Monthly Archives: March 2008

Swimming, Swimming In A Swimming Pool . . .

When days are hot, when days are cold

In a swimming pool

Breast stroke, side stroke, fancy diving too

Oh wouldn’t it be nice if we could have nothing else to do but

Swimming, swimming in a swimming pool . . .

If you know that song, now it will be stuck in your head all day. You’re welcome.

All that to say — tomorrow morning at 6:00 a.m., I start swimming laps. And I’ll be doing this every morning at 6:00 a.m. I’m not a morning person. I’m not a great swimmer. But I have been trying to exercise, and this opportunity presented itself. So . . . I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Hedge of Protection

I heard this thought yesterday, and I’m wondering what you think of it. I hadn’t ever really thought of this before, and I’m pondering it now.

The “hedge of protection” is an Old Testament thought. Our protection isn’t a hedge. Our protection is Christ, Who is far greater than a hedge. We are hidden in Christ.

This woman said it always bothers her when she hears people praying for a “hedge of protection” because, as Christians, we already have Christ.

What are your thoughts?

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Do you get it?

My son Jackson will turn 4 next month. Today, he and I had this conversation.

Momma: My necklace has a cross on it. What does that remind you of? Who died on a cross?

Jackson: God and Jesus died on a cross. (big smile) Because God and Jesus are the same person.

Momma: That’s right, Jackson. Jesus is God.

Jackson: Yes, Jesus is God.

Momma: Did Jesus stay dead after He died on the cross?

Jackson: NO! He did not stay dead. He came back to life. He raised Himself back to life. He did it Himself.

Momma: That’s right, Jackson. Good. Jesus did bring Himself back to life. And He’s alive now.

Jackson: Yes. Jesus is alive.

He’s not even 4 yet, and he gets it.

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My Hope

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This is the source of my hope. The empty tomb.

And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. . . . And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. — 1 Corinthians 15:14, 17-21

Christ is risen. He was seen by Cephas, then by the 12, then by 500 people at the same time, then by James, then by the apostles, then by Paul. And that doesn’t count the women who saw Him.

His tomb is empty, and He is both interceding for me at His Father’s right hand and preparing a place for me. As Isaiah prophesied, “Death is swallowed up in victory.” And as Paul wrote, “Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

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Part 9 — Our Story

So we filled out the New Tribes questionnaire online and waited to see what would happen.

We had a few concerns about going to the New Tribes Missionary Training Center for two years of training. We wouldn’t be members of New Tribes during those two years, so we wouldn’t have any medical benefits during that time. Because Patrick is an insulin-dependent diabetic, we must have insurance; so we would have to pay a lot of money for a Cobra insurance plan during those two years. We just couldn’t see how we would afford that, especially since Patrick would have to quit his job and neither of us could have a job at all during those two years. We assumed we would need to sell our home and live off the equity during our years of training.

Another concern was that I would have to participate in training as well, so we would not be permitted to homeschool during that time. My preschool children would have to be in a childcare setting at the training center for half of every day, which was definitely not something I would prefer. We did not have a peace about putting them in public school in a strange place, and we weren’t sure how Christian school would be in our budget.

Basically, we prayed, “Lord, we are following in obedience to Your leading, but we sure don’t see how these things will work out. But this whole thing is Your idea, and so we trust You will work out those details.”

A few days later, we were at the soccer field watching Lauren play when Patrick’s cell phone rang. It was the director of the Communications Department at the U.S. Headquarters of New Tribes Mission. He had seen our questionnaire, and he thought Patrick’s skills and job experience would be a perfect fit for the Communications Department. He suggested we not go to the New Tribes Missionary Training Center for two years, but instead join as Associates and come straight to the U.S. Headquarters. Technically, the Associate program is 6 months to 4 years of support work; however, some missionaries have joined as Associates and after 4 years have become Full-Time Career Members. That would be our plan. Associates are full members and join the NTM medical plan, so we would have health insurance. I would be free to make my children and family my primary ministry, so I could stay home with my preschoolers and either homeschool the other children or place them in the NTM school located at the Headquarters, which is much less expensive than other Christian schools. Because we would be going straight to our ministry, we would do partnership development and raise support right away and would not have to live on the equity of our home, unless we wanted to. This suggestion answered every one of the questions we’d brought before the Lord.

Once again, our Father had made His will so obvious to us. We were asking for wisdom, and He was giving abundantly. Just like He promises in James! Why would we be surprised? He is always faithful and true to His word.

Seeing this door open, we walked through it. In May of 2006, Patrick, baby Griffin, and I traveled to the U.S. Headquarters to visit and interview with the Communications Department and the Associate Program. During our visit, God confirmed beyond any doubt that this was His will for us. Everything was a perfect fit.

In the next few months, we filled out the very long application booklet and follow-up questions. And life continued in Virginia. Patrick worked hard at his job, knowing that when he resigned, he wanted to do so with an excellent testimony. We served in our church. I attended MOPS. I homeschooled. We had soccer games and playdates and visits with family.

In November of 2006, we officially became members of New Tribes Mission. We celebrated. For a year and a half, we had spent so much time praying and waiting and taking baby steps, it was exciting for us to finally make a big step forward.

After visiting Headquarters in May, we decided that when we moved, we would live in one of the apartments in the Headquarters building. At the time, there were no 4-bedroom apartments available. There were not even any 3-bedroom apartments available. But we knew we would rather live in a small space and get there more quickly than spend extra time raising enough support to buy a home. So we told our Father that if He wanted, we would live in a 2-bedroom apartment and trust Him to help us be content. Or if He wanted us to have a larger apartment, we knew He could work it out. One day in November, I found the most wonderful message in our email in-box. The maintenance department had just remodeled a couple smaller apartments to become a 4-bedroom apartment, and they were holding this apartment for us! We would move from our 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom house to a 4-bedroom, 3-bathroom apartment. God indeed could work it out to provide all the space we needed!

The Sunday after Thanksgiving we presented the ministry of New Tribes and our part in it to my parents’ church, the church I had attended in my late teen years and when I was home during college. It was exciting to begin that phase of our ministry among my family and church members who are like family.

During the next several months, we traveled to churches and shared what God is doing in remote tribes around the world. We mailed out letters to friends and family members, explaining the changes God was working in our family’s life. God gave us many opportunities to glorify Him and the amazing ways He is working around the world. He also allowed us to share our burden for those who have never had an opportunity to hear about Him.

Next time, I’ll write about plans for Patrick to quit his job and how God really knocked our socks off with His goodness.

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Thought from Bible Study

As we learned about the parable of the workers and the vineyard in Matthew 20, our BSF teaching leader said something I needed to hear. I may write more about this later, but I’ll toss this quote out there for you all to chew on.

The owner did not hire the workers because of what he could get out of them. He hired them because they needed the work.

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Part 8 of Our Story

So back in the spring of 2005, my husband and I felt called to full-time mission work, but we had no idea what the specifics would be. After praying about it, we talked to our pastors and, rather spontaneously, announced to our church that we felt called to missions.

That afternoon, we called our parents to let them know what God had been doing in our hearts. Now, our parents are totally supportive of mission work and missionaries. My in-laws, as I’ve said, have gone on short-term mission trips overseas, and their church is very committed to evangelism and outreach and world missions. My parents’ church, though small, is extremely committed to supporting missionaries and reaching the world with the gospel. Missionaries speak in the church regularly, and my parents visit with them and feed them. Our parents love missionaries and have a heart to reach the world with the good news of Christ. However, we know there is quite a difference between supporting missionaries, in general, and supporting the idea that your children will be missionaries and may take your grandchildren far away. So we prayed before we called.

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