Saturday, March 28, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
That there is anything that men hold dear
Thou wouldst deprive me of,
And nothing give in place?
That is not so –
For I can see Thy face
And hear Thee now:
‘My child, I died for thee.
And if the gift of love and life
You took from Me,
Shall I one precious thing withhold –
One beautiful and bright,
One pure and precious thing withhold?
Today I read this poem by Betty Stam in Quest For Love, Elisabeth Elliot's book (which, incidentally, I highly recommend!) It was written during Betty's college years, when she was struggling between her love for a man and a possibly conflicting call to missions work. Added to this struggle was another choice she had to make: going where she felt she might be called (Africa) or going where she'd always wanted to go (China).
God did eventually give her the man and the country she wanted! But the point is, she held these things (and from the little bit I know about her it seems that she held everything) so loosely. Anything that God desired to take from her, she was willing to surrender. Even something as noble as missionary work.
Only THREE years later, Betty and her husband John were beheaded by Chinese communists. The life of their infant daughter was miraculously, amazingly saved.
It strikes me that Betty did not know for what she asked when she petitioned God to give her the man she loved and the country she loved. She didn't know that it would lead to a nightmarish death for both of them in a few years. But her death, (meaning her "crucifiction",) was already accompished when she prayed the following prayer! I know that she would affirm that the beheading in China was a small, very small part of it.
“Lord, I give up my own purposes and plans, all my own desires, hopes and ambitions (whether they be fleshly or soulish), and accept Thy will for my life. I give myself, my life, my all utterly to Thee, to be Thine forever. I hand over to Thy keeping all of my friendships; all the people whom I love are to take a second place in my heart. Fill me and seal me with Thy Holy Spirit. Work out Thy whole will in my life, at any cost, now and forever. To me to live is Christ. Amen.”
May God fill me with the passion, surrender, and spirit of this beautiful woman.
I don't know much about these incredible heroes, but I want to study their lives. Here's a site where you can read their life stories and some awesome quotes too. Please take the time to read it, because it's incredible!!! I think you'll be blessed and challenged by it, like I was.
I'm thinking about what I am asking God for today, and wondering... will it cost me everything? (And if not, is it even worth praying for?) Can I put to death my will in every matter (small and great) that conflicts with the will of God right now? If not, I can not hope for a martyr's crown. My death HAS to start today.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Noah: (thinking hard) ...Well....when I'm all grown up. How old are you?"
Noah: "Then when I'm as old as that I will marry you."
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
God showed his amazing grace in the face of my reluctant obedience while we were there. It was just our family in a little shop there, and the lady behind the register was friendly and talkative. I felt the Lord prompting me to give her a tract, but the enemy immediately hounded me with the fear of man. It's been a few months since I've shared my faith with a stranger, I'm ashamed to say. It's always amazingly hard to get back into practice. The only tract I had said "HELP FROM ABOVE" in bold letters on the front, and had only scripture inside. No commentary or ice breaker. It's not my choice tract, but I had stuffed a few in my purse and it was that or nothing.
I wrestled with it for a while and then decided not to do it. I dislike the bold "HELP FROM ABOVE" title because it seems to be such a condescending thing to hand someone. I was allowing the enemy to paralyze me with fear about... what!? I don't even know. How is it that such a small issue as this raises such timidity within me?
As I was walking away, God spoke strongly to my heart with the truth that this could be the woman's only chance... God could have placed me in that shop for such a time as this. I prayed for strength and walked over to her once again. I thanked her for her friendliness and said, "Hey... this is a little something that has meant a lot to me. I wanted to share it with you, too, and I hope you'll get a chance to read it." I handed it to her, trying to strategically place my thumb over the now blinking neon "HELP FROM ABOVE". I failed. She took it from my hand and immediately looked deeply into my eyes. "I need help," she said. "I really need help. Thank you for giving this to me." Her 3 yr. old granddaughter has just been molested by someone with AIDS. Her 2 yr. old grandson has autism. She is trying to gain custody of them. She told me that she has plenty of time behind the register to read the little booklet I gave her... and perhaps, she said, it's just what she needs right now.
I know that it IS exactly what she needs right now, and I thank God for using such a reluctant, foolish child as me... in spite of myself. I hope my zoo friend has stepped closer to Jesus because of our exchange.
I truly love lemurs. They're darling!
Saturday, March 07, 2009
Maybe it was only REALLY CUTE to me because I'm their auntie. But I was loving it. Nathaniel put on some goofy music as we were sitting around after dinner, and Noah, Shaina, and Kate started dancing. :) Got some pretty good moves going eh? (Oh and check out the girl's funky hairstyles. They are amazingly patient while I play with their hair.) I am so blessed to be an auntie to these sweet things!
Not to be outdone by his elder siblings' antics, Baby Wes sat in the high chair grinning in all his radiant toothyness. That boy melts his auntie's heart!! He's so fun to kiss when he's all rosy, warm and cuddly after a nap. He's got a big obsession with ceiling fans, and literally every time he toddles into a room and sees one (even if he just saw it 3 minutes ago) he pauses, raises his arms in a worshipful pose, throws his head way back and whispered with his eyes big, "Ohhhh, waaaaah!"
I'll probably post some more vids of the rest of the family later.
By the way, not to be random but is this font too small?
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
MY DEAR SISTER AND FRIEND TODAY I WILL TALK ABOUT MY HOLY QURAN ONLY , I WILL PROOF TO YOU THAT THERE IS ONLY 1 ALLAH , AND JESUS(Peace Be Upon Him ) IS HIS MESSENGER.
(He likes capitals, size 20 font, color, and highlighting. His letters are dizzying!)
He goes on to site several instances where the Quran intimated scientific facts long before they were officially discovered. Such as, the orbit of the planets. "How could men have written this without the inspiration of God?" he asks.
His questions are hard to answer. As you see above, some of them are hard to answer only because of how rediculously illogical they are.
And then there is the question I constantly ask the Holy Spirit: "should I argue this one with him? Or should I just speak of Jesus yet again in my next letter and ignore the foolish questions?" I'm greatful that the Spirit of God is fighting this one and it's not up to me... because Mohammad's case would be hopeless if that were not so.
Please... pray for him if you think of it!
(What a mind boggling privilege that is!!)
Monday, March 02, 2009
This is my favorite pic of Nate and I, even though it was taken a century ago. Pun intended!
That brother of mine...
...He's a funny guy. :)
He made a video for a class at his church in Arkansas which I just finished watching.
I think he's a pretty stellar actor!
(He gets it from me.)
I have to take this opportunity to say how very much I love and admire Nate! His passion for souls, his eagerness to serve the body of Christ, and his love for those around him is incredible to me. He's studying to be a missionary pilot, and his dedication to this call and sacrifice in order to see it come to pass has been a challenge to me. He's been willing to give up great desires and little comforts alike to further the kingdom of Christ and press towards the goal God has set before him.
Not only that, but Nate is the funnest guy I know. He makes me laugh harder than anyone else, and always brags about it, too. ("You can't NOT laugh if I want you to!" ...Augh!) Nate, thank you for the love and example you've given to me as my big brother. You're one of my heroes.
And I'm not buttering you up.