Reflections and resources for lifelong learning for missionaries

Category: Prayer

Exploring Spiritual Formation: Grief – Part 2

This is the second of two posts that explore the subject of grief in the life of a believer. Part 1 presented the hallmarks and pitfalls of grief, along with a biblical perspective of grief. This month, in Part 2, the post will present ways we can prepare ourselves for, and respond to, grief. 

Pandemic Grief

I am an introvert. Actually, I’m a flaming introvert. Which means that, though I love people and find them interesting, I really, really, like to be alone. Fortunately, I married an introvert. And though we love being together, we’re also adept at making space for one another. Thus, you can imagine my surprise when I noticed myself suffering from loneliness during the COVID-19 lockdown and subsequent work-from-home state of affairs—a situation I thought was made for introverts.

After some introspection, I realized I was missing my co-workers. Though we’ve seen each other over the Internet, I miss being with them, in person. I miss our impromptu prayer sessions. I also miss having lunch together. And I miss regularly sharing chocolate, coffee, spontaneous conversations, and laughter with them.

Fruit to Harvest: the key is abiding

In October 2017, a major consultation on Muslim ministries was held in Thailand. It was called, “Abide, Bear Fruit“, and was a follow-up consultation to the one held 10 years earlier, also in Thailand. Both conferences were organized by Vision 5:9, “a global mission network focused on ministry among unreached Muslim people groups”.

The 2007 conference had identified 68 fruitful practices in working among Muslim peoples and these practices have significantly impacted missiological strategy for the past decade. The conference also resulted in a well-known book in mission circles, From Seed to Fruit: Global Trends, Fruitful Practices and Emerging Issues among Muslims.  That book, edited by J. Dudley Woodberry, was reviewed by this blog in a post a few years ago.

Sensible Shoes

Today’s book review was written by Brittany Garrett, who serves with her husband and 3 children in Romania.

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Sensible Shoes: A Story About the Spiritual Journey by Sharon Garlough Brown is a fictional narrative of four women on a journey toward deeper intimacy with Christ.  Each of these women bring their own baggage as they begin their Sacred Journey, and we get to witness their brokenness as well as the beginnings of their healing.

I saw part of myself in each of the four main characters.  As they learned about some of the spiritual disciplines, I, too, learned practical ways to apply them.  I enjoyed watching their stories unfold and felt satisfaction as an onlooker getting to see how God was creating beauty from their mess.  You see their struggle and their resistance to some of the disciplines and how God uses even our resistance to show us His faithful pursuit of us.

Lessons to be Learned from the Church in Asia – Part 1 (2016 Global Discipleship Congress)

A few weeks ago I had the amazing privilege of joining together with 6000+ believers (mostly Asians) at the Global Discipleship Congress (GDC) in Manila, Philippines. It was a transformational experience as God used several Spirit-filled Asian leaders to challenge us to intentionally live a life of making disciples — to live out our faith and to pass it on to others. Wishing that all SEND members could experience GDC along with me, I started jotting down a few notes for a potential blog (a poor substitute for actually being present, I know, but hopefully better than nothing).
Rev. Edmund Chan

The Global Discipleship Congress got its start with God working in the heart of Rev. Edmund Chan, a Singaporean pastor with a passion for seeing churches be intentional in their disciple-making. As Rev. Chan welcomed us to the Congress, he remarked,

“My burden for the church is that many Christians don’t pass on to faithful people the things that they learn. Or worse, they try to ‘pass it on’ without ‘living it out’! Oftentimes, we live a life of inconsistency that compromises discipleship and truncates disciplemaking. The 2016 GDC Asia Conference seeks to address this need for the Asian Church. It’s time for the Asian Church to arise in the disciple-making mandate! Join us. A global discipleship movement is well on its way!”You can read here how God led Rev. Chan to start the Global Alliance of Intentional Disciple-Making Churches. I encourage you to take a few minutes to browse this website and explore some of the resources. I had the privilege of hearing Rev. Chan speak on prayer at a local church following the Congress. To my recollection, it is the most compelling sermon I have ever heard on prayer. I encourage you to take some time to watch it here.

A Praying Life

Equipping missionaries for greater effectiveness must begin with the foundation – a rich and growing relationship with our Lord. A few months ago, I highlighted a book that enriched my personal devotions by showing me a simple method to journal – The Divine Mentor: Growing Your Faith as You Sit at the Feet of the Savior by Wayne Cordeiro.

Recently I finished reading another book that has re-energized my prayer life – A Praying Life: Connecting with God in a Distracting World by Paul Miller. The author helped me to understand more clearly how essential a child-like attitude of dependency or helplessness is needed when we come to God in prayer.   Miller says, ‘When Jesus tells us to become like little children, he isn’t telling us to do anything he isn’t already doing.  Jesus is, without question, the most dependent human being who ever lived.  Because he can’t do life on his own, he prays.”

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