Category

Envision

The Beauty of “No”

By | Blog, Envision, Equip

Three things happen when you say no to an opportunity, invitation or appointment.

First, you create margin in your life.  When we say yes to too many things – even good things – we fill our schedules and lives beyond our capacity.  You’ve probably heard the expression, “the good is the enemy of the best.”  One has to say no to appointments, invitations and other opportunities to leave margin in life.  For the person living within appropriate margins, when something excellent comes along, he or she can say YES.  For the person juggling all the balls in the air, adding another thing simply means something else must fall.  Wouldn’t you rather be ready for the best than under a pile with the rest?

Second, when you say no, you make room for God’s peace and leadership in your life.  Remember the scripture that begins God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble? Just a few verses later, the psalmist prescribes how to find your rest in His fortress: Be still and know that I am God.  The visual of the peaceful, empty park bench also communicates that quietness; He offers us communion with Him when we cease striving.  When we say yes too often, we don’t have time to pray, to connect with the Lord, to discern His path for our lives and relationships.

Third, saying no develops your character.  My friend Don recently shared a quote with me from a Sunday sermon he heard years ago: “The rejection of adversity is the mark of an immature soul.”  Think about it… aside from the unrealistic dream of vast lottery winnings, there really is no “something for nothing” of true value in this world.  Victory in virtually everything with high value is accomplished through adversity.  Even in salvation, we receive Christ by grace alone through faith alone, but remember the price Jesus paid on our behalf.  My character needs me to say no to easy but meaningless ventures and to say yes to challenges with depth and worth.  Too often we shy away.  When we say yes to the boring, the mundane and the mediocre, we reject healthy growth and maturity.

Reject the lie that being over-capacity honors God or is useful.  Good stewardship of my life isn’t visible in a hectic and frenetic schedule.  My decision to say no clears away the detritus and pollution of my life, and frees me up to be the person God wants me to be.

No can actually be very beautiful.  When free to choose, take your margin, peace of mind and maturity into consideration, and ask the Lord for guidance.  He always leads faithfully.

I Met Messiah

By | Blog, Envision, Media

Our big news of the month is the release of our founder’s testimony, filmed by One For Israel and Chosen People Ministries.  This is one of 50 life stories of Jewish people coming to know Jesus that are being watched and shared by millions of people around the world.

Spread the Word - Share the Video

  • This video is being released TODAY and we need your help.  We need you to watch it, and to go on social media and share it.  The best way to do this is to go to facebook.com/oneforisrael, find his video near the top and click on the Share button.  Just write a quick note to accompany it that explains why you’re sharing it.  If you have trouble finding it (for instance, you’re reading this a while after it was written) you can always visit I Met Messiah.
  • Please do this right now and help accelerate the story so that it catches fire!  This has already happened with one story with over 5 million views.  It’s not about fame – we simply want to get the Gospel to as many people as possible!  Video testimonies of Jewish believers are very powerful to both Jew and Gentile.
  • You will see how effective these tools are, as we help the worldwide Jewish community see how Jewish the Gospel truly is.  Jesus is Jewish, his original disciples were Jewish, the Scriptures are Jewish….  The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob wants to use all of us to reach all the world!
  • Without the Gospel, there is no hope.  We are grateful for your agreement and faithful prayer and financial partnership.  Together, we are joining Jesus in seeking and saving the lost!

Hold Your Ground

By | Blog, Envision, Headfirst, Media, Personal

Don’t give in to the Grinch this holiday season.  He’s all over social media telling you how bad things are, then topping the last story with a new video or meme.  Tis the season to pile on, right?  I’m not suggesting this world is good; it’s not.  It’s corrupted by sin, death and disease.  But in God, we have a Father who gives His children good gifts.  We have a Savior who redeems us and brings reconciliation between men and God.  We have the Spirit who fills and empowers us to live righteously for His purposes.  Hold your ground: choose faith, hope and love!

Identify the blessings in your life and celebrate them.  If you can’t find enough, celebrate with a brother or sister who will share them with you.

Here’s my own Thanksgiving offering for you – the video overview from our recent Men’s Mission to Haiti.  Stay till the end – it’s worth every (free) penny.

httpvh://vimeo.com/112757027

Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.  Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. (James 1:2-5)

Grinch = bad.  God = good!

Through New Eyes

By | Blog, Envision, Involve

LaurenThis guest post is from Lauren Anderson, a young mother of two who participated in the August 2014 Haiti Mission Team with our humanitarian outreach, the Chanje Movement.  We are thrilled to be able to share her observations and experience:

There is so much I’ve learned this last year with my involvement in Chanje. One of the greatest lessons I learned is that sometimes when God calls you, it starts as a whisper. The whisper calling me to go to Haiti was gentle at first, so much so that I even ignored it. But overtime it began to grow to a point where it was so loud and so clear that if I were to have said no it would have felt like direct disobedience to God’s plan for me. When I finally agreed, I didn’t even know where Haiti was on a map! I thought it was in Africa!

Before long I found myself with 28 other people who answered “Yes!” to the call and we were on our way together to a small island that’s a two hour plane ride away from Miami airport. After just the first day in Haiti, a different level of understanding swept over me like a heaviness. To be honest, I was rather surprised by it’s weight. I thought over the past several years that I knew all about what was to come. I had seen the pictures that our missionaries shared in church, I had watched the footage on the news, I had listened to the stories, I had even been moved to tears… But nothing can prepare you for what it is to physically step in and experience this other world that exists outside of your daily reality. For me, it was all about the connection. It was about making a connection to the people. A connection to their suffering. A connection to their struggles. A connection to their pain. A connection to their endurance. And most importantly – a connection to their hope.

In seven days, there were times that I felt overwhelmed. There were moments where the ability to keep a brave face breaks down and the tears stream out of even the biggest, burliest, toughest males of the group. There were times I would turn to the veterans for assurance that we were making a difference, and with a brutal explanation of what [Haiti had been like] before, I would be calmed by their confidence in God’s work being done. Nonetheless, my heart was broken in places that had never been touched. A sense of panic started to form within me throughout the trip… “There’s so much to be done!” “We’ll never be able to help everyone!” “We can’t go home yet – we need to do more!” Every thought of concern felt like a needle in my heart stitching me to this country, it’s people, the children, their suffering. My panic grew to a search for answers to questions I couldn’t quell.

Thankfully, a very patient leader who was experienced in these thoughts and fears simplified a connection to the bigger picture. Dave Brodsky made it so beautifully clear to me and to all of us: we are not here to simply help provide food, water, clothes and shelter… for if that were all we brought with us – how hopeless would we feel once we left? It is not our main goal to build up lives here on earth; it is our great mission to build up lives in eternity. If we were simply focused on making everyone’s lives on earth more comfortable, we would certainly lose hope. But our hope is in the Lord and His promises. In 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 it says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (NKJV) 

Keeping the focus on this main mission purpose gave me instant relief and a great peace came over me.  Yes, we are going to do our best to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, love the suffering – but it is all in the name of Jesus Christ, being the hands and feet of the Savior of the world, showing the love of our Heavenly Father through acts of service. These beautiful people of Haiti will better understand God’s love by the love He is showing though His missionaries that answer that call and step into their world to make connections that last for eternity.

We can listen and find so many different opportunities to be a faithful servant whether it’s a loud call or a gentle whisper. For some of us it may be a path of action, for some of us it may be by means of financial ability, for some of us it may be by using the gifts God blessed us with to bring glory to His kingdom. Perhaps it can be all of the above and even more… Giving our contributions to those who need it the most. Today I am changed by the connection I have to the people I got to know in Haiti. Today when I pray, I don’t just pray for faces without names – I pray for my friends, I pray for my brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray for them like I pray for my family. I can’t wait to return to Haiti, but I also find great peace in knowing that even if I don’t get the chance to see each and every Haitian friend once more, we are forever connected in the love of Christ. I will surely see them again in eternity where we will be servants together forever side by side.

To learn more about the Chanje Movement, the humanitarian outreach of The Global Mission, and how you can be involved, please visit www.chanje.org.

 

New Life, New Hope

By | Envision, Media

With the return of the most recent Chanje Movement team, we are thrilled to share these images of the new life and new hope so many found this week through Jesus Christ.  So thankful for our Haitian partners who led the way, opened the doors to new territory, and who stand alongside us in trusting God for the future of Haiti!

httpvh://vimeo.com/104308199

To be a part of this exciting movement, please visit www.chanje.org and consider sponsoring a child, investing in micro-credit, or purchasing an item for one of our projects.

A Fertile Soil

By | Envision

Jesus taught the parable of the soils on multiple occasions (also known as the parable of the sower) as recorded three times in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.  (Yes, if you read the context, they’re not simply synoptic reprints – they are different events.)  He concludes the teaching by inviting those with a thirst for God to pay heed by saying “Let him who has ears to hear, let him hear.”  While this saying may be familiar to many, the intent is overlooked.  Certainly all those in the audience physically had the appendage known as an ear.  In fact, a pair of them.  But Jesus points out that many who have ears don’t use them to listen to truth – they don’t listen to what is important.  Are their hearts available or are they closed off?  He asks his audience to pay attention, because their part in the Kingdom is at stake.

So what is so important to know?  What is it that Jesus wants us to pay attention to, above the noise and distraction of the world?

First, God loves everyone, whether they love Him back or not, whether they even pay attention to Him.  He’s bringing His Word to them and He is extravagant with His generosity.  The sower scatters seed everywhere.  Not just on this spot or that; these regions but not those areas.  Every type of soil receives seed.  Is that wasteful of God to preach His Gospel everywhere?  Is it wasteful if Jesus died for the sins of people who would reject Him?  For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son (John 3:16.)  But while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8.)

Jesus wants us to know that He loves us regardless of whether we love Him back.  Pure grace.  An unqualified gift.

Second, people respond differently to God, and there are rewards and consequences of how we respond.  The beautiful part of God’s love is that we must receive Christ’s sacrifice for us through grace, by faith.  It’s not forced upon us, nor is obedience imprinted in our souls.  There is only one type of soil that the Word will thrive in and bear fruit.  So you actually play a part in determining what type of soil you are.

Jesus wants people to know that He loves them, He is available to them, and they need to respond to Him.  Some won’t listen, some won’t respond.  Some will receive Him and become mature and bear great fruit.  Are you open to that?  Do you have ears to hear?

 

Update from Haiti

By | Blog, Envision, Involve, Media

NewsletterHaving returned from Port au Prince on Saturday night, I wanted to get this update online to share about the wonderful progress through The Chanje Movement, our spiritual and humanitarian outreach in Haiti.  Inside the letter you’ll find details of how funds were raised through last month’s MissionsRace, all about the three shelters for children where we’re helping change their future, and a few new ways (like the Amazon Smile program*) that you can take advantage of and bless our ministry.

MissionsRace was extremely encouraging, not only because we helped create and host it, nor simply because we raised over $8,000 for our international ministry, but it also blessed so many other ministries, such as My Refuge House, an outreach to women rescued from sex trafficking in the Philippines.

Being in Haiti also provided the opportunity to take the next steps in our micro-credit lending program.  We identified a potential loan officer and gave her a case load of one applicant in order to test her feasibility.  At the same time, one more small loan will now help another family start a small retail business to help feed their family.

Because of the groundwork laid on this last trip, we were able to establish a new beach-head for ministry in another community in the area, and in 2014 our teams will have new opportunities to serve and preach the Gospel.

The Amazon Smile program:

*Amazon will donate a portion of every dollar you spend to The Global Mission – at no cost to you!  This can be very powerful and add up quickly because so many people shop online at Amazon.  It’s a very simple process – the first time you visit http://smile.amazon.com you will be asked to register your charity.  Type in “The Global Mission” and select our donation mailing address (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.)  That’s it.  From now on, each time you start your shopping at smile.amazon.com and check out, you’ll be giving to the Kingdom!

Build Your Kingdom Here

By | Envision, Involve, Media

Our November 2013 mission team of 16 men preached the Gospel in the prisons and in the public squares, reaching hundreds with the Gospel for the first time. Many adults and children children received Christ during our ministry outreach. In addition, hundreds of meals were provided to the hungry, needy and homeless, and the hope of salvation in Christ was presented to many more. This was the second team to visit the new Chanje Lakay shelter for children. Child Sponsorship is now a powerful tool of generational transformation, as we begin support for our third shelter of children.  Micro-Credit programs were advanced for community development.  Thank you for your support!

Enjoy and share!

httpvh://vimeo.com/80757787

Music written and performed by Rend Collective Experiment and available on iTunes, Amazon and wherever music is sold.
Video recorded and produced by Jacob Hart on behalf of The Global Mission
The Chanje Movement (chanje.org) is the humanitarian outreach of The Global Mission, a 501c3 nonprofit.
No photography or videography was allowed in the Haitian prisons.

What Love Can Do

By | Blog, Envision, Media

Having recently met worship leader Aaron Blanton at Crossline Church, and having heard him perform the song he wrote What Love Can Do as an acoustic piece, it was a joy to discover that our Creative Director, Jacob Hart, asked him for and received permission to use his song in the soundtrack to our most recent mission team’s video.  Aaron was a founding member of the band Sonicflood, and you might recognize this song from the call-to-action movie Not Today, in which recording artist Kari Jobe sings the arrangement that he and James Tealy put together.  The lead-in song is Audio Adrenaline‘s Kings & Queens.

The team we sent this month was part of The Chanje Movement, the humanitarian outreach of The Global Mission.

Enjoy and share!

httpvh://www.vimeo.com/73106653

Video recorded and produced by Jacob Hart on behalf of The Global Mission

At a Loss

By | Envision, Involve

This is really complicated.  How can I explain what’s going through my mind when my heart is beating so hard that I can’t hear myself think?

What kind of anguish is going on in a person’s life that they can entrust their young child to you and walk away?  I can’t fathom the despair, the discouragement, the denial or the complete sense of defeat that a parent would have to experience.

And despite my inability to comprehend, it happened today.  It happened.  Did that really just happen?

fatherlessYes, and more than once.

First there was the pastor’s widow.  She lives in a community of immense poverty with her five children in a house built from cinder block that remains unfinished because her husband died.  She brought us two of her sons that she cannot feed or care for.

The next girl was five years old.  Her mother didn’t come.  The little one came with the widow because her mother just had a baby boy and couldn’t physically make the trip.  But the father of the son is not the father of the daughter – that man previously deserted the family.  The new father doesn’t want her.

Then we met a five and seven-year-old sister and brother.  Her mom had come earlier but had some emergency and left abruptly.  Without the kids.  She told someone at the shelter we should do whatever we can with the children.  The dad had already abandoned the family.

Psalm 68 says that God is a father to the fatherless.  These children are His now, and we are His stewards.  I’m trying to prepare myself for something that can’t be prepared for, because we are going to be introduced to three more children in the morning.

When we acknowledged that we were willing to rescue children as part of bringing hope and transformation to a nation, we knew we would be over our heads.  Today, it is not my head dipping beneath the water that makes me gasp for breath – it’s my heart bursting with a mixture of joy and sorrow.  I cannot imagine doing this alone.

Thanks to God, and all our amazing donors, staff, volunteers and prayer partners who are joining together to make this happen.  Otherwise, there would be no help, no hope, no joy.  No transformation, just sorrow.  But there is joy.  Thank you from the fullness of my heart.