Living With The Mission On Our Mind

We have many “missions” every day. We may set out on the mission of going to work to earn a living to sustain our family or going to the grocery store to replenish our food supply. Our mission might be a trip to the Doctor’s office seeking to restore our health. One of my missions, picking up my grandsons after school, is over for the summer but other missions will take its place.

I have come to see all these missions as the means to fulfill a greater mission. As I go about these daily routines they enable me to participate on the mission on which Christ has sent me. In The Tangible Kingdom Hugh Halter writes:

“When I walk into Starbucks, I don’t think about coffee. That’s predetermined . . . tall black Americano. I ponder the lives of everyone I see. I wonder about their spiritual journeys, their highs and lows . . . and where they look for direction in their search. My initial assumption is that in any room full of people, very few know Christ. I ask myself how I could get into their lives or how a conversation might begin. I don’t see them as projects — that wouldn’t go very far. I see them as souls the Lord loves who simply haven’t seen or heard an accurate message about the Kingdom. I always feel confident that I may one day be talking with them about life and God. Oddly enough, this seems to happen all the time.”

As you set out on your missions this week see them all under the umbrella of our great mission –

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:18-20 NIV

Grace and Peace,


Related Posts:

Have A Sandwich And Listen

About a month ago I stopped to eat at a local restaurant I had never been to before. The accent of my server was one that was unfamiliar to me so I simply asked the nation of his origin. He came from a country about which I know very little. In the matter of a minute or two I learned a few things about his situation. We exchanged names and I went on my way.

Yesterday we were able to speak again.

It was about 1:30 p.m. and I had missed lunch. I was driving by the restaurant and heard the Spirit of God prompting me to stop. Once again, he was my server. I ordered something light to eat and looked for opportunities to continue our conversation from a month before. I called him by name and he shared that although he served many people he remembered my previous visit.

One of the great things about this encounter is that the restaurant was almost empty. He was able to linger around my table and talk. I mostly asked questions and kept the focus on his life. In the matter of a few minutes I learned about his journey to this country, his wife, and 6 month old child. As I listened I also discerned that he was a little lonely.

When he went to get my check, I wondered what type of friends he had made.  Is his wife lonely, too? Does he have a relationship with Jesus?

When he returned I asked a final question.

I said, “I don’t know much about your native land. I was wondering if we could have coffee sometime and you could tell me about your culture?” Smiling from ear to ear he replied that he would love to have coffee with me. He even extended an invitation to his home. Before I could ask, he wrote his phone number for me. It’s on my desk in front of me right now.

I look forward to seeing him again and the possibility of forming a new friendship. I also get to learn a little about a place far, far away.

Let me challenge you to be aware of those around you today. Take a little time and listen. Ask a few questions. I have found that most people will engage you in conversation if you ask a few simple questions. You just might make a new friend and get to drink some coffee.

Grace and Peace,


12 Things Children Can Teach Us This Easter

RejoiceOn Tuesday of what is commonly called “Holy Week” or “Passion Week” we find Jesus in the temple area. Mark 11:11 tells us that on Monday Jesus observed the activity at the temple, returned to Bethany to spend the night and came back to the temple the next day. The stories of Matthew 21:12-17; Mark 11:12-19; Luke 19:45-48 record Jesus driving money changers out of the temple, healing the lame at the temple, and responding to critics of children who were praising him.

The children were shouting, “Hosanna to the Son of David.” The scribes and chief priests were upset about this and challenged Jesus about it. He responded by quoting Psalm 8:2.

The blind and the lame came to him at the temple, and he healed them. But when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they were indignant.

“Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him.
“Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read,

” ‘From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise’?” – Matthew 21:14-16 NIV

Learn from the children.

Here are 12 things we can learn as we watch children this Easter. They are some of the natural qualities of young children that Wynn McGregor mentions in The Way of the Child.

  1. openness
  2. trust
  3. energy
  4. wonder
  5. enthusiasm
  6. awe
  7. laughter
  8. creativity
  9. receptivity
  10. curiosity
  11. joy
  12. truthfulness

Listen to the children this Easter. We might get a little better at being Christ followers if we follow their example.

Grace and Peace,

Join the Conversation: Of the 12 qualities of young children listed by Wynn McGregor, which one challenges you the most? What keeps you from displaying these qualities?

Related Posts from 7 Days Leading Up To Easter

    1. Sunday – What Kind Of Entry Was It?
    2. Monday – 12 Things Children Can Teach Us This Easter
    3. Tuesday – Seeing The Unnoticed
    4. Wednesday – The Calm Before The Storm
    5. Thursday – How Washing The Disciple’s Feet Pictures The Incarnation
    6. Friday – It’s Friday But . . .
    7. Saturday – Between The Cross And The Empty Tomb

      Can You Hear Them Singing?

      I have been singing Kumbayh for a long, long time. Through the years it has been sung as a spiritual by church choirs and around campfires by Boy Scouts. When I was a teenager it was recorded as a folk song by the likes of Peter, Paul and Mary and by Joan Baez. It is sung by Christians and non-Christians alike.

      What is a Kumbayah?

      A 2006 news article from the Dallas Morning News (How did ‘Kumbaya’ become a mocking metaphor?) states:

      Sometime between 1922 and 1931, members of an organization called the Society for the Preservation of Spirituals collected a song from the South Carolina coast. “Come By Yuh,” as they called it, was sung in Gullah, the Creole dialect spoken by the former slaves living on the Sea Islands.

      It can be translated as “Come by Here” or “Come by My God.”

      Get your coffee ready to watch the video, Khumbaya. It is by the Soweto Gospel Choir from South Africa.

      Can you hear them singing?

      In recent days Kumbayh has fallen into derision, satire and ridicule but I think it’s a good choice for those who choose to live a missional lifestyle.

      You see, the song’s about people crying, singing, and calling out for God to come help them.

      Then one of the synagogue rulers, named Jairus, came there. Seeing Jesus, he fell at his feet and pleaded earnestly with him, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” So Jesus went with him. – Mark 5:22-24 (NIV)

      Grace and Peace,

      Join the Conversation: In what ways can the lyrics of Kumbayh help us focus on the task of taking the Good News to people?

      Thanks for Trusting Me

      I’ve been having a coaching conversation in the same coffee shop once a week for the past 5 months. During that period of time I have been able to build relationships with several employees and customers. Yesterday one of those relationships went a little deeper.

      Sitting there drinking my coffee I was praying for God to bring someone close and to open an opportunity for a conversation. His steps were deliberate as he came over and sat next to me. We had talked before and after only a brief exchange of words he shared a deep personal need and concern in his life. Something that one does not just up and talk about in causal banter. I offered a few insights into the situation but mainly just listened.

      He was back at his table almost as quickly as he appeared. I thought about the exchange and what my next actions might be. Should I go over and get permission to ask my simple church group to pray for him and the situation? I decided that the information was so sensitive that asking to share it with others was not wise.

      I marveled that there is about a 35 year difference in our ages and was overwhelmed at how much trust it took for him to talk with me about his problem . I was about to leave when he walked by on his way out the door. Motioning for him to come over, I said, “I want to thank you for trusting me enough to tell me your story.”

      “Oh,” he replied, “I knew I could tell you and you would understand.” Gripping my hand he looked me in my eye, smiled and went on his way.

      I am praying for the next time we meet and asking God to guide the conversation.

      Grace and Peace,

      Join the Conversation: What do you think it takes to establish trust in a relationship?

      8 Reasons to Eat Chili

      Last night I spent the evening with a lot of people I don’t know (but my wife does). I went to the PTA fundraiser – a Chili Cook-off. I even took a pot of chili. There are at least 8 reasons why eating chili was pretty cool.

      1. Linking – I was able to link with Beth in her efforts to build relationships with people, many of whom need a walk with Christ.
      2. Linking – I was able to be in close proximity with a large number of people in Beth’s circle of influence. People will seldom come to us so we need to go to the places they frequent.
      3. Loving – Linking with my wife in this mission strengthened our relationship with one another. It showed that I value her and her work and was a way to publicly express my love for her.
      4. Loving – I was able to be loving toward the members of Beth’s teaching team by making and bringing their chili entry.
      5. Listening – I was able to visit with several people, centering the conversation on them and listening to them.
      6. Looking – Being aware that God is always working, I was able to see his activity in the lives of some of the people I met.
      7. Linking – We’re going out to dinner with a couple next week.

      Let me encourage you to find some time to join some fellow believers (maybe your own family members) and connect with some people you may not know very well. Spend some time listening to them and look to see where God is working. Who knows what doors of ministry might open.

      Oh, I almost forgot #8 – I Like Chili!

      Grace and Peace,

      Join the Conversation: Have you recently intentionally gone any place to be in close proximity with people with whom you can build relationships? What were the results?