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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Daraja Childrens Choir



Yesterday my life was forever changed by the 4 ladies in the picture... Three children and their teacher came into my home to stay for a few days as the children prepare to sing at our church.  The Daraja Childrens Choir is:

 Essentially an international Hope Exchange. Just like a gift exchange or a student exchange program, we each have something to offer the other.
Out of desperate circumstances, these children possess unbelievable amounts of hope--which they offer freely through their songs, laughter, joy and incredible passion for the Lord.
In exchange, we can offer them hope for their future. Traveling with the Daraja Children's Choir gives them the chance to broaden their horizons, widen their world-perspective, deepen their leadership skills, and open the scope of their imagination. We invest in their future and the future of the nation of Kenya and Uganda.

Last evening, after showers and teeth were brushed, Grace, their teacher, sat them down and did their devotion with them.  Their attention and desire to answer questions, their obvious love of God and desire to learn more about Him, and their laughter made for a wonderful learning experience for ME.  I sat quietly, listened, observed, and was amazed at their hearts for knowledge.  As they closed, Grace asked who wanted to pray.  All 3 hands shot in the air!  Again, marvel!  I find that I have trouble getting grown adults here to pray out loud - these children were eager to do so!  After prayer they sang a closing hymn and it was the most beautiful act of worship I have ever experienced.  We were truly at the feet of Jesus. 

I think we see these kids and feel we are blessing them by showing them our homes, our stuff, how we live.  Yet, humbly, they are blessing me.  I see my excess and wonder how I could ever want more.  I see my home compared to the pictures of theirs, and wonder how I could ever have complained or been ungrateful.   In their lack of things, they are more joyous than any child I see here in America.  They appreciate what they have and are thankful each and every day for the gift of life.   There is a lesson to be learned here - and its found in the sheer joy of a child who knows she is loved by the most high God.  Its found in a song, in a smile, in a hug and in thankfulness.   This year, I want nothing more than to be a better person because of Grace, Faith, Patience and Angel.   

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Faith without works

James 2:20 "You foolish man, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless?"  God wants us to walk in our faith.  He wants action on our part to show that we believe in Faith He is who he says he is and he will do what he says he will do.  God wants us to show others our faith.  How do we do that?? A great expression of our Faith is Love.  Love the Lord with all our hearts and loving others is an expression of faith.  The way we talk is an expression of our faith.  The way we live is an expression of our faith.  The way we give is an expression of our faith.  The way we treat people is an expression of our faith. Everything we DO is communicating what we believe to the world around us.

Many of you know I have dealt with a difficult person the last few months.  How he speaks to me and those around me shows what he believes.  But how I respond shows what I believe.  Yes, I was angry at first.  I was frustrated.  I did everything I could do legally to deal with this person.  But, finally, God spoke to me and said "I can handle this if you will just have Faith in me.  Trust that this issue is not too big for me".  So, I changed the way I spoke.  I changed the way I prayed.  I changed my thoughts.  No longer was I defeated, but I spoke truth!! God's truth.  God is bigger than anything we face but if we talk and live defeated lives, we are expressing to God we don't have FAITH in Him.  This is faith without works.  

I started praying over that issue - DAILY.  Out loud and expressed to God that I did BELIEVE He could handle it.  I expressed to God daily that I expected Him to handle it and I expressed to God that He would get all the glory when the answer came.  Yesterday, an answer came and I give Him glory.  But, I'm not done believing!! I believe God will still vindicate me further than He has already.  I believe that He has more in store for me. So, today, I walk, talk, pray and think God's truth.  I will continue to uplift Him and walk in Faith that He isn't done yet!!

Remember - Faith without works is dead.  James 2:26  Real Faith is belief in action!  

Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith is is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to Him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnest seek Him".  AMEN!!!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Extreme Faith

Do you have a dream?  A desire in your heart that you want to fulfill?  A need that seems impossible to meet? 

I have a dream - to minister to women and to share my story.  There is so much about my past that only a few people know.  Its a testimony of struggles, hurts, pain, suffering. But its also a testimony of God's great unfailing faithfulness and power!  Little by little I will share my story, but what I want you to know today is that we need to have extreme faith.  I look back on memories in my childhood and realize that when I was 12 and was suffering from 2 broken wrists and a broken, mangled ankle, I had extreme faith.  I trusted that God would restore healing to me.  That He would raise me up and make me whole again.  And He did.  I still believe to this day for more healing of that ankle.  Do I stop running because of it? Do I stop when the pain is there and it hurts to walk let alone run? No.  Why? Because I believe if I stay in the game, if I continue to trust and believe, if I have that same extreme faith that I had when I was 12, God will continue the healing process he started back 30 years ago.  

Do I believe that God can meet all my needs, according to His riches and glory?  YES!  Why?  Because I am the daughter of the Most High God.  I am His child and He will supply.   Do I want to be stuck in a rut, accepting where I am as the way it will always be, or am I willing to stretch my faith and believe for more??  I want to have the childlike faith I had when I was younger.  I believed with all that was in me that God would provide for our needs, that He would heal all our diseases.  Today I proclaim with my mouth and believe with my heart that the God I serve today is the same as the God of yesterday.  I saw with my own eyes, I lived it.  Yet, as I got older I let the doubts and struggles of this world cloud me.  God is saying to me and you today that if we just believe, if we just TRUST Him and confess with our mouths that he is Lord of Lords, He will open the floodgates of heaven and rain down on us more than we could ever imagine.  We have not because we ask not.  And when we ask we need to BELIEVE that we can have all we ask for (provided its in God's will for our lives).  Seeking a new job?  Believing for a child?  Praying to find your mate?  Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find.  Mt 7:7-8  “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Remember, claim Gods word.  Believe He will do what He said.  Walk in it daily. Don't mumble and complain but rise up and proclaim the promises of God.  He will come thru - if we just believe. 

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Isaiah 54:17


When David went out to face Goliath, he didn't look at him and fear his size.  He didn't look at him and think "well, this guy is bigger than I thought.  Maybe I should let someone bigger than me handle this".  No, David look at Goliath and said My God is bigger than you!!!  I will defeat you in the name of the Lord!  

Do you look at your problems, your fears, your dreams, your debt, your illness and think "this is more than i can handle.  Its impossible."?  If you declare with your mouth that its impossible, it can't be done, you are speaking that into your life.  Look at your debt and say "I know God has a plan to prosper me"...then walk in that.  Look at your health and say "God made my body, he will restore me, regardless of what the health report says".  When you face pursuing your dreams, say "If God is for me, who can stand against me".  

When God places a problem in front of you, look down on it and declare that your God is bigger than it and stand firm on Gods promises to redeem you. Believe that nothing is meant to bring you harm, but to provide a stepping stone to a higher calling.  

God never said we would not face problems, but what His word is promising you is that it will not keep you from your Destiny.  Your challenge may have been meant for harm, but God will use it for your good. NO sickness, person, problem can stop God's plan for your life.   

Rest in that!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Relevant

Do you think the Bible is relevant today? Do you believe that God can work miracles like he did in Biblical times, or is the Bible a collection of stories to amuse and amaze us at how God worked "back then"?

If you treat the Bible like a story book for amusement purposes, then you are putting God in a box.  You are saying "I believe you did it then, but in this day and age, we have to create our own miracles".  "God, you were awesome then, but you are too busy now with bigger problems than mine to work a miracle for me".  Have you felt this way? Said these things or even pushed prayer aside because you figure God has more on his plate than whats going on with you??  Take God out of that imaginary box you put Him in!!!  He is the same yesterday, today and forever!  God wants to work miracles in your life - in my life - Hes just waiting for us to BELIEVE He can and will.  

As I start this new journey of writing, following God's command on my life, I doubted Him. I doubted myself.  I'm not a writer.  I'm a mom, I'm a nobody from a small town Indiana.  What I do doesn't define me.  WHO I am defines me!  I am the daughter of the King of Kings.  God can take what little I have a MULTIPLY it.  That's a MIRACLE!  Do I believe he can move mountains, open doors, create a way where I see no way? YES.  My God is THE God from Biblical times and He is the God of today.  I'm not putting Him in a box any longer.  I believe God can and will work miracles in my life because I come to Him boldly, asking and believing what His word says.  

Is the Bible relevant today? ABSOLUTELY!!!  Read it, memorize it, study it....and LIVE IT!!!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I wrote this August 9, 2011 in my morning prayer time.  It seems appropriate today as I begin my new journey:
 
Is 41:10 " so do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand"  What is courage?  It is going on even when you don't know everything.  Simply trusting God to lead you in the right direction one step at a time.  It is confidence in God's guidance and rest in His spirit.  Deut 31:6 "Be strong and courageous, Do not be terrified, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you".  Amen!  An old testament promise that stands true this very moment.  No matter what I'm waiting for, I must wait with courage - knowledge that God knows the end result and will bring it to fruition in His time.  While I wait, all I need to do is trust him and continue to grow closer to him.

Wow - Joshua 1 God tells his people in verse 6 "Be Strong and courageous".  vs 7 "Be strong and VERY courageous". vs 8 "DO not let the Book of the law depart from your mouth, meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful"  vs. 9 "have I not commanded you?  Be Strong and courageous.  DO NOT be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go".  WOW! Its right there - God telling you and me more than once to be strong and courageous. What is courage again? Trust in God and His plan - His leading.  He is saying "read my word, live my word and you will be prosperous and successful".  God doesn't promise millions, but he promises us success - success in a job we are doing, success in our relationships, success in our service to Him.  Prosperous meaning we won't fail if we follow His word - our needs will be met and our deeds when done in service to Him will multiply.  God is Faithful!!!  He will give us what He promises - He's just telling us to be strong and courageous. 

Thank you Lord for your word today.  I stand on the promises given in Deut. and Joshua.  You will never leave me nor forsake me.  I trust you to guide me and direct me and while I wait for the desires of my heart, I will continue to seek you and serve you wholeheartedly.  You are an awesome God and worthy to be praised!  I praise you today for your many blessings and word you have given.  In Jesus Name I pray - Amen

Time to move

 Today I decided it was time to do what God has been telling me to do....Tell my story.  I know he wants me to step out of my comfort zone.  I know he wants to use me in ways I can't even imagine.  I'm nervous and excited at the same time.  Nervous because i don't feel equipped.  Excited because I know when I surrender my will to the will of the one who is calling me, that great things will happen.

Have you ever been there?  Felt God calling you to something and you argued with him?  Really God?? Really?  You want me to do THAT?  I don't know how.  I have no clue where to start.  I will fall flat on my face and make a fool of myself.  Yeah, I used all those excuses.  I was able to push God aside for about 6 months, then what do you know, He tells me again.  So, again, I argue, rationalize, act like I can do this and then keep putting it off.  But, if you have ever been where I am, you know God doesn't like being put on the back shelf.  So, I've decided its time to take that step of faith.  Its time to trust that what I have to bring to the table is enough for God - and He is big enough to do the rest.  He didn't ask me if I was ready.  He didn't ask me if I was equipped.  He just wants me to give Him what I have and along the way, trust that He will multiply my little in a way that will give Him all the glory.  

So, today I take a step.  Its a baby step, but its still a step.