Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Tag: God

experiencing hospitality

by Jordee

As Ryan already mentioned, our time in North Carolina has truly been wonderful. Several themes of the past couple months come to mind: rest, family, transition, preparation. But one which continues to surprise us is hospitality. Seriously, every time we experience it, hospitality takes us off guard in the best kind of way. And, as I’ll hopefully make clear, I don’t mean hospitality in the simple sense of entertaining guests, opening your house to strangers, conversations over tea, and the like, though this is included. I hope to convey to you our experiences with the kind of hospitality that is characteristic of God’s family.

We felt it literally as soon as we arrived at our new home. We barely had time to unload our packed Civic before my sister and my parents paraded into our house with hugs, loud and joyful welcomes, groceries, and a Christmas tree. And then there is this house, our temporary home for our time here, which was freely given to us by a family whom we had not even met, but who were more than willing to loan out this adorable little house in the woods. Every day we are reminded of their hospitality. Then, a couple weeks ago, we were invited to speak at a conference at a local church, who stood and clapped to welcome the guest missionaries, who cheerfully and humbly thanked us simply for coming to share about our work.

Other experiences have been sporadic and equally surprising. We have had family members, friends, and people we barely know doing whatever they can think of to move us along in this journey we’ve begun to serve the Bible-less.

Perhaps it is because we have transitioned to a kind of life that is unusually dependent on people’s kindness and generosity, and so are even more aware of God’s goodness in our lives, but we rejoice in the hospitality of His people. The people of God have opened up to us, made room for us, and blessed us with kindness and generosity. May we practice the kind of hospitality we have experienced, the kind that makes space for others to live and to be at peace, the kind that joyfully and generously welcomes the stranger, the kind that embraces those who are different from us and liberates fearful hearts.

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Time for Faithfulness

by ryan

There are a lot of things we don’t have time for, and that is part of what it means to be a creature, a non-god.

We people are little; we are weak and quick to become frail.  Life is short they say.  And they are right.  In all this shortness, there is a whole lot of busyness we try to cram in.  Why?

People are little who yearn for big.

We were created this way, and I will mention two ways  we can respond.  The first extreme is to try to become a god, to transcend our littleness on our own.  Perhaps we try doing more than is humanly possible, cramming our schedules, skipping out on sleep, or neglecting the Sabbath.  Or maybe we go so far as trying to earn people’s worship.

An alternative to this is embracing our creatureliness, along with its limitations, while at the same time reaching out for God in faithful worship.  What does that look like?

I think of Jesus as he taught his students to feed the multitudes.  If they had tried to provide food for thousands on their own, they would have failed miserably.  But because they were with Jesus and they obeyed him, everyone was fed.

There is a big peace and rest that comes from realizing we are just people, while at the same time realizing that God is God.  And God is here, now.

Now, we have time for faithfulness.

Sweet Relief

by Jordee

I often feel it when I’m weary. When I feel the weight of the world and wonder if I’ll get rest soon. When I feel like I’m swimming against the tide, or when someone I love is barely holding on, finding strength only to come up and gasp for air.

We are not as we should be, and when we look around, the effects of this are everywhere. Sometimes the brokenness seems so awfully pervasive, and I wonder for a moment if there’s hope.

But only for a moment.

Then I remember the God Who Sees and the One who healed the sick and raised the dead. It only takes a moment because He is right here, holy and transcendent,  inevasible and loving.

He loves us.

He sees the pain and evil, our rebellion, weakness, and doubt. He does not turn a blind eye. He saw it and took it on Himself, and it had no power over Him.

A dear friend of mine was walking through a difficult time, a time of fighting the tide and gasping for air. She recently told me that she felt a breakthrough when she was riding in the car and a familiar song about the love of God came on the radio. Air filled her lungs again. She stopped flailing as if it were up to her to stay afloat. She said she cried out of relief.

He loves us. We are often burdened and broken. We are sometimes rebellious and ready to give up, but He loves us. What a divine relief.

Thank God.

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Far surpassing all the rest
It’s an ocean full of blessing
in the midst of every test
Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus
Mighty Savior, precious Friend
You will bring us home to glory
Where your love will never end
Samuel Trevor Francis, 1890