Archive for April, 2013

Mentoring and Discipling

Posted on April 29, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

We have had no lack of ministry opportunities since retiring. We have no obligation to fill the calendar with engagements but find it difficult to decline an opportunity in which someone has felt led to invite us. I enjoy an occasional Sunday and being nurtured by someone else’s sermon, but given an opportunity to proclaim the word, present a missions challenge, lead a seminar on leadership, strategy or spiritual warfare…the calendar fills up.

We enjoy the travel, dropping in on old friends and expanding our network of new acquaintances but live with a tension between local ministry and the more expansive opportunities our former role and influence provides. It would be gratifying to become involved in many programs of local …

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Elusive Holiness

Posted on April 26, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

“But like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves in all your behavior; because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”  1 Peter 1:15-16

Classical Christian writers often focused on the matter of holiness and the Spirit-filled life, but we seldom dwell on the issues of a sanctified life. We tend to relegate it to the theological realm of our salvation. Knowing that we were saved and cleansed by the blood of Christ, spiritually we are “saints” who are holy or “set apart” in the eyes of God. But that theological reality doesn’t necessarily translate into practical attitudes and behavior.

We tend to think of holiness as an unattainable level of perfection, something to …

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God Bless the Missionaries

Posted on April 25, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

A strange pattern seems to have developed in how we pray. The bulk of our praying is for ourselves and our needs. Corporate prayer is dominated by intercession for those sick and suffering. Perhaps self-centered praying has always been the default content of our supplications, but one seldom hears passionate pleading for the nations and for kingdom issues.

It is encouraging in the midst of thanking God for the rain, invoking His blessings on the worship service and praying for Aunt Tilly in the hospital that someone will ask God to bless the missionaries. It is commendable that one would be aware of those who have left home and family to take the gospel to remote places around the world …

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Staying Connected

Posted on April 22, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

It was difficult for us to stay connected with friends and family over the years. Being overseas for 23 years made contacts infrequent occasions when we came home only every three or four years for furlough. Travel and administrative responsibilities in leading the IMB later diminished the opportunities to participate in family gatherings or schedule casual visits with former colleagues. One of the joys of retirement is having flexibility in our schedule and margin in our travel to connect with family and friends.

We occasionally stopover in Mobile for a visit with my twin sister, Jean, and have attached ourselves to gatherings of Bobbye’s sister’s family in Brookhaven and Jackson. A recent weekend engagement in North Mississippi allowed us to …

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Walking the Talk

Posted on April 19, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called.”  Ephesians 4:1

Everyday we should practice being aware of the question of whether or not the life we live is consistent with what we confess to believe. I grew up hearing the admonition that we ought to practice what we preach. Although that truism has an application to those who stand in the pulpit and proclaim the word of God, it is relevant for every Christian.

We would readily acknowledge our tendency to fall short of how we know we are to live. Anyone who has attended church and read the Bible knows how a Christian …

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Photo Out-Takes from Indonesia

Posted on April 16, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

We are enjoying being down home in Mississippi, spending beautiful spring days working in the yard and driving to nearby weekend engagements. A Sunday missions emphasis in Aberdeen allowed us to visit my sister-in-law, Rosamond, in Tupelo and my nephew Randy and his family. Rather than indulging in proud pictures of my azaleas and cherry blossoms, we wanted to share more photos from our Indonesia trip.

One of the highlights was a picnic to Rembangan, a beautiful park and swimming pool high in the mountains above Jember. Our children cherish the almost weekly family-day outings to this location when they were small. It was one of the highlights for the return of Lori and her family. They discovered the friendliness …

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Spring, Easter and Renewal

Posted on April 4, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

It’s wonderful to be home! After traveling for most of the last three months it is nice to do something other than picking up our mail and doing the laundry on brief stopovers in Mississippi. The trips, fellowship with new and old friends and ministry opportunities have been fantastic, but isn’t retirement supposed to be about chilling out now and then?

It is nice to have weekend engagements in Mississippi and just a relatively short drive away. I will have led three seminars on spiritual warfare by the end of this month. I am hoping folks from the churches in Copiah County will join us at New Zion Baptist Church near Crystal Springs for the seminar Friday night and Saturday …

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Substitutionary Resurrection

Posted on April 4, 2013 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

“If the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

The world makes a big deal of Christmas, but only Christians can truly celebrate Easter. Granted, the secularization of Christmas as practiced by the world is not exactly God-glorifying, it is the preeminent holiday of the year. Although the birthdate of founders of other religions are revered along with that of other prominent historical figures, it is appropriate that we celebrate Christmas day as the point in which Almighty God became a man in order to redeem us from sin.

Others …

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