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Sheltered in His Wings

Have you ever felt broken? Maybe pressed from everyside? Call me crazy, but the scene in Empire Strikes Back (I think:>) When Princess Laya, Wookie, Han Solo, and R2D2 ( I probably have the cast all wrong as it has been a while, but you have the picture:>) went through some hole only to land in a compartment that the walls were squeezing in on them. It looked like they would be crushed. Have you been there? Are you there now? It’s not an easy place to be. The longer I serve here in Haiti the more God teaches me how to walk thru the fire and not get burned. He gently reminds me to stay sheltered in His wings. I love what kind of picture that brings to mind.  

Yesterday a dear sister of mine had posted something on facebook that today I was reminded of one of my favorite authors Max Lucado. He has written a book titled “On the Anvil”. I had given this book to my dad many years ago in the hopes it would speak to his heart. I recently opened up that same book when I was back in the states. I couldn’t help remembering and rejoicing when my Dad surrendered all to Jesus. He was a new creation. The old had passed away. Who was this man? My Dad with the heart of Jesus…that’s who!! Oh how I miss him, but O what great joy I have knowing I will see him again someday.

It has been very fitting and also an encouragement of sorts that I discovered this story again. A gentle reminder to me and I hope for all who read it that we are all on the anvil. We are being broken, chiseled, pressed, fired on every side so that we bear the image of Christ himself. I see my fellow brothers and sisters walking through so much and me with them, but in the midst of it all…yes I see the Heavenly Blacksmith, Jesus Christ, doing a mighty work in and through us all. God is saying I need you as my  instruments, but before I use you we have some molding to do. Molding you may not like, but it is neccassary. Will you trust me? Child…Will you trust me?

I recall hearing those same words many times in the past 20 years. I recall them loud and clear the day my mom called me to speak my last words to my Dad. I took a deep breath and with courage and confidence I said, “Dad I love you and you can go home now..I will see you again…God is with me and I will be alright.” With that I talked to my Mom and not much later after my sister talked with him my Mom called to tell me he went home. I hung up the phone and fell to my knees. “I trust you Lord. I trust that you will walk with me through this time of grief. I trust you that you will give me strength and comfort. I trust that you will use me in these days to come so that you will be glorified.”  

BE GLORIFIED SWEET JESUS…BE GLORIFIED. I am still on the anvil and there is work to be done. Abba be with my dear brothers and sisters…hold them…comfort them…pour out your peace and love on them…encourage them and Abba prepare them to be used for your purpose and your glory. Help each of us to stay close to you in the shelter of your wings as we continue to be placed on the anvil. In Jesus Name…Amen!!

 

 

“On The Anvil”

Max Lucado

 

With a strong forearm, the apron-clad blacksmith puts his tongs into the fire, grasps the heated metal, and places it on the anvil.  His keen eye examines the glowing piece.  He sees what the tool is now and envisions what he wants it to be – sharper, flatter, wider, longer.  With a clear picture in his mind, he begins to pound.  His left hand still clutching the hot mass with the tongs, the right hand slams the two-pound sledge upon the moldable metal.

On the solid anvil, the smoldering iron is molded.

The smith knows the type of instrument he wants.  He knows the size.  He knows the shape.  He knows the strength.

Wang! Wang!  The hammer slams.  The shop rings with noise, the air fills with smoke and the softened metal responds.

But the response doesn’t come easily.  It doesn’t come without discomfort.  To melt down the old and recast the new is a disrupting process.  Yet the metal remains on the anvil, allowing the toolmaker to remove the scars, repair the cracks, refill the voids, and purge the impurities.

And, with time, a change occurs:  what was dull becomes sharpened; what was crooked becomes straight; what was weak becomes strong; and what was useless becomes valuable.

Then the blacksmith stops.  He ceases his pounding and sets down his hammer.  With a strong left arm, he lifts the tongs until the freshly molded metal is at eye level.  In the still silence he examines the smoking tool.  The incandescent implement is rotated and examined for any mars or cracks.

There are none.

Now the smith enters the final stage of his task.  He plunges the smoldering instrument into a nearby bucket of water.  With a hiss and a rush of smoke, the metal immediately begins to harden.  The heat surrenders to the onslaught of cool water and the pliable, soft mineral becomes an unbending, useful tool.

“… for a little while you may have to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.  These have come so that your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:6, 7).

This Little Light of Mine

When I was back in the states I came across this song below by Addison Road. It has stuck with me and has been both a reminder and a declaration that I want to keep my little light shining. As we serve the community of Mole St. Nicholas, Haiti we have been deeply burdened by the abuse, prostituting of their children and slavery. I’d like you to read the latest blog that Jody has wrote that speaks great volumes to this and gives you a better glimpse of what we are facing.   http://molehaiti.org/2012/10/18/no-more-stalling/  

With all of it this song just resonates even more in my heart. I know that it continues to be a growing problem  as statics are showing that there are 27 million who are enslaved by sex trafficking alone. We know that women and children alike are being held against their will for profit. The pornographic industry is thriving all around the world and in some countries including our own (USA) it is becoming more and more o.k. as we become desensitized to what we are watching and we see programming getting edgier. Even here in the Mole there is a place where these films are watched, as many crowd around an old set.

How can ones Light Shine when a moral standard is not here. In the states we raise all types of controversy for having the 10 commandments in our court houses. If you want to fight over this maybe you should decide to take a trip to Haiti!!! Then ask yourself if the 10 Commandments are so wrong. (Yes I am up on a soap box…figuratively speaking:>)

 I knew when I chose to obey what the Lord wanted me to do that along the way there would be times like we have right now. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be heartbreaking and that there would be times where I would throw my hands into the air and say God…what do I do? Show me the way. Do what seems impossible and make it possible. Lord…BE GLORIFIED THROUGH IT ALL!!!

This song translates it all and I am grateful and blessed to be called His child. I grateful and blessed that, like Caleb…if you read Jody’s blog:>) I have a different spirit. I am grateful and blessed that He uses me to share His story of Redemtion. I am blessed and grateful to walk this road together with the Castillo’s. I am blessed and grateful for NWHCM family. I am blessed and grateful for the struggles…for without the struggles we wouldn’t see God’s hand at work. I am blessed and grateful for the precious children for they are the generation that can change this community and even the country!!!

Pray for these precious children that they will grow in wisdom and stature and love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength.

How are you letting your Light Shine?

THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE—

This little flame inside a song…some shine bright and some shine small…The rains will come and the waters rise…but don’t you ever lose your light.
In this life you will know…love and pain, joy and sorrow…so when it hurts and when times get hard don’t forget who’s child you are.

CHORUS
This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine…this little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine, gonna let it shine.

May you live each day with no regret…make the most of every chance you get..let your eyes get wide when you look at the stars, with the same sense of wonder as a child’s heart…with the ones you love, treasure the time and for those who are gone keep their memories alive…hold onto your dreams, don’t ever let go, there’s a fire inside you burning with hope.

CHORUS:

There will be days when you want to give up and the clouds settle in…but after the rain comes the sun don’t you ever forget…don’t forget…child don’t forget.

CHORUS:

One day there will be no more pain and we will finally see Jesus face…so until then I’m gonna try to brave the dark and let my little light shine.

CHORUS
This little light of mine…I’m gonna let it shine…this little light of mine

(song by Addison Road)

These are candid pics from the kids free dancing to this song in the mornings. I can’t tell you how it warms my heart when I hear them singing these songs outside of class. The group pics were them trying to jump at the same time. I could never get them in the air:>) Their faces are priceless though!!!

It’s a Good Mornin’

“It’s a Good Mornin” by Mandissa has become one of our songs each morning as the kids and I begin school. We have Bible time where we are going through the Bible from begining to end with Max Lucado’s childrens “His Story” and I am using Al the Aligator to help me share and read His Story. It’s been fun to see the kids faces light up when I share God’s message with them. We do a bit of work in phonics and then it is off to Miss Beth’s room to do a bit free dance to some of Mandissa and other Christian artists. We always begin with “It’s a Good Mornin” just to get us on the right page for the day, plus it wakes them up a bit as they get their blood a pumpin. They love this time and I do to as I watch as well as join in the fun. Our last song is usually slow and calming song that I have them listen and sway to the music. Gabe the first day we tried this thru his hands in the air, closed his eyes, and swayed back and forth real slow.It brought tears to my eyes as he so looked as if He was hearing and understanding the words and worshipping the One we sang and sing about. I don’t know what always goes on in this young boys mind, but his heart is tender for the things of God….even if he does get himself in trouble all the time:>) 

For example: This morning he walked into the classroom with his head held low and face sad. I asked Gabe if he had anything to tell me. He said, ” Miss Beth I didn’t mean to.”  What do you mean Gabe?, ” He proceeded to tell me what he had said to M’Ne Ne that morning and that he had been angry. I asked him if that was all he said and he said yes. I said are you sure? His head was low again, but didn’t tell me. The girls had filled me in a bit before he came down…of course! “Gabe your heart is wrestling because you didn’t tell me everything and because of what you did. You said some things that were unkind and now you are feeling bad aren’t you?” His head still was low. “So Gabe what do you think you should do?” Well miss beth I should say will you please forgive me. “Yes Gabe you should….I am looking at you now and I can tell that it bothers you. God wants us to ask for forgiveness, He knows how difficult it can be, but it is even more difficult when we don’t ask. After class he went and told M’ne ne he was sorry and to please forgive him. So it was a Good Mornin!!!! The power of Forgiveness is Freeing!!!

Now before any of this happened guess who came down to class with M&M back packs ready for school. Well not my regular group of 4:>) At 7:15am Asher and Levi came into class telling me they were ready. Ready for what boys? School!!! I couldn’t help, but smile big and so I did a bit of school with them for about 25 min. since the gang of 4 were running late. We counted, said our colors, and just had a time together. When I told them it was time to go you should have seen their faces:>(  Imagine this and Asher crossing his arms with his head down. Levi on the other hand was sad, but smiled and said see you later. Asher ended up coming down later just before class was out and joined us in the last of our work and we prayed together.

I don’t know, but even with the ups, the downs, the sad faces, the hard lessons…It was a Good Mornin!!!

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