I think a lot about helping people know and follow Jesus. It's more than my general mission as a Christ-follower but a specific calling for which God has gifted me and generously offers me wisdom. I have learned to think vertically when it comes to the Kingdom of God—meaning I consider the generations of disciples of Jesus that were before me and I think about the generations that will come after me. We need to give our youth an understanding and framework for persecution.
My husband and I recently visited Shipshewanna, Indiana, to experience an Amish community. The calmer pace of life and the cooler weather were a respite for us from our life in Houston with its frantic pace and hot, humid weather. Their pace of life, value of simplicity, and commitment to living our their faith in a countercultural way really made me think about how we might better live out our beliefs among our community. Here's a bit of what I learned.
On my last sabbatical, I researched the early church. I studied the time from right after the resurrection of Jesus until the time of Constantine and wanted to see how they survived and thrived during a time when they were not the cultural norm and experienced intense persecution. I grew up in a Christian culture where Christianity was not only accepted but also encouraged by the culture. Getting to know the early church taught me many important lessons, some of which were hard to learn.