Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Life and Death by Ministry

Several weeks ago I wrote two posts on ministry called Death by Ministry and Life by Ministry. Now, as the final train of thought regarding ministry, what do the two look like combined?

"For to me to live is Christ,
and to die is gain."
Philippians 1:21

Life is Christ. Death is gain.

Working for OMF International has allowed me an inside glimpse into the life and legacy of countless missionaries. Since Hudson Taylor founded China Inland Mission (which is now Overseas Missionary Fellowship- OMF) there have been many who have joined his vision to spread the gospel in Asia.

Some of these faithful men and women are now very old and "retired" from active missions for health reasons. They reside at an OMF assisted living center in Pennsylvania called Lammermuir. The average age is about 87.

Last week the woman who oversees the care of these missionaries came to our headquarters in Colorado to share the happenings at Lammermuir. She shared many stories about what it is like to live and care for so many elderly people, what she does and how tired she becomes. She rejoiced, though, over the reality that she has the opportunity to serve God's servants in their last days on earth.

These missionaries, in their youth, journeyed thousands of miles away from "home," when traveling was not as easy as it is now, to distant lands. They were instumental in starting churches, translating Scripture and praying for the nations to know Christ.

Now they are weak and frail physically. Mentally, many are still as sharp as they were 50 years ago. They spend countless hours praying for current OMF missionaries in East Asia. They told Jolene to tell us that they pray for us (OMF staff). They pray that we would have health, energy, courage, strength and wisdom. They pray that we will serve Christ with all that we have until our last breath.

And they wonder. They wonder in their old age if they did enough for Christ.

I cried through her whole account of these faithful men and women. Here they are, amazing missionaries from the 1940's who risked life, health and security, wondering if they did all they could.

Can you hear their plea, "DON'T WASTE YOUR LIFE!"

This is the climax of ministry- when life and death are combined. It is not just about death from old age, but death to self and a willingness to die physically for the sake of Christ. To LIVE is Christ and to DIE is GAIN!

Is this Christian life supposed to be seeking the American Dream? Has Christ called us to be "good" people, raise a nice family that goes to church, own a pretty house, make a average salary, retire at 65 and move to Florida where it is warm?

THAT is a tragedy.

Christ did not die so that we can live happy and comfortable.

Jesus said,
"Whoever would save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for My sake
and the gospel's will save it." Mark 8:35

I would rather lose my life for the sake of Christ than waste it.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Irreplaceable Friends

At the Ben Zornes Band Concert Friday:
Me, Katie and Ann Marie

My mom posed us here... it was pitch black and we had no idea what we were doing!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Check it out!

Check out the Overseas Missionary Fellowship's NEW website!


Can you find my name on it?

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Pictures at Last!

Travel pictures... This was my third time flying out West over the Rocky Mountains and EACH time I am in AWE of the beauty!!! I had a connecting flight in Salt Lake City. The lake is HUGE!

So, we were really smart and did not get a picture of Dawn and I after the big SURPRISE at the door! Shame, shame... BUT it was a marvelous success because she was so shocked! So much, in fact, that she closed the door in my face. I shall never forget the look on her face!

One of the cutest babies in the world... besides my children (future of course!), my siblings and any of Matt and Dawn's other children! (I cannot wait to see an Esparza girl!)

The Saturday after Dawn's birthday we went to a hotel on the beach. It was incredibly foggy, but it was a delicious breakfast!

Judah and I in our jammies... he is such a ham for pictures!

Our "together" picture... almost a month behind us now. It was a wonderful trip. We were more relaxed this time, not sick and just being together! I want so much for them to come to Colorado and see my world, visit my people and go to my places! Someday, someday... that's what we always say!

I love you, Dawn, Matt and Judah!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Pop quiz time!

So, after having some of those closest to me take the quiz and "fail," I have to write a note...
First, sorry to those of you who were not satisfied with your under 50% score. I admit that when I designed the quiz I choose answers that I ALL like or would use. Only one, for now, is the favorite.
Second, thus the name "quiz" for you are tested between the given answers! I DID try to have one that was WAY off on each answer, you got to give me that!
Third, I hope you learned more about me!
So, let this be your warning, caution, disclaimer, whatever before YOU take the quiz!
So this is me...

Take my quiz!

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