August 19, 2017

Beginning My Missionary Journey: the College Years

In my last post, I began sharing the story of how God called me to home missions. I went off to college with a burden on my heart for spiritually oppressed people and a specific call to prepare for full-time Christian service as a pastor's wife. I wasn't sure how all the pieces fit together, but God was still writing the story... The final two things God used to direct my missionary journey were faithful involvement in ministry and a short-term missions trip. During my first semester in college, I got involved in an regular outreach ministry on the weekends. We would travel to nearby nursing homes, women and children's shelters, and local churches to minister through puppet shows, [...Read More]

Beginning My Missionary Journey – The Early Years

I had the opportunity recently at a ladies' meeting to share the story of my missionary journey -- how God led me to prepare for becoming a missionary-church planter, and then used that call to direct me to a husband and place of ministry. When I mentioned it on Facebook, several of you expressed a desire to hear the story too, and I decided to share it with the hope that it might be an encouragement to all. My story begins -- as all of ours do -- with God's call to salvation when I was a young child. But fast forward about 12 years, and the story of my missionary journey begins. I could sum the beginning of that journey with the words of Abraham's servant in Genesis 24, when he was [...Read More]

5 Simple Ways to Encourage Missionaries

Do you support any missionaries as a family (or an individual)? Most of us probably just assume our churches are doing enough... but what if we each chose one missionary family to encourage on our own? After all, you need the encouragement and support of fellow Christians outside of Sunday morning services. Why would missionaries be any different? There are so many ways to support missionaries as they dive deep into spiritual mines across the globe, and prayer is perhaps the single most important way: We can pray generally for missionaries. We can remember specific challenges they face. We can consider personal appeals for prayer support. We can pray for returning [...Read More]

Celebrating Christ at Christmas: Card Intercession

Have you ever practiced Christmas Card Intercession? It's really quite a simple idea: pray for people as you write cards for them. Even if all you do is sign your name and address the envelope.     Because everyone needs prayer. Maybe you don't really know what's going with that old friend or distant aunt -- but God does. Maybe you haven't heard from them since last year's Christmas cards. But God sees them every day. He knows their joys and their sorrows. He hears their heart-cries. So pray for them. Pray for their general spiritual welfare: Pray that they would seek Him first, acknowledge Him in everything they do, and trust Him to direct their steps. [...Read More]

Celebrating Christ at Christmas: Spiritual Wish Lists

*Note: Today I have the honor of guest posting over at The Deliberate Reader. I'm sharing a few of my favorite books for cultivating intimacy with God, as part of Sheila's "Favorite Books" series.  Make sure you check it out -- then come back here; it dovetails perfectly with today's post! So far in this series: Observing Advent 2. Spiritual Wish Lists (originally shared 12/13/11) What’s on your Christmas list this year? No, not your own wish list, the other one. You know -- the {long} list of things that your kids want, the {really short} list of ideas from your spouse, the {creative} list of things you’d like to get for your friends or siblings or parents… I’m guessing [...Read More]

Learning from the Prophets

Right now, I'm in awe over the magnitude of our salvation: where it comes from, how it helps us now, what it gives us in eternity. You see, I'm working on memorizing 1 Peter 1 with the group over at Do Not Depart. And, true to form, as I memorize and internalize God's Word - it changes me. This week we're working on verses 10-11. I actually want to include verse 12 in this post, though. You'll see why in a minute:   "Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully... It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those [...Read More]

How to Pray for Others (part 2)

If you missed part 1, go ahead and read it first. Then come back here... People all around us are hurting, and in need. Some people need salvation. Some need direction, or maturity. Some need  blessings - or greater awareness of their blessings. Some need comfort or courage or confidence. Everyone has a need, whether we can see it or not. And as Christians, it is our privilege and our responsibility to pray for those needs. After all, if we don't pray for them - who will? Not only that, but as we pray it is our responsibility to focus on their true needs, not just their perceived needs. To pray not just for the physical needs of today, but the spiritual needs that will better prepare [...Read More]

How to Pray for Others (part 1)

One of the privileges of a Christian is praying for others. We have the sweet responsibility of bearing each others' burdens, by carrying those burdens in our prayers, and casting them before the throne of grace with our own tears and passion. But what exactly are we supposed to be praying for?   Consider the prayers of the apostles that have been recorded for us. Hardly ever do we see them praying for material needs. Sure, there's occasional supplication made for safety or good health. But the majority of their prayers focus on  spiritual needs. And I think that's where many of us falter. Good health, good jobs, safety and security... these are all good things. And they're [...Read More]

How to help your friends through hard things.

Quick note: I've decided to pause the linkup feature for the time being. But I still welcome your comments and questions about your Bible reading! Life is messy. People are hurting - your friends, your family, your coworkers. Your neighbor down the street, or that person who sits in your pew at church. They may be fighting through depression, or anger. They may be fighting uncertainty about the future. One thing is certain: they're fighting with something. It could be an empty bank account. It could be a friend's betrayal. It could be a family torn apart by sinfulness, or a home broken by natural disaster. It could be health problems. It could be loss of work - or loss of purpose. You [...Read More]

The Art of Sending Cards – and a Giveaway!

>>> Winner of $20 DaySpring voucher: Claire Beam >>> Winner of 4-pack of cards: Emily Washer Anxiety in a man's heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad. Proverbs 12:25 Some of you know that I create my own greeting cards. I love designing birthday wishes, get well prayers, thinking of you notes, and thank you's for my friends and family. I love making it personal to them, tailored to their personalities, age, and stage of life. I usually hand-craft all my cards, but I still keep an eye out for unique commercially made cards. And Peanuts cards, well, those are definitely unique! So when DaySpring announced (via (in)courage) announced their January theme of [...Read More]