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Only Grace would choose to engage a sinner
to take part in a plan to save another sinner.

 

          Some things in tentmaking are unknown:  When you're being watched.  When someone is listening.  Where God is working.  When you're making a difference.  But one thing is known for sure:  You are called to bring God's presence--carried within your life--to the world around you.  You're fully employed for Him.  Everything you do is on purpose, for His purposes.  

In tentmaking we call it INTENTIONALITY.  It's a big word that reminds you that your life is constantly mirroring the plans God has for reaching those around you.  He loves them. Do you? He has made plans for them.  Do they know that?  He is always  intentional in answering their greatest need.  Are you?  (Ephesians 1:9).

 


A TENTMAKER OBSERVED
On Purpose for God's Purpose
 
          I’ve watched this process now for some time.  A tentmaker-observer has a special vantage point to notice the shape of the tentmaker's life--the conviction that drives the vision, the lifestyle that frames every waking hour of the day.
 
I believe I live 24/7 for God like my husband does.  But I’m not the teacher “out there” wrestling students, communicating to a different way of thinking, searching constantly for bridges, staying sensitive to every spiritual potential, building on every conversation. Every day, all day long.
 
I’m not the one who made that first, startling declaration:  “I want to be a tentmaker!”

I didn’t have to write a resume or search the internet for teaching jobs across Middle East and North Africa—yes, that’s where we felt called.  But I did pray as he wrote a cover letter to his applications stating that as a creationist he needed the freedom to be able to teach intelligent design in his classes. I knew it would severely limit our opportunities.   MORE

 
   DECISION TIME
           

The point where 
God's plans
become mine and
my plans become His

          I traveled halfway around the world to take a job with a high-end company in the Middle East.  It was a job I'd dreamed about.  I thought I could juggle the challenges.  I'm a good worker; I felt I could have a positive influence without unsettling everyone with my peculiar faith.

At work I met other Christians who were also far from home.  (We kind of know how to find each other!) I was glad to meet friends; I thought I had a lot in common with them.  But I began to feel uneasy.  I watched as their lives, pushed by loneliness and with no focus to guide them, drifted into a world with far different values than I knew I'd been given.  I slow began to realize that being a Christian by name only, and floating along with the group, would undo everything I once professed.

 
I remember thinking, “If I don’t stop and choose what I believe, and plan how I will live my faith, I will turn into whatever is around me.”  MORE


Adapted from Global Opportunity TENTMAKING BRIEFS 

 



       
    GOD WITHIN REACH
    
         HIS WORD, MY WITNESS, introduces four
         new lessons on using Scripture in an
         intentional but natural way:


         5  The Way You Think.  Find the easiest
             way for you to memorize and share
             Scripture.

        6   God Within Reach.  When you share   
             Scripture personally, you are sharing
             a personal God. 

        7  Pictures of God.  Draw pictures of God
             that are familiar to others, but that
             give them a glimpse of something new.

        8  A Merciful God.  
Introduce biblical
             pictures of mercy in a view of a 
             God who has responded to you and
             offered more than you deserve.


        For these topics as well as the full series to
        date, visit HIS WORD, MY WITNESS on the 
        MENA Total Employment website 
        www.temena.net.


NOT MY SIZE:  Trying on Saul's Armor

           I sat in the back of the seminar, my heart touched by the kind, thoughtful approach of the presenter. I thought of all the contacts I had had over the years. If only I had known earlier how to bring my friends to understand what Christ had done for them. Or how to help them make a decision to accept Christ. The presenter's approach seemed to accomplish everything I’d ever wanted to do for God. Somewhat in awe, I studied the handouts that had been prepared for us.
 
Here was a simple, proven plan—yes, it was even written out for me—of how to bring someone to Christ.  It was known to work; my friend had successfully brought many to Jesus. People of all faiths had responded to his invitations in countless decisions and baptisms. He had a powerful, effective ministry that I deeply appreciated.  I studied the papers in my hand, amazed that it could be so clear.  MORE
 



With or Without My Plans

"Our plans are not always God's plans.
He may see that it is best for us and for His cause
to refuse our very best intentions....


But of one thing we may be assured, that
He will bless and use in the advancement of His cause
those who sincerely devote themselves
and all they have to His glory."


Ellen White in Ministry of Healing, 473.

 
 


Tentmaking offers a remarkable opportunity for mission.

But secular employment isn't a familiar mission platform to many of us.

"Working for God" often means
church employment.

"Mission" often means a
church plan underwritten by church support.
 

          I remember the first time I heard about tentmaking. Someone told us in Junior Sabbath School that Paul saved the church money by making  tents to support himself.  Growing up in a family of generations of church-employees, I assumed it's good that  Paul paid for himself, but it's better to work for the church.

In college, I looked at the career options; I only considered professions the church needed. Getting a job in the secular marketplace seemed like second best, maybe even a compromise.  

But when my children were born and I needed a stay-at-home income, I opened a business of my own.  Most of my clients were not Adventists. I realized I enjoyed the opportunities. I saw the unusual privilege of living my faith before others. I realized how often and easily I could insert faith-statements and life principles into my teaching, and how many friends I made who were watching my life closely, if only out of curiosity. Secular employment took on new meaning.
 
The next time I heard about tentmaking was in a flyer from the Middle East & North Africa Union.    MORE
 

Living a Witness BEYOND BARRIERS

   
             Nothing should be more intentional in the tentmaker's life then developing and protecting a deep, personal relationship with God.  Living in the middle of the Great Controversy and carrying the burden of the Great Commission, the New Testament tentmaker has no other option.  Tentmaking is heaven's calling supported by heaven's promise.
         Personal spirituality is the subject of three lessons posted online in the collection Beyond Barriers, an online handbook for MENA international workers,  available digitally at the MENA Total Employment website, www.temena.net.
CALLED First Quarter 2017
Copyright © 2017 MENA Total Employment, All rights reserved.

“I, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate My righteousness.
I will take you by the hand and guard you, . . . and you will be a light to guide the nations.
Isaiah 42:6 New Living Testament 






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MENA Total Employment · Middle East North Africa Union · Ferdous Street, Sabtieh · Beirut 1107 · Lebanon

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