What’s Your Word of the Year for 2013?.

I finally picked my word! Well, two really. The first word is NEW.

Behold, I am making all things new. – Revelations 21:5 (NASB)

From now on I will reveal to you new things,
    hidden things that you do not know.
– Isaiah 48:6

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. – 2Corinthians 5:17

The second is SUSTAIN

Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. – Psalm 55:22

I am letting go of a lot of the “old” junk and find it refreshing that God can make all things new again. I also find joy in the fact that it is He who sustains me. There are so many Psalms that you find the word “sustain” in, and I see that God has good reasons for both. It’s not about me. It’s about Him. I can’t wait for this year.

What’s your word?

 Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage each other, especially as you see the day drawing near. – Hebrews 10: 25 (CEB)

Today, I didn’t go to church for the second week in a row. I’m not really sure why I didn’t go. Part of it was I didn’t feel all that great and most of it was that I just wanted an excuse not to go. Yet, when I do go, I am always uplifted. I also have the honor of worshipping with many other believers, in praying with them, and hearing God’s word. It is a time of refreshing and renewal. It is also a time to gather with others and remind them that they are loved and called to go out to love others.

Church is not mandatory, but it is a great privilege. I love those in my church family, and I want to be of encouragement to them as well as to you. When we live in such a country where we can freely worship, it is sad that so many stop going. In part, they just don’t want to go.

What will draw you back?

Matthew 24:14 says:

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

While we wait for the Lord’s return, we must not forget that our role is to continue to bring the Good News to those who have not had the opportunity to hear.

How will they hear? One way is through Reaching Indians Ministries International (RIMI). RIMI‘s founder, Saji Lukos is passionate about reaching out to people living in India.

God is not slow in keeping His promise. He is patient with all of us that no one would perish but come to repentance (2 Pet 3:9).

God is good. If you are not involved in sharing His Word, please visit this website and consider how you might become more involved.

 

 

This week, while attending Perspectives, I met the founder of RIMI (Reaching Indians Ministries International). Rev Doctor Saji K Lukos spoke to our small class about strategic missions and the unreached peoples of India.

According to Operation World, Christianity has become the most global of religions and today, there is no country without a Christian witness. This is exciting and cause for rejoice.

Yet, there is still much work to be done. Understand that it is God’s work, but we who are called by His name are also called to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations (See Matt 28:18).

The Joshua Project estimates that there are a total of 16, 439 people groups. Of these people groups, 7.083 people groups have never heard the gospel or even met a Christian face to face (Joshua Project Oct, 2012). There are an estimated 2.9 billion people that are unreached. Most of these people live in the 10/40 window – the area between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north of the equator.

10/40 Window Map (from Joshua Project)

Considering that India has 1.2 billion people, it is not hard to guess that it has one of the largest populations of unreached peoples. Of the 2,605 people groups, 2, 338 are unreached (Joshua Project, October 2012). That is almost 90% of the peoples living India.

The numbers can be overwhelming and scary, especially considering that India can be a harsh place to go. It is severely impoverished, there is crime, and it isn’t exactly easy to get into India to do missionary work.

The first step would be to pray. The second step would be taking actions such as educating yourself about India and other countries where there are unreached people. Action must be taken. Not everyone can go, but many people can begin stepping up and giving their time and resources to help India.  RIMI will help you to partner with a child or a missionary to reach out to those who need to hear the Gospel message.

As William Carey, who was used to inspire many Christians into becoming missionaries around the world, said “expect great things, attempt great things” and I hope that you are motivated that there is still a lot left to do. God is not finished yet, and we need to listen to His call.

Are you called?

Resources:

The Joshua Project: http://joshuaproject.net/

Operation World: http://operationworld.org/

RIMI (Reaching India Ministries Internationa)l: http://www.rimi.org/

 

Three Things: Praise, Prayer and Joy!

1) We praise God that the numbers of children under the age of 5 has been drastically reduced.  “A new UNICEF report shows …that the  number of children under the age of 5 dying globally fell from nearly 12 million in 1990 to an estimated 6.9 million in 2011.”

This is good news, but there is still much to be done. If you want to continue to impact this number, a good way is to get involved with Compassion’s Child Survival Program.http://www.compassion.com/help-babies.htm – For $20 a month, you help provide babies with nutrition and medical care and give mothers and fathers hope.

2) Pray for Russia. More specifically, pray for the Chukchi people who live in Chukotka, in the Far Eastern Federal District. A number of them have come to Christ through Inuit missionaries, as well as other Russian and American missionaries. Pray that the Chukchi who do believe in Christ would be strong in their faith and continue to reach out to friends and relatives in His name. http://www.operationworld.org/today2

3) Joy!  This weekend, I joined the church that I’ve been attending the last couple of years. It was so awesome to go up to the front and then be welcomed in by so many great people!

Sometimes, it’s hard when:

– things don’t work out the way that you thought that they would.

– someone doesn’t like you and you don’t know why.

– you have a million reasons to smile, but still want to cry.

– you feel like you are doing all the right things, and nothing turns out right.

– you are chasing big butterfly dreams.

– you wonder if you are in the middle of God’s will.

 

For all these reasons, and a lot more, I really like this song by Meredith Andrews.

A Compassionate Monday

 

It is a first for me – I have a Compassion-assisted child who will be graduating from the child-development sponsor program.

 

Sakwa was registered at the age of 10, and soon received news that he had a sponsor. No, it wasn’t me. He has had a few sponsors. When they were unable to be invested, Sakwa was able to stay in the Compassion program. There is a fund called the unsponsored child fund that helps ensure that he still receives the benefits of a sponsored child.

 

  • School uniforms, books, and any fees are covered so that the child can attend school.
  • Medical check-ups are provided for the children so that they can stay healthy
  • Food and nutritional supplements are provided.
  • Social interaction and development
  • Christ-centered teaching and activities

 

These are just some of the basics, as it seems like there is so much more involved. The centers in Embu helped teach women to care for their children, men to learn to do fish farming, and there was even a library open to the community that had books in Swahili and English.

 

The responsibility to stay in the program was also up to Sakwa and his family. If his father or mother decided that Sakwa needed to stay at home to work, he might have been pulled from the program. Sakwa also had to make a decision to continue participating. This can be hard as one becomes a teenager, especially if other friends are quitting or the family is having a hard time.

 

I am not sure where I fall in the line of sponsors that Sakwa has had, but I became his sponsor two years ago. He was 20 and that day was his birthday. I wanted him to be able to continue well as he graduated. Teens without sponsors are far more likely to drop out of the program early. It seemed as if God drew me, letting me know that there would be great reward.

I had the opportunity to visit him in Nairobi, Kenya. He had traveled for 7 hours on a bus. I had traveled for 22 or so hours by plane. There are no words to describe how special this is. I finally saw his hardened face crack with a huge smile. After that, he hardly stopped smiling. It was beautiful.

I got the opportunity to see that he is a real, living person that has benefited from Compassion’s assistance. I had the chance to figure out how to hug a young man that stands more than one foot and a couple of inches taller than I do. He is 6’5”!

He also has chiseled arms as though he works out. Yet, I have the feeling that it is because he is a hard laborer in the fields and with his pigs. This is the same person that I exchanged letters with and I never even knew that he had pigs. I saw his file that had recorded his sponsor letters and information. He took all of my information down on a sheet. I learned about the day he accepted Christ. I also learned that he struggled in school, but that he persevered nonetheless. You learn a lot on a sponsor trip. You learn a lot through exchanging letters.

My joy is in knowing that he has finished so well. He has Christ Jesus. He has finished high school and completed a training class for driving trucks. He plans on pursuing a college education, and I believe that he will do this. He wants to continue to help the children at his center where he learned much. Because of Compassion, he will have a bright future. He has hope.

You can help a child, teen, or older teen finish well .Click here

Join the Compassion Blogger Network

Tonight, my nephew, Awesome Alex, scared himself. He was messing around with the grill – which had not been used and was cold to the touch.  My dad gave him a warning not to touch it.  He knew he was in trouble.  With a whimper, pouty lip and big, tear-filled eyes, he held his finger out to me to show me that it was certainly hurt. It was blackened by the soot on the grill, so surely his finger was in need of a special Band-Aid.

In pursuit of a Band-Aid, we went to the bathroom, where I took a washcloth to wipe away the soot and wash his hands. It took awhile to find the perfect-sized Band-Aid for his 2-almost-3-year-old finger. Then, after a short struggle with the wrapper, I placed it gently on the exact spot where his pinky finger had been injured.

Joyfully, we returned to the rest of the family. In exactly 30 seconds, I heard him declare “Daddy, it’s all better!”  and then, “Mommy, it’s all better!”

I love little miracles – especially the ability to be part of it.

In many parts of the world, children don’t have the opportunity to get clean water and a Band-Aid. They often don’t have much time with family because parents work from sun-up to sundown to earn a few meager cents in order to buy a meal. Will you consider sponsoring a child today? Compassion will help to provide clean water, access to medical care, education, and food.  $38 a month will provide all of this as well as the opportunity to learn about the love of Jesus. http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/sponsorship.htm

September is blog month and the goal is for 3,108 children to be sponsored during this month. I am expecting great things!

 

Donate to Compassion International Water of Life

Can I ask you a small favor? Would you go to the Compassion website and pick a child to PRAY for? http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/sponsorship.htm

It can be a child with your birthday,  your child’s birthday, or an anniversary date that is important to you. What about a child with special needs or who is an orphan? There are teenagers who have had several sponsors and children that have been waiting over 6 months to even get a sponsor.

Sometimes, it’s hard to choose. Today, I chose a child who has special needs. Other times, I choose a child who has a birthday that day.

Go to it – pray over this child.  God will hear your prayers spoken for the needs of a child or teenager living in poverty. James 5:16 says, “…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

http://www.compassion.com/sponsor_a_child/sponsorship.htm

Join the Compassion Blogger Network

This weekend, I found myself a little peeved that there was Christmas music playing on the radio. I did learn that it is part of a CD promotion by KLOVE – hear the song, call in or something. Sorry, but I do NOT want a Christmas CD yet and I’m not thrilled about hearing any Christmas music before Thanksgiving.

I do not want Run Run Rudolph stuck in my head until April.

Speaking of songs stuck in one’s head, one that I love is the NEWSBOYS song, God’s Not Dead.

In the conversation about celebrating Christmas, someone uttered “Well, He died 2,000 years ago.” It was really a simple comment that was meant to continue some of the sarcasm about starting the Christmas-hype way too early. I didn’t say anything but I really should have said, “Our God’s NOT DEAD!”

How do YOU know that God is alive?