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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

August 1, 2013 - A Faith Made to Travel

By Grant McClung

It's summer travel time in the U.S. and beyond. Over the past weeks, multiplied millions of Americans have made their annual vacation treks and family getaways. Starting with our Memorial Day weekend and continuing with the long Independence Day weekend and regularly scheduled vacation breaks, we've been traveling.

This month, my wife and I travel to California for the 45th annual "Hays Family Reunion," marked annually with a weeklong campout in RVs, cabins and dorms. We need a rented campground large enough to handle the descendants of the original 12 siblings born to Grandpa and Grandma Hays in Oklahoma. Most of the early family had to migrate west during the Great Depression.

For most Americans, traveling and moving about has become a way of life. Transition, mobility, nomadic lifestyles, and career change are all part of our society's landscape. Twenty years ago, sociologists estimated the average American family would move six to eight times in its existence. With the economic changes of the last few years, that number has probably grown.

An IBM manager was overhead bemoaning another job transfer. "IBM does not mean International Business Machines," he complained. "It means, 'I've been moved!'" We're a country of migrants.

Whether you are traveling for a brief getaway or annual vacation, or you find yourself transitioning in the larger journey of life, here are some practical ways to live out a "faith made to travel": (1) travel light, (2) shed some light, (3) keep things tight, (4) watch for a fight, and (5) don’t be trite.

1: Travel light. Janice and I laugh about the excess baggage we lugged all over Europe on our first trip there in 1976. After that, we found hope in the motto for the next trip: "Take half as much luggage, and twice as much money!" Since then, finding a way to "travel light" has been an ongoing struggle. Scripture urges Christ-followers toward upward-bound affections, avoiding the weight of besetting baggage (Colossians 3:2; Hebrews 12:1).

2: Shed some light. We travel as "children of Light" (Ephesians 5:8, NASB) and are commissioned to "let your light shine before men" (Matthew 5:16). The journey doesn't have to be so rushed that we cannot share a word of evangelistic testimony, give a gospel tract to a restaurant server or flight attendant, or come alongside someone who is hurting.

3: Keep things tight. In your daily relationship with the Lord and with one another, carefully guard your devotional time in Scripture and prayer, and your intimate relationship with loved ones. Stay in love and "keep yourselves in the love of God" (Jude 21).

4: Watch for a fight. The enemy of our soul doesn't take a vacation. As we journey, we are urged to be alert and resist the devil (1 Peter 5:8). Be warned, yet encouraged, with the call from James 4:7,8: "Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you."

5: Don't be trite. Ours is an age of superficiality, and our society is amusing itself to death with cultural idols, celebrity cults, meaningless reality TV shows, and endless blabber chat in cyberspace. (Do we really have to tweet every mindless detail of our day?) Look for God's call to something greater than yourself and give yourself completely to His grand purposes for you!

In 1970, Michael C. Griffiths wrote "Give Up Your Small Ambitions," an arresting book that challenged my generation to missionary service. Among other stories, Griffiths spoke of Francis Xavier, a 16th-century missionary to Asia who was quoted as saying he longed to be back in Paris "to go shouting up and down the streets to tell the students to give up their small ambitions and come eastward to preach the gospel of Christ."

Ours is a faith made to travel — a mission on the move with the God of mission. Travel on!

— Grant McClung, president of Missions Resource Group (www.MissionsResourceGroup.org), is an international missionary educator with Church of God World Missions and the missiological advisor to the World Missions Commission of the Pentecostal World Fellowship.

 

 

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