the missions lady

a place to find missions resources, stories and more…

Slavery is Making the News!

In the last year or so I’ve become more aware of a major issue in our world…Slavery!  Slavery still exists today. Whether it is called human trafficking, bonded labor, forced labor, or sex trafficking, it is present worldwide, including right here in the USA.  There are an estimated 27 millions people enslaved today!  Last winter I learned about a cool organization called Slavery Foot Print  they have a little online survey you can take and learn how many slaves work for you, and then learn ways that you can do something about the issue!  I recently received this email from the organization:

“First, we heard you. Then, businesses started to pay attention. And now, even the President wants to join the fight.In a historic 23-minute address, President Obama highlighted this administration’s commitment to ending modern-day slavery. Using Clinton Global Initiative as his platform, he echoed the sentiment of the public and issued an Executive Order addressing slavery within government supply chains. He encouraged consumers to understand the realities of forced labor by visiting www.slaveryfootprint.org and endorsed Made In A Free World as a way to help businesses to identify and address slave labor within their supply chains.  Be proud; this is all because of you.In Solidarity, The Slavery Foot Print Team”

I was excited last week to see this horrific issue come to light in such a big way!  The President is talking about it and there was a cover page article in USA Today about Sex Trafficking.  But, knowing about it isn’t enough…we need to advocate for the men, women and children that are being enslaved!  And we need to examine our own lifestyles and make some changes.
One way to start is by taking this online survey!
I’d love to hear about things you are doing to advocate and make a difference for the people around the world that are being exploited…leave a comment!

 

What’s Our Purpose?

I grew up in a Christian home.  A lot of my childhood memories are of things at church or with people from church etc.  I loved going to Sunday School and Church Camp etc.  I learned early on that Jesus loves me and that I can trust him with my life.  When I was about 17 I committed my life to Christian Service, wanting to be used by God in some way.  It was after four years of Bible College when I was working at a church that God opened my eyes in a whole new way.  I started to realize that it wasn’t enough to realize that Jesus loves me, but rather I needed to realize more about what God’s Desires were.  God wasn’t happy with just little ol’ me saying or singing “I love you…I’m all yours”.   He wants to be known among all nations and worshiped by all people!

It’s funny what it took for God to get me to realize that I had been living life and reading the Bible and loving people with blinders on.  It took free food (I was a recent college grad and free food was a big draw) and it took a cute boy (hey, God works in mysterious ways).  He used that free food and a blind date with a cute missionary boy to start to open my eyes.  Then the blinders that I had been living with started to be pulled back when I took the ‘Perspectives on the World Christian Movement’ course.  It was exciting and a little painful to start to see the world, God, others, myself and the Bible in a new way.  I started to see that the Bible is one big story of God desiring to redeem his people.  And I began to learn that my life is not my own, I needed to surrender my agenda and plans for my life over to God and to let him use me however he wanted to be a part of Declaring His Glory Among All Nations.

Psalms 96:3 says:   “Declare his glory among the nations. Tell everyone about the amazing things he does.”

This verse became kind of a motto for me.  I told God that I would do anything and go anywhere for him.

One of the first books that got me thinking about my life’s purpose is Let the Nations Be Glad by John Piper.  He is a deep guy and I am a slow learner…so I had to read and re-read many pages of the book and still could barely soak in the depths of the things he was saying.  Here’s one of the main points of the book.

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the Church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and the countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.” -Piper

I often still reflect this idea and ponder God’s purposes and therefore my purpose.

In closing ponder this question that Piper poses:  “How should you feel about the global purpose of Jesus Christ to be glorified among all the nations?” –Piper

BTW If you haven’t read Let the Nations Be Glad I suggest you do.

A Work In Progress

I am a work in progress! God has taught me over and over that he is working to make me more like Christ. Somewhere along the line in my 20’s I realized I often had the thought in my head that “I should have been perfect yesterday”. I would get frustrated when I wasn’t who I thought I should be.

In the summer of ’05 I spent a significant amount of time doing lots of internal reflection and one thing God taught me as I read through the New Testament in the Message Version was that HE and He alone is in charge of my progress and personal growth and “perfection”. A verse that God used to teach me is this one:

“Our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him” (2 Corinthians 3:18b MSG).

The word that jumped out at me was GRADUALLY. I can’t speed up the process of being transformed and it will be a process that God is in charge of and does at his own pace to his own glory. Growth is gradual. Transformation is a process. And I need to just relax, lighten up and enjoy the journey!

My journey with God has had all kinds of crazy adventures and ups and downs and twists and turns. It seems like every time I think I might get to hang my hat up and say “okay this is who I am and what I will be doing with the rest of my life” he throws another bend in the road. Currently I’m on one of those blind curve parts of my journey…I can’t see what’s around the corner. But, I trust that God has something good around the bend. I know I can trust that because he has proven himself over and over again in my life and because my life is not my own, but it’s all His. Everything I’ve got, everything I am, everything I am not…I’m all His!

As I take this blind curve in the journey with God I’m going to start blogging.  For a few years I’ve thought about starting a blog where I can share resources I find and tell stories and do interviews with missionaries etc.  All with the hopes that some people that are looking for what God might do with their lives, how he might take them on a journey to declare his glory among the nations might find encouragement and help through this blog.

So, here it goes…I’m starting a blog.  It’s A Work In Progress just like me!  Thanks for checking it out and I hope you come back when there is more stuff here!

 

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