As many fore-warned us, the pace of life has not slowed down since retiring from the International Mission Board more than three years ago. Our lifestyle has changed a bit since moving down home in Mississippi, but the Lord has given us many opportunities for ministry and using our years of experience and leadership to serve the kingdom. The travel has been constant and fulfilling, but we are finding our schedule beginning to diminish. There has always been a tension between what we should be plugging into locally and the widespread requests for preaching, mission conferences, training and consultation.
We expect that to continue but are finding more and more satisfaction and enjoyment from the comforts of our home, working in the yard and spending leisure time together. With Bobbye’s birthday in 2014 she will be joining me as a septuagenarian; we praise God for continuing health, energy and an unceasing vision of emerging goals. I will be teaching a missions class at Mississippi College in the spring semester which will largely restrict our travel to a few weekend engagements. We have enjoyed keeping family and friends informed regarding our transition and activities through more than 250 blogs over the last three years (they can be accessed in our “archive” menu), but with this post will move into a hiatus except for an occasional updates.
I’m posting one of my favorite retirement photos which reflects our joy of quality time together as well as one of our past-times–cruising around town in “Elvis”, our 1956 Chevrolet sedan. I hope you will continue to check our website as we will maintain our travel and speaking schedule in the column on the left. This includes an annual retreat with mission CEOs in Colorado Springs, serving on boards at Columbia International University and William Carey University and directing the Zwemer Center for Muslim Studies at CIU.
2013 year was an especially busy and meaningful year including a three-week trip back to Indonesia, a mission trip to Moldova and vacation-time in Austria, Switzerland and Bavaria. We spent a couple of weeks in New England, vacationed in the Blue Ridge Mountains and assisting our son, Russell, and his family move from Nashville to Waco, Texas. We are also honored to receive the Missio Nexus (former Evangelical Fellowship of Mission Agences) Lifetime Achievement Award and an honorary doctorate from Columbia International.
Russell, and his wife Angela, are pictured with their three growing children: Joseph, who is 14, Anna Grace, 11, and Zachary who is 18, working, driving his own car and beginning college this spring.
The highlight of 2014 will be our daughter’s family coming home for stateside assignment after their fourth three-year term of service in Central Asia. They plan to spend the summer with us in Mississippi before settling in Orlando for the school year. Time with the grandchildren will obviously stimulate the renewal of our blog posts! Pictured with Chip and Lori, they are Sam, who is turning 13 this month, Gloria, 7, and Mia, 8.
Check in with us to track our schedule and find an occasional post. You can follow me on twitter @rankinonmission as I will be tweeting activities and opinions on issues more frequently in the future.
April 25, 2013
A strange pattern seems to have developed in how we pray. The bulk of our praying is for ourselves and our needs. Corporate prayer is dominated by intercession for those sick and suffering. Perhaps self-centered praying has always been the default content of our supplications, but one seldom hears passionate pleading for the nations and for kingdom issues.
It is encouraging in the midst of thanking God for the rain, invoking His blessings on the worship service and praying for Aunt Tilly in the hospital that someone will ask God to bless the missionaries. It is commendable that one would be aware of those who have left home and family to take the gospel to remote places around the world …Read full article
April 26, 2013
Classical Christian writers often focused on the matter of holiness and the Spirit-filled life, but we seldom dwell on the issues of a sanctified life. We tend to relegate it to the theological realm of our salvation. Knowing that we were saved and cleansed by the blood of Christ, spiritually we are “saints” who are holy or “set apart” in the eyes of God. But that theological reality doesn’t necessarily translate into practical attitudes and behavior.
We tend to think of holiness as an unattainable level of perfection, something to …Read full article
December 31, 2013
Everyone has Christmas traditions. As a child it probably involved traveling to Grandmother’s house and gathering with uncles and aunts and cousins for Christmas dinner. It continues to be characterized by hanging garlands and decorating the Christmas tree. Seasonal carols are featured music at church throughout December, and somewhere amidst all the special programs is the inevitable manger scene of a Christmas pageant. While Jesus was, and continues to be, the reason for the season, children would probably confess the highlight is when the gifts are opened.
My family usually exchanged gifts on Christmas Eve, leaving Christmas morning to the excitement of discovering trinket-filled stockings and what Santa had left under the tree. Once the myth of Santa was revealed, …Read full article