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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Santa Is Not In The Moi Village

 
Trust me,Santa has  not visited the village of the Moe people tucked deep in the heart of West Papua.  And even if he could he would not bring them the gift that keeps on giving.  This gift was put together in  heaven, came to earth, nailed to an old rugged cross, put in a toomb, rose three days later  and returned to heaven where He send the  Holy Spirit to dwell in the hearts of all those who believe.    If you have listened to the clip and I pray you have for it will put Christmas in a different light.  There will be no trees lite with beautiful light in the Moi village this Christmas.  No stocking will be hung on their open fires, no sugar plums dancing in their dreams.  Yet if you listened you will hear joy in their voices and see light in their eyes over the gift of eternal life.  They will still plant gardens, birth their children, hunt wild pigs, wash their clothes in the river, live in very primative conditions but without fear of where they will go after they die.   
 
How precious is the gift to us?  Are we moved to tears that there are people all over the world who need to hear of the blessed gift that was born in a stable, preached when He was twelves, trained men to take the gift to others and gave them power to do the task.  He even left us an instruction book to  tell us how to unwrap the gift.   
 
Little children are taught that Santa will bring them gifts if they are good.  Missionaries teach people all over the world their righteousness is as filthy rags.  But God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall have eternal LIFE.  Maybe this sounds like it should be an Easter post.  But one has to believe it was same Son of God lying in the cradle of hay as well as hanging on the old rugged cross.  
 
Ok, how to end this post.  My heart is not to make you feel guilty so you will not buy presents and send  money to missionaries.  My intent is lift up the gift of Jesus Christ.  Everytime I watch a clip such as this I just want to fall on my face and thank Him for saving my soul.  It encourages me to be on alert for that one God will bring my way to share the gift with.   
 
What were your thoughts as you watched the Moi people share their joy of their gift of salvation?  
 
 
 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Wishful Thinking


Last  week I got to visit my mother who is in a nursing home for a whole week.   Everyday I  ate with her and others ladies who live there.  Every day I  sang with mother as a different church does a sing along.  Three times a week there is bingo, a favorite of Mom's, I did not win a thing.  All in all the nursing home staff does a great job and deserve to be thanked more often.  It's a low paying job with a lot of hard work dealing with the difficulty that comes with aging. 

One day we were singing the song, "How Beautiful Heaven Must Be", when God highlighting part of a verse to my heart, in heaven there be "no wishing for else where to be".  What perfect song for those dear folks who long to be back in their homes, cooking their own meals, driving, raking their yards, washing their own clothes, taking a bath when they want too. If my mother said it once she said it 20 times or more each time I was with her.  Oh I wish I could go back and live in my little apartment and cook you a dinner.    I wish with all my heart she could too but her  medical needs require round the clock nursing. 


Mom sits at table with four other women and one day they were complaining about the dressing that went with the turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, pie they had for  lunch.  I said, Mom just be thankful for the things you did like, she said well Jo, nobody else  liked it either.  A little frustrated I said, well Mom, you don't have to be like everyone else.  Easy for me to say, I can come and go as I please, go out to eat every day if I want to.  The Holy Spirit said, soften your tone Betty.  Gently I said, Mom what did you like about your meal, which  I should have said in the first place. She was able to tell me she liked it all EXCEPT  the dressing.   I begin to go around to each lady and asking them, what did you like about your meal?   One even like everything on her plate. 

There is always something to be thankful for.  But you know life here on earth can be so hard it  blinds us  sometimes to what we can be thankful for.  Wishful thinking can lead to a downward spiral where depression lives.  I seen it in the eyes of those women sitting at the table, I have seen it in myself. 
Wishful thinking does not change anything, thankfulness for what we have changes us.  We see out of new eyes, hear out of new ears, feel out of a new heart.   

I flew back a couple days, sadness flew right along with me.  Sad cause I was wishing I was rich enough to provide a home and full time nurses for my Mom.  Wishful thinking  invaded me as I deal with the grief I feel everytime I leave my mother.   It will stay with me till I make the choice to be thankful I got to see her every day for a week.  Giving thanks for a brother and sister in law that visited her every day too helps.   Gratefulness there is nursing care for my Mom will drive out the wishful thinking.  Above all I am grateful my mother will live someday in heaven where there is no "wishful thinking."  Faith and hope will become sight. 

                                  Ever found yourself down in the wishful thinking pit?  
                          Give thanks for even one thing and you will slowly climb out. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Thankfulness in divorce...


Several years have passed since my son and I made this little clip.  He had not even been married a year or given us any grandchildren yet.  Life brings us lots of things to not be thankful for and when it does you have to look deep for something or you will  drown in your sorrow.   This last year has been one of those deep years for since that clip our son is a divorced father with two children.  God has moved us to live very close to Jared, we actually share a condo in order for us to help him put his life back together and he  helps us financially  to afford California living.   I am sure there are people who would say, you are just helping him be divorced...I would have been one of those people at one time.   And if I don't go deep I could  still be one.  I hate divorce for it destroys lives but so does homes where hatred, bitterness, anger, adultery, indifference, selfishness and all other sin  reigns.  

When we first knew trouble was brewing in the marriage we of course prayed, used the Bible as a means to get him to get it together, sent books, DVD, gave advice, cried more tears then I like to remember.   I enlisted tons of others to pray,  sought advice from others who hurt for their son or daughter and especially the grandchildren involved in divorce.  One thing we learned is we all go through the divorce, it's not just the husband and wife, the ripple affects are wide.

Another thing we learned was don't take sides.  I failed miserably on that one at times...I wanted our son to act like a man, stick with the marriage for the sake of the children even though I understood perfectly why he wanted a divorce.  My plea was for the children sake...so I was deeply angry at our son for...well for not being stronger I guess.  Of course this affected our relationship and made me hard to live with at times.  Now I believe in the  process of forgiveness and I started putting it into action, being thankful for the good that was still there and the good coming out of a hurtful situation. The more I gave thanks the more good I saw which only made me more thankful. 

To watch our son love on his children when he has them is priceless, he is a good Dad, a loving Dad, a careful Dad, an encouraging Dad.   Listening to his plans to get out of debt and then actually see him take sacrificial step to get there is very encouraging...he is almost there.  Hearing our son speak words of gratefulness to us for being here for him, for being here for his kids has erased all anger I had.  Living together has been both a help and a good learning time for all of us.  In fact I get a little sad knowing he will soon get his own place yet I am proud   his good work ethic will pay off.  We have spend years working all over the world and  in the states to help others and it was wonderful knowing God considered Jared part of the others.

  Another thing I have learned is when I begin to thank God,  my hope level begin to rise and as it rose I found I could rest in the little things God was doing to draw our son back to Him.  It's God job to draw Jared back to Him, not my husband and I. Our part is to show grace, love, patience and acceptance.

 One more thing I learned, I needed to accept this divorce for rejecting it would only keep me angry.  It is what it is, a hurtful thing but never so hurtful that God can't heal that hurt. 

As I re-read what I wrote I realized I have been very personal and put our actions out there to be judge.  Go ahead and judge if you must...if a divorce happens to someone you love and I pray God it doesn't, you will find your own way to deal with it.  My husband and I have chosen to love all parties involved in this divorce.  I have not changed my mind on divorce but my mind has been broaden as a result of it.  My heart has been enlarged by it too...there is more room to forgive, more room to accept, more room to love abundantly and more room for Jesus to live in. 

I have on purpose chosen not to post scriptures on the subject of divorce because it happens to the saved and unsaved.   What  I hope happens if you read this post is you see the grace that has covered us during this time of our life. 

Maybe you are going through  something hard like a divorce or have been through one. I would love to hear how you got through it.  What pearls of thankfulness can you share, what gems of wisdom hasGod taught you?  What brought you hope?
                                         
                                         One more note...Jared has approved this post.
 


Friday, November 2, 2012

Thankfulness


Praising God in the hallways has always been hard for  me.  My lack of patience has kept me from enjoying a lot "doing time" in them.   Just the fact I have to go through one irritates me to no end.  About a year ago I was in a long hallway stumbling around, knocking into things, grumbling because it was taking so long to get through it.  I could see the open door at the end but it seem we were stalled in the hallway.  Ugg...more waiting.

God got my attention  one day in a friends hallway.  Her walls were decorated with great pictures of her family, a beautiful picture of a tree.  Ever so sweetly the Holy Spirit said, Betty you are missing what I have for you in the hallways.  My heart said yes I know, but my hallway is not filled with pretty things such as I see in my friends.  Hers was warmly lite with shiny hardwood floors, a opening at one end leading into a beautiful family room, with a huge fireplace, double french door leading out onto a wrap around porch overlooking the green hills of Kentucky. 
Now how can one be discontent with a hallway leading into an open door like that? 

Finally my hallway came to an end, when we packed our car and drove through the open door to start a new ministry with our mission is California. I think I have told  this too in another post, my first few months were terrible. The progression went like this, hallway, open door, pity pit and discontentment spilled out on everyone who came around me.  

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
Epicurus quotes (Greek philosopher, BC 341-270)
 
 
  This philosopher beliefs certainly do not line up with the Word of God, he was not a believer in the coming Redeemer.   Yet the one quote ring true.  We do spoil what we have by desiring what we have not...we do it all the time.  Guilty, guilty, guilty. 

Discontentment is as old as creation, God first creatures, Lucifer, the brightest star of the heavens was not satisfied with his position which caused him to lead a rebellion.  It was discontentment that made him do it.  Then he sowed seeds of discontentment in Eve's heart and the bitter harvest was the loss of paradise and the beginning of an unhappy race.  Thousands of years have passed and we are still always wanting  something different.

        If we’re young, we want to be older. If we’re old, we wish we were younger.
        If it’s old, we want something new. If it’s new, we want something newer.
        If it’s small, we want something bigger. If it’s big, we want something really big.
        If we have a hundred dollars, we want two hundred. If we have two hundred we want    five  hundred.
        If we have an apartment, we want a condo. If we have a condo, we want a house.  If we have a house, we want a bigger house. Or a new house. Or a nicer house.
        If we have a job, we dream of a better job, a bigger job, a closer job, with a bigger office, a  better boss, better benefits, more challenge, bigger opportunity, nicer people to work for,
        and more vacation time.
        If we’re single, we dream of being married. If we’re married, … (you can finish that sentence yourself.).

We Were Born Discontented...but we do not have to stay that way.  Our pastor use to say, you can't keep the birds from flying over your head but you can sure keep them from making a nest. 


Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:

 
 

I am always  and I mean always amazed how a steady diet of being thankful even if I don't feel like it will bring me out of a discontented state.  Being thankful is one of the ways to praise God. As we head into this thanksgiving season what are you thankful for...


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