Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"The Living Waters"

This last week-end I went to Broken Bow to the cabin with 4 other ladies on our ladies ministry team. We had such fun eating out, shopping, playing games, laughing, watching a late movie, just being together and relaxing!! Saturday morning I was the only one to brave the great big awesome looking hot tub!!! But, oh as I stepped in and sat back it felt so good!!!!!!!!The waters felt wonderful on my body, but God's touch ,(Living Waters!),how it revived my soul!!! How I cherish that time !!! God spoke volumes to me in that 30 minute hot tub time!! As the waters began beating against me, God reminded me how storms in our lives will come and beat against us , but always remember that He is our still waters and He will calm your storms and give you Peace. He will be with you thru all your storms!!He is our refuge from the storm! "For you have been a defense for the helpless, A defense for the needy in his distress, A refuge from the storm; a shade from the heat; For the breath of the ruthless Is like a rain storm against a wall." Isaiah 25:4. As I lay back on the tub, I saw two small birds flying by and God told me "Always remember I am the Music of your soul!"He restores me!! "He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness, For His name's sake." Psalm 23:3. I spotted a tall vine, God reminded me, "I am the vine, you are the branches!" John 15:5 Stay attached to me!!! Abide in Me!! Go Deeper!!! Learn More about me!! I reached my hand out to grab some to the foam that was in the water and the foam dissolved in my hand, God reminded me how the worldly things we want or try to get, will pass away, but I will never pass away, never leave you, never forsake you!!!"Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away." Matt. 24:35. & "I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you." Hebrews 13: 5b. My word stands firm, "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God stands forever. Isaiah 40:8
O Father, You are My Living Waters, Praise Your Most Holy Name!!!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Road Trip

I woke up Thursday morning and debated with myself whether or not to hit the road.

My 'vacation' week was winding down. I had cleaned out and organized my little office/computer room. I had traded my car for a pickup. I had taken my tax info by the accountant to FINALLY do my 2009 tax return.

The original plan had been for a road trip to somewhere, anywhere, get away from the hacienda and do something different. But the weather was a bit nasty this week and I postponed the "trip to nowhere" thinking that I would go later in the week when the rains had gone away.

When that day came, I almost argued myself out of the trip. But, reasoning that I would kick myself in the rear if I didn't go, I packed my backpack with a change of clothes, grabbed my computer and put the truck in gear.

My pastor's wife, Abbie, had told me about the missions in San Antonio and I had decided that I wanted to see them.

I finally found my way to Mission Concepcion (after going in circles in San Antonio trying to find the right road). It is a beautiful and magnificent building and I took a few pictures. Then I made my way on down the trail to Mission San Jose. I never got to the other 2 missions. I spent so much time on these two.

Lucky me! I arrived on a weekday when the kids are back in school. So there were hardly any other tourists around and I practically had the whole place to myself. I felt like I had gone back in time to an era that has been romanticized by the fog of years.

Life must have been so hard for the Franciscan monks and for their converts, the local Indians. Growing their own crops, milling their wheat. Every basic need required hard work... monumental effort. And on top of the day to day chores and back breaking work, they had to also defend their missions against the Commanche Indians who regularly attacked...killing and stealing from them.

Yet even with all the hardship and danger, they managed to build these wonderful structures. The architecture is beautiful and the statuary and ironwork amazing. Even with all the hardship and danger, the monks managed to carry out their mission of bringing the message of Christianity to these people.

Such dedication to their calling and purpose amazes me. It made me reflect on my own commitment to the calling God has on my life. Would I be willing to go to a strange and foreign land and put my life on the line in order to tell others of Christ?

Missionaries have done this for centuries... Lived and died for the call of Christ. It's very humbling when you think of it. It is hard to get a perspective on it. There are contemporary missionaries that are living this out even as I write these words. I have been receiving regular email from one for a few years now. She uses code words in her email so that the local government will not know that she is talking about Jesus. I am in awe of their love and commitment to Christ.

I was talking with God about this on the way home tonight. His calling on my life hasn't changed. Study His Word. Share His Word. Write devotionals and share them with others. Teach / speak when given the opportunity.

No, His calling on me hasn't changed. But maybe I have been changed by walking a day in the past. Maybe my commitment to carrying out His command is more urgent and solid... more compelling.

The only wild Indians attacking me are my own inadequacies and weaknesses. I am not in fear for my life. I'm not called to a dangerous mission. My God is strong and loving enough to have His hand on missionaries to guide and protect them. I believe He can probably help me out with my shortcomings.

Lord, thank You for the men and women who have lived their lives to bring the love of Christ to the world... Thank You for those that have given their lives in that cause. Father God, keep me mindful of Your purpose for me and help me to be bold to do it. In Jesus' precious name.. amen.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Journal from the heart

This will most likely be one of my longest post and most personal on the site ever. Please bear with me as I feel that it is of the utmost importance to testify of God’s grace and goodness and his sufficient supply in the times of our needs and trials. As most of you know I am experiencing some problems with this pregnancy and it has brought me to the cross more than once. I could wait to see the outcome then testify of God’s goodness, yet that is not what God is calling me to do. Paul did not wait until his freedom of circumstances, his deliverance from jail or trails to speak of the goodness of God – Elohim (The Lord of Lords). This is my most difficult as the subject is so new and raw in my own heart and as I am still in the midst of this storm – yet God has begun a transformation that is beautiful. I trust completely in his will and know that his ways are far above my own. I believe that every life is not without purpose – from the very moment of conception – that moment when it is placed in your womb before you even know it. That life is not without significance and purpose. For me to see it any other any other way would be to negate the very word of God that states from beginning to end this very thing : He knew us before he placed us, he knit together our inner most parts, he ordained us, set us apart, numbered our days, laid out a plan for our lives, and gave us a certain end! This means from the very moment we are placed our life is important and begins to have an effect on this very world. We become a testimony of God. So let me share with you my journal. I do not know the reason other than to let you all know that “The Right Christian thing to do” flew out the window and ONLY a personal relationship with Christ is the anchor - - - all the church, all the “right” words, all the scripture quoting, all the songs - - - they do nothing. Only that relationship that faith in Elohim makes the difference. Faith has become more for me than a word, a work - it is my reality – for it is these things that I can not see that have made this present trial bearable, it has kept me from being overwhelmed by fear and doubt. Faith is truly rejecting this reality for the reality of the cross and this being done the circumstance does not change but the view does!


I have started this a few days late but none the-less here it is – my testimony of the goodness of God in my life. On Sunday (6 days ago) Brent and I headed to the ER as a cramped and bled. Brent prayed over our child as we drove down the highway, both us clung to the promises of our God. Repeating that we walk by faith not my sight and that which God has promised he is able to deliver. When the doctor came back with a negative report I sat stunned unable to react. “Good HCG, visable yolk sac and gestational sac – NO BABY….Could be that you have already miscarried and the baby is already absorbed or could be that it is just too early”. The bleeding and cramping had stopped, but what to do with this information. On our way home we decided again that we would cling to God’s promises. We began to rejoice that our reality was not the report of man, but it was the promises of God (the things we can not see). The next morning we both awoke rejoicing in the promises of God almighty. It was this day we called our baby Caleb Levi. Calab because when he was old he still said “give me my mountain” and Levi for the keepers of God’s law.
This morning I rolled over to a sudden tremendous gush of blood and clots. This was followed very quickly by the onset of labor like pains that immediately brought tears. I called Brooxie and then Marni who came to set with the children. Again, numbness came over me – was this it? Would this be good-bye to our child? My spirit strove against my flesh and the overwhelming fear and darkness of the enemy. “Your reality child is not this which you see and feel – it is Jesus Christ – You MUST focus on Jesus Christ or you will be overwhelmed by the fear and the darkness of the enemy”.

So silently as pain pulled at my body I repeated to myself: “ You are my strong tower, you are by help in this trial, you are my strength, you are my courage – I will not question your ways that are greater than mine no matter what – I will not questions your ways – increase my faith Lord, nor will I surrender readily that which you have given to me over to the enemy. You alone are able to give and take. You are able to deliver me – I trust you will to be worked out completely for your glory, what ever it be – I walk by faith and faith requires only that I focus on the cross…. You are my strong tower……”
Again, Brent and I prayed over our child claiming scriptures over him and the promise that God is able. This time the pain and bleeding did not stop instead it increased. But this time on the sonogram was a strong beating heart – a healthy baby!!! Blood work good – bleeding coming from where the pregnancy or placenta had tried to attach. If it stops and attaches all is well – follow up in a week.
I think that I have cried more today than in my life. But God has whispered into my ear that he would lead me into green pastures – these are the prayer and comfort of my church family. The still waters have been the comfort and refreshment of God’s word.

I have come to understand in a new way the phrase “the valley of the shadow of death” found in Psalm 23. As I traverse this valley of suffering my heart goes from breaking to rejoicing. You see death is just that a “shadow” – that which was and that which could have or might have been. A Shadow much like the one created by the sun as it hits one side of your body casting a image of you. You can step on your own shadow, but you can never walk from your toe to your head nor catch up to your own shadow. Yet someone else can walk through your shadow, stand in your shadow. You feel nothing as they pass through the shadow because it is merely a gauzy reflection of you. But for the person walking through this shadowy valley our emotions well up as tide within us and threaten to overtake us as we consider what could have been and what was.

I am in this valley of uncertain times – but I have found the meaning of comfort of God’s rod and staff. You see God does not want us focused on the shadow – death may or may not come – our certaintity I this only that if the shadow does not fade then the life is still there and when it does fade it fades into the Son of Eternity – the brightness of heaven’s light. Our time is here and now this present moment. I have found that this is the place of faith refinement. A place our sight can be changed from here and now to the sight of faith. A place where we are each called to at sometime and we are faced with this charge: “Choose ye this day whom you will serve – the God of your fathers or the god of this world (the enemy), What reality will be yours? – The reality of God’s promise or the reality of the Father’s of lies and shadows and fears? Will you put o the whole armor of God and having done so will you stand? Will you stay in your bean field faced with your Goliath and having done all stand?”


We made it to the OB appointment. There again was our baby – healthy beating heart! The negative the uterus is filled with clots, BUT here again the miracle and provisions of GOD!!! The clots are above and around the baby outside the sac. They are not near the placenta that is very well attached. The bleed is above the baby!!
God's hand clearly over our child, clearly protecting him! Overwhelmed at God’s goodness I proclaimed it there “THAT IS THE GREATNESS OF MY GOD” MY God – the one I serve the one that heard My prayers – the one that loves ME!!! Tears flowed down my face – I do not know if the doctor thought I was crazy or not. I listened as he repeated the rest – blood work weekly, 50/50 chance of survival, sonograms weekly, rest and take it easy, must monitor the clots and make sure they are dissolving and coming out, bleed will hopefully heal on its own.

On the way home more prayer and proclamation of God’s promises.

This week my church family has done what it does always – freely given of itself to the service of others. They have been my green pastures. They have faithfully lifted up our family in prayers. They have brought meals every day – a blessing much needed in this first week of adjustment. They have spoken words of affirmation. They have showered us with love and comfort – only God could have planned it this way!
Our family has drawn together in prayer and God’s word has strengthened us .
Every once in a while I am drawn back to the statement 50/50, but God has given me this – we are each only guaranteed a this moment. We each have only a 50/50 chance to make it through this day. For our days are numbered by our God and he alone holds the time for each of us. So this day I will choose the reality of faith – things which I can not see, I will rest in promises breathed in the living Word of God, I will cling to the cross, I will choose this day to surrender to His will for His purpose, to rejoice in this present provision that he has given us. I will choose to give testimony of His Goodness and to be thankful in this.