Why Not? Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
To let YOUR light shine is to contribute to the good of others — to make life better for someone else. Maybe it’s a friendly “hello,” wiping the tables, speaking a kind word, carrying a brick, encouraging someone who’s discouraged, going after a tool, digging a hole, giving a smile. It’s the many small things and large things God wants you to do in order to love and serve others. During the days of the mission trip, why not let your light shine before others, so that they will see your good deeds and be attracted to the light of Jesus who is the light of the world.
How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” (Isaiah 52:7)
Shoes tell a lot about us, and the soles on our shoes, if they could talk, would tell story after story about where we’ve been, what we’ve seen and experienced. Exploring our soles’ stories of service, conversations, relationships, challenges and successes can help us understand why God takes our soles and our souls on these journeys. It helps us to move from sole stories to soul stories. This journal will help you to remember your past sole stories, make some new sole stories and share your sole stories on the mission field and beyond.
This journal draws its inspiration from the story of the boy who gave his lunch of 5 loaves and 2 fish to Jesus, and his small gift was multiplied to feed the multitude of hungry people. Each of the 7 days before, 10 days during and 7 days after invites you to think about your own hunger, God’s provision, even abundant provision, and ends with the question, “What do I have to give?” Each lesson has a page of scriptures, prayers and reflection questions related to the theme for that day plus a second “Open Basket Page” for journaling, note-taking, drawing, and whatever the Lord gives you to fill your “open basket.”
As you pack for mission, remember to include the servant clothing God wants you to wear during the trip. This is how St. Paul described the wardrobe of God’s Spirit: Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience… And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:12-14 NIV) It’s a fashion combination that’s always in style.
All TalkPoints journals feature the 7-10-7 format:
- 7 days of devotionals before departure; up to 10 days of guided reflection at the mission site; 7 days of devotion after the trip;
- Useful for training and orientation before departure;
- Provides a guide for daily group debriefing;
- Lots of blank, open pages for personal writing and reflection;
- 64 pages and spiral bound for easy use and durability in the field;
- Only $8.50.
A mission trip can be a lot like swimming UPstream against the current. Someone might ask, “You’re going where to do what???? You must be out of your mind!! Is it safe?” And you can quickly find yourself swimming UPstream against the current.
We’re sometimes tempted to “go with the flow.” But listen to St. Paul, another voice, as he writes to the Christians in Rome: Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking…Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. (Romans 12:2 The Message) This journal is a lot like a swimmer’s manual for your team. It has 7 pre-trip days to help prepare you for the swim of your life, 10 on-site days to help you to dive in, get wet and exercise some servant muscles, and 7 post-trip days as you continue your UPstream swim back home. ($8.50)
(Globally Positioned to Serve)
Do you want to be Globally Positioned to Serve? Short-term mission trips can help us to learn a lot about being GPS. We need God’s divine direction to help us find our way through the ups and downs of a short-term mission trip. Listen to Isaiah 30:18ff: “Just as the Master kept you alive during the hard times, he’ll keep your teacher alive and present among you. Your teacher will be right there, local and on the job, urging you on whenever you wander left or right: ‘This is the right road. Walk down this road.’” This journal will help you and the members of your team find your way down the right road, the one God wants you to walk. ($8.50)
Most of us see ourselves as ordinary, everyday people, like common clay pots a gardener would use for growing flowers. But in the hands of God, the Master Potter, we are transformed from lumps of ordinary clay into unique, beautiful and useful creations. 2 Corinthians 4:7 says, “We have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” St. Paul writes, “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life–you’re sleeping, eating, going-to-work and walking-around life–and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” (Romans 12:1) This journal gives you 7 pre-trip days, 10 on-site days, and 7 back home days to embrace what God, our Master Potter, is about to do with you and through you. ($8.50)
We connect to THINGS like websites, cable TV, iTunes, computer games, etc. We connect with PEOPLE – our families, friends, neighbors, and the people at church. We connect with GOD by reading His Word, believing in and knowing Jesus Christ, and welcoming God’s Holy Spirit. We connect with OURSELVES by being in touch with our feelings, questions, insights, doubts, and beliefs. This 7-10-7 journal will help your team make some important connections with God, others and themselves. You will receive 7 pre-trip days of connection-making devotionals, 10 on-site days to connect with the many experiences during your trip, and 7 back home days of guided connecting after the trip. ($8.50)
Here’s the question: “Why are you going on this mission trip?” Micah 6:8 gives the answer: What does the Lord require of us? To do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God.
The Do/Love/Walk journal will guide your devotionals as a team to help you focus more on doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly with God and each other during the 7 days before the trip, up to 10 days during the trip, and the 7 days after the trip. It will help you and your team plant the seeds of justice, mercy and humility that are so needed in the garden of today’s world. ($8.50)
If you dial 7-10-7 on your cell phone, you won’t reach anyone, but if you put What’s Your Story? in the hands of your mission team, they will have 7 days of devotionals to prepare them spiritually for the trip, up to 10 days of storytelling during the trip, and 7 reflection days back home. This is a great 24-day story companion for your mission team as they walk through what could be one of their most life-changing experiences. Through guided prayer, scripture, and reflection, team members will discover God’s story more clearly and learn to tell it to others. ($8.50)