Category Archives: Bible

Missions. Safe?

Missions.  The calling to tell and demonstrate the love and truth of Christ to those who may not know Him.

I just finished reading a biography about Hudson Taylor, Hudson Taylor  Deep in the Heart of China by Janet and Geoff Benge.  He was a missionary to the interior of China who lived from 1832 to 1905.  He founded the China Inland Mission.

Taylor is noteworthy for many reasons, not the least being he never asked for a dime of support.  He prayed and depended on God to provide every cent needed for the missionary work (and God did provide every penny).  This is a radical way to live, even within the missionary world.  The typical model is those being sent as missionaries go out to the churches and people and let them know what support they need to raise (I have served as a missionary with this model) and ask the people to come alongside the work the missionaries will be doing wherever they are called.

I’m not sure which is better or if one is right and the other is wrong.  I have an inkling both are just fine.  But I was very surprised at one readers’ response on Goodreads.  The commenter stated she did not see Hudson Taylors’ action as trusting God, rather as testing God.  She said Hudson Taylor took too many risks with his life, the life of his wife and children.

Yes, the risks were big, but isn’t that often the case?  Especially in missionary work?  Not everyone can be called to stay home and witness to others at their nice job.  Some, many, are called to go far away from home, loved ones and security.  Thanks to technology, we can now reach the far off places more safely and quickly, but still, Christian missionaries bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It’s truth is not welcome everywhere.  Some places the rejection is peaceful, other places, the reaction is angry and violent.  God doesn’t hide this truth.  Jesus was actually pretty blunt that the Gospel is divisive.  But that doesn’t stop Him from calling people to fulfill the Great Commission.

And when He calls, obedience is the best response.  It may not be the easiest or the safest, but it is the best.

I spent a short time traveling as a missionary.  It was wonderful.  It wasn’t always easy, but it was the best place to be.  I will tell you it was easier to be traveling as a missionary than it is to be at home trying to be a Christian wife and mother, but this is where I am, so I will embrace it.  I will throw my arms around all it’s mess and it’s beauty.

For right now, THIS is my mission field.

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In a Relationship

I have been in the church all my life.  I accepted Jesus as my savior at 9.  I spent two years on the mission field.  I know this gig.

You’d think the sermons would get old, the words would get stale.  But more often than not, it’s brand new, a revelation.

Today was another of those.

We, as a church, are working our way through the entire Bible during a 2 year period.  Today we were in Second Chronicles, chapters 5-7.

Solomon has built an amazing, awe inspiring temple for the Lord.  He, knowing he’s a servant king, in service to the one true King, has built himself a very small platform, in relation to the rest of the temple, to speak and pray from.

Solomon stands on this platform, opposite the Holy of Holies, and prays.  In his prayer, he comes to God with humility.  He asks God to please listen, forgive and heal the people.

God responds, I am here, my house is a house of sacrifice and I am listening and looking for my people.

He is looking for us.  He is looking for relationship.  He doesn’t want to be our sugar daddy, He wants to be in relationship with us.

He wants prayers from us, but not always what we want, need, desire for him to do for us.  And that my friends, is what I don’t know how to do.  I have no idea how to just sit with Jesus.  I have no idea how to get to know Him.  I have not a clue how to pray without asking for stuff.  I simply don’t know how.

I’ve heard these ideas, truths before, but today it really hit me, I don’t know how to do that.  It’s not that I don’t want to, I do.  I have spent 34 years of my life learning about God and Jesus.  I spent years going to church camp, which I loved.  I went to youth group every week as well as several youth mission trips and conferences.  I went to a wonderful Christian College, Spring Arbor University.  I did every assignment to the best of my abilities, I sat through every chapel.  I went on the mission field as I was called to do.  I sat under great teaching while there.  And my church now is amazing.  It doesn’t skirt the real issues.  They preach it as it is.  But all that still leaves me not knowing how to sit in relationship, how to worship God without asking, wanting, needing.

The raw truth there, leaves me avoiding church and Bible by being there, but being busy volunteering.  I’m serving.  That’s good, right?  It is, but when I am brutally honest, it’s because there, outside of the preaching, I feel safe.  I don’t hear the hard truths in 3 year olds class.  I don’t have to think about changing my life or truly being known.  It’s safe.

But is that the way it is supposed to be? Is being in relationship ever safe?  Not really.  The beginnings are especially hard.  They are so scary.  You don’t know if the other party is safe.  If letting them in will turn out well.  Relationships are a dance.  Each taking tentative steps.  Relationship with God is different though.  He kind of has the upper hand.  He knew me before I was born.  He knit me together in my mother’s womb.  There are no surprises to Him.

So where does that leave me?  I still don’t know how to sit and commune with someone I can’t audibly hear or see with my natural eyes.  It’s easier to ask Him for things.  It is easier to tell Him what I want or how I feel.  How to turn that corner, how to know Him.  I have no idea.  I’m creeping out of safe and into relationship, but I don’t know what to do next.

Do you?  Do you know how to be in relationship with the Creator of the world, the creator of you?  I’d love to hear your thoughts and feelings on the topic.

 

Awana and I Wanna

Sunday night is Awana, Bible club for kids, night around here.  The girls love it.  They are always excited to go, but last night they were absolutely ecstatic to go.

It was dress like a pilgrim night.  Here is what I came up with.

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Patrice wasn’t interested in dressing up, but she was having so much fun in her vest, I just HAD to take pictures.  Such a little ham.

I love that they love Awana.  They have verses to recite each week.  Well, correction, Caitlyn is currently memorizing the books of the Old Testament and Sue the New Testament.  They earn their electronics privileges by studying each  day.

Awana is a huge asset in our family life.

For lack of a transition, I am going to just dive in with what I Wanna.

I Wanna feel better in my own skin.  I am taking my medications, but something is still missing.  My anxiety is too high, my thoughts get jumbled.  I wanna be comfortable in my own skin again, so Wednesday I am taking the dive with a new therapist.  I am not real thrilled with meeting someone new that may soon know the darkest side of me, but I am trying to have hope, I am trying to be positive.

I Wanna like me, so I hope I can like her.

 

Trees are Growing Again

A couple of weeks ago we had an issue with an inappropriate response from one child to another.  A moment to make a mother proud.  Or not.  I decided right then and there we needed to start studying the Fruits of the Spirit.

I began looking for activities and opened our Bible to Galatians 5:22-23:  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.

First we made fruit baskets with each of the labeled fruits.  Today we went a step further and put fruit right on the trees.

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Patrice was working on her own project and managed to cut off Abraham Lincolns’ head.  You can’t win them all, all the time.2013-11-19 12.47.46 2013-11-19 13.06.10 2013-11-19 13.06.17 2013-11-19 13.07.06

 

We drew trees with markers on some watercolor paper I had, then added each of the fruits of the Spirit and finally glued on buttons.

We also listened to songs about the fruit while we worked.  And I am praying for fruit…

(Original inspiration was from this post, I just thought it needed some kid friendly explanation)