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!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Innocent In His Eyes

Hey Friend,

I remember Sunday evenings as a little girl.  Of course, I'll date myself with this confession, but I recall getting my bath and pj's on in time to watch my favorite TV show as a youngster.  I would sit, enthralled, by Lassie- the always heroic collie dog. 

The plot was so predictable, but nonetheless, I always wound up in tears at some point during the show.  Why?  because I was so afraid that something bad was going to happen to Lassie or to one of the helpless other creatures that she was trying to rescue.  Whatever happened, I didn't want Lassie to die.

Even as an adult, I can watch movies and see people (adults) get hurt or even killed and it will not strike me as much as when a horse, cat, dog, or other innocent animal is killed.  There's something inside me that cries out, "NO  THAT'S NOT FAIR!!!". For a long time, I thought there was something wrong with me that I felt this way. 

This past week, we said a sorrow-filled farewell to our furry family member of fourteen years - Zoe.  Her passing has affected me profoundly.  I find myself crying at the drop of a hat.  I reasoned that perhaps I felt this way because Zoe has loved me and our family unconditionally for 14 years.  She has been loyal and loving and devoted. 

While all of that is true...it still wasn't quite scratching the itch that asked, "Why do I seem to feel more passion for animals than I do for people at times?"

I started to look on the flip side.  Yes, Zoe gave us glimpses of God's unconditional love.  We'd forget to give her a meal and she would forgive us immediately.  We'd leave and come back and you'd think we were the best thing since peanut butter.  She'd see us at our worst and still give us licks.  Yes, she loved unconditionally.

There was something, however, about how I loved her.  When I looked at her I saw innocence.  When, as a pup, she did something wrong like chew my slipper or pee on the carpet, the ears immediately went down when I'd catch her, and her eyes would sheepishly look up at me as if to say, "I know I did wrong and I'm sorry."

People aren't that way.  We are experts at shifting the blame...pointing the finger...passing the buck.

We've been doing it since time began...

In Genesis 3:11 in the garden God asks Adam, "Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"  The man (Adam) said, "The woman you put here with me - she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." (first shift of blame)

Then the Lord said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"  The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (second pointing of the guilty finger)

Within just a few lines, already sinful Adam and Eve, are doing what humans so craftily do - they pass the buck. 

I didn't like it when my children were young and they would each point the finger at the other and say, "SHE/ HE did it, not me!!!"  I didn't like it then and I don't like it now. 

Shifting the blame is sinful behavior.  Perhaps I don't like sin in myself and, to be truthful, I don't like it in others. 

Since the fall of man (the original bite of the apple) man has been selfish, manipulative, greedy, covetous, malicious, and sometimes downright evil.

Interesting....I'm starting to get a read on why people die on TV and I don't blink, but whatever you do, don't hurt the animal.

Animals, I believe, are one of the closest things to innocence that we see.  Animals and babies or small children.  They are not capable of choosing to be malicious or sinful in their behavior.  They are the closest thing to purity that we experience on this earth.  Nothing here is perfect, but babies and animals come pretty close.  They don't think in evil ways.  To me they appear innocent.

I think I loved Zoe so much because to me she seemed so innocent and she seemed so innocent because she was so loving. 

Even in my best moments of loving, I am still stained and conditional because I am human. 

Sometimes I've wondered how God truly sees me, because sometimes I know I can be annoying as all get out.

Thankfully God sees me through a filter that no one else can see me through.

He sees me through the blood of Christ. 

Because I am covered in Christ's sacrificial blood, God doesn't see my sins, He only sees Jesus' perfection. 

In Christ's blood I am purified.  I am seen as completely innocent in His eyes. 

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

All I have to do is confess my sin (I willingly accept my guilt and don't shift the blame) and God forgives and He purifies, not from some, but from ALL unrighteousness.

Yes, Zoe has shown me glimpses of God's unconditional love for me, but even more so, she's reminds me that just as I see her and love her because she is so innocent, God sees me as innocent in His eyes because He sees me through the blood of His son.

Even more unfathomable, God doesn't love me because of something I did or didn't do.  No, He loves me just because he created me. 

God, by His very definition IS love.  He cannot deny Himself, so He is never fickle or moody or disappointed.  He is always lovingkindness.

Maybe if I tried to imitate His example I would see people in a whole new light. 

Maybe, I too, can look at them through the filter of Jesus' cleansing blood. 

I pray so...

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you that you ARE love and you cannot deny the lovingkindness that is your character.  Forgive me of my judgment of others.  Help me to see them through your eyes and as you do, through the blood of Christ.  Thank you for the pets you give us that not only show us glimpses of your unconditional love for us, but who teach us how to love...to see beyond the sin to the Christ purified innocence of those who call Him Lord.  Continue to soften my heart that I may love like you love.  You, O, Lord are mighty to be praised.  In Jesus' precious name, I pray.  Amen

This post dedicated to our sweet Zoe bear....be blessed....


ps. Know that if you read my blog, I pray for you morning and evening.  Please feel free to contact me if I can pray for you more specifically.
We are still in need of people who are willing to save lives and souls...many children are still on the waiting list to get out of the way of extremists and terrorists and into the loving, Christian, environment of our school.


Reed the stories of transformed lives and go to the "DONATE" page.
Some of the children still on the waiting list...




Friday, April 8, 2016

You Are Not Alone - Guest Post

Hey Friend,


I would like to introduce you to a wonderful young lady, Nettie Clawson. She hails from my hometown in Pittsburgh.  She describes herself as an "old soul"...I would say she has the faith and wisdom of someone twice her age.  I know that at 22, I didn't have a passion for sharing my faith like she does...


I invite you to welcome her here and give her some lovin' in the comments below.  She's working on getting her blog up and running so stay tuned...



Hello! My name is Nettie Clawson.  I am a deep old soul that’s actually only been around for 22 years and was born and raised in a small farm town near Pittsburgh, PA.   I have an adventurous spirit and vision to share Jesus with all that I meet.  I am passionate about: Jesus, people, singing, writing and ounces of coffee daily.  I also love kids and am currently a Special Education Teacher for Kindergarten through Fifth Grade students at a school in Cary, North Carolina.
  Although I love the southern hospitality, I do miss my pop (soda) and talking to yins guys from the North.  My dreams of: acquiring a southern accent by saying ya’ll, and drinking sweet tea, have definitely come true.  I came to Christ when I was twelve years old as my Gram led me to front of the church altar to make the decision to commit my life to Christ. I continue to aspire to the vision Jesus placed on my heart then to this day.
  Meeting people right where they are, and revealing to them the reality of a relationship with Christ, is a genuine desire of my heart. It thrills my soul to write encouragements, therefore, I pray that the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart will be pleasing in the Lord’s sight and that He will be praised! (Psalm 19:14)










You are not alone.  

We smile when we walk past a fellow co-worker in the morning with the usual greeting of: their “How are you?” and our: “I’m good.”  We’re relaying the message that we are okay and life is going swell.  It is a surface answer for a deep issue. The night prior our pillow was saturated with hours of unending tears, and an additional amount of face paint was required this morning to cover up the deep dark rolls under our eyes to go unnoticed.  Truly, we think, if only they knew.  If only they understood, what we really were going through.  The fact that our life was falling into shambles, and that we’re barely getting by.  It turns out that we end up walking in a daze of defeat, and struggle to get through trying situations in this life…alone.    

Studies show that more than half of Americans have no one outside their immediate family that they share their life story with.  They are left lonely.  Loneliness leads to isolation, depression, and potentially suicide.  What if, there was an answer to all of this though.  What if there was per say a “cure” to loneliness. What if people knew the truth that they did not have to struggle through this life alone?  If we look at this verse: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20) Jesus talks to his disciple’s right before He was about to ascend into Heaven.  He leaves a very important message for his disciples to remember.  The fact that He was always with them to the very end of the age. Do you know the depth of what this verse means? Although Jesus was leaving His disciples, He was stating He would still be with them, but how? It’s like an oxymoron.  How can He leave them, but still be there with them? Simple, with His spirit in their hearts.

God’s spirit is something so profound and important.  The fact that God’s presence through all trials and struggles is something I recently experienced in a mighty way.  Having my car break down, ending a relationship with someone I thought I was getting married to, and having a financial hardship is a brief glimpse of the trials, but through it all I noticed one simple yet profound truth.  God was with me. There was something so comforting in that verse of Matthew 28:20 to me that I continually rehearsed over my life in the midst of the trials.  The fact that He was with me through all of that hardship was more than enough.

My friend, can I tell you something today? You have two choices.  You can choose to live in your circumstances, or you can choose to live above your circumstances. How? By choosing the joy that Jesus has given us with His spirit and knowing this simple truth. He is with you, He is with you, He is WITH YOU my friend! I can relate, I’ve been there. In the deepest, darkest times of your life when you feel as though waves of turmoil are crashing down on you God is whispering you are NOT alone, I am with you, just trust me.  Those times when you have cried night after night, screaming “God WHY?” You are hoping, wishing, praying for an answer to cure all of your trials and struggles, but still not seeing or hearing anything.  Do not lose hope. He IS doing something. 
God will work his greatest in you when you hear His whispers.  Why is that? How did God appear to Elijah when the Israelites disobeyed God and were coming after Elijah to potentially kill him too in 1 Kings 19:12?  Not in the wind, or the earthquake or the fire, but God spoke in a gentle whisper, that still small voice.   Do you realize when you’re screaming out to God “where are you?” or “why is this happening to me?” He is whispering right back you the whole time “just trust me because, I am with you.” 
God is working in a deeper way through your trials and struggles now that will show you later and others that He is with you later to come.  Yes, trials and struggles are hard.  Yes, it’s not easy to make a choice daily to choose joy, but Jesus chose you when He hung on that cross and cried out “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34) Jesus chose you, when He was beaten and mocked and scorned.  Jesus chose you to endure through those trials and hardships so that others can see your faith throughout them and glorify the Father.  Jesus chose you to walk beside, and do this thing called life with when you had no one.

Now do you see, you are not alone? There are purposes in the pain and my friend, looking beyond every trial that we try but yet may never fully grasp or comprehend remember Christ staring at you with loving eyes saying I am here and you are important to me. Jesus does not want us to walk through that alone.  He is so present in all of the struggles. Through our sorrows and celebrations Jesus is there.  When you are ill or injured, Jesus is there. When you lose a job, or family member Jesus is there.  When you have been blessed with an amazing community to encourage and support you, Jesus is there. Be encouraged to go through this thing called life with someone always by your side.  Jesus. With Jesus you have the assurance that no matter what you face, you have the ability to choose joy.  My friend, He is with you and He is working a greater testimony out of your trials.

“The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8

Be blessed,

Nettie

Bev, here again...I'll be taking a belated spring break to spend some time with family and refueling in God's word.  I plan to be back the 21st, with a refreshed spirit. Please pray for our family...we said goodbye for now to our sweet, sweet, Zoe bear this morning.  So thankful for how this silky-furred family member gave us glimpses into God's unconditional love...miss you girl...

Please keep praying for the safety of the children that we support in the Middle East though Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.


"HEAR THE CRIES of your brothers and sisters
in captive nations!
They do not ask for escape, safety, or an easy life.
They ask only for the tools to counteract the poisoning of their youth -
the next generation."

- Richard Wurmbrand, in "Tortured for Christ"



Thursday, March 31, 2016

Love's Heart Hears

Hey Friend,

Today is one of those glorious southern spring days.  The skies are Carolina blue and not a cloud interrupts their vastness.  The bright sun has slowly melted away the chilly, early-morning dew.  No humidity.  Just upper 60's and sensational!

Days like these put a song in my heart.  I was running my morning errands...had a selection of annuals in the trunk of the car...anticipating getting my hands dirty in the garden soil.  I popped in a cd and the frame of my four-door sedan became my sanctuary.

You see, I can't sing.  No, really, I can't!  Ask my family.  I don't even sing in the shower because others within earshot may be offended.  So, this day, I lifted a prayer to God.  I asked Him to forgive me for it being awhile since we last talked. I called upon the name of the Lord.  I thanked Him for all my many blessings.  I gave Him a fist bump for the glorious day.  Then I cranked up the volume and began a full out praise and worship fest at the stop light.

Sure, I caught a glimpse of the mini-van in my rearview mirror, but I really didn't care.  My hands were drumming out the beat on my steering wheel.  Interspersed with hand raises, head bobs, seat dancing moves, eyes closed; I was in my God zone.  One of those moments that would have mortified my kids lol.

I cracked open one eye to see if the light had changed (I knew this one was a long one).  The mini-van - previously behind me - was now beside me and the driver was motioning me to roll down my window.  Oh busted...

"I just have to ask," she began, "what are you listening to?"  Feeling the red burn of embarrassment rise to my cheeks, I answered, "Christy Nockels- 'Ever Lifting'...great song!"   

"Oh, well I just had to know," she went on, "you looked  like you were having so much fun!"

Truth be told...I was!

The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves.  He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing. (One commentary calls God's singing an "utter jubilee of the heart".)  (Zephaniah 3:17)

I have become a "word nerd" of sorts.  I've read this scripture many times before, but I got out my concordance (I use the NIV Exhaustive Bible Concordance by John Kohlenberger, Third Edition).

I wanted to go deeper.  I wanted to dig in the fertile soil of His Word and see what new truths it held.  So I looked up some of the key words, seeking for what God might want to reveal.  Again, I called upon His name. 

The phrase "Take great delight" in the original Hebrew looked like an algebraic equation in my 9th grade Algebra class.

H8464 - "sus" + H928 - "b" + H8525 - "simha"

Translated it would go something like...He (God) will rejoice, be pleased, delight greatly + with + joy, gladness, pleasure, celebration, emense enjoyment.

When we call upon the name of the Lord, Love's Heart Hears!!

He not only hears, but He has "a jubilee of the heart"...

Or as we say in the South, "He's fixin' to give you a big ole bear hug because He's plum crazy boutcha. Even more, He's might sweet on you and He ain't just whistling 'Dixie!"

I also looked up the word "rebuke". Probably because honestly, I don't like the thought of God rebuking me. 

In Hebrew the phrase "no longer rebuke" = "hares"

"hares" = to be silent, to be deaf, to make no moves, to say no more,  to say nothing.

In this section of Zephaniah, evil doing and unrepentant Jerusalem finally calls upon the name of the Lord.  The Lord not only takes away judgment, but He is silent.  He says no more.  He is forever silent on their evil doing. 

This continuing theme of Unrepentent >>Calling Upon the Name of the Lord >>Restoration began in the Old Testament.  Thanks to Jesus' death on the cross, the Lord is "hares" - He is silent.  He says no more about out sins.

And best of all He is "sus" + "b" + "simhe":  He's rejoicing and delighting greatly with joy, celebration, and gladness. 

So much so that He sings over us...He sings over you...

He's might sweet on you and He's plum crazy boutcha too!  Do you believe that??

All you have to do is call upon the name of the Lord and Love's Heart Hears!!

Is there anything holding you back from believing that God delights in you?  Do you ever fear He will rebuke you?  What lies does the enemy want you to believe?  Do they match up with what you know of scripture and it's story of God's great love for you??

Dear Heavenly Father, Forgive me for the times I do exactly what I don't want to do.  Forgive my evil ways past and present.  I call upon your precious name and in doing so, I KNOW that you hear.  I claim the forgiveness you promised me through trusting on the sacrificial death of Christ.  Therefore, there is now NO condemnation.  Thank you for restoring our relationship.  Thank you for pulling me back into your arms of love.  Thank you for delighting in me...singing joyfully over me...let me know that I am the reason for the jubilee of your heart.  In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed...


ps. Please pray for the people of Pakistan and for Redeemer Christian Foundation's presence there in our school.  Thankfully, none of our children were among the 65+ killed and 300+ injured in the suicide bomb blast in a park on Easter.  Pakistan's small Christian community was celebrating Easter when this heinous attack took place.

Do you want to do something about what's going on in our world besides feel helpless? 

RCF, Inc. is supporting raising up children in the love and hope that Jesus teaches.  Others are taking notice and lives are being transformed.  People in this part of the world see the joy and hope in the eyes of the children and they want to know more. 

Please visit our website and join with us in DOING something to end the hatred:

www.redeemerchristianfoundation.org
Or click HERE

We now take credit card donations and generate immediate receipts for tax purposes.

Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. is a registered 501c3 non-profit

**Unlike many charities, 100% of your donation goes directly to the children! We are all volunteers and pay no administrative salaries.  The Board is invested and covers all PR, printing, and other admin fees so that YOUR dollars can go 100% to the children...

 Pray for their safety...
 Mourn with them in their grief...
Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ...they truly know what it means to be persecuted for their faith...




Friday, March 25, 2016

This I Know

Hey Friend,

I wish I could find the snapshot.  I can picture it vividly in my mind.  My mom snapped it of me and my best girlfriends playing our favorite game of "dress up" which was not "school", or "house" (though those were fun), but the ultimate little girl's dream..."wedding". 

After getting out the dress up clothes and bickering about who was going to get to be the "bride", we would go in search of the "lucky" (aka suckered) guy who got to be the groom.  This day it would be my friend's little brother Timmy Towner.  We would promise him a rousing game of tag afterward if he would simply play the part.  This is the beginning of my learning that boys could be easily duped lol.

That photograph captured glowing smiles and high hopes for the future.  Just like the silk multi-colored tulips I held in my hand as the bride, I had already started making my plans for the future.  My future was in my hands, after all, wasn't it?  Or so I thougt.

That notion stayed with me for a long time.  Go to school.  Get good grades.  Go to college.  Get a good job.  Marry Prince Charming.  Have children and live happily ever after.  That was the plan...sound familiar?

Then life happened and I started to learn that it wasn't exactly the bowl of cherries I thought it was going to be.  Oh there were great parts...good friends, good times, the gift of laughter, friendship, fellowship, and the beginning of my faith.  These, I had written into "my" plan.

The parts I know I wouldn't have written in were experiencing infidelity, then reconciliation, then more infidelity in my marriage; followed by a long, drawn out, painful divorce.  (Aren't divorce and painful synonymous?)  My dream of growing old with my husband was shattered. 

I know I wouldn't have written in the scare of the big "C".  No, that wasn't planned.  Nor was my visit to the emergency room of the psych hospital when I was so low and depressed I considered taking my own life.  No, I hadn't written that in.  The pre-diagnosis and treatment episodes with an anxiety disorder wouldn't have made the editing cut either.  Watching my youngest go down a prodigal path would have been cropped film on the cutting room floor.

The glowing bride holding the dusty silk tulips would never have envisioned this.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.  (Matthew 5:4)

Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.  (Psalm 5b)

"Hear , O Lord, and be merciful to me; O Lord, be my help.  You turn my wailing (mourning) into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.  O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever."  (Psalm 30:10-12)

The first scripture, above, comes from the Beatitudes.  Beatitudes means supreme blessedness.  It also connotes grace, bliss, even ecstasy.

I have never felt as close to God as I have through His comfort in my mourning.

In the center of the flame of the crucible of pain, I admit wondering, at times, if God was even there.  Yes, I've shaken my fist at Him.

Conversely, there was a bittersweet bliss...even ecstasy in the depth of His great comforting in my mourning.  When I could not even lift my head, He lifted my body and carried it forward one step at a time.  There was a closeness that is hard to put into words. 

Even though I doubted many a time, God was faithful to stay with me as I wept through the night and, He was faithful to bring joy in the morning. 

Hindsight is always 20/20, but when I look back at what God brought me through and how He removed my sackcloth and brought beauty from the ashes of my life, there are some undeniable truths that leap out...

*  God is indeed Good!  God is Love, and I can trust Love's heart!

*  God's got this and His script is the perfect script for my life.  His
    may be less about my happiness and more about me becoming more
    like his son Jesus!

*  I know He has Me...will never leave me nor forsake me...no mater
    what.

Going forward, there is still this undeniable desire for me to KNOW the script.  If I can't write it, I at least want to know what's coming.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to (acknowledge) him, and he will make your paths straight.  (Proverbs 3:5-6)

In the original Hebrew the verb for "make straight" is "yasar"

yasar = to do good, do right; to straighten out a crooked object.  Hammer evenly until smooth.

Oh, I've felt the hammering alright, and boy have I wanted to have understanding of what exactly was going on. 

But God, reassures me that, even though I may not understand, the hammering is straightening out and making my path straight and smooth. 

I may not have written in these painful parts of my story, but I am seeing and learning that they are there for a very distinct purpose. 

God has been teaching me obedience  and trust in following him...even when I don't know the outcome. 

But, THIS I KNOW...Jesus died for my sins and on the third day He rose from the grave - cancelling the debt of my sins forever.  Because of this I can live in loving relationship with Jesus and with my Heavenly Father and I know the end of the story...

Jesus will come again and when He does...I know He's coming for me!

This gives me hope to live the life He's planned for me...not the one I scripted.

What do you "know" when you look at your life?  Of what are you certain?  Are you content with not knowing the script if God does?

Dear Heavenly Father, May my heart sing to you and not be silent. You have clothed me in joy.  O, Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.  Not only do you comfort me in my mourning, but you remove the sackcloth and ashes and bring rejoicing in the morning.  You've given me glimpses of that kind of joy here on earth, but nothing will compare to the joy I will experience when you come again.  You have promised that tears and trials will cease and I will live in perfect loving relationship with you forever.  So very thankful that THIS....I KNOW...In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed and have a Joyous Easter...


ps.  In portions of the Middle East, having and reading the Bible is considered blasphemy and is often severely punished.  Look at these drawings by the children in Redeemer Christian School which is funded by Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.


                             
             Praise they know what Christ has done!!!

                 
 Join us at the MISSIONS tab to find out how you can save souls through Christian love and education in dark corners of the world!
RCF, Inc. is a 501c3 registered non-profit organization
All donations are tax exempt.


Friday, March 18, 2016

Feeling Inadequate?

Hey Friend,

This week, I have been having a gritty battle with feeling terribly inadequate.  I had an argument with my husband and once again, a light shone on my selfishness. 

I remember when my children were little, sometimes I would get in my bed, pull the covers over my head and pray that the Lord would save my children from me.  Like all moms, I did my best, but I had this misguided idea that once they grew up, all their problems and difficulties would cease.  Little did I know that their problems just become adult problems - more complex than temper tantrums and potty training.  Maybe if I had just been a better mom...

In my work with Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. I am learning just how much I don't know. I've never started a non-profit organization.  I need to, but don't grasp Legalese, Excel, Squarespace, and other programs and computer functions.  I'm just not wired that way (no pun intended).

So, back to my feeling inadequate...(back to "me" - red flag #1)

The good news is that I am in good company.  Moses, when called by God to lead, said, "Behold, I am unskilled in speech (I am a clumsy speaker); how then will Pharoah listen to me." (Exodus 6:30)

Feeling inadequate means that we are lacking the quality or quantity required; we are insufficient for a purpose.

Lacking...insufficient...yep...that about sums it up!

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:12 NIV)

You see, all have sinned, and all their futile attempts to reach God in His glory fail.  (Romans 3:12 The Voice)

Interestingly enough, I don't read this and feel defeated.  I believe that God gave me this scripture to say three very important things:

     *We are ALL sinners/human and feel this way.  Welcome to the club
     *It is good to recognize your inadequacy.  You are...but it's okay
     *We are ALL inadequate in and of ourselves...that's why we need Christ

In 2 Corinthians 12, Paul has finished boasting about his sufferings, and now is telling of all the great visions the Lord has chosen to give him. Listen to the note he ends on:

Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But, he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.  (2 Corinthians 12: 7-10)

Paul, I believe, is saying that lest he get too caught up in himself, he was given a thorn in his side to keep him from being conceited.

Human weakness provides the ideal opportunity for the display of divine power.

I took a closer look at what the Lord says to Paul...

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.

Sufficient in the original Greek is "arkeo"
Arkeo means content enough or satisfied.

Perfect in the original Greek is "teleo"
Teleo means finished, completed, fulfilled, done, carried out

I believe that the Lord is saying that His grace is enough or sufficient for me...but in My weakness that is truly where His power is finished, complete, done, fulfilled, carried out...

The Lord shines or is glorified when I am at my weakest...

In my weakest state...that is when the Lord can really work!

How do I, then, become perfect?  By admitting my weakness and that I need a Savior. 

I admit and embrace my weakness and my inadequacy.

I need to rely and depend on the Lord for perfection in my salvation and sufficiency in my daily walk.

I need to surrender my PRIDE and embrace HUMILITY...

In My power or in the Lord's power...where do I want to draw my strength?

Do I desire the Kingdom of Me...or do I want the Kingdom of God?

My inadequacy keeps bringing me back to the Lord and isn't that where I need and want to be anyway?

How about you?? Do you ever feel inadequate?  Where and how do you draw your strength?  What has been your experience when you turn it over to the Lord?

Dear Lord, I thank you that you do not leave me to fend for myself in my weakness.  You beckon me to come to you and draw from YOUR strength and perfect power.  Forgive me when pride enters in help me to embrace my inadequacy with a humble heart.  Enable me to rely and depend upon you so that YOUR glory can shine and YOUR Kingdom come.  Thank you for letting me know that I am not alone and that you "get" my humanness.  Save me from the enemy who preys upon me in this weakened state.  I claim your promise that you fight for me.  Through you, and only through you am I made perfect and complete.
I praise you and thank you.  In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Be blessed...

ps. These are some of the forgotten children and orphans that Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. is trying to help.  Many Christian schools and humanitarian aid charities operate around the globe, but very few are focused on the Middle East.  These children are truly forgotten, but God sees their plight and the terrorism that surrounds them.  If you have compassion on these innocents, would you visit us on our website and consider making a donation to let them know that people truly do care??

www.redeemerchristianfoundation.org
RCF, Inc is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.  100% of your contribution goes directly to the children...thank you!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

But What Can We DO?

Hey Friend,

Recently, there was a story on CNN about a young boy around the age of nine.  ISIS had been targeting him and his friends with daily beatings in attempts to kidnap them and train them to become terrorists.

This little boy fought with all his might to resist and ended up breaking his leg, which is now turned inward permanently.  He said it was the best thing that could have happened to him because ISIS did not want him with a broken leg.  His friends who weren't so "lucky" are now being murdered if they refuse to train or are given other options such as becoming suicide bombers.

132 innocent children at a school in Pakistan were massacred...mowed down in a blaze of bullets by the Taliban.  The Taliban has opened fire on immunization clinics because they are associated with "western" thinking. The Taliban forbids education for girls. 

Iran has intercontinental ballistic missiles that can carry a nuclear or chemical warhead a distance of 7,145 miles (11,500 km)...putting New York City in missile range. 

I don't say this to be alarmist.  I say this because it's FACT!

Many people feel helpless and hopeless, but there is something you can DO!

Together, with others who want to teach love vs. hate, we have started Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc.

RCF, Inc. exists to promote the hope and love of Jesus with people around the world with a particular focus on providing a Christian education to those who are impoverished, oppressed, orphaned, or persecuted for their faith.

We want these children to find the love and hope that Jesus teaches within our doors.  We don't want them winding up on the doorstep of extremist jihad seminaries.

Even peace-loving Muslims are intrigued by the light of Christ that shines in the lives of these transformed children.  They want to know more about this Jesus who offers grace for our sins.

We firmly believe in the "Multiplication Principle" which maintains that by supporting Christian education and humanitarian aid in countries like Pakistan (and the Middle East), we can break the chains of illiteracy, neglect, and darkness. 

Even more so, we can contribute to those being raised to show love and respect not hatred and evil toward others. 

I invite you to check out our new website:

www.redeemerchristianfoundation.org

Click Here

From now until Easter we are issuing the:


Change for Children
Challenge

At schools that RCF, Inc. supports, a nourishing meal is offered to the children during the school day.  Many of the children are malnourished and this is often the only meal they get for the day.  Their diet is severely lacking in protein.

By meeting this basic need, they are better able to focus in school and live abundantly.

If you're like me...somewhere in your home you have the infamous jar into which all the spare change from your purse, pockets, car cup holders, sofa cushions, and washer/dryer are tossed.

Would you round up your coins and take them to a coin counter or the bank and whatever amount your coins add up to....would you take the extra step to write a check to Redeemer Christian Foundation, Inc. to go to providing meals??  100% of your donation goes to the children!

Let this be an Easter Offering to bless others with love...

Make checks payable and send to:
RCF, Inc.
103 Silver Lining Lane
Cary, NC  27513

**All donations to RCF, Inc. are exempt from federal income tax under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 501c3. and can be deducted on your annual tax filing.**

"Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."  (Matthew 25:40)

Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed.  (Psalm 82:3)

Dear Heavenly Father,  Thank you for your merciful love.  Have compassion on us and the direction in which our world is going.  Let people turn from their evil ways and love others the way Jesus taught us to love.  Enable us to love our enemies in the way that you love them.  Help us to raise up a new generation that has hope because of Christ's love and  a Bible-based education.  Help us to care, as you would care, for the orphaned, the destitute, and the oppressed.  Let us take heart that there truly is something we can DO!  Don't let us sit idly by.  We thank you in advance for how you will work in the lives of these children.  In the precious name of Jesus we pray, Amen.

My 82 year old mother will be visiting for awhile and she is like the Energizer Bunny.  I am going to take a little sabbatical and then will need to rest up after her visit lol.  I invite you to visit the Archives for any posts you may have missed.  I hope to be back around St. Pat's Day :)

Be blessed...