Tongue Control

James 310

Our personal weapon
Of mass destruction
The tongue
A four inch wonder
Full of deadly poison
It boasts of great things
Our horse in the mouth
That we cannot tame.
Burning embers burst into flames
As the tongue tells tales
With unbridled words
From the same mouth
We bless the Lord
Yet curse His likeness
This ought not to be so
Lord, help us with our tongue control.

Ordinary by Tony Merida [Book Review]

OrdinaryMy first book to read for 2015 was a great one to spur me on to good deeds in the coming year. Ordinary: How to Turn the World Upside Down by Tony Merida challenged my view of mercy ministries and gave me the desire to serve others in the ordinary routine of life. He presents Job as a biblical example of a man of justice from Job 29.

“Ordinary is a call to, like Job, wear justice. It’s a call to live with a social conscience at all times. It’s a call to care for the vulnerable, not merely on mission trips, but in the ordinariness of our days. It’s a call to conduct our everyday affairs with honesty and integrity. It’s a call to work the character of God deeply into our hearts so that we will care about what God cares about.”

If the Gospel and mercy were each side of a scale I always believed sharing the Gospel had to outweigh any type of mercy ministry. We should not neglect one for the other but let there be a balance.

“Mercy ministry is about alleviating suffering. Those who want to alleviate suffering should want to alleviate more than temporary suffering. They should also want to alleviate eternal suffering, which can only come through faith in Christ.”

The author challenges his readers to get involved personally in the lives that God brings in our path and to be an advocate for social injustices such as lack of orphan care, sex-trafficking, abortion and other oppressions around the world.

Tony closes with a look at the life of William Wilberforce and his devotion to the Gospel and prayer. He calls us to meditate on God’s word and seek Him faithfully in prayer crying out for the orphan, widow and oppressed.

“God-centered humility and Christlike sacrifice stem from one who is walking with God daily through prayer and biblical meditation. Wilberforce was that kind of person. That’s the kind of person God uses to do everyday justice.”

How is God calling you to be ordinary in a world of suffering?

I received this book from B&H Publishing via Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

Reaching the Quechua of Ecuador

         Quechua Women of Shushilcon

High in the Andes Mountains among the clouds our team was busy teaching the Word of God to the Quechua people. Our first stop was Zhud Baptist Church. Pastor Lucas oversees this church and helps with other area churches. On Sunday we had church service at Pucango, a village that Pastor Lucas also helps to minister at. A group of ladies and men blessed us in song. Our team leader, Bro. Joe, preached on God ‘s word being sufficient and addressed some of the false teachings that are invading the churches even in rural Ecuador.

Sunday Morning Church at Pucango

Sunday Morning Church at Pucango

With Pastor Lucas and his family

With Pastor Lucas and his family

The men had leader training with Doug and Bro. Joe. In the afternoon Rathel and I would teach the women. I took them through the Bible and its books and divisions. Encouraging them to ask themselves different questions as they read or listen to a sermon. We then applied what we learned to Philippians 1 and 2. I enjoyed seeing that many of the women were note takers and were not afraid to write in their bibles. Rathel taught them about being a godly woman as a single, wife, mother and grandmother.

Doug teaching the Men of Shushilcon

Doug teaching the Men of Shushilcon

With the Women of Shushilcon

With the Women of Shushilcon

On Monday and Tuesday we taught at Shushilcon where thick clouds and fog enveloped the village. According to our host and translator the entire village is Christian. This is the church of Pastor Hosea. Each day there were up to 40 men and 40 women in attendance. We saw bags of corn that the people tithe then the church sells to help fund the needs of the church.

Bro. Joe preaching at Pueblo Viejo

Bro. Joe preaching at Pueblo Viejo

The Church of Pueblo Viejo

The Church of Pueblo Viejo

We would end our teaching time at Pueblo Viejo. Pastor Julio preaches at this three story church that the community built together. It can seat up to 300 people. The Pastor shared that the Gospel first came to their village only 25 years ago.

Dr. Manuel our host and translator

Dr. Manuel our host and translator

Our host and translator, Dr. Manuel, was such a blessing to us. He has a passion for his people to be reached with biblical sound doctrine. He wants the Pastors/leaders to be grounded in God’s word so that they know what is false. He was tireless. He translated four hours with the men and then two hours with the ladies. He also many times was the one transporting us from one village to the next. While he is a doctor, his main focus is ministry. He is involved in hosting many teams from around the world. His next team is made up of 62 doctors and dentists who will be performing surgeries while also sharing the Gospel.

Pray the Quechua people would continue to grow in God’s word with all knowledge and discernment. Pray for Dr. Manuel as God uses him in so many ways to reach the rural villages of Ecuador.