Tuesday, April 30, 2013

PIU in the News

PIU received some good publicity on the local Guam news today. A couple of the news organizations covered our PIU President’s Invitation Merienda in which we invited leaders from the local community to interact with our administration. take a tour of the campus and see a presentation about the school. We had a great time today meeting with them and I saw one of the reports on the Pacific News Center broadcast tonight. Here is a link to their website if you would like to see the video.

Palau Ministry Team Chapel

SAMSUNG            This past week we held our last two chapels of the semester. (No chapel during Finals week this week.) Tuesday’s chapel was the Palau ministry team chapel. Every summer PIU sends out mission/ministrySAMSUNG            teams to various places. This year’s mission trip will continue ministry began a year ago to the communities of Angaur and Peleliu through children’s ministry, church ministry, and service;  as well as providing service ministry at both Bethania and Emmaus High Schools. The Team Members are Davy Welle, Olivia Simeon, Mehlina Michael, IMRusty Simon, Percyline Pekairig, and Jonie Jones. The team did a great job of ministry in chapel and we are looking forward to hearing a great report of their ministry in Palau May 14 to June 19th.

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Each of the team members shared in chapel about what they had learned from the extensive training sessions for the trip and talked about what they hoped to accomplish. They also asked for prayer that God would work through them and in them this summer.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Message: 1 Thessalonians 2.1-12

Do Ministry Like an Adult!
1 Thessalonians 2.1-12

Message of 1 Thessalonians
God will produce holiness in you as stand faithfully on his promises, allow him to love through you and focus on the sure hope of his return to take us to be with Him forever.

Overview of 1 Thessalonians 2.1-12

  • In 1 Thessalonians 2.1-12 Paul uses himself and his ministry team as an example of what we must be and do if we are to be effective ministers for Christ
  • Effective Ministry is done by mature leaders who are characterized by the courage to live and speak the Gospel; gentle, loving care; and generous, selfless, hard-working discipleship.
  • Effective ministry is done within the family of God by courageous leaders who serve in deeply connected relationships giving themselves to others in love. 

Effective Ministry 2.1

  • The Goal is Effective Ministry  1
    • The Thessalonians prove that Paul’s ministry was effective with their “work of faith,” “labor of love,” and “endurance of hope.” 1.3
    • They were imitating Paul 1.6
    • They were “ringing out” throughout the region – they were making tremendous impact 1.8
  • What did Paul’s team do and how can we imitate it?? 

Courageous Ministry 2.2-4

  • Paul’s Ministry was Characterized by Courage
    • Courage is doing and saying what is right, true and good despite the danger or risk 2
  • How do we become courageous?
    • Focus on the good news that Jesus is Lord, not the opposition 2b
    • Focus on the truth, not tactics  3
    • Focus on the mission and the One who calls us 4a
  • God gives Courage  2

Ineffective Ministry 2.3, 5-6

  • Ineffective Ministry is Characterized by….
    • Manipulative, deceitful tactics  3
    • Flattery – Telling people what they like to hear instead of what they need to hear. 5a
    • Greed – Taking care of one’s own needs and desires while pretending to serve others 5b
    • Pride – Using ministry to seek fame, status or position 6
  • These are fearful, self-preserving ministry tactics

“Motherly Ministry” 2.7-8

  • The picture is of the mother of an infant because no one in this world works harder, gives more, for less wages than the mother of an infant!
    • Gentle Care: A nursing mother is the epitome of connected, relational giving   7
    • Giving of our Lives: Biblical Hospitality and Fellowship  8a
    • Growth of Affection: Relationship is built; We are with each other to be for each other – Love 8b


“Fatherly” Ministry 2.9-12

  • Generosity 9
    • I will work hard so that I can meet the needs of others. I want to be a giver, not a taker
  • Integrity 10
    • I will live my life openly and honestly before God and people as an example to imitate
  • Family Ministry 11-12
    • Ministry is relational, connected, loving
    • Ministry “comes alongside”
    • Ministry inspires, praises and comforts
    • Ministry challenges to greater growth

Courage’s Birthday Party #2

SAMSUNG            We continued the celebration of Courage’s birthday on SAMSUNG            Saturday by heading over to the Onward Hotel Water park for a day of sun and fun with the family. It seems that Titus, Courage and Serenity have all inherited the Owen, “love water like a fish gene” and they had a very enjoyable day swimming, water sliding and floating on the “lazy river.” So what else could I do but post more pictures?

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Joyce really enjoys the lazy river.

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I also enjoy an occasional lazy day

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Serenity tried to go down the little slide standing up and took a tumble. She got right back on… multiple times. Titus and I are about to hit the water after riding on one of the larger slides.

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Titus helps Serenity get a turn on the slide.

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Titus’ head first slide get an enthusiastic response from the onlookers

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Another nice day in the tropics

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Happy 5th Birthday to Courage Owen

SAMSUNG            Yesterday we celebrated Courage’s 5th birthday under the pavilion at PIU. It is hard to believe SAMSUNGshe is already five. Joyce and I began our part of the celebration by taking Courage down to Hornet Sporting Goods Store to let her pick out her present – a 16’’ bicycle. We were not surprised when she picked the pink one with the pink pompoms. She was able to celebrate with her friends, family, ice cream, and cake. Here are a few pictures of the celebration.

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Grandma Joyce and papa Mike enjoyed the celebration

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Everyone gathered for cake and presents after Michael Atoigue led a heart-felt prayer of thanksgiving.

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Party favors were handed out and used well and loudly

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Courage “blew out” her number “5” candle

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We all enjoyed some cake and ice cream

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Then Courage enjoyed opening her presents…

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with a little help from grandma Joyce

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The finale of the party was Courage’s first attempt at learning to ride a two-wheeler. I am sure the training wheels will be coming off soon.

Huh?

I saw this sign yesterday at the Wendy’s in Barrigada…

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Friday, April 26, 2013

Cary Perdue

SAMSUNG            A couple posts ago I mentioned the blessing we have here at PIU of the interaction and ministries of our resident faculty and staff. Another big blessing is being able to interact with interesting visitors who come through Guam. Recently, we experienced this as we hosted Cary Perdue for a couple weeks in April. Cary is a Mission Mobilizer who works with SEND International. Cary lives in Indiana now, but has lived all over the world and started, or worked in, seminaries in Asia, Europe and the USA. He is a friend of our PIU Board Chair, Howard Merrell, who made the connection for us to have him come. Cary is a fellow ThM alumni of Dallas Theological Seminary, although he graduated about 25 years before I did.

  Cary stayed about two weeks and helped us quite a bit. caryMy main motive in inviting him was to pick his brain about Cary & Dave (3)building up a seminary and getting his advice about administrating a Christian college. He sat in on our faculty and admin meetings and, most important to me, sat with me in my living room and just talked about his experiences. We also had some good talks about how PIU might cooperate with SEND in the future. Cary also spoke in chapels, classes and student devotions encouraging the students to listen to their call from God and follow it. Several of the students told me that God gave them real direction from his ministry.

Cary & Joyce in Bunker Of course, as with most visitors, Cary got the island tour from Joyce and Anne Stinnette, got to enjoy our beautiful sunny beaches and an evening at Chamorro Village. He was also able to minister at Faith Church (pictured above).We really appreciate him coming here and working with us. I am hoping to see him again.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

National Day of Prayer on Guam May 2nd

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Next Thursday May 2nd, the National Day of Prayer will begin “Where America’s Day Begins,” Guam. The Guam Ministerial Association will host the observance of the National Day of Prayer at Governor Bordallo’s Adelup Complex at 7.00 PM on the 2nd. Members of the GMA will lead the participants in corporate prayer for the government, military, business, education, media, family and church communities. In addition there will be music and other opportunities for worship. We will close the service with a candlelight prayer ceremony with prayer said in the many languages of the various ethnic groups of Guam. Please join us as we pray for our nation, our islands and our people.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

2013 PIU 5K Walk Wheel Run Coming Up Soon!

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The 2nd annual PIU 5K Run, Wheel and Walk event is coming up soon. Joyce and I are registered to run and we will be running, ok walking mostly, with our grandkids Titus and Courage. Titus beat me last year and I am looking to see if I can stay with him this year. You can register by phone at the number above or register on line here. I am looking forward to seeing you there.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Last Friday’s Chapel

  One of the blessings of chapel here at PIU is the excellent messages we get to hear from our faculty and staff, SAMSUNG            besides the great messages we get to here from visitors and local pastors. Friday’s chapel was no exception. Our speaker was the chairman of our Bible department Iotaka Choram. Iotaka has been on the PIU faculty since the mid-90’s and is a pastor in the Evangelical Church of Chuuk. His message Friday focused on the need for love as the SAMSUNG            driving force in all ministry. He used several stories from his ministry experience in Chuuk to illustrate the need for patience and flexibility to be effective as a minister. Often in the islands people only think they are “doing ministry” when they have formally prepared something to share but his point was that the most effective ministry is often done “when you sit and drink coffee” with people and when you are willing to interrupt your preparation for ministry, look around and meet the needs you see. I liked that. We also enjoyed an upbeat music and worship time led by Mike, Kevin and guest drummer JJ. It was a great way to spend an hour.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

42

Last night Joyce and I had an opportunity to go out for a “date night.” We decided to go see the movie (The senior discount makes a movie night a cheap date for us) 42 - the story of Jackie Robinson’s breaking the barrier as the first African-American to play major league baseball in 1947. I had heard some good reviews of the movie, but they undersold it. I really liked this movie for a lot of reasons. First, because I love baseball and it was an important part of my childhood. This movie featured many of the players that my grandfather would talk about when I was a kid as we sat in his pickup truck listening to ball games on the radio. It was like his stories came alive in the movie. Second, it was a good reminder of how easy it is to fall into prejudice (unreasonable hatred/judgment) against others we don’t know or understand. I grew up in California in the 1960’s so I didn’t see the kind of blatant segregation and injustice the movie portrayed and it is hard to imagine an America like that. There was a line in the movie about “getting to know one another as men” as being a way to overcome group-think and that kind of racial stereotyping. I had just read in McKnight’s Book, One Life, his definition of love as “being with people and being for people.” I think this is the solution to these rifts. It requires time together to build connection.

To me, though, the biggest plus in the movie was the Christian motivation of both Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson in doing what they did. Harrison Ford, as Rickey, talks about being motivated by the judgment of God and that to say that he barred someone from baseball because “he was a black man” would be an “insufficient answer” to God’s question at the judgment seat. Rickey challenged Jackie to be like Christ and “turn the other cheek.” The movie gives us a very realistic picture of how difficult this is, but also how effective it is as Jackie becomes a hero who changes the face of baseball and the face of America as a whole. Of course, my favorite scene (I knew it was coming and was looking forward to it) was the one in which Southerner Peewee Reese moves over next Jackie at 1st base during pre-game warm-ups and puts his arm around Jackie so that his family and everyone else at the game will “know where I stand.” I pray that I will always stand up for the right side like that.

So it is obvious that I highly recommend this movie. It is well done and has a great Christian message of reconciliation that is accomplished when we live a “Cross-shaped life.”

Thursday, April 18, 2013

My Final Post on the The Bible on the History Channel

I know I said that I was going to wait until I saw the whole series of “The Bible” on the History channel and then make my comments. I am sorry to take so long to do that but I have been traveling and then was very busy when I returned to Guam. I was able to watch the last installments of the series at my daughter’s house in Texas and I have to say that these were the best (especially the final episode) of the series. Again, yes they got some details wrong and had some things out of order but I think they got the big picture right. The main thing was that they resisted the temptation to do cheesy re-enactments of the resurrection and/or the 2nd coming as some Bible movies have done. I thought they did it in an understated, but true to the text way, without the import of too much non-biblical material to make things more exciting. I also liked the way they portrayed the spiritual battle between Christ and Satan, sin, death and the forces of darkness in the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. They got the big picture right.

I especially liked the trial and crucifixion scenes. They managed to portray both the physical and spiritual suffering of Jesus without getting so gruesome that I had to turn away, as happened with several scenes in The Passion of the Christ. I also appreciated that they let me experience the resurrection much as the disciples did, through the post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. I thought it the whole thing portrayed well the passion events. I had a tear in my eye throughout the whole episode.

I also appreciated that they continued the story beyond the resurrection into the Acts narrative. The interplay in the conversion of Paul between the direct vision of Jesus and the human witness of Ananias was done well. The special effects were well done in the coming of the Spirit in Pentecost. I could see it happening that way. Again, there were some events they got out of order and they left some out that I would have put in but I thought they got the message basically right. Jesus continuing His work through the apostles was the theme and they got that balance well.

The final scene on Patmos was a good way to end. I am really glad they didn’t try to portray the apocalyptic imagery in Revelation. The final vision of the risen Jesus saying He is with us always and the command to go brought the series to an appropriate ending.

The only negative thing I can say about the ending of the series was that I didn’t like the increased frequency of commercials and the pushing of the CD series. I know it is not a sin to make a buck, but the commercialization of the Gospel always strikes a bad chord for me. The CD’s were already in Walmart the next day. There is just something about “the Bible presented by Walmart” that doesn’t seem right to me. I would say that if one wants to study the Bible it would be best to read it, rather than watch the video series. That being said, if the video gets people into the Book it is worthwhile. So, though my thumb is not way up, I give the series overall a “thumbs up.”

Monday, April 15, 2013

PIU Financial Aid Meeting

My first PIU event, after arriving from the Mainland on Thursday night, was the annual PIU Finance Chapel on Friday morning. This is the assembly where we explain to the students school costs and financial aid opportunities for the 2013-14 school year. My job was to explain the philosophy behind how we set these costs. SAMSUNGBasically, we recognize that most of our students cannot remotely afford Christian higher education. I asked the students to work with us to keep PIU costs affordable. We decided to not raise tuition at all for the coming school year, and to do only minimal increases in fees, because we did not want to increase the gap between the Pell Grants and the steadily decreasing grants from the FSM government, and the students’ school costs. Many of our students cannot afford the current out-of pocket costs. In return we asked the students to diligently apply for outside funded grants and scholarships and to increase student on-campus work commitments. In return I committed to continue working hard to find donors for student scholarships, volunteers (a large chunk of our income budget is provided by “in-kind” missionary workers and volunteers) and other ways to mitigate student costs. My goal, as always, is to not ever have to turn away a qualified student because of finances. If you would like to help fund PIU students you can get more info and donate here.

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Rob Watt, Student Life Director, explained the PIU We-Work program to the students. Students can receive up to $750 per semester for up to 100 hours of work at PIU or in community programs supported by PIU. This helps the school by reducing the need to hire outside workers and helps the student by providing them with practical work experience that they can list on their resumes. Nino Pate, seated, discussed the financial aid opportunities available to the students and provided them with several scenarios of how they could make their education affordable. Celia Atoigue (center), our operations manager, went over school costs and payment plans with the students. Samantha Owen (right) discussed the “President’s Grant.” This is our “final, fail-safe” grant that I can assign to a student who has worked hard, has been diligent to apply for scholarships and is a good student to cover the financial gap that is left after all other school and family resources are exhausted. Right now, it is an unfunded grant (I am working on changing that) but we as a school are also committed to trusting God to meet our needs. PIU does not participate in student loan programs.