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My heart has been incredibly heavy this week over the state of our nation. I have friends and family on all sides of every issue and I can’t stand to be on social media right now. So much of the back and forth—the hate, the pride, the lashing out—is disappointing, at best. I’ve been fairly quiet online as I process where to go from here.

Lord, what is my part? What actions can I take? How am I supposed to pray?

This I do know: I am a Christian and an ambassador for Christ, not primarily of a political party or certain candidate. I am the brand of Christ. When people look at me, they are to see and feel something that is supernatural and special. Not because of who I am, but because (whether they can identify it or not) they see Christ in me. Everything I say or don’t say, do or don’t do is a reflection of Christ and I long to reflect Him well.

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I wish I was better at this. There are so many days and moments that I fail to reflect the glory of God to the people around me. And yet God is to be glorified through all His people—the church. I long for His good and gracious character to be made known. I want souls to see their utter need for Christ. And none of this can happen if Christians don’t look like Christ.

Lately it seems our reflection of Him has been covered in mud.

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So—starting with me—I’m praying for a revival of a renewed repentance and deep humility among the church. I’m asking God to show me if there is any wicked way within me and lead me toward repentance. Today, I choose to focus primarily on my own actions and attitudes and —by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit—I will follow the example of Christ down the road of counting others more significant than myself.

LORD JESUS,

I sin — Grant that I may
never cease grieving because of it,
never be content with myself,
never think I can reach a point of perfection.
Kill my envy, command my tongue,
trample down self.
Give me grace to be holy, kind, gentle, pure,
peaceable,
to live for thee and not for self,
to copy thy words, acts, spirit,
to be transformed into thy likeness,
to be consecrated wholly to thee,
to live entirely to thy glory.

. . .

O God, the Eternal All, help me to know that
all things are shadows, but thou art substance,
all things are quicksands, but thou art mountain,
all things are shifting, but thou art anchor,
all things are ignorance, but thou art wisdom.

—Valley of Vision, Purification

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Amen.

East Africa food crisis.

Bible poverty.

The lost on campus.

The village of La Gonave.

Children waiting for sponsors.

Everywhere I turn, I see incredible need, and I feel the pull to do something about it.

Bodies in need of nourishment. Hearts in need of healing. Souls in need of Christ.

The call to engage the lost, feed the poor, give sacrificially—take the gospel to the nations—is sometimes overwhelming and I let the great amount of need become paralyzing…

…and I do nothing.

The Grand Design

For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” (Romans 10:13-15 ESV)

This is God’s two-fold plan. Preachers and senders.

You—if you are a child of God— and I are part of this plan. We are to preach where we are, send where we are not. We send by both praying and giving.

God has put these specific ministries on my heart for a reason, and the compelling desire to meet the need is not to be ignored.

So, by His grace I will go if I can go. And if I can’t I will pray regularly and I will give sacrificially.

Will you join me?

Give aid to the drought.

Partner with the Guerriers in Haiti.

Help us bring the Word of God to the Vidunda people group.

Become a OneVerse Partner

Support a Campus Ministry.

Sponsor a child.

Go. Send.

Do something.

What ministries has the Lord put on your heart? Where are you preaching? Where are you sending? 

 

Linking up with Friday Favorites, since these are my favorite ministries!

friday favorite things | finding joy

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Lara and I were recently interviewed by OneVerse, wanting to know more about how we decided to partner with OneVerse through our book, Savoring Living Water. They are posting the interview today over on their blog! Check it out, and if the Lord leads, will you help us bring the Word of God to the Vidunda people?

 

Every where we turned, both on the journey to Mapou Village as well as on our trip back to Port au Prince, we saw evidences of the work and ministry of World Vision. Mile after mile there were schools, wells, homes and other aid provided by World Vision.

Our family has loved being a part of the work of World Vision, through our family world vision nights and in our gift-giving. We’ve given aid like chickens, ducks, building supplies, a share of a well, seeds and agricultural training. It is exciting to have a specific need to fill, and I love the way it helps my children understand how to “be Jesus” to the world.

The village of Mapou, where we stayed for eight days, is extremely primitive. Before World Vision came to the village the villagers lived in homes like this.

And this.

And this.

Four years ago World Vision came to the village and built each family a house.

The villagers of Mapou now use their old homes as kitchens.

It is thrilling to get to see the work of World Vision while I was in Haiti.

It could not be missed.

Here are a few ways you can get involved in the ministry work of World Vision in Haiti:

Are you a part of the ministry of World Vision? What life-changing gifts have you been able to give?

My husband Chris and I are going with a group from our church to Haiti in about three weeks. Honestly, it has crept up on me! I am really looking forward to this trip (and not just because my kids are staying behind!) I will miss them incredibly, yet I am looking forward to being able to do ministry with each of my hands free and without the constant pull of someone needing “mommy”.

Don’t get me wrong, this trip will not be a vacation. It is going to be full of long, hot days. We will be doing some construction as well as hosting a vacation Bible school for 250-400 children!

We have been talking to our kids about our trip and have used one of our Family World Vision Nights to focus on Haiti. Operation World has a great website, where you can look up information and prayer requests for each country. We watched this 2 minute prayer video as a family and spent some time praying for Haiti and our time there.

Then we hopped on over to World Vision’s Gift Catalog and picked out our giving for the month. There are many options where your gift is “multiplied”. So, for $25 we were able to provide $100 worth of food to help children and families still in need after the earthquake. I love that World Vision will send you a card for your gift. This is a fun visual for our kids. I wish I had started this earlier, but I have recently started to keep the cards and hang them up for the kids to see as a reminder of how we can be part of taking the good news of Jesus to the world, through our giving and our prayers.

I long for our kids to have a vision for the world. I want them to know that they are incredibly blessed. I want to give them opportunities to see the needs of the world and to serve the Lord through bringing aid to the needy. For now, their involvement is through a computer screen and their prayers, but I look forward to when they are old enough to go and serve alongside of us. I love the idea of taking a family vacation to go on a mission trip!

Would you join me in praying for Haiti, and our upcoming trip?

  • For open, receptive hearts.
  • For endurance through the hot days and good rest in the evenings.
  • Safety in flying, then on the boat to the island we will be serving on.
  • For the team in Haiti who are preparing everything for our arrival.
  • For many children to meet Jesus through the VBS we will be doing.
  • For the follow-up efforts after we leave, that many would be plugged in to the local church and into discipleship relationships.

How are you engaging your family in world missions? I would love to hear any ideas you have, as we continue to involve our children in “going” to the nations!

This is an edited repost from the Do Not Depart 2010 archives. I am in need of this reminder.

There is a sermon that has stuck with me. It has been a part of the bombardment that the Lord has had on our finances (which you can read about herehere and here). In this sermon is a few great reminders:

Compassion is not seeing a need and feeling sorry.
We see a commercial, or hear statistics of how rich we are, and how poor the rest of the world is. So we give. We scrape our pennies from out of the couch cushions, or we give a few dollars to buy rice for the bloated-bellied children. And then our conscience is appeased. And we forget. I forget. This is not the biblical portrait of compassion.
There is a world in desperate need of compassion.
I should not be content to live in wealth while others die of starvation. Others with malnourished bodies; souls in need of life. Many of them are without Christ and will be eternally separated from Him if they do not encounter His love. They need to be rescued. I am part of the rescue team. We are the vehicle in which God has chosen to bring His Gospel of love to the world. We are to be the way that Christ shows His compassion to the poor and hurting.Compassion involves sacrifice.
For me, the bombardment continues, as I received this tweet from @Spurgeon_ just yesterday: “God save us from living in comfort while sinners are sinking into hell”. But, am I willing to sacrifice? Jesus sacrificed everything so that we could be saved. We must sacrifice to bring the message of this good news to the world.

What do you think bringing compassion to the poor and hungry look like? What are some ways you show compassion to the lost as a family?

Stay tuned for one way we show compassion as a family. I would love to hear your ideas also!