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B013 – A Tenth of a Year

5+ Weeks in Central America

These are supplementary notes to the podcast interview.


  • Tuesday, April 22, 2014: Denise drives Jim to the airport a las mil (the Spanish equivalent of “o’dark thirty” for those of you familiar with military parlance; 04:00 for you sticklers).  Jim flies via Miami to Managua, Nicaragua (point “B” on the map), where the teaching team sent by LendAHand Mission Teams assembles during the day, including Dr. Gladys de Chávez from Guatemala.
  • Wednesday, April 23, 2014: The team travels overland travel for five hours to Quilalí (point “A” on the interactive map).
  • Thursday-Saturday, April 24-26, 2014 — teaching conference for about 125 attendees.  Jim’s subject: Hermeneutics (module 1) — how to read and preach the Bible in context.
Three pastors in Quilalí, NicaraguaPastors Nelson, Mario, and Ramon in Quilalí
  • Sunday, April 27: Team returns to Managua, participates in Sunday-evening meeting in a local church.
  • Monday-Tuesday, April 28-29: Teaching conference for about 40 pastors in Managua, the capital city (point “B” on the map). As in Quilalí, Gladys teaches on the importance and the “how-to’s” of Sunday School, while Jim concentrates on hermeneutics, with a special emphasis on the importance of the “context” of the entire Bible. (See the podcast Are You Fulfilling Bible Prophecy? for a challenging message on this subject.)
  • Wednesday, April 30: Rare “day off” due to a communication mix-up with the local pastors. Jim spends the day working on notes for the Guatemala conferences; Gladys starts the 20-hour bus ride back to Guatemala.

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B012 – The Harul Interview

The Harul Interview – 45 Minutes with Romanian Pastor Teofil Ciortuz

Pastor Teofil CiortuzRomanian Pastor Teofil Ciortuz
at his desk

It’s wonderful when Christian parents prayerfully name their children, especially when that name turns out to be prophetic.  Teofil Ciortuz (tay-oh-FEEL chor-TOOS) seems to be the prophetic fulfillment of his first name — Teofil, an eastern European form of Theophilus (see Luke 1:3 and Acts 1:1), meaning lover of God. One of the great blessings in my travels is to meet sanctified, joy-filled, no-nonsense servants of God, men and women who are loving and serving the Lord Jesus with all their heart, mind, soul, and strength.  Teofil certainly fits that bill.

Pastor Teofil is the second assistant pastor at Biserica Crestina Baptista Harul Lugoj (Grace Christian Baptist Church in Lugoj). Harul means grace.

The location of Lugoj in RomaniaThe red dot marks the location
of Lugoj in Romania

Teofil earned his degree in mathematics and taught that subject for a time before he was tapped by the Lord to go [continue reading…]

B011 – Why Romania?

Why Romania? [Alternate Title: Mutiny on the Podcast]

Pastor Marius Apopi translates for Bible teacher Jim KerwinRomanian Pastor Marius Apopi (left) translates for Bible teacher Jim Kerwin

This episode’s rearranged cast:

  • Host: Jim Kerwin
  • Co-Host: Denise Kerwin
  • Guest Co-Host: Al Strickland (remember him from last episode, 50 Years? What’s Your Secret?)
  • Guest: Jim Kerwin (who wants to know: Is this a demotion or a promotion? And is he still re­spon­sible for audio editing and writing the show­notes, or does Denise have to do it?)

Al’s Short Report on His Guatemala Recent Trip

Lord willing, the second-story construction on the Coatepeque church (the one pastored by Fermin and Lilian Chávez) can commence in March 2014.

Fermin ChávezGuatemalan Pastor Fermin Chávez tightens the knots of friendship.

Jim Kerwin Responds to the Question “Why Romania?” [continue reading…]

B010 – 50 Years? What’s Your Secret?

A Fiftieth-Wedding-Anniversary Interview
with Al and Sue Strickland

Al & Sue StricklandAl & Sue Strickland

Not What I Was Expecting…

I fully expected this episode to be a praise and victory report about the recent missions trip to Romania. But on the flight home from Munich, Germany, to Charlotte, North Carolina, I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit that the “top priority” was to interview Fellowship members Al and Sue Strickland at this milestone in their marriage — their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

…But You Can Expect a Blessing!

Al and Sue are Fellowship members, part of its heartbeat, and definitely part of its life’s blood when it comes to our work in missions overseas.  (Al has been on more missions trips than I have, I think!)  But to everyone who knows them, “Papa Al” and “Momma Sue” have a blessed and enviable marriage. Listen, learn, and be inspired to love in ways that are deeper and very practical as they answer the question Denise and I put to them: “Fifty years? What’s your secret?!” Click here for two more photos and a few links…

Jim and Denise Kerwin on Pilgrim’s Progress
with Pastor Ray Greenley on WAVA-AM (Washington, DC)

Denise Kerwin at the mic in the studios of WAVA-AMDenise Kerwin,
publications editor for
Finest of the Wheat Teaching Fellowship

Third Quick Update from Jim in Romania

I’m just finishing a third week of ministry here in Romania, with visits to churches small and large, and a second very successful and well-received conference. After a four-hour round-trip on Monday to teach for four hours at a Bible institute, I’ll return to my Romanian home base about 10 PM to finish packing, grab all-too-few hours of sleep, and leave for the airport at what my military friends call “o’dark thirty.”  I’m ready to come home, and if things go as planned, this episode will “go live” to the Internet while I’m westbound over the Atlantic on Tuesday 10/15/13.  Soon I’ll be catching up on my postings to KernelsOfWheat.com/facebook; but the ministry opportunities here have kept me too busy to post for the last ten days or so.

This Podcast’s Background

The topic — conscience — which National Prayer Chapel’s Pastor Ray Greenley began on the 7/23 broadcast of the Pilgrim’s Progress radio program, evolved into our discussion on 7/24 about how the conscience is awakened.  In this episode we conclude this three-parter, looking at how an awakened conscience caused Christian (formerly Graceless) to flee the City of Destruction, and how it should [continue reading…]

Jim and Denise Kerwin on Pilgrim’s Progress
with Pastor Ray Greenley on WAVA-AM (Washington, DC)

Jim Kerwin at the mic in the studios of WAVA-AMJim Kerwin, Bible teacher from
Finest of the Wheat Teaching Fellowship

Second Quick Update from Jim in Romania

I’ve just finished a second busy, blessed, and fruitful week here in Romania, and I’ll be returning home in almost exactly a week. I’ll continue to post updates at KernelsOfWheat.com/facebook; and, no, you don’t need to have a Facebook account to read the entries and see the photos I’ve shared.

This Podcast’s Background

The topic which National Prayer Chapel’s Pastor Ray Greenley began on the 7/23 broadcast of the Pilgrim’s Progress radio program — conscience  — evolves into a discussion about the question, “How is the conscience  awakened?”

Scriptures Mentioned Include… [continue reading…]

Jim and Denise Kerwin on Pilgrim’s Progress
with Pastor Ray Greenley on WAVA-AM (Washington, DC)

Pastor Ray Greenley of National Prayer Chapel, Woodbridge,Virginia, host of the Pilgrim's Progress radio programRay Greenley, Pastor of
National Prayer Chapel, Woodbridge, Virginia,
and host of the
“Pilgrim’s Progress” radio program

Quick Update from Jim in Romania

I’m finishing out my first week in Romania, with two more to go.  You can follow along with my near daily reports at KernelsOfWheat.com/facebook; and, no, you don’t need to have a Facebook account to read the entries and see the photos I’ve shared.  The Lord, in His wisdom, didn’t provide for Denise to go; it turns out that she was needed for emergency “grandma duty” and she had to drive to Florida the day after I flew to Eastern Europe.

This Podcast’s Background

We were invited by Pastor Ray Greenley to minister at National Prayer Chapel, which Ray pastors, and to join him as his guests for three days on his live radio program, Pilgrim’s Progress.  We operate “without a net” (that is, without a script), and the subject for the day turned out to be conscience.


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Podcast theme music: “Steam Train” from the John Williams album Dusty Porch, under license from Magnatune.com.

B006 – The Smokey Row Interview

The Smokey Row Interview
with Steve, Kelly, and Nick Solheim

Steve & Kelly Solheim being interviewed at the Smokey Row Café in Oskaloosa, IowaSteve & Kelly Solheim
with World Gospel Mission

In this podcast, we interview Steve and Kelly and Nick Solheim of World Gospel Mission.  They’re discovering their support so that they can return to their assignments at Escuela El Sembrador (School of the Sower) in Honduras.

The story of how they wound up on the mission field will open your eyes and make you look at yourself differently in the mirror.  They went from never having met a missionary of any sort in person, to finding themselves on the mission field in record time; yet they’re the most “normal,” down-to-earth middle-class couple you’ll ever meet.  Denise and I were taken by how “real” they were all week at the Iowa Holiness Association camp meeting in June.  (You’ll find some links to an online picture album of our week at camp at the bottom of this blog post.)  We felt that the Lord wanted us to share their story.

Team Solheim Links

You’ll learn a fair bit about Steve and Kelly and Nick (Team Solheim as they call themselves) in the audio.  But here are [continue reading…]

B005 – The Lake Atitlán Interview

2013 Guatemala Report – Part 3

Atilio and Gladys Chávez being interviewed on the shore of Lake AtitlánAtilio and Gladys Chávez

[Note: Visit these links for Part 1 and Part 2.]

For this third and final installment of our Guatemala report, we had the privilege of interviewing the country’s dynamic duo, Pastor Atilio Chávez and his wife, Dr. Gladys de Chávez, about their background, ministry, and goals.  Atilio, who has been involved in church-planting in Guatemala for thirty years, pastors a church in Guatemala City; but his greater role is that of a pastor’s pastor as he superintends about forty churches.  Matching her husband’s servant heart, Gladys (a medical doctor in her own right) works side by side with Atilio in many capacities.  She has served many visiting ministers and missions teams over the years as both translator and medical liason.

Album #7: A Quiet Time for Recovery and Reflection

On our next-to-last evening in Guatemala, we overnighted with Atilio and Gladys at Lake Atitlán. It was time much needed by Jim and enjoyed even more by Denise.  Important things can be shared during quiet walks, leisurely meals, and enjoying the peaceful environment.  Special times together like this one make friends close friends.

The picture-link to the right will take you to a Facebook album of photos, with descriptions. (No, you don’t need to be a Facebook member, or even register, to see it. The album is available to the general public.) The video below covers the [continue reading…]

B004 – The “Pilgrim’s Progress” Interview

Jim & Denise in the Hot Seat

Jim Kerwin, Denise Kerwin, and Ray GreenleyJim & Denise Kerwin and Ray Greenley in the WAVA-AM studio

We had been on National Prayer Chapel‘s Pilgrim’s Progress radio program for three days (July 23-25, 2013) when on the fourth day the host, Pastor Ray Greenley, decided to shift focus and interview us about our backgrounds, our ministry, our recent Guatemala trip, and our planned trip to Romania.  Then he did something he doesn’t even do for his own broadcast — he asked listeners to call in and pledge funds.  (A few folks did just that.)  That 800-number won’t work for our podcast listeners or website visitors, but the “Donate” button over at the right of the screen will, for those of you who feel led.

Thank you, brother Ray, for the opportunity to share our hearts and for challenging us to share the need! [continue reading…]

B003 – The Coatepeque Kitchen Interview

2013 Guatemala Report – Part 2

Josué and Fermin Chávez enjoying their ice creamEnjoying un helado with (left to right) Josué (Joshua) and Fermin Chávez

[Note: Visit this link for Part 1.] The best part of travel is making friends and learning about their lives and ministries. That’s doubly true when those friends are Fermin and Lilian Chávez, the pastors of an ISPI church in Coatepeque (say “kwah-tay-PAY-kay”), Guatemala. They were our hosts during the second conference and for the weekend of May 17-19. They have a unique story and an increasingly unique ministry, and we hope we’ve captured some of it in the podcast audio you’ll find above.  And as a part of our “show and tell” philosophy, you will find:

  • Links to two more picture albums we’ve posted on Facebook. (No, you don’t need to be a Facebook member, or even register, to see them. They are “tagged” so that they can be seen by the general public.) These you can go through at your own pace. OR…
  • Embedded YouTube videos of the same albums, with our recorded commentary about each photo. As with our last episode, these provide more information, as well as background stories we didn’t get to tell in the podcast.

Album #5: Los Mayas y Los Chávez

In all Jim’s trips to Guatemala, he’s never had a day off to visit the country’s cultural sites.  Fermin, Lilian, Rut (Ruth), and Josué (Joshua) decided that Saturday was the day for us to see a nearby Mayan archaeological site; so we happily spent the day with los Chávez (the Chávez family) learning about los Mayas (the Mayans) at the Tak’alik Ab’aj National Archaeological Park. [continue reading…]

B002 – Double-Teaming Guatemala

2013 Guatemala Report – Part 1

A Guatemalteca reading the Scriptures aloud at one of the ISPI conferencesThe reason we go—to serve the pastors and leaders and their people

We have all sorts of testimonies to the Lord’s goodness and faithfulness from our Guatemala trip, and we wanted to share them with you.  Some of you gave, many of you prayed, and so an accounting and a recounting are in order.

Jim Kerwin was in Guatemala from 15 April to 22 May, and Denise Kerwin arrived on 10 May to participate in the pastors’ and leaders’ conferences the week of 13 May. In the podcast, we recount the overall story…

…but in the belief that “a picture is worth a thousand words,” we have included many photos — and two ways to enjoy them. Below you will find:

  • Links to four picture albums we’ve posted on Facebook.  (No, you don’t need to be a Facebook member, or even register, to see them.  They are “tagged” so that they can be seen by the general public.)  These you can go through at your own pace.  OR…
  • Embedded YouTube videos of the same albums, with our recorded commentary about each photo.  In these we provide more information, as well as background stories we didn’t get to tell in the podcast.

May we ask a favor?

'Like' the Finest of the Wheat page on Facebook

Do you have a Facebook account?  A simple “Like” on the Finest of the Wheat Facebook page would help our ministry by spreading the word about these faithful pastors and leaders and what God is doing among them in Guatemala. Visit the page at Facebook.com/FinestOfTheWheat.  (KernelsOfWheat.com/facebook will get you there, too.)

Album #1: Language School… in a Garden?!

Jim spent a month in immersion Spanish language school prior to the teaching and ministry part of his trip (although God arranged ministry during his study time as well). Click the thumbnail link to the right for the album with notes, or click on the video below for the narrated, video version of the album.

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Introducing and Reporting:

Roy & Melania Olsen of Apa Vie MinistriesRoy & Melania Olsen

It’s my great privilege and delight to share with you an interview I did with Rev. Roy Olsen of Apa Vie Ministries in Pestere, Caras-Severin, Romania. I spent over half a month with Roy and his godly and sweet Romanian wife, Melania, last October. Apa Vie (“Living Water” in Romanian) and the work the Olsens are doing deserve to be better known. And this gives me a chance to report back to you who prayed and gave and made that ministry trip possible and so successful. Consider this an audio “thank you!”

Concise Overview of My Ministry Time in Romania:

  • Led a day-long pastor’s conference  at the Ape Vie retreat center in Pestere on the subject of mentoring.
  • Taught on two successive Friday mornings at the Baptist Bible Institute in Timisoara.
  • Preached and taught at churches in Maciova Colonie, Carasebes, Alba Iulia, Resita, and Bocso.
  • Spent numerous hours with pastors in their homes and apartments, listening to their challenges, asking them questions, answering their questions, and growing rich in our fellowship together.
  • Such was the blessing of God on the teaching, preaching, and personal interaction that [continue reading…]

Show Notes by Jim Kerwin for Kernels of Wheat Podcast Episode 024 – Antichrist: In the Pew Next to You?

picture of young people in a pewIn the pew next to you?

Review of Last Episode

  • Evolution of teaching about antichrist, from the Apostle John and Polycarp up through modern dispensationalism
  • A brief overview of some of the more famous people “conclusively proven” to be antichrist
  • Hints and highlights from passages of 1 John so far
  • A look at the page from Strong’s Concordance which shows that all five references to antichrist appear only in three verses in 1 John and one verse in 2 John — never in a prophetic passage.
  • According to Greek scholars, the preposition and prefix anti- never has the meaning of against in New Testament writings; it always means in the place of, instead of.

Going Through the Relevant Details about Antichrist in [continue reading…]