Showing posts from November, 2011

When A Pastor Commits Suicide

“Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered” (Zechariah 13:7)

I am on my way home from the funeral of a fellow Baptist pastor who committed suicide. I got the news on Thursday morning (which explains why my usual Thursday or Friday blog post is absent; I was too deeply affected to do anything). The news came as a shock to me—and indeed to everyone else who knew the pastor. He had been an intern at Kabwata Baptist Church for a few months over ten years ago. He was a very fine man and slightly younger than me. I last met him two months ago when I was preaching at a pastors’ annual retreat. He has left behind a wife and three young children, plus a devastated congregation.
When a pastor commits suicide, apart from the emotion of shock there is also a lot of disappointment and dismay. As one member lamented, “Pastor was the one who always encouraged us to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ when overwhelmed by the challenges and difficulties that confronted us. How could he fail to han…

Are all elders “pastors”?

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers…” (Ephesians 4:11).

This is an age-old question that will never die. In fact, like fish out of water, it is best left alone to beat itself on the ground until it dies a natural death. Picking it up and trying to aid it in the dying process often results in it slipping out of your hands and falling back into the water, and thus gives it a new lease of life.
Then why on earth am I bringing up this subject? It is because in the second of the two conferences I preached at in Brazil (I am typing this on the plane flying back home) one of the speakers brought it up. He argued that all elders are pastors and all pastors are elders. In fact, he stated that he does not want to be called a pastor but simply an elder. He challenged us to show him in the Bible where anyone, except the Lord Jesus Christ, was called a pastor.
He went so far as to say that he did not believe in “t…

The Book that Changed My life—The Herald of His Coming

“This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

(Stop Press: On Tuesday morning, I woke Felistas up with the news that the counter on my blog had just crossed the 100,000 mark. I had hoped she would be as excited as I was and perhaps pour me a cup of coffee in congratulations but she did not. I guess many others with much more traffic visiting their blogs, like Tim Challies, would not find such news exciting. That is their traffic per day! But I must say that I have had my eyes on that counter for a few months now…waiting for the 100,000th visitor. So for me, that was a precious milestone. It took a little over 3 years to get there. Let us see how long it will take to reach 200,000. I am watching the counter, though not that anxiously any more).    

The next instalment of “The Book That Changed My Life” is from Barnabas Chiboboka. He is married to Grace and the Lord has entrusted into their care four biological …

Preaching at the Encontro de Fa Reformada in Brazil

“Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood” (Acts 20:28).

The beginning of November found Felistas and me in Brazil where we still are. I am preaching at the 12thEncontro de Fa Reformada conference at the Igreja Presbiteriana Nova Cidade (New City Presbyterian Church) in Manaus.
I reported on my last preaching trip to this conference in 2008 on this blog (click here). This is probably my fifth visit to this conference, which I had the pleasure to be a part of at its commencement in the year 2000. During my last two visits, it had grown into two conferences in Manuas and Gioania. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the conference is now in seven to nine cities, covering a fair section of the northern part of this vast country.
The theme for this year’s conference was “Pastoring the Church of God” (click here to visit their website). The host pastor, Jaime Marcelino, preached on “Pastoring for Eternity”. Hernandes Lopes failed to make it due to ill health. …

The Book That Changed My Life—A Woman After God’s Own Heart

My next instalment of “The Book That Changed My Life” is from Mrs Lumpuma Kayombo. For 10 years she worked as my office assistant at Kabwata Baptist Church until she got married to Pastor Ndonji Kayombo. She is now a member of Trinity Baptist Church in Kitwe, Zambia, the church that her husband pastors. God has blessed them with a 3 month old daughter, Wenyi.  She serves in the children’s ministry in the church where she teaches Sunday school. Well, let us hear about the book that changed Lumpuma’s life…
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I first came across the book, A Woman After God’s Own Heart, by Elizabeth George, about six years ago when a housemate of mine borrowed the book from a friend. I did not pay too much attention to it then because I was single and thought it was a book for those who were married or preparing to get marriage. However, I did realise that it was a popular book because there were a number of women waiting to read the copy that my housemate had. A few years later, a friend of mine w…