Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Prayer...

Almost ten years ago our family set out on a great adventure that is still impacting us to this day. We began what we called The Goliath Project. We named it that because it was bigger than us and we felt like we were the five smooth stones setting off to make a difference. The Goliath Project was simply a prayer trip; our family traveled to the 48 continental states and prayed in or near the capitol of each state.

Soon after this trip began we encountered 9/11. We were in California at the time, it was a day we will never forget. The unknown of what this meant for our country and for us filled our minds. "What if there isn't enough gas for us to get home?" "What if there is another attack?" "Will we be safe on the road, in all these government buildings?"



These questions only lasted a day or two. It was then that a verse from Esther, "for such a time as this," took on new meaning to us. We needed to be praying for our country. Our country was hungry and desperate for prayer. So we continued on, praying through the fall of 2001 and then again the spring of 2002.

For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this? 
Esther 4:14

Fast forward to 2011, our country still needs prayer, it is still a Goliath sized project. Lately God has put so many things on my heart to pray for; sometimes I get overwhelmed with the enormity of it all. But I just keep trusting God and praying to Him, that is what I am called to do.

I am called to pray for my husband, that he would be the man God wants him to be.


I pray for my children, that they would continue to follow God's will in their lives and make a difference in the lives of those around them.


I feel called to pray for the unborn, that they would be allowed to live. I pray for those in a crisis pregnancy, that they would not resort to abortion, but choose life.


I pray for the persecuted church, as I wrote in my last post, these brothers and sisters need us as intercessors for them.


I pray for all the hurting marriages and families out there, Satan is having his way right now, and it makes me mad. I pray for husbands and wives to lean on God and allow Him to heal their relationships.


I am called to pray not only for my church, but The Church. That we would be God's hands and feet, that we would be an Acts 1:8 church!



There are many more things I am called to pray for, but currently this is my top list. The enormity of the problems in this world can be overwhelming. It can seem like Satan is winning, but then I remember as Paul Harvey would say...the rest of the story...and God wins!!

I think we are all living now "for such a time as this." Will you join me in praying for the many needs in our world? of our country? of your town? of your church? of your neighborhood? of your family? Join me in praying that another Great Awakening would happen in this country. If not us, then who? If not now, then when? Join me in continuing the  Goliath Project!!

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 
2 Chronicles 7:14

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

If you hammer a nail's head....

If you hammer on a nail's head it gets harder to pull out of a wall.

This quote was shared with me this weekend at a Voice of the Martyr's conference. The woman who spoke this quote is named Helen, she is from the country of Eritrea. These words were spoken as her body was literally hammered on in order to get her to renounce her faith in Jesus. Wow, that just floored me. I can't imagine the horrors she went through, and I can't imagine having that amount of boldness. Yet, she is not alone. The world is full of people just like Helen, willing and ready to give their lives for the Gospel of Christ. In America, we have no concept of true persecution.

Can you imagine risking your life every time you attend church? Can you imagine not having access to a Bible? Can you imagine giving up food in order to buy a satellite so your family can get fed on the Word? Can you imagine reading from a burnt Bible? Can you imagine being imprisoned for a year and forced to live in the jungle with your captors, only to have your husband killed during your rescue? I know I can't imagine these things, yet they happen, daily around our world.

I can't even begin to share the impact these stories have had on me. The work that Voice of the Martyrs does is amazing. They provide so many resources to persecuted Christians; Blankets to Sudan, Action Packs filled with clothes, Bibles to countries where it is illegal to own one, and they send parachutes into Columbia with radios so the locals can hear Christian radio programs. That is just some of what they do. I encourage you to visit their website and explore this ministry. We are such rich people in comparison to the rest of the world and our Christian brothers and sisters need our encouragement. 
Voice of the Martyrs

Action Packs ready to ship out!

Even if you can't help in any of the ways that require money, you can always pray. Prayer is powerful and God does move! Gracia Burnham (her husband was killed in the Philippines) shared a very practical way to remember to pray. As you dress in the morning take time to read the labels on your clothes and then pray for that country. Today my sweater told me to pray for China. So I remembered some of the things Bob Fu shared with us about China and I am praying today for the 130,000,000 Christians there who have been struck down but not destroyed. I know I will be praying differently and more diligently, I also know I will never look at a hammer the same way again!


   Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Hebrews 13:3 






Saturday, March 12, 2011

Complaining in the desert...

http://homepage.mac.com/rmay/BUSINESS.html

I am currently reading through Exodus. This has reminded me of an experiment Brian and I tried when our kids were younger. We were trying to show them how easy it was for the Israelites to complain about the manna they were given. So we came up with what we thought was a great plan. We would do our own manna for a week. So everyday for breakfast the only option was Cheerios and for every other meal we had macaroni  and cheese. It was funny shopping for all the macaroni and cheese. The kids got all excited when they saw all those boxes going in our cart. I imagine that was similar to the excitement of the Israelites when they first figured out that the white flakes on the ground was manna. I thought, oh yeah, this is going to be a great object lesson for them.



 The first day they were just delighted at meal time when those blue boxes of Kraft would come out. I knew that by day two they would start wondering what this was about. Day 2 comes and at lunch and dinner, they just cheered when they saw what we were having. Day 3, Day 4, and Day 5...same response. I'm starting to think...uh oh! In the mean time Brian and I can barely make it through a meal. In fact I "cheated" and added ham to the macaroni after about 4 days, just so we could stomach it.

Bottom line, the kids never once complained. They saw this as a gift. They were extra thankful for this provision of endless mac and cheese. Brian and I, the spiritually "mature" ones, struggled pretty much from the beginning. So a lesson for our kids, became a lesson for us. We need to have the kind of excitement they had for God's provision. Even if God gives us the same thing day after day, we need to not think "Why are you giving me this again God?" We need to think, "Thanks God for blessing me and providing this for me!"

The manna was put there to supply all the needs of the Israelites. They may not have agreed and yes they did grumble, but they remained strong and healthy for 40 years in the wilderness. God knows our needs, much better than we do. So why do we argue with Him when He blesses us? As I read Exodus I no longer think the same of the Israelites. I complained after eating "manna" for 7 days straight, am I really that much different from them? When I am in my own personal wilderness, I just need to praise God for the day to day provisions!

And my God will supply all your needs according to 
His riches in glory in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Live for the Line Not the Dot...


"Foolish people live for the dot. Wise people live for the line."

This quote is from a book my son and I are reading for his high school finance class. It is called Money Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn. Every day as we read, this book just convicts me more and more about how I am living my life.

So what exactly does this quote mean? Well, the dot in the picture represents our time here on earth. The line represents eternity; the time we will live in heaven. We need to keep this in perspective. Our time, the dot, is temporary and actually quite short. Our time, the line, will last forever. So why don't we live with eternity in mind?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.  But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal. Matthew 6:19-20

Our treasures on earth will stay on earth. But the treasures we store up for ourselves in heaven will last forever. They will never run out! If we were to live everyday with eternity in mind, I wonder how differently we would live our lives? Would we make different choices? Would we treat each other differently? Would we waste as much of our time? I ask myself these questions and challenge myself to stop living for the dot, I want to live for that line!!! Join me, I have a feeling it will be a great adventure!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

I'm a Thinker

Questions, that is something I do. I ask tons of questions. I just have this need to know and understand things. My questions can be as deep as trying to comprehend the reality of what heaven will really be like to something as simple as what does that call mean in any sport. I am always thinking and asking questions. This at times tends to make my husband a bit crazy as he always seems to be the one I am directing my questions to. I have discovered over the years that Brian does not always have all the answers. (I know it shocked me at first too!) So there are times I need to go into research mode and find the answers myself. Oh, the things I have learned along the way. We have often joked that I should write a book of my questions and their answers. I think by now I have enough to fill several books.

But you know, some questions I can't find the answers to. Some questions will remain just that, questions; at least until I enter heaven and then I believe God will answer them for me. Just last night I was pouring my heart out to God to understand why? That is the trickiest question of all, why? I'm sure many of you have had the same question, why? Why did she have to die? Why can't we get pregnant? Why am I sick? Why won't you answer me God? Why...why...why?

Scripture is where I go to find the peace I need in the midst of an unanswered why. I love the way The Message words Proverbs 3:5;

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
   don't try to figure out everything on your own.
We may not be allowed to see the answers to our questions on this side of heaven, but God calls us to trust him from the bottom of our hearts no matter what! I have learned that if I research something too much it will drive me crazy. Sometimes I have to accept that I can't figure out everything on my own. With God by my side, I don't need the answers, I just need to trust. Will there still be times when I cry out to God for answers? Yes. Sometimes He might give me insight, and other times He will give me peace, the peace I need to make it through my current struggle! 

So maybe today I will put aside all my questions from last night and rest in the comfort of my Father's peace!!! Ah, that's better than any spa or any answer I could find on my own!!