Tag: The Downings

Episode 27: The Divorce

It is one of the great tragedies of church history – the divorce between the church and her mission. Today few churches even know that the divorce occurred, making it even more painful. The separation has persisted so long that it seems normal.

-Tom Julien

 

The church is the active body of Christ in this world! The builder of the Church is God the Father, it is empowered or quickened by the Holy Spirit, and its movement, its mission is given by Christ who is the head!

But When the Church separates itself from the Mission or worse yet divorces itself from the mission it is a sad state of affairs indeed.

History is replete with cycles of the church embracing the mission of Christ and the church divorcing itself from the mission of Christ. In the Epochs of time in which there is a divorce between the church and her mission para-church organizations arise. These organizations try to carry out the mission of Christ but the mission of Christ was never intended to be carried out by any organization, only the church. Para-church organizations succeed from time to time but the real home of the mission of Christ is within the body of Christ.

If it is true that there has been a divorce between the church and her Mission today and that most churches do not even know that the divorce accord occurred it is up to this generation to refocus the body of Christ upon its head, Jesus Christ, and to engage in his mission.

May we be the generation who seeks his face. May we be the generation who passionately embraces his mission.

With much love,C7277E17-6D98-457E-AFCC-1E3289BD0CA8 The Downings

Episode 21: Authority and Presence

His authority on earth allows us to dare to go to all the nations. His authority in heaven gives us our only hope of success. And His presence with us leaves us no other choice.

-John R. Stott

We follow the One with authority and presence. For those of us who follow the One who has overcome death there are no un-crossable borders. There are no authorities above Christ! 

The fact that He has authority in heaven not only gives us hope, it ensures our success. Because of His athority no weapon formed against us will prosper, all who raise up against us will fall. By His authority He vindicates us. 

The fact that He is with us, His very presence compels us to join His mission. When we pick up our cross daily and follow Him, we follow Him in life, through death and into eternal life. All of which happens along the path of His mission. 

May we trust completely in His authority. May we follow closely in His presence. 

With much love,ff7ede2e-fa12-4cbb-9c20-5456d1070373 The Downings

Friend, if you enjoyed this thought along the way we invite you to click here and listen to Episode 19. 

The Commands of Christ Conclusion

This teaching series has received much encouraging feedback.  Thank you.  Here is the final session of the Commands of Christ.

As always, if you enjoy this teaching please boaster our reach by sharing it with the people in your life.

This ministry would be possible without you. Your prayers, your support, and your encouragement keep us going. We can’t thank you enough. Your prayerful consideration and giving will carry us forward into the mission ahead.  Your support means more than words can express.  Please click on the family photo below to become part of our ministry team.

In His Grip,

The Downings

 

Of Whirlwinds And Silence

The beautiful notes of life often crescendo ever so slightly over time to become a cacophony.  This happens before you know it.  Recently our mission path has been filled with many melodious tunes.  We were honored to speak at Alliance First Church in Northeast Ohio, then back home for a few days filled with phone calls, emails and book editing, then back to Northeast Ohio, then back to preach at the Kettering First Church of God, then back home for a few days of phone calls, emails and meetings, then to the Ohio general assembly, then to Middletown, then to Cincinnati, then to speak at the Dupont First church of God in Northwest Ohio, then back home for a few days of phone calls and emails.  And if that run on sentence seemed long, so did living it!  In addition to the many high notes on our mission path there was the normal melody of a family of six.  Ballet practice, homeschooling, weddings, dinner with friends, an hour at the park just to name a few. The path sometimes gets long and noisy along the way but there is a reprieve, a quiet time, a time to be still and listen to the “melodious sonnet sung by flaming tongues above.”

One early morning as I watched the sun rise through the window of my car I had one of those quiet times.  I was reminded of a familiar scripture.

The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord. Look, the Lord is ready to pass by.”

A very powerful wind went before the Lord, digging into the mountain and causing landslides, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the windstorm there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake.  After the earthquake, there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. After the fire, there was a soft whisper.  When Elijah heard it, he covered his face with his robe and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave. All of a sudden a voice asked him, “Why are you here, Elijah?”

-1 Kings 19:11-13 New English Translation (NET Bible)

The rush and roar of a whirlwind is powerful and can move many obstacles it its way.  The raw power of an Earthquake fundamentally reshapes the face of the ground.  The crackling  of a fire purifies and destroys.  But somehow in the cacophony of life the still small voice restores.  I am honored to experience the whirlwind, earthquake and fire but I am privileged to know the answer to the question that is asked of me in God’s soft whisper.  Why are you here?

I am here because I have heard the sound that recognized the pain in me, “I let the melody shine, let it cleanse my mind, I feel free now.”  I heard a voice that know me better than I know myself.  I heard a anthem that addressed the the question of origin, morality, meaning and destiny.  I have heard the only song that makes sense.  Now I am compelled to share it.

Please continue to pray for our family as we enjoy the mission path before us and as we build our living link network of supporting partners. We will continue to pray for you.  Let’s together seek to hear the soft whisper of God in contrast to the clamor of our lives.

In His Grip, Timothy

Check out a recent video of Esperanza getting a little board along the way.

*note that no songs were harmed in the writing of this post but both, Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing and Bittersweet Symphony were quoted.

Home

“Where we love is home- home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

 

Over the course of the last few months our feet have trod on some very familiar ground.  More importantly our hearts have been reunited with people we love.  Last month we had the privilege of spending some time in Angelita’s home town of Kenosha, Wisconsin.  Our hearts were made merry as we spoke with many family members and friends about our mission and how they could be a part of it.  We also expanded our hearts as we met new friends from Milwaukee and Racine.

When we returned to New Carlisle from Kenosha, we were only at our house for a short time when we found ourselves among the believers at the New Song Church of God. Now we feel at home in Fairborn, Ohio.

The next weekend we traveled to another place that has captured our hearts, Northeast Ohio.  We felt like we were home at the Simon Road Church of God.  Our hearts were encouraged by the hospitality of the Howards and the Bakers.

Over the next few weeks we stayed close to our home in New Carlisle.  This allowed Timothy to visit several churches in and around his hometown of Middletown, Ohio.  On one recent evening he was honored to sit at a table with people from his home church and speak about our mission.  Looking around the table he realized that he had been on at least one mission trip with half of the people in the room. And our son Tim had been on a recent mission trip with most of the other half.  Once again our hearts swelled with love, with home.

Ever since we began traveling along our mission path the concept of home has become much more focused.  Our hearts are encouraged at the mere sight of our friends and family no matter where they live.  At the same time we have a growing sense of a new home, a home filled with beautiful people who are called by Spanish names.  A home filled with experiences considered foreign in places like Middletown and Kenosha.

As Ecuador looms large on the horizon we take solace in a simple truth. Our feet may leave the place of our childhood but our hearts never will.  And in a grand mystery, as our feet tread on unfamiliar ground, we keep finding ourselves at home in new places.      

2014-05-26 14.57.40
Grampa Garcia and Mijo. This feels like home!

 

Five Easy Ways to Support in a Way Your Missionary Will Love

It is good to have an advocate!  A friendly face in the room, a supporter can make a huge difference in the way a message is received by a crowd.  In eternal terms you and I can stand before God in his throne room of grace solely because Jesus is our advocate.  In spiritual terms we are called to be an advocate, to stand in the gap, for a lost and dying world.  In physical terms we are to advocate for the chained and downtrodden, for it is among the “least of these” that we glimpse the glorious face of our Savior.  We live and move secure in the guidance of the Holy Spirit, our advocate.

Recently Timothy was speaking with a pastor about partnering with our ministry.  During the conversation an advocate for our ministry interjected the importance of churches providing financial  support.  That one interjection turned the conversation and we now are proud partners with the pastor and his church.

This is a call to all of our supporters, those of you who believe in our ministry and want to help us in our search for living link partners (living link partners are monthly financial  supporters). We want to engage you as our advocates.  Here are five ways you can advocate for us.

One. Pray! Please advocate for us before our loving God.  He knows who He has prepared to partner with us as we follow His calling in our lives.  Please continue to pray for His guidance.

Two. Share! It comes quite natural to us to share what we like with others.  Our social networks are full of recommendations for favorite restaurants, recipes, movies, music, and sports teams.  We ask that you share our posts, pictures, information and news with your social network.  Your voice is powerful; please introduce us to your listeners.  If you are wondering what to start sharing here are a couple good links:  ourmissionpath.com/about/   Our video

Three. Write! Would you consider drafting a letter of introduction and sending it to some of your friends?  A letter from a friend is always read.  We ask that you include why you support us and our contact information.  Again your voice is powerful!

Four. Host!  Please consider hosting a get together for us.  Invite your friends and have us share with them the mission God has laid on our hearts.  If you will provide the venue and your friends we will provide refreshments and good conversation.

Five. Partner! We ask that you become a living link partner with us.  We are asking you who believe in us and in the mission we are on to advocate for us financially.  No amount is too big or small.  We simply ask that you let God lead you, then go to this link: Support the Downings  and partner with us in God’s glorious work!

We thank you for your advocacy in advance and we can’t wait to see what happens through your voice!

pic2
Thank You!