Friday, June 24, 2022

Ticks and Sin




Our three Grand children from our son is visiting us for a week.  They love coming up to northern Mn. because we live in the country and ride four wheelers, climb trees, walk in the woods, and look for bears and swim in the lakes.  One thing they do not like is the amount of ticks this year Every day, several times a day we find ticks on them and doctor the mosquitos bites nightly. 
  
 We also have four little kittens, about six weeks old and everyday they are chasing them and getting scratched which needs doctoring. 

The thing I hate the most is those ticks, ugly little creatures that brings nothing good to this world, NOTHING.  I wonder what made God create them or did they evolve after the fall?  It's kind of one of those question I can't wait to understand when I get to heaven.  It's hard for me to believe they were in the garden before sin.  

What I know for sure is until sin entered the world God created there was no creatures harming each other or harming humans. The minute sin entered everything changed, God put  Adam and Eve  out of the garden and put the tree of life to guard it.  Even though they had no covering for their bodies they were not ashamed of their nakedness. but the second sin worked its way into their hearts they knew fear and shame for the first time. 

Now back to ticks, here is a few known illnesses ticks carry and can transmit to you, the human.   
  • Colorado Tick Fever. This is a disease that may be transmitted by the bite of a hard tick (Dermacentor andersoni). ...
  • Lyme Disease. Ticks infected by biting infected rats or deer carry this disease. ...
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. It is caused by a bacteria transmitted by ticks. ...
  • Tick Paralysis. ...
  • Tularemia. ...   

I think Proverbs 6:16-19 say it the best when it comes to what God hates.   

There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
17         haughty eyes,
        a lying tongue,
        hands that shed innocent blood,
18         a heart that devises wicked schemes,
        feet that are quick to rush into evil,
19         a false witness who pours out lies
        and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

No where does it say God hates ticks.  A tick is sneaky bug, embedding itself in us before we are even aware of it.   We check at least three times a day during this heavy tick season.  

I wonder how often we check our hearts for the sins that is sneaky too.  We are quick to find an excuse for our haughty eyes, lying tongue, wicked schemes, our rush to do wrong, lies come easy to us and man oh man do we ever love a good conflict.  We use the blame game for all those sins more than we care to talk about.  One must on purpose take our hearts to the Lord and ask Him to shine His light into the darkness  so we can detect hidden sin before it becomes a habit.  He loves us so much and wants us to walk clean before Him and the world.  No matter how many ticks I find on me I need to hate sin in my heart more than those ticks and check for both.    




Monday, June 13, 2022

Control

 

There is something wonderful in letting go.  A. W. Tozer called it being released from "the fine threads of the self life, the hyphenated sins of the human spirit, "self sufficiency, self pity, self absorption and self hatred. Letting go means "freedom from the everlasting burden of always having to get our own way." Having to stay in control, to get it own own , is indeed an everlasting burden.  

The above quote is from the book, Strong Women, Soft Hearts by Paula Rinehart. A few ladies and I are going to study through this book that I did about 10 years ago.  It's good to re-read a book that helped me to see how far I have come on this issue of control or trusting God.  

As I look back on my life I can clearly see the lies I so easily believed of how I need control of my life and how that lie caused me to have a hard heart.  First of all, one can never get enough control of life because we do not know what will come next for us.  Life in the world brings so much hardship and pain.  Yet, this is exactly where God wants to work on my heart, right in the middle of a heartache, a worry, an event that takes me out of my comfort zone.  

Re-reading revealed several truths to me, God never stops working on me no matter how many times I fail. It's never a new truth He wants me to learn, He only wants me to go deeper so I can see clearly how me controlling my life will not bring peace to my heart.  Also how deeply the lie has roots in my heart. 

Re-reading reminds me how weak I am and how much God loves me, a truth He wants me to live in daily.  When I rest in His love for me my control loosen it's grip on my heart. My heart becomes more teachable and it's then He is able to show me the goodness of His love.  

I need reminding often that as much as I think I know better for my life, I know nothing but He knows everything, the past, present and future.  The biggest lie we believe is the same one Adam and Eve fell for and the tool satan used is pride to put into action the lie. Pride says I know best what I need.  It shouts my way is more important then God's.  Pride tells us, God if you will just give me what I want I will be happy, I will have peace.  Pride craves all the wrong things, it craves the opposite of what God knows we need to become more like Him. Pride will cause us to blame anything but us for our hard heart.  

At 75 I am still learning this truth to trust God in all things.  Hindsight makes me glad for the hard times,  for it was in those times I went seeking outside myself to His ways for my life. The pain and suffering that has come my way has only driven the truths about control inward and He used it as a tool to soften me.  

Got a good book God brought you way to teach you about Him, its could be calling you for a re-read.    

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Fixing

 

Yesterday I could only watch a little of the news of the killings in Texas. My heart kept breaking as I listened and knew I needed to stop watching it. I use the phrase often in this day and age, " I can't fix this". Truthfully, I believe the fix will come when the devil and sin is done away with. Even if they took all the guns away, people would find a way to kills. Killings is nothing new, from the very beginning, the very first killing was brother killing brother.

I do not hide my mind on issues or try to run from them. Except to find a place to think upon while I put Band-Aids on the brokenness of my heart. I don't wish to go to heaven before my time to get out of this troubled world. I don't usually debate with others on the world issues because I can't fix it. All the laws laid down has not stopped people from killing each other. Since the beginning brother killed brother even though there was no guns then. It's a heart issue, so we need a heart fixer.

What I do for my broken heart is take it to the only one who can fix this, and someday God will. Someday He will say, enough is enough, go Jesus, my son and get our family and bring them home. I have been working on a new world without sin and the devil, all will be fixed

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the message of the good news of salvation offered to mankind by grace through faith in the finished works of Christ on the cross (Ephesians 2:8-9). It is a message not only of eternal life but one that encompasses the total plan of God to redeem mankind from the ravages of sin and death, from Satan and the curse that is upon all the earth for eternity. Do you know Him? If you died today where would you spend eternity?

I Can't Take A Heart That's Broken
Make It Over Again
But I Know A Man Who Can
I Can't Take A Soul That's Sin Sick
Wash It White As The Snow
But I Know A Man Who Can
Some Call Him Savior, The Redeemer Of All Men
I Call Him Jesus, For He's My Dearest Friend
If You Feel That No One Loves You
And Your Life Is Out Of Hand
I Know A Man Who Can
I Can't Walk Upon The Water
Calm The Dark And Raging Sea
But I Know A Man Who Can
I Can't Cause Blind Eyes To Open
Or Make The Lame To Walk Again
But I Know A Man Who Can






Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Tara's Story

 Posted on 

Today I was reading some of the things again about our missionary journey. When I says ours that includes our two children. Tara was in 10 grade and Jared was 6 grade when we sold our house, most of our things, packed 19 duffle bags and raised our support in a few months and heading off to Bolivia, South America. It was a rough start for us since we were going to be high school guys dorm parents which meant our daughter had to go into the high school girls dorm. Jared could stay with us which made it easier for him. The story Tara will tell in this post is my favorite thing I love about her, her being real in the face of hardship. If we do not learn to trust God for them while they are still at home with us, having them go and leave us with an empty nest is so much harder. This story shaped Tara’s character for her future.

(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
________________________________________________________________________________

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, that is ok, 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

Monday, May 2, 2022

Another Life to Give

I am sitting in my warm cabin in Northern Minnesota, watching another blizzard drop a few more inches of snow as I search through my pictures for this one on the left.  

God has given us the privilege of living in several place but none so different than the 2nd biggest island in the world, Papua New Guinea and now northern Minnesota. 

In Papua we lived right on the Bismark sea, on the equator which produces hot steamy and often times rainy weather.  Perfect place for insets   to grow which as soon as the sun goes down they begin to make their  noises.  You would think something so small could not make much noise but you get couple million doing what ever they do to make noise it can be deafening and made me never want to walk into the jungle at night,  and to be honest not even in the day time.  At night you had to sleep under a net to keep them off of you.

We came back to states in 2011 to take up the role of Member Care reps for the mission we serve with, Ethnos360. We are getting older by the day so we had to start thinking and doing something about who will care for us when we need help.  Thats how we landed in Mn.  right across the driveway from our daughter and family. 

Back to Papua and the heat. I struggle bad with heat rash for the first year almost and finally we put a small air con in our bedroom.  Between several showers a day and the air con at night my rash finally went away.  I was determined to not give up for I knew God wanted us there.  

Now in Mn. the discomfort is cold, and snow, brutal winters that keep one my age, 75, in the house day after day.  In Papua, even with an air con the weather made you want to be outside with the people, learning about their life. it was a primitive place compared to Bolivia, SA where we served first. 

Two different cultures, but the heart is the same and it act out the things of the heart in whatever culture you live in.   Evil comes out of every heart in everyplace all over the world.  Thank God, good come out too.  And a heart with Jesus living in it will strive to be like Jesus no matter where they live.  That heart will love beyond measure, forgive what ever, go that extra mile for others, give all they got to make sure others hear about the saving grace of Jesus.   

Ever thought about serving God overseas?  When that question was presented to us we were in our 40's and we took a huge leap of faith and enter mission training.  My sweet Mom was upset we were taking her Grandchildren away.  She would say to me, Betty Jo, there are lost people right here in the United States, why would you want to go overseas?  I would come back with, you are right Mom, there is also a church on every corner to get the gospel out but not in the places we and others were going to.  No bibles in the language they speak at home, most could not even read or write in their heart language. The task seemed impossible but we knew God wanted us involved beyond giving for others to go. We were in our middle 50th when we went to Papua.  

My husband and I have had a wide world of experiences and each one has taught us so many truths about people, God, life in general.  We always say, if we had another life to live, we would do it again.  



Our support center in Papua New Guinea.  



                                                          Our front yard in Mn. 



Saturday, April 16, 2022

Easter, Again

 


Seventy five Easters have passed through my life. Tomorrow the churches fill up, usually new clothes are hanging on bodies. Kids are excited because some got their Easter baskets before church so they are zinging from the chocolate eggs. Family come to visit for a big Easter dinner after church.

Thats what an American Easter is filled with. But come next Sunday, the church will be back to the usual people, jeans are back on, candy has all been ate and extra family has went home, all are back to work or school.

One of the things the church we attend has on Easter is a breakfast before church. The men cook it, well mostly, with a little help from the women. I already have heard new folks are coming with some of the families that belong to our church. I probably wear my best to church, no new outfit though. I have to say I am not too excited about all the extra’s that have been added to death, buried and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

But, living in different cultures has taught me to be gracious toward those extra’s. You know the ones I mean because I named them, new clothes, huge breakfast, Easter egg hunt, tons of candy, Easter basket. All of that is not bad. and when my kids were little they hunted those eggs, the kind you boil and dye, and few ate. Someone got smart and invented those plastic easter egg. Boy, that was a step up for the kids when they were filled with lots of candy and a lot less work for Mom’s.

But, I wonder, as I always do if we picked a spot outside the city, met for a time of reflecting on Him, how many would come? Would that be asking too much of us followers of Jesus? Would we decide right there to change to another church who had a huge choir singing Easter morning.

Ponder this

He did not have new clothes the day He hung on the cross, and not His shoes.

Nobody put a basket in His hand to gather His blood.

There was no music playing as His blood dripped from His body, no Washed in the Blood or anything close to that.

There is nothing about meeting for a family meal after all the crucified died.

One of the best Easter I remember is when we served in Bolivia, South America. On Easter morning one of the older women missionaries went around to each house at the boarding school base and played, Up From The Grace He Arose on her accordion. It was that wake up call, cause more was coming. Before breakfast we all, the whole base, about 150 people, staff and students went up to a nearby mountain to sing and hear a message. Everyone in that big valley we lived in was invited, especially the little Bolivian church. They would sing and our choir would sing and then everyone would sing in Spanish and English. I can still see the glow of glory on the faces as we lifted up His name in song. Sometimes the message was in Spanish and sometimes in English. Even though my Spanish was limited I could tell when the Bolivian preacher was expounding on what happen on Easter. In tears we all shared the knowledge living in our hearts of His Spirit living in us.

Afterwards we went back to the school and had a great breakfast for all. And, then it was quiet time, which the kids hated but us adults loved.

Since 2011 we have celebrated Easter in the states. I love the little church we attend in northern Minnesota. Love the love between the ones who go there, love the heart for the lost. It’s pretty flat up where we live but I don’t need a mountain to sing and receive a Word from God from the sermon. I don’t even need a sermon, but I want one for I know in whom I have believed in, I know what He did for the whole world on Easter, I know the Father loves Easter too, He promised His Son would rise from the grave. And He did.

Happy Easter Everyone.

Monday, March 21, 2022

True North

 


The author Bill George in his book True North states “it is how you understand yourself through your story that matters, not the facts of your life.”

At 75 I have lived a lot of stories with good and bad facts behind them. Each one has taught me something that can be used for the next story coming my way.    

True North is your orienting point - your fixed point in a spinning world - that helps you stay on track as a leader. It is derived from your most deeply held beliefs, values, and the principles you lead by. It is your internal compass, unique to you, representing who you are at your deepest level. 

Who do you run to when the world is spinning?  I use to run to my own thoughts but learned they are up and down due to my emotions.  At times I ran to my friends but they were as emotional as I was.  The government say look to them for our true north which will really get your head spinning.  

Yesterday I happened onto a site,  https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-true-north.html, that said everything my heart wanted to say about who my true north is, Jesus Christ. 


When we say that Jesus is our true north, we mean that He is the constant, unchanging source of truth and life. He is “the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). The philosophies, theories, concepts, and schemes of mankind are constantly shifting. “But the word of the Lord endures forever” (1 Peter 1:15; cf. Isaiah 40:8).

When we say that Jesus is our true north, we acknowledge that we live in danger of being “tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Ephesians 4:14). In such a tempestuous world, we need to plot our course by the coordinates provided by the Lord Himself. We can avoid making shipwreck of our lives by “fixing our eyes on Jesus” (Hebrews 12:2).

When we say that Jesus is our true north, we glorify the Lord who defines justice and righteousness. Moral standards that align with His nature will keep us on the correct course, just as a compass that aligns with true north keeps us moving in the right direction. “As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him” (Psalm 18:30).

When we follow Jesus as our true north, we must disregard the many distractions and influences in the world that would alter our course. Just as the readings of a compass may be corrupted due to nearby objects, so we are prone to be swayed by various attractions in the world. We must constantly calibrate ourselves to the example of our Risen Savior. Our spiritual needles must point to objective truth and not turn after subjective opinions, vacillating values, or erratic rules. We must be like the man who built his house on the rock, not the sand (Matthew 7:24–27).

True north is a precise direction, and, no matter where you start on the globe, true north will lead you to the same location. There is nothing erratic or misleading about true north. It transcends geography, locality, and lesser pulls. For those who are lost, true north is a welcome blessing. And Jesus Christ is an even greater blessing to those who are spiritually lost.

https://www.gotquestions.org/Jesus-true-north.html



Sunday, March 13, 2022

 


  • “Peace is not the absence of conflict; it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.” – Ronald Reagan
Deer fight to gain, or retain, dominance. Although mainly associated with aggressive bucks that are pumped up with burgeoning levels of testosterone, fighting is not restricted to bucks; female roe deer also engage in battles with others of their own kind too, albeit, less frequently than the bucks.

If you watch animal documentaries you will find all animals fight to gain or mark their territory.  It's just not the wild animals that fight, domestic ones do too, and men fight like animals sometimes.  

It's hard not to think about fighting with the battles for Ukraine on every TV station. It's a battle to gain dominance with the destruction  getting worst every day.  

There is always destruction when there is fighting.  Those deer get their antlers broke, and those antlers cut the hide and they sometimes bleed and die.  People get shot, stab, and drowned, and even when they live after a fight they live with destruction in their bodies and minds. 
     
That quote by Reagan is popular and sounds like the perfect remedy for ending a fight but if one party wants to dominant there will be no peace.  It takes two parties to bring peace.  In war if one party is pursing peace and that other is not, destruction will follow on both sides really.  

Below is a paragraph from my Facebook friend, Zee whose heart is broken by a fight in her country as she watches it be destroyed and people killed right now by a fight she did not start.

(During this time of war, I have been reflecting a lot on how my understanding of numerous Bible passages has changed and transformed. I have always been a peace-loving person and I don't like conflicts between people. As a result, I often couldn't truly understand David's psalms, for example, where he was calling for God's wrath on his enemies. The reason? I never really had enemies. I had people
who disliked me, but enemies?)

God is gonna end all fighting someday. Do I know when? Nope. Do I know how? Yep, read your bible and you can know too.

Matthew 24:36 - But of that day and hour knoweth no [man], no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. Luke 21:25-26 - And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; 

Until then, lets pray with a pure heart that God comfort those who are suffering all over the world.  Lets pray God give you and I courage to witness to the lost.  Lets pray 
for my friend Zee and her family.  

This could be the day Jesus is coming back to get the believers.  It could also be 100 more years before He does that too.  But mark my words, HE IS COMING.  



Wednesday, March 9, 2022

The Rat and the Cat

 

This is my blog and Facebook friend, Zee Gimon and along with her family, they live in Ukraine. At first, Zee and the two children were hunkered down in their own place while her husband did his duty on the defense team. Because he was gone a lot, she and kids decided to move into their church basement with a few others.

As the war continued, they decided to move to her mothers and fathers for the support. Everyplace they have been there is danger. They can hear the bomb falling, the sirens going on to warn of an attack.

This update was written while they were in the church basement. Zee is a powerful writer and a courageous wise hearted woman of faith.

I picked this update because there is a powerful truth in it that if practiced there would be no more wars. I am encouraged by the rat and cat in her real life story.

___________________________________________________________________

This was written on March 3rd by Zee.

When I first came to the shelter a week ago with our two kids and a cat in tow, I was surprised and worried that our friends brought their rat with them.

A cat and a rat in close compartments - what can go wrong?
But actually, both animals turned to be indifferent to each other. If anything Athena the cat was afraid of Remy the rat.

Today, after a week of being together, Zhenya handed me Remy and as he settled in the crook of my arm, Athena looked at me with a “That is my place” expression.

“There is still place for you. Come on over,” I told her and she did.
The animals met, sniffed each other, Athena gently licked Remy’s side… and they settled in next to each other for warmth and comfort.
So sweet.

If only people could lay aside their differences and ambitions and just peacefully live next to each other without trying to take over someone else’s possessions.
These two animals give me hope.


_________________________________________________________________

Even in the middle of a terrible war, God will use the most unusual things to give us hope. What has given you hope recently?


Sunday, February 27, 2022

Prison Repost

 

Prison is meant to keep those who are dangerous and have hurt others from hurting again.  Those who have stolen from stealing again, those who have killed from killing again.  I know several who have been in prison, or who have a husband, wife, adult child, mother, or father in prison.  I have visited several prisoners, written them letters, prayed for them.  I have read of those who have committed crimes that I think should never get out of prison.  I thank God my children have never done anything to land them in prison.  I have never experienced that heartbreak and hope I never do.  
Yet I know there are some emotions that can makes us feel like we are in a prison.  Daily we wake up with thoughts of those who have hurt us. Through out our day that memory can crop up again and again.  

 Unforgiveness is one of those emotions.  I understand this prison, I have been in it before.  I have been a slave to someone who has hurt me deeply.  What they did would runs over and over in my mind.  So much so I would get frustrated easily because I could not think clearly.  It ate at my feeling till all that was left was hate and I wished I never had to see them again.    So, I can tell you for sure without Christ love for me I would still be in that prison.

Someone said to me several weeks ago,  forgiving someone would be easier if they could just forget what they did.  I had to agree, which means,  we have to replace what they did with what Christ did for us. God did not ask us to forget, He ask us to forgive.  (copied from  Bill (cycleguy post). ).

He has to become the focus of our life, the first thing we think about when we wake up and the last thing we think about before we sleep.  This is worth repeating,  HE HAS TO BECOME THE FOCUS OF OUR LIFE.  When He is our life all else becomes fainter, not forgotten but it becomes a scar not a wound.  We can touch the scar, show it to others, talk about it, praise the Lord for the scar.  As with all scars we can remember how we got it but it does not hurt anymore.  At that moment you are no longer a slave, no long in prison.  Free at last, free at last. 

“Whenever there’s an injury to a relationship, a hurt, a broken heart, or even a broken thing, and you are willing to forgive, you are saying, “I got this. I’m going to pick up the bill for this.” This is, of course, precisely what God has done for us.”
― Brant Hansen,