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Teaching English and Art together, putting on the GospelCafé concerts, prayer, meeting with our new French friends. It's a good life!

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Sunday, January 16, 2011

You get what you pray for.

     This morning's Bible study centered around the non-existance of the "sacred/secular divide." In other words, according to the Bible there is no such thing as a "secular" job. When we work, we work for the Lord first—our "boss" second, period. While the motivation for work may be a varied as, "I need to eat." and, "I'm trying to save a third world culture from starvation," the ultimate goal is to bring glory to God in the marketplace—and sow the seeds of the gospel in the process. (When we leave the workplace at the end of the day it should be plowed ground.)
     As I was listening, a thought suddenly occurred to me. In the past, I've often thought how different I am than most people I know. (You can stop snickering now.) Let me explain what I mean. I grew up in a Christian home. I was in church every time the door opened. Growing up, one of my dad's jobs was to clean the church. After high school, I went three years to Evangel College, a private liberal arts college run by the Assemblies of God, before transferring to Truman State University. When I graduated, I started an advertising agency catering to Christian businesses. Most of my career in business has been more of the same, working for Christian ministries, or gathering Christian clients. We've worked in the art departments for Campus Crusade For Christ, Scripture Press, and Moody Bible Institute. I do have secular clients but one of my biggest clients over the last decade has been the Nazarene Publishing House, for whom I design elementary children's curriculum. I've had to purposefully go out of my way to rub shoulders with non-Christians.
     That has often concerned me enough to ask God to give me opportunities to witness to my faith in Him, and as I listened to the lively banter back and forth between the teacher and the class this morning, I realized that where Carol and I are heading we may be the only Christians in sight. Some of the people we will rub shoulders with in Paris have never met a Christian, ever. And, that, once again, God has snuck one in on me. I will have nothing but opportunity to meet; work with; and minister to non-Christians.
     Of course, I will be surrounded by the rest of our team of missionary church-planters, but my focus will have changed. It sheds a whole new light on the "sacred/secular divide" for me. -Russell

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