Friday, October 20, 2017

What I Gained From the Sermon I Couldn't Translate


Last night, I attended a small Baptist church. Both the music and the sermon were in Arabic. I can understand a limited number of Arabic words - when they're presented with flip cards or spoken very slowly, one word at a time, with careful enunciation. Strung together in paragraphs with total abandon, those same words are impossible for me to follow. 

Except when it's not.

The pastor preached from John 10:1-27 with a few other passages thrown in for correlation.

The entire sermon could be summed up in one sentence: 

The lives of Christ-followers are defined by their intimate relationships with the One they follow. 

Jesus was clear about His role as Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep by name, they know Him AND they follow Him. 

He knows our names.

Ponder that for one long, beautiful moment.

He knows me, and He wants me to know Him, too.               

We are to know our Christ "even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father." (John 10:15) This is a profound truth and one that's often overlooked. 

How well does Jesus know the Father? Perfectly. Intimately. They are completely unified, and only complete by that unexplainable union of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Don't miss this...we're supposed to know our Lord that completely. 

How is this depth of knowing possible? We must do what Jesus did. He spent hours in conversation with God the Father, sometimes all night long. He did His will, even when it was hard. He pressed on with the job the Father had given Him, despite His own desire to avoid the terrible task. 

Jesus surrendered His will in order to accept the will and way of His Father. So must we, if we are to participate in the grand adventure of knowing that God intended.

Surrender to His will and His way

One of the hymns we sang when I was a child sums it up perfectly. "There is no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey." 

Are we "happy in Jesus"? Do we know Him with the same intimacy He knows the Father? 

If that's the life we want, it's available to us, IF we choose to do what Jesus did. 

Surrender. Pray. Obey.

There's a lesson in those three words that I'll save for another day. For today, let's take a close look at our own lives of faith. Is this the kind of God-relationship we want? Ask God what prevents this grand knowing, and allow Him to remove it, then stay close to the One who knows us by name. 

"I am the good shepherd; and I know My own, and My own know Me, even as the Father know Me and I know the Father..." John 10:14-15 nasb
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In case you missed the most recent post, here's the link: When Freedom Is What We Want, Repentance is What We Do 

If you feel led to partner with this ministry, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

When Freedom Is What We Want, Repentance is What We Do


The first pre-teen/teen Whisper Gathering was utterly amazing. Seven young people joined me. We ate pizza, laughed, sang funny action songs, and learned about praying in a deeper, bigger way. 

We studied the experience of Isaiah in 1 Kings 6. He walked into the temple and a glimpse of heaven rocked his world. He saw God high and lifted up, and Elijah was never the same again. 

We learned that prayer and hearing the voice of God should begin with seeing God as He is,seeing ourselves in relation to His majesty, and repenting of our sins. In a very real sense, praying God-sized prayers must start with sincere repentance.

With that in mind, we had a period of beautiful confession before each other and before our Lord, gave our sin to God, and left it with him. We studied Elijah's life to see how a prophet prays with God-sized results. We pondered the biggest requests we could make. Then, scattered around the room, we prayed huge prayers and staked our claim on world-wide revival. 

Afterward, I asked them what they'd learned and what they'd do different going forward. One young girl answered, "Repentance is kinda fun." Another said, "I learned you have to repent if you want to have answered prayer." 

When they got ready to leave, one pre-teen ran over to me. "Miss Leanna, is it okay if I go repent of one more thing before I go?" 

You know it was.

I watched from the door as that little blonde-haired girl knelt at the altar, gave her sin to God, and left it with Him. She headed home with a smile on her face and joy in her heart because she'd learned an important truth. 

When freedom and answered prayers are what we want, repentance is what we do.

It's that simple. 

Want to restore the joy of your salvation? Begin with repentance. Need answered prayers? Start by repenting. Hungry to hear from God? Repentance should be first on the list.

"And everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure." 1 John 3:3 nasb

"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 nasb
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In case you missed the most recent post, here's the link: The Vineyard Behind the Gate

If you feel led to partner with this ministry, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.


Monday, October 16, 2017

The Vineyard Behind the Gate


On one particular outing recently, my mind wandered off the path and my feet followed along. I was soon in unfamiliar territory, and happened past a heavy wooden gate (above). It was encased in a concrete frame and connected to a large barbed-wire-topped fence. 

The gate was a rare sight, so I stepped closer to peek through the fence and see the precious treasure it protected. 

A vineyard. 


It reminded me of a parable from Matthew 21. A man planted a vineyard, surrounded it with a wall, built a tower, and rented it out to gardeners. These supposed gardeners were charged with the care of the vines on the owner's behalf. They were unfaithful and, in the end of the parable, the owner called the gardeners to account.

There are many lessons to be learned from this passage  but the thing that stands out in my mind is the care the owner lavished on his vines and the branches they produced. He protected them from outside influences. He hired workers to care for them.

In a very real way, this good owner was willing to prune the branches and to let those he hired prune them. The vines were treasured and protected, however, from those who would do them harm.

In the vineyard along the road, the young vines had been planted in straight rows, staked with posts to guide their growth, and surrounded by protective walls to keep them free from harm, just like the vineyard Jesus described.

If an earthly vine grower goes to such expense to protect his young plants, how much more will our heavenly Father expend to care for us, the tender branches shooting off from the vine of His Son? 

He cares for us. He protects us. He knows us.

Ponder those words a moment and savor the truth that our Lord has a plan for our good, our welfare, our care. He's not caught off guard by our circumstances. He knows what He's doing and, in the end, it will be for our good and His glory.

"'For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans for welfare and nor for calamity to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11 nasb
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In case you missed the most recent post, here's the link: Moving the Heart of God with the Prayer of No Words

If you feel led to partner with this ministry, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Moving the Heart of God With the Prayer of No Words


A strange thought occurred to me this morning. Are there examples of praying without words in the Bible? As it turns out, there are. I read the gospel of Luke this morning, and it's full of examples of women who moved the heart of Jesus without saying a word. 

The widow of Nain is one example. The story's found in Luke 7:11-17. Here's the Leanna paraphrase: 

A widow's only son had died. In her culture, there was no social security or widow benefits. No nursing homes existed. No medicare or medicaid. Her entire future provision depended upon anything her husband had saved and her son's care for her. 

When her son died, she was grief-stricken for more than one reason. Of course, first of all, she loved her son like any mother loves. There was also the question of her future. What would happen to her now?

You may not have experienced this depth of grief before, but sometimes, it's so enormous, there are no words to say. Only tears. 

That's where the widow of Nain found herself. Weeping was the only response she could make. 

Then Jesus arrived.

News about Jesus had traveled throughout the region, so it's likely this woman had heard of His fame, His miracles, His power. A few days earlier, when her son was sick, she might have knelt before Jesus and asked for a miracle, like everyone else did.

This day, however, all she could do was cry.

Jesus and His disciples walked through the gate just as her son's funeral procession was heading out. She saw Jesus and couldn't say a word, but her tears spoke volumes, and they moved the heart of God.

Jesus saw her tears, entered into her grief, and revived her son. He "gave him back to his mother."

In His presence, she communicated with Jesus through her tears, and it was enough. 

I've been in the place of such profound grief that my only response was tears. I've been the one on my face before God, praying without words. In His presence, my tears were a prayer without words, because I gave those tears to the One who is our Comforter, and He comforted. He responded. He moved.

Do all tears serve as a prayer? I don't know. What I do know is that the widow's tears, in the presence of Jesus, were enough to communicate her need to Him and move His heart.

Whatever our situation, we can take it to Him, and He will understand. Whether we have words to describe our situation or express our need or not. Today, let's give our concerns to the Lord, and let our hearts speak for us. Use words only if we need them. 

How do I know this is possible? Because God sees our hearts.

"...for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7 nasb
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The picture above is of my little bedroom here in this beautiful place. In case you can't read the artwork, the lettering above the beds says "Be Still" and "and know that I am God." Exactly what I needed to hear.
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In case you missed the most recent post, here's the link: When Telling Our Story Reminds Us of the Miraculous

If you feel led to partner with this ministry, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 


You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

When Telling our Story Reminds Us of the Miraculous


Yesterday, I visited with three ladies who have lived in this area for decades. Over Turkish coffee and sweets, they shared fascinating stories of their lives, including experiences during the Six Day War in 1967 and the war in the 1970's. 

Toward the end of our time together, one lady suddenly remembered something remarkable. She spoke in rapid Arabic to her sister, who turned to me with a surprised look on her face. "Oh, yes," she said in English. "Miracles did happen back then. You're right." 

Many years ago, her sister was terribly sick with kidney failure. The doctors admitted her to the hospital and attempted treatment, but nothing helped. After a few days, they stopped everything they were doing and gave her the grim news. "You're not improving. You're going to die."

One of the nurses in the hospital couldn't bear the thought that this young woman was terminal. She summoned everyone to the chapel to pray for a miracle. They begged God to heal her, then waited to see what He would do.

Two days later, the sister's kidney function returned to normal, despite the fact that all treatment had been stopped. 

She was completely healed.

"How did you forget something so miraculous?" I asked her.

She shrugged. "It was a long time ago..." she told me, her voice trailing off. 

I can't get their words out of my mind. The memory of a major miracle faded to insignificance by the passage of time. They'd stopped retelling the story and simply forgot.

The ladies sat up a little straighter after they shared their miracle, their smiles spread across their faces. The joy of the Lord was renewed by recounting His great and mighty deeds.

Although there are definitely benefits to a written history instead of an oral one, retelling of stories of God's goodness serves an important function. It helps us remember His blessings, preserves our sense of wonder at the divine work in our lives, and fills our hearts with gratitude.

King David wrote about the importance of remembering the forgiveness, healing, redemption, lovingkindness, compassion, and blessings we've received from God. An amazing thing will happen when we recall God's goodness. Our youth will be "renewed." 

The word translated as renewed implies "polishing" or "cutting," much as one might polish and sharpen a sword. The process of remembering, in a way, renews the sharpness of our spirits and our minds and restores a youthful freshness.

If we want to be youthful in heart, even when our bodies are old, the solution is simple. Be diligent to remember the blessings of God.

Today, let's spend some time remembering all the good things God has done for us, His blessings, His miraculous interventions in our lives. As we savor our sweet memories, let's also share those blessed memories with someone else so that they, too, can be encouraged.

"Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget none of His benefits...so that your youth is renewed like the eagle." (Ps 103:2, 5) 
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In case you missed the most recent post, here the link: Getting Rid of the Excuses and Pressing On 

If you feel led to partner with this ministry, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 


You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Getting Rid of the Excuses and Pressing On


Last night, we went to church. The sermon was in Arabic, which, despite all my lessons, I still can't understand too well. Fortunately, one of the ladies posted the interpretation on the screen in English. As you can well imagine, that's much better than having the words to the songs.

There was a phrase the pastor used that caught my attention. He preached from Acts 16 and talked about the hard times the apostle Paul went through and how he never gave up, but kept on trying. 

"Do not make excuses, but complete inviting people about Jesus," he said. I had to ponder those words a bit. 

When we share Jesus with someone, it's an invitation to know Him, of course. It's so easy to make excuses like, "I'm too busy" or "Will this person be unhappy that I tell them about Jesus?" or "What will it cost me?" Those excuses can easily stop us in our tracks and cause us to abandon our efforts too soon. 

Get rid of the excuses, the pastor said, and just do what God expects of you, including completing what you start. Especially if what you've started is sharing about Jesus.

"Finally," he said, "Don't look for excuses while serving...but have as your aim to glorify God by all you do."

I've spent some time thinking about the excuses I use for not doing more in serving God: Not enough time. Too much happening right now. Don't know what to say. Don't feel comfortable. My list goes on and on, doesn't yours? 

Today, let's take a close look at the excuses we use for not completing our service to God, then get rid of them. If Paul, despite all the hardships he faced, could persevere, surely we, who live in such ease and luxury, can do the same.

"I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14 niv
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If you'd like to share in my current experiences, you can join me for mostly-daily email updates. Please message me with your name and/or email address. I'll update as I have internet access. (I will not be able to share most stories on the blog.)

Please join us for corporate prayer at 12 noon daily. 

In case you missed the most recent post, here the link: When the Fragrance in the Air Smells Like Home

If you feel led to partner with this ministry, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

When the Fragrance in the Air Smells Like Home


The gate for my flight out of Chicago was in the International Terminal. It was twenty minutes away from where I'd entered the airport, the security guard told me. A long walk, a quick train ride, and another long walk and I was there. A turn to the right and the gate sign was clearly visible. 

My nose told me I was in the international terminal well before my eyes did. The aromas of the not-so-American spices filled the air, and I stopped to breathe in the foreign fragrance. The further I traveled, the stronger the aroma grew.

When I stepped off the last plane and entered the final airport terminal, the heady scent of foreign lands greeted me like a warm embrace. 

"I'm home," I thought for just a second before I remembered I'd left home to come here.

The apostle Paul used the imagery of fragrance more than once. In his letter to the Ephesians, he described the sacrifice of Christ by His love as a fragrant aroma. 

"Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you, and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma." Ephesians 5:1-2 nasb

The word translated as "love" is agape and can also be translated as "love-feast." The "fragrant aroma" metaphorically represents a "thing well-pleasing to God."

Selah. Ponder that for a moment.

As disciples, we are to live in such a way that our lives are literally a continuing love-feast of obedience to Christ. When we share such a feast of love, we'll emit a sweet fragrance that will be well-pleasing to our Lord. 

I don't live in a continuing love-feast of obedience, but I wish I did. Don't you? 

Today, let's surrender those things that keep us from pouring out love on all those we meet. Pray that we'll be filled with the same river of love that flowed from Christ so that we, too, can be a fragrant aroma that's well-pleasing to our Lord.
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If you'd like to share in my current experiences, you can join me for mostly-daily email updates. Please message me with your name and/or email address. I'll update as I have internet access. (I will not be able to share most stories on the blog.)

Please join us for corporate prayer at 12 noon daily. 

In case you missed the most recent post, here the link: When You Read the Book and Do What it Says

If you feel led to partner with this ministry, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

When You Read The Book and Do What it Says


She said what a lot of people say. "You're doing a good thing taking care of Sam."

I shrugged it off. It doesn't seem particularly impressive to me. "I'm just doing what The Book says, doing unto as I want to be done unto," I told her. 

"Yeah, but hardly anyone does. You actually try to do what the Bible says. That's what's so remarkable."

I laughed at that. She doesn't get to see all the times I fail at obedience, or hear me whine about the workload. She doesn't see all the other people who are serving as caregivers, either. I'm not the only one. There are lots of us.

Her words, though, have stuck with me. It took me a while to understand her fascination was with the concept of no-holds-barred obedience, not with caregiving. 

Her comments left me wondering. Why don't we try harder to obey everything God's Word tells us to do?

Yesterday, I stopped repeatedly to repent of a bad attitude. I knew where that would take me, and I didn't want it. I took a step toward making a strained relationship right, because the body of Christ should be a picture of unity. I sacrificed my own desires to give someone else what they wanted, because my greater desire was to please God, not myself.

None of those things made me special. They made me obedient. 

If we're disciples of Jesus, we do what He says. It's that simple. It's that hard. We need look no further than the Greatest Commandment, the Royal Law of our King, and the Second, to see that Jesus was serious about how we live. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Love your neighbor as you love yourself."

Those two sentences change everything. Our desires must take a back seat to God and our fellow men. That's it. How we treat people must be directed by our love, as well as the words we say and the actions we take. 

Love of this magnitude is not optional. It's supposed to be the driving force behind our lives every single day.

I like the way the Message says it. "Merely hearing God's law is a waste of time if you don't do what it says. Doing, not hearing, is what makes the difference with God." Romans 2:13 The Message

Paul's right. If we're disciples, we do what our Master says. If we don't make an effort to do all He said, we're not disciples. That truth has eternal implications, so we need to get this straight in our hearts, then walk it out with our lives.

Christians act like Christ. 

Today, let's ask God to give us a Holy heart-check. How obedient are we? In what areas are we lacking? What needs to change so that we, too, can follow our Master through obedience? Knowing what needs to change isn't important if we refuse to make the changes that are needed. 

Today"s the day for change. Love with abandon. Live like eternity is just a heartbeat away, because it is. Read The Book (Bible) and do what it says.
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I'm headed back to that beautiful land of Gilead. My small group, the Sisters of Strength, are praying me through, just as they've done before. They've scheduled an alert on their phones at 12 noon daily to stop and pray. My phone is already set. I hope you'll schedule a prayer-alert, too.

If you'd like to share in my experiences, you can join me for mostly-daily email updates. Please message me with your name and/or email address. I'll update as I have internet access. (I will not be able to share most stories on the blog for a variety of reasons.)

In case you missed yesterday's post, here the link: Becoming the Balm of Gilead

If you feel led to partner with me for the upcoming Middle East trip, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Becoming the Balm of Gilead


The hills of Gilead. 

In case you don't remember, Gilead was a mountainous area that included Mount Nebo, located east of the Jordan River.

It was from one of those Gilead mountains (Nebo) that Moses viewed the Promised Land. He died and was buried by God there. Some people believe Jeremiah hid the Ark of the Covenant in a cave on Nebo.

The prophet Elijah was from Gilead.

In the Tyndale translation of the Bible, (KJV) there's reference to the "balm of Gilead." It was used for healing and thought to be made from a specific shrub that grew in the area. Jeremiah used the phrase to symbolize hope. 

In a way, the land of Gilead is a place of hope and healing, and it's one of the sweetest places I know. 

A few months ago, I had the great joy of visiting that beautiful area, and am still in awe of the people there. They were the most generous, hospitable, and welcoming of any group I've ever met. 

In a very real way, the people were the balm of Gilead to me.

My time there changed me in deep ways. I came home with a new appreciation for their culture and a desire to be as gracious and welcoming to visitors in our country as they were to me. 

We, the church, should be among those with the most hope to share, the most healing to offer, for we know the Great Physician. We should be the balm of healing and hope to those in need. 

If my experience is any indication, becoming balm begins by welcoming strangers, whether they are from another country or from our own. Stopping to listen. Opening our arms. Opening our hearts. Opening our lives. 

If we want to be balm for those who need it most, we must be willing to slow down and invite others into our lives, our faith, our hope, our healing. We who know the Healer must we willing to introduce Him to those in need.

Here's our challenge for today: Look for that one person in your path today in need of hope and healing and be the balm of Gilead for them today.

"Go up to Gilead and obtain balm..." Jeremiah 46:11 nasb
"Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians 6:2 esv
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I'm headed back to that beautiful land tomorrow, and am eager to see the friends I made, to hear their stories, and breathe the air of Gilead.

My small group, the Sisters of Strength, are praying me through, just as they've done before. They've scheduled an alert on their phones at 12 noon daily to stop and pray. That's 8 pm where I'll be. My phone is already set. I hope you'll schedule a prayer-alert, too.

If you'd like to share in my experiences, you can join me for mostly-daily email updates. Please message me with your name and/or email address. I'll update as I have internet access. (I will not be able to share most stories on the blog for a variety of reasons.)

If you feel led to partner with me for the upcoming Middle East trip, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

Please like and share to extend our digital reach.

In case you missed it, here's the link to the most recent post: When Our Faith Rests on the Power of God


Saturday, October 7, 2017

When Our Faith Rests on the Power of God


My spiritual comfort food is usually found in Psalms, the Major Prophets, the Gospels, or the book of James. Lately, as a discipline, I've been reading through the writings of Paul. Today, I landed on 1 Corinthians 2:5 and got stuck.

"that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." (1 Cor. 2:5 nasb)

The first part of this verse is easy to understand. We don't base our faith on man's wisdom. It's a good thing, too, because man's wisdom is not always quite as wise as we would hope. 

The second part is worth considering. 

Our faith should rest on the POWER of God. 

Ponder that for a moment.

The faith we say we have should be based on God's POWER. The word translated as "power" is dynamis, from which we get the word "dynamite." It refers to the inherent power of God to act in us, through us, and for us. 

It's the same power that defeated sin and death on the cross. It opened the tomb of Jesus to reveal folded bed linens, an empty grave bed, and a risen Savior.

This is get-it-done power that can handle any situation that comes our way. 

God's power wasn't "used up" when Jesus raised from the grave. It didn't run out at Pentecost. It wasn't depleted when the original disciples died.

God still has as much power as ever, and He'll manifest it through us, if we allow Him. He'll help us pray prayers through which He will work. He'll help us love the unlovely, serve the least among us, and humble ourselves. He'll help us keep going when the way is too hard.

What we sometimes forget is that the same power that allowed Jesus to still a storm, heal a leper, open the eyes of the blind is still present today. 

He still quiets the storms.

He still heals.

He still opens the eyes of the blind.

Our faith doesn't rest on past-tense power. It takes root and depends utterly on present-tense power. Power that's still available, still at work.

That fact changes everything.

When we put our trust in Jesus, we're trusting in the completed work of redemption on the cross, but we're also trusting in the ongoing power of God to do miracles, change lives, intervene in the matters of our everyday existence.

Wonder-working power is still available today.

So where is it? It's in places around the world where people are so impoverished they are desperate for a move of God. It's also right here in this country when believers reach out in faith and ask God for the impossible. 

How do we access God's power? For disciples, it's easy. Just ask. 

Being a disciple presumes that we've put our faith in Him and have a relationship with Jesus. It presumes we study Scripture, plant His Word in our hearts, and allow Him to cleanse us of sin, and that we pray to find what God wants in our situation. 

If that's not where we are, let's make the changes necessary to be a disciple. 

If we're a disciple of Christ, let's act like one. Pray as Jesus prayed. Expect what Jesus expected from God in answer to our prayers. Seek His will and ask accordingly, fasting for more power.

If wonder-working power is available to us, and it is, let's live like it, both in our words and in our deeds.

"that your faith should not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God." (1 Cor. 2:5 nasb)
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If you feel led to partner with me for the upcoming Middle East trip, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

Please like and share to extend our digital reach.

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Caregiver Chronicles: When God Makes a Way





Friday, October 6, 2017

Caregiver Chronicles: When God Makes a Way


It's time to let you know about the upcoming schedule, and to ask for your help with prayer support.

I'm heading back to the Middle East next Tuesday. I'll be there for just over three weeks. Part of my time will be spent on a major writing project, but I'll also do some medical work while I'm there, and some teaching. 

This trip was scheduled long before Sam came to live at my house. When the tickets were bought, he was still able to walk around, drive his car, walk the dogs, and cut the grass. He can't do any of that now.

I tried to find someone who could stay in my home and take care of everything...dogs, horses, bunnies, house, and (most important) Sam. From the first time I mentioned my plan, the hospice nurse shook her head. "No one person can do all that," she gently suggested. 

"But I do it," I argued.

It took me a while to understand that I'm called to it, the responsibilities are familiar to me, and I'm accustomed to the routine. Despite all that, this is a huge responsibility, even to me.

"Let Sam stay at Hospice House," she recommended. His insurance would cover five days, but the remaining 20 days would be billed at $120/day. Yes. $2400. 

I live on a missionary budget. I couldn't possibly handle that expense, but I didn't know what to do. I cried many tears. I prayed. I cried some more.

Ultimately, Sam's responsible for himself. It took me a while to understand that. 

Since Sam, who has never owned a home or had a big bank account, couldn't afford to stay there on his own, I turned to my pastor and one of my friends. "Please pray," I asked them. 

They did more than pray. Dana contacted friends and fellow church members and told them of the need. She asked them to pray about sponsoring a day for Sam. 

My pastor contacted the church leadership and they offered to give $500 for Sam's care directly to Hospice House. 

Numerous people sponsored 1/2 or whole days. Not all the money that's been pledged is in hand yet, but it appears all will be paid by the first of next week.

God has made a way.

The body of Christ has, once again, hit a gram slam home run. In addition to providing for Sam, people have volunteered to do everything from cut my lawn to take care of my animals to house sit. Every physical need is met, both for Sam and for me.

There's one more need that still needs to be met. Prayer coverage.

When elderly patients are taken out of their environment, it's unsettling to them, even when it's a nice change. Sam needs your prayers.

When tired caregivers go abroad for weeks to write and teach and work, it's unsettling, too. I need your prayers as well. 

Because of security and internet connection issues, I may not be able to send updates via social media. I may or may not be able to post blogs daily. If not, when I return, I'll start back up as usual. (I've scheduled evening blogs for the duration already.) 

If you'd like to have updates via email, message me your email address and I'll add you to the list. 

Thanks in advance for your prayer support. We're depending on you to pray us through.

"...the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much," James 5:16 nasb
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If you feel led to partner with me for the Middle East trip, here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

You can also mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.

Please like and share to extend our digital reach.

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: When You Know Who to Call in Time of Need



Thursday, October 5, 2017

When You Know Who to Call in Time of Need


The dogs pounced on my chest well before dawn this morning. They wanted to go outside, and they didn't want to wait. I staggered out of bed, still half-sleep, and headed downstairs with them. 

Fifteen minutes later, steaming cup of coffee in hand, I headed upstairs again, turning out lights as I went. Maggie was right beside me. Mamie, however, had stayed in the kitchen to eat. 

A few minutes later, I heard frantic barking downstairs. Mamie had finished eating and realized she was alone in the dark. She had done what she always does when she thinks she's been left behind. She barked until someone came to rescue her.

I headed downstairs and found Mamie in the middle of the great room, barking and looking toward the stairs with expectation.

I laughed, scooped her up in my arms, and headed back upstairs. Mamie, I thought, is a lot like me.

She sounded the alarm because she knew, from personal experience, it would bring help. I, too, sound the alarm in prayer because I, too, know, from personal experience, it will bring help. 

The promise that God will respond when we call on Him is tucked all through Scripture. God wants a personal, everyday relationship with us, but He is also there in time of need. 

~ "Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I shall rescue you, and you will honor Me." Psalm 50:15 nasb

~ "He will call upon Me, and I will answer Him; I will be with him in trouble,; I will rescue and honor him." Psalm 91:15 nasb

~ "Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know." Jeremiah 33:3 nasb

When we don't know what to do, when we have trouble we don't know how to solve, we aren't alone. We aren't without help. Our Lord has promised over and over that only one thing is needed. Call on God. He will respond.

Are we going through a hard time? Call on God. 

Do we feel lost and alone? Call on God.

Do we face frightening decisions with no idea where to turn? Call on God. 

The same One who promises He will never leave us nor forsake us also promises to answer when we call. Only one thing is required. We must ask. It's that simple. 

We aren't alone, no matter how we feel. The King of Kings and Lord of Lords knows our name, cares about us, and answers when we call to Him. Every single time.
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Please like and share to extend our digital reach.

In case you missed it, here's the link to yesterday's post: Lingering in Grief to Learn the Lessons of Tragedy

If you feel led to partner with this ministry (US, Middle East, the digital world), here's the link to give your tax-deductible donations: Global Outreach Acct 4841 

Or you can mail your check or money order to: Global Outreach/ PO Box 1, Tupelo MS 38802. Be sure to put Account 4841 in the "for" line.
#prayer