Not Fully Supported?! But Of Course We ARE!

We recently received a call from our director telling us that our 97% supported number was skewed by supporters who made commitments that were not kept.   He was apologizing to us for making what was obviously a difficult call for him.  What he didn’t know was that on this side of the world we could not even move our minds toward discouragement, fear or unbelief.  Only one thing came to mind was the fact that God’s promises that His grace is sufficient.  Sufficient!! The way that sufficient is used in 2 Corinthians tells us that His grace is all that we need and will provide the support we need to bear up under the weight of the issue!  All Sufficient Grace from the God that is dependable and true!  A grace that we will be awed by at just the moment when our lack seems overwhelming.  REAL!  TRUE!  GRACE!

Anyway … I was thinking about our director telling us that we were not fully supported and all I could think about was that we had the fullest and most reliable support that we needed; the Word of our God and His calling upon our lives.

So as I sit back and watch God work miracle after miracle for the people of Ghana in ways that we cannot begin to understand, as I think about the lives that are being enriched and changed by the power of the gospel and God’s choice to use us as vessels of honor  – what I know beyond all doubt is that His grace is sufficient – He is all that we need.  Because His calling on our lives is sure – we have no doubt – I know with full assurance that this ministry is indeed fully supported!  His Grace Is Sufficient – therefore, I will lean into His presence, in full and complete dependence, knowing that He finishes what He starts.  That, as Pastor Rodney Frazier says, “where He guides He will provide”.

“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving- kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

OH! For ten thousand tongues to say, I thank you Lord for your amazing grace! – Kathy Taylor

THIS – is Discipleship!

Lately it seems that many different people and ministries are touting themselves as the definition of discipleship – or missions – or evangelism – or whatever. Some of what is out there is very interesting and even very helpful. But much of it comes from a closed view of what the world is and who God is.

But I know a man who earned a college degree and had a promising career – but saw a place in God’s kingdom for his gifts and answered the call of his Lord to put personal desires on hold to introduce people to the abundant life in Christ. This fellow went on to earn a masters degree at a prestigious institution, which earned him the credentials to ask for the job of his choice in the gospel ministry – again he put his personal aspirations on the back burner and moved, with his family, to a remote place where they can only depend upon God and one another. Each quarter this man invites leaders that he hardly knows to come and live with his family and ‘do life’ with them – while he also takes his 4 years of seminary and condenses it for these leaders so that they will leave him, after two years of quarterly visits, with a seminary education – minus the expense.

All the while – his wife and his sons get to watch him live and lead – and they too are moved to live lives of sacrifice not for personal satisfaction, but so that people whose lives that they touch will be forever changed by the power of the gospel that not only brings salvation – but true life – abundant life – real life. His wife and sons look at his life and say This Is Discipleship!

What is  Discipleship, you may ask?? As they have seen it in his life; it is living in community with those whom you are called to disciple wherever you are in the world and no matter the cost – for the cost of discipleship is STEEP! Discipleship is getting into people’s lives (and allowing them to get into yours) and doing life with them so that they can see it, touch it, feel it, hear it and become all that God intended them to be – and so that you too come away from the experience changed, renewed, strengthened and empowered for godly living. Discipleship is sacrificing YOU for the other guy in order that we all may reach maturity in Christ. Discipleship is living the same way behind closed doors that you do when the door is wide open so that others may come to know the living Lord as their King and Savior – this is discipleship – the way Jesus did it with the twelve – life on life.
I won’t mention this man’s name – there is no need. But when I look at his life, I see Christ – I see a disciple maker – I see a bond servant of Christ who has come to love the world so much that he not only gives them the gospel, but he gives the world his very life! If he ever reads this, I pray that he’ll know of whom I speak – and he’ll know that at least one person in the world looks at his life and says – This Is Discipleship!

Strong Love!

I’m pictured here with the dearest friend I ever had – the late, Barbara Jean Brown-Lewis.  it seemed that there were always words enough to express what we felt, tears enough to weep together and joy enough to share.  But I find that this is not always the case.

Recently I tried to apologize to a friend after being made aware that they were hurt – not by something that I did, but because of things that failed to do that could have prevented their hurt. My friend responded to me that I was mean, selfish and not Christ-like and that I needed to love people better.

I could hear the voice of my mentor telling me to be mindful, don’t waver in my faith, be brave, don’t wither. I could hear her telling me to continue to minister out of that pure love that is born out of my devotion to Christ.

I Corinthians is the authority on all things “LOVE” — and in chapter 16 you’ll find these words: “Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, e strong. Let all that you do be done in love.”

When we attempt to minister out of a heart of pure and sincere love, the world sees it and hates it! People will never believe that you do what you do because the love of Christ compels you — so they will accuse you of false motives or worse – they will accuse you of trying to ‘look’ spiritual! That is the ENEMY — it is one of his best tricks. We are so often deceived and discouraged by these reactions that we back peddle away from love and move to a stance of obligation. We must be aware of this device of the enemy, so that we will not begin to question our motives or believe the lies that people tell us about ourselves. Remember always your love for Christ and your devotion to Him which rises out of His passion for you.

I pray that the Father will help you to be filled afresh daily with His own Spirit so that you will not only operate in His power but in His love. I pray that He will strengthen your heart and steel your mind so that you will not be persuaded that your intentions are – or should be – anything other than reflections of His love in the world. I pray that He will become love in you!

Missions 101

Missions 101

Click on the link above to hear Pastor Lloyd Chinn break down from the scriptures God’s heart on reaching the nations globally. Lloyd gives a biblical basis and foundation why any believer should do missions and how the Gospel is for everyone. Missions was not made for the church, the church was created to do missions and be an extension of what God is doing in the world.

We CAN change the World!

It amazes me how Whitney and MJ changed the world in less than 50 years of living.

MJ: When MTV refused to play music by African American artists MJ created music videos that were so good that they could not be ignored. He opened the door for artists from all ethnic backgrounds making it “acceptable” for a face of color to come across the television screen and into the homes of America.  He made the music video a respected art and brought MTV to a new level of fame as an outlet for artists.  MJ opened a burn center with the money he received from the Pepsi incident where his hair and scalp were burned, he donated millions of funds to charities that aid African children, gave millions to the 9/11 victims, AIDS research, etc.  He was listed in the Guinness book of world records as the most charitable celebrity.  MJ’s salvation was unknown at his time of death.

Whitney:  At a time when African American women were trying to fight their way into the main stream – Whitney presented to the world an elegant art that changed the face of African American music and opened the door for many of the artists that are household names today.  She was attractive, beautiful without being raunchy – she showed the world that a woman of color was also a woman of class.  Whitney was a stalwart supporter of the anti-apartheid movement both physically and financially,  she supported the United Negro College Fund, she founded a  charity that cared for the homeless and children with cancer and AIDS, supported charities to combat ane research juvenile diabetes, supported St. Judes children’s research hospital, etc.  It is widely held that Whitney was a believer.

Both Whitney and MJ are known to have abused their bodies with drugs – and both died questionable deaths that were both shocking and untimely.  Neither of them were doing what they were doing to further the work of the kingdom of God by bringing the lost to a saving knowledge of Christ.  But there is no question in my mind that they used the gifts and abilities within them to benefit not only themselves, but also the world!  Their accomplishments are still having lasting impact and will for generations to come.

So – for those of us who call ourselves by the name of Christ – those of us who are filled with the transformational power of the Holy Spirit — what will WE do to change the world?

Our Lord Christ healed the sick, raised the dead, made the lame walk, made the dumb talk, brought forgiveness of sin and then he said to us

The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. John 14:12

We can criticize the lives of these two greatly talented souls – or we can make a decision to do even greater things in the world for the sake of His glory.   God created each one of us for global impact in order that He might receive global glory. If you’re breathing – He can use you. Be available. Be used. Be a blessing.

Expect great things from God. Accomplish great things for God. — William Carey