Friday, October 22, 2010


Strongs number 5331

  1. the use or the administering of drugs
  2. poisoning
  3. sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it
  4. metaph. the deceptions and seductions of idolatry

In the King James the word is most often translated as "witchcraft" and the verses it is in always show it in a negative light, for example;
Galatians 5:19-21
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
     So those who practice witchcraft will not inherit the kingdom of God.                
                       This is serious stuff!!!

So what is Witchcraft as outlined in this verse. We know from looking it up in the strongs the word that was translated was Pharmakeia the same word used as the root for words like pharmacy or pharmaceutical.

Same word for Sorcery, Witchcraft and administering Drugs. Imagine that..... A religious belief that taking drugs will somehow improve your condition, or placing trust in drugs more than even God himself. Surely this is a primitive practice that has no bearing on our more modern and educated lives. Who practices Idolatry any more? who would worship Idols and take or prescribe drugs in combination with worshiping Idols? All this must be the work of some primitive people way back when or perhaps some natives off in a jungle somewhere who did not go to community college like the rest of us experts. I mean it all seems a bit silly don't it Idolatry is something we don't practice today is it?
Worshiping Graven Images things made by the hand of man and abandoning reason for faith  in a system that has no basis in reality.
Kneeling at the Altar
       Just a thought. the other day I was watching the news and they were telling everyone to go get flu shots for the coming flu season. these are the shots that have been proven to contain mercury and cause massive complications in people when they get older. Out of all the test done on flu shots there have been little to indicate that there are more positive effects than negative and yet because big pharma pays for about 6 out of 8 commercials during the time the news is on they are given a news story for us to blindly believe because it came out of our box we watch religious every night thinking we are going to hear truth.
    My favorite commercial was for a bladder control drug that had the unfortunate side effect
 (mentioned at the end of the commercial very quickly and in a lowered tone of voice) of uncontrollable diarrhea. So some poor slob who has been deceived by this modern box of Idolatry can go and stop peeing in his adult diaper and start crapping himself instead.
     Out of all these commercial for modern Pharma-Business I have yet to see a cure for anything offered, only treatment. So for the rest of your life you would need to take the bladder control drug that makes you soil yourself rather than a one time cure. I guess there is no money in curing people only treating them. Out of all of this you would think we could spot our blind worship to a system of belief that tries to cloak itself in scientific rational thought.
Is it a pill or Satan's communion?
      Does it sound rational to you to take a drug for bladder control that makes you soil yourself? How bout a male erectile dysfunction drug that can make you go into cardiac arrest (sudden death during love making might just spoil the mood). I love the long list of warnings for the drugs that are supposed to help or cure us. Sounds more like VooDoo than science to me, but even if it did work the big question is, are we putting our trust and faith in something other than God? Are we practicing Pharmakeia something it says in the bible could keep us from inheriting the kingdom?
     When church is over on Sunday and you have a headache how many people do you ask for a aspirin before you consider asking for prayer? what does that say about your faith and what you trust more? Do we as Christians trust our doctors and pharmacist more than our pastors and elders? do we rely more on the PDR than the bible?
   I know at this point there are a few of you out there who will ask "what about Luke, he was a doctor"?
The thing i would point out is that if you went to see Luke I doubt that his office is entirely decorated with posters from drug companies that pay for all his vacations and give him free samples to encourage him to rely on drugs rather than reason.
    Not many years ago if you went to a Doctor and told him you saw an ad for a drug on TV and you think you want that one he would prescribe you a sugar pill to treat your blind belief in pills. In the last few years as we worship drugs more and more the placebo effect is increasing this is to be expected as we go from rational thought into idolatry and witchcraft (Pharmakeia). We are even debating in our government if there is a "right" to have full access to drugs you believe you need and healthcare from the current system of Pharma-business is a inalienable right.
       The worst part is that in church, even in spirit filled ministries that claim to believe in the healing power of the holy spirit through the laying on of hands and anointing with oil (see James chapter 5) when people hear me sniffle or cough they will offer every remedy from bee pollen to the newest cold pill before suggesting prayer or trusting in the finished work of the cross.
     Do we trust Jesus?
James chapter 1 verses 5-8 says;

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

If we don't trust that God is the healer and put all our faith in Pharmakeia how can we expect to receive any thing from God? Is God Creator of heaven and earth able to heal your cold symptoms, or can we only trust in pills and potions?
James chapter 5 Verses 14 and 15 say;

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

I think it says it best in 1 Kings Chapter 18 verse 21
21 And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the Lord be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word

Baal was most often religion of earth worship (anyone hug a tree or make recycling their justification lately) and just as our modern Idolitry box spews every day with news about global warming and save the planet earth worship religion while it sells us drugs we have a choice.

Choose this day who you will follow, God or Pharma it is that simple......

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lords Ranch

It has been an interesting time here at The Lord's Ranch ( there are anywhere from 30-60 men here at a time many receiving their healing (praise God) from addictions (drug/alcohol) and "issues" (minor mental disorders)  as well as several people here to learn front line missions and evangelism from Adrian Simila ( It makes for a very diverse group with the stronger and more capable helping those with issues and learning the love of Christ. It is something that has to be experienced to be fully appreciated. Everything from men who can not read to men with graduate school educations, Young men and very old, Men from inner city gang backgrounds to hillbillies and cowboys all living and working together toward learning to be more like Christ. There is no worldly reason it should work and yet is has for over 20 years under the anointing of God

 I have been teaching most days during the 1:15pm service and working on projects for missions in developing nations the rest of the day.
   I have really been enjoying teaching classes here on basic Greek, public speaking, and apologetics. It is rewarding to see men who often were living on the streets recently and addicted to drugs/alcohol debating scripture and referring to the Greek meanings of the words. I enjoy counseling the men and watching many with basic reading skills improve and they begin to get a better understanding of the word. God is doing a mighty work here and it is nice to see people getting saved almost weekly and watching the Holy Spirit radicaly change lives.
   I have been working on another project that will make communications to the persecuted churches a lot more secure for almost 2 years now and I am beginning to see a light at the end of the tunnel (let's hope it is not a train). Many people, many languages and many computer glitches later it is beginning to take shape and I am hoping it will be ready for wide release soon. It has been interesting communicating complex computer principles across language and culture barriers it has been trying at times to say the least, but it could save lives and equip many to spread the gospel so it looks to be worth it

 My latest pet project is the use of cheap (under $50) routers as full web servers, file servers and print servers and multi line PBX system. this little router hacked into a Linux computer runs on only 5 volts and uses less than 5 watts making it able to run off of a very cheap battery/solar array.
the long and short of it is that I can setup a local phone system, internet and files server for distributing Christian films, teaching and bibles in multi language for under $100 totally self contained and running of solar in the middle of nowhere. I look forward to implementing it on the mission field soon.

I have also been playing with making camp stoves out of pop cans and energy drink bottles with good success. I even got to send one out with the evangelism team last week. they are known for taking unreliable vans long distances so having a cheap camp stove to make a little coffee or dinner on can be a real moral booster. My models run off of HEET gas-line antifreeze (methyl alcohol). one once of fuel boils 16 ounces of water with no fumes, smoke or smell. A bottle of HEET is 12 ounces and costs less than $2 ( I got a 4 pack at walmart for $5).
I can equip a brother with a stove, pot, fuel, ramen noodles and a few coffee packets for under $5. I am working on getting this number lower so I can do it cheaper. We have been getting some little hotel sized shampoo bottles in from time to time and they are 1oz great size for storing single size fuel bottles. having a small kit that contains all your physical needs for a week is the goal. I can also see application for the mission field as alcohol can be found in almost any county in the world.

I have also moved my goat drawn wagon here to the ranch but that is worthy of it's own post and video so until then I remain.
Yours in Christ,
Donald C Phinney II

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bike travels

Honda 1300cc practice bike

Been a while since I posted.
Spent a few months over in the seattle area with Mom and other than continuing to fellowship with the Tacoma Gypsy Church ( and continue on some of my online ministry it has been pretty boring last few months Until I got over to Elk, wa 350 from seattle and back with The Lord's Ranch ministry (
I have property on the other side of town and in Spokane County. the way the building codes and other red tape is over there it has been difficult for me to do much as I dont have the money to develop. I did run a Rehab ministry for those that were kicked out of every other rehab ministry with no power, no running water, and no permanent structures for a few years before I went on the mission field. Now it is time to sell though I have had enough aggravation. my hope is to move to bonner county Idaho. the land of the cheap outhouse permit and only a permit for the location of your building (I  guess to determine if it is to close to the property line). the preparations to sell my place and but the next are underway. Perhaps in the near future we will have a missions training center or something interesting on the new place (still praying).
   Mean while I have been blessed with 1st the use of the above honda 1300cc V twin monster to go practice on, and later a honda 750 shadow. The new bike seems to get very good mileage and it is my hope this will increase my ability to get around the country and visit friends in churches around the USA.

Honda shadow 750cc, shaft drive water cooled
I am now looking at what is needed to get all my gear onto the bike. perhaps A trailer, perhaps I will make custom saddlebags (I have all my leather sewing gear and grommet kit with me)
Now that I am back in the U.S. I am doing what I can to get mobile and useful again.
 For those reading this from outside the USA you need to understand that often it is needed to travel many miles to get to a store to buy food. where I currently am the nearest supermarket is 35 miles away. All of the USA is not in cities like on TV, most of our country is rural towns with lots of open space (look at the satellite pics on google maps there are a lot of corn and wheat field here).
With gas prices going up the nissan 4x4 was far to expensive to run and was keeping me from direct human interaction outside of the computer. anyway enough of the details of my re-equipping for stateside ministry.
   I have been praying about doing a regular 10 minute YouTube show every week. I am working out the particulars, but I am thinking the combination of survival skills, computer and communications tech in harsh and primitive conditions and alternate power, combined with mission field application holds a bit of promise. I have also considered doing some expository teaching of the word on video, but there is no lack of this already on the web done by others more skilled than myself. I am still trying to work out the format. I would like to tie the physical need and solution to biblical principle. as an example Paul was able to encourage and administrate many church details while in prison. He used the modern technology of the day to do this.
   You might be asking what modern tech did the apostle Paul have way back then. The Roman road system and postal mail. these did not exist in any real way until this time in history and Paul used letters to churches as the way to bring the living word of God to places far and wide. 
  today we can bluetooth a bible in almost any language to a persons smart phone. we can show videos from the web. we can pass around MP3s via multi media messages, we can twitter the location of impromptu house worship meetings, the list goes on. all these technologies can be used to equip the saints for evangelism.
   When going to places that are underdeveloped or under persecution it is amazing what you can do if you are able to get bibles and teaching materials in electronic form. there are now micro sd cards that can hold a couple of gigs of information (thats easily a couple of 2 hour movies and a few different text bibles and lexicons) micro sd fits in many phones and is paper thin and less than a 1/2 inch square. Easy to conceal materials can be smuggled into harsh places. much easier to conceal a micro sd card than a hard bound KJV family bible.
   often when on these missions it is needed to purify water, run for your life to escape capture from Muslim extremists, or simply hack through jungle to find the remote tribe that has never heard the gospel.
on all these missions it is helpful not only too have a sound biblical knowledge and solid faith, but it can be helpfull to have a few helpful hints on how to run the technology and survive in a totaly unfamiliar enviroment than you are accusomed to.
   The difficult bit for me will be getting a good format that allows enough time for the physical aspects without neglecting the spiritual principals. 10 minutes is a short time for a preacher, and you tube does not give me a lot of wiggle room.
  I am also battleing with lighting. outside the video looks awesome but the sound is horrible because of the wind. Inside the sound is great but I seem not to be able to get the lighting just right..... anyway this is what has occupied my attention for the last month. Preparation for the next thing, not very exciting but needed. I hope to post more often now that I am in a better environment, but lord only knows.
Till next time.....
Yours in Christ,
Donald C Phinney II

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Children of the Corn?

Central Illinois has a lot of corn fields......
I have been here for bout a month now and I am still not entirely sure what the Lord has in mind and  fully what my part is to be in it and for how long.
    I am in Atlanta Illinois which is in the center of Illinois. A town 15 blocks square with a population of about 1500 surrounded by miles and miles of corn fields. there are 4 churches here a Catholic, a Methodist, a Christian (as in the denomination), and an Assemblies. All but the Catholic play well together and are even doing national day of prayer and VBS as a single body of Christ, and all 3 pastors are afflicted. 
Dan Scalf Pastor of the Assemblies Church has heart problems. Pastor Skeet from the Christian Church (name of denomination) just got out of the hospital. Rob the Methodist pastor has his daughter in the hospital with crones and is on bedside vigil as she goes through a bit of a crisis of faith as well as medical issues.
When I first arrive here (after the ride in a van full of woodchucks) I got an empty Sunday school room in the basement of the church and set camp. for the next few weeks I would hear slamming doors, footsteps and other activity upstairs in the sanctuary in the middle of the night when there was nobody there. The feeling of spiritual oppression was incredible.
    Pastor Dan has has two visits to the hospital in the time that I have been here for his heart, and I personally have had a multitude of differing medical problems which as usual I pray about and then promptly ignore (I only go to doctors when it will create a stumbling block for others if I don't).
There have been petty politics based around and upcoming vote on if Dan will continue to be the pastor of the church. There has been stress over money because of the small congregation in a big building with an old heating system and the debt it has created after a what now is the end of a winter.
    But mostly there has been the slow uphill battle of reopening a church that closed under less than favorable circumstances. God has done amazing things through Dan considering all that had to be fought through to get this far. There is now a congregation of about 30 regulars and perhaps 50-60 if all the new converts showed up at once. Not to mention he has been instrumental in bringing unity among the other congregations and we still hold out some hope for the Catholics we keep inviting them.
     Because of all the evangelism background Dan has been able to bring in a lot of other people to speak minister and play worship and there has been a gradual change here. just recently John Lowen has arrived and has begun a regular morning prayer and been going for walks and doing a bit of door to door evangelism. The morning prayer has been very helpful with the eviction of our nocturnal visitors and the evangelism is serving to inspire some of the congregation.
  Marsha Mitchell has been here the last few days and will be here till sunday and has been speaking some very good sermons, unfortunatly to a small group but it seems to be making a difference.
   yesterday I was contending with God in prayer and fell asleap only to dream about fighting with him to recieve a blessing and anointing for this town to end all this sick pastor stuff, and really get some form of breakthrough and bring the revival this town needs. I awoke from this dream with the words "you have been blessed" ringing in my ears only to find that when I went to rise my hip was out of joint. I spent all last night and most of today limping and as I write this most of the pain is gone and it is just a dull ache but I can feel the presence of God much stronger.
I think this bodes well for the rest of the weekend for this time we have Marsha with us.
   I am still not clear as to how long god has me here or when the timing for going to spend more quality time with the gypsies will be but I am anxiously waiting to see what comes next. there are a lot of new converts here, and many seeking more understanding of God's word.
    I pray we will continue to get the right people at the right time here to help grow this church into a usefull vessel for the masters use, and not the same old thing that failed before. 
  I am finding about the same level of opposition here in the USA to the  Gospel and the creating of a unified church as there was in Kazakhstan, only the enemy manifests itself differently. I find here in the midwest nobody is arresting you or trying to get you killed but the principalities and attacks against the leaders are almost as strong. After seening my friend hauled off to the hospital twice this month I am reminded how much it is needed to stand behind and pray for our leaders. Most of us only know a fraction of the load they are under.
Well till next time  I pray you are all blessed and God continues to show himself to you in your daily lives. Till then follow Jesus and stay away from kids in cornfields with weird 1000 yard stares.
Yours in Christ,
Donald C Phinney II

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Van full of woodchucks?

     Well it has been a interesting few weeks. not sure what god had in mind, but it has been a fun ride. I spent a few weeks in elk and it was fun to fix all the computers and work on websites and show a few people some tech tricks while getting in some good fellowship. Http:// is doing very well and many are rededicating their lives and coming to the lord on any given week. I am glad to be a small part of that. It was my hope to go and help the man(John Demetro) who is the most instrumental in making this ministry happen at his house in Canton Ohio and to hop a ride there. The plan was to go there and help him too get every gypsy Christian song we know of all up on the site and to continue to develop the site as well as do some of the initial prep for beginning an internet radio station.
    That did not seem to be God's Plan. John's dad took ill (please keep him in prayer) and John is having to commute on a semi random basis back and forth from canton Ohio to PA. this all developed while I was en-route to canton in a van full of woodchucks. working on a somewhat limited budget I put an add up on craigs list for a ride that was answered by Jim the woodchuck guy from North Idaho. seems he had to transport a few woodchucks back east and then go harvest a few more to bring back to his lab in ID. The night before we were due to be in canton I called John to find out plans had changed and called Pastor Dan Scalf (yep they finally found a way to make him stand still a while) so now I am here in a place called Atlanta Illinois in a assemblies of god church that had been closed for a few years and is now reopening. Dan is doing some amazing things here the church is growing, but of course that has its own challenges. I am here now to render a bit of aid in the tech dept and perhaps do a bit of preaching/teaching if needed. The timing works out well as Dan who has had far to many trips to the ER for his heart needed a driver to help with transport to TX for the School of Christ Conference  next week.
       It is still novel to me to hear so many speaking in english, and I find myself even more around the elderly. It is good training or re-training I guess, when i was overseas normally I would speak in a very subdued and well enunciated voice so my interpreter could easily understand and then they would address the congregation. Now I find as I am not needing to pause, everyone understands english, and most of the people I am around seem to be hard of hearing I need to retrain myself to project from the diafram and learn to speak louder.
     When outside the USA there is a stigma attached to Americans as loud and brutish that is hard to overcome. the stereo type of the loud american in a cowboy hat with a Texas accent is something I have tried hard to overcome. Now in the Midwest I find that unless you speak very loud many can not hear you because they have worked on loud farm equipment that is not friendly to the ears. After living in the woods for years this is a huge adjustment for me. I am glad I packed hearing protection.
   So from here I will be going it seems to Texas to the School of Christ convention. I understand it can be better than 1500 pastors all under one roof. Should be interesting I will get to see if the Texas stereo type is in fact a reality (never actually spent any time in Texas before, only passed through). Will be fun to see the land of rattlesnakes and armadillos.
    On a different note I am still attempting to find a few american gypsy speaking christians to send along with Steve Anderson on his trip ( with no luck yet. Please keep this in prayer. The area he is going to has a very high gypsy population and there is massive opportunity to reach them for christ if we had even on american gypsy from wone of the churches here to go with.
  As usual I am involved in a lot of minor unexciting projects in aid of other ministries. I can see the Lord's hand on it though and while i am plugging along I am seeing my Chinese friends are getting paperwork together to make it possible to invite me in a more official method.
    I still would like to base myself out of eastern Ukraine, but for now it seems the lord has other plans. Not long ago a man in a church a friend of mine goes to had a vision from God and decided to help pay off all the back taxes on my property. this seems to be in response to me seeking the Lord about if I should sell it off and be free of the hassles of owning land I am never on. Guess it is not time to sell all and move to Ukraine yet.
  I am enjoying my time around Dan Scalf who has been a missionary since the old days of bible smuggling into the USSR with Bro Andrew. I am beginning to learn some bits and pieces I have been missing about dealing with an older generation as well. I am glad the Lord is taking me through this learning phase before I launch out again. It is nice to be with a group again, although I do still long for the adventure of front lines ministry and the environment that forces reliance on Jesus (back home it is easier to deceive yourself into thinking you have things handled).
  Well until next time
Yours in Christ,
Donald C Phinney II

Monday, February 15, 2010

Life in Elk

it is interesting here in Elk, Wa.
It has been a while since I have been here. I still have land here, family, freinds, etc but I feel like i am in a stange land.
While seattle and spokane are in the same state in the same country most of the people I talk to internationaly do not get the difference between the two places. allow me to demonstrate.
Seattle is filled with tree huging earth freindly liberals who while being totaly against the Gospel and Christ tend to have better educations and engage in activities like earthday clean-up activities.

Elk,Wa is north of spokane in eastern washington and has a heavier christian influence, but also has a lesser education system and tends not to be as concerned with apearences. Somewhat like this country gentleman.

After being away for so long it is interesting to return. I had forgot what the area was like after being gone so long. It is like being in a 3rd world country inside of one of the richest countries in the world. When I talk to people from outside the USA who only know our country from television and news the don't grasp the culture in rural america. Often the countries I was in that are much worse off than the USA had better civil infrastructure than my town. In most place I have been in the world there is some form of public transportation, and there is the possiblity of walking to go to a store to get food.
In this area if you have no car your done. often it is at least a 5 mile walk to the nearest convieience store and to get from elk to deerpark you would be walking at least 6 hours one way. Often a persons place of residence is far enough from the road or the nearest cell tower that phone is not an option at the house, But because land is cheap there is plenty of room to store stuff.
The result is that since you MUST have a running car, and jobs are few and low paying you keep every car even after it has died because it may have the parts you need to fix the next cheap barely operartional car. Add this theology to all other areas of life and many of the working poor have land that looks like a strange hybyd of Farm/Garbage Dump/Auto wrecking yard.
there are advantages in that when times get tough people here have chickens laying eggs in old junk cars, and tomato plants growing in dirt filled tires out on thier front porch. where the city dwellers in seattle who are renting, or have high mortgage payments are in danger of not eating and being homeless if they miss a paycheck.
There is a difference in politiacal positions as well. While over in seattle they are mostly liberal and against private gun ownership. here in elk most have 5-6 around the house and are used to stepping off the back porch at least once a year to shoot at dinner (some in more desperate finatial times shoot a few more deer than the law would normaly allow). Well in short there is about as much difference between the culture in Seattle and Elk, as between downtown london, and rural ghana.
In this setting much of the ministry is focused on helping people to prepare their lives to survive. After church fellowship for the men is often centered around Car,Truck, tractor repair, or on things like where the best hunting is, how to fix a chainsaw or other things that make it possible to survive here.
In the city much is about communications technology like cell phones better places online to network for business, and how to grow a buisiness or find a better job. I enjoy the country at times because with the lack of infrastructure provided by a centralised government people learn to create relationships with thier nieghbors because often billy bob next door with his gunrack in his pickup will respond to you call for help sooner than the police who may be as far as 50 miles from you. When you are out of food and a blizzard hits and your snowed in you may not be able to get to a store, but norma jean next door may have a garage full of home canned goods that she can use as trading stock for your help shoveling out her walkway to the chicken coop.
Anyway you get the idea. I have become used to the amout I can accomplish in a short time when I am in seattle and other large cities with international airports, reliable phones and internet, but I miss the slower pace and deeper personal relationships that are forged here in Elk,Wa. I am enjoying this time away from the faster pace of life in the citys and I wonder what God's short term plans are for me at this point. one of the main reasons I am here is to slow down a bit so I can just listen to God and shut off some of the distractions. I have had a good productive run for a few years and I have learned that down time is good for refocusing. Often we loose sight of who we serve even in ministry when it becomes all about the works, and we loose sight of the relationship that began them.
Just as city life tends to make people relate in a way that promotes a lot of shallow relationships and an enviroment where you barely know people in the next apartment. when ministry itself becomes to busy with works often we loose the deep personal relationship we should have with our God. City life look good and clean on the surface. People seem more productive and cutured in the city, but what are they producing and is it worth the price. are cleaner streets, more civil infrastructure and better schools worth the price of broken families, high divorce rates, self absorbed behavior, and the rat-race it creates.
While I have a feeling I wont be here long that God has other plans for me, there are still a lot of good lessons we can all learn from even the most uncultured redneck living in his school bus, or trailer home in the puckerbrush of Elk Wa My home town.
Yours in Christ,
Donald C Phinney II

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Back to Elk

today my brother showed up here in seattle with all the kids in tow,
it is my understanding that we will be going to the seattle aquarium with the kids followed by other family fun. when it is all over I will be hiching a ride with him back to Elk, Wa. I am somewhat looking forward to this ,and at the same time I feel a bit of trepidation at what I may encounter. there are many at home who want to see me, but I feel it may not be a very long visit as I lack many of the things I need to function well there. most of the places I have to stay (many open invitations) have limited internet connectivity, and horrible cell reception. it is amazing how much my life has changed in the last 3 years.
Not long ago I lived in elk with no power and only a pager with voice mail. I would check the messages once a day via a cell phone. I had to raise an antenna up on a pole and connect the wire to the phone to get a signal, and I would charge it up with a solar panel. I ran my whole minsitry pretty rustic with karosene lamps and solar, and shake flashlights. I had simplified life down a lot, but then i had a few recovering alcoholics or drug addicts living with me all the time, and I also had to prepare bible studies and sermons that i had to give at other churches and ministries so phone, power, computers, e-mail and the rest were just distractions.
Now a few years later communications technology is the core of my ministry. Right now my largest project is setting up infrastructure for gyspsy ministries the largest of which right now is it is amazing how fast this is growing, but of course there is a really good core group running it. I am also doing a lot with helping different missionaries, and churches connect on a golbal scale. All of which now means I need to be reachable it would seem that the old days of checking messages once every day or 2 and getting back to them in a week or so are gone.
It will be nice to return to the sticks for a while. It has been a while since I have spent any realtime with english speaking christians that know me well. I really miss the acountability and fellowship. I hope to spend at least a couple of weeks there and renew ties to a home church I have not seen in almost 3 years now for any real time. I will also get a chance to meet with Steve Anderson and possibly Adrian Simila, and potentialy aid them with contacts and connections for thier upcoming trips, but mostly I could use a bit of time to refocus, and perhaps work on the book about the kazakhstan trip, and do some maintence on my website as well as help the Lord's Ranch with some of thier infrastructure needs.
I feel like the Lord is preping me for another big thing, but I have no Idea what is coming. I am excited to find out, and I think it will be revealed when i get back to Elk. I hope to be posting more about this, and and some of the exciting things going on in the gypsy ministry when I get there. I am excited by some of the indicators. Well until next time I remain.
Yours in Christ,
Donald C Phinney II

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Writers Block

Hello All

Today I was on the phone with my freind Steve ( and we were discussing his upcoming trip to romania this spring/summer (we think). He has been speaking in a few churches and doing the beginnings of rasing support before the trip. What was humorous was I was recomending to him that he should be a little more dillegent in posting to his blog. I was relating about how with many people the only connection you have with them after you leave thier church or speak to them over the radio is your blog. That it is nessasasry to continue to produce some form of online content to remain in touch with those who have supported you and who look to you for inspiration in thier own missions and ministries.

I have a Sence of humor I guess. I have had writers block and there has been little going on in my life that I have felt I needed to put on paper for a while. I am not in life threatening situations, or in some country where I dont speak the language and am in jepardy of being shaken down by corrupt officials for bribes. Basicly it has got a lot more boring. I have been doing a little bit with the Gypsy community here in the States in preperation for a future trip of my own, as well as developing resources for others. is the current result of that. I am attempting to aid a good man in canton ohio with the tools he needs to run an online ministry, and at the same time develop evangelisim tools for later use over seas. It is also my hope that there can be a little more unity between the different churches here so that we may be able to launch a few Gypsy speaking american missionaries over seas with some of the freinds I have thatt are doing work in those areas and struggilng with lan guage and culture issues.

I find a lot of my days are spent in developing or researching technology that can bee usefull on the mission field. Most of the time I am able to assist or solve in problems of communications and tech for ministries in minutes now. The amount of research and time spent growing white like a mushroom in front of my computer is growing though, and I am in need of some outdoor time and time away from tech for a bit. I am also in great need of more person to person fellowship, not just texting and phone conversations.

with this in mind it is my hope to return to Elk, Wa in the near future and see if I may be able to assit them with a few tech problems, perhaps help with some of the missions planning and connect people with the right resources to get where they need to go, and have more time one on one with people I know rather than just text chat.

On new years I went to VA to preach at a conference at the hampton Roads convention center, and ended up being the last speaker to speak to a very large room. I have been on radio a few times in the last month or two as well, and I am form time to time preaching or counseling on Paltalk. it is off that my ministry has gone from living 24/7 with people with drug/alcohol issues to being alone most of the time and only dealing with people by adreassing crowds or over the net via text or phone. I wonder what this is to prepare me for as I know God has some reason in all of this.

I still have al lthe notes for my book, but I seem not to be able to get it off to a decent start. I also have my own website in total disarray and it looks worse than it has in years. I pray that the fog that clouds my writing ability and organisation skills will lift soon. Perhaps after much prayer and study at The Lord's Ranch (

I have been doing a lot of research and thinking on cross cultural evangelisim as well lately. While I seem to do this well instictualy I am trying to find a way to communicate what I have learned into a systemm to teach others. Often we combine things into our view of evangelisim that do not need to be there.

A good example of this was when i was talking to some friends that are from a very hot island where it gets 110 degrees and there is no airconditioning in the church. They were evangelised by a group from the northern and mid-western part of our country where we both have airconditioning and cooler tempratures. the small island church was having a hard time atracting members not because of a lack of persuasive preaching, or lack of bible teaching, but because of a dress code that required suit and tie for men and long sleeves and all skin below the neck covered on women. So to be a good church going christian you had to pack yourself into a small building for 3 hours in 110 degree heat in long sleeves and stew in your own juices. You may avoid hell, but before you get to heaven you will be medium well.

I have also seen many from the USA that get overseas and the goal is to make them live like us. that somehow salvation is dependant on haveing all the modern apliances and living in houses that look western. That we might somehow win more to Jesus by teaching them the american way of doing buisiness and spreading a capitalistic system or Democratic way of government (both civily or in the church). We even at time think we should export the american Idea of prolonged male adolecence. Often when we go to preach the Gospel we are mistaken in our idea that we come from a better culture rather than learning about the one we are currently with.

This is not always the case but unfortunatly I have seen this true in the magority of cases. Most of the large well known missions agency seem to choose to locate in big cities that are the most western for that country. they then try to create a community that is as much western as they can by creating a mini version of the USA that at times spans a city block or so. They even with the aid of a greater income from home than the natives possess begin to influence the young to become more american. This is a far cry from what Paul says "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."

Luther had some good ideas in that he began to seperate Gospel from tradition in the church. This same concept when extrapolated out to it's logical end in missions produces much fruit as well. Solas Scriptora is a great idea. The principle that the Bible alone is sufficient. There is not need for anything to be taught outside of the bible itself in the ministry if it is not referenced or contained inside it would mean the bible is not complete, or God forgot something. If what we are bringing is mostly western Ideals and culture with a little bible thrown in I question the effectiveness of the mission. The difficulty is to seperate what we consider in many cases to be a part of our identity from the mission.

Just as when we 1st begin to follow the Lord we learn to seprate our Job and our money from who we are. we no longer Identify ourselves as a plumber, or an automechanic. Who we are is the new creation in Christ that happens to fix cars. Our Primary identy is sons and daughters of Christ and we just use or Job, money, cars, etc as tools for doing the work we have to do during this short time here on earth. This lesson must be learned and elablorated on to be truly effective in missions. To not not be the loud obnoxious american overseas it is nessasary to see ourselves as citizens of God's kingdom not boast in the country stamped on our passport.

Well again I am write to long and I am not fully ready to adreass this. I hope that in the next few weeks I will have some time to dialoge with a few missionary freinds. It seems many of my freinds and associates are now hearing God's call to go where I have come from. I am hoping that perhaps with God grace I will be able to asssist them and remove some of the difficulties from thier paths.

Yours in Christ,

Donald C Phinney II