Maybe We’ve Got it All Wrong – Book 2 {Day 17}

By Friday, October 17, 2014 0 0

Have you heard of Steve Saint? I sure hope so. He’s the son of martyred missionary Nate Saint, who was one of four aviation missionaries killed by Auca natives in Ecuador. Steve lived among the Auca with his aunt Rachel and Elisabeth Elliot, one of my heroes of the faith, from the age of 10. He was baptized by two of the men who had killed his father shortly after they trusted Jesus Christ for salvation.

Today, he builds amazing things, including flying cars, at his company, I-TEC.

Chris read The Great Omission recently. This is what he had to say about it.

Maybe We’ve Got it All Wrong.

Many of us have been involved in missions in some way or another. Whether we have supported missionaries for many years or even had the opportunity to be a part of a short term mission trip. The country you went to is sometimes dictated as to where in the US you grew up. For me, I went to Mexico. I’ve been down to Mexico on mission related trips 3 times if I remember correctly, maybe even 4. We would fly down to San Diego and then drive across the border into Mexicali or Tijuana. Once in Mexico we would set up tents at a camp site and then go each day to a village where we would lead a VBS, build something and do a sports ministry. From people I’ve met from around the country this is pretty much what everybody else’s experience is as well.

Steve Saint looks into these actions and shows that we really aren’t hitting the point. We have created not so much a mission of sharing the gospel with people and then discipling them into maturity in Christ so they can then go and do likewise, but rather something of a welfare system. Many of the villages that we went to in those Mexico border towns simply withheld doing projects because every year for a few months thousands of teens would come down into their country and perform tasks for them and take up all of the costs as well. And because each group only stayed for a week there was sometimes overlap as to what was going on. The last time we went down to Mexicali we heard from a Mexican pastor that the exterior of their church had been painted three times in two months by three different groups that came to work with them.

We know that this isn’t how it is supposed to work but we really don’t know how to involve ourselves in such a way so as to know what to do about it. This is where The Great Omission comes in. Steve does a great job of using past experience and scriptural wisdom to discuss what things should be happening or at least what things need to be changed in some cases. I’ve now looked at missions very differently than I used to and ask myself certain questions before I get involved in missions in any way. I want you to read the book so I’m not going to specify what those questions are right now.

The truth of the matter is that many of us neglect the fact that we are all missionaries in our own towns and so end up caricaturing it into something else so that we will “know what it looks like.” We find it hard to believe that the 15 years we’ve spent employed at some company talking to coworkers and seeing one of them come to Christ is actually mission work. Of course some are called to do roughly the same thing in another country but that doesn’t make their work any more or less important than ours. We tend to think it is though and then we start creating it into something which can start to forgo its original intent and turn it into providing services which people become dependent on and never have the chance to operate on their own.

Most of the book looks at missions in the third world, but it still applies everywhere to some degree or another. This is all information I will try to bring with me so I can be sure that my influence is pointing people to Christ and not reliance on Americans with money and technology.

31 Stories of Preparing for the Mission Field at Seasoned with Salt // theduryees.com

Books We’ve Read to Prepare {Day 10}

By Friday, October 10, 2014 0 0

On Fridays this month I’ll share some of the books we’ve read to prepare for the mission field. The first is Let the Nations Be Glad, by John Piper. For a fun ice breaker game we played at Candidate Seminar, we were to choose three people we would choose to bring with us to the mission field, if we could keep them in our back pocket. One of the people I chose was John Piper.

I’ve read quite a few of his books, but my favorite by far is this one. I’ve already written about it here, but I felt I had to include it in this series because it contributed a great deal to my preparedness for the mission field. I don’t know if the freebie is still available, but it wouldn’t hurt to try!

31 Stories of Preparing for the Mission Field at Seasoned with Salt // theduryees.com

(I used affiliate links in this post. If you buy the book I’ve included in this post, you’ll be supporting our ministry because I’ll get a small commission.)

Free Audio Bibles

By Tuesday, March 26, 2013 0 0

Wow! Right now, you can download free MP3 recordings of the Bible in a variety of versions. Check out the Free Audio Bibles from Faith Comes By Hearing and choose the version you most enjoy. These recordings are dramatized, which means different voices for different characters. You may or may not enjoy that, but I encourage you to give it a try, especially if you enjoy books on tape.

Also, if you’ve been watching The Bible on the History Channel, I encourage you to download the real thing. You might be surprised to learn some of the details left out of the film version! Here are links to the Old and New Testament in the ESV, my favorite word-for-word translation.

 

Nuggets from “The Church Planting Wife”

By Tuesday, February 5, 2013 0 0

The following are nuggets from The Church Planting Wife: Help and Hope for Her Heart. It’s the lines I would have highlighted if I’d had a hard copy.

I recommend this book for any woman whose husband is considering full-time ministry, but it is also for any woman who wants to take ministry to the next level by being more others-oriented, more bold in sharing the Gospel and making a difference in her community.

  • “Your experience in church planting will inevitably be determined by the condition of your heart. Thankfully, if you surrender to our good and loving Go, He will do the primary work of guarding and cultivating your heart.” (pg 25)
  • “So often, we incorrectly believer that we are responsible for ministry outcomes: changed hearts, transformed lives, and the movement of God.” (36)
  • “Through the discouragement of the first year, God continually revealed the pride behind my believe that I could produce spiritual fruit apart from Him.” (37)
  • “Without dependence, we start going through the motions and playing the role.” (41)
  • “If I trust that God has called my husband to church plant, and value my husband’s ministry to the church and our family, I am more likely to offer him my help and support. But when I fail to acknowledge the responsibility God has given my husband or put undue pressure on him, thinking only of how it affects me, I am more likely to hinder his work.” (53)
  • The idea that friendships will not come easily and I must work to find heart friends and remember that good friends are gifts of grace from God (paraphrased from 73-74)
  • “If you submit to be broken and as you cultivate a humble heart, church planting will become a joy and a blessing. In order to experience the joy and blessing, we must eradicate pride. Every day.” (95)
  • “A servant says, ‘I’m here to serve my Master and to learn to grow in the process.’ Perhaps our growth is the very reason we are where we are, doing what we’re doing.” (95)
  • I want to create snapshots of when God moved in my life to bring me to this place, so that I can remember them when the excitement, passion and certainty of the call is fuzzy.
  • “The only thing that will enable us to be effective and joyful church planting wives on a long-term basis is being with Him, hearing and receiving from Him, and following His leadership.” (147)
  • “God likes anticipation and it seems He has a purpose in making His children wait… There is a mysterious value from heaven’s point of view to being in the darkness of life and still choosing to believe in a God who seems to have forgotten us. Darkness is part of the school for the soul, to delve into what really matters.” (181)
  • Your marriage will be challenged and your husband will need you and your full support. (200)
  • “Most people don’t get such a front-row seat to the action,but you and I do, and that’s something to be thankful for.” (201)

Book Review: Where Is God?

By Friday, October 14, 2011 1 0

Occasionally, I have the opportunity to read a book in exchange for a review here on Seasoned With Salt. Recently, I got to read Where is God by Dr. John Townsend, author of the famous Boundaries. I admit, I had a difficult time getting through the book at first. At the time I received the book, I wasn’t searching for God – I was smack dab in the middle of an adventure with Him, as we had just been appointed as church planters in Spain. After we had Susanna, though, and my life became consumed with newborn care, body changes, and a new schedule that limited my time alone, I felt very distant from God. I remembered some of the nuggets from Townsend’s book: seek community so you are not alone in your crisis, I am not alone, and God is at work through this trial.

While the stories were powerful and the book was well-organized, it wasn’t new information for me. I would recommend this book to new Christians and even searching people. In addition to answering the question “Why does God allow suffering,” and “How is God at work when I suffer,” Townsend offers practical solutions for seeking and finding the Lord when He seems distant.

The bottom line was to seek God in the scriptures, which, while sometimes difficult during a crisis, is excellent advice no Christian can be reminded of too often.