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Will You Be the One?

Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Mathew 28:19,20

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Be the One

In a world full of broken dreams…Where the truth is hard to find…For every promise that is kept…There are many left behind…though it seems that nobody cares…It still matters what you do…Cause there’s a difference you can make…But the choice is up to you.

Chorus: Will you be the one to answer to His call…Will you stand when those around you fall…To take His light into a darkened world…Tell me will you be the one?

Oh sometimes it’s so hard to know who is right and what is wrong…And where are you suppose to stand when the battle lines are drawn…There’s a voice that is calling out for someone whose not afraid…To be a beacon in the night to a world that’s lost it’s way.

Chorus: Yes, I’ll be the one to answer to His call…I will stand when those around me fall…I will be the one totake His light into a darkened world…I WILL BE THE ONE.

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So flashback July 4thish 1995….this really seems like ages ago and now that I figure it out it is almost 20 years ago. Wow!!! Time has flown by so quickly.So why the flashback you might ask? Or maybe not:>) The past 6 weeks I have been walking after supper to unwind, breath, reflect and just spend some time with God. It’s been good for my body and good for my heart as on one of these walks He reminded me of this particular time. As I reflected, this moment was an outward praise and prayer of what He began doing in me. I remember standing in Los Colinas, Tx with 1000’s of people and singing this song and feeling I was the only person there. Singing out to Him with conviction and with and overflowing passion to be an instrument in His orchestra. “Yes, Lord…I will be the one to answer to your call…I will stand when those around me fall…I will be the one to take His light into a darkened world…YES, LORD, I WILL BE THE ONE.”

I had been thinking about how I came to this point and questioning and just tracing back to moments of significance. Moments like these. When you know, that you know, you were in the presence of God…even with 1000’s of people around. I’ve had other moments like these where I was brought to my knees or the times I could here His the small still voice, but why this moment? As I continued to walk and reflect and just press into the One who knows me I realized He was reminding me of this commitment I made to Him. You see I said Yes, Lord and when I did…I meant it with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. What I didn’t know is how. What I also didn’t know is that the journey I was on with all the struggles and uncertainty. With all the ups and downs. With the many lessons I would walk through and learn, prepared me for the unexpected. You see I always thought I would be coaching swimming until He decided to bring me home. I thought the pool deck was my mission field and the athletes, parents and coaches were those I would be sharing the Light of Jesus with.

For almost 15 years I coached with the Dallas Mustangs and that commintment I made to be the One was the mission I took. It was also a training field for me as I learned to be more bold in my faith and really learn how to share the love of Jesus. I had some very sweet moments over those years seeing the Lord teach and mold these athletes, parents and coaches. God granted me favor in so many ways in sharing my faith and also praying with the athletes I coached. I continue to pray for many of them today as my heart still breaks for those that don’t know Him. I pray that God would send other men and women of God that would lead them to Him. I pray that they would see how much Jesus loves them and that He is the only Way, Truth and Life. I pray for their hearts to hunger and thirst for Him. There are days when the enemy likes to taunt me about these kids and tell me I didn’t do enough or say enough or that I really didn’t make a difference. It’s on those days I recieve a short note or e-mail from one who tells me diffrently. I love God’s timing in this!!! I love the fact that I still have the opportunity to encourage and speak truth into these young people via e-mail, facebook or Vox.I may not be walking up and down the pool deck with them anymore, but the relationships God continues to build through prayer. I love it!!

This morning I was woken up early with a huge storm, not only outside, but inside my heart. As I laid there in bed I began thinking about these kids and their relationship with Jesus. The tears were on the verge of escaping, because they may know of Jesus, but they may not  know Him in a personal way. Then I began to think about my courageous brothers and sisters around the world who are being persecuted because they walk hand in hand with Christ. It simply made me weep even more, but with a hope. The hope of knowing that I will meet and see them in heaven. Will I see these kids, their parents or the coaches I worked with?

Today churches around the world are gathering today in buildings, under trees,in huts,  underground, in military tents that have been burned (that would be us!) in homes in silence or in undisclosed locations to worship Jesus together as one body. The day has been set aside to pray for the persecuted church and as I read and listen to  stories of those who have courageously forgiven their enemies and have died proclaiming Jesus, my heart cries out for the hurting and the lost. Times are changing fast and none of us knows what tomorrow may bring. To many of us are living in fear of the “What if” or maybe even the fear of the “When.” And then there are those that are sticking their head in the sand and denying everything that is going on the world. If we are living or paralyzed by fear are we living God’s way? His way tells us to go into ALL the world and make disciples. He didn’t say only preachers or teachers or people that went to Bible College….HE SAID ALL!! That means you and that means me!!

Friends…if you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ will you begin seeking Him. He knows you!! Do you know Him? Will you repent of your sins and trust Jesus Christ alone for salvation? He is waiting with open arms…come as you are!!

If you know Him…WILL YOU BE THE ONE? Will you trust Him? Will you step out of the boat? When you keep your eyes on Him you’ll find you are able to walk on water and that He will do immeasureably more than we could ever ask or imagine!!

Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. Hebrews 13:3 PRAY!!

 

Who is our Example?

 

1 Corinthians 4:16 says, “Therefore I urge you to imitate me.” 1Corinthians 11:1 says, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Jesus Christ.”
At first glance at these Words, thinking from a worldly prospective, that Paul was a bit arrogant….stuck on himself maybe. When you look deeper into what the Word of God is really saying here though…you see what these Words intended to speak in to and who he was speaking to. Not only was he speaking to the church in Corinth, but he is speaking to us today.
The book of 1Corinthians was a letter to the church in Corinth. Notes from Bible read that “ 2 or 3 years after leaving the church he’d started in Corinth, Paul was hearing and receiving disturbing reports: Division and strife were seriously threatening this young church. Some had become spiritually arrogant, leading to problems such as sexual misconduct, wrongdoing against other believers, and abuse of spiritual gifts and misunderstandings of basic Christian teachings.” Paul wrote to restore the teachings of Jesus Christ. To remind them of the Christ who lived in them. Were they walking in Christ-like character?
Paul was absolutely confident in his character, actions and words. His actions and character spoke louder than words. As a missionary, teacher and coach do my actions speak louder than words? Paul is telling us if we walk and live in Christ-like integrity, people can look, listen, learn and follow our example. A person who hopes to be used by God must stand up to the test of individual moral persecution or scrutiny.
My Bible devotion says this, “Nothing disillusions us faster than seeing major character flaws in a leader we respect. On the other hand, nothing inspires us more than seeing an esteemed leader come forward to humbly ask forgiveness of a person or group. That willingness to be known for whom we are, sinners saved by grace, is one of the characteristics that mark Christians as different. Our example to walk in humility then becomes a discipling tool as others imitate us.
Yesterday I posted this from Voice of the Martyrs:
“Where do our steps lead? We think about the traces that Abraham’s walk left. After thousands of years Judaism, Christianity, and Islam still walk in these steps. Winds and floods could not wipe them away. Paul walked in the bloodstained steps of Christ in self-sacrifice. For two thousand years Christians could follow his example.
Be careful of your steps. You will not be the only one to walk in them.”
—Richard Wurmbrand
Since I have been back in the states this theme of discipleship, mentoring, example, Christ-like character continues to speak to me. Some days more loudly than others…like today. Honestly, this theme has been impressed upon me for as long as I can remember. From those that set a Christ-like example for me growing up to the desire to have Godly mentors in my life…leading me, teaching me, encouraging me, disciplining me, speaking truth in love…when maybe I didn’t want to listen, but listened anyway because I wanted to learn. I wanted to grow in my faith and walk with the One and Only Jesus. I am so very blessed and grateful for those that God has placed along my journey. Some for a season, some for the long-haul:>) and some that have gone to be with Jesus. I’m eternally grateful for the ones that went before me and prayed for me and for those that continue to be on their knees interceding on my behalf.
As a missionary I am even more aware of the example that Paul talks about. There is always eyes watching and ears listening to what I say and do. The people in the community, the people in the church, Ladies Bible study, the staff, the momma’s in the orphanage, other missionaries, and most of all the children. Nothing humbles me more when one of the kids picks up something I’ve said or did and they copy it. Now if it is a good thing…it so blesses my heart and encourages me and I praise Jesus for this, but when it is something not so good…Oh my heart breaks and it makes me weep!!! Sitting the child or children or even an adult down and asking for forgiveness for this action…yes humbling! This poem that one of my kids gave me years ago says a lot and reminds me every day that there are little eyes (and ears) upon us. My challenge and questions to you today is this:
Who is watching and listening to you and what will they be imitating? Will they imitate Christ that is in you?

LITTLE EYES UPON YOU
There are little eyes upon you and they’re watching night and day.
There are little ears that quickly take in every word you say.
There are little hands all eager to do anything you do;
And little boy/girl who’s dreaming of the day s/he’ll be like you.
You’re the little child’s idol; you’re the wisest of the wise.
In her/his little mind about you no suspicions ever rise.
S/He believes in you devoutly, holds all that you say and do, in your way, when s/he’s
Grown up like you.
There’s a wide eyed little child who believes you’re always right;
And his/her eyes are always opened, and s/he watched day and night.
You are setting an example every day in all you do,
For the little child who is waiting to grow up to be like you.

“Lord I want to be just like you…’cause he wants to be just like me. Help me be a Holy example, for his inocent eyes to see. Let me be a living Bible Lord… that my little boy can read. Lord I want to be just like you, ’cause he wants to be like me.”

~ song by Phillips, Craig and Dean

Just a few pics of examples and being examples:>)

062069summer 2013 161summer 2013 175summer 2013 181

Me and Emanosummer 2013 123 summer 2013 136 summer 2013 156 summer 2013 186IMG_0038027IMG_2707IMG_3448IMG_2843

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).

What a View

The begining of a new year is always a good time to look back and reflect. When I returned back to the states my mom had bought a little barn when I was out last time and being back I was able to take the things that I had in storage and create a little oasis inside this barn. Basically it has become a library for me to  retreat to when I am home. A place I can have quiet time with God,study His Word, reflect and process all that happens while I am home in Haiti. As I placed each book on the shelf I was reminded of the changes God has made in me and how He prepared me for where I am now. The chiseling He has done at times has been difficult and painful, but to bring me to where I am now I know it was needed. I can see that now. He continues to chisel away at His creation and for this I am grateful. I am a work in progress and I know I won’t be finished until He brings me HOME or until He returns. Reflecting on the past…not holding onto it…He shows me and gives me understading for some of those things that He brought me thru. What a view the Lord gives me!! Looking at the view gives me a peace and comfort that He has everything under control. I learn to let go of those things there is no need to hold onto. I know there is more to let go of, but He gently chisels away one by one and “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:14 Now this is the view worth looking toward! Below is a devotion that I wanted to share with all of you. What view are you focused on today?    

Living Forward, Understanding Backward

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Thursday, December 01 2011

“The one who calls you is faithful and He will do it.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:24

When I was in my 20’s, I participated in a wilderness-training course in a desert and mountain area. For our “final exam,” we were blindfolded, placed in the back of a pickup truck, and taken to a remote area. We were dropped off and told to meet back at the camp in three days. We did not know where we were. We had to determine our location with our compasses. It was a frightening experience for four young people who had learned to navigate through the use of a compass only a few days earlier. With our food and water on our backs, we began our trek. It had just snowed that morning, so the way was difficult. We walked through valleys, canyons, snow-covered hills, and forests. In all, we walked more than 60 miles in three days. There were times when we did not think we could go another foot. Exhaustion and frostbitten feet were taking their toll. However, we finally made it to our base camp successfully, and to our surprise, we were the first ones among the other patrols to make it back.

At the conclusion of our journey, we were able to stand on top of a ridge, look behind us and see the beautiful terrain that we had just scaled. The pain of what we had just endured seemed to subside. We could not believe we had actually walked through those valleys and snowcapped hills. There was a sense of accomplishment.

Life is very much like this. It is often lived forward, but understood backward. It is not until we are down the road a bit that we can appreciate the terrain God has allowed us to scale and the spiritual deposits He has made in our life as a result. When you begin to realize some of this, you sit back and breathe a sigh of relief because you know that God was in control all along. It didn’t seem like it at the time, but He was.

Are you in the midst of a difficult journey that seems almost impossible to continue? Be assured that God is providing grace even now to equip you for that journey. There will be a time when you can say, “Wow, look at what God has done because of what I gained through that valley.” Trust Him with the outcome of where you find yourself today.

In A Nutshell

I saved this from the back of a church bulletin. It speaks right to the heart of the Gospel and as we approach the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior let us not forget that this is why we celebrate Christmas. This is the true reason for the season. Believers in Christ celebrate all around the world and it is a blessing to know that as I celebrate with my family in Kansas, my family in Haiti will be celebrating. That we will be celebrating  together “the Word made Flesh”. Friends in countries around the world that can’t even carry a Bible or speak the name of Jesus will be celebrating. They may be meeting underground, or in a place undisclosed, but they will be celebrating. In this country and many other countries…. There will be no tree. There will be no lights. There will be no presents. There will be no festive meal and for many no meal. What they will have is the hope that Jesus brings. The hope that comes from knowing Jesus Christ as their Savior. The hope of eternity with no more tears, no more pain, no more hunger and no more thirst…for they will be feasting at the grandest table we could ever think or imagine. Oh how I look forward to that day. Oh how I pray for those that don’t have a personal relationship with Jesus that they will be sitting around that table. Will I see you across the table? What is stopping you? Take a leap of faith and surrender all to Him….He will catch you!!!

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John 3:16 is often referred to as “the gospel in a nutshell.” Through the years, many thirsty souls have found the satisfaction of new life in Jesus Christ as presented in this one short verse.

“God”- the greatest Lover

“So loved”-the greatest degree

“The world”-the greatest crowd

“That whosoever”-the greatest opportunity

“Believes”-the greatest simplicity

“In Him”-the greatest attraction

“Should not perish”-the greatest promise

“But”- the greatest difference

“Have”- the greatest certainty

“Everlasting life”- the greatest possession

Expressed in a similar way, we see:

The richest mercy-“God so loved”

The darkest object-“the world”

The costliest price-“He gave His Son”

The widest reach-“whosoever”

The easiest terms-“believes in Him”

The most marvelous escape-“should not perish”

The wealthiest gift-“have everlasting life.”

 

Who Wrestles with Pride?

A few weeks ago I had the joy of sharing a message with the ladies in our Women’s Bible Study. As I began to seek the Lord in preparing, I had many ideas that came to mind. I thought about choosing a character trait of Christ. I thought about aspects of parenting. I thought about sharing a little bit of my own testimony of how the Lord prepared me to serve here. I thought about choosing a particular text. All of these were good, but in the midst of MY good ideas and intentions, the Lord had a different road for me to take. He kept nudging me in the area of PRIDE. He has nudged me a couple times before and I dismissed it or gave myself an excuse not to teach this. Who wants to be confronted with this particular area? How many of us have wrestled in this area? Who wants to admit it? I would be kidding or lying to myself and to you if I said I haven’t been confronted or wrestled with pride. When you look into God’s Word to seek what the Lord has to say about pride you find out how much He abhors this behavior.

In Prov. 8: 13 it says, “To fear the Lord is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.” In Prov. 11: 2 we see that pride will come to all of us…it doesn’t say it might come…it says, “When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.” In Prov. 16:18 God tells us, “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.” We see this in the news on a daily basis. It isn’t anything new. We see it throughout God’s Word. If you look into the Old Testament and read about the Kings you will find the root of pride is what led to their downfall. 

In 2 Chronicles 26:16 it reads, “But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God and entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense.” If you read on the priests confront Uzziah not to do this, for only the priests were to enter the temple. They told him to leave, but pride got the best of him. The consequences of his disobedience were painful and lonely. You see the truth of Prov. 16:18. My study note says this,” If God has given you wealth, influence, popularity, and power, be thankful, but be careful. God hates pride. While it is normal to feel elation when we accomplish something, it is wrong to be disdainful of God or to look down on others. Check your attitudes and remember to give God the credit for what you have. Use your gifts in ways that please Him.

When I began the lesson for the ladies I first greeted them and told them how blessed I was to share with them this day. We had just celebrated our first year as a Ladies ministry and I told them how proud I was of them to see such growth in one year. I did not mean the gathering of ladies, but the spiritual growth I had witnessed. I gave them examples of different things that I had seen over the past weekend during our conference. Then I shared with them how much I loved them and that I shared this message, because I believe in the Word of God and that His Word is Truth. That when I spoke to them I was also speaking to myself. They shifted in their seats, their eyes were fixed and it was as if we were all seat belted in ready to take off with a few of the ladies shouting “Amen” to begin our roll down the runway. I shared much of what I shared with you above, but it was woven into the following:

MY NAME IS PRIDE

My name is Pride. I am a cheater. I cheat you of your God-given purpose….because you demand your own way.

I cheat you of contentment…because you “deserve better than this.” (do we deserve, aren’t we all sinners in need of our loving Savior? Did He deserve to take on our sin and our punishment?) The ladies replied no…no he did not deserve.

I cheat you of knowledge…because you already know it all. ( I told them I had heard several people say that the Haitians believe that Americans do not see or hear or hear anything. They smiled and laughed. I asked them if they serve the same Jesus I serve. They said yes. I asked them if the same Jesus we serve lives in our hearts. They replied yes. So if this is true then I have the eyes of Jesus to see…I have the ears of Jesus to hear. So has pride cheated you of this knowledge? So do you believe this to be true? I loved watching some of the light bulbs go on in their minds:>)

I cheat you of healing…because you are to full of you to forgive. ( I reminded them of the prison they choose to stay in when they don’t forgive…a message Jody had shared.) Amen!!

I cheat you of holiness…because you refuse to admit when you are wrong. (Shared about King Uzziah)

I cheat you of vision… because you’d rather look at others or in a mirror than out a window. ( I told them that I don’t claim to be a prophet, but I believed we are still in a tent because God is humbling us and teaching us to be humble through the difficulties we have had. I asked them what they believed to be the church and I was blessed to hear them say the people. I cried out Amen!!! I shared with them that it didn’t matter if we were under a tree or in a building…We are the church and we have some growing up to do. With this an Amen!

I cheat you of genuine friendship…because nobody’s going to know the real you. ( I asked them…are you the same person you at home that you are in church?)

I cheat you of God’s glory…because I convinced you to seek your own. ( What is our heart attitude…is it like the Kings throughout scripture or like those in power in today’s nations?)

You like me because you think I’m always looking out for you. Untrue. I’m looking to make a fool of you. God has so much for you, I admit, but don’t worry…If you stick with me you’ll never know.

I followed this up with a Haitian proverb I found. It was the closest thing and basically the only thing that came close to what I was sharing.  Sa ka arrive koukouloulou, tou ka arrive nan kakalanga. Jocelyn told me it didn’t translate great, but what I had found in English says this. What happens to the turkey can happen to the rooster also. Don’t be so sure of yourself that you flaunt it to others: pride can bring you to a quick crash.

I finished with Micah 6:8 asking this “And what does the Lord require of you? What is our challenge as we walk from here today? Are we the same person we were this time last year? If we are we have the opportunity today to allow God to show us how we can grow and change for His glory and His purpose. Again what does the Lord require of us? Micah says it all…”To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God.”  AMEN…AMEN!!!

How is our heart attitude in the area of PRIDE? Let’s humble ourselves before our Lord.

Moments to Remember and Never Forget

Lamentations 3:20-23 says, ” I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me. Yet this I call to mind an therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

Today marks the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Much like those who came before us and remember Pearl Harbor. They can remember where they were what they were doing, when they heard and can relive the feelings they had  inside and what they did at that very moment on that fateful and tragic day. As I reflect back I too can remember. I woke up that very morning and prepared myself for women’s Bible study. Excited about how the Lord would use me, teach me and speak to me. This morning I jumped in my car and did not even turn on the radio as I usually did. I pulled up to the church and walked inside to be greeted with ladies inquiring what was happening. In my heart I felt a heaviness knowing something unthinkable had happened. We all met together and we were given the news as best we knew at that time that the twin towers had been hit by planes and a bit later that the Pentagon too had been attacked. We did what only we could do PRAY.  I remember the flood of tears that fell that day in the ladies around me and in me as well. Thinking about the people in the planes, their loved ones, those in the buildings and their loved ones and those who did this. Where were their hearts and how could someone’s heart become so hard that they would think to do harm to others including themselves? It baffled me, but I was reminded of the sin that is in this world and the choices we make to walk in our own way instead of with the Lord Jesus Christ. I think that day began an even deeper realization that it is so urgent to tell others about Jesus. Who He is and how much He loves us. Even on this tragic day the Lord was there. He was with those heroic passengers of Flight 93. He was with the policemen and firefighters that were running to this horrific seen. He was with the rescue workers that tirelessly went thru the rubble to find survivors. HE WAS THERE. I don’t have the answers why some had to die and some were spared. That is not my job and I am so thankful, but I do know that” even in the valley of the shadow of death I do not have to fear evil, for the Lord my God is with me. ” I can place my hope in a God who is faithful and just and that will never leave me or forsake me. I hung onto these moments as the Lord allowed me to accounter the moments of the Haiti Earthquake Jan. 12, 2010. I learned that my faith had grown stronger and continues to do so as I serve the people of Haiti and fellow missionaries.

LET US NOT FORGET 9/11 AND THE MANY FAMILIES THAT CONTINUE TO HEAL FROM THIS TRAGIC EVENT IN OUR HISTORY.

LET US ALSO NOT FORGET THE PEOPLE OF HAITI AND THE HEARTS THAT ARE GRIEVING, STRUGGLING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT ALL. IT IS STILL VERY REAL…AND STILL IN NEED OF YOUR PRAYERS. THIS LIFE HERE IS SO HARD…BUT GOD IS SO VERY FAITHFUL. I BELIEVE THIS AND THIS IS WHY I SHARE WITH YOU TODAY.

An exerpt from George Wahsington’s Prayer Journal-

“O Most Glorious God, in Jesus Christ my merciful and loving father, I acknowledge and confess my guilt, in the weak and imperfect performance of the duties of this day. I have called on thee for pardon and forgivness of sins…Let me live according to those holy rules which thou hast this day prescribed in thy holy word…make me to know what is acceptable in thy sight, and therein to delight. Open the eyes of my understanding, and help me thoroughly to examine myself concering my knowledge, faith and repentance; increase my faith, and direct me to the true object of Jesus Christ, the way , the truth and the life. Bless O Lord, all the people of this land, from the highest to the lowest, particularly those whom thou has appointed to rule over us in church and state… These weak petitions I humby implore thee to hear, accept and answer for the sake of thy Dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Who is the Engineer of this Train?

Jeremiah 32:27 says “I am the Lord, the God of all mankind. Is anything to hard for me?”

Max Lucado writes from his book, He Still Moves Stones, “We need to hear that God is still in control…We need to hear that life’s mishaps and tragedies are not a reason to bail out. They are simply a reason to sit tight. Corrie ten Boone used to say,”When a train goes thru a tunnel and the world gets dark, do you jump out? Of course not. You sit still and trust the engineer to get you through.”…Go back and read the story of God…you aren’t the first person to be helped.”

I know my God is a God  of the impossible for I have seen Him do things in my life and the lives of others that I sit back and just say, “Only God.” I look back into God’s Word and see the amazing and  unbelievable things He did in the lives of ordinary men and women. I look at Moses…the Red Sea was parted. I look at Abraham…Issac was spared and a sacrifice was provided. I look at Joseph (he is one of my favorites)…he had every reason to give up, but he rose to what the Lord gave him and persevered. I look at Paul…a missionary and teacher of God’s Word, all that he endured and he stood tall to say that he was not ashamed of the Gospel. So many other lives throughout scripture I need to look at more closely and be encouraged.

I should be encouraged…should I not? I should read about these and my heart should be full, but as I write my body and mind are tired and my heart is getting there. It also doesn’t help that the last 3 nights I have been the host to a tiny little lizard I named Henry. I keep talking to him and telling him he needs to stay on his side of the room and I’ve been talking to Jesus to relay that message to His creature. I keep trying to give Henry to God, but the thought keeps coming to me that he is going to come and jump on my head or be in the bed with me. So I toss and turn all night which takes the little bit of energy I do have. Top this with the sounds of the community and conversations that I piece together and I have allowed the battle in my mind to be a full-blown war. Instead of pressing into Him I have tried to battle on my own. I know that and I know better, but yet here I am battling a war that I need to give to Him. I have allowed circumstances, challenges, heartache, burdens to steal my joy and keep me from finishing this leg of the race strong.

As a follower of Jesus Christ and a coach I have had this engrained into me…but I can not do it on my own. I need the faithful prayers and notes of my family, friends and acquaintances. Most know me enough to know I am not one who asks for help, but being on the journey I am on now God has been teaching me to give it all to Him and ask knowing I will receive. He has been so very faithful to do so.Pray that I hold onto Galatians 6:9. Pray that when I rest I rest in Him and not the trappings of this world or HENRY:>) Pray that I hold onto the Rock that is higher than I.

 The challenges of starting a new campus have been many… weekly if not daily Jody, Jose, Pastor Ilonay, our Haitian staff and myself battle, but in the midst of the battle I see the Lord transforming us, preparing us, leading us to the plan He has called each of us to. I see the Lord’s hand on so many beautiful people and things here in Mole St. Nicholas.Please pray as the Lord leads you in the following area’s:

  •  Pray that we persevere and that we press onward and upward to glorify our Lord.
  • Pray for unity on each of our campuses and as a Mission.
  •  Pray for wisdom and discernment in decision’s that we make that those decisions will glorify God. 
  • Pray for our health and strength to come from Him and not our own power.
  • Pray that we would be refreshed and filled and that we would be able to overflow onto those that we are ministering to and building relationships with.
  • Pray for increased resources and the wisdom to be good stewards of what He has given.
  • Pray for the groups that we have here in the Mole and on all of our campuses. That they would delight in the work He has called them to and that He would be glorified.
  • Most of all pray for the hearts and lives of the Haitian people. That they would place their trust and faith in Him to know Him and to make Him known. 

Thank you for your encouragement and prayers and your faithfulness to hold my arms up to finish this leg and to finish it the way He desires me to. I believe my God can do the impossible in me and thru me. I need to sit still and not be guilty when I do rest and trust in the Engineer who is driving this train…without trying to take the controls. “My life is in your hands, my heart is in your keeping!!!”  

Henry certainly is not the driver of this train!!!! He might blow the horn, but that is all he gets:>)

The Lord’s Prayer…by Max Lucado

Praying the Lord’s Prayer by Max Lucado

Here’s an example of how the Lord’s Prayer can guide your prayers:

Our Father
Thank you for adopting me into your family.
who is
Thank you, my Lord,
for being a God of the present tense:
my Jehovah-jireh (the God who provides),
my Jehovah-raah (the caring Shepherd),
my Jehovah-shalom (the Lord is peace),
my Jehovah-rophe (the God who heals),
and my Jehovah-nissi (Lord, my banner).
in heaven,
Your workshop of creation reminds me: If you can make the skies, you can make sense out of my struggles.
Hallowed be thy name.
Be holy in my heart.
You are a “cut above” all else.
Enable me to set my sights on you.
Thy kingdom come,
Come kingdom!
Be present, Lord Jesus!
Have free reign in every corner of my life.
Thy will be done,
Reveal your heart to me, dear Father.
Show me my role in your passion.
Grant me guidance in the following decisions …
On earth as it is in heaven.
Thank you that you silence heaven to hear my prayer.
On my heart are the ones you love.
I pray for …
Give us this day our daily bread.
I accept your portion for my life today.
I surrender the following concerns
regarding my well-being …
Forgive us our debts,
I thank you for the roof of grace over my head,
bound together with the timbers and nails of Calvary. There is nothing I can do to earn or add to your mercy.
I confess my sins to you …
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
Treat me, Father, as I treat others.
Have mercy on the following friends
who have wounded me …
Lead us not into temptation,
Let my small hand be engulfed in yours.
Hold me, lest I fall.

But deliver us from evil.
I ask for special strength regarding …
Our Father … give us … forgive us … lead us
Let your kindness be on all your church.
I pray especially for ministers near
and missionaries far away.
Thine—not mine—is the kingdom,
I lay my plans at your feet.
Thine—not mine—is the power,
I come to you for strength.
Thine—not mine—is the glory,
I give you all the credit.
Forever. Amen.
Thine—not mine—is the power. Amen.

Gasping for air

from Day by Day with the Persecuted Church
“Lord, teach us to pray….” (Luke 11:1)

Remarkable Remarks – Prayer

Pastor Ha – Vietnam:

“My simple theology is: 
If you have problems: pray 
If you have many problems: pray more.”

Unknown:

“God does not lay a burden on our back to break our neck, but to get us on our knees.”

John Bunyan (from jail):

“Were it lawful, I could pray for greater trouble for greater comfort sake.”

Phillip Brooks:

“I do not pray for a lighter load, but for a stronger back.”

Unknown:

“If your problems are too small to pray for, they are also too small to worry about.”

William Cowper:

“Satan trembles when he sees, the weakest saint upon his knees.”

“Lord, teach us to pray….” (Luke 11:1)

Prayer…my personal conversations with God himself…is the air that I breath, that is my lifeline. Without it I am gasping for air. When I returned to the states a couple weeks ago I was gasping. Gasping for the words to speak to my Heavenly Father. Gasping for how to pray. Gasping from a heaviness that I knew I didn’t need to carry, but carried it anyway. Gasping for the grief I was feeling over so many who are sick and dying and for a precious little one that I had the joy of loving on that is now in the arms of Jesus and  gasping because I was to weak, tired and empty to press on….

“Lord I need your strength and power to carry me…teach me to pray.”  God heard my cry as I attended the National Missionary Conference 2 weeeks ago. Everytime I sat down to listen to one of the speakers, he talked about prayer. Every class the Lord nudged me to go to was about prayer.  He blessed me with a beautiful family to stay with that took such good care of me. He brought a couple from my home church that everytime I turned a corner they were there to love on me, encourage me and pray over me. And He surprised me with special friends that hugged on me and loved on me. I was truly overwhelmed  and grateful for the way He orchestrated my classroom this week. At the end of the week I was pretty   much exhausted, but I wasn’t gasping quite as much. As I write now I am still gasping a bit, but He is teaching me more and more. He is giving me opportunities to use those things He taught me at the conference. I know He is preparing me for the next leg of the race He has me on. I want to be ready and fully equipped!!!!

“Prayer is the begining, middle and end of missions.”  This is one of the greatest quotes I brought back from the conference. It was a great reminder and encouragement to me, because so many of us tend to do things first and then pray. When you are a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ….it should always be about prayer.     

My prayer today is Jesus’ prayer for all believers:

“”My prayer is not for them alone, I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”  amen.

My question to everyone today is…How many of you are gasping for air? Are you struggling in prayer? Will you ask Him today…Lord, teach me to pray.

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