Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Joy of Harvest

This time last year I was spending my last night in Nicaragua with my husband and 8 other members of our church. We were on a mission trip and had spent time spreading the gospel of Christ in 3 different villages over the course of 7 days. We enjoyed the time we spent there so much and one small village in particular stole all of our hearts. The village was extremely poor, very rustic, no electricity and most of the homes had dirt floors and no doors - just openings. Dogs, chickens and even pigs roamed freely about outside and inside the homes. The church was very primative and the walls were wooden slats that had openings in them that let rain and bugs and other critters in. I was very much out of my element and comfort zone. The entire experience was very enlightening and very humbling. We had such an awesome time of praise and worship with a people who were so hungry for God. The look of joy on their faces was priceless. A happy people whose circumstances were anything but... One night at an open air meeting the presence of the Lord was so heavy that we could actually smell a sweet aroma like the Rose of Sharon. It was nothing short of amazing.

It was an experience that I will never forget. Just the fact that I even got on an airplane was a miracle. I am terrified of heights and had never flown before and was absolutely scared to death. But I clearly heard the Lord tell me that I was to go on this trip, so I certainly didn't want to be disobedient. When we boarded the plane, I felt like I was dreaming. I couldn't believe I was actually on an airplane! I didn't mind the takeoff but I hated being " in the air". Every time the plane would bounce, I got so scared. Every sound, every ding had me on edge. I told someone later on that if I had known for certain that the plane wasn't going to crash, I could have enjoyed flying more!

Well, we promised that village that we were going to build them a new church and that we would come back to dedicate it. The church is almost finished and we are scheduled to return on January 3rd. Here I go again. I know the Lord intends me to go, so once more I will board an airplane in faith. I will return to a land with no electricity and no running hot water. I will sleep out in the open during the rainy season. Nothing glamourous about it. Every day is a bad hair day. The food situation is another story...But it is the least I can do for my Lord. He gave His life for me. I can sacrifice the "good life" for Him. Spreading the gospel. Sowing the seed. Receiving a harvest of joy.

In His Redeeming love,

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Music to God's ears

I called my daughter's house this morning and when the phone was picked up on the other end, I heard this precious sweet voice. "Hello, Nana. I love you." It was my oldest grandchild, Mikaela, who turned 6 on Sunday. I wasn't expecting to hear her voice and when she answered, I just melted inside and my love for her was just magnified! Nothing quite as sweet as grandbaby voices.

It made me stop and think about how God feels when we talk to him. When we get on our knees and softly say, "Father" - do you think he has that same feeling toward us? Do you think our voices are precious to Him? Do you think His heart melts? Oh, yeah.. I think when He hears us speak it is just as sweet to Him. The problem is we don't talk to Him enough. Or we only talk to Him when we are requesting something. We need to remember to praise Him and thank Him. Just let our Lord know just how much we love Him. Let Him hear our precious voice.

1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us, "In everything give thanks!" Let's do our best to incorporate more thanks in our daily lives. He is worthy.

Happy Thanksgiving.

In His Grip of Grace,

Sunday, November 23, 2008

He Looked Beyond My Fault

Do you know that Jesus presents us faultless before the Presence of God? Jude verse 24 says, "Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, And to present you faultless Before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy."

I read this verse some time back and I had to give it a second glance as the reality of what it meant dawned on me. It means because of Jesus giving his life on Calvary for me and for you, that He presents us to our Almighty God, our Creator as having no fault. We are presented as blameless before the Throne of Grace. We are certainly not blameless. We are sinners. We are imperfect and undeserving. We are most definitely not faultless. But our Lord loved us so much that not only did He give his life on that old rugged cross for us, but He continues to show us that same Mercy and Grace every day of our lives.

Oh, Lord, thank you for saving my soul. Thank you for reaching down from heaven and lifting me up out of the pit of sin and redeeming me with your shed blood. Thank you for forgiveness and mercy. You are my light and my salvation.

In the Grip of His Grace,

Saturday, November 22, 2008

The Lord our Maker

I love Psalm 121. The first verse asks the question, "Where will my help come from?" The very next verse gives us our answer. "My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth." As we are on this uncertain journey we call life, it is imperative that we remember that our Lord is the uncontested Maker of heaven and earth. He is ever present as our Protector. He never slumbers nor sleeps. He is our shelter.

When we embark on unknown paths, what a comfort it is to know that the one who created all things is there to guide us. We simply have to lift our face up to heaven and call out His name and He is there. Life's challenges don't have to overwhelm us. They don't have control over us. When things seem to be out of our grasp and we don't know what to do or where to turn, that's when we need to recall this Psalm and remember who our help is.

I am so grateful that my trust is in God. I praise Him for the mercy He has shown me. May I always be an instrument for His glory.