Hangin' Out in Karongue

Hangin' Out in Karongue

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Little Something to Think About

The following quotes come from men who's hearts beat in tune with the heart of God for the nations of the world. Read these quotes, reflect upon them, and then plead with God that He would give us all a heart like His for the nations.
“The mark of a great church is not its seating capacity, but its sending capacity.” Mike Strachura

“We talk of the Second Coming; half of the world has never heard of the first.” Oswald J. Smith

“World missions was on God’s mind from the beginning.” Dave Davidson

“Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell, I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell.” C.T. Studd

“May it become, once again, the ambition of the church to preach the Gospel where Christ is not known.” David Sitton

“I have but one candle of life to burn, and I would rather burn it out in a land filled with darkness than in a land flooded with light.” John Falconer

“I’m exasperated that we continue to spend 97 percent of our resources in concentrating on our Jerusalem, Judea, and Samaria rather than moving out to reach the ends of the earth.” Jerry Rankin

“The command has been to “go,” but we have stayed --- in body, gifts, prayer, and influence.” Robert Savage

“Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t. Worship is ultimate, not missions, because God is ultimate, not man. When this age is over, and countless millions of the redeemed fall on their faces before the throne of God, missions will be no more. It is a temporary necessity. But worship abides forever.” John Piper

“In the vast plain of the north I have sometimes seen, in the morning sun, the smoke of a thousand villages where no missionary has even been.” Robert Moffat

 “Why should anyone hear the Gospel twice before everyone has had a chance to hear it once?” Unknown 

“You can give without loving. You cannot love without giving.” Amy Carmichael

“Let my heart be broken with the things that break God’s heart.” Bob Pierce

“”My father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather and all of my ancestors before me – they lived and died – and they never heard the name of Jesus Christ. Why did it take you so long to come to us with the Gospel?” A cannibal war-chief turned Christian in the jungles of Papua New Guinea speaking to a missionary

“Would that God would make hell so real to us that we cannot rest; heaven so real that we must have men there.” J. Hudson Taylor

“ “Not called!” did you say? “Not heard the call,” I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face – whose mercy you have professed to obey – and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.” William Booth

“This Gospel of the Kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come.” Jesus

It has always been my ambition to preach the Gospel where Christ was not known” The Apostle Paul

“Here am I. Send me.” Isaiah

Friday, September 21, 2012

Building a Marriage for the Glory of God

Marriage, just like all of life, is meant to glorify God. It is meant to picture the loving relationship between Jesus and His church (Ephesians 5:32). God created marriage upon the pattern of Jesus and His relationship to His bride the church, so the goal is to live and love in such a way that God is glorified and the relationship between Jesus and the church are portrayed.

We all know that a strong, God-glorifying, Christ-centered marriage takes a lot of hard work and determination. It takes following the instructions of God, the One who created marriage in the first place. This kind of marriage does not come about by looking at the pattern of the world, but by looking at the pattern of the Word; the Word of God.

The building of a strong and lasting marriage is much like building a strong and lasting house. When you build a house you want to use materials that will make it last a lifetime. You want to work hard so that it will be built into something that will stand up to the test of time. And building a strong, God-glorifying marriage is no different. Psalm 127:1 says, “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.” Likewise we can say that unless the Lord builds the marriage, those who try to build it labor in vain.

The building of a marriage, just like the building of a house, must start with a strong foundation. And the foundation that is needed in marriage is Jesus Christ. There is simply no other foundation with which to build a marriage upon. Jesus said, "Anyone who listens to my teaching and obeys Me is wise, like a person who builds a house on solid rock. Though the rain comes in torrents and the floodwaters rise and the winds beat against that house, it won't collapse, because it is built on rock.” (Matthew 7:24-25). The only foundation that will stand when the storms of life blow hard is the foundation of the Lord Jesus Christ. A commitment to Him as individuals and a commitment to Him as a couple is the only lasting, solid foundation that can support a marriage. He alone must be the rock.

But a house also needs walls: something that builds upon the foundation and adds structure and support. And in a marriage what adds that support is love. The Bible says, “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. Love does not demand its own way. Love is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Love will last forever” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8). The love that a husband and a wife should show one another should reflect the love that God has shown them in His Son, Jesus Christ. A sacrificial love that seeks the other’s good above one’s own. It must be a love that is predominantly centered not in each other, but in Jesus Christ where you love one another out of the overflow of your love for Him.

Not only does a house need a foundation and walls, but a house also needs a roof; something to protect the house from rain and acts as a shelter in the storm. And in the building of a marriage grace and forgiveness serve as that roof. The Bible says, “Be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:32). The grace and forgiveness that the husband and wife show to one another should reflect the grace and forgiveness that God has made available through His Son, Jesus Christ. That is free grace that is not deserved or earned, but is freely and lavishly given. Grace that is not dependant upon each other’s performance or worth, but grace that reflects the blessings that we have been shown in Christ. Free and unearned grace must permeate your marriage so that it protects and shelters from struggles within and problems without.

When these things are done, a marriage will be made that will be strong and that will last a lifetime. But above all else, it will be a marriage that will bring glory to God.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Glorifying God in the Ordinary

There is nothing wrong with being ordinary. As a matter of fact, that is the likely category that most of us find ourselves in: ordinary. We are ordinary people, with ordinary jobs, who are part of ordinary families, living out ordinary lives.

But the extraordinary thing about God is that He intends to inject His glory into the ordinariness of our lives. With God nothing is just ordinary because He intends to be glorified in all areas and facets of our lives; including the ordinary.

Paul understood this point when he wrote, “Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). Eating and drinking are the epitome of ordinary; quite mundane actually. Yet in even these things I have the capacity to glorify God because all of life is meant to be about Him and for Him. And think about the “whatever you do” part. Paul is saying that the glorifying of God is not limited to certain “spiritual” tasks or activities, but is possible in everything.

In much the same way Paul writes to the Colossian Christians and says, “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Colossians 3:17). The “whatever” of this verse is broad enough to totally encompass your “ordinary” life.

This means that you do not have to be a pastor or a missionary or have some other “spiritual” vocation to please God with your life. God is glorified in the lives of businessmen who maintain Christian ethics in their business and honor Him with their profession. He is glorified in the tradesman who puts in an honest day’s work and seeks to work “heartily as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23). God is exalted in the life of the stay-at-home mom who nurtures, loves, and instructs her children. God delights in the teachers who love their students and live out the Gospel before them day-in and day-out. Secretaries, students, salesmen, servers, and a whole host of other “ordinary” people truly have the capacity to glorify God with their lives as they live for Jesus.

This also means that there is an urgency to all of our work. We are not waiting to do God’s work; whatever God has set before us is God’s work! If we sit and wait for something better that is more “spiritual” or “important” and less ordinary then we may miss the thing that God is calling us to that is right before our eyes.

Missionary James Fraser learned this valuable lesson as he was language learning in China. He wrote: “It is all if and when. I believe the devil is fond of those conjunctions … The plain truth is that the Scriptures never teach us to wait for opportunities of service, but to serve in just the things that lie next at our hands … Since the things that lie in our immediate path have been ordered of God, who shall say that one kind of work is more important and sacred than another?”

His point is that what lies before us is the work of God. While we have a tendency to separate life into “sacred” and “secular” compartments, the Bible makes no such distinction. The “whatever you do” of 1 Corinthians and Colossians destroys those compartments and makes everything the work of God whereby God can by glorified. Fraser goes on to write: “I am no more doing the Lord’s work in giving the Word of God to the Chinese than you are, for example, in wrapping up a parcel to send to the tailor. It is not for us to choose our work. And if God has chosen it for us, hadn’t we better go straight ahead and do it, without waiting for anything greater, better, or nobler?” He is saying that the most “noble” work that God can call you to is the work that God has called you to. He is saying that with God there is really no such thing as ordinary.

So go and live out your “ordinary” life. But do it in a way that points others to your extraordinary God!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

How God Used You

We would need a much longer blog post to list all of the ways that God uses you to touch our lives, but we wanted to give you a few concrete examples from the last month:

God used you to provide the needed funds so that our family could receive our vaccinations that we need for the mission field in Senegal. God used you to send us an e-mail telling us that we were on your mind and that you and your family are praying for us each day. God used you to send a card all the way to Canada for our children so that they could be encouraged and so that they would know that others are praying for them. God used you to meet our financial needs this month as we trust God and as the people of God faithfully give to Him for us. God used you to bless us in ways that proved to be exactly what we needed, exactly when we needed it. We could not do this without God using you!
Our family wants to sincerely thank you for being part of our team!

Monday, September 10, 2012

A dog (or a foot!) in your mouth

If you are struggling with pride and need a deep sense of humility in your life then you may want to consider learning and practicing a new language. Language learning is difficult and filled with mistakes and mishaps. One such mishap came recently as our family was invited to go to a carnival with another family from our church.
As we were walking along talking with the family there was a
man holding a very, very small dog. When Gayle saw the unusually small dog she remarked, "Je pourrais mettre ce chien dans ma bouche." Her structure was perfect, her pronunciation was great, but there was a bit of a problem.

What she wanted to say was that she could put the dog in her pocket. The only problem was that instead of saying "poche" which is French for "my pocket," she used "ma bouche" which unfortunately means "my mouth." And in any language that tends to come off a bit odd!

Everyone, including the owner of the dog who overhead her, got a great laugh and we were reminded that it takes over a million mistakes before you can learn a language. Thankfully we are getting close!