Faith In Action

So she did as Elijah said, and she and Elijah and her family continued to eat for many days.”
1 Kings 17:15, NLT

Faith_SignIsn’t it easy to claim faith in God when all is going great for us? I know it is for me. But, how well does our faith stand up when tested– does it reveal faith in action or faith in theory only?

God tested the faith of a widow in the village of Zarephath who, along with her son, faced starvation. God sent Elijah to the woman with instructions for her to feed him. She told Elijah, “I swear by the Lord your God that I don’t have a single piece of bread in the house. And I have only a handful of flour left in the jar and a little cooking oil in the bottom of the jug. I was just gathering a few sticks to cook this last meal, and then my son and I will die.”  1 Kings 17:12 NLT

The widow obeyed God and was blessed. Read today’s Dose verse. “There was always enough flour and olive oil left in the containers, just as the Lord had promised through Elijah.” 1 Kings 17:16 NLT

God also tested Abraham’s faith. “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you.” Genesis 22:2

Abraham obeyed God and was blessed. “… Because you have obeyed me and have not withheld even your son, your only son, I swear by my own name that I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number… And through your descendants all the nations of the earth will be blessed—all because you have obeyed me.” Genesis 22:16-18 NLT

No doubt, things looked desperate for the widow and Abraham, as fear and uncertainty threatened their families, provision, and lives. Yet, they yielded their great uncertainty and fear to their greater faith in God to provide for their needs.

God sacrificed even more for us–His only Son for our sins!

Are you unable to see how your needs will be met and your family provided for right now? You wonder, “Should I obey the Lord and trust in what I can’t see or try and handle things myself?” Perhaps you’re resigned to die (like the widow was) because that’s all you can understand to do. Why not call out to God and obey Him (despite what you feel, see, or understand) instead? Now, that’s faith in action!

By grace through faith,


Diligence: “Make Hay While the Sun Shines”

“Plant your seed in the morning and keep busy all afternoon, for you don’t know if profit will come from one activity or another—or maybe both.”

Ecclesiastes 11:6 NLT

Lawnmower_and_grass Diligence: Make Hay While the Sun Shines One morning I received a call from our lawn service guy. It was the day his team was scheduled to come cut our grass. He informed me that he thought it was going to rain that day so they’d try and come out on the following weekend to do the cut. No, I thought! Not good! He and his team had missed cutting the grass for the last couple of weeks. They’d committed to come take care of this today. Am I being too impatient, I wondered? I went outside and stared at the lawn again. Two beaver-looking critters scurried underneath the fence when they heard me approaching. A third lingered boldly, as if invited to a grassy buffet in our backyard. Nope, I am definitely not being too impatient; our lawn was in desperate need of a thorough cutting. These guys need to come out and take care of business this morning! I called our guy back and urged him to come cut the grass that very morning, before any rain hit, since it wasn’t raining yet! They came and cut the entire lawn before one raindrop fell. I wouldn’t be surprised if they also got in several other lawns before any rain fell that day because it didn’t rain until that evening! Our lawn guy thought he knew when the rain would come but he really didn’t. He was willing to put the work off just a little longer in anticipation of an outcome for which he had no control.Rodent_eating_grass Diligence: Make Hay While the Sun Shines

But, this tendency isn’t just a temptation for the lawn guy. How often do we put off doing what we know to do because of our own uncertainty of the outcome? We don’t share with others what God’s done in our life to change us for the better because we don’t know for sure what the results will be. What if we go all out and become vulnerable and nobody wants to talk with us? What if we share what He’s done in our life and nobody accepts what we’ve presented?

We’re reminded by our verse today to stay steadfast whether we know the outcome of our efforts or not. We are to keep working in what the Lord’s called us to do. We are limited by human understanding, however, God, who knows all things, has provided us directions to follow. Shouldn’t we be diligent in our obedience to the Lord?

By grace through faith,


Go Therefore, Missionary

For many years now, I’ve kept some form of an online blog as a place to let my journals overflow into the hands of my friends and family (and the occasional stranger). It’s been a strange experience to see the places those once-private thoughts have landed, but I believe that the Lord gives each of us stories of grace, redemption, hope, and imperfection that are longing to be told to display His glory. Since being back in Thailand over the past few months, I’ve found that my blog has stayed silent while I’ve hashed out my thoughts through my social media accounts. Despite many of my posts turning into mini-blogs, I’ve felt the stories crying out to be told fully, and so this week I’d like to invite you into the uncut versions of my social media feed, in hopes that the words of the Lord find you and lift up your weary or discouraged hearts.


Go Therefore, Missionary

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)

WednesdayPeople are quick to attach the label “missionary” to me these days, and I’m not quite comfortable with it. The truth is, despite being a believer in a foreign country, which I guess helps me meet the requirements for “missionary,” I’m not really doing anything seriously different from what I did at home.

In America, “missionary” would hardly be on the list of words to describe my life, but now that I live in another country, it’s all too common to be described that way. If we’re going to call me a missionary, then can we please call you missionaries too? We may be separated by miles and oceans, but those miles and oceans do not make me any more or less of a missionary than you are.

The power of God is just as present in your life, in your church, in your small groups and in your faith as it is here. The presence of God is just as accessible – whether you are in small-town USA, the African bush, or a district of Bangkok.

There’s a huge misconception in that you have to get on a plane to be a missionary. You have to leave the country to be “on mission.” Here’s the truth: You don’t have to pack everything you own in a backpack and leave the country for life in a hut. You don’t have to leave America to serve Jesus and serve others. For a lot of you, you don’t even have to leave your own home to find a “mission field” to call your own.

One of the biggest things I’ve learned about my faith in the past couple of years running around the world with Jesus is this: you just have to be willing to say yes. The “where” is not the answer. The “Who” is.

It looks different for all of us, but most of the time I’ve found that “saying yes” looks like have conversations. It looks like saying yes to the awkward small talk that leads to building relationships. Saying yes to being the only one and risking looking silly. Saying yes to the possibility of failing miserably. Saying yes to rearranging your schedules and priorities, or to that Bible study you’re not sure about.

You don’t have to wait until you’re overseas or in a different city to live missionally. You don’t have to wait until a special event to invite a friend to church. You don’t have to wait until a scheduled service project to meet the needs of your community. You don’t have to wait until the clothes don’t fit anymore to donate them.

Maybe I’m speaking for myself, or maybe I’m speaking for more of us – but where does Scripture say “Wait until disaster strikes and then go into all nations,” or “Go make disciples of all nations that aren’t the nation you live in?” We must be going every time our feet hit the floor. Every interaction you have with another person, you are “going therefore.”

Go therefore to Target and make disciples. Go therefore to that delicious pizza place and make disciples. Go therefore to biology class and make disciples. Go therefore to the gym and make disciples. Go!