Saturday, November 19, 2016

Over the River

Over the river and through the woods,
To grandmother's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh,
Through (the) white and drifted snow!
Over the river and through the woods,
To have a first-rate play;
Oh, hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ling!"
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Just a few verses of this old song sung often around Thanksgiving brings a picture perfect occasion to mind, doesn't it?

We head out to northern Minnesota for a white Thanksgiving with our daughter and family.  It's been a year since we all have been together so we are looking forward to great food, games, snowmobile rides and more food.   Just getting to where our daughter and family live takes some doing. A car ride to Las Vegas, over night stay, fly out early the next day to Fargo, North Dakota, drive three hours in our rented car  right to their place. Is it worth it, yes, yes, yes, are we thankful, yes, yes, yes.  So today when I read a post by Abby over at Chapter 37 titles, Give Thanks in Everything...the value of "In" my heart was shook by the words of this woman. Her world is not picture perfect by a long shot, yet through her not so picture perfect life comes these words.  It's the last paragraph that shook me. I have included  the link also to her blog post.  Click over there and read it all, you will not be sorry, you will be blessed.  

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Consistent thanks to God, for the unchangeable fact of God, offered in my current situation is the key that frees a person from ever being a captive to circumstance, to feelings, to any single thing I don’t like about myself or my life…God is bigger than those circumstances, God is bigger than those feelings. God is the center, God is the focus, God is the reason, God is the hope, God is the answer. Never mind what I feel about today! We aren’t discussing a sort of thanks that depends on today! “Today” doesn’t get me out of bed, but God does. Thanks in everything does not in anyway take the significance from the very real experiences we have, but it does take away the sting that may be in those experiences. The sugar added to your tea does not turn the water’s color back to clear, it turns the taste. Thanks is a gift we give to God, which He richly returns to us. Thanks is our personal invitation for coffee and cake with our Creator. Thanks meets us at the door of God’s throne room, it offers a seat, it fluffs the pillows, and adds a log on the fire. It is here, thanks tells us, it is right here, in this Presence in this place that there is fullness of joy. And that is the value of in.               /http://blog.chapterthirtyseven.com/about/
Psalms 16:11   Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence
 is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.


What are you thankful  "in"?

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Tara Story.

     (1994)  How different it feels to be completing our third year at the MK school in Bolivia.  Our daughter was in the 10 grade and our son in the 6th grade when we went  to the field. We were warned how hard it would be, especially on our teenage daughter, to take her away from the familiar to the unfamiliar.  Nothing could have prepared us for the months of crying and depression that came as a result of our move overseas.  Like a child with an open, bleeding wound, she told us, I know it is God's will that we are in Bolivia, but Gods will still hurts me.  All the fears of what this move could do to our daughter filled our minds those first few months.  Thoughts of going back to the states and returning to a ministry there kept crossing our minds.  Daily we prayed, Please God, do something,  ease her hurt. Replace it with your love. You can read what took place, as she tells it in  her own words.

      As I sit in the dorm, I look back over the past three years.  God has done a tremendous work in my life.  When Dad told us that we were going overseas, I wanted to run away.  I was just stepping into high school.  I was on the cheerleaders team and liked a boy.  Everything that a teen could want I was getting.  But Dad's decision tore my life apart.  Soon my anger turned to my parents, then to God. I stopped praying and having devotions because I felt like God had hurt me.  All though missionary training and language school as my parents went through the New Tribes Mission training program, my heart was hardened to what God wanted my family to do.

   When we stepped into the Miami airport I knew it was my last chance to run. I even prayed for the plane to crash, or for a hijacking just so we would not have to go.  Well, nothing happened, (only a few air pocket, and soon we arrived in Santa Cruz, Bolivia.  From the beginning I hated Bolivia. Not anything particulate, but the whole country. I DID NOT WANT TO BE IN BOLIVIA!!

   It was like that for the first semester. Then during our second semester, my sophomore class went on a camping trip.  We had to hitch a ride on a passing truck to get where we were going.  Sitting next to me on the truck was a Bolivian baby girl.  I'm known for loving babies and kids,  so started to play with her.  She kept smiling and laughing. Then it suddenly struck me, "Tara this little girls is why you are here".   "Who is going to tell this child about Christ when she grows up?"  Right then, I knew why God had called my family to Bolivia.  I will never forget that little girl's face and the need she had for a Savior.   Tara Draper
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We have shared that story many times with those taking their children overseas.  It is risky, no matter their age. One must count the cost of serving God this way in those kinds of locations.  No matter the location of your body, you must deal with your own children.  Tara was not in sin, she was just plain homesick. Oh, she was mad at God , we told her, He can handle it.  Our hearts broke with every tear she shed.

I have been told there  are a few children that look forward to a move, but let me say,  this is extremely rare.  If you don't believe me, just ask, wait, that is the wrong word, " tell" your teen,  we are moving!  Even if that child struggles in school socially, they at least know the rules and know the players. There is some safely in that.  In our passion to go, we forgot at times it was not their passion.  Missionary kids, MK"s as we call them will say good-by to more significant people by age 18 than the average person will in a life time. 

We ask her to start the second semester of school and if she still wanted to go home at the end of the semester we would go.  I think this gave her hope which left her heart open to hear what God was going to do through that little Bolivia girl on the truck.    

“Radical obedience to Christ is not easy... It's not comfort, not health, not wealth, and not prosperity in this world. Radical obedience to Christ risks losing all these things. But in the end, such risk finds its reward in Christ. And he is more than enough for us.” 
― David Platt