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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Do Not Remember


Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old.  Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; shall you not know it?  I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. (Isaiah 43:18-19 NKJV)
What did the old year hold for you? Blessings? Regret? Sadness? New friends? Divorce? Death?
Whatever it was, God has new beginnings for each of us. I am not one to set new year resolutions. I find if I do I set myself up for failure.

What I do desire for this New Year is to walk closer to God. I want to lay my hurts and disappointments aside, and replace them with thankfulness and joyfulness. I want to dwell on God's goodness and not on my "I wants."

I am excited to see what God will do in 2012. Not only personally but also in the church, in the nations, and in you. Things may look like total devastation, yet God can bring beauty out of it. Even though, politically our world is falling apart, we need not despair. "Look up for your redemption draweth nigh."

Have a very good last day of 2011, and I will see you next year!
God bless you.

Friday, December 30, 2011

He Is

This morning I opened my Bible to Psalm 18, and was so blessed to be reminded what God was to David, but also is mine.
Verses 1-3 "I will love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised. So shall I be saved from my enemies."


Is there any situation in my life that God does not cover/provide: My rock, fortress, deliverer, God, strength, shield, Salvation, stronghold. These are great blessings to take into the new year, and cling to them as never before. God does promise to be my All. And these verses certainly would include "all." We have so much, yet we complain so much. Why is it easier to look into the battlefield, rather than to the Deliverer?

My greatest battle comes from within...my mind. My emotions, attitudes, expectations are a constant battle. But God is my Deliverer! "Lord, take my fortress away, and give me Your Fortress. Help me not to hide behind the fortress of fear, selfishness..."

God bless you.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

If I'm to Succeed


 The following devotional thoughts were sent to me by Roy Coy. It really put in perspective how I want not only to finish this year, but my life. I just couldn't say it better, than it is said. I trust you will find this a blessing as I did.
God bless you.
Today, it is a snare to imagine that God wants to make us perfect specimens of what He can do; God's purpose is to make us one with Himself.
  I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 NKJV)
 If we are to succeed in the Christian life and honor God by the lives we live, then we are going to have to run the race His way. We will have to run with our eyes upon Him. We will have to learn to turn a blind eye to the allurements of the world and a deaf ear to the siren song of compromise. If we will attain the prize of Christ likeness, then we will have to pay the price of dedication and struggle. It will be a hard fought victory, but in the end, when we see His face, it will be worth it all! (A. Carr)
The way to walk a tightrope is to keep one's sight on the goal, looking neither down to the ground nor over our shoulder at what is behind. The way to walk with Jesus is to keep our eye on the goal, his victory waiting for us when he returns, not on the ground (our failures) and not what is behind (our accomplishments). The goal of the Christian walk is to keep walking toward Jesus until we walk with him in heaven. (P. Ware)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Almost 2012

The day started out on a run and didn't stop until a few minutes ago. Have you ever had this? I mean, really, I thought I'd have quiet time, cup of coffee, then last minute things to help Patrick be ready to leave around 11:00. He left for Haiti today. None of the "planned" moments.

Last minute things for Patrick, then work started in the office. After working a while, Promise stood by the desk and said, "My grandma, you sure do have a lot of stuff on your desk!" That was an understatement! So it was that I passed the whole day at the desk, working, trying to put closure on 2011. Thankfully I have a couple more days.

I was rewarded a few minutes ago with a Skype call from Patrick. He arrived in Haiti safely.

I am excited to start a study on the Psalms on worship starting on NY's Day. I feel like I'm sharing small grains of my life today. That is truly what it was, small grains. Then I remember that if I have "faith as a mustard seed, I can move mountains." This is my prayer for tomorrow. I will move mountains of work in the office, so that I will have a fresh start in 2012.

I do not want to be so busy in the office the next few days,  and not take time to thank God for all the good He has provided in this year. In spite of hardships, God is still faithful and good to me. Maybe I should read through my blog for 2011, and be reminded of all that God has done.

God bless you



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Post-Christmas

Now we are beyond Christmas, and approaching New Year.

Before Christmas, I was hearing different approaches to the celebration—too much fuss, not enjoying family, families fight at dinners, loving Christmas, loving gifts, oh no I forgot to get her a gift and I just found out she got me one. The list could go on.

When I heard the remark, "Oh no, I forgot to get her a gift, and found out she got me a gift" it got me thinking. For you see that is not gift giving, it is exchanging a gift. Isn't gift giving doing that which cannot be returned? If we are remembering Jesus at Christmas, then a gift is that which isn't a return. He did for us what we cannot do for others or Him. The only thing we can do is give Him our life, but it doesn't compare with what He has done!

Lines are long to exchange gifts that weren't the right color, size, or just not wanted. I trust we are not exchanging the ultimate gift, Jesus, for something of less value!

I do hope you all had a Blessed Christmas.

God bless you

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

You're Beautiful

All day long the worship song, You're Beautiful, has been ringing in my heart. How often I have missed to see the beauty in the sunrise, the setting sun in the evening, and the host of stars in heaven at night. How all nature worships the Father. I do remember the heavens in Haiti, in the village, where there are no other lights to interfere with the brightness of the stars. Standing on the roof, looking into the sky, always seemed like I should be able to touch the stars. It was truly beautiful! An Amazing God we serve!

I am sure as Mary looked into the face of her baby, she was saying "You're beautiful." Now many generations since, we still look into the face of our Lord saying, "You're beautiful." How can we see His face? In the Word. The Bible gives us much to see in the face of our Lord.

At this time of the year, we see many lights every where we go. But none of these lights shine as bright as the glory of Jesus. Let's not miss the glory of Jesus in the midst of the holiday celebrations.

For those of you who do not know the song, you can listen to it on You tube  http://www.youtube.com/watch?

God bless you



Monday, December 19, 2011

Embraced by the Father

In the busyness around us during the holiday season, and Christmas almost here, it is easy to find ourselves in the hustle of things. This morning I'm tired. Then I found the following message by Blue Bible in my email, and felt it worth sharing. Maybe some of you are like me, in need of quiet and rest. We have it as God's child.

Blue Bible
"The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom
shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be
afraid? (Psalms 27:1)

The Lord is ever with the child of His right hand. Mercy, protection,
grace, and love are ever the believer's company. By the precious blood
of Christ, we are made partakers of the heavenly promise. Hide yourself
in Christ, O believer, and embrace the true rest He so lovingly grants
His children! Rest and do good!"



I sense there are many tired, lonely people this season. There are many who don't like to face Christmas...incurable disease, sudden death of a loved one, a child not coming home, or aged and just lonely. Whatever the case may be, God is at our side. We can embrace ourselves in the arms of the Heavenly Father. Maybe there are those of you who have a husband who doesn't embrace you. God will. Jesus knew loneliness, rejection, and death. He knows our needs. Trust Him.


God bless you



Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Wise Men

I have not yet mentioned the Wise Men. The 3 wise men are usually shown at the manger scene. In actuality, they really did not appear until a long time afterwards. The Bible calls Jesus a young child, and in a house. The number of wise men is probably not correct either. Caravans usually traveled across the deserts in more than a few people.

They were men of astrology. They also knew the scriptures about the coming Messiah. They saw a different star in the east, they followed until Jersusalem, then the star had disappeared.They went to King Herod to ask about the new king born in Bethlehem.The wise men came far to find Jesus. They didn't give up. When they left the palace, they saw the star again. They made their way to Bethlehem, and the star led them to the house where Jesus was.

As is common to take a gift for a new baby, they also brought giftsl. But it wasn't a new outfit, pampers, toy or a blanket. These gifts appear to be very strange indeed. Gold, frankincense and myrrh. What good would these gifts be to a child? These gifts were symbols of Jesus' life. Gold was for his royalty. Frankincense was used in incense or offerings. Myrrh was used to prepare the body in burial. How did they know to give these gifts?

The wise men not only saw the Christ child, but the King of Kings.

Who do we see at Christmas? A baby in the manger? Or is He more than that to me and you? Or what gift do you bring for him? I trust we give our hearts and lives to Him. That is the greatest gift. That is why he came so that we have life eternal. He came wrapped in human flesh, no flashy gift wrap. Give Him your heart, if you have haven't already.

God bless you

Friday, December 16, 2011

Not So Silent Night

No jingle bells, santa, shoppers, a christmas tree, lights or even a manger scene. It was truly a night of Christmas, t as 700+ people raised their voices in worship. All the songs were worship to the King of Kings. A taste of Heaven, yet we know Heaven will be more than anything we can imagine.

I do not have words how beautiful this worship service was! This concert of "Not So Silent Night" was presented by the Oasis School of Worship. Thank you, thank you.

I'm blessed. 

God bless you

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Thankful Grinch

For several days now, we have considered Christmas through the eyes of Anna, Simeon, Mary and Joseph, shepherds. But now we need to think of another, me and you. How do we view Christmas? What is it for me? Am I so busy with the hustle-bustle of the activities that the real meaning of Christmas passes me by?

Am I so busy with my holiday things, comfortable in my house that I don't even know there is an orphan on the streets? A widow at the trash bin? A sick one in the hospital? Or a family who lost a loved one? Or even worse, I know but I turn my head because I don't want to be bothered?

Oh, for sure, holidays are fun, but let's not miss the real meaning of Christmas. This is a great time to be the candle in a dark world. Give the cashier a smile and a Christmas blessing. Give your family a smile. Look in the mirror, and give yourself a smile. Look in the mirror and see what your family sees. Is that a bit scary? Smile.

It is time for confession—I am not much of a holiday person. I don't like to decorate, bake, or shop. The many years in Haiti changed my holiday excitement. In all the 29 years, I don't think I had more than 5 christmases with family in the states. So, am I in denial, hoping the holidays go away? Or am I just content to let come what may? I love my family, but I love to be with them all year, not just at holiday time. Maybe I'm the modern day grinch or scrooge. A thankful Grinch that is.

I am thankful for Jesus. I'm thankful Mary accepted her role, knowing she would be misunderstood. I'm thankful that Joseph still took Mary as his bride. I'm thankful...we can still find Jesus in the "manger" among the dirty, the poor, the underdog, the rejected, the outcast. I'm thankful Jesus wasn't born in a palace. He was born in the barn for you and me! He loves you and me!

God bless you


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Shepherds

No one in Bethlehem knew the Messiah had been born. Everyone was busy, going their own way. This morning I was listening to "Labor of Love" by Jill Phillips. A beautiful song. It did make me wonder if no one heard the cries of pain from Mary. Did God purposely blind the eyes and deafen the ears of people?

But the angels appeared to the shepherds, out in the field watching their sheep. Can you imagine what it would have been like to see the night sky filled with a host of angels, singing out and announcing the birth of Jesus! But wait...if it was a host of angels singing in the sky, wouldn't earth vibrate with the song and celebration? Were the shepherds really the only ones that heard the song? We have no record of anyone else hearing it.

Jesus was born in a stable, slept in a manger, and now the first ones to receive the news of His birth was not to the grandparents, friends, or neighbors. Oh no, it was a few dirty shepherds that smelled like their sheep. Shepherds were not the royalty of mankind, but the low-down, dirty workers.

For me, there is only one reason for this, so that I, who also am low down can know that His birth is for me and all sinners. Jesus was born to be our Savior, Redeemer. He wasn't just for the wealthy, or kings, or pastors or priests. He is for the poor, wretched, broken, and hopeless.

The message rings out to us all...Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth good will toward man.
Amazing God we serve. Thank you Jesus for leaving Glory to come to earth in human skin to live among us, so that we may live eternally!!

God bless you

Monday, December 12, 2011

Through Anna's Eyes

We already learned how Simeon saw christmas, but let's learn a little about Anna. Anna was a prophet in the temple for over 60 years. (Luke 2:36-38). She was a widow, and had only been married for 7 years when she lost her husband. She spent the rest of her years in the temple seeking God, praying, fasting, and glorifying God. Praying fervently every day in the temple for over 60 years!! And we can't even get people to attend a one hour prayer meeting!! What is wrong with this picture?

The temple was the hub of activity. There were always people there to bring and offer sacrifices. There were hundreds of people around the temple. And yet, we only have record of 2 people in the temple who recognized the Christ child, Simeon and Anna. Anna saw Mary, Joseph and the baby when they came to the temple. She came to them and immediately recognized Jesus as the redemption of Jerusalem. How did this happen? Matt 6:33 "Seek ye first the kingdom of God..."

But how is it that the birth of Jesus went unnoticed to every one but 2, not counting the shepherds? How can that be? Jews knew their scripture. They knew the Messiah was promised. Yet in their midst the promise was fulfilled, yet, no one knew. Of course, they didn't think He would be born in a barn.

And what about us? How many times have we passed a smelly, dirty person at a garbage heap, digging for his daily fare? How many times have we sent away a hungry person? How many times has Jesus passed us by, and we never saw Him? The other day Rachel and I went to the mall, not to shop, but as we went about our business I got sadder and sadder. I couldn't believe the crowd that was there! We are in an economic crunch? Really? I would never have guessed. I don't mean to crush the holiday spirit, but I do wonder if God is really pleased with the way we choose to celebrate. So many hours are spent trying to find that one gift to give to someone who already has everything, but we never find one minute to share the REAL gift!

We met 2 young Haitian ladies last night, on their way to Haiti today. They will spend Christmas in Haiti, not with family, but with those who do not know Jesus. They are on their way to share to true gift of Christmas!! Pray for Deb and Romy...they are on a mission! YEA!!

God bless you.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

Joseph's Christmas

Joseph is another vital person in the account of Jesus' birth. No, he wasn't the father of Jesus, but he endured shame when he realized his betrothed was pregnant and he wasn't the father. Can you imagine? Again, how was he to believe Mary's "out-of-this-world's" story!!

He was so ashamed and embarrassed that he was going to hide her, put her away until the baby was born. That culture was so different from the "no-shame" culture of today. To be pregnant by another than your engaged man. But God had this in Hand. He sent another angel to Joseph to tell him all is well. He needn't be embarrassed, as God really did visit Mary with the news of her bearing the Christ child.

I believe Joseph was a humble man. He accepted his role in this situation. He was to be married to Mary. He would be the father to Jesus' other brothers, and I believe he also was a father figure in the home. After his visit to the temple and being lost in Jerusalem, we read no more of Joseph. Some believe he had died after that incidence. We don't know.

Just like Joseph, we often have plans for our life, but there turns and detours in the road. The important thing is that we accept God's detours in obedience, trusting Him for all things. His way is so much more than ours! We only see today, He sees eternity. He is eternity!!

God bless you

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Wandering Thoughts

Malachi 3:16b "...So a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His Name."

We never read anything about Mary's mother. The scriptures don't give a hint of who she was. We must assume Mary came from a religious family as she new about God, and worshipped Him when the angel told her all things. Mary was a young girl. Perhaps a teenager. We know Joseph wanted to hide Mary when he found out she was pregnant. What about her mother? Was this an embarrassment to her? Did she believe Mary when she was told what happened?

Jews would have known the Old Testament scriptures. So we can assume she had at least known about the prophecies of the coming Messiah. But even with that, I'm sure all this with Mary seemed very surreal. Unbelievable. We don't know if Mary was allowed to be home after that, or was she rejected. We don't know.

Sometimes my rambling thoughts become "funny" ideas. Well, I have one again...would there be a reason there is no mention of Mary's mother? For sure, she would not have been a part of the prophecy or Jesus' birth. And how about this...God has no grandchildren...we are all children. No grandchildren. So very possibly God wanted Jesus to be that example...Jesus didn't have a grandmother.

But I wonder if she had a book of remembrance written about her daughter, the birth of the Savior, and the life of Jesus.

So much for the wonderings, or should I call it wanderings of the mind...

God bless you

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Mary's Christmas

Luke 1-2
Mary is in the house, alone, doing her daily chores, when an unannounced visitor arrives. She was afraid when she saw the angel.  Mary was amazed that she was the chosen one to birth the Son of God. Although she didn't understand everything, she accepted God's plan for her life. Some of you may be thinking, "Wow, I would too, with a plan like that." Wait a minute. Think about it. She was chosen to enter  into God's plan which would be anything but politically correct. She was engaged to be married. In those days, engagement was not taken lightly. They didn't live together to see "if they were a good match." She was already committed to Joseph. Now to explain this to Joseph. How? And her mother? Oh my, I can hear it now, "Mom, I'm pregnant, but not by Joseph, but by God's spirit."

This is the mystery of Christmas. God had every detail in place long before the moment of Mary's conception and Jesus' birth. I love Mary's response, even in an unbelievable situation "Do to me as it pleases you."

Is this our attitude at God's bidding? So many times, I have heard people saying, "I feel like God is calling me to do..., but I just don't know how it is going to turn out. I don't know the details." Yes, you don't and I don't. Neither did Mary. She didn't know her Son was to be crucified. She didn't know what it would be like to raise the Son of God. She didn't know he would be so rejected. But she was obedient.

What was Mary's view of Christmas? "She pondered all these things in her heart." Mary was a fearful, amazed worshipper.

God bless you

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

King Herod

I don't know why Herod kept coming into my mind today. I was thinking of different people involved in the birth of Jesus and how it affected them. Herod was involved in the political side of the story. He wasn't in Bethlehem, but in Jerusalem. He was the power of the time.

So when the Wise-men came to Herod to ask him about the king that was born, he was troubled. So shall we say the birth of Jesus was a threat to him. By the time Herod heard about Jesus, Jesus would have been a young child and not a baby. Herod asked the wise-men exactly when they saw the star, I assume so he would know the age of the child. He was not about to give his throne to another king.

But what he didn't know, there was a higher power, a power that he could not control. Of course he ordered all boys 2 years old and under to be killed, but God had His plan in motion already. Jesus was spared an early death. Read the story in Matthew 2.

We see much of the same attitude today. People try to deny the birth of Jesus, thinking if they take Christ out of Christmas it will take Him away. Not being allowed to speak anything about Jesus in schools during the holiday season, will not discredit His birth. God already has a plan set in motion. One that political leaders cannot take away. Actually they are probably playing into the Hand of God...bringing the return of Jesus to earth.

Today people are still threatened by His birth, His life. They want to sit on their own selfish throne. They want to be the ruler of their own life. But the final call is that one day "every knee shall bow to the Name of Jesus." What a day that will be.

God bless you

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Inn Keeper

Luke 2:7 "...and laid Him in a manger because there was no room for them in the inn." We know the story—Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem to register as this was their hometown. While there Mary gave birth to Jesus, but He was born in a barn.

The inn keeper was so busy preparing for the hundreds of people coming into Bethlehem to register for the census. He knew people would need places to stay. People would need beds, food, places for their donkeys or camels. This would be a good opportunity to bring in some much needed cash. In all the town, everyone was making preparations for this big event. Rooms filled up quickly.

Then Mary and Joseph came, but the saddest answer, "There is no room." If only the inn keeper knew who he was turning away. Well, he didn't really put them out on the street, "hey, I do have room in the barn," snickering out his offer. They took it. And Jesus was born.

Why would he do that? Why do we, anyway? Why do we turn Him away? We are just too busy getting ready for the holidays. The tree needs to be decorated, stockings hung, shopping done, take the kids to see santa, and the list goes on. Is it in preparation for Jesus? Do we involve the poor, the widow, the orphan? Do they get the left-overs?

If only the inn keeper had known, I'm sure he would have found the perfect nursery for Mary and Joseph. But it passed him by. If we have no room for Jesus, He will find room in the heart of an orphan digging through the garbage pile. He isn't afraid of dirt, or the most dispicable situation. Or the barn.

Want to know how I know that? He came into my heart and life. Have you let Him in? Is there room?

God bless you




Sunday, December 4, 2011

Through Simeon's Eyes

I need to share this morning's teaching. It was so good and inspired. He helped us see Christmas through the eyes of Simeon, the priest at the Temple in Jerusalem when Mary and Joseph took Jesus there for his dedication.

Luke 2:29-32  Simeon saw a promise fulfilled. He was waiting for the birth of Jesus, the redemption and salvation of all peoples. Simeon knew he would not die until he had seen Jesus. How did he know it was Jesus when he held in his arms?

Christmas is: a Promise fulfilled, a Path illuminated, and a Person revealed.

What are you expecting this Christmas? Does it go beyond the stockings on the mantel? The gifts under the tree? The manger scene? What do you expect to see? Are you expecting redemption or is Jesus still in the manger?

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift." 2 Corinthians 9:15...Truly the best Gift wrapped in humanity for my redemption!

God bless you.


Saturday, December 3, 2011

Silent Night


Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon Virgin Mother and Child
Holy Infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born

Silent night, holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth "


Read the words...does it make you wonder why it was written? I was searching to find its history, but only that the author wrote it as a poem then asked it to be put to music. It is one of the most sung christmas carols. I love Christmas music...Patrick asks why we only listen to christmas music at Christmas?  Easter songs we sing all year, why not christmas songs?

If this carol was written to describe the night Jesus was born, then I'd say the first stanza is not a good description. Can you imagine a town that was so full of people that there was no room for Mary and Joseph? That many people are not silent, well unless they were different than Americans and Haitians. Smile. I'm not even sure it would be calm, not in the barn where Mary was in labor. Having the stench of animals while she is birthing a baby? This was not the clean barn and manger that our manger scenes depict today. It was dirty, smelly and animals around. 

But it was the "dawn of redeeming grace." The world didn't know. This night passed them by unaware, and things haven't changed. Jesus is still present today in so many situations, but it passes us by, we don't even realize. Sad. We are so busy with our life, that we miss His presence. 

There was only the dirty shepherds that heard the announcement...but that's a blog for another day...

God bless you

Friday, December 2, 2011

Unto Us a Child is Born

Isaiah 9:6 "For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."


Yesterday was the first day of December, and the start of Christmas celebrations. All through the Old Testament there are prophesies of Jesus' birth. In this verse, not only is His birth is announced, but also His Names. We can see who He is. I do not say who He will be, as He already was (is).


 Have you ever wondered what "traditions" were celebrated in Mary and Joseph's home after Jesus was born? Did they celebrate His birth in the following years? Was His birthday remembered? Was his birthday more special in the home than his brothers and sisters? 


We do know that Christmas was a pagan holiday. The Catholic church brought the religious effect to Christmas. Then Christians began to celebrate it, as well. Every year we celebrate without even a question of the origin of Christmas. With this thought, may I challenge each of us to be careful how we celebrate Jesus' birth. Jesus is not a santa claus. 


Jesus is the Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Celebrate life!


God bless you.


P.S. No news from Haiti today.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cholera Outbreak Again

This has been quite a day. It started with a phone call from Patrick who is in Haiti, asking me to change his ticket. There is a cholera outbreak in the villages. Yesterday 2 people died, although he said that they could not confirm that cholera was the cause of one of the deaths.

People are so afraid, so discouraged with this new twist in their lives. Patrick knew he needed to stay and help in any way he could. He was scheduled to return home tomorrow. He said he was so busy yesterday he hardly had time to eat or shower.

This afternoon he called again, and there is a cholera camp being set up to care for the sick. A medical staff is coming from Jacmel to work in the camp. Our clinic in Mayette is not able to handle all the sick ones.

Rachel gave me a wheelchair for Christmas, and today was a mother/daughter day. Rachel who is a lover of sales, took me to many places. It was fun, and the first time that I actually went to several places to shop (window shop, that is) without being in pain. So yes, the wheelchair is a blessing. I thought for sure by now, I would be able to walk as much as I want and be ok. But that hasn't happened, so I had a choice—stay home or go on a "ride." And fun it was! Thanks Rachel.

Pray for the villages that have cholera. Pray for the medical staff who are caring for them. Pray for safety for those who have not contract the disease. Pray for Patrick that he will stay healthy, and God gives him the strength to do the task given him.

Thank you and God bless you

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Who is God to You?


“God is not a belief to which you give your assent. God becomes a reality whom you know intimately, meet everyday, one whose strength becomes your strength, whose love, your love. Live this life of the presence of God long enough and when someone asks you, “Do you believe there is a God?” you may find yourself answering, “No, I do not believe there is a God. I know there is a God.”  Ernest Boyer, Jr.
A friend shared a website with me last night, and as I read it I was so blessed. I never thought about the laundry room being my "holy ground" but truth be known where I work, what I do should be holy ground if I do all to God's glory. But remember there are those things we cannot do for God's glory...disobedience to God. Enough said, I will share the website and let each one of you be blessed...http://www.aholyexperience.com/ann-voskamp/
God bless you 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Living Bread

"I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of
this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is
my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." John 6:51



This was the daily scripture given from Blue Bible, and it made me think of all the holiday food that we enjoy. Women are busy in the kitchen preparing goodies for special times during December. It is fun, brings a feeling of Christmas. It is so fun to give a gift of homemade goodies.


It is an example of the gift Jesus is to us. He was the ultimate gift. He is the Living Bread. He is Eternal.


As you work in the kitchen, making those holiday goodies, remember Jesus. When you choose gifts for others, remember Jesus, the ultimate gift. Don't forget to give Jesus to those who don't know Him. 


Make this a Jesus filled Christmas. Make Jesus the best gift for others. Be the shining candle. As you start the Christmas celebration, Celebrate Jesus!!


God bless you

Monday, November 28, 2011

God's Peace

"For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my
kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my
peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee." Isaiah 54:10



I love this verse. In the midst of the worst situation, God's kindness will stay with me. His peace will abide. I remember the quake. I remember just laying there on the ground. I don't know why I wasn't miserable. Maybe hurting too bad to know I was hurting. I remember the next day, Cherline said to me, "Mom, you really touched me." I asked her why. She replied, "You never screamed, moaned or groaned. You just lay there." That is God's mercy. God's peace.


He has proved Himself faithful many times over. Before the quake and since the quake. His promises will always stay true! That day the hills moved, but God's peace stayed with me.


I don't know what you are experiencing today, perhaps you have your own shaking and uprooting. So many things can go wrong in this life, and yet we can know and trust God for His peace and mercy. 


There are always heartaches during the holidays. Families that are fighting. Others have an incurable disease. Others lose a family member. So many hurts. But God's peace rules in the hearts of those whose mind is stayed on Him.


Look away from the situation, and put your trust in God. The hurt may not go away, but you will have His peace to take you through it.


God bless you.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Worship

Thank you, Joel, for the teaching this morning. What is worship? Sing, Service and Surrender.

But we need to be careful what we worship. Even the ungodly worship things.
The service ended with Revelation Song...an amazing worship song and my favorite!! Every time I hear the song I feel so on my way to the presence of the Lord.

The Lord has been doing some pruning in my life, and now it is my duty to surrender to His pruning. One of the areas of pruning is not to make excuses for sin in my life. If I do wrong, have wrong attitudes, pride or whatever the sin may be, as He prunes I need to surrender and not make an excuse for it.

God bless you

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Half Hearted Worship

I just read something in the book by Warren Wiersbe, Be Amazed, how people would be offerings to the altar that were not perfect. The priests accepted it, but if people would bring a lamb for the priest that wasn't perfect they rejected it. The thought is, if God would accept half-hearted sacrifices, He wouldn't be a God worthy of worship.

There are no excuses for half-hearted worship or sacrifice. 1 Chronicles 16:29 "Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!"


With the Thanksgiving holiday past and Christmas coming, I think we should consider what we really do with Christmas. People have already stood in lines for hours for the sales on Black Friday. Call me a scrooge, I really don't mind. I do not think God is pleased with me if I am using money for things I don't need,  or someone else don't need, but only have a mere dollar to put in the offering on Sunday.


Oh the holidays are fun, no doubt. Is there anything I do that can be changed that would really glorify God in the celebrations? I remember many years ago, I wondered at the banquets that were given in the church I was attending. There were banquets for each age group in church, but I never heard a word about inviting the ones who had no family, single parents, homeless, etc.


There is something about giving a gift to someone who cannot return the favor. Doesn't it make you feel so good? My sister just told me that her and her husband are planning an open house for all the people on their street. They haven't met most of them, yet have lived in that neighborhood for over 10 years. This can open doors for sharing God's love to them.


I guess I wanted to challenge our worship before the holiday rush starts in, if it hasn't already, so that we can pray how God really wants us to share Christmas. Let's be a light to the world, and not expect the christmas lights to do that. We have the true Light! Let's shine it for the world!


God bless you

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all!
May you be blessed with family fellowship. May your day be a blessing to others. Let us thank the Lord in all things.
Be a light to those of your family who are not yet a child of God.

God bless you

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving

Thankful. Day before Thanksgiving. Sounds funny. Every day should be thanksgiving. But today of all days, before "Thanksgiving" the kids are up at the crack of dawn to play. Then I open the utility bill we received yesterday, and found it is delinquent. No! it isn't delinquent because I just paid the bill on Nov 4. But they didn't receive the check until the 21st so I get charged $15 on this bill because they didn't open their mail when they got it. I guess the bottom line is, don't pay by check. Cash-less society. Yes, I think so.

"Be thankful in ALL things." ALL things Barb...even bills that shouldn't have been.

Today is a day in the kitchen, baking holiday goodies. Rachel and I should have fun. And the kids. They can put sprinkles on the sugar cookies. Promise is at school, and Daddy will join her for a Thanksgiving celebration.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. Remember it isn't just about food, it is all about Thankfulness. But don't stop being thankful.  Thankful every day in ALL things.

God bless you

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

For I Know

I have been praying for a special personal need for a while now. So now I see it as urgent.

Then this morning I was going through my email, and here was the Blue Bible verse for the day:
"And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, 
LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee." (Psalms 9:10)

It almost passed me by, but felt the urge to return to this verse and read it again. They that KNOW the Name of the Lord will trust in Him. He will not forsake us. What a comfort and reminder when in the midst of stress, that our Lord will not forsake us.

It reminded me that God has heard my prayer, and He will answer. My part is to trust Him and know that He will supply all our needs.

It is a privilege to know the Name of the Lord. Let's not misuse it.
I must be about my Father's business. We must work fervently in His kingdom. Every day there is something that reminds me that our time is drawing to a close. Our redemption draws near.

God bless you

Monday, November 21, 2011

Working Together

Zion and Nate are playing on the patio. Digging in the dirt. Oh so fun. Nate has decided to sweep the floor, looking at me he says, "Do you have a dust pan?" So we give him one, but Zion wants to take it now instead of helping Nate. So the argument starts in. Then Nate decides to sweep exactly where Zion is playing. Zion screams.

Does this ring a familiar note with anyone? This is the picture of adults. We are working in the church. Someone wants to do it a different way, and it may be better than we are doing it, but it is "our" work and we don't want anyone invading our territory. Yes, this even happens on the mission field. So sad. God's work isn't territorial. It is a combined effort of God's children working together for His kingdom.

If only we could get our eyes on the Lord, it is all His anyway, and work together. Learn to love each other and work together, the work would get done better.

God bless you

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Word of God

Hebrews 4:12 "For the Word of God is living and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."

Today is the day of worship. We go to the house of the Lord, expecting to hear the Word of God. But do we really value it? Does the word fall on fertile soil, or is it soon choked out with the busyness of life?

I asked myself how much I really value God's Word. I really wish I would have memorized scriptures more when I was younger. Now memorization is more difficult. But even if it is more difficult, I can control the time I spend in reading God's Word.

Where we spend our hours will give us a clue of God's importance to you and me? Does TV and sports consume most of our free time? I'm just asking...

God bless you

Friday, November 18, 2011

Being Childish

Having two 3 year olds and a 5 year old in the house all the time is quite interesting. There are 3 personalities, 3 different ways of playing with the same toy and not to mention they all 3 want the same toy at the same time. Oh, they can be perfectly content for a while with a toy but seeing another having fun with a different toy, the decision is made that they should have that toy at that time. Does this ring a bell with anyone else but me?

I Corinthians 13:11 "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Great verse, great truth.  But do we really put away our childish ways? Before this verse it is teaching us love and what love is. A child being selfish or demanding for a toy that another child has, usually wants to take it immediately. For you see, they really haven't learned the logistics of sharing and loving. That is a growing experience.

But now we are adults. Sad to say, we still act as children. We want what another has. We can be satisfied with our car until we see the neighbor's brand new one in the driveway. A pastor can  be ok with a small church until his best friend has a mega church. (Does this really happen? I'm afraid so!) We can be happy with a normal size TV until we see a big screen one. We want it now. Really childish. We may not grab it out of another's hand, but often we are guilty of overspending because we don't want someone else having what we can't have.

Our children learn from the adults around them. Let's be the example of giving instead of taking. Let's be an example of giving even if we do not receive in return. We do receive...God is never short in His blessing. His gifts are the best!

Let's leave our childish ways today, and grow up...I'm just saying....
God bless you

Thursday, November 17, 2011

He is My Strength

Patrick left for Haiti early this morning. He had a good flight, and arrived safely around 9:00 am.

The last 2 days were busy preparing for his trip. Not much rest after our Kansas trip. Today I find myself quite tired. Then I remembered "the Lord is my strength." Oh how I need that strength. I like the fact that He doesn't just give me strength but He is my strength. Habakkuk 3:17 reminds me that He makes my feet like hinds feet, walking on high hills. I don't "feel" I am at this point yet. But I do believe that for me it means that I don't need to "drag" my feet in discouragement. There is hope. Isn't it true that when we have no hope then we do drag our feet? But in every situation God is our strength. Go in the Name of the Lord.

In the midst of my tiredness, Patrick just "skyped" from Haiti. This is the first Skype experience from a cell phone. So fun.

I pray you had a good day...
God bless you


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Scaling the Wall


For You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD shall enlighten my darkness.  For by You I can run against a troop; by my God I can leap over a wall.  As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is proven; He is a shield to all who trust in Him. (2 Samuel 22:29-31 NKJV)
It is so good to be reminded that God is my light. He enlightens the darkness. He fights for me, even He can scale the high walls. So when I am in situations that I feel enclosed in walls without an escape, God can go beyond the wall. His way is perfect. Being His child, there are times when He allows me to be in walled in experiences. He can break those walls. He can fight and win every situation.

Leaping over a wall is not on my agenda at this point. So I am very thankful that God can do it for me. My thankfulness is when I can put on my prosthesis each morning, and walk without pain. That is leaping over a wall for me!!

More than anything, His way is perfect for me! He knows what is ahead, and He knows what was behind. He knows the "why's" of every situation. His word has and continually is proven. He is truth.

I've been teaching the grandchildren, "I am the way, the truth, the life." Every time one of them asks, "What does that mean?"  Each time I tell them again, "Jesus is the way to Heaven. Jesus is the Truth, He cannot lie. And He gives us life that never ends." What a blessing that I can have these special moments with them.

So today, if you find yourself in a dark experience, He is your lamp.
If you are between a rock and hard place, He can leap over the wall.
If you wonder today, if His promises can be trusted, yes they can. His Word has been proven.
If you are in danger, He is your shield.

God bless you

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Home Again

We are home again after a busy 4 days in Kansas. It was a wonderfully, blessed trip. We were blessed to see old friends, and make new friends. We didn't see a yellow brick road, only a red one. :))

We were able to share God's story in many meetings, including a Ladies' Tea which was beautifully decorated. This was the first trip I've made that was pain-free!! Wonderful!

Now we have one day to finish preparations for Patrick's trip to Haiti. He leaves Thursday morning.

God is incredibly Good and Faithful. None of this would have been possible if it weren't for Him!!

God bless you.



Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Truly Thankful

I am just thinking this morning about my life, where I was, where I am and where I am going. I was reading in Matthew 13 where Jesus was teaching the disciples about the kingdom of God, but teaching in parables. Then He asked them "Do you understand what I am saying?"

Do I understand? Or do I come to the "table" with a bunch of "but's"? Why was satan allowed to sow wickedness into the world? Why not get rid of it while we are still on earth?

The bottom line, am I truly grateful  for my life? Am I grateful for all that God is doing in my life? Even if I don't understand fully, I need to trust Him, walk by faith and keep going. Most assuredly God is doing so much more in my life than what seems on the surface.

Lord, change me, even if it hurts. I thank you for all those painful moments and seasons. Glory will cover all those times, and I won't even remember them. Thank you, Lord.

I will not be posting for a few days. We will be out of town for 4 days. So until my return, have a good weekend. Be blessed.

God bless you


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Guard Your Heart

In the message on Sunday, the pastor spoke of this verse, "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of for life." Proverbs 4:23

When I had first arrived in Haiti, and saw the beautiful ironwork on the windows I thought it was for decoration only. But it didn't take long for me to realize that it was for more than beauty. It was an effort to keep thieves from breaking in. Not only was there ironworks across the windows, but also chain locks for doors and gates. Most houses in the city use this method against robbery. It doesn't always work, as thieves have often cut the ironwork and entered the houses anyway. Just for the record, we were broken into about 14 times in the course of 8 years. Not sure of the exact years, but do know it is no fun to wake up the next morning and find things broken into.  On the other hand, it is a blessing to wake up and realize God kept us under the protection of His wings.

How much effort do I take to guard my heart? What needs to be guarded? Oh I have a list of things—pride, covetousness, gossip, idolatry, discouragement, and the list goes on. If for one minute, I let my guard down, satan is at hand to immediately to load me down with sins unguarded.

But the guarded heart is the happy heart. It is the one that has peace. It takes work to guard our heart. We need time in the Word, prayer, and sharing God's Word with others.

My encouragement to you: Don't let the enemy steal your peace and joy!! Stay on Guard!
God bless you

Monday, November 7, 2011

Homecoming

1 John 2:28 "And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming."


Our daughter came home last night. What fun! She will be here for a few weeks while her husband is gone "on field."(military)  Nate was ecstatic to see his mother again. Great reunion!


Isn't that the way it should be? Children love coming home to parents, and parents loving to have them home. Rachel said last night, as we were all sitting around talking, "Wow, it is almost like Agape and I haven't been married, and it is like it was when we were all at home!" But of course, by this morning, when the kiddos were up, there was no doubt that it isn't just like when they were still at home. :))


The homecoming in Heaven will be sweeter. We'll be home with the Father. And He will welcome us with open arms. He loves us so much. It is difficult for me to really realize the extent of His love! I know He loves me, but unconditionally is hard to grasp. 


So thankful for His Grace, and looking forward to the Homecoming!!


We are praying that Pat can join us for Thanksgiving...we don't know when he'll be home yet.


Gracefully His.
God bless you



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Walk on High HIlls

Habakkuk 3:17-19 "Though the fig tree may not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; Though the flock may be cut off from the fold, and there ice no heard in the stalls—yet I will rejoice in the Lord. I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength, He will make my feet like deer's feet. And He will make me walk on my high hills."

We have all been there....work, work, work and yet not enough to pay bills. The children get sick, the car breaks down, husband loses his job. Try this one...the "to do" list is long, one item started, interruption, back to item one, oops another interruption...deadline is coming up...let me try once again...interruption...attitude check. Attitude, Barb! Be thankful in all things. Do away with the negative.

This is what the verse is talking about, no matter how bad the situation we can rejoice in the Lord. He is our strength. He will give us energy to rise above the difficult places. So yesterday was one hurdle jumped. Actually two hurdles...the last one completed at 11:30 pm...smile.

I think my enemy, Satan, is not happy I have this verse this morning.

Have a good weekend.
God bless you


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Keep Silence

Habakkauk 2:20 "But the Lord is in His holy temple, Let all the earth keep silence before Him."

The verses prior to this, is speaking of the ridiculousness of praying and crying out to images. Many images are overlaid with gold, bronze, silver yet have no breath in them. I remember the story Patrick tells when he was a little boy and his grandmother told him how St Michel (the catholic patron in his home town) was dropped during the parade, and broke into a thousand pieces. When Patrick was older, and told his grandma he was going to quit praying to Mother Mary and the saints as they are just wood, and couldn't help him anyway. His grandmother was appalled at the disrespect he showed. So the final statement was, "Grandma, you told me that. If St. Michel can't help himself when he falls, how can he help me with my school work."

I ask myself, how many times do I treat the Lord as an idol, and demand Him to "get up and do something," "do this," "when are you going to give me an answer?"

He is the Lord, He is Holy and I need to stand in awe of Him and keep silent before Him. This is a time of worship and not always a time of asking. It is not about me, but all about Him.

God bless you

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Where to Start?

It is 11:00 am and I am asking, "Where do I start?" Your question may be, "What, you are only starting your day?"
The answer is "No." But I have been at it since 7:00 and find myself going nowhere fast. It's one of those days, "the faster I go, the be-hinder I get."

So I can throw up my hands and decide the work won't get done anyway, so why try? Or I can decide to move forward step by step, and hope by this evening there will be a significant difference on the desk. Hmm, which will it be? Probably move ahead, after all I see the deadline coming up all too soon.

So I see this in relationships. We try to amend, be friendly and kind, love, or whatever the situation may be. The more we try the more contankerous the other person becomes. So many times we throw up our hands and quit trying to befriend them. But there is a deadline...our last day on earth, which we do not know when it is.

I do not mean to say to comply to every whim and wish to the one you are trying to win for Jesus. There is this thing called tough love. Love them through the difficult times. Our enemies know when we love them or not.

May I encourage you (and me) to continue working through the rubble of relationship, show love, be generous in kindness, and don't forget to pray for them. You may not see a big difference in a day or a year, but one day, you will be rewarded for your faithfulness.

Have a great day....I will too, as I work through the piles of papers on my desk.

God bless you

Monday, October 31, 2011

My Energy Drink


"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer." (Psalms 19:14 NKJV)

Vitamins, minerals, protein drinks, energy drinks....ahhh these are terms we are well acquainted with these days. We are all looking for more energy and strength.

But the verse reminds us that God is our strength. I just wonder if we would have more energy and strength if we invested more time in the Word, more time with the Lord, and less time worrying about today or tomorrow, or even yesterday for that matter. Worry can rob us of energy.

So today, Lord, may the words I speak and the thoughts I think be acceptable to you. May my day be filled with your strength, better yet, be my strength!

God bless you

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Mine Enemies

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt
stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy
right hand shall save me. (Psalms 138:7)



Do you ever wake up, feeling empty and sad? No reasoning behind this. I could cry but have no reason for this either. Why the emptiness?


When I read this verse a few minutes ago, I realized this may be an attack from my greatest enemy, satan. He will use any tactic he can to keep me from joy. He will try to empty me from joy so that he has more room for discouragement.


God promises to revive me and save me in the midst of trouble. And trouble lies in the mind. I struggle this morning to keep my thoughts on that which is joyous. I've been thinking a lot of all the "noises" around us all the time. The age of technology has brought many voices into our lives, crowding out the still small voice of the spirit.


All the more reason to "bury" myself in God's Word.


I feel like I'm just mumbling along in this post, but that's the way my mind feels, a bunch of mumbles. So it is time to get off to church and hear the Word.


The joy of the Lord is my strength! 


May you have a wonderful Lord's day
God bless you

Saturday, October 29, 2011

The Way of a Child

Having 3 children in the house, serves to be interesting. "I want a cookie."  "Eat your dinner, then you can have a cookie." "But I'm not hungry."

"Grandma, Nate took my...."  "Grandma, Promise won't share."

We, as adults, often act as little children. We want God to give us what we want, even if it isn't good for us. We pray for things that would be to our destruction, yet get angry at God if He doesn't comply to our every whim and wish. We get angry when God blesses someone in a way that we think is way too good for them...on and on, we go acting as children.

Yet, God in His mercy continues His love toward us, teaching us to be more like Him. I was reading in Matthew this morning as Jesus answered questions or accusations. Some of his answers don't seem to really be the right answers. He really was not politically correct. But He was right. He knows the beginning from the end. Just as we know what is best for our children, and we expect them to obey and be alright with the decisions we make for them, we need to thank God for all that He chooses for us so that we can become more like Him.

Yes, even in earthquakes, tornadoes, loss of jobs, homes and persecution because of our choice to follow Him.

God is good and faithful. Today choose His way.

God bless you

Friday, October 28, 2011

No One Knows

As I was reading Matthew 28 this morning, a verse "jumped" out at me. Verse 27, "no one knows the Son except the Father, Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him."

After reading the scriptures, repenting of our sins, and giving our life to God, we really still do not know the Father or Son. This will be the grandeur of heaven, to finally see Him face to face and not through a cloudy mirror.

Life is filled with noises. As wonderful as technology is, it is a noisy world—TV, cell phones, video games, iPads, and the list goes on. Even when it is all turned off, our minds continue to buzz. Is this a plan of the enemy to keep our minds filled with that which is not conducive to learning who God is, so that we will not really know Him. I'm just wondering...we have been desensitized..

Maybe this is why I get up as tired as when I went to bed...I'm not really resting. A day of rest is not really a day of rest anymore. There are things to do, places to go and people to see.

How I love the verse following, verse 28 "Come to Me, who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest..." Ahh, rest. The Father knows our weariness. To feel His arms around me, and give me rest. His yoke is easy...a friend of mine just mentioned this week that she thinks His yoke is forgiveness, compassion and unfailing love. Oh what rest. Lord, help me bask in your rest today.

God bless you




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Who Is He?

Mark 4:41 "And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, “Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!” 


I think I classify as one of Jesus' disciples. They walked with him every day, they saw the miracles, heard him teach, and yet in a moment of utter fear, they wondered who He was


God has done so much for me on a daily basis, yet in those stressful moments, I find myself worrying and wondering how things are going to be. So if I worry, I must not really comprehend who Jesus is, really. Why would I ever question who Jesus is?


God has proved Himself faithful to all the prophets, disciples, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, Daniel, Joseph...the list goes on. They all suffered immensely as they served him. Yet, He was always with them. He promises He will never leave us or forsake us. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.


Why question His ability to care for us? Why? Maybe it isn't only the problem with who He is, but also thinking I am more than I am. Oh now that may be where the root of the problem is..."let me just help you out a bit, God, I think I can handle it." Then things crumble into a pile of rubble, and we cry out to God to get us out of a mess once again. 


Forgive us, Lord, for not trusting you wholly!


God bless you



Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Cup of Water

Matthew 10:42 "whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly I say to you he shall by no means lose his reward."

This verse probably means little to anyone in the states where everyone can get a drink of water whenever they want. Today it is common to see people walking around carrying bottles of water. So this verse may seem a bit odd that it would be so important to give someone a drink of water, but in a country like Haiti, water is precious.  It is hot all the time. People walk everywhere, sometimes for hours. There is no water, and most of the time if there is water, the question is, "Is it safe to drink?"

I remember one of my walks up the mountains of Haiti. We walked for several hours, sun beating down on us, dust flying with every step. We had walked up one mountain, our tongues parched. We hadn't had anything to drink for several hours. At the top of the mountain was a mango tree. Those mangoes were so good! They provided a bit of fluid so we could continue our walk. We still had a few hours to walk to arrive at our destination. What a blessing when the hostess offered us some water to drink!

I remember Patrick telling the story when he and a group of guys were walking to a village. They had not had a drink for many hours when they spotted a house on the hill. They went there hoping to find a drink of water. The lady was pleased to serve them. When she gave the them the glass of water, they saw small "things" floating around in the water. They looked for a bit, not sure if they wanted to drink it. But they realized she had given out of her poverty. They closed their eyes, prayed, and drank the water. Refreshed they continues on their journey.

A cup of water in the States doesn't seem like anything, and especially not to receive a reward for it. But in a parched land, a cup of water is a refreshing gift.

So for those of us who know God's Word, We have living water, and how selfish not to share it. People need a cup of water, living water. Yes, let's give a cup of water to the thirsty, but let's not forget to give a cup of living water, God's Word.

God bless you

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Walking

Walking can be a challenge, tiring and what I call "hobbling." But it is walking just the same. I can get from point A to B. So thankful, so good. Those of us who have problems walking, plan our steps well. Today my sister (the one who lost her husband a month ago) is have a double knee surgery. She has lived in pain for years. She has had this appointment before her husband passed away. Walking was not easy, yet she pressed forward.

So why is it that we are so attentive when our physical bodies refuse to let us walk without pain, yet when our spiritual walk is affected, we walk on as if it isn't important?

I'm thinking of Ephesians 4:31-32 "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." Then Ephesians 5:2 "and walk in love, as Christ also has loved us..." He is that sweet-smelling aroma for us. We are to be like Him, follow His ways.

We limp along with bitterness in our hearts, refusing to forgive the pain someone caused us. We are filled with anger, but "oh well, that is what my dad was."  Jesus has set the example for us. Forgive, love, forgive, love, forgive, love.

Honestly, Jesus has a better medication for our pain than the doctors do for our physical ailments. God's medication is for eternity. Medications cover the symptoms, but forgiveness and love heal the cause. They heal the heart. Not only that, if we apply God's remedy for bitterness, anger, etc. we will come out smelling good.

Awesome! We are out and about, someone looks at us and says, "You really smell good, what is it?" You're reply, "Oh that is God's love and forgiveness." That is better than someone looking at you, and wondering if you are having a "bad hair day."

Have a good-smelling day
God bless you

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Home at Last

Being on the road since October 5, it is so good to be home again! Empty suitcases. Oh how good is home. Home with family. I enjoyed every minute while I was gone but now I'm enjoying the familiar of home.

That is the way heaven will be...Home at Last! No more "baggage"...just the freedom of being Home! Although, we have not arrived in Heaven, it will have the feel of familiarity. We won't need to get adjusted to it.  Best of all, Jesus!

Thanks to all of you who fed us, housed us, invited us to share in your church, shared vehicles and prayed with us. We enjoyed drinking coffee together, sharing ideas, We are now energized and ready to press forward.

God bless you


Friday, October 21, 2011

The Lesson of the Tarantula

Haiti has many tarantulas. For those of you who are not familiar with this "spider", it is big, black, furry and not friendly looking. I have met up with many tarantulas during my years in Haiti. My last encounter was before the 2nd story of the building in the village was complete. I had gone upstairs to enjoy the sky since there wasn't a roof yet. My reward for this was a nice sized tarantula at the top of the stairs. It is difficult to Kill them. 


As I stood there, I had to make a decision...jump over it or wait until someone would rescue me. :) I opted to jump it since in reality I was bigger. It just looked big. Isn't that the way problems are? We see them bigger than they are. Anyway, today on FaceBook I found this lesson on the tarantula. I thought it worth sharing.


"Zaryen is the Creole word for tarantula.
“One side has four legs. The other side has three legs. That means if that spider [tarantula] lost one leg, his life still continues. You can do everything like you with only two legs," he explained." Wilfried Macena


This is a lesson on being an amputee.  Yes, there are adjustments, but just like the spider, life goes on. I can do many things that I never thought possible. I'm still learning, and hope to continue learning.


God bless you



Thursday, October 20, 2011

A few more days

A few more days then home. A few more meetings, a wedding, babysitting, then home. It is so fun to have all 3 grandchildren and our 2 children with us here in Sarasota. The missing link is our son-in-law. He tried to come, but was unable to get away from work.

Praising God over and over again that during these 2 1/2 weeks on the road, I have had no pain. The prosthesis is fitting well. So wonderful to walk without pain.

Many times it is easy to think that when our days aren't going so good, then God isn't blessing us. But I find that those moments are when He is pulling for me. He is stretching my faith. He is molding me to be more like Him.

I feel like my mind is in a mumble, interruptions are on the list. And now, it is time to go put the grandchildren to bed. Precious moments when I get to read to them, pray with them and kiss them good-night. This is one interruption that is so sweet. :))

Thank you for your prayers and encouragement during my travels. I truly enjoyed it, and felt like I am finally being able to do a part of the ministry that I truly enjoy doing—meeting people, sharing God's faithfulness and love. We are blessed to have you as a part of the ministry.

God bless you

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Abiding in Him

John 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me."


We, Tammy and I, have been traveling for 10 days. Living out of a suitcase. But out of a suitcase or in our homes, we are commanded to abide in Jesus. If we live life outside of Jesus, we are not producing fruit. Fruit? Yes, sharing Jesus with others, fruit of the spirit—love, joy, peace, long-suffering..


No matter where we are or where we live, the true living comes in abiding in Jesus. God has allowed us to meet many people on this trip. My prayer is that we left a sweet aroma of "fruit" with each one. We have been so blessed and have experienced more than we could ask or think of asking. Our abiding in Him is a living relationship.


Where do you abide? Are you abiding in Jesus, or only in your house? Houses fall, houses shake, but Jesus never does. There is no abiding as sweet as abiding in Him.


God bless you

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

On the Road

I just wanted to touch base with my blog family. Traveling is going very well. I'm walking without pain which is a wonderful blessing. We (Tammy, my traveling companion & I) have visited different areas in Indiana. God has given us the joy of connecting with old friends, and blessed us with new friends. What a blessing you all have been to us. We have laughed with you, cried with you, hugged you, and are already sad to know our time is almost here to return home.

I will blog again when I have a moment with internet. Thank you for your prayers and love to keep us on our traveling road.

Oh and God has given us the beautiful array of fall colors. The leaves are beautiful. This is an add-on blessing. Thank you God.

Until next time, God bless you


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Compassion

Matthew 9: 36 "But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd."


 I was reminded again of Jesus' love for all mankind. When he saw the crowd, going about as sheep without a shepherd he was filled with compassion. This is the picture of people without the Lord, and even sometimes Christians who are living as if there is no God. Sheep without a shepherd go astray. Jesus did not respond, "Well, if you don't believe what I tell you, then you deserve to go astray." No, He was moved with compassion.

The question is, "Am I also moved with compassion when I see people walking in despair without the Lord?"

Today I want to be compassionate to those who are without a shepherd. Today I want to see each opportunity that God places before me. Today is an opportunity.

Again, remember I will be traveling, so blogging will probably not be on a daily basis. Pray for God's glory to be magnified with every meeting I have, with every person God places before me.

God bless you

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Trauma or Treasure

I received another prosthesis today. It is so small, finally my "permanent one."  I have heard those words before and a few months later my leg is so small  and ready for another prosthesis. So I asked the doctor what we'll do if I shrink again, and his reply with a smile, "we'll do what we've always done, give you another one."

This is a treasure that was caused by a trauma. For you see, we cannot stay in the trauma mode. We move on. God never meant for us to stay on the rubble pile. It has been a long road to this point, but God has provided medical help all along the way. This is a treasure, and so is my new prosthesis.

I do have other treasures...enjoying Patrick again after has 3 week absence. We are having special chat moments before my take off tomorrow. Pray for my 12 days on the road...conference, speaking engagements, and visiting family.  I will blog as I have opportunity.

If you are in a trauma today, look for the treasure within.

Romans 8:28 "For all things work together for good, to those who love God and are called according to His purpose."

God bless you

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Working Together

The teaching this morning was in Nehemiah 4-5, showing us how the men worked together to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. When opposition came, some were chosen to watch for enemies while others built the walls. One of the verses state that they worked with one hand and held a sword in another. Now that is multi-tasking.

This is a perfect picture of what God wants from the church. When we are a part of a church, we are no longer alone. We need to work together, pray together, and hold the arms of our brothers and sisters as we fight the good fight together. We cannot fight alone. We need each other. There is too much independency in the church. Each man to his own...we are a body and the members each have a ministry but we all need each other.

If the men would not have worked together, the walls would not have been completed. This would have been what their enemies wanted. The walls of Jerusalem would not have been good for enemies. And so it is with us, the enemy does not want us to build the church. Satan wants to destroy us.

Let's stand together!! It is the only way for God's work to be completed.

God bless you

Friday, September 30, 2011

Count Down

Count down: 3 more days until Patrick is home!! He has been gone 3 weeks. I'm so thankful we can still be a part of the work in Haiti. Truly a blessing. Schools will be opening in a couple weeks. Patrick was able to buy books for the schools, as well as uniforms. Always a big job.

Count down: 4 more days—Tuesday morning I'm to receive my next prosthesis. Amazing how quickly I go to smaller sizes. I am praying this one will be a perfect fit.

Count down: 5 more days before I take off to Indiana for 12 days. Meetings, a conference, fun with sisters and mom and family.

Count down: Today—is the day of salvation. Today is all we are promised. Today we are blessed. Today...we do not know when our Lord returns, be ready and waiting.

God bless you.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Today's Treasure

How was your day—trauma or treasure? My day started with a definite treasure. I was invited to accompany my mother (90 years old) to a mother/daughter event. I'm so thrilled, for you see, living far away I miss out on these things often. I will be in Indiana, and she needed a daughter to go with her, I am honored and blessed.

It was also a treasure to have Billy, Debbie, and their 3 boys here for the night. This morning Agape took them to the airport on their way to Haiti, not to visit, but moving there!! It was wonderful to be a part of their move. They will be living in Mayette. Billy will be working with the farmers. We are thrilled to have them in the village.

I love how God tucks treasures into our lives, and sometimes surprisingly so. Just at the moment when we need them...These treasures are eternal, they can't rust, be stolen. But we can share them and lay up treasures in Heaven. Isn't this exciting?!

I do hope you had treasures today. God is everlastingly good and wonderful!!

God bless you

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Time

Colossians 4:5 "Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time."

Schedules, phone calls, appointments, interruptions...can you relate? In all this muddle, how am I supposed to redeem the time?

A few definitions of redeem is to buy, pay back, or exchange. How can we buy back our time? We may not be able to buy it back, but we can exchange it. We can change what we do with our time. In the midst of all the schedules, we can redeem the time. We can assess how we use our time, and begin by eliminating those things that God is not calling us to do.

God will NEVER give you more to do than He gives you time to accomplish it. So if you hear yourself saying, "I need to do ...but just don't have the time," then check your to-do list and see what it is that God has not appointed you to do.

One thing that really helps is to start your day with the Lord. All day long talk to the Lord. Stay focused on the Lord. Just maybe we will see where our overloaded schedules can be arranged.

Have fun...you and the Lord
God bless you