Wednesday, May 31, 2006


Soon I will post pictures and details about my trip to visit
It was WONDERFUL and I miss her so much!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Sneezing, Poisoned and Packing

So, yesterday was a very interesting day. My mom, dad and I woke up feeling sick. Dad had been up all night, mom most of the night and me part of the night. We were nauseated, headachy and tired. We guessed it was food posioning because we had been at a party and the three of us where the only ones in the family to have the potato salad. So we slept all day.

Today, I feel great... although now I am sneezing. The molds are at a high today, I can tell.

And since I lost yesterday I have a ton of stuff to do before my trip to California....


My Mothering Style

The Duchy had this quiz on her blog called "Mother Styles." Although I am not a mother, I was curious and took the quiz. I think it describes me perfectly:

Your type is: ISFJ —The “Tender Loving Care” Mother
“I want my children to feel they have an ally, someone who knows them completely. I want to be a haven for them.”

~ Gentle and kind, the ISFJ mother provides her children with generous amounts of tenderness, affection, and the comfort of daily routine. Her aim is to “be there” for her children, physically and emotionally. She is sensitive to their feelings, offering closeness, understanding, and quiet support.

~ Loyal and devoted, the ISFJ mother has a strong sense of duty and consistently puts her children’s needs first. She delights in taking care of the little things that matter to a child, making each one feel loved and special.

~To provide her family with security and warmth, the ISFJ mother tends to the practical and domestic, aiming for a smooth-running household and an attractive home. She also observes and conveys the value and importance of family traditions.
(I am sure my siblings would also include something like: she loves to be bossy, corrects our table manners all the time and is always after us to clean up around the house.)

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Mission Links-R-Us

I have added a section of links about missions. There you will find the following (click on each here for a link to the website I describe) :

- Operation World
Operation World's vision for missions is that we pray for (intercession) and for (inheritance) the nations.

- Pray Today
This website is a branch of Operation World and gives people the specific nation to pray for on the cooresponding date (May 15-17 is Germany). It gives the same information that the book Operation World outlines.

- Travel the Road
Travel the Road is a website about two crazy missionaries and their wild adventures! I have one of their DVD's and absolutely love it. Whenever I need a kindling desire for the nations I watch it. I would love to have their other episodes, but they are kind of expensive! I think it would be totally worth it, though... hummm....
(Looks like this website is currently down for maintenace.)

- World Vision
World Vision is an organization that reaches the nations with both practical physical help and spiritual guidance.

- Caleb Project
Caleb Project is a mobilization organization that lead the class Perspectives on the World Christian Movement that I took this spring. They specialize in research projects that take teams to "closed" countries and do research that will assist a missionary who is going long-term. These teams talk to indigenous people who would not be open to having the gospel shared with them cold-turkey, but will talk about family relationships, national religion, customs and traditions. Then, the team organizes the data and presents it to any missionary who will be living, working and serving that specific group of people.

- OMF International
OMF International was founded by the famous Hudson Taylor and has a passion for Asia. This is an amazing website and has EVERYTHING you would want to know about Asia, Asian people groups, missionaries to Asia, etc.

- 24-7 Prayer
24-7 Prayer is an intercession focused website that encourages believers, whether you feel "called" to missions or not, to pray for the nations, missionaries, governments, economies, etc.

Quiz Time

Are you an Extrovert or an Introvert?

You Are An Intro-Extrovert!

Sometimes you're social - sometimes you're shy. You've got a bit of an Introvert / Extrovert split going on. You enjoy all sorts of situations. Parties, small groups, and alone time. Too much of one, and you'll long for the other. You need varity! Chances are, you've got both serious and fun friends.
Take the quiz here

My Thoughts:
THAT is interesting... I think I agree with most of it?!?! I don't think I am shy, reserved is a much better word! After a while people DO drain me. I find time alone very refreshing and as a help to keeping me sain!

Are You Ready to Get Married?

You are ready to get married!

You've done more than dream about the dress and the honeymoon. In fact, you spend a good deal of your time thinking about what makes a relationship work. And from your answers, it looks like you have the skills to say "I Do" and mean it. You're ready to settle down.
Take the quiz here
My thoughts:
Ok, now where to find the groom... is there a quiz on that? Nah, I'll leave that part to the Divine Matchmaker!
What Decade does your personality live in?

what decade does your personality live in?
My thoughts:

Intrapersonal thinkers

Intrapersonal thinkers:
-Spend a lot of time thinking about and trying to understand themselves
-Reflect on their thoughts and moods, and work to improve them
-You understand how your behaviour affects your relationships with others.

Other Intrapersonal thinkers include: Sigmund Freud, Gandhi, Grahame Greene
Careers which suit Intrapersonal Thinkers include: Psychologist, Teacher, Pilot, Child care worker, Explorer, Drama therapist
Take this quiz here
My Thoughts:
That quiz was interesting, for sure. I think it describes me perfectly.
Ok, enough for now...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Kissing, Fainting and Trusting God: One Year Later

One year. 365 days. 8,760 hours. 525,600 minutes.

A year is a long time in some regards, but a fleeting breath too. One year ago today something happened that changed the way I look at life forever. I have not thought about it as much lately... unless I have a headache and need to lay down. You see, the paramedics that rushed to the scene told me that my head could hurt for a couple of years at the spot that took the impact. It does hurt when I am stressed, tired or have a headache. My elbow healed after six weeks or so and the chiropractor set my back and neck to right again.

The transformation that occured in my soul, though, continues to affect how I view life. Life is but a vapor, as James says, here today and gone tomorrow:

"Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go
to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business
and make money." Why, you do not even know what will
happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that
appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you
ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this
or that." As it is, you boast and brag.
All such boasting is evil.
Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and
doesn't do it, sins."
James 4:13-16

I cannot count on being alive tomorrow. I know that is a morbid thing to say, yet it is true. Every moment is precious. Any breath could be my last.

So, for those of you who were not around last year, you are probably wondering what happened! Truly, it was not something that most people would see as a huge deal. The paramedics said I could have died, but really it was just a moderate concussion. Still, God used something life-treatening to remind me to trust Him with my life and my death.

Read all about it here: Kissing, Fainting and Trusting God! (You have to read the whole post to understand how the three go together!!!)

Monday, May 15, 2006

The Winds of Change

The winds of change are blowing in my life. I am excited and scared to death at the same time.

Today is my dad's first day in the office at Christian Family Fellowship, the church where he is now senior pastor. The discussion of moving is invading family conversations as we think about the best place and time to relocate. The move will inevitably force me to look for a new job. I am sad to leave American Family Insurance, my boss of seven years (only boss I have ever had) and my co-worker (one of my closest friends) Katie. Change is also invading my personal life as I build new friendships and dream new dreams.

Ah, but change in this life is sure. Change is exciting and difficult. The only thing that remains constant is God. He never changes. How thankful I am for that! Since He does not change, knowing all of time as an eternal now, He commands me to:

"not be anxious about anything,
but in everything by prayer and supplication
with thanksgiving
let your requests be made known to God.
And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:6-7

I do have a sinful, untrusting tendancy to be anxious. It takes a great discipline of the heart and mind to stay focused on God. He knows all, controls all and sees all. He has my best interest in mind as He is conforming me more and more to the likeness of His Son, Jesus. So I am commanded to not be anxious. There is no reason. None.

Oh, what would it be like to be so delighted and satisfied by the person of God that everything in this life, whether good or bad, falls apart in light of Him? The things that I hold so dear on earth are like sand in comparison to the reality of His majesty and blow away in His presence. This song has become so dear to me the last few weeks:

by Shane Barnard
It haunts me so

This gloomy weight
That comes and goes
Without a trace
A thousand times my flesh embrace
A thousand more but if for grace

To see the Lord, the promise land
Where in sins pearly gates look bland
And what was once a pearl now sand
That blows away in light of Him

When battle lines become unclear
And the waging war is all I hear
Sustain me with Your voice
And the choice to walk in truth
And by the Spirit

That I might see this day
This waging war might go away
And be no more
That I might see His face
And hear Him saySon, welcome home
The war is over

“But whatever things were gain to me,
those things I have counted as loss
for the sake of Christ.
More than that,
I count all things to be loss
in view of the surpassing
value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord,
for whom I have suffered the loss of all things,
and count them but rubbish
so that I may gain Christ…”
Philippians 3:7-8

All of my worries, cares, anxieties, fears, dreams, loves and pursuits are nothing in relation to knowing Christ and being known by Him. Do I love Him as He deserves to be loved? Do I desire Him as the only things worth possessing?

So, as the winds of change blow in my life, I see the need to rest in Him and desire Him above anything. The changes are good and God knows where the wind needs to blow. The wind will blow away the sand of my earthly affections and bring His refreshing touch. I want to be so fully captured by His glory that all things seem dull compared to Him!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

A picture worth a thousand words...

New Profile Picture Story

The picture above is from my trip to Africa in January 2005. We were in a town in Tanzania called Babati. This picture was taken shortly after we had presented our clowning mime for the village children. We attracted a lot of attention in this small city; we saw no other white people in that area while we were there. Some of the people in this village loved us and others yelled at our bus in protest. We learned through our native friend that the only white people that come to Babati are missionaries and stick out like a sore thumb.

People began to figure out our daily routine, where we were staying and where we were eating. Crowds began to gather outside the restaurant and at the end of our meals we were greeted with curious onlookers. After we had been there a couple of days we decided to take advantage of our admirers and do a clown show for them! And were they ever delighted! The children gathered close to watch us as the adults stood at a distance. We were cautious as we presented the gospel, knowing there was some resistance to the message of Christ, but excited for the opportunity. After we "clowned around" (haha) the children pressed against us, chattering and touching our skin and hair. The adults even ventured closer, thus the reason I was able to get the above picture.

We threw out frisbees that said, "Tembea na Yesu" which means, "Follow after Jesus." I would take a stack of 10-15 frisbees in my hand and throw them all at once. They fly every where, causing the children to run and laugh in all directions. They would gather them up and bring them back to me. I threw them again shouting, "Tembea na Yesu!"

After throwing the stack of frisbees a dozen times it was time for us to go. We loaded onto our bus and headed to another day of visiting orphans... thankful that we had taken the time to share the gospel to these that were curious about the white men! Obviously, we were not arrested for sharing in a public place, nor were we harrassed (which we were surprised)!

I long to go back to Africa. We are not able to go with our team in January of 2007. I am sad, but know that God will take me where He wants me to go... maybe deep into the heart of Thailand or to the slums of Bombay, India. I am confident that God used our words to spread His message to these young lives in the middle of the African desert!

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

Isaiah 55:10-11

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Colorado Weather at Its Finest

Last night before I went to bed the temperature dropped substantially. The wind started blowing and as I went to bed I could hear the soft patter of rain falling on the roof above my head. I closed my eyes with the soothing rhythm singing me to sleep.

This morning when I awoke I looked out the back door and gawked. I blinked and rubbed my eyes. Maybe, just maybe, I was seeing things. What day was it again? Oh, yeah, May 10th.

And there is snow on the ground???

More than that, though, the skies were a cloudless bright blue, the sun was shining, the green grass was sparkling and it was raining. (Since I could not see clouds I am not quite sure where the rain was coming from, unless it was just meltage from the surrounding trees.) To top it all off- the tree in our back yard was steaming too! Seriously, it looked like a fantasy land image.

Ah, I love Colorado!

Monday, May 08, 2006

When God Says, "YES!"


I feel emotionally, spiritually and physically drained and yet, at the same time, excited beyond belief! God has done GREAT things for our family this weekend and we are in awe of Him. It is wonderful to see that there is NOTHING we can take credit for doing. He has done it all in His perfect timing.

On Saturday our family had an open house, meet and greet, with the church members at Christian Family Fellowship where my dad was candidating to be the new senior pastor. Sunday my dad preached and the church had a meeting to decide on the direction they would go with my dad.

It was nerveracking to sit in the hallway for 20 minutes as the church had their meeting. Yet, the leader of the search team came out, shook my dad's hand and said, "Congratulations, pastor."


We went back into the church, stood before them and they clapped and cheered. My dad was able to say a few things and then we hugged and cried. Katie, one of my best friends, had joined our family to support us and was bawling! I think she cried more than I did!

We are very excited and looking forward to all that God is going to do through us with this group of believers. It will involve a move and a job change for me, but I am ready to begin this new adventure! I cannot wait to see my dad in this leadership position. I see how God has been preparing him for serveral years to take the head position in a church and lead people to know Christ more fully.

That was only half of my day. The other half I cannot give indepth details here, but am excited to see what God is going to do in my life. He is sooo good. His love endures forever!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

A challenge I will take...

A few weeks ago I found this challenge from Pastor John Piper. I have been reading it frequently and decided this morning that I will read it two times a day for the next 30 days. In the morning I will read it as a prayer, asking the Spirit for His strength to be more like Christ. In the evening I will read it as an evaluation to see what I did well and where I need to improve. It is quite lengthy, but well worth it for any woman who wants to become more like Christ in EVERY area of life. Idleness is a woman's destruction in so many ways and if one sets her heart on trying to accomplish everything on this list--- she shall NEVER have a moment to spare. She will also know Christ intimately, give freely of herself to others, love her husband and children to the fullest and find avenues for ministry wherever she goes.

Precious Savior, make more more like Christ and transform me into a woman who loves You with body, soul and spirit until I am completely abandoned to You. This is the cry of my heart and I want to do nothing but strive towards this goal!

I have highlighted what I see as the main point of each particular challenge.

A Challenge to Women
by John Piper

That all of your life—in whatever calling—be devoted to the glory of God.

That the promises of Christ be trusted so fully that peace and joy and strength fill your soul to overflowing.

That this fullness of God overflow in daily acts of love so that people might see your good deeds and give glory to your Father in heaven.

That you be women of the Book, who love and study and obey the Bible in every area of its teaching. That meditation on Biblical truth be the source of hope and faith. And that you continue to grow in understanding through all the chapters of your life, never thinking that study and growth are only for others.

That you be women of prayer, so that the Word of God would open to you; and the power of faith and holiness would descend upon you; and your spiritual influence would increase at home and at church and in the world.

That you be women who have a deep grasp of the sovereign grace of God undergirding all these spiritual processes, that you be deep thinkers about the doctrines of grace, and even deeper lovers and believers of these things.

That you be totally committed to ministry, whatever your specific role, that you not fritter your time away on soaps or ladies magazines or aimless hobbies, any more than men should fritter theirs away on excessive sports or aimless diddling in the garage. That you redeem the time for Christ and his Kingdom.

That, if you are single, you exploit your singleness to the full in devotion to Christ and not be paralyzed by the desire to be married.

That, if you are married, you creatively and intelligently and sincerely support the leadership of your husband as deeply as obedience to Christ will allow; that you encourage him in his God-appointed role as head; that you influence him spiritually primarily through your fearless tranquility and holiness and prayer.

That, if you have children, you accept responsibility with your husband (or alone if necessary) to raise up children who hope in the triumph of God, sharing with him the teaching and discipline of the children, and giving to the children that special nurturing touch and care that you are uniquely fitted to give.

That you not assume that secular employment is a greater challenge or a better use of your life than the countless opportunities of service and witness in the home the neighborhood, the community, the church, and the world. That you not only pose the question: Career vs. full time mom? But that you ask as seriously: Full time career vs. freedom for ministry? That you ask: Which would be greater for the Kingdom— to be in the employ of someone telling you what to do to make his business prosper, or to be God's free agent dreaming your own dream about how your time and your home and your creativity could make God's business prosper? And that in all this you make your choices not on the basis of secular trends or yuppie lifestyle expectations, but on the basis of what will strengthen the family and advance the cause of Christ.

That you step back and (with your husband, if you are married) plan the various forms of your life's ministry in chapters. Chapters are divided by various things—age, strength, singleness, marriage, employment choices, children at home, children in college, grandchildren, retirement, etc. No chapter has all the joys. Finite life is a series of tradeoffs. Finding God's will, and living for the glory of Christ to the full in every chapter is what makes it a success, not whether it reads like somebody else's chapter or whether it has in it what chapter five will have.

That you develop a wartime mentality and lifestyle; that you never forget that life is short, that billions of people hang in the balance of heaven and hell every day, that the love of money is spiritual suicide, that the goals of upward mobility (nicer clothes, cars, houses, vacations, food, hobbies) are a poor and dangerous substitute for the goals of living for Christ with all your might, and maximizing your joy in ministry to people's needs.

That in all your relationships with men you seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit in applying the Biblical vision of manhood and womanhood; that you develop a style and demeanor that does justice to the unique role God has given to man to feel responsible for gracious leadership in relation to women—a leadership which involves elements of protection and care and initiative. That you think creatively and with cultural sensitivity (just as he must do) in shaping the style and setting the tone of your interaction with men.

That you see Biblical guidelines for what is appropriate and inappropriate for men and women in relation to each other not as arbitrary constraints on freedom but as wise and gracious prescriptions for how to discover the true freedom of God's ideal of complementarity. That you not measure your potential by the few roles withheld but by the countless roles offered.

That you turn off the TV and Radio and think about...

The awesome significance of motherhood

Complementing a man's life as his wife

Ministries to the handicapped:
hearing impaired

Ministries to the sick:
hospice care—cancer, AIDS, etc.
community health

Ministries to the socially estranged:
emotionally impaired
recovering alcoholics
recovering drug users
escaping prostitutes
abused children, women
runaways, problem children

Prison ministries:
women's prisons!
families of prisoners
rehabilitation to society

Ministries to youth:
open houses and recreation
outings and trips
academic assistance

Sports ministries:
neighborhood teams
church teams
Therapeutic counseling:
church based

Audio visual ministries:

Writing ministries:
free lance
curriculum development
institutional communications
journalistic skills for publications

Teaching ministries:
Sunday school: children, youth, students, women
grade school
high school

Music ministries:

Evangelistic ministries:
personal witnessing
Inter Varsity
Campus Crusade
Home Bible Studies
outreach to children
Visitation teams
Counseling at meetings
Billy Graham phone bank

Radio and TV ministries:
technical assistance

Theater and drama ministries:

Social ministries:

Pastoral care assistance:
newcomer welcoming and assistance
food and clothing and transportation

Prayer ministries:
mobilizing for major Concerts of Prayer
helping with small groups of prayer
coordinating prayer chains
promoting prayer days and weeks and vigils

all of the above across cultures

Support ministries:
countless jobs that undergird major ministries

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


Which sounds better to you? Should I say "two weeks and six days" or "twenty days?" I think I will say two weeks. Hahaha... Are you ready for this?


Phew. That felt good.

Wednesday, May 24 I will leave for California. I will pass through Phoenix before arriving in San Jose where I will see my dear Dawn face to face.

Dawn said that she thinks she found a difference between us. (Not the first one, mind you ;-) First, I need to give some background information. For the last couple of months, well, since I bought my plane ticket to California, I have repeatedly told her, "I am so excited!" Second, this morning I was prettty enthusiastic when I was talking about visiting.

Now, you have to know something: I am not an excitable, bouncy, goofy, giggly girl- even when I am thirilled about something. There are times, of course, when I smile and laugh to show my pleasure. I am not a completely serious and reserved person. I DO love to laugh and smile.

But I am REALLY excited about seeing Dawn. Still, I am not like running around all giddy or anything. What I express when I write is way different than what people might see on my face. Some people might scream and giggle when they are excited. I am content to smile and enthusiastically say, "I am SO excited!" and leave it at that.

So, Dawn thought that since I am going on and on about being excited that this is a difference in our personalities. Could be. BUT, I might ask you, Dawn Dear... who is supposed to be Anne and who is Diana here? ;-) Shouldn't I be the reserved, quiet excited one and YOU the bouncy, estatic excited one? Hehehe...

Nevertheless, I am VERY excited to visit you, even if the expression of my excitement is totally uncharacteristic of me! It feels good to be so exuberant about something!

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Luxury, Rottweilers and Broken Gate Openers

What do you get when you combine two labrador retrievers and one rottweiler in a $3,000,000 home equipped with an indoor hot tub, an exercise room, outdoor water fountain, two sinks in a gigantic kitchen and a BMW and a Porche in the garage?

MY home for two weeks!

I am house sitting in a goregous home in a ritzy neighborhood near Denver. A friend of mine who owns a cleaning business referred me to this couple as someone who would be a reliable, honest, responsible house and dog sitter. So, I met with the owners of the home a couple of times and received my instuctions (which were a detailed 6 pages long!). Last Saturday I began the two week job while they are on vacation.

My main responsibility and attention is to care for Fraser, Kaiser and Forsberg, the dogs. One needs a barking collar, one gets a pill at each meal, one follows you everywhere, one will not come when you call him, one needs to be covered up with a blanket when he goes to bed, one knocks over the trash, one digs holes....shall I go on? It has been an adventure so far and I still have five days to go!

It has been quite a task to run someone else's home while they are away. My six pages of instructions include (but are not limited to) the following:

1- Take care of dogs. Feed twice daily. Forsberg in the garage around 5:30AM and the other dogs in the laundry room before 7:00AM. Feed all dogs in garage between 4-7PM. Don't forget to give Kaiser his pill. Let them play outside in the afternoon and bring them inside whenever you can. Put to bed, cover Forsberb with his blankie.

2- Water plants. (There are a lot of them and each plant needs to be watered differently at different times...)

3- Check hot tub once a week. Check filter and put cleaning tablet inside.

4- Let cleaning people in. Hide gate opener for cleaning people and lock up rottweiler because he scares them.

Misfortunes experienced thus far:
1- Set fire/ burglar alarm off twice. After trying to get the thing to stop screeching the security company calls and asks if everything is ok. You then have to give them your password and the security code. They ask again, "Are you sure everything is ok? You are safe? There is no fire or boogie man?" Well, maybe they do not say that, but pretty close... And I want to answer, "I'm FINE! I am not used to a security alarm that screams at you when you forget to shut it off at 5:30 in the morning when I am still half asleep and there are dogs that need to go potty and I want to go back to bed!" No, I just say, "Everything is fine, thank you for calling." Then I crawl under a rock and swear I will not forget again! (Except I've done it twice...)

2- Dropped gate opener and broke it. I took the task upon myself to get it fixed. I opened (praying I would not break it too!) the other gate opener to see how the numbers were set. I switched the numbers 1-10 to look like the other opener and headed down the lane to try it out. I stand at the gate and press the button. Nothing. Thinking that maybe I had the numbers backwards, I do the exact opposite pattern and press the button- Success!!!!! One less thing I have to tell the owner when they get home...

3- Cannot find Rottweiler. It was late. I was tired. I go to put the dogs to bed and cannot find Kaiser, the Rott. I yell for him, walking through the house turning all the lights on trying to find him. "KAISER!" No reply. I head up the back stairs toward my bedroom that is pitch black when I hear a deep throat growling sound. I reach around the door way to flip the light switch. There he was, growling, with his big black eyes staring at me. I think I startled him. He had not growled at me up to that point and has not since.

Things I have learned:
1- Wealthy people buy all name-brand items.
2- Big, fancy houses need a lot of care and attention.
3- A well-behaved dog is a treasure.
4- Rottweilers are not as scary as they look.
5- It takes a long time to vacuum a 6,000 square foot house. (I have only vacuumed the areas where I have spent most of my time... but I am only assuming how long it would really take to do the whole place! I guess that's why they pay someone to do it...)
6- It is really handy to have two sinks in the kitchen.
7- Big, fancy houses have messy rooms too.
8- It is REALLY nice to have all kinds of exercise equipment at my disposal.
9- I do not think I could live alone.
10- I miss my family.

I have enjoyed the afternoon and evenings of quiet. With four younger siblings my home is not at peace until about 9PM. I am a person who is energized by times alone with God and being able to sit in quiet. I miss my family terribly, but thank God for this little retreat to focus on Him and gain refreshment.

I have done a lot of thinking about places around the world where I have been and would like to go. Money, possessions and status mean little to me. I am not completely abandoned to God yet or I would be able to say that they mean nothing to me. I'm still working on that one! Living in a rich person's home has given me a look into the culture of wealth, but has caused me a longing for the destitute. What would the woman in the grass hut I visited in Africa think of this mansion? Talk about two worlds colliding!

Yet Jesus left the glory of heaven and became a human. He became a human of the least people in the world, to the poorest of that people and lived His life without possessions or home taking His attention.

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God
something to be grasped,
but made himself nothing,
taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father."
Philippians 2:5-11

"As they were walking along the road, a man said to him, "I will follow you wherever you go." Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." He said to another man, "Follow me." But the man replied, "Lord, first let me go and bury my father." Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and proclaim the kingdom of God." Still another said, "I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and say good bye to my family." Jesus replied, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God."
Luke 9:57-62

He calls His followers to abandon everything- yes, everything- and follow Him. Everything. Everything includes money, possessions, status, family, home, customs, climate, familiarity and even my life.

"Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?"
Luke 9:23-25

So there it is. There is my story of the mansion. I will allow myself to be spoiled, but I will not get attached. I will have fun and take ths time as a gift from God, but I will remember my brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering. Many are in chains for the gospel, starving, being beaten, tortured and killed.

"I know what it is to be in need,
and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content
in any and every situation,
whether well fed or hungry,
whether living in plenty or in want.
I can do everything through him
who gives me strength."
Philippians 4:12-13

"But godliness with contentment is great gain.
For we brought nothing into the world
and we can take nothing out of it.
But if we have food and clothing,
we will be content with that.
People who want to get rich fall into temptation
and a trap and into many foolish and harmful
desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil.
Some people, eager for money,
have wandered from the faith and pierced
themselves with many griefs.
But you, man of God, flee from all this,
and pursue righteousness, godliness,
faith, love, endurance and gentleness."
1 Timohty 6:6-11
"Keep your lives free from the love of money
and be content with what you have,
because God has said,
"Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you."
So we say with confidence,
"The Lord is my helper;
I will not be afraid.
What can man do to me?"
Hebrews 13:5-6

Monday, May 01, 2006

When God Says Wait

I did a Bible search. The word "wait" or a form of it is mentioned 139 times in the Bible. Patient or a form of that word is used 27 times. This is probably not an exhaustive search, for there are other words that are similar to "wait" and "patient" that I could have looked up.

As I scanned the verses and how the word "wait" was used I thought it very fascinating that the majority of the time the verses, especially through Psalms, say, "Wait on the Lord" or "Wait for the Lord." Does this literally mean to wait for God, tapping my foot like GOD is behind the schedule? I don't think so. It is more likely that I get impatient and try to push God along with the timing that I think is best. He is teaching me, painfully at some times, that:

"My thoughts are not your thoughts
neither are your ways my ways,
declares the Lord.
For as the heaves are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Isaiah 55:8-9

God's timing in this life is far different from my human one. Since He is outside of time and sees everything as the present He is never late. I am learning that it takes an incredible amount of intentionality to wait for the Lord. Just wait. No worrying. No thoughts that question "when." Wait.

"Wait for the Lord; be strong,
and let your heart take courage;
wait for the Lord!"
Psalm 24:15

For me, though, I need practical, applicable steps towards a disciplined life. I ask God, "How?" How am I supposed to live this way, patiently, trusting and carefree? What do I do when I start to worry about the future? The answer, unfortunately, seems harder than the original problem! God always seems to come to me, look me straight in the face (try imagining it sometime!) and say:

"Jaclyn, whenever you worry, whenever you get impatient, you are not looking at Me. When you ask Me 'When?' your eyes are wandering, your heart is not steadfast and you are desiring My good gifts above Me. I will tell you the story you want to hear soon."

"Oh, God, what is soon to You?" I plead.

"Dear child, I call all times soon," comes His gentle reply, "Just look at Me. Keep your eyes on Me and not on the clock. Focus all your love, energy, time and hopes on Me, not the calendar. Step into My world, that runs outside of time and be free of the burdens that time places on your shoulders. Look at Me and wait."

Oh, the joy that is found when I step outside of the clock and the calendar into the freedom of timelessness! What peace is felt when God commands, "Wait like I wait, Jaclyn! I have all times under control anyway, be free!"