The Gospel of Matthew ends with these words of Jesus:
"All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." (Mt 28:18-20)
This group is for anyone interested in:
Living the Gospel
Sharing the Gospel
"Sending" and supporting missionaries and mission work
Becoming a missionary, doing mission work, evangelising
Praying for the world, and for Christians in other countries
Other countries and cultures
Anyone is welcome, o'course.
Just click the 'join' button and we'll be happy to have you~
Christian art / Bible-related / Missions-related
Travel photos / art depicting other countries / cultures (as long as it's really showing the people and the culture and not just some random beach you like )
ALL forms of art (traditional, digital, photography, crafts, writing...)
Please submit to the right folders! If in doubt, just submit and see what happens... I won't decline something because of folder problems (I'll just move it, unless I'm too lazy..)
Feel free to share prayer requests! Just send a note or post a comment. Prayer requests will be posted in the weekly journals.
Prayer requests do not have to be missions-related.
I generally try to update the journal once a week. Usually it includes prayer requests, a short devotional-type blurb, a "country highlight" and tips on how to share the Gospel in daily life.
Do notify us if there's anything you want to include sometime!
Feel free to invite people you think may be interested!!
If you have questions about missions, missionary work, mission organisations, etc. post a comment or send a note~
About the group name: yes, I can spell. Usually. Just not this time.
Anyway welcome, and God bless!
MissionsGod's word tells us to bring his love to all people
To bring it beyond the shadow of our steeple.
We're called to shine the light past our own comfort zone
And invade the places darkness calls its own.
God commanded us to go, yet we stand still,
We claim that we love Him, but refuse to do His will.
We're called to reach people and meet their needs
Yet, when we see them, are we really planting seeds?
Or are we saying a quick "God bless"
As we run away, leaving them in their mess?
Are we really sheep who earnestly look for needs to meet,
Or are we goats who cross to the other side of the street?
God calls us to move, to reach, to go beyond ourselves,
If we can't do that, we might as well put our Bibles on shelves
And put down the name of Christ not bothering with his cross,
For Christ's whole mission was to reach the lost.
He calls us to follow his mission, yet we stand still.
How can we so easily turn away with so many needs to fill?
We're so earnest to bribe people with heaven above,
Siphiwe's TestimonyI would like everyone to meet my friend, Siphiwe. We've been friends since Bible College 6 years ago, and he really has been a blessing to me. Without Siphiwe I would be, well, closed minded. He has taught me many things, and I've enjoyed seeing things from his perspective. We all need friends like this - friends who don't have the same background we do, friends who have had a very different life than our own. Today, he shared a very, truly, amazing testimony with me. Here is Siphiwe's testimony:
"Well this happened many years ago I would say about ten years ago while I was in High School. I had been suffering from Asthma since childhood and it would be even worse around winter times. My chest would block and I would not be able to breathe. I had to go to the nearby clinic for them to give me oxygen with medicine so that my chest can clear. I also had medicine that I had to keep at home so that I could drink immediately when I felt the symptoms. This
Thoughts on Sunday School and Girl StoriesI am leading a "family service" this Sunday, basically a church service for both adults and children. So I've been thinking about which "story" I should preach on (my idea is to tell the story with pictures to the kids first, and then do a short sermon that is somple enough for kids to understand too).
Anyway while choosing stories I started thinking back to what stories I remember hearing in Sunday school (or: in the diverse Sunday schools I went to, growing up as a missionary kid and switching countries and churches way too much). I realised all of a sudden: we almost only heard "boy stories" - e.g. David and Goliath, Joshua, Samson, Jonah.
What about the "girl stories"?
Now I know (I've been teaching Sunday school and religious education for a while now) that Sunday school curricula are a complex matter. We're not just "teaching stories", but trying to give an idea of the overall biblical narrative e.g. with the history of Israel and later the beginnings of the church. We are
A prayer to forgiveO Lord open my eyes that I may see
for I am blind as blind can be
Open my ears that I may hear
for I too am deaf as I fail to hear the cries which comes to me
O Lord be kind and gracious please
I am a sinner, sinned again, sinned again
now on my knees
I am most hardened O Lord O please
heal me a sinner and cleanse me of my sinful infirmities
This I pray
O God my God
If suffering is needed and trials should make me stronger
then Lord I pray and I should pray harder still
grace for me to endure
if this reminds me I am a sinner
prolong it more and still much longer
TO MY FOES :
Alas I am weak as you can see
but my God and Saviour shall carry me
o'er the tragedy which gnaws with clenching teeth
o'er the sea He delivers me
He is my Rock
and comfort be
no harm shall come as long as He is with me
I may have stumbled but I shall not fall
for my God and Saviour has built me sturdy walls
arrows may rush towards me so
but none shall destroy this mighty threshold
For God has built me a fortitude
Blood and Body (bread and wine - Good Friday)Bread of Heaven
Giving Thyself that we may find
Heaven open its gates for we
that we may be in Heaven forever with Thee
Blood flowing from Thy sides
Pierced and stricken
Blood of the Saviour
in the wine
Sacrament o Divine
in Thy face
As we gaze
o as we gaze
At the Lord
Oh we gaze
Thou art broken
poured out for we
Bread and wine
not just body satisfied
but our spirit be bound forever to Thine
the Divine Sacrament
blessed to we
Shared and given all to who want to feed
Bread of Heaven
Wine turned Your precious blood
for us to drink
to sup with Thee
Blessed souls are we
To have a feast
with the King
Whose great love gave His life
as an offering
that we be sealed with His blood
as a sign of our communion
Holy Holy Holy
Thou art be
Grace and mercy
love flow from Thee
grant that we
as we feast
here on earth with Thee
That we may too
sup with Th
Maacah Mother of Tamar: Mother LionessTear my clothes,
throw ash upon my head.
Today my daughter is dead.
Why do we bear daughters
only to watch them be consumed
by the fires of the lust of a man
eating them alive?
Today my daughter is dead,
alive but dead,
an empty shell,
a rejected husk,
a ghost condemned
for another's lust.
Why do we bear daughters
only to watch them be destroyed
by a world that blames the helpless
and lets evil win the day?
They say a snake corrupted Eve -
today, it speaks to Adam
for it lives between his legs.
Why do we bear daughters
only to watch them be devoured
by merciless greed,
then cast away shamed,
a broken reed?
I want to tear him apart,
I want to rip his throat,
I want to bite off his manhood,
show no mercy to this merciless brute
who had no mercy for her.
Why do we bear daughters
only to watch them be regarded as objects,
playthings to be used and cast aside?
Why do we bear sons
if this is what they become?
I want to devour him
and leave nothing left,
I want him destroyed
the way he destro
Wise Woman of Tekoa: Justice and MercyJustice must be served,
the guilty must be punished;
justice must prevail
through the hand of the King.
As a just ruler
you must deal out judgement,
appeasing the masses
that clamour for blood.
Wrongs can't be ignored,
evil can't be covered -
the guilty must be punished,
justice must be served.
I am a Mother,
and you, Lord, are a Father.
Does not your father's heart
throb in you like mine?
Justice must be served
on my son who killed his brother;
the thirsty masses cry for blood.
I can't ignore his wrongs
that tear my heart asunder -
but vengeance will not heal me,
retribution won't atone my loss.
I have lost one son -
would you have me lose another?
Justice must be served,
but is this truly justice?
I am a Mother,
and you, Lord, are a Father.
Does not your father's heart
throb in you like mine?
Justice must be served
on your son who killed his brother.
As a just ruler
you must deal out judgement.
you are a Father
and he is your son.
Close the eyes of the
Suicide Prevention ResourcesIf you feel you are suicidal, you are not alone and there are people who can help.
The national Suicide Prevention Lifeline offers free confidential support 24/7. They do more than Listen; they can also offer services to help you escape a crisis.
Number: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Suicide Prevention Resource Center has a whole host of resources to help prevent suicide and is focused on loved ones of those suffering and professionals.
Lifeline Helpline is a 24/7 crisis response line for anyone in despair based in Northern Ireland.
Number: 0808 808 8000
Papyrus offers practical advice on suicide prevention, with a focus on young people.
Number: 0800 068 41 41
Text: 07786 209697
Premiere Lifeline offers emotional and spiritual support from a Christian perspective.
The Cure for Death is Life
In the world of the show The Walking Dead, an airborne virus has spread throughout the earth and has become part of the surviving humans. The virus becomes fully active once a person dies and they become zombified, a reanimated corpse. One can imagine a zombified person to itself is the most free. It is free of many of the things that make us human. Free of responsibility, free of emotion, free of law and order, among other things. It can focus solely on its desires.
Sin is like that virus, in which once a person dies spiritually it takes hold and transforms that person in similar fashion. Sin, like that zombie virus is relentless, indiscriminate, and all consuming. Those that have been given over to sin can see things the same way. Free to do as one's heart desires, without fear. However, those who are on the outside (survivors if you will) see things with a much different perspective. They can see how that "freedom" is more of a bondage and how destructive it is to the host and
Xmas... it really DOES mean Christmas!And it originated over 500 years ago:
What Is the X in Xmas?
You won’t find Xmas in church songbooks or even on many greeting cards. Xmas is popularly associated with a trend towards materialism, and sometimes the target of people who decry the emergence of general “holiday” observance instead of particular cultural and religious ritual.
But the history of the word “Xmas” is actually more respectable — and fascinating — than you might suspect. First of all, the abbreviation predates by centuries its use in gaudy advertisements. It was first used in the mid 1500s. X is the Greek letter “chi,” the initial letter in the word Χριστός. And here’s the kicker: Χριστός means “Christ.” X has been an acceptable representation of the word “Christ” for
Pray for PennsylvaniaPennsylvania is a state located in the northern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.
It is bordered by Delaware in the southeast, Maryland in the south, West Virginia in the southwest,
Ohio in the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario in the northwest, New York in
the north and New Jersey in the east.
Harrisburg is the capital
Philadelphia is the largest city
The population is over 12 million
Pennsylvania has been nicknamed the 'Keystone State' and the 'Quaker State'
Its motto is 'Virtue, Liberty and Independence'
Pennsylvania is a Commonwealth.
Pennsylvania was named by William Penn (1644 – 1718) an English real estate entrepreneur, early Quaker
and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania
Penn named the colony after his family.
‘Penn stands for his family, Penn, and ‘sylvania’ is the Latin word for ‘Woods’
The first log cabins built in the US were built in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania was the second state to ratify the Un
The Gospel According to MeIn other words, why in the world do I follow, serve, and love Jesus?
Well, there’s a good bit of reasons, not sorted by importance: all of them are pretty relevant.
I realize I’m made in the image of God as a human being, which I understand I’m made for a lot more than what I think I am. In the Christian understanding of humanity being made in the image of God, it means not only are we merely accountable to a Creator, but it means we share a lot of positive attributes of God (to an extent, if we see God as being omnipotent). We’re like an icon of God of sorts, reflecting the heavenly on earth, originally. But if one is familiar with the Genesis account, things didn’t stay that way.
The things that I’ve limited myself to do because of my desires that don’t glorify God in a negative sense (sin) is what blurs my real purpose and destiny. Thus, because of this wisdom of good and evil we’ve all embraced has giv
Ghost-girl"Captured?" I said. "No, it's the opposite. We are a pilgrim people. We are forever travelling. Forever free. That's... that's the problem," I said. "We never arrive, we never find home." Then, I remembered the ghost-girls. The ghost-girl the women of our village said I'd become. Beyond the city wall. And it came to me then that we children, pale as ghosts, would forever wander outside the city wall.
(Rebecca Mackenzie, In a Land of Paper Gods)
That is one of the best descriptions I have read of what it means to be a missionary kid.
In a Land of Paper Gods is a novel about a girl growing up as a child of missionaries in WW2 China. She is in boarding school, hasn't seen her parents for a long time, and due to the war ends up not seeing them for years, forgetting what they looked like, afraid that they won't recognise her when they finally have a reunion. The Chinese call her "ghost girl" because she is so pale... in Chinese tradition, ghosts are believed to l
by Rock's Rose Photography/ E.W. Rantala
June 10, 2016
My God Is A King Disguised As A KnightMy God is a King,
Disguised as a Knight,
Stepped down from His palace,
And into my night,
He mounted a horse,
And swiftly He road,
Through the dark wilderness,
With His kingly head low,
His armor was speckled,
With the mud which flew,
From the road which He took,
The only way through,
And though He was muddied,
His armor shone bright,
Through the filth and the grime,
By the moon in the sky,
And all that stood hidden,
The outcasts and thieves,
That cowered and crouched,
In those forsaken trees,
They knew by the glint,
Of His splendid apparel,
That a Savior road by,
On His way to slay peril,
And when He arrived,
At my slovenly shack,
He leapt from His steed,
And He never looked back,
He strode to the hobble,
And gently He opened,
The door to the pigsty,
That of which I dwelt in,
And there at the wall,
Did I cower beneath,
The hand of my lover,
A murderer and cheat,
And I wept and I begged,
That he would love me still,
That he'd not punish me,
Ever faithful to his will,
But he was cruel m
When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them. (Luke 2:15-20)
The greatest gift of Christmas, according to a Swiss children's song, is not wrapped in paper or bought from a shop - it is Jesus! Every year, we remember how God gave us Himself in His Son, Jesus, coming close to us, becoming one of us, saving us and reconciling us with Him.
This year, I've been thinking about how Christmas is not only about receiving this gift all over again - it's also about passing this gift on, like the shepherds did, who told everybody about what they had found in that stable. I would like to see Christmas as a moment to be commissioned again, to accept the gift of God's presence with us, and then go out into the world and share it.
What inspires me here is on the one hand the shepherds who went out from the manger into the world - on the other hand Mary, who brought Jesus into the world by giving birth to Him. She had a very special privilege - and I believe she also models what discipleship means.
When the angel came to her and told her she would be pregnant, she said yes: "Let it be with me according to your word." (Lk 1:38) Saying yes to pregnancy and motherhood is a very big thing, though. Recently I looked up a list of some of the physical changes caused by pregnancy and giving birth, and it's quite a daunting list including things like morning sickness, varicose veins, difficulty sleeping, going through an emotional roller coaster, skin problems, indigestion, etc etc. Being pregnant involves the whole person, physically and emotionally. When Mary said yes, she made a very big commitment, one involving her as whole person. It would not leave her unchanged - partly there would be the changes occurring naturally as the baby grew in her, partly she would have had to make adjustments to her lifestyle to protect the child and prepare for him.
And Mary's full commitment did not end when Jesus was born. The birth of the child is only the beginning of a whole new level of commitment: all one's plans need to be adjusted, one's lifestyle changes to accommodate the child and his needs, the parents have new priorities and new worries due to their responsibility for the child. Speaking to friends and relatives of mine who have recently become mothers, I realised that being a mother involves the whole person; the mother is bound to the child in a peculiar way. Mary's commitment continued as Jesus was born, as she brought Him up, and as she started having to let Him go His own way from the time He got lost in the temple to the time He began His ministry, and then finally at the cross where He died.
I see Mary's motherhood as a model for our discipleship in this way:
I believe that giving Jesus to the world needs to be like Mary's pregnancy and motherhood: it needs to begin with commitment. In order to share Jesus with the world, we need to accept the gift the way Mary did, with all the challenges that come with it - and with all the love and joy and excitement of a new mother.
What inspires me about Mary's commitment is that it is what leads to Jesus coming into this world - the same way, may our commitment to God lead to more people experiencing the nearness of God, and His immense love!
I wish you all a blessed Christmas - and many opportunities to share the best gift ever with the people you meet!
Pray for people who are lonely during this Christmas season. I've read in a few places that this is the time most suicides happen (in Europe). Pray that people can open their hearts and their doors so no one needs to feel alone, and that the lonely can experience the love and presence of God!
Also, I think this is a good time to remember everyone who has lost somebody this year. Celebrating together as a family can give a stronger reminder of the loss, so pray for comfort.
This year has once again been a year full of conflicts and disasters. Pray for peace, especially in Iraq and Syria. Pray for the people affected by the conflict, for the many refugees. It is not always easy to integrate refugees in a different culture, so pray for the countries receiving refugees, that the people there may have open hearts for those arriving and also have understanding for the cultural differences, and wisdom how to surmount those differences without additional conflicts erupting.
Even though Christmas has been marketed and spread all over the world, many people know nothing about the true gift of Christmas. In many countries, churches and missionaries use this season as an opportunity to tell people about Jesus and what Christmas is really about. Pray for God's blessing on the many Christmas events and outreaches, for open hearts and that many may receive this best of all gifts! Pray for fervour in evangelism, and that the love of Jesus may be poured out not just during Christmas, but afterwards as well.
It's a sad fact that many people have made negative experiences with the church or Christians, and don't associate Christianity with love even though love is what it's all about! So pray for the people who have been hurt by the church, or have received a false impression. Pray that they may meet the right people who show them what God is really like, that they can hear the message again in a way they can understand, and that God can open their hearts to receiving the Gospel as truly Good News!
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!
If you have prayer requests, or see something in the news you think we should pray for, leave a comment or send a note!
I've started working in a church, which means I've become extremely busy! To make sure that this group keeps running smoothly, i.e. submissions don't expire and prayer requests get posted to the journal promptly, I'd be glad for some support!!!
Being a contributor involves:
Accepting (or rejecting) submissions - basically just checking a submission fits the group guidelines, then clicking a yes or no button
Posting prayer requests in a journal when the group receives them - not a very regular thing, depends on whether requests get sent in, though I like to add requests from world news or prayer for unreached people groups and such
If you're interested, send a note!! The only requirements are understanding the group focus (world mission) and the group rules. Also feel free to send a note if you have any questions~
HAPPY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS YOU~
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