Blogs

Why Cross-Cultural Workers Need Tent Pegs

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Home is a complicated word. A complicated idea. What is it? Where is it? As global nomads, we’re not entirely sure how we feel about home. We’re not sure we have it, and we’re not sure how to get it. We know the correct spiritual answer – that Christ is our home. That He is busy preparing an eternal home for us. And that even now, He makes His home in our hearts, wherever we go. Still, we search for a more earthly home. A physical place to set up camp for a while.

As an adult Third Culture Kid, I’ve spent a lot of time seeking out roots. But lately I’ve been wondering if I should stop my search. I’m far too easily disappointed; permanence of people or place is not something we’re promised in this life. Even so, we need a support system for lives as portable as ours. This summer I started describing those supports as tent pegs Read More…


Despair is Where Hope Lives (Psalm 130)

Listen to this message on hope here, or via the trotters41 podcast. (21 minutes)

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Some excerpts and quotes:

“The prophetic poet asserts hope precisely in exile.” — Walter Brueggemann

If you’re not really feeling it. If you’re not feeling happy-clappy-Jesus-is-alive-and-all-my-problems-are-fixed, then take heart, because that’s precisely where hope lives.

“Hope expressed without knowledge of and participation in grief is likely to be false hope that does not reach despair. Thus…it is precisely those who know death most painfully who can speak hope most vigorously.” — Brueggemann

We need this reminder.

We need to remember that true hope is not just optimism. True hope is not a flimsy, fluffy thing. No, true hope, Biblical hope, sees it all. It sees the bad, the hard, the pain. It sees the depths and the darkness. It sees the world’s sin and my own sin. Read More…


The Gaping Hole in the Modern Missions Movement {part 1}

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I think something’s missing.

It’s something that Jesus loved (and studied) a whole lot.

It’s missing because it doesn’t really fit into our Discovery Bible story sets. It doesn’t seem to add value to our NGOs or leadership trainings. It doesn’t offer an immediate return on investment or accelerate the planting and growing of churches.

It’s the Psalms. We’re missing the Psalms, and it’s hurting us 

I grew up reading the Psalms. Our family did the “read a Psalm and then add 30 until you can’t go any further” thing. For example, on the 12th of the month we’d read Psalm 12 and Psalm 42 and Psalm 72 and so on. It was boring and predictable, but also transformational.

I began re-reading the Psalms in earnest about a year ago. I bought a commentary. I started reading books and articles. I began teaching them, singing them, and preaching them. And I started noticing their conspicuous absence.

And I’ve come to believe that my country of origin (America) and my country of destination (Cambodia) desperately need the depth and breadth of the Psalms. We need more Psalms in our families and our agencies. We need more Psalms in our church plants and Bible schools. We need to steep our discipleship strategies in the Psalms. (Many of our more liturgical siblings never really stopped reading the Psalms, and for this portion of their orthopraxy, I’m very grateful.) Read More…


One Thing We Get Terribly Wrong in Our Response to Abuse. And One Way to Get It Right

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Someone alleges abuse.

Someone in power rushes to hush or silence the accuser, sometimes even using Scriptures or “biblical principles” as the gag.

And it’s so wrong.

It’s poison, offered as cure, both to the victim and those close by.

But there’s an idea I’ve been developing that just might be an antidote. At least it has been for some, inoculating them and giving them words. And words are powerful. Read More…


When Grief Bleeds

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Grief is a powerful thing, echoing on and on through the chambers of a heart.

Loss singes the soul, and death does indeed bite.

We are not the only ones who grieve, to be sure, but those who’ve lived abroad certainly know this to be true: it hurts to leave. It hurts to return. And when others leave, whether by death or call or transfer, that hurts too.

Our stories are the ones written with contrails, straddling continents and seas. And these stories, the good and the bad, the ones that heal and the ones that hurt, must be written. And remembered.

Some would say to get over it.
Stop crying.

Some might accuse.
Too little faith.
Too little thought of Heaven.
Too much focus on the past.

As if holiness requires Novocain.
Numbness Read More…

 

AuthorContentDate
Elizabeth TrotterWhy Cross Cultural Workers Need Tent PegsAugust 26, 2018
Jonathan TrotterDespair is Where Hope LivesApril 11, 2018
Jonathan TrotterThe Gaping Hole in The Modern Missions Movement - Part 1April 04, 2018
Jonathan TrotterOne Thing We Get Terribly Wrong in Our Response to Abuse and One Way to Get It RightMarch 06, 2018
Jonathan TrotterWhen Grief BleedsApril 07, 2015

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