Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

This is my family! From the left, my brother-in-law James, my parents Buddy and Jeanie, Jeff holding Parker, me, Blake, and my in-laws Jim and Jean.

We hope you all had a very merry Christmas!

Jeff, Blake, Parker and I head back to Brazil on Friday!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Sowing and Reaping

Several months ago, God impressed upon me the notion to be very careful how I acted towards others. The Bible says in Galatians 6:7 that whatever we sow (plant), that is what we'll reap (harvest). He impressed upon me the need to pray every day to only sow desireable things in others' lives.
I've seen these past months many folks who have harvested undesirable outcomes--sometimes immediately, sometimes years later. Some of these have been very mature believers. Almost all of these people have been totally unaware of what they were planting when they acted the way they did.
Some have ripped people off. Then gotten ripped off.
Some have tried to silence another's ministry. Their ministry has been silenced.
Some missionaries have tried to get others sent home. They are home now.
Some missionaries tried to force families to live in unsuitable housing conditions. They then were moved into unsuitable housing conditions.
NONE of these people realize how they planted the seed of the harvest they recieved. Most of them thought they were doing the right thing at the time.
I once heard Josh McDowell teach the three laws of sowing and reaping:
1. We reap what we sow. You can't plant rhubarb and harvest roses.
2. We reap after we sow. We plant, then there is a waiting season, then the harvest.
3. We reap more than we sow. It multiplies before we collect it.
When I pray my daily prayers, I often ask God to help me not sow anything undesirable. When I find something undesirable happening in my life, I do make it a matter of prayer to ask how I sowed it. (I rarely get an answer on this one, but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway).

On a more positive note, this truth means that we need never be afraid to give. We will not find ourselves diminished in any way, only blessed.

Monday, December 11, 2006


I covet your prayers as I board a plane tomorrow with my two young sons to head "Over the amazon and across the Carribean to Grandmother's house we go . . ."
Jeff will follow us on the 20th, but I'll be on my own to get us there on Wednesday.
While I'm more worried about in-flight temper tantrums or diaper shortages than hijackings, I have been thinking alot about them lately. My husband had one in his ministry this past week.
It's the second one he's faced on the mission field. He handled it so well, with such grace and a Godly attitude. I was so proud of him.
While almost inevitable at times, ministry hijackings can be extremely disheartening. The first ministry hijacking I ever saw happened to my mom. My mom had served a small women's prayer group for about 15 years. Every week, without fail, she unlocked the doors of the meeting room, set up the chairs, waited for the other ladies to arrive, and led the meeting. One week, a lady visited. That lady then decided that the group needed a good Bible study teacher and she invited Women-to-Women to send a teacher to lead the group. They did and BAM!-hijacking! The ladies in the prayer group were too polite to tell their new teacher what had happened, so they sat and listened, for YEARS! The visitor lady never returned. WTW teachers came and went, my mom continued to go, unlock the doors, set up the room and listen politely. I'm sure that she wrestled some with God over the loss of that ministry, but overall she was very mature in her attitude toward it.
We have to remember Solomon's story of the ladies fighting over the baby in I Kings 3:16-28. The real mother loved the baby so much that she would rather give it up than see it harmed. The false mother would split the baby in two rather than give it up. We have to be careful to protect the babies in our care from the crossfire of other's territorial wars.
That's what my husband did this week. I was so proud of him.
We also need to remember than hijackings are always humbling, and it's the humble that God can truly use. I do believe that how we handle them frequently determines our next assignment from God. Now I'm praying for my husband as he awaits his next assignment. Did I mention how well he handled it and how proud I am of him?

Monday, December 04, 2006

WWDE? part 2

Well, I'm into the last week of my "Daniel Diet". Sunday, all bets are off. I already have the ingredients set to make that celebratory Chocolate Mousse.

You're probably wondering how Thanksgiving went. I don't know exactly how to evaluate or explain, but I'll do my best.

It was harder to do this while we were traveling than I thought. We drove about 9 hours to Florianopolis, an island city where all the IMB missionaries from the south of Brazil spend Thanksgiving weekend. Getting there was easy, we made one stop at a truckstop with a buffet with lots of veggies. The Thanksgiving meal was easy (I don't care for turkey and there was nothing chocolate, which helped tremendously).

I tried doing what I had suggested doing in my original WWDE post, which is praying as I decide what to eat and not eat and choose accordingly. That worked AMAZINGLY well, as long as I did it. I did this for a couple of days.

Then, I started to look for "patterns" and make "rules" for what I could and couldn't eat, based on the leadings I had been getting over those couple of days.

This is hard to write because in my earlier post on fasting, I recommended that those wanting to fast decide on rules, write them down in advance, and stick to them.
Ahem . . .

I got all confused and all tangled up in the rules and the prayers and the leadings and the food. I don't think I was successful, but I'm not even sure of that!

Anyway, here's what I learned.

1. A fast with rules is ok, the rules need to be Spirit-driven.
2. A fast under the Spirit's leading is ok, too, but most likely to be successful if:
a. You remember the reason for the fast--to humble yourself before God and get closer to Him. Keeping that in mind will ward off a lot of temptation.
b. If you're doing a Daniel-type fast, you study Daniel's fasts beforehand, to know as best you can, WWDE.
c. You don't try to mix the two methods.

Also, Bill Bright wrote a booklet "Your Personal Guide to Fasting" which I found on the internet and has helped tremendously with the practical aspects of this.

So, there's the Thanksgiving update for ya'.

On another note, I'm so excited to be headed home for Christmas! The children and I will leave on Dec 12 and Jeff will follow on Dec 20. I hope I get to see many of you. You know when you see me because I'll be the one with chocolate mousse on my face.