Monday, February 24, 2014

What does "All In" Mean?

I have been challenged lately by by a study our church is doing on the book All In by Mark Batterson.  He starts out by the example of "One Way Missionaries"  Missionaries that went overseas on a one way ticket, said good bye to families and friends and packed their belongings in a coffin without consideration of ever returning.

I would have to agree that those individuals were All In, but how does this compare to life today?

Having lived in Nigeria, I know there were missionaries that went from Nigeria, to Sudan or other areas and basically did this.  I heard of children and families being lost to starvation and exposure for the sake of the gospel.  Have we in the U.S. lost the sense of urgency and even importance of bringing people into a relationship with Jesus Christ?  Do we want to get the benefits without the cost?

I admit that I am challenged myself with the concept of being All In.  I think it is easy to say I would be willing to die for the sake of the Gospel.  I guess living for the sake of the Gospel might be a bit more difficult in circumstances that are far less than secure for my family.

Lord willing, Ruth and I will be in South Sudan by the end of the year.  Please pray that we would be faithful, regardless of the circumstances we find around us.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

For Such A Time as This

In life we experience a great many events that bring us great joy and great sorrow. We use these events to shape who we are and how we respond to one another during the real trials of this life.

My father passed away last Sunday the 9th of February, just a little over one year after my mother passed away. This has caused me to reflect on the things in life that are truly important. We chase dreams of riches, power, maybe just comfort. But as we get older these things  seem to fade, except maybe comfort. That one, at least to me is having a greater draw.

My body begun to have pains with every sudden move, getting out of bed is something I do just to get joints moving. So is there anything that I can count on besides death and taxes?

I am finding my faith in Jesus Christ is growing stronger and stronger as I race toward the inevitable demise of this fragile shell I currently reside in. All these events in my life, regardless of the effect they have had on me are being used by my loving father, not for my comfort or even my benefit, but to show His love to people who are in desperate need of being loved, as I once was. I am looking forward to that day when faith becomes sight and I am made new again.

So do your best death, there is no fear.  I want to go out serving my Lord and serving others only to be racing to the other side where there is no death and no arthritis or no pain or decay.  I long to hear the words "well done my good and faithful servant".  But until then me and my house will serve the Lord.

"perhaps you have come to the kingdom, for such a time as this"