Monday, April 30, 2007

What it's like: part 7 (GIC)

GIC, or Global Impact Conference, is the mission's emphasis strategy created by Johnny Hunt, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Woodstock, GA. In a nutshell, it follows the Acts 1:8 strategy of reaching your hometown, then your state, then your country, then the world. It encourages a church to combine their missions offerings into a year long endeavor, not just IMB at Christmas, NAMB at Easter, etc. Generally, it serves to increase the offerings, not dilute them. The actual event is a missions fair, with lots of local, state, NAMB, and international missionaries and ministries invited to attend and to "schmooze" with the local congregation.

The missionary assumes the role of spiritual celebrity, much to the uneasiness of the missionary. Certainly of all the things we do missions for, we don't do it for our own glory. It is a constant job to keep the focus on God and HIS work, not on our OWN pitiful little corner of HIS work. I have, however, decided to keep attending them when asked, because I have seen God change people through these conferences. Basically, I see God at work there and I choose to join Him.

I received the following letter from a man at the last GIC I attended. It had the subject line: I'm mad at you for stirring the waters of my life If you read it the same way I do, it looks like he should be mad at God, not me! (lol)

I must share with you what an impact you have on me this week-end. I visited with you at breakfast on Saturday, and again on Sunday, individually with (your wife). Your courage and conviction are contagious. The waters in my life are quite peaceful, and I am happy. You, however, stirred those waters, and I am entering a grappling contest. I want the peace that I know and cherish. I do not want to pulled down by the current the crashes over the waterfall. I told (your wife), that I was mad at you because you have stirred the waters of my life.

I must confess that I have really enjoy participating in GIC's. They are unique opportunities to address crowds of people who are already interested in missions. They are opportunities for missionaries, especially those of us in Security 3 areas, to "feel" like missionaries. We get to wear special name tags that identify us as missionaries, we get to tell our stories to folks who want to hear, and we get to be loved on and let us "refill" our cup. We get to stay with members of the church and get to know them and their families.

If you ever have an opportunity to attend a GIC, or even better, house a missionary during a GIC, GO FOR IT!

Saturday, April 28, 2007


"If you found a cure for cancer, wouldn't it be inconceivable to hide it from the rest of mankind? How much more inconceivable to keep silent the cure from the eternal wages of death." - Dave Davidson

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Totally Outraged

My grandmother, who is 91 years old, had some sort of stroke behind her eyes about two years ago and has completely lost her sight. Despite that, and a few other health problems, she has maintained her sense of humor and her sense of purpose. For the past several years, she has operated her church's "Clothes Closet" for the poor. It has allowed her to be active and gives her a place of ministry, since she can no longer see to teach Sunday School. It has given her an outlet for her to love God by loving others. I am very proud of my grandmother.

A couple of weeks ago, a deacon of her church came and told her that they were 'shutting down the clothes closet'. My grandmother asked why (of course) and she was told this: "We don't want all that riff-raff coming in and out of our church each week!" My grandmother was outraged! But the deacon was bull headed and wouldn't give in. (he has been the ram-rod around there for a long time and wasn't going to back down).

My grandmother was crushed. Her ministry outlet was gone. Her last "purpose" was gone (according to her). She has endured bullies before and usually came out on top. But this time, it was different. She said she just didn't have the strength to fight for it. I think she is depressed about the fact that she "gave in". She told my sister that now, all she has is simply to wait for the Lord to take her home." She said "I can't see to teach, I can't see to drive people to the doctor; I'm no longer strong enough to go out on visitation; I am simply useless". (I wasn't there at the time; my sister told me about it later)

It broke my heart to hear her talk like that. Please pray for her to be encouraged (and for sight). We call her "Meme".

I am going to be preaching in that church on Mother's Day. I really need your prayers to control what I say from the pulpit and not use it for my own (very heated) opinions. Pray that I would glorify the Father in what I say. Anybody got any ideas about what to say?

Really Encouraged

I was at the mall Wednesday getting something before I make a trip to a GIC (Global Impact Conference). I was trying to get some information from the lady at the information booth. While there, an older man walked up and she moved away from me and told the man that she missed him at church last Sunday night and asked him if he was going to be there that night. He made some excuses then she went on to say how important it was for him to go to church and that they really miss him when he doesn't come. She told him that he was important to her and the church and wanted to make sure that he knew that.

I was impressed.

That was one of the very few times I have happened to be privy to a conversation like that, with me being completely on the outside. After the man walked off, I asked her a few things, first of all where she went to church. She told me it was one of the local SBC churches! PTL! She went on to tell me that the man wasn't a member of her church, but only a sporadic visitor. She said she didn't even know if he had ever accepted Christ, but was trying to make sure he had every opportunity.

Bless her heart! That just made my whole day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


"Some wish to live within the sound of a chapel bell; I wish to run a rescue mission within a yard of hell." - C.T. Studd

STAS is great!

Life in America is just too cool! You can read the road signs (much to the chagrin of your sister) and they keep bringing you more pop at any restaurant without having to pay extra!

The only problem is (well, one among several) that I don't have good connectivity at our furlough house. I only have dial up. Actually, I don't even have that. The phone line to our house is down, so I have to go next door just to do email. In some ways, that isn't anything to complain about; at least my wife is happy that I'm not "surfin" all day and night.

In any case, my posts will be sporadic until we can get the internet up and runnin' in the sticks.