:: 04/15/2015 - 9:03am ::

“Sacrifice” sounds like an old-fashioned word. In the land of plenty, most of us rarely sacrifice. But what if we did? What if God called specifically for a sacrifice—for us to give financially or otherwise to promote His kingdom?

One pastor asked every person in his congregation to sacrifice something meaningful for a 40-day period. If someone chose to sacrifice a material possession, then the sacrifice would be permanent, but people could choose to give up a time commitment or even a food item. The choice was to be a sacrifice in time or possessions in a way that would honor God.

Some people fasted once a day or once a week and gave the money they would have spent on that meal to church or a mission project. Some gave up spending money on a particular hobby and donated those funds, while others gave up spending time on social media or video games and devoted their time to reading the Bible or other Christian literature.

What would you sacrifice for a specific time period and how would that obedience honor God? 

Sammie Jo Barstow lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and struggles especially with sacrificing time.

:: 04/13/2015 - 8:59am ::

Having children has taught me a lot about sacrifice.

Before children, choices were made based on my needs or my husband’s needs. Personal sacrifice was limited to letting him choose the movie or dinner menu. We gave our offering because it was what we were to do. Simple sacrifices didn’t hurt, but neither were they examples of obedience in sacrificial giving.

After having children, giving became more about sacrifice and obedience. Resources were much more limited. As our 2 children learned about obedience, I began to understand more about God’s view of both obedience and sacrifice. Putting others first became necessary as a parent. Self had to take a backseat.

Now firmly in middle age, I see the Lord’s desire for me to put Him first. He wants me to be generous and sacrificially obedient in all things. My love, time, energy, and resources are all His. He is transforming my selfish human heart. It’s all about Him, not me.

Still I know there is much room for improvement. The focus is turning from me to Him. He is calling me to give it all for Jesus.

Angie Quantrell writes from her home in Washington State.

:: 04/08/2015 - 7:46am ::

Faith is both an “inside job” and an “outside job.” Let me explain.

Being faithful frequently takes the form of action. I’m faithful in attending church, reading my Bible daily, and showing up for a service project at the appointed time. Those actions are vitally important for me—and for those watching my example. That kind of faith is “outside,” obvious to those who watch my actions.

But being faith-full may involve a deepness of soul that isn’t as obvious as faithfulness in my service at the local soup kitchen or my attendance at Bible study. For me, being full of faith demands solitude, quiet, meditation on God’s Word, and reading inspiring works of other believers. These actions are not so noticeable to observers, at least not initially. But the level of joy I reflect in my life as a result of filling up my faith bucket (or not) eventually shows.

Is one more important than the other? I think not, but I do know that without some self-discipline, I sometimes tend to lean one way or the other. It’s my goal to be both faithful and faith-full!

Sammie Jo Barstow is a freelance writer and sojourner on the faith pathway. She lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

:: 04/06/2015 - 11:14am ::

These comments were recently overheard after my grandchildren found a toy stethoscope.

“Let’s listen to kitty’s heart.”

“Let’s see if Jesus is in kitty’s heart.”


“I hear Jesus in kitty’s heart!”

This conversation gave me pause. Do others have to hold me down to hear Jesus in my heart as the children did with the kitty? Is it easy for them to see my faith? How does my faith, internal and external, play out in real life?

I work at building my faith. I pray, read my Bible, and spend time with the Lord. I go to church. I seek to grow inwardly deeper in Him.

I also try to let my faith show by exercising kindness and love. Attending church, reaching out to others, and praying are important indications of faith. I strive to outwardly let Jesus shine through me.

Is that enough? Perhaps I need to modify my behavior so that my faith is more evident. Change does not always come easy. What new habits should I consider so that my faith becomes evident to friends and neighbors?

A desire to become His shining candle on a hill begins with seeking Jesus.

Angie Quantrell writes from her home in Washington State.

:: 03/25/2015 - 8:36pm ::

I said yes to chaperoning a World Changers mission trip and no to my fears. It was a great week!

I said yes to sleeping on the floor and no to worrying about it. The first night, the air mattress felt like a touch of heaven it was so comfortable. I thanked the Lord for my bed.

I said yes to God’s power and no to concerns about lacking endurance. The first days were spent in an elderly woman’s home visiting with her and cleaning. Later in the week, my faith was tested while painting the ceiling of a porch. I worked on it for hours. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized my arms weren’t even tired!

With summer approaching, check out the mission trips your church will be taking or look for mission opportunities through the North American Mission Board. Pray about how God wants you to say yes, whether it’s to give, pray, or go.

We don’t have to worry about our fears or limitations. God can use us wherever we serve. He can make a difference in our life and someone else’s life!

Gail Veale writes in New Hill, North Carolina.

:: 03/23/2015 - 1:46pm ::

Where do your next-door neighbors go to church? Are they Christians? What about your hairdresser? The sales associate at the store you shop at every week? The women in your quilting club? Are they Christians? Each of us has people we do life with who may not know the most important thing about us. We probably share family news, community news, and all the other parts of life, but are we sharing Christ?

The Great Commission does not have qualifiers. It does not say, “Go if you went to seminary . . .” or “Go if you are a minister . . . .” Excuses not to share are easy to find, but feeling awkward about sharing Christ does not mean much when we consider the weight of someone’s eternity.

Spend time praying for boldness to tell, eyes to be opened to opportunities, and the words to speak that will passionately share Christ’s love. Step out in faith. When we open our mouths to share, God is faithful. Be amazed at what happens!

Deb Douglas lives and shares life in Bossier City, Louisiana.

:: 03/18/2015 - 7:24am ::

When you look outside the doors of your church, what do you see? I saw a fire station.

An article in Missions Mosaic almost 10 years ago led me to take a look to see where God could work.

So a group of women prayed. We met with the fire chief and began taking the firefighters monthly treats with church information and a gospel tract. The men and women enjoyed our visits, appreciative of our care and dedication.

After our family moved, we attended a church with an elementary school nearby. We prayed and then met with the school counselor, and church members began tutoring the students. The ministry grew to include prayerwalking the night before the first day of school, collecting school supplies, and providing new underwear and gently used shorts and sweatpants for incidental needs.

Those we serve may not attend our church now, but if a crisis comes or a need arises, God can remind them of our love and commitment, leading them to our door.

Look and see who is near your church. Step outside, reaching out wherever God places you.

Gail Veale writes in New Hill, North Carolina. 

:: 03/16/2015 - 7:17am ::

For the past week, the women of our church experienced a mission adventure in reverse! Rather than a small group going to Alaska on a mission trip as we have done in the past, 2 church planters came to us. Hosting these women was a perfect chance to spoil them, but it also gave churchwomen who could never go on a mission trip the opportunity to hear what life is like in an evangelistic frontier.

The church planters met with small groups of women answering questions about life in a church plant. By the time the church planters boarded the flight back to the cold north, the desire to be a part of missions had been heated up in our women!

Spoiling the church planters was fun! Braving the frontier is a hard life. By encouraging the church planters, we are investing in the future of the ministry in Alaska. We are giving them the courage to serve in bold ways.

This year, we said no to a mission trip and yes to a reverse mission trip. Plans are already in the works for another reverse mission adventure. Try one!

Deb Douglas, minister to women at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, Louisiana, has fallen in love with the Alaska church plants!

:: 03/11/2015 - 7:22am ::

Inspire—My husband and I had just moved into our new home. We tried to reflect Christ to those working on our house. We hoped to inspire them to seek Jesus by our actions of love by providing snacks and Bibles and affirming them and their work. 

Only in eternity will you know the impact you’ve made on someone’s life.

Invite—The cashier took the business card with our church’s information and smiled. She responded to my invitation with, “Thank you; I just might!”

I’ve heard it takes more than 20 contacts to lead someone to the Lord. This may have been the first time or the last before she believes! Keep being faithful, inviting, and sharing Jesus’ love and leave the results to Him.

Involve—It’s messy to get involved in people’s lives. Many are struggling. When we develop a relationship, we may get more information than we want to hear. But God knows and will use us to minister as we share Jesus’ love. He is able to change lives and circumstances! 

Gail Veale writes in New Hill, North Carolina.

:: 03/09/2015 - 7:38am ::

“Check yes if you will be my boyfriend.” Remember those school days when checking yes or no was as complicated as life got? As we mature, making choices becomes more challenging.

Saying no to good things allows us to say yes to the God thing. It’s the thing that lets us sleep at night and draws us closer as we follow Christ. Whether it is choosing between using vacation days for yet another beach trip or going on a mission trip or choosing to make giving a priority, the choice is seldom easy. Being missional is more intentional than easy!

In a fairy-tale world, when we say yes, everything goes smoothly; we live happily ever after. In the real world, when we say yes, we still have to face hard things and work hard. But the rewards are there.

When we say no, we lose the chance to see how God can work through us, how He can make the hard times into moments we will cherish forever and never forget. When we say no, life remains ordinary, but when we say yes, things get adventurous! We step from our control into His. Say yes with faith and expectation!

Deb Douglas says yes to any mission adventure in Bossier City, Louisiana!

Get Started with WMU 

Preschool Poll

If you could have another tool to use with your mission group, what would it be?

view counter
view counter
view counter