Tuesday, January 24, 2012

on my face

On my face...
desperate for a Word.

Longing for a fresh anointing and a new revelation from God.

Anxiously desiring a touch from the
sweet Hand of my Lord.

I cry out with a deep hunger.

Expecting. Anticipating. Wanting...

Praise pours forth from my lips like a rushing wind. 
Powerful words of praise and sweet thanksgiving rise from my heart to my Savior.

My spirit is full and overflows with streams of gratitude. I worship. From the depths of my thirsty soul, I worship a worthy God. He fills me with hope. He covers me with peace. He surrounds me with sweet comfort. I worship an everlasting, unchanging, mighty God.

My praise and my worship unite into one and I am overcome with love for my creator.

I can feel the tears building up in my eyes and soon I feel them cascading down my face. Tears of gratitude. Tears of repentance. Tears of longing and wanting...

And then... He whispers my name. He begins to speak. To minister. To move.

I feel renewal and restoration. As His sweet Spirit descends upon me, I am in awe of His power and His goodness. His presence is so thick I can hardly breathe. It overwhelms my senses and astounds me. It covers me like a warm blanket and delivers the sweetest peace to my spirit. My LORD wraps me up in a mighty but gentle embrace and then nothing else matters. All else fades away into yesterday.

If I could have only one thing in my life, it would be Him. His touch. His love. His mercy. His grace. His presence.

Without the precious, ministering Spirit of God, I would be lost and undone. Helpless and hopeless. Wandering and alone. Dying.

Instead, I am captivated by Him. He is unchanging, unlimited, ever-present, all-knowing, Almighty and eternal. He is King of kings and Lord of lords. He is everything to me.

I am fully captured by His grace. Enthralled with His beauty. Compelled by His Spirit. Astounded at His love for me. 

I am His.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

grace...grandkids...God's goodness

"But unto every one of us is given grace, according
to the measure of the gift of Christ"
(Ephesians 4:7)

What an awesome gift of grace this little girl is. God is so good. He has blessed me immeasurably and I will be forever grateful for his generous love.

"Now unto Him that is able to do
exceeding abundantly above all that
we ask or think, according to
the power that worketh in us."
(Ephesians 3:20)

God has gifted me with the amazing title of  'Nana'. I absolutely love being a Nana. It is a huge joy to be a grandmother to my many blessings. 
I love little girls who look so pretty in their dresses I bought them in Nicaragua. 

I love little boys that always have a serious look on their face.
I love little boys with new haircuts.
And little boys who THINK they got a haircut... :) 
I love little boys with dark hair that I don't think EVER needs a haircut.
I love the reception that Papa got when he arrived home from Nicaragua a day later than I did!

The grace of God is overwhelming. Astounding. So undeserved but so appreciated. It is immeasurable and it is indescribable. It fills me and it blesses me. His grace is amazing and I am so thankful that my God dispenses it so generously at just the right time.  Grace moments sprinkled throughout my life that I can look back on and see the working power of His sweet Hand. Grace moments that I know will continue to be bestowed upon me by a loving God. Sweet grace and mercy from the Hand of a good God. 

He thrills. He astounds. He blows me away with His touch. He ministers. He covers. He goes above and beyond what I could ever imagine. 

Lord, you are so good and you are so loving. You are mighty and powerful and gracious and I love you from the depths of my soul. I will praise you and worship you with all that I am as long as I have breath.

"O LORD, our Lord, how
excellent is thy name in all the earth!
who hast set thy glory above the heavens"
(Psalm 8:1)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

my heart is in Nicaragua - or at least a part of it is...

We turned down the rocky and well beaten road that lead to the church in the small, remote village of  La Union, Nicaragua. As our van pulled up, Pastor Felix and his associate Pastor Jose were waiting for us along with several precious familiar faces. Sweet children with huge smiles on their faces and excitement in their eyes. It felt like we had arrived home.

Ishmael and Ader - once enemies and now amigos (most of the time..).  Esley, Kevin, Lesther, Gellson, Joan and Bilda. All these sweet faces were there to greet us and welcome us back to their village. To our village. 

We stepped out of the van and scooped them up into our arms for great big hugs. As we looked at their little faces and felt their sweet embraces, I could scarcely believe that a whole year had passed since we had pulled away from that same church with tears streaming down our faces. A whole year since we had whispered  'Adios' and 'Te Quiero' to those same sweet children as we left that very spot headed back home. It didn't feel like that much time had passed since those same adorable faces had tears pouring down their cheeks as they followed our van yelling those sames things to us until we got to the end of the road in their village and their little faces became just a memory once again. A whole year since I left behind a piece of my heart...

We have formed such tight bonds with these sweet babies and each time we come, it gets that much harder to leave. Bittersweet moments at their best.

We spent 4 days teaching 140 kids in bible school and then we had worship each night as well. This year we were able to use their small school and had 3 different classrooms. I feel like we had a much more intense impact on the children and that we were able to spend more time interacting with them and forming deeper relationships with them. I feel like we really ministered in their little lives this year. We taught them about Jesus. Our Savior. Our God. We started with His birth and ended with His death and Resurrection. Over 25 of them accepted Jesus Christ into their hearts to be their Savior. We are investing our time and our hearts into trying to make a lasting impact on these little ones. To plant seeds of faith that will one day come to fruition as they become women and men after the heart of God.

These precious little children have become such a huge part of us. They have grown to trust us. They know that we love them and they love us too. Many of them hang out at the church all day even after bible school is over. We play ball with them or just sit around and visit with them despite some language barriers. We buy them tacos and enchiladas that the women make at a little concession stand in front of the church.. We pass out candy and gum to them and let them finish our cokes when they ask. They follow us wherever we go.

There is nothing that warms your heart like one of these sweet children walking beside you down the road and then all of the sudden you feel their little hand reach up and grab yours. Sweet moments like that fill my heart with such a longing to keep ministering His love to them always.The love of God is present in the innocent lives of these Nicaraguan children. His love is boundless. Endless. 

These children have stolen a big piece of my heart. They have become such a big part of my life and even when I am home in Louisiana, I think of them often. I love the little village of La Union, Nicaragua. I love the sweet friendships that we have forged with so many of the people there. I desire for the women of this village to learn more about Jesus and to hunger for Him in a huge way. I pray that we will be able to continue to teach the children about the things of the Lord and that we will be diligent and obedient to what God commands us to do. It would be so amazing for this small village to be so on fire for God that it spreads like crazy to the surrounding villages in the mountain. 

Join me in praying for the people of La Union. We have some big plans in the works for our continued ministry there. Our desire is to continue planting the seeds of a Christ centered life into their hearts and to continue to be part of molding and shaping these little lives to love Jesus like crazy! I pray that the sweet Holy Spirit of God will fall down like rain on them and draw them to His side and beckon to their hungry hearts. May God be glorified in all that we do for Him and through Him and because of Him. He is worthy.

(They loved to get in our van with us - this is Esley and Joan (pronounced Jo-Ahn)

(Melissa learning to cook what they call enchiladas)

(Sweet children in bible school)

(Jimbo preaching the Word and Joel translating)

"We love Him, because He first loved us"
(1 John 4:19)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

just thinking...

Are you seeking to have a more personal relationship with God? Are you seeking higher things in your spiritual life? Are you wanting more and more of your Savior?

Spend a week in a third world country and His grace and His majesty and His mercy and His power will be revealed to you in a new and bigger way. Spend a week without the 'conveniences' of America and you will find yourself more dependent upon the necessities of God. Spend a week with precious children that have a hunger for something more than food and you will have a much deeper appreciation of the abundance of our bibles and study books and availability of things that we can use to increase our knowledge of Him.

Our God has blessed us to the full. We have been given such a huge portion of His measure of Grace. He is so good and we are so lacking in our reverence and our trust and our fear of Him. We need to push all our worldly possessions to the side and take a real close look at what is really important in our lives. 

When I boarded the plane in Managua, Nicaragua  yesterday afternoon, I was ready to get home to a good HOT bath, clean running water, cell phones, computers and the modern conveniences of home. When I landed in Jackson, MS to begin the 2 hour drive home, I was saddened at the thought of hot water and all those modern conveniences that we think are necessities. I was ready to go back to the land of simplicity. The land of depending on God for your comfort. The land of communing with Him and being satisfied with just Him...

Are you seeking a higher and more intimate relationship with God? Get back to the basics. Quit striving for more things and strive for more of the Lord. He is everything. He is all we need. He is.....

Monday, January 2, 2012

headed to Nicaragua

As I sit here tonight my heart is filled with several different emotions. In less than 6 hours, I will board a plane headed to La Union, Nicaragua, along with my husband, my daughter Melissa and 6 others. This will be my 3rd trip to that remote village and I can't wait to see all their precious faces again. We will land in Managua, Nicaragua around 12:30 tomorrow and drive about  6 hours to a town called Nueva Guinea where we will stay each night. Each day we drive about an hour or so into the very small village of La Union. Our mornings will be dedicated to doing bible school for many children. There are only about 30 children that actually attend the church where we go and minister so last year we had prepared for 50 and were totally blown away when 200 children showed up for bible school. They came down out of all the small mountain villages and it was unbelievable. I am anxious to see just what God has in store for this year. I know it's going to be amazing.

We love the people of La Union. They are such a sweet and giving people. They love it when we come each year and they do everything that they can to make us welcome and comfortable. We have a great time with the children in the village and we enjoy spending time with the people. Each time I leave there, a little piece of my heart stays behind. The children become so special to us and it is very hard to say good-bye. The church is filled with people who love God with all their heart and it is a joy to worship with them each night. God shows up in our midst and the fire falls!

I love being in Nicaragua with the people and having a chance to minister to them, pray with them and enjoy spending our days with them. My Spanish is limited, but thanks to my daughter and a few other interpreters, somehow we manage to communicate. The children don't care if we can't talk with them very well, they just love to hang around us and spend time with us. They are so adorable and so loving and it is such a blessing to be able to teach them about our Lord and to be able minister to them and their families.

(Me, Melissa and Jimbo on last years trip)

I absolutely hate to fly. I am terrified of being in an airplane. I don't even like to think about being in an airplane. Even now I can feel my anxiety level begin to rise and I can't believe that I will be boarding a plane again in a few hours and doing the thing that I am most afraid of.  The only thing that gets me on the plane is the knowledge that God has called me there to minister. From the first time I heard His voice say, 'Go', I have depended upon Him to make it happen. He calms my nerves. He reassures my heart. He enables me and provides me with His strength to do what I can't do on my own. It would be so easy to stay home. But I know that He is bigger than my fears and bigger than my anxiety. He has called me to minister and so I know that He will equip me to be able to do what I can't do of my own volition. Because of Him, I can do all things. It's not about me, it's all about Him.

Please pray that the children that attend bible school will open their hearts to Jesus. Pray that we will be able to teach them and instill a new hunger in their little spirits to know Him more and more. Pray that we will be effective ministers of the gospel while we are there and that we will listen to God's prompting and be obedient in all things. May God be magnified and glorified in everything we do and say.

"Show me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me; for thou
art the God of my salvation; on thee
do I wait all the day"
(Psalms 25:4,5)