Sunday, August 30, 2009

Native American Awareness Conference

This conference is especially interesting to me because my grandparents, Frank and Edna McLaughlin, were missionaries for seven years to the Ojibwe. They lived on reservations in Minnesota and South Dakota and ministered faithfully until their missions agency asked them to move. I know that it was a blessed time for them and that they loved being able to minister one-on-one with the people there.

Here is Bethlehem Baptist's information on the Conference. Hope to see you there! - Tavia Pitkanen

Did you know that though Native Americans have been exposed to the gospel for more than 500 years, only 5% of them have become believers? This conference is designed to inspire and equip Christians for Native American outreach. Guest speakers are: Pastor John Piper, Greg Mott, and Huron Claus.

Our theme is "Maajiigin," the Ojibwe word meaning "beginning" or "begin to grow." We pray that God would use this conference to plant his Word deep in us, water it, and grow our love for and awareness of the Native American community. The conference sessions will better equip us to effectively reach out to Native Americans with the gospel.






You can get more information about the Native American Awareness Conference here.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Singular Advantages of Poverty


This is a section taken from the Puritan writer James Meikle's book Solitude Sweetended.

"In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider: God has made the one as well as the other, so that man may not find out anything that will be after him." (Ecclesiastes 7:14)
Poverty calls to the exercise of certain graces
, which Christians in opulence cannot so properly be actually engaged in; though every saint has the essence of every grace. The rich cannot depend on God for their daily bread, in the same manner that the needy do. And when the poor, in their pinching straits, and repeated trials and disappointments—are enabled to let patience have her perfect work, to a full resignation to, and approbation of the disposal of providence in their lot, and have a sweet recumbency on the faithfulness and kindness of a reconciled God; thereby he is glorified, and their souls enriched for a world to come.

Again, the saints in poverty have a sweet display of a special providence towards them, and the small things, and petty sums they receive, have a relish to them, above the vast and yearly incomes of the rich; because these come as it were from the immediate hand of God, are the answer of their prayers, and the fruit of their faith. As in an indigent state needs daily return, so faith is daily necessary; and the daily actings of faith on an all-sufficient God, of all Christian graces glorifies God most, putting honor on all his perfections, on his truth and faithfulness, his power and immutability, his wisdom and mercy! And the soul that in the highest degree glorifies God in time, shall be glorified in a higher degree in heaven; for the seeds now sown with weeping, shall yield sheaves of comfort then, and the happy reapers shall rejoice forever.


It matters not how much we suffer here—if God may thereby be more glorified on earth, and we more glorified in heaven. If, then, poverty with the divine blessing, promotes this noble end, can any deny its singular advantages? If the soul goes out towards God, has the world crucified to him, and is crucified to the world; if he esteems the heavenly bliss a sufficient portion, and looks not at the things that are seen; if he commits all to God; if he welcomes every cross that comes from God; if he approves of that lot which God appoints, and in everything depends, confides on God, for himself and his children; and if he has his little allowance, (for he does not wish for much,) insured in the bank of heaven—while the great sums amassed by worldly-minded men and misers, are often in a short time so entirely consumed—is he a loser by poverty?


Finally, though God leads me through a terrible wilderness, and feeds me in the wilderness in a manner which the rich know not, since it is to humble me, and prove me, and do me good at my latter end, even to do me good world without end—why should I complain?

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Courage

"Courage is not about knowing the path.

It is about taking the first step.

It is about Peter, getting out of the boat.

I do not know my five year plan; even tomorrow will probably not go as I have planned.

I am thrilled and I am terrified, in a ...good way.

So some call it courage,

some call it foolish,

I call it Faith.

I choose to get out of the boat.

To take the next step..." - Katie Davis

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Chivalry Is Not Dead

We would like to salute the Mayor of Milwaukee Tom Barrett for his bravery.


On 8.15.09 Mayor Barrett, while leaving the state fair without his security detail because he was not on duty as Mayor, came to the defense of a Grandmother screaming for help while defending her one-year-old grandchild from a man wielding a pipe in a domestic dispute. Mayor Barrett was hit several times in the head and torso, and broke his hand as he stood his ground.

Thankfully the the Grandmother and the child were unharmed and Mayor Barrett is expected to make a full recovery from his injuries and the assailant has been arrested.

Read the whole story here from the Chicago Tribune.
(Picture was borrowed from Polutlas' Photostream on Flicker. Thank you!)

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Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Love We Trust

Have we told you how much we love the "Of First Importance" Blog? We love it. Very, very much. You should really go subscribe to their daily e-mails right now!

Here is another amazing post from them that we wanted to share with you. Enjoy.

The Love We Trust

Posted: 08 Aug 2009 10:19 PM PDT

“It is an item of faith that we are children of God; there is plenty of evidence in us against it. The faith that surmounts this evidence and that is able to warm itself at the fire of God’s love, instead of having to steal love and self-acceptance from other sources, is actually the root of holiness. . . . We are not saved by the love we exercise, but by the love we trust.”

- Richard Lovelace, Dynamics of Spiritual Life (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1979), 213.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jesus Has Forever Identified Himself With Us

I found this beautiful post on the "Of First Importance" blog. A good meditation for your morning. Enjoy!

He Has Permanently Identified With Us

“Since His resurrection, Jesus has kept His physical body, in a glorified form. Jesus did not have a body before He came to earth; He took on a physical body for one purpose only — so that He could die. He became a man to live the perfect life for us and then to die in our place. But even when all that was over, He kept a physical body for eternity in heaven, with the scars on His hands and feet and side now part of His glory. He has permanently identified with us. This is amazing love.”

- Susan Lutz, “Love One Another As I Have Loved You” Journal of Biblical Counseling (Spring 2003), 10.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

YOU Can Fight Slavery At the Grocery Store!

Amanda Kloer has a great blog, "End Human Trafficking" at the website: Change.org!

Yesterday she posted a wonderful article: "7 Ways to Fight Slavery at the Grocery Store"

Here is a re-post of the article. You can help to make a difference in the fight against human trafficking and slavery just by paying attention to which grocery products you buy. Read on for great advice on which products to be vigilant about.

I am a bit of a foodie (and more than a bit of a nerd), so grocery shopping for me is a fun, relaxing activity. Handling the fruit, smelling the cheese counter, ogling the wine section- it can be quite a nice outing. But when you're trying to pay attention to what you buy, sometimes grocery shopping can feel overwhelming! To make things a little easier, here are seven items at a grocery store to pay special attention to if you're looking to shop slavery-free.

1. Coffee: Coffee might be the most famous food product for having a high incidence of slavery involved in its production. Luckily, most grocery stores carry Fair Trade and ethically-produced brands of coffee which are a better choice for workers.

2. Chocolate: As more and more chocolate companies begin to introduce greater responsibility into their production, finding slave-free chocolate is getting easier. However, the candy isle at the grocery store is still covered with chocolate from companies like Hershey and Nestle who have no supply chain transparency.

3. Seafood: Fishing industries, especially in Southeast Asia and Africa, are growing as destinations for trafficked children. Don't think Thai seafood will make it to your supermarket in the U.S.? Think again. Always check where in the world your seafood comes from and how it is produced.

4. Strawberries: Strawberries are a valuable crop which is difficult to harvest, making migrant workers in the strawberry industry extremely vulnerable to exploitation and slavery. When strawberries are in season, you may be able to find them picked near you. It doesn't guarantee a slave-free berry, but it avoids feeding the industry in California and Central America where much of the trafficking has been found.

5. Tea: Like coffee, the tea industry has seen a lot of slavery. And because tea is the most popular beverage in the world, the profits from exploiting tea growers and harvesters are high. Many teas now are coming out with better labels indicating how they were produced.

6. Poultry: Processing poultry is a gross and dirty job, which means it is often left to undocumented workers. And lack of oversight of poultry factories puts these workers at risk of trafficking. There was even a recent case of disabled workers being enslaved in a turkey processing plant for years.

7. Sugar:The slavery on sugar cane plantations in the Caribbean never quite went away. Slaves grow and harvest sugar in Caribbean, Africa, and Central America. Some grocery stores may carry Fair Trade or ethically-sourced sugar, but you might have to seek out a specialty store in some areas.

Remember. slavery can be found in any industry, but these are a few of the common offenders. Knowing where to look for slavery is the first step toward being a conscious consumer of slave-free goods.

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    "For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus
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