Are you feeling the summer heat yet? Nothing like a cold lemonade or a dip the pool to help beat the summertime heat. Perhaps the heat you’re currently experiencing is not so easily curbed. Are you feeling the heat of turbulent times? We should expect trials as followers of Jesus. In fact, James tells us we should consider them “great joy.”

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you experience various trials, because you know that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its full effect, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4 (CSB)

James’ words seem counter intuitive. I should have “great joy” in the midst of my suffering. A little perspective may help. We often think of testing in the pass/fail sense, but James’ use of this word is different, and understanding what he meant brings great clarity.

Testing in this passage is the process used in silversmithing to purify silver. Silver is heated to the point of melting, which causes impurities to rise to the surface and are scraped off. The Silversmith repeats this process until there are no impurities left. He knows the silver to be completely pure when he is able to see his refection perfectly in the silver.

Jesus uses trials in our lives to do exactly what the Silversmith does, use the heat in our lives to draw out our impurities until he see’s his perfect reflection in us. That’s why we can “consider it great joy.”

God loves us too much to leave us in our mess. His love is drawing us closer to Him and His likeness.

Join me in prayer:
Jesus, thank you for the change you bring to my life, and thank you for the trials you use to draw me closer to you. Jesus, help me to find joy in the heated trials of my life. Thank you for loving me where I am and also for loving me so much you refuse to leave me in my mess. Allow me to see and celebrate trials you have already lead me through so I can give you the praise you deserve.

All of us have so much to be thankful for each day. When we awake to a new day, when a friend is in touch with us, for the food we eat, for the water that flows into our homes, for flowers, birds, trees, our health and doctors.

Thanking God should be part of our daily lives. It is also good to tell God about worries and concerns: about relationship, family, finances, summer. Sharing those thoughts with God will often help to learn the burdens we carry.

Summer can be hard on families. They have more meals they need to provide for their children. Some don’t have air conditioning or clean water to drink. We ask for your prayers during this time of year as stresses can be higher.

A Bible verse that comes to mind is: John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.”

We hope your days will shine even brighter on these beautiful summer days. Have a happy summer!

“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her. (Luke 1:38)

As I ponder and mediate on this scripture, I can’t even start to imagine what Mary, the mother of Jesus, was thinking or feeling.  To comprehend that she was about to be carrying the Son of God. The promised Messiah!  The persecution she was about to go through. However, in the text it doesn’t seem that she cared about what people were going to say or think, or what was about to happen to her. Her response was simply, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.”

I pray as mothers that our prayer and desires be as Mary’s.  Just as Mary had a calling to physically carry the Son of God, we equally have an important calling. “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

I think about how this is practical in everyday life as a mother.  
• Pray that our children will, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)
• Live it out before your children what Jesus says, “Love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:39)
• Trust that the Holy Spirit will guide and teach our children, “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things, and remind you of everything I have said to you. (John 14:26)
I pray for every mother that we can say, “I am the Lord’s servant, may your word to me be fulfilled.”
Happy Mother’s Day from your friends at Feed the Need Missions!

We all want to lead a life that is exciting and happy, don’t we? With all the stresses we face daily at work and in our personal lives, it is good to find avenues to blow off steam and get the zeal and excitement back to our lives. In other words, we find ways to transform our minds and lifestyles to achieve the happiness that we all desire and deserve.

Truly transformed lives begin with the gospel message of Christ. His Word is where the real transforming power is. It is the gospel that brings us salvation: “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Romans 1:16-17).

Transformed lives are not about being perfect. They’re about effort. When you implement that effort into your life, every single day, that’s when a transformation happens. That’s how change occurs. Make the change to follow Christ now.

Pray with us as we focus on Transforming those we serve. Transformation is not a method, but there are things we can do to welcome and foster the work of God in reshaping His chosen children.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.”’ Mark 12:30-31

God loves generously and super abundantly. He loves even though He gains nothing by loving. He loves not from any sort of obligation or need, but simply because love is good, and God is love.

We should love God. It is right and just for us to do so. God is our Creator. He is our Redeemer. He is our Sanctifier. He has given us more than we ever deserved and promises us even more in heaven. For us to not love God would be injustice. Loving God is our duty.

We have no such obligation to love our neighbor, except that God told us that we should. Our neighbor doesn’t create us. Our neighbor can’t redeem us. But our neighbor can sanctify us if by loving our neighbor with no expectation of reward, we learn to love as God loves — freely, selflessly, and abundantly.

Every time God puts a NEIGHBOR (person) in your life, He is giving you an opportunity to grow in love and become more like Him. When we love one another, the divine image shines more brightly within us. That is why Feed the Need Missions’ mission is to love our neighbors by feeding them physically and spiritually.

Strictly speaking we need to love our neighbor .

1 John 4:19 “We love because he first loved us.”

This short verse offers profound words. People do not wake up one day and decide to love (Romans 3:10). God is love, created love, and loved us first. We are not to take credit for the love we have and show to others. God loved us, before we were capable of loving Him, and we can only love others because of what He has done in our lives.

Love is not merely a mutual affection between us and God. It must also include love for others. This is the Great Commandment which involves loving God fully and loving our neighbor as yourself. This is why Feed the Need Missions exist. This teaching is also based upon the ancient Shema, (our sites learned about during Table Talk) from Deuteronomy 6:4–5: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” The same is seen in Leviticus 19:18: “you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord.”

As we pray for you this February to love like Christ, will you pray for our staff and volunteers to continue to put Christ first in our lives so we can continue to love those we serve unconditionally? We appreciate you!

It’s hard to believe that it’s already 2019! I always take some time during the last few days of the year to reflect on this past year, and come up with some goals for the year ahead. And since I know I’m not alone, and a few days late, I have a little trick for anyone who is having trouble coming up with a good New Year’s resolution…

If you haven’t thought of your 2019 New Year’s resolution yet, start by choosing one word from the list below that has the most significance for you. Think of what exactly that word means to you, and then form a specific resolution to focus on for 2019 based on that word:

– love
– joy
– peace
– patience
– kindness
– empathy
– goodness
– gentleness
– faithfulness
– self control
– steadfastness
– persistence
– service

Which word from the list above would you choose?

The word that I chose from the list was joy. My resolution is to plan more activities that bring me joy. I need to be better about enjoying life. Whether that means playing with my dogs, going to the park, trying out a new recipe, hanging out with the ladies, and going to conferences. I am going to make sure I take the time to have fun!

I am also going to spend more time learning about God’s word and what He has for me for 2019. I challenge you to also pick up your bible and just read a verse each day. Allow God to place the JOY in your heart by his word.

Happy New Year!

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:8-14

One of my favorite parts of the Christmas story is when the angels showed up in the field where the shepherds were watching their flock. I love it so much because God chose these average than average people to announce the biggest news the world has ever heard. Not only was Jesus’ birth the opposite of fancy, but the people who helped proclaim and spread this news were also just your typical shepherd.

Can you imagine just hanging out minding your own business and all the sudden a “multitude of heavenly hosts praising God” shows up? I am pretty sure I would have dropped everything I was doing and would have gone “with haste” (Luke 2:16) just like those shepherds did to find this baby.

What a wonderful and marvelous picture of God using ordinary people to make an impact for His Kingdom.

At Feed the Need Missions we are all ordinary people just trying to be obedient to the calling God has put on our lives. This Christmas, we hope you join us in praying that ordinary people, like you and I, will be used by God to spread His love, just like he did with the shepherd that night in Bethlehem.

Written by Christy Beyer

As I was sitting and reflecting how thankful I am, I realized I  mess this grace and gratitude thing up daily with all my distractions. I’m distracted and side-tracked, self-serving, self-seeking and so very undeserving. At the very least, I can offer up my humble thanks, my appreciation. The simplest prayer of gratitude for this Thanksgiving.

“Thank you for the hard moments, when I’m at the end of me, because only then do I see even more of You. Thank you for the courage to do it again, to be faithful when it doesn’t feel like enough, and when it doesn’t feel like it makes a difference. Thank you for truth that is bigger than my emotions.
Thank you for faith that is bigger than fear.”

May we give thanks for courage and for hope. May we give thanks for grace and for faithfulness, for truth and for beauty. May we thank Him for tomorrows and whatever amount of health we have, and for the smiles we get to see today. May we thank Him for all things.

He is faithful, friends. Always faithful.

And the very least we can be is thankful.

As we celebrate the upcoming holiday, may we find even a few quiet moments to offer up our genuine thanks.

I have several magnetic boards throughout my house displaying thank you notes from various people throughout the year. Recently, a friend commented on them and I realized while I walk by these colorful treasures each day, somehow they’ve faded into their surroundings. Many days my list is so long with the things I want to accomplish that I forget to be thankful for all the things I’ve been fortunate to do.

Like many of you, I began the year full of great ideas that I’ve yet to complete. I find myself feeling discouraged and if I’m being honest, a bit frantic to rush through this exhaustive list. Today, I paused long enough to open just a few of the notes I’ve displayed. As I was reading the heartfelt words of thankfulness, I realized I’m hardly slowing down enough to fully embrace and appreciate these wonderful opportunities I’ve been given. I’m doing them, sure, but then quickly moving on failing to appreciate the intricate way God has designed the opportunity to bless me.

I’ve been here before and I’ll be here again, but today I am resting in the certainty of Who holds the details of my life together. I am hearing Him say, “I’m taking care of the needs you don’t even know you have. Just stay focused on Me.” He’s holding all of us together in His sovereign grace; we just need to pause long enough from our hectic lives to recognize all that He is actively doing.

As we enter into the Fall season of cooler temperatures and watch the new beautiful landscape God is at work creating unfold, it may feel like you’re juggling more than you can handle. Remember that Jesus says, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

Renew your spirit of thankfulness in His grace and embrace Fall’s changes as a gift personally created for you. Pull out those wonderful thank you notes you’ve received and devour the words. I encourage you to reflect on all the good things you are accomplishing this Fall. These blessings may be a child safely tucked in a bed, a warm meal on the table, an encouraging word to your spouse or a friend, or a heartfelt thank you note that will become someone else’s treasure.