Tuesday, December 8, 2015

I Realize

Thanks for the rain
Thanks for the storm
Thank you for all the times I’ve needed Your Strong Arm
For in my times of weakness
I learned to know Your Strength
And I realize You’re with me all the way!

Thanks for the sun
Thanks for the warmth
Thank You for all the blessings You have so bestowed
For in my times of brightness
I have seen just how You Shine
And I realize You’re with me all the time!

Father, I just can’t thank enough
Saviour, I want to show my love
Thank You, Lord for all You,ve done
I realize I need You all the time

Thanks for Your love
Thanks for Your grace
Thank You for dying on the cross to take my place
For when I needed saving
You left Your throne above
You paid my debt by shedding Your own blood

Father, I just can’t thank enough
Saviour, I want to show my love
Thank You, Lord for all You've done
I realize I need You all time

I realize, I realize, I need You all the time

Saturday, September 26, 2015

True Blue Love

This past week we had the extreme joy of celebrating my in-law's 65th Wedding Anniversary!  In August my parents just celebrated their 59th Anniversary and in just a few weeks my husband and I will celebrate our 37th!  We are very blessed with a wonderful heritage of marital longevity.  My grandparents were married 68 years when my grandpa went to heaven, and my husband's grandparents were blessed to see 57 years together.  

I am thankful for the example of marriage that both my husband and I have been privileged to witness in our lives that helped set a pattern for us to follow.  As first generation Christians, my husband and I have earnestly sought to pattern our lives by biblical principles in marriage and for that we are so very thankful.  The love that we share in Christ and with each other surpasses the love we felt the day we got married - and believe me, on that day in 1975, I was certain that I could not love my husband any  more than I did at the time.  I can now say that the depth of the love that we share is beyond what I ever imagined was even possible!

I am thankful that our children have been able to see that their dad and I love the Lord, each other, and that together we love each one of them -we are a unit, indeed "one."  It is our prayer that they will enjoy the same type of blessed marriage that their dad and I share...we have prayed this way since they were quite young.  We are thankful for the mates they have chosen and thank the Lord for answering our prayers for our children's marriages. 

My husband asked me to write a poem to honor his parents for their 65th anniversary.  I am sharing it with you here today because I believe that in these lines are many nuggets that help form a long lasting, loving, and happy marriage.

Dear Dad and Mom,                                                                                  
‘Twas a fateful day so long ago
With dreams so high and worries so low
Together you vowed to our Father above
For the rest of your lives each other to love
Through these many years and the test of time
You regarded your promises one day at a time
You’ve loved and you’ve honored in bad times and good
Through high times and low times together you stood
In joy and in sorrow through laughter and tears
We gather to celebrate 65 years!
We thank you for the pattern, your example to us
Of how to be faithful, work hard, love and trust
It’s never an option to just up and quit
Instead be honest, be steady, always stick with it
With Dudley Do-Right and sweet Nancy Jo
As parents you taught us and helped us to grow
And now we have families that we’ve raised to know
The love of a family and how things should go
You’ve succeeded, you’re wealthy, you’ve given so much
You’ve blessed many lives by your loving touch
And so on this anniversary known to some as “Sky Blue”
Symbolizing limitless love that’s been shared by you two
It’s our heart’s wish to honor YOU with all we can give
May you know all our love every day that we live


"For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church."  
Ephesians 5:31-21

Happy Anniversary Dad and Mom! 

May you all have a wonderful day!


Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Strangers and Pilgrims

As many of you may know, we are now in our 6th month on deputation as USA Church Planters – missionaries to America!  Before we began this adventurous journey the Lord worked mightily in my heart to prepare me and to confirm in my heart that this is what He wants for us to do.

My husband and I are not your typical missionaries on deputation – we are grandparents!  Some would even venture to call us “old!”  My husband often sites Caleb’s spirit as one he shares “…and Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenezite said unto him, And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the LORD spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old.  As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day…” Joshua 14:6, 10, 11, 12; and it is true – my husband is full of energy and faith, and willingly puts forth every effort to do the work God has called him to do. 

For a woman, this is a different decision than it is for a man that has a vision.  For me it truly has been a matter of realizing that my love for the Lord and the lost souls He died to save are worth leaving my family, my home, and my church family.  You know – if it was up to me I would have moved into one house, stayed at one church, and been happy all my days…but God indeed has a different plan.  

He began by showing me the state of our nation and just how far we have moved from the country that proudly printed “In God We Trust” on our currency.  He broke my heart for the next generation that is being trained to be secular humanists and faithless beings not realizing a need for our Saviour.  Of course that next generation includes my precious 15 grandchildren…what will they face?  The Lord showed me the depth of the burden that the Lord placed on my husband’s heart.  As the Lord showed me these truths and placed this burden on my heart, I knew beyond any shadow of doubt that He wants us to be USA missionaries, church planters, doing all we can to reach this lost and dying world.  

As He began moving my heart in this way, He moved my heart to be in tune with Mary in Luke 1:38, “And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word…”  As I read that verse and already knew that God was leading us to begin this journey I replied as Mary did and surrendered to do what He has called us to to do, knowing it was not going to be easy, but definitely a privilege and the right thing to do!

And so, here we are on deputation.  We are in our 6th month and we have been in nearly 70 churches, better than half have verbally stated they will support us, and a good number of those have actually begun supporting us, for which we are thankful, humbled, and earnestly desirous to be a worthy investment.  As we are traveling the Lord is teaching me and showing me many new things and allowing me to see ministry and life as a Christian, a missionary from a different perspective.

Strangers and Pilgrims.  That is how the Christians in the Bible saw themselves. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”  Hebrews 11:13 And now that we are on deputation I understand that verse so much more clearly than before.  Everywhere we go we are visitors.  Every church we attend, though we definitely experience the sense of unity in the Spirit, we also know that we are not a part of that family.  Every mission home we are privileged to sojourn becomes a temporary home for us – a place where we “live” for a few days at a time.  My husband and I have determined that we are at home when we’re together – and we enjoy the time we spend at a guest home, a hotel, a mission’s home – but we know that none of these is our actual home.  We are simply pilgrims passing through.  We are strangers everywhere we go – but we have a reason and a purpose for every place we go!

As I have grasped that truth, I realize also that Peter “beseeched” or begged us (Christians – those that are born again having received Christ as their Saviour) to be strangers and pilgrims – to not feel at home with the fleshly lusts that war against our soul.  This present generation is at home with their fleshly lusts – in fact – they embrace them and are not only persuaded to accept them, they are persuading others as well!  For every “weakness” (sin), there is an advocacy group encouraging acceptance!  Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” 1 Peter 2:11

Peter goes on and explains how we do this…

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by [your] good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 

Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.

For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.” I Peter 2:12-16

And he sums it all up here…

Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.  I Peter 2:17

And the way we get there is to realize that we are strangers and pilgrims here, and for now we are to abide in Christ, dwell in Him – and not count this world that is at enmity with God as our home…we are strangers and pilgrims.  

Lord, thank you for allowing me to serve You on deputation and to experience being a stranger and a pilgrim in this world; and Lord, help me to never lose sight of the fact that this world is not my home, I’m just passing through.  

 Christian, I hope that you too will realize that this world is not our home – we’re strangers and pilgrims.

Have a wonderful day!