The Encouraging Word Blog
Author: Rich Rudowske Created: 7/30/2007 9:14 PM
Welcome to the blog! Our family will post updates, musings, and other fun stuff from our experiences in Botswana to work in the ministry of Bible Translation.

Life by faith or by fact?
By Rich Rudowske on 5/24/2008 5:03 PM

Recently, a friend of mine from Tanzania in East Africa said this to me:  "I have noticed that in America most people don't live by faith.  They live by fact.  They say if you have this and this than you can do this, but if you have this and don't have this than you can't do this.  We live by faith.  We say I have this but I don't have this but God wants me to do this, so he will provide what I need.  That is faith." 

So how does that square with what you believe?  Recently some friends of mine and I were sifting through scripture about money for a presentation on funding that we were doing for one of our classes.  Someone brought up the passage in Luke 14 where Jesus says, "suppose someone wants to build a tower, will he first not count the cost to see if he has enough?"  We got into a discussion about this passage which is often applied as "don't ...

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God Talks Back!
By Rich Rudowske on 5/16/2008 11:31 PM

Guest Author - Maya

Hey, I don't get on here very often, but I wanted to share something.  Last night I went to a prayer and Bible study that some of the ladies in our neighborhood share.  We share what's going on in life, pray, and share scriptures.  Last night, when we prayed, we all joined together in prayer out loud for the various things that were on our mind and hearts.  What a strange and wonderful noise it was to hear many people's voices all at once praying to God for different things.  When we were finished, we all began to share scriptures that we felt led to share and it was as though God was talking back to us, speaking to us through His word!  And that's when it ...

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Summer Newsletter
By Rich Rudowske on 5/15/2008 10:55 PM


The Summer Edition of the Encouraging Word is finished extra early and available over on the newsletters tab for your readiing pleasure.  Enjoy!

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Saying Goodbye
By Rich Rudowske on 5/7/2008 11:57 PM

It's just beginning.  This past Sunday evening, the Bible club that our kids go to on Sunday evenings had its closing program.  And I watched my little kiddos say goodbye to friends from there that they may never see again, and I watched them say goodbye to teachers and guides who invested in their lives and faith growth and I felt a little bit sad.  The kids for the most part seemed oblivious to the fact that they wouldn't be back next week and that this was saying goodbye for real, but that's how life is as a kid I guess.  You just keep moving on and experiencing whatever is happening at the moment, not so worried about what's coming up next. 

In the next months we'll also say goodbye to teachers and school friends and then neighborhood friends as we move from Dallas to St Louis at the end of June.  I seem to take it harder than anyone else.  Katherine was already upset a few months ago that we would eventually have ...

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May Already and Bugs
By Rich Rudowske on 5/3/2008 11:29 PM

Hey all,

Grace & Peace to you.

I trust that for most of the readers in the north that spring has finally reached you and you are enjoying it as much as we have been for the last three months.  Not a lot new to report here.  The attacks of the fire ant seem to have subsided.  We never were able to fight them chemically because apparently the ones we have are native to Texas and if you kill them off then the non-native ants move in and they are even worse!  So we are managing.  Chris went fishing this last week and took one of his fish and put it near a fire ant mound to see how that would all work out.  To be honest, I haven't had the courage to go look, but he tells me that it now has lots of tunnels through it and they seem to be systematically dismantling it.  Which is keeping them busy from biting our toes apparently. 

Meanwhile, my lovely bride, who likes to ...

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Planning & Experience
By Rich Rudowske on 4/25/2008 8:48 PM

"We plan life looking forward and experience it looking backward."  Kierkegaard

This week has given me pause to plan on what's coming up next - I got our U-haul trailer rented for an end of July move to Saint Louis, got several speaking engagements for the summer on the calendar, and got a checklist of things we must do at minimum six months before departure for Botswana.  Doing a lot of planning right now - looking forward.

This week also gave me pause to look back - to recall fondly my experiences as Associate/Administrative Pastor at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Kettering OH - to feel joy at changes that I got to see in people's lives - to feel satisfaction about things that I had a hand in starting or facilitating - to feel a feeling I don't know how to name about things that were unrealized opportunities.  On Tuesday, Emmanuel received a new associate pastor at the seminary call day - another Richard - Richard Sc ...

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The Redemptive Nature of Leviticus
By Rich Rudowske on 4/18/2008 10:03 PM

I know that is not the most engaging title for a blog entry, but as Christopher and I continue our chapter by chapter reading of the Bible, we finished up the book of Exodus this week and began the book of Leviticus.  When I was pastoring at Emmanuel, I had a few folks at various points decide to start reading through the entire Bible, which is a significant decision to make.  And they would start at Genesis and cruise along pretty good - Creation, Cain & Abel, the flood, Tower of Babel, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph.  All Sunday school stuff for the most part, although there are more details there that don't make the Sunday school curriculum (with good reason).  Then people get to Exodus.  No biggie - you saw the movie with Charlton Heston.  Then Leviticus.  Very detailed instructions on how to do various ritual sacrifices and rites.  VERY detailed.  And that was where most of my readers would sort of peeter out ...

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Keep Moving Forward
By Rich Rudowske on 4/11/2008 10:50 PM

Dumela rra (to the gents) or Dumela mma (to the ladies),

The end of another week.  I returned from my whirlwind speaking stop in Ann Arbor MI on Sunday evening and hit the ground running to finish the session here at GIAL.  I finished strong, and after a long nap, finished some more on Wednesday, enjoying a break before starting class again on Thursday.  New slogan:  GIAL - We don't need no stinkin' breaks!

This session I am taking Semantic Analysis and Language Program Design and Management.  That will wrap up advanced training when it finishes in June.  As mentioned previously, Maya finished her pre-field lingusitics work on Tuesday (Woot!) and is enjoying being mom again.  She will take a two week Primary Health Care course near the end of June, but that will be more hands on and less book.

We have fire ants invading our lawn and I think the time is come that I will have to en ...

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Grace & Peace
By Rich Rudowske on 4/1/2008 10:33 PM

Some of you have noticed that we sign a lot of our correspondence with 'Grace & Peace' before our names.  The Apostle Paul began everyone of his letters with those words, 'grace and peace'.  It was an interesting twist on the standard greeting in greek 'xarin'.  Instead, he says 'xaris kai iraynay' - grace and peace.  I got to thinking, What if we always started everything with grace and peace?  What if in our approach to each other, in our greetings and parting ways we began and ended with the foundation of grace and peace?  Of course grace and peace have become words that sound churchy but really have lost their impact in my opinion.  Grace - iraynay - means God's undesevered favor and love to you, God's goodwill, which he has always had for you, may you experience that.  It means joy, satisfaction, fulfillment, contentment, every good thing.  And Peace - iraynay or Hebrew shalom - meaning peace and wholeness i ...

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Spring 08 Newsletter Posted
By Rich Rudowske on 3/26/2008 4:08 AM

 Howdy all you faithful blog readers.  A special note to you that the Spring 08 Encouraging Word Prayer letter has been posted on the 'Newsletters' Tab.  The rest of the e-world won't find out about it until April 1st.  Don't ya just love being an insider? 


Rich & Maya

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