Limits (español abajo) (3rd stage of Winner Home started!)
Pointers for Missionaries scroll down
Psalm 119:96 I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad. (English Standard Version)
Forgive me for wild thoughts sometimes. Most of my mission work has little or no fellowship, nor very interesting teachers. Not even in church nor on the radio. I just come up with a lot of stuff on my own or downloaded through internet. God shows me things and I try journal it. That is what you get every week. Again, forgive me if it is out of line, and lots of times, like today, REALLY LONG:
“It seems God is limited by our prayer life, that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him.”John Wesley on Prayer in “A Plain Account of Christian Perfection”
Do you think John Wesley was right? I hate to say it, but I think so. Godcreated the world for Adam and Eve to govern over. Then they chose to obey Satan and they lost the right to governin the process. It was like they were renting an apartment and then let Satan sublet it. In a sense, they handed over the keys to the apartment over to satan, or better put, keys to the kingdom. The good news is that God is coming back to snatch those keys back, but He hasn’t done so yet.
Meanwhile it is our duty to pray about, and to only do the things that Godshows us to do. There are plenty of good things to do, and to pray for, but are they God’s things? Good things aren’t automatically God’s things. What is a God thing? Love is a good guide. Jesus said that we should love one another (not loving only people who believe like us, but everyone. Religious people and theologians love to argue this point but they are wrong). If you do things and pray about things within the boundaries of love, REAL love, it’s probably a God thing. Outside of the boundary of LOVE it’s probably sin. Prayer can be sinful too. The joke is ‘Lord bless my family of four and no more’ is an evil prayer. A sinful example. Praying AT people is sin as well, there’s no love there.
Although God needs for us to pray for things to get done on earth, it is critical that we pray according to His will. It is very important to only say you are going to do the things God shows you to do. Same thing goes about things to pray for. It’s seems easier to say you are going to pray for someone or do something, and not follow up, than to say you don’t feel led to do it. I learned today to just hold your tongue instead of committing yourself to something, or pray for something, that the Lord isn’t in. For me, I love to pray for people, to help, to volunteer as much as I can but I have to control myself. Limit myself is the better word. Even prayer. It is impossible for me to pray for everyone that asks me for prayer. I only pray for things that God prompts me to pray for.
It isn’t easy limiting your prayers, yourself, your activities and your commitments to only what God wants you to do. Take the tongue for instance. James 3:8 says ‘but no human being can tame the tongue.’Your tongue steers you, directs you, and commits you. It can affect others. You can break or heal a heart with it. You can over commit and under deliver as well.Use it with caution.
Limits make us choke sometimes, but we only get 24 hours in the day. God wants us to do specific things during those 24 hours for His kingdom. If we are just traipsing through life, doing whatever is front of us, not being guided, we won’t have time to listen and see what the Lord wants us to do. Jesus sent out His disciples telling them not to even talk to anyone along the way. God still will bless your aimless religious activities as much as He can, but He really has a lot more planned out for us than we can imagine. His love and plans for us are limitless!
While God is limited by our prayer-life in this earth, He is Omnipotent. He can do anything in the universe, but is only limited by His own rules of ownership He established for the earth. That being said, when we as believers pray, we have the limitless powers of the Creator of the Universe at our disposal. Use it for His glory and His discretion.
Let’s start praying more specifically as we are guided by God. For the good of humanity, and for the glory of God. Good thing we have the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
POINTERS FOR MISSIONARIES
I Just witnessed a missions family’s major meltdown. I am Really shocked. this isn’t a complaint. i love it down here. but some people don’t, as i have just had to deal with,,, so these are some things to be aware of….
BEFORE you drag your family to live in the 3rd world country mission field, please consider the following.
these are some things i have picked up over the 3+ decades i have been doing this
#1 ,, YOU NEED TO KNOW IT IS IN FACT GOD CALLING YOU BECAUSE;
-people and sending churches will NOT genuinely pray for you on a regular basis
-people and sending churches probably will NOT be helping you as much as you thought they would, (some saints will,, BLESS THEM!!) but most that say they will, won’t, in any way you expected, financial support, prayer, encouragement. Most won’t even return an email after a year. Most people (not all) change, God doesn’t
-the native people will look at all of you (even your kids) as spiritual experts, examples and MILLIONAIRES. The impoverished will terrify your kids because street kids as well as adults. They are grabby and aggressive. The will come to your door at all hours of the day or night asking for things, money or advice. If it’s a real emergency THAT’S WHAT YOU ARE HERE FOR, TAKE CARE OF IT! It usually isn’t though. Be firm, but kind and gentle
-do things in a way that God can bless. Dress modestly, be gentle, kind and sober, diligent, loving, HONEST and MORAL! ie don’t use or but pirated or stolen things, ie software, music, cd’s (thanks Gordon Wilmot for about 90% of this)
-give love and time lavishly and money as needed. Pray before you give, and let them know you are praying about it, always. It only takes a second to ask God. If you get a check in your spirit, don’t! Be guided by the Holy Spirit. He will help you if you believe in Him enough to ask.
-the level of biblical teaching and true Christian fellowship down here is no where near what it is in the states. You will be looked at as the solution, so feed, and don’t expect to be fed
-forget how your pastor ‘did things’ from the comfort of the states. Be your own man, be guided by the Spirit. Pray for the sick and broken hearted, get radical. There’s usually no options down here. God does heal, whether you pastor in the states believes it or not. thanks Mike Continenza for making me a bapti-costal
-never ever expect a sincere thank you from anyone
-impoverished parents are extremely litigious and tricky
-no one has your back, ever, except God
-‘be all there’, as quoted by Jim Elliot and demonstrated by Benjamin Morrison who was essential to me when I first planted Calvary Chapel Managua
-give God the glory always
-watch out for employees, bad hires get you in trouble with the government
-you are a gringo, you will pay more for everything,,, expect it and embrace it. Street venders average 1-2 dollars a day, bless them. Give them a 39% raise and Show them Jesus!! I made the mistake of going to the american missionary church here once and had to listen to a ‘sermon’ (a complaint) about the kids washing windows and asking for 5 cents at the stop lights. Instead of acting like a complaining, angry sissy, give everyone a tip,,,, and look at paying extra as giving a tip and glorifyingGod as well (thanks Steve and Dianne Warn)
-love and be nice to everyone, even if they do not believe like you, thanks Shirley Barca from panama with the JW and witch doctors
-be transparent with all money, personal and ministry. IT IS EVERYONE’S BUSINESS THE MOMENT YOU ASK FOR DONATIONS
-no politics! not only does no one care, but it’s boring and irrelevant from real life down here. You will loose 50% of the people you are trying to win for Jesus as soon as you broach any political theme of any country. You will always alienate half the audience.
-stay away from flirtatious members of the opposite sex, they aren’t attracted to a mid aged american, they want your money,,,, always, they will lie to trap you….Give them the Gospel, T.O. them to a member of the same sex, and run
-everyone, both native and USA citizen, will let you down in one way or another. Only God will never let you down.
-learn and obey all laws of the land. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, it’s your job to know. Talking bad about the government, president, (only is legal and acceptable in the states, down here it’s considered treason. If you’re not happy leave! No speeding, pay employees according to law, no bribing, illegal importation/exportation, seat belts, numbers of passengers in vehicles, obeying police and governmental laws and orders. If you get in trouble for not obeying the law, you are not being discriminated against or martyred, you are in hot water because you are a criminal.
-you will spend nights biting your fingernails wondering how you are going to be able to provide for your own kid’s schooling and family needs, let alone those who you are supposed to be looking after down here
-most other missionaries are extremely territorial and jealous. Don’t ask the for help. except for Patrick Brown , thank you brother. The #1 reason for missionaries failing is other missionaries
-living in a third world country isn’t easy. Brace yourself, the honeymoon will soon be over. Constant power and water outages. (meaning fans stop and sweltering heat and mosquitoes start). Constant unannounced visitors, usually looking for something. Always be kind and gracious. Give them the Gospel. Never will you get the amount of finances you need. Make due, don’t gripe, you’ll get through it. In the states you get 5 things accomplished in a day, down here, 2 things a week, 3 if your are lucky
-visiting teams, mission boards, other missionaries (as well as american pastors) half the time will make you feel like a looser and a complete waste of time. Look to God for all your validation. You will be destroyed if you are waiting for american visitors or co-workers to encourage you.
-mail system down here is atrocious, you may find your water bill or electric bill hung in a bush or stuck to dog poo in front of your house a day before it’s due, or when they are there to cut off your services. You will loose important mail even IF you have a mail box and have been looking for your bills daily.
-throw your watch away, it will only frustrate you. If you are worried about punctuality and time management, stay home in the USA. You won’t be nearly as productive for the kingdom of God, but at least you won’t have to deal with a bunch of tardy heathen.
-if you want to save money and be a penny pincher. and have insurance and a large savings account, stay in the states
-forget personal privacy and down time
-Jesus is being judged every time you step outside of your bedroom, KNOW THAT AND OWN THAT
-when ever you are out as a family, expect beggar kids to mob you, and don’t be rude. You form your kids by how you treat beggars, taxi drivers etc
-most people dislike americans and america before they meet you. it is your job to change that, without using money
-look for the good in everything and everyone
-time is NEVER wasted if you are a Christian. Share the love of Christ for people you are in line with. At least something uplifting to read. download ebooks to read in lines in your phone. no one can stand a whiner nor a grump
-i have never seen anyone who started learning a language after 25 years of age who has reached complete fluency. Languages will always be a struggle, as are customs and traditions. ps. don’t ever try to tell someone off in your newly acquired second language. It doesn’t work and will just aggravate you more than you already are.
-3rd world pastors for the most part are very difficult to trust and to work with. there are some amazing saints working as pastors here, but few and far in between
-expect intestinal distress. especially the first few years
-learn to sleep with noisey neighbors, and their thousands of dogs and roosters (just about when the dogs and the loud music stops, the roosters start)
-the ‘inside voice’ only exists in america. Even in churches. if you have a nervous condition and noise and loud voices bothers you, stay at home.
-eat whatever is put in front of you when you are visiting the poor. don’t sniff the food or ask what it is. just eat it and drink it. no one is interested in your diets, or what makes you squeamish. All you will do is hurt people’s feelings for giving you the last of their food.
-don’t lecture, ever. they expect the stereotypical gringo blowhard pontificating about pointless things,,, don’t feed that image
-expect tons on mosquitoes. bugs, ticks, flies, no-seeums, jiggers, poisonous plants, snakes, frogs, ants, and heat and humidity
-expect squirrels, porcupines,cats, mice, rats, monkeys, possums to climb into your house and create havoc with your home and your pets. A porcupine hit our dog once in the face, he looked like he had a goatee, poor guy!!
-expect filth. wash your hands continuously (never in front of the natives)
-very few really care what you are doing and what you are going through (including your sending church and fellow usa believers). expect 5 minutes play time when you get home. no one really wants to hear it
-short term missions does not prepare you for long term missions. short term missions is a natural geographic experience. A few months into it and the newness wears off
-native people will bombard you with questions. many embarrassing, intimate and often rude. many times leading to a financial petition. many of the poorer people will be picking their noses as they do it. be kind and gracious
-you are not here to make them like you. few really will. accept it
-always say please and thank you
-thank donaters and be transparent with their donations
-graciously accept everything donated to you
-do not stow away anything, if you cant use it, give it away asap
-you can not out give God
-pray without ceasing
-you are not here to give them your opinion
-you are not here to teach them manners
-you are not here to make them americans nor american like
-you are not here to get them to like your hair style: lifestyle, music or your body piecings, tatoos or hobbies and toys like surf boards , skate boards and xbox
-learn to love and appreciate what they love and appreciate
-learn to love and appreciate their language, their humor, music, their sports, games, customs a their traditions
-natives will wear your kids out fast. you are called, they aren’t. it is very easy for them to get mad at you for dragging them with you. the ‘christian missionary’ school here is about 600 USD a month. The non christian german school is a third of that,,, with a much better tri lingual education, BUT even that tuition will keep you up at night paralyzed with fear IF YOU ARE TRULY LIVING BY FAITH AND NOT HAVING GRANNY SLIP YOU A COUPLE GRAND A MONTH.
-cost of living is more here than in the states
-expect to get in about half of what your budget is, and make due
-be ready to walk, a lot
-do not expect to be served, not even if you have hired help
-God will show you the way, and you will have tons of praise reports. but very few will actually want to hear them.
-focus on the people that like you. love them and cherish them. love and forget about the ones that don’t. always be kind and gentle. that applies to americans as well as natives. If an american stops supporting you,love them and appreciate what they have given you in the past. If they stop, that’s between them and God. usually the reason has nothing to do with you. If it did have something to do with you, you don’t want to know because you don’t want your actions predicated by money or greed
-kill that competitive spirit inside of you. it isnt good in ministry, the christian walk and is fatal in the mission field
-kill your poisonous tongue and your poison pen letters. only speak and write uplifting things about everyone and everything.
-cling to the Master, not the ministry
-laugh a lot as demonstrated by Craig Ohlson and Randy Fleming
-cry alone, unless you are grieving with someone
-say everything with a smile, even if you are having problems conjugating a verb at that moment, or have the runs. A sneer (combined with speaking the language poorly) can make things go very wrong, very fast.
-joke and play
-if you are in a bad mood don’t leave your bedroom until the Lord adjusts your behavior
-the roads here break vehicles twice as fast as they do in the states. The heat and power surges (brown outs) kill your electronics including fans refrigerators. phones and computers at twice the normal speed as well
-never ever pay a bribe. dont associate with missionaries who do
-always complete your word
-don’t promise, ever, except God’s promises
-if you have daughters and sons they will have suiters at ridiculously young ages, even in sunday school. even pk’s and mk’s
Dean and Winnie Peters
Joyfully serving the ‘least of these’ in Nicaragua for the glory of God
Facebook = Dean andWinnie Peters
Salmo 119:96 He visto un límite a toda perfección, pero tu mandamiento es extremadamente amplio. (Versión estándar en inglés)
“Parece que Dios está limitado por nuestra vida de oración, que no puede hacer nada por la humanidad a menos que alguien se lo pida”. John Wesley sobre la oración en “Una cuenta simple de la perfección cristiana”
¿Crees que John Wesley tenía razón? Odio decirlo, pero creo que sí. Dios creó el mundo de Adán y Eva para gobernar, pero cuando eligen obedecer a Satanás, perdieron el derecho de gobernarlo. En cierto sentido, entregaron las llaves del reino. La buena noticia es que Dios está regresando para recuperar esas llaves, pero aún no lo ha hecho.
Mientras tanto, es nuestro deber orar y hacer solo las cosas que Dios nos enseña a hacer. Hay muchas cosas buenas que hacer y orar, pero son cosas de Dios? Las cosas buenas no son automáticamente las cosas de Dios.
Es muy importante solo decir y hacer las cosas que Dios le muestra para hacer u orar. Parece más fácil decir que va a orar por alguien o hacer algo, y no hacerlo que decir que no se siente guiado hacerlo. Hoy aprendí a mantener mi lengua callada en lugar de comprometerme con algo en lo que no es del Señor. Para mí, me encanta orar por las personas, ayudar, l ser voluntario todo lo que pueda, pero tengo que controlarme. Limitarme es la mejor palabra. No es fácil limitar tus oraciones, ti mismo, tus actividades y tus compromisos. Toma la lengua por ejemplo. Santiago 3: 8 dice “pero ningún ser humano puede domesticar la lengua”. Tu lengua te dirige y te compromete. Puede afectar a otros. Puedes romper o sanar un corazón con él. También puede sobre comprometerse. Úsela con precaución.
Los límites nos hacen estrangular a veces, pero solo tenemos 24 horas en el día. Dios quiere que hagamos cosas específicas durante esas 24 horas para su reino. Si solo estamos recorriendo la vida, haciendo lo que está frente a nosotros, sin ser guiados, no tendremos tiempo para escuchar y ver lo que el Señor quiere que hagamos. Jesús envió a sus discípulos a decirles que no hablen con nadie en el camino. Dios todavía bendecirá sus actividades religiosas sin propósito tanto como pueda, pero realmente tiene mucho más planeado para nosotros de lo que podemos imaginar.
¡Su amor y planes para nosotros son ilimitados! Mientras que Dios está limitado por nuestra vida de oración en esta tierra, Él es Omnipotente. Él puede hacer cualquier cosa en el universo, pero solo está limitado por Sus propias reglas de propiedad que Él estableció para la tierra.
Dicho esto, cuando los creyentes oramos, tenemos a nuestra disposición los poderes ilimitados del Creador del Universo. Úsalo para su gloria y su discreción.
Comencemos a orar más específicamente cuando somos guiados por Dios. Por el bien de la humanidad, y por la gloria de Dios