I Will Trust In You – Poem

I Will Trust You 

My heart had been scattered
Into millions of pieces. 
All that I once trusted blindly 
Was questioned.
Was is true?
Or was it false?
Each was testing and weighed
For truth or for error.

Is trusting in the stories
Of the Bible
Just like trusting that
Rome was an empire
Or that WWII happened?
Are they more like
Fairy Tales?

Did someone really
Rise from the dead?
Can miracles actually happen?
Did God create the earth?
Does He even exist?

Is all that the Bible says true? 
Or is it all a lie?
When Jesus comes back,
Will He be coming for me?
Is He even going to come back?
Is all that I place my
Hope and my trust in –
A lie?

Then it struck me.
I had asked the question,
“Is Jesus even coming back?” 
I remembered someone saying,
“If the Bible is false,
Christians are to be pitied.”
Was I to be pitied?
Was I trusting in a false hope?

But, then, something
Tugged on my heart.
Something inside me said,
“Lord, I don’t understand 
Why I feel this way –
Why You seem far away.
But I will trust You.

“I will trust You
Through this storm,
Through this doubt,
Through this pain.
Because You. Are. 
Trustworthy.

“I will trust You
Because You are wise,
Because You know all,
Because You know best.
You have carried me this far.

“I will trust You.
Because You have brought me 
Through past storms,
Through past doubts,
Through past pain.

“And I Will Trust You.
Because Your word is TRUE.
It says you give life 
To the dead,
Hope to the hopeless,
And a purpose for my life.

“Without You I am
Nothing.
Without You I am 
Dead in my sin,
Lost and without hope,
And then, my life would
Have no meaning.
Because You created me to
Glorify You.

So, I will trust You
With my life.
I give it all to You.
May You use my life
To proclaim Your 
Wonderful,
Powerful name 
To the whole earth.
Take my life. 
It is Yours to use.
I will trust You.

 

 

 

 

Two Obstacles to Taking Perspectives Overcome

(If you have not read my post from last Tuesday – Perspectives. I would suggest reading it first.)

Before I took the Perspectives class, I had many objections about why I couldn’t attend. Now, don’t get me wrong, I really wanted to go. I just thought that there were too many things blocking me from taking the class. Well, I found out that I was able to overcome those obstacles and my life was changed by taking that class.

Obstacle #1: Age

When my dad and I began to talk about the Perspectives class that was being hosted at our church, my first concern was that I was too young. Should I wait until I’m older? Then, I might be able to get more out of the class. But, my dad told me, “You know, you might get more out of the class if you were older. However, it might be more beneficial to take the class now because you will look at the world differently after the class.”

So, there is some advice from my dad. Now, being a high school freshman, I have taken the course and I say YES. Take Perspectives (even if you’re still in high school)! It will change the way you look at the worldwide movement of God and maybe even alter the course of your life.

Obstacle #2: Time

Ok. I have to be honest with y’all. The Perspectives course takes a lot of time and effort. There are readings every week and you are also required to attend a live class once a week. I, personally, didn’t think that I had the time to do all of the work.

Now, for some people that is a legitimate concern. You might have a full-time job. You could be a stay-at-home mom. You might be a high school junior with a ton of homework.

But, I found that there is a way to overcome this barrier. The first is to set a time to do your readings each week. Each Sunday, after my younger siblings went to choir, I would sit down and read. My dad found time to read while he waited for my sister to finish her bible study which he drove here to every week.

However, for me, I had to give up some of the things on my schedule. Normally, I would go to choir with my siblings. But, in order to have enough time to do the readings, I had to resign for that semester. Also, my highschool bible study was at the same time as class. So, I had to give that up, too. Was it worth it? I believe that, yes, it was.

So, what do we do with this? Well, if you were on the fence about taking Perspectives, I hope that this post has helped you to finish jumping that fence. But, if you weren’t planning on taking it, maybe now you are interested in finding out more. However, if you aren’t ever planning on taking the class, I hope that you can at least see how important it is and encourage others to go.

Perspectives

For the last 15 weeks, every Tuesday night, I have had the opportunity to attend a class called Perspectives. Perspectives has been extremely crucial in my Christian walk. Perspectives has taught me so much about how God is working around the world and how He wants us to partner with Him in reaching the ends of the earth with His wonderful, too good to be true, news. Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is a class for people of all ages who are interested in what God is doing in the world.

Why Perspectives?

God has a “world-sized” role for every Christian in His global purpose.Whether people go to distant countries or stay at home is a secondary issue. The primary issue is what most people are hungry to discover: vision to live a life of purpose. Discovering that vision makes this course valuable, and perhaps crucial, for any Christian. ~ taken from the Perspectives website

What is Perspectives?

Perspectives is a fifteen-week course designed around four vantage points or “perspectives” — Biblical, Historical, Cultural and Strategic. Each one highlights different aspects of God’s global purpose.

The Biblical and Historical sections reveal why our confidence is based on the historic fact of God’s relentless work from the dawn of history until this day.

The Cultural and Strategic sections underscore that we are in the midst of a costly, but very “do-able” task, confirming the Biblical and Historical hope.  ~ taken from the Perspectives website

Interested in learning more? Take a look at the Perspectives website.

Why Does God Tell Us to Rest?

Chores, school work, social media, sports. We live in a busy world. There are always places to go, things to do, and people to hang out with. It can be extremely easy to always be doing something.

But, always running about can have some unwanted effects. 

  1. We miss the little things

    When we have our day jam-packed with things to do, we never (or hardly ever) have the time to sit down and revel in the glory of what God has done for us. We spend all of our time on busyness that we never have time to enjoy the little day-to-day gifts that God has given us. For example, I spend a lot of time working on school. Unfortunately, as a result, I do not always take the time I should to be with my precious family.

  2. We lose the opportunities that God has given us.

    God has placed certain people in our lives who He wants us to minister to – the neighbor next door who doesn’t know the Lord to the struggling youth who sits across from you in class. If we stuff our schedules so full that we only have time for what we want to do, where is the time for the things that God asks and commands us to do? We need to be open and willing to change or empty some of our schedules in order that we might do God’s will.  

  3. We get burned out.

    Burnout: The physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress. God created humans to rest. And, if we are constantly active, we will burn out. We will no longer have the energy or motivation we need to keep going. 

One way to keep ourselves from burning out is to plan our schedule wisely. This is where we need to remember that we can’t do everything. No matter how much we would like to help everyone we can’t because we aren’t God. We are limited and finite. 

Another opportunity that God gives to rest is Sunday. On Sunday, we can go to church, worship God, and be filled with the energy to show His love to others throughout the next week. Also, it is alway beneficial to cover ourselves with God’s Word each day in order to do His work well.

So, if you find that you are burning out, rethink your schedule,  and make sure to take the time to immerse yourself in God’s word.

 

Letting Go of My To-Do List

Today I would like to introduce y’all to my first guest poster – Grace. 

Grace M. is a writer, piano-player, sunset-lover, and baker. She enjoys playing volleyball, eating sour gummy worms, and spending time with her family. She blogs about Christian living at Tizzies Tidbits.

 

I am one of those people that has an organized-in-theory kind of life. One of the organized-in-theory parts of my life is my to-do list. In fact, I may have To-Do List Syndrome. For instance, writing this blog post is on my to-do list; and as soon as I finish it, I’m going to cross through this task and do a mental happy dance.

But I make to-do lists too often and don’t complete the tasks on my to-do lists often enough. I have so much to do! I have to register for classes, practice piano, write a new article, and the list goes on. There’s always more to do. As soon as I feel satisfied because I finished a big job, I realize there are six more “big jobs” to do.

I don’t have the perfect solution to make your life less hectic, but I do know that you can be satisfied with work because it is actually good for you!

“But we urge you, brethren, to excel still more, and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you, so that you will behave properly toward outsiders and not be in any need” (1 Thessalonians 4:10b-13, NASB).

“For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all, but acting like busybodies. Now such persons we command and exhort in the Lord Jesus Christ to work in quiet fashion and eat their own bread” (2 Thessalonians 3:10-12, NASB).

It’s good to have work to do! It provides purpose (and food) in your life. If you have too much time on your hands, it’s easy to give into sin, like Peter mentioned in 2 Thessalonians. God graciously gave us work so that we wouldn’t be bored at home all day and so we could have food on our tables and roofs over our heads. It’s easy to daydream about a long day at home with nothing to do. However, a lifestyle like that would become boring very fast; and we’d probably feel depressed and purposeless.

But that’s only one end of the spectrum. What about the other end? Is there such a thing as putting too much emphasis on work? Of course!

I think most of us give ourselves too many tasks to complete. If you’re anything like me, you shoot high but usually end up low. I set so many goals for a day, but I only end up meeting a few of them. Then I feel like I’ve wasted all of my time (and usually I have wasted a large part of it) and that I’ll never get anything accomplished.

It’s hard to find the balance between having too many goals and not having enough goals, but this balance is important. Ideally, you’ll be busy enough to feel purposeful but not so busy that you’ll constantly feel stressed.

Don’t worry. You’ll find the balance. It may take time to find it, but the balance is there.

To-do lists are not evil. In fact, they can be incredibly helpful. Checking off a task brings satisfaction. Just remember that making your goals too important is sinful. Our most important goal should be to bring glory to God by completing the tasks He sets before us.

God gave us work for a reason. We struggle with it because of sin, but it keeps us busy. It gives us purpose, but working ourselves to death is silly and exhausting. Set realistic expectations for yourself, and if you don’t reach every one of your goals, shake it off and work on it tomorrow.

How Our Words Hurt

Story #1

   “Have you heard about how Jane tripped at school today?” Sarah asked her friend in the hallway as they walked to science class. “She looked like a little fish. I wish that I had taken a video of it. I bet that she won’t walk down that hallway for months!” Sarah’s friend giggled and they continued to retell the event in even more detail than before and not without a few additions of their own.

Little did Sarah and her friend know that Jane was walking right behind them and heard every word that they said. What they also didn’t realize was that Jane did not just brush their words off. But, they sank deep inside her and made her feel silly and foolish. That little story hurt Jane a great deal. 

Story #2

   Jane was sweaty, her legs hurt, and she didn’t think that she could run one more step. She wanted to quit and go home. “You can do it!” Sarah yelled, “You’re so close. Just a few more yards!” Hearing Sarah’s voice, Jane willed her legs to go farther. She wanted to win the race – not only for herself but also for her friend who was cheering her on from the sidelines. As Jane crossed the finished line, Sarah shouted her name in excitement and gave a high-five to congratulate her. “You were great! Let’s go celebrate!”

Words. They are powerful. With words, we can build each other up, but we can also tear one another down. That is why it is important that we encourage one other with our words – not gossip and lie about one another behind each other’s back.

But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
‭‭James‬ ‭3:8-12‬ ‭ESV‬‬

 

Facing a Task Unfinished

This week I would like to highlight two more missions related songs which I have found recently. They are called Facing a Tack Unfinished and For the Cause. Both are written by Keith and Kristyn Getty.

Facing a Tack Unfinished

Missions sometimes seems like a task which is too large to complete, too impossible to tackle, and there seems no way for it to ever end. We will sometimes get discouraged and wish that we could give up. This song encourages us to continue the task until every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.

“Facing a task unfinished
That drives us to our knees
A need that, undiminished
Rebukes our slothful ease
We, who rejoice to know Thee
Renew before Thy throne
The solemn pledge we owe Thee
To go and make Thee known

Where other lords beside Thee
Hold their unhindered sway
Where forces that defied Thee
Defy Thee still today
With none to heed their crying
For life, and love, and light
Unnumbered souls are dying
And pass into the night

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord 

We bear the torch that flaming
Fell from the hands of those
Who gave their lives proclaiming
That Jesus died and rose
Ours is the same commission
The same glad message ours
Fired by the same ambition
To Thee we yield our powers

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord 

O Father who sustained them
O Spirit who inspired
Saviour, whose love constrained them
To toil with zeal untired
From cowardice defend us
From lethargy awake!
Forth on Thine errands send us
To labour for Thy sake

We go to all the world
With kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord 

We go to all the world
His kingdom hope unfurled
No other name has power to save
But Jesus Christ The Lord”

 

For the Cause

This is the anthem of Christ followers which I love so dearly. We proclaim Christ so that all creation and every nation may find salvation through the Son, Jesus Christ. His name is the name that is above every name!

“For the cause of Christ the King
We give our lives, an offering
’Til all the earth resounds 
With ceaseless praise
To the Son

For the cause of Christ we go
With joy to reap, with faith to sow
As many see
And many put their trust in the Son

CHORUS
Christ we proclaim, 
The Name above every name:
For all creation, 
Ev’ry nation,
God’s salvation 
Through the Son!

For the King once lifted high
To cries of rage, of ‘crucify!’
Endured the cross
As every sin was laid
On the Son

To the King who conquered death
To free the poor and the oppressed
For lasting peace
For life and liberty
In the Son

CHORUS

Let it be my life’s refrain:
To live is Christ, to die is gain;
Deny myself, take up my cross
And follow the Son

Just a Piece: God Has a Great Plan Even Though We Don’t See It.

 

Financial difficulties, moving away from home, the death of a relative – these are all things that cause us to feel worried, lonely, and/or discouraged. Why does this happen? 

Looking at all of these things, I see that we have no control over them (unless you are the person who is deciding to move the family). Also, in the cases of moving and losing a loved one, you miss someone and wish for that fellowship which you enjoyed so sweetly earlier to be renewed.

The following poem was written while I was wrestling with why I didn’t understand God’s perfect plan. I was wondering why difficult and painful things had to happen. The poem reflects the way I felt during that time of sadness and how I found peace in God’s flawless plan for my life.

Just a Piece

Why is this happening? 
I don’t understand! 
Things have gone wrong. 
This shouldn’t have happened. 
I can’t comprehend 
All that has taken place. 
What will this mean? 

God, I need you 
To get through
I can’t do this on my own. 
Please show me, What to do. 
To struggle through this 
By myself 
Would be painful. 
Please show me Your plan 
That I may do Your will. 

“I have a plan for you,” 
God says,
“But you have to trust me. 
Because to you, 
It might not make sense. 

“You see, your life is a piece. 
You have just a piece of my plan. 
A piece in a plan for this world, 
That is greater 
Then you can imagine. 

“Though this time in your life 
May be painful and tough, 
Remember that you have 
Just a puzzle piece In my big picture.

Missionary Interviews #2 – Daniel and Stephanie Dias

      Thank you, Daniel and Stephanie, for taking your time to answer these questions! I am so glad that  I was able to interview you all.

How long have you been serving?

              We have been in West Africa since April 2008.
 
Where have you served?
              We originally went to West Africa to work in Guinea – Conakry.  Our goal was always to work in church planting but our mission asked us to help with a service ministry, a ministry that assists church planting.  The ministry was to help new missionaries arriving on the field.  We were new missionaries ourselves, but we decided to give a few years to this ministry.  We were there for only 17 months before leaving to have our third son.  We were still planning on returning, but two weeks after our depart there were political problems in the capital, where we were located.  Our mission asked all the missionaries in the capital to move to Dakar, Senegal.  Senegal is just North of Guinea.  A few months later, our mission board asked us to relocate to Dakar to keep doing the same ministry we were doing in Conakry. After much prayer we accepted, saying that we were going to give this ministry two more years.  Afterward, we wanted to pursue church planting.  After one year in Dakar, we reminded our mission board of our desire and they informed us that it would most likely be delayed since they needed to do People Group Assessment (PGA).  Our mission board has a focus in church planting and they use PGA to find out where the priorities are in a given area.  So PGA involves a lot of traveling, investigating, and visiting with local believers.  Our mission board was waiting to find a single person who could do this ministry.  We offered to work with it for the second year in Dakar since at that time there were no single missionaries available. We ended up traveling 7,000 miles in about 4 months, visiting 7 West African countries.  By the end, we had a list of the people groups that our mission board considered a priority and among them was the Bolon in Burkina Faso.  Since 2013 we have been in Burkina Faso, learning the local language of wider communication (Jula), getting to know the local church community, and preparing to live among the Bolon.  We just finished building our house in a Bolon village this last January. 
 
When did you first feel that you were called to be a missionary and how did that lead into what you are doing now?
              I (Daniel) was born into a missionary family.  My parents worked for 12 years with a small people group in Northeast Brazil.  By the time I was 12 years-old we had already moved to another region and my parents were helping a small church in the countryside.  My parents were always involved in raising the awareness of the local church concerning Missions.  We went with a group from our small church to a mission conference at the New Tribes Bible School where we watched a video about missionaries in Papua New Guinea.  They learned the language of a people group and gave them the Gospel.  One of the new believers asked the missionaries how long they had known the message.  Upon learning that the missionaries had known it for a long time, the new believers asked why it had taken so long to come and give them this Good News.  I then felt convicted of our responsibility, as the Church of Christ, to go and give them the Gospel.  Ever since that moment, my life has been geared towards church planting.  Every decision I have made has had the goal of reaching the unreached. 
              I (Stephanie) knew that God was leading me into missions around the age of 14.  I had a heart for missions, specifically the unreached people groups of the world.  I also knew that God has given me an ability to learn languages easily.  I prayed to be used wherever He would lead me.  I pursued a degree in elementary education since I figured I’d be homeschooling my children one day and it was during my time in college that God began to open doors for missions.  Through an MK friend, I learned about New Tribes Mission and their philosophy of missions.  This same MM also introduced me to my “future” husband.  After learning that my husband had a heart for Africa, we headed in that direction.  We studied French in Quebec, Canada and then raised support before leaving for West Africa.
 
What does your job entail?
              Our mission has the goal of establishing strong, bible literate, indigenous churches.  As church planters, we have to learn the language and the culture of our target people group in order to effectively communicate the story given in the Bible.  Once we reach a high level of communication ability we start working with literacy, teaching the people group how to read and write in their own language.  We then translate the Bible verses that will be used in Bible teaching, prepare the lessons, and start the teaching phase of our ministry.  Our mission board works with a chronological teaching program that teaches the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  Once the teaching is done, we then start the translation of the rest of the Bible, hopefully now with the help of our brothers and sisters who recognized Jesus as their savior during the teaching time. We then go through the other phases of teaching that will expose the new believers to the entirety of the Bible story.
 
How do you think that your specific role in missions is especially important?
              We have the opportunity to present the Word of God to people in their heart language.  It is through the truth of His Word that the Holy Spirit uses to convince people “concerning sin, godliness, and judgment” (John 16:7-11). 
 
Do you have a story about how you have seen God work through your role?
              Although we are at the very beginning of our church planting ministry, we have had the opportunity to serve the local church everywhere we have been and it has been a blessing to be able to share more of the truths of the Bible everywhere we go.  The lack of knowledge of what the Bible says is widespread.  Although many people see Jesus as their Savior, some do not understand what that truly means.  We have had the opportunity to see people learn more of who they are in Jesus and see them be set free from fears that used to control their lives.  While learning Jula, I was talking to my language teacher about God.  He was a new believer and did not know much of what the Bible teaches.  I was explaining that although God is spirit, not having a physical body, He is not like the spirits his people worship and fear. I told my teacher that God is Eternal and the spirits only immortal.  He only understood the difference when I said that God does not have a birthday, that He was never born.  He was amazed by that because until then he thought that God was stronger than the other spirits but didn’t know why. We pray that we will see much of this among the Bolon in the future.
 
What training did you have to take for your job? (college degrees/ classes/ working with people on certain things)
              I (Daniel) went to Bible School, Missionary Training School, and Linguistic School as preparation to work as a church planter with New Tribes Mission.  The training took four and a half years.
              I (Stef) attended a Christian University so I didn’t have to do New Tribes Bible School. Even though Daniel had already completed NTM training, we had to do the missions training together as a couple.  Then we were placed into the advanced linguistics program where we spent a semester in Oklahoma studying Cherokee. 
 
What tips would you give a young person or anyone who is interested in this role? 
              You should ask God to search your heart and confirm your calling.  If you’re sure of God’s leading, then go forward, trusting God to open doors at the right time. He always does. There are some missions who do “vision” trips where you can visit the field before deciding where to serve.  Those trips can be helpful.
 
Is there any way that we can pray for you and the area you work in?
              Yes! There is a continual growing presence of Jihadist activity in our country and it’s creeping closer and closer to our village.  Pray for safety for the missionaries in the area and for wisdom for our team as we serve God in this new reality.
 
 
 
 
Other posts in this series…
 
 
 
 

Training Grounds For the Future

Remember what I said about school in my last post?  In the post, Mexico Vision Trip – Come I said that,

“School felt meaningless and I felt lazy when I was reading a book or just relaxing.”

However, school is not meaningless and it is ok to read a book or to relax when you’re tired. School has a purpose. It is important. But, why? 

School teaches you how to learn.

Now, one of my Dad’s favorite quotes about school come to mind. He says it every time we ask, “Why must I do school? Do I have I do this?”  It is,

School is where you learn how to learn.

It is as simple as that. 

We go to school and get taught how to learn. That way, when you are older, and you don’t have people in your life who are able to teach you things, you will still be able to learn something new. You will know how to teach yourself new and important things that you didn’t need to know when you were younger.

For example, you are driving to work and your tire pops. What do you do? You have never changed a tire in your life – never even seen one changed, for that matter. 

First, you would know that you need to find instructions on changing a tire. (Unless you are really ambitious and think that you can change a tire without instructions.) Once you find your instructions, you would read them and interpret what they mean. Then, you would change the tire, following the directions. Also, if you knew that you weren’t strong enough to change the tire, you would go and find someone to help. 

In this example, you 1. recognized your problem, 2. figured out how to solve the problem, and then 3. solved it. Does this sort of sound like those math word problems we have to solve each day?

So, we go to school to learn how to learn.

For those worried teachers out there, yes, it is extremely important to know how to read, write, solve problems, and interpret information. 

Life prepares us for the future.

Life, as it is now, is a training ground for what life will be like tomorrow, next week, next year, or the next season in my life. What you are experiencing today, will prepare you for a challenge you have to face in your future. 

I did gymnastics for four years and I loved it. I practiced at home almost every day. To perfect my cartwheel, sometimes I would do more than a hundred in one setting. 

Now, I don’t believe that gymnastics is what I will do for my career in the future, but it did teach me an important lesson – Perseverance.

Perseverance is steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success.

When I was practicing my cartwheels, I did cartwheel after cartwheel after cartwheel. Those cartwheels were not perfect overnight. I had to be patient with myself and continue to practice, even when it seemed like I was going nowhere.

So, the experiences you are facing now are training grounds for you to live out what you believe and to learn new skills that you will use for the rest of your life.  Go.  Train hard!

 

 

 

For His Great Name
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