Tuesday, January 29, 2008

We are Going!

The past few days have been a bit of a whirlwind. Not so much in our lives, but in our hearts and minds. Last Friday our Pastor asked me if I wanted to go to Beirut Lebanon on a mission trip. We have a missionary at the Lebanese Seminary and Christian School who needs help with a children's camp. Every time a mission trip comes up my heart longs to go. Especially when it involves children. And every time I give into my fears and decline to go. I cry when they leave and cry when they return. My heart grieved knowing that once again I had been disobedient to the Lord.

But this time....I am going. It is just time to let the fear go and be obedient to the Lord's leading. I am stepping out of my comfort zone is a big way. Now that I am going it seems really silly to have put it off for so long. There is nothing like the peace of being in God's will. It is sweet!

On Sunday morning, Mark talked with Pastor and....you guessed it. Mark is going too! There are so many details to take care of. We have already seen the Lord at work in preparing us. All the years of working with children of all ages has only served to prepare us for this opportunity. The joy of serving Him is so awesome I can't even begin to discribe it to you.

We leave on March 16th for a 10 day trip to Beirut, Lebanon. It is sure to be an adventure for us. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Cost of Walking with Christ

Sunday evening we had an incredible baptism service at our church. Every time I witness this outward expression of death to self and life in Christ, I weep like a baby. My heart is overflowing with praise for the grace of God that is poured out on our lives. It is truly awesome to stop the crazy world outside and spend time listening to the testimonies of the changed lives of fellow believers.

Being on staff, I get a sneak preview of the testimonies. This gives me a little different perspective on their stories. This inside scoop, if you will, can sometimes be heart wrenching. I call it "knowing too much". This time it was a story that is just hard to shake. One of persecution. We don't think about people paying a price to walk with Christ. We forget that persecution is alive and well among us.

To protect their identity, I will simple say this. Their life is a living example of Luke 6:27-28. "But I say to you who hear, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Please pray for this dear believer. They are standing firm, holding God's hand, and walking with Him. Pray for their faith to remain strong, and their witness pure and affective.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hitting the Books

Things are slowing down now that the holidays have passed. There is no real excuse for not writing since the 4th. Just life and all the stuff that goes with it.

I have hit the books again. I am reading like mad to finish another book before starting my NANC training in February. NANC is National Associate of Nouthetic Counselors. The short of it is trained Biblical Counselors. I go to Lafayette, Indiana the week of February 10 for 5 days of intense training. 8am to 8pm for 5 days. It will be like trying to get a drink from a fire hose. Lots of information to absorb. I am trying to figure out how I will remember it all.

The more I read the more I learn of God and his ways. The incredible way the Bible intertwines with itself is amazing to me. The ins and outs of the sin nature and the affects of sin are convicting. With each new thing I learn, my heart grows more and more thankful for Christ. There is so much information in the Word that I am amazed everyone is not flocking to read it! But we don't, we just take it for granted. It has always been on the coffee table and it always will be there. Make me beg forgiveness for all the times I walk right past it for something that "just can't wait". Boy! do we know how to waste time or what!

Lord, help me to increase my study of your Word and be able to apply the truth that is there.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Why Questions

I recently finished the book "Humility" by CJ Mahaney. If you haven't read this book GET IT! I t will help you see yourself for who you are: a sinner who deserves less than nothing. Once you get back in the Word and scrap yourself off the bottom of a shoe.... It is awesome! You just have to trust me.

This book along with the "happenings" of this week have caused me to ponder several "Why" questions. I have included several below. Read them as if they were yours and then listen.......to the Lord at work on your heart.

Why don’t I get on my knees every morning and pray for my pastors, staff, elders, congregants?
Why don’t I serve them more, pray for them more, love them more?
Why don’t I realize there are broken hearts all around me?
Why don’t I see the destruction of families right under my nose?
Why don’t I see how quickly time is passing and make the most of every waking moment?
Why do I waste the precious resources that God has provided?
Why can’t I see that I have an opportunity to serve God if I just look?
Why won’t people turn to Him?

Why don’t I appreciate my husband?
Why do I forget that he is a gift from the Lord?
Why do I remember all the hurtful things?
Why do I forget the day to day little things that make me love him?
Why do I complain when he asks for a simple favor?
Why don’t I realize what a fabulous husband he is?

Why do I take for granted the incredible adults my children have become?
Why am I not making sure they know that I not only love them, but adore them?
Why don't I talk to them about God and His ways at every opportunity?
Why do I try to hang on to them and forget that they really belong to God?

Why am I so selfish?