Tag

Great Commission

One Girls Reflections

By | Community, Ministries, Missions

My name is Caroline Dickey and I am currently building a career in photography as a free-lancer. On the side, I nanny three little girls & love it! In the future, I want photography to my be my full time job & then of course to be a wife & mom, that’s my dream job.

You are reading this because last year the Maisha Choir came to Okc and I ended up getting to know many of the kids through that time. I also knew some of the host families so I spent a lot of extra time with some of the kids that came.

An opportunity came up for several of us to go to Africa with the Maisha Project & I was thrilled. One, because it meant I got to see the friends I had made & meet more! Two, because it meant I got to travel across the world and love on people who have so much less than me.

I didn’t go with any expectations but was completely open to what The Lord would do in & through me by going.

What you can’t miss when you arrive is the poverty: so much trash and filth. At the same time it was so beautiful… Everything was colorful & even though their homes were made of mud, trash, scraps, basically anything they could find, it was beautiful and I didn’t look at it as gross or dirty. There were people everywhere as well as livestock just roaming the streets.

I was surprised by the people and how they reacted to seeing me, a white person. They would yell, “mzungu” while chasing the car we were riding in. They wanted to touch my face, hands, & my hair, they’d stare at the veins in my arm and ask why my skin was blue. Haha It was strange being the minority, not in a bad way though.

My purpose was to be used by God in whatever way. The main reason for going was to help the ladies in the feeding program prepare food, help tutor kids, minister to the people in the slums, and help the ladies in the sewing room. And, of course, to love on the kids at Maisha!

The trip has given me a new perspective on life and what truly matters. In America, we get so distracted by all the stuff we have. I often think I am self-sufficient and forget how much I am in need of a savior. On this I don’t think I am alone. These people in Kenya have next to nothing yet find so much joy and fulfillment in life because they rely on the Lord for their peace, comfort, joy, and strength. Some don’t even know when their next meal will be, yet they know God will provide. And He does! Time and time again! I learned what it should look like to be in community with one another. Again, these people don’t have a lot, they rely on each other for encouragement and truly love one other. The amount of encouragement and love I got from these people was enough to last a lifetime. I’m not saying everyone in America is horrible and doesn’t know what it means to love their neighbor. I just think it’s a lot easier to forget what really matters when we are so distracted by the things of this world and what we want now!

We are all in need of a savior! And the things of this world that give us temporary comfort and joy will soon pass away!

The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

1 John 2:17

Find community with other believers and walk life with them! Know our peace and comfort, joy and strength comes from The Lord, not our circumstances or the things we have.

Thanks! 🙂

– Caroline Dickey

 

A Reason to be Really Offended

By | Uncategorized

 

Our message is not you can do it.

It’s not you’re good enough, smart enough, and people like you.

What we preach is that you are a glorious creature gone tragically bad, that you have rebelled against the God who made you, but that he did the most difficult thing imaginable to win you back and lavish you with his eternal goodness.

It is wondrously good news. But unavoidable is the offense, that insulting supposition, that bad news that sets up the good. Did you catch it? You’ve gone tragically bad. You’re a foolhardy rebel against the most powerful person in the universe. There’s nothing you can do to save yourself, earn God’s favor, or get yourself out of the cosmic pit you’re in — the pit you dug and can’t climb out of.

The offense is that the magnitude of God’s solution — the slaughter of his own Son — shows the magnitude of our wickedness and frailty and utter inability. Yes, the gospel says you’re more loved than you ever could have dreamed, but as Jack Miller and Tim Keller have noted, at the same time it says you’re more sinful than you ever imagined. And that’s repugnant to the natural palate.

If you’ve never tasted the cross as offensive, you’ve missed something essential.

Why the Cross Offends

Talking about the cross as an “offense” comes from Galatians 5:11: “If I, brothers, still preach circumcision, why am I still being persecuted? In that case the offense of the cross has been removed.” Why it is that the cross would be seen as an offense? What’s offensive about the crucifixion?

The cross declares how dire is our condition apart from Jesus. It announces how deep the sin goes, how profound the rebellion is, how impossible is our plight apart from Help from the outside. There’s nothing we can do, no effort we can exert, no law we can follow.

The message of Christ crucified says you’re an absolute failure in relation to what’s most important. The horror of killing the Son of God points to the horror of our condition. The badness of Good Friday is a tribute to the badness in us.

The cross embodies some of the most offensive things possible you could say about someone in relation to God and eternity. This gruesome death Jesus died, you earned it. The hell Jesus endured, you deserved it, forever. The shame he underwent, the scorn, the disrespect, the hurt — all these are as suitable to us sinners as they’re unsuitable to the sinless one.

God’s Offensive Plan

And it’s not that it just turned out this way, but God planned it. He designed the offense. Seven hundred years before Jesus, the prophet Isaiah called it — he will be “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense” (Isaiah 8:14). And such he was, and continues to be. Both Peter and Paul pick up on the theme (Romans 9:32–33; 1 Peter 2:7–8).

Jesus himself, in John 6, challenges his disciples with the offense. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44). You can’t do it. You’re not good enough or smart enough. And perhaps most offensive of all: You are lifeless. “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you” (John 6:53).

The offense is not mainly his mention of eating flesh and drinking blood, but the accusation of deep depravity and spiritual inability. As the crowds retreat at his forthrightness, Jesus asks his disciples, “Do you take offense at this?” (John 6:61). More unnerving than taking his plainly figurative language in a literal sense is hearing that you are powerless and lifeless where it matters most. This is as offensive as it gets.

Remember the Right Offense

Typically we get antsy about speaking the gospel to someone who doesn’t already believe. Some of our fear, of course, is unwarranted. But some of it is for good reason. In communicating the gospel, one of the essential things we must at least imply, if not make explicit, is the most offensive truth possible: you are powerless precisely where it matters most. You are dead to what truly is life.

Don’t take it too far. We don’t gloat in giving offense. We labor to remove every possible barrier. May the offense not be our personality or carelessness or quirkiness or arrogance. Like Paul, let’s “endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ” (1 Corinthians 9:12). Let’s strain to “become all things to all people, that by all means [we] might save some” (1 Corinthians 9:22). Let’s do everything in our power to “give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God” (1 Corinthians 10:32).

But this one offense — the offense of the cross — we cannot remove. We dare not.

 

http://www.desiringgod.org/blog/posts/a-reason-to-be-really-offended 

Pray for Turkey

By | Ministry

P4T: English (HD) from PRAY4TURKEY on Vimeo.

 

From the body of Christ in Turkey, to our holy and faithful brothers and sisters in Christ around the world, grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

We are writing to you from Turkey – from the land of Noah, of Abraham, of Paul, of Mt. Ararat and Harran, of Antioch, Ephesus, Galatia and the Seven Churches of Revelation……

Yet today in our land of 72 million, which is 99.8% Muslim, the size of Christ’s flock is only a handful. We are writing to ask, indeed to plead for your prayers.

As Turkish Christians we love our country very much. Pray for God’s will to be done, and for His Kingdom to come!

Pray that the Lord’s hand will be with us and a great number of people will believe and turn to the Lord.

We, the church in Turkey, have invited the worldwide church to pray for the land and the church of Turkey this day, April 18. We ask you at your church to pray for us, joining the prayers of millions around the globe. April 18 is when back in 2007 three of brothers were murdered brutally for their faith, the first martyrs of the modern Turkish church.

We are praying for you, and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding and we beg you brothers .

Pray for us! The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

 “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many…” 2 Corinthians 1: 11

These are a few points to help direct your prayers for Turkey. Please feel free to pray for any other points you feel led to pray for.

1- Please pray for the blessing and peace of Turkey in general, as the Lord desires us to bless and be a blessing to all.

By the blessing of the upright the city is exalted.…” Proverbs 11:11

2- Pray the Lord will display His love and mercy to the people of Turkey by pouring out His Holy Spirit upon our land, revealing His glory through healings, signs and wonders.

3- Pray the Lord breaks down the lies and the endless disinformation about Christ, the Bible and Christians that has blinded and hardened hearts in our land. Pray that God redeems the negative memories of history.

Of course, we are living in the flesh, but we do not fight in a fleshly way. For the weapons of our warfare are not those of the flesh. Instead, they have the power of God to demolish fortresses. We tear down arguments and every proud obstacle that is raised against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive in order to obey Christ.” 2 Co. 10:3-5

4- Pray that hearts and eyes are opened to see Jesus as the way, the truth and the life.

5- Pray for the Turkish believers who are always on the frontline to walk close to the Lord. Pray for refreshing, emboldening, strengthening, protection and encouragement.

6- Pray for more servant hearted leaders. For good role models. For faithful laborers.

7- Pray for the ongoing unity amongst the churches and for its increase and deepening.

May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accordance with Christ Jesus that together you may, with one voice, glorify the God and Father of our Lord JesusChrist.Romans 15:5,6

Thank you for your prayers. May the Lord’s hand be upon you always.

On behalf of the Body of Christ in Turkey
Alliance of Protestant Churches (Turkey)

The following is the trailer for the Malatya Film. Follow the link for more information and how to get our copy.

Malatya Trailer from Nolan Dean on Vimeo.

In His Steps

By | Ministry

The Purpose

With all the talk of “from the neighborhoods to the nations” we might find ourselves asking “What does this look  like?” How do we have a heart for people around the corner from us when we are overwhelmed with all the things right in from to of our faces? Every single day we come in contact with souls facing eternity; souls in need of lasting hope and peace and joy that only Christ can give. How do we see past the surface and give them Jesus?
We will talk about life-on-life successes and failures; about out-of-the-box ideas to share truth in the workplace and neighborhood; about intentionally leaving a legacy of discipleship in our families. There will be time to ask questions and find out from others what are the obstacles and insights others have gained in their areas.
We will look at how God has called and gifted each of us uniquely, to be His minister to people in our sphere of life. Do we even see the people God has brought into our path?  And if we do see them, what next? In His Steps, will equip men, women, and even children to take their place in the Great Commission, leading others to know Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior.

The Schedule

10:30 am Message 1: God’s Calling on Your Life (Worship Center)
12:00 noon Lunch by RSVP/Ticket (Education Building)
12:40 pm Message 2: Walking Through Open Doors (Education Building)
1:25 pm Coffee-Break
1:35 pm Equipping Sessions with 4 Options:
Personal Evangelism… How Do I Start?– Mike McGee
Bible Storying… Telling the Stories of Jesus as You Go – Melissa Hawley
I’ll Go! What Now? (Preparing for Short-Term Missions)?– Chad Puckett
How Can my Gifts Meet a Need in Ministry at HBC? – David Southerland
2:15 pm Coffee-Break
2:35 pm Getting Started!
3:10 pm Message 3: Starting Where You Are! Following the last message, 
(Kent will be giving books and equipping materials to those who have remained for the day.)

Free Books! Are You Kidding Me?

You read that right. Our speaker will be giving away resources to people for coming.  You can go to the book store and buy them or you can come to the conference, get equipped, eat a good lunch, meet some quality people, and get stuff for free. Your call…

The Speaker

Kent Humphreys grew up working in the family business, “Jack’s Merchandising and Distribution”, a general merchandise distributor to retailers. After marrying Davidene, and graduating from the University of Oklahoma (BA), he spent four years in the U.S. Army. He returned home in 1972 to buy the business with two brothers, which he operated for twenty-five years. In 2000, Kent started American Health Diagnostics.

Kent has been a business leader for forty years. While owning and operating a nationwide general merchandise distribution business for twenty-five years, he worked with the nation’s largest retailers. After selling the family business, Kent continued to be involved in commercial real estate and the medical distribution businesses. From 2002 through 2007, he was president of Fellowship of Companies for Christ International, an organization that equips and encourages Christian business owners who desire to use their companies as a platform for ministry. Kent now serves them as a worldwide ambassador for FCCI (Christ@Work).

    For many years, Kent has spent much of his time ministering to business leaders, pastors, and students across the country through speaking, writing, and mentoring. He has spoken in seminaries across the United States and at numerous international conferences. He traveled extensively overseas for many years. Kent and his wife Davidene have written a number of books including: Show and then Tell (Moody Press, 2000), Shepherding Horses, 2006, Christ@Work Opening DoorsImpacting Your Workplace for Jesus Christ  and  Christ@Work in Your Transition, from the Campus to the Workplace, 2010, and Letters to Workplace Leaders and other titles of the My Heart to Yours series, 2011. Kent and Davidene have three children and eight grandchildren, and make their home in Oklahoma City. You can find his books here.

Bible Storying

The following is a glimpse at one of the Equipping Sessions.  Melissa Hawley will be talking about storying the Bible.