The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us


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New Year’s Resolution

Our family is seriously, and I mean seriously blessed to be a part of our church, Sojourn.  We have 13 elders who care for us faithfully, and this morning our worship pastor, Mike Cosper, brought us God’s word.  He preached about Jonah and how we can be just like him because of our lack of compassion and love of comfort.  At one  point he read a quote from atheist Penn Jillette of Penn & Teller:

How much do you have to hate somebody to believe everlasting life is possible and not tell them that?  I mean, if I believed, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that a truck was coming at you, and you didn’t believe that truck was bearing down on you, there is a certain point where I tackle you.

I cannot tell you how much that quote and Mike’s sermon are still ripping my heart apart.  I have been slammed with my lack of love for others because I don’t tell them the greatest news there is, the only thing that can save their life.  How much do I hate those I claim to love?

I have been thinking lately about one thing I want to improve about myself in 2010, and I can’t get away from this.  No longer do things like being more organized or getting healthy seem as important (not that those things aren’t important).  How can I look for areas like that to improve when people are dying all around me and I’m just sitting watching it happen?  My prayer is to actively and boldly talk about Jesus to everyone with whom I have even the smallest relationship.  Thank God for His grace to forgive a sinner like me and for empowering me to do what He asks of  me.


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Home Missionaries

Bill and I were at a class last night at church that talked a bit about what it meant to be a missional church.  At the beginning of the class, our pastor had us reflect on the last time we reached out to an unbeliever.  I realized it had been a while.  I have lived in a little “believer bubble” pretty much since I became a stay-at-home-mom 2 1/2 years ago.  I basically hang out with my husband and kids, church family, and other believing friends.  I probably could count on one hand the amount of unbelieving friends I currently have.  I was ashamed to think about it.

Our pastor explained that missional is not the same as missionary minded (though we are also missionary minded).  Missionary minded basically focuses on overseas missions, wheras missional focuses on understanding and being a part of the culture around us so we can more adequately share the gospel with people where we are.  As the night progressed, I realized that if we uprooted our family to become overseas missionaries I would most likely be aggressive and intentional about getting to know the culture and sharing the gospel every chance I got.  I wouldn’t be O.K. with making that big of a life change and then failing to do the job I had gone there to do.

The fact is, God has placed me here in Louisville, KY (and soon New Albany, IN) to do the same work as He has called overseas missionaries to do–to spread His gospel to those around us.  If a mission board were funding me to go overseas, I am quite sure they would send me home if I were making no attempts to spread the news that Jesus, who was sinless, took the wrath of God that we deserve upon Himself.  I don’t have to go before a mission board, but I will have to stand before God some day and give an account of all I’ve done or not done, and if that were to happen today, I’m certain I would not hear the words, “Well done.”  This was the one command Jesus gave before ascending to Heaven, and I have barely made an attempt at it.

When Bill and I were on staff at our previous church, our pastor wisely asked each of us in staff meetings each week to give an account of how we had shared the gospel with an unbeliever in the last seven days.  I remember many times I wished I could excuse myself right before that time.  It was difficult, but he helped to hold us accountable and regularly pushed us to be more intentional in this area.  I need you, my friends, to hold me just as accountable.  Be my mission board.  Ask me each time you see me (or ask me here on the blog) how I’ve been working to share the gospel.  I will try to do the same for you.  Imagine the work God might do if we show faith in Him by being obedient.