Casual First Friday of the Year

Jan 5, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

Interesting, isn’t it, how we make such a big deal out of a new page on the calendar. A whole year of new possibilities and opportunities to anticipate. But most things stay the same—like God’s faithfulness and his heart for the world. And the need that missionaries have for your input and encouragement. So, as you gear up to tackle all the hope that 2018 has to offer, I pray you will double down on your resolve to care for the global workers God has made a part of your life.



It’s a good idea to get annual checkups. Eye exams, dental appointments, physicals—wise investments. Kay Bruner reminds us to take a look at our souls periodically as well. Here is the simplest, most potent checkup I’ve seen anywhere.


Amy Hartman talks honestly about the way life on the field is not always a glowing example of God’s heart. Every missionary you know could attest to this. Send them this as an encouragement.


Broken Hallelujahs. Who hasn’t heard that haunting song? Who hasn’t pondered to meaning behind it?

Cohen said the song represented absolute surrender in a situation you cannot fix or dominate.

That pretty much summarizes life on the mission field: a succession of situations that one cannot fix or dominate. Scott Rodin explores the implications in this article.


Elizabeth Trotter has felt the weight of responsibilities that most field workers feel, and the undesirable results.

We’re so afraid. The fates of other people depend on us…

I’m willing to bet that you know someone who would benefit from Elizabeth’s musings on the subject.


Questions are better than resolutions. That’s what Jodi Harris says in this thought-provoking piece. The type of questions she suggests could be really helpful for global workers. Pass them along to those you know on the mission field. You might even want to use them yourself.


You will often hear me talk about the danger of allowing the work of the Lord to overshadow the Lord of the work in the hearts of global workers.

We cannot give what we do not have. If God is not our treasure and we are not fully open to His molding of us, we cannot give this away to others.

Abby Alleman does a great job reiterating that reality in this potent post.


Jerry Jones offers 99 questions that parents can ask their family. “Questions that focus on the paradox of loving at least two places. Questions that root around in the messiness of living as a family of bumbling foreigners, perpetually on the edge of significant change.” Your friends on the field will appreciate these.


Unresolved conflict is still one of the number one reasons for missionary attrition. In this podcast pastor Jeff Jackson offers some helpful strategies for embracing and resolving the inevitable. (Be sure and listen to Part One if you haven’t already.) Spread it around.




Raising financial support is not a once-and-done issue for most missionaries. They must nurture the relationships God gives them with financial partners. The folks at Support Raising Solutions have written this helpful piece on how to do that over long distances.




Adventures4Kids is a great source of clean entertainment and educational videos that parents on the field will appreciate. Tell your friends about it (if you can stop watching long enough).




What if one of the missionaries you love becomes an ambassador in chains? That’s the question Jeff Jackson addresses in this thoughtful article. As their strategic partners in mission work, we need to be as prepared for this possibility as they do.




Sarah Whyte has a web site devoted to parenting, with many resources just for those working in an international setting (like the mission field). Check out this “A New Adventure” set of cards for coaching children through an international transition. Who might you bless with a set of these?


The folks at I Am A Triangle have a number of helpful e-books that you can download on topics like how to beat jet lag, the first night in a new home, and move-proofing your relationship. This is a wonderful community that your missionary friends would appreciate being a part of.


Know any moms on furlough? They would get a kick out of Jennilee Goodwin’s humorous post. It will also help you to better understand what such women must cope with.





MK retreat, sponsored by Compass Ministries, February 16-18.

Come join us and experience a weekend of deep worship and meaningful connections with your fellow MK/TCKs. Enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Epworth in St. Simon’s Island.


It’s time to register for the annual Midwest Conference on Missionary Care to be held February 23-24 in the Minneapolis area. The topic: The promise and peril of team life. You won’t find a better bargain!


Know anyone who has recently returned from the field? They may want to know about the re-entry debriefing program offered by Train International. The next event will be February 18-23 in Joplin, Missouri.




Travel insurance can be a wise investment for you when you go to visit your friends on the mission field. And they may well plan to get some for themselves. But where do you start to find what’s best for your needs? Here is a handy comparison chart for the best options.




Don’t be fooled by the title. This piece by Rachel “Djibouti” Jones is really about expanding your understanding of Christian/Muslim interaction. Read this to gain a deeper appreciation of the similarities that comprise bridges between cultures.


One of the foremost credentials we have for caring for missionaries is our own experience of suffering. Scott Shaum, who is profoundly qualified in that respect, has written a book on the subject. In this video pastor Doug Kempton interviews Scott on the topic of God’s purposes through personal hardships.



May the Lord himself impregnate you with his dreams. May he have the pleasure of seeing those dream come to fruition. And may he be pleased to have you working alongside him as he nurtures the souls of his harvest workers.


What I’m reading this week:

  • Messianic Christology, by Arnold Fruchtenbaum
  • The Emotionally Healthy Woman, by Gerri Scazzero (reading with my wife)
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert
  • The Uninvited Companion, by Scott Shaum

Just finished reading:

  • Those Who Wait, by Tanya Marlow
  • The Case for Christmas, by Lee Strobel

Up next:

  • Consider Your Calling, by Gordon Smith
  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
  • Living Far Away, by Esther Abbott
  • Moving Far Away, by Esther Abbott