Halo Mafren! is our warm Solomon Islands ‘pijin’ greeting to you this month. What a nice affectionate feeling it has!
Kona in February!
Early on in life I learned never to say (or even think!) that I’m gifted at this or talented at that, because that would be pride—or would surely lead to it. So to block the passage to pride, it was fashionable to only say and think lowly thoughts about oneself, and thus be humble. Only proud people even mentioned that they were gifted in some way. Yuck!
The prophet Samuel pointed out to King Saul that he had a low image of himself when he said, “ . . . you were little in your own eyes . . .”
But putting yourself down that way is really just pride in disguise. And worse than that, it is dissing the image of God in whose likeness every one of us has been made.
"We are never, never so much in danger of being proud as when we think we are humble." Charles Spurgeon
Then there came a time when we were told that we must discover our God-given gifts and not only that, but to let others know about them. Some folks kind of went a bit overboard, and it became fashionable for people to go around proclaiming themselves to be gifted as prophets or bishops or apostles—and other things that they may or may not have been. But too often, that was just plain old pride.
Let someone else praise you, and not your own mouth; an outsider, and not your own lips. (Proverbs 27:2)
So there was a swing from one kind of pride to another . . . from inferior—I’m just a worm—pride, to arrogant—look at me—pride. But is there some middle ground where followers of Jesus can comfortably and humbly express who they are and what gifts God has created them to live in?
I’m glad you asked . . .
As Paul, under the direction of the Holy Spirit clearly writes . . . Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. (Rom 12:3) So don’t think ‘more highly than you ought,’ but think ‘with sober judgment—mixed with faith.’
Paul goes on to list seven gifts, one or more of which every human being is conceived with. Yes, from conception, from the moment you were ‘woven in your mother’s womb,’ God knew your strong gifts (as well as the ones you would need to work on!)
While it’s good to know what we are, it’s also good to know what we aren’t! It’s so easy to covet the gifting that we admire in someone else . . . for example if God has made a person strong in mercy and compassion, to strongly desire (or even covet) the gift of leadership, could be quite wrong.
I ran into this very issue early on in my time with YWAM. Here’s a little excerpt from my book, “The Last Thing I’d Ever Do!” Click on Book →
I received a letter from Bernie Ogilvy, then the director of our mission in New Zealand. He invited me to teach in a DTS that he would be leading. My head swelled a bit at the offer. Though I had never taught in any kind of school before, I accepted the invitation and began preparing a series of messages. I felt certain that the launching of my international teaching ministry had arrived.
God was very gracious to the students despite my stumbling attempts at teaching. I think that God must have bypassed my efforts and taught the young people directly. However, I was sufficiently encouraged to believe that the launching of my new ministry was a success and that now all I had to do was wait for the invitations to pour in. After I returned home, I waited.
And waited. . .
But nothing came. I had no idea how much I had come to covet such a position. Gradually, I realized that not only were my motives all wrong, but teaching is nowhere near my main ministry gift. But at that moment I thought I was God’s gift to the vocation.
It was a hard lesson for me to learn, made doubly hard when Donna emerged as the teacher in the family!
May I suggest that if you haven’t already done so, that it’s equally important to discover what you’re NOT while you’re discovering what you ARE.
“The trouble with quotes on the internet is that it’s difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine.”
The suffering of the righteous opens the door of grace for the undeserving
The greater the test of faith, the greater the possibility of lasting fruit
The antacid for moral indigestion is repentance. TUMS provide no relief
Salvation is free. Everything else costs everything else
Out of every wound comes a message A.W. Tozer
*Reading “Jesus & the Women He Touched . . . and Was Touched By” is what I needed at this moment, and that being a woman is worth so much more then what the world sometimes says. Thank you for this. Liesel
*Hey! ‘Rest of the World,’ you can say what you like about America—and I’ve said my share—the recent November 11th Veterans/Remembrance Day evoked some emotional memories in me . . .
67 years ago today on what was then called Armistice Day (now dubbed Veterans Day or Remembrance Day), a scrawny, malnourished ten year-old boy stood transfixed as enormous explosions rumbled across rice paddies shaking everything in their path, and he stared skyward at tiny little silver crosses that proved to be formations of American B-29 bombers dropping their blockbusters from high in the stratosphere of a clear blue autumn sky in order to 'soften up' the opposition in readiness for the coming liberation of thousands of foreign prisoners of war being held in Concentration Camps across China - finally giving those wretches real hope for the first time after years of demoralization, disease, endless bowls of maggoty and stony rice gruel - and that hope happened nine months later in the form of the US Army as they swung the prison gates open and brought freedom to the captives and good food for the first time in nobody could remember how long (even if it was in the form of K-rations). And today, that then-British (now Canadian) ten year-old wants to say once again, "Thank you America!" From your 'umble Ed.
*Some Good Advice
*Peter Ponders: have Social Networks for some people, become today’s versions of walls, fences, freight cars, sidewalks and other ‘screens’ upon which graffiti is scrawled? Have paint sprays and markers gone digital?
*Dave Buehring—former YWAMer—brought some giants of the faith together and you can glean from their wisdom with this most generous offer.
Imagine joining Loren Cunningham and Winkie Pratney – along with Jack Hayford, John Perkins, Henry Blackaby and Lloyd Ogilvie – in a conversation about life, leadership and following Jesus! Listen in on their fireplace wisdom via the Conversations with Fathers of the Faith and Wisdom for Difficult Times DVD series. Receive limited 70% off pricing today at: www.lionshare.org/FathersoftheFaith.aspx
We just had a wonderful Renewal Gathering here in Singapore. The local YWAM Associates team felt they were to include our All Nations- All Generations DTS together with many others who came. This created a wonderful family, with ages from eight to seventy-seven and representing 23 nations, being led by the Spirit of God.
Dan Sneed was with us also, which was a blessing—he also serves on the YWAM Associates International board. We were truly a big ‘family’ wanting to please our heavenly Father listening to Him for His agenda.
Dan confirmed what God has been saying to many of us for this coming season. God is repositioning many of His people. He is getting people into place for what He wants to do. Exciting days if we listen to Him, have faith to believe, and walk in obedience, even though we don't understand with our minds.
During this repositioning we have to keep our eyes on Him and maybe re-evaluate our perspective. It's a Kingdom of God perspective now, for those who walk in obedience to Him.
Make change a ‘friend’ not an ‘enemy.’ Engage in the change and enjoy the journey with Him. Dan said, "Enjoy the moment, don't regret the past or fear tomorrow. Regret and fear are twins who ruin our journey.” God knows the plans he has for you, plans for a hope and a future (see Jeremiah 29: 11-14).
We're moving as one body (Romans 12:3-8), one bride (Rev 19:5-9), one army, following our commander Jesus, who is faithful and true (Rev 19:11-16).
We need each other so be in fellowship with those who love God above all else and are willing to do what He says; Jesus said, “If you love me, you will obey me.”
So . . .
Enjoy this Christmas season, remembering that JESUS is the reason for the season and wise men still seek Him.
Love and Blessings,
Jan 13-15: Oxford, New Zealand with YWAM speaker Mark Parker
Contact: Click here to email Jeanetta McQuoid phone: (07) 8831722
Feb 26-Mar 3: Kona, Hawaii
Kona MedGathering, at the University of the Nations with speakers *Dr Don & Donna Tredway (RN), is for all healthcare professionals and those in training, e.g. medical students, nurses and physiotherapists, etc. This Gathering is being held in partnership with University of the Nations' Medical DTS, led by Dr Bruce & Barbara Thompson (for MedDTS info click here.)
For MedGathering details click here
*Dr Don Tredway, MD, PhD is a YWAMer with a an impressive CV. As an obstetrician-gynecologist concentrating in gynecology, reproductive endocrinology and infertility . . . for more on Dr Tredway’s bio, (click here)
June 7-10 GERMANY: Location to be confirmed (long weekend)
July 23-28 NORWAY: Skjærgårdsheimen (English & Norwegian)
Aug 5-11 FRANCE: Le Gault la Forêt (English & French)
Aug 19-25 SWITZERLAND: Châtel 19 - 25 (English & French)
To humble yourself is not humiliating—it is liberating
Till next time,
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Peter Jordan, Editor, Copy Editor: Laurie Jordan-Worrall