Monday, January 6, 2014

did i spell "quandrie" right?

Up at 3 am again......Probably not a good idea to take a comma inducing sleep aide at 8 pm. Shoulda waited the one more hour.   JET LAG YOU ARE MY NEMESIS!

But the up side to this is having the house all to myself perfectly still and quiet.  Alone with my thoughts and Jesus.

I had a good chat with a friend yesterday about life and all its quandries.  Here was the question that we were asking ourselves.  

Do we let our quandries define us or do we allow God to use those quandries
 to define more of Jesus in our lives?
(quandry is fun to say) 

Hurt and pain happen, its a fact.  Sometimes the hardest thing about life is dealing with the people in it. Feel me?    Misunderstandings happen, abuses happen, lies are told and manipulations occur.   And its all relative to ones experiences and where they are in life.   What hurts me might not you, and vise versa.

Do we sweep things under the rug and pretend they didn't happen?  OF COURSE NOT!   Sweep enough under there and you have a lumpy rug that you will trip on all the time.

Do we lash out at the one who caused the pain in an attempt to make them see how badly we are hurting.  (I speak from experience that DOESN'T WORK!)

From my own experience I can say this....God fights for those he calls his own!  When we stand still in the presence of God and allow his healing balm to cover our wounds, he fights for us!  TRULY HE DOES!  He turns our ashes into something beautiful and true worship comes.   He gives us the opportunity to confront if necessary and the right words come.

I just recently had an experience where I saw this play out beautifully in my own life.  I had been hurt in one of those raw life altering ways.  It sent me into a tail spin for quit some time and I wrestled with God.  My prayers were

"God I know that what I am feeling isn't ok, but you gotta help me!  I don't wanna be bitter and angry!  JESUS HELP!"  

And BOOM, out of no where I was allowed an opportunity that was God ordained for me to confront the issue.  It was done in love, but firm.  I was able to say what was on my heart with out being hurtful or angry.  I was able to hear the other person's heart and forgiveness and mercy ruled the day.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Back in Zambia for 2014

Back in Zambia and my head is spinning...literally....jet lag is a butt kicker!   Thank you Jesus for Stilnox. (an amazingly rock your face off sleep aid).  I think the person who invented this wonder drug MUST BE a born again Spirit filled lead by the Holy Ghost Christian.  THEY ARE AWESOME! 

We left Lusaka at the end of November, hot and ultra sweaty and landed in NYC to brisk cold winds.  What an assault on the senses!  I had to teach Brooklyn how to put on a coat and tie a scarf properly.  The child had no clue.  She balked at having to wear closed toed shoes.  I have a particulary vivid memory of her, mear days after our arrival, sitting down in the middle of Target moaning that she wanted to take her shoes off and me trying vainly to explain that it isn’t ok to run around barefoot in the Rockaway, NJ shopping complex.   

In Africa it is shoes optional.  No one looks at you crossed eyed like you are the redneckednest of mothers if your kid is in the store barefoot.  Oh the difficult life of a missionary kid! 
I have wrestled and wrestled with how to put into words this next section, lest you think that I am having a crisis of the soul or am  doubting God cause thats not the case AT ALL!

When we arrived in the States the cry of my heart was 

At the TSC volunteers banquet I wept in the presence of God like I haven't in a long time when the choir sang about our weakness and God's strength.  About how God sees us right where we are at and will never loose sight. 

Pastor Carter preached a message about Jesus being wrapped in weakness as a baby that left me trembling in my soul at the amazing humility of God.  You have to listen to it!!!

I stood in line at the TSC Christmas dinner helping serve roasted potatoes and many of you told me that you pray for our family.  THAT MEANS THE WORLD!!!!!

I watched several young people that I had influences on in one way or another when they were kids standing on the stage and worshiping God with all their hearts.  God gently spoke to my heart "There will always be fruit!"

Several other moments God gently spoke to me in a still small voice that we are pointed in the right direction and it came at the right moment.  

Are we allowed to get to the moments of OH GOD I CAN'T ANYMORE so that we are reminded that it doesn't have a thing to do with us?  

Hidden in the shadow of the wings of God is where we should be found.  If our hearts desire is to dwell in the house of God, our plans and our abilities fade into the back ground.  The load becomes a bit lighter.  And it is in that place that the sacrifices he asks of us make sense.  

My prayer for all of us in this coming year is that we be found hidden in the cleft of the rock of God's love and mercy.  That when war is raged on our souls we will be confident in God's word and in ability to carry us through with a song in our hearts.  

Psalm 27

The Lord is my light and my salvation
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
    of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
    to devour[a] me,
it is my enemies and my foes
    who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
    my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
    even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
    this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
    and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
    he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
    and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted
    above the enemies who surround me;
at his sacred tent I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
    I will sing and make music to the Lord.
13 I remain confident of this:
    I will see the goodness of the Lord
    in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

meet John

Meet John.  We don't know much about John other than he was a child living on the streets of Lusaka.    John represents the face of cou...