In Conclusion {Day 30}

By Friday, November 30, 2012 1 0

Confession: I prayed fitfully, rarely, unspiritually and with little faith over this blog series. I do wish I had prayed more. I wish I had studied more scriptures and defined a purpose for the series beyond writing every day.

While I could care a little less about how many people comment or read my blog (less during this series than usual!), stats don’t consume me. Mostly, I write for myself, for the Lord, for my children to know me better. Writing is often the goal of writing, for me. I write to keep writing so I never stop writing. And I pray God would use writing to change me. That writing would cause transformation, that transformation would cause writing and that it would be evident within.

Thankfully, I am changed as the result of writing this series. I pray more diligently for the missionaries we support, as well as the people who support us. Our giving this year is generous. And while it’s not perfect, I am proud of the content I pushed into the blogosphere. If it caused one person to pray more often, more sincerely, or more intentionally for people serving God on the field, then I have done my job, to God be the Glory!

To God be the Glory forever and ever. Amen.

 

Resources {Day 29}

By Thursday, November 29, 2012 0 0

Here are some resources, articles and links I have found useful in praying for missionaries around the world. Our resources page has lists and articles for supporting, loving, and learning more about missions as well.

Generous Tuesday {Day 27}

By Tuesday, November 27, 2012 0 0

Putting feet to my faith with my wallet…

Ann Voskamp wrote about their family’s Christmas giving traditions, which changed when one of their children asked, “what does Jesus get for his birthday?”

It’s a(nother) deviation from praying for missionaries, but it’s Generous Tuesday and I wanted to blog about giving.

Here are some giving projects I love and have personally given to:

  1. Angel Tree – this is an organization extremely close to my heart, because I was a recipient for many years. It is fun and meaningful to participate through a church and purchase a gift for a specific child. But if you donate through their website, your gift is stretched by a lot – $25 serves four children with incarcerated parents.
  2. An extra gift for missionaries. I definitely don’t mean to be self-promoting here. Give to someone already on the field with increased ministry needs over the holiday season.
  3. A global gift guide. I love to get ducks from World Concern in honor of the University of Oregon. Who knew that protein-rich duck eggs provide essential vitamins and minerals—including twice as much vitamin A and more calcium than chicken eggs?
  4. A local mentoring organization like Big Brothers Big Sisters. They directly serve underresourced communities, so you can know your donation will be used in a community near you to help kids make good choices about education, substance abuse and relationships.
  5. Shop online through Pure Charity and your purchases can support specific projects you choose throughout the world.

Later this week I have some resources to share for praying for missionaries. Lots of other people have written about lifting up servants on the ground and I have compiled some of my favorites in to one place.

Poor, Rich and Everyone In Between {Day 26}

What does it look like to love justice and mercy? Certainly it means being generous with the poor, caring for widows and orphans. The prophets and Jesus both make that abundantly clear.

Isaiah 58 is a chapter of correction and defining true worship. God says that he is not impressed with the fasting of “religious” people, who are doing it just to be seen (‘Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?’ Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers. vs 3)

“Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of wickedness,
to undo the straps of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
Is it not to share your bread with the hungry
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover him,
and not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
Then shall your light break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up speedily;
your righteousness shall go before you;
the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
(Isaiah 58:6-8 ESV)

A fast that pleases the Lord is one of sacrificial giving. Sharing with the hungry, being relational with people. This is the kind of fasting I want to do.

Serving and caring for people less fortunate than ourselves is not a spiritual gift. I am not exempt from these commands because my calling to the mission field is oh-so-spiritual. On the contrary, I must study these scriptures, pray for wisdom for how to minister this way in my field, and be obedient. This is the (earthly) work that frees people (the heavenly work having already been done on the cross).

When rich people meet Jesus, they see how poor they are without Him. And when poor people meet Jesus, they realize they are rich. Hungry or full, physically, is meaningless without the perfectly satisfying salvation of Jesus Christ. My burden is to see this cross-section of physically blessed people acknowledge their spiritual poverty and accept the true riches of Jesus Christ. As I endeavor to share God’s love with them, I must also show his love to the poor, the destitute. I must give feet to my faith. Sharing the Gospel and making disciples is so important. The church is God’s plan for meeting the needs of people, and I believe the church is failing in this area. Our priorities look no different than the rest of the world’s and they should stand out as a beacon on a hill. The number one need people have is for grace. God’s grace. If we can spread it by fasting the way Isaiah describes, then true freedom will follow quickly when we share that ultimate gift.

This is not just a prayer for a missionary, though I desire to remind you we struggle with the same selfishness that plagues us all this time of year. This is a prayer for the church. This is my prayer for myself. I plan to spend the next few months looking at different areas of my life and culling. I will be asking God to show me where I can cut back and fast in a way that benefits another. Then I’ll share my experience here.

This post is inspired by 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.

He Satsifies {Day 25}

By Sunday, November 25, 2012 0 0

For he satisfies the longing soul,
and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

-Psalm 107:9

(and the ESV cross references the convicting Luke 1:53…)

 

photo: creative commons

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Linking up with The Sunday Community every Sunday this month, to make sure that we cover the most important part of praying for our missionaries: what God’s Word says.

We’re still compiling blessings for God’s workers in our series