Thursday, April 19, 2018

News from Jakarta 19April2018

Hi everyone!

I tried to record this update here in Jakarta and failed miserably! The audio editing app that I tried to use on my tablet wasn’t able to export the finished product. So all I can do is post this text update.

I took my wife (Gale) to the airport in the middle of last night. She is now in a plane on the way across the Pacific bound for Chicago. Tomorrow at a similar red-eye time, I will be on my way to Makassar in South Sulawesi, and after a couple of days I will go from there to Papua.

This was Gale’s first time back in Indonesia since 2005. And this was a totally new experience to her, because she never spent any time previously in Jakarta, the capital city. The main event was (of course) spending time with Hannah and Brandon’s family, including Ava (9), Joel (8), and Devin (2). I read Tales of the Kingdom and Tales of the Resistance (by David and Karen Mains) to Ava and Joel. (Those books are included for your listening pleasure in the Joy Sightings series, starting at episode 012. When I recorded them, I didn’t anticipate that I would ever get to read those books to Ava and Joel in person.) All our time with the kids was precious. Devin is increasing in his vocabulary daily, but unfortunately he never mastered the difference between saying Gramma and Grampa. He knows Grampa better, because I am here more than Gale. So I am sure Gale will want to come again, so that she can hear him say Gramma.

One special highlight with Hannah’s family was visiting the Safari Park (Taman Safari) in Bogor. (There is another similar park in Bali.) The Bogor Safari Park is a world class attraction and we would have gladly spent another day there.

I want to make a couple of announcements:

  • This announcement is only for people who are a few days ahead in the yearly 3D schedule: Tomorrow I leave for Papua for almost 2 weeks, and right now Papua does not have Internet because of a break in an undersea fibre optic cable. So I have queued up episodes in the NL and GN series through May 6. The problem is that when I rename an episode and place it in the queue, that episode is no longer available under the old name. So if you are one who is listening ahead of schedule and looking for one of last year’s episodes (let’s saya you are 10 days ahead), you may need to pick one of the older episodes with the same day number. The newer series has names that start with NL and GN, and the older ones have names that start with NLT and GNT. (The difference is between NL and NLT.) Sorry for this temporary glitch.
  • Second: This announcement is for those who listen to DBRP episodes using the YouVersion Bible reading app: On some devices (like my Android tablet), the automatically generated search string is not specific enough. Let’s say (for example) that I hit the Podcast Choices link in the YouVersion app for day 114. The search string that will appear at the top of the results page is _114. But unfortunately, that will return results that include the episodes where Psalm 114 was read, and any other episodes that include the number 114 anywhere in the devotional text. So, from now until we finish the book of Psalms, it will help you find the episode you want if you put one or more letters of the file name in the search string. If you are searching for one of this year’s series, put a y (or the whole word ‘day’) before the underscore. If you are searching for an older episode, put the letter p before the underscore. (Older episodes have the letters DBRP before the underscore.) My tablet will only show about 6 search results, and that often isn’t enough for me to see the episode I want. Make a more specific search string, or use the web site. The website shows more results when using an abbreviated search string.



I want to share some prayer requests with you:

  • I will soon be in Papua. There are five of my translation team members who live in Papua. It will be more difficult to work with the team members without the aid of the Internet. I think that the Lord may have other plans for my time in Papua. Perhaps the Lord would like for me to spend more time in Orya villages. The Orya people are the ethnic group we worked with for 21 years, and I am more and more convinced that continuing contact with me is important in encouraging them to continue walking with the Lord. Another project is to work with my team in developing a new online Bible translation course. This new course is needed to make it possible for more volunteers to be involved in checking and revising our Old Testament translation.
  • Please pray that the draft of the Old Testament will be finished sometime in 2020, and that it will all be checked so that we can publish it in 2022. Such quick progress would normally be considered impossible. Let’s pray for miracles to happen.
  • I’ll be 72 in 2022. This is one reason Gale prays daily that someone will be appointed by the Lord to continue my work here. It would be best if the Lord would provide someone NOW, so that he or she could be mentored to lead our Bible translation organization into the future.
  • Hannah’s husband (our son in law, Brandon) leads the Roshan Learning Center, which is a ministry to refugees who get stuck in Indonesia on their way to some other country. Most of them want to go somewhere like the USA, Canada, or Australia. Now is not a great time to be a refugee. I am thankful that the Lord has given a ministry to Brandon that perfectly fits his talents and is fulfilling as a ministry helping these people.
    • My main prayer request right now is for Hannah and Ava and Joel. There is one American family that is their close friends here. They have kids that match the gender and ages of Ava and Joel. But that family will return to the USA in June, leaving Hannah’s family rather friendless. Having few friends, and having to say goodbye to very close friends is a part of mission life. Trying to make friends with different families is difficult for them in this big city. Most often there are deep cultural differences between the families, or huge economic differences, or if they find an American family with kids the right ages, they may live hours away. So please pray for the Lord to give wisdom and help, and provide friends for Hannah’s whole family, including Brandon, and especially for Hannah herself, and Ava and Joel.


Thank you for praying for us!

May the Lord bless you ‘Real Good’.

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

NE-DBRP_014 GEN.25 GEN.26 JOB.14 MRK.9.1-29

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018


This podcast is sharing news from our family for February 2018. I will basically be commenting and adding to our recent e-mail update. If you want to be in the know about what is happening with us, use the link given in the episode notes to sign up for our e-mail updates. They are always entitled There, and Back Again. We’ve been using that title since around 1987 (which, by the way, was long before the Hobbit movie). Also, to see the pictures I will mention, please see the PDF file attached to this podcast.

If you would like to get our e-mail There, and Back Again letters, here is the link to sign up.  

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Saturday, February 10, 2018


Three more parables from The Wit and Wisdom of Safed the Sage:

  • The Next Time
  • Eden and the Serpent
  • The Height of the Sky

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EXODUS 23-24:
Yesterday we heard laws regarding treatment of slaves, cases of personal injury, protection of private property, and social responsibility.

Job 42:
After three chapters of God confronting Job, Job gives his final response, and we hear of God’s blessings to him.

Luke 2a:
Yesterday in Luke, Mary visited Elizabeth, and we read Mary's song of praise, and later John's father Zechariah prayed his prophetic prayer.

GNT Translation notes:
Luk. 2:15 When the angels went away from them back into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us [about].”
33 The child's father and mother were amazed at the things Simeon [had] said about him.
34 Simeon blessed them and said to Mary, [the child’s//his] mother, “This child is chosen by God for the destruction and the salvation of many in Israel. He will be a sign from God which many people will speak against 35 and so reveal their secret thoughts. And sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart.”

NLT Translation notes:
Exo. 23:17 At these three times each year, every man in Israel must appear before [Me,/0] the Sovereign[, the/0] LORD .
25 “You must serve only [Me,/0] the LORD your God. If you do, I will bless you with food and water, and I will protect you from illness.

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

NE-DBRP_013 GEN.24 JOB.13 MRK.8.22-38

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Monday, January 29, 2018


GENESIS 49-50:
In yesterday's reading, Jacob blessed Pharaoh, Joseph lead powerfully during the worst of the famine, and Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh— putting the younger Ephraim above his older brother. (And if you remember Jacob's story, you'll know where he got that idea.)

JOB 30:
In the GNT, this is the 2nd of Job’s three chapters stating his complaints. In the NLT, this is the 5th chapter of his monologue. Yesterday Job spoke of his previous blessed life and high position. In this chapter he tells of his anguish.

Yesterday in chapter 3 he gave instructions to wives, husbands, and all Christians— particularly when we suffer. NOTE: The final verses of chapter 3 having to do with Noah's day and spirits in prison have caused much debate. I agree with the maxim that states that in interpretation “Context is king.” It is therefore best to let the ending verses of chapter 3 be interpreted for us by what Peter says in chapter 4, verse 6. Let’s begin by re-reading 1PETER 3:17-22.

GNT Translation notes:
Gen. 49:12 [NLT puts in the text the alternate translation that GNT puts in the footnote: 12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth are whiter than milk.//GNT text:
12 His eyes are bloodshot from drinking wine,
His teeth white from drinking milk.]
1Ptr. 3:20 These were the spirits of those who had not obeyed God when he waited patiently during the days that Noah was building his boat. The few people in the boat — eight in all — were [safely brought through//saved by] the water,
3:21 which [is//was] a symbol pointing to baptism, which now saves you. It is not the washing away of bodily dirt, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. It saves you through the resurrection of Jesus Christ
4:6 That's why the Good News was given by Christ to those spirits in the world of the dead. Let that be a warning to all of us: God will judge all mankind according to what we have done. But the Good News has been given so that we can live with God forever. (PET)
[I don't agree with those who do all sorts of interpretational gymnastics in order to say that the spirits in this verse are not the same as those just a few verses before. One of the main principles of interpretation is to let Scripture interpret Scripture— and even more so when it is the same author and in the same context. (Remember that Peter is not the one who came up with the unfortunate chapter break here.) I call on those who feel it necessary to find a difference between the ‘spirits’ to examine the doctrinal principles that force them to go to such lengths. Is it your doctrine that people are never given a second chance for salvation after death? In that case, just consider that God was starting the world all over in the flood, and God has the right to make a special case for those pre-flood people. In our own case, I agree, God will not give us a second chance after death. Actually, the way we have translated verse 6 above eliminates the second chance problem.]

NLT Translation notes:
Job 30:9 “And now [even] they mock me with vulgar songs!
They taunt me!
1Ptr. 4:1 So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have [have made the decision to be] finished with sin.
6 That is why the Good News was preached to those who are now dead —so although they were destined to die like all people, they [could//might//now] live forever with God in the Spirit.
18 And also [the Scripture says], “If the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to godless sinners?”

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