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Dilemmas of loving my neighbors

But if you fulfill the royal law as expressed in this scripture, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing well. -James 2:8

This sums up the commands of God for us toward our fellow man. This is easy to do to those who love us, or when it doesn't demand any real sacrifice on our part. But real life doesn't always go that way. Sometimes your life is busy or demanding, or financially stressed with more needs than resources. Then someone you love dearly has a crisis, and you have immediate ability to meet that need, but it will put your wisely planned out resources and budget to get blown up and leave you in need, or unable to stay in a secure place. What do you do? Worse yet, someone you are not emotionally or lovingly close to has a need and you see it and can meet all or part of the immediate need, what do you do? Do we pass them by, because it may put us in debt and force us to work harder and longer to recover than we desire or planned? Do we pass over the need because it may impact our ability to fund our immediate or long term plans or retirement "properly"? Do we walk on by like the Jews of the good Samaritan story not helping the person in need because we don't want to be inconvenienced; or  we want a nicer car and can't afford a new car payment and sending an extra 10, 50, 100 or 300 dollars a month to help fund an orphanage or feed hungry and hurting Pastors,  or feed the poor people who need to see the love of Jesus in action before they can see his offer of Salvation? What do we do?   Needs abound, so do we just pass them by, or do we dig deeper, cut back more on self, and invest more in others and less in personal pursuits? What does loving you neighbor as yourself look like for you? Is it a life of giving mercy to others that takes from your own resource pool of mercy and provision?

We can choose to avoid seeing or acknowledging needs, turn a blind eye like those who passed the beaten and robbed man on the road way to Jerusalem, or we can stop and render what aid we can. We can all do something. It's better to do all you can to save a few, than nothing, and keep on walking. God has blessed you. What will you do?

God has blessed me more than I deserve. I really believe this, so I choose to prove it by giving more and more back to those in need, even when it hurts to do so. Not just talking about it, but doing it. This is why I invest much of my time and money in the poor and for the Gospel message of Christ, and have partnered with Jim Ball to make it easier for others to join us in doing exactly this. Loving our neighbors who are in the greatest of need around the world. Join me at http://www.aboutfacemissions.com or on our Facebook page and help us help more and reach more for Jesus.   https://www.facebook.com/AboutFaceMissions . Even as hard as the road may be at times dealing with the troubles and problems of others as well as your own, the resulting rewards and new life friendships and bonds of love that form from your efforts will last forever. Joy unspeakable will come though Christ to you, and have you saying, "why did I ever even hesitate?".   I know this, I struggle daily with these questions and find stepping out in faith for Jesus always has immense rewards beyond my human reason.

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Little green men and God.

Now this may sound odd or random, but it's how things work in my mind at times. Due to things going on in a persons life, God uses scripture to teach us what may seem like random truths, but truth nonetheless, because it somehow applies to the world around you. In my meditation and study on James 1 today, I see an application of truth I've never really noticed or thought about in this way.

James 1:17-18 says this. "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruits of his creatures." It's the last sentence that strikes me with this truth. You see God is informing us as he has before in many ways that we are the pinnacle of his creation. The most important. The center of the universe as it were,  not as in physically the center, but as in everything in the vast cosmos is all aligned  the way it is for a reason, for one most glorious creation of God; Mankind. We are created to bring God great pleasure and glory unlike any other of his creation. We are as this verse says the first fruits of his creation, not the first thing he created, but the reason he created everything that is. As you read through scripture, and the law of Moses, you see how God used the term first fruits to mean the very best and most choice and highly prized of something. It is the most important and most celebrated. Jewish first fruit celebrations as well as in many other cultures, are times of celebration and joy over long expected choice harvests that bring us pleasure. With God, we who are people redeemed by faith in Christ, are the choice first fruits among humanity the children of promise, offspring of Abraham. But even in greater context we come from among humanity to whom all are offered this sweet call of fellowship with our Creator to be united in loving oneness with him as a beautiful adorned Bride of God. The implications of this truth are great. This means there is no greater more highly created beings in the universe. We are the "it" of all creation. Could God have created life on other planets and created other advanced life forms and human-like civilizations? Sure. But did he? Scripture seems to say no, even right here. Everything created in this cosmos was all designed for a purpose.  To support and provide for the creation and development of God's first fruit. You.   That's how important you are to God. You have eternal worth.

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So are there intelligent aliens out there that humanity will discover some day. Scripture seems to say no. The pursuit of them leads to demonic driven idolatry in a desire not be satisfied with God. Every super nova, every black hole, or quasar and every planet, moon, star or galaxy, is all where it is to maintain for a time the fine tuning of the universe to support life on earth; and most importantly Gods greatest creation, you and me. This should encourage you as you study the vastness and complexities and size of the cosmos, and see God made it all for you.

For more on this topic, I highly suggest reading some of the more advanced discussions between science and faith and how all truth is God's truth at www.reasons.org or visiting this link for more on extraterrestrial life.  http://www.reasons.org/Search?q=extraterestial+life

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About-Face Missions

color globe lg Jim Ball and I started About-Face missions as a way to help us better organize our passions to follow Christ in our lives. He and I met while both recently having a fire put in our bones by God to change our lives and start doing more to see the Gospel proclaimed and people saved all over the world. Being small budgeted middle class Americans, with very limited means, we asked God to use us and send us where ever he wanted us to go. He showed us through some short term mission trips that we can affect much in poor undeveloped countries even with very little financial resources compared to what we Americans had come to expect.  Even a single person like me or Jim can do much for the kingdom of God around the world, if only we are willing to sacrifice some of our "American" lifestyle and go and give. We saw so many needs in Africa, India, Pakistan, Philippines and all around the 10/40 window being unmet, that we could not simply do nothing any longer. God clearly called us  to go and be his ambassadors of Christ and to help encourage and inspire others to partner with us and take average every-day people who love Christ, and organize them into a connected and involved support system to those  indigenous followers of Christ, whom God is using to do his ministry work of helping others find Christ and meeting many of their human needs along the way.  Our goal is to be obedient to Christ in making disciples of all people groups, teaching them to obey all he has commanded as we know this is our job as the Church, God's collective saved in Christ people.  God choose to task us with reaching all people groups and as Christ said, then the end will come. The Church age will end and Christ will return in his full glory as Judge and Ruler of righteousness!  Our desire to see this happen is burning strong in us as we don't want to be people who just say we believe, but live as we really do believe. So this is why both Jim and I press on hard to focus on what more we can do to reach the unreached peoples as much as possible, while not forsaking the obvious places where the Holy Spirit is greatly working and calling us to go even outside unreached groups. All people need Jesus so our mission is to reach all to become fully devoted followers of Christ. For now, God has provided me a great career that provides me plenty of income and up to 6 weeks of vacation, so it works well for me to fulfill my job as Missionary for Christ and Co-leader of About-Face Missions.  While I would love to go work with our partner ministers more than 3 trips a year, for now this is what God has me doing.  Yet for Jim, it seemed clear to both Jim and I that his job was really limiting his ability to server God effectively as Missionary and Co-leader of AFM and so we both agreed God was calling him to step out from his corporate career and move full time into missionary support and work.  As of this month of Septermber 2013,  Jim Ball has done just that. By the provision and grace of God we have acquired enough support for him to make the move. Yet his monthly pledge base is still needs a significant more percentage, God has provided enough of a cushion of one time donations to fund him for a while.  Yet moving into the less familiar ways of relying on God to provide more directly ones income is always a step of greater faith.  So pray with me for great blessings on our President of AFM Jim Ball as God works among our ministry and our strategic partnerships with our supported ministries overseas and our supporting foundations and ministries here to help us!  Pray for  the last of Jim's support base to commit to being his and About-Face Missions partner. We all are the universal family of Christ working all together for the common goal of living for Jesus and bringing as many to faith especially giving those who never really had opportunity to have it.  God loves all peoples, and so do we.   When I see that we have Churches, supporting ministries like MLE Ministries, and Showers of Blessings Foundation and so many individuals coming alongside us to help us carry out the missions of Christ it brings such great joy to my heart!  In turn we are able to share these blessing to our supported pastors and evangelists who are leading thousands upon thousands to faith each and every year and  feed the hungry, help the sick and care for the hopeless and hurting.  God is good indeed.

To learn more about About-Face missions visit our website  http://www.aboutfacemissions.com/ or help support our work with your loving offerings to God.  Our donation page and sign up form is here also.  http://www.aboutfacemissions.com/Donate

Always your prayers and interaction with us and our pastors is welcome live or via messaging on Facebook, among our pages and groups.  Start by visiting our Facebook public page and there you will see links to our private AFM group for those who are serious about being a prayer or financial partner and want to see more of what God is doing.  Here is that link. https://www.facebook.com/AboutFaceMissions Lastly, if you want to do more towards helping with the great commission to reach the unreached and to support Missionary Jim Ball in the process, even if all you can sacrifice is about $10.40 a month, we highly encourage you to commit to do just that.   Be a part at least at this level and help us really get the message out to those who never had real opportunity to receive the life saving message of the Gospel.  Our partner ministry has set up a $10.40 monthly online donation auto charge option for you to join us called the 10.40 priority.  We call it this because the 10/40 window of the world is where most these unreached people groups exist.  Visit the 10/40 site here.  http://www.mleministries.org/1040Priority

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God be glorified in all we do as we make much of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior!  Amen

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