The group photo. Mexico. 2007.

The group photo. Mexico. 2007.

 

You may be wondering what has kept us from posting a regular update for 2015. Well, we actually have been. It’s been our Photo of the Day project. However, that is not on this particular blog page. You can follow our Photo of the Day project on the AMPPhotos WordPress blog:

https://ampphotos.wordpress.com/

Between the updating of the AMPPhotos site daily and our summer projects, it has been a busy year so far. We are also undergoing an expansion. So, please stay with us as we grow and revamp our online presence. We will continue promoting missions and following our Lord!

This fall we will roll out a new website and social-media presence. These are exciting times! Please continue to pray with us for God’s blessing and leading.

© 2015 A Mission Proclaimed

A Mission Proclaimed is a federally recognized 501(c)(3). Your support is greatly appreciated.

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Something Broken

22 February, 2012

Boys and broken bike. Guayaquil, Ecuador. 2011.

When questions of “why bad things happen to good people” arise, they grow from faulty presuppositions. The thought that God allowed, or worse, ordained some tragedy leaves out the character sin. It is often thought that sin requires a volitional act in every situation. Actually, the only volitional act sin needed to enter the world was that committed by Adam. Eve was deceived, but Adam sinned.

And so, sin entered the world, a creeping death and decay that we see in the actions of men from tyrannical despots murdering millions to the toddler who lies about taking a cookie. (Assuredly, I am not equating the two actions apart from labeling them both as sin.) However, it is often overlooked that sin also reveals itself in the decay of a fallen leaf and the oxidation of the metal of a child’s bike.

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. – Romans 8:18-23*

As can be read in Romans, the weight of sin falls upon the creation as well as the creature. The Third law of thermodynamics describes the inherent entropy in every natural system. Just the fact that systems breakdown is evidence of sin in and of itself. The simple presence of instability is antithesis to the character of God, there is nothing fleeting in the character of God.

These boys, dismayed over a broken pedal, show feelings we all have when things fall to pieces. A broken pedal, a lost job, a heart-breaking diagnosis; are all evidences, great and small, that point us to God and the truth that this world was never intended as a final destination. Thank God.

* New King James Version (NKJV) – Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

(This photo is an Instagram repost)

© 2012 A Mission Proclaimed

A Mission Proclaimed is a federally recognized 501(c)(3). Your support is greatly appreciated.

Two Men

21 February, 2012

Statues, Grand-Leez, Belgium, 2009.

Statues. Grand-Leez, Belgium. 2009.

I recently used another (color) photo of these old men in the post People of Stone. Why? Because I like these old chaps. They seem so determined, so resolute.

In honor of these two petrologically-inclined gentleman, I wrote this little story, The Fleming and the Walloon. please don’t think of this as any commentary on the political situation in Belgium between the Flemings and the Walloons. I am unable to speak to that as I am neither. However, I thought it would be an interesting foundation to build a story on the two natures man. It is quite a stretch I know, but I thought it would be an interesting effort. My preemptive and sincere apologies to the Flemish and Walloon everywhere.

(This story will be published here in the near future.)

© 2011 A Mission Proclaimed

A Mission Proclaimed is a federally recognized 501(c)(3). Your support is greatly appreciated.

People of Stone

19 April, 2010

Sculpture. Grand-Leez, Belgium. 2009.

Sculptures. Grand-Leez, Belgium. 2009.

I have spent the last three months dealing with one computer problem after another, the most time-consuming being two complete operating system installs and a complete system build to replace a dead and un-resurrect-able machine.

This has been a grueling and frustrating process, but it has also caused me to reconsider technology reliance in general. I have come to the conclusion that for what I do, technology is crucial. I could do without, but my job description would change drastically, and I’m not making a judgment whether that would be good or bad. It just is a fact.

Couple that with the recent events in Europe where the Icelandic volcano, Eyjafjallajökull (best of luck on the pronunciation) has put the continent’s airline industry in a tail-spin. The economic disruption of this event is being felt throughout Europe and is even sending waves of financial loss around the globe as the flower growers of Kenya were quick to understand as they were forced to throw their yields onto the compost pile for lack of any sustainable method of getting their products to the European market. How fragile are our system because of our reliance on technology.

So, how do I connect the above image to the thoughts of this post? Two connections; we are people of stone, of the earth, and we are creatures of stone habits. The former refers to our connection to God’s creation and our mandate to tend to it. The latter refers to what I see as humankind’s plodding ahead to a fate of our own design, descending a stony path, stony-eyed, whistling out-of-tune to our long-prophesied coda.

As people of stone, of the earth, we arguably live a more stable existence the closer we live to the earth we are to tend. For five millennia we lived such agrarian lives. Yet, in the past 150 years we left this simple existence with staggering velocity. Imagine the following scenario, a person from the time of King David is magically transported to the opening days of our present republic (roughly 2,700 years). I would premise that it would not take them long to become accustomed to their new setting, a familiar land where power is in water and beasts and oceans are still navigated by wind and stars. Conversely, think of your great-grandfather being transported to our present day (a mere 100 years or so). I don’t think their acclimation would be as easy. Knowledge is increasing exponentially as is our reliance upon it. It was estimated a couple of years ago that this year we will create nearly 1,000 Exabyte’s of digital information this year(1) (that is roughly equal to 18 million times the amount of information in all the books ever written.) YouTube states that they are receiving 24 hours of new video content every minute!(2)

All this is not worrisome. The fact that our entire way of life and subsistence is now entirely dependent on technology does not concern me. God is in control. It does worry me, however, that we are people of stone habits. The vacant stare of the mossy-browed men in the above photo very appropriately illustrates my view of human-kind peddling vacantly into oblivion, not due to its reliance on technology, but because of its ignorance of scripture (read rejection of God’s Word).

So, does hardness of heart cause hardness of head or vice versa? Regardless, only the softening of the heart by the Spirit of God and opening of eyes by the Word of God offers any hope for people, not human-kind in general, that fate is sealed, but of people with whom we have conversation. With whom have you had this conversation (and flicked a little moss from their brow)?

References:
(1) Sharon Gaudin, InformationWeek, March 7, 2007. http://bit.ly/bL9YZZ
(2) YouTube Fact Sheet. http://www.youtube.com/t/fact_sheet

© 2010 A Mission Proclaimed

A Mission Proclaimed is a federally recognized 501(c)(3). Your support is greatly appreciated.