Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gods Promises will come into Fruition!

Do you hear that? Gods promises will come into fruition!

Isaiah 55:11, "So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me empty, Without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."

And because Gods promises will come into fruition...

Isaiah 55:2,3, "Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance. Incline your ear and come to Me. Listen that you may live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you."

God wants us to delight in abundance! He wants us to live, and to live gloriously!

Happy Boxing Day!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Actively living Scriptures!

God wants us to be an active part of scripture. Deuteronomy 30:14, "The word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it."

Micah 3:8, "I (Faith) am filled with power--With the Spirit of the Lord--And with justice and courage."

Micah 4:5, "Though all the peoples walk, Each in the name of his god, As for us (Faith), we will walk In the name of the Lord our God forever and ever." It's a choice. What god are you walking with?

Romans 11:36, "For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen." Notice the wording--from, through, and to, all encompassing of the past, present, and future.

I am learning how to take scripture and own it! :)

In closing, this weeks prayer, as part of the First Cup readings had the following portion of "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem."

The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight...descend to us, we pray; cast out our sin and enter in, be born in us today...O come to us, abide with us, our Lord Emmanuel.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Dealing with Disappointment

I have been struggling with being stateside. My heart is in Ukraine, and I cannot wait to go back. People keep telling me, you'll get to go back...the question is when? I have been preparing to go to Ukraine for five years; I find being stateside terribly disappointing. Last night, I dreamed that I was a pilot, and I flew people to Ukraine! (That meant I got to go too!)

When a person looks forward to something, prepares, and says, "Yes" to God, what happens when plans abruptly change due to unforeseen circumstances? How do I (Faith) continue to say, "Yes" to God? What is God asking me to do now? Just chill out and wait?

I am thankful to have a wonderful family--extended family included! My Mom mentioned that a cousin of mine has had to deal with some disappointments due to health reasons, and that I should talk to him. My cousin gave me some very good advise. Number one, read the whole book of Micah, maybe twice, and pay particular attention to Micah 7:7-8. I love the fact that my cousin pointed me to scripture!

Going back to appropriating scripture...

Micah 7:7
But as for me (Faith), I (Faith) will watch expectantly for the Lord; I (Faith) will wait for the God of my (her) salvation. My (Her) God will hear me (Faith).

I believe that is where I am right now, I need to watch expectantly, expecting that God wants to and will do great things through me! I will wait (and waiting is hard!) God will and does hear me as I cry out to Him and struggle through the disappointment of being stateside.

Micah 7:8
Do not rejoice over me (Faith), O my enemy. Though I (Faith) fall(s) I (Faith) will rise; Though I (Faith) dwell(s) in darkness, the Lord is a light for me (Faith).

This goes back to what John was telling me about appropriating scripture--even though I've thrown away some of Gods promises, I can pick them back up again--though I fall, I will rise! I am in a period of darkness and a lack of understanding; Christ is my light.

Number two, keep praying and seeking Christ. See what the last thing He told you was, and then ask for the wisdom to carry that out. Sometimes God works in strange ways, but He's working with people (you and me) that do strange things.

Number three, keep on worshiping Him. Sing praise to Him, glorify Christ!

Number four, pray with friends, regularly!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Recurring themes--Loving Obedience

As I study the Word, I am blown away by people's devotion to God, and His faithfulness to them. Our last sermon was about saying, "Yes!" When Jesus asks us to do something, the proper response is, "Yes!"

God was/is faithful to
  • Noah
  • Abraham
  • Moses
  • Mary
  • the Disciples
  • Me (Faith)

Each of these servants of Christ was faithful, regardless of how absurd, ridiculous, or weird it seemed, because they loved the King! (Faith is learning how to be faithful to Christ no matter what!) I want to do what God asks, because he asks!

Mary had the faith that God would do something amazing. (Luke 1:26-38) Do you have the hope and faith that God wants to and will do great things through you? Saying, "Yes" is a moment to moment decision, a pledge of obedience; what would look different if God was your King and you said, "Yes?"

Monday, November 30, 2009

Standing on the Promises

I attended the funeral of Cecil Sparks today. He was an incredible man of God that chose to serve others out of love. Before his death, Cecil chose the hymns that would be sang at his memorial service. One of them he chose was, "Standing on the Promises."

Standing on the promises that cannot fail,
When the howling storms of doubt and fear assail,
By the living Word of God I shall prevail,
Standing on the promises of God.

Those words speak to me, as I have been struggling with standing on Gods promises the past few months. It was stated that Cecil knew Jesus Christs promises intimately--I want to be like that, but I know it is not an easy road.

This past Sunday, Ruthie preached on Preparing for Christ the King. It spoke to me when she said, "Watch for and see how God takes interruptions in your life and changes them to divine appointments!" She then challenged us with the following question, "Are you prepared to be used by God?"

What give Jesus Joy?

What gives Jesus joy? That was one of the points stated during last Sundays sermon. I think that it gives Jesus joy to see us serve others through love. On Saturday, Mom and I went down to Bethany UMC to help put up Christmas decorations. Instead, we helped clean up the nursery. Funny how things like that work.

Love is a force that conduits through people. --Cecil Sparks

What are you doing that gives Jesus joy?

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pray for Micah

Please pray for my friends, Derek and Claire Plantenga, and their new baby son, Micah. Derek, Claire, Noelia, and Micah are missionaries in Sucre, Bolivia through Food for the Hungry (FH). Click on the link below to read their blog and about their son, Micah, who is in need of your prayers right now.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Appropriating Scriptures

During my stay in TN my Uncle Bert invited me to spend some time in prayer and conversation with a co-worker, John. John is very well rehearsed in spiritual warfare among other things. I want to share part of our discussion. I will also share our greatest possession that God has left with us—scripture. Abundant life flows from me, because the Word is inside of me. Thank you, John, for reminding me of this.

For years I have read and memorized scripture—as a little girl for a sticker, as I grew older for some cool prize, in college for recognition, as a young woman, for use at a later time. And now is one of those times, where I must take those scriptures and promises that I have learned to know and love, and appropriate them. To appropriate scripture means to take it for oneself, to take possession of, to use for a specific purpose.

  • Unlike some people, I am wired to have an answer for everything--hence I love math and teaching HS math so much! Not having an answer has proven to be quite wearisome and difficult during this time in my life, where I have gone undiagnosed.
  • I am very methodical, step by step in my actions, and in the way I like things to be done...thus, John pointed out Proverbs 3:5-6.
    • Proverbs 3:5-6Trust in the LORD with all your heart
      And do not lean on your own understanding.
      In all your ways acknowledge Him,
      And He will make your paths straight.
    • Step 1: Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart
    • Step 2: Do NOT lean on your own understanding
    • Step 3: Acknowledge Him in everything
    • Answer: Your path will be straight!
      • I like all of this, but I am struggling with the trusting and not leaning on my own understanding part. Yay for the Holy Spirit to help me work through these struggles in my faith.
  • I am struggling with not being in Ukraine, this has been something I have been working towards for five years now, and I feel called to be there. I do not know why God has allowed me to spend two weeks, with two fabulous roommates, and many other amazing people, just to come stateside again. Why didn’t he miraculously heal me when I was in Ukraine? John pointed out Jeremiah 29:11.
    • Jeremiah 29:11'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.
      • God knows his plans for me, and they are for hope and a good future. So…lets go back to the steps.
        • Step 1: Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart—this should be easier now, knowing that God has a good future in His plan for my life.
        • Step 2: Do NOT lean on your own understanding—God has a plan, and I do not know it, going back to Step 1, I must trust!
        • Step 3: Acknowledge Him in everything—God gave me the time in Ukraine, He is giving me the time here in America. Thank you Jesus for allowing me to spend the holidays with my family.
        • Answer: Your path will be straight!—I will have a good future filled with hope!
  • I have found myself in a place of darkness (a lack of understanding), but God is there in the darkest spots too. My Mom pointed out to me that just as the moon reflects the light, we too are to reflect Gods light, even in these dark times.
    • Genesis 1:2The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.
    • True faith in God is a relationship of obedience, rooted in love, to Godhead—God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
      • What does a relationship of obedience look like?
        • I think it includes trusting God when I cannot see what is next and leaning not on my own understanding.
    • I’ve been told not to be afraid of the darkness, God is there too—it is in these places that Christ will grow and deepen my relationship with Him.
  • These past few months have been filled with stress, worry, and fear. I have thrown away some of Gods promises. John reminded me that I can pick them back up again.
    • Hebrews 10:35Therefore, do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.
    • God I want confidence in your Word and confidence that you will do as promised back, I want to believe again, help me with my unbelief. I am taking them back, to use for your glory Jesus!
    • John also reminded me that it is my job to believe through steps one through three, it is Gods job to create the answer.
  • I continue to struggle with the question of “Will God do this for me?” I’ve seen His miraculous healing powers, I’ve seen His amazing love, I’ve seen people change in incredible ways…but will God fulfill His promises for me? John once again, pointed me to scripture.
    • Psalm 126:1-3When the LORD brought back the captive ones of Zion,
      We were like those who dream.
      Then our mouth was filled with laughter
      And our tongue with joyful shouting;
      Then they said among the nations,
      "The LORD has done great things for them."
      The LORD has done great things for us;
      We are glad.
  • And going back to hope…
    • Isaiah 49:23"Kings will be your guardians,
      And their princesses your nurses
      They will bow down to you with their faces to the earth
      And lick the dust of your feet;
      And you will know that I am the LORD;
      Those who hopefully wait for Me will not be put to shame.
      • In placing my hope and trust in God, I will not be disappointed, nor will I regret the decision.

God is good, all the time. And all the time, God is good. (Even if I do not understand!)

Blessings in TN

During my time in TN I was blessed by so many--family on both Mom and Dad's side, and then many other people I came across.

Our time in TN was good. We established a doctor-patient relationship, and I had blood work done. Everything showed up normal, which is not a surprise, as I have been feeling quite well. I continue to pray that this will manifest itself, preferably sooner than later, or that if God chooses to miraculously heal my body, that he gives myself, and others, very clear outward signs.

Agape love was shared over and over during this time:
  • A free massage.
  • A free reflexology appointment, where the refelxologist pin pointed what was wrong in my body--without knowing any medical history. This man also shared his personal testimony with us! God is good. I am now seeing a reflexologist here in SATX. God gave us Eastern and Western forms of medicine; I am trying both.
  • A special bookmark given to me.
  • Many prayers and hugs!
  • Meeting with John from Every Nations Ministries. In some ways this meeting was worth the trip alone--I was prayed with and for, and given some fabulous resources. I will share more in a separate blog posting.
  • Lots of hugs.
  • Wonderful family visits.
  • Prayers and encouragement from so many people!
Thank you to all who made my trip so special and wonderful!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gods Pie

A very thought-provoking visual.

Don't forget from Whom all things come to us.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Convicting thoughts 101

Anybody for a convicting thought?

  • Not living a vibrant Christian life is a selfish use of the blood of Jesus Christ. --Sermon at Grace Church in Leipers Fork (sp?) One way we can create vibrancy in our Christian walk is through service to others.
  • What's it going to be like to worship Jesus Christ with other great people of the faith like Moses and Abraham?
  • What do you live for that is > yourself?

The good news in all of this is that God provides a way for us to experience fellowship (or intimacy) with Him even after we sin by confessing and avoiding sin.

Tennessee in the Fall!

While in TN, Mom and I played tourists! The fall foliage is gorgeous!

Notice all the leaves on the sidewalk. Time to rake!

Brings back happy memories!

Walking through the leaves.

Happy memories of jumping in leaf piles and shuffling through the leaves as you walk.

Would you like to join me for a picnic?

I thought these were pretty buds!

Bench in front of big tree vs. Bench in front of a stump. No tree to sit under, but a concrete bench.

Carter House

I didn't know Douglas MacArthur's (WWII General) father, Arthur MacArthur (Civil War Major) was also a military man.

Cannon with wall built in front of it.

During the Civil War, at the Battle at Franklin aka "The Gettysburg of the West," there is a farm office known as the most bullet-damaged building that remains standing from the Civil War. This is at the Carter House.

The evidence of this battle remains with over 1,000 bullet holes remaining on the farm office.

Front of the Carter House. The brick home was commandeered to be used as the Federal Command Post while the Carter family, Lotz family, and another neighboring family, took refuge in the cellar.

A boot scraper built onto the front porch. I had fun "scraping my boots!"

When the Lotz family awakened on the morning of November 30, they found the main Union Line had been established approximately 100 yards south of their home. Mr. Lotz feared that his family, his wife Margaretha, his sons Paul and Augustus and daughter Matilda would not survive the battle in their “wooden plank house.” They sought refuge in the brick basement of the Carter House, a home across the street.

The Lotz house served as a hospital for the wounded soldiers on both sides until the following summer. To this day, one can step into the Lotz House and see numerous blood stains in all of the rooms.

During the battle a solid shot cannon ball crashed through the roof, smashing into the floor of an upstairs bedroom and down to the first floor. The large repaired patch made by Mr. Lotz remains in the second floor. And on the first floor where the cannonball finally came to rest you can clearly see where the hot lead ball first hit, burning the floor as it rolled.

My Uncle Bert is the Executive Director for Every Nations Ministries. At his church--Bethel World Outreach, they had many flags. I was stoked to see the Ukrainian flag!

Old friends! Traci and I met at Eberwhite Elementary school, in Ann Arbor, MI. Catching up with Traci was fabulous!

Outside of The Factory, Franklin, TN.

Surprisingly, the chair was comfortable.

Big Chair! I wonder if this is what a two year old feels like. And then we give them a phone book to sit on, so everything must be better, right!? I should seriously do a proportion study! I love math!

These are the stoves that The Factory in Franklin, TN, used to produce. It is now a bunch of fun shops, restaurants, and boutiques, including By the Brooke, which Mom's cousin, Brooke, owns.

My understanding is that the Santa Fe Diner in Santa Fe, TN has amazing Catfish Fry on Friday nights. Mom and I went on a lunch date--the food is good and cheap. I discovered that I love a cucumber salad they make, and we have now made it here at home!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Road Trip!

Last Tuesday, Mom and I took a 15-hour road trip. As some people say, we flew low, on four wheels. I slept a good part of the drive; due to my health, I do not drive. Mom took us straight to Franklin, TN. We left at 5:49 AM, stopped twice for gas, and once for dinner. Arrival time 10:08PM. During our drive we listened to "Crazy Love" and "Screwtape Letters."

Anyone for a picnic? Nashville/Franklin, TN is beautiful!

Vanderbilt University is known for their work in pheochromocytoma. Because the doctors in San Antonio are giving us non-conclusive results, we came to Nashville, TN, to see about a possible pheo. Wednesday, the first appointment, felt like a very LONG interview and then a few things were checked. The doctor ordered blood work, but the lab was not able to run it, on the same day.

I spent time on the 8th floor of the South Tower. This picture is taken in front of a sign for the North Tower--hence there is nothing on the 8th floor.

Thursday morning, back to the 8th floor at Vanderbilt to have two hours of blood work ran. I was given an IV, tubes of blood were drawn and placed on ice, a saline solution was used multiple times to clean out the IV thing, hormones were injected, more blood was drawn, I laid down in a dark room, but could NOT sleep or talk, more blood was drawn, sat around waiting for different time intervals, and more blood was drawn. I am thankful for a wonderful lab tech and that my Mommy was there to hold my hand and talk happy thoughts to me the entire time.

My favourite part about Vanderbilt Medical is the free valet parking. What a smart idea! Now we just need to get UTHSC in the loop!