Tag Archives: Missions

Fanning the flame

Viral - Leonard SweetIn ancient cultures, the most important thing a household did was to never let the fire go cold. In rural Korean cultures the same ancestral fire burned for centuries, and when they moved they took the fire of their forefathers with them. When your fire went out, it was thought, you lost your connection with heaven.

Would that Christians were as careful about tending spiritual fire as these ancients were about natural fire. We are to nourish the spiritual fire, and we do that by prayer, obedience, mission, devotion, and study.

Holy fire is warming. In the words of the nineteenth-century New England poet Lucy Larcom: “If the world seems cold to you, kindle fires to warm it.”
~ Excerpted from Viral by Leonard Sweet

We can encourage one another to keep our fires stoked; but it’s ultimately our responsibility.

How many fires will we kindle today with the flint of faith?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2013. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Faith, Missions, Prayer, Religion and Spirituality

On mission with God

Today a group of 11 people – 8 teenagers and 3 adults – loaded up and headed down to Nashville, TN for a week of mission work.

It’s easy to think of “mission work” as being only what happens in another country but there are many people and locations right here in the USA that are desperate for help both physically and spiritually.

It should be an interesting trip as the mission trip veterans are four of the teenagers. The rest, including the three adult sponsors, have never done a week-long mission trip. I’m excited for all that God is going to do in them and through them.

Would you take a moment to offer up to God a prayer for our group? Most importantly, pray that God would get ahold of their hearts and overwhelm them with His grace and mercy and glory. Some of the most meaningful experiences I’ve ever had were on mission trips.

Thanks!

And as you get ready to start another week, another ordinary week, keep in mind that God’s mission work isn’t limited to special trips but is going on all around us all the time.

How might God want to use us today or this week as we do life as His missionaries to a lost world?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under influence with the world, Loving others, Missions, Religion and Spirituality, Serving

Why all the facial hair?

My good friend Jeff is one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet, but if you saw him right now coming down the street you would likely duck into a store or make your way to the other side of the street. Why?

His beard is menacing!

Here, in his own words, is why he is growing it out.

“Rick, I am growing my beard after one of the most humbling experiences of my life at Kid’s Kamp (our version of VBS) 2011. Last year our children and youth ministries were raising money for Dave and Jen Bell, missionaries our fellowship supports in Kenya. In a moment of craziness I agreed to have PART of my head shaved if the kids were able to meet the financial goal we set for them at Kid’s Kamp. We set the goal high, or should I say, I set the goal high. Not surprisingly, the kids and their families far exceeded the goal that had been set for them.”

“After that experience “the Holy Spirit” gave birth to an idea in my heart. There is one thing I do in my life that receives more unsolicited comments than any other thing that I do: that is growing a beard. My unscientific research suggests that 95% of people that comment are strongly opposed to the beard while the remaining 5% are tight-lipped about their opposition. Needless to say, I thought I could use the beard for the cause of Christ.”

“So Sunday, August 7, 2011 is the last time I shaved or trimmed my beard with the exception of my mustache. My much publicized (among our fellowship) intention is to leverage my beard as a means to raise financial support for some very dear friends of mine, Gianni and Stephany Bruno, missionaries with Italy for Christ (click to learn more). The Bruno family will be the missionaries we highlight this summer during our week of Kid’s Kamp and 100% of the financial support raised that week will go to support their ministry.”

“In a typical beard growing year, I never make it past six months of growth, in fact, only one time has that happened. I made it a few days past 6 months and my wife informed me that if I didn’t shave I wouldn’t be present for the delivery of our 2nd child, Hannah. That was all I needed to hear to shave the beard. I’m glad I did since Hannah was born a week later.”

“Thankfully, my wife isn’t pregnant this time around, so I am pretty sure I will be able to make it to the day the beard will be sheared, Friday, July 13, 2012. In fact, in a rare show of affirmation for the beard, my wife recently said, “The beard is growing on me.” To which I replied, “Me too.” Now I am convinced that with God all things are possible.”

We can’t all grow a beard of epic proportions to support those taking the good news of God’s grace and truth to people all around the world. But we can all do something!

Are you making yourself available to God?

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© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Compassion, Determination, Holy Spirit, influence with the world, Inspiration, involvement with the church, Loving others, Missions, Serving