A Moody Letter

Sarah received this precious letter from a little five-year-old girl saying that she wanted more books in the Moody Family series. We regularly receive these kinds of requests.

Sarah was planning to write the next Moody book over the summer, but we felt the Lord’s urgency for the Managers of Their Schools book. Therefore, Sarah’s time this summer was invested in extra household tasks to allow Teri more writing time. Although we use a professional proofreader for our books, Sarah also spent many hours proofreading and formatting the book.

The next Moody’s book has been in the planning stages for quite some time with the outline completed. Now with the Schools book completed and after our trip preparations are complete, Sarah will be prepared to move into the writing phase.

Thank you, Kimia, for your note and your encouragement.

Ambassadors: The Value of a Smile

(This is the third in a series of posts drawing analogies between experiences that Ambassador Joseph Grew shared about in his book Ten Years in Japan and practical aspects of being an ambassador for Jesus Christ.)

Ambassador Grew wrote in his book (which is an extract from his diary) that Mrs. Woodrow Wilson visited with he and his wife Alice on October 24, 1932. The three of them spent a number of hours together. He noted that Mrs. Wilson said something important during their visit: “that a smile goes a long way in Japan.”

Ambassador Grew noted that he had also seen how important it was to smile and the impact that a smile can have. He had specifically noticed the impact his wife had when she went out for exercise and smiled at the many people she came in contact with.

I was struck by the realization that the wife of the Ambassador (who was not even the official representative) was positively representing her country while in a foreign land simply by smiling at people.

Why is a smile important for an ambassador? And what does the smile represent? I believe the smile of an ambassador represents several important things.

First, if you see someone from another country always smiling, it makes you want to learn more about the country they are from. If the country you are living in is full of depressed and angry people (yourself included), and everyone from a neighboring country that you’ve ever met are living lives overflowing with joy and peace, you will likely have a strong desire to visit (or move to) the other nation so you, too, can be joyful.

Jesus has left us with His joy and peace, and our hearts should be full!
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.”
John 15:11 “These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.”

Second, when a person or representative from another country smiles, it projects an acceptance of you. When soldiers from two nations meet on a field of battle, they do not share smiles; you would see looks of grim determination on their faces – they are seeking to harm each other. And yet those same soldiers, if they are seeking to build relationships with the citizens of a foreign country, will smile and wave at the people they come in contact with. In such cases, the smile is a sign of good will.

Jesus specifically encouraged His followers to salute more than just friends and relatives.
Matthew 5:47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

The Greek word translated “salute” is aspazomai, and Strong’s Greek & Hebrew Dictionary gives much greater meeting to the word: “To salute one, greet, bid welcome, wish well to; to receive joyfully. Used of those who greet one whom they meet in the way; a salutation was made not merely by a slight gesture and a few words, but generally by embracing and kissing, a journey was retarded frequently by saluting.”

Are we properly representing our heavenly kingdom by “saluting” (which would at least involve a friendly smile) those we come in contact with?

In Christ,
Christopher

RSS Blog Issues

Ever since we upgraded to a newer version of blog software last week we have had several ongoing issues. We are working on those and will likely be upgrading the blog software today or tomorrow.

If you have subscribed to the blog’s RSS feed in the past week you may need to subscribe again once we have the blog upgraded and the RSS feed address fixed.

In Christ,
Christopher

Posted in: Misc.

House Work in Pictures

We wanted to post an update on the house work. Mom’s last post was about the tiling. After the tile was laid and then grouted, we had to scrape the extra grout up.

It was a hot Saturday 🙂 (and the air conditioners hadn’t been installed yet).

We rented a floor buffer, and the boys took turns running it.

Dad has started the final coat of paint.

The same afternoon I was taking this picture, I wondered where John was. Dad told me to go to the window and look out, and I’d find him, and when I did, there he was, working on building a small retaining wall.

John working on a project

A big project this week was tiling the backsplash along the kitchen cabinets.

Hmmm... (Anyone notice where his pencil is?)
Hmmm... (Anyone notice where his pencil is?)
Working on that backsplash!
Working on that backsplash!

This morning, Mom and I worked on cleaning the windows in preparation for Dad painting them (and, by the way, Mom, Happy Birthday, only a few hours early (her birthday is Sunday)).

Mom cleaning a window
Mom cleaning a window
Sarah working on a window
Working on cleaning windows!

The girls organized two sets of rolling shelves in the basement.

My Sisters - Anna and Mary
My Sisters - Anna and Mary

And for a few miscellaneous photos…

Honey sometimes gets thirsty at the new house.

Honey
Joseph
Joseph
Jesse cleaning off paint brushes
Jesse cleaning off paint brushes
Joseph working with the backsplash in the bathroom
Joseph working with the backsplash in the bathroom

Thanks to Anna for picking out all the pictures 🙂 .

Joyfully His,
Sarah

August Dad’s and Mom’s Corners

Tuesday we e-mailed out the August Dad’s and Mom’s Corners. To read the Mom’s Corner, on a subject Mom has had some questions on, you can go to this link.

Dad’s Corner is another in a series on deception, and this Corner is a very important one. You can click here to read it.

You can also view the full HTML version of the Corners, including our introductory note with upcoming conferences, etc., here.

If you aren’t subscribed to the Dad’s and Mom’s Corners monthly e-mail, we welcome you to sign up. The list is kept strictly confidential.

We are always delighted to be able to share with you each month! 🙂

Blessings in Jesus,
Sarah

Ambassadors: Two Grave Dangers, along with the Solution

(This is the second in a series of posts drawing analogies between experiences that Ambassador Joseph Grew shared about in his book Ten Years in Japan and practical aspects of being an ambassador for Jesus Christ.)

As Ambassador Grew was traveling via steamer toward Japan in 1932, he wrote about two dangers that face ambassadors.

The first is the danger of being prejudiced against the nation where one is being sent. “An ambassador who starts prejudiced against the country to which he is accredited might just as well pack up and go home…” Ambassador Grew pointed out that such an attitude would undermine and damage the relationship that was to be built. This underscores the importance of us, as Christians, having loving and compassionate attitudes as we interact with the lost.

Do we have a love for those we are called to be ambassadors to? I was reminded of Jesus as He interacted with the wealthy and proud young man who would not acknowledge his sin. “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him…” (Mark 10:21).

The second danger that Ambassador Grew shared about is the opposite of the first: being influenced by the foreign country! The term that he used in the book was “imbued,” which means “to permeate or influence as if by dyeing.”

I’ve thought often about how easy it is for us as Christians to be influenced by the world, but I was particularly struck to read about an ambassador being on guard against the same danger in the physical world.

While we love the people, we must be on guard against loving the things of the world. “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him” (1 John 2:15).

How could an Ambassador ever remain “in balance” – loving the people in the country to which he was posted while being on guard lest he become too influenced by those around him?

Ambassador Grew shared the solution: “However, I know the minds of the President, the Secretary, and the Department pretty well, and that should help to keep a straight course.”

The only way we will be able to be in the world but not of the world is to know the mind of the Lord Jesus Christ. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5).

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” (Romans 12:2).

In Christ,
Christopher