First Casual Friday of October

Oct 5, 2018 | Blog, Casual Friday

Greetings from the beautiful Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. We have been at the PTM conference all week (Pastoral Training in Member-care) and benefitting immensely, as usual. It’s hard to forget the need for good missionary care when you’re surrounded by 230 like-minded care providers! It’s also a good reminder to be thankful for each of you who take missionary care seriously enough to stop by and peruse our resources.



Know anyone headed for a creative access country? This article from ZDNet offers a step-by-step guide to reducing one’s digital footprint.



Know anyone heading for the field in the next few months? This step-by-step packing guide from the folks at Taking Route may be useful to them.



Learning a new language (and the culture that must go with it) can be a daunting, exhausting task. You may find yourself in a position to encourage a missionary who is wrestling with that. This post from the folks at Missionary Life will be helpful for you and for them.


It is easy for missionaries to get so wrapped up in their work that they fail to pay much attention to the condition of their own soul. TJ Addington talks about the importance of self-evaluation and personal growth in this helpful post.


Silence and solitude are spiritual disciplines that have helped many in their growth as believers. But practicing them on the mission field can be difficult, and the pressures of ministry can easily squeeze them out of a missionary’s schedule. Stephen Mayers offers these practical ideas for effective silence that your friends on the field may appreciate.


Even missionaries can lose their focus and the clarity of their calling. Rod Denton suggests 11 questions that will help foster intentionality and promote growth. Know anyone who could use these?


For those who have been accustomed to living in a place that experiences season, life on the mission field without those seasons can have a subtle, detrimental effect. Adam McHugh talks about what he’s discovered on that topic and how to benefit from seasonal thinking even in a single-season location.


Rest is an incredibly important component of health—spiritual, physical, and emotional. Rachel Pieh Jones talks about how she finally came to grips with that reality in her life on the mission field.



Here’s your chance to get a copy of a classic-but-out-of-print book. Raising Resilient MKs: Resources for Caregivers, Parents and Teachers is available as a free electronic download from the folks at Missionary Care. This collection of wisdom from 38 authors covers most any topic you can think of related to caring for missionary children.


Dr. Rachel Cason, an adult TCK herself, knows what it’s like to feel overwhelmed by all of the challenges of re-entry. If you know of an older TCK who is wrestling with adjusting to life in the U.S., Dr. Cason would like to help. Check out her site which includes contact information.



Gear shifting is what Renee Aupperlee calls it. For most missionaries, it’s a way of life that we might think of as transition. Renee’s post will help you get a better feel for what that means for the global workers with whom you partner. It will probably affect your prayer life as well.


Transition involves shifting. Sometimes it is a geographic shift that is required. Other times it may be a faith shift or a shift in calling.

My calling is not my God.

Joy Smalley’s transparency in this post is a gift to all of us. And a reminder that our identity is not based upon our activity, that our focus should be on the caller, not on the calling. Know anyone who should receive a copy of this?



Far too many missionaries are driven by shame, and many more suffer from its effect on their ministry. Potter’s Inn is sponsoring a one-day seminar by Dr. Curt Thompson, author of The Soul of Shame, January 25, in Colorado Springs. You may be interested in expanding your understanding of this topic and learning ways to deal with it.



For those of you who partner with missionaries working in the East, you may want to read this BBC article on the differences between Western thinking and Eastern thinking. The more you understand about the culture in which your missionary friend works, the more intelligently you can pray for her.


Jet lag is almost always to be expected in today’s world of high-speed travel. This helpful article identifies the causes, symptoms, and treatment. You’ll want to know this for when you go visit your friends on the field. And you’ll want to share it with them as well.


Want to pray effectively and intelligently for the MKs and TCKs you know? Lauren Wells offers this GRIT acrostic to help you do just that.



Being an Introvert in a Loud [aka Missions] World. That’s the title of Brooke’s deeply though-provoking piece on the role of introverts in an environment designed for extroverts. Though written for the context of the local church, her penetrating insights can easily be applied to the world of missions. Read this. Then ask yourself, “Who do I know that fits Brooke’s description? How might he or she be struggling in their ministry as a result? What can I do to encourage them, affirm them, let them know they are valued?”



Do you find these resources to be useful? Have they helped you in any way to become a better care provider for some missionary? Perhaps you would help spread the word so that many others can join the ranks of those, like yourself, who care enough to equip yourself.


New on my bookshelf:

  • Invitation to Retreat, by Ruth Haley Barton
  • The Marketspace, by Larry McCrary
  • Souvenirs of Solitude, by Brennan Manning

What I’m reading this week:

  • Autumn: A Spiritual Biography, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
  • Inspired: Slaying giants, walking on water, and loving the Bible again, by Rachel Evans
  • Formed for the Glory of God, by Kyle Strobel
  • The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, George Long trans.
  • How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, by Gordon Fee
  • Winston S. Churchill: World in Torment: 1916-1922, by Martin Gilbert

Recently finished reading:

  • The Garlic Ballads, by Mo Yan
  • Summer: A Spiritual Biography, Schmidt & Felch, eds.
  • Understanding Gender Dysphoria, by Mark Yarhouse
  • Emotionally Healthy Leaders, by Peter Scazzero
  • Extreme Teams, by Robert Shaw
  • Receiving Sent Ones During Re-entry, by Zach Bradley

Up next:

  • The Bible Tells Me So, by Peter Enns
  • Receiving Them Well, by Lisa Ennis & Lori Bryan
  • Desiring the Kingdom, by James K.A. Smith