Written May 7 (not posted till now for a lack of internet that will actually load a webpage. :))
We live in a broken world. A world full of people aching to be noticed... to be worthwhile... to be loved.
Sometimes I think we forget that there are hurting people right here. When we think of a mission field, we think of starving little children living in a mud hut in Africa... little Indian girls being trafficked... wounded families in Katmandu... people on remote islands who have never heard the name of Jesus...
Thing is, there are people here who have never seen the love of Jesus. They know He exists, but they have no concept of what it means to be loved by Him.
It's easy to stand by and say that they should know better... that they should believe the promises. But really, aren't we partly responsible for their struggle to believe if we have never shown them love?
You imagine trying to explain water to someone who had never seen it? Like, how do you even start? And yet we do much the same thing when we indifferently charge people to just believe that God loves them while ignoring our own duty to love them the same way. Sure, God can do miracles to show broken people what it means to be loved by Him when they've never been loved by anyone else... but ultimately, He has placed the responsibility in our hands to show His people what love means.
A failure on the behalf of the hurting to believe that God loves them is often a reflection of the failure of His people to reveal that love to the world.
And just this week... the quiet "no" of a precious child of His in response to my question of whether or not they thought God loved them, has been reverberating through my mind ever since.
No one should ever have to say no to that question. Our love for His children should be so strong that they will have no question in their minds as to His love.
As long as there are broken people on this planet, we will have work to do. And really, what could be better than loving His hurting children with the love that He's loved us with?
Before we rebuke a dying world for having no concept of a the face of a beautiful Jesus, we have to ask ourselves what kind of concept of His face we are showing them.
Because you may be the only Bible some people ever read... the only real Christian they ever meet. Who will they think He is when they look at you?
Few pics from UKFR... (Photo credits, Eden Hanson-Bartholomew, Jehlise Woodburn, Caleb Rayne, and yours truly)
Sometimes we get into our little routines of day to day life and forget that there is something better. At least I do. Peaceful early mornings give way to the day’s to do list, and before I know it, the sun’s already set. And though I’m blessed beyond what I’ll ever know to spend my days with the best Friend there ever was-- a focus on today alone is a sad mistake.
I often find myself becoming content with the glory of living life with my Jesus and forget that living this life with Him is not the only goal. True love will never be content with anything but being as close as possible.
He reminded me gently the other day when I was praying and thanking Him for all the gifts He’s given. I’d journaled simple… “Good morning Jesus! I’m so happy to get to spend this day with you. I am so excited about all the things we are going to get to do together in the next month. I can’t wait to be in England. I love that place and I’m so very thankful that I get to take you with me. What could be better?
Gentle voice whispers... The moment when I can have you here with Me and you can feel My strong arms around you… the day when we can walk arm in arm along the streets of gold… the wonder on your face as you see it all for the first time… the tears in your eyes as you realize all I left for you and how much more deeply I loved you than you could ever know… a ceaseless eternity, face to face and together with no barriers…
Oh. Deep breath. Yeah. How did I forget? Of course.
It’s easy to get so consumed in the here and now that I forget there is a future. I forget there is more. I forget this is the journey and not my home. I forget that even this sweetness is only a taste of the best that is yet to come.
Catastrophes have a way of shaking us awake to the future. When I hear of little four-year old Muna Puri from Nepal who was playing outside when the ground began to shake underneath her and the buildings began to sway above her and finally collapse on top of her, I remember that this is not home. No one even knows where her crumpled little lifeless body is right now. Her mother just knows she's somewhere under all the rubble from those buildings… that the house they just took out a loan to build is a mess of stones all over the street… that she has nothing left. Nothing here. And there’s thousands more with such stories… with the death toll over 5,000, at least 8,000 seriously hurt and 8,000,000 heavily affected, the pain has to be unimaginable.
I walk through grassy fields and my heart burns. How could I have thought that this was all I wanted? How can I be so content on this broken little planet? How can I rest until I can throw myself into His arms? How can love be satisfied until it is as close as possible?
Sabbath morning the visiting pastor with greying hair shares how he never thought he would marry or have children before Jesus came and now he is an old man with grandchildren. His elderly friends are passing away, and he wants to go home. That’s when it hit me. I’ve never really thought I’d ever have my own children either. I thought He’d be here by then. What if I grow old and He still hasn’t come?
And sure, that’s not what He wants. He’s more desperate to come than I ever could be to have Him here.
But the truth sinks in… He can’t come until we fulfill His command and shout to every corner of the earth that He is God, and He is good, and His love knows no limits, and He is able to save to the very uttermost boundaries of the earth…
What are we waiting for? If we love Him, why aren’t we doing everything in our power to share that love? Why aren’t we living for the day when we’ll be forever reunited?
Instead of that, we often forget that there even is a heaven to come. We live for today. We do our own tasks and claim to be too busy to do His work.
Wait a minute. What are we even here for if it’s not His work? What is the point of today if it isn’t to love Him and share that love with His people?
It’s not all about living for now. We’re living for a brighter, sweeter, eternity than we can ever grasp here. Sure, I believe in treasuring today, but not at the expense of living for eternity. Today is a tool to bring us closer to home.
I can’t imagine living my whole life and growing old here. I can’t imagine not seeing Him for that long. I can’t be content to always live here on earth with Him in heaven, even if there is a strong connection between. This world is not my home… I don’t want to live like it is.
I can’t ignore those pleading eyes that tell of an even greater desire to be together on His part.
I can’t let my life consume me. It’s not about my to do list-- what I have to get done before the day is over. It’s about Yours… what You have to get done before You can come. I want my generation to see. I want to see myself. I can’t bear thinking that we will sit back and let the years roll by and be consumed with our own tiny stories. Please teach us to live for Your story. Give us a zeal that will be unstoppable to do our part for that day to come. Teach us what it means to love. Then we will know what it means to really live.
We’d only been climbing for an hour or so and I literally felt like I couldn’t go much further. It seemed like every hill I fought to get up would only give way to another one twice it’s size. We’d still had no glimpse of where we were actually going. I just wanted to know how close we were… how many more miles we had left to climb… how many more hundreds/thousands of feet I still had to battle up…
I didn’t know all I had gotten myself into… I did know that when we’d set off from the parking lot that morning to climb a mountain I still couldn’t see I felt a little fear and trepidation about the adventure.
It wasn’t until we’d mounted the hill I never thought I’d get up, and the landscape opened up in front of me, that it hit me. Sure, we had a very long way to go… yeah, that mountain in the distance with the snow on top was the one we were supposed to climb… true, we had to walk along an edge for an hour with a death fall on both sides… yes, my feet felt blistered and sore… But the question wouldn’t leave my mind and somehow it spurred me on—like somehow all the gusto I poured into climbing that mountain was a bit of an answer…
How high would I climb to fall into His embrace? How hard would I fight to see His face?
Maybe it’s fear that stops us. Fear of falling, fear of letting go of the idols that hinder us from loving Him…
I had to face a few of my own fears on that climb. I’ve never been a huge fan of heights… most of my nightmares end in falling off the top of some skyscraper and waking up seconds before I crumple on the concrete. But in climbing that mountain, we had to walk across an edge with a death fall on both sides. And though I had a few moments of panic, my mind was so set on the summit that I didn’t have time to let that fear consume me.
I wonder if part of the reason we don’t work through our fears is because we’ve gotten distracted and taken our eyes off the goal. We look around at all the things that might happen if we really throw ourselves into seeking Him… we look inside and see how messed up we are… and we shake with fear and say that there is no way. But just maybe, if we looked ahead to the moment when He’ll catch us in His giant arms and we’ll be able to gaze into His eyes, we’d be able to look up now and determine that we’ll be willing to do anything to reach that moment.
So often we let the mentality around us affect the way we live. We don’t throw every inch of ourselves into the pursuit of God. We tire of really seeking His face. We stop dreaming of really seeing Him because that day seems so far away. Honestly, we don’t want to expend the effort it takes to walk with Him like Enoch did. We’re not sure if we’re ready to abandon ourselves to Him that way.
But honestly, the only goal that is worth throwing every ounce of ourselves into is to be as close to Him as possible now-- and for all eternity.
We throw ourselves into our careers— studying for years for a degree that claims we know our field… we throw ourselves into sports and athletics for a medal that will last a few years and then mean nothing… we throw ourselves into making something out of our life here, but sooner or later that too will end. But for some reason, we don’t throw ourselves into seeking God, into fighting to see the face of our Jesus. As a friend once shared with me… We know we are to dig for the Treasure, but we move one shovelful and give up because we find nothing…
It’s no new thought… maybe we have to just go back a little and remember what we were instructed.
"Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith…”
There is nothing to say that we cannot walk with God now like Enoch did. And we have every reason to believe that if we fight for closeness with Him now, we will have it for all eternity. How can we be satisfied with anything less? How can stop short of doing whatever, and I mean whatever, it takes to see the face of our Jesus?
The real soldier willingly fights for freedom because He loves His country. The real Christian willingly fights for a relationship with the Omnipotent because they love their Jesus. It's not all about sitting and basking in His love. It makes the enemy mad to see heart who want to live life as close as possible to Jesus and he will do whatever he can to stop them. He attacks hardest what he knows is most precious. He's not about to let Jesus have the highest place in our hearts. He will suggest a million different "glossy" things to fill His place. If we want to spend each minute in His arms and one day see Him face to face we will have to fight hard. We will have to throw every ounce of ourselves into seeking Him.
But if we really love Him, we will count it all joy. We will want to fight because we cannot bear the thought of not being with Him.
We made it to the top of that mountain. I’m still amazed. And very very sore. But it was worth it.
And when we walk down those golden streets arm in arm with our Jesus, it will be worth it. Oh so worth it. Every ache and pain will be forgotten when we can lay our head on His shoulder and simply rest.
As we clambered down that mountain it seemed clearer to me than ever. No hight is too much to climb for Him. No fight too hard. No pain too much. Whatever it takes. Whatever.
How high would you climb to fall into His embrace? How hard would you fight to see His face?
Sometimes I wonder if we have lost perspective. We struggle to get up in the morning to spend time with God. We struggle to take time to really pray. We struggle to be content and really happy. And all the while we sincerely claim to love God most of all.
Sometimes I doubt that we even know what that really means.
You know the love and overflowing happiness on the faces of a newly married couple? The way they look at each other, always want to be together, find everything fun when they can do it as a team, make the simplest tasks a great joy just by being in each others presence, feel like nothing in life matters as long as they have each other, and can’t seem to stop smiling— just because they love each other so much. They are fun to be around… it’s almost like there is something in their joy that we all longing for deep down, even if we don’t know it.
Truth is, we were all meant to love like that. We were all meant to be that happy. We were all created with a deep longing to love and be loved and when that need is fulfilled, we can’t help ourselves from smiling.
We were all meant to love Him like that. But I have to wonder… how many of us do?
How many of us “look" at Him with adoration in our eyes? Do we really want to be in His presence as much as newlyweds want to be together? Do we find everything fun because we can do it as a team and find the smallest tasks a joy just because we’re together? How many of us feel like nothing in life matters as long as we have Him? Are we really radiant with a joy we can’t suppress?
Have we fallen in love with Him as much as a pair of newlyweds have with each other? Because really… if we claim to love Him best, our love should double theirs.
Perhaps we need a dear girl in the underground church in Romania to put things in perspective for us… We don’t even know her name, but the legacy she left has had me thinking for months.
Though young, she was totally committed to her Jesus, no matter what it cost her. Despite it’s being illegal, she spread copies of the gospels among her people, and did whatever she could to teach the children about her God. The secret police found out, and determined to arrest her. But to make it as painful as possible they decided to wait a couple weeks. You see, in two weeks, she was marrying her best earthly friend.
"On her wedding day, the girl was dressed as a bride—the most wonderful, joyous day in a girl’s life! Suddenly, the door burst open and the secret police rushed in. When the bride saw the secret police, she held out her arms toward them to be handcuffed. They roughly put the manacles on her wrists. She looked toward her beloved, then kissed the chains and said, 'I thank my heavenly Bridegroom for this jewel He has presented to me on my marriage day. I thank Him that I am worthy to suffer for Him.' She was dragged off, with weeping Christians and a weeping bridegroom left behind.”
Her husband-to-be waited for her release for five years. She went through terrible torture and when released she looked like a woman thirty years older. But she had no complaint. Instead she said it was the least she could do for her Jesus.
It moves me every time. Because honestly? We’re still trying to get up early enough to have an hour to talk with Him before the day starts. And sometimes we think that is a sacrifice. Heaven help us! We need a totally different perspective on what being a Christian is all about. At least I do.
Because the thing is… He loves us far more than any love we’ve seen here— even more than newlyweds. But we don’t know it. Sure, we’ve heard it a million times. We’ve read it in the Bible. We’ve heard it from the pulpit. We know He loves us. And most of us pass it off as old news, like something not worth giving a second thought to.
I wonder if any of us really know… Or maybe we have become so used to hearing the truth that it's never really sunk in. And maybe because we’ve never really known what it meant to be loved by God, we’ve never known what it means to love Him back.
He has a beautiful way of gently shaking us into the reality of that love though. He’s doing it for me… and if He can do it for me, He can do it for anyone. There really is nothing that compares to being deeply loved by the Almighty God. It’s an awesome thing.
And when I can grasp even a millionth of that love, I want nothing more than to be with Him and love Him back. And though He has to be very patient with this little slow learner… I am learning. There’s nothing sweeter than falling in Love with the greatest One in the universe.
I don’t want to be too complacent to take time to see His love. I don’t want to be content to love Him a little when I was made to love Him with all my heart. I don’t want to pass His love off as an old truth… to be so caught up in my own little world that I forget what it means to be in love with Him…
And I wonder how He feels when we claim to love Him but find it so hard to spend time with Him… when we treat His love as an old truth that we’ve heard a million times… could it be that our Prince stands with aching heart, longing for us to fall in love with Him and want to be in HIs presence even a tenth as much as He wants to be in ours?
It seems like just yesterday that I gazed out my car window watching landscape speed by... moments ticking down until the first Family Retreat of the year would begin. My expectations were high, and so was my realization of my dependance on the only One who would give me grace for another season.
And almost before I knew it, I found myself on a plane headed home from the last FR of the year, amazed at all that God had done in the hearts of others and in my own.
It's been a year of blessings too numerous to count. And as my mind drifts back over all the avenues He has led me down in the process, I am filled with gratefulness for a God who is far more incredible than I could ever deserve.
Sometimes in the moment it's hard to see the gift that I have to be a servant... to travel, share, sing, pray, serve, listen, and love. But retrospect always makes that privilege more distinct, and my heart swells with thanksgiving.
I have a hundred special memories and beautiful faces etched on my heart...
The last six months have left me with a deeper realization of the pain in a hurting world... and yet, beyond that, I see even more clearly the power and beauty of hearts that will love the world the way He did.
After all... there is nothing the world craves more than love.
Addictions... crazy busy lives... obsession with fashion...
So often it is a cry for someone to notice, to care, to love.
And sure, we can tell them that Jesus is enough-- and He is--but aren't we to be His hands and feet? Aren't we to be the ones who demonstrate His love to the world?
How can they ever understand a Jesus that loves them so much He would give His life for them until they see our hearts beating with a love for them that is so great that we give our lives for them?
It's not an easy path-- to love the world like that. All of a sudden my neighbor's pain is not just his, but mine too. The griefs, losses, and joys of those we love become our own.
But when did He ever promise an easy path?
Not easy... just rich and full, and more abundant than our highest expectations.
And isn't that better than an easy life anyway?
Jesus, give me a heart like Yours. Fill it with love for a hurting world. And when I have no more to give, break me, and make me sustenance for a dying world. I just want to love like You...
I sit here on the plane and finally have a few moments to put some of the last two weeks on “paper.” It’s hard to know where to begin. God blessed abundantly and poured Himself out like we knew He would. I praise Him for His ever present strength. He is an incredibly good God.
He was at work at UKFC again this year. It is such a joy to our hearts to see families hearing and getting excited about their potential to live closer to each other and God in a way they never have before… To see the joy and happiness in families who were once on the brink of disaster. If anything spurs us on to travel for weeks of the year, it that right there. Nothing beats seeing lives changed.
We went this year with the realization in the back of our mind that because of financial concerns this might be the last UKFC. To be honest, that was not something I wanted to think about. So many lives have been touched at that camp over the last six years. I hated to think of it closing down because of money. I knew God could supply if it was His will, and I trusted that He would do what was best.
Last year God did beautiful things in the hearts of the people and in our own at that camp. I know that when the plane carried me home I left part of my heart in that country. And through all the business of the year, part of me was always eagerly anticipating our next visit and the when we would see all the dear people who had crept into my heart. Going back this year was so rich… so beautiful. I treasured the moments. Even being down with a sinus infection for the second half of the trip couldn’t spoil the privilege I felt at being back for a little while.
And it struck me again this morning in a deeper way… Might what I felt about that country be just a little part of what my Father feels about being separated from His beloved children on earth? Could it be that He left part of His heart here, and that He will never feel whole again until we are with Him? Might everyday apart hurt Him? Could He be looking down on us with longing for the day when we will be ready for Him to come and take us home? Isn’t the separation far harder for Him than any separation we have ever experienced here?
It makes me pause for a minute. My little mind just can’t grasp the depths of a Love like that.
I wonder at how we can be satisfied here when He is not satisfied to leave us here. How can we be content to let day after day pass without making vigorous strides toward that glorious reunion? Why aren’t we doing all we can to hasten that moment?
Just to think that there is a part of our Father’s heart that won’t stop hurting until we’re together…
If the joy is anything like what I’ve felt in being reunited with so much that I love these last two weeks… it will be beyond anything I can imagine.
I want to end the pain in His heart.
I want that reunion to come soon.
I want to go home.
God worked in marvelous ways this year and provided the funds for next year’s UKFC. He works in ways that are beyond our imagining. The dates are booked for next year’s camp. There will be another year to watch God change lives… I praise Jesus. That puts a song in this heart.
And since I can’t really sum up the last two weeks fully in words… here are some pictures from the trip. After all— a picture paints a thousand words.
Miles pass under my feet, as I sit back in my comfortable (or not so much :)) plane seat and try to get the necessary sleep for the next few days. I'm never a very good sleeper on these red eye flights. And actually, I'm thankful for that. When the plane is dark and quiet and sleep evades, it's the perfect time for prayer.
I've felt my need of it in a special way of late. Something seems to drive me to my knees-- not as an obligation but as a necessity. And I realize more and more that it really is a necessity. Seriously.
Somehow we've had our eyes blinded to think we can live without it. And not just that... we've somehow come to think that there is a limit to the size of our requests. "Like I couldn't ask God to start a fire of revival that would sweep across the world, could I?" Why not?
I believe in a big God. One who speaks worlds into existence. I believe nothing is too big or too hard for Him. And if I really believe that... I won't be afraid to ask for big things.
Journal entry, April 30
Not for myself but for His cause... His children.
UKFC starts tommorrow... I'm praying for lives revolutionized. I'm praying for Him to start a fire in the hearts here that will not only change us, but that will be a witness to the onlooking universe and the world.
Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me? (Jeremiah 32:17)
I do believe in a big God.
Quiet. It’s not something I crave naturally. Actually, it’s something I can tend to shy away from because it throws me way out of my comfort zone. But I’m discovering—it’s vital if we really want to serve.
It was only a week ago that I found myself on a plane headed home, leaving the country and all the beautiful people I’d come to love so quickly. The flight was none too long for me to process the last week, and fill up the pages of my journal. And I found myself wondering why God sometimes brings us to the quiet when there is a world starving for service. Now a week later, I don’t have to wonder.
Our first, full day home found me up on a ridge on our property taking time to think and pray. It’s amazing how that spot has become special after only four days. And it’s been in that time of communion that the answer to the question I battled with on the flight home has become obvious.
Quiet is preparation for service.
David lived out his youth in a quiet valley before he was qualified to be the king of Israel. Enoch spent many quiet weeks in the hills before going down to speak to the people. Moses raised sheep for forty years in the wilderness before he could lead the children of Israel out of Egypt. John the Baptist spent his childhood in the wilderness before giving the message for which he was born. And our dear Jesus lived in a little village for thirty years before his three years of ministry. The disciple John never received the Revelation until on the lonely island of Patmos. Paul spent several years in the wilderness before going out on his missionary journeys that shook the world.
The pattern strikes me. Could it be that quiet always comes before we can do something great for God?
On my little rock overlooking the valley I’ve been doing some deep thinking. I came across a quote that says it should be the mission of the youth to give the gospel to the world in this generation. And that left me pondering… what is it going to take to make us give the gospel to the world in our generation. The answer that came really hit home. Before we can share the gospel, we need to be living the gospel. I mean, really living it—not just talking about it. We can’t share it’s changing power until it’s changed us.
And so I’m seeking to remove all obstacles. I want to be totally changed—completely revolutionized. I’m seeking to treasure the quiet, and really learn the lessons it provides. And quiet is more than just living in the hills. Because with our phones, iPods, and tablets we can bring the clamor of the city to the hills, can’t we?
We’re headed out again… but my iPhone is still in my closet at home. (I’m still blogging from my old computer, but limiting myself to using it very little). J My phone is one of those distractions that is watering down the quiet, and taking it away almost completely when we’re on the road. And it’s shocked me how even the few hours I've been without it have shown me how dependent on it I was! Far too dependent. That’s going to change. It seemed like every five minutes I would find myself reaching for it.
If it takes three weeks to make a habit… I’m going for three weeks without my phone. And if I succumb to the temptation to use it within that time… I’ll start the three weeks again. So far, it’s challenging me, but I’m loving it. I've had so much more time to think—really think.
And so on this trip I’m choosing to take some quiet with me. Jesus, you can have my phone, and all the other things that distract me from you. I’ll find my joy in some little mountain spot of communion with you.
Quiet is preparation for service.
Words fail me when it comes to summing up five packed days in a few paragraphs. But before anything, I want you to know how much we appreciate your prayers. Each one made a difference. I could feel it.
We set off last Thursday with my dear mother feeling very weak from her violent D & V of the night before. But God was faithful and got her through the journey and the many times that followed of speaking on an empty stomach.
By Sabbath she was feeling somewhat better, and all four of us were able to speak together for Sabbath school. But the peace was not to continue for long. Moments after the preaching the 11:00 service, Father found himself in our bathroom with the trusted bucket that mother had used, and Caleb had missed. Another attack from the devil.
And along with the news that father was down came the realization that Caleb and I were now the only ones who were feeling 100% well. It was grace, and grace alone, that was going to get us through!
Another realization hit home to me… I was the only one who hadn’t gotten sick. I could be next…
And it was that day that the miracles really happened for me. After speaking on my own that afternoon, and then leading the choir, we had to fill the parents spot that evening and speak again. There was no more than fifteen minutes to go over the notes, and my head was pounding from the incessant noise. I don’t know if I’ve ever had to rely on His strength so fully before…
But what thrilled me as Caleb and I stood in front of the people that night --and still does now-- is the power He can give when we have totally come to the end of ourselves. We could feel it holding us up, and it is like nothing I had ever known. I wonder why we don’t come to the end of ourselves sooner…
In the last few minutes of speaking, I became suddenly aware of a wave of nausea washing over me. I’ll be honest… it struck fear to my heart, at first. And yet, even in that moment, He held us up to the end.
Just minutes after we finished speaking I found myself in our little bathroom, awaiting the fate that had attended this illness for the rest of my family. I had told the Lord just that afternoon that I was perfectly willing to go through this sickness if it was His plan. I had been resisting it all week, and now I given it to Him, and here I was. But what amazed me was that the fear I always had (ever since a little girl) of stomach illness was now totally gone. I now faced it with joy because it had come through His hand. That was a work of grace.
An hour passed and nothing happened. Finally I climbed into bed, taking the necessary bucket with me. But though I didn’t fear the illness anymore, I couldn’t bear the thought of being sick in bed the next day, when I should be out with all those precious people who had crept into my heart.
Lord please help me be well in the morning. We just can’t let the devil win. I don’t mind getting sick, but please, please, let me be fine in the morning.
And then the familiar little voice…
Child, are you willing to give even your desire to minister to me, and let me do whatever I know is best for the people?
Silence. Yes Jesus. Just do what is best for them.
I was sure I had resigned to my fate, and yet as soon as I said those words, I had a consciousness that the storm had passed. Instantly I started feeling better. So much better, that I went to my bed and turned to “Peace be Still” in DA. It seemed like it was written for me. And by the time I was done reading, I knew He had calmed the storm that had been raging in my stomach. Praise God, I never needed that bucket.
I was thoroughly exhausted physically, but sleep evaded me for hours. He had just performed a miracle for me! Every other member of my family (and my grandmother) had been down for several days with this, and it passed in a few short hours for me! And when I finally did fall asleep, my heart was bursting for joy.
The day before I had written in my journal the words the Lord impressed on my heart. As I looked back at them that Sunday morning, my heart skipped a beat.
Today will be a day you will look back on and see my hand. I will bless. I will strengthen. I will do miracles, pour out my Spirit, and open the hearts of the people. I will be there. “Greater is He that is with you…”
He was faithful to the end. It may not have been our typical UK campmeeting, with mother having to do three solo messages back to back with a bad stomach and on two yogurts-- but it was what He knew we all needed, and there were signs of His working everywhere. Just the fact that father didn’t get sick a moment before the 11:00 message, or during, but right after, is proof that He was in control.
And I am even more convinced than ever that Satan is very upset that the work is going forward. Sunday morning we found out that the father of one of the helper families had been rushed to the hospital that same night with chest pain, and had a heart attack. And there have been many more things… Satan is trying to crush out God’s work. We cannot let him triumph.
But what I love is that even though the devil may fire his darts to weaken us, he cannot win if we trust in God, for it is in weakness that we are made strong.
Can I plead with you… Don’t let him win in anything. Even when you find yourself utterly weak. We must fight and win this battle together. Grace will always be there to strengthen us—for it is in weakness that we are made strong.
So glad he could be up there with me!
Family Panel Sunday night. All together even if some were very weak.
Leading the choir (just love these children).
Some of our dear UK friends
My long time little friend (he never ceases to make me smile).
Men's singing Sabbath night
Some of our many young friends we've come to love.
So grateful for my dear brother.
We're off to start the next camp--this time in England-- and again the devil's not happy. Yesterday afternoon had the second member of the family go down with some very nasty stomach illness.
And that was enough to cause some fear and trepidation in the rest of us. If charcoal indeed works as a preventative, we've had our fair share.
But it struck me as we went to bed last night... this is the second time. Just a few weeks ago it was a broken down car. This time it's sickness. And to add to it, there's only the four if us over here to speak at the camp. None of us can afford to be down. This is probably our busiest camp of the year.
And yet a reassuring voice whispers in my ear...
I'm not going to leave you, child. This is my work, and it will go forward. "The Lord will fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."
I'm learning slowly. It's another chance to trust. And by grace I will...
This family camp starts tonight and runs through Monday morning. And I know that we will need every ounce of strength He gives us. And yet... "My grace is sufficient for thee, because my strength is made perfect in weakness."
Thank you Jesus, thank you.
Alone--helpless. With Him--invincible.
I'm excited. I don't know what Grace is going to do this week, but I know that He does all things well.
If you think of it, would you please keep us, and all the precious people attending camp in your prayers? I know there's four hearts over here who would be very grateful.
20. Lover of Jesus. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Servant. Fan of the kitchen. Graduate of Masters of Biblical Counseling.
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Hands Open. Heart Full.