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.

Story Part Two
By Rich Rudowske on 11/29/2008 5:49 AM

So, in my last blog entry, I talked about the use of the word story and how for some folks (myself included at one point) the term leaves a bad taste in the mouth when applied toward scripture.  But scripture is of course rooted in story, a story of redemption and in the end, by God's grace, we are part of that story.

And when we know the context, when we know the story, we are able to participate more fully in it and be inspired by it.  This is also too with stories of how God has worked in individual lives.  Here's an example:

We all know the great hymn, 'Amazing Grace' right?  Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see."  That's our story, right?  In some way, we have all experienced that amazing grace somehow. 

But consider the story of ...

Comments (0) More...

On the term 'Story'
By Rich Rudowske on 11/25/2008 5:43 AM

The sermon that I preached on my PD trip this fall was called 'In the Story'.  A friend remarked after the sermon one Sunday that she didn't particularly like the term 'story' when applied to the Bible.  I have to admit that I also have struggled with the use of that word because for some it conveys a connotation that whatever the 'story' is about is not necessarily true.

However, I have come to use the term story to think more in terms of context.  In other words, all of us are connected somehow to the message of scripture, to the message of the gospel.  Scripture itself is given in a certain context and when we seek to understand that context better, we understand the message better and thus we understand our own connection to it better.

God knows this about human beings and from the very earliest revelation of his will in the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament), he gave instruction and law in the context of a ...

Comments (0) More...

By Rich Rudowske on 11/18/2008 5:36 AM

Tomorrow we return home, ending a ten day Ohio road trip.  Matt is the lead in Jack and the Beanstalk for the first grade class at Captain Elementary, so our key objective after finishing up school chapel at Lutheran School of the Miami Valley is to get on the road and get home in time for the play, which is at 6:30.

Been a fun trip, I am working on getting pictures up.  We tore down our photo album page on this site and are rebuilding it so all the Botswana pics are gone for the moment too.  I'll probably get pics back up by the end of November. 

The Lord bless and keep you.


Comments (0)

What a great job! One day a week!
By Rich Rudowske on 11/13/2008 6:07 AM

It's an old joke of course that being a pastor is the best job in the world because you only have to work one day a week.  I remember thinking that of my pastor when I was a kid - that and he had that awesome parsonage for free too.  Of course, having been a pastor I can testify that there is more than the Sunday work to do.

A joke I heard more recently goes like this:  A kid and his dad are talking after church on a Sunday when a missionary had been there.  The kids says, "Dad, I think I finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up."  The dad says, "Yeah?  What do you want to be?"  And the kid says, "A missionary home on furlough." (drum rim)

And of course, the Sundays that we spend as we travel are great events - the congregations put on their best faces, special music, good potluck food or other special treatment.  Those are v ...

Comments (0) More...

Prayer for Christians in India - URGENT
By Rich Rudowske on 11/10/2008 5:49 PM

Hello friends,

I received this from a friend in GIAL where Maya and I attended school for linguistics training.  This story is near to us as we have a dear friend, Ranae Holdeman, who recently served with YWAM in India, so we know these conditions and these realities to be true and these are not faceless individuals, these are human beings made in the image of God and precious to him. 

Dear beloved sponsors and friends of Good News India ..

 We have never seen anything like this. We knew that Orissa was the  most resistant and hostile State in India as far
 as the Gospel is  concerned. And we brushed off the continuous threats  and harassment we faced as we went about His
 work. But none of our  staff imagined that they would see this kind of carnage.... And it seems to be totally under
 the ra ...

Comments (1) More...

Random Thoughts
By Rich Rudowske on 11/5/2008 8:05 AM

A collection of random thoughts as I get ready to go to bed on an historic day:

  1. In a way that is hard to described I am moved by the reality of the election of an African-American man as President of our country.  I grew up as a minority in the mostly African-American town I lived in and in the school I attended until 8th grade.  I am currently teaching my two oldest kids about American history in the era leading up to the Civil War, so the gravity of the event whether you support the candidate and his agenda is particularly moving.
  2. Saint Louis is an amazing place to live.
  3. Our little kitten, Sam, is hilarious.  She broke her leg nearly a month ago, but you would never know the way she scoots around with her little cast on and still gets into everything.  She is such a little doll.
  4. Becca is a superhero.  Sometimes she is a puppy.  Her ...
Comments (0) More...

Picture Links
By Rich Rudowske on 10/28/2008 8:13 AM

As of today, Chris, Katherine and I have been on the road for a whole month straight except for one night overnight at our Saint Louis home.

And that can only mean one thing . . . PICTURES! 

Since I haven't been able to upload them to the photo album on this website I have uploaded them to a website called facebook.  There are three albums from our trip that you can view by clicking on the three links below.


Michigan Part One

Michigan Part Two

Okl ...

Comments (0) More...

Blog Frustration
By Rich Rudowske on 10/27/2008 4:03 PM

I have to be honest with you.  I just spent about a half an hour pouring out my soul in a blog entry and then when I clicked 'update' it somehow didn't upload and is lost. 

I don't have it in me to retype it right now.  Suffice it to say that things are good, we have enjoyed ourselves immensely at the churches and schools we have stopped at and with our good friends Rick & Deb Tabisz.

Looking forward to being home with the whole family together for a couple of weeks.

God has shown me many things on this trip.  Perhaps I will write about them again later.  He is good.

Take care.

Comments (0)

Home Again
By Rich Rudowske on 10/22/2008 10:26 AM

Reading the last few blog entries it seems kind of redundant, but we had a great weekend in Paw Paw Michigan with the folks at Trinity Lutheran.  We (that is, Chris, Katherine, and I) also had a good visit to Michigan, although the busy-ness of home school (road school as we call it), office work, and speaking engagements prevented us from doing much else while we were there.

We did take an afternoon to visit the Berrien County historical museum in Berrien Springs MI, as well as the Holland Michigan museum.  Both had good exhibits regarding pre-European history of the area and settlement during the early 1800's, which tied well into our current history studies in US history.

I am in Saint Louis at our home right now and am having trouble sleeping, hence a late night blog.  I found a switch on the furnace that wasn't working correctly and got it going, so hopefully the house will warm up enough that everyone else will go back to sleep. ...

Comments (0) More...

By Rich Rudowske on 10/15/2008 6:27 AM


It felt really good to be home and in the pulpit of my adopted home church, Trinity Lutheran in Saint Joseph Michigan.  We had a very enthusiastic response and it really felt like everything 'clicked' (so to speak).  Had a great high energy Sunday school class from 1st grade to high school and we played quizbowl, duct tape soccer, played some southern Africa music and 'Super Missionary' aka the missionary chain game. 

We are in the home stretch of a four weekend tour away from home, wrapping it up with a class at Trinity on Thursday AM and then weekend services at Trinity Paw Paw Michigan on Saturday and Sunday (four services!).  We then will host a booth at the Halloween alternative 'Hallow Him' back at Trinity St Joe on Sunday afternoon and a board meeting there on Monday night.  We then head back to Saint Louis on Tuesday, spend one night there and head for a week in Oklahoma (Tulsa and OK City areas) before ...

Comments (0) More...