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9.28.2006

missionaries in the USA (pt. 2)

In one of my recent posts, I said that it bothers me that more Christians don't view themselves as missionaries to this culture and that I would follow up with some possible reasons why. So, here's my first reason why:

#1 The false belief that America is a Christian nation.

One of the major reasons that many believers do not live as missionaries in the USA is because they are under the false impression that we live in a Christian nation. Many say that the country was founded by Christians and for Christian reasons. Even if that were the case (and I would argue that most of the founding fathers were deists at best), the reality is that we are not currently a Christian nation. Fewer people attend church now than ten years ago. While spirituality is on the rise, belief in the Bible is down. Yet, many Christians still think that this is a Christian nation. As a result, these believers tend to expect unchurched people to find their way to church and are shocked when the culture doesn't honor or respect Christians or their principles. So, rather than loving the culture that is hostile toward them (like Jesus did), they get angry and defensive because they suppose that it's wrong for Christians to be the minority. Rather than serving out of love and sacrifice, these believers fight for their "rights" to be heard.


America is NOT a Christian nation. Therefore, Christians who are serious about Christ's mission will realize that people need to be loved, served, and told the truth just like those in countries where there is hostility to the gospel (because there is here too). They will quit fighting the people they are trying to win and, like Jesus, serve them sacrificially out of love and joy.

9.25.2006

great time at vision night & dessert social

Well, we had a great time on Saturday night thinking about the truth that God put you in this place so others would seek his face. This came from Acts 17:26-27: "he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us."

We talked about the importance of seeking the good of our community and our neighborhoods, and we offered the following challenges for between now and halloween.

1. once per week, take a walk around your neighborhood and pray for the people there.
2. once this month, have a neighbor over for dinner and spend time just caring about them and discovering their story.

I can't wait to see what God does through you and I as we live as missionaries to this community.

9.21.2006

one man who made a difference

How would your neighborhood, workplace, or community be different if you left? Well, for those who have worked with Don Hunzinker, they know their workplace, their office, and their lives will never be the same. Don is retiring from Boeing after 21 years, and it's obvious that he's made a significant impact on the people he has worked with. I write about this as an encouragement for all of us to be difference makers in the places God has put us.

Here are some quotes from people that have worked with Don:

"We are going to be losing the heart of the department. Don has been the guiding force setting the tone and atmosphere for all of us."

"Don is receptive and easy to communicate with. He has an openness that makes you feel comfortable and sets you at ease. He has an open door policy and I am going to really miss him."

"Working for Don is like you're willing to go out and march through the desert AND give him your water."

"You could say that the culture here will be seriously changed when he leaves."

Don and his wife, Vera, are moving next month to Nixa, Missouri where they'll be closer to their children. He'll be sorely missed at his company and within the East Valley Bible Church family. It's a great example and challenge to all of us that we can make a difference in people's lives anywhere that God places us.

9.18.2006

missionaries in the usa

I have been thinking recently about our jacked up view that missionaries are the people that go to foreign countries and that we are not missionaries here in America. I have some ideas on why that kind of thinking is common, and in the next few posts, I plan to write some of my reasons. In the meantime, though, I'd love to hear from you. Just click the "comments" button below and give your thoughts. I'll look forward to hearing from you.

9.12.2006

unconditional love

My daughter Abby was 2-months old yesterday. She's turned out to be a little porker (weighed in at 14 lbs. 6 oz.). She is our first child, so I'm new to this whole dad thing. But one thing is for sure--I love her a ton. I had a moment a few days ago when we were laying on the floor together and I found myself saying to her, "There is not a single thing that you could do to make me love you more, and not a single thing you could do to make me love you less."

It was a great reminder that God feels the exact same way about you and me. Because of Jesus, there is nothing that I could do to make God love me more, and nothing that would make God love me less. And, as somebody who has a hard time accepting the truth that God really, totally, completely loves me, it was a great lesson.

9.09.2006

the common grace of college football

As I prepare to sit down for an evening of watching two powerhouse college football programs square off (#1 Ohio State and #2 Texas), I'm reminded of the common grace of God. Common grace is the idea that all men, regardless of whether they believe or not, experience God's grace in some measure. This is what Jesus referred to in Matthew 5:45: "He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust."

College football is a great reminder of common grace. It's a good thing that millions of people enjoy and find community around, whether they are evil or good, just or unjust. Sadly, for many they also become idols (good things turned into ultimate things). But, as for me, I'm going to sit back on the couch and thank God for competition, for college football, and for all the grace that I don't deserve.

Go Buckeyes!


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watching sports on TV
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shopping/running errands
sleeping and resting
Other
  
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9.05.2006

Christ, my life

I am realizing more and more that believing the gospel means that all my sense of security, worth, value, and importance comes from knowing that even though I am horribly sinful and wicked, I am also totally loved and accepted in Jesus Christ more than I could ever hope. If I ever am living in a way that says, "I have Jesus, but only if I have _____ (approval, control, comfort, power, money, things, etc.) will I be truly happy," then I am not really living as a person who believes the gospel.

Lots to unpack here and I think I'll continue to work through it, but if you want to listen to a sermon that has helped me, listen to Christ, Our Life by Tim Keller.