Chris Baran

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Self Reliant vs God Reliant

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Traveling on furlough can wear you out but there is no doubt in my mind that it’s an important part of missionary life. God has used it over and over again to teach us some wonderful truths. As Americans, we become so self-reliant that we often live life without relying on God. Being self-reliant is a good thing but if we’re not careful, we can live our life without ever going to God. As Christians, we need to realize that we need God more than our abilities or talents. If we’re not careful our service becomes a routine -a good routine- but nonetheless a routine. It’s a trap that’s easy to fall into. But duty can only get you so far. Our service should flow from a heart of love that realizes we need God for everything.  Even the “little” things.

When a branch is attached to an apple tree, fruit will grow from the branches.  This is a wonderful picture of what a believer needs to be successful.  We must stay close to Christ because He is our life. We need to pray and stay in His Word so we can hear His voice and obey.  A branch that is connected to the tree is stronger than a branch that has been cut off a tree. A believer who tries to live the Christian life in his own power is like a branch that has been cut off the tree.  The branch dies. This happens when believers try to live their lives in their own strength. 

This has been one message God has delivered to us through several different preachers and fellow missionaries. I pray this thought will challenge you as it has challenged me. Living the Christian life through your own power will only leave you frustrated. Stop relying so much on your wisdom and derive your strength from God.

John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

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Birthday in Texas

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The last time I celebrated my birthday in Texas, I was just a college student. Now, all these years later I’m back with my little family. It’s amazing to see what God has done in my life since I was in Bible School.  For one, I’m thankful for my wife and kids. The Lord has truly blessed me! This year was a little more special too because for my first birthday ever, Abigail wrote a sweet birthday note in my card. That was enough to melt this daddy’s heart. Thanks to everyone who wished me a happy birthday! 

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Southern Hospitality

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Southern hospitality….is it a fact or myth? :) After being down south for over a month I can say it’s true!  We were so blessed by the all the churches we visited in Alabama. The Lord gave us several opportunities to share our ministry and meet some wonderful folks. In our adventures, we met some great guys who would proudly call themselves rednecks. :) Micah got to shoot some bb guns and I got to blow up some stuff. :) Seriously! Think old grills and bowling pins. Yep, we made some great memories! I think I’m getting an accent y’all! We are so thankful for the time we had with these dear folks. Please pray for us as we travel to Texas! 

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Missions for Me

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fbbc_church-God has blessed us with a wonderful church family! We enjoyed being with them again last week for their annual missions conference. Being there during this special time brought back so many memories. I remember when I was just a teenager staring at my faith promise card, wondering how much I should give. My first faith promise pledge was just 5 cents a week. It wasn’t much but God used it to grow my faith. Over the years my faith promise has grown and God has always provided so that I could give.  Malachi 3:10 “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse…and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”  That verse has been so true in my life! I believe God has blessed me and my family because one day I decided to give to missions. Not because I’m special, but because as a 15 year boy, I decided to prove God. And He has never failed me.  Step out Christian and watch God do the impossible! 

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