WMU Blog

Break from Routine

Mornings came early in seminary. I had to be at the cafeteria by 5:30 a.m. to work my shift. I also babysat, cleaned houses, and fulfilled National Guard duties. Between classes and odd jobs, there was little study time and practically no down time whatsoever. Class attendance was expected. Chapel attendance was optional. I hope you will not judge me too harshly, but sometimes I would skip chapel in favor of the $.99 all you can eat biscuits and gravy at a local restaurant. I will say I was not the only seminarian occasionally feasting on downhome cooking rather than the Word during the chapel hour.

Yet one chapel comes to mind as I think about the New Year. The chaplain spoke during this particular service. Our campus had signs posted that read, "Please walk on the grass but don't make paths." I can't remember the specific Bible text he used, but the chaplain said we should pay attention to the grass signs and apply the principle to our lives.

More than Resolutions

I've never been very good at making—much less keeping—New Year's resolutions. Oh, I'll give it a passing thought as I hear others talk about their resolutions to lose weight, exercise more, spend more time with their kids, etc. However, I've learned over the years that many, if not most, of those people who made those resolutions never kept them for more than a few weeks. Don't believe me? Visit a local gym on January 2 and then again on February 16. See if you notice the difference!

What it comes down to for me is not so much about making yearly resolutions I won't keep as it is about digging in and doing the hard work to accomplish what needs to be accomplished—in other words, setting goals and accomplishing them.

Doing Missions

gift mug

Preschoolers learn by doing, and missions is no different from anything else. Doing missions needs to be a part of preschoolers’ missions experiences. They need to be involved in showing concern for people and sharing God’s love with others. The WMU® objective states this as “mission action and witnessing,” but for preschoolers in Mission Friends®, we call it Helping Others activities. By doing Helping Others activities, preschoolers have experiences in showing God’s love and care to others. Through Helping Others activities, preschoolers see that others have needs and they can help to meet other people’s needs.

He Has a Plan for the New Year

Are you ready to face this New Year? If you’re like me, then you feel just a little behind and find yourself screaming, “Ahh! I can’t believe it is 2018 already!”

The good news for you and for me is that God is still God and He has a plan. I wonder what our great God has in store for us this year. What exciting opportunities will He bless us with? What difficult days will He walk through with us? What surprises, challenges, rewards, or even blessings undeserved might come our way?

If you are like me, then you have seen enough good and bad in the world to know that they both exist. God’s goodness is so good. But the bad in the world is so . . . bad. As we look ahead into this year, we may wonder which way the balance will tip. Wherever you are today, whatever you are experiencing, God is with you. And He has a plan. The gospel holds true today and offers hope for tomorrow. His light always wins over the darkness. Love triumphs over evil!

Last Minute Lottie (Moon Christmas Offering) Ideas

Christmas is over, but the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering (LMCO) season is not! And, guess what? It's not too late for your GAs, RAs or CAs to help take up the offering through a fun project. Consider any of these projects as ways to continue a focus on this special offering and help your kids learn that it's always the right time to support missionaries.

The Missional Family

There were moments during the 36 hours of car rides, airplane rides, layovers, metro rides, bus rides, taxi rides (with no car seat), and stroller rides that I thought we might have been a little crazy to have flown our toddler around the world.

I was exhausted. She was exhausted. My husband was exhausted. But we had the best time serving overseas with an unreached people group together as a family. Since becoming a mom, I’m not always the adventurous type. Having lived overseas before, I am also not a romantic-missions type. I know what can happen when you travel to a third-world country. But I kept hearing the familiar verse of 2 Corinthians 12:9 over and over again: “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

Christmas

Christmas wish

Merry Christmas!

from the Preschool Team at national WMU

Consider All Options

We recently purchased a new car, and I was amazed at all the options we were offered. What color? What seat package? We had choices about the radio, tires, warranty, paint finish, floor mats, and a GPS system. The options were seemingly endless. Oh, and yes, there were about 15 ways to finance our purchase!

We live in a time when options are available in almost every area. Even hamburgers can be custom-made! With all the options people are offered in their lives, we often make a fatal mistake when we approach leadership responsibilities: we do not offer options. We plan our meetings with no choices. We insist that activities must be conducted the way they have been in the past. After all, they were good enough for us in 1970, so why not now?

The people you and I know are so accustomed to making choices that they are not terribly open to joining a group or participating in a project where their input isn’t asked for—or wanted. Their opinions matter, and they want to be part of the decision-making process. A preordained format or action planned by 1 or 2 leaders isn’t terribly attractive to them.

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Mangerside Reflections

As we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus this Christmas season, let's take time to consider some of the people who saw this story unfold firsthand.

Mary was intimately connected with this event. Jesus was born to her in a humble stable. Her willingness to let God work wonders through her life was truly inspiring.

Joseph may have been a little confused by the whole thing! Engaged to be married, he was shocked to find Mary was pregnant before their wedding day. Faced with a difficult decision, Joseph stepped up to the plate to help raise this child after a little heavenly intervention.

The shepherds were nothing special. These dirty, flea-bitten dregs of society found themselves in the presence of a mighty host of angels. Imagine their surprise when they discovered they would be the first among men to bear witness to the coming of the Messiah.

Wise men from the east saw a star in the sky that signified a spectacular event had taken place. Traveling from far away, they set out seeking the one true King. They brought their best gifts to give to a Savior they had not yet encountered.

Prayer and Giving Dovetail

My earliest Christmas memories revolve around church life. I remember spending hours practicing lines for Christmas pageants. All children were in the productions. I don’t recall it being optional. Afterward we would exchange gifts in our small country church. Before leaving, my dad would lead the congregation to sing “Away in a Manger.” The number of words and verses would depend on the status of our Lottie Moon Christmas Offering goal. Hopefully by our Christmas celebration, the target would be met. Christmas lights poking through a homemade wooden board lit up the song.

The best was yet to come. Everyone was given a brown paper lunch sack filled with goodness on his or her way out the door. The gift bag always contained a handful of peanuts, a few old-fashioned creams, an orange, and some hard candy. The Baptist Sunday School Board may have produced literature about how to pack the treats, because many my age remember receiving the same gift bags at their churches.

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