Sunday, April 19, 2015

What is going on...

Last fall, My Dear was trained to fill in for a husband and wife duo as they were going on furlough for 2 months.   Once they arrived in the states, they went for check-ups with their doctors.   Roger    learned that he had 95% blockage in three arteries of his heart.   He was going in for a well visit so you can imagine their surprise.   The blockage was so bad they quickly did open heart surgery.   We praised the Lord they were in the states because there are no heart surgeons here.   The 2-months My Dear would be filling-in grew to 7 months.  

Since we are "newbies" the position felt long and grueling at times.   We both learned more about the culture.   My Dear learned more language especially with money and tools.   It was good to learn but I can be honest and say, we are both glad it is coming to an end.  Not because it was so grueling, but because he has had multiple positions to fill in their absence.  We appreciate the lessons learned and have an even greater appreciation for Roger and Judy who serve so faithfully and with vision in this office.      

There were times, while My Dear was serving in this temporary position he wondered what his purpose really was and why we are even here.   Everyone here has multiple responsibilities...the harvest is plenty and the workers are few.   Having so much on one's plate, you can't really do anything well.

For a person that has been in the ministry for 20+ years, and had people stop by his office or meet with him to discuss the Word, this part of his position has left him dry.   His study time to prepare for devotions at Mountain Maid gave him some purpose but he had to leave quickly after sharing to get to operations.   He was unable to spend time with the people and build relationships with them as he worked. 

What I see that really lights his fire is Sunday morning.   This IS his ministry.  It is not a responsibility assigned by the mission but a ministry opportunity that was made available to him.  HE LOVES IT!  This time of turbulence has had him in deep dependence on the Lord and a renewing commitment that He would do whatever the Lord wanted Him to do because He knows what God has done for Him through His Son. 

All of this made me think of the thousands of believers who get up and go to work everyday and are not in areas of so called "ministry."   It is the teachers, the engineers, the factory workers, the administrators, landscapers, business owners, bus drivers, therapist, nurses.....those folks who live out their faith through their occupations.   They make their occupation their ministry and look for ways to share The Gospel each day.  

This meeting of hungry believers on Sunday morning has satisfied My Dear's soul during this time.  Patience is believing with hope.   He has been patient that the Lord would use this and would be faithful to fulfill My Dear's heart desire to share The Gospel and to preach the Word.

May you too be encouraged that you are EXACTLY where the Lord has called you for such a time as this.   Just as Esther was in a position to protect her people, we are where He has called us for this time.   He will not let any of our lives be wasted but will use and redeem it for His glory (and some parts feel like they need a bit more redeeming than others....amen!)

Lord, we continue to be patient in HOPE as you bring your will for our lives.   Lord, please give Roger and Judy a spiritual heart to continue to serve you and a physical heart to keep up with it!!!  

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spirit Slammed!

The ladies of the mission gather once a week along with other English speaking ladies for Bible study.   We have been doing video based studies.   It really is an unique time for us to encourage one another in our walk with Christ.

Last week, during our time of homework, I read a verse I am sure I have read or heard before but this time, it SLAMMED on my brakes!

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of  redemption.                     - Ephesians 4:30

Grieve the Holy Spirit?   I know grieving!  I have done that a time or 2.  The children and I grieved a bit during the transition of the move.   I have been praying for my friend and her family who are still in a time of grieving the loss of a loved one.  Grieving is NOT fun!   I don't want to cause that on anyone.   But the scripture says that it is possible to grieve the Holy Spirit. 

Do not quench the Spirit.    -1 Thessalonians 5:19

Quench means to not allow the Holy Spirit to do His work.   So, what it comes down to this:  when I quench the Holy Spirit, I grieve the Holy Spirit.   When I feel the Spirit of God prompting me to do something and I choose not to do it, I am quenching the Spirit and therefore, grieving the Holy Spirit.   I do that with each act of disobedience and sin.  UGH!   I cause the Spirit of God to grieve!  

One night, I went to bed after a conversation with a woman.  She shared with me her concern for the choices another women was making.   I kept replaying in mind, "she knows better!" 

When I went to bed that evening, my heart was heavy for this woman and sorry that she could not just learn from others who made the same mistake but had to learn for herself.   I wrestled a bit through the night as the Spirit spoke to me saying:

 "You are upset about the decisions that this person is making and you don't even know if they have a relationship with me.   Yet, YOU!   You, who knows she is saved by grace, You continue to sin against me day after day.   Making your own decisions instead of what I have in store for you.   YOU, my child, YOU grieve me.   You make a choice and you turn your back on me.   You create a gap between me and you with your choices.  You quench me."

I awoke tired and a bit sad in that I know what the Lord spoke to me was real and was certainly the message I needed to hear.  Do I mess up still?  Yes.   Will I ever get it right?  No.   But what I can do is to come before the God of the universe and dump my heart.   I can spill out all that I have done to separate me from Him, cause that is indeed what our sin does.

I was convicted to spend more time with My Lord in confession.  I will continue to mess-up but what peace comes that I can go before THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE and He forgives me.  He gives me a clean slate and bridges the gap between me and Him....Him, being the SAVIOR of the WORLD! 

What a beautiful time of the year to reflect on the love the Lord has for us.  Time after time I sin.   I quench The Spirit and therefore grieve Him but He forgives me when I humbly come before Him and seek His forgiveness.  When that sin is removed, the gap I have created is decreased.   Thank you Lord for chance after chance after chance.....   I am humbly and eternally grateful.