Monthly Archives: October 2013

Celebrating the True Treasure – Happy Reformation Day!

Did you know that today is also Reformation Day? On this day in 1517, a simple priest named Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to a door. He later translated the Scripture into German, in a belief that God’s Word should be available in the language of the people – not in a foreign tongue, which only a few highly educated people could understand.

The true treasure of the Church is the Holy Gospel of the glory and grace of God. (Luther, 95 Theses)

Feelings come and feelings go,
And feelings are deceiving;
My warrant is the Word of God–
Naught else is worth believing.

Though all my heart should feel condemned
For want of some sweet token,
There is One greater than my heart
Whose Word cannot be broken.

I’ll trust in God’s unchanging Word
Till soul and body sever,
For, though all things shall pass away,
HIS WORD SHALL STAND FOREVER! – Luther

Today reminds me again of the rich blessing I have to possess God’s Word in my heart language. It reminds me of the blessing I have to attend church and hear God’s Word spoken in my heart language.

It seemed like a great day to take the Bible Stack Challenge. I stacked up all the Bibles I could quickly find in our home. It included my computer, as I easily have access to many different versions through it. This didn’t include three Bibles that belong to our children, which I couldn’t find easily, and possibly various others.

downsized_1031031010

A true treasure.

I know today is often a busy one. But in the midst of candy and costumes, I challenge you to take a few minutes and thank God for the blessing of His Word. Stack up the Bibles in your house and share the picture with your friends. Use the picture to remind you and your family to pray for the almost 2,000 languages waiting for “the true treasure of the Church.”

 

A great weekend with friends: A story in Pictures

Melissa, the kids, and I got back yesterday from a long yet great weekend! This past weekend we went to Vinemont to spend time with our friends at Blair Congregational Methodist Church! It was both a great opportunity to share about our Wycliffe ministry as well as a fun time with our friends the Hobbs and some of their kids and grandkids. So very thankful for our friends at Blair CMC, and for our long family friends the Hobbs. Let me tell you the story in pictures.

Saturday the Hobbs took us to the Peinhardt Living History Farm. Here are some pictures from our time there on Saturday:

 

Sophia making cedar pegs

Sophia making cedar pegs

Makaylah making a cedar peg

Makaylah making a cedar peg

Isaiah drilling a hole like a boss

Isaiah drilling a hole like a boss

Making natural dyes

Making natural dyes

Nehemiah making chair legs

Nehemiah making chair legs

Sophia making chair legs

Sophia making chair legs

Making candles

Making candles

Isaiah making chair legs

Isaiah making chair legs

Sophia shooting a bow and arrow

Sophia shooting a bow and arrow

Nehemiah just so sleepy after it was all done.

Nehemiah just so sleepy after it was all done.

Then that afternoon our gracious hosts cooked hot dogs and s’mores!

Makaylah roasting marshmellows

Makaylah roasting marshmallows

Isaiah loving a smore

Isaiah loving a s’more

Get marshmallow in the hair. Eat it!

Get marshmallow in the hair. Eat it!

Later that evening Blair Church was hosting a benefit singing!

Sophia ready for the singing

Sophia ready for the singing

Isaiah ready for the singing, but no pictures please.

Isaiah ready for the singing, but no pictures please.

Nehemiah ready to go

Nehemiah ready to go

Nehemiah game face!

Nehemiah game face!

Sleeping under the pew

Sleeping under the pew

The next day we were privileged to share with Blair Church about Bibleless people and what our work with Wycliffe Bible Translators will look like. But first the kids sang us a special song.

Jesus Loves Me

Jesus Loves Me

David Speaking

 Speaking

All and all it was a great weekend, and we continue to thank God for the great friends that he has given us!

Expendability

This year for our homeschool we are using My Father’s World Exploring Countries and Cultures. It is such a great fit for where we are in our life right now. I also love the fact that My Father’s World has a huge heart for Bible translation – they even give a portion of the proceeds from all sales to support Bible translation in various ways!

One of my favorite parts of the curriculum so far has been the missionary biographies that are incorporated (from this series). When we studied Mexico, we read a biography of William Cameron Townsend, the founder of Wycliffe. It resonated with my kids in so many ways, and they loved hearing how Wycliffe began with a young college student who went to Guatemala to sell Spanish Bibles, and ended up with a vision to bring God’s Word to minority languages all over the world.

We just finished up a biography on Nate Saint, as we studied South America and rain forests. If you aren’t familiar with him, he was a missionary pilot who was martyred as he attempted to reach an Amazon tribe. It was a hard read in many ways, but a great reminder of the fact that we are all part of something so much bigger than ourselves.

Missionaries constantly face expendability. And people who do not know the Lord ask why in the world we waste our lives as missionaries. They forget that they too are expending their lives. They forget that when their lives are spent and the bubble has burst they will have nothing of eternal significance to show for the years they wasted.Some might say, ‘Isn’t it to great a price to pay?’ When missionaries consider themselves – their lives before God – they consider themselves expendable. And in our personal lives as Christians, isn’t the same thing true? Isn’t the price small in the light of God’s infinite love? Those who know the joy of leading a stranger to Christ and those who have gone to tribes who have never heard the gospel gladly count themselves expendable… – Nate Saint

The price of pursuing God is small in light of His love – even when it means we are expended (used up) in that pursuit.

What are we pursuing?

Real life missionaries. No super Christians here.

“I could never do that!”

“Wow, you are amazing!”

We hear these sorts of comments a lot when we speak in churches or talk to people about the journey God has us on. I know that sometimes people can think of missionaries as a type of super Christian. There’s the everyday kind of Christian, who works a regular job in the States, and then the SUPER Christians who go overseas and are all “sold out” for Jesus.

Please hear me. This is such a lie from the devil. We are not Super Christians (this should be obvious if you know us well).

We get scared about malaria. We get frustrated about traffic. Sometimes we yell at our kids. Sometimes we yell at each other. Sometimes we get discouraged and think God is never going to provide for us to leave for the field.

God has burdened our hearts to see Him glorified as people around the world have His Word in the language they understand best. We long to see people from every tribe and tongue and language worshiping Him. But God is the one who worked that in our hearts. He is the one who called us to move our family overseas. And we can’t go to PNG without the partnership of people who live in the States and work a “regular” job. We can’t battle the stresses, doubts, and fears that Satan throws our way without people praying fervently for us.

We are parts of one body. And no part is more “super” than any other. We all serve a Super God. If you see anything praise worthy in our journey, it is all to Him and His glory.

There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues,and to still another the interpretation of tongues.All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ. For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body—whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free—and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many….If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”  ….Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. – From 1 Corinthians 12