Friday, October 12, 2012

What is the Biblical basis for missions? (Part 1)

In this series, Cafe 1040 Lead Recruiter, Courtney F., will explore the Biblical basis for missions.

Would you agree that no story is a good story if only half of it is told?  Imagine if we never saw Frodo and Samwise reach Mordor.  What if the movie ended before Buzz and Woody returned to Andy's room or if Star Wars ended with Luke Skywalker explaining to Yoda that he simply couldn't do it.  Movie goers would be outraged and demand to know what happened to their beloved heroes!

Unfortunately, the story of God is often only half told.  We know the Sunday School parts: the fall of man allows sin to enter the world and separates us from God; God himself enters the world as a man, sacrificing his only Son as the sacrifice for our sins; those of us who believe in Christ are reunited with God through the sacrifice of His son's life and we receive eternity in Heaven.  As amazing as all of this is, it is only half the story!

The other half is the equally amazing story of our God shattering the darkness of our world with the light of His coming Kingdom!  It is about God making himself visible to the believers, and the redemptive role He crafted for us in this 'cosmic take-back.'  And this story, the whole story, is laid out in the Bible you hold in your hands.

You probably already know that the Bible has 66 books - all inspired by God himself - with many different authors  But did you know that the Bible is actually one story with a central theme spanning throughout all of history and time.  Like many books you read, the Bible is laid out with the basic elements of an introduction, the body or plot, and the conclusion.  The introduction - Genesis 1-11 - sets the stage for the plot of God's story.  Genesis 12 through the book of Jude takes us deep into the plot of God's story complete with highs and lows, catch your breath moments, and sometimes leaves us asking if the good guys will win.  Like most good books you read, you may not even see the end coming and the Bible is no different!  The conclusion of God's story in Revelation still remains a mystery in many ways.

Next time we will dig deeper into the beginning of God's story!  We'll explore the plan for mankind, how it's thwarted, and the dilemma that is set before our Hero Almighty!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


In downtown Atlanta tonight, over 40,000 college students just wrapped up a 3 day experience of worship and Bible study.  They have rocked out with some of today's best Christian artists (and said farewell to one of the best too) and heard from the 'rock stars' of Christian speakers.  They have sung together, wept together and cried out to God together.

A similar scene played out another Passion Conference over 10 years ago.  Then, a young man watched and God broke his heart for this generation yearning to go but not sure what the next step looked like.  Called not just to go, not just to send and not just to pray, but called to mobilize an entire generation!

Sometimes we attend conferences like these - like Passion - and for a few days we feel our lives are unshakably intertwined with our Heavenly Father's divine purpose.  And then the conference ends, the bands and the speakers go home, and we walk out the door back into our lives.  We don't mean to but the enemy sets up powerful distractions disguised as exams, jobs, family and roommate tensions, significant others, and then one day we wake up wondering how we got so far from God's purpose.

It is what you do now that the conference is over that matters most!  We can all sing with the crowd but what happens when you are all alone back in your dorm room, your apartment, with your friends that matters so much.  This is where what God began over 10 years ago at another Passion Conference intersects with what God is doing now as thousands of young adults leave Passion 2012!  What will they do now?  What will you do now?

Cafe 1040 was born out of Passion to mobilize the Passion generation.  We see in this generation a desire to GO, a yearning to pursue God's call on their lives, a desire to just say "Yes Lord, what's the question?" We also see the obstacles they face.  Where do we go?  What will my parent's say?  Isn't it dangerous?  What do you mean they don't know?

We, Cafe 1040, want to challenge those thousands of young adults leaving Passion 2012 and heading back to college or high school or jobs.  We challenge you to not just walk away but to stay engaged.  God is moving powerfully to reach the 2.2 billion in the 10/40 Window who don't know His name.  He is moving to bring glory to His name in languages many of us have never heard spoken but are music to His ears.  He is moving, the harvest is ripe, will you be a worker?

DO SOMETHING NOW!  We are waiting on your application for summer 2012!
Apply here!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


For weeks, we have been listening to Christmas carols on the radio, on Pandora and on our iPods.  Holiday favorites have filled shopping malls for months but how often do we stop to really listen and consider the words of some of these old classics.  More than just pretty music, these songs tell the story of our Savior's birth and serve to remind us why we are celebrating!

"Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices; O night divine, O night when Christ was born."

"God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay; remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day to save us all from Satan's power when we were gone astray."

"Joy to the world, the Lord in Come!...He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove the glories of His righteousness and wonders of His love."

"Hark! the herald angels sing, glory to the new born King!  Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled."

From old classics to new favorites, I cannot help but think of the 2.2 billion unreached people who aren't singing this time of year.  The words to our favorite songs have no meaning for them because Christ is not real for them.  And then one song reminds me of the promised hope, a day when every nation, tribe and tongue will sing!  

"For lo! the days are hastening on,
By prophets seen of old,
When with the every-circling years
Shall come the time foretold,
When the new heaven and earth shall own
The Prince of Peace, their King,
And the whole world send back the song
Which now the angels sing." 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Insights: The RightNow Conference

Earlier this month, two members of the Cafe 1040 US team traveled to Dallas, TX, to attend the RightNow Conference.  This gathering was an opportunity for church and missional leaders to come and be fed, hone in on the foundation of why we all do what we do, and remember what is behind it all.  The Gospel, God's love and grace, and our blessing in order to be a blessing!  Here are Nikki's thoughts on this great event:

We heard speakers/pastors from all across the nation from Francis Chan and Matt Carter to Matt Chandler.  They led us in ideal, authentic community, our rhetoric versus the reality, social justice and even hell.

One talk particularly grabbed me (although it was hard to pick just one).  Matt Chandler gave a talk entitled 'Rubbish and Rescue.'  He compared the rubbish we tend to hold on to, but the rescue that is awaiting us.  Let's take discipleship for instance.  He said, "discipleship is often a practice of repression rather than allowing the gospel to conform you."  We tend to simply guide people to repress their fears, repress their sins, repress their desires in order to be more Christ-like.  But that's not it al all.  Our pursuit of righteousness is great, trying to get rid of all of the crap in our  lives is great.  But repressing it doesn't work because its with the wrong motivation.  It's the Gospel, the yearning for Christ to be supreme that rids us of our dirt.  Instead of allowing the Holy Spirit to transform us, we try to conform to a pattern of religion which is exhausting and the worst trade off ever.  Our righteousness or goodness is nothing compared to the relationship the believer has with Christ.  Our sin dies when Christ becomes more desirable than that sin.

"What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things.  I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ." Philippians 3:8

"All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away." Isaiah 64:6

My prayer is that we strive to know Christ, to be more enthralled by Him, rather than try to make ourselves good enough for Him.  My prayer is that we wholly submit to the Holy Spirit to come in and transform us, rather than attempt to become righteous through our own means.  

This is the Gospel we preach; this is what brings the nations to Him!

What GREAT INSIGHT!  Going beyond just the American Church, what does this principle mean for missionaries working cross culturally inside the 10/40 Window among unreached people groups?  This means that it is the job of the missionary to share Christ and the job of the Holy Spirit to transform lives/families/communities/people groups.  No missionary working from their own righteousness can bring salvation to anyone, rather it is the power of the Holy Spirit that transforms lives!  It will be by the power of the Holy Spirit that 'every nation, tribe and tongue' will praise the Lord!

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Celebration of L'Eid Kabir

A Special Post From Our Staff in North Africa

On November 7th, all of North Africa will be celebrating what they call L'Eid Kabir, or The Big holiday. This is the holiday that represents when Abraham went to sacrifice his son, but God provided a lamb in the place of his son.  As Christians, this story has huge significance as it is a foretelling of Christ being given in our place as the blood sacrifice for our sins.  To the billions of Muslims around the world it is only a celebration of Abraham's faith and the saving of their lineage.  (They say the son mentioned in the story is Ishmael, while we believe it to be Isaac.)

During the celebration, every family will get together and sacrifice a sheep.  Even now the market places are becoming full with potential sheep to buy for the slaughtering.  It is usually the Father or man of the household who slits the throat, then everyone waits for the blood to drain before continuing to skin and gut the animal.

Right away they take out the liver, lungs, heart, and pancreas, wrap them in the animals fat and cook them on a small grill.  The family will share in this small feast of organs for lunch and continue to talk and relax until evening when they have couscous usually with the should of the lamb.

Please pray for our friends [and all Muslims] during this time.  That they will see the blood shed by the lamb as something more than a traditional holiday.  Pray for us, that we may be given more opportunities to share our faith in the Ultimate Sacrifice during this time of year.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We spent what?

By Michelle G.

I was SHOCKED to read in the news this week that Americans just spent $6 billion on Halloween - decorations, candy, costumes!  Roughly $2.27 billion of that was just candy alone - ohhhh the cavities!

Now I have no intention of debating with anyone the merits (or lack) of Halloween - there are plenty of people writing this or that about Halloween.  No matter what you think of this  holiday, it was the amount of money Americans spent on it that shocked me!  Over $2.27 billion on candy alone?  Add costumes and decorations and we spent an estimated $6 billion!  This got me thinking...

What if instead of spending $2.27 billion on candy we had given just 10% of that money to missions in the 10/40 Window?  Or better yet, what if we had given 20% or even 50% of what we spent last week on candy to reach those who have never even heard the name of Christ?

It isn't that I don't like candy.  3Musketeers are my favorite, so are Twix, Twizzler, Pretzel M&Ms.  Ok so I like candy a lot but we could all get by with half the amount of candy we bought this past week.  Other than the lack of a stomach ache, we probably wouldn't even notice.

And what if we didn't buy  new costumes from the stores each year but shared with our friends those we already own, purchased costumes from consignment shops or used items already in our homes to make something just as cute?  What if we didn't buy any new decorations for just one year?  What if instead, we took what we would spend on costumes and decorations and we used that money to support a missionary going to a unreached people group in North Africa?

Just a thought, just asking "what if...?"

Friday, October 7, 2011

Golf Challenge and New Raffle Items Added

The 2nd Annual Cafe 1040 Golf Challenge is just one week away!!!  WOW!  If you haven't signed up, we still have room for more golfers!  Here are the important details:

Friday, October 14 @ 9am
Crystal Falls Golf Club
Dawsonville, GA

4-Man Scramble
$300 Minimum to Play
Challenge: Raise $1000 for a great ministry!

$10,000 Hole-In-One Prize and 3 chances to win!

More details and sign up information here!

Don't have a foursome but you still want to play?
No worries, we'll match you up with some great people just come out and join us for the morning!

Can't play but still want to be involved?
We have several great sponsorship opportunities.  Hole sponsorships  are available for $500 (tax deductible).  Mention that you read it on our blog and we'll give you $100 off!

Lions and tigers and bears, OH MY! We have added a GREAT new prize to the raffle - a family 4 pack of tickets to Zoo Atlanta!  There are lots of new baby animals at the the zoo just dying to see your family so get your raffle tickets TODAY!

Remember tickets are just $10 or you can purchase 6 for $50.  You can purchase tickets at the golf challenge or online by entering the name of the item you want to win in the 'name of golfer' field!  We will draw for all items on Friday, October 14, and you do not have to be present to win!

Other great raffle items include: an autographed, commemorative UGA football; Strengths Training and Leadership coaching; two beautiful necklaces (separate raffle items); chopsticks and a restaurant gift certificate; and 2 tickets plus a parking pass to a concert at Verizon Amphitheater.  (see previous post for more details and pictures).