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Jan 29, 2017

What a month! Thanks for listening.

In the update from the 3rd of January, I asked for prayer for my upcoming trip to Indonesia and the revisions to our Plain Indonesian New Testament. If some of you prayed, I want you to know that God has answered and supplied for my trip. By the time I leave on the 7th of February, I hope that I will have DBRP podcasts cued up and ready to go active each day until a day or two after I return home. I arrive back home on the 29th of March.

I will try to capture some interesting pictures and post them in our Facebook group. (There is a link to the group in the episode notes: https://www.facebook.com/groups/DBRPdiggingdeeper/

So, speaking about posting pictures and experiences from my trip, I feel a bit conflicted, and my inner dialogue goes something like this:

“People listening to the podcasts and members of the group will be the people most interested in knowing what happens while I’m in Indonesia.”

But then I argue, “But no one else is posting pictures in the group of some random thing in their lives!”

Then my other voice answers, “Yes, but You have permission to do so since you started the group.”

But then my rational self responds, “Well that seems rather egotistic! No one else is posting their personal pictures without some Bible verse on them!”

So my two selves say to you, “How about if you group members also feel free to share about your lives in the Facebook group, and then I won’t feel so alone?!” The random pictures I share could probably all be made into prayer requests. If I share a picture of someone who is probably not a follower of Christ, you could pray that the Gospel could be made plain to them, or for the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to them. If I share a picture of someone who is helping me in the translation work, I probably will share something that will help you pray for them or praise the Lord about them. So similarly, you could share a prayer request or a picture from your life that would imply prayer requests. Then I won’t feel so alone in sharing. Of course, be careful what you share. Like don’t share, “Please pray for me because my boss is a jerk.” You wouldn’t want that post to somehow find its way onto his notifications page! Share interpersonal things or other problems in a more general way. The Holy Spirit regularly modifies our prayers for each other so that they go right to the center of God’s will. The Holy Spirit knows the details, and we don’t need to know those things to pray for you.

My total trip duration counting time waiting for the next flight is 28 hours and 38 minutes. I start at 6:30AM on Tuesday the 7th, and arrive after 4 flights in Jakarta at around 1 AM on the 9th. Around 9 days at the first of my time in Indonesia will be taken up with finalizing the revisions to our Plain Indonesian New Testament. Our coordinator Balazi will come from West Kalimantan (or Borneo) to Jakarta bringing his newly married bride Tika. Tika has two weeks still left that she can claim as honeymoon days in her work as a government nurse. I will need to send the whole NT text off to the typesetter by the 17th of February. After that I will go to Papua, and work for a week or two with the Orya people. We will be revising their New Testament so that later this year, it can be recorded by a group called Faith Comes by Hearing. (The Orya translation was our first Bible translation ministry in Indonesia.) When I show you pictures of the Orya people, you will see that they don’t look like the straight-haired, olive skinned Asian people in many of my photos.

After that, several huge things should start in mid-March, and all not under my control:

  1. The printing of the second edition New Testament should start to be printed.
  2. The recordings of the whole Plain Indonesian New Testament should be published by Faith Comes by Hearing around the same time. When people read the Terjemahan Sederhana Indonesia New Testament using the Youversion app, there will be the little floating play button at the bottom of each chapter. But for illiterate people who live in remote places, we will need to figure out how to give small listening devices to them.
  3. By mid-March, a donor I have never met will have given a huge gift that will make it so that the second edition New Testaments will be sold at a subsidized price for the first 9,000 copies. What I am hoping is that the low price of $3 USD (made available all over Indonesia with no shipping charge) will encourage Indonesians themselves to be generous. I hope that Grammas will buy extra copies to give to grandkids, and pastors will say, “I want our whole youth group to have this.” And I hope others say, “My relatives in the remote village of my birth need this to understand God’s Word.”

I don’t want this New Testament to be a best-seller for my sake. If you have followed the JOT series where I am sharing about the Gospel of Mark, you will have heard why I want our New Testament to get out and be used. The first reason is, increasing the understanding of God’s Word. God isn’t glorified as He should be when his Word is misunderstood. Misunderstanding is the very thing that causes false cults to spring up. And the second thing I want is that people enjoy reading and listening to God’s Word. If people don’t enjoy it because of the language is odd, stiff, or difficult, then they won’t bother to read the whole Bible. God is not glorified as He should be because believers are put off from reading their Bibles, leading to ignorance and neglect of God’s Word.

If you are not using a player that shows you the full episode notes, you can always find them at the web site dailybiblereading.info, when you search for the episode by name or number or find the one you want on the New Episodes page. I recently released a sample episode of the JoySightings series of podcasts, number 0 1 2 which contains the first chapter of Tales of the Kingdom by David and Karen Mains. The way to get the other issues is by searching for them or looking at dailybiblereading.info.

Again I want to remind you that there are multiple ways of listening to the Daily Bible Reading podcasts, and the ways that work best are explained at our web site, dailybiblereading.info. There seem to be about 100 people who are just using the web site for listening. Anything that works for you is fine. There is one point of confusion I want to explain again: For all you people using the Youversion or Bible.com reading app, there is a little floating play button at the bottom of each chapter in the NLT and GNT that will play the audio for that chapter. Those are great professionally-done recordings and I’m happy if you listen to them. But I would be disappointed if you thought you were listening to the DBRP podcasts when you play them. Links to the DBRP podcasts are found on the Devotional Content pages at the upper right. But most of you will find that you can’t do both at the same time while using the Youversion’s Bible reading app alone. It is almost always better to start the podcast playing using one of the many alternatives, and then open the Youversion’s Bible.com app, and activate your current day in the DBRP reading plan.

Please pray for me in February and March, and for Gale, who will be holding the fort at home for seven long weeks. I talk to her every morning in Indonesia, which is every evening for her in Arkansas. If I am in Jakarta, the time zone difference is 12 hours, and 10 hours if I am in Papua.

May the Lord bless you ‘real good’ until we meet again.