October 2007

One of the major things that I think a new pastor or missionary needs to consider is the need for an office.  I was talking with a businessman from our church this week and he very much dislikes having to work from his home.  I agree.  

Over the years I have always tried to have an office.That way I am better able to separate work from family and also to do my job and work in work hours.  It is very easy to make two large mistakes when you do not have an office.You can become way too relaxed about your work and spend too much time with the family–getting off target from your work.  It is very difficult to tell your wife that you are busy and at work and can not help her with that problem or project right now.  You can also sleep in and watch television and a hundred other things that you do because you do not have a set place and time to work.

On the other side you will take advantage of the family because you do not know when your work hours begin and end. You will work all the time and neglect your family.  I am sure that I fail more in this way than the others.  Your wife will much more enjoy having you as a husband really than knowing that she is always bothering you when she asks you to spend time with her etc.  

Get an office and get some regular hours.  It will be good for you, your church and your family! 

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Miscellaneous do’s and don’ts

1. Keep your children busy.

2. Explain responsibility.  Let them grow up.  Explain the consequences.  Be sure and maintain a balance.

3. Pray, pray, pray.  It is the grace and goodness of God that does more to raise them than anything we do.

4. Make sure your child knows that they are more important to you than those that you work with.

5. Allow them to spend time with their friends.  It would be good to have them at your house so that you can watch how they are developing.  You need to really learn the language so that you can know what they are saying

6. Listen.  Really listen to your child.

7. Be careful to explain well and properly the dating thing.  Have your children make a covenant with you.  You are not trying to hurt your child.  You want the best for them in their relationship with the other sex.  You will help pray for and look for and wait for that special person that God has prepared for them.  They should send any person wanting a date to their father for his approval.  We can wait on God.  He will do what is best.

8. Be careful to really live what you preach.

9. Ask forgiveness.  Let them know that you do wrong and you have to say your sorry and  get things right with God.

10. Let them see the hand of God in your personal life.  Let them see God answer your prayers, show you where you are wrong, and do the work in the ministry too.

11. Help them have a destiny.  Let them realize that if God called you then God knew that they were part of the family and that God has a special job for them to do.  They are special.  They aren’t normal.  God is preparing them even now for something supernatural. 

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IV. Be careful with your attitude.

     A. The parents attitude makes the biggest difference in how the kids will love the work, the  country, the people and even God.  
    B. Let them know that you are but a sinner and you to need God.  You make mistakes and you aren’t all that you should be. 
    C. Let them feel that you have a positive attitude about them, their life, and their future. 
    D. Don’t be a professional Christian or worker.  Let your kid know that you are still in awe about all that God is doing.  If they see you playing a game then they will too. 
    E. We are in this together.  It is not just one parent’s repsonsability.  Parents should stand together, and not side with the child against their partner.  Nor should one parent hide things that the child is saying from the other parent.  We are a family and we work together.  Parents need to have a good relationship and discuss everything.  Your children should know that you are 100% in agreement.  This gives the child a real sense of security knowing that their parents are in love, in agreement and working together.

II. Treasure your children.

     A. Tell them how valuable they are to you.  B. Make and unconditional commitment to them for life. C. Schedule special times with the family. D. Let your children know that you are available for them.

 III. Getting rid of anger and bitterness. Many times the MK will feel hurt.  They have been drug from their home and all they   know to a new world.  They left their friends.  Dad doesn’t have the time to spend with them that they would like.  We need to help them get rid of the anger and bitterness that fills their heart.  The anger and bitterness that they feel separates us.  It ties them up in knots.  It makes it difficult to even relate to God.  Here are five steps that should help get rid of the anger and bitterness that they feel. A. Become soft and tender with the person. B. Understand, as much as possible, what the other person has endured. C. Admit that the person has been wounded, and be sure to admit any wrong in provoking        that hurt. D. Seek forgiveness and trust God for their response. E. Touch the person gently.Vision News 

by Betty Gardner

B. Church

    • a. It is easy to be a “professional Christian!” b. Have them be in the service. Listen. Get involved
      a. Good idea to have a notebook and take down notes from the service. b. Ask them how the message applied to them personally.

      c. Explain to them how God deals with our hearts so they know how to hear His

      d. Tell them how God dealt with your heart.

      a. Let them see God working in other peoples lives. b. Let them learn what it feels to be used of God to help others.
  • 1. Be sure that they really go to church.

    2. Question them about what God said to them during the service.

    3. Be sure that they get involved in church activities.

    4. Watch their friends. It is easy for the wrong crowd to get involved even in a good
    local church.
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2. Child’s Personal Devotions

a. Help them to live a sufficiently disciplined life so that they can find and orderly time to be alone with God each day.

b. Help them to have a disciplined time of Bible reading and praying each day.

c. Ask them what God has shown them in the Scriptures in their time alone with God.

d. Make sure that they have a personal intimate walk with God. Do they know how to get things from God. Do they know how to have God talk to them through His word.

e. Disciple your children. They are the most important disciples that you will ever have. They will do more for God than you ever did. We must invest quality time in them.

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by Betty Gardner

I.     Be sure that your children develop their own spiritual life. 

          A.     Devotions

  • Make sure the child knows how to pray.
  • Be open to their questions, comments, and doubts.
  • Take time to ask your child if they have really put their faith in Christ.  Help them to see what being saved is all about.
  • Ask them questions so you can really get inside their hearts and thoughts.
  • Share with them your needs and how God works in your life.
  • Let them know how much you love God and why.  Let them share your excitement and love for God

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12) “But I don’t have any special talents or abilities that would qualify me to be a missionary.”

Then you’re just the person God is looking for! Sure God can use nurses, teachers, accountants, and mechanics on the field, but it always blesses God to greatly use the one who seemingly has nothing to offer. It is this person who has the opportunity of purely representing Jesus in the endless “common” tasks that are part of the daily life of a missionary. “When I am weak, then I am strong.” (II Corinthians 12:10; also see I Corinthians 1:26-31)

13) “But how could I commit myself for years and years to go to the field without having a chance to see what it would be like?”

It is true that in past generations a foreign missionary had to make almost a lifetime commitment before he could go to the field. Then in most cases, he had to go to college for at least four years, and then seminary for two to four years before he could even begin his missions training and service. But today there are missionary organizations that have short-term programs for people who want to receive training and find out what serving God in other countries is like. These programs last from a few weeks to a few years in length. So now there is an opportunity to “take a look” before making a much longer commitment.

14) “But God wants me to stay in this country and prosper. The reason the rest of the world is so poor and unconverted is because their heathen religions and idolatry have caused them to live in ignorance and poverty, without God’s blessing.”

This has to be THE most selfish reasoning I’ve ever heard for not going – and I’ve heard it! Of course they live in ignorance and poverty, that’s just the reason you should go – to bring the enlightenment that comes from knowing the truth about Jesus, and to bring them the true riches of knowing Christ. If you don’t believe that the reason God has blessed you with abundance in this country is so you can be a blessing to others – then you have never understood the Gospel of Jesus Christ! “Freely you received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:8)

15) “I’m just not ready to make that kind of a sacrifice and commitment.”

Ah! That’s just the point. That’s probably the underlying reason for almost every one of the above objections. In fact, you might just as well have said, “I’m not willing.” You need to decide whether or not you are a disciple of Jesus – that is the question. If you are His disciple, then “you are not your own…you have been bought with a price.” (I Cor. 6:19-20) And if you truly love Him, then you will not feel bondage, you will feel incredible excitement at being chosen to represent Him in the world! To be a servant of Jesus Christ, an ambassador, a missionary, is the highest calling a man or woman can attain to!

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9) “But the mission field is dangerous. God would not have me put myself or my family in danger of disease or native hostilities, would he?”

“Why is the Lord bringing us into this land, to fall by the sword? Our wives and our little ones will become plunder; would it not be better for us to return to Egypt?” (Numbers 14:3) It is all a matter of our priorities – do we look at the temporary or the eternal in making our choices? It’s true that you will probably be in more physical danger on the mission field than you would be in the suburbs of America, but that is part of the cost that we need to count when it comes to serving God. The question should not be, “Will I be kept safe wherever I go?” but rather, “What is on the Lord’s heart for me to do?”

If Jesus decided to go the way of least pain, He would have never gone to the cross. There is no place of greater blessing for you than in the center of God’s will. You must stop to count the cost, but remember one thing – the privilege of serving God always outweighs the price! “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake and the Gospel’s shall save it.” (Mark 8:34-35)

10) “Although in the past most countries freely allowed foreign missionaries to come, most people in other lands now resent them. Why should I go where I’m not welcomed?”

Did you welcome the Gospel before you were saved? The Word says that we should save some, “snatching them out of the fire,” (Jude 23) Some people just don’t want to be saved! That’s exactly why we need to go to them. The more unwelcome, the better. If they resent Americans, then you have an opportunity to show them that Christian Americans can be humble with the love of Jesus in their hearts. For the Word says, “He who is wise wins souls.” (Proverbs 11;30)

11) “But I could not afford to get the training, and raise the necessary finances to place myself (or my family) on the field.”

Don’t worry, God’ll help raise the money you need. Wherever God guides, He supplies – even if it means helping you get a job! Problems and worries about finances are usually only a surface excuse when it comes to obeying God to go. In your heart you know He’ll make a way for you!

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7) “But I need to get married first, and then maybe my mate will want to serve God full-time on the field, rather than me going alone.”

Nothing could be a more foolish reason for putting off obeying God now. God does not want you to look for a husband or wife, He wants you to be married to Him, and trust Him for any mate He may bring into your life. I know of many single Christians serving Jesus overseas who are trusting Him for everything. And some of the most beautiful stories of God’s grace I’ve ever heard are told by couples who went to the mission field single, and then God led them to marry another whose heart was also fully devoted to serving Him there. Remember, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.” (Matthew 6:8) Trust Him!

8) “But I have a family to support. God doesn’t want me to neglect them, does He?”

The Word of God says, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33) If you can trust God for your needs, you can certainly trust Him for your family’s needs. You would never be foolishly “neglecting” your family’s needs by obeying God’s call to go. God will show you the way. I know of so many families – some with many children – who are on the field right now, trusting God for their needs while they minister in His name. I have never heard of ONE occurrence where God didn’t meet the needs of one of His servants and their families. As King David said… “I have been young, and now I am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, or his descendants begging bread. All day long he is gracious and lends; and his descendants are a blessing.” (Psalm 37:25-26)

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