Who are what is your master?

mastered by godI’m sure this will declare my age. But, when I was growing up, I can remember scheduling my homework and activities around my favorite t.v. shows. You know, Who’s the Boss, Growing Pains, Cosby Show, and later Beverly Hills 90210 (until it got too racy). I hated to miss an episode, and would make sure to record the show if I was going to be out.

This morning the preacher was talking about a verse in I Corinthians where Paul says all things are lawful, but not all are beneficial, and that he would not be mastered by anything!

Which made me think on how I use to schedule my day. And made me ponder what things do I schedule my day around now? Is there anything that masters me? Anything that has control over my life other than God?

As believers all things are lawful, we have freedom in Christ. But Paul would tell us that we are not to use that freedom to sin. In fact in the above verse, Paul wants the people to understand that unless the thing is beneficial to his Christian life, he’s not going to waste his time. And he is certainly not going to let anything have master over him.

In the past year, especially living overseas. I have had a tendency to check Facebook often. Wanting to not miss out on what is happening back home and have realized that often this has mastered me and certainly has not been beneficial.

But good things can master us as well. Doing good works can become our master. Serving others can become our master, pleasing others our master.

Yet none of this is beneficial to us. For the only master we should have in our lives is the Lord. Never allowing anything or anyone master us.

Life is full of needs, wants, good and bad. But none of these things or these people should master us.

This next week I challenge you and I challenge myself to ask yourself before doing anything… is this thing I’m about to do is it beneficial to my walk with the Lord and why am I doing it? Am I doing it because I feel I must, or am I doing it to please the Lord.

Sorry moms, this doesn’t mean you can nix the laundry, cooking or cleaning this week saying it isn’t beneficial to your walk with the Lord. Because quite the opposite is true. For you see, as you serve your family that God has called you to, you serve Him. 🙂

Is God master or something  or someone else? How are you spending your time?Are the things you’re doing beneficial to your walk with the Lord, or do they deter you in your walk with Him?

One verse, yet so convicting.

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything. (I Corinthians 6:12)”

Swimming against the stream….

vbs 2016 9“But mom, everyone is doing it. I will feel so left out if I’m the only one not doing it.” This is what I heard this morning as I was getting my 8-year-old daughter ready for school.

And thus it begins…. temptations, wanting to fit in, having to teach my kids that sometimes as Christians we have to be set apart.

This all began about a month ago when the locals began wearing their green and yellow bangles and attired their hands with beautiful henna designs. Lauren’s friend brought her a whole bag full of bangles and multiple people offered to draw on her hand.

It has been a battle ever since. Not because there is anything wrong with bangles (I have many of my own) and not because having a henna design is wrong. But Hindu devotees here celebrate this month as the month of Lord Shiva and observe the tradition of wearing green bangles, henna tattoos and necklaces. So for this month, for this time, we are avoiding such things.

And we’ve had this discussion multiple times over the past few weeks of why she doesn’t need to wear her bangles or do these things right now… because she is Christian not Hindu.

But to an 8-year-old who just doesn’t understand it is hard. To an 8-year-old who doesn’t want to be left out it is difficult.

I keep telling her that this will not be the last time that she will feel left out due to being a Christian. The easy thing is to go with the crowd. The easy thing is to let others dictate who you are.

The hard thing is to swim against the stream, the be set apart, to take a stand for what you believe.

Difficult lessons for all ages, all stages of life. But especially a little girl.

So as I wiped away her tears, I hugged her and explained one more time that being a Christian isn’t always easy, but that as a Christian we are to be different and try to live our lives in a way that points others to Jesus.

She still wasn’t happy about it, and my heart hurts for her as she goes to school today and feels left out. Sometimes even being a parent is hard. It sure would be easy for me to just give in…. but that isn’t what I’m called to do either.

Standing for truth can be hard. Doing what is right harder still. Going against the flow, well yea it’s just plain difficult.

But this is what God has called each of us to. It comes in different forms every day…  but we each have to decide who we will love more… ourselves or our God!

(By the way, I’m planning to take my daughter later to do something special so we can continue this discussion – because this her first experience with this will certainly not be her last)

What is missions??

SAM_0277What is missions?

It’s long crowded flights to the other side of the world.

It’s living in a place where everyone seems to know who you are, but you still can’t get everyone else’s names straight.

It’s fumbling with the language, even though you study and try, it never comes out the way it should.

It’s even thinking you’re saying one thing, when in reality you’re saying something totally different and getting very strange looks, and not understanding why.

It’s dealing with sickness and high fevers in the night with nothing to do but pray.

Its worms, lice, and other creepy crawly things that teach us to count all things as joy.

Missions is always being on display, always having people watching you, and not always setting the best example that you know you should.

It’s even being put on a pedal stool by people back home, who think your some super spiritual giant, when in fact you’re just human. You struggle and sin just like everyone else.

Its crowded busses, tuk tuk’s, motorcycles, cars, and animals all traveling the same road, and learning to walk in the mist of these and get to and from around the place you call home.

Missions is wonderful. Missions is hard.

Its holidays away from your loved ones, all for the sake of the call.

It’s watching your family and friends back home via Skype, Facebook and Instagram.

It’s not having a “home” here or there. Because you’re always in between worlds.

It’s watching your children use play to share God’s love.

Its hard goodbyes and wonderful hellos.

It’s learning to do things the hard way, like cooking from scratch because there are no instant foods available.

It’s dealing with unstable governments, water and electric shortages, and even earthquakes, typhoons, and tsunamis (depending on where you live).

But missions is also seeing people who have never heard of Christ, realize their need of Him. It’s teaching others the Word of God, so that they can go tell their family and friends.

It’s living out the gospel among people who worship gods who can’t see or hear.

Missions is the answer to the lost around the world today. Missions is a calling and a way of life. Missions is the Gospel lived out loud.