Women on Mission Blog

All Talk?

Often we concentrate on missions in foreign lands, losing focus of needs lurking close by. I was shocked to learn that an area of our city was the most food-deprived in our state. Although our thriving congregation contributed during holidays, we could do more.

Learn-Serve-Fun Days

Kindergarteners through sixth-graders at our church engage in unique missions during their SON Kids summer program. Three areas of activities are involved.

On Learn Day, the youngsters are taught basic skills of using hammers, rakes, garden tools, scissors, needles, and thread. These new abilities will be implemented in the next phase of SON Kids.

Don’t Go There!

“I shouldn’t have done it. I knew better. Once I got started, I couldn’t stop.”

My remorseful friend stood before me with head down. I reassured her that I understood. We all travel damaging paths sometime. But hers was a craving that could end her life, and she knew it. Determination was on her side though, as she resolved to “get it together.”

Rice for Christmas

Mrs. Susan captivated the VBS children with the huge Christmas package. But they were crestfallen when the contents were revealed. Rice, dried beans, flour?

Having made innumerable medical mission trips and also dispensing staple food items to families, Mrs. Susan explained that children in other countries are elated when they receive a bag of rice. Whereas, “unfortunately we all have so much that we are ungrateful.”

God-Pleasing Sacrifice

“Sacrifice” is not a word frequently heard in our postmodern culture.

In a society that strives for more, bigger, and better, the idea of sacrificing anything is almost unthinkable. However, the concept of sacrifice may be widely misunderstood, even for Christians.

We recall the Old Testament stories of sacrifice involving the slaughter of animals for the redemption of sin. And we accept that Jesus became the Lamb slaughtered—sacrificed—for our personal sin so that we have been redeemed by His blood shed on the cross.

Under the New Covenant—in other words, after Christ’s sacrifice on the cross as a substitute for our sin offering—we are told to “offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship” (Rom. 12:1). Our bodies—our entire lives—are to be living sacrifices instead of dead sacrifices. What we have to offer as worship is not a dead substitution but, instead, a life that is “holy and pleasing to God.”

Selflessness Continues!

The cards keep coming in. Expressions of love and sympathy flood the post, as selflessness continues to console and bless. The heartfelt sentiments, the verses of prayer —each message is another reminder of God’s never-ending faithfulness!

There, in the midst of the stacks, are sweet, comforting words from friends like Donna Kirby— each among numerous, other souls. Hands that have lovingly composed words of sympathy, and words arriving at just the right time.

Selfless acts of love. A first-class stamp representing the heart of God reaching outward to serve a grieving daughter and her family.

Thank you, friends, for reflecting our Father’s love. Thank you for pausing to sacrifice your time, and for taking up your cross and following Jesus.

Your selfless acts of love will never be forgotten.

 

Joanie Ballard will be forever grateful for her earthly father’s legacy of selfless living! 

 

 

 

 

In the Wings

As the world jockeys for position at center stage, Christ followers are answering the call to serve in the wings of life. Jesus said, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” (Mark 8:34 NIV).

Selfless service requires self-denial, followed by missional action. My friend, retired IMB Missionary, Donna Kirby, displays this kind of lifestyle.

Serving in Hong Kong for over 35 years as a teacher and church planter, Donna’s passion for God and His people has followed her across continents and throughout communities.

Retirement is absent from Donna’s vocabulary, as she loves and leads in the English-as-a-Second-Language (ESL) ministry at Fayetteville First. Selflessness exudes from this petite, 5 ft. frame as she engages in lessons and Bible studies.

Yes, the wings of life are brighter because Donna Kirby has answered God’s call!

Joanie Ballard is blessed by Christ-followers like Donna Kirby who inspire her to keep serving.

 

Wrap It Up!

Steeped in over 180 years of missional history, Fayetteville First Baptist exemplifies The Great Commission! With nearly 10 active groups in place, Women on Mission® remains vital in answering the call of Jesus to go and make disciples (Matthew 28:19).

Members of the Primetime/Coleman Group are wrapping up another missional year by taking up their cross and celebrating a lifestyle of selflessness! Whether assembling Easter baskets and teacher appreciation gift bags, or providing meals for ESL classes and serving at the Midwest Food Bank—Georgia Division, these ladies are continuously on assignment, identifying needs and sharing the love of Christ with every encounter.

From classrooms and offices to neighborhoods and hospitals, members of the Primetime/Coleman Group beautifully personify the Christ-like qualities of surrender, sacrifice and service.

Joanie Ballard would especially like to thank this group for their selfless support during her Dad’s illness. 

A Leap of Selflessness!

Today, I am with my Daddy—who is in the last days, perhaps even last hours, of his earthly life. Selfishly, I find myself grasping for every minute, every moment of his final season.

Today, I have witnessed “selflessness” in action! Hands that have provided comfort; hearts who have stood watch and accompanied our family in grief! Nurses, people, servants of our Lord Jesus Christ who are now forever part of our eternal story!

What transforms a spirit of selfishness into a gift of selflessness? Is it sacrifice or simply service at its best?

The answer, I believe, must begin with Jesus—who "for the joy set before him he endured the cross" (Hebrews 12:2 NIV).

Yes! Selflessness requires a choice, a choice to take up one’s cross and turn from an inward place of focus to an outward position of love—complemented by an upward expression of surrender!

Today, I have witnessed selflessness at its best!

Just after penning these words, Joanie Ballard had the privilege of celebrating her Daddy’s journey to Jesus! 

“Broken” Revisited

I don’t like the word “broken.” Broken is not a word that brings forth positive visual imagery to my pondering mind. It’s a sad word, a despairing word. Consider some of the connotations for broken:

  • broken hearts
  • broken bones
  • broken homes
  • broken relationships
  • broken people
  • broken dreams

Even broken things can produce frowns. I still remember the day my toddler made a mad dash through our home and knocked over a stone pitcher. It was one of the few heirlooms from my mom who died when I was only 13. Thankfully I quickly acknowledged that my son’s heart was of greater value than even this crock—but the loss associated with this now broken (but repaired) object still resonates.

In light of the negative associations, we wonder, can anything good come from “broken”? Oh, yes.

Benefits of Brokenness

A broken heart invites the notice and attendance of God into our need:

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