Archive for March, 2013

Palm Sunday: Short-lived Praise

Posted on March 26, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

“The whole crowd began to praise God joyfully…‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord.”  Luke 19:37-38

Celebration of Palm Sunday was a wonderful worship experience. Attendance was good, the sermon began to focus our thinking on the significance of the Passion Week. A special music presentation by the choir and orchestra in the evening stirred emotions to a peak of inspiration. Some churches traditionally dramatize the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem with a setting of children waving palm branches.

That triumphal entry as recorded in the 19th chapter of Luke’s gospel was obviously a climatic event in the popularity of Jesus as the crowds sang praises and welcomed Him as the King who comes …

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Venture to New England

Posted on March 25, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Following our three weeks in Indonesia and a week in Florida, we embarked on a two-week excursion of multiple engagements up the east coast from South Carolina to Boston, traveling 4,335 miles through 20 states! That included one segment of our journey in four states in a mere 20-minutes, leaving Pennsylvania and driving across narrow arms of Maryland and West Virginia before entering into Virginia. The destination and objective of the trip was a mission conference in Easton, MA and fellowship with church planters in Boston with Antioch Ministries.

Although we had a couple of days of inclement weather and adjusted to continuing winter cold, it was a beautiful trip touring the New England states, especially the snow-covered mountains …

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Winter Escape to Florida

Posted on March 19, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

While traveling to engagements up the east coast, we quietly allowed my 71st birthday to pass unnoticed on Saturday, which is preferable at this age. I expect a lot of attention on the decade milestones, but too many are accumulating too fast to make a big deal of all of them. I’m thankful for continued health, strength, vision and an abundance of opportunities to fulfill our calling. That trip will have to await next week’s post as I am still catching up from reporting on our travels to Indonesia.

The winter temperature was shocking to the system after three weeks in the tropics, but we had only one day of turn-around at home following our 24-hours of travel from Bali …

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Living in the Bonus

Posted on March 15, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

“The days of our years are three score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years…for as soon as it is cut off, and we fly away.” Psalm 90:10 (KJV)

Tomorrow is another birthday. They seem to come more often as the years flow by faster and faster. I thought they would slow down once I retired but maintaining a busy lifestyle keeps the pages of the calendar turning. In the early years of human history, people lived for hundreds of years; but as the earth was populated and generations multiplied, expected life spans shortened.

I remember hearing a sermon on “Living in the Hyphen.” Tombstones record one’s date of birth and death with a …

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Bali Vacation

Posted on March 11, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Our return to places of ministry in East Java with our daughter, Lori, and her family concluded with a few days of vacation on Bali, a popular tourist attraction and exotic island to the east. With Jember, our place of assignment, only two hours from the eastern tip of Java, our children remember two or three times a year getting away for a few days of family vacation in Bali.

We would load our jeep on the ferry and soon be driving through lush green rice fields to the sprawling beaches of Kuta or Sanur. Thirty years ago there was only one major hotel, but we would stay at simple beachside cottages for as little as $12 a night, enjoying …

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Consequences are Inevitable

Posted on March 8, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

“Do not be deceived. God is not mocked: for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.” Galatians 6:7

When will we ever learn that there are consequences to our actions whether good or bad? The cause and effect of what we do is inevitable. Is our human nature so stupid as to think we can do whatever we please without any responsibility for the result? That would seem to be the deceptive strategy of our enemy, Satan, who is intent of bringing us down.

The discipline of a young child is designed to teach this important principle. You misbehave and punishment ensues. Touch a hot stove and you will get burned. Break a toy and you no longer …

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The Family and Missions

Posted on March 6, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

When we were preparing to leave for the mission field in 1970 our children were 10 months old and two years old. Friends in churches where we served in North Texas and Mississippi often asked us, “You are not taking the kids, are you?” They could not imagine our subjecting these precious children to the health risks and dangers perceived to be inherent in the tropical, Muslim country of Indonesia.

We assured them that we were, indeed, taking the children as the family unit was ordained of God and an intrinsic component of fulfilling His will. We would readily acknowledge that “family” added challenges and encumbrances to life on the mission field with the hassle of travel and living is …

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East Java Mountains

Posted on March 4, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Our daughter reminded us that one our outings when we lived in East Java was accompanying visitors to a scenic volcano lake on nearby Mount Idjen. At the time she was too small to make the strenuous trek up the mountainside and would be left with helpers at a guesthouse on the coffee plantation on the Idjen Plateau. Having seen pictures, her lifelong desire and personal agenda was for her family to make this excursion while on our pilgrimage back to East Java.

We left our hotel at 5:00 am for the three-hour drive to the base of the volcano, a winding mountainous drive through rice fields, teakwood forests and a coffee and cocoa plantation. At the beginning the two-hour …

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