Wednesday, August 29, 2007

response to missionary or impostor quote

You may want to read The Best Pizza Ever post first.


Dion,
I read your blog yesterday and understand your concern and angst overbeing a missionary versus an impostor.
First, because Tom Beachy quotes Charles Spurgeon, was the quote usedin the context Spurgeon meant?...The Apostle Paul said," I have becomeall things to all men, that I might by all means save some. 1COR9:22.We refer to his journeys as missionary journeys...being an impostorwould mean we are spreading a false doctrine in our witnessing orliving a lie by embracing sin.
Flexibility in ministry (witness) does not make one an impostor or amissionary. Being all things does not imply we embrace sin to reachthe lost. Rather, we understand the viewpoint from which that lostsoul comes from and through the power of the Holy Spirit we witness inthe "language" or "speak" they understand.
Yesterday, you were a construction worker and used "constructionspeak" and knowing the "Lingo" you could explain our faith in easy tounderstand terms that might help the construction worker grasp themeaning of being born again- transformed by Jesus' love andforgiveness. Today you are a teacher, and using "teacher speak" cannow witness the gospel of Christ to teachers.
John the Baptist was referred to: "The same came for a witness, tobear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. Hewas not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light." JOHN1:7 John was called to be a witness, Jesus called us to be witnesses. So long as you witness the Truth and the Light, whether they labelyou as a witness, apostle, believer, or missionary you can never be animpostor.
Gods Blessings
Barry


Great points Barry, feel free to add them to the blog. I haven't really had any discussions on the blog yet, just one sided posting. Don't be afraid to break the silence on the other side.

I agree with what you said it is just that sometimes I get frustrated with myself that I am not more of a missionary in every action of my daily routine. That is why I said that I sometimes think I may be an impostor. It is not intentional, just my being lazy to not proactively be light to those around me.
However I have also found that in those moments I am light anyway. Light is always inherently light, it never changes. I just seem to loose sight of that sometimes.

Many blessings to you and Elizabeth. May God prosper your business for his Glory.

Dion

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

discipleship

This post on Alan Hirsch's blog was so good I thought I'd put an excerpt here. If interested click here for the whole hit at his The Forgotton Ways blog. The entry is entitled "Obsessed with Disciple-Making"

"For the follower of Jesus discipleship is not the first step towards a promising career. It is in itself the fulfillment of his/her destiny. We never move from being a disciple on-the-way. And yet it seems as if we find little place for radical discipleship in our life together as believers. At best we tend to think of it as something we do with young converts. The dilemma we face today in regards to this issue is that while we have an historical language of discipleship, our actual practice of discipleship is far from consistent, and as a result this mismatch tends to obscure the centrality of the problem. I think it is fair to say that in the Western church, we have by and large, lost the art of disciple-making. This is so partly because we have reduced it to the intellectual assimilation of ideas, partly because of the abiding impact of cultural Christianity embedded in the Christendom understanding of church, and partly because of the phenomenon of consumerism in our own day mitigates against a true following of Jesus.
For the above reasons it seems to me that we have lowered the bar for participation in Christian community to the lowest common denominator. However, when we look into this element of mDNA as it appears in the phenomenal movements, we discover how counterintuitive their emphases really are—they seem to flatly contradict so many of our own church growth practices. For instance: far from being ‘seeker-friendly,’ by 170AD the underground Christian movement had developed what they called the catechisms. These were not merely the doctrinal confessions they later became, they involved rigorous personal examinations that required the catechumen to demonstrate why he/she was worthy of entry into the confessing community. Not only could the proposed convert lose his/her life because of the persecution of the time, but they had to prove why they believed they should be allowed to become part of the Christian community in the first place! Many were turned away because they were found unworthy. This is clean contrary to the ‘seeker sensitive’ practice so prevalent in our day. And it was this element of vigorous discipleship that characterized the early Christian movement that was blighted by the deluge of worldliness that flooded the post Constantinian church when the bar was lowered on membership and the culture was ‘Christianized.’"

Have I made discipleship the priority it ought to be?

Gaby got it

Just yesterday Naty and Gaby were having a conversation about some friends of ours that are missionaries in Thailand and Gaby said, "I got it mom, God doesn't need us to be missionaries in Venezuela because there are a lot of people who need to know Jesus right here in Columbus."
She starts school tomorrow and we are very excited for her!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

the best pizza ever

Naty is without a doubt, the best cook in the world so that would of course mean that her pizza is the best too. (my mom's runs crust to crust with it too, after all Naty uses her recipe!) Today Naty made some homemade spaghetti sauce and salsa thanks to lots of free tomatoes from Dave and Teresa Troyer.


After the sauce came the pizza



changes

I've realized that I usually journal more at transition points in my life and after a lot reflection today over the past few months I guess I'll do a blog entry instead of a journal entry this time.
I finished an update letter and need to get it reformatted and sent out, so that led to reflecting over the past 3 months as I wrote. Then I wrote our 2007 activity report for the mission board at Locust Grove, our church in Belleville. So that helped me think about the past year and all that we've done. On top of that tomorrow is my first teacher workday to get ready for the new school year so I'll have another change starting at 8:40 AM tomorrow. Yesterday I was a construction worker and tomorrow I'll be a teacher again. Today I had the day off to just be a husband and a dad. I was planning to take a bike ride with my neighbor this morning but thanks to lots of rain, we couldn't do the ride, so I just stayed home all day.
At conference in Goshen, IN I heard a quote that has been bouncing in my head ever since. Tom Beachy quoted Charles Spurgeon at the beginning of Conference saying, "Every Christian is either a missionary or an impostor." Challenging words. I think I've been both sometimes. It's been an interesting question for me to ask, "Am I a missionary or an impostor?"
Our change is that we are no longer missionary interns with RMM, our assignment ended at the end of June when we decided that we are no longer going to Venezuela. So does that mean that we are now missionaries since we aren't interns? (and I think we passed the class even though I haven't gotten a grade card yet) But we aren't doing anything different now from when we were interns, so I guess we were missionaries all along! But now we don't have a budget or any reimbursement for our ministry either. That is going to be interesting! Doing the same thing, making less and trusting God.
There are also times when I think I might just be an impostor too. I act like a Christian but I act like everyone else around me too, not doing anything special, not winning others to Jesus, which is what a missionary does. I also think that when one is a missionary one is an impostor in the world as well. Missionary and impostor at the same time.
As I start teaching school again tomorrow, how can I be a missionary and not an impostor, neither a Christian impostor nor an impostor of the world? How can I be authentic in both realms, the spiritual and secular at the same time?
I am excited about only working in one middle school instead of two, so at least I won't be an impostor in that way, I will actually be a full fledged member of the faculty at Pleasant View Middle School and won't have to balance working in two schools. My hope is that I can also authentically be Jesus at PV as well.
The other change we have starting tomorrow is being the parents of a daughter at Stiles Elementary School. Gaby wants to tell her whole class about Jesus and she has decided that she wants to do it all at the same time because that would be most efficient! How will we be missionaries as parents at Stiles and not impostors?
How are we missionaries in Lincoln Village?
Are we really missionaries?

Friday, August 17, 2007

starting to get it

One thing that God really confirmed to me when He asked us to give up on moving to Venezuela was that he was going to use us to bless Latin America more by not living there than He could if we lived there. Our good friend and mentor Dave Sharp informed us that Latin America is just a start, God wants us to bless ALL NATIONS.
It's starting. Last night we had a Mission Support Team meeting for Aram and Debbi DiGennaro our co-workers in house church planting that are going to me going to Kenya to serve as country reps for Eastern Mennonite Missions.
Tonight we got together with Gordon, Betsie, Elizabeth, Susanna and Samuel Wenger who are leaving in two weeks to go back to southern Peru where they are sharing Jesus with the Quechua people in the mountains.
Tomorrow we are going to be helping with a Honduran and Mexican wedding here on the Westside.
There's four nations in three days. Bring it on God keep leading us toward blessing others.

Here is the happy couple



Naty busy working as the reception coordinator

Thursday, August 16, 2007

over a month later

Here are some of the latest pics of the little Peacheys. The big Peachey in the pictures is my cousin Rich who paid us a visit at the end of July. Enjoy!