{Janet} What is a Missionary? pt. 1

Introducing…Janet! Janet is a dear friend of mine who has moved to Germany to make a home and show God’s love to the people in a small town called Meissen. She is also my first guest blogger. And this is her first guest blog. hee!

Enter Janet:

_MG_3082Before you read on, I want you to know two things:
1. Missions go very deep into the core of who I am.
2. I would be one of the very worst missionaries out there if I had to live up to what I grew up believing a missionary was.

For as long as I can remember I have heard about, listened to, and been around honest to goodness living, breathing, adventurous missionaries.

They came to my home church and told us of their tales, sent letters and personal notes, stayed in our home, ate meals with us. Our church supported and took care of these missionaries. I guess you could say that had a big impact on my already imaginative young mind and in many ways shaped my thinking.

As I grew up, those thoughts of what I viewed as missionary work didn’t change much. To me a missionary was someone who went and lived in the wilds of Africa, Cambodia or perhaps India or China. Those people were daring and bold in their faith, risking life and limb to show people who Jesus is and that he is real. THAT was a Missionary!

After working a mainstream job in the medical field for several years in South Dakota and Minnesota, I decided to do what I really wanted to do. I did a whole lot of praying and sought council from people I trusted and then made the plunge: I was going to finally be a Missionary.

So, at the bright age of 32 I set off with a missions organization; not really knowing what I was doing, but “doing the stuff.” It lead me to some very interesting places, and it slowly changed my view of what a missionary is.

I moved to Germany two years ago to work with the same missions organization I had been doing short term stuff with for a few years. They were starting a new base and needed help. I learned to speak German and learned more about the German culture. This was it!

But God had other plans for me, more things to teach me.

I have since left the mission organization I was with in Germany. I still live in Germany and work in the health care field again, this time in Elder Care. I am no longer a “Missionary” by the standard definition.

What I have discovered is the standard definition doesn’t cover all there is to being a missionary.

Before I tell you what I learned (next week), what do you think a missionary is?

{Advent} The Story and the Song

Lately I have been keeping busy with a job (!) and making ornaments. A friend has made a Stitch-Along to create ornaments for Advent for her daughter. I have never done Advent before, so decided to follow along! For Advent this year, I will be reading through the different readings and posting here (hopefully) every day. Most posts will be short n sweet, and will follow The Jesus Storybook Bible: Every Story Whispers His Name. Each day I will have a quote from the book, excerpts from the Bible passages referenced, a picture of the day’s ornament and maybe some thoughts. Let Advent commence!

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Day One is an introduction of sorts, explaining how God loves us by showing us His reflection in Creation and His words found in the Bible. How we can read Story throughout the Bible. Story is very important in life – it can entertain, teach, encourage, bring hope, share joy. Story carries us in pain, anger, helps us through the messy part of life. There is no getting around Story – it happens around us even when we ignore it. (This all makes me think of Veggies Tales – “I laughed. I cried. I was moved, Bob!”)

I also think of Sound of Music with the last line of the first chapter: “Our Story starts where all good stories start. Right at the very beginning…” (Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start…)

“The Bible is most of all a Story. It’s an adventure story about a young Hero who comes from a far country to win back his lost treasure. It’s a love story about a brave Prince who leaves his palace, his throne -everything- to rescue the one he loves.”

“O Lord, in the beginning you made the earth,
and your hands made the sky.
These things will disappear, but you will stay.
They will all wear out like old clothes.
You will fold them up like a coat,
and they will be changed like clothes.
But you never change,
and your life will never end.”

The heavens tell about the glory of God.
The skies announce what his hands have made.
Each new day tells more of the story,
and each night reveals more and more about God’s power.
You cannot hear them say anything.
They don’t make any sound we can hear.
But their message goes throughout the world.
Their teaching reaches the ends of the earth.

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Psalm 19, Hebrews 1

I am following my friend Amanda’s Advent Stitch-A-Long. You can find instructions for today’s ornament here. Prep instructions by Amanda are here.

The book used for the Advent reading is The Jesus Storybook Bible. You can find more information the book here or buy it on Amazon here.