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Thursday, April 17 2014 @ 02:52 PM MST
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Welcome. Here's What You Need To Know

Thanks for visiting our website, www.thomasterry.com. Before you browse the site, please click here to read more about our ministry with Cru and how you can help us use media to reach sensitive and difficult areas of the world for Christ.

I’ve been in Christian media since 1983 working in radio, television, and the Internet in Arizona, New Mexico, Florida, Turkey, and Mongolia. Now the Lord is taking our ministry into a difficult and challenging area of the world—an area where 87 percent of people have never heard the Gospel one time or even met a Christian.

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Advice For Short-Term Teams

Pastor, do you want to send a short-term team to a foreign country? Do you want your people to engage globally for the Gospel? Then here are five principles to follow when putting together a short-term team. I promise that if you follow these principles you’ll have a better chance of fulfilling your ministry goals and your short-term team will have an experience they will never forget.

First, follow the lead of your full-time missionary in country. If your missionary has been in your target country for at least five years it’s most likely that he has come to know the culture and its expressions in such a way that he understand the dos and don’ts of making disciples in their host country. Instead of planning what you will do, involve your missionary in the planning process, or perhaps allow him to come up with the plan. He know the needs and probably have many ideas how to address them. All he need are the resources and manpower to get it done.

Second, don’t plan specific projects or presentations without your missionary’s counsel and consent. Many missionaries can tell you horror stories of projects and presentations gone wrong because the visiting group didn’t know how to communicate their passion for Jesus in a way that actually spoke to the culture. Run your ideas pass your missionary, then make sure he knows they should feel completely free to alter it or suggest putting it in the grave.

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When Is Discrimination Acceptable?

There has been a recent national discussion regarding religious discrimination and homosexuality. The most recent debate centered on a bill passed by the Arizona legislature that would have permitted a person or business not to serve someone based upon religious conviction. Central to the discussion was the example of a baker refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay wedding. Gay advocates call that discrimination. Their opponents cited religious rights not to participate in sinful behavior. To the relief of many, the bill was vetoed by the Arizona governor.

For the purposes of this article I am not concerned with the law. My concern is what the Bible has to say about a difficult topic such as this.

What is discrimination?

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"Like An Eagle" Now Available

I am happy to announce that my newest book, Like An Eagle has been released as an eBook on Amazon.com

Like An Eagle tells the story of our ten-year journey in Mongolia with Eagle TV. Like An Eagle reveals not only the fruit of our ministry with Eagle TV, but also the trials and troubles we encountered with Mongolian power brokers and people of influence.

Along with dramatic stories of our experiences, we look back at the lessons learned and how Eagle TV helped to change Mongolia and how it changed our lives.

Like An Eagle is released as an eBook for the Kindle exclusively through Amazon. You can read it on your Kindle device or on an iPad or other tablet with the free Kindle App.

Get your copy today by visiting this link: http://goo.gl/pzS4pS.


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It’s Critical To Tell The Bible’s Story

When it comes to sharing the Gospel of Jesus there is one strategy that has resounding success in seeing people come to Christ: Bible story-telling. What is Bible story-telling? Simply put, Bible story-telling is a strategy of sharing the whole Bible’s story with a community or people group to give the target audience a historical understanding of who Jesus is and why we must receive him. Bible story-telling doesn’t necessarily tell every story from the Old Testament to the New Testament, but it does give the hearer a detailed overview to the extent that they begin to understand how Jesus fits into the Bible and the history of man. It is not uncommon in some countries for nearly whole communities to come to Christ as a result of taking part in Bible story-telling sessions.

Why is this method so effective, especially in developing nations? I’d like to present you with five key principles why Bible story-telling is such a critical tool for missions today and perhaps even for ministry in the US as most nonbelievers in the US have no familiarity with the Bible or the historical claims of Jesus.

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The Church Is Doing Just Fine, Thank You

American society is in decline. There’s no denying the obvious. It doesn’t matter if we examine our political influence or our spiritual history, there is no denying that America is in decline. America will eventually go the way of all nations. That is not to be pessimistic, it is simply an historical observation.

Those who care deeply for their country are working hard to restore America to its former glory, but ultimately such efforts can only lead to a short-term reform. Like the great kings of Israel—Jehoshaphat, Josiah, and Hezekiah—noble efforts can be made for reform but he final conclusion is already at hand. There is only one kingdom that will never suffer decline, that of the returning Christ, but that day has not come yet.

When looking at the decline of America sometimes people say that the church has failed in its job to be a moral or spiritual influence in American life. I’ve thought the same from time to time but have come to a reformation in my thinking. I don’t think that the church is at fault for America’s condition. Nor do I believe that the church is out of touch or irrelevant to America today. On the contrary, I think the church is more in touch, relevant, and active when it comes to trying to reach American society with the Gospel. Allow me to explain why I believe this is.

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God Always Starts The Conversation

Here’s a question that every Christian must answer: What is God’s calling on your life?

Some people answer that question with a statement about full-time ministry. Others refer to volunteer roles they play at church or work done on short term mission trips. Others answer that God has called them to a secular vocation.

Now let’s try a second question: What do you want to do with your life?

Hopefully we answer the second question with our answers to the first question.

What has God called you to? Do you do whatever you do because that is what interests you or because you have a deep sense of conviction about what you are to do with your life?

Before I became a missionary broadcaster I worked in radio in the US. Though I was on the air as a DJ I had a particular talent and love for commercial production—making radio commercials for clients. Becoming a missionary broadcaster never occurred to me. I was only interested in pursuing my profession in the US. In fact, in my early days I had a couple of networks that were interested in my work. I was looking forward to a long and profitable radio career. But that all changed one day when I sat down in church to listen to a guest speaker talk about what God was doing in Lebanon through Christian radio.

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Knowing What You Mean

When you talk to someone about Jesus does the person listening understand what you mean? This was a powerful lesson I learned when I served for 10 years in Mongolia.

Many missionaries in Mongolia experience a unique phenomenon when witnessing to some Mongolians. In fact, this phenomenon is not unusual for others to experience as well. Some missionaries report that when they share about Jesus with a Mongolian that the Mongolian automatically interprets what they hear through their previous religious ideas of Buddhism or Shamanism. This means that the hearer views Jesus as another Buddha to bring Buddhist enlightenment under a buddhist worldview. If he has a shamanistic background he will interpret the news of Jesus as Jesus being another spirit that they must appease to get good things or to prevent evil from befalling them. The end result for many is that they syncretize their understanding of Jesus with their previous religious views, thus corrupting the Gospel they are seeking to embrace.

The solution for helping these Mongolians understand Jesus properly is to spend time explaining who Jesus is from a historical perspective, that is, from Genesis to Jesus. By explaining Jesus from this perspective many Mongolians begin to grasp the idea that Jesus is different from Buddhism or Shamanism. When you share that the unique God of the universe created all things, and explain how creation came to be, they begin to see things differently.

This phenomenon is not unique to today’s Mongolians. Actually, the Apostle Paul experienced something similar—and he was stoned for it.

Look at what happened when Paul and Barnabas tried to preach the Gospel to the citizens of Lystra in Acts 14:8-19:

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When Did Torture Become Art?

Perusing a Christian bookstore today I noticed the many renderings of the cross hanging on walls, in paintings and in trinket items like keychains and charms. The wall hangings were beautiful. Then it hit me. When did torture became art?

The cross of Jesus Christ is an ugly thing. But we’ve turned it into something beautiful. The creation of cross imagery, I think, blends the horror of the cross with the beauty of what the cross did—making forgiveness possible. But it’s the horror part that gets my attention. Think about it this way, who would want to hang a picture of an electric chair on their wall, or perhaps a neck in a noose? 

The beautifying of the cross has legitimate expression. Without the cross of Jesus all of mankind would be doomed for an eternity in hell. It is only the cross of Jesus that makes salvation possible. In this way I see these artistic expressions as a way of communicating the wonderful thing that Jesus did on our behalf. The cross shape is always present and it also reminds us of Jesus’ suffering and cruelty he was exposed to in his six hours on that torturous, horrible device.

I wonder if our beautifying of the cross desensitizes us to the reality of what Jesus suffered. It is an irony that we take something so terrible and make it into a charm we hang around the neck. The cross is cruel, the cross is offensive, the cross is one of the most torturous and inhumane ways to die ever conceived by man. Yet we turn it into art.

How many people buy a cross on a necklace and really understand what they are adorning themselves with? By taking the cross and making it part of our attire, are you not identifying with it in someway, whether in our guilt or our ignorance?

When I was younger I wanted to wear a symbol of Jesus suffering, but the cross seemed too common for me. Isn’t that also ironic, the cross has become so common that most forget its true meaning? I didn’t want a cross so I hung a large nail around my neck. Everywhere I went I got looks. Who wears a nail around their neck? Yet the nail, to me, represented Jesus’ suffering. It wasn’t pretty or polished. It wasn’t attractive or cool. It was just a big nail. It was weird, but it invited inquiry.

What does the cross of Jesus mean to you? To me it represents injustice, the innocent suffering at the hands of the guilty. It represents pain, suffering, corruption. It represents every ugly thing about human nature. The cross isn’t pretty, or fun, or lucky. But it is necessary. In this way I think the most beautiful cross there ever was, was the one on which Jesus actually hung. Every other cross pales in comparison, no matter how polished.

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Atheism Is Untenable, Here’s Why

I used to be an atheist. In my teenage years I didn’t believe in God. It all seemed rather strange to me and I saw no evidence for God, so I never gave him a serious thought. But later, after I came to Christ I discovered that God not only exists, but he is personable, approachable, and very real.

In thinking about atheism it occurs to me that most atheists have never really given serious consideration to whether or not a supreme being actually exists. They may offer a few arguments against God, but when you listen to them you realize that they haven’t really thought through the implications of their belief or even why they believe it. Mind you, that doesn’t describe all atheists, but I think it applies to a good number of them. 

When it comes to the atheist, I think there are six reasons why his or her atheism is untenable. Here goes:





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