Tag Archives: ministry

8 Reasons You Should Never Become a Missionary

***None of this is original.  I took it all from the Laura Parker Blog (here).  I hope she doesn’t mind.***

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1. Don’t Become a Missionary if You Think You Are Going to Change the World. First, high expectations doom to disappoint, but, also, maybe your desire to change the world is trumping your desire to serve. Ask yourself if you would be happy moving overseas to a much harsher environment in order to quietly help a local, while getting no recognition and seeing no fruit in the process. If you can answer honestly yes, then maybe you’re still in the running. {Don’t worry, we thought we would’ve answered yes, but found out that we really had some unhealthy saviour-complexes to begin with. You can read about that here: On Living a Good Story and Not Trying So Hard and The Guy in the Orange Shirt.}

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A Home for Daniel and Maria

One of our closest friends and fellow laborers we’ve met while here is Daniel. We met him about 2 years ago, when he was a new Christian recently returned from working in Finland. He shared his life story with us, how he had grown up in a bad home, how he became involved with crime, drugs, and prostitution, and how God had rescued him and completely changed him.

After trying but failing to kill himself with a drug overdose, he started reading the Bible and realized that Jesus had died for him and all he needed to do was receive His forgiveness. From that moment, everything began changing. He threw away the drugs, he stopped visiting prostitutes, he stopped lying and cheating, and all he wanted to do was tell everyone about Jesus.

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How does your giving help me?

Some of you have been supporting me financially for 10 years or more; others have started more recently.  Some can’t give financially but pray faithfully for our work for God.  Some of you don’t fall into either category.  In whatever situation you find yourself, you may wonder just how your giving and praying helps me here in Romania.  My brother put together this sweet “infographic” (never even knew that was a word until a few days ago) to explain how your involvement impacts more than we missionaries.

As you think, pray, and give, remember that you’re not only helping me to live in Romania, but you’re providing for books for Bible school students, materials for outreach, salaries for Romanian evangelists, food for the homeless, clothes for poor gypsies…  Your giving goes far past me to reach many people in Bucharest.  Thanks for being a part of this ministry!

Help us send Michael and Annie Fisher on a sabbatical!

michael and annie

Michael and Annie are the reason I’m in the ministry today, and I owe them more than words can describe.  They’ve served Jesus faithfully 31 years, through easy times and hard, and it’s about time they take some time off to write, reflect, and get strengthened for the next step God has for them in ministry.

I’m definitely looking forward to getting to help support financially the man who’s supported me in so many ways through the last 15 years I’ve known him.

Check out the link, pray for Michael and Annie, and consider donating to help them pursue this next phase in their walk with God.  (You can read more of their story and donate here.)

“The Prayer of a Minor Prophet” by A. W. Tozer

aw-tozerThis is the prayer of a man called to be a witness to the nations. This is what he said to his Lord on the day of his ordination. After the elders and ministers had prayed and laid their hands on him he withdrew to meet his Savior in the secret place and in the silence, farther in than his well-meaning brethren could take him.

And he said: O Lord, I have heard Thy voice and was afraid. Thou has called me to an awesome task in a grave and perilous hour. Thou art about to shake all nations and the earth and also heaven, that the things that cannot be shaken may remain. O Lord, my Lord, Thou has stooped to honor me to be Thy servant. No man taketh this honor upon himself save he that is called of God as was Aaron. Thou has ordained me Thy messenger to them that are stubborn of heart and hard of hearing. They have rejected Thee, the Master, and it is not to be expected that they will receive me, the servant.

My God, I shall not waste time deploring my weakness nor my unfittedness for the work. The responsibility is not mine, but Thine. Thou has said, “I knew thee – I ordained thee – I sanctified thee,” and Thou hast also said, “Thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.” Who am I to argue with Thee or to call into question Thy sovereign choice? The decision is not mine but Thine. So be it, Lord. Thy will, not mine, be done.

Well do I know, Thou God of the prophets and the apostles, that as long as I honor Thee Thou will honor me. Help me therefore to take this solemn vow to honor Thee in all my future life and labors, whether by gain or by loss, by life or by death, and then to keep that vow unbroken while I live.

It is time, O God, for Thee to work, for the enemy has entered into Thy pastures and the sheep are torn and scattered. And false shepherds abound who deny the danger and laugh at the perils which surround Thy flock. The sheep are deceived by these hirelings and follow them with touching loyalty while the wolf closes in to kill and destroy. I beseech Thee, give me sharp eyes to detect the presence of the enemy; give me understanding to see and courage to report what I see faithfully. Make my voice so like Thine own that even the sick sheep will recognize it and follow Thee.

Lord Jesus, I come to Thee for spiritual preparation. Lay Thy hand upon me. Anoint me with the oil of the New Testament prophet. Forbid that I should be come a religious scribe and thus lose my prophetic calling. Save me from the curse that lies dark across the modern clergy, the curse of compromise, of imitation, of professionalism. Save me from the error of judging a church by its size, its popularity or the amount of its yearly offering. Help me to remember that I am a prophet – not a promoter, not a religious manager, but a prophet. Let me never become a slave to crowds. Heal my soul of carnal ambitions and deliver me from the itch for publicity. Save me from bondage to things. Let me not waste my days puttering around the house. Lay Thy terror upon me, O God, and drive me to the place of prayer where I may wrestle with principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world. Deliver me from overeating and late sleeping. Teach me self-discipline that I may be a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

I accept hard work and small rewards in this life. I ask for no easy place. I shall try to be blind to the little ways that could make life easier. If others seek the smoother path I shall try to take the hard way without judging them too harshly. I shall expect opposition and try to take it quietly when it comes. Or if, as sometimes it falleth out to Thy servants, I should have grateful gifts pressed upon me by Thy kindly people, stand by me then and save me from the blight that often follows. Teach me to use whatever I receive in such manner that will not injure my soul nor diminish my spiritual power. And if in Thy permissive providence honor should come to me from Thy church, let me not forget in that hour that I am unworthy of the least of Thy mercies, and that if men knew me as intimately as I know myself they would withhold their honors or bestow them upon others more worthy to receive them.

A Couple Tract Testimonies

It’s been a while since I’ve given any updates on the blog. Partly, God has simply been bringing us less exciting ministry lately; things like counseling, encouraging church members, and learning to speak Romanian just don’t make for interesting blog updates. And partly, we’ve been taking less risks in evangelism; we’ve been doing a lot of safe stuff like passing out tracts or talking one-on-one, which is good but tends not to attract those crazy cool testimonies we all like to read and I like to write about.

Anyhow, while I don’t have any wild, supernaturally-awesome testimonies, I do want to share three stories from the last week and a half.

Mircea
It was 9:30 pm after the Easter Sunday service, and I was on my way home. It was a beautiful night, and as I passed by the park, I felt a pull to just go sit there for a while. I wouldn’t have called it God’s voice at the time, but I know enough about how He speaks to listen to the feelings in my heart. So I quickly dropped my things off at home and then returned to the park. As I was walking towards a bench, I saw a man walking through the park, and something in my spirit went, “Something’s not right with that guy,” and then something in my flesh went, “Ewww, I really hope he doesn’t come sit by me.”

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What’s on my playlist?

Okay, so the title for this post is a little misleading.  I’m not actually going to tell you what’s on my playlist, other than saying I really can’t get enough of everything from Luciano Pavarotti‘s operatic awesomeness to Parov Stelar‘s crazy electroswing (samples), from Wavedude and Josiah Kramer‘s explorations into worship dubstep that I know are gonna blast church sanctuaries one day to the haunting and exotic sound of the Alash Ensemble, from The Tallest Man on Earth and Doug Burr‘s down-to-earth folk that speaks straight to my heart to the music of Tommy Emmanuel, who can somehow do on a guitar things no man with only ten fingers should be able to do.  (Hmmm… I feel kinda guilty that no Hillsong, Jesus Culture, or IHOP musicians appeared on that quick list… but… sucks to be them.)

But I’m not gonna talk about that.

I want to share some of the places I go to for great messages of biblical truth that will strengthen you, challenge you, and confront the laziness, timidity, faithlessness, and selfishness in you.  In no particular order, I offer you my top ten places for preaching that’ll strengthen your inner man (Ephesians 3:16), in both Romanian and English.

cstone milw1) Cornerstone Church Milwaukee (English) – Michael Fisher, the leader of Cornerstone Churches International and a man who has imparted much into my own life, is currently pastoring our local congregation of young radicals at UW Milwaukee along with a team of Jesus-loving world-changers.  Anything from this group is sure to challenge you to live with boldness, walking in the power and freedom of the gospel.  Michael’s got an anointing to raise up and send forth leaders who will change the world for the glory of Jesus, so get ready for some Holy Spirit impartation.  You can check out the latest sermons at their podcast, or you can do what I do, and dig through all the old messages here.  Currently, I’m working through Michael Fisher’s “Our Genetic Code” series.  It’s awesome!

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