Tag Archives: Missionary Musings

Missions is Taking the Hard Road

This week I finished reading “Your Future Self will Thank You” by Drew Dyck. It’s actually my second time reading the book, read it first in December 2019, but honestly think I enjoyed it more the second time.

The book itself is excellent because it focuses on a problem that we receive little Biblical teaching on….self-control.

One of the refreshing things about this book is Dyck openly admits he has terrible self control when it comes to eating habits, and how much time he spends online. The book itself shares the lessons he learned on the journey towards self control.

What struck me while reading the book is how many times the author referred to himself as “lazy.” This is interesting because he is a published author, bible teacher, and seminary graduate. All of these things are hard work!

So obviously he couldn’t really be lazy right?

Well actually, the answer is yes

The laziness that he refers to isn’t one of inactivity. It’s one that chooses to be safe, or comfortable.

He explains that many choices in life offers us an easy, and hard road.

The easy road is to do what’s comfortable for us

The hard road is doing whats right, even though it’s painful.

That got me thinking. “How many of us would fit with that definition of lazy? How many prefer what is easy instead of whats right, but demands lots of work?

Your hand should be up right now….because mine is

The application to life and ministry is very clear. We would rather be safe than successful.

This is a problem because God rarely lets us stay where it is safe.

As I returned from my medical furlough in September the Lord had given me many personal and ministry goals to pursue. But a few weeks later, I found myself stuck in the same old routine! This is because my sin-nature craves what’s safe and comfortable instead of a life focused on doing more for Christ.

I’m thankful the Lord used Drew Dyck’s book to remind me though my heart longs for comfort, God calls me out of my safe place.

Missions is Being Safe, but not Scared

Beginning last month, we had a huge growth in Covid cases, and deaths in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Most of this is because workers have been sent back to SVG from a nearby island that is currently locked down because of Covid cases.

As the cases continue to spread, I am encouraging individuals to be safe, but not scared

Being safe means doing everything possible to make sure that you’re healthy. That way if you do get Covid, your body is able to fight it off. I have personally taken the vaccine to help with this, and also use vitamins with a healthy diet, as well as an exercise routine (lots of walking).

I have close friends who don’t want to take the vaccine, and thats okay (it’s their choice). However, for them being safe means working very hard to make sure their immune system is strong.

We also encourage safety in Church services:

  1. Through sanitising our hands
  2. Wearing masks
  3. Social distancing
  4. And staying home if we don’t feel well

there is nothing wrong with being safe, but being scared is very wrong.

Being scared is constantly thinking about Covid, and allowing it to control our lives. There are currently no serious lockdowns or safety restrictions regarding church services (we may have some soon). Therefore, I’m actively pursuing ministry opportunities as the Covid grows. In fact we recently started back Sunday School (it was ended shortly before my medical furlough).

The point is there’s a big difference between being safe and scared

  1. Being scared keeps me at home because I “might” encounter someone who has Covid
  2. Being scared keeps me from visiting individuals through ministry.
  3. Being scared panics whenever someone is not wearing their mask properly 1
  4. Being scared is constantly worrying if someone else has Covid

Ministry cannot be done this way!

The recent lockdowns since 2020 have taught us that freedom is something that we can take for granted. We only realise that too late when Covid takes it away from us.

Every moment of freedom we have must be spent actively doing the work of God….

Because the day may come that freedom is taken away from us.

  1. I do wear masks, and make sure everyone in church wears them properly for one anothers safety, But at the same time allow others to make their own health choices for the most part

Missions is Eliminating Distracting Voices

Tuesday afternoon I was stuck in the house (we have been getting lots of rain, and its difficult to do ministry because people stay home). In a moment of boredom, I pulled out my phone, and checked the Facebook app.

More than ten minutes later, I was still scrolling away….

In that moment the Holy Spirit convicted me. “Why is it?” I thought to myself, “that anytime I’m bored or things are slow that I immediately go to Facebook or twitter?”

What truly convicted me is down time could be an opportunity to bring myself closer to the Lord. I could read Scripture, pray, get into a good Christian book, or (gasp) just be silent! But instead I reach for my phone when the least hint of boredom comes.

I knew what the Holy Spirit wanted me to do, but it took a while to do it

I deleted the Facebook app

And then I deleted the Twitter App

Now I can still communicate through them, but this means using a web-browser, which is more difficult.

I thought that was the end of my cutting back on distractions, but then the charger to my Alexa broke on Thursday (getting a replacement next month).

Without apps, music, or audio-books I’m suddenly left with a lot of silence! But it is in that silence that the Lord does HIs work.

Since Tuesday I’ve noticed that my mind is clearer. In other words I have a very clear understanding of what the Lord wants me to do.

I’ve also found I’m spending a lot more time praying to the Lord. And its a lot easier to memorise the Scripture verse on a notecard when your phone doesn’t have social media!

The Lord has reminded me since Tuesday that the world offers a lot of distractions:

  1. Social media is a distraction
  2. TV (including streaming services) is a distraction
  3. The internet is a distraction

The voices of these distractions are trying to do one thing…..drown out the voice of God.

I’m not saying that everyone should delete their Facebook and Twitter apps, or stop watching TV. But we must make sure that the voice of God drowns out the voice of the world.

God Brings Fruit

Monday night I was walking up the road to my house when a man stopped me in the road. “Your going home?” he asked, when I told him I was, he told me he’d come by the house in a few minutes to read some Scripture.

When he came back about ten minutes later, I could tell something was on his mind. So I asked why he had come.

He told me “I need to repent.”

This man is someone who the Lord has really placed a burden upon my heart for. He’s in his mid-forties, and works hard, but spends much of his time at a local rum-shop drinking. Sadly, because he has a slight learning disability, some people there take advantage of him.

I was praying that the Lord would save him, and protect him from people who were taking advantage.

Earlier that day, he had been talking with his sister in the States. She told him that he needs to “change his ways”, or turn back to God. Step one in that process was to accept Christ.

He came on my porch because he wanted to be saved, but didn’t know the words to pray

I led him through some Scriptures that presented the Gospel, and he responded by accepting Christ as His Saviour. I do believe this was a genuine conversion since he sought me out.

This experience reminded me that God is the one who will bring fruit.

It is tempting sometimes to try to take the place of God and “bring people to Salvation” myself. But my job is to simply proclaim Gods truth. The Holy Spirit will convict, and lead towards Salvation.

Please pray as I begin to disciple my friend. He does have an addiction to alcohol that must be dealt with, and desperately needs Christian men who will be a Godly influence upon his life.

I am grateful for this reminder that if we are faithful in sharing the word, it will bring fruit.

Missions is Filling Your Own Cup

Last Thursday I came home from teaching the last session of an Eschatology class, shut the door, and didn’t come back out!

Thats a bit abnormal since I’m usually out doing ministry in the community. When afternoon ministries started back Monday some were wondering where I went, but most said “oh he’s teaching at the college.”

The thing is they are used to me not being around during College classes…….

Because they drain me not only physically, but spiritually

Teaching in a way that glorifies the Lord takes a strong mind, energetic body, and passion for the Truths of Scripture. This means your physical cup (personal health) has to be filled, but your spiritual cup (devotional life) must be full as well.

It is possible to teach without a strong devotional life. But the lessons will become lifeless, and worse than that done in your own strength.

Paul David Tripp in his excellent book “Dangerous Calling” explains the danger of studying the Bible for a sermon instead of personal life change.

He found himself in his devotional time coming up with lots of information for an upcoming sermon he would preach. As he left the room, God convicted his heart about focusing on what he would say to others instead of what the Lord would say to him.

Tripp explains this as one of the greatest dangers Pastors face. Studying Scripture (coming up without outlines) instead of actually meditating upon Scripture

It’s possible to have a head full of knowledge, but a heart that is distant from the Lord.

Last Thursday with the Lords help I filled my cup

  1. With a nap
  2. Something good to eat
  3. And time with the Lord

Because only a heart that is full can truly impact lives for God.

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