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Peace in the Storms; Courage in Crises

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Having to love and support family from afar is never so difficult as when our loved ones are caught up in a time of crises. It is the intensity of such times that they and their families back home are all called upon to perform acts of courage they really did not think they were capable of.

For how does one sort through the myriad of decisions that requires a sound mind to guide one’s family safely through risky and at times even dangerous situations? And for those back home holding their breath as they wait for assurances their loved ones are safe? How do they keep from worrying themselves sick?

I mentioned previously that situations like these bring forth courage. But how does one put aside the fear, worry, and stress long enough to take on courageous? The reality is that in the face of such challenges the temptation to give into the fear, etc. is stronger than we realize.

Personally, I discovered the only way I could reject fear and worry was to tune my hearing to only one voice. When I did the peace that passes all understanding calmed my heart and ruled over my fear. That kind of peace is only accessible from God.

How, can one avoid being overcome with fear and worry during such turmoil? But if I have discovered anything in sending my children off to answer God’s call upon their lives is this. “When we answer God’s bidding to follow Him, He equips us to carry out His plan. And as God called them to go, He just as surely called me to let them go.” And though it is hard, it is doable!

So when His calling places us in difficult and even dangerous situations we have the confidence that He is in control. That He will never leave us or forsake us. That we can have peace in the midst of the storm. And for me, that the safest place on earth for my children is in the center of His will.

But this assurance isn’t just for those who are in full time service to God. It’s for any of us who have Christ as our Savior. It’s not an easy life we should pray for. We should pray for a life that knows how to turn to God and seek His purpose for the crises we find ourselves in. That is true for any Christian; not just those on the foreign field.

Good news for 2017!

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   With all the resetting going on in our mission organization of late, I confess some concern as to  how the organizational reset plans were going to work out.  I was concerned as to how it would affect those, who I have become friends with through my son, who opted to take the volunteer retirement option and how their retirement would affect those continuing to serve. 

   I have been keeping up with my friends who have returned home and are busy resetting their lives here in the United States after serving on the mission field for several years, and I am encouraged by their reports. Thanks to technology, my own missionaries can stay in contact with these seasoned missionaries via long distance to benefit from the wisdom they have gleaned over the years on the field. 

  Therefore, I am grateful to pass along to you this updated report from the IMB concerning the organizational reset process.

Thanks to Southern Baptists, IMB in ‘much healthier financial position’

RICHMOND, Va.—The International Mission Board expects to operate a balanced budget for 2017 due to its 2015-16 organizational reset processes and the generosity of Southern Baptists who have given sacrificially, IMB President David Platt told the organization’s board of trustees during its February 22-24 meeting in Richmond, Virginia.

“IMB is now in a much healthier financial position,” Platt said. “Due to increased giving from Southern Baptist churches, Cooperative Program and Lottie Moon Christmas Offering giving are trending upward.”

Click on the following link for more details:

http://imb.org/updates/storyview-4471.aspx#.VuG454Rb_FI

In the face of fear, God keeps His Word

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   Today, I am dealing with a lot of temptations in the form of fiery darts. You know, negative thinking! Thoughts, that tempt me to fear for my dear ones living far away! So far, because of God’s marvelous grace and love, and because I have been counseled and tutored by the Holy Spirit on how to resist such temptations, fear and worry are being held at bay!

 

Fiery Darts: Satan’s Weapon of Choice, is a book of the lessons God taught me on how to resist negative thinking. You can order your copy by clicking on the following link:

http://www.certapublishing.com/FieryDarts

 

   Because of recent news reports, the enemy has upped the pressure in tempting me to succumb to the fiery darts of worry and fear for my loved ones. Therefore, I am faced with a  choice–give into the fear and worry, or resist them. I choose to resist them, of course! The plan of action is that every time these fiery darts of fear and worry attempt to gain entrance into my mind, I call on the power of God’s Word to turn them away. 

   Of course, this is not easy! The temptations are powerful! Therefore, I do what I’ve been trained to do:

 

1-Recognize the thoughts of fear and worry for the fiery darts they are
2-Resist them by calling upon God’s strength
3-Replace the fiery dart thoughts, with God’s Truth Thoughts from God’s Words

 

TRUTH THOUGHTS:

   For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV

   Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 NIV

   No weapon that is formed against (my loved ones) will prosper. Isaiah 54:17 (my words in parenthesis)

   You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in you. Isaiah 26:33

   Do not withhold your mercy from (them), LORD; may your love and faithfulness always protect (them). Psalm 40:11 NIV (my words in parenthesis)

   And you know, before I got finished writing this blog, I got a word from my loved ones that they are all okay. Things are tense there but they are okay!

GOD IS FAITHFUL

My God wins every time!

My God wins every time!

 

Facing a long distance crisis!

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   What do you do when you live in the African bush and your son tries to climb up a bookcase, falls to the floor and hits his head, resulting in grogginess and vomiting? First,you alert the prayer warriors then get busy about the business at hand. And in my grandson’s case, my son called upon the services of a missionary airline who flew close to where my son and his family lived and picked them up. Within a few hours my grandson was flown to the nearest hospital for a CT scan which revealed he had not suffered a concussion! X-rays were taken and the next day, the pediatrician read them giving the good news that my grandson was okay.

How do we (my husband and I, plus his sisters, plus great grandparents) handle such long distance crisis?

   In our situation our reaction mode was to fall upon our knees and pray, call the prayer warriors to intervene on our grandson’s behalf, draw from the strength of God’s Word, and rest in the knowledge that God is faithful and in control of every detail.  All this, while the crisis across the world from us was being played out.
   Then as we prayed, we stay glued to our computers, searching social media for any word as to how things were going. Or we may walk around with our cell phones in our hands to immediately respond to any news, not in a worried mode but all the time focusing on God’s power and faithfulness.

I ask one more question, “How on earth do we pull this off?”

   For me, it is possible because years ago, I surrendered my children to the only One who could always be with them, who would never leave them, and who would know exactly what to do and what to provide in any crisis situation. I prayed that they would always seek to be in the center of God’s will, and when, in my son’s case, that transported him to the other side of the world, the best thing to do for all concerned was to submit to the plans God had for him. In that submission, I was supplied with all that I needed as I walked this journey of release.
   When I put all this in its proper perspective, then I see the bigger picture. I see God working in my son’s life as he works to help build God’s kingdom, as He provides and cares for him and his family, as He imparts strength to us to be able to walk these times of crisis being so distant from our loved ones!

Never think that this is easy! We face those temptations of fear, worry, and despair. We are human after all. But we face them down with prayer and faith and those demons weakly retreat!

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