WMU Blog

Who? Me?

How has God called and gifted you to contribute in the body of Christ? For me, it has been as a writer and sometimes reluctant speaker. Often those who serve in a communications calling like mine struggle with the divide between self-promotion and God’s clear directives toward humility.

One of my best lessons in humility came when I was given the opportunity to write for a well-loved women’s monthly devotional publication. I had visions of the acclaim and admiration my work could receive—until my editor indicated the writers were never acknowledged by name.

I soon recognized God was giving me an opportunity to humbly serve Him “incognito.” My unrecognized devotional writing would allow me to learn a sweet lesson in decreasing for His increase and to experience the presence of His affirmation alone.

Make a Difference in Your Church’s Giving

There’s a lot of talk about ways churches can increase the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering this year. With that in mind, consider this 10–step plan any congregation can incorporate that will ensure their Lottie Moon Christmas Offering will make an internal impact on those who are ministered to, those who give, and those who go.

Begin making a difference in your church’s giving by:

Taking Christmas on the Road

Our group had just been formed two months before Christmas when I threw out the idea of taking a Christmas program to an assisted living facility. With all the rush in December, I was surprised when they jumped on it. The emails and texts flew as we began assigning tasks.

The Saturday morning arrived. One of our members brought her whole family—husband and 2 preschool children. Another mom who heard about the project drove over with her 2 young children as well. We had all ages who gathered that day.

Once the residents gathered, we began by singing some familiar Christmas carols. One of our members read the Christmas story from the Bible. I took the picture book, The Legend of the Candy Cane, and read it to the residents as one of our members’ daughter turned the pages so that everyone could see. Afterwards we talked about the symbolism in the story (which really is more suited for the adult residents’ understanding than for children) and the reminder of God’s love for us at Christmas through this simple candy.

Just Checking In

About a year and a half ago, our family found itself in a large first world city in Africa. We were there for medical appointments and were able to stay in an apartment complex with other missionaries. There was one woman who lived there year round due to the ministry that her husband led. When I hear the word humility I think of her.

Lee is a beautiful woman full of grace and truth. She speaks and you are wise to listen. She spoke wisdom into my heart during a time when I needed to hear it. She had me over for deep conversations and prayer. She invited me over to watch her favorite movie. She had our whole family over for dinner the night we flew in because she knew we would be tired and hungry. She is one of my favorite people.

Her humility exalts the Lord in all she does. Lee is real and honest in a world that is incredibly easy to be fake in. She is a hugger and I would absolutely love one of those hugs right now. I can see her smile and the wave of her hand as she would walk by, "just to check in.” I am grateful for her heart, her love for others, and her humble way of living her life.

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!

Words of Wisdom

Is there a particular phrase that you can recall hearing more than most from growing up? For me, the words “Be thankful and have a humble heart” come to mind. Whether in school, church, or in the community these are words that have resonated with me even into adulthood.

There are times when the scale of humility teeters from modesty/not prideful to not worthy/no credit deserved. It is important to understand the context in which we use the words humble and humility and where our heart is in the process.

As children we are quick to be prideful because our world revolves around us. It is important to teach humility to our children. As we get older, humility can be seen more as “the quiet, silent type”; shown by individuals who address a need or concern and do not make it a public announcement. They know the need or concern being addressed is far greater than the need of drawing attention to themselves.

Where Is My Confidence?

Plopping down in the back row of my all-day training, I was planning on relaxing while listening to the day’s sessions. Taking notes, while making side comments to my neighbors, I didn't expect what was going to happen next.

A man I had never met before, who was taking a new position, came to introduce himself and share his testimony. After a few funny slides of his wife and children flashed on the screen, he had my attention. He shared his journey to faith and to ministry, and then he flashed an unexpected verse on the screen:

“But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jere. 17:7–8 NIV).

He began to dissect the verse, sharing with us how it mattered to his journey to live God's Kingdom out in His day to day life. His points passed through my ears, while my eyes welling with tears stared at the verse on the screen.

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.

Mission Friends and the Holidays

So, what does your December schedule look like? If you are like most Mission Friends leaders, you are probably looking at a church calendar with at least two fewer Mission Friends sessions than usual. There are many ways to get creative in completing your Mission Friends unit and the International Mission Study in the month of December.

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