a limited Time, and thus using our time wisely (The only “C” I could come up with in relation to "Time" was Clock, but it just did not fit right.) :) vs4

2) Compassion vs 1, 5, 35

3) Courage (Boldness)

1-6 For this blog, I will only deal with the “Time” issue. Later, I will deal with the other two.

In verse four Jesus stresses how he must work “while it is day”, for the night cometh. At this point Jesus is only a few months away from the cross. The night here speaks of death. He knew he had little time and so what time he had he was going to make the best use of. (Oh, if we would do the same!)

We too have little time. Death is quickly approaching all of us. Too often we delay our service for God. We have many excuses has to why we can’t serve God now. None of these excuses will hold up on the Day of Judgment!

Oh to hear those words, “Well done my good and faithful servant.” If we are to hear those words, then we must use our time wisely.

Here is some teaching the Bible gives us concerning our “Time.”

I Peter 1:17 - And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

We need to remember as Christians we are strangers/sojourners on this earth. Yet, we let the cares of this life take our time. (II Tim 2:4) We need to pass our time in fear. Fear? Why fear? Verses 18-19 answer that question, because we have been redeemed with the blood of Christ. This carries an enormous responsibility. Time is not mine to give away. I have been bought with a price, the blood of Jesus Christ. We are not our own!!!!

(Eph 5:16) Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

We need to “redeem” the time. The devil is a master at getting us to waste our time. To put our efforts into things that don’t really matter. We need to do all we can to redeem the time. Not to waste time. Why? The importance of our work here! The days our evil.

For many it is Time to wake up!!! (Rom 13:11,12) And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

Many Christians need to wake up and cast off the works of darkness, and put there amour on. Get in the Battle!!! Many fail to realize the importance of their personal walk with God, and that of the local church.

In conclusion,how could you or I have used our time better this week?Time is short! I know when I was in the U.S. Air Force, my time belonged to them. They expected the best out of me. How much more does God Almighty deserve my time, and the best out of me!

Pastor/MissionaryTerry McGovern

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Missionary Stories from PNG

Here are two missionary stories that have recently happened here in PNG. I took both of these from my current prayer letter that was just mailed out. For those of you who receive my prayer letter, you will notice I did a different format this last time. I simply used two stories for the prayer letter. There was much more to say but not the space to put it in.

Here are the stories:

One Sunday, I brought the Christians from the work in Sohun to Kudukudu for a combined service. While there, one of the men from Sohun recognized one of the men at the church Kudukudu. The man from Sohun (Pius) has been saved for about five years now and had not seen this man for many years. The man he recognized (Wesley) was a very good friend of his years ago. They used to get drunk together and were always in trouble. They even spent time in jail together. He had no idea Wesley would be at the church service. Little did Pius know that Wesley and his wife had both just recently trusted Christ, and this day I would be baptizing them. After the service, Pius wept as his old friend was baptized. They both hugged and rejoiced that they both have become a "new creature" in Christ! I had no idea that the men knew each other, until well after the service. Oh the Grace of God!!! Oh how he loves for us to rejoice. It was no coincidence on that Sunday we had combined services, with the Christians in Sohun. The Lord was in control of everything. He desired to let two friends rejoice that they both had turned to Jesus Christ. AMEN!

On the first Sunday in January, a "Catholic Evangelist" came to church. He was visiting family in the village. Since there was no Catholic church, he decided to attend the Baptist church, upon his brothers recommendation. He listened intently during the preaching. After the service, I spent one hour talking with him. He truly seemed liked a Nicodemus, desiring truth. After presenting the gospel, and answering many of his questions, I asked if he would like to receive Jesus Christ. He said he was not ready, but that he would return the following week. As I left the service that day, he was in the back of my truck with his family. He wanted me to drop him off at the hut where he was staying. While driving, he yelled out to me to stop the truck. I did. He climbed out of my truck and came to the window. He said he had to receive Jesus now and he did not want to wait! He clearly had urgency in his eyes and voice. I got out of my truck and we walked to a river by the road. There he had his entire family sit down, and he put his faith in Jesus Christ!! AMEN!! (He ended up having to leave the village three days later.) Nothing beats serving the Lord!!!!!!!!!!

Terry McGovern

The True Foundation for life.

First, this blog will not only deal with missions, but with many aspects of the Christian life. I would like the focus primarily to be Jesus Christ and his Word. I hope the Lord will bless and use this blog to His honor and Glory.

It will deal with subjects concerning Christians. Today the word “Christian” is used in a very broad sense, and that is very sad. By Christian, I mean those who have repented and put their faith solely in Jesus Christ for salvation. Not their baptism, church, good works, some experience, or anything else. I am a Baptist preacher/missionary, however those things do not make me a Christian. Salvation is not about what I do, it is about what Jesus Christ has already done. If you are not a Christian or not sure, then please click on this link ( from my web-site, to see how the Bible teaches us we can become a true Christian.

I myself put my faith in Jesus Christ on June 30th 1982. Pastor John Norris opened the Word of God, and showed me the gospel. Upon realizing my need for Jesus Christ I turned to him and put my faith in Him.

Now on to the blog:

The best place to start is with Jesus Christ.

He is the true foundation. If your life, your works, your motivation, your marriage, your relationships etc... are not built on Him, then it is all for not. Jesus Christ is life. Our life is about glorifying God Almighty. Let’s look at a parable about the importance of having the right foundation in life. This foundation is Jesus Christ and his Word.

(Mat 7:24-27) Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:

And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

What is your “house” built upon? How many have quit in their service due to “rains, floods, and wind” (trials)? Their foundation for their service was not the Rock (Jesus Christ), it was merely sand.

Knowing this to be the case, why then do so few people build upon this foundation?

For one, building upon this foundation will involve denying self. The fact is we like to live our life for our self and not God. We can even use God and His service for self .

I think of the many times in my own life, I have attempted some work, or some other area of my life, without letting Jesus Christ be the foundation. One can be a missionary, as myself, and yet the motivation for the service can be entirely selfish. Thus the work is built on the wrong foundation.

Christian we when get to heaven our motivations will be revealed. God will not only look at what we did, but why we did it.

(1Co 3:10-15) According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

Ask yourself, why you do what you do. Why do you go to church? Why do you read the Bible? Why do you pray? Why do you preach? Why do you teach a Sunday school class? Etc…


Now once you have answered that question, I want you to think about this verse:

(Mat 22:37) Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.

Terry McGovern