...be ye stedfast, unmoveable,
always abounding in the work of the Lord,
forasmuch as ye know that your labour is
not in vain in the Lord.

08 February 2016

When You're Marked by Love

Today is my husband's birthday - the twenty-second one we've celebrated as a couple... and he's out of the country - a missionary on a missions trip to yet a different distant place with one of our girlies. He's far from perfect, but he's committed to his God, to me, our children, our family, friends literally scattered across the globe and to our community - and I'm so glad he's mine. But... if I wrote a sappy piece about love... it might embarrass him... 

So, in keeping with this theme of love for the month of February, I'd like to consider a slightly different perspective as it has been pinging and ponging around in my soul of recent.

While their daddy's been gone, I've been trying to do some special things with our other children, including listening to books on CD (Anne of Green Gables) and revisiting a favorite television series (Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman). We've all been loving it - I mean, who doesn't find "Anne with an e," at the very least, amusing and at least a little endearing. And, as far as family TV that provokes great discussion from curious little and not so little minds, Dr. Quinn is, perhaps, my favorite. 

“There's such a lot of different Annes in me. 
I sometimes think that is why I'm such a troublesome person. 
If I was just the one Anne 
it would be ever so much more comfortable,
but then it wouldn't be half so interesting.” 
~Anne in LM Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables

I love this Anne quote because of its deeply profound veracity....

Please join me over at Missionary Mom's Companion to read the rest!

15 January 2016

Have you come to take away our souls?

Have you ever prayed to the Lord and asked Him to show you something… anything… beyond any shadow of any doubt... just so you can be sure?

I have... I still do... some times, some days...

My husband and I have often discussed this. He rarely doubts God, rarely questions if He is true, if He is good, if Jesus is Who He says He is and really did come and do what the Scriptures say He did. I, on the other hand, struggle with doubt more often than I care to admit.

In John 10.24, Jesus spoke to a group gathered around Him, Jews who had come to the temple for the Festival of Dedication. Today more commonly called Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, was not one of the original commemoration ceremonies instituted by God. Rather, it was/is a remembrance – according to rabbinic tradition – of a very specific provision by God. At the same time, it recalls what could seem to some an “inconsequential in the grand scheme of things” miracle. Historically this miracle took place in the time between the Old and New Testaments: Seleucid king Antiochus Ephiphanes desecrated the Jewish temple, forcing the Jews to abandon God’s prescribed system of worship and sacrifices. God's chosen people were obliged to adopt pagan rituals until the Maccabees (a group of Jewish freedom fighters) refused, rose up and overthrew the Seleucids. Once the Jews had regained access to the temple, they found a single, small, sealed jug of olive oil that had not been profaned and was, thus, acceptable for use in worship. They used this oil to light the temple menorah, expecting the oil to suffice for only a single day; miraculously, it endured for eight - the amount of time needed for more oil to be made ready. Thus, the Jews gathered around Jesus were in Jerusalem celebrating and remembering miraculous provision.

Not only that, but they had gathered in a location where God had traditionally accomplished great things (Matthew Henry), Solomon's Colonnade. 

At such a place, for such a purpose, at such a time, the Jews listened… and then confronted... Jesus. Standing in the presence of the most miraculous of all provisions, the Messiah of the World, in a place where the evidence of God’s hand had been so clearly present, the Jews asked Jesus a rather blunt question.

Most commentators suppose that the primary goal of this question was to waylay Him.

Look at some of the different renditions/translations of their question:
  • “…and said unto him, how long dost thou make us doubt?” (Gill)
  • “how long dost thou take away our soul?” as per the Vulgate Latin, Syriac, Persic, and Ethiopic versions 
  • “wherefore dost thou steal away our minds with words?” (Nonnus)

The Jews charge Christ with taking away their souls, or stealing away their hearts by hiding Himself from them. Strong words.

I find I can often easily identify with the Jews in this passage....

Please join me over at Missionary Mom's Companion, to read the rest of this post.

16 December 2015

Tempted to Tell All

“Mama, when we were at the library the other day, I was tempted to tell someone about Jesus and how He was born to save us. Is that wrong?”

I couldn’t help but smile.

Funny question for a missionary kid to be asking…

After all, isn’t that what missionaries do? Isn’t that what we teach kids that missionaries do?

Missionaries go, into ALL the world for this reason: telling ALL who have never heard or who have never believed or who just need to be reminded – ALL about Jesus.

The message is first one of confrontation – the horribly bad news that ALL, are sinners and that as sinners, we are unable – in and of ourselves – to DO ANYTHING to remedy our sin problem. Which brings us to the second part of the bad news: the required punishment for any and every sin is death.

Grasping that part of the message is necessary; thankfully it doesn’t stop there or we would ALL be without hope.

The second half of the missionary message tells of reconciliation and restoration. It’s the hopeful part… the better part.

ALL men need someone to save them. So God sent ONE, His Son.

It is what we celebrate during this holy season.

Jesus came – born as a baby, but also born to die… for ALL men.

He willingly and sacrificially took the punishment for ALL sin so that ALL men could be reconciled to God. The Good News gets even better. Jesus didn’t stay dead. God brought Him out of the tomb, alive and conquering death. Because He lives, ALL men who believe this merciful message of grace and then trust Him have the hope of ALL eternity together with Him.

So I smiled when my little one asked her question. And I told her, “Of course it’s not wrong!”

She grinned and said that next time, she’d be kind by listening to God when He was tempting her to tell…and we went on with our day… and week…

God, however, wasn’t finished with me yet. He had an additional thought with which I need to wrestle so He kept bringing my mind back around to her question.

Particularly the phrase tempted to tell....

Please join me over at Missionary Mom's Companion (I posted last weekend) to read the rest of this repost from Christmas time, last year...

13 December 2015

Five Minute Friday ~ Reflect

Lots to reflect on this year...

So many changes... Moving... More goodbyes... New place... New school... New (to some of us) language... New pets... Six living at home instead of eight...

Although, I must say - not much has actually surprised me. This year has been hard where I expected it to be hard, exciting where I expected it to be exciting, edifying where I expected it to be edifying. Been nice to have a year where I've felt like God prepared me in advance and nothing really caught me off guard. (I certainly don't expect it to always be like that.)

But I'm thankful. I've needed an a year where expectations and realities pretty well lined up.

Well, except for this one thing.

Having my big ones off and far away has been a lot different than I expected. I miss them. Something awful. I think about them everyday, often throughout the day. I pray for them more than I ever dreamed possible to remember to pray for anyone. But I'm also loving this season.

We are learning to communicate in a new way, over distances, and to work through challenges with our kids - now as young adults. They have freedom to make decisions that we don't necessarily like or that we feel are unwise. They procrastinate... and have to figure out their own way out of any resulting problems. They learn to relate to other family members and their communities without any buffer of Daddy and Mama. They are adventurers and life explorers on a great adventure and I get a front row seat as they discover their futures and God's plans for their lives. From where I sit? Best show ever! It is exciting and fun and a privilege to play a much smaller than before part.

I love hearing about something taking place in my girl's life via one of her sisters and Snapchat. It is fun to see pictures on Facebook of  my big ones and the life they are living... even when I'm not a daily part of that life.

Yes, I miss them.

But I wouldn't change a thing.

This is as it should be, and I'm not going to bemoan the physical distance separating and exponentially limited time together. I've prayed almost all of their lives that these breathtaking (Yes! They do take my breath away on an almost daily basis for both good and bad reasons - I'm totally and 100% biased!) young people would be tools of God, used by Him to impact whatever "world" He gives them in which to live. I still pray that...

And then there's this. With the big two not such a physical presence in our daily lives, the next two have had opportunities to shine unfiltered. And it has been fun! I think that sometimes, and probably unintentionally, older siblings tend to shadow over their younger ones. When those older ones move on and into these different life stages, it gives us, as parents, an opportunity to see the next ones in line in a totally different light.

And I'm finding them hilarious, fascinating, challenging, sometimes annoying, always entertaining and just downright fun to be with.

As parents, we blink and they become.

But this parent doesn't have time to spend missing the past and or the desire to long for those wonderful years of "ago" and littles and all my "ducklings" under wing, in a row.

I'll say it again: the right here and right now is just too wonderful - be it in person or via Skype!

27 November 2015

Of Sheep and Wolves, of Serpents and Doves

It happened in the car while bringing the kids home from school sometime this year… nothing extraordinary or life changing, but I can’t stop thinking about it.

As missionaries on support learning a new ministry in a new place (that is just about as polar opposite as possible from where we were), we are still figuring out how to make everything work: daily schedules, doctor appointments, health insurance, where to go for car repairs, credits for graduation, future college plans, the budget… Recently, we ran into that not uncommon problem of “more month than money” requiring, for one, creativity in the kitchen – the idea being to use up what was there without running to the store for more. 

A frequent after school car ride occurrence is a kids’ critique of the lunches I packed and sent. That day, most of what I’d heard was that lunch was “Yummy!” but there weren’t enough crackers to go with the soup. So I looked over at my girl who’d only received a handful of broken cracker pieces and crumbs from the bottom of the bag and asked her if she was upset. She smiled and said, “No, Mama. I really just thought it was sweet of you to crumble up the crackers for me to put in my soup.”

Wow! My eyes filled with tears. I was both speechless… and immediately convicted!

She knows I love her. She trusts me. She assumed the best possible motivation for what she found in her lunch that day.

Do you ever wonder what our world would be like if we all chose to act and believe like my teenage daughter did that afternoon?

First? What if those of us who follow Christ as Savior and King rested in His sovereignty? What if we believed that whatever He allowed/allows, somehow He works so that it is for good. What if we then acted correspondingly, instead of allowing fear or anger or jealousy to dictate thoughts, words, actions and reactions?

Secondly? What if we chose to first assume good intentions, especially by those who’ve demonstrated time and again that they love and/or care about us? What if we chose to trust proven confidence, even when we don’t exactly see why we should.

Thirdly? What if we recognized that the image of God stamped upon and within each human means that sometimes (by God’s grace and mercy), men and women are capable of amazing sacrifice, generosity, wisdom, creativeness and perseverance? And I don’t just mean the Christians of the world. What if our initial response was to look for that image of God in others, regardless of faith profession, because God’s Word teaches it is there?

Perhaps that is a "utopic" view of the world.

I was taught through years of Sunday school truths like:

  • “The heart is deceitful, above all things, and desperately wicked....
To read the rest, please join me at 


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