Monday, August 6, 2012

All over the world

A Devotional by Margot Cioccio

Romans 1:8 (NIV1984)
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, 
because your faith is being reported all over the world.

Over the weekend I added a translator to my site. I had noticed in my stats that my blog posts were being viewed by people all over the world. There are days when there are more people in Russia that are viewing my pages than there are in America. Why, I wonder? What do believers there need to read in these posts. What is encouraging them?  It's in those moments that I find myself wondering if perhaps my vision is too small. Jesus says in Mark 16:15 " “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation." I've gone from the suburbs to the inner city and  it is a very different place from the suburbs. I've thought of myself at times as a missionary to the poor and homeless.
I have grown so much in the past three years because of that decision to heed the Lords command and "go".

The idea of going and traveling into all the world has been too big for me. How does one afford such things as travel? I don't make a lot of money and my family often struggles to get all the bills paid and to keep two teen age boys fed. God always provides but even that often stretches my faith. How does one begin to stretch it a bit more to encompass the idea of traveling anywhere very far from home. My friend Terri - is an ordinary person just like me and God has taken her to some amazing places. It started with her reaching out to the foreign students at the College where she works. I wish she would do a guest article sometime.  I look at my blog stats and I wonder might this count as "going into all the world to preach the good news of creation?" Honestly even that stretches me. You can certainly pray for me - cause these kind of thoughts are new territory for me.

I have a couple of friends from India that I chat with and pray for regularly through face book. I don't know how they found me. I admit I was a little nervous accepting a friend request from total strangers. I am glad now that I did.  I have watched their facebook posts for over a year and both are doing wonderful things for God in their part of the world. One is currently on a mission trip from India to Malaysia and has asked me to try and post a bible verse on his page everyday and pray for him while he is on that trip during the month of August. Perhaps you will join me in praying for young Paul while he is leading worship at a youth camp in Malasia.  I really have very little concept of where Malasia even is. Looking at a map it seems to be up from Singapore. So I went to the world fact book to find out a bit more about that place. Its only 9 % Christian and is mostly Muslim and Buddhist. I think posting a daily bible verse is such a small thing to do to encourage a Christian brother. 

My other far away friend speaks at Christian youth events in India. It has been interesting to chat about bible stories and to pray and encourage. He recently launched a Christian radio station in the language of Tamil. The music sounds very beautiful and different to my ears. So it has been a blessing to be able to encourage these young brothers in the Lord in far away India. I do find myself wondering who else is reading and where in the world are you? What steps of faith are you taking? What is your daily walk with the Lord like?

I noticed today that someone from Greece left a comment on one of the posts and asked about how to follow. There are currently two ways both on the right side of the page. The first way is to


Every time I post something new it will be automatically sent to your e-mail. If you need it translated click on the blue post title which brings you back to the site where you can use the translator located on the left side of the page.
The other way currently is to become a follower through Google Friend Connect. I'd love it if more of you would click that box. I will look into adding some other ways to connect and am open to suggestions. I have started working on Facebook page for A-Devotional-Mosaic and will soon give you that link and ask you to go and "like" it.

I often wonder about people seeing these posts in places far away from me in the Pacific North West of America. I suppose no matter where we are in the world we all need to be encouraged to walk by faith, to follow Jesus with our whole heart and our whole life. To know our bible better, to abide in the vine. We need to know that there are times we will face trials, and temptation but Jesus desires to be with us on the good days and the hard days and every day in between.

Anyway I'd like to encourage commenting and sharing this site with your friends so I am thinking about having a giveaway. I just checked out what it would cost to ship flat rate internationally and it looks like I could afford the shipping even if the winner was from somewhere far away out side of the USA. So be watching I will try to get it figured out this week. I guess my goal is to begin to get a better idea of who my readers are. I know some of you are personal friends and I do so appreciate your encouragement and prayers. There are many readers that I know nothing about. I wonder if there are subjects that you wish I'd cover. I wonder how is God using this devotional in your life? I wonder how we can begin to pray for one another?

Jesus command us to go in to all the world. I think we all no matter where we are need to wrestle with how do we do that. I have another friend who is a nurse and goes about once a year on a medical mission trip. I should ask her to write a guest article. I will put that on my to do list.
One small way for me has been to add the translator to my page. I'm not sure what God will do with this blog but it seems to be reaching into other parts of the world.

1 Thessalonians 5:11
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, 
just as in fact you are doing.

Dear Lord, You command us to go and to share your good news and your love with the the world. Help us to begin going somewhere - maybe across the street to our neighbor. Maybe from the suburbs to the inner city. Maybe to another place in the world. Maybe to a ethnic group or sub culture different than your own. I pray for each reader Lord that you would begin to open unexpected doors to make difference in some other part of the world or culture beyond their own familiar everyday comfort zone.

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