Monthly Archives: June 2013

A World of Difference, Pt. 1

I went to South Asia. Just sounds a little odd. I got invited by one of our pastors, I prayed with Grace about it, said yes, raised support, paid for some of it on our own, planned, prayed, & studied… then I flew to the other side of the world.

I flew to a place where evangelism is illegal. I evangelized. I flew to a place where I was a multiple minority: Christian, white, financially well-off (by comparison), & clearly unfamiliar with my surroundings. I was in a place that was hot, humid, overpopulated, & more culturally diverse than any place I’ve ever seen. It smelled weird… did I mention the heat? The food confused me. I couldn’t drink the water. Electricity just cut off any time of day…

And I loved just about every minute of it.

I’m not sure I’d call me a missionary. Perhaps a missionary encourager. A glorified cheerleader. I did teach a couple times, & I did get to spend amazing time with locals, but mostly, I watched heroes love strangers, share God’s love, & get nothing in return. Eternal investing. That’s what I watched. And back for two weeks, I’m still a bit overwhelmed by the experience. But this will be my vain attempt to ‘blog’ it out. I saw that there is a world of difference between claiming the mission of the Gospel & laying hold to it, living it, laying all down for it. I got to live among missionaries…

And he said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Go your way; behold, I am sending you out as lambs in the midst of wolves. Carry no moneybag, no knapsack, no sandals, and greet no one on the road. Whatever house you enter, first say, “Peace be to this house!” And if a son of peace is there, your peace will rest upon him. But if not, it will return to you. And remain in the same house, eating and drinking what they provide, for the laborer deserves his wages. Do not go from house to house. Whenever you enter a town and they receive you, eat what is set before you. Heal the sick in it and say to them, “The kingdom of God has come near to you.” But whenever you enter a town and they do not receive you, go into its streets and say, “Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet we wipe off against you. Nevertheless know this, that the kingdom of God has come near.” Luke 10:2-11 ESV

Laborers – Oh, they’re out there. They are dedicated, missionally driven, sacrificial, & excellent. But they must be more of them! And I’m not beginning to say ‘Just go!’. My concern is that we aren’t thinking about the world’s lost state with our Christ-mindedness in tact. ‘Not me.’ ‘I don’t know anything about missions.’ ‘Someone should really do something about that.’

I dare you to go. I dare you to go clueless, humble, prayed up, & eager to see God move. You won’t be disappointed. And if God has a stateside calling on your life, you will be better for the journey. I can hear the leader of the team we were with right now… ‘We just want people to come here & help. Two weeks. Six months. Two years. Just come!’

The Harvest – I’m dedicating the next blog to these people. And make no mistake. The mission, the harvest, is people. Christ’s love is towards people for God’s glory. And the people we were with were amazing. The harvest alone, is reason enough for me to return there again.

‘Go your way’ – Out there in this world are people dedicated to a mission that is not always easy. Really, the success rate is low. The perks are… not perks. But people are experiencing life change. Lost are found. Broken are healed. Those kept in chains are being set free. The call of the Lord is being heard in S Asia. And these men & women who have chosen to go the way of the Lord are heroes.

I can’t wait to write out more about my time overseas. There are great stories. And it will be broken down this way:

I’ve seen the next generations of Islam, Christianity, martyrdom, & poverty on this trip. And I love them all.

More to come…

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Together, On The Edge

Listening to my boss speak on leadership today as he was discussing teamwork. He used the metaphor of mountain climbing as a group. Climb to the next level up, dig in, & keep going higher. Made sense to me.

Now imagine if one member of the team was climbing up without digging in at each new level. No plan. No order. Just climbing. And they slip and fall… no leveling up to fall back on. Just the thought of spiraling down, hoping that your team has dug in & they can sustain the weight of your free fall.

What a nightmare of personal responsibility! My failure to have a system in place for my own development & growth, my inability to prepare, plan, & persevere, my shortcomings that I’m fully aware of but entirely avoiding can be debilitating to those around me.

At work – I’m on two teams really. One I run with & one I lead. What if my failings put my colleagues, people I enjoy & care for, in harm’s way? Or to the team that I lead, what if my inability to grow & mature are stunting those I’m so honored to lead? That’s just gut-wrenching.

At home – I have no higher honor than loving & leading my wife. And if I’m allowing her to carry the weight of my free fall – the declines in my life physically, psychologically, or spiritually – not only am I not leading, but I’m all but stopping her growth. And to my little boy, who may not do most of what I say, he is watching what I do. He’s copying me. He is going to be a lot like his daddy. He already is.

This isn’t my most in-depth blog. I actually wrote this in about 10min. But I was provoked, spurred on, so to speak. How are your ‘teams’? Are you dug into the mountain of leadership & growth that you are climbing? Are you taking the time to secure yourself in maturity, time management, etc.? Or are you perilously close to a free fall of integrity, poor planning, bad decisions, or faulty relationships? Look back at the people who are modeling after you. What are they teaching you about you?

Hold the line. Prepare. Move deliberately & intentionally.

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