Sunday, March 13, 2011

Concrete Christianity

As we are really getting focused and preparing ourselves spiritually, mentally and physically for our trip to Sierra Leone in just a few weeks, God has continued to show Himself faithful.  At every turn, we have confirmation that He is truly directing our steps and this trip is just exactly what He has for us right now.  I can't begin to tell you how excited we are to board that plane!

Coincidentally (not really...God is awesome how he orchestrates details like this!)  this upcoming week, the church we have been attending is having a missions conference.  We heard two sermons from two pastors today with the same core message......We need to have "Concrete Christianity."  Concrete versus abstract, that is.  Christianity with some action behind the theory.  Things that people can see and understand....in other words, concrete.

What started out, honestly, as a journey to a possible adoption has turned into so much more.  This is about so much more than saving one child or even one sibling group to add to our family.  This is about living out our faith....  Deciding what it is we REALLY believe in and putting action to the words we've spoken for so long.

I've been in church for a lifetime.  Served in the church since I was a young child.  Sang solos.  Led praise and worship.  Taught classes.  Organized choirs.  Directed children's ministries.  Led women's Bible studies.  These are all good things, don't get me wrong.  I hope and pray that all my involvement in the local church all these years has been a blessing to those around me.  However, right now I just don't feel like it's enough.  I know it's not, in fact.

I've learned alot about the Bible over the years, but have I truly lived like I believe it?  Regretfully...the answer is, "No, I haven't".  But times, they are a changin'!  And, thankfully, my God is full of grace and mercy and second chances!

So..in light of living out our faith, having "Concrete Christianity" and this weeks recent events, I was reminded of this scripture.  (Thanks, Sis, for posting it!)  
Luke  21:10-11  "Then He continued by saying to them, "Nation will rise agains nation, and kingdom against kingdom and there will be great earthquakes, and in various places plagues and famines; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven."  vs. 25-28  "And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth dismay among nations, in perplexity at the roaring of the sea and the waves, men fainting from fear and the expectation of the things which are coming upon the world; for the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  And then they will see THE SON OF MAN COMING IN A CLOUD with power and great glory.  But when these things begin to take place, straighten up and lift your heads, because your redemption is drawing near."
We were reminded in church today that the death toll in Japan is now 10,000 and will probably rise.  How many of these people new Jesus?  Their lives are over.  In a blink of an eye, they are gone.

A young man lays flowers in front of the Japanese Embassy in Moscow in 
honor of the lives lost in the earthquake this week.
Matthew 28:19-20  "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
Doug and I are headed out to the nations.  Yes, we are spreading God's love just by loving on those precious orphans of His.  Yes, we are blessing a handful of people with some peanut butter and bread.  Unfortunately, the peanut butter will be gone quickly and we will board a plan to return home in just 7 short days.  However, the Word of God lasts forever and will not return void.  We would be wasting an opportunity to share the Gospel if we didn't take advantage of our time in a nation that is at least half muslim.  There are millions of people in Sierra Leone who need to know Jesus!

I know we have already asked for your help in providing peanut butter for the hospital, and I can't thank you enough.  Still, I'm going to give you another opportunity to partner with us by providing funds for us to purchase Bibles.  We'll take them with us and hand them out either at the hospital with the gift bags, or  to the poor in the community where we will be staying.  I found a source to buy cases of paperback New Testaments for just a little over $1 each.  There are 100 Bibles in the case, so the total will be about $105.  If you'd like to purchase one or all one hundred, we'd love for you to be involved if you feel led to do so.  You can use the Donate button on the sidebar.

Please continue to pray that we would walk by faith and be led by the Holy Spirit as we prepare to go and do work that will add to His Kingdom.

Much Love,
Jodi


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