Archive for November, 2012

Family, Food and Football

Posted on November 26, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

For many years we missed celebrating Thanksgiving with family. While overseas we would try to gather with missionary colleagues to give some semblance of gathering with family for this unique American holiday. Seldom was turkey and trimmings available, so more often than not the meal consisted of rice and curry or goat sate. What a blessing it was to enjoy family and host the extended clan for Thanksgiving in our Mississippi home this year.

Our daughter and family are overseas, but she reported hosting the expatriate community in their Central Asian city. She obviously has her mother’s gift of hospitality as 20 adults and 15 children gathered at their house for a simulated American holiday experience. We were delighted to …

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Will We Give Thanks on Thanksgiving?

Posted on November 21, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite seasons of the year. Unlike other holidays, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of hassle and activity involved. It is a down time after a busy fall when school and work accelerate the pace of life. Now most schools are dismissed for the week, but for others it is a long holiday weekend of gathering with family, feasting and enjoying a refreshing chill in the air.

For many it means heading to the woods for hunting while others look forward to attending the big game climaxing the football season, or hitting the malls to launch the Christmas shopping frenzy. Others, like me, will become couch potatoes indulging in the constant diet of televised …

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Post-Election Reflections

Posted on November 14, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Though personally disappointed in the outcome, I join others in being glad it is over. The campaign was definitely over the top this year, dominating our attention for far too long. Better results could have been achieved if the $6 billion spent on negative and distorted advertising had been devoted to helping storm victims or reducing the federal debt. We are hearing analyses of the implications of the election from every direction, but the reality is we now have to live with the results.

That reality is not just a stale-mated congress and a socialist-minded president infringing on religious freedoms and saddling subsequent generations with debilitating debt. It is a polarized electorate like we have never known before. Our shattered …

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COMIBAM Reaching the Nations

Posted on November 12, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

A personal highlight of many diverse ministry opportunities this year was to be asked to present two keynote messages to the annual COMIBAM conference in the Dominican Republic. This Latin American Consultation on Evangelizing the World has been bringing together evangelical leaders from a wide variety of denominations and mission agencies from every country in South and Middle America as well as Spain and Portugal for 25 years.

It was delightful to arrive in the tropics after an early morning departure from Mississippi with temperatures a few degrees above freezing. I recalled previous trips to the DR and the beautiful drive around the bay from the airport into Santo Domingo. Swaying palm trees, papaya and fresh pineapple and tourists splashing …

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Implementing our Prayers

Posted on November 9, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

“We night and day keep praying most earnestly that we may see your face and may complete what is lacking in your faith.” 1 Thessalonians 3:10

In passages similar to Philippians and Colossians, Paul prays for those in the church at Thessalonica. In the opening verses he thanks God for them and intercedes for them with gratitude for their “work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 1:3). Here again is that litany of faith, hope and love found repeatedly in the Bible.

It is significant to note that these are not passive character traits but action-related attributes. Faith is not just a matter of trust but is reflected in …

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Final Road Trip

Posted on November 5, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

We arrived home last week following a 12-day road trip of 2800 miles that entailed engagements in seven states. The temperature was a chilly 35 degrees the next morning, and it was as if the seasons had abruptly changed while we were gone. After watering thirsty house plants, the neglected yard required blowing leaves instead of mowing the grass.

Okay, so it really wasn’t our final road trip of the year, but after constant travel around the country, the rest of the year will consist only of brief weekend excursions. We enjoyed being at First Baptist Church, Laurel, MS yesterday and this week will make a trip to the Dominican Republic to speak at COMIBAM, a gathering of leaders throughout …

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Praying for God’s Will

Posted on November 2, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

“We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Colossians 1:9

Who has not at some time prayed to know God’s will. Perhaps it was as a student seeking divine direction for a vocational choice or someone struggling with a sense of call to missions or ministry. Throughout life we pray for a knowledge of God’s will as we make decisions or have to choose between two courses of action. Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1:9-12 was that his readers would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will.

This was an unceasing prayer which implied we need to be spiritually sensitive …

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