Isaiah 40:31 (New International Version)

31 but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A prayer request

I want to apologize to anyone who has been regularly visiting my blog, as I have been very neglectful in my writing. This has not been by choice, I can assure you. Many times I have sat in front of my computer wanting for the words to come, but the words didn't come. Today it has come to my attention that a friend of mine and her family have been going through a really hard time the last few days. My writing today is to ask for prayer. Baby Kayden was born on Saturday and since that day there have been some very serious complications. I will not give details as it is not my place, but if you would pray, I know that God knows. Please pray for healing. Pray that the presence of the Almighty would be near to this family during this time and that they would see His mighty hands at work. Pray that peace would descend from heaven and touch the very hearts of this new mom and dad. Thank you. May we all see God's work in this.

Father,

I lift baby Kayden up to you now. I pray Father for healing. I pray that your presence would be felt by all who enter the room of this baby. Pour out your peace and comfort. Thank you for your plan. Amen.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Spoken words.....

Socrates said....."know thyself"


Marcus Aurelius said......"control thyself"


Christ said....."deny thyself"

Monday, August 10, 2009

A journey of discovery (part 1)

I am on a journey, a quest if you will, to find out how to be the best possible woman I can be. This statement of course, encompasses a whole gamut of things, but I want to focus on the relational part of me. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I am a 35 year old woman, single, never been married. I have also stated that I am not great at relationships, the male/female kind, the kind that our hearts long for, you know the ones I mean. The kind of relationships that we see on T.V and in the movies. Yes, that's right, I do think that those relationships, the ones that most people call unrealistic, DO in fact exist. Don't get me wrong, I don't have this idea of my future husband and I skipping through a field of daisies everyday, hand in hand with smiles as big as the ocean. I know there are struggles and that marriage is hard work, but despite that fact, I think that if we are committed to allowing God to show us how, than it can be a beautiful thing. So, that is my quest, to allow God to come and show me how I can be the best wife that I can be instead of focused on finding the right husband.

Lets take a good look at what the bible says about a good wife......

Proverbs 31
Hymn to a Good Wife
10-31 A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously
all her life long.
She shops around for the best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She's like a trading ship that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.
She's up before dawn, preparing breakfast
for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she's put aside, plants a garden.
First thing in the morning, she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She's skilled in the crafts of home and hearth,
diligent in homemaking.
She's quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn't worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.
Her husband is greatly respected
when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them,
brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.
When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,
and keeps them all busy and productive.
Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise:
"Many women have done wonderful things,
but you've outclassed them all!"
Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.
Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!



Easy breezy right???? NOT! I have pondered this scripture many times, hoping every time I looked at it, studied it, that I would be able to see myself in the words......knitting and sewing, up before dawn preparing breakfast, eager to start her work,in no hurry to call it quits for the day, skilled in crafts, makes her own clothing, always faces tomorrow with a smile, always speaks kindly. Just a few examples of where I have not seen my face in these words. I sometimes think to myself, no wonder God has not sent a husband if this is who I should be. I am a failure! Just what the enemy wants me to think right?

I know that I am not a failure, I know that I am a great woman, a strong woman, a kind and loving woman. I also know that I need the Lord to show me how I can be a better woman. I could focus on the knitting and sewing, which if you know me well is pretty funny, or I could put this scripture into perspective for my own life.

Here are my thoughts......

1. A good wife is trustworthy. She never gives her husband reason to question her integrity and complete devotion to him. He never has to wonder where she is, what she is doing and who she is with. We hear a lot today about unfaithful husbands and wives, enough to make someone who is single question the longing for marriage, again something the enemy loves to hear, this gives him a foothold doesn't it?

2. A good wife is devoted to bringing her husband good and not harm, therefore she is never spiteful and never uses hurtful words. This is a hard one, sometimes I am guilty of saying things to people that I love in hurt that in turn hurts them. The only way to combat this is prayer. Knowing that our loving Father will remove the desire to hurt the ones we love.

3. A good wife is a good steward. This means that she is wise with money and assets. She delights in doing good for her family and provides for them in any way she can. She works hard and thinks nothing of it, in fact she enjoys working hard for her family so much that she is in no hurry to stop for the day. Hard one, I don't know about you but once 4:25 comes I am pretty much ready to leave work for the day. I also have my guilty pleasures, like Starbucks coffee to name one. If I am truly a good steward, than perhaps spending 4 to 6 dollars on a coffee is not the right choice to make. That may not be the case for everyone and I am not slamming Starbucks, believe me.

So, just a couple of things to ponder. I am working hard at really understanding this Proverbs 31 woman. Will you join me? I will post part 2 in the days to come.

Father,

I ask that you reveal the lessons to me that I need to take from this scripture. Allow my heart to open, so that I may see the areas that I need to work on in order to become the woman that You have created me to be. For all of the ladies that I know, married or not, I pray that your Holy Spirit would come upon us, mold us father, like clay, into what You want to see. Amen

Blessings,

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Simply Awestruck



Have you ever sat quietly in God's presence and allowed yourself to be in awe of Him? He is truly an awesome God. I don't find that I do this enough, sit in His presence, allowing my heart and my mind to be enthralled by my creator.

Hebrews 12:28 (New International Version)

28Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe (emphasis mine)

Lets think for a minute about the wonders of this world. The mountains, the ocean, the animals, diverse people, diverse cultures....I could go on and on about all of the things in this world that make our hearts swell and our minds wonder how it could be possible. Think for a second about how we have been created, the details, everything about how our bodies work is a wonderment. I am amazed at the body as a machine, how every system does its job, independently and dependently of all the other systems. Truly amazing. Only an awesome God could do that.

What is even more amazing to me is that the one and only God, the creator of this universe, the almighty, the one who did all of these amazing things and continues to do amazing things everyday with power and control, loves ME. Me, He loves and cares for me, and for you, for all of us. He doesn't reserve this caring for when we do great things either, He loves us in the everyday lives that we lead. He loves and cares for us when we are standing in the line for our coffee, He is enthralled by us, He watches us always, whether we are doing great and important things or if we are doing the daily routine things. Can you feel it? Do you invite God into even the mundane things in your life? He wants us to feel Him there.

I am in awe of this love, I am in awe of His creation. WOW, there are no words in this or any other language to truly describe just how awesome He is. In all of His awesomeness He watches over us, cares and loves us, we are so important to Him. I know I am going on a bit, I think because I cannot wrap my head around it all, I cannot stress how AWESOME He is. I want to feel awestruck by HIM always, I never want to feel the least bit apathetic about Him. I suppose there have been times in my life where that is exactly how I felt, apathetic, indifferent. I can say this for sure, those times were dark times for me, times that I never want to go back to.

Are you awestruck by HIM everyday?

Lord,

I ask that our hearts be aware of YOU, that our eyes and our minds be aware always of your awesomeness. I ask that you forgive me for forgetting, and for not feeling awestruck by YOU, because YOU are the one that deserves that feeling above everything else in this world. Thank you for who YOU are, thank you for loving us. Amen

Blessing,

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

An amazing story

I think this story is worth sharing.......


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What are they thinking?



I have to confess something. For the last 2 weeks I have been watching the T.V show "More to Love", there I said it. I have been a long time boy cotter of shows like "The Bachelor" and "the Bachelorette" feeling that nothing worth while could possibly come from one man or one woman trying to find love in a house full of the opposite sex. However, for some unknown reason, this particular show has gotten my attention. The premise is exactly the same as the above mentioned programs, only this one has a cast of "bigger" girls and one "bigger" man. Hence the programs title, "More to Love". Is the reason I am drawn to it because I myself am considered to be a "bigger" girl? Perhaps. Or could it be because after watching the first episode I became invested in the lives of these young woman, willing my voice to be heard through the T.V...."Don't do it, get out while you can, you are beautiful, don't lower yourself to the level of the production company!!!!!" Can you sense my frustration?

So how about some vulnerability? Sure why not, this is my blog and I can cry if I want too, right????? Just kidding, there are no tears. I am a 35 year old women, single, I have a beautiful 12 year old daughter (and by beautiful I mean on the INSIDE and the OUTSIDE), I have never been married, but have been in one long term relationship. I am also a "bigger" girl. I have never been really great at dating and relationships, I guess because the right man has never dropped from the sky. But also because I have never, up until recently found much worth in myself, why? Because I was focused on my outside appearance and not on what my heart looked like. Don't get me wrong, I am not hard on the eyes, at least I don't think so, I am called "cute", "pretty", two words that used to make me cringe, now though, I am proud to be called those things. Now I know that my inside counts for more than my outside. I have not mastered this yet, but am working on it. I Have been rejected in the past by more than one man because my my outward appearance, sad really isn't it, that our society has made us into such surface creatures. The enemy loves it! He gets into our heads to reiterate the words "you are worth nothing, look at you, you are overweight, you don't dress in the right clothes"......etc..... We have all heard that voice haven't we? the words may be different but the idea is the same, and the effect on us can sometimes be paralyzing. This is the reason I am invested in those women from "More to Love". They are saying the words I have heard so many women say, including myself. They long to be loved by someone who actually SEES them. I wish that I could tell them who that man is, that they have been "fearfully and wonderfully made". The one who truly matters loves them and sees them for who they are, beautiful,intelligent, amazing women.

I wonder, what would Jesus say to me about all of this? Why do I concentrate on the voice of my enemy instead of the voice of my Saviour? Think about what Jesus would say about you and jot some of the words down, keep them close by you always so that you can look at them to remind you of your beauty. What does it mean to be a godly woman? Is it really important to God that we wear designer jeans and have our hair perfectly highlighted, of course not. It is important to look after ourselves, to be healthy, but to strive for perfection will only find you empty.

Proverbs 31:

30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised




Father,

Thank you for seeing us, for loving us with no strings attached. May we all listen closely for your voice. I pray Lord that the beauty of our hearts shine through. For all of the lonely men and women out there looking for love, may they find peace in your arms. Amen

Monday, August 3, 2009

Say "Yes"

I came across a blog recently, entitled "What happens when women say yes to God". This intrigued me. What would happen? What could we expect if we truly did this? What would our days look like if before our feet hit the floor each and every morning we said "yes God, whatever your plan for today is, I am in!!" This blog was going through each chapter on a weekly basis, discussing the lessons learned etc.... I would like to do the same, and if you are interested in doing this along side of me that would be fantastic.

Every Monday I will discuss one chapter from the book "What happens when women say yes to God" by Lysa Terkeurst in hopes to generate some discussion, some comments. Please remember that I am just a normal girl with no formal training in theology, ministry,or writing for that matter. I am a woman on a journey to get to know Christ just like all of you. This will not be formal or full of profoundly deep theological thoughts. This will be a place of light discussion and lessons learned.

If you are interested the book can be purchased through Christianbooks.com, or ordered through your local christian bookstore. I will begin this study the second week of September.



Thanks,

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Here am I, send me



I feel like this has been a quiet prayer of mine for sometime now, here I am send me, quite possibly my whole life. As a child I dreamed of going to far off lands, I would sit for hours looking at the National Geographic magazine imagining myself in the pictures. The excitement of travel is in me still, learning about new cultures and meeting people who live lives very different from my own. My life has been very easy in comparison to that of many people in this world. As a child it never occurred to me that perhaps God was putting those desires on my heart. Only in the most recent past have I come to realize that this could be a possibility. That missions, was in fact my purpose in this world, in this life. I have a longing in my heart to change this world, a longing in my heart to stand up for people who have no one to fight for them, a longing to see with my own eyes the faces of children who have just been handed their first and maybe only meal of the week, the day. I long to see joy in the faces of those who have nothing in the eyes of our western society but because they have found Jesus feel as though they are rich and have everything.

I spent a couple of weeks in Africa this past winter with a team. It was astounding to me how these men, women and children could stand in a place where all around them was suffering, and still lift their hands in praise to the one and only God. True, pure worship, coming from the most honest place. Wouldn't it be awesome if we could praise Him, even in the most difficult time. Instead, I find more often than not we complain, we whine, we blame. We allow our suffering to become almost like another body part. That however, is for another post, another time.

Social justice is one of my passions. Where does that fit in with being a christian? Are we not just a apathetic at times as the rest of society? Do we not fall into the same thinking as most of North America, it is "us and them" instead of "we"? Sure, we give to our church, we even sponsor children through World Vision and Christian Children's Fund, all very good things, but my question is, couldn't we do more? We read about AIDS and Malaria, we see pictures of dying children or orphans, but do we feel it in the very centre of our hearts? Do we truly do what it says in the Bible to speak out for those who have no voice?

Proverbs 31:8-9 (New International Version)

8 "Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
9 Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy."


I don't know what this looks like in all of your lives, I am only figuring it out in my own. It has only taken 35 years!!!! I know that my heart aches for what people in this world are enduring right now, but what exactly am I doing about it? I want to think that if the Lord told me to go, that I would have the courage and strength that Isaiah did when he said "here am I, send me."

Isaiah 6:8

8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?" And I said, "Here am I. Send me!"


Do you have the courage?

Lord,

I thank you for your word. I thank you Father that you promise us that you will never leave us, that you will give us whatever we need for whatever the call. Allow us to hold onto your exceedingly great and precious promises. Amen





Here Am I


On the other side of the world
She stands on the ocean shore
Gazing at the heavens she wonders
Is there something more
Never been told the name of Jesus
She turns and walks away
What a shame

Just across the street in your hometown
Leaving from his nine to five
Gazing down the road he wonders
Is this all there is to life
Never been told the name of Jesus
He continues on his way
What a shame

[Chorus:]
Whom shall I send
Who will go for me
To the ends of the earth
Who will rise up for the King
Here am I send me
Here am I send me

Whether foreign land or neighbors
Everyone's the same
Searching for the answers
That lie within your name
I want to proclaim the love of Jesus
In all I do and say
Unashamed

[Chorus]

[Bridge:]
How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news
Proclaiming peace and your salvation

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Inspiring


Dr Helen Roseveare

Please read Helen Roseveare' story and open yourself up to what God may want you to take away from it. This incredible story has inspired me, has made me think, has made me ponder my life, and has given me another view of Jesus. Anne Graham Lotz says that you truly can see the face of Jesus reflected back at you when you look at Helen Roseveare. Are people able to see Jesus in you, in me, in the good times and the bad?


Helen Roseveare
By Rebecca Hickman
"If Christ be God and died for me, then no sacrifice can be too great for me to make for him." That was her mission's motto. In 1953, Helen sailed for the Congo with hopes of serve Christ as a medical missionary with WEC (Worldwide Evangelization Crusade). For so many years she'd dreamed of being a missionary. As a young girl, she'd hear stories of her aunt and uncle's experiences on the mission field, and now she was eager to have her own stories to tell.

In 1925, Helen Roseveare was born in England. Because education was a high priority for her father, Helen was sent to a prestigious all girls school when she was 12. After that, she went to Cambridge. It was during her time in college that she became a Christian, truly understanding the gospel for the first time. She left her Anglo-Catholic background and became an evangelical. Her focus was to finish her medical degree and prepare herself for the mission field.

After she became a doctor, Helen sailed to minister in the Congo. She was highly intelligent and efficient, but her role as a woman created struggles with her fellow missionaries and nationals. In that time period, single missionaries were seen as second-class citizens of the mission station. In the Congo, the medical needs were overwhelming. She couldn't just stand by and watch all the suffering around her. She was determined to make a difference. She dreamed of establishing a training center where nurses would be taught the Bible and basic medicine and then sent back to their villages to handle routine cases, teach preventive medicine, and serve as lay evangelists. She didn't have approval from her colleagues, who believed that medical training for nationals was not a valid use of time, evangelism and discipleship were more important.

Despite the conflict with them, after only two years after arriving in the Congo, she had build a combination hospital/ training center in Ibambi, and her first four students had passed their government medical exams. Her colleagues weren't as excited about her progress as she was. They felt that she was wasting time, so they decided that she would better serve the Congo by relocating in Nebobongo, living in an old leprosy camp that had become overgrown by the jungle. Helen argued that she must stay and continue the nursing training in Ibambi, but they insisted that she move. It was a major setback, but she went. Starting from scratch again, she built another hospital there and continued training African nurses. Still, she was strong-willed and seemed to be a threat to many of her male colleagues. In 1957, they decided to relocate John Harris, a young British doctor, and his wife to Nebobongo to make him Helen's superior. Dr. Harris even took charge of leading the Bible class that she'd taught. She was devastated. She'd been her own boss for too long, and although she tried to let go of control, she just couldn't. Everything that had been hers was now his. This resulted in tension between them, of course. Her independence was her greatest strength, but also a definite weakness. She did not know how to submit to imperfect leadership. In 1958, after over a year of struggling with who was in control in Nebobongo, Helen left for England for a furlough. She was disillusioned with missionary work and felt like she might not ever go back to the Congo.

Back in England, she really struggled with why she had all these issues between herself and the male leaders in the Congo. She began to convince herself that her problem was her singleness. What she needed was a doctor-husband to work with her and be on her side during the power struggles! She didn't think that was too much to ask. So, she asked God for a husband, and told Him that she wouldn't go back as a missionary until she was married. She met a young doctor and decided he would be the one. (She wasn't very patient in waiting on the Lord's timing.) She bought new clothes, permed her hair, and resigned from the mission, all to try and win his love. He did care for her, but not enough to marry her. Helen was heartbroken, mostly because she'd wasted so much time and money trying to force her plan into reality - without God.

Still single, Helen returned to the mission and left for Congo in 1960. It was a tense time for that country. They had been seeking independence for a long time, so a huge civil war was on the verge of beginning. Many missionaries left because the risk was so high. Helen had no plans of going home. She believed that God had truly called her back to Congo and that He would protect her if she stayed. She was joined by a few other single women, who made it difficult for the men, they didn't want to look like sissies. She was given charge of the medical base in Nebobongo because John Harris and his wife left on furlough. She had so many opportunities to minister in the midst of the turmoil. She was sure that God had her right where He wanted her to be. She continued to learn to see God in the details of her life, to trust him more fully. She had been coming closer to total trust in God all of her life, between bouts of depression, sometimes feeling that she was not really a Christian because she was capable of spells of anger and bitterness and other sins. "I was unable to reach the standard I myself had set, let alone God's. Try as I would, I met only frustration in this longing to achieve, to be worthy." She came to recognize that hatred of sin is a gift of the Holy Spirit.

Rebels were gaining strength, and there were reports of missionaries being attacked. Helen endured a burglary and an attempted poisoning, but always in her mind the situation was improving. She felt that she had to stay, because there was so much need and so many people depending on her. On August 15, the rebels took control of Nebobongo, and Helen was in captivity for the next 5 months. On the night of October 29, Helen was overpowered by black rebel soldiers in her little bungalow. She tried to escape, but they found her and dragged her to her feet, struck her over the head and shoulders, flung her to the ground, kicked her, struck her over and over again. She was pushed back into her house and raped brutally without mercy. Helen suffered more sexual brutality before her release. God used this in her life to minister to other single women missionaries who feared that they'd lost their purity due to a rape and thus their salvation. Helen knew that her relationship with God had not been damaged. She had not failed God in any way because of the rapes. Finally, on December 31, 1964 she was rescued. Helen had a sense of joy and relief, but also a sense of deep sorrow as she heard of many of her friends' martyrdom.

Helen returned to Africa for the third time in March of 1966. She served for 7 more years, but it was full of turmoil and disappointment. The Congo had changed since the war. There was a new spirit of independence and nationalism. They no longer respected the doctor who'd sacrificed so much for them. Helen left Africa in 1973 with a broken spirit. Her 20 years of service in Africa ended in defeat and discouragement.

When she got home, she went through a very, very lonely period in her life. She turned to God. He was all she had. Instead of bitterness there was a new spirit of humility and a new appreciation for what Jesus had done for her on the cross. God was molding her for her next ministry. She became an internationally acclaimed spokes-woman for Christian missions. Her candid honesty was refreshing in a profession known as one of supersainthood. Helen mobilized people by showing them that God used imperfect people with real struggles to be his ambassadors to the unreached world.

Books by Helen Roseveare: Give Me This Mountain, written in 1966, and He Gave Us a Valley, written in 1976. (Info taken from: From Jerusalem to Irian Jaya, by Ruth A. Tucker, and a few websites. Some quotes taken from Give Me This Mountain.)