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Big Blue Sky

B. Parks

Description

The Apostle Paul set the bar high -- showing through his Tentmaking business that lay members - working a salaried job, can be the most effective evangelists and missionaries.  Your unique non-theology profession may just be God's gift to you under this "big blue sky" to carry out a tremendous missionary work, somewhere on earth. 

 

For more information visit: www.GoTential.org

 

Presenter

B. Parks

B. Parks and family have been church planters with Adventist Frontier Missions in the Middle East for over 10 years.  He is an ordained SDA pastor, motivational speaker and author.  

Recorded

  • January 30, 2016
    11:00 AM

Series

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Heavenly Father we thank you so much for your Holy Bible. We thank you that you have told us in the Bible. To go into all the world. And to preach the everlasting gospel. To teach the disciple. Men and women. Is no greater joy than seeing the. Happiness on people's faces we describe to them that. Your plan of salvation. I pray Lord. As people go out on urban plungers they involve themself in the outreach projects of Union College. Project Impact and go as as Sam's and. Spend their summer doing call portering and working at summer camp and. Other ministries Lord I pray you just ignite a mighty. Movement. Of witness or. From this campus and. Around the world. Thank you Lord in Jesus name I pray. Amen. You know a few years ago I was living in Washington D.C.. I was only twenty four at the time. And every day I would drive. Back and forth from the mean college campus where I was staying. And I was working on a special project at the General Conference and. On the way to the General Conference. There was a small she has a wit theology school. And you know. Every day as I drove back and forth I would see this. Jesuit theology school and it was of such intrigue for me as a as an admin as you know young pastor. I was thinking to myself man. I would love to go in there and see what is day air. Because all our life you know you hear about the Jesuits and. Here it was right on my pathway. And so one day. I couldn't stand the. Curiosity got the best of me I pulled my. My old eighty three Volvo into the parking lot there. It was just like a beautiful campus but there was nobody around and I saw the sign that said lie. Prarie was like that's where I'm going to go. So when up the stairs I went into this library books books everywhere. All books. And stacks of books. I just started walking back deep into the recesses of this. Jesuit library. And I thought that maybe there I would find something very ancient and wonderful. Maybe the Holy Grail or something like this and. A letter from Constantine. Maybe his diary. Dear diary Sunday. Sunday. Says. Anyway. I don't I don't find anything like that. But and. So I started looking through the books and I pulled out a book I can't remember exactly the something you know like. Persecuting Protestants one hundred one or something like this and I was looking through this book. And suddenly I felt somebody staring at me I turned around and here was this road man. He was looking just. Darkly at me with such intensity. It's just he he despises me with disdain. And he says. What the bike are you doing here. And who looked like are you. Who is that. This is a lie. Very you know I just freeze interest is the books. You know I heard all about just which when I was eighteen just six years before I had gone to Europe and I'd gone through the dungeon chambers there where they had their rocks and they would you know. Tie people in these racks and start to crank them and then all them apart. And they would cut. Them and sway them. And I could just picture this man. This is my bravery and. Just pulling me apart. Well. Anyway. Up until then I only thought you know the worst thing a librarian can do is give you an overdue notice. But anyway. Then he looked at me. And with that same scorn and hatred he said I kept a blank out of here. Where he didn't say blank. You can fill in the blanks. He was blankety blank guy you know. He just had all these blanks. And. And so. Seeing that this was my moment to avoid the rock. I just got out of there. And. Well. From that experience I learned two very important questions that have helped to shape my life and I. Liver them to you that maybe they will assist you with as well. Who the blank are you. And what the blank are you doing here. It's important question is. What are you doing here and and. Who are you. Well those are important questions. And you know. I think we all ponder them sometimes in our life. Maybe it was last month when you were studying for finals it was about two am and you're like what the blanket my doing here. You know. In this life that we have. I think those are the two really most important questions that we have to figure out is who am I. And what am I doing. On this planet. In other words. What on earth am I doing on Earth. Now the first question. Has a very simple answer key. If if it was a quiz or a test. The answer key. Is all around us who am I to answer key. Is under the big blue sky. You see the Lord has given us. The big blue sky. To remind us of who we are. You are created in the image of God God yes. Awed that you have a limit and that we resemble the limitless. Or is it possible that the that the limit you feel the cowardice. You know. The sense of inadequacy. Was never intended. That God created you in His image. Because you are somebody with unlimited potential. Yes blue sky. God formed man from mud. But with nobility and he crowned him with on her and blessed him and blew in the Holy Spirit the Holy Spirit you got it. The blue sky. And every time you look up into the blue sky is given you eyes to see. And the blue sky is to represent your limitless potential. The blue sky is to remind you of royalty. Of your. Potentiality if I can create such a word. You know every Israelite. Was supposed to wear on their garment a blue. Cord. And that blue cord was to remind them everywhere they went. Of the law of God. And the law of God was what he was to remind them they were free. Because the Ten Commandments were given. When they were set free. You got laws buddy. That are given by the most high you are free to grow. And to be within the boundary of God somebody special somebody powerful to change this world. The break up the kingdom of Satan Hallelujah. For that's what the. That's what the laws of God are. They're totally one hundred percent. Opposed to Satan. And evil. And that's what mission is all about. You go out into the streets of Lincoln. As warriors against evil. And where there are people that are depressed and discouraged. You go and bring encouraged and and life. Under the big blue sky. Because you're. You're somebody infused with the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah. Who are you. Who are the plank are you anyway. The state would like to fill in that blank. Now you'd like to put something in there you know. But I refuse to let Satan fill in my boy. Tempted. Proud. Sinking. Worldly wasted from the line cup. I'm drinking no. Downward crazy empty alone evil worthless sins quo no Satan. I will not let you fill in my blank. Who the good hope. Am I who the good hope. I I will let Jesus craft my identity. Now you know if the first question is not so hard to answer it. It's really. Who am I. If you study the Word of God and you take your time in the morning devotions. God is going to enrich your mind that you are somebody special. You're infused with talents I remember standing. You know I remember sitting there when a speaker was here at Union College when I was a student and he said. You have a talent. That is better than ANY thousand other persons. And never forgotten those words. You have something that you do better than ANY thousand other persons. God has blessed you with you know. The second question is more difficult and the question is Why am I here. And really that's what being a student is all about is figuring out really. Why am I on this earth. What do I do better than in a thousand other persons. What is it that makes me unique and can I. Without spending a lot of money. Figure that out when I'm choosing a major. Before I waste three years of time and all my classmates of past me up and I have to take that special program Union College has which is the where they call it where you. You get a free degree after you've already spent your wad and they. That's really nice of Union College you know why they do that because a lot of people get out. And then they get into a job and they're like this. You know would be awful wouldn't it. And then they have to come back and they're just doing the tests they did and you know. And finally they get their their degree that's guaranteed education that's what it is or you know this is the time we're God wants to show you what it is that. Is the reason that he put you here on this earth. And you know. You came with a lot of competition. Not everybody is born. That could be born. Not everybody grows up that could be grown up. But you. Exist. And that's because you're important. And God has a reason for you to be here. And I really believe that one of those reasons. The first reason is for that you can meet Jesus Christ as your personal savior. And the second. Is that under this great big blue sky. God has somebody for you to meet. And to bring into His kingdom of heaven. In John Chapter twelve. We see a story about. Missions. It was Passover season. And Jesus. Was in Jerusalem. There were some Greeks who wanted to see Jesus. They said they came to Philip Philip the name Philip is Greek probably. Philip was a Greek. They came to him and said we'd like to see Jesus I mean verse twenty and. Philip went to tell Andrew an Andrew. And Philip in turn told Jesus and. First twenty three Jesus replied the hour has come for the son of man to be glorified What was he speaking of. He was speaking about when the Gospel would go to the Gentiles. And here are Greeks. Non Jews that have come and travelled to see Jesus and Jesus said The hour has come for the son of man to be glorified. I tell you you know here we are in North America supposed to be a Christian nation. We only got twenty seven percent to thirty three percent of people going to church on any given weekend. And the gospel has traveled now around the globe and there are nations. Now that are so much more Christianized than our own. Were living in a in a neo pagan age where people are starting to take on themselves. Pagan identities. In a in a Christian environment. That son of God. Is to be glorified. Globally. And then the end will come. Well verse twenty four says I tell you the truth. Unless a kernel of wheat. This Jesus speaking. I tell you the truth unless a kernel of wheat. Falls to the ground and dies. It remains only a single seed. But if it dies. It produces. Many scenes. The man who loves his life will lose it. Well the man who hates his life in this world. Will keep it for eternal life. That's a lot a lot of deep thinking there. But the idea is this. You take that little piece of corn. And you say corn. I am going to plant. You. And you put it in the ground. And it produces. Ears of corn and rows of corn and hundreds of seeds. But if the man the same farmer says. Little piece of corn. I am going to eat you. And he swallows that corn. That's it that's all the energy and power that corn will ever produce. Now this is what Ellen White says about us. Listen to this. She wrote this. The law of self-sacrifice is the law. Of self preservation. The farmer. Preserves the weed. By casting it to die the life. That is spent on stealth. Is like the grain that is eaten. You've got it. How you're going to preserve your life. I mean isn't that the whole intention of our college an education is to grow up and preserve our self. We've got lots of options. And we want to make sure we choose the right option so that we can get the right house in the right car in the right job and we can preserve ourself. And you know what Jesus said. Jesus said that the wheat. Unless a kernel of wheat a falls to the ground and dies. It remains. Only a single seed. If you want to have a life of influence. Of the impact. You want to do something important. It all begins by dying. Take that. Sophomore year. Throw it to the ground. Take that junior year. Cast it away to India or. Korea or Nepal. And then you will have. Abundance. I'm going to talk you just a minute about what A.F.M.. Is all about. You know if M. is something unusual because we take something. That is nothing. And turn it into something we're. Where there is nothing. We go. Where there is no gospel. We're no administers presence has ever existed before we go there and we try to initiate something to that would create a movement. In or G.S. synergy that will expand and grow. So you know some people ask me all the time I travel around. And they say. Well. Isn't it better to get the local people. To teach the Gospel in their local language in their local place. Well absolutely. But that's like saying. Wanted to be better to have local crocodiles. Produce more crocodiles in homes lake. Than trying to. There are no local crocodiles in homes lake right. Where you can have a local Adventists. In a place where there are no advantages. People about the gospel they just aren't there. It's hard to imagine but you know there are over six thousand five hundred languages in the world. The seventy AD his church is reaching now one thousand six hundred languages. That's a fantastic. Work for the amount of time we've existed but that means. There are about five thousand languages. They have no no. Admin as presence. Now among those Christian presence. We could reduce that number by about two thousand. Praise the Lord Somebody has gone there. Taught the Gospel. And. And there's a kernel. A kernel of the gospel there. But somebody has got to go. So on a on a pinch of them if you could imagine. Over here you have short term missions how many have you gone on a short term mission project before. Yeah great. So these are important. These are learning experiences get your feet wet experiences and they do a lot of good people pull teeth. Pastor Rich Carlson. He pretends to be a dentist when he goes out and. Doesn't ever tell people he's really not a dentist. He gets is as in there and pulls out teeth right. Yeah. And you know. That's great that's short term. Missions and it does. A lot of good and some of you are going on the nursing trip. For short term couple weeks. Does a lot of good. So you got the short term mission trips Marron off the trips church building trips over here. A couple of months. Maybe at the most. And then you have this next experience called a student missionary experience. One year to year may be some people stay three years. But generally it's eight to ten months. Student missionary you can learn a lot you grow you change experience the culture. Then you come over here and you have called a short term volunteer. Maybe three or four years along in that period of time. And then we have people that are. What we call a career missionary. And they go. And they've got to learn the language of the people turn out in them. Deaf large a mess the mess. Most of the room. Bent in them. I had to learn Turkish. It was difficult. I did not enjoy it at all. This is what we call a career missionary and they go to make a difference now there are general conference calls where people can go but most of those currently. Are in administrative positions where you go to be an accountant. In a school. Someplace or something like that and we have administering tour missions calls which are actually trying to establish a presence in a place where there's never been a presence before and. What. Now we are trying to initiate. Is something different. Is called a tent maker. Tent maker missions. And let me explain a little bit to you. This is. We've got this. This name here go tensional. Then that's basically. A fusion of. Of three different words we have go which comes from where the great commission that's right go you. Into all the world. And then we have. Tent where does the tent idea come from it comes from the Apostle Paul the Apostle Paul. Was a tent maker literally making tents and stitching tents. And he says in the Bible. That he chose to do that work. Rather than take money from the churches that he started. Why what benefit would that be to him. I mean man if he could just take money from the churches you know the offering plate. And then he could. He could multiply his work on in T.. But you know what. When he was a tent maker. What was the benefit. He could model. To the man who he's converting. There is a few Jhon. Of your life work and your. Verb a verb Oh City about. The gospel and what Jesus has done to you. So that. Here is a working class man. Paul. The greatest missionary who ever was is. Looked at by the person he's witnessing to as a working guy. So Paul. Shares his faith with with a a Mason. Or a builder. And that builder. Except she says Christ in his life and what does it begin to think. He thinks. Well I can share Jesus. While I'm working with all the people and so there's Paul stitching. For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He's talking the gospel the Jews in out of him. And here's this construction worker whose word from Paul. And while he's laying bricks What's he doing. For there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He's preaching the gospel. Because that's what the Kingdom of God is all about. It wasn't about a paid clergy it wasn't about paid missionaries. It wasn't about people. You're the witnessing people. And we're the working people. Here is the Saturday witness first. And here's the rest of us who got to work for a job. It wasn't that way at all. When the church was growing up in the book of Acts. You know how multiplied so fast. Because every single person. No matter whether they were a nurse or an engine ear or a carpenter. They were teaching the Gospel to other people how lujah. This is a really a revolution my friends and I I think this is how the work. Is going to be finished on this planet. And I don't want to. I don't want to get. You know. The big guys. Upset. For this. But I really think it's going to be the common people who finish this task when. When they seize it again. And that. I say they that's you. Really. And here you are studying biology or chemistry. And you're going to be a dynamo. An apostle Paul for the Lord. In your field of expertise. Hallelujah. Take a look at this. So basically you have go. Tent. And you know. What's the ol. Potential go tensional go tensional. Because the potential. The potential is there when every. Purse. There's a witness. I'm going to show you a short video clip right now. Just so you get this in your head and then I'll share a few more thoughts. Could you. Oh it does as. OK so what we have is people that are taking jobs. Actually go Tench was just one year old it's just a brand new baby and it's starting up. We've got now about fifteen. Tent makers who are content makers people who have. Are working in unusual places of the world. North Africa. Tunisia Algeria Libya. Saudi Arabia Qatar. All these places throughout the Middle East and Central Asia. That we would say are. On reach. They are an reso unreached if you can believe it I mean the whole North Africa and Middle East. Together. Has more people than the whole United States four hundred million people over one hundred cities. Of a million or more people there. You know how many you many Seventh Day Adventists we have in the whole area. Three thousand. They can all fit in this one call a G church or just about. And if you think those are all real shining. Faithful. People no no no that's three thousand. Cluster of. Just their names are on the books. There's work to be done. So what we have. Is faithful Holy Spirit filled people going out. Into these places of finding jobs now this is the website. Go tensional dot O.-R. G. Go tensional dot O.-R. G. and. What we are doing is helping to train people who've taken their degree in chemistry. Or that they have been a botanist or we actually have one guy was looking for a job right now he's a butterfly scientist that's his job. These are people. Very intelligent people. Unusually gifted. And they want to go and serve the Lord people that are working for big oil companies Shell and Exxon. They get a job. And where's their money coming from their. Their career. Right. And so they're getting high paying jobs. And. And then they are. We're training them to start home churches fellowship churches focusing on one individual who the Holy Spirit has prepared what did Jesus say in Luke ten he said he said. Go into a village. And there you will find a man of peace. Stay there don't move around that's what he told that's what we're asking these. These people we're not asking them. Start of a give Angelus to campaign no. Focus on one person. And work with that person stick with that person. Business men marketing. We have a graphic designer. In Iran. We have a person. Right now in Iraq. Who is working for a cell phone company. These are the types of jobs. Now you can't see this I'm sorry I didn't know the screen would be so poor but there is this. There's all different jobs that you can get on and find them and butan in China and different places and. The types of jobs you have here are like an economics professor an English teacher. An elementary teacher a chemistry professor. This particular Web site. All these jobs. I wish you could see that. You know what their salary. Starting salary is. Four thousand dollars a month. Fifty six days of vacation. Is that sound good to you. Would that help to clear off some school debt. You bet. You know that's why this is got such great potential. Is because you can take. High paying jobs. And you can be an influence. Where God needs you to be an influence. Think about. You don't have to just say OK I'm going to start in on the theology program or. I have decided now I'm going to drop everything and I'm I'm going to go. As a missionary and. I wished I could be a chemist but I wish I could be an engineer. No. Fuse your life. And your passion. Your. Your love for Jesus. And your giftedness I men. Well you know. I know you guys are a little ways from being able to accomplish this. But I want to plant the seed in your mind because it's real and it's. It's something that you can. You can do in your lifetime now. You may be at the place right now where you need to be a student missionary you know to start thinking about it now. And experience it. But we were in Turkey for ten years ten years is a long time. And I had a lot of people before we left say to me. Ten years in the Middle East. That's a that's a big. That's a lot of time. You know I can wonder what did Jesus do between age twenty and thirty. We don't have anything. Record of. What he did in that expanse of time. But we do know that when he started his ministry at age thirty in Luke Chapter four. It was of such. Nothingness that Jesus did between age twenty and thirty. That the people said. Who is this isn't this the guy who owned the carpenter shop. But you know what Jesus was doing during that time. He gained a whole lot of momentum momentum. I often wish I had a hit age thirty with the momentum that Jesus did. Habits of prayer and a host of scripture memorized. Not an ounce of self and yet. A sense of self-worth. That was like a lion. Jesus was humble and he was brave and he was smart. Jesus was a quiet hero. And people told me as I prepared to go to the Middle East ten years a long time where you know Jesus spent ten years in the Middle East. And yet. He had to learn three languages. And he had to study how do Jews. Think so that I could share stories with them. That would really tickle their brain. He spent a lot of time as a poor person doing the things that ordinary people do. Working praying talking thinking. Some might say that was a whole lot of nothing. Jesus did. No converts. No disciples. No miracles. Between age twenty and thirty. Nothing. And of course if they mean the type of nothing. That was building momentum enough to begin an unstoppable movement covering the entire planet. And ultimately toppling Satan's empire for eternity. Yes. It was that type of nothing. Now where are you going to go and do nothing. Where will you go. And God will use you to plan to see. To get something miraculous. Started. I believe he's got mighty plans for you. You know I. This whole idea of a man of peace I prayed that God would give me a man of peace before I left. He gave me a man. His name is bear he just owned a little knot shop right on the corner. You know ECK bear. After many years of friendship. Came to Union College. And he was hosted by. Pastor Richard. And Chris Blake and and who McClelland and. He just felt like this was such a wonderful warm place Mosel man a sincere Muslim man. This man so was so sincere Muslim you know they pray five times a day. Bowing down like this on their forehead. Touch their forehead to the ground and then they get up like this and back down again. I for an act there was so sincere. He had. Calluses on his forehead. From prayer. That is a prayerful man. You know he prayed when he met me. He didn't want to jeopardize his family he didn't want to jeopardize his Islam. By having a Christian friend. And so he went to the mosque and he prayed. And he prayed a lot. Should I have a Christian friend. And you know what Aula told him yes. And so. He told me this that he had prayed and. God had given him permission to be my friend. Well I had many many conversations spiritual conversations with Bear. And one of them. I showed a passage in Isaiah fifty three and you know Isaiah fifty three were talks about how Jesus was. Was led like a lamb to the slaughter doesn't use the name Jesus but it's a prophecy about the. About the Messiah. And how he carried the sins of the. People upon him and the infirmity. Of the people upon him and I described all of this to him. One year after I shared that scripture with him. It bears daughter Honda on. Became very sick. Some strange disease they took her from doctor to doctor in Turkey. You know. It's a different world to go to a hospital that are messy and they're on a sanitarium there's just crowds of people I was thinking tonight. You know normally on missions week they have lots of flags in here and I thought you know flags don't really give a a sense of a mission week we need to bring some goats into the church. Bring some chickens into this place. Then. Let's let's get maybe we could recruit about. Another thousand people but we pay them for a month not to take a bath. And they could all mill around here while you're trying to have vespers. And then maybe if we could put in a few pickpockets in the bunch. Just to keep you on the edge you know. Then we really got to missions week go on and some bus fumes we could pump in some exhaust fumes in here you know some carbon monoxide and. Get the mosque growing. And finally the fumes of garlic. Cooking. How we got a missions week. Broiling right here in the church. Well. Anyway. I was talking to my friend Akbar his daughter was so sick he's going from hospital to hospital and I said to him. I said it better. You need to pray in the name of Jesus. Because it's Jesus who is the healer. It's Jesus. Who can. He's more than a prophet you know. He is your prophet Akbar respected Jesus as a prophet but I said you know this prophet. Did a lot of healing and you know. He is still alive Ektar says yes. I know this I know this I said. You pray. In the name of Jesus and then I went back to that. Isaiah fifty three and I said Look. It says he heals our. Infirmities. And so. It was that actor began to pray. Differently. And you know what. That was eight years ago and that little girl who was so weak. And so frail and. About to die. Was healed. And now she's a healthy strong teenager. That's the joy of missions. Is to go. And open a new sky. A blue sky. Of possibilities. Where people. A dome of darkness. Has come to people and they're hopeless they don't know how they're going to find their way. In this world. And you. As a missionary can open up new possibilities to them and show them who they are and. Who cares about them. And was a they are on this planet. And when Jesus. In John ten. Says this illustration about it casts the wheat to the ground. And if it dies. It will produce many seeds and then he goes on to say. The man who loves his life will lose it. My father will on or. The one who serves me. Verse twenty seven now my heart is troubled and what shall I say Father save me from this hour. No it was for this reason. I came to this our Father glorify your name and then. Out of that blue sky. A voice from heaven comes. Oh I did it. And all will glorify it again. It's an unusual story. You don't often read it or hear about it. But God spoke from the heavens. Saying yes. Jesus. It's by the power of Jesus. That things will happen. And then Jesus said this. Voice was for your benefit. Not mine. Now is the time for judgement on this world. Now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I when I am lifted up from the earth. I will draw. All men. Unto me. We lift him up. Lift him up. Let your life. Here in Nebraska. Be a tent maker life. Fused. Where your career. Your study. And your passion for Jesus Christ. Are together. And you speak about Jesus in the cafeteria. Speak about him in the dormitory. Speak when you go to supersaver And when you go to Target when you're sitting at Taco Bell. Shake the gates of hell. How lujah. You can talk about. Jesus were ever your hat. And that makes you a tent maker. Right now I'm going to ask my wife. Should have put this slide forward. Want to tell you just a little bit also. The wall density in students this is a dynamic program basically. You choose to go. And enroll in a university where there are no Christians. So your university sixty thousand students in. Spaces like Cypress or is the bowler in Cairo Egypt you enroll in that university. And there you win friends for the Lord. That's a world then C N STUDENT And you know there is special programs right now where you can get assistance. To be able to to get that education. And be a light for Jesus Christ. And then you start a Bible study group. In your home. This media was brought to you by audio verse. A website dedicated to spreading God's word through free. Sermon audio. And much more. If you would like to know more about. Audio verse. If you would like to listen to more sermons. Lead to visit. W W W. Audio verse or.

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