Friday, February 17, 2012

Reflections on Relationships

This week I've heard from several people that I haven't heard from in quite some time.  Some had good news to share and others sad news.  This has caused me to think about relationships.  In our 20 years of being married, Cavin and I have moved many times.  The sad part to me is leaving the people that I have loved and experienced life with in that place.  But the exciting thing is that there are new friends to meet - new people that God puts into my life.  He puts those people into my life - and yours - to impact us, or for us to impact them and isn't that what life is about?  - especially when we are impacting others or they are impacting us through the Gospel of Christ.

God has been showing Cavin something recently that I want to share - and it's all about relationships.  He likes to call it the "2:2:2 Lifestyle" based on The Great Commission, 2 Timothy 2:2 and Ephesians 5:21. The Great Commission, Matthew 28:19-20 says "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." 2 Timothy 2:2 says "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others." Ephesians 5:21 says "Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ" 

The way it could be best described is the idea that you always have a least 6 people in your life at all times: 2 non-believers, 2 new Christians, and 2 mature Christians.  You are praying for and sharing the Gospel as you have opportunity with the 2 non-believers.  The key is that you are building a relationship with them so that they will accept Christ and then become disciples.  The second 2 people are new Christians that you are mentoring in their Christian walk.  The third 2 people are mature Christians that you are accountable to in your walk with Christ.  These 2 people are people that you can share ideas or come to for wise, godly counsel.

Who is God bringing to your mind?  I challenge you not to waste the relationships that God is giving you in your life RIGHT NOW!  He has put people in your life for a reason.  There are people in your life who need to hear the gospel and know that it is REAL in your life.  There are also struggling Christians who long to grow and have a mentor to help them in their desire to live a Christ-centered life.  Maybe God has put you in their life for that very reason.  Then there are times when we all struggle and need a godly person to share our struggles or frustrations.  We need to know there is someone we can go to when we need godly counsel based on the Bible - not just what someone "thinks" - and we can know that this person will pray for us.

I thank God for the people He has placed in my life to bring me to where I am today; and I pray that Cavin and I have had an impact on others for the glory of God.  However, it's a continual process.  Don't stop working on those relationships!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Great Weekend with our Mission Family!

Friday morning, all of the IMB Missionaries here in Panama came together for a day of prayer.  We all shared what is going on in our ministries as well as our personal lives.  After each unit shared, the other missionaries came around them, laid on hands and prayed over them.  It was truly a very special time of unification as we all have the common goal of sharing Jesus with the people of Panama.

It also hit me that day that our time in Panama is short, and we have much to do before we leave this city.  In a few short months, we will be leaving this beautiful country and leaving behind people we love and have shared so much with.  Some of the people that we will be leaving are the other missionaries that we have served alongside.  Others are Panamanian nationals that we have worshipped with, worked with, prayed with or shared the gospel with.

We left the prayer meeting refreshed and re-energized, ready to face whatever lies ahead!

Saturday we spent another day with our Mission Family, but this day was a fun family day at Isla Mamay - an island located about 2 hours outside of the city.  It was a great day of relaxing and just enjoying the beauty all around us.  Below is a picture of Cavin and me.  You can see from the picture just how beautiful this place is.  It is one of our favorite places here in Panama.