The Danger of "Fruitfullness" Without Purity
by Michael Oh
As I sift through a mountain of emails, I’ve learned to quickly dismiss forwarded “junk mail,” even if it’s from people I consider friends. At the same time, I learn to recognize which email “clicks” might actually reap spiritual blessing. When I get an email from a particular dear friend who works with the Navigators, I pay attention. A few years ago he forwarded an email of a quote passed along by one his friends. The blessing and challenge of that email made such an impact on me that I’ve saved it to this day. The email read:
Years ago, I asked Jim Downing, one of the patriarchs of the Navigator work, “Why is it that so few men finish well?” His response was profound. He said, “They learn the possibility of being fruitful without being pure … they begin to believe that purity doesn’t matter. Eventually, they become like trees rotting inside that are eventually toppled by a storm.” Read more
Cross-Cultural Servanthood: Serving the World in Christlike Humility
by Peter Beck
For their first anniversary, Duane Elmer, author of Cross Cultural Servanthood, purchased a set of new snow tires for his wife. At the time, Duane and Muriel were living in the Upper Midwest and she needed the new tires to drive safely during the winter. Duane sacrificed a great deal to purchase the tires. He cared deeply for his wife and she needed the tires. However, his choice of anniversary present did not communicate his love to her in the way he’d intended.
As missionaries, we seek to communicate Christ’s love in a meaningful way to other cultures. We leave our home culture, language, family, and church to share the life-saving message of the gospel. We seek to communicate out of love and concern for others. Yet, sometimes our attempts to demonstrate Christ’s love fall as flat as new snow tires for an anniversary gift. Read more