Top Ten Reasons to Love the Church Fam

I’ve been thinking a lot about the body of believers, the local church, of which I am a part. When I interact with Ridgecrest Baptist Church, I see the Lord Jesus “with skin on.” So in February, the month of love, it’s very fitting I include a post about them.

TOP TEN REASONS TO LOVE THE CHURCH FAM

10.  Because Christ loved and died for the Church, so I ought to feel the same way about them. . .

9.  Because I realize they are simple sinners saved by grace. . .  .hallelujah, they’re just like me!

8.  Because they will pray you through to the other side, until God gives an answer. . .

7.  Because they will extend comfort to you from the Holy Spirit, as they themselves have also been comforted by Him. . .

6. Because God plays no favorites. . .  there’s neither Jew, nor Greek. . . neither male nor female. . we are all the same in God’s eyes.

5. Because  though as human beings we have definite preferences, as believers we should appreciate those differences and not allow them to divide us. . . .

4. Because God’s visible work in someone else’s life builds up my personal faith like nothing else does. . . .

3. Because God has equipped us with special gifts within the Body. . .to serve each other and to be His witnesses. . . .

2. Because without my brothers and sisters in Christ, I would be missing so much that’s valuable and lovely on this earth. . .

AND NUMBER ONE–

1.  We’d best love our church fam, because we’ll be spending an eternity in heaven right alongside of them!

Do you appreciate the great blessing of your local church family? Let us know!

Lookin’ up,

Sislyn

I Want To Be A. . .”Trader”

This YouTube video was shared by several of my FB friends. It makes you think. . . .

A Trader is. . . A Believer and Follower of Jesus Christ who. . .

  • Trades in the “Me, me, me” of the overblown American dream to daily pursue Christ
  • Is a new kind of missionary on mission, not dependent on where one lives
  • Realizes he/she must live out his/her faith, not just talk about it
  • Choose daily to sacrifice and be intentional with one’s time, money, and skills
  • Is like the Good Samaritan on the road of life who sees someone in need and chooses to help, following Jesus’ instructions.
  • Hates injustice and seeks to bring the hope of Jesus into desperate situations
  • Sees work as worship and everything he/she does as an opportunity to worship the God Who created us
  • Must act swiftly because the time is right now
  • Makes choices that are Kingdom-focused and not self-focused, because a short time on this earth can have an eternal impact.

Say what you will about Facebook, there are moments where I’m glad I’m paying attention. God dropped a “trader” opportunity into my lap today.

A group of my fellow high school classmates found out about another classmate’s extreme needs recently and decided to do something about it. His health is not good. . .and his house is falling in around him. He’s not had running water in over a year. . .

I’m not even close to the hometown where I grew up, so I’ll be sending these classmates a check to help the little bit I can.

Living and worshiping God in every moment of each day .  . the way Jesus wants us to. . .reaching out and meeting the needs of people. . . and knowing it will make a difference.

We are missionaries. . .we are traders of the temporal . . .for the eternal.

Lookin’ up,

Sislyn

Haiti In My Heart

photo credit: Haiti Outreach Ministries

This post is about a country which I’ve never seen . . . but have carried in my heart for some time.

My home church, Ridgecrest Church, has been taking short-term mission trips to Haiti since 1999, once or twice a year.  Many times I wanted to go but could not, due to family issues or work issues. I have longed to see and touch and experience this country for myself.

But hallelujah, this time I’m going! Along with 26 other adults and teens (many of them seasoned veterans), we will be flying from Miami, Florida, into Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on April 7th and will be gone seven days during Easter week. We are going to assist Haiti Outreach Ministries, our partner organization in Haiti headed by Pastor Leon Dorleans, his wife Jacky, and daughter Nadege, to do whatever construction projects or other tasks they assign to us. (That’s Jacky’s and Nadege’s picture up there to the left.)

Haiti, as you can imagine, still carries devastating scars from the massive 2010 earthquake. Many of its buildings are toppled. High unemployment and a scarcity of food are great problems, especially in Port-au-Prince, its largest city with  1.25 million people squeezed into a 15-square-mile radius. Many Haitians still live in tent cities, constructed of whatever materials they could salvage to sleep under. It is in the tent cities where a cholera outbreak post-earthquake further decimated the population. Haiti’s fledging government, struggling under the newly-elected President Michel Martelly, is trying to stay afloat and strengthen the country’s fragile, almost nonexistent infrastructure.

I went looking online for a news update on Haiti and found what seems to be hopeful signs. A recent article by Laurent Dubois and Deborah Jenson (The New York Times, January 8, 2012) relates how Haiti can be re-born through its rich heritage of rural farming. “It is easy to forget that, for most of the 19th century, Haiti was a site of agricultural innovation, productivity and economic success,” the reporters stated. They went on to detail how this could happen:

Municipal governments should construct properly equipped marketplaces for the women who sell rural produce. The Haitian state should develop trade policies aimed at protecting the agricultural sector, and take the lead in fixing roads and ports, confronting deforestation and improving systems of water management. Foreign organizations working in the country can help simply by making it a policy to buy food and other goods from local producers.

The return on the investment in the rural economy would be self-reliance, the alleviation of dangerous overcrowding in cities and, most important, a path toward ending Haiti’s now chronic problems of malnutrition and food insecurity. As Haitians look to rebuild in 2012, the best blueprints will come from their own proud and vibrant history.

We pray for Haiti’s new economy.  May the people boldly return to their agrarian roots, rehabbing deforested wasteland into verdant farmland and self-sufficiently feeding themselves.  May their new government truly serve the people, instituting needed social structures to make its citizens’ lives better. May Haiti’s children grow up to be adults instilled with hope and pride in their future.

We believers continue to pray for great spiritual revival upon Haiti, too. May the ministries like those of Pastor Leon’s continue to reach and touch lives, leading souls to know the Bread of Life, the Living Water of Jesus Christ.

Would you join  me in prayer? Heavenly Father, we acknowledge You as Sovereign God. We pray that You create inroads for the revitalization of Haiti, Father. May You put into place everything needed for Haiti’s citizens to again flourish and grow their own food, to be a self-sustaining nation. May you continue a mighty spiritual revival, that many souls come to know You as Savior and Lord.  May You bless the contributions of those who go to be Your hands and feet. May whatever is left behind in Haiti lead to Your bigger Kingdom goals, Father. We ask all these things through Jesus’ name and though His authority only, Amen.

Lookin’ up,

Sislyn

P.S. The school featured  in the YouTube video below is one of the ongoing projects of the Haiti Outreach Ministries that we will visit, Repatriote School. Blessings!