Life Happens

life-happens

It is much easier to recognize what is going wrong in our lives, than it is to rejoice for the good.  I don’t know why that is, but it seems that our natural bent is to complain about what is happening to us rather than recognize what God is doing in the difficulty.  I’m sure that I have been guilty of that in my own life.  As we come out of the Christmas season and I have seen people returning those precious Christmas gifts complaining that the gift didn’t work; was the wrong size; didn’t meet with their liking; etc. — I could only think about how dissatisfied we are most of the time!  Just like we forgot that someone sacrificed something in order that we might have that gift; we forget that He sacrificed all so that we might have eternal life.

When Lloyd and I moved to Ghana in 2004 we didn’t speak the language; we couldn’t eat the food; we didn’t know the rules; we didn’t understand the culture.  People stole from us; people told us that they did work that they didn’t actually do; the car kept breaking down; pipes kept bursting (once so badly that we had to fetch water and bring large barrels into and around the house for use); bugs were getting into everything; the ceiling fell in; malaria happened; dysentery happened; etc.   When all of these things happened – we were careful to encourage one another to rejoice at how God was going to fix it for us; how He was going to use us to be Him to the people we were trusting to fix the problems; how our headaches would bring Him glory.  Lloyd and I would go into our room and inspect one another – miraculously we found that neither of us had scars from a thorny crown; holes from nails in our wrists or feet; and not even a spear in our sides!  Incredible isn’t it!  None of it was Calvary! We believed every time that He would give us the strength to bear it – and He did!!  Time and time again – He brought us through all of it.

My dear friend Mike Pickett wrote a song that serves to remind me daily of what it means to count all of it as joy.  The lyrics say,

“You are the salt of the earth, a preservative for some. You may be the ONLY reason destruction hasn’t come. If while following God you find yourself in the midst of circumstance; you may have been sent there to let someone know that today may be the last chance to walk in righteousness; holiness; love; peace; and joy in the Holy Spirit of God”

So, yeah — you may be driving a car that is a little older than you like, and it may require a lot of repair; but are you taking that opportunity to be salt and light to the person who will repair the car?  You might be facing a different trial everyday in your health; but are you being salt and light to all who visit you and to the doctors and nurses that serve you?

This life on this earth is temporal!  Don’t lose sight of that!  Our home is in heaven – a place where all will be well!  As for the “momentary light afflictions” you WILL face down here — count it as joy AND count it as an opportunity for you to be His glory in this fallen world.  Know that as you face each hardship with joy – you will have more patience and endurance to face the next thing.  Being used for His glory in the midst of it all is just the icing on the cake!  I like icing and the thought of being icing on His cake is an incredible gift to my heart!  May the Father move me to trust Him in the midst of it all and may He bend my heart toward full joy and the hope of my eternal hope.  Remind yourself in the midst of difficulties and hardships  — It Ain’t Calvary!

No Compromising

No-Compromise1 Kings 20:42 “He said to him, “Thus says the Lord, ‘Because you have let go out of your hand the man whom I had devoted to destruction, therefore your life shall go for his life, and your people for his people”

God gave Israel victory and according to God’s law the enemy should have been destroyed – in allowing the king to live, Israel sinned against God.

Sometimes the things that God asks us to do are hard things.  They are hard because we view them through a human lens and want to judge the actions based upon human logic.  If the Lord tells us to slay a giant – we feel that this act would be inhumane – and we would, instead, want to imprison the giant.  This is a truth across our lives and is truly a test of our heart’s devotion to God.

When we face an issue, are we really willing to do whatever it is God demands of us?  We want Him to assure our victory, but are we really willing to do whatever he demands?

I am reminded of the scripture that tells us that those who love him and would follow him would ‘hate’ father, mother, sister, brother, etc.  There are times in our lives when God may ask us to cut off relationships, confront sin, admonish the unfaithful and even harder tasks.  He assures our victory if we would only obey his word without compromise.  But our hearts and minds must be truly girded up with the full armor of God if we are to be able to stand.  It is important that we remember at all times that our lives are hidden inwrapped up in — and lost in … the person of Jesus Christ.  If we take thought of our own desires or even the unpleasant nature of a request posed to us by the Father we are living with our minds on things of this earth.  As we set our minds on God’s will and God’s way – it is imperative that we really believe that without obedience victory will not come.   We must live our lives in the name of and for the sake of our King.  No compromise!  It is good to extend mercy – but not if God speaks against it.  It is good to be gracious to our enemies – but not if God speaks against it.  We must be prayerful – listening – trusting.

Father,  As you lead me and guide me, may my heart be malleable, open and ready to receive your instruction.  Help me to lean only on your understanding and not be tempted to bring to mind what I believe and know in the flesh.  Father help me to obey completely at all times and in all situations.  Help me to fight the fear of this world and this age and to embrace Your approval only.  May my heart seek to obey, love and trust you with all that is within me.  When you tell me to rout the enemy, please give me the courage to do so.  When you tell me to extend mercy, please give me the wisdom to do so. Lead me and guide me.  I will follow.  Amen

Don't Worry … Be At Peace

Peace

The Coronavirus is a serious thing that we are all facing. Some are ill; some have passed away; MANY have survived it. The national news channels are not telling us that for every 1 that passes away, 20 survive. We are forgetting to tell ourselves that for any believer that passes away … the truth of the eternal life that we way that we believe in and desire is real! My mom says, “I’m ready to go to heaven. But, I’m not in no hurry!” She means that if the Lord calls her home at any time, she will rejoice; but that she won’t do anything to hurt herself and, of course, she is not wanting anyone to hurt her.

Truth is … this virus is only ONE of many things that we allow to affect our peace.

The troubles that we face are not for us to carry on our shoulders, but rather to lay on the shoulders of The One. The needs that we have should not be concerning – because our worry won’t make the need met. Trials – they come, I can’t solve them. Anxiety – does no good, weighs me down. Death – its inevitable, but it can’t conquer me. Money – it answers many things, but it is not the real need – EVER. Fear – it happens, but it doesn’t solve anything. These are just a few of the things that can occupy our minds; our hearts; our thoughts.

The great thing about being in Him is that we have answers for all of these things. Tomorrow – He knows what lies ahead of us. Needs – He will generously take care of them not based upon what you can do, but upon His own limitless supply. Trials – He has already overcome them all and He is working them out for your good. Anxiety – gratefulness will run it away and besides He is with us always. Death – no such thing, we are eternal beings destined to dwell with Him forever. Money – He owns the cattle of a thousand hills and as our Father, we will have what we need. Fear – we trust in Him and His love casts it out.

When you feel yourself starting to slip into worry, REMEMBER –  He calms storms; He opens up seas so that you can walk right through; He brings life to things that  once were passed away; His love is unfailing; He hears the cries of the righteous and delivers them; His compassions do not fail; His mercies will meet the needs of each new day; He gives endurance and encouragmenet; He is your strength and your defence; He is the source of our help; He is greater than all – what problem do you have that can stand against Him!

This virus is truly something that is causing many of us worry — but by worrying we don’t solve anything.

I am praying:

Father, fill each of us with your Holy Spirit so that our hearts and mind will just trust Your Word — believing that everything is going to be alright! Father I know that you have our back; and our front; and each side; and You even hold us up. You are faithful. Your promises are yes and amen. You are the covenant keeper. We will rest – lay back into Your presence (as I imagine the beloved disciple did) – and watch You work.

There is room on the mission field for you too!

Lloyd and Jan Chinn

Thank you for reading my blog during National Black History Month. I highlighted just a few of my heroes. I have heard of more and have even met some that will be highlighted soon. I do pray that as you’ve seen these people, your own call to missions has become real and strong!


Here’s my story:

Lloyd and Jan Chinn are native to Texas. Lloyd from Edna, TX and Jan from Houston, TX. The Chinns met, married and their careers were rising when Lloyd sensed the Lord’s leading into ministry. In 1998, the Chinns moved to Dallas and Lloyd attended Dallas Theological Seminary with a plan to return to their home church in Houston to engage in faith based community economic development.

In 1999, Lloyd was invited to Ghana on his first short term mission trip – he knew his call was missions then. The next year Lloyd took Jan and their children to Ghana, they returned twice and Jan committed to her calling then. Their passion was leadership development. Lloyd graduated from DTS in 2002 with his ThM – Educational Leadership. The Chinns were appointed by WorldVenture in 2002. They served in Ghana from 2004 to 2014 doing Pastoral and Church Leader Development, Women’s Empowerment, and Community Development. In Ghana the Lord used them and built a Leadership Development Center, a Short Term Missions house (where they lived); and a Poultry Farm. In 2014 their mission agency, WorldVenture, appointed them as the International Ministries Leaders for Africa.

  • A major joy for the Chinns has been that African American churches supported them to ensure they were on their way
  • Lloyd and Jan are the 2nd African American couple appointed by WorldVenture
  • Lloyd and Jan are the 1st African American couple to serve as International Ministries Leaders for Africa.

Lloyd’s firm message to the African American church is:

“Pray! Pay! or Pack!”

Are you sensing your call to become a missionary? Check it out!! https://www.worldventure.com/ways-to-go/

Victory in My Father, My Lord, My King

One more week since the last update and I’ll say again that I Did Not Have One Seizure!

We left Strasbourg and proceeded to Albertville via automobile to visit two more families. A favorite experience was with one of our MKs (missionary kids) who approached me and asked “OK, Aunt Jan … what is my name?” She was honored and happy when I answered Isabella. She had no complaint when I couldn’t remember her siblings name without a little help. LOL! Something to shout about!!

We were with a total of 4 couples (some with children) to carry out the roles of our job and I found great joy in all of it. I was happy to know them when I saw them; and not to be lost in my memory most of the time.

Headed back to the USA! We will fly out from Geneva, Switzerland where it is 38 degrees as I write this from inside!! I’m a Texan! Anything under the 50s is just too cold! LOL! 

Two doctors visits as soon as I return; one with the neurologist and another with the neurosurgeon. The visits with The Lord have been impactful and truly health changing. I believe with no doubt at all that all is well … in fact, this Jan is even more amazing than that first one!


I started this particular surgical journey with a deep fear of the medicine that puts you to sleep for surgery … what do you call that? I just cannot remember it! I thought that I wouldn’t make it under just that medication. The Lord sent a woman, Etta, to walk and sing with me all the way into the surgery room and as we sang a song of praise I calmed myself. I woke up many hours later after a completed surgery in my right mind – may the Lord bless you Etta!! Etta found me when I went through the first surgery! As God works in our lives … it turns out that Etta and I are members of the same church family AND that Etta happens to know the surgeon AND that Etta is in management at the hospital where I’ve had to be. And neither of us knew one another until this journey started!

Another thing that happened as I was preparing me for this trip.  I mentioned to a friend, Wessilee, that I was concerned about taking this bald head to Europe because I was updated that it was so cold. Just a few days before I got on that airplane Wessilee crocheted for me that orange hat that is on my head! I was warm … and quite cute too! LOL!  Did I mention that I did not even know that she crocheted professionally until after I shared with her that I’d be cold! She asked me my favorite color and blessed me greatly!

My friends, this has happened quite a bit all the way through all of this. I pray that my words are so very clear … God has sent His love to me through every one of you!! You’re a gift from God to me … so, pour this love gift you have out everywhere you go! And for those of you who are having issues, share your hearts with others in the Body of Christ because Our Father will use them to bless you!


I have a wonderful husband, two loving (though bossy!) sons, a wise mom, a Godly sister, supporting cousins, etc. etc. and they have all just made their time available to care for me; they weren’t surprising, because I know they love me. But that wasn’t ALL!!! My church family blew my mind in their love and care – especially at moments that weren’t expected! My alto sisters from the worship ministry have been just wonderful! My friends that have known me a long time … they just left me speechless as they came to babysit me and did so much more! AND in amazing love The Lord sent me EVERY ONE OF YOU!! Each of you have sent me words of encouragement and responded to the blogs in a way that let me know I was not alone in the human life! Thank You! 
 Y’all we are children of God – those of us who are believers. We need to remember and accept that there will sometimes be difficulties for sure. But I’m telling you that even when trials that we face seem like they just might bring complete destruction, He promises that because we are His children – He will Be our covering! If you are His, He’s got you!! Y’all, he loves us and we are precious to Him. I’m believing Him, and claiming victory through Him in all of this.

Father, I have no doubt that these seizure issues never removed me from Your presence. In fact I have known at all times that I was with You! I knew that as I walked through all of the issues that followed the seizures they would not destroy my brain. The seizures would not remove my ability to do my job. The seizures would not remove my faith in You!  I’ve known from the beginning of all of this, that every time that I had sense enough to cry out to You – You would hear me and with Your Greatness, You would do things that this human mind of mine could just never imagine!! You, only You, are my God!  I love you, Lord! My love for You keeps me from ever doubting that You will protect me! I acknowledge You, Almighty God, at all times.  I will call upon You no matter what I am facing because there is no doubt all that you will answer me. I know you are with me in this and in all things and I know that you will deliver me and that You will ensure that I know how to share this testimony for the rest of my life.  Hallelujah!! I worship You and I love you beyond what I am able to express fully!! (Isaiah‬ ‭43:2; Psalm 86: 7-10, 91: 14-15

Jan with flowers in cold weather