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In Times of Crises

A word of encouragement to all who have to love and support from afar!

Being distanced from our loved ones is always difficult but never more so in times of crises.

Recently my family got to experience first hand the power of God to deliver!

The power of God to replace fear with faith!

The power of God to take a bad situation and bring good out of it!

The power of God to teach us how to hear His voice above all the conflicting clamor!

The power of God to draw great numbers of people together in prayer to witness His faithfulness!

In times of crises when we can’t do anything for our children but pray, we have done more than enough! We must not allow the enemy to convince us otherwise. Planting ourselves firmly in God’s word will stabilize us. The weapons Satan will attack us with will fail. God will be glorified and we will be made strong. We will have something valuable to offer others during their times of crises.

We serve a mighty God!

Preserving the blessing!

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DREAMLAND!

DREAMLAND!

    Soon, in about 2 weeks from this writing, my husband and I will be joining our son, daughter in law, and two grandsons for a family vacation in a place I have only known in my dreams. The closer we get to boarding that plane, knowing that in a matter of hours I will be in the physical presence of my loved ones standing right dab in the middle of a land I have dreamed for years to visit, sometimes I wonder if I will be able to contain myself!

   While it has been my experience that with great sacrifice (and any parent of a missionary will attest to the fact that releasing your child is indeed a great sacrifice), God bestows an abundance of blessings. These blessings season the sacrifice with joy!

In blog post 1/26/12, “When your time comes to release your children for the work God calls them to in a land far away, just know that there are comforts built into your obedience.” 

   But in the midst of the anticipation of this indescribable blessing, I read in the world news of  the turmoil that envelopes the land where my loved ones serve. The security of this nation is being threatened because the opposing sides are more concerned with what they want than with meeting the needs of their people. Thus, the state of affairs where my loved ones now call home!

So how do I keep this threatening news from spoiling the abundant blessing He is preparing for my family and I?

   Apart from God’s grace, I couldn’t. Therefore, I camp down on verses like the following:

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

Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses every thought, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippines 4:6-7 HCSB

For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.2 Timothy 1:7 HCSB

Armed with these Truth Thoughts and knowing I have access to almighty God through prayer, I am secure in the following:

My Confidence!
No matter where they are, they are in His shadowed protection!

Not generally speaking!

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   Praying for our missionaries is something I do in earnest now. I grew up in a church that brought the need of praying for our missionaries to my attention. Every church I have served in since childhood has promoted praying for our missionaries as well.  So naturally, I prayed for them, consistently, but in a general way.

   Yet when my own son became a missionary my perspective on praying for our missionaries took on a new more intense facet. I suppose that is to be expected! However, I want to share with you some particulars of how I now pray and even if you won’t feel it to the depth that I do, I hope you will consider these particulars as you faithfully pray for our missionaries.

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Philippians 4:6-7, 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.

There’s lots of reasons why our missionaries might grow anxious (especially today). But as this verse proclaims, in those anxious situations they can focus on being thankful for them.  Because in every situation, God has the power to bring good out of bad situations. That’s the key to the peace this verse claims.

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Isaiah 54:17, no weapon forged against you will prevail.

No weapon of any kind, be it anyone or anything.

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2 Timothy 1:7, For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a strong mind.

When our missionaries face their days, they must reject fear and grasp the power, love, and strong mind provided to them by God. That needs to rule their thinking; not fear.

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Jeremiah 29:11, For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

We need to pray that they will cooperate with God daily as He works out His plans for them.

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Matthew 9:31, But they went out and spread the news about Him throughout all that land.

We must pray that they will be successful in making Christ known to the people they have been called to serve.

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Pray that in their personal problems they will have the vision to know what they must do to experience true resolution and honor God.

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Then finally, remember that because of their calling they must endure separation from their families back home. This is hard because family life back home continues to happen but without them. It’s hard on our missionaries and believe me, it’s hard on their families back home. So, put yourselves in our place and remember to pray for the grace and mercy needed to live our lives separated from the ones we love. 

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!

 

Learning how to focus!

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Those of you who know me and my situation are aware of the turmoil in the land to which my son has been called.  Therefore, you are knowledgeable of the dark curtain of uncertainty enveloping our family as a result of this turmoil.  You have heard the pleas for safety and are faithfully praying that impenetrable hedge of protection around them daily,

And I couldn’t be more grateful!

I confess, these days are difficult!  But there was one weekend when I knew my son, his family, and his team mates with their young families would be traveling a distance of 3 hours to their permanent home.  Three hours out in the open, vulnerable and exposed to come what may.  My son called me to let me know when they would be leaving.  Though he didn’t mention it specifically, I assumed he would call me as soon as they arrived so that I would know they had made it successfully.

Two days later, I still had not heard a word about whether or not they had made that 3 hour drive safely.  There is no internet connection in their locality but we can make connection by phone.  I made sure my cell phone was easily accessible throughout the day.  I made phone calls to my other children and my prayer partner to bolster up my courage as I faced this uncertainty.  There was a moment when my courage waned and my resistance to the possible scenarios they might have faced on the road was depleted.  Of course, the fact that the previous night had been spent in fitful dreaming about my son only served to fuel my fears the following day. 

First thing I did was call my prayer partner and ask her to pray over the specifics of the fears that were tempting to deplete me of my peace.  Then I searched in my Bible for verses having to do with protection and peace.   I went to my computer and typed in the words God’s protection and God’s peace.  Then I copied those verses onto a word document and printed them out.  I spent the rest of the day, reading those verses over and over in a prayerful mode.  My immediate fears were abated by the powerful truths of those verses.  

The next day was Sunday and because I still had not heard from my son, I kept my phone in my hand constantly (with the mute button engaged of course) just in case he might call.  My husband (being the pastor) asked for prayer over our son and that we might hear something soon.

That afternoon I decided to contact my daughter-in-law’s parents just in case they might have heard something I had not.  And sure enough, their daughter had called them  and reported that they were safe and sound.  

My son was in serious trouble! Can you figure out why?

It’s a good thing my son did not call me during those next several minutes.  I would have bitten his head off in that state, I am sure, if he had.  By the time he had called me (which was the next day) I had calmed down considerably. And I am so-o-o glad I did.   Come to find out, he HAD called me upon his arrival at their home, but for some reason, the message failed to reach me.  And another tidbit of knowledge that would have calmed my mounting fears was the fact that wherever my son, his family, and the other team member’s family went they were accompanied by armed guards.  So on that 3-hr trip, they had armed guards riding with them in their vehicles.  (I sure wished I’d known that) I found that out later when my son called.  But not knowing that, the only comforting thought I could muster during those hours of worried waiting was:

No news is good news!

What did I learn from that miserable weekend?  When the pressure is on the temptation to think the worst gains strength and momentum. Therefore, it’s vital to remember verses like the following:

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. James 4:7

If I ever get in this dilemma again, I will remember that, “No news is good news!”, and just camp down on that thought with all my might.  Also, I will do a better job of reining in those fiery darts of fear and implore the power of this verse:

You will keep the mind that is dependent on You in perfect peace, for it is trusting in you. Isaiah 26:3

I can say that I did two things right:

 1) calling upon a prayer partner to pray over me and the situation  

2) explore the Bible for verses that spoke truth to the lies with which I was being bombarded.  

As I examined the details of that agonizing weekend, there were some key factors that contributed to my failure to maintain a clear and stubborn focus on God’s faithfulness.  As I mentioned earlier, a disturbing dream the previous night had unnerved me and my mind replayed that dream repeatedly the following day. (It wasn’t so much the content of the dream but the evil spin Satan placed upon it) When I fought to focus on the ‘no news is good news’ and the truths of God’s protection as revealed in the verses I had printed out, that dream would thrust itself back into the center of my focus.  But I did persevere and eventually, by God’s loving grace, I was released from its evil influence. 

I will wrap up this post by commenting that if I have to face something like that again the following verse will be my ‘go to’ verse for the power to fight off the fear, dream or no dreams:

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

 

 

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