family, marriage

Day 20 Prayer: To be a Good Father

I love my dad. My father is one of the most humble, gentle people you will ever meet. Is he perfect? No. However, his Godly example is bearing fruit not only in my life, but in the life of my kids.

My earliest memories are of him reading his Bible every morning while eating his breakfast. (My mom did this, too, but we are talking about fathers.)

My dad is a hard worker, a man of integrity, and has great knowledge and wisdom. He also has a funny side. He is a man of few words, but when he speaks, we always wonder if he will say something wise or funny.

Maybe you didn’t have a good father. Maybe your dad wasn’t even around. It saddens my heart when I hear stories of fathers who didn’t stand up to the plate, and were absent or were abusive either verbally or physically.

The wonderful thing is, we can pray for our husbands to be a good father to our children. Regardless of their upbringing, God can do awesome things in the heart of a man who is willing and ready.

Day 20 Prayer: To be a Good Father

Thank God for the children he has given to you and your spouse.

Pray that your husband will be a Godly example to your kids.

Pray that he will not provoke your children to anger. (Ephesians 6:4) If this has happened in the past, pray that he would be able to use his words wisely and discipline without anger.

Pray that he would be able to communicate and be interested in your children. If he struggles with the desire to be an interactive father, start there. Pray for a change of heart.

“The righteous who walks in his integrity-blessed are his children after him.” Proverbs 20:7

Advertisements
marriage

Day 12 Prayer: Peace

As I take a look at our world, I quickly recognize that people are not at peace. I see turmoil everywhere. I see it in the news, in the streets, in schools, and in homes.

If it breaks my heart, I know it breaks God’s heart.

Where does peace come from? But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control.” Galatians 5:22

Peace comes from the Holy Spirit, so the more we draw close to Him, the more our old self dies, producing good fruit. Thus, we will look different to the world, because our very actions will be Christ-like.

Many times people have walked into our home and said, “Its so peaceful here.” It’s not because of anything I did, believe me. That is all God. God brings peace.

When we keep our focus on God, we have peace. How many of us have been through difficult things and when we rely on ourself, we have anxiety and fear. But, when we give it over to the Lord, His peace, which surpasses all understanding, sweeps over us. “You will keep him in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you.” Isaiah 26:3

Day 12 Prayer: Peace

Thank Him that we can have peace in our lives and homes.

If your home is not a home of peace and comfort, pray that God would show you what needs to change. Pray that love would sweep over your household. Without love, peace isn’t possible.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” John 16:33

christianity

Deep Roots

“…He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water that brings forth its fruit in its season…” Psalm 1:3

I just finished the book Through the Gates of Splendor by Elisabeth Elliot. I have heard the Jim Elliot story many times especially being a homeschool mom. We tend to make it a point to study missionaries to encourage us in our own journeys. 

At this time in my life and living in Mexico as a missionary myself, I thought it would be great to dive a little deeper and read about the people who truly lived out what they believed. Thus the reason for reading Elisabeth Elliot’s story and where it all began. 

Her husband along with four other men were killed by a local tribe of natives in South America. They were trying to make missionary contact and to spread the gospel of Christ. It is a remarkable story of dying to self for all those involved.

I sit in awe at the widows’ response. Barbara Youderian wrote: “I want to be free of self pity. It is a tool of Satan to rot away a life..the lord has closed our hearts to grief and hysteria, and filled in with His perfect peace.”

So often self pity is our go to response and here we see a woman who clearly has every fleshly right to have self pity, yet she wants nothing to do with it. Amazing! 

I want to have deep roots like these women did. I don’t want to be tossed to and fro by the waves of this life. Elisabeth wrote: “God is God. If He is God, He is worthy of my worship and my service. I will find rest nowhere but in His will, and that will is infinitely, immeasurably, unspeakably beyond my largest notions of what He is up to.” 

I was encouraged to keep fighting the fight…even when it’s difficult. To keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking. He will direct me and if I get off course He loves me so much He will redirect me to His perfect will if I allow Him to.

Yes, trials will come. Yes, we will have conflict. But, He is bigger than all of those things and it’s through those trials that we become refined, shining Christ light for all to see!

Uncategorized

Are we the Same?

Two women. One from the United States and one from Mexico. Did we know our paths would cross one day? No! But, I am so glad they did. My life is forever changed. Are we the same? In some ways, yes. In other ways, no. Her life much harder than I could ever imagine. Some would look at me and say I am far better off than the other woman. Some would say I was born into privilege. But what makes me any better than anyone else? Because I was born in a country where life is much easier? Because I was born in the US? How much different my life would be if I was born in a third world country. Why was I the lucky one to be born in North America? But, am I really the blessed one? Sometimes I question if I am truly fortunate. The other woman able to take one moment at a time; to be focused on what is truly important, family. Me, so busy with life and not able to relax without feeling guilty. Questions that stir in my mind as I sit watching, talking, and waiting among the beautiful people here in a Mexico.

church

Saying Goodbye

This week has been difficult as we say goodbye to our family and friends. We leave in a couple of days to go live in Mexico. Many tears have been shed. An old song from Michael W. Smith comes to mind:

And friends are friends forever
If the Lord’s the Lord of them
And a friend will not say never
‘Cause the welcome will not end
Though it’s hard to let you go
In the Father’s hands we know
That a lifetime’s not too long
To live as friends

To all of our ‘friends’ some old, some new. We love you all and we know that this is not ‘goodbye’. It is ‘see you later!”

christianity

“For Such a Time as This”

“Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Then Esther told them to reply to Mordecai: “Go gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise, And so I will go to the king, which is against the law; and if I perish, I perish.” Esther 4:14-16

As I read these verses I was overwhelmed with how Esther handled the situation. Her people were going to be killed. She wasn’t sure what her role was in all of this. Mordecai had said, “Who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Those words are so meaningful. Esther didn’t ask to become queen. She knew that God had opened a door for her, not knowing exactly why. Now it seems that everything was falling into place and I can just picture her mind reeling with thoughts of, “Wow, maybe this is the reason I am the queen. I am in a position where I can help my people.” Of course, this is just speculation, but you can almost feel what she was thinking because her reply was amazing.

She didn’t get upset and go immediately into the king’s chambers. She asked all the Jews in Shushan to fast and pray along with her maids and herself; fasting and praying for three days and three nights. She was bathing the situation in prayer. The ramifications of going before the king without being called, possibly meant death. Esther understood what going before the king could mean for her. Life or death. She reconciled this and had peace about what she was to do. She fasted and prayed. After doing this, she fully understood that her life would be in God’s hands. If He willed her to live – then it would be so. If He willed her to die – then He would allow it.

This spoke to me in such a spiritual way. If I go before our Lord and Savior and He asks me to do something that will “make waves” or even be illegal in our country, would I respond the way Esther did? Would I first fast and pray, seeking His will for the situation? I would hope that my response would be just as godly as Esther’s.

Many times on the mountain where we lived, I had to seek God’s face and see what he required for the day. Sometimes it was just trusting that he would provide¬†food for our family, or money for gas to get down the mountain, or the words to speak to a tortured soul. Always trusting that he would provide and knowing whatever the outcome – He had a plan and I could rest in His peace.

If you’ve read the story of Esther in the Bible, you know that it worked out very well for her. She was able to go before the king, ask him to dinner, and share what was going to happen to her people. Through her, God saved the Jews from being annihilated.

Lord, my desire is to go before You with everything. Help me to seek Your face, not only when tough times come, but when things are going smoothly as well. I know I was created, “For such a time as this.” You have a plan for my life and I want to be able to trust you completely. Amen.

christianity, church

Candle of Peace?

But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22

My husband and I were shopping at a big department store when something interesting caught my eye. Right in front of me was a candle display. Now it being Christmas time, the manufacturer was trying to speak to the masses so that people would buy their candles with catchy candle names. One candle was named, “Peace.” Another candle, “Joy,” another one named, “Comfort.”

The more I thought about these candles, the more saddened I became. The world is trying to seek peace, joy, and comfort; but it won’t come in the form of a candle. Or for that matter, a car, or even a house.

The Bible says in John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be afraid.” Our peace only comes from the Father, who gives it to us. This world cannot offer peace. Actually, it offers the exact opposite – turmoil and chaos.

The more we abide in Christ, the more we take on the fruit of the spirit and people recognize Christ in us. The candle manufacturer got a portion of their marketing ploy correct. It is a light, but not from a candle. It is Christ’s light living in us that changes us, thus causing the fruit of the spirit to pour out of us for all to see. Matthew 5:16 says, “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father, who is in heaven.”

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; he who follows Me, will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12) While this world looks to find peace, joy, and comfort, a Savior was born in a lowly manger whose purpose was to come and take away the sin of the world and offer love. Out of love flows peace, joy, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

Isaiah 9:6 proclaims, “For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; and the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince. of Peace.

Thank you Lord for giving Your one and only Son for us. Help me to remember that when strife comes in my life, I can be still and know that your gentle arms are surrounding me, holding me, comforting me and giving me peace that only comes from You. Amen.a-nativity