The Wonder of Him!
Jesus is born!
This morning we all wake up to the sensation and sparkle of Christmas. This picture of the horse head nebula from the Hubble Telescope transports our hearts to the throne of God.
The eyes of our hearts look at our family and we are reminded of the true priorities of life. We see the children who wake up in a wonderland of wishes and gifts. The first moments of a Christmas morning seem to sparkle in a special way. Christmas is flooded with memories of moments in our own childhood. It is crowded with the faces of those who we have deeply loved during our lifetime.
You see, Christmas is a two sided coin. On one side is the joy and warmth of love. On the other side is the deep pain of those who are no longer among us. Those who we deeply cherish but can no longer touch except in our memories.
I wonder how God the Father felt on that first Christmas morning? I am sure he was overjoyed and excited as the angels sang. But I wonder how the other side of the coin felt? His son was a gift to all of mankind. Unfortunately, not all of mankind recognizes or understands who he is. Today many try to sanitize our society from any memory of the true reason for this season.
We pray that God opens the eyes of your heart on this special day of the year. We know that our priorities will once again be rearranged. Our values will be re-positioned and Christ will sit on the throne in our hearts.
We are thankful for so many who have lifted us to His throne! You have sent us to faraway places and connected with the hearts of so many servants for Christ. Thank you for having a vision that goes deeper still in the hearts, minds and souls of those serving the child king today. We are genuinely humbled by our relationship with you!
Have a deeply blessed Christmas!
Cathy and Danny
Copyright © Danny Sartin and Deeper Still Missions. All Rights Reserved.
Life Nuggets are written for those who support Deeper Still Missions and its goal of missionary retention.
Re-Prints: Deeper Still Missions devotionals are protected by international copyright laws. To request reprint permission contact the offices of DSM. Permission is granted and encouraged to forward this post in its entirety to others without making any changes or deletions.
A Kingdom Leader is interested in building relationships, sharing struggles and building up one another. Those friendships are quality investments in the future. He surrounds himself with faithful and qualified leaders who can assist him in carrying the burden of leadership no matter where it leads.
Do you have a alliance with someone you consider your Timothy? How about someone you consider your Paul? Is discipleship and mentoring a value reflected in your friendships? Who is close to you? Is that person qualified to accept leadership with you? Are you entrusting leadership roles to them? Or are you investing in the wrong people?
Daniel 2:49 (NIV)
49 Moreover, at Daniel’s request the king appointed Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego administrators over the province of Babylon, while Daniel himself remained at the royal court.
Daniel and his friends shared all the heartbreak, the values of excellence and the need for prayer with one another. Their individual and collective focus on God the Father made them a formidable witness in an ungodly society.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
(1) The Holy Bible: New International Version. Electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984, S. Daniel 2:49
Copyright © Danny Sartin and Deeper Still Missions. All Rights Reserved. Photos taken by Cathy and Danny Sartin in Africa.
Kingdom Leadership is written for missionaries and ministers serving our Lord in various parts of the world.
Deeper Still Missions devotionals are protected by international copyright laws. To request reprint permission contact the offices of DSM. Permission is granted and encouraged to forward this post in its entirety to others without making any changes or deletions.
Report from Africa
We rode up to a new building completed recently in the remote bush of Zimbabwe. Dusty roads and landscape were littered with children, gogos (Zulu for grandmothers) and adult leaders from the villages. They were in small groups nestled under every sliver of shade they could find.
Children stared at the seldom seen white men riding in the car. Everyone was dressed in their finest! Water was boiling for the community gathering. Sudza (ground corn) would soon be added and cooked for the celebration lunch.
A prayer of thanks was given and the ribbon cut from the front door. Hundreds of people crammed into every available space in the small church. The community representative for the chief sat first along with councilmen and elders from various groups of the Shona tribe. They sat in special seats of honor. A special ribbon was pinned to their clothing to signify their distinctive status.
Women served water, tea or other items and showed deep respect to those leaders. They got on their knees and bowed in esteem. I realized I was watching centuries of tradition at that moment. I also noticed that several hundred more people stood outside. Some were at the open windows while others stood at the open doors.
Worship began with gusto! There was clapping, dancing and a deafening sound of music. Everyone in the room sang and danced except the counsel and key leaders although you could see them move to the music at times.
I sat at the front as an honored guest. Dancers moved with ceaseless energy and dripping sweat. The worship went on for four hours. These young African dancers moved with uncanny exactness. Their precision would rival any professional dance group from anywhere in the world.
One particular elder captured my eye. This stately man exhibited the face and skull of an experienced warrior. His deep set eyes, like those of an eagle, were embedded in a chiseled face with high cheek bones and a magnificent chin. His humble posture, huge stature and frame spoke volumes of wisdom, strength and resolve.
Once several hours of celebration had passed, I stood before this daunting and excited crowd to open God’s Word. I had no words personally. The Holy Spirit spoke to their hearts, minds and souls. It was a challenge for each of us to look at Jesus . . . intently.
The deplorable poverty and circumstances struck my heart and drew me close to the orphaned children. There were several hundred of them. But it was clear that God touched them.They had seen a physical victory happen in their midst. This church/community center for Youth with a Vision . . . brought a deep sense of pride and excitement.
My heart soared in gratitude for Pastor Bonface. God gave him a vision to feed, clothe and give spiritual guidance to over a thousand orphans in five different areas in this crippled country. He announced at this gathering an additional vision to the crowd. Next comes a medical clinic for the people of the remote village of Derembwe.
The least of these are never forgotten by our Lord! I wish you had been with me.
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.