Nearly anything can be purchased at traffic lights throughout South Africa. Colorful, persistent vendors peddle phone chargers, toilet brushes, steering wheel covers, fake sunglasses, clothes hangers, umbrellas, flowers, trash bags and just about anything you can think of. It’s like having the Dollar store come to you. Who needs the mall when you can shop at the traffic lights?
At each of these same intersections, other vendors walk between the cars relentlessly selling a magazine entitled, The Big Issue to drivers held captive by the red light. Each issue consists of a variety of articles written about the latest world news, pop culture, current events, local gossip and so forth. The title of the magazine itself begs the question… “what exactly is the big issue?”
In our part of the world, the big issue might be: “how … Read More »
As I sit down to write our newsletter this month, my heart is overwhelmed with Thankfulness. Looking back over the year Terri and I can see how God has been at work in our lives in a number of ways. He’s blessed us with family & friends that enrich our lives. We have great health; He’s answered prayers; and He’s given us the ability to carry out His plans for our lives. If I’m like you I could sit down and write a substantial list of things that I’m grateful for.
At this time of year it seems that we tend to slow down a bit, count our blessings, and focus on others. We shop for that perfect gift for our wife or husband. We don’t mind giving to the Salvation Army guy who rings … Read More »
Proverbs 23:7 tells us: “…as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” So then, our thinking, dreaming and imagining then must play quite a big role in whether or not we succeed in life’s endeavors and relationships or not. The reality is that we will ultimately gravitate toward what we think about. Have a look at this poem by C. W. Longnecker…
If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you like to win but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.
If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost.
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will.
It’s all in the state of mind.
If you think you are out classed, you are.
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure … Read More »
At first thought the answer to that question would be – no way! But, when I ponder the thought a little more, the answer is yes, but… hear me out. Jesus gave his life so that all of humanity could experience a vibrant relationship with our Heavenly Father and live an overcoming, victorious, eternal life now. Handing out blankets to those in need is our job.
Today we hear the words “Social Justice” to describe a value system of helping those in need and righting the wrongs of society. It is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political, social rights and opportunities. Social Justice has become an overused buzzword even in the church suggesting that we as believers must subscribe to this value system of righting the wrongs facing humanity – to stop human trafficking, to build homes for the … Read More »
I couldn’t help but hear the eerie sound of heavy gates slamming into place and locking us in with convicted inmates for the next hour and a half. Each time we go into the prisons I am reminded that God has a plan of redemption for all of us – even when we have blown it or failed miserably. His love and grace are limitless and extend beyond the prison walls, giving each one that second chance again and again. As the team preached Jesus and his love for humanity, the presence of the Holy Spirit filled the courtyard. Hearts began to soften and tears began to flow down the faces of these men. 75 out of 90 inmates committed their lives to the Lord on that cold rainy day in the mountains of Lesotho.
I am convinced that something significant … Read More »
Its 5:00AM and the team is beginning to straggle into the airport for check-in. Between yawns, the first and most important question seems to be, “where’s the coffee?” Followed by, “did you sleep last night?” ”Did you pack everything?” ”Did you guys bring your passports?” And finally, “hey guys… where’s Brandon?” The team is excited and buzzing with anticipation as we begin boarding our flight to Durban, the starting point of our Lesotho missions experience.
At the same time, Land Rovers are being readied and packed with items generously donated for the trip; beanies, blankets, boots, jerseys for the kids, soccer balls and long-life milk. Every square inch of the vehicles are packed to capacity leaving just enough room for the team to pile into the 4×4′s for the trip up the Sani Pass. After a couple hours of driving, the … Read More »
A Proverbs 31 woman. She does it all. She’s a great wife and mother, manages her house well, cooks, sews, and she doesn’t ever seem to get tired. I get tired just reading about her.
She’s a legend, a superwoman. I used to read that and think, ‘I don’t like that woman.’ That is, until I realised that this woman doesn’t have a name. Could this be because God wants us to insert our names in this chapter? Instead of seeing her as someone you could never be, see her as an example. Someone to look up to.
Proverbs 31:17 (AMP) says, ‘she girds herself with strength [spiritual, mental and physical fitness for her God-given task] and makes her arms strong and firm.’
What are her God-given tasks? They’re mentioned in all those other verses in Proverbs 31 – running the household, being … Read More »
“How many do you have?
That’s the first thing they say,
When you pastor a church
In America today.
It seems we’re successful
By how many we HOLD.
But, if this is our theory,
Who will tell the untold?
If we get one to stay
It is said, “we are growing!”
We thrive on our reaping
But, what about our sowing?
It’s time for the churches
To start a new trend.
Let’s measure the success
By how many we SEND!
Let’s train up our people
So they become ‘world reachers’.
We’ll send them to nations
As missionaries and teachers.
They’ll begin to reach thousands
With the message they preach,
And the more that we send
The more that we’ll reach.
“How many do you have?”
Someone now may say –
Our church is INNUMERABLE!
Cause we send them away.
From the moment I saw this broken young woman, God gave me a burden for her. Ron and I began to reach out and help her in anyway we could. Some days it looked like she was making progress, and other days… trying to help her was nothing less than frustrating. Beans had a difficult time staying focused, keeping a job and finding shelter. It seemed that survival and homelessness had become a way of life that she was unable to break free of. Several times I was tempted to give up on her altogether, but then the thought would come to me: “what if this was my daughter? I would want someone to help her.”
One particular frustrating day after trying to find her shelter and work – again, I asked her if she … Read More »
As we approach the end of 2011, Terri and I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. It’s hard to believe that another year has flown by so quickly. Like many of you we find ourselves out braving the malls, believing for good parking spaces, sales and discounts as we shop for the perfect Christmas gifts for those special people in our lives. Although this time of year is busy with all of the various activities, it is also a great time of year as we tend to become more giving, more joyful, more thoughtful, and focus a little more attention on others rather than ourselves. Isn’t that what Christmas is really all about? It’s about living generous lives, being a blessing and being mindful of others as we consider how God gave … Read More »