Sunday, October 25, 2015

Press On-Selah

Do you need a word of encouragement today?  Got any trials that are on going?  Wondering if you will ever see another mountain top?  Is the valley the lowest you can remember?  Take heart, God is our  help in our race, He runs besides you and keeps saying above the roar of the world, press on, come on you can do this, I am with you every step of the way, press on.  It's not much farther, you can finish, press on.  

Life has a way of reminding us how frail we are.  Every part of your body may hurts, and your minds cannot take in one more detail yet you must keep going, people depend on you.  

That"s the way it's been for a few weeks around our house.  You see, we have been in a move for a month and about a week ago we moved into a new place with our son and family.  We have moved a lot in the 51 years of marriage but this was the first time we moved two families at once.  And the first time we have done it at 68.  Even when you know the move is from the Lord, your feet still hurt so bad you cannot get to sleep.  

    God did not take the pain out of the move.  

This song kept running through my mind at each step we took to get to this lovely place.  Press on Betty, come on, one step before the other, it will be worth it when all the things are put away and you have time to enjoy each other.  God has walked every step with us, but my feet still hurt. 

Way before they nailed his feet to the cross, His feet hurt. He walked all over Israel preaching and teaching. Then He walked up Calvary, with blood dripping everywhere from the beating and whipping.  His feet must have been swollen beyond recognition.  He could have healed His own feet,  stopped the blood from flowing but He pressed on. A move to another house is a small thing in light of what He did for us on Calvary.  I pray this song encourages you as you press on in what ever situation God has you in.  


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Good questions

For the past 4 months, the Inapang Bible teachers and many faithful women have been making the long hike to Tangguat each week to live out the Great Commission and preach the Gospel to those who have been bound by the enemy's lies for generations. This past week they heard the amazing story of God Himself giving his life as a sacrifice for the sins of man. It has been a joy and a privilege to partner with and labor alongside the Inapang church and to see God bring glory to His name in this corner of the jungle. As Tim (missionary) sat with the Bible teachers late in the evening after the crucifixion lesson had been taught that morning, the Bible teachers were saying, "God has certainly prepared this place for Himself and His word! They are embracing it and believing it in such an amazing way. This is only God!"
Here is one of the testimonies that was shared with us after the finale of the Gospel presentation ..."God sent his Son to this ground to be born from a woman and He followed God's thinking all the way until he was grown, and it was all to pay for our sin. I believe what I have heard and I can't do anything to save myself from my sin. I heard that the Deliverer would come and I thought about him and I thought about him and wondered how he would save me. He came to become our "sin-person" and defeat Satan and get us back from him. I heard about him and I believed and trusted in him as I heard his story all the way until yesterday and today's story. I am giving God a big thank you that He sent His only Son to save us. I am getting a very big thank you and giving it to God because He was thinking of us and sent His Only Son whom He loved very much. All the sins that we were doing before and that we will do, we couldn't save ourselves from those, but God sent His Son for us and for all the bad people. True, true, true, true... This is God's story. Jesus is with us. He is the one door to God. His blood was shed for us and if we believe in Him, then by that road we will come to God. He has completely erased all our sin and because of that I am so happy. Thank you, Tim, (missionary) so much for coming. We were nothing, we were just bush people who were going astray, but God by His strength sent you to Papua New Guinea to the bush people to preach His word. And Jesus is with us now. He died for us. I am completely believing in that. He is coming again and those that believe in Him, He will come back to get us. But those who do not believe in Him will go to the place of fire. I cannot save myself from this... only God."

I love this testimony of God's work through missionaries who stepped out of their comfort zone to take light into these dark places.  Here the thing though...that darkness is all around us in America too.    Just a few days ago I sit across from a young women who was in darkness.  How did I know that?  By asking a few simple questions, such as, do you believe there is a God, a creator?  Have you heard of Jesus and who do you think he is?  Out of those few questions she begin to tell what she believed.  

 She truly believed she was re-incarnated several times and it was God who did that. She had heard of Jesus but did not know Jesus Christ was the perfect Son of God, God in the flesh. She did not know He came to die for her.  Just because there is a church on every corner and religious programs on the TV does not mean people have an understanding of the Bible.   We tend to think just those living in the remote jungles do not know the answers to the Bible.  

Occasionally I  watch, Watter's World on fox news.  He goes around asking specific questions about history which is embarrassing because it really shows how little American's know about America.   Good questions will reveal what we believe or know. 

       Below is a few questions to use when witnessing to someone. 

1. Transitioning question:  Can I ask you an interesting question? May I ask you what you think will happen to you after you pass away?
2. Where are you on your spiritual journey?
3. What is happening spiritually in your life.  
4. If you died tonight, are you 100 percent sure you would go to heaven and why?
Those are only a few questions that can bring the information needed to proceed in presenting the gospel.

  The young women I wrote about was willing to meet with me because I had earned favor with her by caring about her in general ways.  I did not have to travel to the jungle, only to McDonalds, or learn a new language to ask some eternal questions.  All I had to do was care more for her soul then what she ate that day.   This young women will now meet those Tangguat believers in heaven.  But just like those missionaries serving across the ocean our work is not done.  There is much disciplining yet to come to help these new believers mature in their faith.  

I Peter 3:15 tells us to be ready to give an account (explanation)  for the hope that is in you with gentleness and reverence.  Lets reach the tribe we live around.  

Monday, October 5, 2015

Forgiven Unforgettable

   A few week ago I downloaded some free books for my Kindle to read as we traveled.   One by one I begin to read as we crossed off the miles on our trip. The first three were light novels, easy reads, until I opened chapter one of Nikki Lee Brannon book, Forgiveness Unforgettable.   With each chapter I kept saying to my husband as I read, "your not gonna  believe this", "this is uncanny, too real.    

(Forgiveness-Unforgettable )
You see, Nikki's  story  is also mine.   There are a few things that are different but the core of her story is so close to mine that I was left in tears with each page I read. My tears were full of gratefulness for not only surviving a painful childhood, but for God's love that has healed those wounds that left scars fit for the Master use.  

Nikki story reminded me how well I hid what went on in our home most nights.  Even my closest friend did not know because I never talked about it even with my best friend. Never invited her to stay all night with me for fear she would know.  Looking back I am amazed how I went on about my daily life as if nothing was going on.   Shame is a powerful emotion which toughens the heart by building a wall around it that keeps everyone out and pain in. 

There are times I  wish I could share  good memories of my father but, honestly they are not there.  What I have learned to do though, is not hide the bad ones. In doing so God, (my heavenly Father), has built great memories of how my past pain can help others to no longer live as a victim but as a victor.  Just reading Nikki's story, seeing in print how God brought her from being a victim to having the strength to write such a healing book made me feel victorious with every word. 

What I can write about is God love for me that pierced me deep enough to cause a yearning to be like Him.  When you want to be like Him you give Him permission to heal your wounds, through the power of His forgiveness. 

 Long before He became my Savior He gave  me the gift of choice.   When  I was a child I did not understand the power that gift contained.  The power of choice let me  affect  my destiny. Choosing God's way to forgive is often the hardest way, but God will reward you for your wise choices. Charles Stanley  frequently says, Obey God, leave the consequences to Him."

Image result for choice and forgiveness
My choice, along with Nikki and many others is  to live as a victor rather then a victim which has resulted in a life of freedom just as John 8:32 says, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples, then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. So the power of choice is not a myth but the most solid truth you can find. When we choose God and let his ways dictate all of our choices, we receive the freedom that no other choice can equal. 

Forgiveness is a choice and a process, it's not magic. 
“Forgiving someone doesn’t mean condoning their behavior. It doesn’t mean forgetting how they hurt you or giving that person room to hurt you again. Forgiving someone means making peace with what happened. It means acknowledging your wound, giving yourself permission to feel the pain, and recognizing why that pain no longer serves you. It means letting go of the hurt and resentment so that you can heal and move on. ~Daniell KoepkeLife 

 Nikki and I have struck up a relationship through Facebook and recently she referred to her book as "our book".   I have pondered those words for I know many will see themselves in her book.  It is "our story", those of us who chose to forgive.   The enemy of our soul meant it to destroy, but he is no match for the God of the universe who can heal any willing heart.  

Need a touch from God, Nikki's book will give you that.