Luke 8:54

"And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid arise." Luke 8:54

Friday, February 24, 2017

In Light of Eternity

 "But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not;"

I Corinthians 7:29-30

God often says that HIS wisdom far exceeds man's. That His ways are not our ways. That His thoughts, not ours. And in the light of Eternity, things are different than we see on Earth. Often we get caught up, distracted, with what we see around us. By the lives we daily live. Or, even by the expectations we hold.

"Brethren, the time is short". Our lives are like vapors, according to the book of James. They come and go very quickly. And we build so much of our dreams and hopes for happiness on that short vapor. How often we live for ourselves with little thought past that. Jesus says how we are to run a race. And he that would win, must run all.

 "It remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none;" This part of the verse really struck me recently. We, especially us young ladies, build so much of our hopes and dreams on marriage. We just do. We dream of it. Hope for it. Prepare for it. And when it doesn't come when we expect, we fall into despair and imagine that the worst has happened- singleness forever. We anticipate our lives to be something...and we put a great deal of stake into it. And honestly, we were created to be a help-meet to men. Eve was made from Adam, for Adam. And God said it was good. We were created with the desire to be wanted, to be a partner in work, to build along side, to fulfill someone special, to nourish homes and raise children. And that's okay. In fact, it is healthy. But, this natural desire must be put in and kept in check with what God asks us to do individually. What His will is for you, right where you are now. And what our goal should be as Christians, and as single Christian ladies. According to I Corinthians 7 here, marriage on earth compared to the eternity of heaven, is almost as if it hadn't happened at all. Can you imagine? In heaven, there is no giving or taking of marriage. And even here on earth, the life we live is so short in comparison to what Christ says will be, it cannot even be compared to it. Does it matter that you ever get married on earth? I'd say it matters, not because it is the essential to happiness or earthly life, but because it matters how we spend the short life we have been given. That we were content in the will of God. So what is most important? What does the Lord say will matter into Eternity? Certainly not whether we marry or stay single. But, that we have done the will of God. Christ is our example. He came to do the will of His Father. For us, that could be in marriage. It could not be. But whether it is or isn't matters little in weight of an eternal perspective.

"And they that weep, as though they wept not." Christ also says that weeping may last for the night, but joy cometh in the morning. Life can really hurt. People can really hurt us. Sometimes weeping is a small relief to the pain that we hold within our hearts. Sometimes we weep alone... even for a life time maybe. Suffering is as normal to the Christian, as is the joy of having Salvation itself. Christ commands us to expect it. And so we weep. But this too, in light of Eternity, is short and vanishing. We may weep here. But, someday, it will be as if we had not wept at all. That is amazing to me. The heartaches that seem to crush our world, change our lives, and estrange our paths, are not always remembered or as crucial as they often appear.

"And they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not." Happiness too is fleeting. How deceived we often are into living for what we call "happiness". No one wants to be miserable. We all want to get our own way. Human nature is never satisfied and incredibly self gratifying. But even when we do rejoice, when we do feel happy, or enjoy the preciousness of life, it is still NOTHING compared to Eternity. Having a good time is often so important to us... right now. Or, in the moment. But when compared to what is everlasting? It forces you to stop and think. 

"And they that buy, as though they possessed not." Good thing you have your house paid for. Or that you own that car you've always wanted. Or maybe you made that really great career choice. (Okay, I'm being a little sarcastic.) Having a car is a blessing. Having your house paid for is smart. And a good career is practical. I'm not saying these things are wrong. But Christ says, in light of Eternity... it will be as if you never owned them at all. In our life span here, it seems extremely important. It's what everyone works towards. But is it really? Jesus said, with food and raiment therewith to be content. We have far exceeding this. 

So, what matters in light of Eternity? What will never die? What is truly important and valuable? Not things. Not marriage. Not happiness. Not hardship. "Set your affections on things above, and not on things on the earth." (Colossians 3) Here are just a few things...

God Himself. The Soul. People. Lives. Salvation. Knowing Jesus Christ. Serving the Lord. Rewards. Hell. The lost. Disobedience. Obedience. Serving others. Giving. The Word of God. Relationships. The Church. Time. And how we spent that time. 

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Quote of the Day

"We are often our own worst enemies. We feed our fears. Deny our abilities. Doubt God's grace and forgiveness. Undermine our confidence. Suppress the promptings of the Spirit. We therefore need others to challenge, confront, and encourage us. Through another we can hear the voice of God and receive the words of consolation and challenge that we need to hear."

-Charles Ringma

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Let the adventure begin...

Do you know that feeling sometimes you get when you hear a distant train whistle? Or when you see an airplane take off? Or maybe just looking at a road map? The smell of the ocean and the site of a ship out to sea. All of which silently calls ... adventure. 

Or, maybe it's just me... but I love adventure. I love traveling. I love learning new things, meeting new people, and exploring what I don't know. I think I'd go anywhere and everywhere in the world if I could only afford to. It is just built into who I am. I don't think I'd ever be happy staying in one plot of soil the rest of my life. Of course, I'd do that too if God asked me to. Thankfully He hasn't, though. 😀 No, instead, He has moved me into an entirely different direction. The unknown. The uncertain. The unforeseen. An adventure. 

Besides having a strong desire to travel, the Lord has also given me a love for English. More specifically, TESL. (Teaching English as a Second Language) I first heard of it back in 2012, when one of my coworkers at the time, shared how she traveled to different foreign countries teaching ESL classes and also giving the gospel to close door countries. Something in my heart was stirred and I never forgot it. I thought about how incredible that would be. Not that I would ever do it myself, or so I thought. Time went on and the desire always stuck. I prayed about it. Then in 2016, I took the first step and enrolled in an online college course. The Bridge TEFL. Through this program, I am certified to teach ESL anywhere in the world, with the exceptions of North America and United Kingdom. And I was surprised to see just how many countries instantly became available to travel to, to teach at, and to possibly share the gospel of Jesus Christ with. This thrills my soul. God could send me anywhere, as long as He went with me. 

In February of last year, our church read aloud a letter from one of the missionaries we support. Brother Kory Mears in Fiji. In this letter, although not extremely detailed, he mentioned the growing need for an ESL school and the desire to, Lord willing, start ESL classes in the coming year. It jumped off the page and landed in my lap. (Not literally 😋) And thus I began to pray in a specific direction. That summer, the Lord allowed for Brother Mears to come visit our church and I was able to share with him what I was thinking and praying about. He seemed excited and agreed to pray with me for the Lord's direction. Since that time, God has given so much peace, answers to many questions, and a lot of wisdom. Lord willing, I am now in the process of getting ready to move to Fiji, where I'll be teaching ESL for the next year.

God has given me an adventure. One I know He intends to use for His amazing glory, His Eternal Kingdom, and my ultimate good. He is so gracious. So patient. And He is faithful to show us His will. And He is good, in enabling us to take it up by faith.

I compiled this blog,, if you would like to follow it also, mostly to share this adventure with you. To show you where I am at, what I'm learning, what God is doing, and hopefully be an encouragement in Christ. To challenge you, Christian, to trust in a God who cannot fail. To God be the glory for great things He hath done. 

 Blessings in Christ Jesus our Lord,


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

"Thou Mighty Man of Valour"

I love the story of Gideon. (Judges 6-8) 

It is such a picture of God's intention to use us for something, when we don't feel very usable. 

It is an awesome example of how God often sees in us, something we do not see in ourselves. 

Gideon wasn't a mighty man of valour. At least, not to our standards and certainly not to the standards he had for himself. (Judges 6:14-16)

But GOD called him, "thou mighty man of valour" in Judges 6:11-12. Gideon was hiding. He was threshing wheat in the most unsuspecting way possible, because of his enemies the Midianites. He wasn't super courageous. He wasn't super strong. In fact, he gives the Angel of the Lord a list of reasons why he shouldn't be the man to lead in the deliverance of God's people. But, that list didn't matter. Why? Because GOD knew what He was doing and because GOD was the one doing it. God calls us by a "new name" in the book of Revelation. And here, God calls Gideon by what Gideon wouldn't call himself. God calls him to something he wouldn't have felt called or qualified for. And so the Lord does with you and with me. We know who we are. And we know that 'in us is no good thing'. (Romans) How could we do what a holy, all-powerful God would do? We can't. And if we are honest, we know we can't. But what does God say? "Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us." Romans 8:37
He holds the power source and we are promised that power (even a faith that moves mountains!) through Him. Gideon is filled with the Spirit. (v. 33-35) and what happens? He lays out a fleece. (More than one actually.) He obeys God. He tares down his father's idols. He listens to God when the LORD told him to send MOST of the men willing to fight with him away. There were too many for GOD to get the glory. What did Gideon do to win victory? In men's eyes... something very foolish. He blew a trumpet. He lit a lamp. And GOD delivered the people. "The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon". (Judges 7:17-18)

God calls us to step out by faith. Not based on what we see in ourselves. Not limited to what we think we already know how to do. But based on a God who cannot fail. A God who cannot lie. A God who always wins victories.

It is said that courage isn't the absence of fear, but rather the willingness to act in spite of that fear. Gideon was used of the Lord to win the victory against his enemies, because he had ENOUGH FAITH to allow God to OVERCOME his weakness. This is what the Lord want to do through us. To take Him at His word by FAITH and ACT on it.

This really encouraged me recently with some of the things God has asked me to do. Teaching is something I have never done before. But He's opened the door for me to go to Fiji and teach ESL there. I know I'm going to feel nervous to the point of being sick when I stand in front of a room full of people who don't speak the same language as me! Moving to a foreign country for a year without much of a plan past that, the unfamiliarity, the unknowns and lack of the same sense of security I've know all my life to this point, isn't easy for me. I know my own weakness and inability. And so does the LORD. In fact, He knows those weaknesses better than I even do. But God also sees the invisible. Faith. He sees what He can do, if I'll only choose to trust Him and step out on His word. This is a blessing. I might feel weak and doubtful and afraid, but God says "thou mighty man of valour". And I can trust what HE says over what I feel or think. To God be the glory...for great things He HAS done and WILL do... if we would only trust Him by faith.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Quote of the Day

"Solidarity means a consolidation or a oneness of interests. Here, the solidarity is between ourselves and God; we deliberately identify ourselves with God's interests in other people. 'Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye did it unto Me.'"

Oswald Chambers

Monday, February 6, 2017

For the Record

Spiritual Lessons

For the record –

God's primary purpose in saving us in NOT to unfold His wonderful plan for our lives.

Jesus is not the way out of life's problems.

Christianity is not the answer to our unhappiness.

We do not need to accept Christ in our life to find peace and joy.

Depression is not of the devil.

Jesus does not save the righteous from less sorrows than the wicked.

I needed to get that off my chest. If you listen long enough you find that the popular Christian message seems to say otherwise. And it's despicably wrong.

It sounds nice to imply that sinners will find better lives if they trust Jesus as their savior, but it's simply not true. It doesn't matter how many times it's promised from the pulpit or guaranteed in a tract, or taught from a life coach. Reality shatters every delusion.

In my own very short life I have experienced grief. I've watched others face tragedies. I've heard nightmarish accounts. And I've wept with heartbroken people. Christians – all of them.

And yet “a life of happiness” and a “wonderful plan” is still what is offered to the unsaved. If only they will believe on Jesus.

We'd better hide the Foxe Book of Martyrs then. And it would be a good idea to ignore how the disciple's lives ended. Better stop our ears when the prayer requests are read at church. Smile when we are actually hurting inside. Disfellowship with the depressed Christian.

I'll never forget the homeless man in Portland that I talked to.
As soon as I brought up “Jesus” he stopped me and smiled wanly – “Don't tell me Jesus is the cure. Don't talk to ME of happiness and joy. Don't give me promises. I've seen it all. If Jesus is escape from suffering why does He allow suffering in “the saved”? Why does the Pastor have cancer? Why was that little child abused? Why are they homeless?”
He was bitter from all the hollow promises he had heard over and over from Christians.

And he's right. Why do Christians promise something they themselves don't have?

History proves Christianity to be a cost, not a self-help program. All you have to do is look at the suffering of the underground church today to know that Christianity isn't a bed of roses.

Instead, all have fallen short of the glory of God. All are guilty enemies of God in need of righteousness. Mankind is condemned to Hell. The wages of your sin is death. But God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son to die in your place. The only way to accept such forgiveness and payment is to repent and believe. You won't find an experience; a way out of your problems; or a life of happiness. But you will be given a new life restored to your Creator. You will still have heartache. Still have tragedies. Struggles and sorrow. Just like the rest of the world. But unlike the world, you will have His mercy, and He can work your heartache for good.

Give the true gospel and you won't have bitter unbelievers who spit at your hypocrisy.
Share the truth and you won't have disillusioned Christians falling on the wayside when persecution comes.

Stop making false promises and you won't have false conversions.
Get off the conventional Christian bandwagon. It will only lead you to misery and lead unbelievers to Hell.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Quote of the Day

Image result for charles spurgeon

"If a crooked stick is before you, you need not explain how crooked it is. Lay a straight one down by the side of it, and the work is well done. Preach the truth, and error will stand abashed in it's presence." 

-- Charles Spurgeon