Joe Handley




Stories from Joe Handley, president of Asian Access

The last few months I've read several books reflecting a core truth we hold at Asian Access. This truth is that all fruit in life stems from healthy relationships: first a healthy relationship with Jesus and second with one another. Thus, while it is true that Asian Access is a mission; the reality is that our purpose flows only through relationships. So, you might call Asian Access the un-Mission! What fuels our fruitfulness is a dependence solely on Christ, not on our own merits or efforts.

Thus, we say our first and primary outcome is that "a pastor for a lifetime lives in a love relationship with God." We realize that all ministry flows out of this essential relationship as it says in John 15:5, “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."

I've enjoyed this collection of resources where this essence is deeply embedded. I trust you'll enjoy them as well:

Dan Woolley - Unshaken: Rising from the Ruins of Haiti's Hotel Montana
This is the first book I began reading in this stream as Dan, a former student I supervised and mentored, gave me his book about being trapped in the Hotel Montana for nearly three days following the earthquake that hit the country of Haiti. The story is gripping and delves into even deeper territory as Dan wrestles with God and reveals the challenges in his own marriage. At the end of the day, you'll find how God meets us in the midst of our deepest pain.

Dallas Willard -  The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship
In this book, Willard outlines the importance of discipleship in the Great Commission. Willard notes that what brings Christ-likeness, fruitfulness and the fulfillment of God's mission is rooted in a direct personal relationship with Jesus. This is an essential that is often overlooked or assumed in the life of a believer. It is easy to fall into the trappings of what we can do rather than relying on Christ and living in the flow of His Spirit.

R.B. Theime - The Faith Rest Life
This book is much older than the other two, but a gem that's well worth reading. Theime walks through scriptures and encourages us to rest in God and trust in Him for everything. God promises to be there through the severest of challenges and all we need to do is rest in Him by faith.

Finally, all these themes came together when Skye Jethani spoke at a recent conference. Skye was reflecting on "our life with God who loves us". He further went on to suggest that "this communion is what leads to mission".

What profound truth! Mission is best when it is un-Mission: when it is communion with the God of the universe who loves us deeply. For as we live in our love relationship with Him, it is there that we "bear much fruit".

For His Kingdom,



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