myMISSION Leader Blog

Missions at Easter

It is a blessing to be a part of what God is doing in missions through WMU. As we prepare for the season of remembering Christ at Easter, we know the power that raised Christ Jesus from the dead is at work in our world today. We are drawn to love, to be light, to reach out, to share Christ, and to overcome darkness in His name. This is missions. This is our call.

I love that the offering for North American missions received at this time of year is named for Annie Armstrong. Miss Annie lived out the call of the gospel. She was a force of God’s love and power in Southern Baptist life in 1888, when she helped begin WMU.

Her biography illustrates her belief in the power of the gospel and the strength of cooperating together. She believed steadfastly in the important role of women in God’s kingdom, to serve and use their gifts for God’s glory. She loved the vulnerable and sought to go the extra mile to see God’s work accomplished. She is known for her untiring work for immigrants in Baltimore, where she lived; for Native Americans; and for women missionaries such as Lottie Moon in China.

God’s Love Flows Through

February is the month of love. How are you experiencing God’s love right now?

Friends  Family   Prayer  Scripture   Church   Service   Community

Nature   Beauty   Sound  Music   Taste   Thoughts   Words   Story  Health

God’s love is expressed for us in so many ways. His love is deeper than we can fully know. God is love. What He does cannot be separated from Who He is.

But what about us? Has God’s love penetrated our hearts so deeply that it flows naturally out of every word? Every action? Perhaps focusing on God’s love to a greater extent will help us see ourselves in a different light and naturally affect everything we say and do. How can we be vessels of God’s love this month?

As we are filled with God’s love, we love others because He first loved us (1 John 4:19 NIV).

He Has a Plan for the New Year

Are you ready to face this New Year? If you’re like me, then you feel just a little behind and find yourself screaming, “Ahh! I can’t believe it is 2018 already!”

The good news for you and for me is that God is still God and He has a plan. I wonder what our great God has in store for us this year. What exciting opportunities will He bless us with? What difficult days will He walk through with us? What surprises, challenges, rewards, or even blessings undeserved might come our way?

If you are like me, then you have seen enough good and bad in the world to know that they both exist. God’s goodness is so good. But the bad in the world is so . . . bad. As we look ahead into this year, we may wonder which way the balance will tip. Wherever you are today, whatever you are experiencing, God is with you. And He has a plan. The gospel holds true today and offers hope for tomorrow. His light always wins over the darkness. Love triumphs over evil!

The Gospel at Christmas

Understanding the gospel at Christmas is a beautiful thing. A Savior is born . . . to 
be in His Father’s house; to preach, teach, heal, free, and feed the masses; to make disciples; to die for our sins and be resurrected to give us life; to ascend to heaven; to ask the Father to send His Spirit; to prepare a place for us; and to come again.

The gospel, in its purest form, is the “good news” that Christ died for our sins, came back to life, and offers eternal life to all who receive Him as Lord and Savior. The Light of the world all humanity had waited for could now be seen with human eyes and touched with human hands.

When we truly understand the gospel, we can respond with faith, turn to Jesus and away from all that would distract us from this life of love. We are changed forever. Nothing is ever the same. We see ourselves differently. We are different—from the inside out, everything is changed. We are alive! And we have an overflow of love that never runs dry. We can love everyone around us in Jesus’ name. We can invite them into the love of the gospel, to experience the reality of heaven, even now, at Christmas.

Praying God’s Heart

Prayer is such a privilege. How amazing that we as humans are gifted with a connection to God, the ability to communicate with Him. What a mystery that the Creator of the universe somehow hears us. He listens to our concerns, our hurts, our dreams. He hears what is on our hearts. And He responds.

What about Him? What is on His heart?

A Time for Courage

The fall season is setting in with brilliant colors and crisp air. We all have different seasons of life. Our world is in a season of challenge. Some challenges are serious. In times like these, where do we find the courage we need?

We know our God is greater than our challenges. He is not caught off guard by what is in the news or even in our family or community. He is our great Healer, Comforter, and Guide. And He has plans. Psalm 139; John 14–17; Ephesians 2–3; and Revelation 7 show us God’s plans are greater than our own. His mercy, power, and beauty combine to amaze us daily. Nothing is too difficult for Him!

What’s Your Part?

This month, we are praying—I mean really praying—for our part in God’s great mission. I’m pressing in to see my part more clearly. What about you? What’s your part?

For most churches, the fall kicks off a new year. It is a good time to pray about new things—new opportunities, new relationships, new routines, new challenges. What is new for you? Could it be that God has something new in mind? I love Isaiah 43:19. God is a “doing-a-new-thing” kind of God. He is able to do more than we can imagine (Eph. 3:20–21). I suppose that’s why, in my life anyway, He usually shows 1 step at a time. It is always new, always fresh.

Summer Opportunities Abound

How’s your summer going? Have you been busy? What kinds of opportunities have you had? Have you served in a ministry? Participated in a missions project of some kind? Maybe Vacation Bible School or a community event? Is your schedule full? Are you running ragged? Or perhaps you’re at the beach—finally resting—feet propped up, sun block on, and cold lemonade in hand. Mmm, I can almost taste it. . . . Rest is a good thing, too! Wherever we find ourselves this summer, opportunities abound.

I love the summertime. It has a different feel. Feet in the sand, sun on our faces; even if we’re working, running errands, or taking care of others, we can sometimes sense an energy with more hours of daylight and time to take a few breaks.

The good news is that God created summers. They were His idea! He also made us in His image, which means that we can get creative, too. In the summer, we sometimes have a different schedule that lends itself to drawing out our creative side. We may have many different opportunities to choose from, or we can create some of our own! What have you been thinking about this summer?

Space for Opportunities

When you think about hospitality, are you like me and feel a little challenged? We can find some encouragement in the fact that the Bible teaches us to “practice hospitality” (Rom. 12:13). It gives us the idea that we don’t have to be perfect. We are practicing!

I was reminded of this recently, as we had a beautiful Hispanic family over for a meal. The parents have been believers for about 8 years. They radiate God’s goodness and are seeking to know His will in their lives and what mission God has for them. It was a simple slow cooker meal with water and chocolate chip cookies. And a candle. And smiles. And laughter. And checkers. And music. And a bottle for the baby. And sharing. And God. We were all tired after a long day, but we were better together. What a blessing. I am still enjoying the renewing warmth of just being the family of God.

Being Authentic—OK, but How?

Being authentic has become somewhat trendy. What do we mean by authentic? What is it about that word that draws our attention? In our world of impersonal social media and fake news, perhaps we sense the need for something we can trust—something deeper in our relationships.

In an article for Christianity Today called “Keeping it Real: The Truth about Authenticity,” author Megan Hill shares that authenticity is transparency, truth-telling about all areas of life. She offers five principles for being an authentic Christian:

• Authenticity proclaims the reality of the Bible.
• Authenticity doesn’t excuse sin.
• Authenticity seeks the good of the body of Christ.
• Authenticity honors wisdom.
• Authenticity points ahead to a perfected future.

Her thoughts resonate with me, especially about pointing ahead to a perfected future. In the past, I feel like I have really tried being authentic with mixed results. It seems that the more I try to be authentic with people, the more confusing it can become.


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