My Mission Field

 

cogan house viewThis photo is my desktop screen.  I LOVE it! It is also my mission field. You may say, “But where are all the people? What do you have, I ministry to cows?” No, but there are folks in them there parts! God did not call us to the foreign field or to the city.  He called us to a zip code which has about 3,000 spread over approximately 64 square miles. (VERY rough figuring!) That’s not a whole lot of people! But…

  • Are there people who have not trusted Christ as their Savior? YES!
  • Are their families that are broken? YES!
  • Are there families that are searching for the truth? YES!
  • Are there elderly who need to see Jesus? YES!
  • Are there teens who need hope? YES!
  • Are there children who need to hear the Gospel? YES!

What does your mission field look like? Do you have a mission field?  Is there something that God wants you to do? For example…

  • Does the cashier need a friendly word and smile from you? And maybe even a Gospel tract?
  • Does a neighbor need to know that you care?
  • Does a family member need help? Or even a heartfelt Gospel letter?
  • Could you bake a cake for a busy mom or even watch the kids while she goes for groceries?
  • Maybe someone in your church needs a listening ear or an encouraging phone call or a smiley face text.

All of these ideas are little seeds that may someday bring forth fruit! Go! Enjoy the summer! Plant some seeds in YOUR mission field! And maybe, just maybe, the Lord will even allow you to see some sprout!

And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward. Matthew 10:42

Say not ye, There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. John 4:35

 

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Ready to Die? Really?

ID-100180787Several years ago, there was a pastor who was having difficulties in his ministry—so much so, that he was moving to another ministry.  At that particular time, we were at a highpoint in our ministry.  I remember one of our children saying, “How can they be so excited about leaving?  I’d die if we had to leave our ministry.”  About three years later, we found ourselves in a similar situation, and that child’s words came back to me.

At the time of the opening scenario, we were fulfilled, prospering, moving forward.  Yes, there were difficulties—there are always difficult moments in any occupation.  (My personal opinion is that they are multiplied in any ministry situation because our enemy more aggressively attacks any progress for our Lord.) But we knew that we were right in the center of God’s will, and we were content to be there.

Three years later, God allowed circumstances which made it nearly impossible for us to stay.  There are several lessons to be learned:

  1. Could I understand the feelings of the other pastor and his family before going through the same circumstance? No, I could sympathize with them, but until I went through that struggle, I didn’t fully understand it.  Now, for any of you who are ministry people: Do know that, Lord willing, you will never go through every trial which your people have to face.  That doesn’t mean that you can’t minister.  We are only the messengers for the Great Comforter!  He has the answers!  Praise the Lord.  But it is true that we can empathize better having gone through trials ourselves.

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2 Corinthians 1:4

TRIALS STRENGTHEN US AND MAKE US BETTER MESSENGERS FOR JESUS CHRIST.

  1. When the trial comes, God WILL give you the grace to go through it. Before we went through the trial, we couldn’t really understand God’s grace upon that pastor and his family, but their testimony prepared us for “our turn!”

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

IT’S GOD! IT’S GOD! IT’S GOD!

If you think you can do it apart from the grace of God… well, all I can say is, “Wow!”

  1. Are you ready to die? This is not a salvation post, but as two different suffering women have been recently placed on our prayer list: a pastor’s wife and a missionary’s wife—BOTH AROUND MY AGE—I was very rebuked for thinking that I was ready to die.  I often told the Lord that I was ready for the battles to be over.  I would glibly say, “Yep!  I’m ready to go!”  Yes, I love my husband, and children, and grandchildren, and mom, and all our family and friends, but I truly felt that if the Lord wanted to take me, I was ready.  But as I’ve prayed for these women and their families, and it has become intercessory prayer—putting myself into their place—I’ve realized that I don’t know what I’m talking about!!!

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge,shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing2 Timothy 4:8

EVEN SO, COME LORD JESUS!

THAT is what I’m ready for—I want Him to return.  I want the battles to be over.  I want all my loved ones to enjoy heaven and the millennium together.  I’m NOT ready to go it alone, BUT if I listen to my own words, I can rest in the fact that if that is His will for my life: that I meet Him in 2016—He will give me the grace to bear it!

I hope that is half the encouragement to you that it had been for me!  Life—it’s worth the living!  Live it for Jesus!

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. 1 Corinthians 13:12

freedigitalphotos.net by tiverylucky

Twenty-five years ago today…

Life is filled with defining moments.  Twenty-five years ago today, we left our little house in the orchard fields of Adams county, PA and headed for Greenville, SC.  Twenty-five years!  It doesn’t seem possible.  We packed up our belongings and left our house of dreams with our two little tykes – Tom was three and a half and Jennifer was almost two.

I still can see that little tow-head as he stood watching the Century-21 man drive the ‘for sale’ sign into the front lawn.  He came to Mommy and asked what he was doing.  I’m not sure how I explained that one!

We had been in Latimore for four years, brought our two babies home from the hospital there, and planted our first true garden. We walked the ‘block’ – passing cows and fruit trees, made home improvements and strawberry jelly together.  But Tom was sensing the call to preach, and after taking a Bible course at the local Bible institute as suggested by a visiting evangelist, he knew he needed to heed the call. Life has never been the same!

Twenty-five years, and four different ministries later…

It’s been quite a ride!  For those of you who will read this and are sitting on the other side of the pulpit, your thoughts about the pastorate may vary according to your experiences.  For me, I always held the pastor in high regard and can’t recall ever having a ‘bad’ pastor.  (Well, maybe one was a bit undesirable, but I wouldn’t call him ‘bad,’ and only my dear mother would know who I’m talking about!)  For the most part, they were all faithful men who served their Lord with a servant’s heart.  I never really thought about their struggles or heartaches, never understood the burdens they carried – every parishioner’s burdens.

Someone (Spurgeon?) once said, “Of all the things that I’ve had to sacrifice for my Lord, my reputation has been the most difficult.”  Slander has no place in God’s family. The ministry is not for wimps.  It often requires “standing in the gap,” and I have found that that is the place where the battle is the thickest. Sadly, too often the bullets are coming from fellow soldiers and not from the enemy.

I don’t think I had any idea of what we were getting into when we pulled out of that driveway. Certainly, I knew life would be different, but had we known the awesome weight of responsibility, I wonder if we would have taken that step.  I recall thinking that God had pulled the curtain close on my emotions or I never would have been able to let go and trust Him.  I’m so glad I did!

It may sound as though the ministry is a bad thing – not in your life!  I cannot praise Him enough for allowing us to serve Him in this way!  Yes, it has been a bit rough at times, but then there are those joyous moments when someone has gained the victory, understood the Gospel or taken the next step that God has for them, and then all the trials vanish like the verse says:

“A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child,     she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” John 16:21

Defining moments – those times when you stand at the crossroads weighing your decision. It may be at a crucial point in your life or just a simple step of faith, but each decision needs to be made with prayer – lots of it.  We may never know the outcome, but we can trust the One who knows the future!  He sees it all, dear friend!  Trust Him!  The whole world may think that you are mad, but if God is in it, it will be the best thing you ever did.

What tho’ the way be lonely
And dark shadows fall;
I know where’er it leadeth,
My Father planned it all.

Chorus
I sing thru the shade and the sunshine,
I’ll trust Him whatever befall;
I sing for I cannot be silent –
My Father planned it all.

There may be sunshine tomorrow,
Shadows may break and flee;
‘Twill be the way He chooses,
The Father’s plan for me.

He guides my faltering footsteps

Along the weary way,
For well He knows the pathway
Will lead to endless day.

A day of light and gladness
On which no shade will fall;
‘Tis this at last awaits me –
My Father planned it all.

Chorus
I sing thru the shade and the sunshine,
I’ll trust Him whatever befall;
I sing for I cannot be silent –
My Father planned it all.

HH Pierson