Author Archives: John Wilburn

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In the October 2018 I moved into a new rental property that belonged to veteran missionaries before the returned to the field.

After the first long day of cleaning, organizing, and unpacking I sat down on the porch in exhaustion. And then took the amazing picture of the sun setting on the nearby ocean. The picture is actually hanging on my wall today with the word “home” written on it.

This memory actually continues my thought from yesterday about air conditioning, and the importance of rest within life. Not only is there nothing wrong with resting, it is absolutely necessary!

There was still a ton for me to do at the house that day but I knew my body had reached it’s daily limit. So the wisest thing to do was sit down in a chair and enjoy the amazing view.

In the same way, rest must become an ingrained habit of life. Sometimes this means taking an actual nap. Other times it means reading a book, eating a good meal, relaxing with friends, or even taking a walk.

The important thing is to realize when it’s time to be done……and actually be done!

It is those who care for their bodies by making rest a priority that accomplish the challenges of tomorrow

Simple Pleasures

One of my favorite items in the home I began renting in 2018 is the AC system installed by Alan Berry. It does a VERY GOOD job of keeping the house cool if you close the doors to the front of the house.

Air Conditioning has almost always been a part of my life here when it came to relaxation. I had a window unit in my apartment that would run during my “after afternoon nap.” That’s still true here, and I’ll also run it some mornings when it’s very hot.

This afternoon I wrote a post about frugality (you can read it here) and believe being cheap so that you can invest in others is a good thing. At the same time, you must take care of yourself.

For me during a stressful day there’s nothing better than turning on the AC, and taking a nap, or just relaxing. That brief time of rest and renewal almost always gives much needed energy as well as focus. And there’s nothing wrong if your body is tired with laying down in blessed air conditioning 🙂

Yes we are called to self-discipline….

but there must also be a refuge for ourselves from time to time

Missions Cannot be Cheap

I have grown up being careful with money, so being frugal or “cheap” is part of my identity. This doesn’t mean I don’t give to others (because I do) but am cheap when it comes to spending money on myself.

Recently the Lord showed me being cheap isn’t a bad thing……..

But it can be a great hinderance to ministry.

The fact of the matter is ministry takes money. Programs such as VBS, camp, and outreach in the community have lots of cost involved. Being cheap or frugal in this situation would be a great detriment because it offers a below-average ministry.

The principle then is to be very frugal personally, so that you can invest money in ministry.

Solomon explains it this way in Proverbs

Prov. 11:24   There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty.

Scattering in this verse refers to giving money away. So the person who invests money in others and ministries (scattereth) will increase, but the person who is greedy will lose everything. Practically this means being willing to give away what you have saved.

The Lord reminded me about the importance of frugality that invests in others a few weeks ago when a friend was scheduled to work at a nearby island, but did not have the money to get there. In desperation he texted me to ask if I could loan the money for the trip. Of course I gave it to him! The week before I loaned money to a man who was welding a gate, and couldn’t finish it without purchasing some new material.

I couldn’t have helped either of these men if my life wasn’t frugal, but I couldn’t let that frugality keep me from giving that money away.

There is a delicate balance here between saving and giving, but the important thing is understanding we don’t save to accumulate money. We save to grow ministries, and help others in need. The danger of course is to refuse to give when someone’s in need because being cheap is more important than ministry.

I will stay cheap because God made me that way.

But by His grace that frugality won’t weaken my ministry, but help it thrive

Boys Need Men

While at camp last week the Lord reminded me of something that I actually knew, but in a way had forgotten.

Boys need men!

This doesn’t mean God doesn’t use women in boys lives of course (He obviously does!) but there is a deep need in the heart of a boy to have men of character. Men who will take a stand, and show them how to love the Lord.

One of the experiences God used to teach this truth was working with two groups of boys at a local school in 2018. I worked with each one once a week covering things like reading, math’s, and homework. We also played learning games on my tablet, and became great friends.

Both groups really looked forward to my visits so I made sure to be there when they started opening assembly. One week I had to go into Kingstown and do something so arrived a bit late. The boys were upset about not seeing me at opening assembly, so when I stepped into the teachers doorway they immediately let our a loud cheer.

The excitement wasn’t just about the learning…..

It was about Mr. John coming to spend time with them.

Through the years I have seen the longing on many little boys faces for a man who would show them love and teach them how to be one. Sadly dad isn’t there so they go long looking for spiritual father.

May God raise up Godly men who will pour their lives into the next generation.

The kind of men who will make them cheer when they see him.

Faith is Doing What’s Next

Faith is a big part of missions, but we often romanticize it. People think of faith as doing the impossible task, or facing insurmountable odds.

This is true sometimes, but usually faith is far less exciting….

It’s simply doing what’s next

The enemy of faith is anxiety or worry about what comes in the future. Often this anxiety focuses us on the upcoming challenges mentally as well as emotionally. In worst cases we may not act at all in the present because of worry about the future.

So faith must forget about tomorrow, and deal with today

Of course the foundation to this is the understanding that our Heavenly Father knows our needs. He will meet those needs in His perfect timing, and in a way that gives Him glory. Our job is to simply focus on the needs of today.

As Jesus said in Matthew 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Of course focusing on the problems of that today is easier said than done…

So God has to remind us He has tomorrow under control

A few weeks ago I wrote my big project of creating notes for a three-week church history class. The research for that meant going through a 600 page book to make a teaching outline. Two Sundays ago I officially reached halfway, but was planning to spend a week at camp (NO TIME for research!)

I realized that camp was more important than my church history notes, but was still stressing a bit about it because the week off put me farther behind.

The Lord knew I was anxious about this, so He had a friend send me the text above around 10:30 Tuesday morning. A few hours later I had 173 pages of notes!!!

The thing is God shouldn’t have to remind me yet again that He has tomorrows problems under control…..

but I’m thankful He still does

So faith is consistently doing what’s next even when God doesn’t send 173 pages of notes. Because tomorrow there will be fresh measure of grace to meet that days challenges.

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