Thursday, August 28, 2014

not alone

As I sit down to write this post, my heart feels burdened thinking of you ladies serving all over the world.  You're balancing marriage, parenting, housework, ministry, language learning, support raising/maintaining, cultural adaptation, and oh so many other things as you strive to grow in your personal walk with God.  Many of you are likely walking through hard seasons -- seasons with unexpected challenges or uncertainties, perhaps seasons of poor health, of challenges in your marriage, of worrying about your kids, of struggling with the language or culture of your host country.  You may be feeling incredibly lonely or you may be discouraged by the progress of your ministry.  You might be feeling overwhelmed with busyness or you may be wondering if you are doing enough.  Your relationship with God may be feeling distant as many cares and worries come close to consuming you.  Maybe you are struggling with feelings of doubt as what you had expected life and ministry to look like isn't what is happening in this season.

Ladies, as I said, my heart is burdened thinking of you.  I want to share that I have felt, in different seasons, each and every one of the challenges I've listed above.  There have even been seasons in which it seems that I am experiencing them all at the same time!  If you are feeling this way, you are not alone.  This past weekend, I sat in a cafĂ© with a dear Costa Rican friend, a pastor's wife, who was sharing many of these same feelings with me.  With tears in our eyes, we shared these struggles that are so common for women in ministry.  And, it was good to know that we weren't the only one that had these struggles.  It was good to share our hearts with each other and to mutually encourage each other.  My prayer is that each of you can find someone to share with if you are struggling.  Maybe you could even share here with us so we can join together in praying for you? 

And, mis hermanas ("my sisters", as the ladies of our church call each other here), can I remind you another way that you are not alone?  God is with you.  He is for you!  Nothing - absolutely nothing - can separate you from Him and His love for you (Romans 8: 38-39).  He knows all of your weaknesses and struggles and still He loves you without fail. 

The Lord your God is with you,
He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.
- Zephaniah 3:17

So, this is my prayer for each woman reading this today, that you would know that you are not alone, that God is with you and that He delights in you!  I pray that His love would quiet you and bring you peace in the midst of whatever struggles you are facing.  I pray that you would hear Him rejoicing over you with singing. 

Are you going through a season of discouragement right now?  How can we be praying for you? 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tuesday Topic: Encouraging kids

Bonnie asks:
What do you do to encourage your kids in your host country? We have been here for a year and our kids have had it hard getting made fun of and having kids tell them they don't want to play with them because they're not from here. There are a handful of friendly kids in the neighborhood and at their public school but more often than not they have a hard time. I offer encouragement but feel like I come off as being trite sometimes. What are some things other moms have done?

(If you have a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to me at Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, or specify if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Longevity in Ministry - If you don't want to shorten your ministry... obediently abide.

Four weeks ago, I started a series that I'm hoping will be both a challenge and encouragement to you, based off of a sermon by the senior pastor at my sending church. The first post focused on that oxymoron that the God is sovereign, but that men are also responsible. Imagining those two truths as a horseshoe where, as mere humans, only see and comprehend the ends. God, on the other hand, looks at the whole and thus can see how two things that appear contradictory do actually work together. The second post considered one of the ends of that horseshoe: trusting God, not only because He is sovereign - but also because He is sufficient in that sovereignty.

Today's post will look at the other end of that horseshoe: Man's responsibility, which, to put it both succinctly and bluntly, is obedience. 

I have to be honest - this was the part of the sermon which made me most uncomfortable. I'm quite comfortable with working, doing my best, keeping busy and thinking that the success of any project with which I'm involved depends mostly on me - thus ignoring the sovereignty of God. I'm not so comfortable with the idea that I can be working like mad, doing what I think is best, exhausting myself for good causes... only to finally figure out that it has all been well-intentioned, but good intentions, careful planning and hard work have nothing to do with obedience or disobedience.

I think that is a position where exhausted, burning-out missionaries often find themselves.

I was driving to a doctor's appointment the other day. I'd just navigated a four-way stop and was back up to the 35 mph speed limit... cruising along, my thoughts flying along a lot faster than the car was moving. All of a sudden, the car behind me darted around then lurched back in front of me, cutting me off. That driver also caused an oncoming car in the other lane to have to swerve. Then he gunned the engine and took off and away like a bat out of hell, except? I caught up to him at the next light... and the next light... and the next stop sign without ever violating any traffic law, until I reached my doctor's office and pulled into the parking lot.

I'd already been thinking and praying about writing this post, had even done some drafting and sketching out of ideas - but it wasn't coming together like the previous ones had...

My pastor had used two verses (1 Corinthians 11.30 & Philippians 2.12) to illustrate this point about the importance of obedience as our human responsibility saying, "You can shorten your life and your ministry; God can lengthen it." He encouraged us to think about the fact that yes, we work like everything depends on us in God's strength and for God's glory." And, it's not that I don't think missionaries can't get caught up in intentional, deliberate sin. I know for a fact from personal experience that I can do so quite easily. But I do think that my hope and my goal is that most days, I'm striving to live in obedience...

When I saw that car, I think the Holy Spirit gave me this thought: We missionaries can be a lot like that car sometimes. We are so intent on our lists, on our things that we are sure we need to accomplish and all those things that we are confident God has impressed upon our hearts that He wants to see done, on our own "critical-ness" to mission success... that we go flying around anything and anyone that gets in our way... Sometimes, we even go flying around God and strike out ahead of Him in uncharted territory. We get stopped by traffic, technical difficulties, and sit there tapping our fingers impatiently waiting for God to catch up and once the light is green again, we blast away, running far harder, faster and more prone to wrong turns or fatigue - than God ever intended for us. 

Is this disobedience?

Well, I teach my kids obedience looks like 
1) starting right away, 
2) has a sweet attitude, and 
3) is just exactly what I asked for 
4) without any arguing. 
When they fail to meet those four standards, then it is disobedience. 

Thus, when I'm not doing exactly what God says, or when my attitude is one of impatience, or when I'm trying to add my own good ideas, or when the "start" includes a first step of waiting and I don't? Well, then I'm disobedient, too. I'm just like that car the other day. Under the best circumstances, that means I work a lot harder, carry a much bigger burden and fatigue more thoroughly than was ever God's plan. And it is no one's fault but my own. It also means that my efforts will likely end up nothing more than vain imaginations and strivings because I've run off from where God wants me to be.

I'm not sure if anything leads to more discouragement, more frustration, more fatigue, more stress and health issues, more marriage and family problems, more attrition - than running ahead of God. What's sobering is that we can do so in our zeal and enthusiasm and not even recognize that it has happened until we are already in a bad place.

Yes, we work like everything depends on us but it must happen in God's strength and for God's glory.


Our obedience has to be the grace based obedience of trusting faith. We are saved by grace, but it is by faith that we can work out our salvation, do the works that God has set aside for us to do. Because we believe, we obey and abide in Christ. Therefore we prove out the sufficiency of God's grace through Scripture and by the power of the Spirit to empower us to an abiding relationship with Jesus that bears much fruit that remains to the glory of God.

We work out what God is working in.

Perhaps the most striking places in Scripture where God teaches about this sort of abiding with Him relationship occurs in John 15Matthew Henry describes this as an illustration of the disciples becoming one with Jesus. 

The first 17 verses describe what is essential to growth and fruit bearing. Read through those amazing words and then consider the following paraphrases:
  • the Father is the gardener
  • Jesus is the true vine and we must be rooted/attached/grafted in Him to bear any fruit for God
  • cleansed/pruned branches remain and are not removed
  • cleansing comes through the Word, the Word condemns sin, inspires holiness, promotes growth and reveals power
  • the purpose of the branch is to bear fruit
  • fruit bearing is impossible without abiding
  • but when abiding, fruit bearing is inevitable
  • continually more branches continually bearing more fruit - is not only implied, it is inherent
  • fruitless branches are the ones who do not abide and they are cast out and burnt up
  • abiding gives us full confidence and assurance of a harvest
  • answered prayer is a privilege of close abiding for abiding tunes our prayers to the will of God
  • fruit bearing brings glory to God, not to the fruit nor to the branch
  • love and obedience are intimately linked
  • we know we are abiding by our obedience
  • we know we are abiding because we experience fullness of joy - the exhilaration of being right with God and consciously walking in His love and care
  • when we abide, we no longer hoard resentments, animosities and bitterness towards others; rather, we love
  • abiding, we've become chosen friends, not ignorant servants
  • abiding, we experience the initiative love of Jesus
  • we can be proud of our position as friends of Jesus, bearing fruit for God

No one is more miserable than the Christian 
who for a time hedges in his obedience. 
He does not love sin enough to enjoy its pleasures, 
and does not love Christ enough to relish holiness. 
He perceives that his rebellion is iniquitous, 
but obedience seems distasteful. 
He does not feel at home any longer in the world, 
but his memory of his past associations and the tantalizing lyrics of his old music 
prevent him from singing with the saints. 
He is a man most to be pitied; 
and he cannot forever remain ambivalent.

What are your biggest obstacles to abiding?

What are your biggest obstacles to obedience?

Share a time when you've experienced fullness of joy (i.e. the exhilaration 
of being right with God and consciously walking in His love and care) 
while ministering overseas.


Series: Longevity in Ministry

Please note: 
Italicized words are from my notes or from the guided notes in the church bulletin
and are, to the best of my recall, actual content from the sermon.
The rest comes from my continued study and meditation prompted by that sermon.

To listen to the actual sermon "Start, Run and Finish Well," click here.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Journey of Hope

I'm on a journey at the moment. A painful, heart wrenching, soul searching journey. Each day is a new discovery of emotions ... some I don't want to feel. Others come and go like the breeze and I wish they would stay a bit longer. I have given myself permission to feel, simply feel. It's strange, isn't it that we need to give ourselves permission. One thing clear about this journey ... God is with me. You know this "peace that passes all understanding" scripture we quote all the time? 

It's so very true.

His peace wraps around me like a soft, warm blanket. 

My children feel this peace as well. They know that God is with us and have both turned to Him instead of away from Him. As a mom, this is a comfort as I watch them grieve and turn to our only Hope ... Our only Strength ... Our only Peace. 

“The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds feet and will make me to walk {not to stand still in terror, but to walk} and make {spiritual} progress upon high places {of trouble, suffering, or responsibility}!” Habakkuk 3:19

In every situation, He is our only hope. No matter what.

The more we depend upon Him, the more He can show us how strong He is through us. 

The more we lean upon Him, our eyes open to the fact that His is our rock.

So, I find myself on a journey, not a destination. I don't intend to stay put in the difficulty, I intend to walk through in freedom, in joy, in victory. 

I was having a talk with my daughter this morning and sharing with her this scripture ... 

"I will go before you and make the crooked places straight ... "
Isaiah 45:2

That's what He does. The Lord goes before us and smooths things out and makes the crooked places straight. As I was sharing, she smiled and told me she was reading yesterday and came upon that very same scripture. Blissful sigh, don't you just love when that happens! God confirms His word and teaches our children who He is! 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tuesday Topic: Language learning advice

Recently Cherie shared about where she is in learning German. Who else is right in the midst of language learning? Whether you're in the midst of it, or not, what advice do you have to share about learning a language?

(If you have a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to me at Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, or specify if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Just Barely

I remember starting our journey on the mission field and feeling like I was taking my first steps onto a big, tall mountain. The adventure was thrilling and the climb surely seemed possible. God felt so close, like He was breathing there right beside me. So many days He still does, and the adventure is still thrilling.

But sometimes the climbing is rough, and we reach places that we just can’t pass. Things like the death of a parent, a cancer diagnosis, or a tragic accident. They knock the breath out of us and bring us to our knees.

Or maybe the slow deaths are the ones that leave us gasping for breath along the trail. The personality conflicts and unmet expectations, the children that don’t fit in, the ministry burnout and the endless language learning.

The weight of the ministry pushes down hard like two hands pressing on our back. Somehow our training didn’t prepare us for how our hearts would break for these people and for this place.

The mountain climb no longer seems possible.

A few weeks ago our family went hiking on the Santa Ana volcano here in El Salvador. Our children were giddy as we started the climb through cool woods. They raced up and down around us on the trail running and playing. They laughed and shouted and it was such an adventure.

The path began to wind in and out and around trees and rocks. Our son stumbled, surprised onto the path. His knees were dirty and he got up but he was no longer running and giddy.

We walked up and up and the sun beat down hard and hot through the trees. Dust swirled around our feet and the stones got bigger. Back and forth and up and down and we began to sweat. Our footsteps were light in the cool of the trees, but much heavier out in the sun.

My husband led us higher and higher on the mountain. Soon lava rocks and boulders made it hard to see what was just ahead. We had to be cautious, watch our step and shade our eyes from the sun. Our son fell behind.

“Daddy? Daddy!” A small voice echoed through the trees and rocks. “Daddy? Where are you? I think I hear you, but I can’t see you!”

The answer came, “Hey buddy, I’m right here. Stay on the path and follow my voice. Can you hear me?”

“Yes Daddy, just barely. “ My brave boy soldiered on and what started as fear, soon became a game. Around each bend he would call out again, “Daddy? Daddy? Where are you?”

“Here I am, keep climbing…can you hear me?”

“Yes Daddy, just barely.”

On and on it went up the mountain over the rocks and through the dust. My boy kept climbing following his daddy’s voice, even though he could barely hear it. But as long as he heard his dad, he knew his way.

But soon a barely-there voice just wasn’t enough. My son grew tired, he tripped and fell. But this time he didn’t want to get up, the trail was hard. The sun was hot, and the dust was thick.

So his Daddy stopped and picked him up and held his hand and together they climbed the hardest parts. The parts that were stony ashes left years ago by a volcanic explosion. The parts that were last steps through a barren wasteland where nothing grew, and sulfur still swirled. The ashes made the rocks treacherous but my son was renewed and yearned more and more for the summit.

Together they reached it, and it was worth the struggle and uncertainty along the way. They saw a turquoise lake and green fields. Distant mountains and blue skies opened up before them. It was beautiful.

So many days I feel just like my son. I am on a trail that twists and winds and sometimes it is cool and lovely, and sometimes it feels like I am just lost and dusty. I call out in a feeble voice.

“Father…Father, where are you?”

It’s almost like I hear His voice, like it’s barely there. It is just loud enough to keep my foot on the path, and to show me the way. But I trip and fall, and barely miss crevices and drop-offs.

There are moments that I reach the wastelands of my journey. It is dark and gray and tears choke out the joy and I am scrambling just to gain my footing, just to take a step. The top of that mountain looks so far away.

But God is there too and He grabs my hand and He reminds me that the wasteland is not forever. This scrambling, this striving, this loss is not forever. There is something coming. There is something to hope for, and it is a world with no teenagers forced into prostitution, no addictions, no cruelty, no stillborn babies, no devastating disease, no children abused, no poverty, no war, no broken hearts, and no more death.

One day the struggle will be worth it, and the only thing that will matter is that I followed His voice and took His hand. We will climb together, my Father and I, and He will show me the world above the wasteland where all is new, and all is whole, and it will be beautiful.

That day is coming and I hope and yearn for that summit. But for today there is work to be done, so I will stay the course and follow His voice even when I can just barely hear it. 

What about you? What makes the "climb" hard? What has brought encouragement to you? 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tuesday Topic: Continued language learning

I was sure that we had recently discussed advice for those in the midst of language learning. Did I imagine that? I can't find it. Maybe that will have to be next week's topic, if someone else doesn't dig it up for me first. (Ah, here it is. Let's make that a topic for next Tuesday, too.)

For now, I wanted to ask this:
If you're beyond the language learning phase, how do you continue learning your language? Or, if you're not there yet, what ideas do you have to share, thoughts for when you get there? Can anyone say that they have learned a language? I mean, I'm fluent, but it seems to me that there's always room for improvement....

(If you have a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to me at Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, or specify if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Longevity in Ministry ~ Trusting in the Sufficiency and Sovereignty of God ~

Two weeks ago, I started a series that I'm hoping will be both a challenge and encouragement to you, based off of a sermon by the senior pastor at my sending churchBefore delving into my notes, however, I'd like to share a story of one of our scariest moments overseas... one of those times when our only hope was to trust in God, His sovereignty and particularly?  In His sufficiency.

The story centers around our precious Anna...

She was six years old, in her first full year of school at a local French language school, still young enough that we called her by her baby nickname (Anna-lu) and that she still cried when we dropped her off at school - before bravely trudging on in through the gate. Elsie Mae had recently joined the family... she was only a few weeks old... 

One afternoon, Anna came home from school's morning session telling us she didn't feel well. Over the course of our sieste that day, she continued to wilt. I was pretty sure she was running a fever and so we took her to the recording studio where Tim was working (and the air conditioner was running) to see if we could cool her down. She only ended up chilled and uncomfortable, curled up by her daddy's feet under the production desk, as far away from the AC as she could be.

I decided to take her to the doctor.

Once there, she promptly threw up all over the waiting room... which sent us to the front of the line. A blood test confirmed that she had malaria and our doctor immediately prescribed medication. I think it took three pharmacies to find it. Three days later, her prescription had run its course, but Anna wasn't acting as if she felt any better. It was so evident as we sat poolside, trying to entice her to drink a strawberry milkshake, that her treatment hadn't worked. I took her back to the doctor, where they agreed that she was clearly worse. They wanted to admit her to the clinic and start her on IV medications.

This was one of the better clinics, but it was still a far cry from medical care in a developed country. 
  • Mosquitoes (the bugs that carry malaria) buzzed around the room, 
  • paint on the walls was chipped and stained, 
  • doctor bedside manner did not feel gentle or compassionate, 
  • everyone rattled along in rapid fire French and my exhausted-caring-for-a-newborn brain struggled to keep up while catching and making sense of all the technical vocabulary, and 
  • the only place for me to sit was the stained and very worn-out mattress on the other cot in the room. 
The nurse did move in a TV... and we brought our own DVD player... We knew they cared and were doing the best they could for our little girl, yet she wasn't improving. In fact, she was lethargic, pale, and had lost 15 pounds - 25% of her body weight - in just a few days. Her doctors concluded we were not only dealing with a resistant strain of malaria, but also a resistant form of amoebic dysentery. 

The two most common causes of death for young children in W. Africa. 

Our little girl was sick with both of them. Yes, our Anna was one very sick little girl.

My hormone-befuddled brain did't quite grasp that reality of just how sick, however. I really felt we were doing the very best we could for our daughter... until our supervisors asked if we wanted them to begin arranging a medical evacuation.

It hit me like a ton of bricks that maybe we weren't... we had other alternatives... and that if we didn't make the "right" decision, we just might lose our Anna-lu... 

I think that is a very common way to look at choices and decisions. 

Either the decisions we make are right. Or they are wrong. If they are right, the results are what we wanted and hoped for. If we make a wrong choice or decision, however, there will be consequences to bear. That mentality neglects to consider that we serve a sovereign and sufficient God.

"Trusting [in] the sufficiency and sovereignty of God [means knowing and believing that] every day is a gift from God, Who IS the source of faithfulness." Remember that clichĂ© often heard in church circles?  Pray like everything depends on God; work like everything depends on you. For me, at least, it is easier to work like a mad-woman... and forget to pray. Especially as a mama. Especially as a mama who is also a missionary. Even especially more as a mama who is also a missionary and who lives off of the support and gracious gifts of others. In that sense, I live my life as a "practical atheist," a term my husband coined almost 20 years ago.

With that mentality, it is easy for me to work myself into nothing less than a frenzy.

It's a pretty quick and surefire recipe for a burnout disaster. I know. I've been there.

It's also easy to slip into the trap that if (and when) I remember to pray, God will work everything out just the way I'm asking Him to... and that if He doesn't, my prayers (i.e. my work) weren't sufficient.

But what does God say? God's Word teaches us that our responsibility is to trust in both His sovereignty and sufficiency.

Psalm 127 (from the EasyEnglish Bible) is pretty clear:

If the LORD does not build the house, the workers cannot do anything.
  There are men who watch (for danger).
  But if the LORD does not guard the city, they will be useless.
If you work all day for food, from early morning to late at night, you will get nothing.
  It is God who gives sleep. He gives it to the people that he loves.
Children are something that God gives.
  The fruit of your body is a gift (from him).
The sons of a young man are like arrows in the hand of a soldier.
The man with many of them will be very happy.
  He will not be ashamed when he meets his enemies in the city gates.

In these verses, the Psalmist instructs His people to remember that it was God Who saves, God Who preserves and protects, God Who provides, God Who presents us with anything and everything that is important and/or worthwhile: homes, food, family, well-being, safety, peace. In this Psalm, the name/title of "Lord" is used to refer to God. That is His covenant name, a covenant cut in sacrificial blood. The people promised to love and worship God alone. They agreed to obey Him. God promised to help those He calls His. Put simply, God's providence provides whatever it is that He knows that His people need. Even when we don't like His provision, it is still what He sovereignly knows to be best.

How can that be true?

Why trust in His sufficiency and sovereignty?
  1. We should trust because even pagan kings recognize His sovereignty. Daniel 4 contains an amazing account of Nebuchadnezzar, one of the most powerful men to ever live. He concludes: "At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever, for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,and his kingdom endures from generation to generation; all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth... Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, for all his works are right and his ways are just; and those who walk in pride he is able to humble."
  2. We should trust God because He is faithful. He proves Himself every day, every moment, every breath and every heartbeat. "Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds."(Psalm 36.5) "Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds." (Psalm 119.90) "The LORD'S lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. 'The LORD is my portion,' says my soul, 'Therefore I have hope in Him.;" ( Lamentations 3.22-24)
  3. We should trust because God does give faith to live and to die [and sometimes to watch those we love die] for His glory. This is such a hard thing. I love that God gives us faith to live. I love living. I love this life He's given. So what about those times when His choice as sovereign is that this life will be no longer? Does that mean He's no longer sovereign? Does that mean He's no longer sufficient? No. It means I -and those I call mine- are His to do with as He sees fit. I have the opportunity to choose trusting Him, regardless of what I feel or perceive.
  4. We should trust because Christ is building his church and we are privileged to join Him in His work. Jesus said to Peter, "And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Matthew 16.18)" Jesus builds His church. Jesus' literal words are "I will build..." The Greek word translated build literally means to erect or construct upon a foundation a home or other edifice; figuratively, it means to edify by literally building someone up and helping them to stand firm... to be strong and sturdy. One of the key ideas as we approach ministry is to recognize that it isn't "MY" work... but rather it is God's work and He gives us opportunities to join with Him in what He is already doing. Thus, success depends on Him. Our job is obedience without worrying about results or effectiveness. That takes a huge burden off of our shoulders, a load the Lord never intended for those He has placed in international missions to carry. But, the other neat side of this idea is that God is also the One Who has uniquely equipped and prepared us to do the work He has set before us. He has "built us up" to be just the person He wants for such a time as the one before you.

Are you curious about "the rest of Anna's story?"

We didn't lose her. After nearly a week in the clinic, consistent IV treatment - lots of pokes, lots of liquids and lots of prayer, she slowly began to perk up and was clearly on the road to a full recovery. A month later, she'd regained all of that lost weight and it was easy to forget she'd been so sick.

I hope I never forget, though, the things God taught me during that time.
How are you seeing God's sovereignty at work where you are currently ministering?

How are you currently experiencing God's sufficiency where you are currently ministering?

Can you share a testimony of how God has grown your trust in His sovereignty and/or sufficiency?


Series: Longevity in Ministry
1. Just Think About a Horseshoe, 26/07/2014

Please note: 
Italicized words are from my notes or from the guided notes in the church bulletin
and are, to the best of my recall, actual content from the sermon.
The rest comes from my continued study and meditation prompted by that sermon.

To listen to the actual sermon "Start, Run and Finish Well," click here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tuesday Topic: Media perspective

Danielle says:
As an American serving in the country of El Salvador, my heart has been broken by recent news stories featuring children from El Salvador and other Central American countries who have immigrated to the United States. It is an incredibly complex issue, but it has been hard for me to read the negative comments about Salvadorans that I have come across on social media and in news reports from the U.S. Many of them make broad and general statements without fully understanding the history and social issues facing this region. Has anyone ever felt this before? How has your perspective changed about your host country since moving overseas? How do you feel when your host countries are the topic of media coverage in the United States? How do you engage your friends and family, particularly when the issues are polarizing ones? I would love to hear your thoughts, if you have experienced this, and how you have handled it.

This is very current for me, in Ukraine, right now, too. We're getting a whole lot of news coverage and attention these days!

(If you have a “Tuesday Topic” question, please email it to me at Provide your blog address if you would like to be linked to, or specify if you would like to remain anonymous. Thanks!)