Skip to main content

Life Lessons on Mission: Fear & Control by Jesse Barney

Recently, I have been working to teach my daughter and son how to ride a bike. My daughter, who jumps into everything with both feet, took to it like a duck to water. It took very little time and she was off on her own zooming around on her bike. My son, who is very analytic and thinks about all possible outcomes, was more difficult. He took much longer because he was afraid that he would crash into something or fall off. Many times he would try and jump off the bike when it was still going which placed him in a much more dangerous position than just sitting and riding the bike. The one statement that I said to him numerous times was, “don’t be controlled by fear!”

I can see myself in the various personality traits of my children. I, like my daughter, tend to jump on an opportunity when I see it. I have traveled to China, Thailand, India, and Europe as an ESL teacher. I never knew my mother tongue would afford opportunities to travel the world and meet people. It’s only when we take the opportunity that is available that we can ever learn and grow. In each of these trips God has made me more of a student than a teacher.

One of the major things He has taught me, is to expect the unexpected.  This is a life lesson that goes beyond mission trips.  God has granted me the privilege to work overseas as a teacher, marry an artist, help raise three children, and work in the aviation industry as a person who is responsible for thousands of lives each day. Each of these experiences has taught me that complete control is an illusion. It may seem like you are in control in life but there are always circumstances that take things out of your hands and put them in Gods. In almost all of my mission experiences God has put me in a situation where I am doing something that I did not come prepared to do. Sometimes the greatest experiences were the things I was the least comfortable with doing. I have been able to be involved with witnessing to people who didn’t speak the same language, play soccer with orphans who didn’t have any shoes, and have conversations with people who only barely spoke English. Be ready to take risks. Be ready to be out of your comfort zone. 

  The biggest lesson God has taught me through the years is it’s not about you, it’s about relationships. One of my biggest struggles is learning followership. In my job it’s very important to take control of a situation and fix anything that needs fixing. Unfortunately this isn’t usually very helpful towards creating healthy relationships. People want to be heard and valued, they don’t need someone to come in and “fix” them. Some of the most rewarding experiences that I’ve had are when I just spent time with a person. This is especially valuable to the missionary partners who are there for the long term. I’ve found spending time with their children and their families gives them a much needed taste of home. After living overseas by myself for over a year I remember how much just a little taste of home can mean. Be ready to sing with fellow Christians in their heart language. Be ready to be a follower. Be ready to love.

    So what happened with my son and his bike? He finally got the hang of it. This accomplishment has given him so much confidence. I see a very different boy now. One who was timid and scared is now bolder and ready to try new things. He asks me multiple times every day if we can go ride bikes. He loves riding bikes. During a recent sermon our pastor mentioned I John 4:18, there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love.  Fear keeps us from accomplishing goals. It keeps us from growing. Our love of God and others should be the reason we boldly go into situations that we don’t control. Christ did not request we go into all the world, He commanded it.


Popular posts from this blog

New Mask Sewing Ministry Needs Your Help!

3/31/20Update on Mask Sewing Ministry:  There are 5 women and 1 man sewing to provide masks for local health care workers.  Seven agencies have been served so far.  All are local agencies except fr one in Mocksville.  Over 200 masks have been sewn and donated so far.  Requests are still coming in and they'll continue to sew until the need no longer exists.  Needs: Financial support for the purchase of thread and machine needles, men's polo knit shirts, tight weave and NO NYLON.  We've also added a sign on the containers the masks are in.  

How all of this started:

When church member, Penny Rose, who works in a certified nursing facility, called church member Janet Myers asking about the possibility of sewing masks for their staff, Janet gladly accepted the task!  Janet is also working with a liaison at Randolph Health and Moses Cone to sew masks and face shields.   The great thing about fabric masks is they can be laundered and reused.  Volunteers are needed to help sew.  If…

Nothing is Impossible: Luke 1.26-38 (ESV)

It’s a season of hope, Christmas is coming.As we celebrate our veterans today we are reminded of hope.The reason people go into our military is hope; we have a hope for a future.We believe we can make a difference.God gave Elizabeth hope.She was told she was going to have a son.Elizabeth is six months pregnant and an angel is speaking to Mary.Hope isn’t just from stories 2000 years ago.God entered into our world.Right now, in His presence we too can find hope.What is God doing?God spoke to Elizabeth and then to Mary.Hope is beginning to grow.People are asking questions.
God brings hope.Are we open to the possibility that God can bring hope into our lives?
26In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. 
Luke is the writer of this Gospel.He is writing to people like you and I, people who do not have a Jewish background.This is written…

Corona Caroling

Church member, Alison Hargett has led a group to minister in a local assisted living center.   They've led Bible School for the residents for a few years now and this has turned into a monthly Bible Study for residents with her, her daughters and some other moms and their daughters as well.  In this season of social distancing and lockdown for assisted living facilites, Alison's group got creative and went, "Corona Caroling" last week.  They sang outside the windows to the residents. 

The windows couldn't be opened but they sang loud and the residents loved it!  They did a couple of songs with American Sign Language and brought smiles to faces.  They've made plans with another facility for this coming week and look forward to doing this again.  "We can't do our normal Bible Study but we figured out a way to bring them a little joy anyways!" said Hargett.

After the group did this they received another invitation to sing at another facility.  Th…