Archive | June, 2013

25 Simple Ways To Be Missional In Your Neighborhood | Here I Am! Send me.

30 Jun

missionalfor, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!” Romans 10:13-15

Round trip to Siliguri, India…19,650 miles (unless you fly to Anchorage and back first then add 4,700 miles). Round trip to Punta Colonet, Mexico…365 miles. Round trip to Los Angeles…80 miles. The distance to your neighbor’s house…a few feet.

Whether you go across the world, across the country, or across the street…share the Gospel.

Looking for local ideas to celebrate AND be on mission this 4th of July? Read on…

25 SIMPLE WAYS TO BE MISSIONAL IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD

[ This is a guest post from Josh Reeves. ]

I have found that it is often helpful to have practical ideas to start engaging the people around me. Most of the things on this list are normal, everyday things that many people are already doing. The hope is that we would do these things with Gospel intentionality. This means we do them:

In the normal rhythms of life pursuing to meet and engage new people

Prayerfully watching and listening to the Holy Spirit to discern where God is working.

Looking to boldly, humbly, and contextually proclaim the Gospel in word and deed.

Lots of simple ideas to employ click here: 25 Simple Ways To Be Missional In Your Neighborhood | Verge Network.

 

 

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TACC Missions News |Reaching the World for Christ

26 Jun

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” Mark 16:15 

Commissioning of 3 Teams to Go and Tell!

So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” John 20:21 

Thursday, June 27:

7:45 AM Parking lot prayer send off: High School and College groups and leaders will be heading to Mexico to serve the people of Punta Colonet via Casa de Pan ministry.

punta

 

Thursday June 27:

3:00 PM Parking lot prayer send off: Team of eight will be leaving to bring the gospel to the Adavasi tribal people of Siliguri, India.

map-of-india

Friday, June 28:

12:45 PM Parking lot prayer send off: Jr High students will join in the missions activities with their trip to the Union Rescue Mission in Los Angeles.

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Click here for detailed mission information 

Ebenezers for a Parched Soul: Through the Dry Season

24 Jun

drynessAn ebenezer was a remembrance to mark God’s presence; His help, guidance, faithfulness and grace. We are probably not outdoors building stone remembrances but there are practical spiritual disciplines we can employ to remind us of His blessings and keep ourselves spiritually minded during the dry seasons.

“You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you;
I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you,
in a dry and parched land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

  • Hearing, reading, and studying God’s Word, meditating, memorizing, and applying scripture, enables us to refocus on God’s deep love for us when we are thirsting for Him.
  • Praying through scripture alone, out loud and with others helps strengthen and grow our faith.
  • Journaling helps us to get deeper into God’s Word and provides a broader understanding of how God has worked in our lives as we reflect.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
 

Lean on the Lord during these arid times tuning your heart to Him and growing in trust.

Ebenezers for a Parched Soul (Excerpt)

Growing up in the church, I understood an ebenezer to be a marker set up to remember something that God has done in the past. The word is only mentioned briefly in Scripture. In I Samuel 7, Samuel raises a monument and calls it Ebenezer, which seems to mean a “stone of help.” It has come to mean, at least in some Christian circles, something set up as a reminder of God’s character or provision for His children.

I don’t plan to erect stone monuments to the Lord as Samuel did, but I do take note of the ways God has provided for me and what He has revealed to me of His character at different points in my life. I write them down. I journal them.

Some days, I am dry and thirsty, and I feel I can barely open my Bible in my discouragement, let alone tackle some new passage I’m supposed to be studying. On those days (which sometimes last for long seasons), ebenezers are a gift from God. He gave us great wisdom when He gave us the instruction, “Remember!”

If you are in a hard season, it’s easy to forget or diminish what God has done for you in the past. “If God really worked for me in the past, why am I having such struggles now?! Shouldn’t it be getting better?” But that has never been the nature of this journey of faith. Never, ever in Scripture is it portrayed as a steady positive climb. It’s portrayed as mountains and valleys, raging rivers and dry deserts. He leads us by still waters where we can drink deeply. But it is in preparation for walking through the valley of the shadow of death. His instruction to REMEMBER is key for surviving the drought and enduring through the valleys.

If you are struggling right now in such a season, I offer the simple suggestion that you go find some ebenezer from your own life. Engage with the reminders of how God has worked for you in the past. I believe you will find water for your thirsty soul that equips you to endure for the future.

Psalm 77 11 I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember your wonders of old.

The article in its entirety can be viewed here: Practical Theology for Women: Ebenezers for a Parched Soul.

Keepin’ it Real: I Am a Vain Woman!

19 Jun

Old Mirror Standing Against Wall“And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

The next time you find yourself leaning this way and that searching for the newest crinkles, wrinkles, or lines; seek instead the glory of God and the image of Christ.

From “The Key to My Book”:

“How beautiful are the arms, which have embraced Christ-the eyes which have gazed upon Christ, the lips which have spoken with Christ, the feet which have followed Christ.

How beautiful are the hands which have worked the works of Christ, the feet which are treading in His footsteps have gone about doing good, the lips which have spread abroad His Name, the lives which have been counted for Him.” Christina Rossetti

In His presence when we are a life poured out for Him (Philippians 2:17) we become a reflection of “the light of the world” (John 8:12) and that is beautiful.

I Am a Vain Woman

One evening I spent time online looking at pictures of the growing number of women in the public eye who have had botox injections or who are enduring all kinds of surgical procedures, attempting to look younger.   Feeling quite disgusted with the whole mentality,  I called my husband over to look at some of the pictures with me: one image after another of actresses, comedians,  fitness experts, and wives of famous actors.

“How can they do that?” I asked,  “It doesn’t look natural, and it doesn’t really look that good! Most of them have very little expression, and they look swollen!”  As I sat there looking at the photos, I judged them! In my heart I labeled them as

  • prideful,
  • full of themselves,
  • women who don’t want to look their age,
  • women who go to great extremes to look good.

God, grieved by my sinful and judgmental attitude, violently grabbed the corner of a veil and ripped it away exposing my heart.  As clear as day, I could see the very characteristics that I had attributed to those women.  I saw that my heart is full of pride, that I am full of myself, that I am a woman who does not want to look her age, and that I will go to extremes to look good. Indeed, I am no different than these women.

The remainder can be viewed here: Keepin’ it Real: I Am a Vain Woman.

Praying for my husband – from head to toe

15 Jun

father day2“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2

Tomorrow is Father’s Day, a day traditionally set aside to reflect on and celebrate fathers, husbands, uncles, sons, and grandpas. It is often a day when we who are wives go all out showering our spouse with gifts, affirmation, and affection. What if in addition we took the time to quietly and meaningfully lift them up everyday through prayer?

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,” 2 Timothy 3:16

Dr. Don Whitney author of “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life” suggests, “Pray through scripture and let it suggest, inform, and shape your prayer.” Praying scripture can help our minds to stay focused and encourage scripture meditation.

The following excerpt provides “head to toe” prayer framework with accompanying scripture:

I know marriage can be hard, and trusting someone to lead when there are things you struggle with together is really, really hard. But I also know God uses us in powerful ways to love our men like He does – unconditionally.

One of the best ways we can love our husbands is to pray for them.

Years ago I heard a concept about praying for our husbands – from head to toe.  So, today I wanted to share some verses and prayers that fit with that concept:

Head

“Father, I ask that You would continually renew my husband’s mind, resulting in a transformed life. Help him bring every thought into captivity to Christ to make it obedient to You. Give him a greater understanding of Your Word. Help him to think on things that are pure and right and worthy of praise.” (Psalm 119:15, Rom 12:2, 2 Cor.10:5)

Eyes

“Lord, keep opening my husband’s eyes to deep spiritual truths. Help him to see things as You see them. Please guard his eyes from looking at worthless things. ” (Psalm 119:18, Psalm 119:37)

Ears

“Father, let my husband hear Your voice clearly. Help him to recognize your voice with certainty. Protect him from listening to anyone who is not seeking and walking with You. Help him not to be affected negatively by what others say and to discern between good and evil. Give him the ability to determine what is of You and what is not.” (Is 30:21, 1 Kings 3:9, 1 John 4:1)

Mouth

“Help my husband to speak the truth in love. Help him to be quick to listen and slow to speak. Give him the couraage to lovingly confront when necessary. Let the words he speaks be Yours, not his own. Help him speak words that bring grace and truth to the hearers. I also pray that you will help him to grow in his ability and desire to communicate with you and others.” (Psalm 19:14, 119:13, 41:3; Eph 4:15, 4:29; James 1:19)

Heart

“Give my husband a heart that seeks passionately after You. Teach him to guard his heart with diligence. Help him deal with anything in his heart that is not pleasing to You. Create in him a pure heart. Enable him to lead our family with integrity.” (Psalm 78:72, 119:10-11; Prov 4:23; 1  3:13)

Hands

“Lord, I pray that everything my husband does would be done with his whole heart, serving You rather than man. I pray that You will also help him to increase his skills and his abilities. Bless everything he puts his hands to.” (Psalm 24:3-4, Col 3:23)

Feet

I pray my husband would love Your Words and walk in Your ways. I pray He would be to walk in a manner that is worthy of You, bearing fruit in every good work. Jesus show him how to creatively share your truth with our kids as he does life with them each day. Father, when he walks through the valley of the shadow of doubt and difficulties, I pray he would fear no evil because He knows that you are with him. (Deut 6:7, 8:6, Col 1:10, Psalm 23:4)

Let’s look for ways to build our husbands up – by giving them encouraging words and the gift of prayer – covering them from head to toe!

The article in its entirety can be viewed here: Praying for my husband – from head to toe.

 

Live Generously | Reflecting Christ in Summertime

11 Jun

generosity“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11.

When you think of generosity does God’s astounding unfathomable grace fill your heart and mind? When you are giving to others do you do so authentically and lovingly in order to better reflect Christ? It is possible to be generous in the absence of love (1 Corinthians 13:3) but that giving does not reflect God’s ineffable love for us when He gave us His son and the hope of eternal life (John 3:16).

“Faith connects you so intimately with Christ, that He and you become as it were one person,” Martin Luther. Reflect this oneness (Galatians 2:20) by generously giving your time, money, or talent to meet the needs of others; those in the church and those in the community (Corinthians 9:7-15).

Reflecting Christ in Summertime (Excerpt)

by Nicole Whitacre

Here are a few summer time activity ideas from the Apostle Paul:

“Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven,” the Savior instructed in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:16).

When people see our good works: “They will ask, ‘What is it? Why are these people so different in every way…?” writes Martyn Lloyd-Jones. “And they will be driven to the only real explanation which is that we are the people of God, children of God…We have become reflectors of Christ.”

Scripture emphasizes the importance of good works for all Christians and for women in particular in 1 Peter 3:6, Titus 2:3–5, 1 Timothy 5:9–10, and in Proverbs 31:31. This last passage ends with the exclamation, “let her works praise her in the gates.”

The article in its entirety appears here: girltalk | Blog | Reflecting Christ in Summertime.

— Resting in Truth

5 Jun

rest“Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!” Psalm 117:1-2

It can be difficult for us to wrap our minds around the scope of love, mercy, and faithfulness that comprise the immutable nature of God when our own nature is often fickle and noncommittal. Mistakes and struggles with sin can obscure our ability to truly hear the Word leaving us feeling spiritually deserted. It may be tempting during these dry times to abandon the Bible altogether when meditation on scripture and a refilling of the Holy Spirit is exactly what is needed to satisfy our thirsty soul. D. L. Moody (a noted evangelist), when asked why we needed a refilling of the Holy Spirit, reportedly replied, “Because I leak.” He also said, “The only way to keep a broken vessel full is to keep it under the faucet.” Keep yourself immersed in the Word, in prayer, in the hope of the cross and as the following article reminds, “rest in the Truth.”

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth” 3 John 1:4

Resting in Truth

She sits on the edge of the crowd. The trials she has overcome, the difficulties combated, sketched across her face. The women have been talking all around her. Just as the conversation seems to be coming to a close, she speaks.

Weak. Barely above a whisper.  She says, “I’ve learned that despite the way I feel, His love never changes.”

When the conversation ends, I want to run over and hug her. Oh, have I have ever been there?! I want her to know she is not alone and that I am proud of the strength and dignity she has displayed. That was not an easy task making herself known among these women, deeply; only to be swept aside moments later.

There are days when I, too, feel as if all hope is gone. I must speak truth into my own heart. He does not change like my crazy emotions; one day they are steady and sure and the next they are tossed to and fro by the wind. But, how can I do that if I don’t know who He is?

I need truth. I need hope. I need life…

The remainder of the article can be viewed here: LifeWay Women All Access — Resting in Truth.

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