We Grow Too Soon Old, and Too Late Smart!

It’s a fact that the longer we live the older we get!

And it’s also a fact that we grow too soon old, and too late smart!  I’m wondering now that I’m 73 years old, how all of our lessons of life that start to congeal in our later years, will be invested in the next world?  I’m sure the Lord would not waste those.  Any insight on that for me?

In this Blog Post by Scott Schaum, working in Member Care with Barnabas, I’m passing on some reflections he’s made looking back on his life and career.  These are valuable to read and reflect on

What I would Tell My Younger Self

Hindsight is  a wonderful gift.  I have reflected on what I would have done differently in my younger years. Actually, it is not so much what I would have done, but more how I would have lived. Here’s my list:

  • Slow down! What is the rush after all??!! No need to try to conquer your world in a day. I have learned much in the past 10 years of the wisdom in slowing down the april-1967decision making process, the response time, the expression of my opinions, and much of else in life. I used to go for morning runs. Now I walk. Amazing how much more I see along the way….That’s a good metaphor for life.
    (Read more . . .)




Here’s an update on my cancer journey, www.GrissenCancerJourney.com

I’m also giving a huge Holiday discount on the price of my Dynamic Partnership Development (DPD) Fundraising resource.  So if you need help in fundraising as you start 2017, check it out:  www.FundTheMinistry.com


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Missionary, Resource Yourself!

My friend, David Lewis, is the CEO of the Paracletos Ministry.  He and his wife, Irene, also host a wonderful Oasis in Indiana called, Baan S’abai.  Head over there sometime when you need some encouragement, reflection, rest, and coaching.

Every Friday he puts out a wonderful blog post with a bunch of resources in it.  Many of those are blog posts from other missionaries who are excellent writers with a lot of experience.

My suggestion is to sign up for David’s blog and get these in your box every Friday, as I do, for encouragement, resources, challenge, perspective, and some laughter along the way!

Here’s a sample to take you to his blog . . .

Sep 09, 2016

Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources

Casual Friday Missionary Care Resources

Are you ready for this? I’ve got 22 (!) resources for you this week because…well because it was too hard to leave anything out. There’s everything from fund raising to MK raising, culture shock to re-entry, books and seminars and retreats. So here you go—have a feast!

The paradox of faith

Amy Young rattles our cages with this article on overcoming.

What if failure is staying and leaving is success?

We can all use a tune-up on our perspectives. Start with yours, then forward this to your friends.

The problem of porn

There…I’ve said it. We all know that pornography is a huge problem here in our culture. What we are probably more naïve about is the reality that many missionaries struggle with it, too. Women as well as men. Here is an online video course about breaking the bondage. You never know when someone you love will need this.

(Connect to David’s Blog . . .)





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Does It Pay to Complain?

Recently I heard this story . . .

A young man who wanted some spiritual formation went to a monastery with a code of silence.  Once a year there would be a meeting with his mentor and he could say three words.


After his first year of living in the monastery he met with his mentor.  The mentor said, “Okay, Joe, you’ve been here a year now, what are your three words?”

Joe said, “Bed is hard.”

After his second year of living in the monastery he again met with his mentor.  The mentor said, “Okay, Joe, you’ve been here now two years, what are your three words?”

Joe said, “Food is bad.”

After his third year of living in the monastery he again met with his mentor.  The mentor said, again, “Okay, Joe, you’ve been here now three years, what are your three words?”

Joe said, “Light is broken.”

The mentor said to him, “Joe, you might as well leave.  You’ve been here for three years and all you’ve done is complain!”

After your chuckle, this does bring up a good point.  How much are we complaining about the circumstances in our life?

The Apostle Paul reminds us, “Do everything without complaining and arguing . . .” — Phil 2:14





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Free Resource Regarding TCK’s (Third Culture Kids)

Our missionary children face their own major challenges as they follow us back and forth to the fields of service.  I know because Sheri and I raised 5 of these TCKs.  All are doing well now as adults and have adjusted to their lives, marriages, and families in a good way.  Third culture experience has only served to broaden and strengthen their lives and personalities.


However as parents, midstream in missionary life with our kids, we’re not always sure how they are doing.  Here’s a free resource that recently popped up I want you to know about and put into your digital libraries for reference and study if you like.

This book, “Raising Resilient MKs: Resources for Caregivers, Parents and Teachers,” is edited by Joyce Bowers and provides 500 pages of invaluable material for those involved with TCKs in any way.

The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) published this book in 1998 and has graciously given permission to make it available free of charge. The book is available to download as .doc, .pdf, or .zip files for your computer and as .mobi or .epub files for your Kindle or Nook. You can’t beat the price. Find it at…

Link if needed:

Other Missionary Resources:





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Missionary, Are You Suffering from Compassion Fatigue?

There are two types of people in the world:  Givers and Takers.  Missionaries are Givers!  We give and give and give some more.


However staying on that side of the equation in life can lead to strain and stress and sometimes break down.  Are you in a healthy place today, or are you suffering from ‘compassion fatigue?”

In this blog post, Sarita Hartz deals with that issue.  Test yourself.

“I remember after a long, hot day in Uganda, sweat seeping through my shirt, after spending hours in the hospital with another one of the women in my community who was diagnosed with HIV, I would collapse on my bed, face tear stained, so exhausted I couldn’t think about making dinner.

The reality was, those days were more typical than non typical.

Over time, the suffering of others can seep into your bones and drain you.

Missionaries and aid workers have countless trauma inputs every day from the threat of violence, to listening to traumatic stories, dealing the problems of others, to illness, domestic violence, child abuse, and even grieving the loss of someone in their community.”  (Read more . . .)




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The Missional Heart of Missionary Care

Sheri and I got our start in Missionary Care in 2003, establishing our first Oasis in Oregon.  The Missionary Care enterprise, (special ways of caring for missionaries) however, had started some years before that.  Recently I received this article by Dr. Kelly O’Donnell, a pioneer in the Member Care movement.  Since it documents the history of Missionary Care, I want to pass this on to you, in case you’re involved in Missionary Care and want this history.


“Missionary care has made great strides over the past fifty years and is increasingly recognized as a strategic and ethical necessity for mission. Starting in the early 1990s, the term “member care” began to be widely used to identify what was recognized as an emerging international and interdisciplinary field.[1] Throughout the development of this field, its missional focus—indeed its heart—was clearly seen in its support of mission personnel themselves, as well as their work.[2] Its foundational principles highlighted the biblical admonitions to love one another and, as reflected in the opening prayer above from the first-century church, in the yearning to be made perfect in God’s love.

This article presents a historical journey through several professional publications, organizations, and conferences dealing with the practice of member care.[3] Starting in the pre-1960 era and traveling into the mid-2010s, I highlight trends in member care development. This chronology weaves my own commentary around a selection of core quotes from different authors. Knowing our history provides important perspectives for supporting the church’s endeavors to share the Good News and do good works among all peoples.”  (read the full article . . .)


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Love-Hate Relationship with the Beatitudes?

Do you ever get tied up in your Christian life wondering how to balance God’s Grace with our responsibility to put in effort to live the Christian life?

One Pastor said, “Justification is outside of us.  Sanctification is inside of us.  Don’t mix the two.


Continue reading

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What Do You Do If You Burn Out?

Bill Tell, and his wife, Sue, are friends of ours going back to College days!
Hey, that’s a long time back, I guess we are almost life-long friends.


Continue reading

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Whatever You Do, Don’t Burn Out!

Going down in flames on the Mission Field at one time was a sign of total commitment to Christ and His cause.  Today most of us consider it a loss to the Great Commission enterprise.  T. J. Addington would agree as his article here on “Ministry Burnout” indicates.  LessonDon’t Burn Out on the Mission Field or in the Pastorate!

wood-1083407_1280 Continue reading

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Bloom Where We’re Planted!

Being servants where God has put us and being content to serve Him there, is the theme of this post from Mark Brewster, LI Staff Oasis Host in Lewiston, ID.


One of the dangers of living in our American consumer culture is the temptation to view the Church more as a business or corporation than the Body of Christ. That perspective has the potential for a pastor to see himself as a company employee who wants to climb the corporate ladder of success, with increased responsibilities and “bigger and better” churches along the way. Continue reading

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