Adults on Mission Blog

Humbly Surrendering

What comes to mind when you think about surrender? Failure? Giving up? Raising the white flag? Do you think about submitting to the authority of another? The first step of humility is surrendering to Christ’s authority over you. I’ve found that it’s much easier said than done.

Humility says, “I know I am totally dependent upon God, and I need the body of Christ.” Knowing this and allowing this to guide my actions are 2 very different things. I’m quite competent after all.

My pastor teaches us to be prayerfully dependent upon God for everything and trust Him for the outcome. Prayer is the key to humbly surrendering, and God is faithful to show me when I step out of surrender into prideful actions.

Prayerfully surrendering is a lifelong journey full of promise. “Well done, good and faithful servant” is the prize.

Lucretia Mobbs is learning to be prayerfully dependent.

Accept No Glory

What is true humility? That’s a question I have struggled with most of my life. The more I sought humility, the more self-absorbed I became. That surely wasn’t humility.

I’m learning now that there’s a life lesson every day in humility if you are open to receive it. Learning to ask for and accept help is the first step. “I can do it myself” is the toddler’s phrase.

Swinging to the other extreme of self-deprecation is false humility that doesn’t honor God. He gives every good thing, and He deserves the credit.

My mother’s dementia is a humbling experience for both of us: she in accepting care for her most basic and private needs and me to give it and allow her dignity. God is teaching me to prayerfully absorb today’s lesson and give Him the glory for all of it. 

Lucretia Mobbs is learning to accept no glory.

Because of Who He Is, Let’s Make Time to Pray

Christmas. It’s the most joyful, but also most jam-packed, holiday of the year. This season, join with me in choosing to make time to pray. The Week of Prayer for International Missions Prayer Brochure is our resource for praying specifically, thoughtfully, and intentionally. How about it? It’s Jesus’ birthday! Because of Who He is, why not give Him the gift of time?

If you’re in, here are some suggestions:

Let’s Decorate!

Gather the children and the craft supplies. Create ornaments for each day highlighted in the prayer brochure. Hang the ornaments on a small tabletop tree. Each day, move one ornament to your family tree, asking God to draw people from that place to Himself and bring them into His family through faith in Jesus. Let the empty tree prompt prayer that every nation would hear the good news. Because of Who He is, pray that the good news “will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matt. 24:14).

Let’s Have Lunch!

Bringing the Jump Rope

“Would you and your family like to come play with the Bhutanese children in Dallas with me Friday night?” Ms. Fran asked.

“Yes, we would,” I responded.

We girls loaded into the van that Friday evening, making our way to the Dallas apartment complex. As we unloaded, Bhutanese children met us and followed us to the safe alleyway between apartment buildings.

Ms. Fran set down a clothes basket loaded with jump ropes, sidewalk chalk, bouncy balls, and candy. And in a matter of minutes, the children were licking lollipops, jumping rope, drawing with sidewalk chalk.

I played with those beautiful children, held hands with them, was complimented by them, and received hugs from them and their mothers.

As my beloved Canadian friend Jennifer said, “Sometimes showing people Jesus is bringing a skipping rope and having fun.”

Shelli Littleton lives in Royse City, Texas, and blogs atShelliLittleton.blogspot.com.

Reaching out to the Lonely This Thanksgiving

I look forward to Thanksgiving, a time for family and really good food! We enjoy meals with my father’s side of the family, my mother’s side of the family, and my husband’s family. It’s a lot of calories but a lot of fun.

While I do not yet host a family gathering myself, my aunt and mother-in-law have taught me something very important over the years: how to show thankfulness by giving to those who may not have a family to celebrate with. At both of their homes, you never know who may be showing up for dinner. My aunt often invites friends or co-workers who do not have a family to celebrate with. My mother-in-law lives in a retirement community and often invites older neighbors who are alone.

It is not just a gift of food but also a gift of companionship. Who do you know who may be facing loneliness over the holidays? Is there someone you could minister to by inviting him or her to Thanksgiving dinner? There is no better way to show God’s love this holiday season.           

Laci Post writes articles and historical fiction from Dallas, Georgia, where she lives with her husband, Jason, and sons, Avery and Eli.

Loving Unconditionally

Loving unconditionally . . . what does that even mean?

The high divorce rate even among Christians testifies that most come to a relationship with the conditional “I love you if . . . ”

In a world where parents and children can divorce or at least attempt it, relationships become strained. Distant. People pull away from those who don’t fill in the blank properly.

Our love for God is often conditional if He doesn’t fill in the blank properly—properly to us.

Who then? Who can love that way?

I know a Father. You may know Him, too.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

The awareness of God’s matchless unconditional John 3:16 love gives us cause to pause and offer thanksgiving for the One and to the One Who unconditionally says, “I love you” and—

forgives us.
leads us.
carries us.
sees us.
hears us.
heals us.
changes us.
fights for us.
died for us.

What does He unconditionally do for you? Fill in the blank.

Praying for the Difficult

“I failed the parallel parking,” my daughter sobbed.

She had practiced on those poles day after day.

But what’s done is done. We rescheduled her test.

Walking out, I noticed that the parallel parking poles had been moved. No wonder she failed. I flagged the instructor down and explained the problem. She displayed no sympathy.

I began to dislike her very much. After hearing her explanation, I said, “That’s a shame.”

When hurt creeps in,

walk through prayer. I prayed for the instructor and the situation, mostly asking that I wouldn’t have to face her again when my daughter retested.
watch out for pride. I realized the instructor was right. My daughter should have been able to parallel park regardless of where the poles were positioned.
wait for peace. The day of retesting, the instructor saw me. “How are you?” she asked sympathetically with a smile, as though I were her best friend. “Much better,” I said. We talked and laughed together. I thanked God for enabling me to walk away with peace.

Shelli Littleton lives in Royse City, Texas, and blogs at ShelliLittleton.blogspot.com.

Finding Your First Love

When the grievous realization swept over me, I cried like a child.

All the puzzle pieces seemed to magnetically come together. That person I loved so much who just couldn’t seem to forgive me had become an idol in my life. Their forgiveness had become too important, all-consuming. Their lack of love and forgiveness could reduce me to tears in an instant and had left God in the shadows.

Why?

That person’s forgiveness would make me feel loved.

That person’s forgiveness would relieve me.

That person’s forgiveness would somehow save me.

Somewhere along the way, I had taken God, my First Love, off my heart’s pedestal and replaced Him with another—an idol.

And with that realization, freedom swept over me.

God reclaimed His proper place, as my heart made way. And I ran into His arms because He first loved me and His love is enough.

Shelli Littleton lives in Royse City, Texas, and blogs at ShelliLittleton.blogspot.com.

Share His Love and Make It Personal

Missions projects should involve personal contact when possible. It is easy to send a gift or money, but it is more difficult to meet people on their home turf. Sometimes they would rather have the opportunity to sit down and talk than anything we can give them. They need to feel they are worthy to be loved and know someone cares enough to spend time with them. This personal contact gives you the opportunity to share Jesus and tell them what He means to you.

Before you plan your missions project, call ahead to ensure all mission sites welcome visitors. Some in the group may prefer to go in pairs. Emphasize the personal touch.

Before You Go

Write the missions activities on small strips of paper and pin them to a bulletin board.
Pray for God’s direction as these community missionaries choose their missions field from the bulletin board.
Allow $10 to spend on each mission. The money can be used to buy food, small gifts, or other necessities.
Provide Bibles, tracts, and flyers about your church.
Answer questions, give directions, and set a time to return to the meeting place for debriefing.

As You Go

Selflessness: The One-Size-Fits-All Key to Ministry

For years, I had a common misconception—I thought ministry was all about abilities, spiritual gifts, schedules, etc.

Although these things are definite parts of ministry, I’ve discovered a more important one-size-fits-all key to ministry: selflessness.

Philippians 2:5–7 tells us that Jesus, Who came to be our salvation, accomplished all this within His selfless, perfect character. Jesus “made himself nothing,” coming not to be served but to serve our most desperate need. Therefore we also must become selfless in order to carry out the gospel mission.

So how do we do that?

Be willing to be used by God. He equips those who say yes when they are called. God uses gifts and talents, but He also uses the most ordinary things for His purposes.
Set aside your wants and needs so you can focus on God’s agenda. After all, your schedule belongs to Him.
Focus on God’s abilities to help you face your fears while doing something new.

Today take some time in prayer to seek God, asking Him to make you into the selfless servant He wants you to be!

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