A Prayer for Honduras

 

I would like to feature a worldview topic every Monday.  The purpose is to increase awareness about opportunities for prayer, and to highlight mission work of those that are sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.  I also want to feature people, ministries and organizations that are doing the same.

This week I am praying for the twelve members of my home church who are heading to Honduras on Thursday and will remain there until the end of the month.  The team will be partnering with local Christians to build a church, preach and teach about Jesus, minister to the children, and share their personal testimonies.

As the team members shared their hearts on last evening, I was overcome as I once again stared suffering in the face.  The team will neither have hot water nor air condition.  They will conclude their trip by serving meals to adults and children who live in the city dump and in the shacks along side the road.  The parents who live in this dump search the trash so that they can feed their families that day.

Lord,

I pray that you be with the disciples who are going to Honduras to share your message with others who do not know you.  I pray that when people see them, feel them, speak with them, and spend time with them, that they will see your light shining through those messengers that you have sent.  I pray that you will prepare the hearts of the ministry team and give them the strength and endurance for the difficult tasks ahead. 

 I pray that you prepare the hearts of the people so that they will receive and respond to what it is that they see and hear.  I pray for the children, that they will rise up to lead a crusade of Christ worshippers in spite of where they live. 

 I pray for the hearts of the American people.  There is so much that we take for granted in this country.  I pray that you help us to appreciate the daily grace and blessings that you have extended to us.  I thank you for running hot water.  I thank you for the air conditioning in my home when it is hot and heat when it is cold.  I thank you for the meals that you provide for my family and the opportunities that you have given us to live healthy lives.  Help us to always be mindful that we could have easily been born in another country where others only dream of coming to this land that is following with milk and honey.

 I pray that all of our lives will continually and forever be changed as a result of who are and what you have done to rescue us.  In Jesus Name.  Amen.    

 I look forward to sharing the reports from this team when they return.  In the meantime, please keep me posted of any points of interest for Monday’s Worldview discussions.

Please continue to pray for this team for the remainder of this month, and the people that they minister to from now until…

Coffee Talk: Avatar & the Big Picture

WARNING: If you haven’t seen the movie, this discussion contains spoilers.

I heard the buzz and reviews; then saw the awards and accolades roll in like a flood, but I was completely against going to see Avatar in the movie theater. For starters, I saw blue people with pointed ears, and long tales swinging through trees in the previews. All of that weird action screamed sci-fi (and I do not like sci-fi). The movie was also pretty lengthy, and that did not work in its factor. This has been a very long and challenging year, and I did not want to commit $10 and three hours straining my eyes for a 3-D “experience.” So, I made an agreement with myself: “I’ll get around to watching it someday whenever it came out on DVD.”

The DVD hit the stores and I was hoodwinked into watching it almost immediately. As I sat down to a relaxing evening of writing, two friends arrived at the house with the temptation in hand. There was so much peer pressure that I resorted to popcorn in the microwave and reclining on the leather sofa as the word AVATAR appeared on the big screen.

So there we were, ten minutes into the movie and I discover that the lead character, Jack Sully, is a disabled Marine and former war veteran. I’m loving him already! Then I discover that he has a bit of a “don’t mess wit me” attitude; I like that too! He also has a gentle and humble way about him. Before the first hour, we see him struggle with loyalty and love, big decisions and small ones, mission accomplishment, and loving the earth that God has given us. He is a man of compassion, and I am cheering for him right away.

Then we meet the female warrior, Neytiri. If anything ever goes down, I want her in my corner. She was a strong warrior, wise, observant, confident, and very passionate. She reminded me of my days of service in the Marine Corps, where I was almost fearless. I mean, I wasn’t interested in jumping out of trees or airplanes or anything crazy like that. However, I loved to work-out. I could run fast, jump high, push and pull-up with the best of them. The Marine Corps values physical fitness, and as a woman, your physical abilities demand respect. So, I’m all in at this point in the movie.

Then we spend the next hour or so being reminded of the realities of life: to love and be loved, to be hurt and then forgive again, to be greedy and self-centered, to be prideful and righteous, to be humble and defeated, and to make hard decisions.

I have now watched it twice, and what I believe to be the turning point in the movie continues to stand out to me. Jack sees the great Toruk flying high and dominating the sky. Jack said, “Toruk is the ‘baddest’ bird in the sky, why would he ever look up?” As humans, we are just like that bird. We fly high on our ideals of money and fame and power and respect. Maybe we fly high on our mental capabilities, our advancements in science, medicine, and technology. We fly high on our intellect, our philosophy, our psychology. We are “bad” people, who have it going on! Why would we ever look up to our creator, God?

One answer to that question is because, like the movie, there is always an unexpected enemy, an obstacle, or a hardship waiting in the winds to attack! Eventually, we will all go through a storm, take a stand, or go to war! We all end up fighting something or someone anyway.

The true question is: What or whose side are you fighting on?

Natasha’s Study: SDWSC Chapter 2

 

SDWSC Official Homepage http://www.sdwsc.com/

Scripture Reference: Gospel of John 12: 1-7, Matthew 26: 6-13, Mark 14: 3-9

Mary of Bethany took action; she did something…

Discussion Point 2: “She acted out of her love.  She knew that Jesus loved her, and she loved him back.  She lived loved.  That’s the whole point of the gospel, isn’t it?” Elisa Morgan, page 12

Yes, that is the point of the gospel.  You believe and therefore, you do.  We do not act out of obligation or earning; we do so out of love.  We know that we are loved and blessed, and through us, the world will be blessed.

Mary knew that Jesus loved her, and she seized the opportunity to reciprocate that love by anointing him for burial.  None of us will be able to rub oil on Jesus’ feet.  Then again, I don’t know, there may be spas in Heaven.  On the other hand, we have been given the privilege to express our love for Christ, by the way that we love and treat others.

“Then the righteous will answer him, Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink?  When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?  When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  “The King (Jesus) will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the lease of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25: 37-40 emphasis added, New International Version

We express our love for Christ by the way that we love others.  We have several opportunities (some of which are listed in the above mentioned scriptures) to express our love to God and others.  Sometimes we miss opportunities simply because we don’t seize the moments.  God has already equipped us with every gift and talent needed to respond in a way that would be pleasing to him.  Expressing our love towards God is the very reason that there is a diversity of skills among us.

So, if you are gifted in teaching, then teach well…serving, serve well…cooking, cook well.  Say “Hello.” Smile.  Listen. Care.  Encourage.  Be a Peacemaker.  Don’t miss these small opportunities to express love to another.  One small jester may result in a big change in someone else’s life.

How do we miss this element of the gospel?  What if we each seized our “moments” to express love?

%d bloggers like this: