...be ye stedfast, unmoveable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is
not in vain in the Lord.

08 August 2015

Longevity in Ministry ~ Dressed in Humility

"Like longevity in life, some basic things are needed -
right genes [to be a child of God], right diet [God's Word],
right exercise [involvement in ministry]
and right environment [a place in God's community - the Church].
The Apostle Paul set it as his goal to walk worthy and finish well. So should we!"

Yet what does the practical outworking of this look like in real life and ministry? How do expats working, ministering and seeking to be Christ’s  “…witnesses… [in] Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1.8, NASB) sustain long and productive careers?


Based off of a sermon by my home church pastor and some additional, subsequent study, I’ve identified priorities, seven of them, that when practiced, can help protect those in ministry, particularly cross-cultural ministry, from burnout and temptation. Even more than protect, these priorities can also give direction and hope as they help us remember that all is grace and a gift from God.

Those priorities are:
1.       Seeking the Lord, consistently and continually
2.       Praying without ceasing
3.       Balancing personal growth, rest and ministry
4.       Welcoming accountability
5.       Committing to marriage and family
6.       Choosing to be teachable, even in difficult circumstances; and
7.       Determining to be a genuine team player.

This post considers that sixth priority – choosing to be teachable, even under and in difficult circumstances.

What does it mean, then, to be teachable?

According to Your Dictionary, teachable can mean:  1) capable of being taught and apt to learn; 2) willing to receive instruction or to learn and/or docile; and 3) that which facilitates instruction. But, teachability involves much more than “smarts” and just being a good student in a traditional academic or teaching situation….

…which reminds me of an African proverb:
“If your only tool is a hammer, you will see every problem as a nail.”

Because teachability, in fact, has a lot less to do with academic ability… and has a lot more to do with willingness-to-learn-ability, regardless of the situation, regardless of any personal cost to pride and regardless of thoughts of fairness/rightness. Perhaps it has a lot more to do with character… and very little at all to do with ability.

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To read the rest, please join me over at Missionary Mom's Companion, where I'm continuing an extended series on longevity in ministry. Hope to see you there!

11 July 2015

Longevity in Ministry ~ Passionately Committed to Marriage and Family

"Like longevity in life, some basic things are needed -
right genes [to be a child of God], right diet [God's Word],
right exercise [involvement in ministry]
and right environment [a place in God's community - the Church].
The Apostle Paul set it as his goal to walk worthy and finish well. So should we!"


Yet what does the practical outworking of this look like in real life and ministry? How do expats working, ministering and seeking to be Christ’s  “…witnesses… [in] Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth" (Acts 1.8, NASB) sustain long and productive careers?

Based off of a sermon by my home church pastor and subsequent study, I’ve identified seven essential priorities that help protect those in ministry, particularly cross-cultural ministry, from burnout and the temptation to sin... ones that direct and give hope for the future... ones that remind that all is grace and a gift from God… ones that will hopefully allow us serve well for exactly the time God has chosen for us…

Those priorities are:
  1. Continuously and consistently seeking the Lord
  2. Praying without ceasing
  3. Balancing personal growth, rest and ministry
  4. Welcoming accountability
  5. Committing to marriage and family
  6. Choosing to be teachable, even in difficult circumstances; and
  7. Determining to be a genuine team player.
This post is looking at priority number five – committing to marriage and family.

Let me start off by saying that I do not believe there is one hard and fast way to do this… this commitment thing. How I demonstrate my commitment to my marriage and family might look quite different than how you do. Key is that 1) an intentional, purposeful choice to first made - choosing commitment, 2) a continuous effort is made - working on commitment, and 3) a covenant relationship is kept, clinging to commitment… regardless.

Regardless of the difficulties.

Regardless of the inconveniences.

Regardless of the words and opinions of others…

So what do I mean by commitment to family, in a biblical sense, if you will? I wasn’t exactly sure. It is something we talk about, casually throwing into edifying conversation – but what does God say commitment looks like? To try and find out, I searched both commit and commitment in an online concordance.

First, there are verses like...

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To read the rest, please join me over at Missionary Moms Companion, where I'm posting today!

Hope to see you there...

Be sure and pop over to at least look at the photos... as you'll see our Tim and the kids exploring this new place of ministry!

19 June 2015

Want to read our current prayer letter?

 Then follow this link!

There's lots of pictures and a current list of praises and petitions!
"It's hard to believe, but we leave for Quebec in less than two weeks! Lots of changes... lots of unknowns. Please pray our family through this time of transition."

With our two oldest girlies at CBA's Jr/Sr Banquet

Rebekah and friends - jumping for joy!
The end of the school year and graduation was right around the corner!

We actually had two graduates this year: M&M from K5 and Rebekah from high school! 



13 June 2015

Longevity in Ministry ~ Hoping to resume an abandoned but not forgotten study

Last summer, I began a series that has certainly been challenging and searching for me.


Then life happened: a transitioning college student, four high schoolers with their crazy schedules and homework load, working at a local pregnancy resource center, volunteering at a wildlife rehab clinic with a few of my children and teaching English as a second language (ESL)… I managed to keep up with all of that and blogging… Then hubby traveled for a couple of months and I enrolled in an online course to get my ESL certification.

Something had to give and that something ended up being blogging. I’ve missed writing and I’ve been wanting to finish up the final posts scheduled for this series. 

Since it has been so long, however, I decided to do a “recap” first and summarize some of the key points from each post to date. Clearly, this will help me as I look at finishing the series. But hopefully, it will also summarize what I’ve shared so far and pique your interest for the final two to three posts remaining. 

A sermon preached by the senior pastor at my sending church provoked this series. My notes start with these words: 

"Like longevity in life, some basic things are needed - 
right genes [to be a child of God], right diet [God's Word], 
right exercise [involvement in ministry] 
and right environment [a place in God's community - the Church]. 
The Apostle Paul set it as his goal to walk worthy and finish well. So should we!"


Yet what does the practical outworking of this look like in real life - not just a paragraph of pretty words in a complex simile?...

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To read the rest, please join me at Missionary Mom's Companion, where I'm posting today - for the first time in several months. 

Glad to be writing again!

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10 June 2015

When Trust Stands Tall

I saw or heard that phrase somewhere this last year, and it has hung with me…
…because I need trust to stand tall. Like now!
barredowl2
A few days back, I went with my freshly graduated 18 year old to her yearly physical (she won’t have her license for a few more weeks). As the nurse measured her height, she encouraged her to stand tall – to push her back and heels flush against the wall, lengthen her neck and spine and look straight ahead.
Our seemingly forever season of transition/waiting is about to heat up, and not just because it’s summer time.
God has finally opened the doors for us to transition to the new place we’ve been thinking-praying-talking about for a few years now. Lord willing, we move in just a few weeks. We’re excited. We’re scared and nervous.
New ministries, new and more responsibilities, new church, new house in a new city, new friends, new school (and in a new language for several of our children). New grocery stores, new measures like liters instead of gallons and Celsius instead of Fahrenheit, new identity as we will no longer be those seemingly confident veterans but the very insecure and unsure newbies. For this introvert, it’s the stuff nightmares are made of!
Even in the busy excitement of preparations and hope-to-see-you-sooner-rather-than-later-get-togethers with family and friends, even in the well-known of “having been here done this,” I find myself continually having to choose to trust the One leading us this direction.
Trust must stand tall, especially as I think of what this transition means… will mean… for my family...
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To read the rest, please join me at 
where I'm posting today!


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