WMU Blog

Praying for Those We Don’t Want to Pray For

Not long ago, my son came home from school and told me that a little girl in his class called him a cuss word at lunch. We talked about how to show her kindness even when she said mean things. I also told him to tell me if it happened again and I would talk to his teacher. What really amazed him, however, was when I prayed for the little girl. We later found out that she has a parent in prison and has been going through a difficult time.

Prayer is important, even when it is for someone we don’t get along with or agree with. It asks God to intervene in the person’s life or in a situation and often changes our attitude toward the person.

Who in your life do you need to pray for today? A boss who is hard to work for? A neighbor who stirs up trouble? A co-worker who doesn’t do his or her fair share of the work? A friend who has gossiped about you? A politician whose political views you do not agree with?

Start praying today and see how God changes lives, situations, and your heart. By the way, the little girl hasn’t called my son a bad name again!

Passport Not Needed

The International Mission Study is always an eye-opener as to what is actually going on and where God is at work around the world. Through this focused study, our church members can travel around the world without having a passport or getting those painful and expensive shots!

In past years, our church held a special event where the study was taught and a covered-dish meal, with foods from the country being studied, was served. Other years, we used the study as our mission study during the November monthly Women on Mission®meetings. In both cases, we decorated the room and tables to carry through the theme of the study.

One year, we decided on a different approach. As associational WMU director, I invited the director of missions to team-teach the mission study with me. Special invitations were mailed to pastors of churches in the association telling them the theme of the study and the time frame needed for presenting the study.

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.

Brew a Cup of Real Love

Woman holds a cup of coffee

Have you ever tried to make coffee without coffee?

Probably not. The idea is clearly impossible, but I have often wished that I could do such a thing. Take a Monday morning, when you roll out of bed and stumble towards the coffee maker, only to realize that your precious bag of dark-roast coffee is empty. You want to make coffee. You have the equipment to make coffee. But you can’t actually produce a cup of coffee without the coffee itself.

In the same way, we can’t produce unconditional love for others on our own; we have to start with the unconditional love of Christ. First John 4:7–21 is filled with insights about loving God and loving others. Verse 7 says, “Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God” (NIV). Love doesn’t come from our desire to please others or even to do the right thing. It comes from God.

Secondly, verse 10 shows us that God’s love is unconditional. “This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins” (NIV). We were sinners, completely undeserving of God’s love and mercy, but God loved us anyway.

Creating Connections in Denver

Ben and Lynley Mandrell have worked tirelessly to plant Storyline Fellowship in Arvada, Colorado, a suburb of Denver. Since Storyline’s launch in February 2015, the church has baptized nearly 40 people. Mr. Mandrell says that the church has averaged 450 people in attendance on Sunday mornings. Of those 450 people, about 125 are children. The church has already had to move from its first location to a local high school. Mr. Mandrell shares, “We are praying for God to give us opportunities to bless teachers and staff at the high school in order to build community and relationships with those at the school.”

Pray for the Mandrells to receive opportunities in their community to create relationships and connections with those who need to hear the gospel.

The Mandrells enjoy building relationships with the people of their community. They enjoy inviting people into their home for dinner. They enjoy learning about others’ life stories. They enjoy exposing their children to diverse cultures. As they develop relationships and build the trust of people in their community, they remain open to opportunities to tell people why they have placed their hope and trust in Jesus.

Fully Nourished

Global Hunger Relief Badge

During the month of October, Southern Baptists focused on Global Hunger Relief and ways to respond to food insecurities of millions of people all around the world. One hundred percent of all gifts made to Global Hunger Relief go directly to help meet some of these hunger needs. As physical needs are met through hunger relief ministries, something even greater happens: spiritual needs are also met as thousands come to know the love of Jesus.

Ongoing Missions Education Is Important

Ongoing missions education for preschoolers through Mission Friends is vitally important.

Churches are learning they need more than just a monthly mission story or an annual mission project for their preschoolers. A couple of weeks ago, Heather Keller, WMU children’s consultant, and I attended the LifeWay Kids Ministry Conference. At our booth, which featured our curriculum and resources for missions education, I talked with several people whose churches were interested in starting ongoing missions education. These meaningful conversations helped me think of a number of reasons that ongoing missions education for preschoolers through Mission Friends is vitally important:

An Opportunity to Develop

Develop WMU online training

Author John Maxwell wrote, “Everything rises and falls on leadership.” I believe this is so true. In recent months, I have written From Missionary Ridge articles about 2015 being a year to focus on equipping missions leaders in the church. Through events in the Midwest and western regions and during the WMU Missions Celebration and Annual Meeting this past June in Ohio, much attention was given through conferences to help missions leaders feel confident in their role of leading small groups of children, youth, or adults. The success of any program or event rises and falls on the quality of leadership that guides the effort. WMU has been blessed throughout our history with wonderful, enthusiastic leaders who make missions and missionaries come alive in the hearts and minds of those they lead, thus keeping the missions passion alive from generation to generation.

Losing Your First Love to Good Things

I’m guilty. While it may not appear that way to the world, I know it in my heart. You can go to church, pray, tithe, and even serve and still be guilty of losing your First Love, of placing Jesus second in your life.

When it happens to me, it doesn’t happen overnight or with conspicuous things like sinful relationships, drugs, or alcohol. It happens with good things.

The first time I noticed it was in college. I went to a Christian college, was dating a Christian guy, and was a good student—all good things but things that took God’s place in my life. God brought it to my attention, and I had to reprioritize. I had to make sure I was spending time with Him each day and listening to His will for my life.

The second time I noticed it was as a young mother. I was taking good care of my 2 precious boys, but I wasn’t giving God quality time in my life.

What good things in your life may be causing you to lose your First Love? Work? Travel? Family? Reevaluate your life today and make sure Jesus is still in first place. 

Study. Pray. Give.

When I first moved to Texas more than 35 years ago, our associational WMU met annually at the Hispanic church in our association for the Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer. The Hispanic women organized the program and hosted the event.

A typical Baptist covered-dish dinner preceded the prayer program. It was always a highlight of the year as we enjoyed the fellowship of women from other churches and the delicious food.

Now we don’t have an associational WMU and only a few churches still have Women on Mission or Adults on Mission groups. But our women still meet annually for the Day of Prayer. Several churches take turns organizing the program and hosting the event. The covered-dish dinner and fellowship with women from other churches in our association has continued.

We always make our invitation churchwide, inviting Women on Mission and other women not involved in Women on Mission to attend. This has been successful with more women attending, especially when we host the meeting at our church. We include as many women as possible to help lead worship and present some of the testimonies.

Pages

Back to Top