Tag Archives: Teaching

Birthdays, life, busyness, and prayer

Life here has settled into a fairly steady pace of….. busy, busy, and did I mention busy?

January was an exciting month for us. We are looking at this year with different eyes as we contemplate and pray that it is our last year in the States before heading to Papua New Guinea! It is a year full of lots of firsts, and lots of “lasts for now.” We sent out our first newsletter of 2013 (if you didn’t get it and would like to receive future newsletters, just drop me an e-mail at melissas_smith@wycliffe.org). We had a great time celebrating our youngest child’s birthday the end of the month. It is hard to believe he is TWO! Nehemiah is definitely our most laid-back child, but he is also our most verbal at this age, so it has been fun hearing his perspective and numerous questions about the world around him.

Getting to ready to blow out his #2 candle!

Getting to ready to blow out his #2 candle!

We also had our first “home meeting.” Dear friends of ours from church hosted dinner for us and a few families that were interested in hearing more about what we will be doing with Wycliffe. It was an incredible blessing to be able to get to know these sweet couples and share what God is doing in our lives and around the world!

February got off to a busy start, too! We had the amazing privilege of sharing about Bible translation with our children’s ministry. It was exciting to introduce these kids to the need of Bibleless people, and the many, many types of people and gifts that God uses to meet that need. Maybe there were future translators, software developers, pilots, or mechanics in that room. Who knows what God has in store! It makes me smile just to think of it! We also traveled to my home town of Huntsville, AL, where we did a homeschool workshop and also shared at Living Hope Church.

God has been so faithful to us! Many of you may remember how incredibly nervous David and I were about the public speaking side of this missionary call. But the surprising thing about each speaking opportunity God has sent our way is that not only does He provide amazing peace while sharing….. We leave feeling blessed, encouraged, and filled up by the passion, interest, and genuine fellowship we have experienced.

There has been one aspect to all this busyness. We know how much we need to be covered in prayer, and how much we need to be covering every aspect of this year in prayer. It’s easy to get so busy doing that prayer gets pushed to the background. David and I are going to be spending Thursdays, starting Thursday, February 21st really focusing on praying for God to lead us, equip us, and bring together the financial and prayer partners we need to be able to serve in Papua New Guinea. We’ll be “unplugging” as much as possible, and striving to take every spare moment and free thought to turn it over to God and beg Him to move in a mighty way. 11 months will go by in a flash, and we are still a long way from the needed 100% of our monthly ministry budget to be able to board that plane the beginning of January. We are always honored to be part of your prayers, but we’d love especially if you would consider joining with us on Thursdays.

Do not be anxious about anything. but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God….

Teaching the littles and myself.

Today we weren’t able to go to church for our service. Seems that we had some virus spreading from child to child.

What did we do? We read 1 Corinthians 15. In which it explains the whole purpose of Christ coming to die on the cross (and why it is important to believe in the resurrection of the dead). Paul begins the chapter by reminding the people in Corinth that he had a hand in leading them to Christ. Verse 3 & 4: For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures. He goes on to describe the rest of the events surrounding Jesus’ death, burial, resurrection, and some of the appearances he makes to the disciples.

He then begins to reason with the people in Corinth who are raising questions about the possibility of people raising from the dead: Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection? I have to be honest, my kids did not grasp this portion of scripture. I’m not sure I did until we read it today. Paul is pleading with the Corinthians to realize that without resurrection that faith in Christ would be in vain! That his work on earth would have been in vain! That the men who were witnessing about Christ were misrepresenting God if indeed there was no resurrection of the dead. 16: For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. (!!) A dramatic statement.

As always with Paul’s logic he comes back to answer that very charge. 20-25: But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfuits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. (!!)  But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.

So we had to explain to the kids about Adam and how Adam brought sin into the world. That then God had to send Christ to take our place and forgive us.

Of course the chapter does not end here for it goes on. I’ll pick up in another part of the chapter that impressed upon me. 35-37 But someone will ask, “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come?” You foolish person! What you sow does not come to life unless it dies. And what you sow is not the body that is to be, but a bare kernel, perhaps of wheat or of some other grain. Here Paul is echoing something that Jesus had said in John 12:24: Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Our image of self, of our rights, of what belongs to us, and even ourselves must die. It took me a minute to realize that the Holy Spirit was talking to me. That I must die to what I claimed rights to, to myself.

We are to be wholely sufficient not on ourselves, but on Christ alone. Then when the resurrection of the dead takes place and we are with Christ in our new immortal and imperishable bodies then we can say:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

ESV used throughout.