Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Chocolate Is From The Lord

Baton Milk Chocolate - 30 Units | Chocolate ao Leite Baton - 30 Unidades - (PACK OF 03)

One of the many things we loved about our time living in Bolivia were these little chocolate rolls called Baton.  It was worth the effort to chop them up and make cookies, put over ice cream but my favorite way to eat them was frozen. Yep, when frozen they melt slower so the enjoyment last longer. 

Bolivia was the first country we served in with New Tribes, from August 1991 to June 1998 as dorm parents to high school boys.  Another set of dorm parents took care of the high school girls, two more sets of dorm parents for middle school children.  Most of their parents worked in remote places translating the bible into an unwritten languages, a few were Asian children whose parents wanted them to get an English education.  Most of the time we had five cultures living in our dorm...sure made for some interesting conversation. Those guys taught us a lot about trusting the Lord.   

Our pastor in Kentucky always had missionaries coming through so we were exposed to the needs from day one after we got saved.  Each one that came through made our hearts cry, we'll go with you, let us go, but like all things it's better to wait on God's timing.  We needed a little more chiseling and refining before we were ready to serve Him overseas.

 A fifty  some year old widow working in the Philippines in a tribe teaching literacy to the children came just in God's perfect time.  She shared her slides and after talking a few minutes about the needs we felt like she sit those people down in our church and God said, whose going to tell them????   It wasn't like we weren't already busy telling folks the gospel, I taught Sunday school, Ace had a bus route, we were faithful to witness every chance we got, sometimes to the same people and we were already supporting missionaries.  To know there were people tucked in remote place who had never heard the gospel one time again caused our hearts to say to God, we'll go.  

People have said to us, "you must love God very much to do what you did".   We tell them, no, He loves us very much and how could we not go give others a chance to know the love God.   My husband and I took II Corinthians 5:14 to heart...For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that, one died for all therefore all died, and He died for all , so that they who live might no longer  live unto themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

You know it's not about the location we serve it, it's about what are we doing in the location we live in right now.   It's harder physically to serve in a third world country but we think it's harder to serve spiritually in good old USA with too many choices of chocolates to keep us confused. 

Back to the Baton.  They were hand delivered by a missionary father bringing his daughter back to the states from Bolivia to enter collage. 
We knew him and his wife when they were both single, was there for their wedding.  He had no idea my husband and I had been talking about those little rolls of chocolate and our time in Bolivia.      When he handed them to me, these words popped out of my mouth straight from my heart.  " Oh, God loves me so".   He loves me so much He wanted to bless me with a box of chocolate Baton's.  Actually the better blessing was the few hours we had with this dear family.  Phil is the government rep for New Tribes Mission in Bolivia.  His wife and other children had to stay in Bolivia just because it expensive to fly the whole family. It's one of the sacrifices missionaries make to give the gospel out to the unreached.  

One last note:  God loved on us through those rolls of chocolate carried by hearts that are not living unto themselves.  How has God loved on you lately?

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Deferred Hope/Tree of Life

Proverb 13:12  Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when the desire comes it is a tree of life. "

I love this commentary of Proverbs 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick - When once a good is discovered, want of it felt, strong desire for the possession excited, and the promise of attainment made on grounds unsuspected, so that the reality of the thing and the certainty of the promise are manifest, hope posts forward to realize the blessing. Delay in the gratification pains the mind; the increase of the delay prostrates and sickens the heart; and if delay sickens the heart, ultimate disappointment kills it. But when the thing desired, hoped for, and expected comes, it is a tree of life, עץ חיים  ets chaiyim, “the tree of lives;” it comforts and invigorates both body and soul. To the tree of lives, in the midst of the gardens of paradise, how frequent are the allusions in the writings of Solomon, and in other parts of the Holy Scriptures! What deep, and perhaps yet unknown, mysteries were in this tree!

 My simple mind has  always believed the tree of life represented Christ, life is in Christ.  Gen. 3:24 So, He drove the man out; at the east of the garden of Eden, He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way to the "tree of life."   Jesus says in John 14:6 I am the way, and the truth and the life: no one comes to the Father but through me.

 I've had my hope deferred countless times both before and after salvation.  Before salvation I look to Betty to pull myself up by my boot straps and stop being depressed.  It worked pretty good and I took that mentality into my walk with the Lord.  Till a trial came along I could not for the life of me pull myself out of the pit of despair. I cannot tell you how thankful I am for the truth God taught me and continues to deepen my knowledge of the truth, through Him all things are possible. Life is in Christ not in Betty, not in others, not in what this world offers, not in my circumstances no matter how good they are.  Life is in Christ, not in my family, my friends all a blessing but they did not stay at the gate of the garden of Eden to keep Adam and Eve from destroying all hope of ever being reconciled with the Creator.

One of the thing suicide shows us is the result of man taking his life into his own hands, the life God gave him.  My heart is sadden like everyone else at the death of Robin Williams.  Last night I chatted with a dear friend whose brother killed himself and once again she was battling grief and those thoughts of, what more could I  have done to prevent his death?  Her brother made a profession of faith as a teen  but always struggled with depression and it got worst after his Dad died.  So many attempts were made by family and friends to help him and it seems he was on an up swing the week  before his death.  How little we know what goes through the mind of one,  minutes before they take their life. My husband shared at this young man funeral Roman 8:35-39 who shall separate us from the love of God, tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, life, angels, principalities, things presents, things to come, powers, height, depth, nor any other created thing , will be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  This is my belief, nothing , not even suicide can separate us from the love of God.  If we are His, we are His, even in the bad times, even when we follow our way in doing anything we are still His, even my stubborn will cannot separate me from His love if I am already His. 

I have read some profound words today on blogs, Facebook and even the news but none touched me more then this post . . . .

The flaming swords are gone,  The Word is our sword now.  The angels are gone, no need to protect the Way. He has come, lived, died, rose again and  return to His heavenly home leaving us with the Comforter to guide, teach, comfort us through this sin sick world.    He waits leaving us with hope that He will return for us.  His hope does not disappoint because HE has met the desires of our hearts to be reconciled with the Father. 

All of us know someone who struggles with depression, lets be proactive in reaching out to them. Lets be proactive in praying for them and their family.  I have someone right now I am praying for, a friend and a family member.   I sending them them  the link above and praying it will encourage their hearts to look to the one who alone can give eternal hope.