#Blessed. The most overused hashtag ever! It's become so cliche and most frequently posted along with a journal, a Bible, and pumpkin spice latte! These days you even get the "eyeroll" from people if you do ACTUALLY feel blessed and mention it or tweet about it!
But seriously, the idea of BLESSING has been all over my mind lately! And it all started in my study and conversations with David about the genesis of missions. Check out what Scripture says is God's plan to evangelize every family for every age in every corner of the world. It's a part, or rather the grand finale, to God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12.
"....and through YOU , ALL the families of the earth will be BLESSED."
fWell, my theologian hubby could write a whole discourse on the Abrahamic Covenant and it's missiological implications, but for me it's simple. God's plan to bless the world is YOU! It's you, and your family, your kids, your small group, your church! And it's ME, too! He wants to BLESS the entire world - every family on the earth - through US! He wants to use regular families, like ours and yours, to bless all the other families of the earth!
American Families. Kazakh families. Single-parent families, Neighborhood families. Refugee families. Racially "different from you" families. Atheist families. Muslim families. Rich families. Poor families. Marginalized families. Chinese families. Hopeless families. Homeless families. ALL the FAMILIES of the EARTH!
We started this blog to help families find their place in the Mission of God. We see families every day - including our own - that get so side-tracked from God's plan for their lives! We end up grumpy and discontent and seek to fix it with busyness, or success, or stuff! Just last week I noticed a friend in the choir at church crying during the worship. She's a wonderful mom, with a great family, home, and job, When I poked a little for the reason for her tears she said, "You know, I"m just tired of spending my days on stuff that doesn't matter in eternity."
I hear ya, sister! I feel the same way!
It was easy when we lived in the middle of a Muslim country with 40% unemployment and very little access to the gospel! There, our family's mission was obvious -- it was everywhere we looked, every person we talked to! But here, in the suburbs of the Bible Belt. - it's easier to take our eyes off our mission. The truth is...even here, it's everywhere and with everyone we meet! People need Jesus. People need love. People need you, and your family, and the blessings of the gospel that your bring in His name! We've just got to reboot our lives, and get focused on the Mission of God. Many times we dont' know where to start or it seems overwhelming! Sometimes we feel inadequate. But really, if we just get up everyday and say...."It's our mission today to be a blessing to all the families of the earth"....well, that's pretty simple. You never know WHICH family of the earth God wants your to bless today! It might be just your own family and the little ones, or the teenagers, or the spouse that needs your blessing. Tomorrow it might be your new neighbor, or the single mom on your kid's ball team, or the homeless guy on your way to work.
Just ask God to show you who and how he wants your family be a blessing! He WILL bring them to you! And through YOU and your family - and me and my family - all the families of the earth will be blessed.
My husband always says, " With a last name like OUTLAW, you might not want to look very far into your family tree!" With a name like ours, you expect that your family might have a reputation! When our kids were little, strange looks were the norm when we'd holler "lets go Outlaws" trying to wrangle our five kids ages 10 and under out of a MickeyD's playland! Most people thought we were talking about our family's character -- wild and rowdy - rather than our actual given name! We'd just smile and say, "Yep, that's who we REALLY are -- The Outlaws!"
Over the years we've gotten a reputation for more than our last name -- some good things, and some not so much! But when people run into THAT family whose name they can't remember just heard was crazy enough to take their 5 little kids across the ocean, they say, "Oh, you're... THAT MISSION FAMILY." To some that might be a compliment, and others just might mean we are weird. There are a few other ways we know we're THAT MISSION FAMILY like when....
Okay, so maybe we ARE just weird! Or maybe we got a jumpstart by living overseas. But truthfully, wouldn't it be great if the world would see ALL christian families as THOSE MISSION FAMILIES! They would see how much we LOVE the WORLD and the people in it! They would see that we live with purpose and mission for our lives. That's really the purpose of every family no matter our vocation or our location!! In Genesis 12:3, God tells Abraham that through his family, all the families of the earth will be blessed! And truthfully, that covenant continues today. We are all Mission Families with a mission from God to bless all the other families of the earth -- Kazakh families, Syrian families, Chinese families, immigrant families, neighborhood families, poor families, your soccer team families -- all the families of the earth!
JUMPSTART your Mission Family today by doing this ONE thing! But be careful, you might be get the reputation for being "THAT MISSION FAMILY."
mom to five kiddos and wife to the only man who could put up with her; lover of God, the church, missions, and all things community and culture.
dad, husband, theologian, global leadership guy, professor, and author of countless words hidden in stacks of journals that sit in our bedroom whose wife is making him put his writings here for others to read. :-)!