Women on Mission Blog

The Blinders Are Off

I grew up in rural North Carolina in a small town that was similar to the fictional Mayberry. Farming and fishing were the main industries, and families working together brought a closeness and a feeling of security that you cannot find today. Everyone knew all their neighbors on a first name basis—doctors, lawyers, merchants, farmers, fishermen—it didn’t make a difference. It was a stable, comfortable life, and my husband and I were only vaguely aware of the evil all around us until we had children.

During the 1970s we became deeply concerned about the changes we saw taking place in the world our children would inherit! The cultural changes in families, the increase in divorce, the use of drugs and alcohol, and the “anything goes” attitude of the younger generation. However, our children were still young and the evils we saw and heard about on radio and TV seemed far away from us—no need to worry—or so we thought.

A TV pastor said, “Don’t worry. The pendulum swings; this will pass.” But it didn’t pass. The blinders were off! We began to pray for revival in our country and the protection of our children.

A Mission’s Drive

It’s that time again! Time to set aside our Christmas offering for international missions. I confess I never really paid too much attention to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® that my church promoted every year. Sometimes I would write a check, but I didn’t always.

That changed when my husband’s brother received an appointment as an international missionary. That’s when I discovered the importance of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering.

My brother-in-law’s family spent 10 years in Malaysia. The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering provided financial support and helped them fulfill their mission.

Missionary families depend on the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering for their ministry and livelihood. For those of us who can’t go, giving is one way we can help fulfill God’s commission to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19). 


Sandra Knox Miller writes from her home in Sylacauga, Alabama. 

 

 


 

A World Day of Prayer

A few years ago I had the privilege of speaking at our Associational WMU luncheon held in observance of the Baptist Women’s World Day of Prayer. What made that day memorable for me was not that I was the guest speaker, but what I learned through my preparation.

My text was from the book of James about Elijah’s prayer life. The phrase that captured my attention said that Elijah was just like us (James 5:17).  Elijah was a prophet. He did so many extraordinary things that I never thought of him as just an ordinary man. But that’s what he was. There was nothing special about him. Yet, his prayers affected the forces of nature.

When we gather to celebrate the World Day of Prayer, the Lord is listening to us just like he listened to Elijah. Our world needs prayer—now more than ever before. Let’s be faithful to join together and pray for our nation and our world.


Sandra Knox Miller writes from her home in Sylacauga, Alabama. 

Reach Out and Get Connected

I am technologically illiterate. I watch with envy as my daughters save money using their cell phones to find bargains and digital coupons while shopping. With social media, they stay in touch with childhood friends living hundreds of miles away. Even my grandchildren text and talk with each other face to face on their parent’s cell phones.

I’m trying to learn how to be “connected” like everybody else. I’ve learned I can be intentionally present through social media. People ask for prayer. Sometimes they even share problems.

We can respond by promising to pray and by sharing words of encouragement. We can text or message them a prayer or a Bible verse.

We can send notes of encouragement. Even in this technological age, people still love to receive handwritten notes. Taking time to write and mail a note communicates concern and lets them know we care.

Not all of our internet friends know the Lord. So, let’s use our connections to share our testimony whenever and wherever we can.

 

Catch the Vision

Have you ever tried reading your Bible with a magnifying glass? It’s challenging. Your field of vision is limited to that little round circle of glass. I’ve done that when I absent-mindedly misplaced my reading glasses.

Instead of being absent-minded, my goal is to be intentionally present in things I do. What does that mean? It means I have a plan, a purpose, and a goal. I’m not just present physically, but I’m alert and paying attention to everything around me.           

Are you getting ready for a mission trip or a mission action project? The goal of any missions activity is sharing God’s word and, hopefully, leading people to faith in Christ. To reach that goal, we must be aware of the people around us, and be ready when they ask spiritual questions.

Let’s not limit our vision by being absent-minded. Let’s be intentionally present so we can see the big picture. When we look at what’s happening from God’s perspective, we won’t miss any opportunity to share God’s love.

Valued

On a daily basis I deal with individuals who have committed some type of crime. It could be speeding, a DUI, drug possession, or an alleged murder. I work in a county jail as an administrative assistant. People come from all walks of life, different races and from around the world. Then I interact with their families and friends. For a person who is an introvert, I’ve been moved out of my comfort zone.

For years I’ve struggled with my worth as a person, my value to others, and why was I created. Then came the day when I finally understood the depth of God’s love for me and how He sent His only begotten Son to pay the price for my sin (John 3:16). Psalm 139:14 (NIV) states we are all "fearfully and wonderfully made” and the book of Colossians tells me who I am in Christ.

Studying and knowing God’s Word shows me every person is valued by God. Christ died for everyone, and only He can forgive and transform hearts. So as I interact with others, I am more aware of the need everyone has to be valued. It is my responsibility to show them Christ!

Weaving and Working

Years ago, at the end of the church service on the first Sunday of a new year, I stood before my church mumbling something about sensing God’s calling on my life to minister to women. I had no clue what that meant or looked like. I just knew I was to surrender my life to Him and His purposes!

I started my journey with intense Bible study. I had to know Him, who I am in Him, and I learned I had a responsibility to make Him known. Over time came invitations to speak, developing a ministry which led to serving on the state WMU visionary team (I had no background with WMU), and opportunities to write. God was weaving and working in my life, moving me out of my comfort zone, challenging me, and opening my eyes to live more intentionally on mission. Ministering to women as I go.

Jesus knew who He was, God’s Son, with a mission, providing redemption to all who would repent and believe in Him. Are you sharing this Good News? Are you allowing Him to weave and work through your life for His purposes? Where are you on mission?

Time to Fish

When I was a little girl I looked forward to traveling with my Dad to Minnesota. We spent a week focused on catching bass, walleye, and northern pike; he was a great teacher. “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime.” This is not a Bible verse, but a principle as a way to alleviate poverty by promoting self-sufficiency.

Jesus said, “For you will always have the poor with you” (Matthew 26:11a ESV). It is an issue which will never be eradicated. So how do you and I apply a biblical response to such a vast need in our world? Study the Word, pray, and read books about poverty written from a biblical perspective with economic principles.

“Follow me and I will make you fishers of men,” Jesus told his disciples. As we meet people who are living in poverty we begin with providing the food, building relationships, and teaching them how to fish. Remember: someone has to grow the worms!

Hungry Versus Hunger

“I’m hungry,” remarks my grown son. He opens the refrigerator door, studies the contents, and then declares, “There’s nothing in here to eat!” and walks away. Vegetables, milk, eggs, and a casserole sit on the shelves.

Contrast this scenario with refugees living with no food in war torn Syria or elsewhere. This is the reality of the hunger crisis plaguing our world on a daily basis. What can you and I do? 

Start by praying. Pray for those in this situation. Pray for creative ways to make your church aware of Global Hunger Relief and Global Hunger Sunday on October 9, 2016. In the past our church sold tickets for a secret meal. Imagine the surprise of the attendees when they received only a bowl of rice.

Finding Refreshment in Prayer

In Luke 5:15–17, we see Jesus’ source of strength sandwiched between His ministry: “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick.” (Bold added.)

Jesus was busy about ministry. He was healing and teaching large crowds all the time. So how did He refuel? Where did His strength come from? He regularly stepped away from the demands on Him to pray, to talk with and listen to His Father.

When we are busy with our lives—work, family, friends, church, ministry—and we find ourselves exhausted from all we have to do, let’s follow Jesus’ example. Find regular time for Bible reading and prayer, spending time with God, and allowing Him to refresh you.

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