Rankin Connecting

Spirit-Anointed Leadership

Posted on February 22, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

After speaking at three events last week on leadership, I find the topic has somewhat saturated my thinking. Although far from being an expert on the subject, I have read, studied the topic and learned a lot about leadership from personal experiences. I can attest to the fact that, ironically, one often learns more from failures and negative experiences than from success. There are task-oriented leaders, people-oriented leaders and others lead from the power of a charismatic personality.

But there are some essential elements of leadership that come from God’s Spirit; this is true whether one is in a spiritual church-related or mission role or secular and community leadership. They are outlined in Isaiah 11:1-4. Although this is a Messianic …

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ETHNECITY–Reaching Our World at Home

Posted on February 8, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

We don’t live in Mayberry any longer! My quiet, little suburban home town deep in the Bible belt has slowly and subtly been invaded by people from all over the world. They don’t speak with a slow Southern drawl and sometimes their broken English is hard to understand. The most popular eating establishments don’t serve grits and catfish; sushi and tamales have become the fast food cuisine of choice.

We now have six Mexican restaurants, three Japanese eateries and two Chinese mega-buffets in town. South Asians from India manage our motels and operate the food marts at gasoline stations. Almost 300 students from China are on our local college campus. All of them need to know Jesus. The world has …

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A Missed Field Goal

Posted on February 1, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

A missed field goal can be a jubilant occasion for one team and a heartbreak for another. The New York Giants made it into the Superbowl with a successful 3-pointer in overtime, while the New England Patriots made it when the Baltimore kicker missed a relatively short field goal in the final minute. The winners of an unusual number of college bowl games this year were determined by a field goal made or missed.

A missed field goal is agonizing to watch no matter which team you are for. The elation of the opposing team is understandable and justified, but even if I am for the winning team, the joy of that victory is diminished by sensitivity to the failed …

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Does God Help Tebow?

Posted on January 19, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Everyone else is speculating on this question so why not jump in before the roller-coaster football season of Tim Tebow and the Denver Broncos fades from our memory.

Have the miraculous comeback and overtime wins been orchestrated by God because Tebow is faithful to give Him praise and credit for everything in life? If so, where is God on occasions his quarterback performance has tanked? Is this equivocating Sovereign playing games with His loyal servant, or is He seeking to defy the shallow religionists who would suggest that He has any interest in NFL football?

It is obviously a theological distortion to attribute wealth, affluence, blessing and good fortune to God–a mistake common to Jewish philosophers frequently corrected by Jesus. …

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Not Missing the Airlines

Posted on January 11, 2012 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

A recent news report acknowledged that more than 100,000 domestic flights had been canceled by U.S airlines this past year. Having been victimized by such cancellations in the past, I rejoiced I was no longer in a lifestyle that subjected me to such abuse. Somewhere along the way air travel had become the bane of my existence. When we first took off on those periodic flights to the orient, flying was an exotic experience for our family. But the glorified uniqueness of air travel rapidly diminished; it now conjures up images of childhood days of riding a crowded uncomfortable school bus or cows being herded on a crowded cattle car at the railway yard.

Traveling around Asia as area director …

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Koreans Leading the Way

Posted on December 30, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

I have just returned from the Global Korean Young Adult Mission Festival (GKYM) held this year in Rochester, New York. I was not able to accept invitations to speak at this conference previously, so this was my first time to gather with more than 3,000 second-generation Koreans, primarily from the U.S. and Canada for this end-of-the-year event. Seldom had I been at a conference that reflected such intense passion and commitment for evangelizing a lost world.

It reminded me of one of my earlier experiences of seeing how God is moving among Korean youth. The first GCOWE (Global Consultation on World Evangelization) was held in Seoul, Korea in 1995. It was a gathering of evangelical denominations and mission agencies from …

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Christmas and Missions

Posted on December 21, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

In all the festivity that surrounds the season it is easy to ignore the fact that at the heart of Christmas is the mission of God. Buying presents, decorating our homes, enjoying music we listen to only at this time of year and indulging in goodies we would not otherwise eat, obscure the significance of what we celebrate. Oh, we keep the birth of Christ central in the midst of all the commercialization, but do we ignore why this event occurred?

More than one pastor has been confronted by a puzzled church member, wondering why we emphasize missions at this time of year when everyone’s agenda is overwhelmed by shopping, choir presentations, Christmas parties and travel to family reunions. Other …

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Is Lottie Moon Starving?

Posted on December 14, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

Several years ago the International Mission Board encouraged churches to give more generously to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering by using the theme, “Is Lottie Moon Starving Again?” The promotion generated a backlash from many who considered this disrespectful of Lottie Moon who literally starved to death. She was a pioneer missionary to China in the 19th century and challenged the Woman’s Missionary Union to take an offering at Christmas to send more missionaries. Eventually this annual mission offering, begun in 1888, was named for Lottie Moon and has raised almost four billion dollars for missions.

More than 50% of the budget of the International Mission Board comes from this voluntary annual offering. Contrary to the perception of some, none …

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Prepare for Austerity

Posted on November 30, 2011 by Dr. Jerry Rankin

It has been fascinating to read reports of record spending on Black Friday in the midst of a depressed economy. $52 billion was supposedly spent on retail purchases by shoppers during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend followed by record online spending last Monday. The question in my mind is, “Whose money?”

Americans have developed a pattern of spending money they don’t have. We live in a society which feels entitled to the material things of life, and credit cards entice us to get it now and pay later. The problem is that most are unable to pay so the interest on unpaid balances continues to accumulate at 18% and higher. Not realizing if we are unable to pay now we will …

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Will We Give Thanks on Thanksgiving?

Posted on November 23, 2011 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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