Friday, August 30, 2013

Life and Death in the Tongue

Life & Death in the Tongue
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths,
but only such as is good for building up,
as fits the occasion,
that it may give grace to those who hear.”
How blind we are to our own sins. We justify ourselves without thought, without even realizing that we’re doing it, being so sure that we are right. And how gracious God is that he doesn’t cast us off, though we’ve given him more than ample reason to do so. Indeed, if someone were to sin against me as much as I have sinned against God, I’m sure I would have written that person off long ago. But God is faithful & will NEVER cast off his people! How patient he is with us his children, so much more patient than I am with my children.
The Lord has revealed one such blindness in my life, so I flee to the cross for cleansing, and praise him for his grace. I have been hyper-critical & judgmental, seeing only the faults rather than the good, and using my tongue to discourage rather than encourage. This sin is more insidious than mere offense against our fellow man, for by failing to see the good in others & failing to point it out, we are failing to see the work of God (unbelief) & failing to praise him for it (ingratitude). For God is the One who works good in each man (James 1.17), and works all for our good (Romans 8.28); therefore, we should always be filled with thanks (Ephesians 5.20; Colossians 3.15-17). [Note: When unbelievers do what is right & good & praiseworthy, we call it “common grace” because ultimately God caused them to do it.] So that brother we write off as useless is not without the Spirit’s grace & power, but appointed by God to be our brother, and a sure manifestation of the glory of his grace in some way. God help us to see his glory! God’s glory is manifested even in the unbeliever, otherwise he could never be “the servant of God to us for good” (Romans 13.4). Therefore, our mouths should be filled with praise & thanksgiving to God, and praise & thanksgiving to our fellow man, whether believer or unbeliever.
But what does that look like? How can we praise a man for some good quality in him or something good he’s done without feeding his ego or flattering him? God’s Word gives us some examples to help us: 1Corinthians 1.4-9; 1Thessalonians 1.2-10; and 2.13-3.13. In 1Corinthians, Paul tells the church that he thanks God for them & the grace be poured out upon them & the gifts he gave them, and then he lists some of those good things in them. In other words, his praise does not end on the people, but, while affirming them, proceeds beyond them to praise God ultimately. So I can say to someone, “God has made you very generous; thank you for your kindness to me.” Or, “I thank God for you & for the faith he’s given you; I’m encouraged to trust God more by the faith I see in you.” Or, “You are like Christ in your compassion for people.” Even to be likened to an Apostle would be a great honor, but I can think of no higher honor than for someone to say I am like God or like Christ in some respect.

Michael Pfleegor
Long term Missionary to Suriname 
Psalm 67 Missions Network

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Are Ps67 Mission Trips Different from others?

This is a very good question, one that has often been asked. Many times mission teams return (or prepare to go) and they are asked the question "so what did you do?" or "what are you going to do?" You may, or may not be surprised by the answer. The mentality of "mission trips" varies from person to person, congregation to congregation. There are those that condemn such activities, there are those that view these activities as essential. Rather than getting in to this debate, we hope to educate you some on what we mean by "Mission Trip" with Psalm 67. From the beginning we want to be clear that this is not an exhaustive description. A more detailed description is in the works.

First, though there may be, at times, opportunities for us to "complete projects" as part of a mission team, this is not the focus. PS67 desires to mobilize believers in a "working-learning" environment in a different context (oftentimes cross cultural). The way we do this is accomplished through:
  • Training - Sharing information and providing training opportunities before, during, and after a trip. Much of this is offered online so that there is access to people in different regions. While you are serving on a mission team, each day will include training, discussion, and prayer as a team. For instance, this December, team members will be reading through Dietrich Bonheoffer's "Life Together" and discussing elements of Christian community, prayer, worship, and witness. Members from the US will read this in English while those in Mexico will be provided a copy in Spanish. Training will be conducted in bi-lingual group meetings.
  • Fellowship of Believers - Much emphasis is placed on living and working within the global Christian community. Our team members are challenged and encouraged to connect with our brothers and sisters that live in another culture. We share the work and we work with them, not instead of them. They lead, we walk along side of them.
In a real sense, one who partners with us for a mission trip, like the one in December, enters in to a "learning while serving" covenant with others. Yes, we go to serve, but your participation in one of these opportunities would look more like a "living cross-cultural discipleship classroom." We desire to be more specific in the future. For now, please pray for us. We have a big task set before us this December. We need others to join with us. We have some openings for those who would like to work with us in going. We need others to "hold the rope" by contributing to this effort.

May Jesus be glorified in Northern Mexico, and around the world,

Psalm 67 Missions Networ

Friday, August 9, 2013

Danielle Manaois, The Love of the Saints

" By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:35

"Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, coming down upon the beard, even Aaron’s beard, coming down upon the edge of his robes." Psalm 133:1-2

     It's a beautiful thing when you see these verses fulfilled through the people of God!  The third Sunday of July, the Lord sent me to Grace Truth Church to present the ministry in Papua, Indonesia.  Although I was nervous speaking to the church, it was a blessing to share this ministry and see people get excited about it!  After the presentation, I had a small table set up with a slideshow of Papua displayed on my laptop, some letters, and memorabilia from Papua.  People chatted with me while they looked at the table.  It was a blessing to talk with the saints about Papua!

     One of my first emotions I had when I thought about partnership development was fear.  I was afraid to speak in front of numerous amounts of people.  However, as the Lord sends me to various churches, I have been greatly encouraged!  It's very cool to meet other believers who love the Lord and are zealous for His kingdom work in the the world!  Although I meet strangers on these trips, due to Christ, I am able to have sweet fellowship with these "strangers," who are actually my brothers and sisters in Christ.  We are unified in Christ and, thus, are able to dwell in unity.  Praise God for this precious gift!

     I look forward to visiting more churches and fellowshipping with God's people!

Friday, August 2, 2013

John and Joyce, Summer Mission Trip

John and Joyce Parker

We are husband and wife, parents to 4 children, the older of which, Abigail, we brought with us. We wanted to come to assist in spreading the gospel to the Hispanic culture and to serve our Lord and His people in a different setting. We brought our oldest daughter so she could experience what it looks like to devote a whole week to serving others in the name of Christ and set ourselves aside and put others first.

We were called to serve in the Rio Grande Valley area in Texas

Some personal goals we met were: teaching our daughter about service in Christ, selflessness, and how blessed we are; working for the good of the team and for God’s kingdom; Abby said she wanted to learn that God was the most important person.

Some result that we saw were: a successful and smoothly run VBS at Iglesia Bautista Cristo el Rey, where about 80 children came to hear the gospel and many of them learned all 5 memory verses; relationships built between our team and the congregations we visited at Cristo el Rey and Iglesia Espiritu Santo (in Matamoros, Mexico); discipleship and evangelism relationships strengthened with the youth and with one of the families in the community; relationships grown and strengthened among member of our team, invitations for Psalm 67 to return and work with more congregations in Mexico.

Pray that the youth and the Solis family we visited from the community will be saved and that the church there will really reach out to them and they will get plugged in at the church.

Pray that God show His plan for our family; what He would have us do and where He would have us to go. We were so blessed by the fellowship this week, something we don’t really have where we are, so we ask that God would grant us deep relationships with other believers

In His Name,
Psalm 67 Missions Network