We better watch out!!


I was reading Deuteronomy 32 this morning. If I removed the Old Testament names and references, this could be talking about America!!

We (The United States of America) were never a Christian nation – we were built upon a foundation of religious freedom and freedom to pursue personal satisfaction —  BUT we’ve always had a reverence for God and godly people! This was evidenced at one time by things like: not using profanity in the earshot of ministers; turning down our radios when we passed a church; removing our hats in a place of worship; keeping our hateful words and thoughts private; attending church at least on Christmas, Mothers Day and Easter; etc. I’m sure you have your own lists. But now …. we who call ourselves Christ followers align ourselves with those who profane His name; who minimize His ministry of grace; who make themselves high; who spew venom…..

Y’all!!! We better watch out! God blessed America for many years and we are not even His chosen people! He blessed us because there was a time when we, as a nation prayed for the peace of Jerusalem; there was a time when He could see at least one righteous among us.  He blessed us because in spite of our grievous sin, we had a reverence and respect for the things and people of God. But, in the words of my friend Eulalia King, “We have lost our Plum D minds!”

Believers – rise up! Speak out! Act justly! Love mercy! Because as for me and my house – we ain’t trying to go out like that!!

From The Message Bible. “Jeshurun put on weight and bucked; you got fat, became obese, a tub of lard. … You walked out on the Rock who gave you your life, forgot the birth-God who brought you into the world.  GOD saw it and turned on his heel, angered and hurt by his sons and daughters. He said, “From now on I’m looking the other way. Wait and see what happens to them. Oh, they’re a turned-around, upside-down generation! Who knows what they’ll do from one moment to the next? They’ve goaded me with their no-gods, infuriated me with their hot-air gods; … I’ll pile catastrophes on them, I’ll shoot my arrows at them: Starvation, blistering heat, killing disease; I’ll send snarling wild animals to attack from the forest and venomous creatures to strike from the dust. Killing in the streets, terror in the houses, Young men and virgins alike struck down, and yes, breast-feeding babies and gray-haired old men.”” ‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭32:15-25‬ ‭‬

Righteous Longing — He is the only Peace

righteousThis Advent season I have found my heart particularly desirous of His coming. My heart longs for errant thinking and behavior to be made right; for the bitter/rigid heart to be made light; the heart that is low to be lifted up; and the heart that is haughty to be brought to humility. I long to see the Kingdom of my God active and alive in this world! I long to see peace and love shine brightly within the Body of Christ.

I am one of those people that has to shut my brain down at night in order to sleep well. I don’t worry about things, but I am always thinking about the best ways to accomplish what is on my plate the next day; or thinking of a solution to an issue that one of our missionaries is having. But the last couple of weeks I have found that my mind has only been thinking of what needs to happen in order for there to be honesty, integrity and truth at the forefront in this world. God has answered me so clearly – it is His presence and His way that will make things right.

As a Christ follower, I am convicted that my desire should be for Him to be manifest in every situation rather than desiring for the situation to change. I should be pining away for Him in the midst of it all, because He is the one who is my Keeper. I was reminded that when I started in this new role Lloyd and I had to travel across East Africa in 9 weeks – and in that time we took 13 flights!! Across the ocean, across Africa — and we did not have one incident! He is our keeper – our caretaker! He was with us and all was well.

Further, as a Christ follower, I am convicted that I must see every circumstance as His will. That is a difficult one when things are horribly unjust and painful; but, as I endeavor to have the mind of Christ, have thoughts that are in unity with God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit); He makes it so. I don’t know, nor do I need to know, what God is doing in hard circumstances; but I am assured that nothing can happen in this world that does not pass through His hand. So, as I commit to seek His presence – I will not only know that He will care for me – but that He is working things out for my good and for His glory.

Lastly, I am reminded that we are not yet living in the new heaven and the new earth. In other words — living down here we have to contend with the enemy’s own form of crazy! Satan is loose, he is active, and he is very dangerous. His actions are a terrible distraction for us. Satan uses wickedness and hatred to cause us to focus on a particular situation in order that he might cause us to take our eyes off of our Lord! As a real life example, he is using the media to lull us into a belief that hate, brutality, racism, sexual immorality, greed, and MUCH MORE – or what this world has to offer. We do not have to accept that! We can believe what God has said — He Reigns! We don’t have to fight for holiness — we just have to live in holiness. We must commune and fellowship with God every dayI We must make the choice to serve Him and to live His way. He is speaking to our hearts and guiding us – but we must make the choice to listen.

I know that the troubles of today can consume our thoughts; I too want to see things set right. But I have the GOD sense to know that unless God enters in to a situation, it will never be made right.We can never be tricked into forgetting that our war is not with one another, but against the spiritual forces of wickedness — against our enemy, Satan, and all his demons.  We must remember always that our battle gear is spiritual and is meant to tear down Satan’s work and to bring about in the world lives of obedience –  make disciples.  So — my heart longs for Him — for Him to be present in the current situation — for His will to be carried out even if in doing so I have to experience pain. This world will never know what justice looks like until He is invited in to the process. Lord, have mercy on us all.

At night my soul longs for You, Indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; For when the earth experiences Your judgments The inhabitants of the world learn righteousness. (‭Isaiah‬ ‭26‬:‭9‬)

OK – so the guy…

OK – so the guy is gay – why all this hatoration!! Are you afraid that the gay juice will rub off on you or something. I didn’t see all this uproar when Madoff ran off with people’s life savings or when our own nation destroyed another nation based on false reports of weapons of mass destruction.

Jesus has commanded that we love one another, that we bear one anothers burdens, that we remember that we are not without sin, that we judge in the manner that we wish to be judged, that we be merciful. When we learn that the best way to be — is like Jesus! Yes! Our hearts should cry when any person is caught up in any sin (homosexuality is not any bigger than lying about the support you give to missions and don’t!) but it is not ours to judge! It is ours to pray, to love, and ultimately to reconcile a fallen world back to its God and Savior. It is ours to forgive. And might I add that the world’s God and Savior is not called by my name or YOURS!! We are agents of love on this earth and just as Jesus loved us back to the truth and loved us right back into his bosom. We must pray for the lost, pray for ALL sinners (should I list the sins here or would that cause some of you angst as you would see your name on the sin!) — and ultimately we must allow the Holy Spirit to do His work. I choose to love! and so should you!! When the woman was caught in adultery – Jesus did not bash her or hate her or sentence her to eternal damnation – he forgave her and pointed out to her that those who were accusing her had their own sin to deal with. Let you who are without sin cast the first stone!!! I am choosing to love – to pray – and to seek God’s best for Jason Collins. May God have mercy on him — and on ALL of us. Except, of course, for all of you who are without sin!!!

Jan

Not Fully Supported?! But Of Course We ARE!

We recently received a call from our director telling us that our 97% supported number was skewed by supporters who made commitments that were not kept.   He was apologizing to us for making what was obviously a difficult call for him.  What he didn’t know was that on this side of the world we could not even move our minds toward discouragement, fear or unbelief.  Only one thing came to mind was the fact that God’s promises that His grace is sufficient.  Sufficient!! The way that sufficient is used in 2 Corinthians tells us that His grace is all that we need and will provide the support we need to bear up under the weight of the issue!  All Sufficient Grace from the God that is dependable and true!  A grace that we will be awed by at just the moment when our lack seems overwhelming.  REAL!  TRUE!  GRACE!

Anyway … I was thinking about our director telling us that we were not fully supported and all I could think about was that we had the fullest and most reliable support that we needed; the Word of our God and His calling upon our lives.

So as I sit back and watch God work miracle after miracle for the people of Ghana in ways that we cannot begin to understand, as I think about the lives that are being enriched and changed by the power of the gospel and God’s choice to use us as vessels of honor  – what I know beyond all doubt is that His grace is sufficient – He is all that we need.  Because His calling on our lives is sure – we have no doubt – I know with full assurance that this ministry is indeed fully supported!  His Grace Is Sufficient – therefore, I will lean into His presence, in full and complete dependence, knowing that He finishes what He starts.  That, as Pastor Rodney Frazier says, “where He guides He will provide”.

“But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving- kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness.”  2 Corinthians 12:9

OH! For ten thousand tongues to say, I thank you Lord for your amazing grace! – Kathy Taylor