Posted in Hiding His Word

He That Doeth The Will Of God

It is a cold, wet winter night here. I just listened again to the testimony and documentary narrated by Missionary Elisabeth Elliot, Through Gates of Splendor. Some of her words touched my heart and encouraged me so much. She admitted feeling like she had nothing special about her that made her much of a missionary to the Auca tribe. She couldn’t preach or teach since she didn’t know their language. She had no great skill or medical background that could help them. Oh, how I have felt this way. But then she encouraged by saying all she did have… She had the desire and a will to be obedient to the Lord…and to love!

These verses come to mind. Especially the last one!

Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.” ~ Isaiah 43:10

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” ~ Acts 1:8

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” ~ Matthew 28:19-20

And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” ~ 1 John 2:17

Posted in Journal

Lessons of The Angel Tree (Love…Just Love)

A few years back, the church I attended had an “Angel Tree.” I had the awesome privilege of helping organize the project. We gathered hundreds of gifts, items of clothing and groceries. Every child received several new toys, books, and a new outfit. Every family received a complete Christmas dinner. We boxed all the groceries, wrapped and labeled the gifts, and then loaded everything up to be delivered all over our area.

At one of the first stops, as we arrived at the house so did another church. We came bearing our gifts and were all left wondering the appropriate response as we saw these children who seemed to have plenty now receive even more.

Then later in the day we arrived at a house that was almost empty on the inside. There was no furniture, no Christmas tree, not even a bed!!! A dirty little mattress in the corner without sheets or pillows. A box for a makeshift table….that was it. That Christmas some kids wanted toys, books, and bicycles. However, these three children and their mom really needed pillows, blankets, coats!!!

We went back to the church, made a few calls and some from our small group headed back the next day with not only more toys and warm clothes, but a pantry and refrigerator full of groceries, pillows, blankets, sheets, toiletries and furniture items such as beds and a kitchen table and chairs.

All other families we visited that year for the Angel Tree Project had needs someplace in between these two “extreme” situations. But to each their need was just as desperate.

After the ministry was completed I sat with a broken heart as I thought of these…. that some are so very poor. I was truly moved by the need. But I was more broken hearted that there are some so poor in spirit. For sure those are often  harder to understand and minister to. We are most often blinded to their need because they are surrounded by stuff from whatever source they can find.

I desire to love the poor and the poor in spirit and help folks in need. Jesus gave me that desire and He so often allows me to see past the junk and distractions. There will always be those that seemingly have too much, take too much, or take advantage…but what if no one ever gave because of those few. Little children in Belmont, NC, USA would have likely been sleeping on the cold floor that Christmas season.

And what of the kids that seemed to have too much and still the parents sought for more? What is in a heart that makes one go to such measures? What kind of bondage? We prayed for them and loved on them and spoke into their lives just as we did all the families. That Word we spoke and prayed, the love we showed surely did a mighty work in all of our hearts….mine included. After all, God is Love.

I have been one of the poor and I have been the poor in spirit. I have been the parent that had to rely on others to give my children even one toy and a Christmas dinner.  I have been the parent that later gave mine way, way too much. I am so thankful God loved me and allowed others to love me in all my need!

❤️ Love…just love! ❤️

Jesus is the reason for the season.

Posted in Hiding His Word

Trusting God – Matthew 1:24-25

“Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.” ~ Matthew 1:24-25

Imagine waking up one day and suddenly being expected to do something that seems crazy and seems to make no sense. This is what happened to Joseph. He was a respectable and righteous man with a good grasp of reality. But Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant, and it wasn’t his child. Can you imagine how you would feel? Wouldn’t it crush you?

Joseph knew the logical thing was to divorce Mary and he was planning it so that he could leave without causing her public humiliation. But as Joseph was working through this unexpected change, God sent an angel. The angel asked Joseph to trust God and believe this was His plan for Mary, and also for him. Of course, we know the story, so we know Joseph did trust God and stayed with Mary. He trusted as the baby was born in a lowly manger. He trusted and obeyed and named the child Jesus! And he continued trusting God as he and his family fled for their lives to Egypt.

The story and struggles of Joseph at the beginning of his first Christmas season are very similar to what many of us are facing in our lives today as we head though ours. You (and I) thought life was going a certain way and we had things all planned out…and then suddenly, unexpectedly something happened that turned our world totally upside down. Maybe it has been one difficult thing after another and you feel crushed. So, like Joseph, you have been working hard behind the scenes developing a new plan to help you handle your trials and your loss.

Right here where you find yourself today, even if your place and circumstances don’t make sense, God is asking you to trust Him. He is asking you to believe that He will provide for all your needs. He is aware of every detail and He wants you to know He cares. If you will trust and follow Him, just like Joseph, He will lead and guide you and yours from right where you are … into the safety and peace of His magnificent Presence this Christmas season!