February 26, 2024
Character, Cross-Cultural Living, Book Reviews, Learning Attitude

Global Humility – A book, a challenge, a prayer

Editor’s note: This book review was originally posted on the blog, A Life Overseas. It is reposted with permission from the author, Marilyn Gardner. Marilyn grew up in Pakistan and as an adult has lived in Pakistan, Egypt, the United States, and most recently Northern Iraq. She currently lives in Boston where she works with community health workers from immigrant and refugee communities. You can find her blogging at Communicating Across Boundaries. This review of the book Global Humility was written in 2018, just after she moved to Northern Iraq. “Building bridges means moving beyond my enclave of cultural comfort, moving to a place of cultural humility and willingness to learn.”   Marilyn Gardner, Between Worlds, Essays on Culture and Belonging  Five weeks ago we moved from an apartment in the multicultural city of Cambridge, Massachusetts to an apartment in a city nestled beneath the kewa rash (black mountains) of… Read the whole post
Finishing Well, Gospel

Finishing Well: Running Your Leg of the Race

This entry is part 4 of 11 in the series Finishing well Let’s continue thinking about finishing well in a ministry assignment. In our last blog post, we talked about receiving the baton well. So now we are running our leg of the race. We are now fully engaged in our ministry assignment. Furthermore, we have a working knowledge of our host language and culture. Yes, we will want to continue to grow in these areas as we serve. But it is now our turn to run well with the baton we have been given. How we run our leg of the race will significantly impact finishing well. Of course, we want our ministry to further the progress of the gospel. We want to make a contribution to the contextualization of the gospel in our host culture, building on the progress of those who served before us. In the New… Read the whole post
Lifelong Learning, Learning Attitude, Bible

Cultivating Learning Attitudes

Part of SEND U’s vision is: “Every SEND missionary will be proactive in creating habits of lifelong, intentional learning focused on both character and skill development.” What attitudes does a missionary need to cultivate in order to get personal buy-in to this vision? I suggest that cultivating attitudes of humility, openness, civility, and commitment provide motivation for personal buy-in. Moreover, these attitudes are the soil in which habits of lifelong, intentional learning will grow. Humility Humility is an essential attitude for learning, for without it we will not recognize the need to learn. Furthermore, humility helps us remain teachable. On my desk I have a quote from John Calvin as a reminder to stay teachable:… Read the whole post
Lifelong Learning

Lifelong Learning Begins with Humility

We all need to be lifelong learners.  As David Mathis reminds us in a recent Desiring God blog post, Teaching and learning are at the very heart of our faith. To be a “disciple” means to be a “learner.” … The Christian faith is not a finite course of study for the front-end of adulthood. Our mindset shouldn’t be to first do our learning and then spend the rest of our lives drawing from that original deposit of knowledge. Rather, ongoing health in the Christian life is inextricably linked to ongoing learning. Questions Persist The first step toward being a lifelong learner is to admit that despite our experience and education, there is still so much that we still do not understand about life and ministry.   We don’t know it all. We haven’t figured it all out.  In fact, some of the most important questions are still mysteries to us.… Read the whole post

Not Trying to Share the Stage with God

In the leadership course I recently taught in Khabarovsk at the Far East Russia Bible College, one of my assignments required my students to read through the first 6 chapters of Nehemiah. They were to describe five leadership characteristics or actions of Nehemiah that explain why he was able to motivate and organize the people to build the walls of Jerusalem in such a short time. During the week that I was in Khabarovsk, I decided to re-read Nehemiah for myself in my personal devotions, and pay particular attention to his leadership qualities. Over the years, I have read Nehemiah many, many times, and marked dozens of papers on this subject. But again, I noticed leadership qualities in Nehemiah that I had missed before, particularly in the chapters following chapter six. My reading and reflection on Nehemiah continued after my return to Kiev, and I would like to share a… Read the whole post
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