Possible Email Glitch

In which I mention that my email server might be dropping messages.

Someone just told me that they emailed me four times without ever hearing a response from me. I never received any of the messages.

I mention this in case you’ve sent me a message to which I’ve not replied. It’s possible there’s a glitch with my email server, although it’s equally possible that the person simply made some mistake on their end.

If I haven’t replied to a mesage, I apologize. Please resend it and I’ll get right back to you!

World Leaders Trained on US Campuses

The world sends it’s leaders to America for higher education–here’s a list.

Here’s another reason the American university is such a strategic mission field–there are about 14,000,000 university students attending college in America and almost 4% of them are from other nations.

The most recent statistics I could find show that over half of them are from Asia and 7% are from the Middle East. Many of these nations forbid any sort of missionary work–but they send their future leaders here to be trained! In fact, the Navigators claim that 7 of the top 10 countries that send students to the U.S. are closed to typical misssionary efforts.

That’s impressive enough, but I’ll up the ante even further. I’ve heard that every major world leader except Saddam Hussein has studied in America, but I wasn’t able to verify that claim. What I can do is list of some of the world leaders trained on United States campuses. Imagine the potential world impact of reaching the future leaders of the world today (incidentally, I have a related essay focused on America)! The political scene is so tumultuous that I won’t bother pretending this is current. Assume that they’re possibly out of power unless you hear their names on the news.

Ehud Barak, Former Israeli Prime Minister, Stanford
Alejandro Toledo, president of Peru, Stanford
Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister, MIT
Benizar Bhutto, first female Prime Minister of Pakistan, Harvard U
Carlos Salinas, president of Mexico, Harvard U
Lien Chan, Premier of Taiwan, University of Chicago
Lee Teng Hui, President of Taiwan, Iowa State and Cornell
Saud Al‐Fasial, Foreign Minister of Saudia Arabia, Princeton
Adul Al‐Awadi, Kuwaiti Minister of State, Harvard
Kai‐Wen Mao, Chinese Minister of Education, UC Berkeley and Carnegie‐Mellon
Dhoukan Al‐Hindawi, Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan, University of Maryland
Osama al‐Baz, Chief Advisor to President Mubarak in Egypt, Harvard
Bir Birkram Sha Dev Birenda, King of Nepal, Harvard
Tahir al‐Masri, Prime Minister of Jordan, University of North Texas
Yosuko Matsuoka, Foreign Minister of Japan, University of Oregon

You don’t have to imagine the potential impact, ministry to international students has already had worldwide ramifications. Consider this telling example:

A number of years ago, Hal Guffey (former president of International Students, Inc.) was speaking to a group of Christians about the opportunity to befriend international students. At the end of his talk a young lady from another country approached him. She told him that though her father had not become a Christian as a result of his student days in the U.S., nonetheless he had returned home with a favorable impression of Christians. Many years later he found himself in a position to decide whether Christian missionaries should be allowed to remain in his country. He decided they should be allowed to stay. (source)

If you know of any others world leaders who should be on the list, let me know via the comment box!

Revisions To Core Areas

Some minor site updates: revisions for clarity and precision.

I’ve made some revisions to the core essays on this website: I think I’ve made them more readable and more informative. The ones that have undergone the most change are:

1) What Is Chi Alpha? (changed radically)
2) Common Questions About Supporting Missionaries (added new questions and intro)
3) Why Universities Need Missionaries (added a closing section)
4) How to Become a Partner In Ministry (changed the wording for clarity)

Let me know if you find anything unclear or confusing!

Using Your Doubts To Stimulate Your Faith

Relevant Magazine has a great essay on how your doubts can build your faith. Here’s an excerpt:

Doubt in our faith can lead to the gateway of spiritual growth. Doubt calls us into deeper examination. It draws us onto the path of undying curiosity for real Truth. As Frederich Buechner said, my doubts keep me moving.

Brian McLaren, in his soon‐to‐be‐released book Adventures in Missing the Point, written with Tony Campolo, addresses the question of allowing doubt to take hold. Someone asked Brian, Well, wont an openness to doubt lead to spiritual instability and insecurity? Yes, he responded, but couldnt an unwillingness to question lead to false security that could be even more dangerous? Being courageous enough to ask why (or even why not) can lead to a deepening of faith. Jesus never said to us, I will never leave you or forsake you well, I take that back: Ill only leave you when you start to doubt and question. And when you doubt, Im outta here. I believe Jesus, when He said He would never leave us or forsake us, He meant He would stick by us at all times, even in the tough times, the times when we wonder if he is even listening at all. Doubt can be painful, but it has the potential for an incredible spiritual breakthrough.

How To Link To The NET Bible

Finally–how to link to a verse in the NET Bible using their perl script!

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve been going crazy trying to figure out how to link directly to a verse in the NET Bible.

Their webmaster finally sent me an email explaining how to do it!

Here’s what you wanted:
The link goes to John 3:16


You’ll note that the way our perl script is formatted, no one can take a verse out of context. That is, when you want a specific verse from the NET Bible, you’ll get the paragraph in which that verse occurs. (Paragraph breaks are sort of arbitrary, but at least it’s a help to the context.) The only other thing you need is a list of our abbreviations. Format: they are all first three letters (gen, deu, 1ch, 2sa, mat)

With following exceptions:
  Judges: jdg
  Philemon: phm
  Philippians: phi.

Cool! This will be useful whenever I have a little time to reply to some of Nota Bene and Integrity Blog’s thoughts.

I Knew The Air Was Bad, But…

In the Bay Area a 2.5 week old baby has inhaled more pollutants than the governmental standard for a lifetime.

OK, I knew that the air in California was supposed to be bad, but this is ridiculous! By the time a Bay Area babies are two and a half weeks old, they have inhaled more pollution than the government recommends over a lifetime!

At least now I have something to tell people who imply that I moved to California just because of the magnificence of the scenerey and not due to the call of God… I’ll try to explain it between hacking coughs evidencing the onset of emphysema.

This Reminds Me of A Proverb…

On the ain’t it pathetic front: A Yemeni man divorced his first wife because she was loud and argumentative and picked a deaf and mute woman as his new bride, a local newspaper said on Monday. Read the whole sad story.

Reading that triggered thoughts of Proverbs 27.15–16: A nagging wife is as annoying as the constant dripping on a rainy day. Trying to stop her complaints is like trying to stop the wind or hold something with greased hands. (New Living Translation, link)

For the interpretationally challenged, let me make it clear the the Bible is in no way endorsing the man’s actions. This is a descriptive passage of Scripture (making an observation about life as it is) and not a prescriptive passage (giving advice and commands to create life as it should be).

Pray for the new students!

Some specific prayers you can offer on behalf of students.

This Thursday the new students will begin arriving at Stanford for orientation week.

As the website says, 1,752 freshmen and transfer students will take part in NSO 2002 from Thursday, Sept. 19 to Tuesday, Sept. 24.


These students needs prayer, and lots of it.

1) That those far from Christ would encounter Him.
2) That those who serve Him would remain pure in the midst of temptation.
3) That those who serve Him would be bold in their witness to God’s overwhelming grace.
4) That all students would select their friends wisely.

Great Weekend With Brian and Courtney Jacobson

Some old friends visit, and we get to visit a Stanford football game.

bj_courtney.jpg We just had a great visit from Brian and Courtney Jacobson, alumni from our last ministry.

It’s interesting: we’ve literally had guests in our house every other week since we’ve arrived. Our rate of visitation was much lower in Springfield, MO. Hmmmm.…

Also, one of the highlights of their visit was the Stanford‐San Jose State football game. We won 63–26! Woohoo!

I enjoyed the game (especially since we stomped the other team), but I was pretty disappointed about two things:

1) There were no students there. Class doesn’t start until September 23rd. It just seems lame that at quarter system schools the team has to play their first home game without student support.

2) The stadium was pretty ratty. I was shocked. I was expecting sharp, clean markings on the field. I thought the screen would be high‐tech and sharp. Wrong on both counts. It’s not like Stanford’s hurting for money–so why the underimpressive stadium?download few good men a dvd

Mormons Have Their Own Bikes?

In which I announce my discovery that there are special Mormon‐only bicycles!

A church recently volunteered to purchase bicycles for Paula and I. That’s a super‐practical way to support our ministry since the campus is so vast!

Anyway, the pastor asked me to research bicycles and let him know what we needed.

All the bicycle sites online seemed to be focusing on upper‐end triathalon‐type bikes, which just aren’t what we need. So I started thinking about it, and I realized that Mormon missionaries probably know more about the type of bicycles we’re looking at than anyone else.

So I decided to do some research, and I was amused to find that there is a company that makes specialty Mormon missionary bicycles. In fact, that’s all that they sell–and no one except Mormon missionaries can purchase them.

I love this quote: As for theft, long a problem for missionaries, Spence notes: “If you see a hippie guy with long hair riding a Liahona down the street, and he doesn’t have a shirt and tie on, you know the bike’s not his.”

I knew that the Mormons have special Mormon undergarments (which I understand Senator Orrin Hatch wears), but I had no idea they had special bikes as well!