Monday, February 21, 2011

Mission Trip Scholarship Finalists


 

Mountain View
“A mountain view can literally take your breath away. Getting a clearer view of God can do the same. Here at the Warming House, you’ll find truth that will help you know and understand who God is and how He feels about you. What you find here may cause you to live your life a little differently.



What is "missions"? What does it mean? For some of you it means financially supporting a missionary overseas. For some it means volunteering in a local food pantry  For some it means going on a mission trip, sharing the gospel, starting a new church or training church leaders. So what is missions?


In the Bible, the word "mission" comes from a Greek word "diakonia". It means “ministry, service, and can refer to helps and service of various kinds which can range in meaning from “spiritual” biblical teaching to the “practical” giving of provisions, supplies, support, and finances to those in need". 


"Missions" seeks to meet spiritual needs, but it does not stop there. It addresses the needs of the whole person. In its truest form, missions comes from a place of compassion. Compassion in Greek means “moved in his bowels, to feel deeply or viscerally, to yearn, to have compassion and pity. It is an inner feeling of distress regarding the ills of others that causes us to suffer with another; to have mercy; and to alleviate the consequences of sin or suffering in the life of another.” Recognize that true compassion results in action.


John Stott states “the mission of Jesus was a mission of compassion. The words mission and compassion should always be bracketed, indeed almost hyphenated, so closely do they belong to one another.  . . . What aroused His compassion was always human need, in whatever form he encountered it. And out of compassion for people in need he acted.”  [Authentic Christianity – From the Writings of John Stott; Edited by Timothy Dudley-Smith; 764. The mission of Jesus (1977d:54)]


I am happy to announce the names of our mission trip scholarship finalists. These are people who have chosen to act because of their compassion for people in need - just as Jesus did. Please take the time to read the information about the mission trips they will be taking then VOTE for the finalist you would like to see receive the scholarship. See sidebar to vote. The deadline for voting is Saturday, March 5th.

Only one person will receive the $2,000.00 scholarship. This will not cover the total cost for any of them. Together we can make a bigger impact. If you see any benefit to what God is doing in and through these individuals, would you prayerfully consider supporting the finalist you vote for through your personal finances and/or prayer? (See information provided about where to send donations.)

Alex S.
June 1-12, 2011. Alex will be traveling to Uganda, Africa with Visiting Orphans. She will be ministering at Canaan's Children's Home and Amazima Ministries in Jinja, Uganda then will travel to Kampala, Uganda to work with children at My Father's House and Return Ministries. She has felt God calling her to pursue missions and feels He opened the door for this trip. Alex says, "I absolutely love kids and when I found out this trip would be ten days of loving orphans, I knew He'd planned this as my next trip. He's poured abundant love into my heart, and I love getting to pour His love into children around the world!"

Make donations payable to Visiting Orphans. Put Alexandria S. on the memo line. Mail to 1001 Silvercrest Place; Branson West, MO 65737.


Aubri H.
July 3-16, 2011. Aubri is traveling to India with her church to assist at Asia Christian Academy. She will be working with high school students, teaching Bible and physical education. Although this is a Christian school, 80% of the students are Hindu. Her team will also be working with a church plant in a nearby village. "For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a missionary so when I heard about this trip to India, I just felt called by God to go. Because I am so grateful for what God has given me, I want to share the gospel with the students in India. I know God is using this situation to grow me to be more dependent on Him. To me, it would be such an awesome opportunity to share what I know about the Lord, and have God use me to further His kingdom!

Make donations payable to Metro Bible Church. Put Aubri H./India Trip in the memo line. Mail to Metro Bible Church; c/o Danny Macchio; 9112 Farmer Drive; Keller, TX 76244.

 
Kristen M.
June 3-12, 2011. Kristen will be traveling to Brazil for evangelism and church planting through The Church at BattleCreek in Broken Arrow, OK. "Over the past couple of years God has put a desire in my heart to go to Brazil - and to go on a mission trip with my church in Tulsa; however, I never dreamed the two would coincide. She is amazed at God's faithfulness and feels that "furthering God's kingdom is the best way we can spend our lives on earth . . . It is my hope that this trip will guide those who are so desperately searching for love, acceptance, and a family to find the arms of God wide open, waiting for them. I long to bring His hope to their lives, expressing that regardless of the situation they may find themselves in, God is, and always will be, enough to satisfy them completely. "


Donations should be made payable to Church at BattleCreek. Write Kristen M. in the memo line. Mail to 1314 Tate Road; Ridgedale, MO 65739.


Shantell R.
Shantell will be traveling to Sierre Leone, Africa through Living Hope Church of Memphis, TN. "The Lord gave me a burden for sex trafficking and even a vision for a facility. Reading the book (Redeeming Love) solidified the Lord's push for action. Consequently, I watched our Sovereign God unfold incredible confirmation and like-minded individuals.  My friend and I have been asked to teach curriculum from her book addressing trafficked/abused children in West Africa. We will be involved at the orphanage in various ways all week. We also intend to have an audible with Pastors and other church leaders in the area on how we can implement some of their programs/rehabilitation plans in our ministry, Redemptive Refuge, and at other churches here in Memphis, TN.


Make donations payable to Living Hope Church. Write Shantell R. in the memo line. Mail to Living Hope Church at 5211 S. Bendel Circle; Memphis, TN 38117.


Terry and Janna B.
This married couple will be traveling to Trinidad with Trinidad Tobago Urban Ministries ("TTUM"). TTUM runs a church/outreach ministry to the poor. They work with prisons, community soup kitchens, clothes distribution, church planting, schools, orphanages, rehab centers, and live events. "Just a few years ago, Christianity only made up 1% of the population but today is more than 10% - amazing. The Lord has used the ministry of TTUM as a big part in that!" Terry and Janna have spent months discussing the possibility of going on this trip and feel very strongly that God is calling them there. As an associate pastor, Terry would like to establish an ongoing relationship with this ministry and send teams from his church there regularly.


Make donations payable to FBC Branson - Missions. Write Brown Family Trip on the memo line. Mail to 400 S. Sunshine Street; Branson, MO 65616. Contact Terry at tbrown@fbcbranson.com with questions.


I am so thankful that God has connected these individuals with The Warming House. It's a privilege to get to be a part of what He is doing in their lives! Please keep these people in your prayers as they prepare for their mission journey.


 

Fireside

Join me by the fire for conversations about how to nurture your family and create a warm and inviting home for family and friends.

In a study by the Barna Group, “nurturing family and faith” is virtually a nonexistent priority in the lives of Christians today. Why is that? Is it because we rely on the church to do it? In reality, our families are a place of ministry.  God has given parents the primary responsibility (and privilege) of shaping and nurturing their child’s faith yet many of us feel ill-equipped to do so. That's where the church comes in. The church's job is to equip and support parents (and supplement the teaching of parents) as they nurture faith in their children. There are many intentional things we as parents can do to point our kids to Jesus Christ, but today I want to focus on a very important area that can have a dramatic impact on your children. It is your life and the relationship you have with Jesus Christ.




Our kids watch, absorb, and learn from everything we do. This is especially true in matters of faith. When our children see parents diligently living their lives in a personal relationship with Christ, it affects them more than we realize. You can nurture faith in your children simply by allowing them to see you loving God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. By showing them how God has first place in all areas of your life. By talking to them about the things you see God doing in your life. By letting them see you following the example of Christ and making decisions based on His teachings in the Bible. By modeling a life, in hard times and good, that is aware of God’s presence and trusts in His resources and guidance. By letting them see you making time for God and making yourself available to Him as you live for His purposes. Again - the way you live your life in relationship with Christ is a powerful way to nurture faith in your children. 

About now, some of you might be saying, "Oh  no. I'm not doing a very good job of that." Hey, we're all on a journey. God knows none of us are perfect. So go easy on yourself parents! Speaking from personal experience, I can tell you that the struggles and setbacks in your faith journey can be a perfect opportunity for you to teach your kids priceless lessons about God’s grace and our need for a Savior.

 



I can remember a time when our son, Tanner, said to me, “Mom, is it okay if I’m not sure about God?” I can remember actually smiling when I heard those words. I could have said, “Are you kidding? After all the years we’ve spent in church, the Sunday classes we’ve taken you to, Vacation Bible School, youth group, children’s choir, and mission projects? Are you serious?” Instead, God allowed me to see the beauty of his words and I said, “Of course it’s okay because it tells me you’re searching and wanting to find answers for yourself. You want to make your faith your own. And that’s awesome.”

Modeling your faith is one thing, but forcing it on your kids isn’t a good replacement for their own personal relationship with Christ.

“Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, The Lord is one. Love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” Deut. 6:4-7


Pinecones and Twigs
Just like gathering nature’s treasures on a hike through the woods, you never know what you’ll find here – a great read, an inspiring photo of nature, or maybe the latest bargain. Check out this spot at The Warming House for something fun.


There is nothing that soothes my soul quite like the glory of God as He reveals Himself in nature. In that regard, Sunrise Earth has become one of my favorite shows on TV today. It airs from 9:00-10:00 a.m. on HD Theater, channel 281 (DirecTV). Sunrise Earth takes the viewer on "a tranquil journey into the landscape itself as we enjoy the sights and the ambient sounds associated with the first light of a new day." I know of people who watch Sunrise Earth videos before they go to bed as a way to relax and go to sleep more quickly. It's also a perfect backdrop to personal Bible study and times of prayer.  Here's a link to a video clip of Sunrise Earth. Enjoy! 


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jyvDf73-9c&feature=related


Breath-taking isn't it? The earth is such an amazing display of God's creativity and His goodness to us! As you will see in the sidebar, I now have my subscribe button up and running. If you subscribe to my blog in the coming week, your name will be placed in a drawing for one of several Sunrise Earth videos I will be giving away.

A Steaming Hot Mug

Stories of Compassion to Warm your Soul from the Inside Out


Submit your stories (150 word maximum) to thewarminghouse@gmail.com and I will select some each week for publication on this blog. Your stories must fall into one of the following three categories: 1) Stories of a time when you experienced God’s compassion directly or through the actions of another person; 2) Specific things you’ve done to teach your children compassion; or 3) How your church or someone you know has demonstrated the compassion of Christ in your church or outside its walls. Can’t wait to hear (and share) your stories here at the Warming House!




Thanks for stopping by! I'm so thankful for you and look forward to seeing you next time. Be sure to watch for my next post where the mission trip scholarship winner will be announced.

Stay warm and cozy!
Lisa





 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Love Letter - 2/9/11

Mountain View

“A mountain view can literally take your breath away. Getting a clearer view of God can do the same. Here at the Warming House, you’ll find truth that will help you know and understand who God is and how He feels about you. What you find here may cause you to live your life a little differently.

Last year, I scrapbooked a "love letter from God" for our daughter on Valentine's Day. I wanted her to be affirmed, encouraged, and rooted in the truth of how much God cares for her. Although they're simple truths, they are truths that we all need to be reminded of from time to time, so this week I'd like to share the contents of that book with you. Here's God's love letter for you . . .

Happy Valentines Day to my sweetheart!

I may have created the universe, but you are one of my favorite creations. I designed you in a very special way for a unique and wonderful purpose.

You made all the delicate inner parts of my body, and knit them together in my mothers womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! It is amazing to think about. Your workmanship is marvelous and how well I know it. Psalm 139:13-14



You are absolutely beautiful! In fact, I am overwhelmed by it.

“The king is enthralled by your beauty; honor him, for he is your lord.” Psalm 45:11


I think of you all the time. You consume my thoughts.

“How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn towards me. And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!” Psalm 139:17-18


My love for you will never fail. I love you with an everlasting love.

“How precious is your constant love, O God! All humanity takes refuge in the shadow of your wings. You feed them with blessings from your own table and let them drink from your rivers of delight.” Psalm 36:7-8
                                   
“Yet day by day the Lord also pours out his steadfast love upon me, and through the night I sing his songs and pray to God who gives me life.” Psalm 42:8





I would rather die than live without you.

“But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  Romans 5:8

“This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.” 1 John 4:10

“This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.” 1 John 3:16


I want you to be with me forever so I promise you eternity with me.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16

“In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade – kept in heaven for you.” 1 Peter 1:3-4



Princess, I’m overjoyed that you’ve accepted my invitation to become a part of my royal family.

“In love, He predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ.” Eph. 1:4-5

“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1

“And since we are his children, we will share his treasures – for everything God gives to his Son, Christ, is ours too.” Romans 8:17


I am delighted with you and continuously rejoice over you.

“He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17


I love you more than you can imagine. I know it’s hard to believe, but I love you as much as I love my own Son.

“I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are – I in them and you in me, all being perfected into one. Then the world will know that you sent me and will understand that you love them as much as you love me.” John 17:22-23


Nothing can separate you from my love - nothing! Nothing you do, nothing you say, nothing you think, nothing you look at can ever make me stop loving you.

"Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39



I know other people have failed you, but know that I will always be faithful to you. I will never fail you. I keep my word and fulfill all of my promises. That’s who I am and I’ll never change. In other words, you can count on me. I will never let you down.

“I, the Lord, do not change . . .” Malachi 3:6

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Hebrews 13:8

“The Lord is faithful to all his promises and loving toward all he has made.” Psalm 145:13


You are my treasured possession. Never forget it!

The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his child, his treasured possession. Deuteronomy 7:6


I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is my love, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge that you may be filled to the measure of all my fullness. Eph 3:17-19

Fireside

Join me by the fire for conversations about how to nurture your family and create a warm and inviting home for family and friends.

When I was ten, my father divorced my mother. Understandably, my mother was deeply and grievously hurt by his infidelity. She allowed her pain to fester and bitterness soon consumed her. I can remember her telling me on a number of occasions that my father didn’t just leave her, he left me. In her pain, she told me that he couldn't possibly love me or my brothers. If he did, he would never have left us. 



No matter what a dad has done - no matter what his character is like - children love their dads and desperately need to believe that their daddies love them. Single mommas, do everything you can to communicate to your children that their daddy does in fact love them. This is going to be difficult and painful for some of you because your ex-husband's actions may not line up with what you're saying - but say it anyway for the well-being of your children.

All of our children need to know how much their Heavenly Father loves them as well. As a parent, it's important to point them to His love as often as we can. This is a very effective way to guard their hearts with truth. (You can use this week's blog as a tool if you'd like to.) If an earthly dad doesn't affirm his kids or invest in them, their sense of personal value can be severely damaged. But be encouraged! Our God is a perfect Father who will never fail or abandon your children. I can attest to the fact that God has the power and the desire to fill the gaps, holes and cracked places in our hearts and our children's hearts too. He's certainly done it for me.



Pinecones and Twigs
Just like gathering nature’s treasures on a hike through the woods, you never know what you’ll find here – a great read, an inspiring photo of nature, or maybe the latest bargain. Check out this spot at The Warming House for something fun.

There are a couple of things I found online this week that made me smile. The first is this cozy mug hugger. Perfect for a chai latte or hot chocolate at The Warming House! I love the color and the big button. It's eco-friendly too. So cute!




And how about this? A smitten mitten - something I had never seen before. This cozy mitten allows you to hold hands inside the mitten.




http://www.etsy.com/listing/63244587/black-smitten-mitten-with-red-heart-hold

In honor of Valentine's Day, here's my "watch list" of great romantic movies. Feel free to post a comment sharing your favorite movie.
  1. Gone with the Wind (Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable)
  2. Pride and Prejudice (Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen)
  3. Sense and Sensibility (Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, and Hugh Grant)
  4. South Pacific (Mitzi Gaynor and Rossano Brazzi)
  5. While You Were Sleeping (Sandra Bullock, Bill Pullman, and Peter Gallagher)
  6. Ever After (Drew Barrymore, Anjelica Huston, and Dougray Scott)
  7. The Notebook (James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Rachel McAdams)
  8. My Fair Lady (Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn)
  9. Meg Ryan's Romantic Comedies (You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle, Kate & Leopold)
  10. A Walk to Remember (Shane West and Mandy Moore)



A Steaming Hot Mug

Stories of Compassion to Warm your Soul from the Inside Out


Submit your stories (150 word maximum) to warminghouse@
gmail.com and I will select some each week for publication on this blog. Your stories must fall into one of the following three categories: 1) Stories of a time when you experienced God’s compassion directly or through the actions of another person; 2) Specific things you’ve done to teach your children compassion; or 3) How your church or someone you know has demonstrated the compassion of Christ in your church or outside its walls. Can’t wait to hear (and share) your stories here at the Warming House!

A small way we've taught our kids about compassion is through greeting cards. Our family frequently sends cards to people we know who are having a birthday, getting married, struggling with health issues, or grieving the loss of someone they love. Instead of signing the card on behalf of our entire family, we pass the card around to our kids. We tell them who it's for, why we're sending it, and have them sign it personally. This helps them look outside of their own little worlds to see the needs of others.  

Watch for mission trip scholarship finalists in my next blog!

Stay warm and cozy . . .
Lisa