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A call to trust and to action:

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Recently, I came across this open letter to Southern Baptist and our Missionaries from Chuck Lawless,

Dean and Vice-President of Graduate Studies and Ministry Centers at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, NC, where he also serves as Professor of Evangelism and Missions. In addition, he is Global Theological Education Consultant for the International Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. 

But please note,

   as the mom of a missionary, I am obviously concerned about how the current financial atmosphere within the IMB will be affecting ‘my missionary’. I know that the wise counsel of seasoned missionaries who worked with my son when he first arrived on the field were often a God-send (not just to them but to this praying mother). How it’s going to affect the work in the fields in the absence of those who elect to take early retirement only God knows. But I know that I know, that God has good plans for those missionaries still on the field and those who are retiring. Romans 8:28 & Jeremiah 29:11

From Chuck’s post:

   To my Southern Baptist friends on this side of the oceans: We’re a denomination with a renewed passion for church planting and church revitalization. I see more excitement among young leaders than I’ve ever seen. At the same time, our numbers don’t yet reflect a renewed commitment to evangelism. Many of our churches are, in fact, inwardly focused. We talk the Great Commission more than we do the Great Commission. That’s where our retiring missionaries can help us, for they’ve lived with a laser beam focus on reaching the lost and planting churches. We need them in our congregations. We need them in our leadership. We need them as our pastors and staff members. We need them telling the global story in our worship centers, our classes, and our homes.

   I’m grateful Southern Baptists have rallied to offer these retirees housing, automobiles, employment, etc., in conjunction with the IMB’s transition team. We must continue to take these steps over the next several months as retirees return. On the other hand, if we meet all these needs without capturing a missionary’s brokenness over lostness, we will not have adequately honored our retiring brothers and sisters. More importantly, we will not be adequately following Jesus.

  I’m praying that God will, in the mystery of His ways we don’t always understand, recharge our people – beginning with me – in these days of transition. I’m praying that we’ll reach the nations among us and around the world.

Please click on the following link for Chuck’s post in its entirety:
http://chucklawless.com/2015/10/an-open-letter-to-southern-baptists-and-our-missionaries/

BACK TO THE BUSH: The Healing Power of Thankfulness

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Bush Camp, Home of some rather extraordinary memories!

Bush Camp, Home of some rather extraordinary memories!

BUSH CAMP – February 23, 2013

Something from my journal on this date:

Self-pity (the kind I experienced while living at bush camp) is referred to in Jesus Calling as a pit or demonic trap. The author’s advice on staying away from the pit is to stay close to Jesus as you praise and thank Him.

   When I wrote this paragraph in my journal, my mind was recalling the discouragement that almost overwhelmed me during my bout of illness shortly after arriving at bush camp. (Sickness, 9/26/2013). I hovered around that pit of self-pity almost daily. There would be moments when I felt the pull of the pit lessened, especially after an uplifting conversation with my son, reading something encouraging from Jesus Calling or my Bible, or having the Holy Spirit remind me of a precious promise from God. But in spite of all that, I struggled with self-pity, in my opinion, way too long.

Another journal moment:

I realize (from that experience) that sickness is the greatest of discouragements. It was so hard to pull myself out of the pit as long as I felt so sick. Ever been there? 

The following scriptures,

1 Thessalonians 5:18  KJV in every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Philippines 4:6-7 NIV
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

offered the BEST of advice on how to handle difficult situations, but being physically ill had drained me of my ability to maintain an attitude of thankfulness when I went to God in prayer. I am sorry to say that most of my prayers during, those days of a challenging sickness, were me having a pity party and complaining to God.

   And I am sure that it comes as no surprise that I endured, on top of my physical illness, major fiery dart (http://fierydarts.wordpress.com) attacks because I wasn’t able to be the obedient Christian that I should be and thank God in the face of my difficulties. That’s condemnation, folks, not conviction.

   Fortunately, I knew the difference (thanks to the book God had me write about that, Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice) and as I persisted in prayer, I became more cooperative with God as He continued working on His plans for me in that situation.

   You know, I would love to be able to tell you that I gloriously, and speedily rose above the self-pity and discouragement brought on by my illness, but I can’t really say that. However,  as I prayed and read my Bible and as I listened to others share about God in their lives, I found myself focusing on God more and less on my suffering. Eventually, my discouragement and self pity gave way to the healing power of thankfulness. 

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