Friday, August 28, 2015

too close to home

This week the news headlines have been way too close to home. We have known of evil but it always seemed far away from us and we seem comfortable distance from such evil.

Smith Mountain Lake, where the 2 reporters were shot is right in our backyard. It is about 30 minutes from where our VA home is. My parents lived on it once and for years my grandparents had a fishing trailer right on it and we’d play there in the summer. We didn’t know the reporters personally but the camera man, Andy, has done some promotions for GPPD events, Jonathan and I remember him. It is weird watching from a distance as facebook has lit up this week with so many posts from friends and family who new them or who are all greatly effected that this was in little Roanoke’s backyard. Not that we don’t have crime or evil in Roanoke but it is rarely this kind of evil.

I know where we live now there is a sick kind of evil that is only hours away on every side. That is why we are here trying to bring truth and love to people who are hurting from it.

This week a dear friend of ours headed out the dangerous trek that was also on the world news headlines. We knew it was dangerous but the last couple of days of news reports about travelers along the same trek have shared of so many people dying or being stoped has brought me to my knees and prayer constantly for our dear friend.

This is said to be the worst refugee crisis since WW2. With over 180,000 that have done the trek and over 800,000 people expected to do it this year. They are fleeing evil and the effect evil has had on their lives for years in their war torn countries.

Our friend is young, I think partly he did this because he has been in waiting …he feels since he was a young boy… that is how long he remembers evil and war in his home country.  There is a desperateness to find peace a place where you can live … truly live not in fear of death or in a country where there is no way to work, or get education or start a life.

I know there is evil in the world where ever we go. This week is so evident in that.  There is a potential for evil and sin in all of human kind. Christ is the wildcard… the one who changes all of that.

Don’t be impressed with your own wisdom. Instead, fear the Lord and turn away from evil.  Proverbs 3:7

An evil man is held captive by his own sins; they are ropes that catch and hold him.  Proverbs 5:22

The Lord is watching everywhere, keeping his eye on both the evil and the good. Proverbs 15:3

But most fortunate of all are those who are not yet born. For they have not seen all the evil that is done under the sun. Ecclesiastes 4:3

God knows the evil in this world. He didn’t create it but He made a way out from evil for our personal lives. He gave us a free will to follow Him or follow evil. Only in Him can true peace be found.

Yet there are many suffering because of the evil in others. Pray with me for so many around the world fleeing evil like our dear friend.

last hug and saying"see you later" to our friend
And also pray not that evil will be gone from this world, because that won’t happen till Christ’s return but that evil people around the world would instead choose to follow Jesus, that God will reveal Himself to them where ever they are and that they will….Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. 1 Peter 3:11

Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. Hebrews 3:12

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Daddy want us

When I was little, one of my favorite things to do was to “help“ daddy. It wasn’t that I knew what I was doing or was even learning to attain a trade. I just wanted to be near him. Whether he was fixing a car or doing a project on the house, I was there. He would tell me what to do and what he needed and then I would pass him the wrench, go get the wheelbarrow or whatever.

That is kind of how it is with my heavenly Father too.

We just want to be near Him. And He is so loving that He invites us to join Him in what He is doing even though we don’t have a clue what do to… It doesn’t matter. We just listen and obey what He tells us and He accomplishes His purpose.

Whether it is serving at Proceeds for Poverty or even moving to the Middle East as a family we are joining Him because we just want to be near Him. We have no idea what we are doing at times. We just know we need to listen and do what He asks us to do and we know that He will accomplish His plan and His purpose.

We are just excited we get to be a part of it, to obey, and to be with Him.

Proceeds for Poverty is this weekend in Troutville, VA – It is the LARGEST YARD SALE IN ROANOKE.. with over 50,000 items. Come buy, share the event with others, volunteer, and donate. 100% of the proceeds go to help meet the basic needs of people… like a home for families who lost theirs in Nepal, and clean water to drink for villages, and food for refugee families and orphaned children.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

He shows His mercy through Tears

We are simple sinners walking in God’s grace. These past 3/4 years were really hard for us as a family… I dwelled in my flesh a lot…. if there is anything good you have seen in me it has been Christ’s mercy on my sinful selfish soul powerfully shining trough despite my flesh.

I am thankful for these sufferings though…. not that I am happy that things happened the way they did…but that in these sufferings God has shown Himself to me in ways that otherwise I would have never seen Him.  I am thankful that He is Jehovah Shammah (God is with us).  That He created us for a relationship with Him and that He loves me enough to show me over and over again how much I desperately need Him. Through the trails in our lives and our sinful selves He has worked throughout History to lovingly show us that it is not about us, that we aren’t in control, and that He loves us despite our sinful selves.  Here is great sermon spells that out ..that encouraged me this week...

I wish I could say that my faith was beautiful through these trials… that I was always full of peace and contentment never questioning God but instead resting in my deep trust in Him.

But it is NOT true.

I was an ugly mess at times. I was at a place where nothing seemed to be going MY WAY…. and I threw some messy temper tantrums. I was discontent wanting so many different things than i was given. Tears flowed so many times these past few years.

The last 2 years were the hardest in our marriage as well.

Year #11's theme was "Year #11 Marriage isn't Heaven" (can't even find the picture for that one)

Year #12 1 Peter 5:10...

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation.

Quite a contrast from this dazed little couple here….

We both realized how selfish and hurtful we can be when stress arises and trials come…. When we are operating in our fleshiness…. but the great gift God gives…. is grace…. and I need mountains of it to survive…

And somehow now I love Jonathan differently but in a "no matter what" kind of way.... new vows are being written and now with understanding that things won't be pretty and to count on me through those times/years. 

This story of struggle, trials, suffering, thorns in fleshes, and redemption marks every follower of Christ throughout History. It is not that if you follow Jesus you won’t suffer in this world… you will… it is even a promise from God that you will ….

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 1 Peter 5:10

Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. 1 Peter 4:13

So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you. 1 Peter 4:19

Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12

….it not that you are “perfect” if you are a follower of Christ… if that were the requirement no one would be Christian… in fact it is just the opposite if you are a follower of Christ.. you are basically admitting you stink and all of your good efforts stink (are filthy rags ) and you desperately need God to survive every day.

…. The most amazing thing  in all of this trial filled and hard life is that the ALMIGHTY CREATOR GOD… He is with you… you …. You know…. “you”… the teeny tiny human… the one in a trillion whatever – I have no idea what number person you are born into this world – but that number is what I am talking about…

… HE does know though… what number you are…. HE knows the number of hairs on your head…His thoughts for you outnumber the grain of sand in enormous ol’ sea…..He cries when you cry even though He knows the ending (Lazarus) … He formed you in your mothers womb… crafted your inner parts… side note- the kids and I discussed briefly about DNA in Homeschool Science this week….. it is over whelming to what detail God went to into creating you….

The God of the universe beyond anything we humans can understand yet He loves us and wants to walk with us through our life trails… WOW….. if we can get this it will draw us right into awe of Him and worship of Him… which will bring us a joy that nothing in this created world can offer. 

What I am saying is that I am thankful… that despite my many failures God is still with me… He is still working on me… He hasn’t given up and wants me and loves me and through the sacrifice of Jesus He calls me beloved daughter and even lets me go to work with Him where He is working around the world.

I am also thankful for the trails of life.. though they leave me in tears they draw me closer to Him whom shapes me through them. He loves me enough to allow and even bring at times these tears in my life.