Tips and Tools for Ministry

With this series of blog posts I want to share some of the computer programs and ministry helps I have found useful. My ministry centers around three things, children and teens, music and translation. While your ministry may not center on the same three things, some of the programs and helps I have found useful may be useful to you.

Photo Credit: geishaboy500 via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: geishaboy500 via Compfight cc

The program I would like to talk about today is Corel Draw. Many times missionaries do not have access to the types of materials they need. Sunday school materials, games, bulletins, Christian artwork, book markers, illustrations, booklets, pamphlets, and other such items are either too expensive or not found in the language of your people. I know that when my parents first started out on the mission field in Portugal, there was little available in Portuguese. Thankfully more and more is available from Brazil, but even so getting into Portugal or Mozambique can be cost prohibitive.

This is where a program like Corel Draw can come into play. The initial investment can be a bit steep, usually costing from $100 to $200, but the benefits more than pay for the program. It enables you to make all of those items for the cost of your time and the ink and paper to print them. Just in the 6 years I have been on the field, I have used this program to make book markers, bulletins, booklets, games for junior church, memory verses, backgrounds for power point, and much more. It is a versatile program with a thousand and one uses. It can also save you a lot of money spent on materials or postage to get those materials.

In a first world country like Portugal or the United States, getting items printed involves going to a local print place and telling them how many copies you need. However, in a developing country or a third world country such luxuries are not available. So if you are going to use a program like Corel Draw, you will also need a printer and maybe even an ink supply. This can seem like an enormous investment of money and time, but the rewards are worth it. Using materials you have created can bring another to salvation. After all, that is our purpose. The program and printer can be tools in the Master’s hand.

One thing I would advise if you are going to use a program such as Corel Draw. If possible, take a course on using the functions or buy a book for ‘Dummies.’ The more you know about your program the more you can use said program and the better your product will be.

What are some of the tools or programs you have found invaluable on the field? Let me know and I will include them here on this series.


In the beginning of May, our church will be hosting a youth conference. Our theme is on Christian Dating. (I understand the debate between dating and courtship. However, in Portuguese there is really only one word and it translates into dating but can mean courting as well.) We asked the special speakers to speak about the problems facing Christian teens today in this important area. Why am I talking about dating on a singles blog? Because this is also part of the challenge that faces us as Christian singles in ministry.

Photo Credit: jamescharlick via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: jamescharlick via Compfight cc

I cannot count the number of times that I have been asked why I am not married. Or the number of times I have been told, ‘I know a nice man you need to meet.’ Only to hear the answer, ‘No’ when I ask if this man is involved in world missions. Should I stop following God’s will for my life just to get married? NO! Being single in a couples oriented society is not easy. (I am not talking about society at large but the society of the church.)

For most Christians, God has been preparing for the other. However, it is not always in the will of God for some Christians to marry. Some He has given a different task. ‘Go through life single and serving Me with all that you have. I am enough for you.’

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

I know Paul is specifically talking about his thorn in the flesh, but being single is not the easiest task in the world. (Just like being married requires work.) If God has asked you to be single for Him, He will equip you with the grace to get through it. Just like He did with Paul. All we need to do is ask.

The temptations to stray abound for singles as well as for married couples. Just like a husband and wife need to keep themselves for each other, a single person must keep themselves as well. Why? Because our relationship with Christ demands that we keep ourselves unspotted from the world. We have the same restrictions placed on us that are placed on married couples. Paul said it best when he said:

“For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour;” 1 Thessalonians 4:3-4

Many people in this world may mock you for your choice to remain single and serve God. I am sorry to say, even some Christians will mock you. However, I do know that God will bless you if you choose to follow Him and do His will. He asks us for everything of ourselves, but when we give everything, He gives back everything of Himself. That is a lot of blessing for one lifetime.

Will staying single and serving God be easy? Of course not. Being married isn’t a bed of roses either. If you were to ask couples who have been together for several years, I bet the one thing they will say kept them together was hard work. But being married and out of the will of God is a worse road to follow. On the flip side, if God does have that special one for you and you walk away from that to be single, you are just as much out of the will of God as a single who should stay single and doesn’t.

What is your take on singleness? Please leave a comment and let me know.

Serving Up Food Cravings

When you live in a country not your own, you tend to miss certain things about your home country. Of course, this works in reverse as well. When you are in your home country, you miss things about the country in which you serve.

Photo Credit: jeffreyw via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: jeffreyw via Compfight cc

The last couple of weeks, I have been missing Greek food. In particular, gyros. So what do you do when you crave a certain food item and you can’t just go out and buy it? You start searching recipes sites for recipes to make what you are craving.

Since I was craving Greek, I will be sharing some of the recipes I found for Greek food. These are only the ones I have tried with any variations I used.

Tzatziki Sauce – recipe from – link

The only thing I changed on this recipe was to add a pinch of salt. Without it the sauce is a bit bland even with the garlic.

Souvlaki Chicken – recipe from – link

This recipe requires balsamic vinaigrette. This is not something that is available in my country but I can get balsamic vinegar. So I made my own vinaigrette and continued with the recipe. I have to say it is one of the best things I have put in my mouth. (No brag just factJ)

Pita Bread – recipe from – link

This is a yummy addition to my cooking lineup. I did notice that the thinner you roll the bread the better it worked.

The one spice I cannot get here, I brought with me from the States. That spice is dill weed. All the other ingredients I was able to find here or find an acceptable substitute.

The best thing is I got the craving out of my system and found some new recipes to add to my cooking repertoire.

What are some of the foods you miss? Let me know!

Submission: What is my responsibility as a Single?

First, I apologize for not posting last week. I was at our winter retreat with our teen group. It is kind of hard to post from the back of beyond.Writting I Love You

Now, on to the topic for today. Submission. I know. It is a dirty word to some, but it is important to our lives as Christians. A couple of weeks ago, my coworker preached on this subject. He was talking about the relationships between family members such as husband and wife, parents to children. I got to thinking about my specific situation. I do not live with my parents and I am not married. Does this concept apply to me? Even without delving into my particular situation, my coworker answered my question for me. You see, the passage he was speaking from in Ephesians 5 says first that we are to submit ourselves one to another. Even though I do not have a husband or children, submission should still play a part in my life.

The latter part of Ephesians 5 talks specifically about the family dynamics. Where do we fit within the family structure? Husband is the head of the house, wife is second ‘in command,’ then come children. However, the marital relationship is likened to Christ and His Bride, the Church. Even though I am not married and for all intents and purposes am the head of my home, I still have a relationship with Christ. Submission enters my life with my relationship to Him. He should be the head of my home, just as He should be the head of every Christian home.

Submission also comes into play with verse 21 of chapter 5.

Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

I may not have a husband to submit to, but I should be submitting ‘one to another.’ In the life of a single missionary this includes, your home/sending church, your coworker (especially if you are a woman), the authority of your mission agency (if you use one), and the government of the country you live in (see Acts 4:19-20 for civil disobedience). I am sure I have not mentioned all the instances where submission is required, but you get the idea.

Before I go any further, I would like to define the word submission. You know me, word lover. This is the definition taken from Webster’s 1828 dictionary.

SUBMIS”SION, n. [L. submissio, from submitto.]

1. The act of submitting; the act of yielding to power or authority; surrender of the person and power to the control or government of another.

Submission, dauphin! ‘‘Tis a mere French word;

We English warriors wot not what it means.

2. Acknowledgment of inferiority or dependence; humble or suppliant behavior.

In all submission and humility,

York doth present himself unto your highness.

3. Acknowledgment of a fault; confession or error.

Be not as extreme in submission, as in offense.

4. Obedience; compliance with the commands or laws of a superior. Submission of children to their parents is an indispensable duty.

5. Resignation; a yielding of one’s will to the will or appointment of a superior without murmuring. Entire and cheerful submission to the will of God is a Christian duty of prime excellence.

Submitting is an action. It requires strength to perform. Those who think submission a weakness have it all wrong. For a strong person to submit to anyone else requires an act of will.


Sometimes submission means giving up something you love or want. I am specifically thinking of when Paul said not to use our liberty to cause a brother to sin. It could also be applied to a single person giving up marriage to follow the will of God. God is the only one who can tell the future. Because of this, we should submit ourselves to His leading.


To sum up, a Single person does have a responsibility to submit.

  • To Christ
  • To one another in the fear of God
  • To earthly authority that does not conflict with Biblical authority


Submission should not be a dirty word in our lives. It should rather be an act of worship to God and of love to our fellow men. It requires us to be strong emotionally and spiritually.


I have been preaching to myself again, but I hope you are blessed from my thoughts on submission. What do you think about this subject? Please let me know.