"How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news..." Romans 10:15

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I woke up this morning a bit cranky.  Let me explain...


The electricity has been going off sometime in the wee hours of the morning for several days.  We are in hot season just before the rainy season starts full force, and the days and nights are... hot.  I get all excited about taking my nightly shower and heading to bed, where 2 fans keep me cool all night long.  (sometimes it's the air conditioner...but usually the fans)  Well when the electricity goes off, those hours of blissful sleep are sadly interrupted...and I wake up cranky!


This morning had a special 'crankiness' to it.  I longed for my hot pot to be working so that I could have my caffeinated tea and I refused to dig into my stash of diet coke. (because I have given diet coke up, except for emergency situations like migraines...and celebratory situations, like vacations...good study session etc...)  My gratification was delayed more than an hour.


Finally I sat down with my tea and breakfast with a sigh already feeling much better because I was back in front of my fan. : )  Wouldn't you know the Lord had me read Hebrews 11and 12 today.  I was brought to my knees with my lack of faith and gratitude.  In comparison to what the saints of old endured I have suffered nothing.


Moses left the comforts of Egypt
Sarah waited and waited for Your promise
Noah acted on Your words alone


My mind began to wander...


I imagine Abraham and Isaac had hardship as they traipsed up the mountainside but that paled in comparison to the turmoil in Abraham's heart.  Not only was he going to lose his son, but by his own hand.


Forty years in the desert!  No destination just wandering at the will of these pillars of cloud and fire.  They had to begin to wonder, what was the point?  How do you plan for your future?  What do you talk about with your neighbors day in and day out?  Why not try worshiping an idol?


I have suffered nothing in comparison, especially a little heat and lack of sleep.  My crankiness did not grow into a full fledged rebellion there wasn't any anger in my heart, I was just cranky.  But my crankiness really can be part of a downward spiral that leads to a 'golden calf' of my own.


The Lord doesn't want that for me.  He has created my faith and He is nurturing my faith so that it will grow stronger and purer.  So instead of allowing my crankiness to continue, He graciously pointed me back to Him.  My heart overflows with thankfulness!


Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run  with endurance  the race that is set before us,  fixing  our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and  lose heart.  Hebrews 12:1-3

I wonder if the electricity will go off tomorrow morning?  What makes you cranky and headed downward?  Here's a reminder for you and me...

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will go strangely dim, it the light of His glory and grace!




Sunday, April 8, 2012

Party in the Minefield (March 2012)

Through a Christmas Partnership with Cadence International and Lightbridge International...~50 families received animals.  A local organization provided training on how to care for the animals and purchased the animals and I got to show up for the party (i.e. gifting ceremony).   Each family got either 10 ducks or chickens and one family a cow.   Life change one family at a time. : )






Friday, April 6, 2012

Gratitude

This year I am celebrating Easter in Cambodia.  


Throughout the year when  big a celebration is coming I try and take some time to reflect and look for something new,  a deeper understanding, or a more personal application... something.  I don't want the life, death and resurrection of Jesus to go unnoticed in my heart or my life.


This year I have been doing some specific Scriptural readings for Lent.  Since I don't come from a liturgical background, this is not part of my normal Easter celebration and I have really enjoyed it.  I have tiptoed through both the Old and New Testaments.  The amazing reminder of how awful sin really is and our dire need for a Savior has jumped from the pages of Scripture.


The chasm between a sinner and a holy God is huge and no amount of human effort breaches that.  


In the Philippines there is an extreme tradition for Easter. This year one man will once again hang on a cross.  There is no intent to kill this man, but for him to willingly walk in the steps of Jesus and somehow grow closer to Him.  (I am not exactly sure all the reasons, but this has been going on for as long as I can remember.)


The other extreme are those in the world who choose to ignore Jesus and His work on the cross, and His power over death as seen in His resurrection.  


So often when I speak the name of Jesus here in Cambodia, I get a blank stare or some confusion about what I have said.   The awareness of Jesus let alone His power over sin and death is non-existent to many.  This is the greater tragedy.


In my own life it is easy to take for granted all that Jesus is and has done.  Thankfully, I have never not known about Jesus.  My life has been surrounded by His truth and love, and I am forever grateful, but some days I take Him for granted.


Recently I was able to be part of a celebration.  We were able to gift about 50 families in our Minefield ministry site with some animals. (chickens, ducks and one family received a cow : )  Many people gave so that these families could be blessed, and I was blessed to be present for the ceremony.


All the families were thankful, but one woman stood out to me.  Her thankfulness flowed out of her in ways she couldn't contain.  I have no idea of her circumstances, but it seemed as if 10 ducks were going to change her life.    


Her posture of thankfulness is one I want to emulate in response to Jesus.  I don't want to take Him for granted, and I want to remember that He has not only changed my life but He has given me new life in Him!


I am looking forward to the rest of the story of this dear woman.  I desperately want her to know Jesus and  have her life not only changed for today and tomorrow but for eternity!