Hangin' Out in Karongue

Hangin' Out in Karongue

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

My New Favorite Bloggers

Blogs can be informative, fun, and for missionaries, they can be used to keep people in the loop on what the Lord is doing in our lives and ministries as we serve in some far away places. They can also express what it is like to deal with change, different cultures, frustrations, and victories that we see and experience on the mission field.

With this in mind, Ezra and Thea have just launched themselves into the "blogosphere" (whatever that is!) and have each started a blog to chronicle the things they are experiencing as missionaries. They want to use this medium to be able to keep in touch with those they leave behind and to give them a taste of life from their point-of-view. As their parents, we also hope that this gives them another medium of thinking through the changes and transitions that are happening in their lives. We also hope that it will become a source of encouragement for them as others follow their writings, videos, and life from afar.

Ezra is writing at www.ezraboyd.blogspot.com and Thea at www.babystepsoffaith.blogspot.com. Take a few moments to check out their blogs, sign-up to follow them, consider leaving them a quick word of encouragement as they begin and join them on their journey.

Monday, November 26, 2012

"Semi-nomadic...like us"

Last night our family was reading a book together about a missionary in Uganda and she used the word "semi-nomadic" to describe a specific group of people that lived near her town. Thea asked, "What exactly does semi-nomadic mean?"   

I asked her what the word "nomadic" meant, to which she responded by saying that it meant to move from one place to another. I then asked her about the word "semi," like in semi-circle, and she said that it was something that was not total, but only partial or halfway. She then said, "So semi-nomadic means that these people move often, but not all the time. They are prone to move, but will often stay in one place for a period of time." I agreed with her assessment of the word just in time for her to add, "They are semi-nomadic...like us."

And the semi-nomads started packing some things up last week!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Few Questions Before "Black Friday"

There is little doubt that our society suffers from a lack of contentment. Many families bury themselves in debt as they seek to keep pace with the proverbial Joneses. Many individuals move from job to job and career to career in search of more pay, better benefits, and the brass ring that always seems just out of reach. Marital discontentment causes many to hope for greener grass in another relationship. And rampant materialism permeates nearly every facet of American life. All the while the virtue of contentment is nowhere to be found.

Thankfully God's Word addresses these pressing issues with illuminating clarity. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 says, "Now godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

A few verses later the text continues by saying, "Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life" (1 Timothy 6:17-19).

When considering these verses, along with the rest of what the New Testament teaches on the subject, it seems that the key to contentment is not my finding contentment in money, possessions, or things, but in my finding contentment in Jesus. Contentment comes as I am able to live knowing that in Jesus I have a treasure that is worthy of giving all for (Matthew 13:44). True contentment comes when I value Jesus above any and everything else and then live like I value Jesus in that way. Contentment is essentially living like Jesus and Jesus alone is more than sufficient to satisfy every longing and desire of my life. This treasuring of Jesus loosens the grip of materialism over my life and frees me so that I can truly experience the all-satisfying pleasure of knowing Jesus Christ.

Consider these eleven questions that may help you determine your level of contentment. These questions are aimed at the heart so as you read and think about them be sensitive to what God may be saying to you:

1) Am I content with what I have and the circumstances of my life or am I striving for more and more?

2) If everything in my life was taken away, all of my material possessions, and I had nothing but Jesus Christ would I still be content?

3) Am I living as if I am taking nothing with me when I die?

4) In my life does Jesus look like an all-satisfying treasure?

5) Can I rightly distinguish between my needs and my wants?

6) What is tempting me to treasure it more than I treasure Jesus?

7) Am I discontent with the things of this world, yet content with where I am in my relationship with Jesus?

8) Do I live like I trust and hope in things or like I trust and hope in God?

9) Am I generous, ready to give and willing to share?

10) Am I living and giving in a way that shows it is more blessed to give than to receive?

11) Does Jesus have all of my life?

Contentment is not primarily about money and things. It is primarily about being satisfied with Jesus and treasuring Him above all else.