So Send I You (book review)

Jesus told His followers, “As the Father has sent Me, so send I you” (John 20:21). So Send I You by Oswald Chambers is a series of lectures to his students that were preparing to be missionaries. But, as Chambers makes perfectly clear, every Christian is a missionary.

Samuel M. Zwemer said about this book, “A preface or forward is scarcely needed to introduce the reader to this treasure-house of thought on missions. Those who have read other books by our friend, Oswald Chambers, know what to expect. A message not for superficial minds and hearts. Those who love to think on the kingdom and whose hearts the King has entered will not be disappointed as they read these pages.”

Truly this is not a book for superficial minds, as Chambers challenges Christians to look at life through the eyes of Jesus, to be on a mission just as Jesus was. His lectures are solidly founded on Scripture, showing us how Jesus intended His followers to conduct themselves.

If you are ready to be more used by God, then So Send I You is for you. You will be both challenged and encouraged and equipped to be a more effective disciple and missionary for Jesus Christ.

Thursdays With Oswald—Love’s Focus

Oswald ChambersThis is a weekly series with things I’m reading and pondering from Oswald Chambers. You can read the original seed thought here, or type “Thursdays With Oswald” in the search box to read more entries.

Love’s Focus 

     We live in a complex world, a mass of sensibilities and impressionabilities that we are apt to imagine that it is the same with God. … The key to missionary devotion is put in our hand at the outset, “For His name’s sake they went forth” [3 John 7]. The key is amazingly simple, as is everything connected with Our Lord. Our difficulties arise when we lose the key, and we lose the key by not being simple. …  

     “Simon son of John, do you truly love Me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, You know that I love You” [John 21:16]. In verse 15 Our Lord had made a comparison—“Do you truly love Me more than these?” Here He makes no comparison—“Do you truly love Me?” To demand a declaration of love beyond comparison is to risk losing all. A missionary must be dominated by this love beyond compare to the Lord Jesus Christ, otherwise he will be simply the servant of a denomination or a cause, or a seeker for relief from a crushing sorrow in work. Many go into Christian work not for the sake of His Name, but in order to find surcease from their own sorrow; because of unrequited love; or because of a bereavement or a disappointment. Such workers are not dominated by the Master, and they are likely to strew the mission field with failure and sighs, and to discourage those who work with them. There is only one thing stronger than any of these feelings, and that is love.

From So Send I You

It’s a good question for any Christian to ask themselves: Why do I do what I do?

Does it seem like a good idea? A noble idea? Is it because someone asked me to help? Maybe I saw a need that wasn’t being addressed?

Or do I do what I do as a Christian because I am so in love with Jesus—so focused on Him—that I cannot help but stay “on mission” with Him? His directive was not to DO things, but to BE His witness wherever I went, teaching people whatever He taught me (see Matthew 28:19-20).

Love for Christ should be the only reason we do what we do.

10 Quotes From “Live Dead Life”

Joy Hawthorne is a 16-year-old living with her parents in a radically Islamic Middle East country. Live Dead Life is her personal journal that she is sharing with other students in the same setting, but I find her words compelling, challenging, and encouraging for readers of all ages! Check out my full book review of Live Dead Life by clicking here.

“I step outside my door and follow Jesus where He leads. I seek to keep my feet on the path with Jesus, knowing a great adventure awaits.”

“To go through my day for Jesus, I need to spend time with Him. I can only give for Jesus what I received from Him. That is why I need time with Him daily.”

“I discovered that it’s easier to walk with Jesus all day when I think of Him as a friend I live with and not a duty I spend time with.” 

“It takes a lot of practice to intentionally involve Jesus in all part of my day, and I often forget, but I keep trying. And maybe that’s what Jesus wants—not perfection in a moment but persistence over time.”

“To reflect the image of God to the world, I have to know what He looks like and sounds like, right? I can’t do that without spending time with Him, and so it’s through my abiding time that I see Jesus and know Him and hear His voice. As I spend time with Him, I get a picture of Him to reflect to others. Jesus in me naturally flows out of me. Abiding affects everything and everyone around me.”

“I didn’t pick this place, but I can decide how I am going to live here.”

“All I have to do is look around. I might not be perfect, but I can follow Jesus and be there for others. I can be their first Christian friend. I can live with them. I can share my heart and the Gospel with them. All I have to do is say, ‘Yes.’ Yes to whatever Jesus has for me and wherever He wants to take me, whether I feel ready or not.”

“As God gives me life, He doesn’t give it so I can keep it for myself. God gives it so I can give it back. This is my chance to express the love that He shows to me, back to Him. I have one life to spend, and one death to give, so what happens when I stop trying to steal the gift He has given and instead offer it back? What happens when I let go of my plan and follow His, no matter how inconvenient? Choosing to live dead points me in that direction, to constantly turn things over to Jesus.”

“Jesus is too good to keep to myself. He’s worth telling the whole world. He’s worth sharing with my unreached neighbors.”

“When I cry out to Jesus, God delights to give an answer, and the answer is Himself—His heart in us. Then when I cry out for more, the answer is again Himself! When I cry for a broken world, hurt people, evil things, a deep wound, or gaping holes in hearts, God delights to be the answer to my prayers. He is the answer. I was never meant to be the answer to a lost, broken world. I am just meant to be in the place God calls me to be, to be able to tell the lost that He hears, that He hasn’t forgotten, that He knows.”

More quotes from this amazing book are coming soon, so stay tuned. In the meantime, I would highly encourage all Christians to download a free copy of Joy Hawthorne’s book (the download link is in my book review).

7 Quotes From “The Dawning Of Indestructible Joy”

the-dawning-of-indestructible-joyThe Dawning Of Indestructible Joy is a wonderful book from John Piper to prepare your heart for celebrating Christ’s First Advent! It’s arranged as a 25-day countdown until Christmas morning. Check out my review of this book here, and then enjoy a few quotes that caught my attention.

“The coming of Jesus was a search-and-save mission. ‘The Son of Man came to seek and save the lost’ [Luke 19:10]. So Advent is a season for thinking about the mission of God to seek and to save lost people from the wrath to come. … ‘As the Father has sent Me, even so I am sending you’ (John 20:21). It’s the story of how the vertical advent of God in the mission of Jesus bends out and becomes the horizontal advent of Jesus in the mission of the church. In us.”

“If there is a longing in your heart this Advent for something that the world has not been able to satisfy, might not this longing be God’s Christmas gift preparing you to see Christ as consolation and redemption and to receive Him for who He really is?”

“Christmas is about the coming of the Son of Man who ‘came not to be served but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.’ These words in Mark 10:45, as a brief expression of Christmas, are what I hope God will fix in your mind and heart this Advent. Open your heart to receive the best present imaginable: Jesus giving Himself to die for you and to serve you all the rest of eternity.”

“Take the very personal words of the Apostle Paul and make them your own. ‘The life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me’ (Galatians 2:20). This is how Jesus destroyed the works of the devil and rescued us from our sin. Don’t leave Christmas in the abstract. Your sin. Your conflict with the devil. Your victory. He came for this.”

“The point is that when Jesus comes, He confirms the truth of all God’s promises. He shows that God is trustworthy; He keeps His word. … Christ came to prove that God tells the truth, that God keeps His promises. Christmas means that God can be trusted.” 

“It is God’s message of hope this Advent that what is good need never be lost and what is bad can be changed. The devil works to take the good and bring the bad. And Jesus came to destroy the works of the devil [1 John 3:8].”

“This is what God does again and again. He may be doing it for you this Advent season—graciously and tenderly frustrating you with life that is not centered on Christ and filling you with longings and desires that can’t find their satisfaction in what this world offers, but only in the God-man. What a Christmas gift that might be! Let all your frustrations with this world throw you onto the Word of God. It will become sweet—like walking into paradise.”

9 More Quotes From “Abolishing Abortion”

Abolishing AbortionIt is time to end the evil of abortion once and for all, and Father Frank Pavone lays out a helpful game plan in his book Abolishing Abortion. Check out my review of his book here, and then read some of the quotes I found noteworthy.

“As I have often said, the last thing supporters of abortion want to discuss is abortion. You will not hear them described the procedure or any of its gory details. Often they avoid the very word, instead couching it in softer, more acceptable terms like ‘a woman’s right to choose’ or ‘reproductive rights.’ We are living in a world proud to turn a blind eye to the obvious. That great blind spot in our culture covers the children in the womb. Our mission is to shine light on that darkness.” 

“The point here is not to turn the church into a political mechanism. The point is to increase the freedom of the church to speak about relevant national issues. We are not talking about preaching politics, but about preaching the Word of God as a way of illuminating politics.”

“God did not rescue us from sin and death to build a community of nervous chipmunks ever sniffing the air for potential danger. He sealed our lives with His own death-defining Spirit so that we might act in kind.” —Rev. John Ensor, Innocent Blood

“Federal law and some state laws recognize unborn children as victims if they are killed in the commission of a crime. This leads to the curious contradiction that if a pregnant woman on her way to an abortion is struck by a drunk driver, that driver can be charged with the death of the child she was about to have legally killed.”

“So when the public is horrified at Kermit Gosnell snipped the spinal cords of babies born alive, or when they are horrified that he performed abortions in the final months of pregnancy, they are not horrified by some anomaly, but by an abortion mind-set that simply exalts choice above life.”

“The incremental nature of our activities—the fact that at the present time we might pass a ban on abortions after twenty weeks but not before—is justified only as long as that limitation is not chosen by us but imposed on us by circumstances beyond our control. In other words, if I worked to pass a law to protect children at twenty weeks and later, the failure to protect them earlier must be totally beyond the scope of what I can decide. As a goal, I can never decide, choose, will, or agree to make even a single abortion acceptable or legal. But if the legislative support for protecting babies before twenty weeks does not yet exist in a particular legislative body—if, in other words, the votes just aren’t there—then I can support that ban precisely because I’m doing everything I can at the moment.”

“Our Lord simply did not follow the doctrine that successful ministry requires being liked. In fact, He promised that fidelity to Him (that is, ‘success’ in being His disciples) would guarantee persecution. It is wrong, of course, to use such a guarantee as an excuse for imprudence, insensitivity, or lack of preparation. But at the same time, it would be foolish to ignore this promise of the Lord. Our success will depend not on whether we are liked, but rather on whether we are respected. Respect flows not from doing what the other finds pleasing but from what all recognized to be consistent, courageous, and immune from the temptation to change with the wind.”

“Given such a grave situation, we need now more than ever to have the courage to look the truth in the eye and to call things by their proper name, without yielding to convenient compromises or to the temptation of self-deception.” —Pope John Paul II, The Gospel Of Life

“We need to convince the unconvinced that to be pro-life is to be pro-woman. The difference between ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-choice’ is not that pro-lifers love the baby and pro-choicers love the woman. The difference is that the pro-choice message says you can separate the two, and the pro-life message says you cannot.”

If you would like to read the first batch of quotes I shared from this book, please click here.

Poetry Saturday—Mission

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

If you are dreaming of a future goal,
   When, crowned with glory, men shall own your power,
Be careful that you let no struggling soul
   Go by unaided in the present hour.
If you are moved to pity for the earth,
   And long to aid it, do not look so high,
You pass some poor, dumb creature faint with thirst—
   All life is equal in the Eternal Eye.
If you would help to make the wrong things right,
   Begin at home: there lies a lifetime’s toil.
Weed your own garden fair for all men’s sight,
   Before you plan to till another’s soil.
God chooses His own leaders in the world,
   And from the rest He asks but willing hands.
As mighty mountains into place are hurled,
   While patient tides may only shape the sands. —Ella Wheeler Wilcox, Mission

11 Quotes From “Liquid Leadership”

Liquid LeadershipLiquid Leadership by Brad Szollose was a bit “light” on leadership development content for my tastes, but I still found a few good quotes to share with you. Check out my review of this book by clicking here.

“Baby boomers tend to isolate themselves from younger people and treat them as expendable kids, while Gen Yers to undervalue the experience of Boomers and ignore them. Either attitude is a mistake and insulting.”

“Innovation cannot thrive in environments where anxiety is too high; but in environments where anxiety is low, creativity is high. Fragile thoughts need time to survive and thrive.”

“Something remarkable took place over the past twenty-five years: People stop worshipping the companies they work for and begin instead to see themselves as value added to the bottom line, partners in success. Today’s workforce has amazingly high self-esteem and won’t look up to you just because you’ve ‘earned’ the corner office.”

“It is easy to be a leader when times are good. But when times are tough, these are the moments that make a leader great.”

“Leaders who are more involved in the day-to-day process can easily see what is creating the status quo environment, which enables them to change it. And when they make changes, they can make them organically, because they are viewed as a trusted ally instead of an intruder.”

“Your job is to be the best shepherd possible of ideas and implementation.”

“In an environment that allows truth telling, you must make sure each team member understands how to present a sticky subject without destroying a fellow colleague’s contribution. In other words, speak properly and respectfully when critiquing. Speaking the truth should not be used as a way to get even or to make a coworker look bad. Making someone feel as if they are under attack leaves angry feelings and creates a hostile environment. But when everyone is supportive and nurturing, people feel safe to admit their weaknesses. The common goal is to get better.”

“When people have a sense of purpose built into what they do, you don’t just get an employee—you get a person’s talent, passion, and full attention. … But real engagement—real, 100 percent commitment—requires a workplace that isn’t just making stuff but, in someway, changing the world.”

“Make sure each and every member of your organization understands the company’s mission, where the company is going, and how it plans on getting there. Try to make the vision exciting for everyone. Team members need to be crystal clear as to goals, purposes, and intentions for the group. Keep the mission of each team front and center, and they’ll stay on target, and your employees will understand how to earn their place on the team. High standards will guarantee greater output.”

“You never change the existing reality by fighting it. Instead, create a new model that makes the old one obsolete.” —Buckminster Fuller

“I am going to share with you the key to success in any business: the secret, in a word, is ‘heart-power.’ Capture the heart, and you’ve captured the person.” —Vince Lombardi

%d bloggers like this: