Friday, May 16, 2014

Caring for the Poor, Comforting the Dying.

As missionaries and minsters, we are often asked, "what's the Church of the Nazarene?"

There are short answers and long answers to this question.

One of the short answers (particularly in new fields) is, "we're a lot like Methodists."

One of the longer answers is (particularly in Western Europe) is, "We're a Christian, Protestant church in the Wesleyan-Holiness tradition, one that's based in the United States but international in structure and vision."

One of the best answers we've read in a while, however, comes from the Minutes of the meeting of the congregation of Los Angeles First Church of the Nazarene (THE first Church of the Nazarene) on October 30, 1895:

We seek the simplicity and power of the New Testament church. 

The field of labor to which we feel called is the neglected quarters of the cities and wherever else may be found waste places and souls seeking pardon and cleansing from sin. 

This work we aim to do through the agency of city missions, evangelistic services, house to house visitation, caring for the poor, comforting the dying. To this end we strive personally to walk with God and to invite others to do so...

This. This is why we choose to be Nazarene. This!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Finals Week.

While we've been back on home assignment this semester, I (Aaron) have been teaching a couple of history classes at Southern Nazarene University.

As I was grading yet another stack of finals this afternoon, I cam across this heart-warming note that a student scribbled at the end of her last essay:

"I just want you to know I appreciate your excitement about US History. Coming in to this class, I hated history. However, sitting at the end and reflecting upon all I've learned, I have a newfound love for History in general. So, thanks Prof. B."

Ahh...stuff like that makes it feel like all the late nights and early mornings were worth it. :) Happy Finals Week, everybody! 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Give us Rest.

It's been a long, long couple of weeks for us.

Weeks filled with meetings, homework, deadlines, and all sorts of "last things."

Week with too much coffee, not enough sleep, and hardly enough space to breathe. To think. To pray. 

Fortunately, we've been reminded of this song in worship twice in four days -on Sunday morning by our friend Tyler, and again last night by our friend Zach- that God alone knows how best to restore, renew, and revitalize God's children to live out our calling in the world.

And that is an encouraging thought! 

Oh great God, give us rest.
We're all worn thin from all of this.
At the end of our hope with nothing left,
Oh great God give us rest.

Oh great God, do your best.
Have you seen this place? It's all a mess.
And I've done my part too well I 'fess.
Oh great God ,do your best.

Could you take a song and make it thine,
From a crooked heart twisted up like mine?
Would you open up Heaven's glory light?
Shine on in and give these dead bones life.
Oh shine on in and give these dead bones life!

Oh Great God, Give us Rest, David Crowder Band