Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Call of Moses

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Making of a Leader, Ps Frank


This Sunday at CBC, we observed in the life of Moses several lessons on our significance in Christ. In that vein, here is an excerpt from Pastor Frank Damazio’s book, The Making of a Leader, discussing the call of Moses. He provides a treasure trove of principles from Moses’ calling related to our identity in Christ. Pastor Frank’s focus, of course, is leadership; however, all believers will be encouraged by this message.


THE CALL OF MOSES

 Moses is one of the most interesting men of the Old Testament. Deuteronomy 34:10 states, “And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto the man Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.” Moses was obviously a man with unique relationship with the Lord.

Hebrews 11:23 states, “By faith Moses, when he was born, was hid three months by his parents, because they saw he was a proper child, and they were not afraid of the king’s commandments.” Moses was born of faith. His parents had a living faith in the God of their fathers. We have the Old Testament account of this in Exodus 2:1-10. The verses immediately following do not tell us what transpired during the early years of the life of Moses. But with the help of Scripture and history, we can begin to understand a portion of what happened.

The Youth of Moses

Moses was adopted and raised in the house of the daughter of Pharaoh, which meant he lived in the royal household. Acts 7:22 states, “And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.” From this verse we see that Moses had all the education of the known world available while in the royal house of Pharaoh. Any university or tutoring scholar, as it were, would have deemed it a privilege to tutor the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.

Egypt was, at that time, one of the most productive and progressive countries of the known world, with educational achievements far above any other land. Their economic and social life, too, was highly developed. Even today, Egypt’s colossal pyramids, with their mathematical precision, confound the understanding of the most educated builders in the world. This was the environment in which Moses was raised from his youth.

The ancient Jewish historian Josephus gives one account of Moses which provides an insight into his power and ability. Josephus says that Ethiopian armies attacked, and were on the verge of inflicting a terrible defeat on Egypt. Moses, apparently, was appointed to go forth and command the armies of the Egyptians in an attempt to save the country from a disastrous downfall. Moses, reportedly lead the armies into battle and brought a great victory. If true, this account gives us a good glimpse at the man that Stephen described as “the man which was mighty in words and in deeds” (Acts 7:22).

As we look at the scriptures concerning Moses, it is evident that the Lord must have spoken to him something during the early years of his life. Hebrews 11:24-26 states, “By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.”

This reference makes it very clear that Moses faced a very difficult decision in life. He had to choose between royalty and peasantry. Moses had to choose between all of the wealth, power, influence and glory of Egypt and the slavery of his own people Israel. Would he identify with the royalty of Egypt or the bondage of his own people?

Hebrews 11:27 tells us that “By faith Moses forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king, for he endured, as seeing Him who is invisible.” Moses was at the age of forty when he made this life-changing decision. Moses’ decision challenged and changed his life, to say the least. In saving a Hebrew from a cruel beating, he slew the Egyptian who was beating him. This led Moses directly into a personal forty-year period of wilderness wanderings. Why would God use a wilderness to prepare a leader of His people? God’s ways are always different and sometimes opposite to man’s ways, especially when it comes to dealing with His servants.

The Stripping Process

A transition from the royal courts of Pharaoh to the backside of the desert would have been a drastic change for anyone. But God had a purpose in it for Moses’ development; God was going to put Moses through some years of divine stripping. Moses had been a long forty years in the courts of Pharaoh learning all of the wisdom, ways, power and tools of men. He had, in a sense, all of the academic degrees that Egypt could offer him. But the Lord God of Israel was not going to use these Egyptian methods to free His people from their bondage. God was going to strip Moses of all his Egyptian wisdom, and begin to mold him for a task that only God’s wisdom could accomplish through him.

For forty years, Moses was on the backside of the desert, where he shepherded his father-in-law’s sheep. He could not claim to possess so much as his own sheep. He was just a common herdsman of another man’s flock. In addition, Moses’ wife was just an ordinary woman of the desert. She was a far contrast from the royal young maidens that he could have married in Egypt. The question naturally arises at this point, “What was God’s purpose in all of this?” God was totally stripping the man whom he was going to use greatly.

The effectiveness of all of God’s strippings was very evident in the way that we see Moses respond to God’s call at a later time. As we shall soon see, Moses was stripped of self-confidence and Egyptian pride. These attitudes would have made it impossible for him to accomplish what God had called him to do. In the great task that Moses was going to face, he would need to know that God, not man, was the source of his strength. As with Moses, God has a desert for all of His servants that He is going to use in a mighty way. The stripping process is part of the plan of God for all who will respond to the call of the Lord. A leader dare not challenge God’s process of calling and preparation.

The Burning Bush

In Exodus 3:1-11, we read about the call of Moses. When he was called, Moses was on the backside of the desert. Moses was tending sheep in the dry desert, as any other day’s work would normally have required him to do. Exodus 3:2 states, “And the Angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of the bush: and behold the bush burned with fire and the bush was not consumed.”

The fact that the bush was not consumed was the fascinating attraction that caused Moses to turn aside to see what this strange thing was. Exodus 3:4 states, “And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush and said, ‘Moses, Moses.’ And Moses said, ‘Here am I.’ ” When God revealed himself to Moses out of the burning bush, He told Moses to draw near so that He might speak to him.

The Lord told Moses His plan to deliver the children of Israel out of their Egyptian bondage. God told Moses how the children of Israel were in great distress, affliction and mourning because of their Egyptian taskmasters. Because Moses already understood the sad plight of the children of Israel, he did not hesitate to agree with the Lord that Israel greatly needed help. Moses’ agreement with the Lord showed that he had a definite burden for his people. Read More

Podcast: God as Friend wtih Pastor Jude Fouquier

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PJude10Pastor Jude Fouquier leads The City Church Ventura, in Southern California. He is a skillful communicator and has been committed to training young people for the Kingdom for many years. Pastor Jude is also part of the Portland Bible College Strategic Team and his church hosts a thriving internship program which is an extension campus of PBC.

This message was recorded on August 24, 2014 at our annual kick-off retreat

We hope this podcast is a blessing to you!

Alumni Heading to War-torn Region

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Two of our alumni are heading to one of the most dangerous parts of the world to share Jesus. For their security, we can’t disclose their names or location, but we ask you to pray for them as they move forward in their calling. Here’s a letter from them to you.

What a wonderful opportunity to share our story with you all!
We are going to the crossroads between Middle East and North Africa to share the light of Jesus Christ. We believe that the upheaval in this region of the world is a great opportunity to share the love of Jesus. Times and times again we have seen how God redeems sin. The war, turmoil, sickness and many other atrocities opened people’s hearts and made them recognize their need for God. Jesus is the hope that they need. Now is a great time to go into those difficult lands with a message of hope.
My husband worked in Darfur for four years as genocide and civil war raged on in Sudan.

J: I started PBC in 1998 because as a pre-teen I read the story of David Livingston and knew in my heart that I wanted to go to Africa. I graduated in 2002 and after doing ministry in Colombia South America for about a year I returned to US and finished my MBA. In 2007 God opened the door for me to work with an NGO in Darfur for four years.

M: I came to PBC with a similar desire to prepare for overseas work in 2006. I met J in 2010 while he was back in PDX for a few months of break. It is a beautiful story of miracles how God brought us together. We have been married for a couple of years and we are ready to launch back into the field very soon. God is building our faith to trust Him by stepping out in obedience, taking risks with wisdom.

One of the passages of Scripture that has inspired us is Job 14:7-9
“At least there is hope for a tree:
If it is cut down, it will sprout again,
and its new shoots will not fail.
8 Its roots may grow old in the ground
and its stump die in the soil,
9 yet at the scent of water it will bud
and put forth shoots like a plant.

God called us to a people groups not to a specific location. The people of Darfur have had to flee their lands and find refuge in the neighboring countries. Many of Darfuriens have encountered much pain, devastation and brokenness. God gave us a vision to go to those people with a message of Healing for yesterday, Courage for today, and Hope for tomorrow.
The need for laborers is great. Sudan has the most unreached people groups – over 100K. Almost all the communities there don’t have any witness for Christ and thus no example of how to follow Jesus.
We would love to share more and connect with you. Contact PBC if you would like to partner with us in what we are doing.

PBC Brasil Onward and Upward!

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Deans Ken and Glenda Malmin travel to Brazil to conduct a live class with online students from 15 different cities. Students unable to travel were able to stream the live lessons.

Deans Ken and Glenda Malmin travel to Brazil to conduct a live class with online students from 15 different cities. Students unable to travel were able to stream the live lessons.

This summer, Portland Bible College wrapped up its first online semester in Portuguese. With over 80 students from 15 different churches in Brazil participating, PBC Online was a huge success.

PBC offered Life of Christ by Glenda Malmin and Old Testament Survey by Lanny Hubbard. The PBC Online Team could not do it without the vision and dedication of it’s Portuguese speaking partners in Brazil. The entire online classroom and course materials were translated into Portuguese by Leandro Martins, Lucas DeSousa, and Leticia DeSousa Henriques, with the help of many others in Brazil who spent hundreds of hours processing applications, answering questions, and registering students.

Deans Ken and Glenda Malmin traveled all the way to Brazil this summer in order to meet with all of the PBC Students. And, they were so impressed by all the pastors and leaders that dedicated so much time and energy to their PBC coursework. The PBC Team in Portland feels a real connection to all of our students in Brazil. The second term is well under way and has already grown to 110 students taking Basic Doctrine and New Testament Survey. PBC is so excited about the future of the PBC Brasil Program and love all of our Brazilian Students!

Testimonials (translated to English):
“The fact that I could take these courses at home, in Portuguese, and to have such excellent material, and all the support necessary for the activities, was amazing!! This course helped me to see the Scriptures in a way that I had never seen before, understand the culture, habits, history, and the “whys” in some situations, that I didn’t understand before. Besides that, it helped me in my ministry. My sermons started to make more sense, to have more content and I’m able to simplify the Word of God to be expressed to others.”

“I’d like to thank PBC Brazil’s team, because a dream that I’ve had for more than 20 years came true!!! When I got saved in 1994, I wanted to take a Theology course and enter the ministry, but I was already attending another College. My wife (at that time my girlfriend) went to PBC. Now I’m in Ministry, I’m married, have children, I work full time and I have the opportunity to take this course, a dream that was written in my “book of dreams” 20 years ago!”

“I think this course is wonderful, a very rich content, excellent lectures (the explanation and slides). The discussions were also a great way to interact with other students and to reinforce the content and personal application. There were remarkable moments, I got emotional many times. The presence of God was intense. I just want to thank you for the opportunity to know more about God and His will. The course is captivating.”

“Congratulations to the entire PBC team for the effort, dedication and the quality of your work. Above all that, I thank you guys for the opportunity to have access to such a rich material. God bless the work of you all.”

Special note to our Portuguese readers: Se você está interessado no nosso programa em Português, visite nosso site: www.portlandbiblecollege.com/Brasil

Ana in Cuba

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ana in cubaAlumna, Ana Areli Moreno (ACM ’12) shares about her recent ministry trip to Cuba.

This past summer, God gave me the opportunity to travel to Cuba along with a team from my home church in Monterrey, Mexico. We had heard of the difficulties the churches in Cuba are going through, so we wanted to support our family in Christ in that island.

My local church has been supporting a small group of churches financially, but God took us there so we could be His hands as well. It was evident that God wanted us there because despite the difficulties of entering the country and bringing in donated goods, we made it safe and sound. We were warned that immigration could’ve caused trouble or would confiscate our luggage, but God was always with us and none of that happened.

We took clothes, shoes, books, candy, soccer balls, training equipment (for a soccer ministry with almost 60 non-christian teenagers), and Bibles. We were so happy we could help them with material things as well as the word of God.

Since the moment we arrived, we could see God’s joy in their lives and we noticed they didn’t really need all the stuff we brought them to be content. Sure, they were very grateful to receive all that we gave them, but that happiness didn’t compare to they joy the would express when they led someone to God, or when they worshiped or even when they served us.

Every single day in Cuba, was a blessing. I feel like our team received more than we could ever give them. We worked with the soccer team and performed a few skits that God used to speak into people’s lives. At the end of every skit,  everyone in the audience would make a decision to give their lives to Jesus.

The local churches have been able to launch seven new house-missions with the monthly financial assistance our church as been able to provide; and we were able to visit  all seven of them. We realize that our monthly support is not very much, but they do all they can with it and have raised these seven missions in just one year. With their plan is to launch a total of ten, you can see how their vision keeps growing and they keep working, non-stop, for the Glory of God.

I was amazed to see how much they can do, with the small amount of resources they have. There, I learned that all it takes to fulfill God’s will is a humble heart and a passion for Christ.

Getting together with our family in Christ from around the world is a blessing. That’s what God wants, unity among His children. Just like John 17:22 says: “that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.

It is encouraging to see how the local church in Cuba is accomplishing God’s purpose against all odds. It’s a powerful reminder that, if God is for us, who can be against us?! -Romans 8:31

Please pray for the Church in Cuba. Pray for the provision, power and presence of God to be with our Cuban brothers and sisters. Pray that God will allow the world-wide Church to see the need in this beautiful Island who needs Jesus more than ever before.

¡Cuba Para Cristo!

 

VideoCred: John Moreno (Ana’s brother shot and edited this video of the trip).