- Be informed about the cultural differences of the people you are trying to reach because your good intentions may be misunderstood and even offend.
- Keep in mind you are not going on a site-seeing tour nor are you going to see a tourist attraction.
- Just because something makes sense in your language doesn’t mean it will make sense interpreted into a foreign language. Clichés are to be avoided.
- “One man’s meat is another man’s poison”
- “There are two ways to skin a cat”
- Consider that the people you are ministering to are not objects to be put on display in a savvy PowerPoint when returning home from your trip.
- Respect their right to privacy
- Ask permission to take pictures
- Just because you going or have been to a foreign country doesn’t make you a missionary. Don’t let one trip abroad make you forget who you are or make you arrogant.
- It is when you put yourself in the shoes of the people you are helping that you learn some do not even have shoes to wear. But this does not mean you are better than others.
- Aid is not the answer to all problems. Sometimes the people you are going to assist have real problems and spiritual needs. Socks don’t save souls.
- Aid should be given freely without any strings attached
- Don’t make them feel less by giving scraps
- Don’t make them feel like beggars
- It is not the power of earthly money that saves souls, but the power of a Heavenly Father.
- No amount of money will buy a soul
- Raised funds will not make you a missionary
- Being the missionary of the one-way ticket is a true test of your commitment towards the Kingdom
- There is a major difference between being “mission-minded” and being an international worker.
- The people you are ministering to are real human beings with dignity.
- Treat all with respect
- Don’t assume they know less than you or have less than you
With the ever growing trend of Church planting, we have lost sight of the reality that too many churches are dying. We try to pretend that churches are not closing down everyday by creating hype with campaigns to rally around the numbers of new churches being started.
But if one church opens while another closes, what’s the benefit towards the Kingdom? The math simply does not add up. If a church is opened and has five people saved in the first service and 11 baptized the following week, but we close the doors of two other churches that same month, and this translates in an entire frustrated generation of youth exiting the church into a secular world of drugs and alcohol, then the Kingdom economics is lacking.
When there is a birth, we rejoice. When there is a death we cry. Death is damaging, painful and entangles us in a multifaceted web of emotions and responses. Sadly Christian churches today are dying for six major reasons:
- The Bible has been abandoned: “Feel-good” preaching replaces fundamental Biblical principals, morals and truths.
- We listen to too a multitude of church experts instead of hearing from one Divine voice.
- We treat the Church as a social club paying our 10% membership dues.
- There is more emphasis on evangelizing social media than the evangelizing the lost.
- We like the church box and the comfort of the walls and forget about the hurt and dying world beyond.
- It’s at times easier to close a church down to avoid dealing with the real problems
Death is so damaging to the entire body of believers. Should we not focus on church care rather than closing, and reevaluate the effectiveness of putting more money into opening new churches. What is it that motivates us to seek after church planting versus church rehabilitation?
- Money is in church planting vs. debt is in church maintenance.
- The honeymoon period of a new church is much more glamorous vs. the trials of a struggling church.
- The problems of church planting are limited compared to the problems of dying church.
- We all want to rejoice in a birth instead of caring for the sick or morning the dead.
- A grand opening celebration is more appealing than a long and strenuous rehab process.
- Positive reinforcement and recognition comes with church planting. Negative reinforcement, and at times rejection, is associated with church care and problem solving.
If you work with people you will have problems and the more people you have the more problems you will have. And the more time you have these people, the more likely you are to have bigger challenges to overcome. But this is no reason to give up and avoid the hard times. Let us not let our existing churches dye while we have our eyes on starting new ones. It is when we embrace unification and restoration that bones come together, flesh develops out of past nothingness, skin covers the flesh out of former defeats, breath enters the bodies to all replace past failures and unforgiveness, and a vast army stands up stronger than ever. What some see as a dying church, Christ sees as His resurrected and indestructible army!
Compassion Fatigue Prevention & Resiliency: Fitness for the Frontline
The Body Keeps Score with Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD
5 Questions to Ask Your Patient: Motivating change
Motivational Interviewing in Healthcare with Stephen Rollnick, Ph.D.
Palm the Present Moment: A practical mindfulness tool
Anti-Stress Coloring is a coloring style of repeated simple patterns known for its calming nature. Among its relaxing focus, one is to look for the harmony of coloring instead of focusing on one element. Colors are balanced to reflect ones emotions in the “hear and now”. This increased focus and creativity purposes to provide artistic satisfaction and increased sense of personal well being. The induced relaxed state of anti-stress coloring is similar to the state produced by yoga or meditation. Results are decreased stress and increased mindfulness.
This form of coloring was discovered when one day, Rick Roberts, a former monk and maker of Native American flutes was watching calligrapher, Maria Thomas working on a manuscript. She mentioned to Mr. Roberts that the feeling she experienced while doing her illustrations was one of timelessness, freedom and well-being and complete focus with no thought or worry about anything else.
The method of coloring, now taken off in popularity, is also referred to as the Zentangle Method named after Zen. Zen emphasizes precise meditation practices and insight into Buddha nature as well as into daily life. It is strongly influenced by Taoism, and developed as a distinguished Chinese style of Buddhism.
The mind/body connection is how your body responds to the way you think, feel and act. When you experience stress of any sort, your body tries to tell you that something is wrong.
To have good emotional health and bring emotions into balance one should:
have regular routines
eat healthy meals
get enough sleep
don’t abuse drugs or alcohol
use relaxation exercises
Cakes, cookies, custards, puddings, candies, fried dough, pies and pastries. From the unconventional, recipes of Albanian Walnut Lemon Cake and Lithuanian Poppy Seed Cookies to the classic Tiramisu and Macaroon recipes, this cookbook takes your taste buds on a sweet journey throughout Europe. Desserts have come a long way since the dried fruits of the ancient civilizations as the first candies to soufflés and cakes once sugar began to be manufactured in the Middle Ages. This cookbook contains some of both the simple and more advanced recipes of Europe. It features 40 authentic dessert recipes representing nearly every European country and with each recipe there is a story to tell. The word “dessert” originated from the French word desservir “to clean the table” and these delights will make you want to clean your table a bit faster.
Purchase European Delights
Winning the Lost but Losing Your Family
An Epidemic of Burnout Ministers
There is an epidemic of ministers today whose families are being destroyed. Just about every other day I am learning of close friends in the ministry who are going through a separation. The following is a brief analysis of this epidemic and highlights some preventative measures to save your family.
- Ask what tempts you. Temptation nearly always comes in three forms:
2) Women or
- Put things in perspective being realistic
- Remind yourself that acquired earthily procession are not eternal
- Money is just money
- You can’t take you Lexus with you when you go see your maker
- Prioritize reminding yourself you can’t do it all
- It’s not the end of world if you don’t complete your list of 101 points
- Ask yourself if it is worth it to save the world, but lose your family
- Your spouse and children are also your parishioners, they too need care and attention
- Understand that ministry is hard
- Not all is a box of chocolates
- There will be times of low funds/resources, but the grass is not greener on the other side
- Be understanding of the consuming schedule of the ministry knowing that your time for attention will come
- Learn the law of proximity
- The thing you spend the most time with is that for which you will have the most affection
- Ask yourself with who or what are you spending most of your time
- Pheromoneial attraction is a given if you are in close proximity with the opposite sex for a prolonged time
- Learn to have boundaries (includes both parties of the marriage)
- no closed doors
- no afterhours meetings
- refrain from inappropriate humor or inside jokes keeping things outside of the marriage professional
- Prevent burnout
- Take time to take care of yourself before you can take care others
- Learn to say no
- Remind yourself that when you say “yes” to all invitations you don’t have time for football games, recitals, and rehearsals. Then the slack has to be picked up by the other spouse.
- Truly delegate meaning relinquish control and don’t micro manage
- Learn the signs of burnout
- Loss of passion
- Feel drained by what used to motivate you
- Easily angered by what you normally would overlook
- Experiencing compassion fatigue
- You make excuses to get out of task
- You are on cruise control just taking in a paycheck
- Don’t want to schedule revivals, kids crusades or attend conferences
- You turn to alcohol to ease the tension
- Value the family
- Don’t just preach about the sanctity of marriage, practice it
- Have a date night
- Value the contribution of your spouse with words. Mindreading isn’t real.
- Take as much time listening to your children as you do listening to others or they will resent you
- Children are very sensitive to being ignored
- When you say “I’m busy” this translates to “I don’t love you”
- One will find attention at all cost so do all possible to make sure this attention is positive and within the family
- Be in the Here and Now
- Leave your cyber-reality to be in reality
- This communicates you are more important that the internet, the cell phone or others
- Be with your family with no disruptions
- Taking your child fishing while you are constantly texting and on the phone is NOT being in the here and now
- Don’t think about what you should have say or how you should have communicated a point from last weeks message and refrain from thinking about who will be at the next staff meeting
- Live in one reality
- With the influence of cyber-space and depending on your family size, we can live in up to four or more spaces at once: 1) my reality, 2) your reality 3) my cyberspace, 4) your cyberspace and then add two more spaces for each child in the family
- Share about your different days to defragment spaces so not to be distant not knowing what the other is going through
- Have a time during the day that is “black” – no technology. Remember that the family that prays and eats together says together.
- Ask for help
- Don’t be a hypocrite, it’s okay to ask for help
- This means have someone in which you can trust to confide
- She with your spouse your temptations even at the cost of them getting upset. Getting upset for moments is better that being separated forever.
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Intention is the force directing an act of will. One must be aware of his/her own genuine intentions in order to take responsibility for the consequences of his/her actions.