Within each human body, there is a person… You don’t need an advanced degree in biology, psychology, or philosophy to know that – but have you given it much thought?? Continue reading A Child is Born
In John 16, Jesus tells his disciples that He must leave them, and the Comforter (who we often call the Holy Spirit) will be sent to them. He knew that while He remained in His human form, He would continue to be bound by the rules of gravity and physics that He set up. He could only be in one place at one time, ministering among local groups of people. This was part of the restriction He placed on Himself in order to live among us as model and Savior.
The Holy Spirit, being spirit, is not so bound. He can be (and is) everywhere at once. Continue reading On Mission with our Everywhere God
I DID IT!! Ok, truth be told, Jesus did it – all of it – but He did let me participate. It’s rather like the memories I have of running electric with my dad in my young apprentice years. He made the plans, set the studs, marked the measurements, drilled the holes, and then said “Here – pull this wire through these holes along this wall”. Yup, I wired the room…that was me.
So, what exactly have Jesus and I done? Here are the highlights:
–He got me back to school so I could relearn ASL
–He nestled me in a community of friends and faith-walkers
–He sustained me through 4 years of school, etc (and there was a lot of ‘etc’)
–He kept me safe and healthy during a long & happy roadtrip
–He set me up with both short-term and long term lodging
–He set me up with a job that brought new friends and growth opportunities (and lodging)
–He set me up with a ministry organization that fits, like hand & glove
–He granted me favor in every deaf community I’ve entered
What’s next?? Well, traditional full time missionary support. Getting my living expenses covered so that I can focus on reaching deaf people and making myself available to them at any hour, rather than putting them on hold while I work my paying job. You’ll essentially be paying me to do what you cannot – to represent Jesus in the deaf community, in their heart language, and disciple them so that they can confidently (and accurately) disciple others. You’ll be opening up my schedule so that I can go to the un-served and/or under-served communities around the United States and build the relationships necessary to introduce people to Christ. There are, according to figures located last year, 250 cities across the US with no deaf churches. It’s not my objective to plant churches, per se, but if there’s no deaf church in the city, there’s likely noone reaching out to the deaf people who live there.
As soon as I can count on your support, I can transition out of my current job and into full time ministry. As you look around, you know time is running out, but more to the point, deaf people are entering eternity as fast as everyone else. Most of them are doing so without knowing that the saving gospel of Jesus is meant for them as well. If you have the language skills and cultural awareness to reach them, by all means, do so. If you don’t, I have good news: Here am I, SEND ME!
Like the wiring projects with my dad, once I get my part done and He adds more power, we’ll light up the world! (or at least a significant portion of North America)
pps: If you’ve read this before, and recognize a change or two, it’s because I just had a 4 hour budget planning meeting with someone more thorough than myself. There y’have it. 🙂
It was a few months before my graduation, a little over a year ago now. I had just finished another one of those Mother-Daughter conversations that daughters can recite with astounding accuracy – it’s practically scripted. Truth be told, it has been for generations, but some mothers & daughters get an early escape from it. We didn’t.
“If you were married, I wouldn’t worry so much.” Continue reading Engage!
Another Easter is upon us, and with it, another couple of weeks of musing over an article I’ve had in mind every 6 months for about 3 years. No matter what may be said of Jesus and His followers the rest of the year, everyone gets an extra dose of tolerance during Christmas and Easter. Why is that, do you suppose? Here’s my theory:
Jesus is OK, as long as He’s a newborn infant in a cattle trough, harmless and smelling as sweet as freshly mown hay. All is calm and bright surrounding a tiny baby who demands nothing, but receives the worship of shepherds and wisemen alike. When the season’s over, we wrap the whole nativity scene up in a tree skirt and put Him away for another year, that cute little unobtrusive tyke.
Jesus is OK, as long as He’s hanging on a cross, beaten to a pulp, and unwilling to call the armies of angels who stand ready. Whether you see Him as the man’s man who withstood the worst Rome could offer and still carried a heavy wood beam down the Via Dolorosa with splinters digging into His raw back, or as the silent sufferer who refused to cry out as metal stakes were driven through His hands & feet… either way, He’s non-threatening, and good for a weekend of free dramatic theater.
Jesus is OK, as long as He’s off somewhere between Heaven and a distant shoreline. An empty tomb is of course a strange sight, but He’s not there, so any explanation will do. Some cry victory, others conspiracy. Whatever the answer, we’re comfortable with Him being invisible & seemingly out of reach.
Jesus is OK, as long as He’s a marketing mascot, helping to rake in a sales boost twice a year. Any gimmick is a good one if it sells, and Christian themes rank right at the top, especially on key holidays. Let’s face it, buying & wearing a shiny lapel pin is a lot easier than stooping to help your neighbor bear whatever cross happens to be his during this season of life. Order another case of pins and a dozen of the newest books that explore the themes of Easter for the thirtieth time. They’ll sell.
Jesus is OK, as long as He’s a battle banner, a symbol to wave in the face of those we call opponents because they have a different approach to the ideal world. Frankly, both sides are often wrong, as Jesus made it clear that this world isn’t the one we’re supposed to be focused on. Temper rigid legalism with grace, and temper soppy liberalism with holiness, then we’ll get closer to His ideal. How many times did He say, essentially, “You follow Me, I’ll deal with them.”?
There were 33 earth-years between the swaddling clothes and the empty shroud. Before and after them, there is immeasurable eternity. Jesus is the creator and sustainer of all things, He is the Alpha and Omega, the faithful, eternal, almighty. He stepped into time and onto earth to say “Here, let me show you”, then resumed His seat on the throne of Heaven, not to be distant, not to be ignored ten months of every year, and certainly not to be used for our material & political gains.
Jesus, in His place, directs the comings and goings of all those who will obey Him, with His own purposes in mind. He has already told us what those purposes are – to draw people to Himself and transform them into His likeness, persons fit for Heaven. He is the ultimate authority, and has every right to ask us to give up ambition or comfort or the illusion of security in order to reach those who have not yet had opportunity to make an informed decision about Him.
As you gaze at the dying man on the cross, or the empty tomb, or even the baby in the manger; as you spend money and energy on products & causes that bear His name, look at who He really is, and acknowledge His proper place as Lord, the owner and ruler of all. Let us not be so foolish and arrogant that we forget that He chose to condescend to us. “Amazing pity, grace unknown, and love beyond degree.”