The Qualifications of a Missionary

 

This was a wonderful Q&A and I pray that the Lord would consecrate many men to Himself, for His glory, and for this Call.

What are your thoughts of the roles women can play in being helpers on the Mission field? I have so many thoughts that I want to work through…maybe in a later post. But I praise God for this Biblical exhortation!

 

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Enlisted as a Soldier of Christ

I am inspired to say the least. Lord, make me fit to serve you all of my days, and to preach your Gospel to the lost, wherever you may have me.

Mainstream Missionaries

David Miller, what a preacher! Praise the Lord for the mind he has been given, and his faithfulness to love and preach the Word of God!

 

From the 2019 G3 Conference. Pastor Miller is teaching from Colossians 4:7-18.

  1. Biblical Commission for Missions – we are a privileged group. It is to you who the word of the gospel has come. We give thanks to the Father for being qualified to partake in the inheritance of the Lord Jesus Christ! Take this Gospel and take it to the ends of the world, and all people everywhere! Giving money to sending agencies does not get us off the hook of fulfilling the Great Commission!
  2. Biblical concept for doing Missions – Book of Acts and missionary campaigns. Establish churches of order, raise up pastors from converts, and get individual Christians under the burden of the gospel.
  3. Characters mentioned in the text who were Missionaries – Tychicus (a faithful, consistent man), Onesimus (a fugitive, converted man), Aristarchus (a fearless, courageous man), Mark (a forgiven, cleansed man). Justus, Epaphras, Luke (famous, celebrated), Demas (faltering, counterfeit), Nymphas, Archippus (floundering, called man).
    • If you are a blood washed child of the King, millions are waiting for you to share. The one-eyed man is a king in the land of the blind.
  4. The cost involved in being missionaries – there is no cost high enough, not even my life, that is not worth paying in our allegiance to the Lamb.

 

Valley of Vision

Lord, high and holy, meek and lowly,
Thou hast brought me to the valley of vision,
where I live in the depths but see Thee in the heights;
hemmed in by mountains of sin I behold Thy glory.
Let me learn by paradox that the way down is the way up,
that to be low is to be high,
that the broken heart is the healed heart,
that the contrite spirit is the rejoicing spirit,
that the repenting soul is the victorious soul,
that to have nothing is to possess all,
that to bear the cross is to wear the crown,
that to give is to receive,
that the valley is the place of vision.
Lord, in the daytime stars can be seen from deepest wells,
and the deeper the wells the brighter Thy stars shine;
let me find Thy light in my darkness,
Thy life in my death,
Thy joy in my sorrow,
Thy grace in my sin,
Thy riches in my poverty,
Thy glory in my valley.

The Valley of Vision, edited by Arthur Bennett

Women and False Teachers: Why Men Don’t Get It, and Why It’s Imperative That They Do

Michelle Lesley

Confession time: Sometimes – OK, often – I think my brain works more like a man’s than a woman’s. You’ve got a problem? Suck it up- here’s the solution. The mall? A perfectly horrifying way to ruin a Saturday. And why do we have to hug people hello and goodbye when we see each other multiple times a week?

I’ve always been more comfortable around men, and when I was single, I had mostly male friends. They’re generally¹ less mysterious and easier to figure out than women, and they don’t usually play those manipulative emotional games some women can be notorious for. If a man says he wants a cheese sandwich, there’s no hidden “you don’t bring me flowers often enough” meaning there. He just wants a cheese sandwich. I like that. It’s pretty much how I operate.

Which makes me the perfect person for God to plunk down smack…

View original post 2,250 more words

my father (pt. 1)

*I started writing this in June of 2017. This piece is a work in progress*

WHEN I was 16, my father passed away. He had died from medical complications, his kidneys and heart having failed. I never met him, and still have yet to see a picture of him. He died on April 22, 2005.

The only time we ever connected was when I was 13, and he called our home number. I was home alone, toasting some Eggo waffles, and the phone rang.

“Hello?”

“Hello? Mija?” Mija is a pretty common term in Spanish that means “my daughter,” but almost everyone uses it when referring to a young girl.

“Hi, may I ask who is calling?”

“Mija, it’s me, your father.”

“Who? I’m sorry.”

“Mija, it’s me, Ralph.”

I paused for a second to process that name before frantically hanging up. I stood there, in front of our phone, trying to calm my trembling hands. It was the weirdest feeling of utter awkwardness combined with fear. I almost didn’t believe the phone call had even happened, until the phone rang again just a few moments later. Too scared to pick up the line, I let it go to voicemail.

“Hi mija, it’s me, your dad, Ralph. Please let me talk – “

I cut the message off abruptly by hitting the delete button. I was too scared of what my mom would think if she knew that I had talked to Ralph. I purposed myself to not tell my mother, since I thought she might feel hurt, or think that I was going to leave her. But, being an emotional kid, I confessed almost as soon as she walked in the door. I remember crying profusely as I described how sorry I was that I had picked up the phone. She held me and told me that she wasn’t at all upset, but that instead she was sad I didn’t want to talk to him.

Mom always encouraged me to understand that my dad was lovable and kind, but  irresponsible as well. She said he didn’t take the responsibility of being a husband and father as seriously as he should have. She also openly shared how it was her decision to marry him, and she takes responsibility for not listening to the wise counsel of others who advised her otherwise. She refrained from telling me things that would create bitterness in my heart, because she wanted me to have some relationship with my dad, especially since she too had been estranged from her father, and that hurt her deeply.

At thirteen, I didn’t want to talk to Ralph. Though he was my biological father, he was still a stranger, and one who had discarded my trust before it had been gained. But as I look back, that phone call is a memory I mourn. I know I was too young to understand, and my childish mind believed that talking to him, getting to know him, meant that I was taking his side or excusing his abandonment.

As I’ve gotten older, my mom says I resemble him in so many ways – my sense of humor, my expressive eyes, the emotive ways I contort my face to show extreme excitement or frustration. I think this is why I wish I could just have a photo of him, just to be able to pick out the parts that are mine and his, the ones that we share.

But there’s also a part of me that is grateful to have nothing of him, because there is a positive correlation with knowing someone and loving them. The more I know of someone, the deeper our relationship, the truer the love, and the greater the potential for pain and disappointment. And that is true of my dad; because I didn’t know him, because I don’t even have a photo of him, it seems that not having him there was normal, fine even. I can count the number of times on one hand where I truly felt sad for not having him around – not because he wasn’t valuable, but because the idea of him was so foreign. And so having some of him would have been more painful than was having none at all.

I sometimes wonder how my personality, being, and quirks might have been shaped differently if he had raised me with mom. Would I be kinder, gentler, or more patient? Would I feel a greater security in my heavenly Father, having known an earthly security in Ralph? And then I remember that even if he had been there, and had been a great father, I would still be sinful in nature. My heart would still be selfish and rebellious against the Lord, doubtful and faithless without His mercy and grace. The Lord, my Father who is good and just, knows who I am and what has shaped me, as both my sovereign Maker and the one who has secured my life in His hands through Jesus’ blood on the Cross. He knows how to prune and sanctify all of me, that I might display His glory and magnify His name in my thoughts, actions, teaching and pursuits.

beautiful

every day

todo los días, me miro en el espejo

y pienso en el verso,

hagamos al ser humano a nuestra imagen.

el Dios del universo,

Él que hizo todo inteligentemente,

Él que tomo el tiempo

para hacerme

para amarme

para salvarme.

¿pero, porque?

solamente para su gloria,

y no por la mia.

=================================

tous les jours, je me regarde dans le miroir

et je médite sur le verset,

faisons l’homme à notre image.

le Dieu d’univers,

celui qui a fait tout intelligemment

et celui qui a pris le temps

pour me créer

pour m’aimer

pour me sauver.

mais, pourquoi ?

seulement pour sa gloire,

et pas pour la mienne.

=================================

every day, I look at myself in the mirror

and I think of the verse

let us make man in our image.

the God of the universe,

He who made all things intelligently,

who took the time

to make me

to love me

to save me.

but, why?

only for His glory,

and not for my own.

How to Lose Your Joy…

“True joy is God’s gift to every believer, yet many Christians seem to lack it. How can that be? Did God fail them? No. As with peace, assurance, and other benefits of salvation, joy can be forfeited for many reasons: willful sin, prayerlessness, fear, self-centeredness, focusing on circumstances, and lack of forgiveness are the main culprits.”

from, “How to Lose Your Joy,” Drawing Near by John MacArthur Copyright © 1993. Used by permission of Crossway Books, a division of Good News Publishers, Wheaton, IL 60187, www.crossway.com.

This was a great, short devotional read, on which to focus my prayers this morning.  Be thankful for the new day the Lord has given, and ALL that He has chosen to provide in it. He is good.

Thankful for “No”

No means, ‘No!’

I looked at my nephew as he asked me again for a second cookie.  He stared at me with his deep, blue eyes and opened his mouth, ready to share his well-thought out argument as to why he should get a second treat.  I looked at him sternly, dreading a potential meltdown, and that’s when I said it – “No means, ‘no,’ hun. I’m sorry.”

“No” – we’ve all heard it, or said it to another.  Especially when we know better than the other person, such as an adult refusing something like sweets to a child. Adults can speak with authority and certainty that “no” really is the best answer for a young child who probably can’t tell that he has had too much sugar.  And the child will either accept the “no” and move on, or dwell on their desire and throw a tantrum.  There’s really no grey area in this, especially when dealing with 2-4 year olds.

But I wonder if I am all that different from my nephew.  I recognize that I am of a generation, culture, and nationality that does not accept “no” well.  Inherently, to me, “no” is not an answer, but a challenge; it means that there is more to be done, more to prove, more to conquer in order to get the “yes” answer that I desire.  It is irrelevant whether the no comes from a peer or figure of authority – it never seems definitive.  I was raised in a village (so to speak) that indoctrinated me with permission to question everything, including authority, and a pretense of privilege without negative consequence nor limit.

We see this with sin, especially when we  are of the world or have yet to subject our flesh fully under the authority of scripture and the commandments of God.  Hearing a “no,” or that something is considered sinful can be painful and harsh.  Our blood may even boil at the thought of being denied some liberty, or of our actions being judged as sin by another believer, or of being told that we are doing something incorrectly.  I remember when I was sharing with a friend about a television show that I enjoyed, which was fairly uncensored. She gently asked me how the show was helping me know more of Christ. It was an innocent question, without underlying judgment, and meant to help me think through my decisions, but I became so angry.  I had no desire to continue our conversation. I wasn’t being negatively affected by the show. I was a good Christian! The self-righteous, self-justifying thoughts flooded my mind, and it wasn’t until weeks later that I felt convicted of the thoughts running through my mind, and I repented under the conviction of Philippians 4:8.

But we also see that “no” is hard even when we walk in righteousness.  What of the woman who serves faithfully in her church, teaching Sunday school to 4th graders, and studies the Word to know and love her God more?  She devotes her vocational work to a good company; however, her work is unrelated to the passions she has to help children from underprivileged backgrounds.  She has applied to many positions that would allow her to serve the community she loves and she believes God has put on her heart, yet God has not opened a door, not even for an interview.  Is this God saying “no” to her dreams for her work?

And, what of the man who has grown tired of his seemingly endless visits to the hospital? He knows that God is good and praises the Lord for being His refuge.  He seems to not be getting better, but also not worse; however, he still cannot be a good companion to his wife, or servant to his church.  He asks patiently, consistently for healing, giving thanks to the Lord in all things, even this difficult season. He knows that he must persevere through this trial and take joy in all his suffering, but why is God not providing a reprieve within sight?

What does it mean to accept no for no – or silence for no, and to have confidence that God is at work?  Though I may say, “just trust in God and keep moving forward each day,” as if it is the obvious solution, I believe there is more to the process than what sounds like a simple and sorrowful resignation to ideas of God’s promises. I believe God wants us to draw nearer to Him, to love Him more, and to experience the fullness of blessing we have in Christ.

When I seek the Lord with all my heart, bringing my fears and anxieties, hopes and desires to Him, and I lay them before Him in prayer, I ask that my heart would rest in His sovereignty and will, and that it would desire to glorify Him above all.  I sit with His Word, repeating the truths I know. “Can a woman forget her nursing child and have no compassion on the son of her womb? Even these may forget, but I will not forget you. Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me (Isaiah 49:15-16).” I am not forgotten; I am inscribed on the very hands of my God. I am His forever, and no circumstance, no denial of desire, no suffering is so great to ever invalidate this truth. He is working out His best plan for the world, for the church, and for me – all for His glory. He makes himself known to me, teaching me to understand that He is the peace that my soul longs for, which nothing else can satisfy.

…to be continued…

monday musings

Today is one of those days where I just want to sit by a fireplace with a cup of tea and have a really deep discussion with friends. I want to think about and verbally process some complex issues – some global, some personal. I want to share and contemplate the Word of God, pray, and pour more tea.

But, since I’m home and it’s raining, and we don’t have a fireplace, I’ll journal with my Bible by my space heater and then read a book. #booksarefriends #extrovertstuggles #feelinghappy #feelingpensive