Friday, November 24, 2006

Giving Thanks

This Thanksgiving Proclamation by George Washington is quite amazing. I heartily recommend that you read it carefully. This is what our Founding Fathers had in mind when a national holiday was set aside for giving thanks to Alimghty God. May we all have such reverence and gratitude in our hearts - today and always.

WHEREAS, It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor;

WHEREAS, Both the houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
--George Washington - October 3, 1789

Friday, November 10, 2006

Strange but true

I tagged myself by reading Everyday Mommy's "9 weird things" meme (which she lifted from discovered at GiBee's). I am sure I have plenty of weirdness to go's my nine:
  1. My left kidney was injured in a freak long-jumping accident when I was in high school and ceased to function thereafter. I now have one teensy-tiny kidney that doesn't work, and one super-size kidney that makes up the slack.
  2. I was born in California, then moved to Oregon, then to Washington state. I always joked that I was either going to move to Alaska or become Canadian next, in keeping with the northward trend. But somehow I ended up in Missouri instead.
  3. We do not own a television.
  4. I lived in a geodesic dome until I graduated from high school.
  5. I wear flip-flops basically year-round. I have worn flip-flops in the snow on numerous occasions.
  6. I was a Campus Safety Supervisor in college. (Campus police, minus the weaponry. We had big flashlights and a hefty can of pepper spray - no guns. I never had to use my weapons, but sometims I got close.) Once, as the ranking officer on duty, I had to catch a bat that was flying around the all-girls dorm in the middle of the night, terrorizing the poor freshmen.
  7. I can correctly spell antidisestablishmentarianism and supercalifragilisticexpialidocious without using spell check or looking at a dictionary. But sometimes I space out on how to spell friend or weird (which one is "ie", which is "ei"?).
  8. I once cut a nerve in my finger and had to go to the emergency room and have surgery to repair it - all while I was dressed in a Pippi Longstocking costume, complete with huge shoes and braids sticking straight out the sides of my head.
  9. I wear swim goggles when I cut onions to help reduce the burning-stinging-painful-crying ouch-factor.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Go and preach the Gospel

BooMama (in Because I'm Wrestling) asked:
"is global mission work a non-negotiable for a believer? Is it something we should do because we're obligated to share the Gospel, or is it something we should do because we have been prompted by the Holy Spirit to serve in a specific part of the world? Is being "salt and light" in our day-to-day lives enough?"

My response:
I believe it is a biblical mandate that all Christians share the gospel, but not necessarily that each individual Christian must travel geographically to do so.

One of the scriptures that you quoted sums it up well..."Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming the good news that Jesus is the Christ."

We should be always proclaiming the Gospel of the Kingdom - everyday, wherever we are. In the store, at the daycare, at the bank, to our neighbors, to our friends, in joy, in sorrow, and of course, in our own homes. Yes, this is the essence of "being salt and light". But we (exhorting myself, here, too) need to be reminded that this inherently means that we actually tell people about Jesus and the Kingdom of God. Yes, we proclaim something of God's love in the way we act, how we speak to people, how we treat them...but that alone is not enough.

I do not believe that as moms we are exempt from the biblical call to "go", just because we are primarily focused on raising our own children. YES, they are our focus and first mission field, and we should not neglect our families for the sake of building up a ministry. But if we are paying any attention to the people around us as we go about our day, we will find plenty of opportunities to lift high the name of Jesus.

I think that often we interpret the call to "go and preach the Gospel" as referring exclusively or primarily to international missions because we are uncomfortable with the idea of sharing the Gospel in our own daily context. Walking as a witness for Christ daily requires that we live a life that is radically different from those who do not love God. It will require us to sometimes say things that offend people. Our nation is full of people who hate God and do not believe that they are sinful (or even that “sin” is a valid concept). The very essence of the Gospel is offensive to many. In some ways it is easier to consider the call to “go” as referring to missions trip type situations, because that would require only a limited temporal sacrifice, as opposed to a fundamental change in the way we live.

So, YES - you are mandated to preach the gospel, and to pray that the Lord of the harvest would send laborers to the field. But no, I don't think you are inherently called to travel across the world to do so.