Friday, August 28, 2015
We are excited to share with you all that the new Christian movie War Room is now in theaters across the US and other countries! This movie comes from the Kendrick Brothers, who also led the making of the Christian movies Facing the Giants, Fireproof and Courageous. Here is the trailer for this exciting new movie about the power and importance of prayer.
In light of the message of War Room, here's a quote that sums up perfectly the vitalness of prayer:
"To be a Christian without praying is no more possible than to be alive without breathing."
- Martin Luther
Hoping you'll have a great weekend!
Joanna, Megan, Krista, Emily, & Victoria
Monday, August 24, 2015
It’s not uncommon to hear about poverty these days—the percentage of people in a particular city living below the poverty line, the effects of poverty on individuals and communities, poverty in America vs. poverty in other countries, etc. It comes up in the news (usually as a statistic) and in Christian communities as we work to minister to the poor and reduce poverty overall.
Generally, when we talk about poverty, we are referring to economic poverty. But have you ever heard of Bible poverty?
Bible poverty is the lack of access to Scripture, and it’s a very real thing. According to the American Bible Society’s State of the Bible 2015, the Bible is not available in 57% of the world’s almost 7,000 languages. That’s right; over half of language communities in the world still don’t have a single word of Scripture available to them. There is good news and bad news about the 57% without access. The good news: 26% have started the translation process! The bad news: 31%, roughly 1,900, have not even begun. Those 1,900 languages represent about 180 million people.
I first heard about Bible poverty in 2012 when I participated in the Wycliffe Summer Internship program and spent 10 weeks in the accounting department at the JAARS Center (one of Wycliffe’s partners in Bible translation) in North Carolina.
Wycliffe Bible Translators is an organization working to make the Bible available to all people in a language they can clearly understand. Their goal is to start a Bible translation project in each of the languages still needing it by the year 2025. They call this initiative Vision 2025.
Wycliffe and their partners believe that everyone has the right to the Bible in their own language—in the language that speaks to their heart.
God wen get so plenny love an aloha fo da peopo inside da world, dat he wen send me, his one an ony Boy, so dat everybody dat trus me no get cut off from God, but get da real kine life dat stay to da max foeva.
This is John 3:16 in Hawaiian Pidgin. That’s pretty interesting to read, isn’t it? But imagine if that was the only Bible you had. If you didn’t know John 3:16 in English already, do you think you would be able to fully understand the message of the Gospel? Although Hawaiian Pidgin is closely related to English, it still doesn’t speak to us clearly or penetrate our hearts. This is why Wycliffe believes it is so vital that the Bible be translated into every language, not just languages of wider communication. They realize that if you don’t know that God speaks your language, He seems foreign instead of personal.
Catherine Rivard, a translator in Papua New Guinea says, "Without God's Word in their own languages, Jesus had always sounded like an unintelligible foreigner shouting through a pillow, far removed from their own lives and desperate questions."
I'm passionate about Bible translation, but I am not a linguist or translator. I like numbers! Since that internship in 2012, I’ve joined Wycliffe as one of their missionaries and will soon be serving in the finance department at their USA Headquarters in Orlando, FL. I'm going to be working behind the scenes to help support approximately 3,500 Wycliffe USA missionaries spread across the globe. I will be working specifically with insurance, helping to make sure fellow missionaries are covered and that their partners' money is stewarded well through accurate payments of claims and premiums. Translation takes a team, and I love that I can use my gifts and passions to help bring the Gospel to all the nations of the world.
We can all have a part in ending Bible poverty. Here are a few things you can do:
1. Spread the word! State of the Bible 2015 revealed that 72% of Americans believe the Bible is available in every language—so the first step is educating people on the reality of Bible poverty. Follow Wycliffe on Facebook, watch and share their YouTube videos, tell your friends that 180 million people are still waiting for a Bible translation project to begin.
2. Join Wycliffe’s prayer team and pray for a Bibleless people group. Wycliffe believes that prayer is essential to the translation process. When you sign up to be on Wycliffe’s prayer team, they will send you information about one people group that is still waiting for their translation to begin. They will send you updates on the group as they become available. Your prayers truly do make a difference.
3. Partner financially. You can donate money, electronics, gift cards, vehicles, etc. all for the cause of Bible translation. You can also partner financially with the Wycliffe ministry of a specific missionary. You can even become a part of my Wycliffe ministry partnership team!
4. Get involved with Wycliffe. Itching to go? Do an internship or overseas trip; join short term or long term. There is a place for everyone (seriously)!
Together, we can help end Bible poverty. Find your place today!
Allison Abernathy studied accounting at Taylor University and graduated in May 2013. Since then she has been living with her family in Tennessee and working as an administrative assistant at a local Christian school. She recently joined Wycliffe Bible Translators and is currently gathering her Wycliffe ministry partnership team. She is the youngest of four and the only girl. She enjoys doing craft projects, taking walks in the neighborhood with her best friend, playing board games with her family, and spending time with her 10 month old nephew.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
I look behind. The past is yet
Present within my heart.
I do not wish to recall my failures,
But mostly I want to forget
The silent hours, the days, the years,
When I did nothing,
But sat in self-complacent fear.
Please keep my wasted hours and dreams
Out of sight. I wish to revive again
Only those days which have been
The days I truly lived. When streams
Of love flowed from my heart
In service to my God. And there seemed
Nothing too small to give
To my God – these were the days I truly lived.
Let me tell you the things I have learned
That are not wasted,
Though they seem passed by.
This is what will never die:
The love you give and the faith you keep,
The compassionate tears that you weep,
And all those menial tasks you always thought
Were never seen. These are the things,
Yes, the very ones, that will not
Be forgotten or wasted by your King.
Monday, August 10, 2015
2 Timothy 4:2 – “Be ready in season and out of season.”
More than a decade ago, I stepped into a new hallway, awkwardly walking into an unfamiliar sea of faces while groups of high-school girls around me greeted each other excitedly and traded stories of summer vacations and family trips. It was the first time I felt that weird "first day feeling", which the American Psychological Association labels as "Back to School Blues". I wish I could say that it was the last time I felt stressed out over a new environment, that my shyness disappeared over time or that I magically developed an iron stomach to deal with the rigorous academic curriculum a lot of schools have on the school year agenda these days. My first day of college was no different as we now had bigger campuses, longer class days and more people to meet and form friendships with. Even community college here in California felt like a daily assault to my Christian faith, with classes attempting to introduce worldly perspectives and debunk Biblical truth with countless isms. The common denominator to all these first day experiences was this gnawing feeling in my stomach and that fear of facing something we are not aware of or prepared for.
The end of summer signals the start of the school year. For a lot of us, it is that wild chase to get all the school supplies and the newest school wardrobe. For others, it is an attempt to squeeze out as much fun out of summer, friends, and others as we can. Other people have already whipped out the books and began reading and studying lessons a few weeks before summer ended. Whatever our coping mechanism is, the reality is we want to be as ready as we feel we need to be for this season.
Here at Bloom!, it is our desire to encourage godly womanhood as we walk through different seasons in our lives, that our testimony will shine brightly and speak boldly of Christ and that we may remember to share the gospel in the different daily situations and spheres of influence we find ourselves in. School is one area where we need more than the cutest book bag, tennis shoes and most colorful notebooks we can find, we need Christ and His truth in the Word. Here are some helpful reminders for us going back to school:
1. Strive excellence for God’s glory.
We go to school not to mainly achieve a 4.0 or fill up our future resume or college applications with tons of extra-curricular activities, but God does call us to excellence. 1 Corinthians 10:31 commands us to do all that we do, whether eating or drinking, or making friends, or studying or going to classes, that we do it for the glory of God.
2. Your Bible is an important book to study, even if it isn’t on your school’s lesson plan.
Our teachers hand out a lot of reading, from Shakespeare to sonnets, to Colonial America and Paul Revere, to geometry and differentials. It might even be tempting to put your Bible and personal devotional time on the side while you get ready for that midterm, or rush that homework on Plato and his philosophies, or maybe insert the Bible when you’re free or less tired. Instead, ask God for discipline and set aside a specific time of the day to have your time in the Word. Having your personal devotional time is like breakfast, lunch or dinner, something your heart needs. The Bible speaks of hiding His Word in our hearts so that we do no sin against Him, and writing His word in the tablet of our hearts.
3. Keep your eyes open for serving opportunities.
4. Trust in His truth alone.
God’s truth is the only Truth out there. In schools, there is a lot of temptation to attribute certain aspects of creation to science, or our intellect to our own control or our actions to psychology. The reality is that God’s truth isn’t something that we try to fit into whatever space we have left from “beliefs” we have developed through the years, but that God’s truth based on the Bible is what should influence our thoughts, actions and decisions. So, when faced with a history or biology lesson that seems opposite of what you have learned from the Bible? Read and study the Bible again, and find Biblical writers that discuss the Biblical texts even more.
5. The Gospel is the solution to all our hearts.
Behind every man, there is a sinful heart. Whatever talents we may have, or capacities towards certain grades, nothing we do in the earth adds onto us. We all are sinners in need of God’s grace and forgiveness. The best news is that Christ is propitiation for our sins. It’s a big word that means a big thing and a sacrifice: He took God’s wrath for our sins. With this as Christians, we are reconciled with God and He will help us, not because we are on the dean’s list or that we made the basketball team, but because He loves us. This means whatever happens in this school year, our hope is in Christ and the Gospel. This is the most important thing that helps us gets started with getting prepared in and out of season.