Are You In or Out?

Author Note: Thank you to my friends at Hope for Haiti. Also to my folks who trained me in the way I should go. Their baptism is the basis of this story.
 
Boat
“’Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said.”
Matthew 14:28-29a
 
See the boat in the background? Sometimes the background subtly reminds us of our priorities or passions. It’s like when a tragic accident happens. We’re reminded of the importance of life, or basic physical abilities, or something that was floating in the background, unseen in daily life.
 
The focus of this picture is a baptism service. While at the baptism, no one noticed the boat. After seeing the pictures, it became a reminder. The background, now the focus, taught each person in the picture a lesson.
 
The boat is empty.
 
Someone got out of the boat.
 
Just as in baptism, getting out of the boat requires courage and opportunity.
 
What is your boat? What do you need to get out of? Perhaps it’s complacency, or maybe it’s fear. John Ortberg notes in his book, If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat that “Peter didn’t as for a guarantee, just an opportunity.” Hope for Haiti provides opportunities that best match your skills, priorities, and passions. We’re reminded of the things we take for granted, always running in the background. Who doesn’t have the guarantee of another opportunity for life? Who doesn’t have the basic physical ability to function? What is unseen in your daily life that can remind you to be courageous? It’s time to take a step. It’s time to get out of the boat.
 

What is your boat? Share it on Facebook @HopelesslyHopefulBooks. https://www.facebook.com/HopelesslyHopefulBooks

© 2020, Mollie Bond. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.molliebond.wordpress.com.

Note: I did not receive any compensation for this blog post. Some of the links above are “affiliate links.” If you use this link, I receive a small affiliate commission. I recommend books, products, or services that I have enjoyed using and believe you will benefit from as well. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.

It’s My Party

Thank you to The Christian Pulse for publishing my devos once a month!

It’s My Party

Posted: 30 May 2013 02:00 AM PDT

By Mollie Bond –

One person at every party wins these titles: drama queen, party-pooper, Debbie downer. When I was 12, you could have called me Debbie.

At my friend’s thirteenth birthday, her mom let us watch a “scary” PG-13 movie: Death Becomes Her. I was almost 13. My mom said I could watch it. After eating pizza, watching the movie, and calling the radio station to play “It’s My Party,” we fell asleep in New Kids on the Block sleeping bags under a cake-covered tablecloth fort.

I woke up at 2 a.m. haunted by scary parts of the movie. I saw blood-drenched limbs everywhere. I put my hand gently on the wall, avoiding light switches. I found the phone, called home and said, “I’m going to die! Come get me!” My sleepy parents talked me out of my wild fear and fetched me in the morning.

We read in Genesis of how Joseph’s eleven brothers dramatized a scary moment, too. Reuben and Joseph’s other brothers had sold Joseph long ago. Joseph became head-honcho in Egypt. Not knowing what became of Joseph, his brothers came to Egypt to buy food and did not recognize him. Joseph pretended to believe they were spies and kept Simeon, a brother, in prison.

Reuben, the “I told you so” brother, thought this evil ruler of Egypt was going to lock up Simeon forever because of his past. Reuben wailed, “Oh, how terrible!” (True.) “We killed Joseph!” (Not true, they sold him.) “He cried out to us and we didn’t listen,” (True.) “and we’re going to die!” (Not true.) Reuben exploded into a woe-is-me party. It’s his party and he’ll cry if he wants to.

Sometimes our memories warp and we exaggerate scary moments. What stressors seem magnified now, but won’t matter in a week, a month, a year? What scary memories haunt you? Are you remembering them correctly, or are they food for a pity party?

PRAYER: Father, I’m calling on You because I remember something horrible, but perhaps it wasn’t as terrible as I remember. I’m glad You took care of me and want to use those scary moments for good. I’ll dry my tears and scale back the drama. Amen.

“Speaking among themselves, they said, “Clearly we are being punished because of what we did to Joseph long ago. We saw his anguish when he pleaded for his life, but we wouldn’t listen. That’s why we’re in this trouble.”

“Didn’t I tell you not to sin against the boy?” Reuben asked. “But you wouldn’t listen. And now we have to answer for his blood!”” (Genesis 42:21-22 NLT).

Respecting Culture

Why hang this bag?

Why hang this bag?

But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: ‘Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.’ Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them” (Acts 14:14-18).

If you look in the center of the picture, a woven bag hangs from a tree. In that bag is food. Why hang it from a tree?
Barnabas and Paul ran into confusion during a trip. They had healed a lame man. The people, who based their reactions on their culture, decided that these two were gods. But Barnabas and Paul responded by using the culture to explain who God is. The people understood humanity, harsh gods, and nature’s seasons. So rather than let the communication gap divide them more, they explained how a loving God, much stronger than any god or human, provided for them. Was it instant change in the people or their culture? No. Yet Barnabas and Paul respected the culture they visited, and tried to communicate in terms the people would understand.
It’s possible we don’t understand other cultures. Why do Haitians hang food from trees? In Colorado, backpackers will hang their food from trees, but that’s because the bears might find a tasty treat, and bears don’t leave leftovers. However, bears are not found in Haiti. Haitians hang their food so that the rats do not get to the drying corn.
When there’s a chance for pride in your own culture, be aware. Sometimes the way we do things isn’t the best for the people visited. Perhaps the best way is to find out the why behind the reaction, and then introduce God, right where they are at.

Submitted by Mollie Bond

Generations

Generations

Generations

“For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations” Psalm 100:5.

Kids in Haiti love the camera. In earlier generations, Haitian adults did not like their photo being taken. They would hide, or scowl, or be sure to let you know how it wasn’t appropriate. Slowly, that attitude is changing.
The kids are magnets to a camera. And now with digital cameras, it’s a game to have their photo taken, and to see the results instantaneously. They desire to be the center of attention.
God sees the children of Haiti. He knows them on a much deeper level, and longs to be the center of their attention. He has hope for the children of Haiti: the same faithful hope for each generation.
Hope for Haiti partners with families who have hope for their children, but not the financial means for them to attend school, or have a regular meal, or drink clean water. By sponsoring a child, you increase the likelihood that they’ll grow into an adult, and maybe one that likes their photo to be taken.
For more information on sponsoring a child through Hope for Haiti, visit the Sponsor a Child page. Would you consider this easy step? Maybe sponsor a child close to your own children’s age, or your grandchildren’s age. Leave an impression on a child that is longer than a snapshot. Leave an eternal impression.
By Mollie Bond, Photo by Dr. Susan