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Monday, October 29, 2018

The Lost Art of Fine Dining


WHEN I WAS GROWING UP, DINNER WAS A WONDERFUL TIME!  All 6 of us gathered to share the day together. At 6pm prompt, no matter what was happening in our lives everything stopped for dinner. We all ran, from wherever we were, to jump into our seats, pray and dig in. The ever-present dog was at his place under the table, happily awaiting the fallen crumb or rejected food not appreciated by one of us. We laughed and told stories of our day. Dad shared research discoveries, Mom told of hospital antics or new baby’s being born, the kids talked about their schoolwork and the friends they made. All was right with the world in those couple of hours.

IN BUNGOMA, the past 6 years have found only 5 of us around the table at night. All 3 boys were either in boarding school (in Africa, the government chooses the school you attend in junior/senior high & most kids are sent away) or college. But this year, everyone was home. Joshua is attending his 1st year at the Bible School (all the boys, including those at the children’s home attend a year of Bible school before choosing college or learning a trade), John is learning to run the farm and marrying beautiful Sylbil next month while James is finishing his degree in agriculture along with his fiancĂ©e, Esther. Justus and Margaret also welcomed a new grandson, Nathan, and their nephew who stays with them as he attends the Bible school. In one year, the table has grown to 12.  There are still no phones or electronics allowed at the table. Permission is asked to leave, even for a moment. The evening is all about family. The joy is endless. The laughter rings throughout the compound. Everything is loud. The wrestling (it IS mostly guys after all), the clanging of dishes, the sound of oil spattering in pans, the singing and praying….it fills the atmosphere. There is so much love while the Holy Spirit hovers. So much so, that even in disagreements, sadness’s, hard labor or frustration, there is peace knowing God has them & their needs all in the palm of His hand.

It's a joy to be in the midst of a culture that still honors family.  Jesus loved gathering around a table to eat and fellowship as well.  We can look in the gospel of Luke alone to find 7 times meals were mentioned:
In Luke 7:34 it says, 'The son of Man has come eating and drinking'.

In Luke 5:29-32, Jesus dines with tax collectors and sinners at the home of Levi.
In Luke 7:36-50, Jesus is anointed by a woman in the home of Simon the Pharisee during a meal.
In Luke 9:10-36, Jesus feeds the five thousand.
In Luke 10:25-42, Jesus eats in the home of Mary and Martha.
In Luke 14:7-24, Jesus shares the parable of inviting the poor rather than theirs friends to a large banquet.
In Luke 22:14-23, Jesus gathers his closest friends (and one betrayer) for their Last Supper.

Meals were where Jesus made new acquaintances & served old friends. It was a vital role of His ministry, representing His abounding grace for sinners. Jesus was vibrant with the desire for communication, connection and celebration. He ate with who He ate with bringing hubs of relationship and celebration to a place where social boundary markers were guarded. But there seems to be something about sharing a meal that brings the Kingdom of God to the forefront. It is no surprise the second coming of Christ is the ‘wedding supper of the lamb’. (Rev 19) Maybe we should pick up the art of fine dining once again that our tables become a place of radical welcome, especially for those we don't relate to, estranged family or friends, those who have been abandoned or rejected.  Those searching for comfort or just a place to belong. Oh that our tables be full when the King returns!

Saturday, October 27, 2018



There is a monkey on the roof across from our balcony!  Not the kind you play with, the kind you hide from. 15 pounds and full of mischief; so much so they have told us to keep our doors closed. I can hear him chatter and am trying to capture a photo, but he jumps and runs to keep away from my camera. He is a tricky one.

It’s cloudy and cooler today, so though it’s noon I am clad in a sweater, drinking another cup of coffee and watching huge yellow butterflies glide from tree to tree. On my balcony, as usual, I drink in the beauty of HEART lodge, the sounds of Richard trimming the bushes, Grace filling the rooms for the guests arriving this afternoon and smells that fill the air with the preparations for our evening meal. Joash and Ochieng are delivering fresh water to the rooms & the lodge is alive with movement. My oasis. My refuge where I refuel to ready myself to hit the (other part of the) ESM road running when we get home.  Roy is live streaming The Giants Will Fall, a Dutch Sheets conference, while I am in my happy place catching up with a bit of paperwork, writing a few blogs and reveling in the presence of God. How I thank and praise Him for this season of life.

I never could have imagined it even just a couple of years ago. This opportunity to work with so many different people across the world who share our same intense love for the ways of the Lord. The believe that we, indeed, have the authority to bring Heaven to earth changing lives and bringing revival. As we traveled, taught and spoke to groups of people in Kenya, we were made to realize that we are not alone in this desire. So many prayers were unleashed, so many hearts left unabashedly open on the altar of God’s promises.

Sometimes, like the monkey jumping out of the way of camera shot, we hedge God’s ‘now’ movement for a place of comfort and safety from the mess of change.  God reminds me we are here for Him. We are here to bring His Creation Home. ‘And the things of this world will fade away.’
"We are to live as those who live in the world system but are not absorbed by it, for the world as we know it is quickly passing away." 1Cor 7:31 TPT 

My momentary attention may be caught up by the local sounds and movement, the chatter and joy, the monkey and the sun who is finally filling the sky..but my heart is being caught up by the promises of God for His people. "For the scriptures say, 'as surely as I live, says the Lord, every knee will bend to me and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.'" Romans 14:11

Eternal life, Eternal love and Eternal home for those who give their heart to Christ.

Saturday, October 13, 2018


It’s Saturday…one of my favorite days of the week. It’s a noiseless morning. No little’s running up and down our little red dirt road heading to school. Void of tiny voices, laughter and screams, today we slept in a bit. I miss it some, but the cow chimed in so I am not too lonely as I sip my 1st cup of coffee and rejoice in the words of Psalm 65… “You answer our prayers with amazing wonders and with awe-inspiring displays of power.” 

It's hard here, but not every place we go is poor. Some of our friends have enough to share, though it looks different than in America. More often than not, there are many needs that are not met. You can’t compare with the U.S. because there is just too much dichotomy – but even without comparison there are necessities you could never fathom until you joined in their life. Just to fulfill Maslow’s hierarchy of need is a struggle in most areas.

There are poor everywhere. I get that. But poor here is different than poor in America; not that either is good. Both are unacceptable and not God’s heart. For the enemy came to lie, steal and destroy while Jesus came to give life and that in abundance. He is not a respecter of person. He didn’t decide that a few of us live extravagantly while others have nothing. It breaks our hearts & we often wish we could fix it all.

But, I don’t know that our job is to fix it. We can provide what we have to offer in the way of practical things such as food, clothing, school supplies, grooming items etc… but we are limited in our giving. God is not! I have found the greatest thing I can offer here is hope. The Hope of Glory that we as believers in Christ carry with us. The promise of "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future."  The assurance that “they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” The confidence “of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ."

It is not all sad either. There is great joy in the faces of those who know the Lord! I have been touched by the exuberant love of so many, reminding me that 'things' don't bring happiness; Christ's love does. And, OH my goodness, no matter where you go, even the poorest open their homes and there is chai  tea awaiting along with a slice (or 5) of bread and maybe even a chicken. Friendship, prayer, sharing life & the Living Word all bind the hearts together. 

So, in this very quiet of the morning hours, I rest in the knowledge that 'we have this treasure in earthen vessel, that the excellence of the power is of God and not of us.', We have love enough to pour out on each person we meet. We have arms wide enough to hug each child with the love of a mama or a papa. We have enough laughter to impart into the saddest of hearts. We have the authority to heal, deliver and raise the dead. Because of our Father. That is what Jesus meant when He taught us to pray, "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven." We live naturally supernatural.

Psalm 65… “You answer our prayers with amazing wonders and with awe-inspiring displays of power.” Thank you Lord!