Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Over and across: Missions Trip South Korea 2013

I'm going on a missions trip!

I will be leaving in less than 2 weeks for South Korea!

OK, this is going to be a lot of firsts for me. First time to fly, first time to go to another continent, and first time to minister to a group of individuals that speak a totally different language! *Whew!

But, I am extremely excited! I thank the Lord for giving me this amazing opportunity, and for providing the funds needed! 

Specifics about Trip:

Going with: Ozark Christian Missions

Duration: 8 days

Purpose: To assist and encourage a small church in its annual conference. The church hopes to bring in new people to the church through this conference, as well as new children and youth.

What we will be doing: More thank half of our six member team will be conducting Children's Services in the morning and Youth Group in the afternoon. Some other members of our team will be teaching and preaching in the main part of the conference. Most of the children will be from the nearby neighborhood, many which have never heard the name, "Jesus." We will be "teaching them English" using Bible stories, songs, and games. The youth will probably be from the church.

Please pray!

1. Pray that each team member will be able to effectively communicate the Gospel to those to which we will minster.
2. Pray the hearts of the people and children will be prepared to hear and learn the material we will teach.
3. Pray that we will be able to present the Word of God in a way that breaks through the language and cultural barriers to speaks into the hearts of the children and youth, making an impact on their lives.
4. Protection

The last preparations are being made. Ministry tools are being gathered, lessons being completed, bags being packed. We are going to South Korea!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Are Filler Words Meaningful Words?

photo from www.neoabolition.com
 How many of you have ever started off your prayer with the phrase, "Thank you Lord, for this day."? I know I have! In fact, I do it almost every time I pray.
     A few months ago in class we were discussing the different words we say as "filler" words. Those are words that we just say to fill in the spaces when we're not sure what to say, or if we are just used to saying them. It's kinda like when like, people like, say, "like," all the like, time! These little habits are like, so annoying, right? The person saying them doesn't even realize it, but its all we can hear!  

Here is the question I want to ask today: Are filler words meaningful words?

As Christians, the Bible teaches us to use our words wisely and to speak only words of life. The tongue is powerful and can be used for good or evil. But what about when we use our tongues to speak things that are not evil words, but they're just...well, meaningless? Not because the specific words we are saying are do not have meaning, but because we do not mean them when we do say them.

Mindless words. Clanging cymbals.

After analyzing my own words, I realized that a lot of what I was saying was the same old things. Especially in my prayers. I was saying words to God without even thinking about it! I realized my heart, and sometimes, even my mind, was not in my prayers. My reason simply was...I had used these "filler words" out of habit so many times, therefore allowing my mind to wander.

We all do this at times. For example, how many of us say the various names of God about 20 times? If we don't mean it, could this habit be as irritating to God as someone using the word "like" endlessly? Does God really need to be reminded that we are talking to Him every few seconds? Does He want to hear us mindlessly say meaningless words?

People can tell when you don't mean what you say. How much more does God know whether or not we mean it when we say, "Thank you for this day."? How does He feel if we take some time out of our day to say thank you, but we don't even mean it?

As I'm writing this I'm thinking, "Ouch. These are harsh words." I hope you realize I'm not ranting, dissing the way you pray, or pointing out your conversation habits. However, the Word of God encourages us to mean what we way, to "let our yay be yay, and our nay be nay." To avoid speaking idle words, because one day, we will give account to God. 

So, as you go about your day, endeavor to think about what you say. If you don't mean it, there is no one that wants to hear it.