Sunday, May 30, 2010

Final Date

Above: Sunset at Piha

Straight from the horses mouth (NZ immigration) :

Hi Dave,

It is always best to apply earlier (one month in advance) to ensure that your permit is processed on time to allow you to continue your course without interruption. You are however able to apply up until the date your permit expires this is fine. If your permit does expire before you have received a new permit you will not be kicked out of New Zealand if you have an application under consideration. In other words you can apply any time before 27 June and be fine but we recommend that you apply 30 days before your current permit expires to avoid stress and problems for you.


Now the latest date for my student application is known. It can be pushed all the way to June 25th, which is the Friday before my student application expires.

To study in NZ as an American you must maintain fulltime status to receive a visa, the minimum is 3 classes (I'm currently taking 4). With this being said, current minimum needs are $4775 NZD = 3,241.19 USD after current contributions and my savings. $3,241 USD is the number to ask the Lord for as you pray for me, June 25th is the day it's needed by. Thank you for journeying with me! All the prayers and support are very encouraging! The reason for the push now is that the courses I need to take for Theology are offered in succession of each other. To miss next semester would mean that I would need to wait (possibly a year) until the courses are offered again. At that point I would have a diploma, then I could also pick and choose from a variety of classes available as the pre-requisites for them are out of the way. The end of semester 2 is a much better stopping point if I had to start working again. If you feel moved to donate, please contact my parents at 360.681.5154 - Mike and Deanna Piper.

I had a brilliant weekend of Study at Laidlaws Piha beach house, preparing a series I will be teaching on Sunday(s); connecting students to the whole story of the Bible and how they fit in on the timeline from Creation to Final Consummation. I was able to glean from John Pipers knowledge of Biblical interpretation (5 hour series on the Bible) as well as apply what I have learned this semester at Laidlaw. Exciting times; excited to lay this foundation down as the students have pondered aloud deep faith related questions. After a 4-5 week series we will begin to GO DEEP. Please pray for clarity of thought+speech and student comprehension of truth.

His ,

Photos link to this weekend:!/album.php?aid=180862&id=581352796&ref=nf

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Finance Update.

I want to take this time out to let you the reader know where I'm at financially. On my weekly income I have been able to sustain myself through the ministry I'm involved in at Avondale Baptist Church. God blessed me with this within two months of being in New Zealand. I was able to pay for the first semester of schooling at Laidlaw, and through contributions made by my DCC family I was able to get situated with housing/books; money which I faithfully used with a clear conscience, being a good steward of my resources and managing my budget(check the finances link to the left for more details!). Rent is $400 USD a month and I spend on average $28usd a week on food. Money donated allowed me to live for over 3 months here, and when my saving nearly ran out, I began receiving monthly income from youth ministry here praise God. God has always taken care of me, even when things have got tight- He has been faithful.

Right now I'm approaching the end of the semester at Laidlaw and I don't have the money to pay for the next semester. My original plan was to get a working visa for 6 months and go back to school next February, but after talking with the school counselor- that would set me back quite aways. The introduction course I'm taking are offered in consecutive order, essentially I would have to wait until courses where offered again at a later time. The counseling office told me I might be able to work around this but it would be much easier to continue on into the 2nd semester and then working if I needed to at the years end. Also, at the end of the year I would have a diploma to show (not a Bachelors Degree). I wrestled with sharing this, my thought was “maybe I should just pray harder and money will fall from the sky because that is what real faith is,” and then at the same time I feel like I should just come out and ask. For school next semester with all fees it will cost $5,493.73 USD. On my current budget , I can simply sustain my careful living with food+lodging but I don't have the ability to save money. I daily bike the 16 miles to school roundtrip to keep transportation fees down. I would ask you to consider donating to my school fund by contacting my parents Mike+Deanna at 360.681.5154 . I'm not opposed to doing physical work as some of you know (before I left I was scurrying around on your roof tops fixing gutters and climbing under houses to vacuum rat poop etc, saving that money for Bible College. In the last 9 weeks of being in the states I worked 50 hours+ a week) and I'm not opposed to doing so now in Auckland. Paul made tents and God took care of him, If I'm suppose to make tents for the next 6 months – I'm truly ok with that. Everything always works out ok, and I know God has a plan/time for me and maybe its best I work. Whatever the outcome I ask that you would pray for me and or consider donating. If less is donated than needed for school, it will be saved until I make it back. If more is donated, it will be put towards future schooling (2.5 years to go).

I see God moving me into some aspect of full time Pastoral care (be it overseas or continued youth work) and I'm passionate about reaching people here in my short time(life), expanding Gods kingdom on earth. I have read through the Bible twice this year in my personal devotional time as well as studied various Pauline letters/John in depth and listened to over 120 sermons to better understand Gods word+ sound doctrine. God is the center of my life, the source of my joy and purpose. If you want a more in depth account of anything I have spoken about email me at . Your prayers really have made a difference, thank you for reading this and your consideration.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Good stuff.

Above: Laidlaws International Students.

Caution: A lot of brutal honesty below and I'm exhausted soooo....

After weeks of praying and being prayed over, God broke through to my heart. A conversation and a Bible verse out of nowhere led me to worship quietly in my study cubicle at Laidlaws Library. Dreaming of the day when I could pack up and leave, something inside of me clicked. I had been praying about staying in NZ or leaving as I have felt so overwhelmed by various things physical/spiritual/emotional (exhaustion from daily not sleeping well/consumed by study 7 days a week/ not having someone to share with because I had no time to develop friendships) that I briefly was ready to throw in the towel. This Friday God spoke to me in the Library. I was given a renewed passion and vision for my journey here. Long story short the word that came to mind was "persevere!" Growing up in school I would be frustrated by seeing students that were seemingly as smart (or perceivably less) attain higher grades and success etc. One of my large short comings is the ability to persevere amidst struggle. Alot of things came easy to understand the first time, but if it didn't, stupid pride/boredom/frustration would block me from pressing forward. I didn't realize that was a factor here until circumstances led me to that. It seems when we are at our wits end and all that is left is emotion are we exposed for what we are underneath the facade with which we try to cover up and hide from the world.... even from ourselves I suppose.

I was seriously thinking of moving out of here at the end of the year back to Guatemala or... where I felt God moving through me. I call this "instant gratification" now as being at school is my spiritual act of worship.I'm passionate about evangelism and the marginalized but I can't jump to that when life in NZ loses it's flavor etc , it's time to push on.

Solomon asked for wisdom and He was blessed. I echoed this very sentiment until Friday when it dawned on me that Solomon and I are two different people(wow! deep I know!) with different struggles. Potentially at one stage he lacked wisdom and asked for it and was given in abundance- What I need and needed to ask the Lord for is perseverance. In the Library, I asked the Lord and now I feel a tremendous sense of peace. I just felt so much fatherly love come down. God has called me to New Zealand to study for 3 years. Im at Laidlaw in this season and I MUST remain faithful. This is the battle I must fight. Part of my question to Him was , "should I even be here" - and now it's clear and my strength is rooted in that. So much other great stuff happened on Friday but I'm exhausted now and it's time for bed. I don't have the funds to continue next semester so please pray that I get a job! This Friday JH Youth group starts for the first time at Avondale Baptist, pray for me and this launch date. Also for balance in my life. Exciting times.


Personal thanks to the Godly women on my prayer team +My Dad and Mom that have been walking with me via Skype. Your prayers are hugely appreciated. 5:30 pm Thursday (your time) is when it all became clear.

The Bible for Dummies (like me!)

Biblical summary in under 1200 words- (to be revised over time.) The "random" numbers match up with the verses at the bottom.

The Biblical narrative is a redemptive account centered on a loving God in the relentless pursuit of His creation. This is merely an overview:

In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God.1 Through Him all was made,2 the heavens and the earth spanning 7 days.3 On the 6th day, God created them male and female in His very likeness.4 As a master observing a finished masterpiece would note, this creation was good, very good.5

What God intended to be perfect was severed through mans disobedience, eating of the fruit, seeking to be like God.6 Relationship was fractured and creation was subjected to futility.7 With the knowledge of good and evil came Holy judgment.8 Shortly after this knowledge, murder was a realization from the seed of Adam.9 Mans heart became so evil that God grievously wiped out creation, but in this He remembered his servant Noah and a remnant was spared upon the ark10.

After the flood, unified in speech, man attempted to build their own kingdom, disobeying God.11 God came down12 at Babel and confused the language of men, forcing them to spread out and subdue the land. In this time God chose another man, Abram in which the world would be blessed through His covenant with Israel starting in Egypt during famine then spreading.13

As Israel grew and flourished, a worried Pharaoh enslaved Israel as they settled near Egypt14. Still, God remembered Israel and heard their cries15. God raised up a deliverer, Moses to lead Israel out of captivity and into the land of promise.16 The law was given to Moses but he failed to uphold Gods commands and the mantle of leadership shifted to Joshua. Forced to wander until the unbelieving generation was vanquished, Moses died on Mt. Nebo and Joshua lead the people into the land of promise. He was faithful, but didn't eliminate all Canaanites as God commanded so subsequently intermarriage and idolatry followed17.

Even in all of this, God remembered His people. Israel prostituted itself to Baals and reaped suffering. As Israel cried out for mercy against oppression, God raised up deliverers18 to bring them into fellowship once again. As Israel was blessed, they turned from God ,but adversity and suffering always brought them back. Cycles of sin and repentance became a hallmark as Judges rose to briefly redeem Israel.

Under Samuels rule in his old age, Israel asked for a human king to lead them.19 The Lord was displeased as Israel rejected His theocratic rule, but granted their request after a warning. Saul, the anointed king united the kingdom but disobeyed God through foolish sacrifice and consulting mediums20 21 22. David was then anointed as Gods chosen to lead, a man after Gods own heart.23 Out of devotion he desired to build the Lord a permanent Tabernacle, a glorious temple; but from sin and the blood on his hands he was unable.2425 Amidst struggle,26 The lord granted Davids son Solomon kingship and wisdom27 to take up the glorious project.28 The Ark of the Covenant that had wandered with the people was placed in the inner sanctuary and the glory of the Lord filled the temple.29 In Solomons earthly splendor30 he was led astray by his foreign wives and he prostituted himself to their gods.31 Following his death in 930BC the kingdom was in divided under Rehoboams rule. For 200 years the kings of Israel prostituted themselves to Baals. Even in this, God remembered His people, He sent prophets to warn Israel of impending judgment, but their words fell upon deaf ears. Hoshea was the last Northern King of Israel to neither heed the prophets words32 or rely on the God of his forefathers.

“Turn from your evil ways. Observe my commands and decrees in accordance with the entire Law that I commanded your fathers to obey and that I delivered to you through my servants the prophets33...”

….But they would not listen about the coming judgement34. Israels exile from Samaria and Damascus to Assyria was complete in 700BC. The most wicked king in history35 helped seal Judahs fate later in 587 , Jerusalem fell, Gods glory left the destroyed temple36 and Israel sank to the most desperate of lows.37 Judah was exiled38 to Babylon but still a remnant remained. The Lord blessed39 the faithful even in captivity until Israel, under Ezra and Nehemiah40 were allowed to return and rebuild the temple.... But it wasn't the same41

Israels existence was bleak, the story set to fail from the beginning seemingly does. Even now , God remembers. His Son was coming to comfort those who mourn42, a second Adam; one that would sit on the throne of David43 , to judge and restore.44 45 This King and kingdom would have no end.46 47

400 Years of Silence.

A lone voice cried out in the desert:

“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is near.48”

God sent his perfect Son to complete what no earthly king could, bridge the gap between man and God caused by the original sin. A perfect sacrifice to be paid once and for all, to redeem creation. Jesus, the Messiah came in the form of an infant child49, was baptized50, tested, consecrated then began to teach and preach.51 The prophets had spoken of the anointed one52 coming, as Christ read these words from Isiah in the synagogue he proclaimed:

“This scripture is fulfilled in your hearing”53

He healed the sick and forgave their sins, even raising a man dead and buried for three days.54 His message was clear, but misunderstood as Israel was looking for a warrior king to free the oppressed nation. Jesus claimed that He would destroy their temple and rebuild it in three days to the utter disillusion of the religious leaders. So Gods Son was hung defiled55 on a cross, the only worthy sacrifice56. Again all seemed lost. Those following Him scattered.

Three days passed. Three agonizing days.

On the 3rd day , Christ rose triumphantly from the dead. God remembered His eternal covenant that would see a king on the throne of David forever, a blessing to all nations. Prophecy and just law57 was fulfilled and death overcome. 50 days after His ascension, his followers were filled with Gods Holy Spirit58. Persecution forced spirit filled men, previously cowards, to spread the gospel message without care for life or limb. The veil59 that separated Gods spirit in the temple was shattered and the spirit was now working in those whom believed. Gods kingdom has come and promise fulfilled60, those who faith is in Christ are heirs to Gods eternal kingdom61; but this has yet to be fully consummated through Christs return. On that day every eye will see62 and every knee will bow63.


Craig Bartholomew and Michael Goheen. The Drama of Scripture: Finding our Place in the Biblical Story. Grand Rapids: Baker, 2004.

Nigel Beynon and Andrew Sach. Dig Deeper! Tools to unearth the Bibles Treasures. Leicester: Intervarsity Press,

2005.Planitga, Cornelius Jr. Engaging Gods Word.
Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdamans Publishing Co., 2002

Roshan Allpress and Adrew Shamy. Insect and the Buffalo. Compass Foundation, 2009

Zondervan NIV Study Bible. Fully rev. ed. Kenneth L. Barker, gen. ed.
Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2002. Print

1Jn 1:1

2Jn 1:1

3Ge 1:1

4Ge 1:27

5Ge 1:31

6Ge 3:4

7Ro 8:20

8Ro 7:5

9Ge 4:8

10Ge 8:1

11Ge 11:1

12Ge 11 Chiasm

13Ge 12-15

14Ex 1:8-14

15Ex 2:23-25

16Ex 12

17Jdg 1:27-36

18Jdg 3:9

19Sa 8:4

20Sa 28

211Sa 13:9

221Sa 15:22 To obey is better than sacrifice

23Ac 13:22

242Sa 12

251 Ch 17

262 Sa 15-20 Absalom conspiracy, curses, murder,rebellion

271 Ki 3

281 Ch 22:8

291 Ki 8

301 Ki 10:14-29

311 Ki 11:6

322 Ki 17

332 Ki 17:13

34Zep 1-3

35Manasseh 690-640BC

36La 2:7

372 Ki 25 587

38La 1:3

39Da 2:48-49

40Zerubbabel 538 ; Ezra 458 ; Nehemiah 432

41 Ezr 3:10

42Isa 61:1-2

43Ch 17:12-14

44Mal 3:1-5; 4:1 and 3:6-12; 4:2

45Mic 5:6 “He will deliver us from Assyria”

46Isa 9

47Mic 5:3-4

48Mt 3

49Lk 2

50Mt 3:16

51Mt 4

52Isa 61: 1-2

53Lk 4:21

54Jn 11:5-6

55Gal 3:13 ; Deut 21:23

56Ge 22

57Ro 5 . Death through Adam, Life through Christ. Not replacing the law but fulfilling it.

58Ac 2: 3-4

592 Co 3:12-17

60 Ex 2:24; Dt 9:27; 1 Ch 27:23 ;Gal 3:29

61Da 7:13-14

62Rev 1:7-8

63Php 2:8-11