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?

Promote Missions Growth

Our pastor concludes every Sunday morning service with the same reminder: “We are the people of God, sharing God’s love, because God’s love changes the world.”

At any time, our church has members on one or more missions trips or we’re planning trips—domestic, international, or both.

We have an international university student outreach program with welcome activities at the beginning of the academic year, an international Bible study, and friendship families who open their homes to students. For many of these students, this is their first time to attend church or hear the gospel message.

Our church also plans local community outreach, either one-day blitzes or ongoing activities, such as Bible studies at the jail or support of the local crisis pregnancy center. (The pregnancy center rents a house from the church for $1 a year.) In addition, we partner with the university’s Baptist Campus Ministries for local outreach and missions trips.

Identity and Purpose

Jesus was aware of who He was. He knew why He had to humble Himself and take on the likeness of man. He was obedient to the point of death and died on a cross for our sins fulfilling the requirement of the law. And because of Jesus’ resurrection from the grave, we have hope of life eternal with Him.

Just as Jesus knew who He was and what His purpose was here, those of us who have believed in Jesus by God’s grace can also know who we are and what our purpose is here. When we read the Bible, it is easy to see that our purpose is to bring God glory. The difficulty comes in knowing how to use our gifts and skills to bring Him glory.

God has made us each with distinct interests and gifts, and we can look at those and begin to see what the Lord has in mind for us.

Just As We Are

I remember the feel of the worn hymnal fabric in my hand as I held the songbook and belted out the words, “Just as I am, without one plea.” As a child I understood the heart of the song: God accepts me and loves me just as I am. What a sweet and reassuring love!

The harder lesson, though, has been to love and accept others just as they are.

I find that the more I understand God’s forgiveness and love for myself, the easier it is for me to look at those around me through His lens. Rather than seeing a hardened, bitter woman, I can see her as God sees her: a wounded daughter who feels rejected and alone. Instead of seeing a coarse, rude man, I instead see someone who has never experienced God’s love and forgiveness.

When I look at the people around me through God’s lens of love, I see their brokenness and their need rather than their failures and shortcomings. And rather than be offended at their sins, I sense God’s deep abiding love and longing for them.

We are all loved, we are all accepted, and we are all in need of God.

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!

Hunger Destroys Families

There’s an online video that depicts a mother walking her daughter to a train station, handing her a bagged lunch, seating her on the train, and then walking away. The family had run out of food and did not have the resources to continue caring for the girl and her sister. The parents made the agonizing choice to send one daughter away.

As a parent, my heart squeezes each time I watch the video. I know the images are recreations with actors, but the story is true. According to the video’s ending, UNICEF estimated in 2007 there were 25 million orphaned children in India. Thousands of families each day face starvation and poverty. Parents make the impossible choice of who gets to eat and who starves.

I have four children and am beyond blessed to have an overflowing pantry. I cannot imagine, though, having to say goodbye to a child because of unending hunger and exhausted resources.

Identity Crisis

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him” (John 14:6–7).

During the summer of 2014, I walked the streets of Chiang Mai, Thailand, with a campus ministry. As a very recent college graduate, I was worried about the next phase of a new post-graduate life. What was I doing in the middle of Thailand? Where would I be after this summer?

One of the challenges I faced was asking complete strangers if they knew the name of Jesus. I saw the statistics. I knew Thailand was considered unreached. But surely someone on the street would recognize His name!

Not one soul I asked knew about Jesus. Surprised by the anger welling inside me, I escaped to a coffee shop to pray. Why did I know Him, but they did not?

Upon my return to the United States, I delayed my entrance to graduate school. I felt confused and guilty. I felt selfish for pursuing a goal that didn’t immediately put me back on the missions field.

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.

Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child

Cada año, Samaritan’s Purse patrocina Operation Christmas Child, un proyecto que coleccione cajas de tamaño para zapatos llenas de regalos para niños por todo el mundo. Descargue un video promocional o cree su propio video para compartir con su grupo o iglesia.

Si usted es el líder de este esfuerzo para su iglesia, presente un drama corto sobre el gozo de llenar una caja de regalo. Incluya testimonios de Niñas en Acción y Embajadores del Rey o Niños y Niñas en Acción y Amiguitos Misioneros. Exhiba un árbol de Navidad en el vestíbulo o la sala de su iglesia. Ponga cajas de zapatos bajo el árbol para que los miembros puedan tomarlas y llenarlas. O tenga una campaña de colección para materiales para llenar las cajas. Si toda la iglesia va a participar, ponga contenedores por todo el templo para que los miembros puedan dejar regalitos por todo el año.

Sacrificial Giving

Earlier this year my pastor challenged church members to sacrifice something so they could give to ministries that help the needy. The point was to give something of value, not something left over or unneeded.

One family sold a valuable collectible. Another family canceled their cable and donated whatever they would have spent on their cable bill. Our children sold their favorite doll and toys and gave the proceeds.

Ultimately, several hundred dollars was raised to clothe and feed people both locally and globally. Can you imagine the impact such sacrificial giving would have if every Southern Baptist gave deeply to care for the hungry and poor?

The Global Hunger Relief Fund ministers to the needy in North America and around the world by offering help to those suffering from disasters, as well as those who struggle with chronic hunger. October 9 is Global Hunger Sunday. Ask God how He would have you help end hunger for the most vulnerable around the world.


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