The intent of my writing on the precious nature of hymns is to share their impact on my discipleship and encourage you as disciples to consider supplementing your own devotional time with hymns. A part of my spiritual respite with the Father includes singing or reading a hymn. It is a discipline worthy of any follower of Jesus.
In the words of Brad Sumner, there are three things that hold us together as Mennonite Brethren, ‘shared convictions, shared relationships, and shared activities.’ Our shared relationships and activities come from a variety of places including events such as National Assembly, PCO, and EQUIP. Our shared convictions on the other hand, directly point to our MB Confession of Faith.
Normally when we think of rest, we think of physical rest. Or we think of zoning out in front of Netflix with a yummy snack. But what if the rest we seek is not the rest we need? Finding appropriate rest will help you implement sustainable practices for greater resilience. Today we’ll explore two types of rest.
While careful definition is important and provides insight, the pursuit and refining of such definitions cannot do the work needed to come to a nuanced understanding of patience in the Bible. Simply noting the terms cited above, one can already see that, taken together, they begin to offer a multi-faceted meaning that does not rely on a clear distinction of meaning.
A woman put her hand on a world map and asked God to show her a town she should pray for. She was led to pray for a town in Iran. After praying for that town for thirty years, an Iranian pastor came to her church. He testified to the great things God had been doing in his town in Iran.
No pastor or lay leader I’ve spoken to recently believes that the church will ever return to the way it used to be. The anxious rumbling is now similar to that of the Israelites after crossing the Red Sea: “Well, where to from here?” This sentiment is often laced with a mixture of uncertainty, fear and doubt.
We’ve lived (are living) through a once-in-a-century (we hope) pandemic and warred over masks and mandates. Many, many churches have seen people leave one fellowship for another. Christians increasingly congregate around narrowing views and opinions. Theologies – even relationships – are tested by whether they are on the political left or right.
“The very fact that our people, especially as a church, has had that experience in their background. That they understand what it means to be a refugee. What it means to be resettled. What it means to pick up on a new life. But even more so the terror and the upheavals which was the reason for them leaving their home country. It’s something that has to be part of our giving back. A reason for a response.”
Discouragement is part of the human condition, and as such, it is, unfortunately, a common occurrence in our everyday life.
“If this call to radio broadcasting is not of the Lord, then neither is my salvation!”
But it is only ever by God’s grace that we can come to him: Humble and empty-handed, walking in the way of the tax collector, not the Pharisee.
What I know depends upon who I know. But knowing another person (as you may have experienced with a friend or spouse) is never simple. Humans change. They grow. They’re inconsistent. And their knowing—however trustworthy they may be—is, like mine, subject to the limits of human sin, bias and finiteness. Leaving it all like a web: beautiful, delicate and tenuous.
Kora is passionate about encouraging other believers to engage their neighbours who come from different cultures around the world. She hopes that they will be more adventurous in trying different foods and communicating across language barriers. “Ask your neighbors about their festivals,” she pleads, “and learn about their values, their worldview, so you can effectively communicate the Gospel in a language they will understand.”
Six factors contribute to burnout: autonomy, connection, reward, equity, workload, and values. Here are prayers for each of the six areas to remain or become healthy as leaders.
How is the gospel advanced? By passionate and capable ambassadors of Christ? Yes. Through a clear proclamation of the gospel? Yes. By demonstrations of love and miracles? Yes. With good strategy and robust financial resources? Yes. But how is the gospel best advanced? Hailey, this devoted and humble saint from the church I once pastored, claimed it was upon our knees, praying.