Monday, October 04, 2010

Going to India

Sitting in the Houston Airport. Leave for India in about one hour. Going with Robbie Briggs, a friend from Dallas. Last fall, Dr. Joy George (President of the A.C.A.) invited me to join the seminary students on their mission trip in October. Right now the A.C.A. seminary students are divided up into ten groups on mission trips throughout India. Robbie Briggs and I will be joining one group in Kochin, India. This is a next step in my desire to continue to build relationships with these students and encourage them when they go out from the seminary to plant and pastor churches throughout India.

What will we be doing? I am not totally sure. The main thing Robbie and I want to do is to pray for and encourage the students. The students will be doing evangelism at a university in the city.. We are going to try to show a film called The Privileged Planet. They hope I will be able to attend and then let the college students ask me some questions. Scarey! Also, Dr, Joy's brother, Babu, has a church in Kochin. I suspect that I will get to preach and do some teaching during the week for their lay leader equipping classes.

Prayer Requests:
That Robbie and I will be well received to be able to encourage and pray for the students.
That I will be a servant to the students, Robbie, and the church. (God has been convicting me lately of my need for some huge growth in the area of being a servant.)
That God will give me wisdom that is way beyond me for the film showing and question time afterward.
For God's encouragement to Vela and Nancy (Robbie's wife) while we are gone.
That I will not try to make anything happen. I will just hang out with Jesus and follow Him around to where he takes me.
That God will keep us both healthy.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Experiencing God in the Wilderness

Here we are at summer camp in Arkansas. This year’s theme is “Experiencing God in the Wilderness.”

What words come to your mind when you think of the wilderness?

The wilderness is referenced often in the Bible. It is described as land that is basically wild and sparsely inhabited or unfit for permanent human settlement. It may be desert, mountains, forest, or marsh. In some sense, man has been living in the wilderness ever since Adam and Eve got kicked out of the garden.

What experiences come to your mind when you think of the wilderness?

Here is how the Israelites felt when they were in the “great and terrible” wilderness as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land:
Then they said to Moses, “Is it because there were no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? Why have you dealt with us in this way, bringing us out of Egypt? Is this not the word that we spoke to you in Egypt, saying, ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.” Exodus 14:11–12

Often the wilderness feels like a place where God doesn’t seem to care, God doesn’t seem to be speaking, and God doesn’t seem to be in control and all is lost. Can you relate?

This week we are learning that:
The wilderness is all of life outside the garden…
a place where God cares for us and we learn dependence;
a place where God speaks to us and we learn to listen;
a place where God redeems us and we learn to believe.

Let’s pray together:
Lord, in the wilderness of my life today, help me to depend on You, hear from You and believe You for the impossible.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thanks for Your Love!

Last Saturday, my daughter Natalie married Matt. I performed the ceremony. I heard there were lots of bets on whether I could make it through without breaking down and crying uncontrollably. I made it! This is Natalie and Matt on their way to their get-a-way car.

One thing I always say in a wedding to the bride and groom is “God will use your tangible, touchable, physically present love for each other to give each other a more experienced awareness of what it means to be loved by God through Christ.” I got that line from The Marriage Builder written by Larry Crabb. I said this to Natalie and Matt. I really believe this and have experienced this in my own marriage.

I also experienced God’s love through our church before and during the wedding. A whole team of people transformed our Christian Life Center into a purple wonderland. (Natalie’s favorite color). A whole team of people worked alongside our caterer to cook and serve food. There were many other things. The most appealing aspect of it all was how people did all of this with such joy and a sense of being privileged to do it. Also, just seeing people who I know have busy lives at the wedding and reception gave me a great sense of thankfulness.

Thanks, Northwest Bible Church family and friends, for giving the Tombas a deeper experienced awareness of what it means to be loved by God in Christ through your tangible, touchable, physically present love for us the last few months during my daughter’s wedding.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What is your one sentence?

What is your one sentence?

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace. Acts 20:24

“In 1962, Clare Boothe Luce, one of the first women to serve in the U.S. Congress, offered some advice to President John F. Kennedy. ‘A great man,’ she told him, ‘is one sentence.’ Abraham Lincoln’s one sentence was: he preserved the union and freed the slaves. Franklin Roosevelt’s one sentence was: he lifted us out of a great depression and helped us win a world war. Luce feared that Kennedy’s attention was so splintered among different priorities that his sentence risked becoming a muddled paragraph.”

I found this illustration from Daniel Pink's book entitled “Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us.” I am not trying to sell Pink’s book, but I am continually amazed how the people of the world go after the things of the world with intense drive and unfailing motivation. And I am continually concerned about the church of Jesus Christ (especially in a city like Dallas) and my own lack of vigor in going after the things of God, especially when I read the accounts of the early church and Paul's missionary journeys in the book of Acts.

This past Sunday, I said that Acts 20:24 was a good capture of Paul’s “One Sentence”. It helps us understand how he went through all he did knowing that prisons and hardships were facing him everywhere he went. It helps us understand his courage, his purpose, and his motivation. To get a quick view of the things Paul suffered read 2 Corinthians 11:23-28. What is your one sentence or what do you want it to be? Let us know by putting it on my facebook page at

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bring it, John Maisel

John Maisel preached again this Sunday for our World Passion Week. John is the president of East-West Ministries. I like listening to John because I have seen him live what he preaches.

1. If the church is retreating it is not because of the strength of the enemy. It is because our eyes are off the Bridegroom.

2.The greatest enemy of living for today is postponed obedience. Today is all you have.

3.The greatest enemy of walking by faith is fear. At the core, we fear that if we do what God wants we will have to give up something we really want.

4.Will you say, "Yes, Lord, no matter what?"

Let’s pray together this old prayer that came from Christian Quote of the Day on Sunday.
Fix my thoughts, my hopes, and my desires, upon heaven and heavenly things; teach me to despise the world, to repent me deeply for my sins; give me holy purposes of amendment, and [spiritual] strength and assistances to perform faithfully whatsoever I shall intend piously. Enrich my understanding with an eternal treasure of Divine Truths, that I may know thy will:
and thou, who workest in us to will and to do of Thy good pleasure, teach me to obey all Thy commandments, to believe all Thy revelations, and make me partaker of all Thy gracious
... Jeremy Taylor (1613-1667), Holy Living [1650]

Monday, April 19, 2010

World Passion Week 2010

And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, “Do business with this until I come back.” Luke 19:13

This is World Passion Week for Northwest Bible Church. This is the time of year we gather money for our corporate efforts to take the gospel to our city and around the world. It is one way we live out our value, “loving a lost and broken world.”

John Maisel (president of East-West Ministries) kicked us off yesterday by taking us through Luke 19:11-26 (The Parable of the Ten Minas). Here were his five key points as he challenged us with the thought that we are chosen by God for this time in history to be about the business of Jesus.
1.Jesus is the King.
2.We are Jesus’ servants.
3.Jesus owns the resources.
4.Jesus’ servants will give an account.
5.The task is clear. (Chase after the King and His kingdom agenda to proclaim the gospel).

Here’s a statement that John made that really hit me, “If you have a dream that Jesus is not the center of, you have the wrong dream.”

Let’s pray each day this week that we would embrace the five things John taught us from this parable. Let’s pray that each of us will take a faith promise card and pray, “Jesus, we want what you want.” Today, let’s also pray for East-West Ministries and John Maisel as he leads that work. You can learn more about East-West at

Please check out our outreach program, our supported missionaries and what’s going on with World Passion Week at

Friday, April 02, 2010