“…the righteous will live by his faith”
Habakkuk 2:4 NIV
Habakkuk wrote this verse when his people were surrounded by unbelievers. They were prospering by unjust gain, and arrogantly rising to the top with greed so deep in their hearts yet never satisfied with what they had. In the midst of this selfishness, Habakkuk challenges the people to Live By YOUR Faith!
If this isn’t a picture of our society today I don’t know what is! It often seems like the ungodly continue to prosper when God’s people live in lack. Are we letting this worldly mindset of our present circumstances rule how we live? Are we believing that God is going to set us free and bring restoration to our lives as He did for His people back then?
In the natural, the people had no physical sign to believe God’s promises were going to be fulfilled, but they were! You may not have any ‘reason to believe’ that God will keep His promises to you, but He will! (Deuteronomy 7:9) Trust God and Live By YOUR Faith!
Father…I’m so thankful that you are true to your promises. Even when I can’t see You working them out, I know you are. Help me to live making right choices because my faith is in YOU, not my circumstances! In Jesus Name…Amen.
Hello friends! It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to write a post outside of my weekly devotions. Since Todd’s surgery, things have been crazy busy with us. After the months of recovery I was really worn out and just needed some time. In the past few months so much has changed for us and we have some VERY exciting news that I can’t wait to share with you in the next while! Until then, I will write whenever I can. Tonight I can’t sleep because I feel so strongly to post this blog about MISSIONARIES!
On Monday I wrote a devotion blog called ALL OVER THE WORLD. I shared about how God desired to do great things ALL OVER THE WORLD through every one of us! I told you about some of my amazing friends who were doing just that. Today, I want to introduce you to some of them and connect you to see the wonderful things they’re doing ALL OVER THE WORLD! My hope is that you’ll take some time and check them out to possibly partner with their great organizations! Maybe God will inspire you through them like He has in my life!
First I mentioned one of my closest friends, Wendy Pauls. Wendy is one of those people who unassumingly makes this world a better place just by being in it! Wherever she goes, she inspires others to become the best they can be through her coaching and friendships.
Theses are some pictures of Wendy during her most recent trip to Guatemala. I think she feels at home in Guatemala as she has spent so much time there over the past years. Her partner in crime (those are good crimes of course), for many years was another friend Sam Welten.
Until recently, Wendy worked with Sam at his Missions Organization Possibilities International. Sam desires to inspire a world full of “Everyday Philanthropists” who make a difference ALL OVER THE WORLD! Their mission tagline and website is: IAM1RU??? So, if you’re wanting to be an “Everyday Philanthropists” and go oversees to help others, you should check out the humanitarian trips Sam leads through Possibilities International.
Reynold and Kathy Mainse have been friends for years.
They often travelled to Africa in their leadership at Crossroads Relief and Development years ago, but now have taken a HUGE step of faith into what God has called them to as they left the creature comforts of Canada and moved to Gulu, Uganda to open an office for their organization, World Embrace Ministries. The way they live out their calling to build unity in the church of Uganda and to facilitate another Heaven’s Rehearsal is so inspiring!
Crossroads Relief and Development is digging wells in the deserts of Kenya and cultivating the land for the people. Families receive a 1/4 acre plot of land once the soil is ready. When completed, there will be 12 farms, each providing land for 130 families! That’s over 1500 families!!! The first set of farms have just started growing crops! They are literally growing gardens in the desert!!! That’s something only God could bring about!!! This is a link to their webpage that contains a video that shows gardens growing in the desert and a little of what Cheryl does!
Peggy Kennedy is one of the most encouraging Missionaries you can ever meet! She effortlessly (well it looks that way!) travels the globe and spreads God’s Word to the nations, yet finds time to not only read my weekly devotions via email, but never fails to write me and tell me how God uses them to encourage her or how it ties in with something God is doing somewhere else! I know that was a long sentence, but it’s almost 4 am and I’m usually sleeping at this time 🙂 Peggy heads up Two Silver Trumpets ministry with her partner in life love and ministry, Jack. Together they make an impact ALL OVER THE WORLD and right here in Canada!
In December I wrote a blog called Christmas Giving. In it I told about my friends Jamie and Michelle Stewart who lost their beautiful daughter Emma to cancer. I was also able to share about how they have turned this tragedy into something beautiful! Blooming in the desert! They have started a fund called Emma’s House and have begun building homes for orphans in Africa as that was a passionate desire for Emma! Please read the Christmas Giving blog and hear more of the amazing story!
I also have friends doing work in Remote Access Nations. These are countries whose governments are closed to the gospel and their lives are at risk if it is publicly announced that they are doing any form of aid work. It’s so hard for them to fund their work as they can’t share pictures or talk openly about what they do like other ministries. These are the Rambo missionaries (without the guns!) who have the most intense calls of God on their lives, in my opinion!
We need to pray for them and bless them financially whenever we can!
If you feel a tug and want to help, please click on the website link below and help out my friends in a Remote Access Nation. http://www.agreatdoor.com Please logon and register to make a donation that will make an impact ALL OVER THE WORLD! Due to the nature of their work and for their safety, they will have to confirm your identity in order to partner with them. It’s not a hard process like they live out, but a little more difficult than just logging on and donating like with other ministries, but oh the impact!!!
Thanks for letting me brag about some of my amazing friends! I really have a ton more, but this blog is getting long and I need some sleep 🙂
Love you all,
“I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world” Romans 1:8 NIV
“I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world” Romans 1:8 NIV
Facebook and email, through the power of the Internet have brought the world to my computer! I wonder what form of social media Paul and the apostles used to spread the word about amazing faith back then??? Today, I love reading the posts of my missionary friends and seeing all God is doing in and through them as they make a difference ALL OVER THE WORLD!
My friend Wendy has been working with a missions organization for years, travelling the world over to spread the love of Christ. Then there’s Reynold and Kathy who have left the creature comforts of Canada to live in Uganda, being used by God to unite a nation for Christ. Right now my friend Peggy is in Sri Lanka preaching the powerful Word of God. My new friend Cheryl helps free women from human trafficking… I truly thank my God for these friends and the influence of their lives ALL OVER THE WORLD!
Todd bought me a mug and it says, “Life is a Story…Make Yours A Best Seller“. So go on, do something in courageous faith! Give them something to report on, ALL OVER THE WORLD!
Father…Lord I thank-you for the technology that allows us to hear about the great things you are doing in our world to reach the lost. You do it through ordinary people who are willing vessels. Please help me to live out my faith in a way to cause Your name to be reported ALL OVER THE WORLD! In Jesus Name…Amen.
“A cheerful heart is good medicine” Proverbs 17:22
For Valentine’s Todd and I went to a “Couples Night Out” event to see comedian Steve Geyer. I felt bad for this couple across from us. They didn’t laugh at anything and left during intermission. I think their funny bone was broken! For us, it was such a fun night out! We laughed ‘till we cried. It was great to hang out with some people from our church and relax after a very long week. LAUGHTER really is the best medicine!
I tend to be driven, working hard towards a goal to the point of exhaustion. Lately I’ve felt worn out. Taking time to be with my hubby, some friends and to laugh with abandon is better than any pill I could take! God knows we need to kickback and relax. Stress brings on heart health problems, but LAUGHTER is proven to help heal the heart, physically and emotionally, which can only have a positive spiritual effect.
Today as people in Ontario, Canada celebrate “Family Day” may we all join in and take time to fill our homes with LAUGHTER. It may just save us a few trips to the doctors!
Father…I thank-you for funny cards, books, movies, family and friends. May you fill our lives with LAUGHTER today so we can show a lost world your joy no matter what our circumstances. Let our hearts reveal the freedom you’ve brought into our lives! In Jesus Name…Amen.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9 NIV
This weekend was wonderful! I went to visit with a mentor of mine and had no idea how this “seemingly” normal weekend was truly a set of DIVINE APPOINTMENTS! So often we go through life unaware of the master plan God is working behind the scenes to bring about His plans and purposes for our lives. We don’t see how these everyday events are all a part of His divine plan.
Think of the life of Joseph. Joseph had two divine dreams that foretold of the wonderful future God had for his life, but…if Joseph’s brothers hadn’t been so jealous of him they wouldn’t have thrown him in the pit. If he hadn’t been thrown into the pit and sold into slavery he wouldn’t have been bought as a slave in Potiphar’s house. If he wouldn’t have been in Potiphar’s house and stood for righteousness he wouldn’t have ended up in jail. If he hadn’t been in jail, he wouldn’t have interpreted the baker and cupbearer’s dreams. If he hadn’t interpreted the dreams the cupbearer wouldn’t have suggested him to Pharaoh to interpret his dream. If he hadn’t spent so much time with God in jail maybe he wouldn’t have such an acute discernment to God’s messages and been able to interpret dreams? If he hadn’t interpreted Pharaoh’s dream and been given a divine plan to save the country from famine he wouldn’t have been divinely appointed to the position of Prime-Minister to Egypt. If he wouldn’t have been in the palace the day his family came to get food his dream would have never come true and millions of lives would not have been saved!
Be confident today that God is setting up DIVINE APPOINTMENTS for you today! Trust that He is working on your behalf to bring about His plans and purposes for your life!
Father…Help me to be faithful as you work out the details of my life. May I walk confidently towards all that you have for me with trust in my heart that you will provide the DIVINE APPOINTMENTS necessary for me to fulfill the call you have for my life so that others will be saved! In Jesus Name…Amen.
“So they ran into town, and eventually they found Mary and Joseph and the baby lying in the feeding trough. After they saw the baby, they spread the story of what they had experienced and what had been said to them about this child. Everyone who heard their story couldn’t stop thinking about its meaning..” Luke 2:16-18
I loved Christmas morning when my kids were little. Getting on the couch and sharing the story of Baby Jesus was my favorite part. It was important to me to share the real meaning of why we were celebrating and still is. I believe telling the story of Jesus, not shopping, baking, wrapping, hanging lights, writing cards…is the most important thing we should be doing at Christmas! The carol “Go Tell it on The Mountain” has been a Christmas staple for over a century. When I hear these words the song goes off in my head and I see Shepherds in a Christmas play running out to tell other’s about Jesus! This Christmas I want to challenge you to: Go Tell It In Your Living room!
There’s a danger in not sharing the story of Jesus and how he came to save the world, how He saved us. The danger is that one-day the next generation may not even know Jesus and think Christmas is only about Santa and gifts. My fear is we’re almost there. If one generation neglects to tell the story to the next, human nature will cause them to drift away from God. Judges 2 tells us how the people who went through the desert and saw God miraculously save them, faithfully followed Him. Sadly, the story doesn’t end there. Scripture confirms that the next generation abandoned faith in God because they didn’t know the Lord or what He had done for them. When I read that my heart was sick. It made me question…Why didn’t they know the Lord? Why didn’t they know what He had done for their parents and grandparents? No one must have told them.
People need to know the story of how Jesus came to save. They need to know your story of salvation! So this Christmas,Go Tell It In Your Living room!
Father…I thank-you for giving the first Christmas gift when You sent Your son Jesus down to earth. Jesus, I thank-you for willingly coming and bringing salvation to the world! I thank-you for saving me! Help me to tell your story so the next generation knows you and what you’ve done so, they in turn pass it along. In Jesus Name…Amen.
“a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” Ecclesiastes 3:4 NIV
This week was jam packed with Christmas events. I decorated the house with my step-daughter and went to my friend Kevin Pauls’ “Spirit of Christmas” Musical event with my son and his girlfriend. It was so much fun! The night was filled with great laughter. In stark contrast I attended our church’s Comfort Service. It was started to help those who have experienced great loss in their grieving. Today I heard my friends share the heart-wrenching story of how their 15 year old daughter is spending Christmas in heaven this year with her older sister. They spoke in brokenness but with such confidence in a God who is there, especially when it hurts and life doesn’t make sense. This week was a reminder of how WONDERFUL AND WOEFUL Christmas can be.
The writer of Ecclesiastes was so wise to understand that people are all going to be in different stages of life at different times. When one is weeping another is laughing, when one is dancing another is mourning. “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven” (Ecc 3:1 NIV). We must allow people to embrace the season they are in and live out Romans 12:15 that says we are to “Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.”
As Christians we are to walk alongside our brothers and sisters. This Christmas, be with friends in the WONDERFUL AND WOEFUL. Rejoicing or mourning, whatever THEIR season, so you can help them “walk through” in the confidence that God loves them, He’s with them and He’s proud of them, because they’re getting that from you!
Father…I thank-you for being with me every season of life that I face. Help me to recognize what season I’m in and the seasons of others. Let us all be a comfort to each other and spur one another on to live life in the confidence of Your love. In Jesus Name…Amen!
Kay Arthur influenced me as a woman, author & Bible Study teacher in profound ways. This post will tell you of my crazy journey and how God allowed me to personally thank her for the impact she continues to make on my life.
How Kay Arthur Influenced me as a Bible Study Teacher
I started teaching Ladies’ Bible Studies at my home church when I had Brandon. At the ripe old age of 24 I wasn’t sure if I was getting too old for youth ministries!!!
I belonged to a large church so about 100 women a week came out to the Ladies’ Bible Study meetings on Tuesday mornings. I was honored when they asked me to be on the teaching team after my first week there! These women were serious about getting into the Word!
We often used Kay Arthur’s Inductive Bible Studies. My favorite was the one on the book of Isaiah. I learned so much studying that book, Precept-upon-Precept as Kay always says!
How Kay Arthur Influenced me as a Woman
Years passed of fruitful ministry teaching Ladies’ Bible Studies and then I had to stop. It was a hard place for me, but it had become too difficult within my former marriage situation to be involved at church in much of any capacity. A few more years passed and I was divorced, believing I’d never teach another Bible Study.
During the divorce deliberations my counselor encouraged me to join a group called Divorce Care, to help me grieve the loss of my marriage. It was nothing short of life-changing. I started attending the Baptist church nearby who ran the program and it was there I saw a video with Kay Arthur on it. I had no clue that she had even been divorced. Seeing her gave me the boost of faith that I needed to believe God could still use me–a divorcee!
How Kay Arthur Influenced me as an Author
After I wrote my first book, WATER IN THE DESERT I was so excited and thankful for the influence others had on my life and ministry. I wrote a short Thank-you to Kay on her Facebook page. To my shock people from her organization wrote me back and asked if they could interview me for the Precepts website.
Through all of the discussions back-and-forth I have made a wonderful friend in one of Kay’s “Leading Ladies”! Kathleen Hardaway works for Kay in her Social Media department and directed Kay Arthur’s television show How Can I Live? Kathleen looks 22, but she’s been working at Precept Ministries for almost two decades now! Kathleen is accomplished in her own right as a speaker and author. Most notably for I Kissed a Lot of Frogs: But the Prince Hasn’t Come (Moody, 2002). Through my cousin’s wife Rachelle and Kathleen’s encouragement I ended up buying a ticket for a flight to Dallas and boarding the plane just two hours later! Craziest thing I’ve ever done, and I have quite a few to choose from!
Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome.” Genesis 32:28 NIV
Have you ever watched the movie Identity Thief with Melissa McCarthy? She hilariously and yes irreverently, portrayed a girl who takes on the financial identity of Jason Bateman’s character. This conwoman uses his credit to buy stuff and destroy his financial rating. In the end your heart turns toward this crazy thief as you learn of her troubled childhood. She was attracted to this type of crime to get away from her birth identity. She could relate to Jacob in the Bible who needed an Identity Theft.
Jacob was the son of Abraham. His very nature was described in the meaning of his name; ‘deceiver’. You know him, He was the one who conned his brother out of his birthright and then tricked his father into pronouncing the blessing for the firstborn on him. This put Jacob ‘on the run’ to get away from his brother Essau. The saying ‘you reap what you sow’ played out in Jacob’s life as he was then tricked by his father-in-law Laban into marrying Leah when he thought he was marrying Rachel. Years later, Jacob in turn tricks Laban and then flees that situation. On the run again, Jacob meets up with his brother Essau who surprisingly doesn’t kill him! I think at this point Jacob was finally ready to face his issues with deceit. After a long night of meeting with God and not giving up till he received God’s blessing, Jacob’s name was changed by God to ‘Israel’. He went from deceiver to overcomer when God pulled an ancient day Identity Theft!
Have you been ‘on the run’ from God for a long time or know someone who is? Trust that God is chasing you down to read this message. He wants you to know that He’s in the business of changing flawed identities and producing overcomers!
Father…You know the flaws at the very core of my identity. I open my life to You and ask that You would change my heart. Write a new name over me and produce an overcoming spirit deep within so I don’t give up and can see your blessing touch my life! In Jesus name…Amen
“…the LORD your God would not listen…but turned the curse into a blessing for you, because the LORD your God loves you.” Deuteronomy 23:5
This weekend I flew to NYC for a retreat in Connecticut. I left the house excited for a new adventure, until I got pulled in and held up at the border for no reason. Finally free, I rushed to the airport, running to the gate where my first flight was cancelled and my second flight delayed. What seemed like a curse was about to turn into a blessing!
While waiting in line to see if I could get another flight I met a really nice girl. We hit it off and talked through the whole “delay”. It was sad when they called us to board the plane and we had to end our time together!
Before the retreat my hubby and daughter sent me messages with scripture and encouragement, expressing their confidence in my ability to accomplish what God had called me there to do. Oh how my life has changed! Where I once encountered resistance and cursing for stepping out into God’s calling, I now receive blessings! I see this verse being fulfilled as the enemy still tries to speak out curses, but God just doesn’t listen to the noise! The key is in learning to do the same, training our ears to ‘tune out’ the negativity! Then we can trust God to turn things from a curse to blessing because as the verse says, “God loves YOU”!
Father…I thank-you for your power! Only you can take a curse spoken and turn it into a blessing! Please break every curse spoken over me and let my life bring you praise for the blessing! In Jesus name…Amen.