John 3:16 "For God SO LOVED the world that He gave His ONLY SON..."
In case you haven't noticed yet I love symmetry and when things are symbolic or parallel in an abstract way.There is a sweet poetic symmetry to me to putting Mary Did You Know alongside A Strange Way To Save The World. Her song puts us in her shoes for a second to imagine what she might have been thinking...and so does Joseph's song. It truly is a modern psalm and injects praise and adoration for the Christ child with an authentic picture of the man of flesh and blood that God chose to "parent" His son.
No Christmas is complete for me without these two songs together on my iPod. I played them this year while trimming the tree and putting up past year's Christmas cards. (I save every one.) And while riding the trains in Paris. An on the bus in Toulouse. And in the car around Myrtle Beach. I love the nostalgia this season engenders in even the coldest hearts and how very musical, worshipful it is as a holiday. Even the secular world has to push aside its Happy-Holidays-minus-the CHRIST-of-Christmas-stance for a few months and pulls out all the carols that make us "feel like Christmas." And almost EVERY carol is a Messiah-predicting-Jesus-adoring-Truth-proclaiming PSALM. Modern and all.
1-I will be joining one of two church plants. Each church plant is led by a French Pastor and assisted by a American Missionary couple from United World Mission. I personally will assist in the church services already underway as well as training the French in walking with Jesus (how to have a relationship with Him and with other believers, using the Bible as the Field Manual).
2-I will get to teach English as a private tutor-for-hire in order to connect with more young adults aged 3 to 33! I love young people and discipling all ages! : )
3-I was surprised and excited that I'll also officially get to continue making music for Jesus as part of the mission! The French are quite obsessed with African American "Gospel" singers. They think I am one, even after they hear me sing. "Gospel music" will allow me the opportunity to share the truth of the Gospel with even more people. I am so excited to see how God has prepared a place where His heart and work engages my abilities and availability!
4-I need monthly partners to give sacrificially. I have been quoted as saying you can "give as little as the price of a cup of coffee per month." You can...but I really need folks to pray about giving more, sacrificially. I can NOT get there without your prayers AND financial giving. If $5 is sacrificial go for it. But maybe $50 or $100 a month is what you can give if you budget AFTER YOUR TITHE.
5-We have set a goal of February 9th to leave for final training. But I can NOT leave Myrtle Beach until my budget is covered by monthly pledges for the full amount of my budget. With a few cuts and rearranging we have trimmed it to $4500 per month. I have secured firmly 30% in folks who are already giving. I have another dozen or so couples who have not yet named their pledge amount but promise to do so by the New Year. I am hoping their combined sacrifice will put us at 50%. BUT we still need YOU.
6-Tell your friends...at least one other person, couple or family who you think would be encouraged by your testimony on my and France's behalf. Then invite them over for coffee and dessert and more importantly endorse this Mission by lending your voice in support. I'll even provide the dessert (if necessary) if YOU will host a sit-down meeting with you, that friend or couple, and me.
7-I'm not asking just because I am honored by your prayers or even because I think you can give. I may be good at teaching and foreign languages but I am NOT the best at this, not alone.
I am asking for your help. Because I need your help in whatever form you can offer it. Both of UWM's missionary couples already in France really left me convicted to NOT do this alone in spite of my dread of imposing on people. I am officially commissioning all of you as Honorary Support-Raisers and Ambassadors for the Gospel, to France in this case. You are free to contribute prayers, postage, thank you cards, fund-raising ideas, your home, baked goods, time with your family to love on single guy, advice, contacts with other churches or givers, or even a free basement to live in while I transition to work less and raise support more. There, it's all out on the table. I know you ALL believe this is God's will. I am asking you to help it come to pass. Thank you in advance for however the Spirit moves you to do that!
A Strange Way to Save the World:
I’m sure he must have been surprised
At where this road had taken him.
Cause never in a million lives
Would he have dreamed of Bethlehem
And standing at the manger
He saw with his own eyes
The message from the angel come to life
And Joseph said...
Why me, I’m just a simple man of trade?
Why Him, with all the rulers in the world?
Why here inside this stable filled with hay ?
Why her, she’s just an ordinary girl?
Now I’m not one to second guess
What angels have to say
But this is such a strange way to save the World
To think of how it could have been
If Jesus had come as He DESERVED
There would have been no Bethlehem
No lowly shepherds at His birth
But Joseph knew the
Reason Love had to reach so far
And as he held the Savior in his arms
He must have thought...
John 3:16 "For God SO LOVED the world..."