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Jesus Is the One Who Makes Our Mission Trip Successful

blog jesus in missions

It’s tempting to think that doing a good job on our trip or seeing lots of fruit from our work is what makes us “successful.” But Jesus points out that no matter how well (or poorly!) our ministry is going, our relationship with him is what establishes our worth and identity. It is the foundation of our deepest joy. 1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead...

Gospel-Shaped Leaders Communicate with Grace-Filled Candor

A lamblike, dovelike spirit and temper is the true and distinguishing disposition of the hearts of Christians. Jonathan Edwards Confronting others is exhausting. But it is even more tiring to avoid conflict. Relational strain will grow like weeds in an untended field. The best way to lead is by addressing problems in a spirit of gentleness and with grace-filled candor. Apply the attitude of a...

Misfits and the Arrival of God

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My existence in high school sometimes felt like one extended experience of humiliation. The boys in my grade had a running joke about the way I looked. One time, as I sat down in a classroom, a boy stood up and shouted, “Hey, look at Michelle! She’s so ugly.” Never in my life had I wanted to be more invisible than in that moment. I still remember the way all eyes turned to look at me, and an...

The Problem with Teasing

illustration from Shawn and His Amazing Shrinking Sister

A little teasing doesn’t hurt anyone, right? Wrong! Think for a moment about why children (or adults) tease. To get attention? To impress others? Are they trying to feel important by cutting down someone else? Most of the motivation for teasing is selfish: getting what one wants at the expense of someone else’s feelings. That’s why it is important to make sure children understand why teasing is...

Device Discernment: Imparting Wisdom in Smartphone Use

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It was Christmas Day circa 1997. I picked up the present and the weight of the package indicated the importance of what I was unwrapping. As I ripped off the paper, I discovered that I had finally gotten a cell phone! I couldn’t wait to tell my friends. I would finally be in the club. Many teenagers today have shared in this excitement. Whether it’s a birthday, Christmas, or “just because,”...

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