Monday, May 18, 2015

A Leap of Faith

In about 3 weeks time, I will be living in a new house, next to new neighbors, in a new city, helping my husband start a new church.  Exciting? Incredibly!  Nervous?  Absolutely!!! Scared (out of my mind)?  Yes.
On our recent trip to Iquitos, Peru, God gave us a house.  While it doesn't have the yard and the avocado tree we have been praying for, it has exactly what God wants for us to have for our house - a place to start a church.
Exciting?  Incredibly!  We have neighbors.  We have neighbors who have children.  We have families all around us who need Christ.  We have the opportunity, the privilege, and the command to reach out to these families for Christ.  And the Deaf?  Absolutely! We have the opportunity to reach more Deaf and their families for Christ.  We are so excited about all the possibilities!
Nervous??  Scared??  Yes.  I battle with the fears of the unknown.  I struggle with the anxiety of packing and shipping our things to a new location.  I feel concern for my children as they leave behind friends and playmates.  I worry about bugs and other creepy crawlies (Note:  How is it I could be so brave and invincible towards bugs when I was a single missionary, but now that I am married and have my own children "every thing that creepeth upon the earth" sends me into an orbit of panic and terror?!?!?!?)  I feel sad to leave behind people who have become as dear to me as my own family.
Yet in the midst of all these feelings, my mind echoes with the beautiful verses of Romans 8.  It is no accident God led me to study this precious chapter during this month.  He knew I would need those verses - those verses of comfort and strength.  Verses of hope and encouragement.  Verses that remind me of His unfailing love and grace.  Verses that tell me that no matter what happens, He is in control and He allows everything for my good.  Verses that remind me that I am MORE than a conqueror through Christ!
I rest in the comfort of knowing that as I take this step leap of faith, God is with me.  He is holding my hand and walking with me.  He is already there in the future, waiting to catch me as I take that leap....yes, into the dark unknown.  But more than that....into the next part of His perfect plan for my life and the life of my family.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

When Negatives are Good

The day before yesterday, I finished my study of Psalm 18 (along with 2 Samuel 21-22).  What a blessing those chapters have been to me!  So full of God's eternal goodness, love, and care for His people - whether those people be Jews or Christians!  As April drew to a close, I began thinking about and asking the Lord where I should go next for my "Chapter of the Month" study.  He directed me to Romans 8.  Earlier in April, while I was still studying Psalm 18, the Lord showed me how Romans 8 (especially the last 5 verses) connected with Psalm 18.
I began counting the days until May 1st.  Yesterday morning, I read Romans 8.  It is not an unfamiliar chapter to me, but God gave me "new eyes" as I read the 39 verses that make up Chapter 8.  My eyes (and thoughts) were arrested at the fifth word of verse 1 - "no."  I made a list of all the "negatives" (no, not, none, etc.) I could find.  Did you know there are more than 30 negatives listed in those 39 verses?
I began thinking about how "negatives" are so unacceptable in today's culture.  No one likes the word "No."  No one wants to be "negative."  Society frowns on correction.  "Negatives" are bad - according to our human thinking.  Yes, I know.....there are things in life that must be negative.  Sometimes (okay, many times) we must tell our children, "No."  We consider "negatives" to be bad things. But here in Romans 8, we have a whole list of "negatives" that really are good things.
Let me give you an example:  Romans 1:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."  NO condemnation - that's a good thing - a very good thing!  Isn't a blessing to rest in the fact that no matter what our past has been, when we are saved, we are NOT condemned?!  I don't know about you, but that makes me want to grin like crazy!
My favorite part of the chapter is the list Pual gives at the end of all the things that cannot conquer us or separate us from the love of Christ.  I sure am thankful for that list of negatives - aren't you?