Monday, August 8, 2016

God is in the Waiting

Unexpected things happen every day. Most of the time they are minor inconveniences. At other times your life comes to a halt forcing you to find a new normal.

As a follower of Christ for over 40 years now, I would like to think I'm all grown up by now, but life has been a continuous journey for me in getting to know my Savior at deeper levels. I guess growing really does continue until you take your last breath!

I recently went to the states for the birth of my first grandson. My trip was supposed to be for two weeks and then I was to return to Trinidad to help my husband with mission’s teams that were coming. As I flew back to Houston with the plan of going on to Trinidad, I found out that I did not have the proper documents yet to re-enter Trinidad.

Some very good friends (more like family) of ours live in Texas. They came to the airport to get me and provided wonderful hospitality (i.e. family time) while I waited to get the proper documents to return. Each day was to be the day I would get the documents. What started out as a two-week trip began a much longer journey of waiting.

I know at least some of what scripture sayslike, my times are in His hands Psalm 31:15. It is one thing to know what scripture says, but an entirely different thing to let it seep down to the core of who you are. Spiritually speaking I had to go to the secret place to meet with God.
(Psalm 91:1 KJV)

There were a lot of starts and stops that continued over the next five weeks. One of the principles that my husband and I teach in our mission’s classes is finding a new normal as quickly as possible. So I began putting order to my days. Spending time in the word and worship to get my heart settled to enter a new day. I spent part of my days continuing office work that can be done no matter where in the world you are. Thank God for technology! I also enjoyed time with my special friendsJ

A phrase in a book by one of my favorite authors, Bob Sorge has become very meaningful to me. The phrase is recalibration of the soul. The idea is to bring the soul (mind, will and emotions) back in alignment with the truth of God's Word. So daily I recalibrated my soul, settled my heart and trusted God in the midst of uncertainty.

As I made the choice on a daily basis to stay focused on Jesus and on the goodness of God, the Holy Spirit began to remind me of a truth that I have learned and have often told others. The Bible says in Isaiah 40:31 they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall walk and not grow weary, they shall run and not faint. This is a scripture that God used to speak a significant truth to me years ago. That truth is that there are different types of waiting. God's word tells us that they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. So it becomes clear that if in the waiting you are frustrated, angry, anxious or fill in the blank with whatever word works for you, that you are not waiting on the Lord. You are waiting on circumstances, people or things, but not on the Lord. To be renewed does not take away, it adds.

As I read this verse again for the very first time and spent quiet time with the Lord, a thought came to me. I'm sure I already knew it to be true, but sometimes during certain seasons God places a thought in your heart that becomes very significant. Here it isGod is not just in the answer, God is in the waiting. How we live while are waiting for that prayer to be answered makes all the difference in the world. It affects how you hear from God, how you relate to others, how much stamina you will have spiritually, emotionally and physically for the journey.

Father God, help me to wait well.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I am a Worship Stalker heard me correctly. I love to watch other people worship! There is something that stirs in my soul when I see other people with hearts abandoned before God. It changes the atmosphere in the room. It stirs and draws my own heart into worship.

I remember the first time I saw one of my sons at age 15 pull his hands out of his jean pockets and raise them in worship to the Lord. It moved me. I was standing in the back of the sanctuary, and yes, I was stalking the worshipers!

I still have a picture of one of my granddaughters raising her hands in worship. There is just nothing like it!

It has been so much fun watching Trinidadians worship over the last six years. In fact, one of our missionary Interns said that when she gets to heaven and is worshiping around the Throne, she wants to be standing with the Trinis! They give worship their all. They worship with their body,soul and spirit! I have seen elderly Trini's worship with everything they have, even if it is a bit slower that others:)

There is something about "giving it your all" that changes the atmosphere in your own heart and in the room. A church that we were pastors at hosted a Master's Commission Church based discipleship program. I used to love being a part of their worship time. Some would pace, some would put their face to the wall, others would bow, but everyone was aggressively putting in their worship time. 

Opening up your heart is the beginning of change. Change in you, change in those around you and subsequently change in the world around you! 

You might enjoy being a Worship stalker, at least every once in awhile:) It will do your heart good! 

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Christmas: When you don't get what you want

When you approach Christmas on an emotional level it is often a bittersweet time. If you go back to past Christmas Memories, your emotions can pull uninvited thoughts of past heartache. If you dwell on your current situation, you must bring your emotions and thinking captive in obedience to the Christ of Christmas, or you will yearn for things you cannot have and do not have control over. When you dwell on the Christ of Christmas, He can fill the void where hurts have left a vacuum. It is easy to say “Jesus is the reason for the Season”, but our emotions alone just can’t pull that truth to the forefront of our thinking and experience. It takes an act of our will and a supernatural touch from God to face Christmas the way we should.

I wake up every Christmas morning remembering our little girl, Alexandra, who was born on Christmas Day 24 years ago. She lived one day. In subsequent years I have had to choose to celebrate the Christ of Christmas, even when the celebration of the season at times escaped me. My heart took time to heal, but I took charge of my emotions and have had a renewed focus on Jesus for several years now saying “Thank You” to Him for coming as the baby in the manger.

Maybe you do not have enough of something this Christmas…enough family, enough peace in your family, enough money, enough time…

I encourage you to look Jesus in the eyes this Christmas and say “Thank You” for what you do have…Him!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Ministry of "Drops"

The Ministry of Drops

Sometimes we place ministry in very complicated boxes. So much so, that many people feel they are not qualified, or that they have nothing of importance to offer.

I have found ministry to be as meaningful if not more when we look at the simple, less complicated ways we can minister or "serve" which is the original meaning of the word minister.
Since that is the case, all believers are first ministers and then a housewife, teacher,doctor fill in the blank.

Many people of Trinidad and Tobago "travel" to get around. To travel means they take taxis, maxi taxis, the bus or walk. Sometimes they don't own cars or maybe there is only one car to the they "travel". To pick up a taxi or maxi, most have to walk a ways to get to the main road to get a ride. When we see someone walking on our road to get to the junction for a ride, we often stop to pick them up to get them to the main road. This is called giving "a drop".  

Sooooooooo, we have the ministry of drops! 

What's your ministry? Think about a time when you really needed something or someone. Somewhere in that need, you probably needed someone to "serve" you, or minister to you.

When we have a "servants" heart, the Holy Spirit has a good vessel to speak to and work through.

Maybe when you first moved in to your house, you needed help to...or needed someone to...

What about:

A pizza for moving day
Childcare for a busy mom
A single rose or carnation just to say you care
Listening to the news and helping a family in need

How about doing one of these for a total stranger?

Obviously the ideas are limitless. 

My prayer for myself as well as you is that we would "see" the many opportunities daily that allow us to minister or serve in Jesus Name!

God help us to see and then help us to obey with servant hearts!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas: Looking Deeper

I have been thinking a lot about Christmas this year. Perhaps I am looking deeper because I am  far away from family and life long friends. Perhaps not being able to attend traditional events and enjoying the family traditions up close and personal makes me look deeper. It could also be a change in perspective since becoming a missionary. 

I choose D...all the above!

A tradition our family has each Christmas is sharing our favorite part of the Christmas story. We are all speakers, teachers or preachers (in some cases...all three!) We try to find something "new" each year to share with each other. This makes our Christmas celebration a bit lengthy, but it's worth it! As I have looked at the Christmas story this year, it would seem that  I have been a missionary long enough now to see the story through missionary eyes. 

It has amazed me to SEE missions all through the Christmas story! I read recently that Jesus was an immigrant before he was a Nazarene. Wow...think about that...the trip to Egypt to save his life was a very short time after his birth. I think about the Wise men (however many there were) who had enough curiosity in them to follow a star. In missionary terms they were "voluntary comers" who, to satisfy their curiosity packed up and started traveling. They were not believers when they started their trip...but...when they came into the presence of the Son of God several months later they immediately bowed down and worshiped him! People from another land, perhaps language and most certainly worshipers of other gods, bowed down and worshiped Jesus! In a moment, in the presence of Jesus, they shifted their allegiance from all they had known to a new profound knowledge of the King of Kings! This is missions! One more thought on this...these "changed" wise men took their new beliefs back to their country, spreading the "good news" to another part of the world. Isn't it amazing how God gets the truth around the world!

I do not look at the Christmas story simply as a "warm and fuzzy" Jesus lying in a manger story. So much about the Christmas story was not warm and fuzzy. There was harsh travel, scary accommodations for giving birth, crowds of people, odious smells, rough shepherds and the threat of death, to list a few. 

Christmas today is not "warm and fuzzy" for many people. Loss is amplified at Christmas. Loss of family, friends, work, health and perhaps even faith. Lack rather than abundance is the reality of many around the world at Christmas. There are also those who "have it all" but don't have Jesus.

Let's help people from all walks of life this Christmas enter into the presence of Jesus. We know that when someone has  a genuine encounter with Jesus, other allegiances will be tossed aside to worship the King of Kings!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Declare and Decree!

I know, I's been awhile. My writers block had writers block!

I have learned many things since moving to Trinidad. It will take more blogs to share them all, but today I want to share about something that has touched my spirit since moving here.

Just listening to a Trini pray is a powerful experience. There is a phrase I have heard more than once during prayer that takes it to a different level for me. That phrase is, "Declare and Decree"...

It is like a warrior spirit takes over when they pray. I have heard it when they pray for their country, their church, their government, crime, their children and grandchildren.

Declare: To make known or state clearly.
Decree: A formal and authoritative order.

What do you need to declare and decree today?

Whatever it is, state it clearly and order it authoritatively! We must believe we can move heaven and earth with our prayers! I have found out there are no wimpy prayers in Trinidad. They know who their God is and approach Him with boldness!

Maybe it's time to take a different approach in prayer. If you feel beat up these days, it's time to DECLARE AND DECREE!

Thanks Trinidad! You are a great example in how to WAR in prayer!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ants In My Pants!

Ants In My Pants!

Okay...not really...but close!

One of the things that thrives in the Tropics is BUGS! We have been fighting little tiny ants in our home for months. We have asked Trini's what to do and we have gotten some ideas from them, but to no avail...the ants have taken over. Sometimes we can find a trail and see where they are coming in and deal with it...for awhile(sigh), but they find another entrance eventually. The truth be told, they are not invading our space, but we are invading their territory. They were here first:)

I have little tiny (almost hard to see) ants crawling on me when I am sitting, standing, sleeping, eating and can fill in the blanks, if other ideas come to your mind.
I am certain I have ingested and inhaled a number of them. Ashleigh (my daughter) woke up one morning with one crawling in her eye!
Ants In My Pants...well...actually...MAYBE!
I haven't written for awhile...some may say writers block...I say "stuck". I am not sure what to call what I have been going through (not really quite out of it) but I have felt all plugged up. Maybe there is such a thing as Spiritual constitpation:) Women will often say, they are emotional and don't really know why. I think that is part of it. So much change has come to me in the last three years, that I think it caught up with me and put me in "weary mode" for awhile. My level of pain in my right hip dosen't's just always there and some days I don't handle it as well. I don't discount Spiritual forces either. I know that what we are doing here in Trinidad is the last thing that the enemy of our souls wants, and he likes to throw fits, reek havoc, annoy and disrupt.
I do know a believer...a daughter of the King...I can last on what I know to be true until feelings come, I can seek my God even when I don't feel His presence, read His Word even when I don't see the answers I am looking for. I am His on the bad, ugly days. I am His on the dark days that beg for understanding. He sees me when no one else does. He smiles at me and appreciates me when no one else does. He waits for me...
We can't afford to play "catch up Christianity". We must put God's Word in our hearts everyday, talk to God everyday...because you don't know when "hard" will hit. Sometimes, "hard" stays around for awhile. I know this...God gets it...and thank you get ME!