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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Take My Cross

Matthew 16:24-25 "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."

What does that really mean? To take up my cross? The cross for Jesus was to do what His Father had appointed for him.  It was to walk in obedience. That is exactly what it means to me...to do what my Father has chosen for me. If Jesus had chosen to save his own life, it would have meant that you and me would have no chance for eternal life.

If I don't walk in obedience, it will effect others. We may not think that our disobedience will leave a lasting impression on others, just as we may not know the eternal difference our obedience makes. I was speaking with a pastor friend of ours, who has labored long and hard to build a church. He mentors and disciples people, then they move away. So I mentioned how disheartening that must be. His reply, "Oh no, I am so thankful to be a part of God's work all over the world. For you see, the people that move away often go to uttermost parts of the earth for ministry."  Wow! what an attitude. He sees his ministry as teaching so others can go.

Today ministry has a taken a new and different look that what it was before the quake. I can choose to walk joyfully in this new direction—stateside office, Patrick gone more than at home, babysitting grandchildren, very little traveling (I loved traveled before). This may look very mundane, but I will never know the eternal value in this until I reach Glory.

Taking up a cross is not comfortable, but it is a command if we want to follow Jesus. I for one want to follow Jesus! I would rather lose my life and be eternally with my Lord, rather than save my life and lose everything.

What cross has God called you to carry? Are you willing? It will be painful. You may be scorned. Is it worth it to you? Make your choice today. By the way, house cleaning, laundry, cleaning bathrooms, washing dishes can all be holy ground. Great opportunities for praying for others!

Just remember, God will not give you a greater cross than you are able to bear!

God bless you

Monday, February 27, 2012

God's Will

"And he said, I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will
proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom
I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy."
(Exodus 33:19) (Blue Letter Bible)

God's will is His own and no man may triumph over it. Nor can any man
judge whom God ought show mercy or grace. The motives of God are His
own. And they are good. How thankful we ought be when we recognize that
we, the redeemed, are the objects of that very mercy! Rejoice,
believer, that though undeserving, you have become the eternal
recipient of such unmerited favor! (Sowing Circle)



As I was reading this, I was so encouraged to remember that no one can thwart the plans of God. We can shake our fist at God, and scream "That's not fair!" But God is God and His plans, promises and will cannot be changed.


Our little Zion, has now learned the phrase "It's not fair." When he knows he is not getting his own way, he marches off saying this oft heard phrase by adults. Oh we may not even be aware that we are saying it.


Not too long ago, someone told me a certain man will need to be killed because he is making decisions against God's will. This person is not a Christian, at least has no testimony of one. I had to think the stupidity of that remark. Who are we to decided who needs to die because of what we do? Isn't God the One who calls the "shots?" God have mercy on us!


Praising God for His Grace and mercy.


God bless you 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Refresh My Soul

"And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in
drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered
garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not." (Isaiah
58:11)



I take this verse as a personal promise today. I am feeling a drought of soul. Meditation and concentration is a difficult. I hear the noises all around me, even invented noises. And it comes after after a wonderful blessing yesterday, a visit with my cousin and his wife, on their way to Haiti. It was so wonderful. Time flew. The day ended all too soon.


They were living in Haiti at one time. So our connection is not only family but also Haiti. So much to talk about, so much water under the bridge.


Refresh my soul and body. Help me to be that spring of water, a refreshment to others.


God bless you

Thursday, February 23, 2012

No Greater Joy

3 John 4 "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth."

John was speaking of his "spiritual children." Those who came to the Lord through the preaching of the gospel. Is this true of us, with our birth children? What brings us the greatest joy? Are we more excited about their scholastic progression or when they are serving the Lord?  What is it that we really want for them? What do we teach them more?

I enjoy watching the grandchildren do different things...Zion eating an apple, or praying. It's fun to watch Promise read more words. I love to watch Nate sweep the floor. But none of these things compare to the excitement of having them ask questions about God and Jesus. One of Promise's favorite stories is a book "Jesus Lives," a story of His crucifixion and resurrection. It is always her choice of a book at night.

But when I read the given verse, I feel the excitement that John had when his children were living in truth! Oh what a joy that is when our children ask Jesus into their hearts. But when they walk away from Jesus it crushes the spirit. We have a great responsibility as parents and grandparents to teach our children God's Word.

I believe it brings our Father in Heaven great joy when He sees His children teach others how to walk in Truth. We are on a mission.

Patrick will return on March 1, after being gone for 6 weeks. It has been a long time, but he has accomplished much. He has hosted 2 mission teams, as well as taught classes, counseled people, There is always supplies to buy for the village and vehicle repairs. These things take so much more effort and time than in the states. On the flip side, he has endured much opposition in the work, but God has held him strong. We ask your prayers for God's work to go forth in spite of these oppositions.

God bless you

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

The Mouth of Fools

Proverbs 15:2 "The tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness."


Having 3 little ones around for the past several days, it is a constant reminder of our words. Kids say things that make no sense, but also say things that causes one to wonder where it came from. Since this morning Nate has been saying, "Why does my stomach stay full?" By the food he ate at lunch, I think he was asking why his stomach is so empty.


We say things that are opposite of what we would like to say. We need to use knowledge rightly. We need to be wise in our responses. Gossip and accusations really do expose who we are. Let's be wise in our involvement of gossip. Let's not be a fool.


Also if someone accuses us falsely or says things to destroy us, we don't need to lash back or even justify ourselves. God is the one who justifies us. Usually people who are given to gossip or accusations are not ready to hear what we have to say anyway. So it is better to love them and pray for them.


This is again, a picture of children, "He said I'm ugly."  "I'm not ugly. I'm not going to be your friend." 
Have we really "put away childish things?"


Why am I writing these  things? Recently someone in Haiti is accusing Patrick, and saying evil things against him and others in the church. They are accusations, not truth. They are pouring forth foolishness.


God bless you

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Thoughts

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Philippians 4:8


I am so thankful for this verse. Earlier this afternoon I received some disconcerting news. It was easy to go into the negative thought mode, but then God showed me that there was evil behind the news. There is hope in God in the most distressing situations. God promised to be our fortress. A peace overwhelmed my heart. 


Has the situation changed? Probably not, but it is in God's hands. Then I was reminded of the verse. My thoughts can go to the true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable. Not the ugly and negative.


Pray for Patrick. Pray for wisdom in decisions. Pray for the other pastors and Patrick, as the attacks of the enemy are increasing. 


God bless you

Friday, February 17, 2012

Balancing Act

 Isaiah 55:6 "Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near."

This was my verse when I was a new mother, sleepless nights and a crying baby. I was almost too tired to care about anything but caring for the "new" bundle in my arms.

The past couple days has brought this verse to mind again. I was juggling time between 3 grandchildren, spending precious last moments with my mother before returning to her home, getting things together to send to Haiti, answering phone, coffee time with Rachel, a guest arrived on her way to Haiti with Rachel. Oh and did I mention little ones energetic at 6:30 am?! But there is not one thing on this list that wasn't very important.

What do I do in times like this? What do you do? I grab moments with the Lord as possible. I talk to Him while I'm dressing little ones. In the midst of all this busyness, I remember the verse. The Lord can always be found. He is near. Thank you Jesus!

Pray for Patrick and the surgery team that will be in Haiti for a week.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I've Heard it Before

In 2 John there are 2 phrases that resound in my heart, "not as though I wrote a new commandment to you," "as you have heard from the beginning." Both are basically saying, "You know these things. I'm reminding you."

Children hear parents say this all the time, "Why aren't you listening? I tell you...all the time, yet you don't obey."
Ring any bells? And we do say things over and over again. Why? We want our children to learn and not forget. That's the way it was in Bible times. Commandments are repeated all through the scriptures. We read of God's love all through the Bible, yet how often do we say, "I'm not sure if God can love me anymore, I've failed again?"

We are not here to give new commandments, but to tell others of what has already been written in the Bible. It is my responsibility to tell others, not only with my words but with my life. If my life doesn't measure up to my sermons, than I may as well be quiet. What's the saying, "Your life is speaking so loudly, I can't hear a word you are saying."

John's gospel and epistle are resounding with Love. I would have loved to sit and hear him share his story and his relationship with Jesus.

Do my children/grandchildren enjoy when I share stories from the Bible? I love the evenings when I can read stories to the grandchildren before putting them to bed. The questions Promise asks show me that she is "digesting" the stories.

Even though we know people have heard God's message before, we need to continue to share. We never know when someone will respond to the message. It is our responsibility to sow the seed, but God will bring the increase.

God bless you

Monday, February 13, 2012

Keep Me From Idols

1 John 5:21 "Little children keep yourselves from idols." What a way to end a book. Why would John end his book this way? In his 3rd letter, he does write "peace with you."

As I was reading this, I thought it is a very good way to end his first letter. In every chapter, he was telling us how we can know that we are of God, but also he reminds us what sin is. Keep yourselves from idols, but do we have idols in our land? Yes, we do. Many countries have their "gods" as statues where people can go to worship.

But satan is as an angel of light in America. Very subtle. We can sit in our living room and spend more time with celebreties than God's Word. If you aren't sure what your "idol" is, then follow what your mind dwells on most. That may help direct you to your "idol."  Work, sports, video games, shopping, Facebook... am I saying we shouldn't work? No. Am I saying we shouldn't go shopping or play? No. But if it is done in excess, without God's direction, then it becomes sin. "Whatever you do, do for the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

Try this one...announcement in church "prayer service on Thursday evening" but only a handful of people attend. "Thursday evening there will be a dinner served, come and enjoy the fellowship." Usually it is a packed out place. Ouch.

It is sad to say, but many know celebrities better than they do God. The same with sports...we have it down to the details, but we do not know the Word of God.

"Little children, keep yourselves from idols." Let's be careful. God keep us from sin.

God bless you

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Call to Me

Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, which you know not."

I am so thankful that God's "number" is not on a Haitian line. I am thankful when I call on Him He is there. He hears my cry. I don't get cut off in mid-sentence. The connection is clear all the time, even those times when I think my prayers go no further than the ceiling. They do! Satan wants me to believe God is not listening.

I've been waiting on a call since Thursday. I've tried to call Patrick a number of times. No connection. People have asked, "Aren't you frustrated?" Yes, sometimes, but it doesn't help. My emotions take over then. But it doesn't make the call go through. Waiting...waiting...waiting...

Do I make God wait for my call? Do I act as if the connection is bad, so I just ignore God? Do I? Do I let the busyness of the day take over, and not call on God?

God is near, and ready to hear my cry. I am so thankful for an awesome God. He is faithful!

God bless you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

What Manner of Love

Today I feel I am getting nowhere fast. Ever feel that way? Grandkids have been sick for a while. Agape took them to the doctor this morning. Patrick was to call yesterday, until now there is no news nor an answer if I try to call him.  Bills need to paying, but not enough to pay them. Now you can relate. Right? I thought so.

Then I opened the Bible this morning to continue my reading in 1 John 3:1-9. First verse opened with "Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God; therefore the world knows us not because it knew Him not."

What manner of love has He given to me? The love that passes any kind of problems I could possibly have! The love that draws me under His protecting wing. The love that keeps me floating in the midst of discouragement. The love that gives me courage to go on step forward. But most of all, the love that covers all my sins and makes me white as snow.

What a Father we have! I don't think I will fully comprehend all His love until I reach glory.

God bless you

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Grateful or Grumbling

Hebrews 13:15 "Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of [our] lips, giving thanks to His name."


I know I have used this verse in a previous post, but I believe it is worthy of repeating. Yesterday was definitely a difficult day. I was physically, emotionally and mentally exhausted. Every where I looked there seemed to be another mound of problems. And, of course, when it is this way, what shouldn't be a problem I make it one.


All day, the negative seemed to float to the top. Has something changed today? Not in reality, but my attitude has. A heart of praise is a good fix for negativity. Praise in spite of difficulty. "How long, Lord, will it take me to learn this? Will I ever have praise as my first response to difficulty."


Maybe you don't experience this in the same way, but it isn't the big things that gives me problems. Those are obvious, and I see them as a problem when it hits. But it is the smaller nagging things, that start grinding at the grumbling wheel. By the end of the day, the wheel is spinning out of control.


When the wheel of ungratefulness spins so fast, the chips of peace start to fall. It doesn't take long until my whole life is thinking of the ugliness around me, instead of the beauty of peace.


Isaiah 26:3 "You will keep Him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." A great promise that I've know for many years.


"Lord, take my eyes off the circumstances, and fix them on You, the God of circumstances. You, and You alone, are the answer to my every detour in the road. Bring peace to my heart as I meditate on You."


I pray you have peace today and a grateful heart.


God bless you

Monday, February 6, 2012

Blessed

Today, 64 years ago, a little baby was born to wonderful parents. Parents that taught her about God, how to serve Him and love others. She remembers sitting on her daddy's lap, listening as he read the Bible story book. The pictures were all in black and white. But the story book was a favorite. This was only the beginning of my spiritual training.

Until now, every day I'm in training—the School of the Spirit. I don't always learn so well but God never gives up on me. (If I were God, I'd probably given up on me a long time ago.) I'm so glad He didn't!!

But today, I was blessed beyond words with so many birthday wishes from family and friends. It is truly a blessing to know that we are all in the same family with God as our Father. It really can't get better than that. Did I do anything "special" today? I have my mother here with me, my son, and grandchildren (just missed having Patrick and Rachel & family here too). It would have been great to hear from Patrick, but maybe tomorrow.

In light of my years, I repeat the verse of a few days ago, and that my desire is to finish my race with joy. I do not know what my race will still consist of, but it doesn't matter, I only want to do it with joy.

Acts 20:24 "But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."


May God bless you





Saturday, February 4, 2012

A Special Word

 I woke up with this morning, with 2 little characters standing beside my bed. This started the day. They are so special.
As the day continued my heart was more and more burdened with the situation I'm in (not personally, but a confidant). The more I struggled, and I was getting another side of the story, I wondered what I should do. I'm still wondering.


Then I opened my email, and there it was, the daily scripture from Blue Bible:


"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I 
will guide thee with mine eye." (Psalms 32:8)
I think He is teaching me, and He will guide me when the time is right. Waiting on the Lord. 

So if you are in a situation, between a rock and hard place, and don't know which way you should go, then take God's Word and allow Him to teach you and He will guide you. For me, right now, this means knowing the right words to say at the right time. And frankly, maybe I'm not the one to "say" something.

Trusting God for direction.
God bless you


Friday, February 3, 2012

Hold My Peace


Today, God fights for us; we are to be still, and let God, rather than struggling in our own power when the world comes to bring us into slavery. (Roy Coy)
Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace. (Exodus 14:14 NKJV)
This is where I find myself today. I want to scream at the injustice of words people say, yet, I find myself unable to open my mouth. Then I read this by Roy Coy. God is fighting the battle and I am to pray.
This is so difficult, for you see, I am a "fix-it" person. It is a struggle, but I am to hold my peace. When God wants me to speak, I will know.

Thank you, Jesus, for fighting the battle. My Jesus knows every detail of the battle. He knows where to strike in the battle. If I fight, I may do more harm than good.

If you are in the middle of a battle, claim the verse "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace."
There are times to speak, but there are times to "be still, and see what God will do." Don't forget to be thankful in all things, this means in the midst of the battle, there can be thanksgiving.

Remember to pray for Patrick in Haiti. He is well, but working hard. My next news from him will probably be Tuesday.

Have a blessed weekend. God bless you

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Praying for Peace

2 Corinthians 12:9 "My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."


This was God's answer to Paul's prayer...but the last part of the verse is Paul's response to God's answer. Gladly glory in our infirmities. Being okay with the cards that God puts into our hands. Not just saying, "it's okay" but having an attitude of true gratefulness. By doing this Christ's power can rest on us. So it is God's power versus my attitude toward my infirmities, things that make me anger, things that cause me to suffer, and mostly people who do so. 


The words of an angry person can cut to the heart. What is my reaction to such anger? Is it to bite back, or is it to stay calm? God's grace is sufficient to keep me calm and quiet. Yes, I did hear angry words, but I know that no matter what I would have said, would only have caused more anger. 


My prayer is for peace that passeth all understanding. I pray for quiet in the midst of the storm. This only comes through God's grace.


Please pray for Nicole. Her husband, Dave, passed away this afternoon. She grieves, but knows Dave rests in the arms of the One who loved him more than anyone else. The days ahead will be difficult for her and the family. Keep them in your prayers.


May God bless you

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dave

My heart is heavy, and praying for the Bompart family. Dave was shot in Haiti a week ago, and his life still hangs in the balance at Jackson Memorial. If you care to follow the blog and join the prayers:
http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/davidbompart/mystory

We know God is in the control tower, looking down on Dave. It brings back so many memories of 2 years ago when Patrick also was in Intensive Care at the same hospital, his life also hanging in the balance.

Please pray not only for Dave, but also his wife and the whole medical staff who are helping Dave.

God bless you