Thank you for your work on mission with CBF. I believe that God’s work in our lives continues far beyond the week of service. I invite you on a devotional journey over the next year. From time to time, you will receive a text from me with a brief devotional thought. If you choose, you can go deeper into each devotion, which includes a video from CBF field personnel and on-going “experiments” that allow you to participate in God’s Mission on a daily basis.
Each of these devotions are about you and follow a path over the next year exploring Curiosity, Wonder, Gratefulness, Courage, Joy, Living, and Discovery.
This isn’t homework, but you will be invited to participate in tiny, holy, experiments and answer questions. We’re asking no time commitment from you, but you may find yourself in serious life reflection.
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When we, as Americans, cross a cultural boundary, particularly an economic one, we are always struck by the generosity and joy of those who, despite not having all the material wealth we might have, are living spiritually fulfilled lives.
Question: What happened on your mission endeavor that sparked your curiosity?
There are two kinds of gratefulness. There’s the pleasure sensation of receiving something you want or need. While on your ride-share in the rain, a friend walks by and says, “Hey jump in with us.” Grateful, for sure.
The other kind of gratefulness is a state of being where we are mindful of the sheer beauty of everything and everyone around us.
Many of us find ourselves overwhelmed trying to calculate the risks of changing parts of our lives. We become mired in “what if’s.” Our brains lock up as we attempt to calculate the probability of a sad consequence if we attempt something good. On one hand you must calculate the cost of the bridge before you build it. And on the other hand you can’t spend your life fantasizing about the worse thing that could possibly happen. Good thing there’s always another hand.
Generosity can be practiced by virtually anyone because, at its core, generosity is a posture of offering open hands. A widow can offer a mite as easily as a king can offer gold, frankincense and myrrh. From Scripture to to the mission field, generosity isn’t tied to one’s economic status. Generosity is lived out as charity-- acts of love that require nothing in return. Though, in recent history, charity has picked up some negative press when it is practiced with toxic paternalism. Our generous spirit, however, operates at a deep level.
Kindness does not come naturally and even if it does, our society doesn’t reward it. So it gets put on the back burner of our lives.
Kindness is what happen when you add humility, curiosity, and courage to niceness!
- A nice person will say something to help you feel better.
- A kind person will tell you the truth in a way that leaves you feeling loved.
Joy and Happiness
You have heard it said before: Joy is Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last.
There are some good and important lessons in that acronym. But sister and brother, life is a marathon, not a sprint and if you try to live by Jesus, Others, Yourself, in that order, you will burn out. You will alienate your family and virtually guarantee that your children and your children’s children will resent the Lord. And God will not be impressed.