Sunday, June 26, 2016

One Tract


I am but a piece of paper,
Not very sturdy, and really rather small.
Yet I have a message - 
"Jesus died for all!"

The missionary had me printed
And stamped with his address.
He gave me out so willingly,
Trusting God to do the rest.

Alas, the one who received me
Tossed me down without a care.
I fluttered to the ground - 
In the mud, I stayed there.

But God had heard that missionary's prayer - 
He saw exactly where I fell.
He allowed a Deaf man to find me - 
"Deaf and Hearing" was the message I did tell.

That Deaf man picked me up so gently,
Cleaned me up, and tried to read me.
But all the grime had blurred the words,
Yet the man saved me carefully.

In his backpack all alone
I waited patiently.
Then again he found me
And tried once more to read my map.

All the time God was working.
The missionary kept on giving many of my friends away.
He and his family gave to a lady
Another tract like me.

Then one day, to the Deaf man's surprise...
He arrived home - what a scene before his eyes!
There sat his mother, reading something that looked like me - 
It was my twin, you see!

God started fitting the pieces together
For this Deaf man who had kept me.
God brought to this Deaf man
Different people talking about the missionary!

The day finally came when God
Brought my story back to home.
The missionary and his family
Stopped by to visit this Deaf man in his home.

As his computer conversation ended
With a friend from another place -
There stood the missionary
With joy on his face!

Oh!  How they all rejoiced!
What happiness filled each heart!
As the Deaf man and the missionary
Marveled at my part!

I am but a piece of paper, you see.
Not very sturdy, and really rather small
But God chose to use me,
When the missionary obeyed God's call.

Some folks despise and reject me - 
They say I'm of no use.
And though sometimes I suffer abuse,
My message is the same -
"Jesus died for all!"

So always remember, my friend,
I am a tool that God can use 
To bring a soul to Him.
Ask for God's blessings,
And send me on my way - 

One day in Heaven you will be amazed
At how God used me - 
One tract -
To bring many souls to Him!

- Sarah McKendree

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Filling Suitcases

One of my Beloved's favorite phrases - especially when teaching people sign language is "Put that in your suitcase.  Then you'll have it when you need it!"  I believe he learned that phrase from Mrs. Crabtree, his sign language teacher in college.  I got to thinking about that phrase recently, and God showed me something....something profound.  Are you ready?  Here it is....
Every person has a suitcase waiting to be filled.  I have the opportunity to add something to the suitcase of every person God brings into my life.  Mostly I spend my days filling the suitcases of my children, but God gives me other people, too.  People like Elizabeth and Elsa - two Deaf ladies who have a thirst to learn the Bible.  People like Mary Luz and Nestor, who just need someone to come alongside and say, "I care."  People like the children on our street who call me "Tía"!
I am a perfectionist.  You wouldn't always know it if you were to see my house, but I am. I like things done a certain way. And I can't really tell you WHY I like it that certain way...I just do.  Did you know that it is hard to be a perfectionist and have children?  They deal my perfectionist ways blow after blow. Ouch! But I can give up my perfectionism.  I can't give up my Treasures!
At this point in their lives, they are learning to fold and put away their laundry. They are learning to set and clear the table.  They are even learning to wash dishes and sweep the floor! Do they do it exactly like I would? No. Does it bother me? Yes. But God helps me "turn a blind eye" to the WAY they do their tasks, and remember that I am filling their suitcases with a valuable treasure - the ability to work!  I have a piece of paper on my bulletin board by my desk that is a list of chores that children are capable of doing at certain ages.  While I might not be in 100% agreement with the source from which it came, I do recommend that list! It is called "Age-Appropriate Chores for Children". It helps me set goals for my children and not be unreasonable when my perfectionism starts trying to take over!  My children each have their own strengths and failures.  In some areas they are ahead, and in some they are behind....that's okay.  They are a work in progress.  Let me give you an example...
Phebe LOVES to help...with laundry, with setting the table, with sweeping, etc. I find myself sighing over her idea of "help" sometimes, and one of her siblings gets frustrated sometimes - especially when it comes to folding laundry. But the point is she is learning and doing what she can. And it is a blessing to see what she CAN do - even as small as she is!
Right now we have been avidly studying about the different Native American Tribes of North America.  We have deviated from my lesson plans some, but does it really matter?  They are still learning. They are learning history and culture. They are learning about other people and their need for a Saviour.  We have been making all kinds of things - baskets, tepees, back rests?.... They are learning to make things with their hands! Yesterday, I made Saffron Buns in honor of we are also studying the countries - with land completely or partially - within the Arctic Circle.
Adding to their suitcases...and I love it! I also love how their suitcases just seem to expand! They never run out of space, and you never have to have the whole family sit on it just to close it! What a special joy it is to be part of God's plan.....adding to your own suitcase, as well as helping others to fill theirs.  The question is...what are we putting in those suitcases?