:: 02/25/2015 - 9:05am :: Read more...

Lord, I really want to be bold in sharing my faith, but it is so hard.

When we took a group of GAs to a park to serve food on a Saturday morning, I was able to pray with a homeless woman. I felt so affirmed in reaching out as we cried together; I want to feel that way again.

Just for today, I’m asking You to put someone in my path who needs You. Help me recognize my opportunity and share my faith in just the right way so the person would feel the need to ask You to be his or her Savior.

Just for today, help me live so my words and actions would help others want to know You. Help me avoid being angry when things don’t go my way. I know once I say an unkind word, it can’t really be called back even if I apologize. Help me speak out for You with kindness and caring. Make me bold in my testimony, Lord, so I can bring someone to You.

Kay Rollings writes from Irmo, South Carolina, where she enjoys projects to help the Honduras mission team.

:: 02/23/2015 - 8:26am :: Read more...

Looking back at my life, I see God’s plan a little more clearly. He took a fearful, fledgling new believer and placed godly people in her life. They selflessly gave her what God had given them. It wasn’t rocket science. It wasn’t deep theology. It was life lived for God and it was beautiful.

Today I have the privilege of walking in their footsteps by equipping volunteers to serve God at The Next Door in Nashville. Men, women, and children learn that they can make a difference in someone’s life in their community.

Volunteers express the love of Christ by bringing the respect from the community into the brokenness of life. They bring encouragement, hope for a better future, and a release from the past. They bring Jesus and He gives new life. New life for old—that’s a great exchange!

I am grateful for the people who helped me exchange my old life for the new and vibrant life God had planned for me. What about you?

Watching God’s transforming work makes Lucretia Mobbs’s heart sing. 

:: 02/18/2015 - 8:32am :: Read more...

When should we act a little crazy in church? Each year, our church’s Vacation Bible School draws a large number of children who are not members of our church and frequently no church at all. While we have the children, we want to make the most of it. If things are ho-hum, they don’t pay attention and are often a distraction to others.

Our pastor is great at taking on the wackiest roles during our worship time. While he’s acting crazy, children pay attention and get the message.

I do my own part with foolishness, too, especially when I teach the Bible story to several groups of children. Last summer, I put stick-on spots on them to give them “leprosy” and marked off the area where lepers were not allowed to go with yellow caution tape. This got everyone’s attention and worked better than just telling the story of Jesus healing the 10 lepers, and the children could answer questions about the story all week.

Kay Rollings writes from Irmo, South Carolina, where she enjoys projects to help the Honduras mission team.

:: 02/16/2015 - 8:40am :: Read more...

“She’s so heavenly minded she’s no earthly good.” I was a new believer and had no idea what that meant. The more I studied the Bible, the more I realized that lots of people were considered fools for their faith. They left everything to follow Christ.

Women in the 1960s were told they could have it all—a happy husband, wonderful children, and a great career. Following that philosophy left me exhausted, fearful, and with a home on the brink of collapse.

Jesus’ words to Martha, “Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her,” haunted me. I knew I had not chosen “the good part.” Wrestling with that thought led me to leave my job and focus on my family. Ups and downs followed, but with every passing day, my family healed and grew closer together and to God. Was it worth it? Yes! I was becoming more heavenly minded and earthly good at the same time.

Following Christ will always lead you to be and do the best even when it goes against conventional wisdom.

Lucretia Mobbs’s joy is bringing others on the journey.

:: 02/11/2015 - 8:14am :: Read more...

I am loved. Sometimes I haven’t felt loved or even very loveable. In the darkest times of my life, I must fall back on the words of the children’s song “Jesus Loves Me”: “Jesus loves me! this I know, For the Bible tells me so.”

So as I walk around the drugstore today, I can say, “Heart-shaped boxes of candy, you cannot make me feel sad and left out.”

It’s time to stop my pity party and head over to the greeting card section to buy a pack of valentines to send. Who could use a little love today? Perhaps a widow, a friend whose marriage is breaking up, or a lonely neighbor.

Today may be a good time to pay someone a visit. Several of our church members now reside in assisted living facilities; it would be fun to see them. There may even be someone on my street who needs some extra love today.

I’ve noticed the more love I can give, the happier—and yes, more loved—I feel.

Kay Rollings writes from Irmo, South Carolina, where she enjoys projects to help the Honduras mission team.

:: 02/09/2015 - 7:37am :: Read more...

You can learn a lot about communication from someone who is deaf. Facial expressions, posture, and gestures reveal the feeling behind the words. The Deaf learn early to read these signs. The hearing often miss these cues.

A mission team of teenagers learned about communicating with someone who doesn’t hear from a young deaf man on the team:

  • Don’t be afraid. The relationship is far more important than your fear.
  • Learn some sign language. Learning to sign the alphabet allows you to spell words.
  • Have realistic expectations. You may not be able to communicate everything.
  • Relax and have fun. Your trying speaks louder than words.

How can you communicate better with those who hear and those who don’t? Slow down. Talk less. Look and listen more. Choose words carefully because words are powerful to bless or curse.

Think of someone signing a worship song. You hear the words, but your heart is captivated by the beauty of seeing and feeling the words. I want to communicate with well-chosen words that touch heart, mind, and soul. Don’t you?

Lucretia Mobbs is learning to be quiet enough to hear.

:: 02/04/2015 - 8:16am :: Read more...

It began as an ear infection, but soon I had lost most of my hearing. I learned that being without this sense is one of the most isolating experiences a person can have. I had to be looking right at the person speaking to know what was said. I was very grateful that some of my hearing gradually returned after 2 months.

I’ve noticed that many of my friends are now wearing hearing aids. We, however, are the fortunate ones. We had our hearing at one time; those who are born with hearing impairment must learn to communicate with spoken words they have not heard.

How can we make our churches welcoming to deaf or hard of hearing people in our community? A signing interpreter for church events can be invaluable. A friend who is severely hearing impaired tells me that she feels conspicuous if the interpreter is at the front of the church. She feels more comfortable if the interpreter is located near the back or even in the balcony for services.

Reaching the Deaf and those who are hard of hearing can’t happen without communication.

Kay Rollings writes from Irmo, South Carolina, where she enjoys projects to help the Honduras mission team.

:: 02/02/2015 - 12:16pm :: Read more...

Me bold, never! Fear was my constant companion, and sharing about my faith was totally out of the question. My journey proves God can use anything to grow your faith.

My husband and I enjoy tent camping. After our girls were grown, our young nephews camped with us. A local campground hosted a Native American festival, and we jumped at the chance for a new cultural experience. That’s how I found myself in a 2-man tent with my husband and 2 little boys. It was a life-changing experience.

Sunday morning finally came. We went to the last gathering where a Native American shared about his faith. My heart broke when he said, “Jesus is the white man’s God.” The longer I sat and listened, the more I realized I had to talk to him. I had not spent 2 nights in a 2-man tent with 2 little boys to walk away.

Where did the boldness come from? God broke my heart at the reality of hell, and then He pushed my fear away.

I don’t know if this man ever accepted Jesus, but sharing my faith became easier. How’s your heart?

Lucretia Mobbs finds camping spiritually refreshing.

:: 01/28/2015 - 9:51am :: Read more...

“This is how we show others that we are praying for them,” said Ms. Donna some 15 years ago as she gathered all her Christmas cards received that year and placed them in a decorative basket.

“We set the basket on the table,” she continued, “and every evening before we pray over our meal, we draw out 1 card. We then pray over that family.”

Two years ago, after a do-it-yourself move, I walked out to the mailbox. My weary hand reached in to retrieve the mail. Out surfaced a card from Ms. Donna saying she was praying for our family. She had no idea we had moved.

A smile of love and gratitude crept across my face knowing that Ms. Donna had pulled out our Christmas card from her prayer basket and words had risen to the Almighty from her caring heart.         

Shelli Littleton lives in Royse City, Texas, and blogs at ShelliLittleton.blogspot.com.

:: 01/26/2015 - 9:41am :: Read more...

Many people are experiencing crunchy budgets in these financially challenging times. When the crunch affects mission giving, what can we do?

Even before WMU® was organized, women raised an extra chicken and donated that percentage of egg money to missions. In the early nineteenth century, many mission societies were called “mite societies,” and in the 1870s, “mite boxes” were distributed by the Foreign Mission Board (now the International Mission Board). These garnet-colored boxes with gold lettering were inscribed with the slogan “Woman’s Mission to Woman.” There probably were no mites in those boxes, but there were plenty of pennies, nickels, and dimes.

Here’s our modern challenge: don’t let tough times or unmet expectations keep you from receiving the same blessing as our foremothers! An empty spaghetti sauce jar can hold extra change, and by the time the next mission offering is due, you’ll be surprised how God will bless!

Sammie Jo Barstow lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and tries to be resourceful about giving to missions.

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