Thursday, June 30, 2016

Paul and the Faithfulness of God Chapter 11, Part 2

Paul AFOGWe now continue through the final chapter of Book Two and Part III of Paul and the Faithfulness of God, vol. 4, Christian Origins and the Question of God, by N. T. Wright. In chapter 11, “GOD’S FUTURE FOR THE WORLD, FRESHLY IMAGINED,” Christ has caused Paul to rework Israel’s eschatological hope. He rules, but there is more to come. Again, this is a very brief summary of this very important book. Previous post on this chapter is here. I welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book.

In the next section Wright turns to the "Hope Still To Come." Though there is fulfillment now, there will be a consummation of the hope in "that day." The Day of the LORD will primarily be a day of judgment, a day of setting things right. This will be accomplished by the "parousia," the coming of YHWH to his people (temple), in the person of the Messiah, in which everyone will be judged and the world will be set right. In one sense this coming has happened through the indwelling Spirit in the present, but will be experienced fully in the entire world as death is banished and the world becomes what God intended it to be.

Paul believed that the accomplishment of Jesus as Messiah, and the gift of the spirit, meant that in one sense the new day had already dawned: ‘the day of salvation is here’. But, just as ‘resurrection’ itself had as it were split into two, so ‘the day’ itself had divided up into the ‘day’—the ongoing ‘now’ of the gospel—in which promises were truly fulfilled, not just anticipated, and the further ‘day’ in which the work would be complete and the creator would be ‘all in all’. 1080

Jesus is not ‘absent’ or far away. As the risen sovereign of the whole world, he is always present and powerful. But one day this powerful presence will be revealed in action in a new way, when in the perception of those to whom he is thus revealed it will seem as though he has in fact ‘arrived’. 1083

Israel’s God justifies humans, puts them right, so that they can be people through whom the world is put right. That rule over the world, in both present and future, is what in Romans 8 Paul denotes by the language of ‘glory’. 1092

The creator has made a world that is other than himself, but with the capacity to respond to his creative power and love in worship and praise, and with the capacity in particular to be filled with his breath, his life, his spirit. And when that happens, it will not constitute something other than ‘the hope of the glory of God’, the ancient hope of Israel. It will be that hope, translated and transformed, through the Messiah and the spirit. 1093

Ethics must also be based on this view of eschatology. In the present inauguration phase of Messiah's kingdom, Jesus' resurrection and giving of the Spirit demand and enable a high morality (fulfilling the Torah) in the both in public and private. Knowing that the full expression of the kingdom is still to come should inspire believers to live as kingdom people now with private morality and the seeking of public justice.

Most of Paul’s imperatives are plural, and this is not accidental. Likewise, we should in fact follow Paul’s own train of thought on ‘justification’ itself into the wider notion of ‘justice’, that is, of a community that embodies in its own life the wise ordering which is the creator’s will. When he talks about ‘love’, and seeks to put that into practice in the churches to which he writes, he is talking specifically about something that happens within, and something that transforms, whole communities. 1097

Paul was indeed a deeply biblical thinker, in his ‘ethics’ as in everything else; that he believed in a strange new sort of transformed Torah-fulfilment which was open to Gentiles as well as Jews; and that he believed that such Torah-fulfilment would form the Messiah’s followers into a kind of genuine humanity, the sort of thing which his pagan contemporaries glimpsed from time to time but confessed their own inability to attain. 1100

The new creation—both the new creation and the new creation—has already been launched, and Messiah-people must learn how to live within that new world. They are ‘already in the new age’. Equally, the final new creation is yet to come, and their behaviour must look ahead to, and live in accordance with, something which is ‘not yet’ a present reality. 1100–1101

This kingdom life in the present age, the "already," is enabled by the Spirit. The Spirit enables the believer to live like Jesus did, to give up status and privilege for the gospel and to imitate the pattern, service, crucifixion, resurrection and exaltation, of Jesus. The follower of Jesus is enabled, by the Spirit, to make decisions, think and act like Jesus.

The new status must be the basis for new behaviour, which is to be achieved by implementing the death-and-life of the Messiah, and which can be spoken of in terms both of a new human nature and of ‘putting on the Messiah’ like a suit of clothes. 1103

Paul is urging his converts to maintain what is in all sorts of ways a thoroughly and strictly Jewish lifestyle, over against the swirling currents of pagan amorality. But he wants them to do this without becoming ethnically Jewish, without circumcision, the food taboos and the Sabbath. 1108

Paul understands the Messiah’s people to have been liberated from the ‘old evil age’, to have entered the ‘new age’, to be ‘daytime people’ charged with living by the standards of light even though the world around is still in darkness. As such, he sees them as the people of the renewed covenant, the people in whose hearts and lives the Torah, for all its necessarily negative work, is actually fulfilled. That fulfilment points forward all the way to resurrection itself, the ultimate fulfilment of Torah’s promise of life...Messiah-people are already in the New Age. Their baptism, justification and spirit-indwelt sanctification give them the platform on which to base this lifestyle. This is the first and major element of Paul’s eschatological ethics. 1111

However, this "New Age" has not yet arrived. Believers must "anticipate" future kingdom life in the present. The interval between the inaugurated kingdom and the consummated kingdom is necessary for God's people to develop, based on the Messiah's provision and the Spirit's enabling, the mindset, character and behavior necessary to rule with the Messiah in the new age. The cross must be lived out before glory comes.

The point here is continuity. Those who already stand on resurrection ground, and must learn to live in this new world, need to be reminded that what they do with their bodies in the present matters, because the spirit who dwells within them will cause them to be raised as the Messiah was raised. 1112

Paul’s goal, his telos, is the mature humanity which reflects the divine image and which will be reaffirmed in the resurrection. The attaining of that goal is as much a matter of self-denial as of self-fulfilment. 1116

Paul wants his hearers to think out for themselves, and put into practice, wise decisions as to what conformity to the Messiah’s pattern looks like in this situation or that one, not just in obedience to clear moral norms—though there are obviously plenty of those—but in the practical reasoning that, aided by the spirit, learns the ‘Messiah’s mind’ in day-to-day choices whose freedom only emerges once those moral norms are recognized. 1124

Another reason for the interval between the "already" and "not yet" is that the battle with evil is still being fought. Messiah has already won the decisive battle with evil and death, but His people now participate in the battle with the powerful "weapons" of prayer and the Word of God.

The practice of prayer, itself energized by the spirit and formed after the pattern of the Messiah, gives evidence of the same transformation we have observed throughout. The people who are called to stand at the crossroads of time, the strange interval between the ‘now’ and the ‘not yet’, the present and the future, are also called to stand at the intersection of heaven and earth, sharing the pains and puzzles of the present creation but sharing also in the newly inaugurated life of the spirit. 1127

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Rainy Season is Here

It is amazing how fast Guam “greens up.” We went from hot and dry to warm and wet very quickly. I would anticipate we will be seeing lots of rain over the next couple months. I am hoping that our solar panels at PIU stored up a lot of power for us during the dry time so our power bills will be very low as we move into the new semester. Here are a few pictures of the difference a little rain makes.

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This is the open space between the classroom and the Liebenzell House facing the “Vortex” dormitory room. When we get a downpour this yard becomes “Lake Liebenzell” for a few hours. The two pictures were taken about a week apart

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The pavilion, basketball court area greened up the fastest.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Paul and the Faithfulness of God Chapter 11, Part 1

We now move to the final chapter of Book Two and Part III of Paul and the Faithfulness of God, vol. 4, Christian Origins and the Question of God, by N. T. Wright. In chapter 11, “GOD’S FUTURE FOR THE WORLD, FRESHLY IMAGINED,” Wright focuses on how Paul has redefined Israel’s hope, its eschatology, based on his experience of Jesus’ resurrection and the giving of the Holy Spirit. Again, this is a very brief summary of this very important book.  I welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book.

Paul AFOGIn chapter 11 Wright moves to a discussion of Paul's eschatology. He sees it as the ancient Jewish hope of God returning to His temple, the Day of the Lord. But, like election and monotheism, it has been redefined around the crucified, risen Messiah and Spirit. The story of Israel, in which God dwells with them, leaves them in exile, but promises to return, is fulfilled in Jesus in a "new exodus." However, in Jesus 1st coming and in the sending of the Spirit, the fulfillment is only inaugurated. There is a greater fulfillment coming, and the hope of the new heavens and new earth await the consummation of Jesus' return.

A world set free both from human injustice and from ‘natural’ violence; a world in which oceans and mountains themselves will rejoice at a new fulfilment; a world in which all peoples will celebrate the fact that everything has been set right at last. That is the ancient Israelite vision, variously re-expressed in Jewish texts across the second-temple period. This is not simply a hope beyond the world. It is a hope for the world. 1044

For Paul, however, there was a new framework. He addressed the new situation with a Messiah-shaped and spirit-driven exposition of the call to holiness by means of a transformation of mind, heart and will, and hence of action. 1048

The source from which all these streams flow is Paul’s belief that with the resurrection of Jesus the hope of Israel had been split into two. Jesus had been raised first, demonstrating him to be Israel’s Messiah; all his people would be raised later, at the moment Paul calls ‘the end’. The future had burst into the present, close up and personal; at the same time, the future remained future, glimpsed as in a darkened mirror. 1048

The hope of Israel after the exile, was that God would return to His people as He did when his fiery presence visibly dwelt in the tabernacle or temple. This return to the temple, ending the exile, in many texts, was to be accomplished by the Messiah. The covenant would be re-established as a "new covenant" in which God would change the hearts of his people to serve and obey him. It would extend to the nations of the world as God would judge evil and renew the Gentiles to become worshipers of God, and the Adamic mandate of subduing the world would be accomplished. Thus while the present age was an evil one, the "age to come" would be a return to Eden in which the righteous were resurrected.

What YHWH does in the tabernacle or temple is a sign and foretaste of what he intends to do in and for the whole creation...Israel’s central symbol thus spoke both of the powerful presence of the creator God, returning to live in the midst of his people, and of the promise, as in the Psalms and Isaiah, to renew the whole creation. 1052–1053

When this great liberation came about, with or without a ‘Messiah’ to lead the way and fight the key battle, this would be the moment when the covenant was renewed...The later prophets stressed, again in line with Deuteronomy, the renewal (or ‘circumcision’) of the heart which would transform Israel at last into a people who would be able to keep Torah properly. 1054

It was expected both as the long-awaited fulfilment of promises and as a new thing: one of the most regular prophetic promises is that when YHWH acts to do what he had always intended to do this will take everyone, Israel included, by surprise. 1061

Paul sees that the coming of Jesus the Messiah, the cross, and resurrection has reworked the ancient Jewish kingdom hope and answered the question about HOW God will return to temple, save his people, and set the world, and all its people, to right. The kingdom hope has been "split in two," "The Messiah’s own temporary kingdom is already inaugurated, while the final ‘kingdom of God’, when God is ‘all in all’, is still to come. It is, however, guaranteed by the victory which the Messiah has already won. (1063)

Here we encounter one of the other key implications of Easter: if Jesus had been crucified as a messianic pretender, but had been vindicated by being raised from the dead (which could only be the work of the creator God), then he was, after all, Israel’s Messiah. And that, as we have already seen, compelled a fresh evaluation of more or less everything else. Israel’s hope had been realized; Israel’s hope had been redefined. 1062

A strong case can be made for saying that whenever Paul refers to Jesus as Kyrios—from Romans 1:5 onwards!—it is this that he has in mind: the sovereign rule of the Messiah, inaugurated already, fulfilling the prophecies in which the world would at last be brought to book by the true human in charge of the ‘animals’, by the Messiah in charge of the nations...The kingship of Jesus is already, for Paul, a present reality. He is ‘at the right hand of God’, as in Psalm 110. 1066

The cross is the victory through which the powers of the old age are brought low, enabling the new age to be ushered in at last. Here, once again, we see what was foundational for Paul: that which Jewish eschatology looked for in the future, the overthrow of the enslaving evil powers and the establishment of YHWH’s reign instead, had truly been inaugurated in and through the messianic events of Jesus’ death and resurrection. 1068

The hope is also reworked and redefined by the Spirit in the present age. Instead of God coming as pillar of fire to his temple, he lives within His people through the Spirit, making them a living, moving Temple.

His powerful, personal presence has come to inhabit his people, turning them individually into walking temples and corporately into a single body designed for praise, holiness and sacrifice. This is the long-awaited new temple, inhabited personally by the long-awaited God of Israel. 1074

The ancient Israelite hope, and more recently the second-temple Jewish hope, is fulfilled through the coming into being of a Jew-plus-Gentile family whose hearts have been transformed through the work of the spirit. 1076–1077

Sunday, June 26, 2016

A “Casual Cultural Dinner”

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Cultural Evening (11)Cultural Evening (10)This past week we received the following invitation from PIU seminary student Betwin Alokoa and his daughter Shelter, an AA graduate and current student at PIU.

Those who are interested in seeing a Kosraean "Um" or underground oven cooking of a pig along with local BBQ and other cooking (Breadfruit,banana etc.), will take place at Alokoas' home. There will be demonstrative husking and grinding of coconut and weaving. The Um will start at 4p.m and eating will take place at 6p.m this Saturday June 25. Please bring a dish, drinks, or fruits for a potluck meal at 6p.m. Also, people from PIU asked to do worship songs and/or dances.

This sounded like a very good evening, so we accepted and attended last night. The fellowship and food were very good. We got to meet some new people and we got to experience several Micronesian cultural foods along with participating in the preparation process.

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Everyone had an opportunity to participate in the process of husking coconuts and then turning them into coconut oil

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The PIU group sang and I gave an impromptu devotional and talk about PIU

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There were plenty of volunteers to do child care

Friday, June 24, 2016

PIU Summer Ministry Has Begun

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13502123_1767538450149989_6161765997321587538_nPIU Summer ministry interns Scott Refilong13417680_1046976428689744_6475706485951597744_n and Addie Namelo are now in La Mirada California. They will be working in the Vacation Bible School at Grace Evangelical Free Church there next week. For now they are enjoying the cooler weather and colder ocean in California. From there they will head on to Liebenzell Mission HQ in Schooley’s Mountain New Jersey where they will begin their internship. (Above) PIU Provost Juan Flores and the guys from the dorm see Scott off at the airport. Please keep them in prayer as they spend the next few weeks doing ministry and seeing God stretch their worlds.

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I think they are enjoying California so far!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Rainy Season on Guam Has Begun?

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Over the last three days it appears that we are making the transition from dry to rainy season. This has been a real dry season this year, as opposed to the last few years in which we had a “less wet” season. Yesterday it rained hard for much of the day and, today as I being to write this, it is raining hard again. The rain is much needed and we are expecting rain the rest of the week. We also had a pretty good thunder storm yesterday which knocked out power at our house for a while.  The picture above is taken from the front door of the PIU office.

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We can already see the little green shoots coming up in our driveway at home. More green today (right) than there was last week (left)

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Our backyard at home is greening pretty quickly (left) PIU might take a little longer (right). We are praying for a wet summer with minimal typhoons.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Reading in Kings This Week #3 (2 Kings 1-11)

3478This week we move on to Second Kings accompanied by 1 & 2 Kings The College Press NIV Commentary by Jesse C. Long. 2 Kings continues the story of how the Davidic Covenant works out in the history of Israel. The kings and the nation progressively move farther and farther from God’s ideal and mission until both nations are exiled.  the exilic readers would thus be very aware of the dangers of idolatry.  Previous posts from Kings are here and here. I am posting quotes from the book on my Facebook page on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday (NT is Mon-Wed-Fri) and we can discuss comments and questions about the passage there. As usual, quotes from the commentary are in blue below…

2 Kings continues the story (originally Kings was one scroll) of 1 Kings by recounting the "ends" of both the family of Ahab and Elijah. The family of Ahab would be completely wiped out, while Elijah ascended in a "chariot of fire." The opening scene is a confrontation between Ahab's family, including their God Baal, and YHWH and his prophet Elijah, between "the Lord of the flies" and God's messenger, "the Lord of hair." YHWH and Elijah win that one and Ahaziah dies childless. Chapter 2 deals with the succession of Elijah by Elisha. The passage is framed around the ascension of Elijah. The locations and actions of Elisha and Elijah are matched signifying that Elisha truly has the mission, power and spirit of Elijah. Subsequent miracles will confirm this. As Ahab's family finds out, it is a dangerous thing to mess with God's true prophet.

The captain commands Elijah, “Come down!” So, the match is set between the power of the prophet, who said that the ailing king would not “come down” (yārad, vv. 4, 6) from his bed, and the power of the king, who commands the prophet to “come down” (yārad) from the mountain. 2 Kings 1.9-15, 284

Elijah’s miraculous power and single-minded commitment to Yahweh also prefigure the life of the Messiah. All of these connections come together and are reinforced in Elijah’s ascension to heaven in a whirlwind, which foreshadows the ascension of the Messiah and the victory over the forces of evil that event will signify. 2 Kings 2.16-18, 293–294

As Elijah called down fire from heaven, Elisha brings she-bears out of the woods. The taunt does not just concern Elisha’s appearance. The children are discounting his authority and calling for the downfall of Yahweh’s prophet. It follows that their actions are an affront not just to the man Elisha but also to the prophet as a representative of Yahweh...To flout a representative of Yahweh is to flout God himself. 2 Kings 2.23-25, 296–297

Chapter 3 begins the story of the breakup and destruction of Ahab's family and empire. When the Moabites revolt against the king of Israel, the kings of Judah and Edom rally to help him. Only Jehoshaphat is named in the story because, as Elisha says, God will not even look at the king of Israel. God gives a miraculous victory to the 3 kings but Moab is still lost for Ahab's empire. Judgment is beginning. Chapter 4 provides a contrast as God provides for the poor and faithful through the miracles of Elisha. There are several parallels between Elisha's miracles and those of Moses and Elijah. He also prefigures what Messiah Jesus will do.

In spite of the fact that Joram is not as bad as his parents, Yahweh has not forgotten Elijah’s word of judgment on Israel. Unwittingly, the king twice verbalizes the point of the story—Yahweh called the three kings together to hand them over to Moab (vv. 10, 13). The anger of Yahweh continues against the house of Ahab. The reader can anticipate that Joram will die like his father. 2 Kings 3, 307

Elisha reaches out to those who do not possess power or prestige and even to those on the periphery of society: a widow, a bereaved woman, poor prophets, and “the people.” In each story, a problem is solved by the prophet for the benefit of these representatives of the powerless in Israelite society...Elisha personifies the meaning of his name (אֱלִישָׁע, ˒ĕlîšā˓, “God/my God saves”) and prefigures the Messiah, not only as a miracle worker, but also as one whose mission includes the outcast of society. 2 Kings 4, 309

Elisha’s miracle of the multiplication of loaves resonates with Moses, who brought manna from heaven (Exodus 16), but also looks forward to the Messiah’s miracle of feeding the thousands...Is it too much to add that the connection the narrator makes between Elisha’s deeds of compassion and the word of Yahweh (v. 44) also prefigures the prophet who would come, “a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people” (Luke 24:19)? 2 Kings 4, 316

As the judgment of Ahab's family continues God keeps working to preserve and validate his prophet and care for the poor and outcast in Israel and even in the surrounding nations. The healing of the "great" man, Naaman, is remarkable in that God heals an enemy general who may have even been the one that is organizing the Aramean incursions into Israel. The "little" girl lives out the mission of the nation to bless the Gentiles by sending him to the prophet. While the kings manipulate one another, the prophet applies the word of God to bring life. There is a great contrast between the Gentile Naaman who repents of his former ethnic hatred and believes, with the king and Gehazi who refuse to repent. Elisha ministers to the small and the great without favoritism of either one. He captures armies singlehandedly and returns lost tools to poor prophets by the same power of God.

“Go in peace!” anoints the Aramean’s request with divine approval...these brief words of blessing highlight the actions of the prophet and call to mind the underlying tension of the story—Yahweh’s prophet heals and blesses an outsider. 2 Kings 5.15-19, 327–328

The unnamed “little girl” in exile represents the point of view of the storyteller. Natural animosities and prejudices must be subverted to Yahweh’s will and work among the nations. He is also God of “all the world.” Jesus uses the story in this way when he counters Jewish prejudices toward outsiders in his hometown of Nazareth: “There were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian” 2 Kings 5, 331

The storyteller artistically employs “seeing” as a vehicle for expressing the narrative’s theological level of meaning...The Arameans become blind, as Elisha had asked...With almost verbatim repetition, the narrator describes how Elisha’s servant and the Aramean army are both enabled with sight (“LORD, open his eyes …,” v. 17; “LORD, open the eyes of these men …,” v. 20). The reader is able to see that Elisha’s insight comes from Yahweh, who listens to the prophet. 2 Kings 6.8-20, 334–336

In chapters 7-8 the story continues to alternate between Elisha working on a national scale and with needy individuals. Chapter 6 ends with the Aramean siege of Samaria. The famine is so bad that the city is in terrible distress so that mothers are eating their own children. The king goes through the motions of repentance (he wears sackcloth) but clearly does not believe that God will deliver the city. God will show him one more time that he can and will save them. The situation is so dire that the reader expects that the promised judgment on Ahab's family has arrived. The king wants to kill Elisha, but instead God uses four lepers to deliver the city from the mighty Aramean army. Elisha then uses his influence to return the lands taken away from the Shunnemite woman, focusing attention on the fact that he had raised her son from the dead. God then uses Elisha to begin the process of the destruction of Ahab's family as he anoints Hazael king of Aram. Finally the text notes the intermarriage of the kings of Judah with Ahab's dynasty. Members of Ahab's family now sit on David's throne. How will God be able to destroy Ahab's family and keep David's throne intact?

The carefully worded narrative insinuates that by the power of Yahweh, the Arameans flee at the sound of the four advancing lepers. Yahweh delivers Samaria with lepers! The outcast/ cursed become the vehicle for God’s salvation. An exilic audience would be encouraged. Perhaps Yahweh will be able to use the cursed in exile in a similar way? 2 Kings 7.1-20, 342

Yahweh uses Ben-Hadad to punish Ahab, but in the end the king of Aram is devoted to Yahweh and gets what he deserves. The “anointing” of Hazael is another example of how the storyteller uses an earlier episode to frame a story with ironic results. In this way, Yahweh is shown again to be working in history, this time in the affairs of Israel’s rival Aram—ultimately for the purpose of punishing his people. 2 Kings 8.1-10, 352

The storyteller’s statement has the effect of introducing once more the theme of delayed retribution (see comments on 1 Kgs 11:11–13). Yahweh is patient with Judah for the sake of David. While his sword of judgment will soon fall on the joined-in-marriage houses of Ahab and David and in the end on both Israel and Judah, an exilic reader is reminded of Yahweh’s unconditional, eternal covenant with the house of David. 2 Kings 8.18-19, 356

The rest of chapter 8 and chapters 9 and 10 describe the judgment on the house of Ahab accomplished by Jehu. Elisha has Jehu anointed as king by one of the prophets and he is commanded to execute God's judgment on Ahab's "house." Jehu accomplishes this as he executes Ahab's son Joram, Ahab's grandson, the king of Judah, Ahaziah, and Jezebel. However, Jehu goes far beyond God's command and executes others who might be rivals to his taking the throne of Israel. This purge brings up the question as to what will now happen to the "house of David," and the promises that go with that, now that they are joined to the doomed house of Ahab.

Because of the intermarriage between the two houses and the evil influence of the house of Ahab on the house of David, the two are interchangeable. Joram is Jehoram; Jehoram is Joram—and Judah has become Israel! 2 Kings 8.25-27, 359

When the king dies in his chariot at the hands of Jehu, he is Ahab. His body is thrown on the plot that belonged to Naboth, and Elijah’s word and Yahweh’s full intentions are fulfilled to the letter. Delayed retribution for the house of Ahab reflects Yahweh’s mercy (1 Kgs 21:27–29), but his judgment is enacted—his word comes to pass! 2 Kings 9.24-26, 367

Once more, Jehu associates his actions with the word of Yahweh. But, the calculating, somewhat underhanded way he construes the death of the seventy before the people of Jezreel suggests the possibility that he is also manipulating the word of Yahweh for his own benefit...In the eighth century, through the prophet Hosea, Yahweh indicts the dynasty of Jehu for what happens here...In verse 11, Jehu’s massacre moves beyond his charge to remove the house of Ahab. In an act that appears to be politically motivated, he kills all his chief men, his close friends and his priests, leaving him no survivor. 2 Kings 10.9-11, 377–378

Chapters 10 and 11 finish the story of the destruction of Ahab's line in both Israel and Judah. Upon taking the throne in Israel, Jehu purges the land of Baal worshipers with a deceptive mass killing. He invites the Baal worshipers to a "great sacrifice for Baal" and then "sacrifices" all of the worshipers. In chapter 11, Athaliah, Ahab's daughter, murders all but one of the Davidic line. Only baby Joash is hidden and protected in the temple of YHWH. 6 years later the priest, Jehoiada, launches a coup, displays the king and has Athaliah killed. To destroy the line of Ahab, "Jezebel" must be killed in both nations. However, this will not avoid final judgment. Jehu reveals his unfaithful heart with his revival of Jereboam's idolatry and Joash only remains faithful while Jehoiada is alive.

Regardless of the merit of the performance, only the righteous in heart get spiritual credit for their performance. 2 Kings 10, 384

As the house of Baasha was destroyed by Zimri because he became like the house of Jeroboam “and because he destroyed [the house of Jeroboam]” (1 Kgs 16:7), so the house of Jehu will be destroyed because he followed Jeroboam—and because of the way he destroyed the house of Ahab. The narrator commends Jehu, but in his indirect style allows the inconsistencies and ironies in his presentation (especially the ironic contrast with Jehoiada’s coup to follow, ch. 11) to negatively frame the elimination of the houses of Ahab and Baal and “cast doubts on [his] motives as well as his methods.” 2 Kings 10.30-31, 384

The promise to David of an eternal throne hangs on the bare thread of a child. As Moses was rescued from Pharaoh, and the Messiah from Herod, a child who embodies the promises of Yahweh is rescued from the clutches of Judah’s Jezebel. 2 Kings 11.1-3, 388

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Student Spotlight… Jones Rufes

(Here is another article from this month’s PIU newsletter, The Tide’s Currents. You can read the whole thing here or send me an email at dowen@piu.edu and I will email you a pdf copy)

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Jones Rufes made his way to PIU from the Mortlock Islands in Chuuk State through Faithwalk Christian College on the island of Tol. He first came to PIU in August of 2014 after four years at FCC. Jones is working towards earning a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Studies. Here are the responses to questions he was asked recently:

How does PIU help you in your spiritual journey? Like Faithwalk, PIU makes you stronger spiritually. There are opportunities for ministry and for visiting churches. Getting stronger spiritually also comes from what goes on in classes.

What role do you play in the life of the PIU campus? I work hard. Take Clean and Green, I get the jobs done well and other students have noticed that I do the jobs well and accomplish what needs to be done. I show students that exercise is important and I do as much as I can to show that. I participate often in the 5K races around the island. I also try to represent PIU well when I participate in the 5K races.

What are the biggest challenges at PIU? The first major challenge is financial. Paying for the opportunity to stay in the dorms is difficult because of my family’s modest financial situation. Keeping up with the responsibilities for classes, especially when it comes to keeping up with the demands of learning in and showing that I’ve learned in English, is also a major challenge.

How would you describe the relationships among the students? It’s a family of brothers and sisters. It feels like my real family. We do things together. We help each other out.

What advice would you give someone you care about to help him or her decide on coming to PIU? PIU can help you grow in your spiritual life. The people have close relationships. When I have been in tough situations, students, faculty and staff have helped me and encouraged me. If you want to be part of PIU and you are now doing something harmful (like drugs), stop doing it. If you come to PIU, always think of the reasons why you might leave your family and your island to come here and that will encourage you to do your best.

PIU makes transformational, Christian higher education accessible to students like Jones. If you would like to help you can donate to the PIU Rising Tide Annual Fund or Rising TIde Scholarship Fund here.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

An Afternoon at Sea

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Dolphin Boat (2)When we get an opportunity to go out on the dolphin watching boat we usually take it. Today the Lutheran Church of Guam was having a church event on the dolphin boat and they invited us along. Thank you Kevin Graham! I think Joyce has done this outing seven or eight times now. I think I’ve done it three or four. If you are keeping close tabs on this blog you might also notice that I have been on a boat in Guam waters now twice within the last nine months. That may be a new record for me. We didn’t see any dolphins (first time that has happened on the trip for me) but it was a beautiful day, the people and conversations were great, and I got to swim for about an hour in the warm ocean water. It was a pretty good way to spend an afternoon. The picture above is of the whole seafaring group and on the right, the “Atlantis” submarine. Lots of fun things to do on Guam.

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We invited Tony and May Vigil to come with us. It was nice to spend a day with them…

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…and with members of our PIU family Lian Stae and Celia Atoigue

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Paul and the Faithfulness of God Chapter 10, Part 6

Paul AFOGToday I finish the discussion of  chapter 10 of Book Two and Part III of Paul and the Faithfulness of God, vol. 4, Christian Origins and the Question of God, by N. T. Wright. In this section Wright continues the discussion of what Paul means by “justification” when he has redefined the idea of election around the actions of Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit. Again, this is a very brief summary of this very important book.  Previous posts on this chapter are here, here, here and here. I welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book.

Wright now moves on to 2 Corinthians 3 to show that this idea of election redefined around the Messiah and the Spirit (with both juridical and participationist implications) is a central part of Paul's thought (New Covenant).

The spirit has redefined ‘election’, the covenant status of the people of God. The covenant is not now a matter of possessing or hearing the Mosaic law. It is a matter of the transformation of the heart, wrought by the spirit. 983

He then moves to Philippians 3.2-11 to show that "Paul’s argument is solely about ‘covenant membership’ and its redefinition through pistis" (984). The promises to Israel have been fulfilled in Christ, without circumcision or torah, and God's people now show their "covenant status" through hearts and lives changed through the Spirit.

To belong to God’s freshly defined people, one must be ‘in him’, wearing the badge of pistis which was the sign of his own solo accomplishment of Israel’s vocation (‘faithfulness’). Being ‘in the Messiah’, as clearly here as anywhere in Paul, is the new way of saying ‘in Israel’. Not to draw that conclusion would be to deny that he really was the Messiah, which for Paul would mean denying that he had been raised from the dead. 989

Paul has neatly expressed the past, present and future tenses of what it means to be a Messiah-person: the righteous status already given ‘in the Messiah’; the present sharing of his sufferings; the future resurrection. 991

Wright sees Colossians 2 as a warning against returning to Judaism from Christ and going back to "temple, circumcision and torah," much like the warning in Galatians.

Once we cut through the complex language, these are the three things he wants to get across, and they are striking indeed: temple, circumcision, Torah. This can only be a veiled warning against the attractions of the Jewish way of life. 992–993

Wright now moves to Romans 3.21-4.25 to show that God's truth and righteousness are shown, despite human sin, with the fulfillment of the Abrahamic covenant through Jesus Christ. This would be the solution to the sin problem and the “setting right” of the world . The Old Covenant was unable to do that and thus God did it through the faithful Messiah Jesus.

The helplessness of God’s people causes them to cast themselves on the truth and righteousness of God. That is the underlying logic of Romans 3:20, solidly supported in the passage that now follows. 996

Whereas in most biblical and post-biblical thought the divine covenant faithfulness was appealed to in favour of what God might do for Israel, here the point is what God always planned to do through Israel, and has now done through the faithfulness of the Messiah, the ‘faithfulness’ which led to and climaxed in his self-giving to death. 998

Election is therefore redefined, not just around the Messiah and his faithful death, but around the Messiah’s faithful people. This new people is composed, not only of Gentiles, of course, but of Jews and Gentiles alike who display this pistis, the badge of membership...this radical reworking of election is not the abolition of Torah, but what Torah intended all along. 1001–1002

Section 4 continues to show that covenant membership was always based on faith in the promises of God by Abraham, and by those who imitate his faith in God's promises of life and worldwide kingdom. "The character of ‘faith’ alters depending what sort of God one believes in." (1006) Abraham trusted that God was a promise keeping God and God rewarded him.

The strands of Genesis 15 are thus tied together. The whole seed; the whole inheritance; guaranteed through the Messiah, as himself the gift of the one God, to all those who share (by the spirit, Paul might have said) the faith of Abraham. Election redefined. 1007

Romans 5-8 continues the theme of "righteousness" from chapter 1-4 by showing how the declaration of righteousness in the present is assured in the future. This happens through the death of the old nature and separation from the Adamic curse (7), resulting in attachment to Christ, and the indwelling Spirit to transform the believer. Paul sees this as a "new exodus" defined around Messiah Jesus. First, Christ recapitulates the mission of Israel successfully, and then gives the Spirit, so that God's worldwide people can do the same as "joint-heirs" with Him.

Those who belong to the Messiah are now, he suggests, married to him, in a fruitbearing relationship. The obvious echoes are of the relationship of YHWH with his people, a theme which comes into prominence precisely in the context of the ‘divorce’ of exile and the ‘remarriage’ of return. 1010

The ‘new Exodus’ theme, like so much else in Romans and Galatians, is rooted in the divine promise made to Abraham. The covenant promises in Genesis 15 were focused on the seed and the inheritance; the patriarch was told that the seed would obtain the inheritance by first being enslaved and then being rescued and brought home to their promised land. This Passover-sequence—liberation from slavery by coming through the Red Sea, arriving on Sinai and being given the Torah and finally being led by the presence of YHWH himself in the pillar of cloud and fire until they arrived in the land—this sequence is now recapitulated, majestically in chapters 6–8. 1013–1014

But what is of most concern to Paul, speaking as he says ‘to those who know the law’ (7:1), is to tell the story of Israel because it is the story of the world’s redemption...One cannot, in other words, appreciate the fruit which grows in Romans 8 unless one has understood the roots—the very Jewish roots—in Romans 7. 1015

The resurrection from the dead, the ultimate hope of Israel, the gateway to the ‘life of the coming age’, is the prospect for those who through the spirit constitute the renewed (though still suffering) ‘elect’, the transformed and now worldwide people of the one God. 1020

Wright concludes the section on Romans 5-8 by discussing the role of the Spirit in leading and transforming the believer and focuses on the covenant language (love) at the end of chapter 8 which assures that the declaration made with the believers initial faith will correspond with the final approval at the judgment.

But the idea of being ‘led’ by the spirit, on this journey through the wilderness to the ‘promised land’, indicates that the implicit temple-theme of 8:9–11 is being followed through in terms of the guiding presence of God himself in the wilderness tabernacle, in the pillar of cloud by day and fire by night...And this means that, for Paul, the indwelling spirit is taking the place, within the church as a whole and within each of the Messiah’s people, of that fiery, cloudy pillar, the living and dangerous presence of God himself. 1023

The unbreakable covenant love of YHWH for his people, arguably the most central expression of Israel’s election, has been focused on, and revealed in, the son. And this unbreakable love is the secure resting-place of all those who, by the spirit, are ‘in the Messiah’. This is not something other than ‘justification by faith’. This is what justification looks like in solid reality: battered, but believing; suffering, yet sustained by the spirit; dying, but knowing that death itself has been defeated. 1025

Between (1) the beginning of the work of the spirit and (2) its triumphant conclusion, Paul envisages a spirit-led life which does not in any way contribute to initial justification, or to the consequent assurance of final justification which that initial justification brings, but transforms the life of the person who has already come to faith. 1030

Wright then moves on to the role of torah in his view of election. Torah was not just laws for the nation of Israel, but it was a story about what God is like and what he wants in relationship that is revealed in the nation of Israel. It was never meant to be a law code that people could keep and become right with God. That was why sacrifices were required. Throughout its history Israel failed to be what God called them to be. Torah bound people in Adam's sin, but "drawing ‘sin’ onto one place, in order that it might be condemned there (1034), it prepared for Jesus to take the curse of the law/covenant upon himself and fulfill it. Belief in Christ and the transformation of the Spirit upholds and fulfills the torah

Paul saw Torah not simply as a set of commands, but as a narrative: the story of creation and covenant, of Adam and Abraham, focused particularly on Exodus and finally articulated in the covenantal warnings and promises at the end of Deuteronomy. All this Paul fully affirmed as divine in origin, positive in intent, and fulfilled (albeit in unexpected ways) through the gospel. 1033

Torah is actually upheld through Messiah-faith. Again and again Paul speaks of the work of the spirit as enabling people to fulfil Torah in a way previously impossible. 1037

Wright's conclusion...

The promise that one day YHWH would return to the temple, rescuing his people and bringing justice to the world, turned into the announcement that he had indeed returned, in and as his people’s representative. He was himself, in some sense, the one who built the temple and the one who would dwell in it. And the temple he built was not made of timber and stone, but of flesh and blood. Here the major themes of Paul’s thought meet and merge: Israel’s God, coming back to rescue his people and the world and to dwell with them for ever; Israel itself, God’s people, redefined around the Messiah and spirit who were themselves the means and mode of that dwelling. 1041

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Sunday Afternoon in the Back Yard

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DSC08593 (1280x960)DSC08594 (1280x960)We are blessed with a very nice back yard which we don’t use often enough. Sunday afternoon we did use it and enjoyed our evening immensely. Our PIU Dean of Students, Nikki, and Residence Manager, Jonathan Heimbach, joined us for dinner and some good conversation. Their two children, Malachi and Titus, enjoyed the pool. I don’t think Titus left the pool for longer than 30 seconds the whole afternoon they were here. We enjoyed spaghetti and meatballs for diner with ice cream for dessert. It was also nice to have some relaxed time with Jonathan and Nikki to talk about whatever. Notice also that Joyce greatly enjoyed her kid time, and Jacob, our German shepherd, enjoyed all the attention Malachi gave him.

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Everyone got in some serious play time

Friday, June 10, 2016

PIU June Newsletter

The latest PIU Newsletter, the 2016 Year in Review issue, is now available on the PIU web site. You can find it here.

Here is my President’s Message from page 1…

newsletter picI was talking to one of our alumni the other day. He was a little surprised that I did not remember what year he graduated. I still remember the names, the actions, and fond memories of our graduates. Sometimes the graduation years seem to meld into one another. My excuse is that I am getting old. I have been president for over 13 years and have participated in 14 graduations during that time. Overall I have been part of over 20 graduations.

Maybe it is hard to remember which year is which because so many things stay the same in our graduating students. Of course, most are Micronesian, though we have graduates from many countries. But no matter where they are from, the similarities are still there. We see young men and women going out to graduate schools, jobs, and community service who are well prepared with a biblical world view and focused on mission. They are able to think and communicate in ways that will make the islander voice heard throughout the world. That voice will be heard out of their experiences in the Christian community at PIU.

Sure, some things are different now. We have more liberal studies than biblical studies graduates, though they all leave with at least 24 credits in Bible and theology. They have widened their perspective from just serving God in the church to being part of the church, serving God in their homes and wider communities. Our seminary has provided an upgraded level of education to prepare those who will serve by leading their churches into the future. Future graduates will serve with a degree that may include a new Liberal Studies emphasis in business and improved teacher education programs. Our values, based on God’s Word, stay the same, even as we make changes to apply those values to a changing world.

As we close out the 2015-2016 academic year, let us pray that we hold on to the values that have led us over the last 40 years and work to make the changes in the future continue to support those values.

This issue includes a student profile of Biblical Studies student Jones Rufes, a map showing where some of our alumni are now working and many pictures from the just completed school year. You can download the newsletter here or write to me at dowen@piu.edu and I will email you a pdf. copy.

Paul and the Faithfulness of God Chapter 10, Part 5

Paul AFOGI am getting a little behind my reading with my posting, so I will try to get caught up this month. So I continue in chapter 10 of Book Two and Part III of Paul and the Faithfulness of God, vol. 4, Christian Origins and the Question of God, by N. T. Wright. In this section he focuses on how Paul has redefined the idea of election, focusing on justification, as in the rest of chapter 10, around the actions of Jesus and the giving of the Holy Spirit. Again, this is a very brief summary of this very important book.  Previous posts on this chapter are here, here, here and here. I welcome comments and discussion on my Facebook page. I am using the Logos version of the book.

Next Wright looks at Paul's understanding of the "shape of justification." He insists that "justification" must be understood as the end of a "clear sequence of ideas." "Justification by grace through faith in the present time on the basis of the work of the Messiah—comes as the crucial seventh and final element in this sequence." (926) The sequence is that 1) God as Creator is committed to making the world right again in the age to come, 2) The world cannot be put right until humans are made right, 3) God will make things right through covenant 4) "The covenant will be the means of sorting out the problem of universal human idolatry and sin (934)," 5) All the above steps point toward a final judgment when God will set things right. 

The various Pauline uses of the dikaios root (‘justification’) take for granted the belief (a) that Israel was chosen, with a purpose, by the creator God; (b) that this purpose had to do with the creator’s ultimate plan to set the whole creation to rights; and (c) that this purpose was to be taken forward through the setting to rights of human beings. 925

The covenant is indeed the answer to the forensic problem—but it is the covenant as fulfilled in the faithful obedience of the Messiah and the outpouring of the spirit...In the language of ‘righteousness’ and ‘justification’, already implicit in the covenantal train of thought, Paul found the perfect vehicle to explain how the covenant God, through the Messiah and the spirit, had dealt with the deeper problem of human sin, including Jewish sin. 933

‘Law-court’ language expresses, in a non-transferable way, something vital and central about the determination of the creator God to put all things right at last. One cannot, of course, make the law court the only matrix of understanding, even for ‘justification’. We need covenant, eschatology, participation and much besides. Equally, though, one cannot marginalize ‘forensic’ language and hope to escape scot-free. 934

The future verdict will consist, according to Paul, of the gift of ‘life’: the dikaioma that meant ‘death’ is matched by the dikaioma that meant ‘life’...Once again we note the dovetailing of forensic and covenantal ideas. The ‘verdict’ here, and in 8:33–34, is certainly ‘forensic’, but the idea of the two verdicts of ‘life’ and ‘death’ is certainly ‘covenantal’, as in Deuteronomy 30:15–20 and elsewhere. And once again the whole thing is ‘incorporative’. The place where the verdict ‘no condemnation’ is issued is precisely ‘in Messiah Jesus. 936.

Once the first 5 ideas of the sequence are understood, the key points 6-7 make sense. Wright sees Romans 1-8 as a unified explanation of an "inaugurated/incorporative forensic/covenantal eschatology" in which the acts of Messiah Jesus are the decisive expression of God's righteousness which inaugurates the coming kingdom promised in the Abrahamic Covenant and developed in the rest of the OT. Justification in the present is a declaration of God, based on Jesus' death and resurrection, of righteous status before God which will result in an assures final justification in the final judgment. This is assured because believers are incorporated in Christ and the indwelling Spirit works in producing a faithful life.

Christian living is not a zero-sum game, so that either ‘God does it all’ or ‘we do it all’. That false notion is always raised whenever anyone draws attention to Paul’s strong words about a final justification on the basis of the whole life, with the constant implication that unless one simply says ‘God does it all’ we are forfeiting assurance, or even salvation itself. 940

The entire Jew-plus-Gentile family, now designated as ‘Abraham’s seed’, has that title because they are ‘in him’ and ‘belong to him’ (Galatians 3:26–29); and the badge of that belonging is of course pistis, the ‘faith’ which believes that the one God raised Jesus from the dead (Romans 4:24–25; 10:9). 944

The first thing to get clear, then, is that the word ‘justification’, within its forensic sense, refers very precisely to the declaration of the righteous God that certain people are now ‘in the right’, despite everything that might appear to the contrary. 948

So how does this work out practically? The Spirit calls the person to belief through the Gospel. This is a gift of God. God then declares the person to be part of his covenant family and forgives his/her sins. Subsequent transformation is inevitable as the Spirit works in the life of the believer and the believer responds.

The ‘faith’ in Paul’s sense is not valued for a ‘quality’ it possesses in itself. It is defined entirely by, and in terms of, its object. 952

The point about the ‘call’ is that it is not ‘an invitation to enjoy a new kind of religious experience’. It is a sovereign summons to acknowledge the risen Jesus as lord. It, like the ‘faith’ which it inspires, is all about Jesus, not about oneself. 955

‘Justification’ is the declaration of the one God, on the basis of the death of Jesus: this really is my adopted child, a member of Abraham’s covenant family, whose sins are forgiven. And that declaration, in the present, anticipates exactly the final verdict which can also be described as ‘adoption’ (all this language, of course, reflects Israel’s ‘adoption’ as ‘God’s son’ at the Exodus): ‘we who have the first fruits of the spirit’s life within us are groaning within ourselves, as we eagerly await our adoption, the redemption of our body’ (Romans 8:23). 958–959

Wright now comes to his conclusion that the main point of justification is the declaration of the covenantal inclusion of all people who believe in the Messiah into God's family. God's purpose from the beginning was to "save" the world through humanity, but he had to save humanity first. The symbol of this is baptism which pictures the new life, new family and new unity produced by what Christ has done and what the indwelling Spirit now produces. Unity of God's people is God's intended present result of justification.

The reason the divine declaration ‘righteous’ is issued, on the basis of the Messiah’s death and ‘for the benefit of all believers’, is to constitute that single family, whatever its moral or ethnic background, as the worldwide company which the covenant God had always promised to Abraham. 960

Baptism is as it were the public celebration of justification by faith, the active and visible summoning up of the Exodus-events which were themselves freshly encoded in the death and resurrection of Jesus and the constitution of the believing community as the Exodus-people who have firmly and decisively left Egypt behind and are being led by the spirit to their inheritance. 963

Wright now moves on to validating this view of justification through the exegesis of key passages in Paul's letters. He sees the central meaning of the concept of "justification" to be "declared to be in God's family" in Galatians, with the forensic layer of meaning brought out in the concept in Romans, as Paul thought through the implications of it. He begins this study with Galatians 2.15-4.11. Paul pictures here the redefining of election around the faithful death and resurrection of Jesus as an "Exodus event." The faithful of all the world will now be pronounced righteous at the final judgment, and this must be lived out through the Spirit in the present.

'So that we might be justified’ in Galatians 2:16 does not simply mean ‘so that we might attain a righteous standing before God’, though that is obviously part of the core meaning of the term. Rather, it must mean, in order for the sentence to work in its context, ‘so that we might be declared to be members of God’s single family.’ 968

The unity of the Messiah’s people, especially in their table-fellowship, thus flows as a non-negotiable imperative from the gospel itself. 970

Here is the redefinition of election, writ clear, cognate both with Romans 2:25–29 and with Romans 4:9–17: the covenant is renewed through the divine spirit, and Jews who want now to belong to Abraham’s renewed family must be spirit-people and faith-people. 973

In 1 Corinthians this idea that the present declaration of God brings the future judgment into present actuality is assumed even in church life and discipline. In the church "the verdict of the future is enacted in the present (979)."

Even when (Paul) is not discussing ‘justification’ as such, his mind regularly and easily works on the basis that the coming day of judgment has already arrived in the present in the Messiah, and is to be implemented and applied in the community in the power of the spirit. That is the basis on which he declares that what will be true about the future must become true in the present life of the church. 980

Thursday, June 09, 2016

PIU Summer Ministry: Addie Namelo

12705329_1710371865866648_246462885490117005_nI want to introduce Addie Namelo to you. Addie is a 3rd year student who grew up on Guam, but is from Fefen island in Chuuk, Federated States of Micronesia. She is in the Liberal Studies program at PIU and would like a career in missions, possibly in camp or youth ministry. Addie will work in a VBS at Grace Evangelical Free Church in La Mirada, CA and then head to her summer internship (July 2-August 2) at Liebenzell Mission USA headquarters in Schooley’s Mountain, New Jersey, working in children’s ministry at the camp and retreat center.

I asked Addie why she was interested in this type of internship ministry: “I just like helping people in general.”

Are you nervous?: “I knew this was going to be hard but as I told myself, ‘Don’t think things are far-fetched or out of reach, have faith, pray and go for it!’”

This is Addie’s support raising brochure below. She has already raised the necessary airfare and just needs to raise her additional miscellaneous expenses (about $500) to have enough for the summer. Support info is in the brochure below.

S U M M E R  M I S S I O N   I N T E R N S H I P

addie2addie3May 19, 2016

Dear Family & Friends,

As you all know, my name is Addie Mary Namelo. I am 21 years old and currently attending school at Pacific Islands University in Mangilao, Guam as a 3rd year college student.

I am writing to inform you of an awesome opportunity I have this summer through my school. I will be going on a mission trip at the end of June to New Jersey and New York City. I will be interning at Liebenzell Mission, USA headquarters in Schooley’s Mountain, New Jersey. I will serve at different churches and have the opportunity to go into New York City to help the homeless ministries by giving out food, clothing, most importantly sharing the gospel. I will be working with a partner and friend Scott Refilong who is also a student at Pacific Islands University. We plan to use our talent in music to share about Micronesia, our culture, and our school.

I am so excited to see how God will use me this summer. There will be a German impact team going to New Jersey as well and we have been informed that we will also be working alongside their team.

We are praying for a strong support team. First, through prayers, please pray for the ministry through the summer. Pray that we may be lead by the spirit and to do everything for his glory and not ours.

Secondly, for the cost of the plane ticket and traveling expenses. We will need to raise $2500.00 in just a few short weeks. Thankfully, we will be housed and fed when we get there. The hostess will also be renting a car for me to use while I am there. My prayer is that this summer will help me overcome the fear of reaching out to the unknown. I pray that we will not be afraid of rejection, but have the sense of urgency to do God’s work in whatever way that may be. Thank you for your time, support, and prayers.clip_image006

In Christ’s Love,

Addie Mary Namelo

Please send your donations to Pacific Islands University with “Addie’s Mission Trip” in the memo. 172 Kinney’s Rd, Mangilao, GU 96913

Ready For Rainy Season on Guam

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2016-06-08 15.26.09It is dry on Guam right now. It has now been about three months since we had any serious rain. This is good for our solar power generation at home and on the PIU campus, but it is not so good for our grass and gardens. I have never seen PIU look so brown and dry. Our usually lush green campus looks a little dried out. As you have seen in previous posts, these lawns are often temporarily under water when we get a good rain. The good news is that rainy season usually gets here sometime in June. I am going to look and pray for some clouds!

 

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Here are a couple more pictures of the campus