Archive for May, 2012

Impact of Prayer

Recently my son sent this out to the email group of his church.  

1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

Prayer is the lifeblood of an intimate relationship with the Father. But believers often have questions about its power and effectiveness. Don’t hesitate to take your queries to the Lord, dig into Scripture for answers, and seek the counsel of a trusted spiritual mentor. Prayer is too important to neglect.

Will God’s plans fail if I don’t pray? God is not subservient to believers or dependent upon their prayers. The time we invest in speaking with Him involves us in the work that He is doing in our lives and in the world, but He will carry on without us. Laboring alongside the Lord is our privilege.

Does my prayer (or lack thereof) impact God’s work? I believe that Scripture indicates the answer to this question is both yes and no, depending upon the situation. There are times when God’s purpose is set. He is in control and has determined the best course. In the Old Testament, the Lord often prophesied what He would do and then brought those events to pass.

In other cases, “you do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2). There are some good things that He holds back until we put out prayerful hands to receive them. But because God is a loving Father, He also pours out blessings that we wouldn’t even think to request.

Believer’s prayers have tremendous impact, particularly on their own faith and life. Do you understand what an awesome privilege it is to kneel before the all-powerful Father and know that He listens and will respond? God loves to be good to His children and answer their prayers.

Pastor Randy

Thank you for reminding me of this great truth!  Mom

Deputation Hints for the Missionary Wife

  1. Deputation is a not only a time to raise money, but it is a time of preparation for future ministry. It is a time to show others that you are competent and worthy enough to be a missionary.  It is a time to prove to the churches that you have what it takes to be a missionary and to make proper adjustments. There will be times on deputation when God will send severe trials. As you go through these trials, keep in mind that God is preparing you for future ministry.
  2. Deputation is hard for children. Make this time fun for them. Make memories and take pictures. Visit national parks, zoos, and museums while traveling. Listen to story and music CDs in the car.
  3. Teach your child good manners   His behavior can help or hinder you in acquiring support. Make sure you teach your child proper church and restaurant manners before you get to the churches. Many times a mother will be embarrassed about her child’s behavior, but she has failed to teach him proper manners.
  4.  Learn all you can from everyone. Never try to instruct pastors about your opinions. Even if a pastor has bad habits, procedures, and doctrine, learn what not to do from him.
  5. Watch your heart! Do not let it get cold and carnal. Keep you and your family spiritually healthy and disciplined through daily Bible reading and devotions. Never stop guiding your children in spiritual principles. Make God’s Word applicable to their lives by using age appropriate devotions.
  6. Present yourself to the churches in a first class way. Do not get lazy on deputation.  Set goals for you and your children.  Everything you do should be first class: clean car, clothes neatly pressed, prompt prayer letters, and beautiful prayer cards.
  7. Enlist prayer partners and make friends in every church. When you get to the field, you will realize that prayer support is just as important as financial support.
  8. Before you leave for the field, avoid getting into credit card bondage by making unnecessary purchases.  If at all possible, avoid going to the field underfunded. Start saving as soon as you can. When it is time for you to leave, you will need money for shipping and customs. When you arrive on the field, you will need money to buy a vehicle, to purchase household goods, and funds to begin the church.

Begin a New Ministry to the Grieving

Consider beginning a ministry to those who have just lost a loved one. Since one of the goals of the local church should be to encourage those who have emotional and spiritual needs, this could be a great ministry.

After losing a loved one,  sometimes a person  begins to  think about spiritual matters and his eternal destiny. He may even want to attend church.  A simple act of kindness could show a grieving person that there are churches that truly care about people.

To find recipients to receive these baskets, check daily obituaries or use prayer requests from members of your church.  Try to deliver as quickly as possible after a death. This could be a great ministry for the elderly of your church.

Items to put in basket:

  • Fruit, muffins, homemade jams, cookies, etc
  • An encouraging book, a comforting tract, or an Instrumental Hymns CD
  • A brochure or DVD about the church
  • A letter of condolence and offer of counsel from the pastor

Dear Mom,

Since I can’t spend Mother’s Day with you, I am writing you a letter. Mom, I love you so much. There are many things that I didn’t understand when I was young, but I understand them now.  I didn’t have any idea how hard you worked, and the burdens you carried until I traveled the road myself. I didn’t know how rough it was when you were having trouble with Dad and us kids, but now I know. I didn’t realize how lonely you were until I was lonely. I didn’t realize how I hurt you, until I was hurt the same way by my own children. I didn’t know how many times I could have made you happy by just saying, “I love you, Mom.” But now I know, because those are the words I long to hear from my own kids.  When I was growing up, we had our share of battles. I remember how I thought you were too hard on me because you insisted that I keep my room clean, turn off the TV and do my homework, hang up my clothes, do chores around the house, and write thank-you notes right away. You made me do a lot of things I didn’t want to do. You said it was good for my character. I couldn’t see the connection, and I thought you were nuts. But now I have kids of my own, and I understand a lot better. I am grateful that you didn’t let me wear you down.  I remember your strength; it gives me strength with own kids. It seems like I found the times for everything and everyone but you. It would have been easy to drop in for a cup of tea and a hug, but my friends came first. Would any of them have done for me what you did? I doubt it. I remember the times you called on the phone, and I was in a hurry to get off. It makes me ashamed. I remember, too, the times I could have included you when my family had outings, but I didn’t. It took me all my life to learn what a mother is. I guess it’s impossible to know until you become a mother yourself. Believe me, now I know how rough you had it and how terrific you are. Time has a  way of slipping away. We become so involved in living from one day to the next that before we know it, the tomorrows are yesterdays. I hope this letter gives you an idea of how much I admire and respect you, Mom, you are the greatest!

 

Fun Way to Pray for Missionaries

Pray For Your Missionaries By Using Your Fingers!

When you are waiting in traffic or waiting at a doctor’s office, use your time to pray for missionaries and missionary outreach.

Thumb – Since your thumb is nearest to you, begin by praying for those missionaries closest to you. They are the easiest ones to remember. C. S. Lewis said, “Praying for those we love is a sweet duty.”

Index or pointing finger – Let your “pointing finger” remind you to pray for missionaries who teach and instruct. This includes teachers, colleges, and evangelists. They need prayer support. Pray that they will have wisdom to point others in the right direction.

Middle finger – Our tallest finger reminds us to pray for church pastors and leaders. We can never pray too much for them. Pray that these leaders never lose their burden for missionaries. Pray that they faithfully lead their churches to pray and to give to the missionary outreach of their churches.

One missionary recently shared this story. “The pastor of  my sending church just resigned.  The support from our church was half of our total support. When the new pastor took over the leadership, he dropped every missionary. The pastor sent out a letter to all missionaries and told them that he was dropping their support because he had better things to do with the missionary money.”  Consequently, this missionary had to come home.

Ring finger – Surprisingly, the ring finger is our weakest finger (as any piano teacher will testify). This weak finger reminds us to pray for those missionaries who are discouraged, in trouble, or in pain.

Little finger – Our little finger is the smallest finger of all. The Bible says, “The least shall be the greatest among you.” Your pinkie should remind you to pray for the people of the world who have the greatest need to find Jesus. Pray that they will open their eyes and see Him.