I have used being out of town as an excuse for avoiding this week's Monday morning update, but truthfully I have had horrific writer's block. It is hard to know what to say about this week at The Crossroads, because I was the speaker. It is a role that I'm very comfortable with, but rarely do. However, God has spoken to me strongly in recent months about why missions is important and about trying to share that with others. So Shawn gave me some air time Sunday to share just a little bit about what God's been showing me.
It is impossible to fit 6 months into 20 minutes, but basically I shared Is. 58 and Mt.25 as guidelines for mission work. I have come to understand that serving others is worship, that serving others is serving God .... ministering to Him, and that serving others is loving God. I always believed in missions for the sake of evangelism - which is critically important, but I did not understand until recently that serving others is exactly the same as loving God. That puts a whole new spin on doing good.
I talked some about our Mexico mission trip to an orphanage at Christmas. I was amazed that within 48 hours all 200 of our orphans that we wanted to provide Christmas for had been sponsored. I have heard from people all week seeking to apply Is. 58 and Mt. 25 to their lives - whether that looks like ministering to family members in need, or researching ways to provide clean water to 3rd world countries, or buying items for those in dire need. I was overwhelmed and very humbled that people sincerely took what I said literally and began looking for ways to immediately build service into their lives. I frankly did not expect immediate results. I expected this to just be the beginning. The very tip of a huge iceberg that would take months for people to grasp. I was actually slightly disappointed in my presentation of what I had to say. It had sounded so much more polished and less random in my head, but I am continuing to pray that God will take my scattered thoughts and help people to understand His heart.
Then there's all the usual stuff to say - music was incredible, I loved hanging out with old and new friends, and Shawn did a beautiful job with the communion at the end of the service.