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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!

For I know the plans I have for you!

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   I think one of the most difficult things missionary families have to deal with is separation anxiety and the fact that our day to day lives are lived separately. Not only do we miss out on special event celebrations, but we miss out on those spontaneous moments that make up the bulk of our memories as a family. This is a burden we’ve been called to bear but one God faithfully and lovingly equipped us to bear. 
   But recently it has been brought abruptly home to me that sometimes we must endure times of sickness or heartache, as well, without the comfort of having our long distance family nearby. Recently a precious missionary mom I know was smacked with the dreaded diagnosis of cancer. It has knocked all of us who love this family off our feet. We don’t know what the future holds and that’s troubling. (But we must always remember, this comforting Truth thought: We know God holds our future!)
   Yet, my first thoughts when I heard the news was of her missionary daughter, her son in law, and her two grandsons and of the struggle they would be going through not being able to wrap their physical arms around her in love and comfort. I can only imagine what this news is doing to them. But we must remember, that there is a spiritual battle waging that is just as severe as the diagnosis of cancer.
   While my friend is struggling to find her bearings in the midst of this ruthless storm (and she needs to be allotted that time) there is some warfare for which her family and friends must prepare. Satan’s plan will be to tempt her to loose her focus and forget all the weapons God has prepared for her with which to overcome her enemy. Physical and emotional pain will likely become so intense that she might be tempted to give up under the weight of it all. 
   That’s where we come alongside of her physically and prayerfully standing ready and equipped to do whatever the Holy Spirit prompts us to do. Bringing to her attention those Truth thoughts abundant in Scripture that will lift her above her turmoil. And as we pray, we must consider her missionary kids and what we can do to stand in for them as we also consider their emotional pain.

My friend, posted this verse this morning, the day after she found out she had stage 4 cancer.

I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. Philippians 1:20

Delayed Gratification – God’s Way

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Grandchild #10

Grandchild #10

   This has been the year of babies in my extended family. In the space of about a week, our family welcomed 4 new additions! One of my nieces, who lives in another state, gave birth to a beautiful little girl, and my other niece, who lives nearby, gave birth to twin boys! While my daughter-in-law, on the other side of the globe, gave birth to  grandchild #10 for us .  

   I was asked about how hard it must be for me to see and/hold my new great nephews and not to get to do the same with my own grandson. I replied, “Yes it is! But when God calls you to something, He equips you to be able to handle the hard stuff!”

   Now, that’s a short statement, but the process God took me through to be able to make that statement was lengthy. For it started when I was 9 years old, when I accepted Christ as my Savior. Then at 21 years, I surrender my total life and future to God. This was pretty significant because I remember vividly, in tears, telling God that even if He called me to Africa, I would still give my whole life to Him. Well, God didn’t call me to Africa, instead He called me to be a pastor’s wife who would one day surrender her only son to Africa at His bidding! 

   However, God didn’t wait to give me what I needed to deal with having a grandson who would be 5 months old before I would get to hold him and love on him (while nephews and nieces were being born seemingly all around me; while their grandparents were enjoying holding and loving on their precious grand babies).  No, through out my life, one step at a time, He would be walking me towards that eventful day when my newest grandson would be born.

   And how on earth did God accomplish this?

   I believe that one of the most beneficial things God did for me was to open my understanding to the debilitating effects negative thinking can have. I was tempted, as you would suspect, to feel sorry for myself that I would not get to be present when my grandson was born! If I had of allowed myself to remain focused on such a thought (I call them fiery darts), I would have been pulled toward despair. 

   But God has taught me to recognize such negative thinking for the fiery darts they are and guided me as to how to reject them and replace them with His Truth thoughts. I will offer below just some of the Truth thoughts with which God has sustained me: (in trying to keep my word count down, I will only post the references)

Lamentations 3:22-23

Philippians 4:6-7

Isaiah 26:33

Romans 8:28

Philippians 4:13

2 Corinthians 12:9

   So whenever those fiery darts come knocking at my mind’s door, the above Truth thoughts are sent to answer, leaving me to live my life free of the victimization brought about by fiery dart thinking. 

   To find out more about the weapon of fiery darts and how they are used to produce bondage and undermine God’s plans for us, click on the following link:

http://www.certapublishing.com/fiery-darts.html

 

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!

 

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