I am at the Sky Harbor Phoenix airport right now waiting for my flight to Seattle, WA. I had a really good, adventures time on the Navajo Reservation during last two weeks. I am pondering and looking back and reflecting on the special time I had with my Navajo friends and family and new friends and family....
Meantime I saw this article on my email list. It really draw my attention and I though I should share it with YOU. Please enjoy this encouraging and challenging article below written by John Piper. Have a great evening! ~ Enkush Enkhtur
What is the 'Bad Eye' in Matthew 6:23?
A verse in Matthew is somewhat difficult to understand. It seems to dangle in the Sermon on the Mount with little connection to what goes before and after: "The eye is the lamp of the body. So, if your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light, 23 but if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light in you is darkness, how great is the darkness!" (Matthew 6:22-23).
Before it: the familiar saying about not laying up treasures on earth: "Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also" (Matthew 6:19-21).
After it: the equally familiar saying about not serving God and money: "No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money" (Matthew 6:24).
Therefore, the sayings before and after Matthew 6:22-23 deal with treasure or money. In fact, the first would flow really well into the second if we simply left out the intervening verses 22-23. The gist would be "Treasure God in heaven, not money on earth . . . because you can't serve two masters, God and money." So why does Jesus link these two sayings about money and God with a saying about the good eye and the bad eye?
The key is found in Matthew 20:15. Jesus had just told the parable of the workers in the vineyard. Some of them had agreed to work from 6 am to 6 pm for a denarius. Some the master hired at 9 am. Others at noon. Finally some he hired at 5 pm. When the day was done at 6 pm he paid all the workers the same thing—a denarius. In other words, he was lavishly generous to those who worked only one hour, and he paid the agreed amount to those who worked twelve hours.
Those who worked all day "grumbled at the master of the house" (Matthew 20:11). They were angry that those who worked so little were paid so much. Then the master used a phrase about "the bad eye" which is just like the one back in Matthew 6:23. He said, "Am I not allowed to do what I choose with what belongs to me? Or do you begrudge my generosity?" (Matthew 20:15).
Unfortunately that last clause is a total paraphrase, not a translation. "Or do you begrudge my generosity" is a very loose paraphrase of "Or is your eye bad because I am good (ē ho ophthalmos sou ponēros estin hoti egō agathos eimi?)" The "bad eye" here parallels the "bad eye" in Matthew 6:23.
What does the bad eye refer to in Matthew 20:15? It refers to an eye that cannot see the beauty of grace. It cannot see the brightness of generosity. It cannot see unexpected blessing to others as a precious treasure. It is an eye that is blind to what is truly beautiful and bright and precious and God-like. It is a worldly eye. It sees money and material reward as more to be desired than a beautiful display of free, gracious, God-like generosity.
That is exactly what the bad eye means in chapter six of the Sermon on the Mount. And that meaning gives verses 22-23 a perfect fitness between a saying on true treasure (vv. 19-21) and the necessity of choosing between the mastery of God and the mastery of money (vv. 24).
So the flow of thought would go like this: Don't lay up treasures on earth, but lay up treasures in heaven. Show that your heart is fixed on the value that God is for you in Christ. Make sure that your eye is good not bad. That is, make sure that you see heavenly treasure as infinitely more precious than earthly material treasure. When your eye sees things this way, you are full of light. And if you don't see things this way, even the light you think you see (the glitz and flash and skin and muscle of this world) is all darkness. You are sleepwalking through life. You are serving money as a slave without even knowing it, because it has lulled you to sleep. Far better is to be swayed by the truth—the infinite value of God.
So if you are emotionally drawn more by material things than by Christ, pray that God would give you a good eye and awaken you from the blindness of "the bad eye."
~ John Piper
I am sitting here on the beautiful beach on the Fox Island, WA. It is right off the bridge road. I hear lots of busy traffic noise on the road, and yet, I also hear seagulls singing and the sound of the calm water. It is about 50F today, unreal for January to be as warm as this. I walked back and forth over the bridge, praying for the lost and for Tribal Bridge. Every time I see a bridge, or go over a bridge, it reminds me to pray for Tribal Bridge and declare Psalm 24. This is the word that God has given for Tribal Bridge.
I just saw a big newspaper headline, UNREAL, about the recent Seahawk football game. It reminded me that “With God, all things are possible” even a last-minute victory.
Today I also read my friend's update letter that asked us to pray for refugee camps established as a result of the Ukraine and Syrian wars. These people are living in the tents, walking on the mud with shoes and without shoes. They are all desperate. But God is their hope.
I also heard from my hometown about a gold mining company, owned by Canadians, who are illegally trying to rob our community. There is injustice, corruption and greed on one side and yet the other side is saying that they intend to keep the dignity of this historic and sacred land for the next generation and the world. The Mongolian people just had a peaceful rally in front of the government palace in Ulaanbaatar, capital city.
Please join us in prayer: God have your way among us and bring your justice and expose the truth.
I also often hear how our Native American young people and families struggle and are going through loss and accidents in their families... suicide, alcohol problems, hopelessness and depression.
Even in my family... Recently, my beloved father has abused his beloved wife when he drank...
I wish all these bad things were only a dream. But they are real. I hear God's still small voice... “Come away with me... soar up higher than your circumstances”.
In the midst of all these unreal events, I find my real peace in Christ...
Sometimes I cry out to Him... even I get emotional... even more, I get frustrated about circumstances... But I know, 100%, that there is an altar where I can lay down all of my concerns. He always hears me patiently and helps me to see things through His eyes...
God is REALLY REAL and only He can do the UNREAL!
This beautiful Christmas morning I heard a gentle whisper to my ear, "Common over. Let's go to the beach..." I immediately woke up and put on my running clothes, shoes, and my fancy Christmas gift hat and grabbed my ipod. I drove to the pleace I usually go but just realized I haven't been there since last April. It is Kopachuck State Park close by in Gig Harbor, WA.
It was so quite, yet so enjoyable to be in His presence during my jog and walk on the beach... and watching seaguls diving, and stillness of the water is so breathtaking as I was praying for things in my heart and for the next year. But one point it was so challenging when I was jogging uphill. I did not want to stop. I ended up taking so little steps moving forward on this steep hill. I felt like God was speaking to me, "as things go difficult like this steep hill, take a small step and move forward like what you are doing now. Don't take a big step and don't stop. I will help you." It was so encouraging to hear it.
I hope you are having a great Christmas with your family and loved ones. I just wanted to share this day with you and let's remember that THE LOVE came down to earth to save us and to give us hope. That is the reason of the Christmas...
Also, on behalf of our Tribal Bridge, I want to THANK YOU for the great year and we wish YOU and YOUR FAMILY a very Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year! We look forward to the new year with you.
The truck engine was running and all of the sudden it stopped, because its water in the radiator was boiling so hard. It needs to get cool down. In the back of the truck nine young people with Cowboys With A Mission from Wyoming, USA partnered with Tribal Bridge were excited to spend some time with a nomadic family in the countryside of Mongolia. Nothing could stop their passion for the Lord! After a while the engine started again. Finally we arrived at Odon's family who is well known and respected as one of the best horse trainers in the province.
During the three days they helped milk cows, cleaned dung, herded cows and horses. They had a lot of fun with herdsmen and the horses. It was so much fun to see how much Mongols and Cowboys enjoyed exchanging culture and showing each other roping, riding and training etc.
The herdsmen said, "These Americans are such good people. They are not picky about traditional food, a place to sleep and our life. They are so easy going and so helpful. Even they are so loving on people and have good character. They don't drink alcoholic stuff and act wild like Korean tourists who visited us recently."
Everybody in the community heard about these American and Canadian people on the team. The news about their adventure in their neighborhood spread like fire in this small community. In the next days more young people came by to see them and especially those who are good at roping and horses.
Everything has a time under heaven. It was time to leave. The family was not happy. They said it is going to be so quieter when you guys leave. In the end one of the horsemen, who is the second son of the host family said, "I always wanted guests to leave our home as soon as possible. They are a big distraction and no help at all. I felt isolated. I did not want to talk to any people. All I need is my horses, cows and they are the only ones that I communicate with. I have never found myself wanting these people around in my life." Life seemed purposeless to him...
A couple days later he came by town to go to the clinic and stopped by our Tribal Bridge Center to hang out with our group. One of the team members shared with him about who God is and her personal testimony. Next day before he left for home, God prompted two of the team members to share the Gospel of salvation. They invited Tumuruu in a ger (yurt-traditional home dwelling) and explained to him about salvation and asked him if he wanted to accept Jesus. He said, "Yes." and gave his life to Jesus. They prayed for him and gave him a New Testament in Mongolian, a Daily Bread book to read and passed on God's word that says "Ask it will be answered, seek it will be found and knock it will be open."
"It was a BIG FISH that just jumped into our boat." - said those two friends who just saw God's miracle before their eyes. Yay God! Praise Your Holy name. Heaven was rejoicing that day and still rejoicing today.
We are so excited to help improve Mongol youth, and people's English skills through our English Camp between July 15-30, 2014 this summer. Tribal Bridge is partnering with Cowboys With A Mission in Wyoming, USA to do this summer camp project.
We are so grateful to our eight volunteers from the CWAM and two translators who will be helping for the camp.
Big thanks to elementary school No3 in Zuunkharaa town, Mandal soum, Selenge province and its leadership for allowing us to use their facility!
We cannot wait to start this camp on Tuesday, July 15 and we would so appreciate your thoughts and support and partnership in this during the camp. We expect a big class! How many will attend? We will all know so soon. :)
Dying to Be a Servant A Parable
Once upon a time there were two grains of wheat lying on the floor of a warm and cozy barn. But one day, the farmer came in and told them, "I want to take you out of this comfortable barn and plant you in the earth. I'm going to place you in the cold ground and cover you with soil. It will be dark, and you will die. But I promise that you will multiply and become very fruitful."
The first grain of wheat turned down the suggestion. "No way!" he said. "Count me out. I like my comfort, and I don't want to die." But the second one, after carefully considering the pain and discomfort of dying, decided the promise of a future harvest was worth the sacrifice. So the farmer took him outside and planted him in the ground, while allowing the first grain of wheat to remain inside the barn.
A few days later, a small green sprout appeared over where the seed had been planted. Then it grew and became a tall stalk of wheat that produced one hundred more grains. For the next forty years, the farmer planted all the seeds that had originated from that first grain of wheat, and year after year, the harvest multiplied. However, the grain of wheat that stayed in the barn remained there by itself, never multiplying--but he was very comfortable.
Which grain of wheat are you? Are you playing it safe, or have you let Christ plant you in the world? The only way you'll ever become useful and fruitful in God's kingdom is to abandon your own selfish desires, get out of your comfort zone, and serve the Lord by serving others.
by Dr. Charles - www.intouch.org.
We are so excited for our summer adventure! Our Mongolia outreach summer 2014 has 20 people on our team. Yes, you heard right! These amazing people who are passionate about God will be partnering with us during the summer from May till the end of August.
Our first crew will be coming on the last week of May: MaryEsther and Spud Hooley. General contractor, to do the foundation and septic system for the Training Center.
The Second Crew – last week of June : Zach Hooley & YWAM Cascade Idaho team. Run Bible seminar for pastors and leaders and help for construction work.
The Third Crew – middle of July: People from AK, WA, CO, & ID will join and go to the Reindeer People Group in the NW of Mongolia.
The Fourth Crew – Cowboys With A Mission from Wyoming will be running English school, ministering to nomadic families in the countryside and help for the construction work.
We are so blessed by each person in our team. And we are such a unique diversity, ages from 16-61, from experienced travelers to the first timers. But we believe God will use each of us in this group in very tangible ways.
Please remember to pray for us.