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Friday, June 19, 2015

My Dad

(I wrote this a few years ago but some things never change - they just get better)

You have taught me
the honesty of George Washington
the unprejudiced of Abe Lincoln
the forward thinking of JFK
the fight of Eisenhower

You have shown me
the brilliance of Einstein
the character of Christ
the heart of Mother Teresa
the unconditional love of a Father

You have encouraged me when I was disheartened & been the shelter I could run to in times of hurt and loss.  You have always been there for me during the laughter and tears.  You have shown me through your actions how to be a true friend, parent and spouse.  Though I’ve not learned the art of portraying the unconditional spirit you love us all with, I continue to pray that one day I will.

You have been an incredible example of how a man should live and love and play and pray.  Your strength of character – steadfast in goodness – is unsurpassed.  I am continually thankful to a God who would give me such a leader in my life.  You have taught me that people are more important than tasks.

We have had the greatest discussions and solved so many world problems in the middle of the night.  You’ve enthralled me with stories of our family’s history and we’ve grown together through the character of your ancestors.  We’ve counseled each other –good or bad- it was all fun.  I pray that this year you will receive as much as you have given and more. You are an excellent Dad.  I have learned more from you than anyone in my life and have loved you with the same intensity.

My Dad’s been visiting this week. I have been blessed to have known him for over 50 years now and I’ve laid everything aside to spend every minute I can soaking up the stories and listening to his voice.  I remember once Dad telling me that when Grandpa passed away the one thing he missed was hearing him tell the tales he had heard a million times before; I don’t want to miss a thing.  We’ve been great friends all my life.  I can tell him anything and visa versa.  He is proud of everything I do; he champions all our causes, gets behind the ministry and cheers us on from behind the scenes.   We don’t always agree on politics but we wax eloquent for our ‘side’ and laugh as we move on to the next thing.  What we have no control over doesn’t matter.  What do matter are our values and how much we love each other.  In 3 days he will leave again for another year.  We’ll cling to each other’s voice over the phone, knowing that if anything happens we have loved unconditionally. 

I am blessed, to know an earthly love that exemplifies a heavenly love.  And yet…not as much still.  God loves us even more.  How can that be?  I marvel at God’s heart for us.  It is so all-encompassing.  We can enjoy His presence in every step of our lives.  Wherever we go, He is there.  He IS love (1john4:8), and that love is ‘manifest in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him’ (1john 4:9) Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:35-39).  That is enough, yet there is more.  More love, more forgiveness, more kindness, more provision…He is omnipotent, omniscience, omnipresence and omni-more!

Two Fathers, Two incredible Loves – one temporal, one Eternal.  Thank you to the One(s) who loves me most!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Stones of Remembrance

Lately, the Lord has had me go back through the Words He has given me over the years. Encouraging me to continue to race; exhorting me not to give up, comforting me in my weariness. It has been a month of pulling up my boot straps, reminding myself this is HIS call on my life as well as HIS timing. I've worn a path in the road between I'm all in and I just want to be one with the couch. IT's never just about learning the task part of the call; I've also had to learn how to run this race without being the one in control. 

Well, we've all been there.

When I read this blog today, I realize WHY He took me back; WHY He reminded me of the WHY. Going back over the "Stones of Remembrance' set me on my face again; weeping for the nations, crying out for the missionaries daring it all for the sake of the Gospel; embracing the mantel placed on my shoulders and choosing to get on with it! As it says in The Message, "Strip down, start running and never quit.  No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we're in. Study how He did it. Because He never lost sight of where He was headed - that exhilarating finish in and with God - He could put up with anything along the way..."

So I share it with you...just in case you are also in a place of needing to remember the WHY!

Marilyn - 6/14/15
When I was four years old, my parents thought they may not be able to continue living in Pakistan.
They were tired. They were discouraged. They felt they had seen so little, for so much work. Mom and Dad were getting ready to go on a furlough and wisely decided not to make a decision until they had reached the United States and had a chance to process and rest.
It was while at a summer linguistics course that my dad had a renewed sense of purpose, a reawakening of his ‘call.’ While reading the book of Acts, he was struck by this work that began so long ago: The work of reaching out with the message of the gospel.
I learn this as I begin to reread my mom’s book. It is a book about the mission work that was started in the Sindh area of Pakistan by my parents mission, soon after Pakistan’s birth and independence. It is a fascinating history full of names and people who I know. Not only does it read as a historical account, it also gives me insight into my parents as a young couple, beginning with a journey by ship to this new country.
I read about my dad building a septic system with one page of simple instructions; about how three couples with five kids between them lived in two rooms; about a Hindu friend bringing them keys one night to a new house, urging them to “Quick, come put the lock on so Muslim neighbors don’t take it!
I read about death and discouragement, about times of miscommunication and trial, about raising a family in a country far different from the one they left.
I read, and I remember.
There were times when my parents were deeply discouraged, and I see that through the book. Sometimes discouragement was soul deep; so deep that they felt they could no longer live overseas. But then they would remember – remember what brought them there, remember what had transpired, remember the day-to-day strength as well as the extraordinary miracles that happened. There was strength in remembering.
In the Old Testament book of Joshua, the Lord tells Joshua to choose 12 men, one from each tribe. They are to go and pick up a stone from the middle of the Jordan River, at the spot where the priests were carrying the Ark of the Covenant. They were to carry the stones to the place where the people would spend the night. There they would put them down to serve as a sign. These were stones of remembrance. They served as a sign to the people present and to future generations.
“In the future, when your children ask you, ‘What do these stones mean?’ tell them that the flow of the Jordan was cut off before the ark of the covenant of the Lord. When it crossed the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off. These stones are to be a memorial to the people of Israel forever….Joshua set up the twelve stones that had been in the middle of the Jordan at the spot where the priests who carried the ark of the covenant had stood. And they are there to this day.” Joshua 4:6,7,9
I don’t know where you are today or what is going on in your life. I know that it is the end of the school year and many of you are packing up and saying goodbye. Others are staying, you are the ones left behind. Some of you may be wondering why you’ve wasted your life in the hard places, others may be weeping that you have to leave those same places. Some of you may be facing a difficult decision, a decision that demands head and heart: “Should we stay? Should we go?” Others may have no choice in the matter, a crisis demands that you leave what you love.
No matter where you find yourself today, I urge you to remember.
What are the stones of remembrance in your life? What rocks can you point to, stones of surety that declare “God was here.” What can you list that point to a life of faith, built on a stone foundation? Was it a visa that came at the last-minute? A job that fit your gifts and skill set that you know laid the foundation for you to be able to go? Was it that sense of dread, and then peace, knowing something wasn’t quite right and finally finding out what it was – and you knew God had prepared you? Was it a time of meditation, where you knew beyond doubt that you were in the right place, making the right decision – whether staying or leaving? What are your stones of remembrance?
Gather those stones, put them down in writing, so that you too can tell future generations “This is why we are here.”Because it’s good to remember.
“But first, remember,remember, remember the signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night. And whatever strange things may happen to you, let nothing turn your mind from following the signs. And secondly, I give you a warning. Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain. the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind. And the sign which you have learned here will not look at all as you expect them to look, when you meet them there. That is why it is so important to know them by heart and pay not attention to appearances. Remember the signs and believe the signs. Nothing else matters.” CS Lewis in The Silver Chair from the Chronicles of Narnia Series. 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

A New Day

Well, after taking a couple of months off of blogging I've decided to try this again. 

Roy & I initially set this page up so missionaries could share ideas, suggestions and information with each other, however facebook has created an incredible outlet for that to happen, so we haven't needed this blog. 

However, while deciding what to do, I found I love to write and it gave me that outlet as well so you may get a taste of both!! 

It's also a great way to share the many resources that I find with those of you not on FaceBook!! So, now I am going to take a bit of time to redesign and in the meantime share some of the great thing I come across willy-nilly. 

You can help, by posting your own 'finds' that may help short or long term missionaries - especially great if you are a missionary and by default have tried such 'finds'. 

Here are a few links I'm adding to our Resource page on the website. website provides a plethora of information on resources (in many different languages).  The resources are listed in alphabetical order by topic. impact offers hosted Oases of rest and renewal for International Workers, Pastors, and other Christian leaders. Here is the link to the Oases of Rest:

If you have never visited our website the link is at and the link to our facebook page, ESM beCAUSE is at