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Friday, December 31, 2010

December 31-2010 Book

We have now completed chapter 12 of our book called "2010". What is written in your book? We each have a story. Life was different for each of us, at least we each have had a personal experience in each chapter.

The focal point for me was that even though suffering is very hard, it is also good for me. Times of suffering is when we pray more, and draw closer to God. Another important factor is that I can trust God no matter what! He is faithful and right. He is good.

Romans 8:28 "ALL things work for good to those who love Him and are the called according to His purpose."

All things, meaning all things. So what we may think is bad, God will turn it to good. We need to learn what God calls good.

Happy New Year to all!! Praying God gives you many blessings in this next year.

God bless you

Thursday, December 30, 2010

December 30-Our Anchor

Each day I ask God what I should share. We only have 1 day left of 2010. Many people are hoping 2011 will bring a change from 2010. This has been a difficult year, not only for us, but for many others. People have lost homes, family members, lost good health, a wayward child, and the list goes on. But in all this, we can trust God.

Hebrews 6:19 "This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil..."

I am starting to read the book by David Jeremiah, When Your World Falls Apart. This verse is in the forward. Our hope in Jesus is our anchor. Actually it is the only anchor in this fallen world. Hope is God is sure and steadfast. This anchor does not move! What a comfort this brings.

This morning when I heard the news of the 4.2 earthquake in Indiana, I was shocked. This was where my mother and sister and her husband live. There was a lot of flash memories. There was no damage, but the houses shook a lot.

We need this anchor as never before. This world will pass away. But God's word NEVER! He will be true.

God is Good.
God bless you.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

December 29-My Mind on Him

Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You."

Toys picked up, grandkids in bed, and the house is quiet. This verse came to mind. Perfect peace. How often my mind is not resting in perfect peace. Worry. Oh no!! That is when my mind is not on Jesus. My mind has wandered to the cares of the day. I'm usually wondering how everything will be completed in time. I don't know why I do this. If I keep my mind on Him, then everything will get done that needs doing.

The question is—have I done all that needs to be accomplished this year? What was on my "schedule" that God didn't put there? A long time ago a pastor said "If we say we don't have enough time to do all God's work then we are doing things that God didn't call us to do." That sums it up. All God's work is important, but I can't do it all. My mind must be fixed on Him then peace will come.

I would remind you that there are great blessings in keeping our mind on Him and doing the work of the Lord!!

God is so good.

God bless you

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

December 28-Enjoy the Quiet

This has been a long difficult year for so many people. So many hurting hearts. So many tired. Tonight I feel "brain tired." So much to do and so little energy to accomplish it.

But God....yes, God has not forgotten us. He is walking right along with us, well He leads the way. I'm picturing the sheep by the still water, with green grass and a Shepherd who cares for His sheep. He leads them where they need to be. Many times He wants to lead us to the still waters but we have so much "to do" we just don't have time to enjoy the quiet.

The Christmas rush is past. Breathe deep. Enjoy the quiet. Let the New Year flow in with peace and calm. Let's praise God as this year draws to a close, and reach forth with joy to start the New Year.

The most comforting words to me right now are "The Lord is my shepherd." He truly is. He has everything I need.

We are blessed. Share it with someone.

God bless you.

Monday, December 27, 2010

December 27-New Year Resolution

Today I talked to Patrick! Great blessing and so good.

Cholera is in the villages. But a very interesting thing...the village about 3 hours walking distance from Mayette has it. About 2 weeks ago 5 people had died. Then it started in the village of Daryol. This is an hour walk from Mayette. One person died there. THEN cholera skipped Mayette and started in a village about a 15 minute walk from Mayette!! All the people in Mayette are using charcoal on a daily basis. Mayette has a strong church in the village also.

For those of you who don't know, charcoal is has many medicinal values, one of which it works as a magnet to draw out bacteria. It is great for diarrhea. This is a blessing, as the clinic did not have enough medicine to treat all the patients.

If you are contemplating on a New Year resolution, how about this:
"See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:15-18

God bless you

Sunday, December 26, 2010

December 26-Christmas is Past

I was so blessed this morning in the service when Pastor Carl reminded us how each event before and after the birth of Christ was right on time to the exact moment. How is it that Simeon was at the temple at the moment when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple for dedication. Was it happen chance? Absolutely not!

Now with Christmas past, it is time to reflect on the year and look forward to a new year. This year, 2010, has been a very difficult one for many people. What have I learned through this year? Has it drawn me closer to the Lord, or pulled me away?

As I reflect on the year, my first thought it "How did I get through the year?" With the quake, doctors, learning how to walk, and learning to live a new normal. The only answer I have is if it weren't for the grace of God, it would never have been possible.

Pray for Patrick in Haiti. Pray for us as we continue to search housing in Miami.

God bless you

Friday, December 24, 2010

December 24-Who is a Friend?

Hebrews 1:3 says that the Son is the radiance of His Father's glory. That is a powerful statement, and we are to radiate the light of Jesus to the world.

During the holiday season we see many decorative lights, beautiful lights. Growing up we never had lights neither a tree. That didn't stop us from having a wonderful, fun-filled Christmas. Presents were meager, but we were happy.

Today a friend brought me a gift—a musical glass globe with an angel inside. Beautiful. The script on the base was "A friend is one who takes your hand and touches your heart." That is a friend. I love my friends. You touch my heart. Thank you for making this a special Christmas.

Jesus did that for me. He took my hand and touched my heart. He is my best friend.

Have a blessed Christmas.
God bless you

Thursday, December 23, 2010

December 23-Give the Best Gift

The holiday is upon us now. I am sitting here remembering Christmases past. When Rachel and Agape were small, we encouraged them every Christmas to go through their toys and share a toy with someone that has none. We lived in Haiti, and Christmas wasn't a big holiday. But Rachel especially loved Christmas and loved to give. It was always interesting to see what toys they chose to give away. Many times they chose more than one, and they chose the child they wanted to give their gift to.

One year Rachel came to me and had her doll that her grandma had given her several years prior. This is a special doll, it was from her grandma. When she told me she is giving it to someone, I tried to convince her that there must be another gift she could choose. But she was determined. I heard a still small voice, "Don't quench the giving spirit of a child." I was ashamed. She had chosen her best toy. Sacrificial giving.

God's gift to us was His best! Christmas blessings to all.

God bless you

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

December 22-Unculteral Christmas

Only 3 more days before Christmas. Are we counting? I wonder if Mary was counting until her baby would be born. Was she wondering if she would have a "normal" delivery since her the inception of her pregnancy wasn't "normal". She knew her baby was the Messiah. I can't even imagine what those 9 months would have been like.

Then came the night in the barn with the animals. And soon after the smelly shepherds off the fields who received the baby announcement. Everything about Jesus birth was out of cultural context. Yet it was so according to prophesy. I am sure Mary had to change her way of thinking just a bit.

So this Christmas don't feel like you need to be celebrating according to culture. Jesus truly is the reason for celebrating. Not the tree, presents, table full of food. It is all about Jesus. Without His coming there would be no true celebration.

Share the best gift—JESUS.

God bless you

Monday, December 20, 2010

December 20-A timely Word

The Word of God, the Bible, is a most precious gift. I remember many years ago in Haiti, when the village I was working in received the first pages of the Bible in their own language—Creole. It wasn't even a whole book, just a few pages. It was like a million dollars to them. Is this such a precious gift to me?

It's amazing that I can read it many times and yet every time I read there is something new. God is just like that. He gives us His Word for the moment. How blessed we are.

Today the Word is praising. Praising Him in all things. Praising Him when the pain doesn't stop. His Word is filled with verses of praise. Today would be that sacrifice of praise. That praise that doesn't come easy. But God provided a couple dear friends with whom I had lunch. A diversion of pain.

What is your favorite verse?
Your word came to Mary, Joseph, the shepherds and many others. Praise the Lord for His Word.

God bless you.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

December 18-Not so Silent Night

When we read the story of Jesus' birth, there are many aspects of it that makes me wonder how it really was. What was Mary really thinking when the angel approached her with this ministry of birthing the Lord? Then the song Silent Night. The writer of that song must have had another experience for that song, and it not being the night of the Savior's birth. The town of Bethlehem was anything but silent and calm. Can you imagine a town so full of people there is no hotel space, and only a barn left for Mary and Joseph?

When there is an event in the village in Haiti and people ride in on their donkeys, it is not quiet. Donkeys are braying. Everyone is talking and trying to find a spot to sleep.

Then there are the gifts the magi brought probably months later, as the Bible says they came to the house and saw the child. What did Mary think when she saw the gifts? She surely knew what the gifts were normally used for: frankincense was used to give sweet odor in the court of the Tabernacle for sin offering.

Myrrh was used for embalming before burial. Wouldn't a mother think this a strange gift at the worship of her baby?

Then gold—used as gifts for royalty. And it was used in the decor of the temple that Solomon built.

These gifts told the story of Jesus' life. Did Mary remember these gifts as he suffered for the sins of the people? Did she remember when they took the spices for burial? Did she remember the gold when He ascended into Heaven?

God bless you

Friday, December 17, 2010

December 17-Ability to Think, A Gift

I better do this while it is still "today" because in 15 minutes it will be tomorrow.

I'm just thinking...that is a gift—the ability to think. How many people are not able to do so, at least not to think clearly. Minds are ruined with drugs and sin. In Romans chapter 1, we see where God gives us over to reprobate minds when we refuse to thank Him and repent of our sins.

Thinking is a wonderful gift. Let's use it for God's glory. Thinking is where dreams begin, where Praise comes from, where decisions are made, and the list goes on. Isn't it wonderful that God did not make us robots!!

I'm thinking of all my friends, my family and how truly blessed I am!! I love you all.

I'm also thinking about the verses I read this morning in Isaiah 50:8 (?) where God speaks of men lighting their own torch. The result of that lighting is to be on a bed of suffering. What I reflected on was He wants to light our torch, He wants to be our light, our guide. He will shine that torch on the right path.

What have you been thinking of today?

Have a wonderful weekend. God bless you.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

December 16-A Call

Tonight our gift is a call.

Jeremiah 33:3 "Call on me in prayer and I will answer you. I will show you great and mysterious things which you still do not know about."

Patrick called this evening from Haiti. It was so good hearing from him. Even though he hasn't been gone long, it was still good to hear his voice.

God gives us the gift to call on Him. Not only may we call on Him, He promises to answer us. This is more than a phone call. This is a prayer. Perhaps our cell phones are used more often than our prayers.

I am so thankful that I can call on God night or day. He is waiting with open ears and arms to receive me. He doesn't put me on hold (well sometimes it seems like it). There isn't a texting message, except for the Bible. Not a voice mail, or just not answering because He checks who it is, sees it is me again, so conveniently hangs up.

No, He hears our prayers and our calls. He answers. He loves us.

God bless you

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

December 15-God's Faithfulness

Patrick is now in Haiti. Tomorrow (today) I will be fitted for my permanent prosthesis. I am so ready!!

Sleep is eluding me. One of those nights when my brain won't stop, I mean I don't want it to stop, but take a rest would be nice.

God's faithfulness is the gift for today. We can count on His faithfulness. But can He count on me? No,without Him I can do nothing, There is so much on my "plate" right now and no energy to accomplish it. I guess because I have no way to accomplish what "I think" needs to happen.

Exodus 14:13-14 "Do not fear! Stand firm and see the salvation of the Lord that he will provide for you today; for the Egyptians that you see today you will never, ever see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you can be still.”

This is what I need today. Stand firm..see what God will do. So many times I get in the way of God's plan...thinking He needs my help. God is fighting for me. I see a battle raging. I don't see the outcome, except I know God has promised victory.

If you are in the midst of a battle, stand still. God is fighting for you too.

God is faithful! He can be trusted.
God bless you.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

December 14-Today is His Gift to Me

Eleven days until Christmas. Each day is a gift God gives us. What we do with that gift is our responsibility. God leads us in the way. Each day we have the privilege of living that day for God's glory.

Today I didn't do so well. I really wanted to have more energy, a better leg to walk on so that I could help Patrick prepare for Haiti. This morning there were no suitcases packed yet (that's been my job for years), errands to run and he left for Miami this afternoon. I did help pack suitcases but not without pain. He helped as well. Together we accomplished the job.

The bright side is that I can walk, I am not using my walker, and I am not living in a tent. But you see, satan would have me concentrate on the painful side of life instead of on the Lord.

Pray for Patrick. Pray for protection against cholera. Pray the violence won't start again.

Thank God for your "today".

God bless you

Monday, December 13, 2010

December 12-He Gives Me Rest

So tired...physically, mentally, emotionally. It is at these moments when everything seems to be going the wrong direction. Satan is there to offer discouragement, disappointment, anything to get my eyes off Jesus. Meetings tomorrow, Patrick to Haiti on Wed. Casting for the permanent prosthesis on Thurs. Trying to find housing for our move to Miami. And this is Christmas season? I'm really not complaining, I'm just saying...

But Jesus calls me unto Him with the promise He will give me rest. I can nestle in His arms and relax. I can trust Him to take all my cares upon Him. Knowing this, brings comfort and confidence that yes, all will be well even if I don't see it yet.

The offered gift today is rest. In this season of busyness, preparing for the holidays, rest seems to elude most people. Shopping, baking, festivities, family, programs, and the list goes on. So fun, so much joy. Even in this, we need rest.

Jesus says, to come to Him and He will give us rest. Take that gift and enjoy it!! There is no better rest than in Jesus. I see that gift wrapped with His arms!!

God bless you

Saturday, December 11, 2010

December 11-Patience

This month is passing quickly. Or so it seems. There are still the same hours in a day and the same minutes in an hour. What will it be like when we are not scheduled to time? That is the reason we get impatient with God. We think He is on the same time as we are, and He is not limited to time. He works on a total different schedule than you and I.

So that is a gift...patience...we just have a difficult time putting it into practice. God has given us to the ability to have patience, so we have this gift which we really feel incapable of using, yet it is available. Maybe patience is like that gift you receive and yet really don't like. So you put it in a corner and forget about it. Every once in a while you look at it and shake your head, wondering why in the world someone thought you needed it.

Well God is different. He knows we need patience. He knows we don't like it, but also knows as He gives us trials and we start using it, we will eventually realize the value of patience...patience with joy that is.

God bless you

Friday, December 10, 2010

December 10-A Forever Friend

Today our gift is friends.

John 15:15 "I no longer call you slaves, because the slave does not understand what his master is doing. But I have called you friends, because I have revealed to you everything I heard from my Father."

Many of us love investing time in friends. We love to share heart issues (especially us ladies). And secrets! Oh how difficult to keep secrets from our best friends. It is fun to surprise our friends with gifts. I love to meet and make new friends. Not replace old one. I love my faithful friends from years gone by. But am always excited to add another to my list.

Jesus said we are His friends. How do we know that? Because He has shared the Father's heart with us. Everything we need to know for life is written in His love letter to us...The Bible. How wonderful. The greatest thing about this love letter is that every time I read it, I find something new.

We have a forever friend. He will keep our secrets, show us the way and bless us more than we can imagine!! What more could we want in a friend!!

God bless you

Thursday, December 9, 2010

December 9-Peace

I just finished reading a news post about the destruction in Haiti because of the presidential election. When I see Haiti in such an upheaval, being destroyed by tire burning, rock throwing and killing each other, it is most difficult to think of Christmas holidays. What a contrast!!

Isn't that the contrast—light versus the darkness. There is so much darkness all around. We are the only light the world sees. Let's shine that light this Christmas season.

I've been trying to remember how we celebrated last year. I cannot remember it, except I think we had a dinner for the first time in our newly painted dining room with a new (for us, but used and beautiful that Patrick had found downtown) table and chairs for the dining room. But only a few short weeks after that it was all destroyed in the quake.

Peace, yes that is the gift for tonight. Peace. When all around us there is unrest, we have Peace! Thank you Lord

God bless you

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

December 8-Christmas Spending

Today I have been paying bills. Then I was thinking...this month people probably spend more than any other time of year. We spend with what we don't have. At the end of the month, if not before, a sizable debt is accrued on credit cards. The bills come, and Holiday spirit is gone.

I don't mean to crush the holiday spirit, But we are commanded to do all for His glory. I am reminded of an incident many years ago in Haiti. But one I haven't forgotten. Patrick wasn't home, and someone knocked at the gate. When I opened the gate, a lady tried her best to convince me that we had met and I knew her. I began to feel quite foolish that I couldn't remember her. Then she proceeds to tell me this awful experience that is going on in her family. She was desperate. I didn't have money to help her, but felt so badly for her. I called a good friend, told him the story, and he said if I have money I can take from another fund he would replace it for me. So I did.

When Patrick returned I told him what happened. He was thinking about it, then said, "Barb, God will never ask you to help someone if He hasn't provided the means with which to accomplish it. I remembered the look in her eyes, and knew I had been deceived. Her story was not truth.

In saying this, I'd challenge you—if you don't have the money then God hasn't asked you to buy it.

Jesus paid my debt. He is satisfied with that payment. It was costly for the Father and Son. Yet they deemed it worthy! I am forever grateful for His Grace and Mercy!!

God bless you

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

December 7-He Has Done Great Things

Luke 1:46-55 is Mary's praise song to the Lord when she was told she will carry the Messiah.
She was very young, but we see in this song that she also was educated according to the Jewish laws. She knew who God was. She knew what He had performed in the past. But what really impresses me are these verses:

"For from now on all generations will call me blessed, because he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name; from generation to generation he is merciful to those who fear him."

She knew she was vital in the coming of the Messiah. I think many times God calls us to be a vital part of His kingdom but it passes us by. During Christmas season, is it possible that Jesus appears to us in various ways, but we don't realize it? How about the lonely one who has no family? Those who are hungry, but they do not get invited to the scheduled Christmas banquet. This would definitely be an interruption to our family dinner, really?

I'm hoping that some churches are having banquets and inviting those in the "highways, byways"—the fatherless, homeless, poor, the widows. There probably is a lot more of this being done than what I'm aware of. I think this would be God's way of celebrating Christmas. The angels didn't go to the churches to announce Jesus' birth, but to the rejected shepherds working in the field.

God bless you

Monday, December 6, 2010

December 6-A Christmas Memory

Can the clay as the potter "What are you doing?" No, and neither may I ask my Potter the same question. I want to trust Him without the details.

Christmas holds so many memories. One Christmas so many, many years ago is quite vivid. That year my mom and dad gave me a Bible Story book. The pictures were in black and white, but then I didn't even know they should have been in color. I couldn't read it very well. So I sat on my daddy's lap and he started reading to me. Every day I wanted to hear another story.

When I was a child, Christmas was about reading the christmas story in the Bible. Then play games, color with our dad, and eat candy which my parents made a few days prior to the holiday.

I might add, I had that story book until January 2010. Yes, it got lost under the rubble. But praise the Lord, the stories are hidden in my heart. The rubble cannot take it away.

I hope you have a good Christmas memory.

God bless you

Sunday, December 5, 2010

December 5-Filled Stockings awesome today at church. Communion was special. Message a challenge.

My heart breaks for those who do not yet know the Lord. There is a great peace and satisfaction in knowing Him and serving Him. He is amazing. He is our Redeemer.

My heart is in conflict with this, so thankful for peace, but so sad for those who have no peace. So perhaps that is a great gift from God...a burden...for if there is no burden then there is no prayer. Thank you for giving me a burden, Lord.

I just found the following quote. I must say I had never thought to thank God for legs.

When we were children we were grateful to those who filled our stockings at Christmas time. Why are we not grateful to God for filling our stockings with legs?" ~G.K. Chesterton

God's love is overwhelming!!
God bless you

Saturday, December 4, 2010

December 4-Expectations

Expectations. Christmas season has many expectations. We have our ideas of what we want, who we want to spend the holidays with, and what gifts we plan to give.

When the angel appeared to Mary, she was not expecting that. Neither did she plan to have to tell her fiance that she is pregnant, and not by man but by God. How about telling her mother that? Although this happened nine months before his birth, I can imagine what a "blow" that was to the family and Joseph. Actually at that time the law had commanded stoning for adultery. But God...He is greater than the law, than the community, and the expectations of people.

God had it all in place and perfect timing years before it happened. And Mary was approached by the angel at the right moment.

God has your "christmas" all in place. If we trust Him, it will be so much more than we can plan. In the 29 years that I lived in Haiti, I do not remember spending a Christmas with family in the states. I may stand to be corrected in this. Most haitians never get a gift for Christmas, and seldom have a christmas dinner. Yet they are happy.

Let's be thankful this holiday season. God is so good. Mary sang a worship song to her Lord...Luke 1:46-55

God bless you

Friday, December 3, 2010

December 3-Suffering, God's Gift

Good morning
Sleep has eluded me, so I will talk with you a few minutes. We are now in chapter 12 in our personal book titled "2010". What is written in your first 11 chapters? Although our stories may be different, the main figure in our book should be the same-Jesus Christ. Without Him, there is not story of value.

We all have memories of this year, some more vivid than others. Although some memories we'd like to forget let's remember that God promises that all things are for our good. Once again I remind you that although we do not understand what happens to us, we can rest assured that God sees it for our good. He love you and me.

I read the following quote today, and think it is a good thought as we live the last month of this year.
"Many of us crucify ourselves between two thieves—regret for the past and fear of the future." Fulton Oursler

Regret and fear can paralyze us. Let's give our past to the Lord, and trust Him for the future.

I will be bold and say, "One of God's gifts to us is suffering". Let's not waste the pain.

God bless you

Thursday, December 2, 2010

December 2-God's Perfect Gift

Yesterday I mentioned the best gift God gave us. There is a 2nd part to that gift--me receiving it. We all have done it, received a gift and returned it. Maybe we didn't return it to the giver, but to the store. Why did we do it? It wasn't the right size, color, or we just didn't need it.

God's gift was perfect in every way. We don't always see that because we need to sacrifice our flesh to it. Why would we not accept this Perfect Gift. He is all we need. God has sent us all He had and the best of Him.

So today think about accepting the gift and why you would want to reject it. If you haven't already accepted Jesus as your gift for life, I would encourage you to do so today. After all, it is the season for receiving gifts, and giving them.

God bless you. Have a great day.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December 1-Giving Rather than Receiving

The holiday month has started. Thoughts go to shopping, decorations, festivities, etc.

Since I'm not much of a holiday type of person, I will share some things each day that have been special during Christmas.

Today I remember one of the most fun christmases I have had: My sister and I filled a box of groceries and goodies and gave it to a pastor family who were in a financial situation during that time. When they received the box, they cried.

Isn't it so much more fun to give than receive?

That is what God did, He gave...He gave the best of what He had...His own son.

What would be the best gift you could give to someone? Think about it...why don't you?

God bless you