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Sunday, June 30, 2019

Life is a Verb

Verb: an action, state or occurrence

This week was quite a week (already!). I was hit with three situations that troubled my emotions as I questioned myself, my motives & forgiveness; one tested my confidence in healing as I struggled through arthritic pain & watched my birdie boy suffer the use of his legs; another was in the area of my faith – was I really doing what I’ve been called to do; the final situation was the betrayal of a friend. Yes, I have had my moments of tears this week.

The three together could have become overwhelming. My heart was hurt. At first I took each situation in stride.  I just tried to work everything out & chalked it up to ‘life’ which isn’t always easy or fair. You get it. You’ve been there at one point or another.

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NKJV) "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not us." 

But God! When the enemy stepped his foot over the line that extra inch and tried to stop gap our trip to Africa, I reared up! Papa, what in the world is going on?  I won’t share the whole conversation however the gist of it was that He brought to my attention that I was losing my passion for life. The abundance. The excitement. I was worrying about the simple and worldly things and expecting the ‘normal’ to happen. I had stopped looking forward to the promises spoken over Roy & I, to the ‘more’ I had come to get expect from the One Who loves me most.

Luke 10:19 (TPT) "Now you understand that I have imparted to you all my authority to trample over his kingdom. You will trample upon every demon before you and overcome every power satan possesses. Absolutely nothing will be able to harm you as you walk in this authority." 

In the face of eventual loss, I began to fight back. To regain my peace. To build my faith muscles. To save my sanity. Look, one word of doubt, one negative thought can cause a domino effect. I thought of losing Sylvester and the next thing I knew I was re-grieving the loss of miscarried children, my late husband Phil, my parents (who are still alive and healthy at 88 years old) & friends. One sharp physical pain can conjure up thoughts of incurable disease and the fear of losing a dream brings a sick heart and all that goes with it. One friend’s betrayal can conjure up the many friendships lost throughout life.

I needed a quick injection of Heavenly Kingdom Thinking.

Colossians 2:7 (TPT) "Your spiritual roots go deeply into his life as you are continually infused with strength, encouraged in every way. For you are established in the faith you have absorbed and enriched by your devotion to him! (The Greek states 'overflowing with gratitude') 

One touch, word or vision from Papa God can bring the world around you right back into perspective. Life is a verb. A living, breathing Hope of Glory that lives right inside of us.

1 John 1:2 (MSG) it says "From the very first day, we were there, taking it all in - we heard it with our own ears, saw it with our own eyes, verified it with our own hands. The Word of Life appeared right before our eyes; we saw it happen! And now we're telling you in most sober prose that what we witnessed was, incredibly this: The infinite life of God Himself took shape before us." 

1 John 1:1 "The Word, who is Jesus, is manifested! IN the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God and the Word was God."

Acts 17:26-28 (NKJV) "And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the fact of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and have or being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring'. 

He brought me through and to a place of truth when I chose to turn it all back to His hands. Those mighty hands that have held so many of my tears! The One who breathed life into me!

John 20:20 (AMP) "And when He said this, He breathed on them and said to them, 'Receive the Holy Spirit'."

Today, as I choose to trust the outcome, I find a greater appreciation in the abundant life I have been promised. The situations are resolved; our sweet little boy, Sylvester, passed into Heaven, we did indeed go to Africa embarking on another great, new adventure while I worked everything out with my friend. I'm sure there will be other days like today because life is a verb. An action item. I will opt to greatly love what is right in front of me, trust in the fact that Papa's will and timing for my life is perfect and live fully as I press on to the high calling in Christ Jesus. 

I pray you do as well!  

Saturday, June 22, 2019

One Lone Boat

It was one of those days struggling to turn from spring to summer.  Everyone was on the river walkway in shorts and sweatshirts waffling between the desire for the sun’s warmth and reality of the morning briskness.  Dogs running back and forth sniffing into the blossom-filled air and the sound of children’s laughter drew me over.  I sat on a bench to pray.  I love these moments of solitude where Your Presence fills me with the peaceful knowledge that You are in control; it’s Your power that is the treasure in this earthen vessel.

I heard it before I could see it.  Isn’t that the way.  I hear your voice, feel Your leading before I see the purpose.  One lone boat on the river.  One lone driver guiding it through the glass.  As he drove by, people began cheering, waving and shouting their ‘hello’s’.  He did a few tricks, causing waves to form.  The rippling effect hit the shore causing the children to jump up and down with glee.  The more they asked for, the bigger the show.  Soon everyone was gathered where the water meets the sand, enjoying the damp coolness as it washed up their bare legs.   But, the water was still cold and one by one they began their assent back up to the walkway.  The boatman moved on down the river and all was quiet once again.

I watched, entranced with the thought that it was in their encouragement he was moved to continue blessing their day with his antics.  Who knows what kind of mood he was in, where he was from or even headed to; he stopped for just that moment to bring laughter and joy to the hearts of many.  Just like so many of us.  The one’s who walk the roads unknown to serve strangers and make them your friends.  Those who bless with words of Christ on your lips and joy in your heart.  The ones that step out of the shadow of comfort to share a kind word, a prayer of healing or a piece of rice.  The men and women hiding behind work visas, teaching degrees, building permits and medical ships just to touch the one that God has called you to. 

We all come from somewhere.  The lone boat on the river.  We all carry the presence that will cause a rippling effect to collide with those congregated and watching.  I want to encourage you.  We have all been called.  “Some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preacher and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some Pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.  His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (that they should do) the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church).” (Eph 4:11-12 AMP)  

Each of us is a piece of the puzzle creating a beautiful masterpiece as we allow the eyes of our heart to be opened and follow He who leads and guides us in our journey on earth.  We are all missionaries to someone or somewhere.  Roy & I (Eden’s Song) are missionaries to the missionaries.  We live, breath and pray for them every single day.  Our goal is that all we set our hands to foster the life of a missionary.  Can we do it all?  No.  We can only provide a portion of need.  Others will provide another part and on it goes. 

You are causing a stir in the water.  You are creating waves as you walk out your calling; touching a fortune of people along the way; moving the atmosphere over the cities, countries and nations you are led to cry out for.  The whole of Heaven is waving the checkered flag as you so eloquently run your race.  Do not let down, do not give up. 

Gentlemen, Ladies, Start Your Engines!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Front Line Warriors

I found myself anguished today and with so many exciting things going on in life, I wondered why.  Finding a few moments of solitude I asked the Lord what was hurting my heart so and a flash of tenderness hit me.  Many of my dear friends are leaving or have already left to join the group of selfless souls that spread the word of God through a passionate display of Love.  I found myself on my knees for these that are so heavenly minded as to work endlessly to bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth.

One friend, in particular, comes to mind.  For so many years, Don has sought after God’s will to serve ‘the least of these’.  He has served the destitute and the homeless; after one trip to China he found his niche and the Lord has since taken him all through Africa bringing the Word of God and the love of the Father to those in small villages and communities.  But, the Holy Spirit continued to cry out to Don for more and his heart began to set upon the pygmies.  He studied them, he consulted the Lord and these past years Don & his wife, Jenya, have found themselves in the midst of a particularly beautiful pygmy tribe in the Congo.  Within days the Favor fell upon his hands as he obtained entrance and acceptance and is now able to walk freely among those he feels called to.

Another set of friends work in a sensitive area of the world doing a delicate work.  They are literally saving children from the enemy’s plot to lie, kill and destroy.  Wells are being dug, schools are being built, children are being healed, and gardens are cultivated.  Smiles rule the day and the favor of the Lord rains down on them even through the tears and pain of children having to be pulled from subjection.  We shipped them some women’s totes through visiting missionaries.  When the travelers received the totes they were worried about the weight and how they would get them there.  They were asked to open the boxes to see how many they could fit in their already swollen suitcases; when they did they were blasted by a wave of Love that came out of the boxes..their very words were "I felt the Love of God pour out of them".  When they got to the airport, they were not charged for the 'over' weight. Favor. 

There are so many stories of God's precious hand stretched out to His children; my friend who almost lost her life during an attack of malaria has now built a medical clinic on their property in Uganda with a birthing center in construction as well; another who just had emergency gall bladder surgery is, just a few days later, up and taking care of the many she serves in Rio De Janero; a sweet woman who lost her husband a few years ago continues their dream by running a large ministry in Kenya freeing people to live self-sufficient lifestyles; those who travel back and forth to serve for the few weeks they have vacation from full-time jobs are taking the needed supplies and supplements to pass on. Just this week, a dear team in Nepal were taken in for interrogation and imprisoned after lies were spread about them. We still await their fate. 

And the Lord says pray for them as the persistent widow in Luke 18. "..and shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge the speedily". God will certainly reply to the continual prayer of believers. He will respond to the injustice and religious persecution handed over to His people and in the end He will turn all things to good. Jesus is exhorting believers not to lose their enthusiasm, their heart or their faith but to stand strong in the throes of intercession as we lift those that go to the uttermost parts of the world, taking the love of Christ to a starving people. 

And I fall to my knees.