Ray Pritchard’s Blog – October 2012

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China Diary, Part 1

October 31, 2012

I am writing these notes from my hotel room in Taipei, Taiwan, which means we are nearing the end of our whirlwind trip. A week ago today four of us left for a visit to China. Two of us–Nick and I–had been to China before. Nick spent a summer in China teaching English in 2006. This is my sixth trip, all of them fairly brief. I’ve ...

A God-Shaped Vacuum

October 31, 2012

Here is more good news and bad news. The good news is that everything has a purpose in God’s plan. The bad news is that no one can figure out . . .

Grasping at Shadows

October 30, 2012

“What does the worker gain from his toil? I have seen the burden God has kid on men.” Ecclesiastes 3:9-10When the final examination grades at Cambridge University were published, Henry Martyn’s high­est ambition had been realized. He was the honors man of the year. Strangely, his first sensation was keen disap­pointment. &...

Anchor Available for Disaster Relief

October 29, 2012

Frankenstorm Sandy is attacking the Northeast with a fury! Are you or someone you know conducting ministry to help victims?

A Time for War

October 29, 2012

“A time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.” Ecclesiastes 3:6-8For generations Christians have struggled to reconcile their faith with the terrible dema...

A Time to Laugh

October 28, 2012

“A time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain.” Ecclesiastes 3:4-5Several years ago I traveled to Russia on a speaking tour of evangelical churches. Although I don’t speak much Russian, it was easy to communicate...

Times and Seasons

October 27, 2012

“A time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build.” Ecclesiastes 3:2-3The meaning of the above verses is transparent: In this changing world, nothing stays the same. We move from one thing to another: from joy to sorrow, from war to peace...

Each Precious Moment

October 26, 2012

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1Missionary friends in Nigeria have observed that there are great differences in how Africans and Americans view time. For the Westerner, time is to be managed, obeyed, and strictly observed. We spend large amounts of time planning for th...

Pray for Our Asia Teams

October 25, 2012

In just a few hours, we will have two KBM teams on the way to Asia. We ask for your prayers for both teams...

Are You on God’s Side?

October 25, 2012

“To the man who pleases him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gather­ing and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God. This too is meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 2:26Verse 26 reminds us that there is a moral government in the universe. G...

Learning to Enjoy Life

October 24, 2012

“A man can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in his work. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment?” Ecclesiastes 2:24-25Twice in verses 24-25 Solomon speaks of “finding” satisfaction and “finding” enjoyment. He then in­forms us that ...

God’s Cure for Anxious Care

October 23, 2012

The foundation of gratitude is the expectation of nothing.

Passing the Baton

October 22, 2012

“I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether he will be a wise man or a fool? Yet he will have control over all the work into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless.” Ecclesiastes 2:18-19It turns out that Sol...

Temporary Advantages

October 20, 2012

“Then I thought in my heart, ‘The fate of the fool will over­take me also. What then do I gain by being wise?’ I said in my heart, ‘This too is meaningless.’ For the wise man, like the fool, will not be long remembered; in days to come both will be forgotten. Like the fool, the wise man too must die!“ Ecclesi…

Am I Wise or Foolish?

October 19, 2012

“I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness. The wise man has eyes in his head, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both.” Ecclesiastes 2:13-14Sergei Nikolaev, pastor of the Temple of the Gospel in St. Petersburg, Russia, knows Billy Graham well...

The Turtle on the Fence Post

October 18, 2012

“Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king’s successor do than what has already been done?” Ecclesiastes 2:12 I’m sure Solomon felt pressure from both sides on the issue of kingly succession. On the one hand his father was David, who quite frankly was a better man than h...

So What?

October 17, 2012

“Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 2:11You would think Solomon would be happy. After all, he had it all-money, fame, power, a vast harem, an enormous kingdom, ships that brought him riches …

King for a Day

October 16, 2012

“I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my work, and this was the reward for all my labor.” Ecclesiastes 2:10Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be king for a day? Suppose that for just one day you had unlimited wealth, unlimited power, and could do anything you w…

The View from the Penthouse

October 15, 2012

“I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.” Ecclesiastes 2:9Here is his story, briefly told: At age six, his mother threw his birthday cake off the porch. He played the French Horn at age twelve and by the time he was fif­teen he was playing professionally with some of the top j…

Money, Sex and Power

October 14, 2012

“I amassed silver and gold for myself and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired men and women singers, and a harem as well-the delights of the heart of man.” Ecclesiastes 2:8Solomon had a harem, all right, seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines. Historians tell us that many of his wives were not romantic attachments b…

The Man Who Had It All

October 13, 2012

“I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem...

Eat Dessert First

October 12, 2012

“I thought in my heart, ‘Come now, I will test you with plea­sure to find out what is good.’ But that also proved to be meaningless. ’Laughter,’ I said, ‘is foolish. And what does pleasure accomplish?’ I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly-my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted ...

How to “Join” KBM

October 11, 2012

Recently a new friend discovered us on the Internet. I’m still not sure exactly how he found us, but he did, and he liked what he saw on the KBM website. After two or three emails back and forth, he wrote me this nice note:I am very proud I am part of your team and want to be more active as soon as I find out like membership, ETC. $$$ and I w...

What Knowledge Can’t Do

October 11, 2012

“I thought to myself, ‘Look, I have grown and increased in wisdom more than anyone who has ruled over Jerusalem be­fore me; I have experienced much of wisdom and knowl­edge.’ Then I applied myself to the understanding of wisdom, and also of madness and folly, but I learned that this, too, is a chasing after the wind. For w…

Today’s AFR Interview: “The Church in China”

October 10, 2012

Today I was interviewed on American Family Radio by Tim Wildmon and Jim Stanley about the church in China. They asked me why the church has grown so dramatically in spite of decades of crushing persecution. The numbers are indeed staggering:1949: 700,000 Christians1974: 2,500,000 Christians1980: 10,000,000 Christians2012: 130,000,000 ChristiansHow ...

Cut It Down and Forget About It

October 10, 2012

“What is twisted cannot be straightened; what is lacking can­not be counted.” Ecclesiastes 1:15Here are two stories to ponder. One comes from the Civil War, the other from the Vietnam War. In Charles Bracelen Flood’s book Lee: The Last Years, Flood tells of a time after the Civil War when Robert E. Lee visited a woman who took…

Big God, Little Me

October 9, 2012

“I, the Teacher, was king over Israel in Jerusalem. I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done un­der heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.” Ecclesiastes 1:12-14Over the years I have come…

Faded Photographs

October 8, 2012

“There is no remembrance of men of old, and even those who are yet to come will not be remembered by those who follow.” Ecclesiastes 1:11There is good news and bad news in this verse. The good news is for those people who worry about what others think about them. In the end no one will think about you at all. The bad news is for those wh…

Rainbows, If You Can See Them

October 7, 2012

“What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun. Is there any­thing of which one can say, “Look! This is something new"? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.” Ecclesiastes 1:9-10Commentators on Ecclesiastes remark that this early portion of the ...

The Treadmill

October 6, 2012

“Generations come and generations go, but the earth remains forever. The sun rises and the sun sets, and hurries back to where it rises. The wind blows to the south and turns to the north; round and round it goes, ever returning on its course. All streams flow into the sea, yet the sea is never full. To the place the streams come from, there ...

Anchor and Human Trafficking

October 5, 2012

Two days ago I received this note from a friend. This is the first time I can recall Anchor being used to help young girls that have been rescued from trafficking. This is such a “hidden ministry” that most people don’t know much about.I thought you might like to know that your Anchor for the Soul books will now be in welcome bag...

The Ultimate Question

October 5, 2012

“What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils un­der the sun?” Ecclesiastes 1:3 Solomon’s question in verse 3 begs for an answer. Mine goes like this: What you gain from your labor depends on why you are doing it. There is a huge difference be­tween living for your career and being sent on a mission. The Bible n...

Scott’s Story

October 4, 2012

The words of the Teacher, son of David, king in Jerusalem: “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly mean­ingless! Everything is meaningless.” (Ecclesiastes 1:1-2) Scott was only twenty-six years old when he died. Al­though he grew up in a Christian home, during his teens and early twenties he went t...

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