Saturday, December 31, 2016

Angel with a broken wing

   


 I have not blogged anything since last December! As I was putting up my Christmas decorations today, One of my decorations actually gave me something to say.

       I collect snow babies. Every year my sweet husband gives me a new snow baby for my collection.  As I was packing them away today, I noticed that one of the snow babies had a broken wing.  Well it caused my mind to ponder something...

I wonder how many people feel like this little angel?

     You are at the end of 2016, but if you stop and think back over the year well,  you have had a difficult,  hard fought, rocky road of a year.

Your wing broke off...

 But guess what?  You are still standing! You made it to see the end of another year!!

 Friend... Littlest angel... I want to give you a word of encouragement.

Keep on going... Keep persevering.

I know some things hurt you in 2016. Whatever it was, mourning the death of a loved one...  loss of a job, loss of a friend, even loneliness.  Heartache comes in many forms and doesn't respect holidays.

I want to give you a passage of Scripture: Psalm 27

" ... In the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle... He will lift me up on a rock. (V.5)
" ... I will offer in His tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD."  (V.6)
" I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living.  Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD." (Vs.13-14)

     Even though you have a broken wing... The Lord is with you.  You may not be able to fly now, but The Lord will lift you up to where you need to go.  He will lift you up on that rock, and set your feet on a firm foundation.

Will you praise Him?  Will you rejoice through the pain?

I believe that is what a "sacrifice of praise" is.  Please don't despair sweet angel... The Lord Himself is with you, He is right there holding you up.

Take His hand... Take His courage.

The Lord is good, and He is full of love and compassion. He will bind up your wounds and all your hurts. Look up... You made it through another year.

So don't lose heart littlest angel.

2017 is a fresh new beginning... Hold your head up. Never give up precious one...

You are loved.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sea of Galilee



   I have returned from my trip to Israel and my eyes saw many wonderful sights! One of them was the Sea of Galilee. When you read the gospels you see that Jesus' earthly ministry centered around the Sea of Galilee. The Lord spent most of His three years of ministry along the shores of the fresh water lake. It was here He shared more than half of His parables and here He performed most of His miracles.
Scripture passages that recount the time that Jesus and the disciples spent on or around this lake:
Matthew 4:18-22- Jesus calls Peter, Andrew, James and John.
Matthew 8: 23-27- Jesus calms the storm while on the lake.
Mark 6: 45-52- Jesus walks on the water.
John 21: 1-14-  Jesus' post resurrection appearance on the shore of the lake.
Here are some personal thoughts that I had while looking at the calm Sea of Galilee:

Sea of Galilee

My eyes behold...
Water of cerulean blue.
We see the same view.
My eyes dim,
Your eyes clear and true.

My life is a ship...
Drawn to this sea.
Small and frail.
I feel Your love for me.

My heart is hiding...
Fearful to try.
I see Your hand...
Lifted against the azure sky.

You say, "Peace, be still."
Peace calms my soul.
It bears my sails...
With a Master's skill.

You calm my heart...
Like the storm on Galilee.
Where my ship...
Meets these waters...
I know Your love for me.

I am here with You...
This small Jesus seeker.
My ship strengthened by You...
The Mighty Peace Speaker.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

ISIS left a message for " The People of the Cross" but Jesus Will Have the Last Word

     If you have watched the news or picked up a newspaper lately you saw the sickening images of the twenty one Egyptian Christians that ISIS lined up along the beach. They were then beheaded for the sake of Christ. Just for being Christians. ISIS called them, "people of the cross". It made me think back to a verse I read many times "... And I saw the souls of those beheaded because of their testimony of Jesus and because of the Word of God." Revelation 20:4. This verse sounds like something you would read in the current newspapers.
   
     These men all lost their lives, and their blood was spilled because they were followers of Christ. In the Bible we see that blood is very important to God. The word "blood" appears in the Old Testament 346 times (KJV) and 101 times in the New Testament, a total of 447 times in all. Let me say here and now that it cannot be underestimated about the importance that the blood means to the heart of God. It is such a huge and vast subject, that I cannot delve into it sufficiently today. Going all the way back to Genesis, the blood was important to God. God Himself killed animals in order to clothe Adam and Eve when their eyes were opened and they realized they were naked. (Genesis 3:21)  God instituted the blood sacrifice when He commanded Moses to offer a burnt offering. Moses said, "Behold the BLOOD OF THE COVENANT, which the Lord hath made with you..." (Exodus 24:3-8,10,15,17) Abraham was willing to sacrifice his own son Isaac to the Lord as a blood sacrifice. (Genesis 22:2). The blood was important for the deliverance of Israel at the Passover. (Exodus 12:1-28).
   
     I heard an incredible message by Tony Evans last Sunday in which he talked about the blood of Abel  speaking.  He said, " What have you done? The voice of your brother's blood is crying to Me from the ground." (Genesis 4:10) So here we have the blood of a dead man speaking to God from the ground. The blood itself was crying out to God for it to be avenged. Yes, blood is important to God. He heard the voice of the blood of Cain, and He heard the many voices of the blood of these Egyptian Christians. God will deal with their killers.
   
     But there is another place in the Bible that speaks about blood speaking. It is the very blood of Christ. "And to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood which speaks better than the blood of Abel. See to it that you do not refuse Him who is speaking..." Hebrews 12: 24-25a.  Going all the way back to the Old Testament, the blood was to represent what Christ would do for us on the cross. He would shed His precious blood for us and for our salvation. He would redeem us and bring us to God. This is the most important reason why blood is important to God.  Jesus' blood also speaks, and it speaks even louder than the blood of Abel. It speaks better because it saves the souls of men. Jesus' blood speaks loud and clear even today.

     That is why the blood of these men is important to God. It cries out for justice and vengeance. God will be the one to avenge their blood. We should never fear, for that WILL happen. For He Himself is just. This was a brutal and barbaric thing that happened to our brothers in Christ.  The men who did this are demonic and barbaric.  ISIS said this is " A message signed with blood to the Nation of the cross".   On the video, (which I did not watch),  one of the men that died uttered these words as his last, " Ya, rubbi Yasou." (in Arabic) which means in English: " Oh, my Lord Jesus."   So the word "Jesus" was this man's last word.  We got your message, loud and clear, but Christ sent us a message, written in red, that said, " I love you. That message rings out stronger and louder than yours!  We the "people of the cross" can be people who have no fear, because just as Jesus' blood was speaking on the day that His blood was spilled on the cross, it is still speaking today...

 And Jesus will have the last word.


Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Reflections... "Satisfied"

Satisfied

Satisfied... So many people headed back to the store today because they are not satisfied with their Christmas gift in some way.

 But Jesus was born...

Mary was satisfied with her bundle of joy. The babe, this gift, wrapped in swaddling clothes.

The Magi came to see the babe and were satisfied... they bowed in worship.

This perfect gift, the lamb nailed to a cross... and the wrath of God was satisfied.

Because God was satisfied...

We put this gift on, this perfect gift that fits each soul perfectly...

And we are satisfied...

Not just for that one day, but for tomorrow and all eternity.

Yes, I am satisfied with this gift...

God thank you...

Thank you that you were satisfied too.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Alaska Mission trip

     I am sorry I have not blogged in awhile. I have asked a friend to be a guest blogger for my belated update on our Alaska Mission trip. Robin Hiatt went with me to Alaska and has a heart for missions in Alaska. Please read what she has so wonderfully written.

What do you think of when you think about Alaska?  Beautiful scenery?  Amazing wildlife?  Quirky reality shows?  I confess that I tune in for all things Alaska. I'm a fanatic! My love affair with our largest state began in 2007 with a mission trip to the Anchorage area. During that trip, I saw first-hand the extremes that define Alaska.

Surrounded by the most breathtaking scenery in the world, you might think that living in Alaska would be a dream come-true, but reality can be more of a nightmare. Many Alaskans struggle with alcoholism, drug addiction, depression, and poverty. These factors contribute to one of the highest suicide rates in the country. They are surrounded by an abundance of natural resources, but a scarcity of spiritual ones.

Ministry is difficult. 27% of Alaskans consider themselves atheists, compared to 16% of Americans in the lower 48. 56% of Americans say that religion is important in their lives, while only 31% of Alaskans place great importance on religion. These attitudes make Alaska the state with the lowest rate of church attendance in the nation. So how do you reach people who won't go to church? Go to them! I recently went with a group from Hocutt to partner with Graceworks, a ministry that has a heart to reach Alaskans through park and neighborhood ministry. Through resources and structure that Graceworks provides, ministry teams like ours go into strategic areas to share our faith through Bible stories, arts and crafts, games and park parties. Ministry in Alaska is less about going to church, and more about building relationships.

Each time I go, I am touched by the children that I work with. Just like anywhere else, they are the ones who are the heartbreak and hope of their environment and upbringing. Many of them are starved for attention, structure, and sometimes food. It's amazing what God can accomplish through kool-aid, play-dough, and peanut butter sandwiches!

Alaskans are tough people. They have to be to live in such a harsh environment. They are independent, self-sufficient, and distrustful of outside interference. So, why go if ministry is that difficult? Because, "In His great mercy He has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead." ( I Peter 1:3b) What a gift of hope we have! We want to share that message of hope to:


  • Children who crave attention and love.
  • Adults and teenagers who feel trapped in a life of addiction, depression or rebellion.
  • Communities who feel neglected by local government, and look for ways to provide enriching programs for their children.
  • Local churches who don't have the people or resources to effectively evangelize and do outreach in surrounding neighborhoods.
  • Individuals who need the gospel, prayer, or just encouragement to keep seeking Him.
C. S. Lewis said, "Most people, if they had really learned to look into their own hearts, would know that they do want, and want acutely, something that cannot be had in this world. There are all sorts of things in this world that offer to give it to you, but they never quite keep their promise."

Mission trips give you the time and opportunity to share the answer to peoples' needs- salvation- the reminder of how precious that is, makes the experience sometimes more beneficial to us than anyone else we came in contact with.







Saturday, May 10, 2014

I Hope You Smile!

     One thing is certain, we live in a scary, dangerous world! We read the newspapers and turn on the news and we hear about tornado's, earthquakes, stock market and the economy teetering on the verge of collapse! So, when we as Mom's who look after our children see this, it can be hard at times to cope.

   But... we are not just Mother's, we are daughter's of the King (insert Hallelujah here). When we read God's Word in Proverbs 31: 25b it says,  "... She smiles at the future."  You may read that and say, "How?",  "In this world that I live in, how can I possibly smile at the future?"

     I will tell you how. Because God is already there. God who is our Father, is there in the future. He holds our tomorrows in His Almighty hand. Whatever lies ahead, the trials and disappointments, God will be right there with you, helping you bear your burdens each step down this journey called life.  We are not promised an easy road.   But remember He cares for you and loves you. Never forget that dear child... dearest daughter of the King!

     Another reason we can smile is because Romans 8:28 is true. This beloved verse says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."  We need to keep our minds focused on God, and focused on the precepts of Scripture. Do you love God? Then this promise is for you.  All things are not necessarily good. But all things will work for good. Maybe not right now, and maybe not even in the near future, but they will. God's good is that He is molding us into the image of His Son. He will use even the hard, difficult things to do this.

    Another reason we smile at the future is we know that in our future is heaven! This is not our home. Once we have traveled all the way down this road, and the Lord calls our name. We will go to heaven to be with Him and all our loved ones who have gone on before us.  We will spend eternity with God. Smile at that sweet sister in Christ!

     In the earlier part of the same verse, (Proverbs 31: 25a) it says, "Strength and dignity are her clothing," There is a sweet, older lady on facebook that I have come to love. She often says, "Now don't forget to go out today without your smile!" No matter what you wear, beautiful ladies, you always look your prettiest with a smile on your face!

     There was a country song that was popular a few years ago. The name of it was, "I Hope You Dance".  Well not everyone can dance. So today my wish for all you sweet, precious Mothers is...

The future is calling... I hope you smile!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"Lessons Learned and Things Pondered" by guest blogger Carrie Nixon

This is another guest blogger post from Carrie Nixon. This is her second time to go to Kenya with Hocutt. It was a privilege to get to go to Kenya with her once again!
Here is what she had to say:

     One thing I have realized this trip is how large the world really is. We sing the song "It's a Small World After All" all the time, but I think what we really mean is "It's a Small American World After All."  It's so easy to get all wrapped up in our lives and our surroundings and not be aware of what is going on in other parts of the world.  I am guilty of it. We are all so desensitized. It's almost as if the U.S. is the Earth and the other continents are actually other planets, and therefore don't matter to most of us.  It's so easy to watch those commercials about saving the children and either turn the channel or call it a scam or just pretend that you never saw it. But, I have seen it with my own two eyes, and it's not a scene I will soon forget, not that I want to.  I'm not suggesting that we should all run out to Compassion ministries or some other child sponsorship program and "adopt" a child.  What I am suggesting is that you be aware.  Be aware of all that you have.  Even in the midst of our struggles, each one of us has access to clean water to drink, a flushing toilet, a roof over our heads, a soft place to lay our heads at night, and more clean, safe food and water to eat and drink than we can possibly consume.  The Father has blessed each one of us with many, many gifts, but we take most of them for granted everyday.

     Another thing that I experienced was the pure Joy of The Lord.  There is a difference between being poor and living in poverty, a huge difference. Not to go on and on about the horrible conditions the folks we visited live in, but it's true.  It's not true that every Kenya lives this way, but where we were ministering, it's very true.  Yet, in the midst of all of it, they have a joy you don't see everyday, a joy that can only come from The Lord.  My husband did a little experiment while he was in Dominican Republic a few years back, and the same is true form my time in Kenya.  If I sat in the midst of all the goings on, on any given day, and closed my eyes and just listened to all that was happening around me, what do you think I heard?  I heard friends talking and laughing together.  I heard children playing and giggling, much like my own do in their backyard.  There was never a complaint, never a negative tone or word.  Looking through a material lens, one would wonder what they have to be happy about.  But then they call you into their church building for a time of worship and prayer, and you see it. You see where their joy comes from.  And even though we couldn't understand every word they sang, we knew Who they were singing and dancing for. And much like the beauty of their land, it's a scene that I can't hardly explain, one that no picture will ever really capture.  It is a glorious thing to see, an experience that has left me in awe of our Great Lord, yet again.

     It was such a privilege to be given the opportunity to work with the children of Africa, to teach them about all that God has done for them already and what He has promised for their future. What an honor it was to teach them the songs my own girls sing and to hear their sweet voices harmonizing as they sang.  It's funny to see how God will take your life and give you the ministry He wants you to have. It was only a year ago that I said to somebody, very emphatically, "Other people's kids are just not my ministry!"  It seems like God has been set on proving me wrong or proving to me that I don't get to choose my ministry ever since.  It started with subbing at our preschool, which lead to a permanent sub position at the end of last school year, then to a permanent teaching position this year, and now all that way to Africa!  I have loved every minute of it, and I have adored every child I have come in contact with. Who would've thought? Certainly not me!  I can only pray that I have been as much of a blessing to them as they all have been to me. Whether while preparing to go to Kenya or while I was there, God was faithful every step of the way and He absolutely lavished His wonderful love upon me, and I am so very grateful.