If you have before or plan to venture out on a short term mission trip, you know the rush of emotion and excitement, and you also know the nervousness and anticipation. For many of us veteran “short-termers”, we would probably agree that the excitement and fear involved in going on or leading a short-term trip never really goes away. Every trip is full of the unknown, sometimes good and sometimes scary, but always worth it in the end. Here are a few things that I believe will make your short-term trip more than worth it.
Often times, the most challenging person to accept is ourselves. We learn that our own self can be one of the hardest people out of everyone to love. Yet, when we come to realize that God already knows us, really relationally knows us as we are, and yet still loves us, maybe we can look at our messiness, and brokenness and even venture into these dark places without fear. We can in turn see the dark places in others and love beyond our humanly capacities.
News Year resolutions are popular as a way of committing to changing something about us, whether it’s our weight, our look, our social media, charity, etc. . . However, this is not a new trend by any means. Roman soldiers had their own distinct ritual that had a similar function. However, it is in Christ that we begin to understand what new beginnings truly mean for those who identify as being in Christ.
Pentecostal worship is not often called or thought of as liturgical worship. However, when we view Pentecostal worship through the lens of liturgy, we can better grasp the ways in which the Pentecostal movement communicates with God. Here are some ideas on how Pentecostals are liturgical and how we can better create space for our worship and communication with God.
As the present church, this question is of upmost importance for us; how do we live out Christ’s ascension? The humility we see centering Christ’s ascension reveals that His crucifixion was an act of love, because even though Jesus knew that He was fully God, He intentionally rejected His own glory to serve humankind by becoming human. It is through this narrative of the ascension that we can get a clearer picture of what it means to be the church.
I grew up believing that Jesus came into my heart when I accepted Him as my Savior. To have Christ within is to be in authentic fellowship with Him; He is now Lord and Master and we are servants. To have Christ within you means hope for today and tomorrow, power for daily life, and an intimate relationship with the Most High God.
We are not owners of the world, or anything in it for that matter, though we stand in as caretakers and stewards. So what does it look like when we recognize that “the earth is the Lord’s and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it?” After all, we will be giving back to God all that he has lent us, our bodies, money, houses, cars and the earth we inhabit.
When we encounter works of art we are moved and reminded of other things in our lives. When we hear a symphony we feel the tension of the strings or the whimsy of the melody. When we watch films we are able to relate to characters experiences and empathize with them. When we look at paintings we are able to identify symbols and colors that allude to something unknown. Somehow through viewing a piece of art we are able to experience this feeling of otherness that is difficult to describe and even more difficult to understand. Art lowers our defenses and allows us to see the world in a fresh lens.