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  #101  
Old 04-24-2012, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by pstrahin View Post
Be a good steward of your money that God has belssed you with and support the work of your church.
I don't really have a church....a person can support missions and ministries quite effectively outside of that as well.

That being said, my wife and I have been visiting a local Methodist church a bit lately. I had not even considered how they do missions. Something to think on anyway.......
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Old 04-24-2012, 10:43 AM
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I don't really have a church....a person can support missions and ministries quite effectively outside of that as well.

That being said, my wife and I have been visiting a local Methodist church a bit lately. I had not even considered how they do missions. Something to think on anyway.......
I do agree, as we are told to go into all of the world and be fishers of men. I feel the we should do our due diligence before we just hand out funds to anybody that asks.
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  #103  
Old 04-24-2012, 11:41 AM
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I decided months ago to quit posting in this section but I just have to comment on some of these posts.

First, as has been mentioned by HF, prayer for discernment is the most important part of giving.

Second, it's not our money in question, it's his.

Third, just because we share a country with others, it doesn't make it "our people" or "our own". There is no differentiation between someone in Uganda and someone in Atlanta. To actually feel that way is a form of Idolatry for our country (read about Jonah), same concept.

Lastly, if we give cheerfully and the money is misused, that shouldn't be our concern, we've done what the Lord has led us to do.

JB, I'm also very analytical (BBA in Accounting), and understand the opinions expressed by most, but we can't lose sight of the fact that the God we all worship will tell us what to do and when to do it. It seems like quite a few on this board don't rely on prayer enough for the decisions being made. I honestly struggle with that too sometimes.
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  #104  
Old 04-24-2012, 11:54 AM
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JB, I'm also very analytical (BBA in Accounting), and understand the opinions expressed by most, but we can't lose sight of the fact that the God we all worship will tell us what to do and when to do it. It seems like quite a few on this board don't rely on prayer enough for the decisions being made. I honestly struggle with that too sometimes.
You may have a point. Good post. My thoughts are that we simply need to spread the resources as far as possible. I have seen some abuse of the good intentions of others in the past. It's a tough situation, really, when judging another's motives.

BTW, we have a similar education. I have an msa from SPSU in Marietta. My undergrad was also in accounting at Liberty.
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  #105  
Old 04-24-2012, 12:23 PM
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I decided months ago to quit posting in this section but I just have to comment on some of these posts.

First, as has been mentioned by HF, prayer for discernment is the most important part of giving.

Second, it's not our money in question, it's his.

Third, just because we share a country with others, it doesn't make it "our people" or "our own". There is no differentiation between someone in Uganda and someone in Atlanta. To actually feel that way is a form of Idolatry for our country (read about Jonah), same concept.

Lastly, if we give cheerfully and the money is misused, that shouldn't be our concern, we've done what the Lord has led us to do.

JB, I'm also very analytical (BBA in Accounting), and understand the opinions expressed by most, but we can't lose sight of the fact that the God we all worship will tell us what to do and when to do it. It seems like quite a few on this board don't rely on prayer enough for the decisions being made. I honestly struggle with that too sometimes.
...Maybe my prayer led me to discern: not suppporting this particular vactationmissiontrip.
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  #106  
Old 04-24-2012, 12:24 PM
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You may have a point. Good post. My thoughts are that we simply need to spread the resources as far as possible. I have seen some abuse of the good intentions of others in the past. It's a tough situation, really, when judging another's motives.

BTW, we have a similar education. I have an msa from SPSU in Marietta. My undergrad was also in accounting at Liberty.
I think it's safe to say that we, men and women, have a tendency to pervert anything that could be used for good, whether it be missions, money, or religion in general.
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  #107  
Old 04-24-2012, 12:51 PM
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I think it's safe to say that we, men and women, have a tendency to pervert anything that could be used for good, whether it be missions, money, or religion in general.
So true...
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  #108  
Old 04-24-2012, 01:20 PM
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...Maybe my prayer led me to discern: not suppporting this particular vactationmissiontrip.
I wouldn't doubt that at all. My point was sometimes we have to get out of our own way and let God lead us, whether it be to support a mission or not support a mission, adopt a baby or not adopt a baby, and the list goes on. I know I personally haven't felt led yet to go on an oversees mission trip, but if God did lead me to do that then I wouldn't hesitate to try and raise funds for the trip. For that matter, if I asked and someone refused to donate money for the trip, it wouldn't bother me in the least. God finds a way to make things happen and I would feel secure in knowing that if it's his will for me to take such a trip then he will also provide.
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  #109  
Old 04-24-2012, 01:23 PM
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God finds a way to make things happen and I would feel secure in knowing that if it's his will for me to take such a trip then he will also provide.
There is a reverse way of looking at that as well. If you going prohibits "greater good" from being accomplished, then who is enabling the trip?

We can stamp "God" on anything we do, that does not mean he did it. Prayer, discernment, are all good things. I have a friend on a mission trip in India as we speak. He is doing good things. That does not mean every "mission trip" is "God ordained."
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  #110  
Old 04-24-2012, 01:41 PM
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So, JB...what's your solution for whether to give money to someone who is requesting help funding mission work?
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  #111  
Old 04-24-2012, 01:44 PM
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So, JB...what's your solution for whether to give money to someone who is requesting help funding mission work?
Prayer, discernment. The folks I support are typically folks I know a good deal about.

For instance, a friends college-age kid may want money to go on a mission trip to Jamaica. I would likely have to say no because my resources are going to other places where I am certain (through prayer and discernment) that they are being used to the greatest good possible.
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  #112  
Old 04-24-2012, 02:05 PM
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Sounds good to me.


Curious...is it "college age" or "Jamaica" that would cause hesitation? Or is it that you know that person well enough to know why he's going to Jamaica?
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  #113  
Old 04-24-2012, 02:35 PM
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There is a reverse way of looking at that as well. If you going prohibits "greater good" from being accomplished, then who is enabling the trip?

We can stamp "God" on anything we do, that does not mean he did it. Prayer, discernment, are all good things. I have a friend on a mission trip in India as we speak. He is doing good things. That does not mean every "mission trip" is "God ordained."
Good point, I guess. There is no doubt that some things centered around God aren't "of" God, look no further than a certain preacher based out of Houston that's on tv every night. I guess that's the scary part, trying to discern what his will for us. I'm not about to sit here and say that I'm in tune enough right now to know his will for me, but all we can do is pray for that discernment and resolve in all that we do.
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  #114  
Old 04-24-2012, 02:45 PM
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Curious...is it "college age" or "Jamaica" that would cause hesitation? Or is it that you know that person well enough to know why he's going to Jamaica?
Well, it's a little bit of both. Jamaica is a very needy country, very poor. So, obviously there is good cause for going, but there are TONS of local resources which could be used to send aid and the gospel there. The college age thing would have to do with motivation and results. I know some great college kids, and some phonys (I was one). I would think they could raise money to send more qualified people, or send money to local resources. But, that is a bit judgemental, I am aware.

I guess it is a knee-jerk reaction. Same I would have if my fishing fanatic neighbor all had a "calling" to Alaska during the Salmon season.
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  #115  
Old 04-24-2012, 04:09 PM
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There is a reverse way of looking at that as well. If you going prohibits "greater good" from being accomplished, then who is enabling the trip?

We can stamp "God" on anything we do, that does not mean he did it. Prayer, discernment, are all good things. I have a friend on a mission trip in India as we speak. He is doing good things. That does not mean every "mission trip" is "God ordained."
Paul persecuted the church because God told him to do it.
The problem: It was a lie!
Great thought should be put into every decision we make in life, be it for mission work or how to support my family.
Praying to God and doing what "I" want to do isn't going to always find what's right. Sometimes, we'll make the wrong decision. Get over it! God will.
It takes maturity, and the wisdom to make the right decision (no matter what others might think), and being comfortable in what we/you do.

There is no answer that will suffice in all situations.
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  #116  
Old 04-25-2012, 06:10 AM
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Before you judge and criticize the path God may have prepared for others in short-term mission work or those called to partner in that effort with financial support:

It helps to remember that God doesn't always call the qualified, but He always qualifies the called.

Noah knew nothing of building arks. David, a mere shepherd boy, was not experienced in warfare. Moses was the son of Hebrew slaves. Saul did his best to eliminate the followers of Jesus. Rahab was just another prostitute. Mary (Jesus' mom) was just a small town girl.

And Jesus, a homeless country preacher/teacher, with no steady income and just a bunch of fishermen and a tax collector for friends.

As surely as God makes much of little, He also makes little of those who believe they are "all that". He exalts the humble and the least shall be made great. There is great joy in being a servant to the house of the LORD and to His people.
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  #117  
Old 04-25-2012, 12:28 PM
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Before you judge and criticize the path God may have prepared for others in short-term mission work or those called to partner in that effort with financial support:

It helps to remember that God doesn't always call the qualified, but He always qualifies the called.

Noah knew nothing of building arks. David, a mere shepherd boy, was not experienced in warfare. Moses was the son of Hebrew slaves. Saul did his best to eliminate the followers of Jesus. Rahab was just another prostitute. Mary (Jesus' mom) was just a small town girl.

And Jesus, a homeless country preacher/teacher, with no steady income and just a bunch of fishermen and a tax collector for friends.

As surely as God makes much of little, He also makes little of those who believe they are "all that". He exalts the humble and the least shall be made great. There is great joy in being a servant to the house of the LORD and to His people.
AMEN

I do believe you get it.
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  #118  
Old 04-25-2012, 09:37 PM
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Help me out with this one.

My wife and I get letters occasionally from people we know asking for donations. These people want to go on a mission trip. The ones we have been getting are for destinations in Latin America.

Rub #1: Why do they ask for us to help fund their trip? They aren't asking for money to help the mission, they are asking for money to pay their airfare and expenses to go there.

Example: The latest letter I got asks for donations towards a $1,500 goal. Airfare is $1,200 so I am guessing the remaining amount pays for food/expenses.

Rub #2: They don't speak the language. What benefit do they bring to the table if they can't even talk to the people in their native tongue?

Rub#3: Why don't they fund their own airfare and expenses and use the donations to help with the mission?


I just have an issue with donating towards what I see as a vacation. Before anybody tries to lecture me on Latin America, I am well versed on the area since I have both lived and worked ain Latin America. I have always tried to do something "extra" while there to help out. But I just don't see how a group of Americans who don't know the culture, customs, language, etc. are going to fly down there and make a difference by "being there" on someone else's dime.
Many of the trips to South America are to Honduras. The average wage there for a year is a roughly $1000/year there and the majority of people in the rural areas live in mud huts with dirt floors. There is an organization in Honduras that depends on church groups to come in and help mud walls, lay cement floors, and put up roofs. The groups typically spend a week in a village and that is typically the only "help" the village gets for a year. So you may sit back in your comfy chair here in the u.s. and call it a vacation, but if you actually went on one of the trips and worked for a week, you might see things a little differently. If you have never actually been outside of the U.S. (or for some people Georgia) you don't have a true appreciation for what poor is. Putting up a tin roof our pouring a concrete floor may sound like something we do in our shop out back, but for much of the world a concrete floor in their house is something special. If you don't want to give them money don't give them money, but you might want to actually go on one before you say the people going on them are going on "vacation." Much to the contrary, they are probably doing more manual labor in that week than you will do in a year. When it the last time you hand mixed cement or mudded a wall?
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  #119  
Old 04-25-2012, 09:55 PM
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Many of the trips to South America are to Honduras. The average wage there for a year is a roughly $1000/year there and the majority of people in the rural areas live in mud huts with dirt floors.
How much is the airfare for a round trip to Honduras? Seems to me money stretches far there. Perhaps we could stay home, send the cash, and feed a family for a year.

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There is an organization in Honduras that depends on church groups to come in and help mud walls, lay cement floors, and put up roofs.
So, there is a local resource to send money to.


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Originally Posted by across the river View Post
So you may sit back in your comfy chair here in the u.s. and call it a vacation, but if you actually went on one of the trips and worked for a week, you might see things a little differently.
No need to get condescending here. Lot's of folks on this forum have extensive knowledge about these trips. Some of them are, indeed, glorified vacations. Some are worthy causes as well.

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If you have never actually been outside of the U.S. (or for some people Georgia) you don't have a true appreciation for what poor is. Putting up a tin roof our pouring a concrete floor may sound like something we do in our shop out back, but for much of the world a concrete floor in their house is something special.
Right, and they can't build more if we didn't spend all that money on airfare?

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If you don't want to give them money don't give them money, but you might want to actually go on one before you say the people going on them are going on "vacation." Much to the contrary, they are probably doing more manual labor in that week than you will do in a year.
But, what if you know folks who have gone, and understand, that many of these trips are vacations?
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  #120  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:49 AM
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How much is the airfare for a round trip to Honduras? Seems to me money stretches far there. Perhaps we could stay home, send the cash, and feed a family for a year.
...and how will the money, alone, bring the gospel to them? Who will disciple them?

I know what you're getting at. But it also sounds very much like a "throw money at the problem" type of solution.
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  #121  
Old 04-26-2012, 06:55 AM
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...and how will the money, alone, bring the gospel to them? Who will disciple them?.
The assumption is the local resources in Honduras are faith based.

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...I know what you're getting at. But it also sounds very much like a "throw money at the problem" type of solution.
In a way, yes. Think of all the money and all the people and time as one big pot of "good stew." How do we use all of that "good stew" to "feed" the most people?
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:18 AM
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You're letting accounting logic supercede a calling from what I can tell...that's how. At least that's how it reads to me.

If God calls you to minister to "this one"....whether it makes debits and credits line up is of no consequence.

I am not suggesting that either you or I is called to take the gospel to "this one" (that I don't know)...but someone is (that I DO know)...and someone will waste their money by your logic because the parable of the talents apparently tells us that's an unwise investment.
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How much is the airfare for a round trip to Honduras? Seems to me money stretches far there. Perhaps we could stay home, send the cash, and feed a family for a year.
I think you miss the point. Just throwing money at the issues faced by the poor in this world can be done in a very sanitary way. But part of loving and reaching others for Christ demands relationship. Till you actually do the will of the Father in a way that builds relationships, until you get some dirt under your fingernails, sleep on a concrete or dirt floor, work side-by-side with those people, you cannot know or appreciate what it means to the people ministered to. When you hold a sick or malnourished child in your lap or finish building a home for a homeless family of seven who could never do it for themselves, there is a connection made with them and with our own humanity.

Going yourself may not be the most efficient or the most cost-effective way to "solve the problem", but the problem is more than fiscal poverty. The need is for hope, for human touch, to find out that others do care and value you. The love of God is best expressed by investing yourself in others, not in a check sent to a p.o. box. Staying home and writing a check when you are fully capable of going yourself is also highly unlikely to transform your heart.

I know personally. A number of years ago, I was made aware of the callouses forming on my heart. I prayed for God to change my heart, to make me sensitive to others, to love as Jesus loves. I am not where I want to be, but I am not where I was, thank God.

As for investing Jesus in others, it is always a bargain, regardless of the cost.

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose."

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  #123  
Old 04-26-2012, 07:26 AM
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Many of the trips to South America are to Honduras. The average wage there for a year is a roughly $1000/year there and the majority of people in the rural areas live in mud huts with dirt floors. There is an organization in Honduras that depends on church groups to come in and help mud walls, lay cement floors, and put up roofs. The groups typically spend a week in a village and that is typically the only "help" the village gets for a year. So you may sit back in your comfy chair here in the u.s. and call it a vacation, but if you actually went on one of the trips and worked for a week, you might see things a little differently. If you have never actually been outside of the U.S. (or for some people Georgia) you don't have a true appreciation for what poor is. Putting up a tin roof our pouring a concrete floor may sound like something we do in our shop out back, but for much of the world a concrete floor in their house is something special. If you don't want to give them money don't give them money, but you might want to actually go on one before you say the people going on them are going on "vacation." Much to the contrary, they are probably doing more manual labor in that week than you will do in a year. When it the last time you hand mixed cement or mudded a wall?
You obviously did not read my last paragraph. I lived and worked in Latin America and am very familiar with exactly how life is in those areas. I have stayed with indian tribes that lived on sandbars in the middle of the ocean where water had to be paddled in with a cayuga. I have trekked into the Darien jungle that most Americans have never even seen pictures of.

Like I said, there are some missions that I support and have participated, but there are some that to me look like nothing but a "poor-tour" so someone can say "I saw it."
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  #124  
Old 04-26-2012, 07:26 AM
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In a way, yes. Think of all the money and all the people and time as one big pot of "good stew." How do we use all of that "good stew" to "feed" the most people?

So, then, it's ok to spend the money for the flight for the first person to go and be there. What about the second? The third?

I assume, at some point, we start to see diminishing returns from sending the next person over? How do we know when we've reached that point?

What about the restoration of those who are there long-term? Any value in sending people short-term to "relieve them", give them some one on one encouragement and help them get bigger projects done more quickly?

Any personal value to those who go short-term? Obviously, mission work is focussed on those being served. But does the servant get any benefit from it? How do you feel when you know you've really helped meet someone's need? Is it a different feeling than had you given them money to solve their own problem? Do you think that feeling is an accident?
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Old 04-26-2012, 07:43 AM
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So, then, it's ok to spend the money for the flight for the first person to go and be there. What about the second? The third?

I assume, at some point, we start to see diminishing returns from sending the next person over? How do we know when we've reached that point?

What about the restoration of those who are there long-term? Any value in sending people short-term to "relieve them", give them some one on one encouragement and help them get bigger projects done more quickly?

Any personal value to those who go short-term? Obviously, mission work is focussed on those being served. But does the servant get any benefit from it? How do you feel when you know you've really helped meet someone's need? Is it a different feeling than had you given them money to solve their own problem? Do you think that feeling is an accident?
Good words, HF.
Many long-term missionaries started out as short-term missionaries. Had they missed the first opportunity to serve, they may never have found their calling.

I have long wondered how many Christians have lived their whole lives without a real sense of their calling. I guess if a Christian doesn't do anything but take care of himself and family, he can feel like he has done what he was "called" to do. Others find their calling by stepping out in faith, attempting, in His strength, things they would have never tried otherwise.
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  #126  
Old 04-26-2012, 08:00 AM
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So, then, it's ok to spend the money for the flight for the first person to go and be there. What about the second? The third??
Yes. Maybe. Maybe.

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I assume, at some point, we start to see diminishing returns from sending the next person over? How do we know when we've reached that point?
Yes. When the overall mission becomes hindered. Remember, I do not see it from a one man perspective, but a global perspective.

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What about the restoration of those who are there long-term? Any value in sending people short-term to "relieve them", give them some one on one encouragement and help them get bigger projects done more quickly?
Absolutely! But, this is before the diminishing returns, and a necessary part of the process.

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Any personal value to those who go short-term?
Yes.

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How do you feel when you know you've really helped meet someone's need? Is it a different feeling than had you given them money to solve their own problem? Do you think that feeling is an accident?
When I help somebody, I feel as if I am doing my job. I help as often as I can, but I should do more. When I do help somebody, I always feel very strange when they say "thanks." I don't like it. I feel it is our job to help. And, ultimately, I am not serving the individual, but God.

It is a different way of looking at it, but I have spent a long time "getting dirt under my nails" on domestic "missions." I feel very strongly about service, and feel miserable when I am not serving in one way or the other. But, I do not do it for the thank-you's. It makes me very uncomfortable because I do not see it as a personal accomplishment, but instead, part of the priviledge of being a Christian.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:26 AM
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Huntinfool Huntinfool is offline
 
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JB,

I think this is just one of those issues where you and I don't see eye to eye.
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Old 04-26-2012, 08:40 AM
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JB,

I think this is just one of those issues where you and I don't see eye to eye.
Could be, but I don't see that we are disagreeing too much either. We just emphasize different parts of the process.

Either way, it's good to kind-of but heads again
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:34 AM
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Ronnie T Ronnie T is offline
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JB,

I think this is just one of those issues where you and I don't see eye to eye.
I think it's perfectly acceptable for you two to disagree.
It isn't important that the two of you be God's stewards in the same way.
Neither of you are wrong. You're both right.
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  #130  
Old 04-26-2012, 10:13 AM
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Ronnie....I thought I told you this already.

I'm always right. JB (and anybody else who disagrees with me) is always wrong. Can we sticky this or something? People seem to keep getting confused on the rules.

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Old 04-30-2012, 01:49 AM
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You just need to do what you feel led to do. If that is to give, then do it. What or how they spend the money on is between them and god. But, you did what you were supposed to do and it's out of your hands.
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  #132  
Old 05-11-2012, 06:59 AM
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Went to Peru on a mission trip in 2010. I guess you could call it a vacation since I took my one and only paid vacation week of the year to go. Was really eye opening and I doubt I slept 15 hours the whole trip because we were so busy doing ministry. I can definitely see a concern of funding people who might be looking for a free ride or who might have the wrong motives for going, we had a large group that went with us and i'm sure there were a few who were just along for the ride and didn't really care about spreading the Gospel. As mentioned already prayer about the individuals will let you know to give or not give. God is certainly capable of turning their own hearts towards him and his work.
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