After months of settling in, we are ready to step up to the next level in preparing spiritual leaders for Christ’s church. This newsletter is packed with news and views you can use.
John and Judy Turner
See Our Updated Events Listings:
Dedication Service with All Day Singin’ and Dinner on the Ground
April 9, 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Update Note: This event was great fun. Thanks to all who helped!
You are invited to a day of food, fellowship, music, and worship. Come when you can. Stay as long as you like.
If you live near enough, you are invited to bring a dish to add to the variety.
10:00 AM Teaching: “Twelve Foundation Stones for Christian Life,” John Turner
11:00 AM Hymn-Sing and Specials: Danna Hearn and Dave Schmidt
12:00 PM Praise and Worship/Gospel: J. R. Poulson
1:00 PM Praise and Worship: Doxology praise team
2:00 PM Dedication Service:
Music by Marcia Newman, Victor and Lili Michel, and Doxology
“My Wake-Up Call,” a message from John Turner
“What Only God Can Do,” a message from Judy Turner
3:00 PM Southern Zephyr
4:00 PM Hootenanny Jam Session: The Mikesell family. Bring instruments and join in.
How You Can Be Part of Christview Ministries
Pray for the development of spiritual leaders and for this ministry.
Subscribe to our news updates (four newsletters a year and monthly Email updates).
Help support the ministry financially.
Buy resources from our Website.
Place a link to our Website on your Website.
Talk with John or Judy Turner about how Christview Ministries can enhance your Christian life and service or help the spiritual vitality of your church.
God-Sightings by John and Judy Turner
Over twenty years ago, we taught a church group about prayer, using the book, “With Open Hands,” by Henri Nouwen. In that book was the picture of a child, with open hands extended in an eager gesture to receive all the wonders life has to offer.
Years later, these first few months of living into Christview Ministries have been, of all the times of our lives, the most open-handed. There have been moments when we thought we were being generous with God – having given up some of the things we previously held in closed fists, like tangible sources of “security.” We journeyed here in faith, and we daily offer our lives for however God wants to use them.
Pretty generous, huh? Not really. Because our letting go and opening our hands toward God has led to our receiving so many amazing gifts. The fact is, God has been incredibly open-handed with us. God has not withheld anything. God has provided for our needs in ways that delight our hearts.
God opened his hand as Mike, Jerry, and Steve traveled from Indiana to Arkansas to convert a two-car garage at the Christview Ministries Center into two bedrooms so we could house more guests and students. They worked all week for nothing but the satisfaction of knowing they helped with the ministry.
Warren provided vital back-up labor and his wife Sally Ann helped us manage feeding the workers.
God opened his hand as Nelson drove the 80 miles round trip each day to join the Indiana work crew. And Nelson kept coming, several days a week for two months, to help finish the project. Nelson attends a Sunday school class at First Christian Church, Harrison, AR, that adopted us as a mission project and came to spend Holy Saturday helping prepare the Ministry Center for Dedication Day.
God opened his hand and flooring experts Terry and Steve, laid the carpet, saying , “Let us know when you are ready to start Bible classes.”
We don’t know what these generous servants of God learned or felt. We hope they felt some sense of satisfaction in making it possible for the ministry to host more people.
We know what we have learned over the last several months. Rather than giving us a Ministry Center that was ready-to-go, God gave us one that was in excellent condition, but needed some changes for us to make best use of it. Then, rather than sending the money we would have needed to pay for the remodeling, God sent volunteers.
We think that God’s method was designed so that more people could help create this ministry and make it stronger through their involvement.
It was also so that we could know the extent of God’s generosity as we saw it through others who gave what is most precious--their time and energy. As their hands went to work, carefully measuring, cutting, hammering, plumbing, sanding, finishing, wiring, drywalling, carpeting, we saw the open hand of God.
With overwhelming gratitude,
John and Judy
Viewfinder by Judy Turner
What Is My Calling
Young Christians often struggle with the question, “What does God want me to do with my life?”
Middle-aged Christians sometimes feel discontent with their lives and ask, “Does God want me to do something different with the rest of my life?”
Older Christians, dealing with the diminishment of physical strength and health, sadly say, “I guess I’m no longer of any use to God.”
How do we discover what our calling is, and how do we live our calling every day of our earthly lives?
I was asked to co-author a book, Your Calling As a Spirit Leader, which will be published by Chalice Press this summer. In writing the book, I thought and prayed about this issue of calling. I realized that there are three dimensions to our calling as Christians.
Our primary calling is to grow in Christ-likeness during all ages and stages of our lives.
God also calls us to do specific works in Christ’s name for limited periods of time.
Another dimension is how God directs our use of our energies, talents, and spiritual gifts over the course of years. This direction gives a particular shape to our lives. This is our call to vocation.
The good news is that our primary concern needs to be our primary calling. We fulfill our primary calling when we follow Jesus into deeper love, trust and intimacy with God, responding to the opportunities for service God gives.
Even when we aren’t sure of vocation, even when our strength and health fail, we can still fulfill our primary calling. We can come to the end of our earthly lives and feel we’ve lived in a very “ordinary” way and haven’t done any particular “thing” for Christ, and still be profoundly at peace. The realization that we have fulfilled our primary calling brings a joy-filled satisfaction.
Call to Specific Works
When we are unsure of overall life direction or vocation, we still experience God inviting us to specific works in Christ’s name.
A Christian hears about a mission trip to Haiti and senses God’s invitation to go with the group.
A group of Christians discuss the homeless people who sleep under the bridge in their city. Someone has the idea that they could express the love of Christ by taking sandwiches and coffee several times a week. Soon these Christians are taking food, making friends, and praying with the people who live under the bridge.
A Christian sees an ad for English language tutors for foreign students and sees an opportunity to help in a practical way and also the possibility of developing relationship and leading someone to Christ.
These Christians enter the second dimension of calling when they respond to God’s invitation to certain works for a limited time.
Call to Vocation
As we engage in specific works, we may live into a more ongoing direction for the use of our energies, talents and spiritual gifts. We may wake up one day and realize we are no longer asking the question of vocation, but have a sense of serving God in accord with God’s plan for our lives.
A middle-aged man who has grown discontent with his profession as a teacher is asked to teach a class at the church. In responding to this call to a specific work, he discovers a new direction as a teacher in the church. In time, he enters professional ministry.
A woman who loves to do interior design questions whether design work can be her vocation as a Christian. One day while working with a client, she has the opportunity to talk with the client about Christ and to pray with her. After that encounter, she claims her vocation as a Christian interior designer.
God may not be so interested in our finding “the thing” he wants us to do with our lives as in our fulfilling our primary calling. Our focus on trying to find “it” may actually keep us from responding to those invitations from God right in front of us. If we faithfully do our part in growing in Christlikeness and do the next thing God shows us to do, we will live into God’s plan for our lives.
Questions for Prayerful Reflection
How am I fulfilling my primary calling to grow in Christ-likeness?
In which of the works I’ve done for the sake of Christ have I had the strongest sense of God working through me? Could this be an indication of vocational calling?
How was I led to the vocation I am now living? How can I be more fully used by God in my vocation?
Beholdings by John Turner
You are undoubtedly familiar with television quiz show Jeopardy in which the contestants are given the answer and have to come up with a question to fit the answer.
Let’s imagine that four of the answers are the names of the Four Gospels.
Before reading on, pause now and write four questions for which the respective answers are the names of the Four Gospels. Better yet, share this challenge with your Sunday school class or Bible study group. Email your (and their) answers to me at John@Christviewmin.org. I’ll be writing a Web article based on this column and your responses.
What are some of the questions that an informed judge would accept as correct for these answers?
Here are some of my nominations for the questions:
Which Gospel most clearly shows that Jesus is the Royal Son of God, the Suffering Servant of God, and the coming Son of Man?
Which Gospel most clearly demonstrates Jesus’ condemnation of the Jerusalem Temple as fruitless and his decision to replace it with his own more fruitful approach?
According to Christian tradition, which Gospel derives from Peter’s preaching and teaching?
Which Gospel portrays Jesus as a New Emmanuel, a New Abraham, a New David, a New Israel, and a New Moses?
Which Gospel frequently uses the phrase kingdom of heaven as a substitute for the phrase kingdom of God?
Which Gospel claims that the risen Jesus will be present to his followers in their prayer fellowship, in their compassionate outreach, and in their world mission?
Which Gospel most emphatically teaches that we are to be, on the one hand, forgiving and nonjudgmental and, on the other hand, firm in teaching God’s perfect will, never settling for less than the best for ourselves or others?
Which Gospel makes the case that, after a prolonged absence of Spirit-inspired prophecy, the Holy Spirit returns to prepare for the conceptions, births, and ministries of John the Baptist and Jesus Christ, speaking through men and women, young and old?
Which Gospel has a sequel?
Which Gospel repeatedly stresses the theme that Jesus overturns social expectations, bringing down the proud and elevating the lowly, kicking out the insiders and bringing in the outsiders?
Which Gospel most insistently and consistently teaches that Jesus is totally divine and totally human?
Which Gospel is the source of the phrase “born-again”?
Which Gospel reports the New Commandment that we are to love one another as Jesus loved us?
Which Gospel most fully demonstrates that Jesus fulfills the institutions of Judaism?
Don’t forget to send me your list of questions!
I find it exciting to discover how each Gospel brings out different dimensions of Jesus’ life and how these different dimensions address various practical needs in our daily lives as disciples.