Midweek Morsel: Remember to Ask for Workers


“Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.’” Matthew 9:37-38

I admit it—I tend to forget Jesus’ call to prayer for workers for the harvest field. I don’t know why. I’ve long been familiar with the above words of our Savior. Yes, when I’m reminded of this call to prayer, right away I ask God to send out workers into the harvest. But for some reason, asking on a regular basis escapes my memory.

Maybe I need to memorize this particular instruction from the Lord or list it specifically in my prayer plan. But the time has come to quit being hit and miss with this vital call to prayer. If this was important enough for Jesus to give specific instruction, then I need to pay attention and be obedient.

Friends, as Jesus said, the harvest—the masses of people who need to come to know him—is plentiful, but the workers are few. Will you join me in asking God to send out workers into his harvest field? And then let’s be willing to go out into the field ourselves when he calls us to a task. Let’s be faithful to do what God asks of us.

**Do you know of some harvest fields (local, regional, national, or international) in need of workers right now? Feel free to share so that we can all ask God to send workers there.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early May. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Flickr photo by Christian R. Hamacher (Je suis Charlie), Creative Commons License

Guest Blogger: Author Laura Popp

I’m happy to share an inspiring post today from author Laura Popp. Laura is a fellow member of my writers group, Fellowship of Christian Writers. May Laura’s story encourage you to answer God’s call on your life—whatever that may be today!

Earthshaking Opportunities

In the summer of 2009, God called me to be a missionary in Japan. I thought He was nuts, but knowing better than to argue, I packed my bags, and with nothing but a few contacts and a job teaching English, hopped on a plane.

Nearly two years later on March 11th, 2011, my whole world shook.Literally. But the tremors felt in Nabari, Japan were nothing compared to those 350 miles north as the largest earthquake in the recorded history of Asia struck the Tohoku area. Though I thanked God for my life, I bit my nails worrying about my friends suffering in Tokyo and Sendai. I wept as I watched events unfold on the news. The aftershocks continued, walls of water over thirty feet high sweeping away entire cities, fires raging, infants and elderly freezing without electricity, nuclear reactors overheating, and the death toll rising to 16,000.

“What can I do?” I prayed. “You sent me to these people. Teach me how to serve them!”

The next day I got a mass email from a Filipina Christian friend in Fukushima. “We have to get out. The nuclear reactor near my house is in melt down. I’m going back to the Philippines, but can anyone take in two Japanese sisters?”

“Yes!” I wrote back immediately. “Send them to me!”

Two days later, I met the sisters in Osaka. Their eyes told of unknown horrors, and fear and exhaustion weighed them down.

“What would you like to do?” I asked on Saturday, after they’d had a chance to rest.

“Take us somewhere beautiful,” the older sister Junko, an English teacher, replied.

I brought them to a plum blossom garden in a nearby town, the pink and white blossoms draping over the trees and terraces like delicate curtains.

At the entrance to the garden stood a small shrine, and the two sisters paused to pray.

“What did you pray for?” I asked when they finished.

“The safety of our families,” Junko replied.

Feeling moved by the Holy Spirit, I asked, “Do you believe there is a god in that shrine who hears you?”

Looking confused, as if she’d never thought about it before, Junko turned to her sister. They discussed it in Japanese for a few minutes, then Junko turned back to me.

“No, we just do it out of habit.”

“Well,” I offered with a smile, “would you like to meet a God who will hear your prayers?”

The two sisters discussed again, until Junko finally said, “We would.”

The next day I took them to church. There the sisters heard about God’s love for them and Japan, how God grieved for the death and destruction, and how He would rebuild Japan. They heard about the church’s plan to help and about the hope they could have in Jesus.

Tears filled my eyes as both sisters raised their hands, receiving that hope and love. Now I understand. Thank you, God, for bringing me to Japan.

Junko and her sister spent the next month in my apartment until they got government housing in Kyoto. I visited them there and we enjoyed a popular Kyoto pastime: dressing as maiko (apprentice geisha). I will never forget the day, my birthday, when Junko was baptized.

I challenge you that wherever you are and whatever you do, answer God’s call to love, to speak, and to serve. That is the greatest testimony you can give.

*In what ways have others showed God’s love to you through acts of service?

Laura Popp is the author of Treasure Traitor, a young adult fantasy novel. To learn more about her travels and book, check out her website: www.ljpopp.wordpress.com.

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early February. Sign-up is free and to the right!

Sowing in Tears

13153221935_58034d137e_z“Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy. He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him.” Psalm 126:5-6

What does it mean to sow in tears? I’m sure there’s more than one way to interpret these verses, but one thing I think of as I read them is prayer.

We sow seed as we pray for those who have never come to faith in Christ. We sow as we pray for those who have drifted away from God and as we pray for the needs of our churches. But how earnestly do we intercede for these deep needs?

When was the last time our tears flowed or we experienced internal anguish as we prayed for a family member, a friend, or someone else’s loved one to give his or her heart to the Lord? When was the last time we wept over a people group deluded by a false religion? When was the last time we sowed in tears?

If we’re not careful, our prayers can be half-hearted or superficial. To sow in tears we must take time to care. We must open our hearts and love people. If we do this, their separation from God for eternity will surely drive us to our knees — and to tears.

So yes, we will feel sorrow, but the Word tells us we will also “reap with songs of joy.” And when it comes to the salvation of a soul, one song of joy will be worth a thousand tears.

“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers . . .” Romans 9:2-3

*Have you had the blessing of reaping with songs of joy after sowing in tears for someone?

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out next week. Sign-up is free and to the right. Also have added the option to receive my blog posts by email as well as RSS feed now. See right sidebar.

*Update: Due to an unexpected family situation, I didn’t get to go on the Beautiful Feet Mission Trip I told you about in my last post.

*Flickr photo by MarLeah Joy, Creative Commons License

Revisiting Beautiful Feet — Again!

*Update: A change of plans. Found out late Thursday I would be unable to go due to an unexpected family situation. Will be praying for the team and would appreciate your prayers for them as well!

Even though my feet are pretty darn cute (if I do say so myself!), this post is not about my tootsies. Some of you may be disappointed with that news while others of you are, I’m sure, extremely relieved :)

No, this post is about so much more than pedicures or foot scrubs. It’s about a beacon of hope where one is desperately needed. Beautiful Feet is a church that ministers to the homeless and inner city population in Ft. Worth, TX, and if you’ve been following my blog for a couple of years or more, you may remember me telling you about it before.

Once again, I will be joining others from our region on a weekend mission trip to Beautiful Feet. I feel blessed to be a part of their ministry occasionally, but I also feel challenged.

Little fears and personal worries about traveling with a group, the less than stellar sleeping conditions, and what I might encounter or how I might fall short during ministry opportunities all try to steal my joy and enthusiasm about going. I’ve had similar concerns before, and the Lord has always seen me through. In fact, my hymn for the day a few days ago was “God Will Take Care of You”. Isn’t God good to give assurance just when we need it? You’d think I’d learn not to worry, huh?

Please pray for me and the many others who will be ministering at Beautiful Feet this weekend. We’ll arrive Friday afternoon and go practically non-stop until we leave around noon on Sunday. I’ve posted it several times before, but in case you’ve missed it, here’s what Beautiful Feet is all about. Enjoy!

Beautiful Feet

There’s a place in Ft. Worth called Beautiful Feet
A place known by all who live on the street,
A hot lunch for free can be found there each day
After food for the soul is served up some way.
You see it’s not just a place, instead it’s a church
Where many find themselves beginning their search
For some shred of hope, a way out of their pain,
For love and acceptance instead of disdain.
Beautiful Feet is a light in a dark lonely world
A beacon of hope like a flag unfurled
For God’s people show love to one and all,
For Jesus is the One upon whom they call.
There are those who serve faithfully day after day,
And those who come yearly to work, share, and pray.
Each one sees God’s power heal and redeem,
The lost and the hurting become part of the team.
Each year Kansas comes the talk is who is blessed more
Those in Ft. Worth or the Kansans galore.
They truly feel like family, the bond is oh so sweet
For God is the Father at Beautiful Feet.

“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’” Isaiah 52:7

*The next issue of Life Notes, my quarterly inspirational newsletter, will come out in early February. Sign-up is free and to the right!

*Also have added the option to receive my blog posts by email as well as RSS feed now. See right sidebar.

Looking Ahead to Angel Tree

I know we’re not even halfway through September yet, but as our church’s Angel Tree coordinator, it’s time for me to start looking ahead. Not only did I receive my first box of materials from Angel Tree headquarters this week, our missions committee spent considerable time Wednesday afternoon discussing this important Christmas outreach to prisoners’ children.

In all honesty, on the heels of a nearly year-long wedding planning marathon and three lengthy hospital stays of my mother-in-law since Memorial Day, I don’t feel quite ready to tackle another huge project. But ready or not, the time to begin planning has arrived, and you know what? God is faithfully igniting a spark of excitement in me — though I have to admit it does ebb and flow at this point. The Lord knows I’m weary, though, and I firmly believe He’ll give the strength, enthusiasm, and help I need to coordinate this special ministry.

Already, members of our missions committee have offered help by brainstorming ideas for a different approach to the gift distribution this year, by gathering info and providing links to possible evangelism resources, and by offering to make some needed contacts. As I said last year, Angel Tree offers the perfect opportunity for the church to be the church, working together to show and share the love of God with hurting people.

Is your church involved in Angel Tree? Let me know in a comment — I would love to hear about it. If not, would you consider suggesting it as a Christmas outreach this year? According to a recent email I got from the Angel Tree home office, there is still a need for many more church partners. (You can register on their website.)

Maybe you and your church family can be the ones to put smiles on the faces of some very special kids this year. And more importantly, maybe you can be the ones to share the Hope of Christmas with them. Look ahead with me, won’t you?

“…’Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.'” Luke 2:10-11

*Flickr photo by Erik Charlton