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

Complain and Compare? — or Rejoice in the Lord?

It breaks my heart as a missionary when I hear ministers of the gospel – whether pastors or missionaries or worship leaders or etc. etc. etc. – complain about the hardships that come with their ministries.  It breaks my heart because whatever God has called us to – He ALWAYS is faithful to give us the grace to endure – so rather than complain, we should rejoice that He sees in us something that makes us worthy of His calling.  We should remember that He instructed us to count it all joy – because it is temporary.  I am a woman who hates dirt, bugs, and disorder – and God sent me to a place with all of the above and I am grateful and satisfied in His place for me.  I am satisfied because I feel the Lord’s pleasure over my life and ministry.  I have no cause at all to complain.

It breaks my heart when I hear ministers of the gospel compare their work to another’s – whether they feel like their work is more or less important. Rather than comparing – we should be celebrating the victories that our co-laborers experience, and mourning with them over any defeats. When I hear from my friends in Rwanda who are training pastors; or Mozambique who are discipling leaders and providing protein with a egg farm; or in Tanzania who are building schools in villages where there are no schools; or in Senegal who train pastors and help children of the Talibe; or Cote D’Ivoire who provide medical care and Bible translation – I say Hallelujah our team of workers for the Kingdom is doing what He has called us to do.   And more than that I pray for them and when  I have resources available I support their work financially.

I guess it all boils down to where we find our contentment.  Mine is found in Him – and in Him alone!  So I choose to rejoice in my trials and rejoice in the victories of other minister’s of the gospel as well. After all — isn’t it all about Him???

Do all things without grumbling and complaining – Philippians 2:14

If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But each one must examine his own work, and then he will have reason for boasting in regard to himself alone, and not in regard to another. Galatians 6:3,4

Matching Gifts … in my opinion

Matching Giftswhat does that really mean in the kingdom of God??  It is a question that I have been thinking about because it has come up several times lately.  When we macth – are we judging the merits of our giving on the size of another’s gift? Are we saying that we will give to the work of the kingdom ONLY if another pledges to do the same? Are we saying that the work of the kingdom does not, in itself, merit our commitment?  I can’t rectify it in my mind.  When I give – I give based upon how He has given to me.  Whether as an individual or in the name of WorldVenture Ghana – my giving is directly related to my gratefulness to God for the gift of His son Jesus – who is the Christ.  Surely we understand that we could never match His gift – but could it be that we really believe that we have the right to withhold resources from a ministry because another does not give?  Or even worse, do we think that we must do the work of the Holy Spirit and prompt others to give with the threat that we can do more?

Matching Gifts – as for me, they have no place in my giving for the work of the Kingdom of God.  Maybe for some secular cause – but never for the Kingdom.  I give to the work of the Kingdom – I give my time, I give my money, I give my Life – because it is because of Him that I AM!!! 

Ghana made the Top 10 places to visit in 2012

The list is compiled by Frommer’s writers and editors, and tends to go for outside-the-box locales, places that are hosting a high-profile event, or spots that have undergone revitalization, Lytle says.

The top 10 for 2012 and why, according to Lytle, they made the list:

Curacao – This often overlooked Caribbean island has affordable rentals, “as opposed to traditional flop-and-drop all-inclusives.”

Chongqing, China – An alternative to the usual Chinese destinations (Beijing, Shanghai), it’s a 19th-century town that has undergone rapid modernization, thanks, in part, to its position as the last stop on the Three Gorges river tour.

Fukuoka Japan – This feudal Japanese town on the north shore of Kyushu province is a place to go after you’ve done Tokyo and Kyoto. Plus, its inclusion on the list is a reminder that not all of Japan was affected by the earthquake.

Beirut – The city has experienced a renaissance in recent years, as many European travelers know. “It’s an urban hotspot full of smartly dressed people who have intelligent conversation,” Lytle says.

Ghana – Unlike some other African nations, this country has enjoyed long-time stability. As a former center of the slave trade, it’s also on the heritage trail for African Americans.

London’s Greenwich neighborhood – Just 20 minutes from Central London, this Thames-side town has undergone a renaissance. And post-Olympics is a good time to visit London, since it’s bound to be gussied up for the event, with bargains after the party’s over.

Girona, Spain – This Costa Brava town is popular among Brits, but is largely undiscovered by Americans. It’s also an easy-to-get-to beach getaway from Barcelona.

Bay of Fundy, Nova Scotia – It’s a quiet, charming area, perfect for recharging your batteries.

Kansas City, Mo. – Its food and music scenes are lively. It sports a number of really good museums. Plus, it’s central locale makes it relatively close to a lot of Americans.

But … you don’t need that form …

After about one year of going back and forth with the government of Ghana trying to get our ducks in a row — it has become old hat.  We don’t get frustrated with the amount of time things take, we don’t get frustrated when the “man with the key” is nowhere to be found, we don’t get frustrated when we are told to go back and get 40 more copies of some form, we don’t even get frustrated when they say that we should take the letter back because it is addressed to the wrong person.  Our patience ha been tested — and not found wanting — at least until today.   Today — we took what was to be the last bit of documentation for our tax exempt status as an NGO and were told — “you don’t need that form today.” Why — because today – we are not buying anything or shipping anything into the country.

Why is this a frustrating matter — because we were told adamantly by several retailers that we need the tax form BEFORE we come to them — and now we find that we need an invoice from them BEFORE we will be given a tax exemption.

They say hindsight is 20/20 —-  well, that surely appears to be true!!!