Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Sharing The Message Of The Cross

We talked about sharing the gospel with people last week in a home Bible study. One of the young ladies asked the question, "Sharing the gospel isn't easy for me. I'm sorta introverted. What would you recommend for someone like me?" Then today Dave Black posted these words:
"I often hear people complain that witnessing does not come 'naturally' for them. With this I agree. Evangelism is not a natural task at all; it is a completely supernatural enterprise. In fact, personal evangelism is utterly impossible unless the Spirit of the Lord Jesus is given free rein in our lives. Thus, while it is our duty to share our faith with others through word and deed, even more it is a divinely-enabled privilege. And unless we learn to view evangelism in those terms – as a great privilege and not merely as a duty to be performed legalistically – we will never be successful in motivating either ourselves or others to share Jesus, no matter how much training we may have had in this or that evangelistic technique or method."
Everyone, please think about these words. Give them a real chew. Spend some time thinking about what Dave is saying here. Sharing the message of the cross is a real privilege. We have the message of life. We have the life-giving water that Jesus offered the Samaritan woman in John 4. I know sharing the gospel can be difficult. It can look really easy for certain people, while others of us sit back and wonder why it's so difficult for them. Don't rob yourself of the greatest privilege you'll ever have.

Want to read a little more about the book from where those words above are taken, then check out this post, "Will You Join the Cause of Global Missions?" and this post "David Alan Black's Latest Book On Missions (And You)." Or if you want to just go straight to Amazon and get a copy of the book, just click here. The book won't break the bank, I promise. It's less than $5 (print edition) and less than $1 on Kindle. You can't beat that. And you will–I repeat–you will be blessed.

Great Time Of Fellowship

We had an exceptional morning together as the faculty and staff came together. One of the hallmarks was the devotional led by one of our students, Javaid Haroon. He taught us the meaning of John 4, concentrating on verses 4, 7, and 10. Isn't it interesting that Jesus "had to pass" through Samaria? That's pretty remarkable if you ask me. So thankful for students who are willing to follow the Lord anywhere and represent him everywhere!

Sitting Beside Victor Jacobs

Right now we are in a faculty and staff meeting. I'm sitting beside Victor Jacobs, my NT colleague here at Capital. I love spending time with this guy. He loves the Lord, prays for all of us, and seriously wants students to grow in their walks with God. I've found in Victor a trusted friend and co-laborer. After our meeting I'm looking forward to catching up with him. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


Awesome Voice

Third Row Seats!

Awaiting El Cigala

Waiting For Doors To Open

What A Difference!

Checking Out The Tix

Grabbin' Some Dinner

Lesly And I Are Going Out

Oh yeah! Lesly and I are heading out on the town tonight! Here we go. Right now we are on the metro. The DC metro has nothing on Madrid's, just so you know.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Concert Tomorrow

Lesly and I are going to a concert tomorrow night. One of Spain's most renowned musicians is here in the nation's capital. We couldn't miss an opportunity to check it out. Getting out on the town with Lesly tomorrow is going to be really special. I can't wait to just spend some time with my girl. Of course, we're supposed to have record lows tonight and tomorrow! Can you say "Burrrrrr?"

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Friday, November 14, 2014

Just One Reason Why I Love Henry

Want to get a glimpse of why I love Henry and Energion Publications? Then you have to read "Why I Hope Energion Authors Never Become Celebrities." Henry, it's a pleasure to serve our Lord alongside you and people like you. Keep up the hard work. Great is your reward!

Finishing Up The MOOC

So, the last couple of days I have been working really hard to finish up the MOOC on the Biblical Covenants. One of the things I've been trying to wrap up is the study guide for the course. I really want this to be a valuable tool for Christians as they study God's Word. The biblical covenants are so important for a proper understanding of Scripture. Without a knowledge of them, it's like you're driving with a blindfold on. The question isn't will you crash, but when will you crash! I've worked really hard to make the guide devotional, informative, and useful for small-group and self study. Here's just a snippet to give you a feel for what they look like.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Seminario Evangelico de Lima Linked To The Grammar

To my friends down in Peru, thanks for linking to the announcement about Aprenda a Leer el Griego del Nuevo Testamento. ¡Lo agradezco mucho! Hey, they put an announcement up on their Facebook and on their Twitter! That's excellent.

Another Comment About The Greek Grammar

Dave Black received this note via email earlier:
"That's great. Praise God! There's a huge need in Latin America -we need resources like this. May the Lord use this book to bless His church."
We're praying that God will use it in big ways all over the Spanish-speaking world! If you have a Facebook account, blog, or some other means of social media like Twitter, would you consider sending a link out about the video and the website for the book? Here are the links:
For the book on the publisher's website, click here ( 
For the video on YouTube, click here ( 
You can also link to this post (, which has a write up of the book that people might find really helpful.

Just Received This Comment

We just received this comment on the newest YouTube video talking about Aprenda a Leer el Griego del Nuevo Testamento:
"Me encantó la noticia!!!!! Soy docente de Griego en el seminario teológico de mi misión en Uruguay, y estoy más que interesada en el libro. Ya que no hay material de sobra acerca del tema, los estudiantes de habla hispana no podemos decir que hemos estudiado con muchos libros de Griego. Por lo que le ruego me avise cuando este listo."
"That news absolutely thrills me!!!!! I am a teacher of Greek in the Theological Seminary of my mission in Uruguay, and I'm more than interested in the book. Because there are not many resources available on this topic, Hispanic students really cannot say they've studied with many Greek books. You gotta let me know when this book's ready."

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Guess Who's Watching The New Video?

I just walked by the office and saw Lesly checking out Jesus + Nothing = Everything. She was grading my Spanish on the new YouTube video announcing our translation of Learn to Read New Testament Greek in Spanish. Is it perfect? Not even close. But the Spanish-speaking world is very forgiving when it comes to rookie Americanos trying to speak their beautiful language. Lesly, of course, gave me an A . . . because she loves me!

¿Quieres Aprender El Griego Del Nuevo Testamento?

¿Tiene usted el deseo de aprender el Griego del Nuevo Testamento? ¡Si es así, estamos contentos de anunciar la publicación de la gramática introductoria de David Alan Black. La cual se llama Aprenda a Leer el Griego del Nuevo Testamento.

El deseo de estudiar el Nuevo Testamento en su lengua original y usar su conocimiento para preparar mensajes sanos y expositivos es un gran deseo, ¡uno de los cuales Dios bendice grandemente!

Hay muy pocos recursos y opciones disponibles para pastores, misioneros, y otros líderes-siervos cristianos en todas partes de América Latina para aprender las lenguas bíblicas. Una razón es que hay muy pocos recursos disponibles para ayudar en su estudio de Griego del Nuevo Testamento. Muchas veces aquellos que están disponibles son muy costosos en librerías locales. A pesar de estos motivos y otros, un creyente no debería perd una oportunidad de estudiar el Nuevo Testamento en su lengua original. Una cosa que es cierta—ser capaz de estudiar el Nuevo Testamento con un conocimiento de la lengua griega aumentará la eficacia de pastores y maestros en el ministerio de la iglesia local.

El Doctor David Alan Black ha escrito en su libro, Usando el Griego del Nuevo Testamento en el Ministerio: Una Guía Práctica para Estudiantes y Pastores (1993: 16), estas poderosas palabras: 
“Hubo un predicador llamado Martin Lutero que dijo, ‘Déjanos agarrar apasionadamente las lenguas [bíblicas]…Las lenguas son el estuche en la cual esta espada del Espíritu está contenida.’ Esto no es ningún accidente que este tributo a las lenguas bíblicas viene de un príncipe reconocido del cristianismo evangélico y del corazón de la Reforma Protestante, que era la versión Alemana del Gran Despertar de América. La capacidad en las lenguas bíblicas mucho tiempo ha sido reconocida como una exigencia básica para el ministerio pastoral. Ninguna persona puede entender el significado intencionado de la Biblia, sobre su nivel más profundo, a no ser que aquella persona aprenda a leer y, en algún sentido, pensar en el hebreo y el griego.” 
¿Ahora imagínese lo que Dios podría hacer en América Latina con una generación de pastores y maestros que tienen un conocimiento de hebreo y griego? Por supuesto, las lenguas bíblicas no son poderosas en ellas mismas. El poder viene del Espíritu Santo que usa la Palabra predicada para conducir a las personas a Cristo y hacerles crecer en la gracia y el conocimiento del Señor y Salvador Jesucristo. El conocimiento de las lenguas bíblicas son una herramienta muy útil (y necesaria) para el trabajo del ministerio pastoral.

Ahora, está es su oportunidad. ¿Usted está listo? Este libro está diseñado para su uso en el estudio personal, así como en los cursos en los institutos de seminario y la biblia. Si usted realmente desea estudiar el Nuevo Testamento con la profundidad y precisión, este libro es una gran herramienta para comenzar.

Un gran recurso disponible actualizado por primera vez en español, esta gramática introductoria escrita por David Alan Black es fácil de usar. Se mantiene la discusión de la gramática lo más básica posible. Las explicaciones son simplificadas, y se incluye los vocabularios básicos. Tiene muchos ejercicios que están diseñados para preparar al estudiante para los cursos prácticos subsiguientes en la exégesis, mientras que el énfasis lingüística sienta las bases para cursos posteriores en la gramática.

Si quieres estudiar el Nuevo Testamento con un nuevo enfoque y profundidad, este libro te ayudará en gran manera.

Para ver el video en YouTube, también puede aquí.

The Most Important Work We Do When We Travel

I've been asked to speak a couple times since returning from Europe. Folks are curious about the "work" I'm doing in Spain and Italy. I'm really excited about the research that I am doing through the Universidad Complutense. I think it's important research. But it's not the most important work that I'm doing overseas. Not even close, in fact. Sure, while I was in Europe, I had the opportunity to look at 8 copies of the Complutensian Greek New Testament. 500 years old. Super rare. Amazingly beautiful codices. I'm not sure how many people have seen multiple copies in their lifetime, but I'm sure I'm on the list of few. Add on top of that the opportunity that I had to look at some rare New Testament manuscripts at the Vatican Library and you might think, "Wow, pretty amazing. Must be some really important work Thomas is doing." But wait. I promise you that it's not the most important work that I'm doing overseas. Not even close.

I was up in Lancaster, PA a couple of months ago. While I was having lunch with a colleague, a student walked up to me. He asked me about the trip to Europe, adding that he found out via the blog (someone actually reads this blog! Hooorayy!). He said, "I would give anything to be able to go to Europe and do some research like that. That's amazing. Wow." My reply went something like this. First of all, you can go to Europe and do something like what I'm doing. They haven't opened Europe up because they heard I was interested. If the Lord leads you to go, go. But, really, that's not the most amazing thing. It's really not the "wow" moment. My life could go on if I never held a copy of the Complutensian Greek New Testament. I wouldn't be devastated if I got a closed door to look at a Greek manuscript in the Vatican (although in hindsight I found out that I was disappointed I couldn't see Vaticanus). There's something way more "wow" than checking out old books and old manuscripts. There's something way cooler than getting permission to visit the Biblioteca Apostolica Vaticana. There's one thing that I simply need or my life can't go forward. There's something that I can't live without. What is the most important work that I was doing in Europe last month? What's the one thing that would cripple me were it, hypothetically speaking, ever stripped from me?

When we travel, we travel for Jesus. When we take a trip, we go as his ambassadors. Nothing really changes. We are his ambassadors everywhere we are, all the time, to everyone in our path. We represent one and we represent him to all. But one temptation when we travel is to kick off our shoes and relax, take a break, chill, pause, concentrate on us, not others. We can let our "world" take precedence. In my case, it would have been really easy to let the awesomeness of the trip puff me up. I could have just moved from opportunity to opportunity, living in the "wow" moments. But one thought was front and center during this trip. I wasn't going overseas to look at copies of the Greek New Testament. I would go and look at them, but that's not why I was going. There were people that the Lord was going to put in my life. There were going to be divine appointments. There were going to be opportunities to talk about the significance of what Jesus Christ accomplished on the cross. The whole past year has been saturated in prayer. Lesly and I prayed for people we were going to meet. We prayed for people we knew we did not know, yet. We prayed for conversations. We prayed for opportunities to bless people. We prayed for opportunities to serve others in place of being served. And God blessed our time in Europe. We look forward to seeing what he does.

Our trips ought to be Great Commission trips. You know what I'm saying? There's is no one more honorable, no one more precious, no one more worthy of our entire devotion than the Lord Jesus Christ. And there is no greater work than the opportunity to explain to someone what Jesus did for us on the cross, all the while giving them marvelous demonstrations of the scandalous love of the cross. These demonstrations are often clothed in menial rags, but the Lord energizes the menial and makes them magnificent. For those of us in Christ, all of life is the Great Commission. It's our single purpose. It permeates everything we are, everything we have, and everything we do with what God's given us.

This morning I received the following email:
"I really appreciate your testimony and reminder yesterday about staying sensitive and available to folks' spiritual needs as we travel. A new dimension for my prayers as I prepare to teach overseas next week. Love you, brother."
Here's to the most important work we can do when we travel. And here's to seeing lots of eternal fruit.