You can email me at teri-gonewalkabout2@hotmail.com My blog archives and post labels are way down at the bottom of the page.


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Fellowship, Serving, Missions and Good Works

In organizing a group for the purpose of doing mission projects, I've come to find out that there is a lot of confusion between 4 very different activities. Christian Fellowship. Serving in your church home. Doing mission work. And doing "good works".

In the research I've done, I have found that all are mandated in the Bible. And that EVERY Christian is expected to do ALL four as an every day part of their lives in Christ.

Christian fellowship is the 'gathering' of believers for companionship/enjoyment, education and encouragement. It is Sunday school, community groups, a bunch of Christian friends having a bar-b-q, youth group going to a theme park, a Bible study, two believers meeting for lunch...

Serving is your responsibility as a member of a group of believers (a "church") to give of yourself in support of the church. You serve by being a part of the team doing the work needed for the church service to happen. The Sunday School teachers. The ushers and greeters. The worship team. Office volunteers. The guy that makes the coffee. Picking your trash up off the floor before you leave. In serving you are giving to your particular church.

Missions is going out AWAY from your church and doing something that either brings the gospel of Jesus to nonbelievers or is a supporting action to those who are spreading the Word. The purpose of missions is to let other learn about Jesus. I was pretty ticked when at my former church the youth pastor decided a grand "mission" trip would be to take the youth to Disney World. When told this was NOT a mission trip, he attempted to justify it (with a grin and a wink) by saying "We will hand out tracts as we wait in lines!" Sorry dude, that is a fellowship trip... not missions.

I'm also finding out that another "trend" with mission activities is the belief that once an activity is finished, those participating need to be "rewarded" for doing it. Especially among those who work with youth. Excuse me? Isn't being a part of God's plan for this earth reward enough?? Fellowshipping afterwards over a burger is one thing (a good thing) but expecting to do something like going to a water park is another entirely different thing.

And good works are when you do activities that have a positive impact on your community or even the world but these activities do not result in the spreading of the gospel. This is the one I personally need to be more aware of when selecting activities. Christians doing "good things" is not missions. For example, our ladies mission group is participating in the Komen Race for the Cure. And we were thinking of it as a mission activity, especially since we have church members who are fighting this battle. But when you think about it, there is nothing to do with missions in this activity. Good works...yes. Fellowship... yes. Missions...no.

We are supposed to do good works. But we are also called to be good stewards of that which has been given us (money, time, energy, resources). My personal take on that is that a majority of what we do should be directly related to proclaiming His Word. And a few activities should fall under that good works umbrella... and while we are doing them, we need to make sure that those watching can at least see Christ in our actions.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Updates from this winter

It has been a BUSY three months! But you sure can't tell it by looking at this blog. Ouch! So, I'll get y'all updated on what's been going on and then try very hard to not let it slip again.

Himself once again is up in Alaska as medical officer on the M/V Independence. They spent this season in Akutan Bay.

I've spent this winter while Deane is gone finally going thru those boxes from the move. I have sorted...put up...Goodwilled... dumped.... more boxes then you know. But I have almost finished that huge pile in the garages. And will finish them by the time Himself gets home. And I have finished with my upstairs sorting and putting up. What a relief.

Now that spring is coming, my attention is being pulled by our yard. This year we will be doing a lot of foundational work to set up future planting and seating areas. A LOT of mulching. I have been delighted by the spring bulbs that have come up in the yard. However, most will have to be moved as they are right in the areas we are going to re-do.

To help with all our yard projects, I have started attending the Montgomery Co Master Gardeners meetings. In March I was able to take their "short course" series of classes, which gave me some basic information and lots of people to call for help.

Photography is going fairly well. I'll be very happy when I get some of this home work stuff finished so I can pay more attention to it. I've had one showing with the group and entered the KY Extension Service photo contest again (received two 3rd place ribbons). I have been shooting a LOT of photos, and that is an improvement. To help with that discipline, I've started a blog photo site. I've seen a few places where people are shooting at every day and posting one photo each day that they have taken. It's called Project 365. My site is at: http://project365-teri.blogspot.com/

In January, Brenda and I decided we needed to be doing more mission type service. So Brenda and I formed a group we call "Mission Chicks". There are six of us right now and I expect a few more will come in. We are *partnering* with our church to do missions. Kinda of an "I'll scratch your back and you scratch mine" thing. When we do partner, they basically provide us the resources of people, money or name backing and we provide them with the leg work, organization/planning and recognition. It's a win-win situation. If we come up with something they don't want to be a part of, we do it anyway ourselves.

We kicked off on the 15th with a one day collection of items for one of the Mission Chicks who is going to Nicaragua on a mission trip. We didn't do badly at all.

Now we are planning in April a month long...church wide involvement...focus on our crisis pregnancy center (Hope Pregnancy Center www.clarksvillehope.com ). We're calling it "A Month of Hope".

The director is a member of our church (it's his son that I hire to help me occasionally). Rog says the 3 things they always need are 1. disposable diapers 2. formula 3. maternity clothes. So we are organizing collections of all three! We're going to have a competition between the elementary kids (girls v boys) on who can bring in the most diapers. Winner will get something (TBD ). The adult community groups will collect formula. And we will have a hamper at church that anyone can drop off maternity clothes in. Also, the center has a deck that needs painting and landscaping to be neatened. Our youth will be doing that one Saturday.

And besides that... (as if that is not enough) we have a breakfast to host at the site of a room makeover for an ill teenager, a community Easter egg hunt and a team for the Koman Race for the Cure that will be here in Clarksville on 18 April.

In for a penny... in for a pound!!

Beginning of the year, we received notice that our first Compassion child - Sintayehu from Ethiopia - had left the program. She will turn 21 this July. She decided it was time to leave school and enter adult life. We had been her sponsors for 8 years.

Then a short time after that I received notice that my favorite Compassion "writing buddy" (a program in Compassion to write sponsored children whose sponsors - for whatever reason - will not write them) had lost his sponsor. Did I want to take him on? It didn't take long to answer that query with a "Yes!". I will post about Sundar a bit later on.

And towards the end of Jan, a girl in the Kenya's Kids In Need program needed a co-sponsor. I had wanted an older student (the other 2 we sponsor thru them are in 4th and 5th grades). Ivine is also an orphan and lives in the boarding house portion of the school. I'll write more about her later on also.

And a bit of housekeeping on some older posts...

On 7 Feb I posted about the Sheldrick Trust rescuing the tiny baby rhino "Maalim". I am happy to let you know that he is thriving and has doubled his size in that time.

11 March I posted an appeal for Compassion sponsored "Global Food Crisis Day". Compassion was hoping to raise $1M in this campaign... instead they raised $3.1M!!! Incredible!!!

OK, now that I have this done... I will really try harder to be a better blogger!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

TN Spring Leaves Much To Be Desired...

Yesterday (Tuesday) it was in the low 80s. 70s for several days before that... Flowers are blooming, trees are budding out...

And then...


...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING...

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN NASHVILLE HAS ISSUED A WINTER STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM THURSDAY MORNING THROUGH THURSDAY EVENING. THE WINTER STORM WATCH IS IN EFFECT FOR AREAS GENERALLY ALONG AND NORTHWEST OF A CAMDEN...

DICKSON TO CLARKSVILLE LINE. SNOW AND SLEET IS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP ACROSS THE WATCH AREA ON THURSDAY MORNING. THE SNOW AND SLEET WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE DAY WITH POSSIBLE ACCUMULATIONS OF 2 TO 4 INCHES. THE SNOW AND SLEET WILL TAPER OFF ON THURSDAY EVENING. A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW...

SLEET...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring Fever!

Today I went to the Nashville Lawn and Garden show. Oh my! If that doesn't make you want to dig in the dirt... nothing will!

I was very good and forced myself to focus on my garden plans for this year. But that sure doesn't mean you can't look!

Didn't come home with much. Found three stunning iris I couldn't leave without...













Midnight Oil
























October Splendor
















Starship Enterprise



















8 Torch Lilies













2 black elephant ears


















and a few air plants.


Picked up a ton of booklets and pamphlets to look thru for ideas. This will keep me busy for a while!