Friday, June 17, 2016

A Cure For The "If Onlys"

Hey Friend,

I have always been convinced that there is no such thing as coincidence.  The events of this week convinced me even more that this is so.

My husband and I have many bookshelves in our home that are filled.  We also have sixteen boxes of books in our attic.  In an attempt to pare down, lighten the load, and simplify, we started going through the boxes to see which books we'd like to donate to a local charity that has a second hand bookstore.

Meanwhile, some conversations and yes, arguments have been taking place with one of my adult children over the past several weeks.  Even as adults, my children take turns at making me want to pull my colored-over, gray hair out by the roots lol.  I love my children with all my heart, but sometimes their behavior makes me question how much I like them at the moment. 

Anyway, all of this has had me going back over my parenting in my mind.  I wondered...if only I had done that differently, would they not be acting this way?  If only I had been more ___________.  If only I had been less ______.

Always the question:

If I had done something different then, would things be different now?

No matter what your stage of parenting, I don't know many parents who haven't been plagued by the "if onlys" at one point or another. 

As I was mulling this over in my mind while sifting through books, I came across an autographed copy of John Rosemond's popular book, "Because I Said So!"  John Rosemond is a columnist and widely read "authority" on child rearing and family life.  My dad had given me this book when I was a young parent. 

My first thought, while cradling this gift, was "If only I had taken more of his (John Rosemond's) advice to heart."  My dad and Mr. Rosemond were of the same school of thought when it came to parenting...practical and no-nonsense!!

I flipped through the pages while thinking that this was a book I wanted to hold onto - for my children's children.  That's when it fell out.  The sheet with my father's sermon notes from a sermon given in 2001 by a Pastor Dennison.  The message was (not coincidentally) entitled, "A Cure For The If Onlys". 

Tears welled up in my eyes as I looked at my father's words written in block print (tell tale sign he was an engineer).  My dad passed away five years ago and there have been so many times when I would have loved to have been able to ask him what he'd do in a given situation.  How would he handle my children?

And here in front of me was the answer to my mulling.  My dad's sermon notes sitting in my hand.  Now tell me that God doesn't have perfect timing??!!  I felt like my dad's hand and heart were reaching down to me from above.  Definitely a "God moment".  I'm sharing my dad's sermon notes here with you.  I hope and pray they can be a balm and comfort to your heart as they were to mine....

A Cure For The "If Onlys"
"Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers...and he brought their father a bad report about them.  Now Israel (Jacob) loved Joseph more than any of his other sons because he had been born to him in his old age; and he made a richly ornamented robe for him."  (Genesis 37:2b-3)

Truth:  We tend to live our lives in the PAST or in the FUTURE, but faith can only be exercised in the NOW.

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."  (Romans 8:28)

Truth:  If we trust God with the PRESENT, the PAST is gone and our FUTURE is assured.
REGRETS: WE ALL HAVE THEM
WHAT DO WE DO WITH THEM?

1. JOSEPH'S FAMILY (The Regret of FAVORITISM)

"When his brothers saw that their father loved him (Joseph) more than any of them, they hated him and could not speak a kind word to him."  (Genesis 37:4)

Truth:  God is at work through FAILURE and REGRET to fulfill His plan.

LOOK: at the stories of Jacob and Esau, Joseph and his Brothers, The Prodigal and the Elder Brother.

2.  REGRETS: THEIRS AND OURS

Truth:  Life is full of foolish DECISIONS.

LOOK: at Jacob's "If Onlys", Joseph's, Reuben's, Yours and mine.  They range from lying, to favoritism, to adultery, to murder and more. 

3.  THE CURE FOR REGRET/THE "IF ONLYS" IS TO TRUST IN THE SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD.

  •      Believe God has a PLAN for us.
  •      Believe God is in CONTROL.
  •      Believe God can and will FULFILL His plan.
  •      Believe God has the POWER.
Truth:  God is at work through my FAILURES and REGRETS to fulfill His plan.

LOOK: at the stories of Peter and Judas.  They both denied and betrayed Christ, but God still used their failures and regrets to fulfill His awesome plan.    
****************
end notes

What this tells me is that no matter how badly I screw up, no matter how many mistakes I make, no matter how many "if onlys" I have...God is STILL able to redeem them, redeem me, redeem my children, and fill in the GAPS with His love.

Our mistakes DO NOT...CANNOT thwart the sovereign will of God!

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? ... No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any power, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord."  (Romans 8: 37-39)

AMEN!!
This post is dedicated to my loving dad,
Ted Senter
who waits for me and continues to look
down over me from heaven.
Thank you for this gift...
I love you dad and miss you...Happy Father's Day!
Me xoxo


ps.  I will be taking some time off for some R&R and visitors from the North.  I plan to be back at my laptop around the 8th of July.  If you missed it, I invite you to listen in to my interview with Holly Barrett on her podcast...just click the link below or look back through the Archives for posts you may have missed...





Friday, June 10, 2016

Sharing My Heart (plus podcast)

Hey Friend,

This week I am blessed to be doing something REALLY different.  I was invited by Holly Barrett, writer of "Living a Redeemed Life" and popular Christian blogger, to be her guest on her weekly podcast series. 

I have not met Holly in person, but have linked up many times with her "Testimony Tuesday" blogging linkup.  I've read Holly's writing and folks, she is the real deal.  I love Holly's candor in her writing and after chatting with her before and during the podcast, I felt like I had known Holly for years.  Then, when you put two southern gals together...who knows where the conversation will take you lol.

If you've read my blog before, you probably know that I champion a ministry called Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.  You may have wondered, how did a middle-aged homemaker from North Carolina come to start a Christian education ministry in the Middle East?? 

Well here's your chance to get some answers plus a whole lot more on my blog, my ministry, and how God has redeemed me from the pit in order that I might praise Him and give Him the glory.  In our conversation I share my heart, my passion, and what makes me tick.

I hope you'll tune in and listen to our conversation while you're washing dishes, paying the bills, or folding laundry...I truly hope that it will bring a smile and encouragement to your day.

Just click on this podcast hyperlink to the interview:
http://hollybarrett.org/2016/06/lrl-047-bev-rihtarchik.html

After the interview, I hope you'll stick around Holly's place to read her blog and check out her amazing story and what she is doing to further God's kingdom. 

www.hollybarrett.org

I also invite you to follow the link on the Podcast notes to Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. to read more about how we are helping orphaned and impoverished children in the Middle East reclaim a redeemed life and how you can be part of the story!!

www.redeemerchristianfoundation.org

When this was taped, the Pittsburgh Penguins had just started the final series with San Jose.  I don't want to mess with MOJO, but I sincerely hope that by week's end we will be hoisting the CUP!!!  Yes, I bleed black and gold...Let's go Pens!!

Holly and I shared a lot of laughs as well as some deep conversation.  We'd love to have you join us...meet you there...

Be blessed...


 ps.  Holly loves to hear from her listeners, so let her know your thoughts and I pray you'll keep tuning in to her uplifting and encouraging podcasts. 

Saturday, June 4, 2016

"Hey Day" - A Redemption Story


Hey Friend,

I remember a time that I was going through the check out line at the grocery store with my son and daughter when they were young.  My son sat perched in the front of the cart while my daughter hung on the side.  The young man bagging the groceries snagged the gallon of milk and slapped a little orange sticker that said "Paid" on the jug of milk and shoved it under the cart.

My daughter, into reading everything at this point, asked me, "Mommy, what does this say?" 

"That says 'Paid',"  I told her while fiddling through my purse in order to pay the cashier.

"Well why did he put this sticker on the milk?" she asked with typical childhood curiosity.

"That tells people that I paid for that jug of milk," I said - still somewhat distracted.

Leave it to my daughter to pull the sticker off the jug of milk.  Then she tugged on my arm until I bent down to her level.

"Here ya go Mommy," she said, as she proudly stuck the orange sticker on my forehead, "you've been paid for!"

Out of the mouths of babes such truth will come...

That was quite a few years ago.  Little did I know, at that point, that in a few years, my husband would walk out the door and abandon me and in the process leave our children in the wake.  I knew and experienced the sacrifices that go into being a single mom.  These women are heroes in my book.

My husband and I reconciled about a year later. Ten years later, he left again.  Abandoned not once...but twice.  It felt like I had the word "unworthy" seared upon my forehead.  Separation and divorce do nothing for one's self esteem.  I thought I was about as low as a person could go...

That was until the day I lost my job.  Enrollment in the school was down and one of the classes had to be cut and...well...you guessed it - it was mine.  I needed that income, meager as it was.  Now what was I going to do?

I came home and sobbed.  I tried calling my mom, my close friends and family members.  I couldn't get anyone.  I went online and was hoping there would be a friend available that I could talk to.  I desperately needed the reassurance that I, indeed, had value.  I was struggling to find any. 

My friend, Dave, from high school was the only friend online.  I hadn't talked to him in thirty plus years.  We had exchanged pleasantries on Facebook - "cute dog" was the last thing I had written.  But, that day, God prompted me in an uncustomary way to reach out and say, "Hey".  That was it..."Hey".  That was all I could muster. 

That one word prompted more written conversation and spoken conversation, then reuniting in person.  The pictures below show us celebrating the anniversary of "Hey Day" (June 2nd) and celebrating over two years of marriage.

Though I was originally redeemed- "paid for"- by the blood of Christ, that day I felt like God had purchased back something of value that had been lost - me.  I felt like once again I had that orange sticker placed on my forehead that said to the world...I am loved and I have been paid for. Someone saw value in a daughter who was of great, great value to God.

God can redeem anyone in any situation.  Nothing is beyond Him.  He is ABLE!  How have you seen His redeeming love worked out in your life? How do you hang onto God's love when others deem you unlovable?  I would love if you would share?!



Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you that through the blood of Jesus Christ,  I have been bought and paid for.  Help me not to find my worth in who others say that I am, but to truly know that I am your precious daughter because YOU have claimed me - you have paid the ransom.  I praise you for your faithfulness through good times and bad.  Thank you for your ever lasting arms you've held under me so that I would never fall.  May I be sure to always tell of the good things that you are accomplishing THROUGH me.  May your name be glorified!!  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed...

ps. Next week I'll be blog hopping over to Holly Barrett's place.  I will provide links to her wonderful blog, "Reclaiming a Redeemed Life" as well as to her podcast on which I will be her guest. 

If you'd like to know the story behind how a middle-aged homemaker from NC came to be championing a Christian school in Pakistan, you may want to tune in.  Holly and I will be chatting about my blog, the foundation, the good works that God is up to, and ultimately about how we can reclaim a redeemed life. 

I know you'll love Holly - a native North Carolinian - who is hard at work furthering God's Kingdom.  See you then...

Saturday, May 28, 2016

He Chose Me!

Hey Friend,

In a few months we will have the privilege of electing a president.  We may not like the choices, but yet we still get to choose.

Our choice involves a discriminatory evaluation of the candidates.  We will choose one above the other based on their political views, their personal character, their past performance, even on whether we like their clothes or their hair.  Out choice is all about the candidates.

And, what about me.  I can be fickle.  Depending on how my day is going or in which direction the breeze is blowing, I can change my mind.  If I'm tired and moody and read bits and bytes on the candidates, it can change or taint my view. My choices are also based upon the person that I am.  Some days I'm good, and some days...not so much.

Bakers Evangelical Dictionary of Bible Theology describes the concept of "election" in this way:

"Those who are saved, the believers in Jesus Christ, are called "the elect (chosen)".  None who is ultimately redeemed can boast that they saved themselves or that they added anything to the salvation that they received through Jesus Christ."

It goes on to contrast human choice with God's choices:

"Since it is true that mere human choices are made according to what the person is, it goes without saying that God's choices are made in a accordance with who God is.  God's choices and decisions are fully consistent with his eternal wisdom, goodness, justice, fairness, and love.  Nothing that God chooses to do is mean-spirited, vindictive, or wrong.  God cannot act any other way than consistently with his eternal divine nature.  For this reason, human beings may trust God to do what is right, and our highest good is to choose the will of God for ourselves."

God is Love...His very nature is Loving...His choices are always in line with His character.

"He chose me , not because I am great, but because He is good."  (K. Balarie)

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9)

The Greek word for "chosen" here is "eklektos" which not only means elect, or chosen, it means "The Chosen One".  I believe that God is equating our being chosen by Him with Jesus Christ (The Chosen One).  Who am I to be put in the same category as Jesus himself??  Yet, God calls me His chosen one.

The words "special possession" are together in one Greek word "peripoiesis".  We are not just a possession...we are a Special Possession.  Jesus is described as the stone the builders cast aside, but the One who is ultimately the Cornerstone of our faith.  We are not just any possession, we are God's precious stone.

He chose me not because of something I did, but because of who He is.

This allows me to cast all the striving, earning, fear of disappointing, out the window.  He chooses (elects) me because of His great love and NOTHING will change that.  Nothing I can do can make Him love me more or less, because His very nature is Love and He cannot deny Himself.

God is immutable (unchanging). He has set His love upon me and this fact is unchangeable. 

What a reason to praise Him!!

Dear Heavenly Father, I praise you for the good and loving God that you are.  I praise you that all your decisions are based upon you Holy character that you cannot deny.  How thankful I am that you are not like me.  Forgive me for my fickleness and align my choices with your will so that you can use me to bring you glory.  Thank you for loving me so much that you chose me...you call me Christ's sister/brother...you have set me apart as your special possession.  Help me to grasp this unfathomable love you have for me and to live like the loved one that I am.  Thank you for choosing me.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed...



ps. Check out these faces and lives that are being transformed:


Click Here to find out more about sponsoring a child through RCF, Inc.

We Need You...

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Who is Waiting Upon Whom?

Hey Friend,

Thank you for bearing with me as I am totally off my writing schedule...Would you take a look at these faces that are beaming with smiles because their lives have been transformed by Jesus through the work of Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.?




In my work with the school and the foundation, there has been a lot of waiting involved.  Waiting as we went through the legal process of being incorporated.  Waiting, after putting together the application for 501c3 status, for the IRS to grant us approval.  Waiting for people's hearts to be softened to want to sponsor children...waiting, waiting, waiting.

My own "life scripture"  talks about my periods of waiting, through intense trials in my life, for God to hear my cry and rescue me:

I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry.  He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.  Many will see and be in awe and put their trust in the Lord.  (Psalm 40: 1-3)

Now, I confess, I didn't exactly wait patiently.  In fact, I was very often impatient while I waited.  But, the fact remains that God was faithful to rescue me when I waited upon Him.

Another verse we are quick to quote when someone is growing weary in the waiting process is Isaiah 40:31: (say this one with me...you know it)

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

What a beautiful and encouraging promise if we can just persevere, hang in there, and wait. 

Do you notice how the emphasis is always on us being diligent and waiting upon God?

What if we flipped this on its head? 

We think we've done well if we've waited weeks, or months, or even years...

What if we had been waiting since the beginning of time, and would still be waiting even in the end times?

That's exactly what God has been doing...waiting on mankind!!

In the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament, we are told:

"Therefore the Lord is waiting to show you mercy, and is rising up to show you compassion, for the Lord is a just God."  (Isaiah 30:18)

Isn't it interesting to read how the Lord is not waiting to chide us with, "What took you so long?"  No, He's waiting to show us mercy (also known as lovingkindness) and compassion.  Who does that?  Who waits patiently to be nice?  God doesn't get miffed if He's kept waiting for a long time...Wow!

And how does the Lord wait?  He is always on the ready...He's not far away and distant- having to jump on the Concord to catch a speedy flight to our side...no, He's always right there beside us, waiting for us to turn to Him. He is always present.

He who watches over Israel will neither slumber not sleep.  (Psalm 121:4)

In the Old Testament, we see a God who never slumbers, who is always "open" 24/7.  If we turn to Him in the wee and restless hours when we can't sleep - He's right there waiting on us.

Throughout the Old and New Testament, this amazingly patient triune God bids us to "Come"  over 1400 times.

Old and New Testaments record Him inviting us to "Ask"  over 700 times.

Even in the apocalyptic writing in Revelation, we find Jesus still waiting.  Unlike the FBI that busts down the door with gun cocked and ready, Jesus stands and waits.

"Behold, I stand at the door, and knock; if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."  (Revelation 3:20)

The Alpha and the Omega, the Creator of the Universe, the One who has always been and always will be, has been waiting. 

Who is He waiting so patiently on?

You....

Me...

I sometimes wonder if God doesn't have the urge to say, "Will you just slow down for a minute so that I can love on you?  I've been here waiting for you all along."

What a wonderful God we have who waits patiently to lift us out of the slimy pit, to give us a firm place to stand, to give us good things and our heart's desire, to put a new song of rejoicing in our mouth. 

More than anything, He waits patiently to give us the gift of Himself.  How long, I ask, are we going to keep Him waiting?

Dear Lord, thank you for your enduring patience.  I praise you that you wait on me, not to offend, but to show me mercy, compassion, lovingkindness, and forgiveness.  You invite me to Come and to Ask for the good gifts you have in store for me.  You wait to give me yourself and the gift of Life.  You wait for me to come running into your arms where a refuge like none other waits for me.  Thank you Lord...help me to not keep you waiting...In Jesus name I pray.  Amen.

Be blessed...





Friday, May 13, 2016

When Looking Back Propels You Forward

Hey Friend,

I haven't written for awhile because I've been quite busy with my responsibilities in heading up Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.  Most things we read, including the Bible, urge us to forget what is/was in the past and press on toward the goal that lies ahead.  This is wise and sage advice.  Ruminating over past mistakes helps no one and only furthers the enemy's purpose.

I've been thinking, lately, about when looking back can actually be good for us.

I grew up in a staunch Presbyterian church.  We sang hymns that dated back centuries.  One such hymn I remember is, "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" written by Robert Robinson in 1758.  I kind of got the fist verse, but the second verse was a complete mystery to me.

It begins with, "Here I raise my Ebenezer...".  My thoughts at the time were what was a character from a Dickens novel doing in a church hymn?  Never thought too much more about it until I was in a Bible study and it talked about 1 Samuel 7.  In it, the prophet Samuel and the Israelites found themselves under attack by the Philistines.  Fearing for their lives, the Israelites begged Samuel the prophet to pray for them in their impending battle against this enemy. 

Samuel offered a sacrifice to God and prayed for His protection.  God listened to Samuel, causing the Philistines to lose the battle and retreat back to their own territory.  After the Israelite victory, the Bible records: "Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying, 'Thus far the Lord has helped us.'" (1 Samuel 7:12)

The word Ebenezer comes from the Hebrew words 'Eben ha-ezer, which simply means "stone of help".  An Ebenezer, then, is simply a monumental stone set up to signify the great help that God granted the one raising the stone.

I have found that when I have fear or trepidation about going forward, it does me good to look backward and count my Ebenezers - the monuments that acknowledge God's bountiful blessings and help in my life.

For example...after my daughter was born, I had terrible post-partum depression.  Everyone, including the doctor, said it would pass.  It didn't.  Over the next couple years it grew worse.  The insidious ruminating and obsessing over things and the anxiety that accompanied it were excruciating.  There were times that I pondered if I could keep going on like this?  I remember vividly one day - sobbing hysterically in my bed - begging God to help me...to save me.  There were few words...just the Holy Spirit interceding with groans on my behalf.

As a last ditch attempt, I went to see a new Christian counselor and physician duo who finally diagnosed OCD (anxiety disorder) and depression (which often accompanies anxiety).  It was not that long after I was on the medication, that the dark, gray veil began to lift from my eyes.  God lifted me out of the slimy pit that I was in and He gave me a firm place to stand.  He put a new song in my heart (Psalm 40). 

The Lord heard me and He helped me, so here I raised my Ebenezer.

The Lord brought me through subsequent bouts with the OCD...each time I thanked Him and raised an Ebenezer.  He never left me stuck.  He was faithful to bring me through the valleys.

I faced the scare of the big "C" and all the testing and waiting and treatment that goes with it.

The Lord was faithful so I raised yet another Ebenezer.

Through multiple surgeries with long recuperations.  Through a difficult marriage and a long drawn out divorce...the Lord stayed close.  The battles were not easy and the enemy did his best to derail me, but the Lord prevailed.  He helped me.  He brought me through. He was faithful to His promises. 

So when I stand frightened or overwhelmed or doubtful about what lies before me...I look backward...

There on the horizon I see one monument after another after another of God's faithfulness to me.  I stand here now because He saw me through.  He was my stone of help - my Ebenezer.

This exercise in looking back, gives me the confidence to go forward.

Through each trial, God was growing and refining my character and in doing so He gave me the gift of HOPE!

"I boast in the hope of the glory of God.  Not only so, but I glory in my sufferings, because I know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character hope.  And hope does not disappoint, because God's love has been poured out in my heart through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to me."  (personalization of Romans 5: 2-5)

What hinders you from going forward with confidence?  What Ebenezers have you raised in your life?  If you haven't built monuments...where would be good places to build them now to remind you of God's help in your life?  What lessons would God have you take from the past to propel you into the future?

Dear Heavenly Father, I thank you for all the times, even when I've been unfaithful, you have remained faithful.  Thank you for the times that I called upon you and you heard my cry and you rescued me.  Even when I couldn't "feel" you, you were always there right beside me.  I praise you for being my everlasting help in times of trouble.  For all the times I've overlooked, I raise those Ebenezers now.  When the future scares me, let me look back and take confidence from all the monuments of your help in times of trouble and in times or prosperity.  You are truly faithful and let your faithfulness be my hope.  In Jesus' name I pray.  Amen.

Be blessed...



Miraculous things are happening in the lives of children who've been sponsored.  Off the streets and into a Christian school environment...their lives are being transformed!!  We desperately need help getting these children off the streets and into the classroom...would you consider giving so that they might have hope??
Even if you can't sponsor a child yourself would you consider a partial sponsorship?
Thank you...

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Modern Day Manna

Hey Friend,

I truly love my work with Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. Click here for the website. When I wholeheartedly believe in something, I can work tirelessly for hours.  Heading up a non-profit Christian ministry is a full time job.  There's no pay, but the "eternal benefits" are great!!

My problem is that I find myself with many plates in the air spinning.  I will use a shoehorn if I have to, to try to squeeze one more agenda item into my day.  You see, if I don't, then that might mean one more child in the Middle East taken into slavery.  One more child kidnapped and made to train for jihad against the "infidels" (which are you and me).  One more child who remains orphaned on the streets with no food in their stomach. I can't sleep at night knowing that might happen.

With what's going on in the world....it goes without saying that my sleep patterns have not been the best.  We just came off a successful "Sphere of Influence" fundraising campaign by my wonderful Board.  Instead of allowing myself to bask in the goodness of what God had just done, and simply REST, my mind was off and running on the subject of what's next??  What's in the pipeline for when those resources are used up.?

It's no coincidence that I read these words of scripture this morning in my friend, Mary Carver's blog post:

"It's useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones."  (Psalm 127:2)

That is me, in a nutshell, working anxiously from early morning until late at night.  (and then am unable to sleep)

This is NOT the model God has set before me...

For God gives rest to his loved ones!!

Even God rested on the seventh day.  Wouldn't I do well to imitate His example??

When I get myself worked up into a twit, the husband of one of my Board members reminds me:

Manna for today, Bev, only for today!

What is this saying about my level of faith and trust in God when I am tirelessly trying to make things happen in my own strength?  I think that's nasty pride sneaking in here.  This, after all, is God's ministry.  He's got this. 

He can only use me and work through me if I get myself out of the way first.

Then the Lord said to Moses, "I will rain down bread from heaven for you.  The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.  In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions.  (Exodus 16:4)

What must God think when He sees me trying, not only, to scoop up enough manna for today, but stuffing some in pockets, my purse, my bra even to be sure I have enough for tomorrow?

He's testing my faith and trust in Him that He will give me each day what I need for that day.

Sad to say, I am not passing the test.  This is such an important principle, that the disciples referred back to it in their gospel accounts.

Jesus says, "He (my Father) gave them bread out of heaven to eat."
(John 6:31)

I don't produce my own bread...God does.  If He looks out after the birds of the field, and He looked out after His people Israel, won't He look out after HIS children in the Middle East??  Won't he look out for me?

Oh me of little faith...

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.  Each day has enough trouble of its own."  (Matthew 6:34)

So what is the antidote for not worrying about tomorrow?

Go to the verse before Matthew 6:34. Matthew 6:33 says:

"But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you."

Rest...Come away...Seek FIRST His kingdom...Trust Him...Do Not Worry...Do Not Be Anxious...Why???

"It's useless for you."

"It's useless for you."

"It's useless for you."

"Manna for today, Bev, only for today..."

Do you have too many plates spinning?  Are you having trouble resting today because you're worrying about tomorrow?  Do you trust God to give you each day what you need for that day?  Do you need to rest and come away?

Dear Heavenly Father,  forgive me for living my life with my foot always on the gas pedal.  Forgive me for my pride that has me anxiously trying to do things (even good things for you) in my own strength.  Help me to rest, and come away with you awhile each and every day so that I can be renewed to do your work.  Help me to trust you and have faith in you that you have tomorrow...it has already been written in your book.  Give me the peace and calm that lets me know that You've Got This!!  Be with the precious children in the Middle East, put a hedge of protection around them.  After all, they are truly YOUR children.  In Jesus loving name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed...



ps.  We need your help to stand up to the travesty happening to Christians and children in the Middle East.  Are you tired of the hatred being perpetrated and taught to the next generation? 

There is hope!!!  By offering orphaned and impoverished children (prey for extremists) peace, protection, hope, and love in a Christian school environment, we are teaching children to reach out in love, not hate.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO OUR WEBSITE

Don't let this be their reality...

Thank you!