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Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Eighty Nine

Ben Witherington - Bible and Culture - Sat, 10/04/2014 - 02:24
This post will be dealing with pp. 1426-43 of the next to last chapter in this epic. Here Tom addresses at some length the ‘identity’ question. Before reading Tom’s critique I would suggest the readers of the blog read first my chapter entitled ‘The Trinity of Paul’s Identity’ in The Paulquest, as background for this [Read More...]

The Collins’ hostel (part 2)

Missionary Blogs - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 15:30
Ok, so Mike & Leann (Dan’s oldest brother and wife) visited in August (see blog last week). So then in September after the short term team returned to the US, Grace (their daughter) said...

Thinking Ahead!

Missionary Blogs - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 13:41
 CBM Project Officers’ Meeting Today in Nairobi We had the pleasure today of meeting with our colleague, Lenny Mbogo, and three of the project officers within our CBM ministry teams in North...

The Dear Abby of infertility

Missionary Blogs - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 13:23
It’s scary to put it all out there, to be vulnerable, to be transparent. Some people see it as brave, some people see it as “the younger generation and their over-sharingness”....

Dia Del Nino 2014

Missionary Blogs - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 12:28
October 1 is "Dia Del Nino" (Kid's Day) in Guatemala.  It's a day of the year set aside to celebrate the kids.  The day is filled with parties, pinatas, cake, presents, and surprises. ...


Missionary Blogs - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 11:53
We are busy doing lots of living right now...... a babe turning one, moving away from mama's milk to family food, stumbling closer to walking. School squeaking into a workable rhythm. Family thriving...

walK with THE Wise ~ New

Missionary Blogs - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 11:13

Holiday in the country

Missionary Blogs - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 06:51
We’ve spent the last 12 days out of Brisbane in smaller places. This was our camping spot. Not my best photo, but I haven't downloaded the rest yet. We spent time with my family in Toowoomba,...

Super September

Missionary Blogs - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 06:31
Still traveling! At the beginning of September, we saw friends in Oregon....And by the end of the month we were in Florida. Both coasts, baby!!!Our friends from our old Young Marrieds Small Group...

What we are thinking...

Missionary Blogs - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 06:07
I just thought I'd update everyone with what projects we have going on on The Shire and where we are headed with it all. For those who don't know, we are doing our best to learn how to become more...

What we are thinking...

Missionary Blogs - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 03:07
I just thought I'd update everyone with what projects we have going on on The Shire and where we are headed with it all. For those who don't know, we are doing our best to learn how to become more...

Wright’s Paul and the Faithfulness of God– Part Eighty Eight

Ben Witherington - Bible and Culture - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 02:13
And now for something completely different. In the penultimate chapter in this overly long book, Tom turns to Paul’s controversial and problematic relationships with his fellow Jews. This entails at the outset a discussion of Paul’s call/conversion. The chapter begins with an overstatement: “He did not see himself as establishing a new, non-Jewish movement. He [Read More...]

Coming a long way to help us

Missionary Blogs - Fri, 10/03/2014 - 01:03
We recently (August) had two teams come to help us with our ministry in Arequipa. We were able to speak to hundreds of people we normally wouldn’t have been able to. We visited schools, English...

Harvest Workers

Missionary Blogs - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 23:11
Two new workers arrived a few weeks ago to join the Japan team. One came for 6 weeks; one for a career. We are excited to have a new career missionary, one who felt the call to be sent, Ian Smith....

Prayer in October

Missionary Blogs - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 23:07
  GOD ANSWERED Thank you for the many people that responded to our financial appeals last month. Several increased their regular giving and many others sent in a one-time gift. We figure this...

FREEDOM ISN'T FREE! ...Actually, it's not even a bargain. (Plus a $50 Freedom Culture giveaway!)

Jamie The Very Worst Missionary - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 19:19

If there's one thing Americans love, it's food!

...I mean... freedom, Americans love freedom. 

And if Americans know one thing about freedom, it's that freedom isn't free. Oh, man, we love that slogan -- it's everywhere around here. We declare this truth with our starred and striped bumper stickers and license plate frames, lawn signs, tee shirts, rubber bracelets, phone cases, key chains, and tattoos. Liberty and Justice are our birthright, and we're pretty serious about letting everybody know. 

Our history books, bursting with accounts of wars fought and people lost, have taught us to value our freedom. Our Moms and Dads, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, friends, and neighbors paid for our liberty in the currency of lives and limbs.

Freedom isn't free. This we know. This we understand at a core level.

We even celebrate our beloved independence as a nation every year with fire works and beer and BBQ, to remind us that war is terrible and millions have been maimed and killed by it -- but not just so we would be free to get drunk and light money on fire. They died so we would be both protected by our government and free from its tyranny. The flaming drunk part is just a bonus.

That's just talking about regular old Americans, I haven't even mentioned the Christian Americans. Oh, yes. Christian Americans dig freedom even more than dirty heathen Americans, because we revel in yet another kind of freedom.

I'm talkin'bout Freedom in Christ, baby!

Naturally, "Freedom in Christ" and its variations often proudly accompany the "Freedom isn't Free" thing on Bible covers and bookmarks, refrigerator magnets, hoodies, bumper stickers and ceramic figurines of Jesus holding the lifeless body of a soldier, cop, or firefighter under the shadow of a waving America flag. (Talk about blessed! First we were born into a land of wealth and liberty, and then we were adopted into God's family and gained His inheritance, too.  WHAT?! I KNOW! We are, like, the freest, you guys.)

And it's all because someone was willing to pay the price.

I am free, physically and spiritually, because of the sacrifice of another.

I'm free because someone decided I was worth it.

I'm worth the loss. I'm worth the cost. I'm worth the giving up and the laying down of life.

... I'm just not all that willing to pay it forward. 

See, when I say I value freedom, what I mean is I value MY freedom.

The truth is, when it comes to making sacrifices (even small monetary ones) in order to bring freedom to modern-day slaves, I balk. I hesitate. And then I make excuses so I don't have to pay up.

I know when I choose to buy goods from organizations that support fare wages and healthy work spaces, I'm actually helping put an end to slavery. I know that when I choose to spend more money on a product because it was made without slave labor, I'm sending a clear message to manufacturers that I value freedom. I know I can make purchases that both support the global economy and honor the global laborer.

It just seems like, as much as I love to be free, I love to be cheap even more.  Freedom isn't free... but it's also not a bargain.

I don't know if you know this about me, but I LOVE a bargain. Clearance is like crack to me. I cannot turn away from the clearance racks, it's like an illness. I picked up this addictive habit at my favorite store in the whole wide world, whose slogan is "Expect more. Pay less." And, oh, I do.

The slogan of most anti-slavery retailers could be "Expect less. Pay more."...but that would be really shitty marketing, so never mind... The point is, it does costs more to buy a well-made tee shirt from an ethical store, because it cost more to give an employee an ethical wage. Freedom really isn't free... like, it actually costs money.

And someone has to be willing to pay the price. 

I admit, I'm spoiled! I have come to expect a lot for a little. I believe I need far more than I actually need, and then to fill those imaginary needs I buy a bunch of cheap stuff. I live out this lie on repeat, never stopping to ask myself what would happen if I stopped the cycle. Never exploring the possibility of what life would look like if I buy less crap.

Maybe, if I bought fewer things, I could afford to spend more on one slightly more expensive thing. And then, maybe, I could enjoy that one thing - even though it cost me more money - for the added assurance that I am not an actual, for real, modern day slave driver. That would be nice.

But that would require me to make a sacrifice.

That would require me to be the one willing to pay the price for someone else's freedom.

And, honestly, as a die-hard American and a sold-out Christian, I'm just not sure how I feel about that...


Oh, hey! Speaking of awesome retailers who specialize in ethical clothing!!! Today's kickass giveaway is a $50 gift card from the fine folks at Freedom Culture. They're clothing line is so great AND THEY HAVE MENSWEAR -- You're welcome guys! *high fives all the dudes* Plus? Free shipping in the U.S.  And? They're offering a sweet discount to The Very Worst Missionary readers, I think because they love you best of all. Use this discount code at check out and you'll 35% off regular priced items: JAMIEFC35 

Check out Freedom Culture at www.freedomculture.com!(Pssst. Don't tell anyone I said this, but I totally hope you win!)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Missionary Blogs - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 16:54
Reflections about our river trip Getting ready for a 3 week trip with 15+ people is no small plan. The night before our departure, there looked like the army was going on the trip with us. Tons of...

October 2014 Newsletter

Missionary Blogs - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 16:01
Greetings from Guatemala!  My favorite month has arrived.  I love all things fall- the smells, the colors, the weather, the activities...  October is also the month we usually visit...


Missionary Blogs - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 12:00
When we were working on translation into the Cerma language of Burkina Faso, Dayle and I both got pink eye(conjunctivitis). One of our friends saw the condition and told us that we had Apollo. We...

A man for all seasons

Missionary Blogs - Thu, 10/02/2014 - 09:07
Asher—our middle child—is quite the kid. He wears his heart on his sleeve. He’s a no-nonsense kind of guy.  He often sees (and says) things with far more clarity and wisdom than his years. As a...
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