by Kathy Owen-Gifford
The prefix pan means “all” and from it we get words like pandemic (relating to all, universal – as in all are subject or in danger of an illness), pandemonium (chaos, a wild uproar as if all demons were let loose), panacea (a cure for all ills), panharmonic (in one universal accord – Heaven, right?). I think there should be a new word – “pan-mission” – the mission for always and all days, to all whom I encounter, beginning with my household and extending as far as the Lord allows.
Where am I in these definitions? I hope I can put myself into the arms of Jesus who is the cure and live in His accord with His people while gently informing and sharing Him with the ones living in the pandemonium of this pandemic.
It is God who gives life, dear sister.
Let me repeat, It is God who gives life.
He knows the day of our death… that day hasn’t changed.
God brings death and God brings life, brings down to the grave and raises up.
God brings poverty and God brings wealth; he lowers, he also lifts up.
He puts poor people on their feet again; he rekindles burned-out lives with fresh hope,
Restoring dignity and respect to their lives— a place in the sun!
For the very structures of earth are God’s; he has laid out his operations on a firm foundation.
He protectively cares for his faithful friends, step by step, but leaves the wicked to stumble in the dark.
No one makes it in this life by sheer muscle! God’s enemies will be blasted out of the sky, crashed in a heap and burned.
God will set things right all over the earth, he’ll give strength to his king, he’ll set his anointed on top of the world!
1 Samuel 2:6-10 The Message (MSG)
We are all to be on mission daily where we are with what we have.
“Jesus, undeterred, went right ahead and gave his charge: “God authorized and commanded me to commission you: Go out and train everyone you meet, far and near, in this way of life, marking them by baptism in the threefold name: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you. I’ll be with you as you do this, day after day after day, right up to the end of the age.”
Matthew 28:18-20 (The Message (MSG)
Your Pan-Mission – Bloom Where You are Planted
Blooming where we are planted is sometimes harder than we wish, but He makes us able. He is the key. If we abide in Him and His Word abides in us then we march to His drum and walk in His favor. John 15:4 (The Message (MSG) says: “Live in me. Make your home in me just as I do in you. In the same way that a branch can’t bear grapes by itself but only by being joined to the vine, you can’t bear fruit unless you are joined with me.” We need Him every day, every hour, every minute, every second. Are we abiding? Do we talk to Him as we walk out our days? If we do, the mission becomes natural and unforced. Is it still awkward sometimes? Yes, because we are human, most of us aren’t eloquent or perfect in speech, but we can be humble and authentic.
I can say to you that the first few weeks of our situation were weird for this extrovert! They were weird for all of us. Then last week, I had a fever. I had a fever and for about 2 minutes my thoughts were full of dread. And, then, I got a gentle tap on my mental shoulder and the Comforter reminded me who I am and whose I am. This is what I wrote to my family:
“Being sick was weird. My first thought was “great, now I’m going to have c19 and maybe die!” But, of course I got over that thought quickly enough, God reminded me that He is the giver of life. He knows our days. He knows our hour of death. He knows. He decides. Illness doesn’t decide. I trust His timing. I am His.”
Our God is faithful beyond measure!
Does this mean I am not cautious? No, I am cautious. What it does mean for me is that “as I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil” (Psalm 23), why? Because my God is greater. My God is with me. My God carries me. My God is faithful. I can have an audience with the most high, even at my most low, because I belong to Jesus.
Some Questions During Your Pan-Mission
Let’s talk about our daily time and mission for a second, Sis.
What are you doing with this time? Is it a time for rest and reflection? Are you still on a mission?
I have to remind myself, it doesn’t have to be complicated.
What relaxes you? How do you want to share Jesus while staying mindful of your own emotional, mental, physical self?
For me, it’s drawing, painting, crochet…
So, I started simple and small. Where I am. With what I know.
Via Zoom and Facebook.
I’m teaching women how to knit and crochet. – It’s inconsistent but it’s there and two women have learned to crochet/knit during this time. A new hobby brings a daily activity into lives which in turn brings peace, calm, balance, and routine.
I’m also leading a little show and tell, arts and crafts, writing and reading class for kids. It began with six students and got up to 18 students for a few days and now it’s between 5 and 10 most days from Florida, Tennessee, Texas, and Alabama. I can truly say it’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever done in my life! This little class is a ministry to the children but it’s also a ministry to moms and dads. They know that their children are safe with me and I will protect them from the big scary internet. I’ve curated lessons for them with YouTubers who are reliable and consistent. The children interact with me and each other, they’re learning how to doodle and draw better while having a break from staying at home with nothing new to do. Parents are seeing their children light up when talking about their artwork. One kid for the first time is really excited about drawing. Parents have been thanking me right and left saying how proud they are that their children can sit still and concentrate for two hours solid and how much their children are growing from the experience!
I am adding a little Doodle All The Day-O class for adults beginning next week. I hope to encourage everyone I can in some small way. Stay tuned, you’re more creative than you realize!
It doesn’t have to be art or crochet for you. For you it could be travel or a little business for kids or adults class. …or a “swim with me” daily video teaching kiddos or adults swimming techniques from your own pool to theirs.
One dear friend owns a travel company, she’s taken to the internet to take children and adults around the world virtually on little guided tours. How exciting is that?!
Rise Up to Your Pan-Mission
Rise up, begin where you are with what you have, let us know how we can help!
My prayer for you as always, dear sister, is blessings on your message, mission, and life! I pray that if you don’t know the Savior intimately, you will be encouraged and inspired to get to know Him. Engage with Him daily. Invite Him in to your moments. Look for His hand on your life. Begin to raise your pan-mission! These things I pray for you, for your good and His glory!
I thank God for you, my NACWE sisters!