Paul vs. Peter | Galatians 2 | a Podcast

This message was recorded at ICF-Phnom Penh, March 2020: Paul vs. Peter

This message looks at Galatians 2:11-21 and should be available as a podcast on iTunes in a day or two. Or you can listen to it here:

 

Thanks so much for stopping by!

all for ONE,
Jonathan T.

mercy

Behold! The Lamb of God! [a podcast]

This message was recorded at the International Christian Assembly in Phnom Penh, September 15, 2019: “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

You can click the above link to listen, or find the message (in a day or two) on the trotters41 podcast on iTunes. Thanks so much, and may God bless!

See the “Arrivals” video below, along with the da Vinci painting referenced, along with the two songs referenced.

btlog3 with edits

btlog2 with edits

Songs:

 

 

You Are Loved

by Elizabeth

loved

“You are loved with an everlasting love — that’s what the Bible says — and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

I recorded this Elisabeth Elliot quote in my journal a few months ago. Like many people, I have a complicated relationship with Elisabeth Elliot, but this message is pure gold.

It all started with a kitchen table conversation. Jonathan Trotter had been reminiscing about his childhood, the way he and his family would pause their studies each morning to grab a snack and listen to Elisabeth Elliot’s 15-minute radio show.

Every show ended with this statement of truth and grace. I sat at the kitchen table dumbfounded. I had never heard that statement before. I certainly didn’t know she spoke it over her listeners every single day.

She was saying this in an era when, in some religious circles at least, not a whole lot of God’s love was being preached. And it especially wasn’t being preached (at least in most of my childhood churches) that the reason we dare to believe in God’s love was because the BIBLE.

The next day at church the preacher talked about God’s everlasting love, and I took note.

At a special worship service later that week, we sang these words from Hillsong:

“I’ll sing to You Lord a hymn of love
For Your faithfulness to me.
I’m carried in everlasting arms,
You’ll never let me go, through it all.”

More everlasting arms. And more recordings in my journal.

Then last week I dropped my kids off for VBS, and when I came back to pick them up, all the kids were singing:

“What have I to dread, what have I to fear
Leaning on the everlasting arms?

I have blessed peace with my Lord so near
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms,
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.”

It was a song I sang a lot in my childhood, and though it’s a fun song, I didn’t have any particular fondness for it at the time. But it didn’t take a genius to recognize the pattern here.

When God speaks, He tends to repeat himself — or echo Himself as my husband likes to say. Over the last few months I’ve heard a lot of echos of God’s everlasting love, and I want to pass them on to you.

I don’t think I can say it any better than E.E., so remember:

“You are loved with an everlasting love — that’s what the Bible says — and underneath are the everlasting arms.”

For All the Things That Never Should Have Happened

by Elizabeth

rocks

What’s to be done about all the things that “never should have happened”?

I look at my life, and I look at the lives of the people I love, and I think about all the things that really never should have happened.

Things I never should have done, whether mistakenly or naively or even willfully. Things that never should have been done to me, whether accidentally or willfully. And things that never should have happened to the people I love most — never ever, not even in a million years.

Sometimes I replay these things over and over in my mind and think, “if only.” If only, if only, if only. If only that thing or that series of things had never happened. Then life would be better. It would be more full of joy and less full of pain.

I sit and wish I could go back in time, back before that event, before that pain, and I wish I could change what happened, either for me or for the people I love.

Sometimes I think about the “never should have beens” TOO frequently.

Because I cannot go back and change what happened. No one can. It’s no use wishing for a different past or a different present. It won’t ever happen.

But sometimes, the thing that happened is so terrible, so dreadful, that I honestly don’t know how we can move on. What then? What do we do then?

I sat with this question this week, and here is the place I landed: CHRIST.

The only thing I know to do, amidst senseless and brutal suffering, is look to Christ. This is why we need Christ — for all the millions and billions of things that “never should have happened.”

This was the very purpose for which Christ was sent into our world. He is here today, with us and in us, precisely for the things that never should have happened. Yes, even when those choices were made and those actions were committed by Christ followers. Christ is here for ALL these things.

Maybe you don’t have any nagging questions about God’s goodness or why God let something happen to you. Maybe you never kick yourself for what you have done in the past.

But maybe sometimes you, like me, loop around all the “what ifs” and “if onlys” and “never should have happeneds.”

When I think of these unanswered and unanswerable questions, I’m reminded of some of the parting words in C.S. Lewis’s “Till We Have Faces.” The main character Orual is so like me, so prone to bitterness, so prone to questioning. But then she has an encounter with the Divine and responds:

“I know now, Lord, why you utter no answer.
You are yourself the answer.
Before your face questions die away.
What other answer would suffice?”

I’m reminded of Job’s response to the Lord near the end of their very long conversation, and I’m reminded of the disciples’ confession in John 16:30:

“Now we understand that You know everything, and there’s no need to question You.”

I don’t know what these questions and regrets looks like in your life right now. I don’t even know what they are going to look like in my life, moving forward.

All I know is that as I sat with the anguish and with the questions this week, that I knew, all over again, that Christ would be the antidote to the poison. That He would be the answer. For me and for the people I love.

Because we all need Christ for the “never should have beens.” No matter who did them.

And in the end, after all our questions and maybe even in the middle of all our questions, I pray we will be able to proclaim along with the modern hymn:

“Christ is enough for me.
Christ is enough for me.
Everything I need is in You.
Everything I need.”

Amen, and amen.

(originally posted on FB)

A Book is Born: Serving Well is now available!

It’s here!Screenshot (4)

Elizabeth and I are thrilled to introduce you to our new book, Serving Well. It is our deepest hope that this 400+ page book will encourage and equip cross-cultural folks through the various seasons of life and ministry.

It’s available in print and Kindle version here. Our publisher is also selling the book with a 20% discount here.

You can read the Serving Well press release (with book excerpt) here.

 

From the Back Cover
Are you dreaming of working abroad? Imagining serving God in another land? Or are you already on the field, unsure about what to do next or how to manage the stresses of cross-cultural life? Or perhaps you’ve been on the field a while now, and you’re weary, maybe so weary that you wonder how much longer you can keep going.

If any of these situations describes you, there is hope inside this book. You’ll find steps you can take to prepare for the field, as well as ways to find strength and renewal if you’re already there. From the beginning to the end of the cross-cultural journey, Serving Well has something for you.

 

Early Reviews for Serving Well
Serving Well is an important voice in the search for honest, experienced conversation on living and working cross-culturally in a healthy and sustainable way. Dig in!”
– Michael Pollock, Executive Director, Interaction International and co-author of Third Culture Kids

Serving Well is more than a book to sit down and read once. It is a tool box to return to over and over, a companion for dark and confusing days, and a guide for effective and long-lasting service. Elizabeth and Jonathan are the real deal and Serving Well, like the Trotters, is wise, compassionate, vulnerable, and honest. This needs to be on the shelves of everyone involved in international, faith-based ministry.”
– Rachel Pieh Jones, author of Finding Home: Third Culture Kids in the World, and Stronger Than Death: How Annalena Tonelli Defied Terror and Tuberculosis in the Horn of Africa

Serving Well is a must-read book for missionaries and for those who love them. This is a book you really need if you are ‘called to go, or called to let go.’ In Serving Well we read both the spiritual and practical, simple and profound, funny and compelling in chapters written by Elizabeth and then Jonathan Trotter; hearing from each their voices and their hearts, the struggles and the victories, ‘the bad days and the good days’ of preparing to go and serving well overseas. Their down-to-earth yet godly insights were born from living overseas and from authentically wrestling with the ‘yays and yucks’ of missionary life. They draw wisdom from both Scripture and sci-fi authors, Psalms and funny YouTube videos, encounters with Jesus and encounters with cops looking for a bribe. Take two books with you to the mission field: the Bible, and Serving Well.”
– Mark R. Avers, Barnabas International

Serving Well is deep and rich, covering all aspects of an international life of service from multiple angles. It is full of comfort, challenge, and good advice for anyone who serves abroad, or has ever thought about it, no matter where they find themselves in their journeys. It is also really helpful reading for anyone who has loved ones, friends or family, serving abroad–or returning, to visit or repatriate. Jonathan and Elizabeth Trotter are both insightful and empathetic writers, full of humility and quick to extend grace–both to themselves and to others. Their writing covers sorrow and joy, hope and crisis, weariness and determination. Best of all, from my perspective as someone who has worked with TCKs for over 13 years, it contains an excellent collection of important advice on the topic of raising missionary kids. Choose particular topics, or slowly meander through the entire volume piece by piece, but whatever you do–read this book!”
– Tanya Crossman, cross cultural consultant and author of Misunderstood: The Impact of Growing Up Overseas in the 21st Century

“Overseas workers face a barrage of junk when they arrive on their field location: identity issues, fear/anxiety issues, and faith issues. I have worked with missionaries for well over a decade now and see how these common themes cry out for a grace-filled approach to truth and authenticity. The Trotters live this out loud, intentionally seeking a way to minister out of their own pain, striving, humor, and failure. Keep this reference close at hand!”
– Jeannie Hartsfield, Clinical Counselor, Global Member Care Coordinator, World Team

“This book is the definitive guide to thriving in cross-cultural ministry. The Trotters have distilled years of experience into pithy chapters filled with helpful tips and wise insights. Put it on your must-read list.”
– Craig Greenfield, Founder, Alongsiders International, author of Subversive Jesus

“In this must-read missions book, Jonathan and Elizabeth unearth the underlying motivations of the cross-cultural call. Penned with copious compassion and startling transparency, Serving Well is sure to make you laugh, cry, and, in the end, rejoice as you partner with God in His global missions mandate.”
– David Joannes, author of The Mind of a Missionary