Being a World Christian

My church has overwhelmed me with the response of obedience to this season of global mission giving. This is how we fulfill the Great Commission: together. The unity and faithfulness expressed in this offering is so encouraging!

I want to conclude this season of emphasis by saying this is not the conclusion. Giving of our resources is only the beginning of the call to give our lives. This is about being a World Christian. Not worldly Christian, World Christian.

If we want to be consistent in laying down our purposes in exchange for His purpose to reach the nations, it’s going to have to come from God and the Word. Lots of Scripture gets overlooked because we focus on the part about us. And the task becomes ignored or daunting. Either we don’t want to do it, or we don’t know what to do or how to do it. But God is not concerned with our ability, but our availability.*

We live in an age of unprecedented access and wealth. That’s why we need to look at leveraging our lives for the Kingdom. We can’t allow God’s blessings to become the very things that hold us back because we aren’t willing to sacrifice them. What if our children became arrows we shoot into the darkness, rather than setting them up to pursue the American Dream? What if our jobs become the entry-point into limited access countries? What if our time in retirement isn’t meant to be spent coasting out the remainder of our lives on the sideline?

We are each where we are in this time and this place to reach our neighborhood, our city, and the places God sends us around the world. I want to end by reading an excerpt from a book by Dr. Todd Ahrend, who is a mission mobilizer right here in Arkansas.

“The World Christian is a believer who has discovered the truth about God’s unfulfilled global purpose and His desire to reach all peoples… [Who] have reached the conclusion that God’s Word is a missions book… [Who] see the world through the filter of this biblical theme, which inevitably causes them to grow in knowledge and personal application… [Who] embraces a lifelong commitment to God’s purpose, doing whatever it takes—going or staying—to be strategically involved…

“The breadth of World Christianity [is this]: giving financially, interceding on behalf of the world, taking personal responsibility to care for those on the mission field, and personal missions education. Being a World Christian has nothing to do with location, profession, spiritual gifting, or calling; it has everything to do with the fact that we love and serve a missional God.

“If loving the nations feels too radical, redirect your love to God. He loves the nations and we love Him. That is enough.”*

God will accomplish His plan to reach all nations. Will we be a part of this privilege in willful obedience, being able to joyfully say in the end we have finished the work He gave us to do? Or will He accomplish the task by another means, and we find ourselves facing Him at the end with nothing to show for our faith in this life? Let’s not miss this. He is worth it!

(Quoted from The Abrahamic Revolution, by Dr. Todd Ahrend)

Being a World Christian

Doing Something Great in God’s Name

I don’t get on Facebook often, I really just maintain my own account in order to manage my church’s page. But when I popped on today, a post caught my eye at the top. My friend Micah Farish did an amazing thing for his wife. And God gets the glory for it! I’m not going to say more than that, but he told me today that there’s a link on the popular internet news site Daily Mail, and he’s been contacted by Insider Edition and Good Morning America!

Doing Something Great in God’s Name

Don’t Miss Christ This Christmas

Our pastor has been teaching a series called “Don’t Miss Christ This Christmas”. It got me thinking about how we as followers of Christ can effectively shove off the busyness and commercialism of our culture. I think we are more affected by it than we really realize. Satan is so clever at deception. The answer to me is always fundamental: go to God’s Word. So if it helps, I wanted to re-post the expositional study I did on Christ’s birth a couple years ago. Some of it is in jest, poking fun at our incorrect nativities and songs, but there’s good truth to pull out too. Hope it benefits our priority, not just at Christmas time, but all the time.

The Incarnation (Part 1)

The Incarnation (Part 2)

The Incarnation (Part 3)

The Incarnation (Part 4)

Don’t Miss Christ This Christmas

Yay A New Bed, Or Wow I’m Old

This story begins at my friends making fun of me for only have one set of bed sheets. Hey, I’m a guy! I don’t need a closet full of them. And a little ashamedly, I don’t change them out all that often. But now that I’m on a strict cleaning regimen, which includes frequent hot water washing of the sheets, it would be handy to have an extra set. My goodness is it entirely more complicated than necessary! I went to five places-Bed Bath & Beyond, Marshalls, Big Lots, TJ Maxx, and Home Goods-after doing some online searching. Thread counts and fiber types galore! (If you’re interested, I settled on 600, pure cotton.)

The point is, my allergies are worst at night, and I’ve been steadily working toward the recommended changes my allergist gave me. Mostly. Not the part where Naomi can’t sleep with me anymore. That’ll never happen. Anyway, my mattress is probably about 8 years old, so getting close to end-of-life. Spurred by the purchase of new sheets, I figured I could start looking to change it out to something fresh. I listen to quite a few tech/geek podcasts and several have advertised for a company called Casper.

I heard the ad often enough I looked at them at one point and was actually really interested in the research and technology they put into their unique mattress. And they give a 100 night free trial! What! Don’t like it? They send someone to pick it up and it gets donated to charity. I was definitely intrigued and the reviews were absolutely glowing! I figured it be a good tax return-funded purchase next year.

But it is the holidays so there are some good sales going on. The Casper is made for platform beds, which I’ve never had and didn’t know anything about. So I started investigating. Basically, the mattress is supported by a solid sheet of plywood or slotted slats rather than box springs. I looked around to see how much they run and came upon a really nice looking one on Overstock.com on a doorbuster sale. Normally $550, on sale for $229. So I decided it was a good time to make the move.

I ordered the frame and immediately got an email confirmation. But interestingly, it included a 10% off code for my next order. Hmmm, I thought. I never order from this site and that’d be really fabulous to get on this big purchase. So being the crafty dealmaker, I quickly cancelled my order, made my checkout cart again, and used the code. Bam, now it’s down to $200! Score! (Don’t judge me.)

I ordered my Casper mattress and had a code there too (up front this time) from one of the podcasts. I thought I ordered such that they’d arrive the same day but no such luck. The mattress arrived first on Wednesday in a really tiny box.

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You wouldn’t believe it. I saw some unboxing video reviews and it is super cool how they vacuum pack it in without any loss of material integrity. Well, I had to make my own unboxing video clip.

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I was originally going to wait until the frame arrived to get the mattress out but I was too excited to try it out, so I moved my old bed out and plopped the Casper down on the floor. The first night was pretty restless. To be expected, I suppose, given it was new. But also, my allergies peaked all night, I think from being down on the floor (even though I thoroughly vacuumed).

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If I haven’t lost your interest yet, the true drama of this begins to now unfold. UPS delivered the frame on Thursday, and by way of my handy video doorbell, I saw them leave two boxes. When I got home, they were clearly labeled “1 of 3” and “3 of 3”. Oh crap. I got on with UPS and they assured me the third box was coming, though I could not figure why the shipment would have been separated. Yay logistics. I put as much together as I could and waited. Thankfully, the next driver arrived. I took the box and immediately opened it. Inside… a pair of Toms shoes. For my neighbor.

I ran back out the front door and intended to head off the truck as it looped around to leave the neighborhood. Fortunately, she realized what she did about halfway down and stopped short. We exchanged boxes and had a relieved laugh. Got it inside and finished the bed.

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Well, it looks great. Except one thing. I could not tell from the pictures on the site that the headboard actually had bedazzled jewels, not buttons. Major facepalm. I’ll be looking to figure out how to paint them this weekend…

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Last night was pretty good. Naomi seems to love it. Honestly, if you are due for a new bed, I’d check it out! Nothing to lose with 100 nights to try it! It is very supportive yet comfortably soft and cool! Last thing for me to add is an allergen-rated mattress encasement, and Casper sent me right to their recommended one on Amazon.

So there’s my long winded story about getting a new bed. Yup, you know you’re old when this is the kind of thing that excites you.

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Oh and hey, if you do somehow decide to try, let me know. We both get $50.

Yay A New Bed, Or Wow I’m Old