Posted in Journal

The Unreached

Ask of Me, and I will assuredly give [You] the nations as Your inheritance, And the ends of the earth as Your possession. ~ Psalm 2:8

Andorra ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฉ
Afghanistan ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ซ
Azerbaijan ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
Bahamas ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ธ
Belarus ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡พ
Belgium ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ช
Benin ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฏ
Bhutan ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡น
Botswana ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ผ
Burkina Faso ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ซ
Burundi ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฎ
Central African Republic ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ซ
Chad ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฉ
Comoros ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
Cuba ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡บ
Cyprus ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡พ
Djibouti ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฏ
Dominica ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
Equatorial Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ถ
Eritrea ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ท
Fiji ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฏ
Finland ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ
Gabon ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Gambia ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
Guatemala ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡น
Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ณ
Guinea-Bissau ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ผ
Guyana ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡พ
Holy See ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Hungary ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡บ
Iceland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Iran ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ท
Kazakhstan ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
Kiribati ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฎ
Kyrgyzstan ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ฌ
Kuwait ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ผ
Laos ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Latvia ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ป
Lesotho ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Liberia ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ท
Libya ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡พ
Liechtenstein ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฎ
Madagascar ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฌ
Maldives ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ป
Mali ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฑ
Marshall Islands ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ญ
Micronesia ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
Monaco ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡จ
Mongolia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ณ
Montenegro ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ช
Morocco ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Namibia ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Nauru ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ท
Niger ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ช
North Korea ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ต
North Macedonia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
Palau ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ผ
Papua New Guinea ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฌ
Palestine (State of) ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ธ
Saint Lucia ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡จ
Samoa ๐Ÿ‡ผ๐Ÿ‡ธ
San Marino ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
Senegal ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ณ
Sierra Leone ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฑ
Slovakia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
Somalia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ด
South Sudan ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Sudan ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฉ
Syria ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡พ
Tajikistan ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฏ
Timor-Leste ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฑ
Togo ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฌ
Tonga ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ด
Turkmenistan ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฒ
Tuvalu ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ป
Uzbekistan ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
Vanuatu ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡บ

Congo
DR Congo
Cote dโ€™lvoire
Eswatini
Say Tome & Principe

Posted in Journal

An Awfully Big Dream

According to Google, there are 195 nations in the world. Since making my blog “public” two years ago, it has now reached 125 of them. It fills me with joy to know that it has gone where I have not been able to. Even so, I still have a deep desire to go and teach the Word, love on and pray for people, and see God move in mighty ways. But there has been no green light when opportunity arises these last years.

As we entered the Easter season, I began a forty-day fast. Then a couple of days in came the pandemic. What a challenge! But God gave me two prayer warriors whose prayers helped carry me through. And then at the end of the fast I heard this from the Lord. “Tarry there until you are endured with power.“I didn’t understand it. Tarry where? Though I have prayed and pondered and preached on the Holy Ghost, I still wasn’t exactly sure how it was applicable to me. This morning I wrote these words as a part of my prayer. I believe as He often does for me that God speaks to me as I write things.

“Old dreams with new anointing by the power of the Holy Ghost will carry you into this next season and usher you through. You will go deep but you will also be required to navigate the currents in the deepest and sometimes lonely places. You will think you are drowning, but take comfort in My heart and relax as best you can. Though it will be hard, try to stay above water and wait there…until you are endued with power. Then I will come pull you from the riptide. When I do and you are safely back on shore, when you come to, you will see that during the time of struggle this turned into a season of dreams come true…My dreams in you.”

So what are the old dreams? I dream of a life of missions. Is it crazy that in this hour, I just want to GO?!!! I dream of teaching the Word and fulfilling our call to disciple. I dream of praying for others and seeing the miraculous. I dream of igniting others with the desire for prayer and the Word that He placed in me. I dream that God would take my writing (such as it is) and do a work. I dream of writing by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Missions, the Word, prayer, the miraculous, writing! It seems all over the place, but it is all very precise.

Perhaps in these next years, I will be able to touch the other 70 nations in some way. Wouldn’t it be so amazing, when it is time to go to my heavenly home, to have touched every country in the world and to be greeted in heaven by those same nations? That is my “impossible” dream!!!!

Father, would You give me the nations? As I pray for them and find out more about them would You show me how to use this tool to reach those across the world? Lord, I know it is an awfully big dream. I fully knowing it is something only You can do. Is it Your dream, Lord? I ask again today for the nations as my inheritance…according to Your Word….in Jesus’ holy and precious Name!!! Amen!!!

——

On the list below are the nations touched by the blog. I always put up their flags and I hope on your device you can see them. Being in possession of a nations flag symbolizes victory. That is why I do it. Plus, I think they are beautiful.

——

The Reached

A
Albania ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฑ
Algeria ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
American Samoa ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Angola ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ด
Antigua ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฌ
Argentina ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ท
Armenia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
Austria ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡น
Australia ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡บ

B
Bahrain ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ญ
Bangladesh ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฉ
Barbados ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ง
Barbuda ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ฌ
Belize ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฟ
Bolivia ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ด
Bosnia ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Brazil ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ท
Brunei ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ณ
Bulgaria ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฌ

C
Cambodia ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ญ
Cameroon ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
Canada ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Chile ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฑ
China ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ณ
Colombia ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ด
Costa Rica ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ท
Croatia ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ท
Curaรงao ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ผ
Czech Republic ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ฟ

D
Denmark ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
Dominican Republic ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ด

E
Ecuador ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡จ
Egypt ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ฌ
El Salvador ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ป
Estonia ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ช
Ethiopia ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡น
European Union ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡บ

F
France ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท

G
Georgia ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ช
Germany ๐Ÿ‡ฉ๐Ÿ‡ช
Ghana ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ญ
Greece ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ท
Grenada ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฉ
Guam ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡บ
Guernsey ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ฌ

H
Haiti ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡น
Herzegovina ๐Ÿ‡ง๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Honduras ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ณ
Hong Kong ๐Ÿ‡ญ๐Ÿ‡ฐ

I
Iraq ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ถ
India ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ณ
Indonesia ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฉ
Ireland ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ช
Isle of Man ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
Israel ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡ฑ
Italy ๐Ÿ‡ฎ๐Ÿ‡น

J
Jamaica ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
Japan ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ต
Jordan ๐Ÿ‡ฏ๐Ÿ‡ด

K
Kenya ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ช

L
Lebanon ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ง
Lithuania ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡น
Luxembourg ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡บ

M
Macedonia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
Malawi ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ผ
Malaysia ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡พ
Malta ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡น
Mauritius ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡บ
Mexico ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฝ
Moldova ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฉ
Mozambique ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
Myanmar (Burma) ๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ฒ

N
Nepal ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ต
Netherlands ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฑ
New Zealand ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
Nicaragua ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฎ
Nigeria ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ฌ
Norway ๐Ÿ‡ณ๐Ÿ‡ด

O

Oman ๐Ÿ‡ด๐Ÿ‡ฒ

P
Pakistan ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฐ
Panama ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Paraguay ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡พ
Peru ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ช
Philippines ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ญ
Poland ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ฑ
Portugal ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡น
Puerto Rico ๐Ÿ‡ต๐Ÿ‡ท

Q
Qatar ๐Ÿ‡ถ๐Ÿ‡ฆ

R
Romania ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ด
Russia ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡บ
Reunion ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ท
Rwanda ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ผ

S
Saudi Arabia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
Serbia ๐Ÿ‡ท๐Ÿ‡ธ
Seychelles ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡จ
Singapore ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฌ
Slovenia ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฎ
Sri Lanka ๐Ÿ‡ฑ๐Ÿ‡ฐ
Solomon Islands ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ง
South Africa ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
South Korea ๐Ÿ‡ฐ๐Ÿ‡ท
Spain ๐Ÿ‡ช๐Ÿ‡ธ
St. Vincent and Grenadines
Suriname ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ท
Swaziland ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ฟ
Sweden ๐Ÿ‡ธ๐Ÿ‡ช
Switzerland ๐Ÿ‡จ๐Ÿ‡ญ

T
Taiwan ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ผ
Tanzania ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ฟ
Thailand ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ญ
Tobago ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡น
Trinidad ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡น
Tunisia ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ณ
Turkey ๐Ÿ‡น๐Ÿ‡ท

U
Uganda ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฌ
Ukraine ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ฆ
United Arab Emirates ๐Ÿ‡ฆ๐Ÿ‡ช
United Kingdom ๐Ÿ‡ฌ๐Ÿ‡ง
United States of America ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ
Uruguay ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡พ

V

Venezuela ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ช
Vietnam ๐Ÿ‡ป๐Ÿ‡ณ

Y
Yemen ๐Ÿ‡พ๐Ÿ‡ช

Z
Zambia ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ฒ
Zimbabwe ๐Ÿ‡ฟ๐Ÿ‡ผ

Posted in Journal

Today the Message is Silent

Perhaps a decade ago, a man sent me a message via Facebook, because he thought he might know some of my family from Rutherford County, NC from back in the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. As it turned out, this man, who I have known as Pastor Clyde, did know some of my family back in the days of their youth. He moved away from NC and spent his life pastoring in FL and TN. We became FB friends and shared stories and testimonies of life. He started checking in here and there, and every single morning from the very day I “met” him, he sent me an email titled, โ€œMessage From The Mountain.โ€

This morning the โ€œMessageโ€ was missing from my inbox, and since that was so odd, I looked on FB and read that Pastor Clyde had gone to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I will miss him and the messages. They were not airy,  feel-good, or even in-depth philosophical devotionals written by a minister with a huge following. Instead, each message was a deep heartfelt fresh Word, written by a man who passionately loved his Lord and loved and cared for his readerโ€™s personal and spiritual lives.

From the hills of Tennessee, Pastor Clyde woke up each morning, got his coffee, and sat before his PC with his Bible. There he allowed the Holy Ghost to speak through him. He brought Words of exhortation and comfort, prophetic and teaching Words, very often Words of correction. His messages were driven by the eternal and unchanging Word of God โ€“ always!

On rare days, Pastor Clyde would give only a statement that the Holy Ghost didnโ€™t give him anything to write for that day.  โ€œMaybe God wants to speak to you directly today,โ€ he would add. And you know, I think I appreciated that honesty and humility and encouragement more than anything else. What a lesson!!!!

Thank you, Pastor Clyde, for reaching out to someone from your hometown, just because my name peaked your interest. Thanks for your years of caring and for serving our great God and our Savior, Jesus! What a divine connection it has been.

The โ€œMessage From The Mountainโ€ has now gone silent, but I will take what God gave me in this last decade, and I will not only continue to move forward, but I will also do my best to run with all that was imparted.  Maybe God wants to speak to me directly today.

Posted in Journal

Change

You know, I have been guilty of saying the prayer, โ€œChange me, Lord!โ€ and then when God started making changes in and around me I have been guilty of stomping my feet and crying, โ€œI didnโ€™t mean change THAT!!!โ€ None of us seem to like change, but we want there to be change – only we want the change without changes.

The word โ€œchangeโ€ has about thirty varied definitions. Those that struck me as I read them are – the passing from one place, state, form, or phase to another; to become transformed or converted; to remove and replace the covering or coverings.

Help me Lord to accept the changes that You have allowed and appointed for me and Your will for me. Help me to even celebrate Your answers to my โ€œChange me, Lordโ€ whether the answer is my heartโ€™s desire or a change that creates great pressure temporarily. I ask it all in Jesus Name. Amen!!! Amen!!!

Change is coming! Change is here!

Selah (pause and calmly think on that)

Posted in Journal

My Inheritance – โ€œYou Give Them Something To Eatโ€

He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.” ~ Psalm 47:4

The Lord has been so gracious to allow me to be in His presence in places where He has chosen to show up through His signs, wonders and miracles. I know I am blessed and that He has used these times and situations to increase my faith. I have seen miracles of healing, miracles of food multiplied. I have experienced and seen deliverance from depression and anxiety and addiction. I long for the day that those that are God’s own children will not be as those from Jesus’ hometown, expecting so little and so receiving and seeing little of God’s power in their lives and communities.

After a wonderful Sunday where God moved through our church so mightily, I have been pondering His call on my life and how to apply His Word. I know now in part what God can do through prayer and I am confident in the Word and that He can do infinitely more….but there are times when I wonder how it will all come to pass in my own life since the roadblocks and closed doors and the “waiting” seems endless. Will I go to my grave reminding myself of what I have seen but wondering if I ever will again…and if not, why? Will these roadblocks turn out to actually be the steps to what has been prepared? Though I am a person that is pretty focused most days and committed still I wonder a lot.

I was thinking along these lines Monday morning and I felt my Father pose a question to me. He told me upfront that it was hypothetical but to take it seriously nonetheless. The question was this…Excluding praise and worship, reading my Bible and prayer and excluding all other human opinion, if I could do only ONE ministry for Him all the days of my earthly life, what would I do and why?

It was early so I had the time at 4:30am to ponder, but it wasn’t necessary. I immediately knew my answer. If I could only do one thing of service — I would feed the hungry. I know you may think I am talking feeding the hungry spiritually and that is there but I am actually mostly talking in the physical. I would feed the hungry real solid food and pray that God, in His mercy, would give me also opportunity and ways to feed them spiritually as He saw their need, and mine.

Why?

Because long before He told me to preach or pray, He told me “you give them something to eat” from Matthew 14:16, Mark 6:19, and Luke 9:13. When God spoke this to me, it was one of the first times I ever heard God speak directly to me through His written Word. It stuck with me. On looking over those years, I have found that from my obedience to “you give them something to eat” has come most of the miracles, signs and wonders that I have been allowed to see and from obedience to that command, I have been given opportunity to share the Word and pray with people and I have been able to see people saved. Real true lasting fruit. From obedience to that command, I have met people that live in their cars and in the woods and I have met former CEOs driving BMWs but arriving as hungry as the poorest of the poor. I have also met hungry ministers. I have been allowed to minister to those that have given their lives for the Gospel but found themselves being fed through my hand but in that moment of divine appointment (and I believe that is what it was), I found them there feeding me in such beautiful ways. Truly I tell you, from obedience to that command “you give them something to eat” I, myself, was fed and sustained by God and felt the presence and LOVE of GOD HIMSELF through them toward me. It was never just me allowing the love of God through me. He gave me love through them. I thought it was something I would be allowed to do forever…but then the season changed.

I find myself now in a season where this kind of ministry seems to have almost dried up for me and while I try to press on and I preach here and there, pray and try to remain faithful in what I am given for the now- there are days I still grieve for that season that was. Not because I miss a ministry or a place that once was so much…but because I miss the people and what they brought into my life. I miss the faith that desperation brings into a people. I miss the mutual need. God transformed my heart of prejudice and gave me love and understanding. He took my lonely heart and He gave me compassion and ears to hear theirs. In return so many of the people also accepted me and loved me. Once a month, as they were allowed to come for food, I was friend or mama or prayer partner. They were daily in my prayers and that kind of prayer always creates bonds. I look for them even still when I drive the streets of Gastonia and I am so hopeful when I don’t see them out there on a cold day. I made it a point to know their names, their children’s names, and their situations. I made it a point to know their hearts. I miss their hearts. I miss their hugs. I miss their stories. I miss how they bonded to others and how they helped their neighbors. They were rich in ways I think few know. They taught me more about ministry than I ever knew they were.

A verse that struck me this morning in these early hours with the Lord is this: Psalm 47:4, “He shall choose our inheritance for us, the excellency of Jacob whom He loved. Selah.” I have always loved that promise. I have always asked the Lord for the nations but my inheritance is His choice. When someone leaves you an inheritance it is their choice as to what they leave each person. The poor and the poor in spirit are my inheritance…this I know.

I admit Monday morning I couldn’t grasp how God wants me to take care of this inheritance He has left me. But then….

Monday I had the opportunity to go to the food bank for Thanksgiving turkeys. Yesterday I had the opportunity to work in the food pantry straightening and stocking shelves. Today, Lord willing, I have the opportunity to help give Thanksgiving boxes to those that come to our pantry. Lord, send us the hungry, that we might be your hands and feet and give them something to eat.

Selah! [pause, and calmly think of that]

Posted in Journal

The Botched-Up Job

botched up job

Two years ago, I was in Tanzania – on the mission field.ย  My Facebook Memories section is full today of those stories.

I havenโ€™t been anywhere since TZ because that trip took a great toll on me physically, emotionally, and spiritually. On the mission, we worked late at night in the red light district with young girls bound by the sex trade. A few were receptive; many more were cold. Some were downright angry! My very first encounter was an older lady that approached me and seemed to bless me out. She yelled some things as she pointed her finger in my face. I donโ€™t know what she said because my interpreter didn’t tell me, but it was not good. We were often in dark places and alleys where you couldn’t see one step ahead to get your footing. We were also in busier areas of the city with more light but where the pimps, bus drivers, and local motorcyclists would try to intimidate you by driving as close to you as they could to you without hitting you and screaming at you as they did so. During the daytime we did prayer walks through those same streets which were now quiet and well lit by the hot sun. There we saw the evidence of the darkness all over the place.ย 

I need to say it finally – when I was out on the streets at night I felt fear. I didn’t want to and never expected to but I felt a kind of fear like I have not known in a very long time. It was a crippling fear and it was terrifying at times. Sometimes I couldn’t think of any words to say and often I didn’t know what to do with myself. My entire being felt like I went into survival/escape mode. Here I was a grown woman…thirteen years free from that kind of fear…experiencing it once again. I remember feelingย so ashamed and disappointed in myself. I remember thinking if I couldnโ€™t do this, why was I even there? Standing there frozen in fear, I couldnโ€™t think of one good reason. The director of the mission said later I had been sent there to pray, but surely I could have prayed from safer places.ย Nevertheless, pray, I did. It was all I was capable of.

It has been two years, and since returning to the USA from TZ, my world has changed in many ways. I been obedient to new assignments and done many good things. I have mostly moved forward. But I had not moved past those five nights on the streets of Tanzania. I have sat too often thinking, wondering, and questioning every call the Lord has placed on my life in relation to them. I have tried to transform my call (to missions, prayer, and teaching the Word) to something more safe and domestic so as not to include those days as the will of God. I have tried to make the fear, and itโ€™s consequences someone elseโ€™s fault. I have turned down invitations for missions thinking at least now I knew what my true calling wasn’t. But then I have watched as many have gone out here or there, and I have tried my best not to care. But the mission field is buried deep within my heart, right where God planted it.ย 

Today, two years later here I sit and Iย admit I totally botched-up the job. I failed the team, supporters and I failed the girls. Their stories were heartbreaking, and they deserved more. But more so, I failed God. I should have walked in boldness and faith through those streets like the rest of the team. I should have let Him carry me through the fear.ย I should have and then I could have come home excited for what the Lord did and been on fire to tell of it. Because the LORD truly did great things despite my weaknesses and failures. Instead, I avoided most conversations about it. What would I say? After all, wasnโ€™t my testimony that God delivered me from extreme fear?

Perhaps not telling the real story with the real emotions of my real mission experience was my biggest failure.ย So many go on missions and come back ready to take on the world. I have and I love that about missions. But I wonder if others (like me) ever left on a mission feeling confident and came back only to battle the enemy and themselves for a season because of what they have seen, heard, and felt that they weren’t able to overcome on the field? Anyone else ever feel like you botched-up the job God sent you to do?

Today I saw the quote above and I listened again to the story below of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot. These two great missionaries paid a high price (in life and death) to stay faithful to their call on the mission field. If anyone had reasons for great fear, Elisabeth Elliot did. She inspires me.

I came away from her testimony today and some sermons my pastor has preached lately and I repented of the doors I had to have opened that allowed such fear in. I asked the Lord for forgiveness and deliverance from all fear. I asked Him to destroy it at the root and fill that empty cranny with Himself, His joy, His life, His peace, His boldness…and if it is His will and He can trust me and use me once more, I ask for another chance somewhere, someday.ย 

Posted in Journal

There will come a time…

There will come a time when God will require you to focus on Him and Him alone. He will direct you to take your time, your resources, your hands, and your heart off the great things others are doing so that you can focus on Him and what He wants you to do.

There will come a time when you must learn to stand alone with Jesus; even in a crowd of those that love Him dearly and likely love you too.

There will come a time to leave behind the need for a human โ€œwordโ€ to hear the Word the Holy Ghost wants to say to you โ€“ about YOU!

There will come a time when a prayer line is formed, and you will stand still happy that the only person praying over you is JESUS as He intercedes at the right hand of the Father.

There will come a time when you want His call to come forth in you more than you want the comfort of many connections and circles. The circle He wants you in, He is forming Himself!!!

There will come a time when you will, of necessity, measure all words, actions, and attitudes against the Word of God. Oh but, He will require you measure your own heart first!

There will come a time when He will allow you to stand awkwardly and even stumble a bit to then turn around and bless you with a victory dance.

There will come a time when through the pain and tears of loss and disappointment, you realize that you have lost much of your vision and yet you can see more clearly than ever His!!!

There will come a time when Jesus will teach you ย โ€“ HE is MORE than enough.

—-

The final thing I want to share today is this โ€“

God called me to do a work in this season, for His glory. I know this because I do know His voice!!! Some days I feel anointed for it and some days I feel like a starfish out of the water waiting on a wave to carry me back to some past place…but here in this present place, He has taught me much about peace and contentment. Of course, I have desires, but I come through this time having no real ambition other than to do God’s will no matter my desires. He alone knows my path, what is sent to trip me, and if I will allow Him to carry me through. Minute by minute I need Him and so I pray again today as every day that I am found pressing on – faithful in Him – declaring to my world that JESUS is more than enough for me!

GLORY!!!

Posted in Journal

He Keeps Me Singing

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Driving home from church last Sunday, God put a song in my heart. HE KEEPS ME SINGING. Often He gives me a song, but this was different because the Lord had put the same song there on the first day of this new year. And I was driving down that very same road. This time though as I drove down Redbud Road singing the chorus, โ€œJesus, Jesus, Jesus, Sweetest Name I know. Fills my every longing; keeps me singing as I go,โ€ the Lord said to me, โ€œDo I fill Your every longing?โ€ Now, that got my attention. I have some longings as everyone does, but I often look to other people to do for me what God alone can. He alone can fill my every longing.

Arriving home I looked up the history of this song because I knew there was something more the Lord wanted to share.

Luther B. Bridges (1484 -1948) began preaching at the age of seventeen and was ordained as a Methodist Minister. He then served as an evangelist in the American South and in mission work in Belgium, Czechoslovakia, and Russia. He pastored in Georgia and North Carolina before retiring in 1945 in Gainesville, Georgia.ย  As a teen, he met Sarah Vetch, and they reportedly fell in love at first sight. They were both younger than twenty years old when they married. They had three boys.ย  In 1910 Bridges accepted an invitation to minister at a conference in Kentucky, so he left his family in the care of his father-in-law and made the trip to Kentucky. There he had two wonderful weeks of ministry. He closed the last service with great joy and was excited to be called to the telephone. He couldn’t wait to tell his wife about all the blessings.ย But it wasn’t her voice on that long distance line. Instead, he listened in silence to the news that a fire had burned down the house of his father-in-law and his wife and all three of his sons had died in the blaze. He was bereaved for his wife and children and asked himself, “How could this happen while I was doing God’s will?”ย  But that distraught father leaned heavily on His Savior and expressed his faith in God and during a tearful moment, he penned the words of this hymn.

When you sing the words of this “upbeat” song, you would probably never sense the pain and sorrow.ย  But knowing the story behind it, you can see his sorrow with phrases he uses such as … Fear not … peace be still …discord … heart with pain … broken strings … His sheltering wing … and then, in verse 4, waters deep … trials … the path seems rough and steep.

Maybe you are like me, and you would use some of these words to express something you are going through. ย If so, notice the author always answers with … Jesus, Jesus, Jesus …sweetest Name I know. Fills my every longing … keeps me singing as I go.

And look at the hope of the final verse – Soon He’s coming back to welcome me … I shall reign with Him on high. ย That truth should enable us to live each day with expectation in our hearts and it should … keeps me singing as I go! Allow Him to fill your longings today!!! He is able and willing and only He can!!!

 

(1) ย  There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
Fear not, I am with thee, peace, be still,
In all of life’s ebb and flow.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
ย 
(2) ย  All my life was wrecked by sin and strife,
Discord filled my heart with pain,
Jesus swept across the broken strings,
Stirred the slumbering chords again.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
ย 
(3)ย  ย  Feasting on the riches of His grace,
Resting ‘neath His sheltering wing,
Always looking on His smiling face,
That is why I shout and sing.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
ย 
(4) ย  ย  Though sometimes He leads through waters deep,
Trials fall across the way,
Though sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
See His footprints all the way.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
ย 
(5)ย  ย  Soon He’s coming back to welcome me,
Far beyond the starry sky;
I shall wing my flight to worlds unknown,
I shall reign with Him on high.
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest Name I know,
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
Posted in Journal

Be Still. Be Quiet. Wait.

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But He answered and said, โ€œIt is written, โ€˜Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word thatย proceeds from the mouth of God.’โ€ ~ Matthew 4:4

At times in our walk with God, there are certain words or phrases that become โ€œproceeding words.โ€ Basically, that means if we are to move forward there is a Word from the mouth of God that we need so we can proceed. It brings to mind a traffic light at a busy intersection. You cannot continue until the light turns green. Last year I found that I was led by several proceeding Words. A few of these were โ€œbe still,โ€ โ€œbe quiet,โ€ and โ€œwait.โ€

It seems odd to call these three Words “proceeding” after all they seem to reflect something that would be more like a red light than a green. However, through obedience and to be honest some disobedience to these phrases, I discovered there is no end to what God can do when I follow His directions. As I would still and quiet myself and release my rights to speak on a subject or to move in any direction at all based on circumstances surrounding me, I would find myself being carried through that River of Life I wrote about yesterday. In the times of disobedience, I would feel more like I was stuck in the mud on the banks of a river than flowing in the River. Valuable lessons. Sometimes the only way to proceed is to actually stop proceeding (in the natural).

Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. ~ Psalms 46:10

Psalm 46:10 is a familiar scripture and an obvious one on being still. But when I study all of Psalm 46 my heart stirs. It was written in the context of war โ€“ a song of victory with its emphasis on the Presence of the Lord with His people and the difference it makes when we trust Him completely during difficult times.

In times of crisis, some tend to pull away and some get busy. But He says, โ€œBe still and know that I am God.โ€ That is not talking about being passive. It takes work to be still in the middle of trying times. Even harder work to remain quiet. But hardest of all is probably to wait on the Lord. It is easier to get up and take action or to say something to try to change something of our circumstances.

I recently read a revealing story concerning this:

A company of American soldiers in Vietnam was pinned down and surrounded by the enemy. During this fierce battle, it appeared that the company commander was taking a nap! All ended well as help finally arrived, and the company was rescued from certain defeat and death. However, the commander was brought before his superiors to determine if he was guilty of neglect of duty and be court marshaled. The commander explained that he was not sleeping at all, but getting still and focusing on three questions:ย 

ย  ย  ย  ย  – What is going on around us?

ย  ย  ย  ย  – What is not going on around us?

ย  ย  ย  ย  – What can we do about question 1 and question 2?

Instead of barking orders and reacting to what was going on around them, that commander got still so he could get the wisdom to keep his company alive until help arrived. Indeed, he was a very wise man and his โ€˜being stillโ€™ and โ€˜being quietโ€™ and โ€˜waitingโ€™ saved the lives of his soldiers.

But they that wait upon theย Lordย shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31

Posted in Journal

Peace Like a River

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In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, โ€œIf any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.โ€ย  ~ John 7:37-38

At the end of Sundayโ€™s service one of our pastors started singing the song, โ€œIโ€™ve Got Peace Like a River,โ€ and I have had it on my mind off and on since. It brings to mind โ€œRivers of Living Water.โ€ It brings to mind also the power that a river has. It is a power that can carry you under or carry you through.

Many of us have been in such rivers this last year. In the river I was in, I felt I was being dragged under by some of the currents. In my natural mind, I wondered if I could make my way out aliveโ€ฆonly to find out I couldnโ€™t โ€“ but, I was carried out. I found that it was actually in that dragging under stage that my spiritual senses were awakened and developed. The Holy Ghost developed me to know God better there. I felt, saw, heard, smelled, and tasted more of things of the Spirit in those times this last year than all the previous years combined. It has been sometimes wonderful, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hard work, and sometimes a whole lot of fun. One thing was for sure though – I was awakened, and I know it.

But then recently I went through a few days where I seemed to feel asleep again rather than awake. Honestly, it was disturbing and no matter how much I told myself our Christian life it to be walked by faith, not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7) I could not help but feel disappointed in my heart. I wondered what was wrong with me.

Things started to turn back during my prayer time this afternoon when the words of that song started flowing again through my mind. So simple. โ€œIโ€™ve got peace like a river; Iโ€™ve got love like an ocean; I’ve got joy like a fountainโ€โ€ฆand it became the prayer to my Father. As I prayed those words, I began to feel something big start to flow on the inside.

As believers, we have these โ€œrivers of living waterโ€ flowing within us which means we are bigger and more powerful on the inside (in Christ) than on the outside (in the natural). In the natural, very little can stop the power of a river that is overflowing its banks. It can take out everything in its path. And that is the way the Kingdom of God is as well. Bigger on the inside than the outside. Overflowing. We must never lose the truth of this.

Sister Ruth Ward Heflin once said, โ€œYou donโ€™t have to feel โ€œfull of gloryโ€ all the time. You can be an empty riverbed. Just let the river of God flow through you. The waters of Godโ€™s river are refreshing, cleansing and empowering. Just donโ€™t stop with the refreshing stage, and donโ€™t be satisfied with the cleansing stage. Move on into the empowerment of the river.โ€

In reading this statement, I am always stopped by one word. โ€œLET!โ€ The word โ€œletโ€ is a great word. It means โ€“ to allow or to permit; to grant occupancy or use of; to cause to; to make.

I think the Lord is saying it is time for us to LET HIM move us into the empowerment of His Divine River.ย In God’s River, nothing can hold you back. Nothing! There is POWER there! You think you are going under at times but I am so confident tonight that you will find, as I did, that you are being carried by our God and developed by the Holy Ghost to know Him even more than you do.

Thank you, Jesus!!!!ย “I’ve got peace, love, and joy like a River in my soul!”ย ย