Bread and potatoes..

Our country currently is under 24/7 lockdown. Grocery stores, pharmacies and gas stations have been closed.  We haven’t been able to leave our home, except for brief walks in our little closed in neighborhood. We could risk being arrested if caught out.  The last time I went to the grocery store was when the previous curfew was lifted for a few hours and they allowed grocery stores to open. Because Dale and I walked, I only bought enough for a few days because we had to carry anything we bought home,  and I wrongly assumed that the stores would open again in a few days. Later that day the government put us another lockdown til the 29th.

We have been running out of fruit and veggies and we have been out of bread since before our trip to the grocery store. They had been out of it. I have been rationing what we have trying to make it last til the 29th. Trying to be creative with meal planning. Skipping meals. There are apps available where you can order food from the grocery stores and have what you need delivered. However we have not had any success in that.

Then this afternoon I was reading in the Psalms..

Psalm 37 :25 Once I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the goldy abandoned or their children begging for bread. 

And then I prayed about it, that somehow God would provide what we needed, which was produce and bread because if He didn’t make a way I really didn’t know what I was going to do. We still had almost a week to go on the curfew.  I confessed being a little worried about it. I confessed to feeling a little hopeless.

Then a few moment later I received a message from a friend that the grocery store near us was actually open. She told me that if  we brought them our list, they would shop for you and bring it out to you. So Dale and I headed down there and passed through a police check point without any issues.

I waited in a line with other masked shoppers with my list. I was told it could be up to 2 hours, so Dale and I went home and waited for them to call. We only had to wait about twenty minutes. However when I went to pick up the order, I was told they had no bread! He gave me the total, I paid and said he would return.  He came back out with the groceries in a cart and on the top of the bags was a loaf of bread! The funny thing was the two large bags of potatoes. I had asked for 6…but instead was given 6 pounds! It was the same thing for carrots!  I guess I should have been more specific! If you have any recipes for carrots send them my way!

Psalm 37 :5 Commit everything you do the the Lord. Trust Him and he will help you.

Psalm 37:7 Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for Him to act. 

 

When things are uncertain..

As I write this, Tegucigalpa, the city where I live is under a 24/7 curfew. Basically we cannot leave our house unless it’s an emergency. Grocery stores, pharmacies, and gas stations are currently closed until further notice.  So there really is no point of going out. You would be stopped and questioned and possibly fined if you did. It’s not like you can meet a friend for coffee anyway.

These are uncertain times and things like this are happening all over the world. If I allowed myself, I could easilly be overwhelmed with riddled with anxiety by all the unknowns, all the what ifs. In the natural…worry is my default.

Ministry has come to a sudden end for now…due to the curfew and also due to the need for social distancing.  And truly it is hard! As another missionary (Robert Esposito) put it, “It is painful and unnatural not be out in the world helping, loving and sharing the Gospel.”

None of us know when all this will end or what life will life will look when things go back to normal. No doubt it will be a new normal. Things will never be the same. But hopefully all of us will be stronger when it is all said and done. Hopefully these times will allow us to draw closer to Him. Honestly I don’t know how I would stand if it were not for the Lord giving me His strength and peace each day. Sometimes it’s moment by moment.

I heard a sermon clip yesterday by Steven Furtick. He was talking about how Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus…but when he saw the wind and waves he was terrifed and began to sink. He took his eyes off of Jesus and only saw the wind.

Matthew 14:30  But when he saw the strong wind and waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted. 

Steven Furitck said in his sermon “If you watch the wind, you will always fall.”

Faith and fear are a product of your focus. We can choose and take control of our focus...Steven Furtick

So, I ask you…where is your focus? Is it on the storm around you? Is it on all the unknowns? Don’t allow yourself to slip and fall. Change your focus to Him. Get into the Word more. Spend time in His presence. He will meet you there and he will give you inner strength. He will give you peace when the world seems to be falling apart.

Remember He is with you in the storm. He is with you in every circumstance. At all times.  Remember He is faithful to His promises.

2 Thessalonians 3:16 Now may the Lord of peace himself, give you his peace at all times and in every situation. The Lord be with you all.

Deuternomy  31:8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will never fail or abandon you.

 

 

When the world as we know it comes to a halt…

So much has changed in the last 24 hours. As of last night, Honduras is basically on lockdown with no one allowed to come and go for a week and only essential businesses open.  Also there is no pubic transportation. I may be wrong but I imagine this time will be extended. I can honestly say I am not afraid however I was finding myself feeling very heavy -hearted and discouraged this morning.

Then I was reading during my devotions this passage of scripture and felt encouraged, so I just want to share it.  Hebrews 6:18,19a .(I like how the Passion Translation words this) “So it is impossible for God to lie for we know that His promise and his vow will never change. And now we know we have run into His heart to hide ourselves in His faithfulness. This is where we find His strength and comfort, for He empowers us to seize what has already been established ahead of time…an unshakeable hope!
We have this certain hope like a strong, unbreakable anchor holding ourselves to God Himself …

May we not forget God is not taken by surprise by any of this. He sees us, and He cares and wants us to find our Hope, our strength,  and our comfort in His faithfulness. He wants us to trust Him!  He wants us to cry out to Him. ..to seek Him. He doesn’t want us to be discouraged but rather He wants us to be anchored to Him.

Let’s use this time of being confined to our homes not to spend more time on social media, which I really believe only adds to our anxiety and stress. (It does for me anyway) But to work on our relatonship with Him. Spend more time in the Word and prayer, crank the worship music, encourage one another, and pray that He will heal our land.

James 4:8 Come close to God and God will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world.

John 14:27 I am leaving you with a gift, peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give a gift the world cannot give….so don’t be troubled or afraid.

 

 

Scroll less…

Where do you turn when troubles rise in your life? When the storms come as they sometimes do, who do you turn to? One thing I have come to realize in my life is that my first response is not always to go to the Lord first when I am anxious, upset or frustrated about something.  I have been guilty of posting things on social media that maybe should have been kept quiet. I have been guilting of venting at times. I am trying to do better in this area and am trying to be a little more intentional with what I post, especially  when it comes to what I will call “fluff”…those things of little value.  Because the reality is, no one really cares what I had for dinner or if I was stuck in traffic for hours.

That being said I often find myself mindlessly scrolling through my social media feed multiple times throughout the day. It is so easy to waste large chunks of time scrolling and taking glimpses into others lives. Time flies during those moments. There have been many times where I’ve found myself  becoming more and more discontent, anxious, inadequate and alone just want to unplug for a while. Then soon after I come back for more incase I missed something. Most times I have not missed out on anything and then I just end up feel even more disconnected when all really I want is connection.

I saw a post once where someone compared social media to being addicted to smoking. It was powerful image to me and I really think it is true. At least it is for me. Honestly… I love that social media allows us to staying touch with family and friends and even people we don’t know….those accounts we follow.  The dark side is it is extremely addictive and a huge time waster. Not only that but I really believe it also can be used as a tool to steer our hearts away from the Lord. What if we spent the same amount of time working on our relationship with the Lord as we spent on social media? Time reading His Word, time in prayer. He wants to be close to us and have relationship with us, give us his joy and peace and counsel, but we never spend time with Him, we won’t know ever truly know Him or hear his heart for us.

Psalm 16: 11 You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasure of living with you forever.

When we are facing hard things…should He not be the one we go to first, before sharing it with the world? There is nothing wrong with sharing our burdens and struggles with others and we are encourged to do so. (Galatians 6:2) ( Ecclesiastes 4:12) However I am so guilty seeking the advice of others before even thinking of going to the Lord. What if we went to him and sought His counsel first before sharing with others and before seeking their opinions ?

The other day I was reading in Exodus  how the children of Isreal were finally free to leave Egypt…and then Pharaoh changed his mind and came after them. I noticed something that I didn’t pay attention to before.  Did you realize their first response of the Isrealites before they turned on Moses was to cry out to God?

Exodus 14:10 As Pharaoh approached , the people of Isreal looked up and panicked when they saw the Egytpians overtaking them. They cried out to the Lord.

Of course not long afterwards they began to complain to Moses who told them to be still and the Lord would fight for them. (Exodus 14:14) And He did!

Most people know the story of how the Lord delivered the Isrealites that day. How he parted the waters and the Isrealites walked on dry land with walls of water surrounding them on either side.  Amazing! And how not one of their enemies survived when the waters rushed back to their usual place despite how they tried to escape.

One of my favorite  Psalms in the Bible is Psalm 118..Here are a few verses from there that talk about looking to Him during those difficult times that we all go through.

Psalm 118:5 In my distress I prayed to the Lord, and the Lord answered me and set me free.

Psalm 118:8 It is better to trust in the Lord than to trust in people.

Psalm 118:14 The Lord is my strength and song; he has given me the victory. 

Psalm 118:23 I thank you Lord for answering my prayer and giving me the victory.

If you don’t take time away from the world around you, you’re going to get pulled down by the world around you.—Erwin McManus

I have truly been challenged in this area. Challenged to put the phone down and walk away.   Scroll less. Post less and seek Him first…

 

 

Out loud..

There has been something that has been stirring in my soul for some time now. Part of me hesitates to share it because I know that not everyone will agree with what I am saying. Then on the other hand I have felt like I am going to burst with what I feel God has put in my heart and what has been confirmed various times in recent weeks.

I mention the Spanish church that we attend quite often. When we first began attending there, one thing I noticed right away is powerful way they pray. They do a lot of declaring during those prayers. In the past I guess I kind of had the feeling that declaring one thing or another was something to be skeptical of. Growing up, I think we may have referred to it as “name it and claim it.” Heresy even. So I didn’t put much stock or faith into that kind of thing. Maybe I even tuned prayers like that out.  But you know something? The more I listened and understood, the more my thoughts and beliefs changed. They were declaring the Word of God. There is power in His Word.  His Word is alive and it is life and truth. So how can declaring His Word and what we know about Him to be true be wrong ?

As Christians I do know that we will go through trials and times of suffering. The Bible talks about that a lot, so I don’t think declaring will keep those times from coming. I also don’t believe this to be a “formula” to make God do something…or grant me my wishes.  Not at all.  I do however see it as life giving and in a way taking back what the enemy has stolen and countering lies I have believed in my life.  It’s believing with all that I am that He is who he says. I know that God’s ways are higher and we may not understand why some prayers turn out different than we hope or believe. ( Isaiah 55:8,9)  But He is always faithful and always good. His character never changes. He has the final word.

A couple of weeks ago the little girl with leukemia that we prayed over at the end of January passed away.  She was only 11 years old. It was devastating and I couldn’t stop crying when I heard the news. I was heartbroken because I truly believed she was going to be healed and her health restored.  I cried for her family who lost a daughter and sister. And yes, I did ask God “why?” Some things we will never know that answer to. Ultimately she was healed because she is with the Lord now and free from all the pain she  suffered on earth.

Words have power. Life and death are in the tongue..( Proverbs 18:21)  I have started speaking out loud during my quiet times the truth…scripture verses for healing, my children on who they are in Christ; chosen and beloved, and that He who began a good work in them will be faithful to complete it. They are God’s masterpiece and no weapon formed against them will prosper.  Also verses on fear/anxiety.  It’s only the beginnning but I can honestly say it has been life -changing and faith activating.  It was a bit weird for me at first to be saying Bible verses out loud rather than just reading them silently, but over time it has become easier. Especially since I am alone and Dale is sleeping at that early hour and the only audience I have is the Lord.  I also went online and found declarations that line up with His Word in regards to healing and also looked up declarations you can pray over your children. I have been speaking them out loud. I posted a few scriptures on the board above my desk along with the declarations as a constant reminder. I guess you could say it is my prayer board.

I was working on my homework for the Bible study I am a part of, and read something that totally confirmed what I have been feeling..

2 Corinthians 4:13 We have the same spirit of faith that is described in the scriptures when it says, first I believed, then I spoke in faith. So we also believe, then speak in faith.

When you read the Scriptures, believing them with that same spirit of faith Paul talked about, think of the process as inhaling. Then when you speak them, think of the process as exhaling. Get the idea? Nothing suplies more divine oxyden on your quest than breathing in the Scripture by faith. Subsequently, nothing applies power to your feet like breathing in Scripture out through speech. 

Practice the approach with 2 Corinthians 4:8-9. (We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; 9. we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed.)

Read it, believing and receving it by faith, and then 2) speak it out loud with boldness. Countless segments await you in scripture that can give you spiritual CPR when life is nearly killing you….Beth Moore..

Daniel 9:4 I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed you are a great and awesome God. You always fulfill your covenant and keep your promises of unfailing love to those who love you and obey your commands. 

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two edged sowrd, cutting between the soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our inner most thoughts and desires. 

I want to challenge you to try reading the Word out loud. Look up verses for whatever you are going through….loneliness, depression, anxiety, health issues. Write them down.  Believe them. And say them out loud and declare them to be true. I really do believe it will make a difference.

Psalm 18:30 God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises are true. He is a shiled to all who look to him for protection.

 

 

Out of the comfort zone

At the beginning of the year I felt like God was telling me very clearly that my word for the year was Boldness. It took me by surprise. I mean the idea of me being bold is almost laughable especially for those who know me. Half the time when I speak people don’t even hear me. So I really didn’t know what bold was going to look like or play out in my life.

But maybe part of being bold is doing hard things. Maybe part of being bold is stepping out of the comfort zone and being obedient even if it’s uncomfortable.

I am being a little vulnerable here but maybe what I feel like God has been showing me will help someone else like me who may be struggling with some of the same things. I would have thought by now at my age I would have had it all figured out by now and anxiety/fear would no longer be an issue in my life but now and then depending on the situation it rears its ugly head.

We are very blessed to have a lot of North Americans in our lives. I am blessed to attend a ladies Bible study in English, blessed to attend church in English on Sunday afternoons, and blessed to have a close fellowship group Thursday evenings in English. We are surrounded by a whole lot of English. Not all missionaries living in Honduras have those blessings. However I feel like if we are in a Spanish country we should really be attending a Spanish church and immersing ourselves in the language whenever possible. Most of the Schools of Hope staff are Spanish and we minister to Spanish people. I desire to be fluent to be able to minister more effectively…heart to heart.  So in attempts to boost my understanding of the language, I listen to Spanish worship music all the time, use a Spanish Bible along with my regular Bible and then we attend a Spanish church Sunday mornings. I truly feel the presence of Lord there, even before the service begins.  Usually I understand most of the sermon. It really depends on who is sharing. But since they stream live on Youtube I can go back and listen and hit pause when I don’t quite understand something.

This church has a Wednesday night prayer meeting and I have never gone until recently when I went one time. They had announced on the Sunday before they would be praying for those who needed healing and for families at the Wednesday meeting. I have talked before about my frustrations with my health and how I have felt like my health issues were a hinderance to what I feel God has called me to.  Also they were going to be praying for families. The desire for all of my kids to love the Lord and serve Him is never far from my heart.  So I told Dale that I really felt like I needed to go. I kind of expected him to shut me down but he was fully supportive. He drove me there and dropped me off, but I went in alone.

When I arrived there were  few chairs were set up, and maybe twenty people. (Eventually a lot more people showed up and more chairs were added.) I almost chickened out and high-tailed it out of there. On a Sunday morning that place is full of chairs and easily a thousand people. However, I wanted to be obedient to what I felt God asking me to do, so I stayed, even though I was very much out of my comfort zone, felt of out of place and I didn’t know anyone.  I was silently telling the Lord “that I can’t do this. I just want to go home.” Then He gently reminded me that perhaps I wasn’t the only “new” person there. In a church with more than a thousand in attendance on a Sunday morning, what were the chances everyone in the room knew each other?  So I started talking with the lady next to me and afterwards the words came easily and I was able to relax somewhat.  And you know what? I was able to completely understand all that this lady was telling me and asking me and I understood the scripture reading that followed the sweet time of worship.

I hung-back at first when they told those who needed healing to go forward for prayer whenever they were comfortable. It sounds ridiculous but I was a nervous wreck. My heart was pounding and I had knots in my stomach. Fear can be so paralyzing! Part of it was not knowing a soul, but the truth is even in the English church I am not all that comfortable going to the front of the church for prayer. I knew God was nudging me to just go although I was feeling far from comfortable. I prayed my Spanish would be understood. In the end, I was prayed for by one of the Pastors who is fluent in English. Even so I still had trouble spitting my words out and was pretty vague. Still she prayed for a miracle and something else  I didn’t even mention. But God knew. God is good and faithful and he cares about what is going on in our hearts.

See, I don’t believe God doesn’t call us to a comfortable lifestyle. We are not always going to be asked to do things that are easy.  Sometimes they will be challenging and downright difficult. But He is always with us and we are not ever alone in what He asks of us.  Believe it! We need to move our feet and step out in faith. We can’t expect change if we are not obedient.

Also regarding my earlier comment about thinking I should have it all figured out by now…how boring would life be if I did. And as christians do we ever stop growing? Do we ever reach the place of knowing everything there is to know about the Lord and his goodness? Ever changing. Ever growing. That is how I want to be.

Psalm 92:14 Even in old age they will still produce fruit, they will remain vital and green. 

Can anyone else relate? Are there areas in your life that you feel stuck in, unable to move  out of the comfort zone?

All that being said I am not always anxious. I don’t have any trouble in my neighbourhood approaching  neighbours on the rare occasion they are outside their gate and striking up a converation with them. One time I did this Dale and I were walking our dog and Dale told me that I was not an introvert. Also I talk to the security guards all the time and know all of their names.  I like how one of my friends describes herself…that she is is an introvert but relational. So maybe what it boils down to is the enviroment,  knowing exactly what to expect and what is expected of me.

Being mindful of our emotional makeup. God instructs us to obey Him from a place of faith not fear. Just like Peter, we may not understand God’s promptings, but obedience turns our ordinary actions into something with a supernatural element. As disciples, we never come to a place where we can see the supernatural happen before we move in fatih. Repalacing fear with faith happens when we hear and believe God when he says, “Fear not…I am with you” —-Debbie Morris

Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord and he answered me and rescued me from all my fears.

Isaiah 41:10 Do not fear from I am with you. Do not be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you, I will help you. I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Psalm 94:1 When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Here is a song that is an encouragement to me and I hope it encourages you in whatever challenge you may be in.

Same God…

Sometimes during the course of a week there are specific themes or passages of scripture that pop up on more than one occasion. Whether it be during my morning devotions or something inspirational on social media or something I hear on a podcast or in a sermon. When that happens I feel like just maybe God is trying to get my attention. Telling me to wake up. So I am just sharing my thoughts below on this because I am pretty sure I am not alone in this.

Two times I came across Exodus 3 and 4 and read the account of Moses where God had told him to go and talk to Pharaoh and ultimately lead the children of Isreal out of the wilderness.  Exodus 3:10 “Now go for I am sending you to Pharaoh”

But Moses was afraid. He had so many questions. He was insecure. He felt unqualified He didn’t have the confidence. Even though God called him. Even though God promised to go with him. Even though God had confidence in Him.  Notice what Moses says.

Exodus 4:10 But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied and my word get tangled.”

How many times can we feel just like Moses? We let our fears and feelings of inadequacy get in the way of what He is calling us to. What he is anointing us to do.

I actually see a lot of myself in Moses.  When I am in a group or infront of a crowd I tend to clam up, even though I may have many thoughts I want to say.  I don’t share all that is on my heart.  Maybe I am afraid I can’t process it all at the time or spit the words out in an inteligent manner. Maybe I am afraid of what people will think if I am honest or vulnerable.  Fear. Insecurtiy. Lack of confidence. 

And what did God said in response to Moses?

Exodus 4:11-12 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or don’t speak, hear or do not hear? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go, I will be with you as you  speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

Basically he was telling Moses to get his butt moving and to stop making so many excuses.

Still Moses begged God to send someone else.

Exodus 4.13 But again Moses pleaded, “Lord, please! Send someone else!”

There is a note in my CSB study Bible about this that says …“Saying no to God’s calling doesn’t release you from what He has commissioned you to do. He promises His presence and whatever resources are needed, but He commands obedience rather than negotiation.

One thing that came to my mind was the same God who spoke to Moses and promised to go with him, who promised to put the words in his mouth is the same God I serve today….how many thousands of years later. He is the same God who parted the waters so the Isrealites could cross the red sea. He is the same God who told Noah to build an ark so that he and his family could be saved when he flooded the earth. He is the same God who shut the mouths of the lions when Daniel was cast into the pit with them. He is the same God who saved the three young men when they were thrown into the furnace. He is the same God who raised Jesus from the dead.

He is good. He is all powerful.  Moses God is our God.  The same God who promised to equip Moses will equip us.

Hebrews 13:8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever

Malachi 3:6 I am the Lord and I do not change.

Romans 8:11 And the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as Christ raised Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by the same Spirit living within you. 

God doesn’t make mistakes. If he called you into that position regardless of how overwhelming it is, it’s because you are the woman for the job. —-Sarah Jakes Roberts

God still used Moses even after he asked him to send someone else. Moses brother Aaron.  But I wonder how much greater Moses could have been if he had just been obedient and not let his lack of confidence stand in the way.  And I wonder how God would use us and what would he do in us and through us if we would just obey.

Exodus 4:16, 17 Aaron will be your spokesman to the people. He will be your mouthpiece, and you will stand in the place of God for him, telling him what to say. And take your shepherd’s staff with you , and use it to perfom the miraculous signs I have shown you.

I believe if God has called us to something, he will equip us and give us the resources we need to do all that he may ask of us. Why would we be afraid if He has promised to go with us?

God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called…author unknown

An emotional day..

This past Thursday I had a milestone birthday and the entire day felt like an emotional rollercoaster ride. I am not going to share all that happened during the day, but I will share a few things. I can tell you that in addition to what I am going to share in this post there was embarassment when I was sung to at Denny’s. If you know me you know I don’t like being the center of attention. I was wishing the ground would open up and swallow me. Haha! At least they didn’t force me to dance!

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First of all, I did not want to be 50.  I didn’t want to think about it. Like maybe if I ignored it, it wouldn’t happen. It just sounded so…OLD. And please no offense to those reading this who may be past that age. But there was something about turning the page and beginning yet another decade of life that was a bit depressing. Someone so kindly reminded me that since I am 50, I am actually beginning my sixth decade of life! (Rick!)  That really didn’t help me feel any better. However I am choosing to believe that the best is yet to come, rather than it’s all downhill from here.

The day started great. We spent our morning with the sponsored kids and their parents. When a child is sponsored part of that sponsorship includes their school supplies which is a huge blessing to the parents. School supplies are not cheap, so to come up with close to well over a hundred dollars would be a challenge for many of the parents.. So each year we set up a free”store” with all the schools supplies needed and the children come and “shop” for whatever they need from the lists the teachers provide. It’s a lot of fun. There is joy, laughter and hugs all around. It’s nice that they get to choose what colour notebook or choose their own pencil sharpener. It’s definitely one of my favorite times of the year. Second only the  annual handing out of Bibles to each grade 5 student.

Following that joyous time we visited a couple homes of young girls that are a part of the schools we minister in. One of them was in an accident back before Christmas where the bus she was on rolled over and she ended up with a broken leg. She is supposed to begin seventh grade but it’s possible she may not be able to get to the school. She uses crutches to get around but walking around the streets in that area on them would be an accident waiting to happen. They are not paved and are very rugged. We prayed for her and I am believing that her leg will heal and won’t take almost a year like she was told.

Then we went to the home of a little girl that we know who was in fourth grade last year when she was diangosed with leukemia. We were asked to come to pray for her, so of course we did. We chatted with her mom who spoke through her tears. She is so strong in her faith and said she wants her daughter to fight to live.  From the sounds of things, the treatments are not helping. She has not been able to eat or keep anything down.

Then we were taken to her where she lie sleeping in her bed.  Heartbreaking. So thin and frail and bald. She looked nothing like the girl I remembered. Tears began to flow as we prayed over her for healing.   And God can do it.  I believe it. Death does not have to have the final word in her life.  God is our healer and God has the final word.  Jesus carried all of our sin and shame and sickness on the cross and it is by His stripes we are healed.

James 5:14 Are any of you sick? You should call on the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, they will be forgiven.

While we stood in her home the song Waymaker in Spanish played faintly in the background. Such a faith increasing song. I hope you listen to it and are encouraged.

Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are
Way maker
Miracle worker
Promise keeper
Light in the darkness
My God
That is who you are

Unexpected blessing

Our morning didn’t exactly go as planned.  Living here you kind of get used to that I guess. Being flexible. Sometimes it’s good to take a deep breath and relax and not stress out when things don’t work out or when things take longer than we think they should. Sometimes there are things that are simply out of our control.

We were supposed to meet with a man who was going to take us on a tour of some potential schools for us to expand into with the Bible classes. When he didn’t show up, a quick phone call informed us he had been released from his position and actually he was not going to be coming. However, we did have a list of schools and with the help of google maps we were able to find one. Sort of. We needed the help of a few people on the street. It was a bit of a maze driving on narrow streets and sharp corners.

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After speaking with the sub director at this school about who we were, we found out that there was already a church going into that school once a week with Bible classes. Since our desire is to take the classes where there is no existing Biblical instruction we decided we would not be asking permission to go there.

Then something else we had planned fell apart.  But then we got to see our staff members Karina and Edwin’s precious two month old baby Gianna. We got to hold her. Highlight of the day! I am so glad that part of the day did not fall apart.

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Other than seeing the baby, the day kind of felt unproductive. If not discouraging. We were about to head to Manos church to help set up for the annual school supply hand out the next day, when….you guessed it. The car would not start. Dead. It wasn’t the battery either.  We knew at that point we would not be leaving anytime soon.

There were questions. Like…what are we going to do? How are we going to get home? How are we going to pay for this? Neither of us had much cash on us other than the money to pay our translator. Actually, truth be told I was kind of upset. I may or may not have said “I hate this car!” You see, we have had so many problems with our car lately. Including getting the transmission repaired. Not a cheap fix.  It feels like as soon as we turn around something else is breaking down or falling apart.  I was also tired, the weather was hot, and I was hungry and feeling a bit stressed and cranky.

Dale made a call to Pastor Victor who lives in that area. He knows a mechanic who lives near him.  Within five minutes the mechanic showed up with his employee..in a go-cart of all things! He popped open the hood of the car and seemed to know immediately what the issue was. He took a lot of parts out of our car and placed them on the ground. He made several trips back and forth to his house. Sometimes with the go-cart, sometimes on foot.

Two hours later he had everything all nicely put together in the car like a puzzle, and we were good to go.

He started to walk away from us, so Dale rolled down his window and asked him what we owed him.  The man shook his head and with a big almost toothless grin said “Nada.” He refused to take any money and shooed Dale’s hand away when he tried to put money into his hands.

I held myself together after that, but I felt like bawling. This man does not have a lot in the way of earthly possesions. There is no doubt in my mind that he actually needed the money that he declined. His daughter is one of our sponsored children and he lives in an impoverished area of the city that has no running water. He could have bought food for himself or his family.  Or water.  Whatever. He came at a moment’s notice to help us, spending two hours in the blazing hot sun, while he and his worker laboured over our car so it would start.  So we could get off the mountain and get to where we needed to be. Free of charge. Standing there with that big grin of his lighting up his face. He was happy.  It was humbling.  Not just because of his act of kindness that so richly blessed us. It truly was a gift. And one I felt so undeserving of. But also because in that moment I knew that God cared about our struggle.  We were not hidden from him. Stranded up there on the mountain top in the midst of our car troubles….He saw us.

Acts 20:35 MSG You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said “You are more happier giving than getting…”

 

 

 

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When you think nothing will ever change..

I don’t know why I did not move that Sunday morning in the Spanish church when the Pastora asked those who needed healing to come forward for prayer.  How I wanted to.  Desperately. And yet I just stood there, stubborn feet planted on the floor.  Fear of disappointment perhaps. Not wanting to go alone.  The language barrier as I’m not entirely fluent. What if they can’t understand my Spanish? And maybe not truly believing healing will come for me. Although I definitely believe our God heals. I have prayed for others without a doubt in my heart believing healing will come. I’ve seen it in my own life when I was healed at six years old of epilepsy.  I’ve seen both my parents healed from cancer.

I am not sharing this because I am looking for sympathy. Honestly when it comes down to having a chronic or “invisible” illness I actually get kind of tired of explaining things.  However I  do want to share some honest thoughts that have been on my mind and heart lately.   I realize that I have a tendency to overshare what I am thinking in different situations. That being said, many people know how for years (10 plus)I have struggled with chronic illness. Sometimes I just get weary of asking for prayer when nothing ever seems to change.  It can feel hopeless.  There are times I feel hindered from doing what I know God has called me to do. I  don’t like disappointing people and feeling I can’t fully committ to something just incase I have one of my flu-like sick days. The reality is that those days are just so frequent and unpredictable.

God knows my heart in this. It’s no surprise to him that sometimes I get discouraged by unanswered prayer, and how I get tired of asking just to be healed and feel like giving up. So I stop asking. And yet at the same time I know I am not ever alone in this. He has been so faithful in my life and I know He is with me even in the midst of my doubts. However, I don’t believe for a moment that sickness is His will for my life. That is a lie that the enemy would have me to believe. In this post I just want to share what I believe God has been showing  me recently and I am trying to live out. One moment at a time.

I was doing my homework for a Beth Moore Bible study called the Quest when I read these verses in Matthew. They are popular verses but this time I saw how they applied to my life in my situation and how God was reminding me that it wasn’t a negative thing to keep asking for prayer for healing.  In a way, it kind of wrecked me. I mean really it is one of my hearts greatest desires to be completely whole and healthy.  It was almost  like God was saying “why do you want to give up?”  It’s ok to continue asking!! So of late, my prayer has been..”Lord, help my unbelief!”

Matthew 7:7 Keep on asking,  and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find.  Keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks finds. And to everyone who knocks the door will be opened.

In other words, be persistant, don’t  give up.

The theme this year of the Spanish church we attend is based on Romans 12:2 Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

Change the way you think. Change the way you live.

I got thinking about this verse. Just how do you transform how you think?  By reading the Bible and declaring it’s truth over your life. If there is a lie you are believing, find a scripture to combat that lie with.  Memorize it. Maybe write it on index card and post them where you can see them and be reminded daily. Even say them out loud and in your heart believe them to be true over your life.

So if I constantly have the thought pattern that that I am always going to be sick, and that it’s hopeless and if live with the expectation of being sick..NOTHING ever will change. I need to change my mind set and believe Him at His word. Believe that His plans for me are good. And that with Him ALL things are possible, even though Dr’s have said I just have to live with it. God has the final word.

In the devotional that I am doing on Youversion I read about how in Matthew 8 there was a man with leprosy who wanted to be healed. He told Jesus that if he was willing he could heal him and make him clean.  Jesus response to him was ” I am willing. Be healed!”  I don’t think there was ever an instance in the Bible where someone specifically asked Jesus to be healed where he turned them away and denied them. Although, I do know that His answer to us when we pray for certain things may not always be yes. Sometimes it is no, or wait. Sometimes we have to wait a very long time. I am reminded of Abraham and Sarah waiting til they were 100 and 90 to see the promise of a son. To think that Abraham never doubted that what God had promised would come to pass. Talk about believing for the impossible!

John 8:32 And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free

Matthew 21:22 And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.

We can remember that God is for us. (Romans 8:31) Nothing is impossible with God. (Luke 1:37) He is faithful to his promises. 2 Corinthians 1:20, Genesis 28:17. Romans 4:20,21 Hebrews 10:23. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.( Hebrews 13:8)

Hebrews 10:23 Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

Remember, God can do more than what we ask or imagine!

Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to the power that works in us.

So how about you? Are there lies that you are believing about yourself or your circumstances? Maybe for you it isn’t your health. Maybe it is something else. Finances? Job situation? Future?  I encourage you to find your Bible and look up verses that counter those lies with truth, write them down. Memorize them. And begin to change the way you think.

The power of our thoughts determines our destination—-Havilah Cunnington