Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Delighting to do Thy will...

Our family tends to draw attention. Either positive attention, negative attention, or just plain confused attention (when people try to figure out how Bryan and I made all these colorful children). People often look at us like we are crazy, or just plain called.

Our family also tends to draw a lot of questions like, "Are you done yet? or, How in the world do you do it?

Well today was a good reminder of "How in the world I do it." It is only by the strength of Jesus, that I even make it through the morning half the time. It is not me who does it, it is Jesus that does it all.

I was talking to a friend today about adoption. Adoption is a wonderful blessing, but it is not free from struggles. We tend to think of blessings in this light; smooth, fruitful, paved, or an opened door.

When we struggle, we often think of things in this light; this must be from Satan, the enemy is hitting us hard, or this isn't from God.

When Paul went from town to town, lead by the Spirit, Paul often encountered things like; stoning, beating, prison, and torture. Would we dare to say that Paul must not have been in Gods will if all things happened to him? Or would we say, Paul must have been ahead of God? No, we know that Paul's journeys were absolutely what the Lord wanted and allowed, even though most of the time Paul suffered a lot. However, through his sufferings Paul brought glory to the Name of the Lord.

Adoption is a wonderful blessing, one filled with pure joy and one that is filled challenges. Some days, I have sweet, beautiful, blissful days. Some days I don't. Some days, I am just tired. Not tired of being a Mom to my nine beautiful children, but mostly tired of talking (yes it is true). Some days, I just want to be...not that I don't want to be nurse, teacher, chef, etc.... but some days, I want to go to the bathroom with out talking through the door or breaking up another argument of who stole who's french fry, some days, I want to just be.

I bet that some days Paul would have loved to go into a town that didn't try and kill him. I bet some days he cried out to the Lord, "Lord, for real??"

The joy of Jesus was the absolute self-surrender and self-sacrifice of Himself to His Father, the joy of doing that which the Father sent Him to do. "I delight to do Thy will." Jesus prayed that our joy might go on fulfilling itself until it was the same as His. The full flood of my life is not in bodily health, not in external happenings, not in seeing God's work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God and in the communion with Him that Jesus Himself had. The first thing that will hinder this joy is the captious irritation of thinking out circumstances. The cares of this world, said Jesus, will choke God's word.

Be rightly related to God, find your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water. Be a center for Jesus Christ to pour living water through. Stop being self-conscious, stop being a sanctified prig, and live the life hid with Christ. ~ Oswald Chambers

Not that I can compare my life to Paul's life. I have never been stoned, or even almost stoned. But the journey I am on, is one that is not free from trials and full of blessings. Honestly, I don't want a life free of trials. The more the Lord teaches me, the more I have come to understand that the best place to be is completely sacrificed and dependant on Him. In my trials, and fears, I am just that. We can't do what the Word of God tells us to do independent of Jesus Christ. We must have Christ and trust Christ living through us.

Because we are dead to self and realize, it is not I who live but Christ, then we are able to do the things he has laid out for us to do. We will face trials, struggles, doubts, we will have fears, and second thoughts, but we DO have Christ. And for that reason, it is all worth it!

Christ is what makes our life possible. Christ is the reason we can do this thing called adoption. Christ is what gives us the strength to carry on. Christ enables us to do the things we are commanded to do. Christ, Christ, Christ! May we bring glory to His name!

~ If you keep My commandments you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Fathers commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you, that My joy remain in you, and that your joy may be full. John 15:11

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fetch God...

"Fetch God?" Doesn't that sound so blasphemous, But, isn't that what we do in a way..throw God a bone? I mean, He doesn't ask for our left overs, He has asked for our "First Fruits." Giving anything BUT our first fruits is blasphemous.

Here are some facts:

30,000 children died today and will die tomorrow of preventable diseases, like diarrhea and starvation. Children like these.

Here is another fact:

Last year, the American Church spent $10billion on church buildings and programs. Buildings and programs like this:

Please understand, that I don't know these churches (I found the pictures on the internet), and while they are hopefully reaching the lost, I just believe that there needs to be equality. So, if a church can spend $10,000 (that is modest figure) on a new sound system, or comfy chairs, or some catchy program should it also be able to spend $10,000 to feed starving children, or house homeless widows? We try to mask it all in the name of Jesus and what we NEED to serve him better but, lets face it, when we reach heaven, I can't imagine Jesus saying "Well done my good and faithful servant, you sure did dial in that worship mix well, and the lights...whoa...I particularly liked the the foyer with the flat screen TVs."

Jesus will however, say something more along the lines of this if we are not careful:

"Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and you name drive out demons and preform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"

Jesus was not speaking here to irreligious people, atheists or agnostics. He was not speaking to pagans or heretics. He was speaking to devout religious people who were deluded into thinking they were on the narrow road that leads to heaven when they were actually on the broad road that leads to hell. According to Jesus, one day not just a few but many will be shocked-eternally shocked-to find that they were not in the kingdom of God after all.

~ Radical by David Platt

My heart is broken today as I sit and think of my sister in Africa, who just watched a 23 year old friend, weighing 35 pounds die of something preventable like starvation. There is NO need in the world for that to happen when we have been given so much. Our thinking is upside down. Instead of worrying about TRUTH we worry about the lies that Satan has spoon fed us in our churches today.

We also see no verse in the New Testament where God's people are ever again commanded to build a majestic place of worship. Instead, Gods people are told to be the temple-the place of worship. And their possessions are to be spent on building, not a place where people can come see God's glory, but a people who are taking God's glory to the world. ~Platt

The Temple of the Old Testament full of riches. Adorned with gold, silver, bronze, and jewels.

The Temple of the New Testament

Katie Davis 21 year, serving the Lord in Uganda, mother of 14, care giver of 100's. Giving her life in such a sacrificial way to love the people of God by adopting, and rehiblitation women.

Our local, Friday night RICE night group, devoted to fasting one meal a week and replacing it with rice and beans, donating the money they saved on a regular meal, in order to support orphans in Kenya.
Cindy and Frank May (not pictured). Founders of Remember the Poor. Father and Mother of 1000's in Uganda and Kenya. Perfect examples of servants who are willing to give up everything and risk it all, in order to spread God's glory among the nations.

Abdissa Layl. Father to orphans in Ethiopia, and Pastor of a church. Willing to give his life for orphans and the Least of These, bring hope to Addiss Ababa.

Cara Murray (in back) and Seggy Hannington (in blue t-shirt in back). Faithful servants in Uganda. Bringing the love of Christ to widows and orphans. Devoted to finding the need and then serving the people of small and large villages, digging bore holes for water and discipling them.

Harry and Ceci. Retired couple not settled with living a comfy retired lifestyle. Living out their faith, in Southeast Asia. They too, are parents and sudo parents to many, adding to the number daily. Discipling students to mighty followers of Christ.

Tonya Brown adoptive mom. Resigned a prestigious career and sold all of her possessions to move to third world, Uganda. Faithfully following Christ to make His glory known among the nations. She currently has three boys, and I am sure there are more on the horizon.

Pastor Cyrus, his board members and Bryan. Pastor Cyrus is 26 years old and runs an orphanage in Kisii, Kenya with his wife. They currently house 23 children and care for 13 street boys and the number is constantly growing. Cyrus is a light to the community, never tiring for the work of the Lord.
Bryan, my husband. Father of nine. Co-Pastor of The Mission, tired of the status quo. Discipling local men to, "Go make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you..."

We are the church the temple of the Living God. We don't need to adorn ourselves or our buildings. We must grow weary of serving ourselves and start to burn with passion in serving others. NOT with just our time and talent, but with our money. We need to grow weary of our church buildings being "Well Fed", when they are not eternal. Human lives are eternal.
We need to be passionate to want to serve and stand before a HOLY God who will say to us "Well done, my good and faithful servant, enter My Rest."

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