How to Have Quality Time With God

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Aside from the fact that what I posted online was bordering on a vent, that thought soon attached itself to another thought: What does quality time with God look like?

Is it opening my Bible on the hour of six a.m. every morning, reading a few lines of scripture, saying some prayers, and going on with the day? What does it matter if you spend seven days every morning reading the Bible or three, if seven days becomes a rut where you forget what God was teaching you in those moments?

People feel shamed and humbled when they encounter one of those deep prayer warriors. They are wonderful people whose seven day a week prayers are truly the quiet, deep waters of thought that we all seek. They are different than most people. They make you want to be different.

So rather than stress over not delving into the Bible seven days a week like them, why not just spend a deep hour studying the Word on your schedule? With your phone Bible app, you can snack on the Bible verses throughout the day.

It’s about quality, not quantity.

Socks For Christmas

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My mother-in-law asked over the phone, “What do you want for Christmas?”

“Socks.” My husband replied.

How can we get excited about socks?

If we don’t have to buy socks during the year, we can go on adventures or pay for extra expenses in ministry.

That’s why we love socks for Christmas, and that’ s what we received–great big boxes of socks. 

Webinar Date Change: April 22

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How do we utilize our youth and adults, especially Senior Adults, to use social media and technology for online missions? How do we get people who speak other languages to use the internet in Christ-redeeming ways to speak across cultural boundaries in a person’s own heart language? Don’t let a lack of knowledge of technology or prejudices about technology keep you from sharing God’s stories through online engagement.

This webinar will focus on the topic of social media, creative ways of using social media, and what mobile technology is doing across the globe. The goal will be to inspire the church body to act through social media in more mission-minded ways. It is about utilizing the least-used resource in missions—the church congregation.

REGISTER HERE

Don’t Scoff at What You Don’t Know

A month or two ago, J.D. Payne shared an article from NPR how women in Saudi Arabia had their first gaming convention. He did more than share an opportunity for gamers to befriend and share the Gospel; he taught me that news of missional opportunities don’t just lie in Christian publications, but exist in secular places.

Like this one,

“Many people will probably wonder why I’ve decided to do this,” read the beginning of the suicide note that Eris had scheduled to appear on his Tumblr on 27 April 2015, two days after his death. “I was sexually abused as a child … and have dealt with the consequences of that my entire life. Imagine going through life with an ever-present shadow hanging over you, worrying if you too might be like the people who destroyed your childhood and life.” (READ MORE)

A man on an online game, known for being a horrible person, committed suicide, or appeared to, until you realize he faked the whole thing. A brilliant person who went to great coding lengths to figure out his life. What surprised him was how much people cared about him and tried to follow up on his suicidal attempts and the ones who grieved his, “death.”

The writer ended the article with,

“As for Eris, he is feeling better – a change he credits to a new regime of antidepressants and returning to church. Not so much for the God-worshipping part, but because it’s nice to “sit and listen to a sermon and maybe talk to people afterwards”

The lesson here? Video games are awesome opportunities to reach out. This man was a computer programmer. He could be like the man you work with at your job or the guy that makes your coffee every morning. What if you reached out at work to your troubled co-worker while someone playing video games with him does the same? I think, before we scoff at these opportunities, we ought to really SEE.

READ this great article. 

 

A Caution to Conspiracy Theorists

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Once again, I “unliked” a questionable, conservative publication. I find that conspiracy theories aren’t linked to just one political party. They are like the weeds in our front yard, popping up everywhere in so many different forms. They can also be used to divide and conquer a land, with one half of one political party strongly favoring one side and the other half, like me, saying, what’s the other side of the story? Where’s the proof?

It’s often best to ask yourself:

  • What message do I want to be known for?
  • What message will I die for?

These days I am staying clear of conspiracy theories, rationing politics to controllable amounts so I know what’s going on, and focusing instead on discipleship, learning, and spreading the Gospel as fast as possible.

The New Yorker: I Laughed!

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The Useless Agony of Going Offline humorously talked about a guy and his wife who chose to follow someone’s advice and go offline for a few days. I read about this all the time.

Some people take fasts, lents, or don’t go on at all. We seem to make technology the bad guy when it is a tool; a very effective tool. People often make comments to me about technology.

“I don’t have a smart phone.”

“I don’t use email.”

“I am not on Facebook.”

“I call people.”

The guy said in reference to his experiment, “What I’m learning may not always be of great social value, but I’m at least gaining some new knowledge—by using devices in ways that, sure, also distract me from maintaining a singular focus on any one thing. I still read deeply, and study things closely, and get lost for hours at a time in sprawling, complicated pieces of literature.” 

He also said, “If getting outside and taking walks, or sitting in silence, or walking dogs, or talking with loved ones on the phone got me to that same place, I’d be more than happy to change things up.” In his three days, he discovered that technology didn’t take away from his life; it added to it.

I know people who have text conversations with others about Jesus, people who use email to talk to Muslims, and people who take short term mission trips, bringing SD cards filled with Bible translations, to a people in need of the Word. This is technology, and it comes in all kinds of forms from social media to dumb phones. My husband and I are often on Facebook or youtube at the same time in the same room. Sometimes, we flirt with each other via Facebook even as we sit across from each other. This makes us laugh.

Preference is subjective in how we choose to communicate with each other, and there are negatives to social media, but don’t close the door to the possibilities of technology. People need to hear what God has been doing in your life. They can benefit from your Christian walk.

Being a believer is not a safe calling.

J.D. Payne said,

“VISION FOSTERS RISK TAKING Just because someone postulates a vision to be realized does not mean that success is guaranteed. Mission strategy is often about going against the status quo. Strategy involves change and requires vision to move beyond the comfort zone. A vision requires taking risks, and working toward a vision requires faith.” ― from “Developing a Strategy for Missions (Encountering Mission): A Biblical, Historical, and Cultural Introduction

 

VIDEO: Every Journey Begins Somewhere

This is another experiment.

When I raise full funding as a missionary, I plan on getting Video Corel, an external hard drive, and a better desk top. Meanwhile, I am using a cell phone and a tablet to create short videos, and editing with Windows Movie Maker. I’m not as fond of Windows Movie Maker as I am of Video Corel. I use Video Corel at Solid Rock Christian Fellowship.

The purpose of this video is to share our adventures in a missional way; to connect with people who love the outdoors or people from other countries who are fascinated by the outdoors. Woven into this music-and-scenery-only video are words of comfort and encouragement. Please let me know how you think I could improve this.

The video isn’t meant just to showcase our adventures. The purpose is always to bring engagement with the goal of making disciples.

How to Know Your Target Audience

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Social Media professional, Giselle Aguiar, says, “You need to look at everything objectively. Step back and look at it through the eyes of your target market.” 

When using social media, as not just a tool for business, but as a tool to disciple and spread the Gospel, you need to listen to her advice. Look at her suggestions here.

As a writer, you are taught to know your audience. This advice is applicable in life, planting churches, mission work, etc. Knowing your audience as a believer means following, mentoring, and praying for them. Shape your audience with the truth from a place of compassion. You can’t share the truth with them unless they let you in their community.

Have YOU ever listened to unsolicited advice?

Your blog or social media is an extension of your livingroom. Make it a great visit so they return. 

 

Getting Into Their Hearts and Heads

“In the eighteenth century, the Enlightenment spread across Europe…the skeptics of the Enlightenment questioned every aspect of thought and practice in life, including philosophy and religion. (10%, Kindle)”

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When considering the mission field (i.e. online ministry), it’s important to get into the head and heart of the unbeliever.

The Ten Most Common Objections to Christianity by Alex McFarland briefly goes over the ten most common objections, like Jesus’ resurrection. What struck me was how many theories existed to disprove Jesus’ empty tomb. In order not to believe, people really stretched their imaginations.

Once again, I am convinced the reason to not believe is buried beneath pride or the scar tissue of the battered heart. A great book to read whether you are a believer or not.