Maybe your man Trump will win and Hillary the Evil Empress will lose. Maybe your woman Clinton will win and Donald the Perverted Pied Piper will lose. Whatever your view of the candidates and whatever the result of the Presidential election, the state of your heart matters far more. Read it all
We think we know that Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States. We’re sure it won’t be Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz. And we’re certain it won’t be Jill Stein or Gary Johnson (did I get their names right even?).
Maybe it won’t be any of those. Read it all
My parents had entered missionary service in Mexico when I was less than two months old. Our family left the field when I was almost seventeen years old. A little over five years later, my wife and I joined a pioneering missionary team (led by Dad) going to another area of northwest Mexico. Over the next ten years, Ruby and I had two stints of service totaling some five years on the field. We last left in 1991, expecting to return to service soon. (We didn’t.) The last twenty years I’ve served on our congregation’s Mexico mission board.
I tell you all that to help you understand why a title such as this would grab me by the nose: “What’s Wrong with Western Missionaries?” The author reports on a lesson learned when he put this question to a bunch of believers in some Muslim countries: “What makes a good missionary?”
No, I won’t reveal the answer here. 😯 😀
I was quite enthusiastic about the article well before I was done reading it. It motivated me to write my own piece addressing the self-imposed distortion suffered by the self-sufficient missionary. I snatched some snippets from it and put them here as a preview: Read it all
Yesterday we had a family outing to Trillium Lake. (It was a birthday thing.)
This morning early I thought back on the other vistas of God’s creation which awaited us there. And I wondered…
- How many of those nude legs belong to women worship team members?
- How many of those barely covered breasts have the heart of a female Sunday School teacher beating behind them?
- How many Christian male eyeballs tracked back for one more discreet look?
- How many Christian men wrestled with wistful wishes, treacheous thoughts, and deadly desires?
- How much ache in the Creator’s heart?
- Will His heart have any revulsion in church services today?
You could read that as me looking down my nose on fellow Christians or fellow fallen humans. You could accuse me of being a Puritanical prude. You could charge me with contemptuous condemnation. You could slam me for sanctimonious something-or-other. And you’d be wrong.
I’m not blind to the beauty of forbidden fruit, OK? But in my other-world moments I look beyond eyeball-grabbing displays and feel compassion. Read it all
Early this morning, I sat in the kitchen, propped — elbow on table, chin in cupped hand. I stared, unfocused, out the window. Thinking. Remembering yesterday…
Late yesterday afternoon. Barely Wednesday in the week. Rocking news upon shocking news.
A friend in our congregation left this life. A friend to our congregation fell backward into a service pit, breaking his hip and fracturing his back. A third friend in our congregation learned of his brother’s terminal brain tumors. A fourth friend, just recently of our congregation, was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Four cases! Far more than that many friends! All since early Monday morning!
An overwhelming sense of creeping sadness. Of deep ache.
And my wife and I struggling with our own health issues.
So now it was early this morning. I had just read the first 11 verses of Psalm 34. Here, read them… Read it all
In the last few days, we prayed often for God’s best for her, deeply hoping that meant a miraculous healing of her long-running rheumatoid arthritis and just-discovered bone cancer.
Instead, God’s best for her meant exchanging her ruined body for something new.
That faith does not erase the pain of loss for her husband Marvin and the rest of her family.
Such reassuring Christian hope does not eliminate the emptiness they feel.
But believe and hope we shall.
Meanwhile, in Heaven, such glory for Esther!
And such glory for the Redeemer-Lamb who won her back to Himself and kept her for Himself! Read it all
Today Orpha Tice Smucker would have been 67 years old. Now she is eternally ageless.
Below this photo of her and James’ grave is a poem written by one of her granddaughters. I took this picture at 7:29 the morning after their April 9 burial.
They put Jesus to death on an ugly tree,
He endured the pain for you and me.
He loves us! His grace will be enough,
So in Him let us put all out trust.
The women, weeping, went to His grave,
To put spice on the One who is mighty to save,
But the cold, death stone was rolled away,
And an empty place where Jesus lay.
An angel told them, “He is not dead,
But He is risen as He said.”
The women rejoiced and ran to tell,
That Jesus lives and all is well!
Jesus is alive, today and forever,
His love for us no one can sever,
His blood can cleanse from every sin,
Just open your heart and let Him in.
–Kaitlynn Yoder, then 10