Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Teacakes that Changed the World

Friday Night Jam was great fun last night. Some of the people I love most in the world were there, and we had time to catch up a little. Conversation went pretty far afield, as was evident from the searches still open on my phone this morning. Breathalyzer calibration. How often to clean a Glock. Lottie Moon. 

I saw that odd combination and laughed. I'll save breathalyzer calibration and Glock maintenance for another day. Today, we're talking about Lottie Moon.

The picture is of my grandmother, Vera Benson Thaxton. She dearly loved Lottie Moon. In case you don't know, Lottie Moon was a missionary to China in the last 1800's. The Southern Baptist Christmas Mission offering is named after her.

My grandmother loved that mission offering. She saved "for Lottie Moon" all year long. Because every dollar goes to the missionaries, she felt like every cent she saved helped bring a child to Jesus. (And it does) 

Lottie Moon was mentioned so often when I was growing up that she seemed like a distant member of my family. Last night, I realized that not everyone's quite as familiar with her.

Lottie was born on a Virginia plantation in 1840 to wealthy parents. She was well educated, and worked as a teacher during the Civil War. In 1872, her sister, Edmonia, went to China as a missionary. The next year, Lottie joined her. Edmonia returned to the states because of illness, but Lottie continued as a missionary in China for 39 years. 

She learned the Chinese language, adopted the Chinese dress, and loved the Chinese people. She lived open-handed, ready to share with anyone in need. 

One of her best weapons of evangelism was home-baked teacakes. 

The aroma of baking cookies drifted out of her open door and drew the children to her. Their parents soon followed. The cookies gave her an opportunity to share Jesus, and hundreds of people came to Christ because of her efforts.

Lottie Moon was a pioneer in the missionary movement. She sent long, handwritten letters home, detailing her life as a missionary, and urged the people back home to share in her work through their resources. 

Her efforts resulted in the Lottie Moon Christmas offering, which has raised millions of dollars for direct support of missionaries. ($154 million in 2013 alone)

Lottie Moon, who died more than 100 years ago, had a profound impact on the missionary effort of her time. What amazes me is the reach her life still has. My grandmother was deeply impacted by the life of a woman she never knew, and, as a result, my life was impacted, as well.

I don't bake teacakes as an evangelism tool, but I've used everything from hot dogs roasted on an open fire to hayrides to children's games to create an opening to share Christ. 

Dr. Luke used his skill as a physician to support the apostle Paul. Peter used the skills he learned as a fisherman to fish for men. (Cast the net wide and keep pulling until you have the catch in the boat.) Matthew's skills in accounting and record-keeping, learned as a tax collector, helped him write a detailed account of Jesus' life.

One person, totally committed to Christ, can make a bigger, and longer-lasting, impact than we can possibly imagine.

Lottie changed the world with teacakes. 

You and I can be used to change the world, too, if we're willing. What has God placed in your hands that might open the door for someone to meet Christ? 

Today, let's open our hands and allow God to use all He's placed there to help bring a dark and lonely world to Christ. 

He might change the world through you, if you'll let Him.

"Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I. Send me!" Isaiah 6:8
In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Next Steps in Discipleship
#disciple #missions #lottiemoon #Jesus