Fruit of the Spirit: Peace in stressful times

Fruit of the Spirit: Peace in stressful times

By Kayla Walters

I recently heard a story of a missionary walking into a restaurant in Afghanistan. Within three minutes of sitting, down a waiter approaches him with tears streaming down his face. He asks, “Who are you? What is going on? The minute you walked through the door, I felt an overwhelming peace that I have never felt before!” The missionary smiles and tells the waiter that it is Jesus Christ inviting him to be in a relationship with God. The waiter accepts the Lord as his savior and shares with the missionary that  he had planned on going home and committing suicide that night.

The Fruit of the Spirit: Self-Control

The Fruit of the Spirit:  Self-Control

By Trisha Goddard

Fourteen years ago we moved our family to Paraguay, and in the midst of taking care of two young children and unpacking all of our earthly possessions, I realized that we were not on a quick trip, but here to stay. Within two days of setting foot in the country, I was thrust into a learner’s role: figuring out how to thrive in a country that was not my own, studying Spanish and the Paraguayan culture, and  wondering what food to buy and where to buy it.

The Fruit of the Spirit: God is Good – All the Time

The Fruit of the Spirit: God is Good – All the Time

By Jen Akin

“God is good? All the time. All the time?  God is good.” This is a chant you might hear in summer camps and youth rallies around the globe. I was first introduced to it as a leader in a Wednesday evening  program for marginalized kids. A college student at the time, I would pull up in my parents' old minivan and fit as many kids into it as I could and take them to church, feed them, worship with them, and teach them about the love of Jesus…

The Ultimate Question

The Ultimate Question

By Andrea Harris

We answer hundreds of common questions every day – what should I wear, eat, or do today? At times  we answer weightier questions – what profession should I pursue, whom should I marry, where should I live, where and how should I worship?  But there are no more important questions than the ones Festus was attempting to answer in Acts 25. I doubt he understood the enormity of the problem in front of him when he took office. He quickly discovered that there was a prisoner who had been held for two years because of charges brought against him by the local religious leaders. The prisoner was Paul.

Take Courage!

Take Courage!

By Mike Kasdorf

Growing up, I was raised by Christian parents, and we were active church participants. I went to Christian schools from 7th grade all the way through college. My life and upbringing checked most of the boxes on the "good Christian" list. I'm grateful for my childhood. But there came a time for me – as it does for all of us, regardless of our rearing – that we must ask ourselves "NOW WHAT?"

Who Told You?

Who Told You?

By John Certalic, caringforothers.org

In Acts 22 the Apostle Paul recounts his conversion story, explaining how Jesus spoke to him in a dramatic moment on the road to Damascus. In this confrontation Jesus directed Paul to a man named Ananias, “a godly man, deeply devoted to the law and well regarded by all the Jews of Damascus.”  He soon became the first person to tell Paul about the Lord and how to respond to him.

The Pastor’s Pastor

The Pastor’s Pastor

By Jen Akin

In a recent team building exercise, ministry staff members wrote a message in a bottle – a piece of advice or counsel – to the future church. Each week we pulled out one message and had the author expound on it.  It was thought-provoking to reflect on what our last words of encouragement and direction would be to the church. Moreover, it highlighted what was currently important to us.

The Pursuit

The Pursuit

By Ben Baumann

A while back I got to go see a couple of speakers I love because they always get me thinking deeply about spiritual matters. It fascinates me to think on the things of God. One of the speakers said something about pursuing things or idols—that caught my attention. He said that the pursuing of what you want (your idol) is depression and the attaining of it is melancholy. As this thought sank in I began to see my self-focused pursuit of my own idols, and I started to ask myself how I might give up that pursuit. I didn’t realize it in the moment, but looking back, I could see that the Gospel was confronting my idolatry.

Make Him Known

Make Him Known

By Trisha Goddard, Partners for Paraguay

www.mtgoddard.com

In 2006, Mike and I bought our home here in Paraguay. For years, we dreamed of having an office built, and this year it became reality. I could have easily become frustrated with the way construction is done here because it is nothing like how my professional contractor dad would do it. Instead, I decided to take the opportunity to learn, watch, and value the construction workers by saying “thank you” in tangible ways  – providing ice, cold water, or a treat of hot cinnamon rolls, and offering the use of our ladders and extension cords to make their job easier. We made a bathroom and shower available so they could clean up before heading home from a long and dusty work day in 100-degree weather, and we  cleaned up the bathroom and job site daily.