boston commoner.
welcome home


Christ, Culture, and Other Thoughts

Filed under: — jen d @ 12:33 pm

So, my church website now has a handy discussion forum. We’re using it for communication purposes for everything ranging from events planning and evaluation to what we’re talking about in our Friday Night Bible Study, which is specifically what I’d like to interest you in with this post. (more…)


Lost in Translation?

Filed under: — jen d @ 3:40 pm

A marvelous thing happened in Sunday evening Bible study this weekend. We had three new visitors. Four, if you count the gigantic beach-ball that was Yan’s belly. Peng and Wendy invited Yan, who is expecting her first child–a little boy. Yan brought her parents-in-law. Her mother-in-law, a beautiful, tiny Chinese woman, speaks good but somewhat broken English. Her husband speaks only Chinese. It was the first time that any of them had ever heard the Bible.

Peng and Wendy translated Pastor’s lesson into Mandarin for them. The five of them sat along one wall of the room, huddled together over this strange, new Book. It was easy to get lost in the melody of Wendy’s voice as it broke free of the chains of a second language and rode hushed and wild along the waves of its original tongue. (more…)


Easter in Boston

Filed under: — jen d @ 10:23 am

Easter came early this year, and with it another church musical program. (I hesitate for many reasons to call them “cantatas” ;o) I rushed. I worried. I made programs (too many) and harrassed all of our participating members with daily (sometimes hourly) e-mails in an attempt to encourage people to get as worked up as I was about getting things done and practiced. I apologized for said e-mails, and then Pastor made me send more. I enlisted my aunt’s giant coffee urn for our breakfast buffet; bought jugs of water, ground beans, cups, sugar, and cream; was proud of myself for finding a coffee source for our guests; and then was promptly made a fool of when I discovered there were no feasible electrical outlets in all of our “fellowship hall” (a large room used for goodness-knows-what in the high school building where we meet in downtown Boston). Oh, well. Anyone really interested in coffee had already visited the Starbucks across the street, from the looks of it. (more…)


For This Cause I Bow My Knee

Filed under: — jen d @ 9:29 am

A couple of weeks ago I was discussing spiritual gifts and ministry burdens with a dear friend and sister in Christ here at the IBC in Boston. She posed a question that no one has ever really asked me before: “What are your spiritual gifts, Jen? What is your bent towards ministry?” I replied that while I still wasn’t sure I understood all or even most of the whats-whens-and-hows of the doctrine of spiritual gifts (especially where mine are concerned!), I did know for certain that the Lord has bestowed in my heart certain spiritual desires for the body of Christ, and that these desires have become burdens, and that as such, I suppose my bent towards ministry lies in seeing them somehow fulfilled in the lives of those in my local church body, especially. What I want for them, what I see as especially important for our new brothers and sisters in Christ, is what the Lord has begun to grant me in recent years through the friendship, discipleship, and teaching of so many other more mature Christians: I want them to not just know about Christ; I want them to know Christ. I want them to fully taste the relationship between doctrine and God’s character, to go breathless at the thought of the great communion we have with Him through His Son, and to daily experience quiet rest and safety as found in His bosom. I want our church to “grow up” in Christ–but not just outwardly! (more…)


Where There Was Hatred

Filed under: — jen d @ 4:50 pm

It is a bittersweet thing to say goodbye to any brother or sister in Christ. It is bitter because we love each other; it is sweet because we know that we will indeed see one another again, even if not in this life. Donatille has been with us at the International Baptist Church of Boston for almost a year while studying in the city. She will soon be returning to her homeland, Burundi, a country rocked by political upheaval and ethnic cleansing. The following is her testimony of God’s grace as He’s worked it out in her life through circumstances frightening beyond most of our imaginations. God’s grace has not only saved Donatille from the eternal consequences of her own sins, but has saved her physically from those who would kill her, as well as emotionally from what most of us would consider a natural response of hatred towards those who would delight to kill her people. Her broad smile and warm, transparent personality betray no lurking bitterness against life’s often cruel circumstances. She herself has said that “Where there was hatred, there is now an [opportunity to share God’s love].” As conditions in Burundi continue to move towards greater stability, Donatille has heard stories about small groups who have been able to communicate the gospel across the ethnic lines that would otherwise separate them most violently. We hope you are encouraged by her testimony of God’s great power in the midst of human conflict. (more…)

Powered by WordPress