Monday, April 28, 2014

My Hero

He preaches to the Deaf in church.  He has Bible Institute classes with the Deaf.  I watch in amazement as I hear the wisdom of his words.  I gaze in wonder as he brings the Bible to life for the Deaf.
I hear him speak Spanish, and think, "Wow!  What a blessing that he knows this language!  How come I don't know that word???"  I sit and listen to him give counsel and advice, and I find myself wondering, "Where did that wisdom come from?"  Then the Holy Spirit gently reminds me, "Don't you ask ME every day for him to have MY wisdom?"  And with joy my heart replies, "Oh, yes!  And seeing the answer is such a blessing!  Thank you, Lord!"
I see him playing with our children.  While I sit and listen to the laughter of my children, the memories of a happy childhood and time spent with my own Daddy come flooding into my mind.  How grateful I am that my children can know the same joy!  

Who is this man?  Is he perfect?  No, he is a sinner saved by grace - just like me.  He is my precious gift from the Lord.  He is my dear husband.  I love him so much!  He is my Hero.

 What a privilege it is to be married to God's perfect will for my life!  What a joy it is to walk by his side and serve the Lord together!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

24 Commands from 1 Chronicles 16

During my quiet time, I have been reading through 1 Kings and 1 Chronicles.  Honestly, I wouldn't put these two books on my "Top 5 Favorite Books of the Bible" list, but they are both so full of "gems" scattered throughout each book.  It has been a blessing to discover all the little "gems" God has purposefully placed there for our edification and encouragement.  This morning I read 1 Chronicles 16. Did you ever realize that verses 8-22 are almost identical to Psalm 105:1-15?  It was an amazing discovery for me!  Every Word in the Bible is important, but think of the seriousness God has placed on certain words by repeating them in different places in the Bible - there are NO accidents with God!  So….why am I telling you all this?  To share with you the 24 Commandments found in 1 Chronicles 16 that God brought to my attention this morning!
  1.  Give thanks unto the Lord v. 8
  2.  Call upon his name v. 8
  3.  Make known his deeds among the people v. 8
  4.  Sing unto him v. 9
  5.  Sing psalms unto him v. 9
  6.  Talk ye of all his wondrous works v. 9
  7.  Glory ye in his holy name v. 10
  8.  Seek the Lord v. 10
  9.  Seek the Lord and his strength v. 11
10.  Seek his face continually v. 11
11.  Remember his marvelous works, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth v. 12
12.  Be ye mindful always of his covenant v. 15
13.  Sing unto the Lord v. 23
14.  Shew forth from day to day his salvation v. 23
15.  Declare his glory among the heathen, his marvelous works among all nations v. 24
16.  Give unto the Lord v. 28
17.  Give unto the Lord glory and strength v. 28
18.  Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name v. 29
19.  Bring an offering v. 29
20.  Come before him v. 29
21.  Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness v. 29
22.  Fear before him v. 30
23.  Give thanks unto the Lord v. 34
24.  And say ye… v. 35
That's quite a list of things we're commanded to do, isn't it?  Makes me wonder what kind of blessings the Lord would pour out on my life and on the lives of those around me if I would simply do the things on this list!  What a challenge God has given me this morning!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Life…As It Really Is Sometimes

Do you ever have a day when everything seems to go against your plans?  Do you know that missionaries have those kind of days too?  I had one of those days recently, and before I knew it, that day had turned into a whole week of "Things are NOT going according to my plans - AT ALL!!"  I was faced with a choice - whine and complain or rejoice and give thanks.  I wish I could tell you that I chose (like a good missionary) to rejoice and look for something to be thankful for.  Unfortunately, I chose to whine and complain.  The sad thing is not one of the things that were going contrary to my plans were terrible things - I just sort of let it all pile up.  Then I made things worse by following one bad decision with another bad decision - I started comparing.  Yes, you read it right - I started comparing - even though I know better.  I went from "Woe is me!" to "Sister So-and-So has the perfect children - will mine EVER be perfect like hers?" to "How could these things be happening to me - I just had a baby - doesn't the Lord know I REALLY don't need these tests right now?"  I ended up my week with a grand finale - I burst into tears!  There is one verse that God always brings to my heart and mind when I start on the downward spiral of comparing:  2 Corinthians 10:12  "For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves:  but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."  You can be sure that this time was no different!  God reminded me of that verse - it was like an arrow that went straight to the mark - but God had something more for me this time.  I have often heard it said how dangerous it is to compare - it can only lead to one of two things - pride or discouragement.  Since this isn't the first time I've dealt with this, God chose to give me a lesson that was like a double-edged sword - first He chose to discipline me, then He chose to humble me.  As I read my friend Jessica's blog (here is the link:  Joy Unspeakable in Kenya), I was reminded that there is always someone going through something far more serious than what I am experiencing.  Suddenly my worst "problem" was just a minor inconvenience - it wasn't a trial at all!  The rest of my lesson came in the form of a letter from a young lady I know in the Philippines.  I am sharing with you excerpts from her letter - so you can see how God used this young lady to teach me a lesson in humility….

"Hi Maam Sarah, :)
I don't know if you still remember me.  I am now 21 years old, and you used to help me and my sisters at church when we were still young...
I just want to thank you for being a huge part in my christian life, your influence in my life has been an encouragement for me to keep on serving God, I'm really thankful to God that sometime in my life I have known a person like you.
Me and my sister would like to thank you for being one of the biggest reasons why we serve God today. You've been a big influence in our lives. 
I am now a grown up lady and praise God I'm still serving God.  I'm planning to enter to Bible college in the future, hopefully next year. I'm praying for your ministry there in Peru. May God continue to bless you and your family there.. I love you Maam Sar!! :)

God used two different people living on opposite sides of the earth to teach me a lesson I am determined to remember.  My comfort is 2 Corinthians 10:8 "And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work."  "All grace."  "Sufficiency in all things."  "May abound to every good work."  God tests me and corrects me with His love and for my good.  He prays for me and I am precious to Him.  
2 Corinthians 10:18 "For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth."  I want His commendation.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Peanut Butter Kisses, Chocolate Cupcakes, and A New Baby

Phebe Anne McKendree
Peanut Butter Kisses, Chocolate Cupcakes, and A New Baby - how in the world are these three things connected?  One simple answer - we're home!
Phebe Anne McKendree arrived March 28, 2014 at 10:40 AM.  She weighed 6.5 pounds (2.950 Kilos) and is 18 inches (46 centimeters) long.  She has dark blue eyes.  She is tiny like Martha was and has dark hair and a darker complexion like Ian had.
I took this picture yesterday after we got home.  It was so sweet to see Martha and Ian sitting with Phebe!  Martha was reading one of her books while Ian looked on.  They love Phebe so much!  I was thankful the Lord gave me the idea to have them read to Phebe!
Martha and Ian reading to Phebe
Martha and I were sharing peanut butter and Ritz crackers this morning.  She ended up with peanut butter on her face.  She gave me a kiss on my hand - and I found myself thinking, "I have a choice - be upset about the peanut butter on my hand or be grateful for the display of affection."  I chose to be grateful for the display of love and affection.  Suddenly I found that peanut butter kiss on my hand such a precious thing!  Peanut butter can be cleaned up and forgotten about, but displays of love and affection endure forever.
When the kids came to visit me in the hospital on Sunday, they brought me a chocolate cupcake that one of the missionary wives had made and shared with us.  It was so delicious!  I ate another one this  morning during my quiet time!  It tasted great with my morning coffee!
In Daddy's scrubs
Martha, Ian, and Phebe
There has been so many people praying for us.  I am so grateful to each one of you!  Thank you for your love and prayers.