Thursday, January 29, 2015


My husband and I have had a heart for missions for a very long time. Jimbo went on his first foreign mission trip almost 20 years ago when he was blessed to be able to spend a month in the Philippines serving the Lord.  I was still raising 3 young girls at the time, so I was quite content to stay home and be the prayer warrior while he was ministering overseas. He has since been on trips to Romania, India, Africa (3 times), Nicaragua and Costa Rica. 

In November of 2007, I was led by the Lord to go on my very first mission trip to Nicaragua. It was a huge thing for me due to my intense fear of flying (or crashing). I knew that the Lord had stirred my heart with a desire to be part of this trip, so I put all that aside and was simply obedient. That trip began a process of longing in my soul for more. More of Him, more of the work of the Holy Spirit and more missions. Since that first trip in 2007, I have been back to Nicaragua 4 more times as well as Honduras and Africa. God has done a tremendous work in my life as He enabled and empowered me to overcome some very large obstacles along the way. He did things that only He could do.

So, here we are in 2015 with a new story. A new journey. One that really began almost 20 years ago, but one that started to really come to fruition in August while my husband and I were in Africa. God began speaking to his heart about full-time missions. A place where his heart had been for awhile but a place that didn't seem feasible or possible. As the Lord continued to speak to him, He also began tugging at my heart. A tug that I tried to ignore and tried to avoid. But that tug grew stronger and it wasn't long before I knew that my heart was joining my husbands heart for a change in our lives. An enormous change.

When the Lord does something, He does it in a mighty way. Within weeks after we returned home, we both knew that God was calling us into full-time ministry and evangelism. We weren't sure exactly what that looked like, but we knew that it was going to be a dramatic change for us. It was going to be a giant step in faith as we began intently listening and heard His voice and His instruction for our lives. 

My husband had been a pastor for 20 years and we had been at Goodwill Baptist Church for almost 8 years. All of the sudden, God was telling my husband that it was time to resign. It was time to leave the church and step into our new calling. I was like, 'Wait a minute, Lord. Surely you don't mean right now. Surely you mean later on. Down the road. After we get things all figured out and get our finances together!". 

No, that is not what God meant at all. He was leading us to resign our pastorate which promptly would leave us without a paycheck or a place to live. We lived in the parsonage that the church provided and it was a very nice and very large home that we had grown to love. Yet, that's exactly what God was asking us to do. Leave our church, leave our home, and trust Him.

So, here we are almost 3 months later and we are surviving.  We stepped out in faith and God has not been anything but kind to us. He has loved us and He has provided for us and He has walked step-by-step beside us on this journey into the unknown. We have been on a short trip to Nicaragua which opened up several new doors for us in ministry and we are preparing to head back there in about 3 weeks and will stay for a month.  He is showing us each day that He will take care of our needs. He is showing us each day that it isn't about us at all, but that it is all about Him.

When we open our hearts to fully trust, God will open His arms and fully protect and provide. I don't know why we don't comprehend that He is the provider and He is the giver of all things. So, why do we worry? It's our human nature to doubt. It's our human nature to feel a lack of control. Over and over our God has provided for us in ways that only He can orchestrate. He works out the details in ways that leave us with our mouths hanging open. What a mighty God we serve! What an amazing God we get to worship! What an honor and a privilege it is to be His child. 

I don't know what God has in store for us next. But, I do know this. He is already working out the details and all we have to do is stay deep in His Word, listen for His Voice and respond in loving and eager obedience. All we have to do is be available. The rest is simply up to my God. 

"And Jesus, looking upon them saith, with men it is 
impossible but not with God; for with God
 all things are possible" (Mark 10:27)

Glory, Hallelujah. 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Speak, LORD!

I love reading passages in the bible that are very familiar to me only to have God open up new understanding and new truth. I think, as Christians, that can be a dangerous place for us as we allow ourselves to feel like we have 'read that already' or that we 'know that story well' and therefore, we don't allow the Holy Spirit to impart new wisdom or new revelation to our hearts. We don't allow the scriptures to speak to us.

As I opened the Word to 1 Samuel yesterday, I felt myself drawn in to the scriptures and I read it like I had never encountered it before. I wanted God to show me something new. I have always loved the story of Hannah and her longing for a child and her persistence with the Lord. She yearned for a child so much that she was willing to give him to the Lord for His service. Not only was she willing, but she was obedient. As she conceived and gave birth, she didn't forget her promise to God. She was a woman of her word. She kept the vow that she made with her God. 

"There is none holy as the LORD; for there is none beside Thee; neither is there any rock like our God." (1 Samuel 2:2)

Hannah's words are beautiful and they come straight from her heart and into the ears of a Holy God. A God that she trusted and a God that she loved. Hannah delivered her son to Eli, the priest, just as she had promised God and the scripture tells us that Samuel grew, and was in favor both with the LORD and with men and that he ministered unto the LORD. 

We see in chapter 3 that Samuel was ministering in the temple under the guidance of Eli at a time when God wasn't speaking to His people. The spiritual leaders were corrupt and not obeying the law. The nation of Israel was experiencing the silence of God in their lives that was akin to judgement.  But things were about to change. God would choose to speak His sweet and Holy Word to a young lad who had ears to hear and a heart to obey.

Samuel was about 12 years old at the time the LORD called his name. He was asleep in the temple and the lamp of God was the only source of light in the Holy place. The light that was a symbol of God's truth. It may have been burning dimly, but it was still burning. What a beautiful picture of the mercy of God in our lives. His light may be burning dimly, but there is still light and there is still the ability for that light to flourish and grow brighter!

The LORD spoke to Samuel 3 times and Samuel thought it was Eli calling. He went to Eli each time saying, "Here am I" and Eli told young Samuel that he didn't call him and to go lie down again.  The third time Samuel approached Eli, the scriptures tell us that Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child. 

We see in verse 7 of chapter 3, that Samuel didn't know the LORD and that the Word had not been revealed to him. I found that interesting as I just assumed that Samuel would have been close to God as he had been ministering in the temple for around 9 years. Eli tells Samuel to lie down and if the LORD called to him again, he should respond "Speak, LORD; for thy servant heareth"

God, in his mercy and grace, called out to Samuel a fourth time. In fact, the Word tells us that the LORD came and stood and called Samuel's name. This time Samuel responded,  "Speak; for thy servant heareth". His response left out the title of God as he lacked a true knowledge of God and was careful not to accept it as the voice of JEHOVAH God because he just wasn't sure. 

Samuel, in his obedience, heard a Word from the LORD. He had no idea about the message to Eli that had been delivered through an unknown prophet, but the Word that God spoke to this young boy, who had ears to hear, confirmed it. God found an obedient child among a land of disobedient adults and used that child to deliver a powerful message to Eli and the nation of Israel. 

Samuel demonstrated a humble heart. He heard and received the message of God, yet in the morning, he still rose up and tended to his tasks. Only when Eli inquired of him did Samuel share the LORD's message. We see that Samuel grew and the LORD was with him. He had influenced an entire nation and was recognized as a prophet of God who declared the Word and the will of God. It marked a new beginning for the nation of Israel. New challenges, new blessings and new victories. 

Do we desire new beginnings? New victories? If we do, it's time to open our ears and be attentive to what God has to say. We have to be listening with our hearts wide open to receive. We must be purposed deep within our hearts to walk in obedience and surrender our all to Him. We must listen with the intention of receiving. We must listen with the intention of obeying.

If we remain in the Word and we remain humble before Him, we prepare our hearts to hear and respond to the voice of God. Get still before Him and allow Him to do a new work within. When we bow our hearts before Him in this manner, in true desire and true surrender, we will hear.

"Speak, LORD, for thy servant heareth."