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May 2 2012

Missional Family

 

“Missional” is a fairly new term that has been thrown around in Christian circles for the past few years.  If you understand what Missional is, you’ll know what I’m talking about, but if you have no clue what Missional means, here goes: Missional living” is a Christian term that describes a missionary lifestyle; adopting the posture, thinking, behaviors, and practices of a missionary in order to engage others with thegospel message. That definition is from Wikipedia.  Here’s how we’re living it out around our house:

We love Jesus.  We know He has enormous love for us and the people He sends our way every day.  We are intentional about being God’s representitives of His love wherever we are.  At this phase of my life, I’m not travelling a lot to places like Africa, India, Mexico, etc. to spread God’s love.  But I am travelling to my kitchen, and my living room, and my back yard.  Here’s why:

We’ve made our home a Missional Outpost.  We pray that every person that comes through our doors will know and understand the love of Jesus because of the love we have for one another and the love we share with them.  The other day we had a new little friend over who was not following the rules and called one child a bad name.  I gently pulled her aside, looked into her precious round blue eyes and said, “Sweetheart, this is a house of love. We don’t call eachother bad names here.”  Another little guy that is always over here piped in and said, “She’s right! We love people here!” It made me so happy to hear him say that.

Here are some of the very easy and practical things we do to make our home “Missional”:

  •  We have an open door policy.  Any kid can come over to our house.  Good kids.  Bad kids.  We take them all.
  • Everyone follows the rules.  We are a house of love, so no name calling, fighting, stealing, or back talking.
  • Everyone helps each other.  If a kid eats over for dinner, they help out.  They are usually the ones more eager to help than my own children.
  • We talk. We swap stories at the dinner table about our day. Each kid shares at least one “high” and one “low” from their day.  Once everyone has shared one story, the talkers can have their turn to share more.
  • We pray. We pray before we eat dinner, or before the kids go to bed at a sleep over.  Not once has a guest been freaked out by this.  They love it. The past few nights one of our regular “guests” could not wait to ask if he could pray.

Our little buddy found his way to Jesus at our dinner table.  Missional living is not difficult. We love and serve Jesus as a family, and we just ask others to join in along the way.

I’d love to hear your Missional Living stories!  I bet you are already doing it and don’t even know it.  🙂

 


Apr 30 2012

Homeless Center Dancing With Our Stars

It’s not too often that Rob and I get all dressed up at the same time.  Last week we were able to attend the South Bend Homeless Center Dancing With the Stars auction.  No, we didn’t dance, and that’s probably a good thing for all who attended.  We did, however, win one of the silent auctions which was pretty fun.  The event brought in about $350,000, which I believe is a record year for the event.  Rob did the prayer at the beginning, which is why he’s all decked out in a suit and tie in the above photo.  We were honored to be a part of this year’s auction, and so happy so much money was raised for such a great cause.


Apr 22 2011

What I Saw While Serving Communion

Communion

Rob and I were asked to help serve communion for Granger’s Good Friday service. For me, there is no greater honor in the church than to offer the hope of salvation when we can stand together and serve as we say to each person, “The body of Christ broken for you”, and “The blood of Christ shed for you.”

I am always astounded at the different responses that people have as they receive communion.  Some openly weep.  Some look me right in the eyes and beam with joy.  Others go through the motions with no readable expression.

One elderly man was carried out of his wheelchair by a man and woman, who held him up on either side as he made his way toward us. The man wore a hospital bracelet. I am almost certain he came directly from the hospital because of the bandages he wore, and the frailness of his body. I was touched by the act of love this man and woman offered him by bringing him to church on Good Friday.  He was so close to Jesus in the sense that his days on this earth are limited. His hands were so weak that he could not pull the bread off the loaf. I had the privilege of breaking  it off and handing it to him. As I did, I could not help but wonder if this is the last time this man would receive communion on this side of heaven.  What if he wakes up tomorrow, and it isn’t the broken bread in his hand, but the real hand of Jesus?

Another family came up, their son obviously new to the communion scene. His dad held his hand, placed it on the bread and showed him how to break it off and dip it in the cup. The boy smiled so brightly and his dad was so proud. I couldn’t believe I got to be a part of that special moment.

As we stood and served, I had this profound sense of holiness and redemption. Perfection that lives in heaven that is brought to earth when believers come together to remember that He died, rose, and lives again that we might be forgiven and redeemed.

Living in those few minutes of perfection spoke deeply into my soul as one after another received the body and blood of Christ. Some looked Jesus in the eyes. Some shrugged it off as their crumbs fell to the floor.  Others walk away transformed unknowingly by a grace they have yet to understand.

I was changed, and so grateful for the opportunity to serve that elderly man perhaps his last communion, and the little boy who held his dad’s hand and smiled.


Apr 15 2011

How I want to be remembered

Little boy in Kalavai 

The picture I shared a few days ago and this one today are what I’ve been thinking about lately.  I am so thankful for my friend Gene Ort who sent this pic to me this week .  It stopped me in my tracks and caused me to remember why Rob and I do what we do.

My job on this planet is to bring light of Jesus to the darkest corners of the world. I hope that at the end of my life people remember me for the light I  brought first to my own family, then to the ends of the earth.

How about you?  How do you want to be remembered? I dare you to think hard about it and share it with someone.


Feb 17 2011

Mundane Moms Turn Missional

The Missional Mom: Living with Purpose at Home and in the World

My random generator AKA Belle Wegner chose Sarah as the winner for this fabulous book giveaway.  If anyone wants my highlighted, slightly marked up one, let me know!  First one to respond is free to have it.

The Missional Mom by Helen Lee

Missional Mom is an amazing book filled with examples and ideas about how moms can make their worlds “missional.”  The idea of missional is that no matter where you are, what you are doing, God placed you there on purpose and for a purpose.  Helen Lee delves deep into the subject, biblically, theologically, and practically — sighting numerous examples of moms who chose to go from mundane to missional.

I was so encouraged by this book.  I meet so many moms who are living ordinary lives, are wonderful people, but don’t feel like they are good enough,  or smart enough, or  at the right place or time in their lives to make a difference for God’s kingdom.  Helen Lee debunks that myth, pointing out that God is already at work, and it is up to us to decide if we want to join in his work or not.

I highly recommend this book to not only moms, but anyone who wants to turn their ordinary life into a missional one.  Visit Helen Lee’s site at http://themissionalmom.com/

Want a copy of this book?  I am giving one away!  If you would like a copy, leave me a comment letting me know why you’d like one, and I will choose a winner in a few days.


Feb 16 2011

Sharing The Song

Share The WellWhen Rob and I first went to India in 2002, we were blown away by the "at home" feeling we got when we were there. We knew immediately that God wanted us to plant our feet there for awhile and build relationships.

That Christmas, Rob took me to Indy to see Andrew Petersen’s Behold the Lamb concert at this teeny tiny church. There could not have been more than 100 people there.  It was small, intimate, and filled our hearts to overflowing.

Caedmon’s Call was also there, and they played songs from the Share The Well album. While they were playing these amazing songs about their experience in India, we felt God’s anointing such a profound way.  Ever since that day, we have had such a deep heart connection with that album that is really unexplainable.  Our kids know and love all the songs along with us.

When Rob said that he wanted to name our book “Share the Well”, I knew down to my toes that it was perfect.  We  made numerous attempts to contact somebody, anybody from Caedmon’s Call to let them know we were using the title "Share the Well" just to be respectful of them.  We couldn’t really reach anyone because everyone in the band is sort of off working on their own projects now.

Sunday night I get this message from my best friend from high school: 

I’m sitting here with Randall Goodgame and we showed him your book. He would love to talk to you guys (he wrote the song share the well for Caedmon’s). Could you send me some phone numbers for you and Rob? I’ll pass the info on to him.

She then explained:

Randall stopped by with his kids just to hang out (they live 2 streets over) and it did not occur to me to show it to him (no idea he was connected to Caedmon’s). Russ walks by it while we were gathering his kids together and says, "Hey, have you seen this book Share the Well?" Randall takes it and looks it over and gets tears in his eyes. He just loves the people of India and was so excited about seeing the book.

Is God awesome or what?  There is no way we could have orchestrated those events.  So grateful for seeing God’s hand at work in all of this.  We are so grateful that the guy who wrote the song was blessed by seeing the people of India that he loves so much in a book with a title that means so much to him.