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Monday, December 11, 2017

None But The Hungry Heart

Seth and Rochelle and their three little boys live in a remote village with the Iski people in Papua New Guinea.  Their perspective on contentment was too good not to re-post especially at this time of the year.  Below is excerpts from a recent post. 



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In our line of work, we are regularly challenged by the concept of contentment. This is especially true in the realm of material pleasures. Hardly a day goes by where I do not entertain the notion, “You know, this would be so much easier if…” 
Since we are living amongst a people who are extremely limited in their exposure/access to Western conveniences, and their understanding of different technologies is pretty limited, we often choose to experience life differently than we would naturally have done if left to our own devices. Because we have to consciously choose to embrace this deviation from our natural methods, it creates an opportune environment for potentially discontented musings to arise.
Usually, it’s the little, everyday things that bring about this tension. Things like not being able to let the boys bring their toys outside, or wearing the same three outfits day after day in an endless cycle of drabbery,* or not being able to eat fresh fruits and vegetables as often as we’d like, or trying to convince our kids that it’s OK to eat the bugs in their cereal, because they are “only little bugs and they have good protein.” Then there are the fateful occasions where we attempt to have “family time” outside, only to have clusters of children (and sometimes adults) come and stare at us, as if we are a TV show.
I’m finding that I’ve gotten so good at lowering my expectations in regards to my physical life, that I’ve actually let that carry over into my spiritual life at times as well. This was highlighted for me this morning in my devotions.
I’ve started reading through an amazing book,  “None But The Hungry Heart"“Every Christian will eventually become what his desires have made him. Each of us is the sum total of our hungers. The great saints of old, the men and women we look to and aspire to be like, have all had thirsting hearts. They could settle for nothing less than “living water.” Their longing after God all but consumed them, and it took them to a depth of relationship with their Father that less ardent believers can scarcely imagine as being possible, much less as something that they themselves might conceivably attain.”
Well, that sure hit the conviction button. “Their longing after God all but consumed them.” That doesn’t really sound like contentment. In fact, that’s the exact opposite of contentment: a constant, insatiable desire for more than you currently have. As I pondered what that type of relationship with the Lord might look like, I began to think that it is probably a fairly different experience than that which I am often accustomed to.
And there you have it: “We’re doing OK.” Contentment. Ugly, pathetic, contemptible, bold-faced contentment. Though virtuous in many other contexts, I’m realizing that this particular state of mind can be a crippling handicap when it comes to the quality of my relationship with my Savior. 
Our Father offers each of us uninhibited access to a spring of living water in the person of His Son. New, fresh, invigorating water is at our fingertips everyday. To know that, and yet still choose to drink from the nearby stagnant pool of contentment, would truly be a waste of a golden opportunity.
So, I’d like to challenge you as you read this, as I am being challenged as I write it: If you are being tempted to complain, embrace contentment, but if you are being nudged by an opportunity to know God more deeply, then punch contentment in the nose and run the other way.
After reading this, I can only pray, God strip me of my contentment.     

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Two video's


I have never posted two video's at once but they both tell a story which is important and can teach us something about mission work.  You will get a laugh out of the first one but the laughter will die off as you watch the next one.  Asking you to watch two video's is asking a lot but you will not be sorry, I promise.  So, go ahead, jump right in there and enjoy the funny skit about , some millennial missionaries. 



                          


I hope you got a laugh out of that one because this next one will sober you up. 



                        

  We were in training with a couple that was ask to stay another semester  because the husband's  whole reason for going was fueled by his sense of adventure, not by II Cor. 5:14-15  For the love of Christ controls us, concluding this, that one died for all, therefore all died.  And He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.  ( It's that part, "no longer live for themselves" that was driven straight to the deep part of our soul that put the fuel in us to go be a part of reaching the least reached. ) No matter whether you live in the jungle, a small town, a big city, are full time in the ministry or work a secular job God wants us to "no longer live for ourselves".   

I do hope you used the freedom in Christ you have to laugh a little at the first video. I did because I need both, the laughter and the serious.  Eccl. 3:4 says there is a time for both.  

Monday, November 6, 2017

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people sitting and childWe met up with this young couple, Coleton and Shawna while home to have their second baby.  It was instant connection and not just because we four are with Ethnos 360 (New Tribes Mission).  I mean they are young, 20's, we were late late 60's so sometimes you can lose a connection due to that age gap. There was no gap of any kind with these two.   Why?  They both had teachable hearts, so refreshing.  A teachable heart reaches out knowing they do not have all the answers.  Trust me, we have worked with those puffed up with pride, and we always walk away from them discouraged. This couple left us encouraged.  Ace and I both said, they will make it.  Below is something Shawna put on their facebook that so blessed me I wanted all to read it.  So go ahead, read, get a blessing too. 
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Shawna Williams wife of Coleton shared this about what kind of husband it takes to be a missionary in a remote location. In writing this, she also gives us a peek at what kind of wife it takes to follow the lead of man of God into a remote village so those living in the village can hear the gospel. She speaks the heart of anyone who willing to sacrifice for the sake of others.

I am so proud of him. Seriously. I am so lucky to be his. This guy is one of the most amazing people I have ever met. He is slow to anger, always sees the best in everyone (even when I am trying to point out someone else’s flaws 😜), he loves his children fiercely and always makes time for them. He is purposeful about spending time with me, always asks how he can help, and doesn’t even mind my crazy antics. Seems perfect right?

Well he’s not. Bubble bursted? Well it’s honestly one of the things I love the most about him. He’s not perfect, nor does he try to be, and because of that, I see the Lord working in him daily. I’ve said before how unqualified I am to be a missionary, and how I hate to camp and outdoor fun. Well people, that doesn’t just stop with me. This guy is also not a fan of being adventurous, he’s not a hiker, or a camper, or an extreme risk taker. He’s not flashy, tremendously outgoing, and he doesn’t enjoy being the focus of attention.
BUT... here he is. Teaching this morning from Gods word, in another language he worked so hard to learn. Over the past 2 years living in the village, I’ve seen him literally squirm with uncomfortableness. This is not “his thing.” His idea of a good time is shopping and eating awesome food. It’s going to some cool event or being pampered. It’s not going on crazy hikes to “no mans land,” or constantly being covered in flies. It’s not being outside or cooking over a fire. It’s not having all eyes on him. Everything about who he is, fights against what we do every day here, but here he is.
I was brought to tears this morning just admiring his faithfulness as he taught from Gods word. Admiring his sacrifice to be here. Admiring his love for the Lord and his willingness to do hard things. You may have a perfect husband, but mine isn’t. Mine is relying on the Lord every day to make him a better man, husband, and father. Mine recognizes that in his weakness the Lord is strong. Plus he looks good too 😉❤️ #Husbandman #missions#ethnos360

       

If you would like to hear Coleton teach in Kuma just click
  on..    2 new videos

Monday, October 30, 2017

Celebrate // Ethnos360 - 75th Anniversary




Image result for picture of the word name...It's all in a name they tell me.  Last year at this time New Tribes Mission had carried their name for 74 years and it served them well.  But like all things,  sometimes a change is needed to further the goals of an organization.  This past year a new name was designed to do exactly that.  It does not take away from the old name because the goals are the same, reaching people tucked away in remote corners of the world.

Ethnos means a race, a people, a nation which is exactly why New Tribes was founded.  There were pockets of people all over the world without a gospel witness.  360 means a complete circle. Our earth is a complete circle, put together Ethnos stands for races, people, nations all over the world.  And that is what we are about.

                          
    One more little note on the number 360. The expression, "do not fear" is used 360 times in the Bible according to R. Wurmbrand.

Men and women all over the world are hearing the gospel because some have taken to heart those three little word, do not fear and went to tell the whole world.    Happy Anniversary Ethnos 360
(New Tribes Mission)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Why

Image result for picture of thank you sign Thank you all for praying for my nephew's family.   All deaths are hard to navigate through but not all leave us with hundreds of questions. When my mother died, I did not ask why, she was 89 and her dress of flesh had seen it's better days.  She was ready to take it off and put on her robe of white which made it easier for us to let her go.

But suicide takes on a different color, it goes deeper than the deepest darkest blue and leaves the mind totally unable to retain a clear sweet thought.   Just the word,  "suicide" brings a shudder to our hearts.  My nephew wife, Amber,  was able, only by the grace of God, to read something she wrote about Lee.  She told about their love, his love of being in law enforcement, his love for his children, hunting and even his love for God. In a couple of place there was laughter as she recalled some humorous memory.  Then she spoke the most powerful words I have ever heard.  Words that can start the healing and stop the questions from nagging the mind.  She ask us not to let Lee's last decision define him.  He was so much more. 

Lee's pastor built on that message.  Reminding us that there was a million great decisions before the last one.  Lee was in deep depression caused by a number of sources especially the enemy of his soul.  Losing his job in law enforcement probably caused the first decline in his mental health, then their marriage took a hit and for a few years he had been struggling with constant pain from a wreck.  His hope that things would go back to how it use to be decreased on a daily bases.  Hope deferred makes the heart sick the bible says and sometimes the lack of hope screams louder than any other voices. 

  Irvin Berlin said, the song has ended but the melody lingers. 

   Lee's song has ended but for those of us left behind we can choose to remember his last decision or let the melody of his life linger in our hearts and hum  that melody to each other. 

Philippians 4:8 Finally , brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  
  

                         

Friday, October 13, 2017

Suicide/Prayer

In a recent piece written by Rich Larson, “It’s Not What You Think”, he poignantly and skillfully describes the misunderstood and unpredictable nature of depression and suicide after the death of an adored musical artist, Chris Cornell. In this piece, Larson writes:
it’s really about depression and cynicism. Those two go hand-in-hand, along with their nasty little sister, anxiety. When the three of them get going, they just eat hope as quickly as it can be summoned. That leaves despair and despair is exhausting, not just for those who experience it, but for the people around it as well. So we keep it to ourselves because we don’t want to be a burden. And then it gets to be too much. Doesn’t matter if you’re a student, a mom, an accountant or a rock star. It doesn’t matter if you’ve written about it your entire life as a means of keeping it at bay. It doesn’t matter if the music you made about it brought in fame, respect and millions of dollars. It doesn’t matter if your entire generation has suffered from it. Depression makes you feel totally alone. You hit the breaking point, and then, like Chris Cornell, you die alone in the bathroom
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Last night my brothers son, Lee, 37 years old shot himself to death.    Lee was a deputy in our small home town in Illinois for years but because of some issue he had quit recently.  He loved being on the police force, was being trained to become a Federal Swat team member.  He has a wife and two children but all was not well on  the home front and yesterday they served the divorce papers and everything was downhill after that.  He became highly upset, the police were called, he barricaded himself in their little house where they brought their two babies home and sometime early this morning, depression, cynicism and anxiety ate all his hope up.   Thank God the wife and children were not in the house when he killed himself.  
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They say suicide is a scar that doesn't heal. It removes one person's pain, but for survivors, griefguilt and utter sadness linger. In the wake of a loved one’s death by suicide, families often disintegrate, unable to deal with the intense grief and the difficult, painful, and often unanswerable question of “Why?” For every suicide, it is estimated that at least six persons are affected. These include family members, co-workers, neighbors, classmates and close friends. 

Image result for pictures of people prayingI come asking you to pray for Lee's wife, Amber and their two children, my brother and his wife, (Larry and Ann). For the brothers and sister and the rest of our family as we love on each other during this difficult time.  


Thank you prayer warriors. How comforting it is to know people will be praying.  



Sunday, October 1, 2017

In The Ministry

bible, book, business

Ezra was called to be the preacher of his day which was a full time ministry.  Sometimes   that term, "full time ministry" is confusing  because most put  the job to a box.  What comes to mind, is a preacher, missionary or an evangelist.   As a Christian, we're called to tell the world about Jesus Christ and share the good news of the Gospel.  Those jobs are great options, but God doesn't call everyone to be pastors or to go to a third world country. That doesn't mean God isn't calling you to work in full-time ministry.

Because my husband and I get our income from individuals and churches who believe in what we do in Etnos360, new name for New Tribes Mission, we are considered, "full time in the ministry".    Even the IRS considers us, in the ministry", self employed. 

God has  given all of us gifts and talents to use for His glory, in and outside the church.  Most of the time, God has us use our gifts at random moments that we would never think about. That is part of ministry. And if you keep your heart open to God, He'll use you every single day. My friends, that is what full-time ministry is. 
A lot of people work  in an office building of some sort.  Most  are not even a Christian organization or  faith-affiliated.  Well, there's your chance to be "in the ministry". You could talk all day about how God loves everyone, but when it comes down to it, it's your actions and attitude that speak louder than anything you could ever say to anyone. Walk Jesus before your fellow workers, that's a full time ministry.  
Sure God does great things overseas with missionaries and in the churches back home. Don't be so specific in the plans you make because  God does some really amazing things through situations that you may not think it possible. There are no limits to what God can do. 
I wish you could have been sitting in the last Bible study I went to so you could hear how God is using us "older women" in others lives.  Most do not work full time anymore, some part time, most are retired, yet each is  rubbing shoulders everyday with people who are not saved.  Ace and I work full time with saved people, missionaries from all over the world so we have to "keep our ears and hearts open" when we are out. That waitress where you and your christian friend go for coffee, the one who works on  your car, the cashier in the store, the person sitting on a park bench, the nurse or even doctor you go to. I have had some great conversation with my pain therapist who is a lovely younger women but not a believer.   The lost are everywhere, everywhere.  

Want to be full time "in the ministry"?  Look around you, ask God to show you someone who needs a touch of a Godly person.   Share Jesus today.  

And while I am on the subject of being in full time ministry I want to say a hearty thank you to all who support financially your church and its staff by tithing. Also those of you who give to missionaries  and organization that helps others like the Red Cross and so many others.  This last month so many have pulled from their own finances to help those who lost so much in floods, hurricanes, tornadoes.  As a person who functions by the financial gifts of others, thank you.  In the name of those we minister to, they thank you also.