Mabey Memories

The desire of my heart is to become the person God dreams of and share those dreams with others; to unleash personal and corporate creativiy within the church, overflowing it with passion and freedom while searching for the face and character of God.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Don't Mess With The Missionary Man!

"Don't mess with a missionary man.Don't mess with a missionary man.
Well the missionary manHe's got God on his side.He's got the saints and apostlesBackin' up from behind.Black eyed looks from those Bible books.He's a man with a missionGot a serious mind.There was a woman in the jungleAnd a monkey on a tree.The missionary man he was followin' me.He said "stop what you're doing.""Get down upon your knees.""I've got a message for you that you better believe.
The Eurythmics
A few years back, Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics sang this song. I really don't know the story behind it, but I was always amused by the lyrics. It's been running through my head lately as I think about the challenges that the 21st century church in America faces. While there are many exterior challenges that come from a culture in crisis, a crisis brought on by its refusal to seek God in all things, I'd like to focus for a few moments on an interior crisis the church is facing, what I will call the high-falutant term, Contextual Irrelevancy.
It was in college I first heard the term "Contextualization". It was a big word the mission majors through around and simply meant this. When entering a different culture, and seeking to share Christ with a people that had not heard the message, it was first necessary to "Contextualize the gospel". This means simply to put your message in a context that the people will understand. This can begin with the obvious need to learn the language of the people, be it Swiss or Swahili, but goes on to learning its customs, mores, beliefs, history, etc. Being a missionary can mean being a linguist (learning the language), a sociologist (learning the culture), and an anthropologist (understanding the history behind the present culture). One great historical example of this would be Hudson Taylor's work as a missionary among the Chinese. While all of the missionaries up to Hudson's time lived on the coast of China in English style homes, drinking English tea and wearing English clothes, Hudson took a very different approach. He moved in among the Chinese, living in a hut in the core of one of its cities, he ate the same as they ate, grew his hair long and braided it into the traditional chinese male style, and wore their clothes. The other English missionaries were aghast, and Hudson was thrown out of the missions organization. But guess what? Hudson Taylor is considered the father of modern missions, because it was his example that led to contextualization of the gospel. And now missionaries around the world work very hard to put the gospel of Jesus Christ in context to reach those across the sea.
My point: What about contextualization today? In America? Are we are on our way to "Contextual Irrelevancy" in many ways as we create a church culture that has its own language, it's own mores, it's own history, etc? What is the language Romeo and the surrounding area speaks? Of course it's English, but it is much more than that. How does the church contextualize today? How does it exist and labor "in the world", without becoming "of the world"?
The Bridge is a movement of people seeking to understand the culture around us, so that we might contextualize the message of Jesus Christ in such a way that they will understand. It is only in this way that we will not find ourselves completely irrelevant in our community. One final, uncomfortable story may help us understand. A Christian leader met with a group of church leaders and gave them this challenge. "Put an ad in the paper," he said, "announcing that in 30 days your church will be holding its final services and closing it's doors. Let the community know that you will no longer be present through the local newspaper, radio, etc. Then, wait and see if the community cares whether you are open or not. If the community doesn't care if you're there or not, than why do you exist?" The Bridge is a mission outpost, not a local American church. Think about it, and "Don't Mess With the Missionary Man" :)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

You can't handle the truth!

Okay since so many of you read this blog, I thought Matt's devotional for the BRIDGE was good for this page today, more of you look at this than get our e-mail from the BRIDGE, so here it is and if you would like to be added to our e-mail just let us know. Joelle
ps (I still have not figured out how to get our web page up for the BRIDGE) if you know anything about give me a call......
and from my good friend Susanne, maybe there is a sermon in here somewhere???????

Jon Benet. Just one name, yet currently it brings all kinds of thoughts into our heads. Many of us have seen the reports on the news recently of an arrest of a man living in the Far East who has confessed to the murder of Jon Benet Ramsey, the little beauty queen whose murder captured the headlines nationally ten years ago, and since that time has remained one of the most compelling of unsolved mysteries of our time.
Yet very quickly after the arrest, questions regarding the truthfulness of the confession arose. Was this really the perpetrator, or was it someone who wanted his name and face plastered all over the headlines in a sick ploy to get attention? It comes down to the question; What is the truth?
I'm reminded of a conversation that took place over two thousand years ago between two men; one possessing tremendous earthly power standing before a man he took to be completely powerless, a man whose life he held in the palm of his hands. Say the word Pilate, and this man before you dies. Practice mercy, and he lives. There conversation is brief, and ends with a question, a question that you may have considered at some point in time.

Pilate asked him, "Are you the king of the Jews?"

"Is that your idea," Jesus asked, "or did others talk to you about me?"

"Am I a Jew?" Pilate replied, "It was your people and your chief priests who handed you over to me. What is it
you have done?"

Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jews.
But now my kingdom is from another place."

"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.

Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In face, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world,
to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

"What is truth?" Pilate asked.
(John 18:33-38)

If we thought we were the first generation to struggle with what truth is, we see that the struggle is over two thousand years old. We desperately search for that which is true in our lives, knowing that if we can discover truth, it can form the foundation for all of our decisions, all of our actions, all of our yearnings. In effect, to discover just one thing that is true is to uncover one king in a world of jesters, and ultimately to uncover something worth living, and dying for.
One of my favorite bands, The Call, sing a song with a four phrase chorus that sums up how much truth is worth to us. It says this,

What do you live for?
What would you die for?
What do you stand for?
What are you made of?

If just one thing is true, or if just one person is true, or if we serve a God that is the source of truth, then He is worth living for, He is worth dying for, He is worth standing for, He is worth us being made from His stock. At one point Jesus told his listeners that He was the resurrection and the life, after which he asked them, "Do you believe this?" Well, do you? Do you believe that He is the truth? Do you believe that He is the resurrection? Do you believe that in Him we find life? If so, then live for Him, die for Him, stand for Him, and be made of Him. Anything less would be to treat Him as if He were a lie. Let us not be people who say we believe, then act as if it were all a lie. If we do, we say to God and to the world that we can't handle the truth. And if we can't handle it, we can't expect to help anyone else handle it either.


Monday, August 21, 2006

Micah is 8!

Happy Birthday Micah

On August 21, 1998
Micah David Mabey joined our family
at 7:30 in the morning, 30 minutes after
we arrived at the hospital! He has been
doing things FAST every day since then!

Today he is 8! An age he never thought he would see.
(all his brothers are older than him and he wanted to grow
up so quick to be like them)

The day he was born he weighed in at 7 lbs 2 ounces
and was 19 1/2 inches long. Today he weighs in at 57
pounds and is 4 feet 1 inch.....And enjoys life! He will be
in the second grade when school starts back up on Sept. 5
and is looking forward to yet another successful soccer season.
He loves to run and is in constant motion from the time he
wakes up till his eyes finally close at the end of the day!

He is a joy to be around and spreads joy to all those that
come in contact with him.

Noah is 11

Happy Birthday Noah!

On August 19 1995 at 7:30 am
Noah Robert Mabey entered the world!
Now he is 11. Where do the days go? It seems
like just yesterday we were still rocking and
holding, learning to walk then to run.
When he was born he was 6 lbs 11 ounces,
today he is 4 ft 10 inches , 78.5 pounds,
and looking forward to the 5th grade. I still
remember his first day of kindergarten,
even after his two older brothers had been
in school, Noahs first day came and it was
just as hard as the others, I cried the whole
time he was gone and it was just a half a day!
He loves to learn and is great in school so I
should be thrilled, and I am, but still miss
him when he leaves for his day.
He is a GREAT kid and I am very proud of him!

Love you Noah!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Our New House

Call or e-mail us for directions and come by anytime.

We will always make room for friends.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Still homeless........

What to do when you are homeless.....


Okay, today I will seriously look for those cords to be able to post pictures of where we are and what we have been up to, my lap top is still down (anyone know how to configure the new modem to the router, I am open to suggestions) so I have to fight the boys for a chance to use the desk top, but I am confident today will be the day; so stay tuned.


Romeo Weather