Friday, September 30, 2011

Card Shower

Will you participate in a card shower for Missionary Sheila Campbell during her fight against cancer?

I went to Bible college with Sheila. She, her husband Steve, and three sons, have been missionaries to the Philippines since 2000 serving with BIMI. She is now home in Maryland for treatment.

With the bone marrow transplant that she's going to need (which is 60 days straight, including holidays and weekends), she will have lots of expenses 
such as gas, food, room and board, extra medical bills, etc.

We are encouraging people to send a card and include a gas card, gift card, or cash if possible. If not, at least a card of encouragement.

If you would like to send her a card or help with a monetary gift, you can send it to:
Sheila Campbell
P.O. Bo 9215
Chattanooga, TN, 37412

Please also help me spread this news to other 
churches or friends that you know would participate.

Thank you to Rhonda White for coordinating this.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Trying Hard

"I'm trying."

How many times have you said that about your Christian walk?

"I'm doing my best."

I believe that this is many times my problem! It's "I" and "me"; not "He" and "Him."

Galatians 2:20 says, "...not I, but Christ liveth in me... and the life that I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God..."

It's not even my faith! It's His faith!

"That I may KNOW HIM, and the power..." Philippians 3:10

Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit {at salvation}, are ye now {in sanctification/spiritual growth} made perfect by the flesh? Galatians 3:3

When we got saved, it was all HIM, so why do we think now we can mature spiritually in our own strength and "trying harder"?

Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left [us] of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it. Hebrews 4:1

There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God. For he that is entered into his {God's} rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God [did] from his. Hebrews 4:9-10

One thinks, well, we have to try or else nothing is accomplished. Yes, it's true that I still have a choice to yield to the Spirit inside me when He tells me to pick up my Bible and read it. Yes, it's true that I still have things to accomplish in my day. In order to get them done, I do need to focus my mind and actually put one foot in front of the other--actually fill that cleaning pail up with soapy water.

It's not that "doing" goes away and we just lay around "enjoying God's presence" all the time! It's just that the "doing" is not ours to accomplish; our responsibility is just to yield and rest in His power, strength, faith, and love. I take my orders from Him, but--here's the key: He bears all the responsibility and burden!

My husband handles our finances, and I am happy that he does! Numbers are definitely not my forte! There is such a comfort and rest for me in this, because I trust my husband to bear the responsibility of the finances. He gives me a budget, and I follow it. Then I don't worry about the money. I have great freedom in this!

This is the way it is when I am in Christ. He bears all the burden and responsibility, and He takes care of me. All I have to do is listen to His voice telling me the very next step to take. His Holy Spirit lives inside me, and in Him, I have all the power I need to respond to that irritation in a godly way, to love that annoying person, to have patience with that toddler, to clean up for the millionth time after someone else!

Do I "get it"?

Today, as I peck away at my "to-do" list at home, I want to focus on "being"... "feeling at home in the presence of Jesus... laying way back in His love."

When I rest confident in His love and acceptance, I am so humbled by it, that I can extend grace to the next person.

I feel honoured to serve.

I feel compassion for the unseen hurts that cause another's insecurities, and I can show love to them in the face of their immature actions.

This is not an opportunity to put myself on a pedestal... when my attitude is right (remembering and being humbled that I am in Christ and His Spirit lives in me, I have no desire or reason to be proud!

Instead, I hide myself in the Secret Place of the Most High, and allow HIS life to flow through me. What a privilege!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Choosing Joy

Sara (pictured here with her dog Riley) is dying of a hereditary, autoimmune disease abbreviated AS, but as her blog proclaims, she is "choosing joy."

This is the most inspiring, convicting, and sobering thing I have read in awhile. She writes...

“How do you manage to stay so positive? So happy? Don’t you ever just get really mad?”

I suppose the cop out answer, while true, is that I just don’t have the energy to be mad. Seriously. It takes so much effort and energy to wallow. And it’s not any fun. I live 99.8% of my time alone, and if anger was all I had to live with I would lose my mind.

I think, for me, it has been about learning to want what He wants for me more than what I want for myself.It's a tall order and I don't say that flippantly. But my joy has truly come from Him finding His joy in me rather than me finding my joy in what I desire. It doesn't mean I don't long for different, it just means I find peace in fulfilling rather than understanding. In the knowledge that this life isn’t about me, it’s about Him.

The thing I try to remind myself of, as I am without all the things that I wish I had to make me happy, is that my biggest need is Him. More than I need to be outside in the fresh air, more than I need to move without pain, more than I even need Dad... I need His will to be done in my life whether it is comfortable or not. There is not one thing that feels comfortable about my world right now, but I need Him more than I need to change my circumstances.

It's still brutally hard. I have to remind myself of these facts every day. It doesn’t always come easily.
But it doesn’t make the truth any less true.

And the truth is that I can choose the joy.

So I do.

~ Sara at Gitzen Girl: Choose Joy blog,

Update: Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2011...

Sara received information late yesterday afternoon that her body was beginning to shut down, and things have moved quickly since. Hospice arrived this morning and Sara is comfortable. Her family is surrounding her and reading her texts, facebook posts, and emails, so please feel free to contact her and share your love; she will not be able to reply but is taking great peace in your words, your heart.  I know how thankful she is for each of you, how much joy you’ve added to her days, and what purpose sharing Him has given her. I will continue to post as things change and want to thank each of you for the ways in which you have loved sweet Sara so well.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Come Thou Fount

Keukenhof Gardens, Netherlands

Have you ever meditated awhile on the words of the hymn "Come Thou Fount" by Robert Robinson? Would you take a few moments just to read carefully and dwell on these thoughts?

1. Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
 Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; 
 Streams of mercy, never ceasing, 
 Call for songs of loudest praise. 
 Teach me some melodious sonnet, 
 Sung by flaming tongues above. 
 Praise the mount! I'm fixed upon it, 
 Mount of Thy redeeming love.

Jesus is the Fount that pours out every blessing in my life. When I realize that everything I have is a gift from Him--whether perceived good or bad*--my spirit (which is redeemed) wants my heart (my mind, will, and emotions, which are still carnal) to be tuned into that fact! Then I want to sing and tell everyone I know about His grace and never-ending streams of mercy!

*"Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting, e'er to take as from a Father's hand."
(from the hymn "Day by Day.") 

 2. Here I raise mine Ebenezer*; 
 Hither by Thy help I'm come; 
 And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, 
 Safely to arrive at home. 
 Jesus sought me when a stranger, 
 Wandering from the fold of God; 
 He, to rescue me from danger, 
 Interposed His precious blood.

Oh to fully realize and continually remember that it's only by God's help that I have come to whatever place I've matured thus far in my life. And to acknowledge that it's only by His grace and pleasure (because He desires it) that He will safely conduct me home to Heaven. I'm so grateful that He searched for me when I was a sinner--born in sin--and that he "interposed" His precious blood on my behalf! 
*Ebenezer is a reference to I Samuel 7:12, meaning "hitherto hath the Lord helped." Other study helps indicate its meaning as "stone of help." It was a memorial stone erected by Samuel as a remembrance of the Lord's help in defeating the Philistines. 

3. O to grace how great a debtor 
 Daily I'm constrained to be! 
 Let thy goodness, like a fetter, 
 Bind my wandering heart to thee. 
 Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, 
 Prone to leave the God I love; 
 Here's my heart, O take and seal it, 
 Seal it for thy courts above. 

I am such a debtor to His grace! Because I was saved as a young child and did not dabble much in the world, at times I have not understood everything from which Jesus saved me. Now daily I can recognize more and more from which He saved me! I can recognize my proud heart, my arrogance in thinking I've been spiritual, my quiet rage and inward bitterness others don't see. Yes, He saved me from so much! And it's His goodness that makes me want to more tightly bind my heart to His! He doesn't force me to live for Him. I want to, because I'm so grateful for His grace daily shown in my life, ever willing to deliver me from my pride and arrogance, my anger and bitterness. My flesh makes me prone to wander away, to sink back into these besetting sins, but my spirit wants Him to take my heart and keep it close to His--a daily choice to walk in the power of the Spirit of God that lives within me! What freedom! Freedom to choose Him, not the destructive way of living!

Renewing the Mind with Good Christian Books

It is so important to renew our minds with Scripture daily! Nothing can replace the Word!

But there is also a place for good Christian books that point us to Scripture. Often I am asked for a list of books that have helped me in my Christian walk, so I thought I would share that list here. I wish I had kept such a list years ago, because, naturally, I do not remember every book that has benefited me. Thus, this is a list to which I'm continually adding, as I remember them.

Note: I cannot give a blanket endorsement to these authors and books. As with anything, one must "eat the meat and throw out the bones."

A Song for All Seasons/ Wilma Sullivan
Abandoned to God (biography of Oswald Chambers)
Abide in Christ/ Andrew Murray
Be Transformed/ Scope Ministries *
Breaking Free Bible study/ Beth Moore*
Climbing/ Rosalind Goforth
Created to Be His Helpmeet/ Debi Pearl
Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved/ Doris van Stone
Experiencing God daily devotional/ Henry Blackaby *
Hinds’ Feet on High Places/Hannah Hurnard
How I Know God Answers Prayer/ Rosalind Goforth
Humility/ Andrew Murray
Knowing God/ An Unknown Christian
Lifetime Guarantee/ Bill Gillham *
Living Free Bible study/ Beth Moore *
Love & Respect/ Emerson Eggerichs
My Utmost for His Highest/ Oswald Chambers
Reclaiming Surrendered Ground/ Jim Logan
Search for Significance/ Robert McGee *
So Long, Insecurity: You’ve Been a Bad Friend to Us/ Beth Moore *
Streams in the Desert/ Mrs. Charles E. Cowman
The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life/Hannah Whitall Smith
The God of All Comfort/ Hannah Whitall Smith
The Hiding Place/ Corrie ten Boom
The Silent Years of Corrie ten Boom/ Pamela Rosewell *
Whispers of His Power/ Amy Carmichael

Missionary biographies, Holocaust stories
Keswick Convention talks

*Does not use the KJV

Andrew Murray
Corrie ten Boom
Darlene Deibler Rose
F.B. Meyer
Elisabeth Elliot
Rosalind Goforth
Ruth Paxson
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