This week we bring you a message by Ken Hunn. He serves as Executive Director of the Brethren Church. The message was recorded on Wednesday January 21, 2015 during our Seminary Chapel.
Rev. Hunn provides visionary leadership, guiding and coordinating staff in fulfilling the priorities and ministries of the Brethren Church. In his role, Rev. Hunn draws upon twenty-three years as a lead pastor in two congregations, as well as his experiences in working with the Church’s Global Partners. He is a graduate of Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana and Ashland Theological Seminary in Ashland Ohio. Ken and Nancy are the proud parents of Son Andrew and wife Ashley, daughter Carol and son Jonathan and wife Stefanie. The Hunn’s enjoy antiquing, traveling, fishing and spending time at the lake.
Scripture Matthew 9:35-38
35 Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
Rev. Ken Hunn has served as Executive Director of the Brethren Church since July 2003.
Recently, much of the world was shocked and dismayed by the brutal murder of a young couple in rural Pakistan when their garbage man falsely accused the pair of desecrating the Koran after he found pages of the sacred book in their trash. Following the accusation, a local religious leader inflamed violent passions by telling the people to uphold the honor of their Prophet. Like most of the Christians in the region, the couple worked as indentured servants. Before the killings, the couple’s “employer” broke their legs so they could not flee. Afterward, a hostile crowd of over 1,200 villagers took the man and wife to a brick kiln, severely beat them, burned their clothing while holding them over a fire, and then threw them alive into the fiery kiln. The entire time the pair begged for mercy, apologized, and said they were innocent of the blasphemy charge. The wife was five months pregnant. They left behind four children.
The graphic story is the tip of a mushrooming iceberg. In fact, religious minorities are persecuted all over the world. According to a 2012 Pew Report, 74 percent of the world’s population lives in places where there are high levels of social hostility toward religious minorities.
Today, we bring you a sermon preached by our own Dr. Paul Overland. The message was recorded on Wednesday January 14, 2015 during our Seminary Chapel.
Dr. Overland’s gentle spirit and incredible kindness are the first thing one notices upon meeting him, and a certain depth marks his interactions with others. He has a love for the Hebrew Scriptures, and his desire as a professor is to awaken that same appreciation in his students. Through his classes, students deepen their ability to hear God’s voice in His Word.
Both Dr. Overland and his wife, Lorie, spent a portion of their childhood years in Japan. Upon completion of a doctoral program, they returned for two wonderful years to join the Tokyo Biblical Seminary faculty. Due to their time overseas, the Overlands have a deep appreciation for the richness of Asian culture.
Outside of his position at ATS, Dr. Overland is drawn to adventure, filling his free time with cycling, backpacking and woodworking.
As I reflect on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I remember a time when I was in fourth grade watching a documentary on his life. As the projector reel spun, I took notice of two of my classmates – Edward & Timothy – who sat on the floor next to each other watching the documentary together. Edward was black; Timothy was white. In the safety of the classroom setting, we all watched this film at the ages of 9 & 10, and saw how cruel the world could be, and how the courage of one man could make a great difference in the world. After the documentary, with tears in her eyes, my fourth grade teacher made it a point to talk of Edward and Timothy. She believed it was a beautiful thing to see that what Dr. King fought so hard to accomplish regarding equal rights and social justice was playing out right before our eyes.
How did you communicate 10 years ago? How about when you were 4, 8 or 12 years old? For many of us, that would be a formidable journey down what may be a rocky memory lane.
Today we communicate by using our words, logic, and rationale (hopefully); however, for children, this type of conversation may resemble a foreign language or sound like the voice of Charlie Brown’s teacher. Then, to make the communication gap even wider, the brain does not function properly in the midst of stress or when trying to recall a situation that evokes strong emotions, resulting in a “tuning out” to logical conversations. Here at Directions Counseling Group, we apply the therapeutic power of play to communicate with and treat children.
I wonder how 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 might work as a New Year’s resolution:
Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
These words of Paul only make sense (and will only be “resolutions kept”) if we have faith to believe that God is able to handle the challenges that will inevitably come our way in 2015. I’d like to provide you with a bit of perspective that might strengthen your faith in God’s ability. These are primarily known as cosmological arguments (the view that there is a divine cause of the universe). While these arguments will not show that Christianity is true or Jesus was God Incarnate who came to rescue us from sin, they do have a lot to say about God’s capability, power and creativity. They are important enough to be highlighted in numerous scriptures including Psalm 19, Job 38-42 and Romans 1.