Tag Archives: Scripture

Quietness, in a Social Media age

When people first meet me, they might think I’m quiet. But anyone who knows me well knows that silence is not my strong point! I am an auditory processor…. meaning, I like to talk through things out loud, with someone else, in order to process them. This often translates to social media as well. I ran a blog with my sister-in-law for two years, and I loved processing things through blog posts. I often share from my Bible reading or just general thoughts on twitter and facebook.

Sunday, God prompted me to spend several days off of social media. He brought me to Isaiah 30:15 (emphasis mine),

For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling.

Returning. Rest. Quietness. Trust. This week, God has shown me how quickly I fill my mind with the distraction of social media, rather than returning to His Word. He’s shown me how I struggle to quietly pour out my soul to Him, rather than to others. Honestly, social media can give such an illusion of community and closeness, but I will run there instead of my Lord and Savior, who knows me more intimately than anyone else. I don’t ever want the Lord to say to me, “I had all of Myself for you – but you were unwilling.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe and affirm that the Lord built us for relationships and community. I have exchanged some text messages and e-mails with a few dear ladies close to me during this week. But true, intentional relationships are different than “sharing” with 400 of our closest friends, aren’t they? If anything, social media can rob me of true community, because I can believe I’m experiencing community there, and am less likely to reach out personally.

I am not done with social media. I believe it has a place, and like many things, can either edify or tear down, depending on how it is used. God used these last few days to re-adjust my priorities though, and that was sorely needed.

Would we be strengthened to do what is required of us and to bear what is laid upon us? It must be in quietness and confidence; we must keep our spirits calm and sedate by a continual dependence upon God, and his power and goodness; we must retire into ourselves with a holy quietness, suppressing all turbulent and tumultuous passions, and keeping the peace in our minds. And we must rely upon God with a holy confidence that he can do what he will and will do what is best for his people. And this will be our strength; it will inspire us with such a holy fortitude as will carry us with ease and courage through all the difficulties we may meet with. – Matthew Henry

Vision 2025: Now. Is. The. Time.

“By 2025, together with partners worldwide, we aim to see a Bible translation program begun in all the remaining languages that need one.”

This is the core of Vision 2025.

We have over 400 English versions of the Bible, while hundreds of millions of people wait for a single verse.

Can we be ok with that?

Wycliffe USA and our partner organizations believe the answer is a resounding, “No!” Now, now is the time for God’s people to mobilize.

If you have 5 minutes, please watch the video below from one of Wycliffe’s partner organizations to learn more about Vision 2025 and why we believe it is so crucial.

Longing for the Word

Two ladies read from their Wuvulu-Aua NT during the Wuvulu Scripture Application and Leadership Training (SALT) course. Used with permission, Wycliffe Bible Translators, David J. Ringer.

Two ladies read from their Wuvulu-Aua NT during the Wuvulu Scripture Application and Leadership Training (SALT) course. Used with permission, Wycliffe Bible Translators, David J. Ringer.

Open my eyes, that I may behold
wondrous things out of your law.
I am sojourner on the earth;
hide not your commandments from me!
My soul is consumed with longing
    for your rules at all times…

Your testimonies are my delight
they are my counselors…

Make me understand the way of your precepts,
and I will meditate on your wondrous works…

I have chosen the way of faithfulness;
I set your rules before me.
I cling to your testimonies, O LORD;
let me not be put to shame!
I will run in the way of your commandments
when you enlarge my heart!

Psalm 119:19-20, 24, 27, 30-32

Do we understand what it means to consumed with longing  for the Word of the Lord? May our delight in God’s testimonies prompt us to pray, give, and go on behalf of those who are saying, “Hide not your commandments from me!”

Here in our place, we want the Bible too, but we don’t have anyone to help us. Can you tell your bosses to send someone to help us? – Papua New Guinean man to Wycliffe translator

 

May He Grant: May 29th

May 29: Pray that Makaylah will continue to grow in her relationship with Christ. Ask that she would long for the pure milk of the Word, that she may grow up into her salvation. (1 Peter 2:2).

We prayed earlier this month for the salvation of our youngest four children. We are so thankful that God has already drawn Makaylah to Himself! We appreciate your prayers for her as she continues to grow in her faith.

Makaylah, photo credit: Star Noir Studios

Makaylah, photo credit: Star Noir Studios

Lord, we thank You for saving Makaylah. We know that without Your power at work in her, she would still be lost in her sins and separated from You. We ask that she would never be content to just know about You, but would pursue You passionately and grow in You day by day. May Makaylah put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Help her to long for pure spiritual milk, like a newborn infant, that she may grow up into salvation. May she remember and know that she has tasted that the Lord is good! As she comes to Christ, a living stone rejected by men, but in Your sight chosen and precious, we know she will be built up as a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices accepted to You through Christ. Your Word declares that whoever believes in Christ, the cornerstone, will not be put to shame! (I Peter 2:1-6)

May He Grant: May 27th

May 27: Pray for the thousands of Papua New Guineans who are hearing God’s Word in their language through audio recordings. Pray that the truth would be clear to them and that they  would turn to the Lord.

In many cultures, truth is still understood best when it is heard, rather than read. Wycliffe works to get Scripture to people in many different forms, and in Papua New Guinea, audio recordings are a powerful tool that is often used in conjunction with printed Scripture.

Please join us in praying that as the Word of Life are listened too, they would soak into people’s hearts and minds, and that God would use them to draw many to Himself.

We listen to it daily. At noon we listen to it. We listen to it before going to sleep. Then we pray. Then we sleep.— Papua New Guinean man speaking about audio Scripture

Read more about the power of audio recordings in Papua New Guinea on the Wycliffe USA blog.

May He Grant: May 14th

May 14: Pray for wisdom on what to purchase, both for our Pacific Orientation Course (POC) and Ukarumpa.

It’s Day 14 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

We are downsizing a lot, as we shared here. However, there are things we need for our Pacific Orientation Course and life in Ukarumpa – good hats, hiking sandals, a water filter, a different kind of wardrobe, and much more. We want to be wise as we determine what exactly we need, the best brands, etc. We also want to be wise stewards of the resources entrusted to us.

Talia is already using her sun hat, thanks to a dear friend who sent it to us!

Talia is already using her sun hat, thanks to a dear friend who sent it to us!

We are thankful to serve a God who gives wisdom to those who ask Him!

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

 

 

 

May He Grant: May 12th

May 12: Ask the Lord to provide 5 new monthly partners this week. May they long to fulfill the partnership in Romans 10, of preaching, sending, and hearing! 

It’s Day 12 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:14-17

Please pray with us for the Lord to provide in a mighty way this week. He is our hope and confidence!

 Map_of_Papua_New_Guinea_Demis

 

 

 

May He Grant: May 11th

Happy Mother’s Day! We pray you have a blessed day. Our prayers are with those for whom this is a hard day that reminds them of loss.

Our May He Grant prayer focus is below. Please also pray for my mom, Cheryl, and David’s mom, Marie, as they send us (and their grandchildren!) to Papua New Guinea. Pray for peace and comfort and many sweet opportunities to spend time together in the next few months.

Mom a few years ago with our oldest four. Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

Mom a few years ago with our oldest four. Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

Marie with all her grandkids a few years ago.  Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

Marie with all her grandkids a few years ago. Photo credit: Faith Riley Photography

May 11: Ask the Lord for wisdom as we pack and make decisions about what to bring and what to leave behind. May we store up for ourselves treasures in heaven, not on this earth! 

It’s Day 11 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

Stuff. We all have a lot of it. Our family got rid of a huge amount of possessions before we left for ICC. Everything we own now fits in a 10×10 storage unit, with plenty of room left over. There were things we put in storage that seemed very important before ICC. Months later, we are able to look at those same things and realize that they are just things.

We will be sending a shipment of household goods to Papua New Guinea. This shipment needs to be in JAARS, NC, by early July. From JAARS, it will be shipped via freight to PNG, and arrive in Ukarumpa in a few months. Please pray for us and our children as we finalize this process. May we keep our eyes focused where they need to be.

Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matthew 6:19-21

May He Grant: May 9th

May 9: Ask God to provide 100% of our monthly budget by May 31st, and do in such a way that He gets the glory, honor, and praise for it.

It’s Day 9 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

Prayer is the intersection between our complete inadequacy and God’s complete adequacy. – David Platt

I prayed, God, I don’t know you’re going to do it. It looks humanly impossible. I can’t conceive how it’ll ever get done, but you’re the God of the impossible. – George Cowan, past president of Wycliffe Bible Translators

We are so thankful for all the ways God has provided for us during our time as Wycliffe members. Through the partnership of His people, He has brought us to just over 70% of our monthly ministry budget! This is huge! We know that this certainly hasn’t happened because of us, but because of Him.

We currently still need about 30% of our monthly ministry budget. We must be at 95% of our monthly budget before we can purchase plane tickets. We must be at 100% before we can leave for Papua New Guinea.

We are inadequate for this task. It looks humanly impossible to us. But we serve a God who does impossible things, for the sake of His great name!

We are asking God to bring us to 100% of our monthly budget by May 31st. We believe your prayers play a mighty role in us reaching this goal!

And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’? I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence he will rise and give him whatever he needs. And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. What father among you, if his son asks fora fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” Luke 11:5-13

The Bible never cautions us about the magnitude of our prayers. – David Platt

 

May He Grant: May 8th

May 8: Ask that God would continue to reveal Himself to Sophia, Isaiah, Nehemiah, and Talia. May God draw them to Himself!

It’s Day 8 of our month of prayer focus, May He Grant. You can read more about our heart for this month, and print out a complete prayer guide for the month here.

As we shared in November with great joy, Makaylah became a Christian last year. We continue to pray for the Lord to show our younger four their need for Him. Ask that God would use their time as MK’s in many ways to draw them to Himself! MK’s are on a battlefield. We yearn for them to be fully equipped with the armor of God, especially the helmet of salvation.

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm. Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace. In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints… Ephesians 6:10-18

Sophia

Sophia means “wisdom.” Our prayer for is that she will know the One who is the source of all wisdom.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is insight. Proverbs 9:10

IsaiahIsaiah means, “Salvation of the Lord.” May our Isaiah be one who knows that salvation, and is a messenger of it to others!

“Behold, God is my salvation;
I will trust, and will not be afraid;
for the Lord God is my strength and my song,
and he has become my salvation.”

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation. And you will say in that day:

“Give thanks to the Lord,
call upon his name,
make known his deeds among the peoples,
proclaim that his name is exalted.

“Sing praises to the Lord, for he has done gloriously;
let this be made known in all the earth. Isaiah 12:2-5

NehemiahNehemiah means “compassion of Jehovah.” May God show compassion to Nehemiah, and grant him salvation.

“For the mountains may depart
and the hills be removed,
but my steadfast love shall not depart from you,
and my covenant of peace shall not be removed,”
says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10

TaliaTalia means “dew from heaven.” Her name is a reminder of God’s daily, unmerited favor to us. We pray that as she grows God will give her an awareness of her need for Him, and the mercy He offers her, fresh every morning.

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” Lamentations 3:22-24