Saturday, March 22, 2014

Are You Ready?

This week has been an awesome time of seeing current world events in the light of the Bible.  I've heard teaching by Dr. Charles Hiltibidal and Dr. Jimmy DeYoung on prophecy and how the events of our world all line up with what was put into the Bible thousands of years ago.  Dr. Hiltibidal has been at our church this week, and Dr. DeYoung was on VCY America for a rally in Wisconsin.  He *was* here at our church last summer, and he is a phenomenal speaker!

All that said, I've been in awe of how much our world is really moving forward toward the last pages of Revelation.  So much has happened in the past years, just the last half of 1900's, and going at break-neck speed as we speak.  Seeing how countries are reuniting, joining forces, becoming allies, and all settling into position to go to war with Israel, watching our own become more and more anti-Christian to the point of persecution, seeing our world become more and more "one world" instead of individual entities...not too long ago we'd have never believed it would happen.

But it is.

Soon, the peace treaty between Israel and the nations around her will be confirmed.  Not created--confirmed.  The is a treaty already written, the Oslo accord, that has never been implemented.  It will.


As our world careens toward the end of Revelation, we have one stop in the road we have yet to make.

The Rapture.

Soon, at any time, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, Jesus will call all those who believe on Him and have trusted Him as Lord and Savior, back to Him.  Many of us who believe are awaiting impatiently, ready to go home to our Savior, where there are no more tears, no more sorrows, no pain, no suffering, but instead the glory of being with Jesus forever.  While we wait for Him to call us home, we watch as more and more persecutions come against believers, from soft to extreme, and we keep on doing as we were instructed to do--keep telling others of Him.

Whether online, by a tract, by street preaching, by gentle conversation, however you tell others of Him, keep on telling!  Our work isn't over yet, but soon, soon we'll be home where we long to be.

Dear Christian, as the world grows to hate our Lord more each day, show His love all the more.  His love, His grace, His mercy, His salvation doesn't stop because our society doesn't want it.  Someday soon the time to tell others will be over...until then...keep on keeping on!

Are you ready?

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Friday, March 21, 2014

Are You Following Where He Leads?

What do you do regularly?  Are you a homemaker?  A nurse?  A factory worker?  An office assistant? (I think you get the picture here).

Last night, on the drive home from church after the first night of Revival, hubby and I were discussing regrets and what ifs.  He told me something that has weighed on him significantly over the last nearly 30 years, a regret of sorts.  Had hubby done what he had *wanted* to do instead of what he did, we wouldn't be here today, he wouldn't have his family, we would have never met, most likely he wouldn't know the Lord as Savior, and he wouldn't be where the Lord put him.

Likewise, had I followed through on what I *wanted* instead of what I did, I would not have seen the state of Kansas, let alone live here.  I would not have my family, wouldn't know the Lord as Savior, wouldn't be in a solid, bible preaching and teaching church.

Through events there's no way either one of us could orchestrate, we are where we are.  Had we succeeded in pushing into another door or window, changed direction just one time, we wouldn't be where He led us.

Is this where we thought we'd see ourselves years ago as much younger folks?  No.  But, the Lord has led, and we've followed whether we knew we were or not.  God used our sins, our decisions, our actions, to lead us where He wants us to go.

I had been in tears this week, looking at the budget and the pantry, and feeling really sorry for myself, thinking "I don't contribute enough to the income".  I'd wanted to go back to school so bad to finish up my degree in nursing, to finally become an RN, to be able to make sure everything is paid and plenty of good foods available and properly fitting clothes in the closet.  I'd started this degree way back in 1997, while fresh out of high school, single, no children, and chipped away at it over the years as work loads increased and then children.  Circumstances left me with more dropped classes and even some rather nasty grades in classes I could ace if I actually had time to put in the effort, than classes completed and with good grades.  And debt, lots of debt.

Last night, I realized that I'm where the Lord wants me.  My dream of becoming a nurse and taking care of financial needs of our family will most likely never come to fruition.  Instead, I am where the Lord wants me.

At home.  Doing dishes, scrubbing toilets, sweeping floors, dusting, making meals from scratch a few times a day, day after day, wiping dirty faces (even on the oldest kids)....tending home and family.  In staying home, I can make those dollars stretch in the food budget, make the clothing last by mending and repurposing, beautify the home by planting and tending flowers and herbs and a garden, decorating inside and out with what I grow.  I can use worn out clothing and materials to make rugs and quilts and so on.

I can also be here to nourish the souls of those inside our home.  I'm here to make sure the kids have a mom figure, and they expect that I'll be home while they are in school, and that I'll be around day or night.  They expect to see me in the kitchen first thing in the morning making breakfast, in the evening cooking, donned in my apron as I go about the work of the day.  They expect to be able to tell me when they're sick, afraid, when another sibling hurt their feelings, ask when they can have computer time, if I'll do something for them...they expect me to be here for them.  A strong, stable figure that is also soft and lumpy and good to cuddle up next to on the couch.

This is where the Lord put me.  I've fought at times against this, believing the world's hype that leaving the kids for a career outside is so much better, that it's great to have the large paychecks and stress while the family suffers.  I've been led away a time or two into the world to follow that lie...when we've had "enough" and the Lord had provided just enough...and each time came back home knowing I'd left the path the Lord had laid before me.  I learned early on in parenthood as a single mom what that world was like, before I came to know the Lord, when I felt lost and seeking a direction and grabbing at anything I could hold on to.

Do you yet follow the path the Lord leads you on?  Whatever He has you to do, are you doing it?  Whether it is staying at home with your family, or going out and performing the tasks that the Lord would have you do, are you doing what He has been leading you to do?  Whatever the Lord has you to do, be encouraged--He is there where He leads you--He won't put you where He won't go Himself.  Where the Lord leads may not be what you were expecting in your life, it may not necessarily be where you thought you'd be--but He has greater and better plans, and His are always the best!!

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Monday, March 10, 2014

A Small but Large Surrender

It's been 8 years since I first started my little venture to earn extra money.

8 years ago, I was a single mom with Mr. Kevin, who at the time had just turned 4.  I worked long hours as a CNA in nursing homes and as an in home aide.  I didn't see him much.  He had needs that tore at my heart that I couldn't tend to because I had to work and not be available to take care of him.  The day I asked to go part time at my full time job, to be able to be at home and still barely be able to make the bills...I lost my job.

So I started sewing things to sell on Ebay.

I had Kevin's SSI income--he has been considered disabled since birth due to being a 1 pound micro preemie born 12 weeks early, with significant medical issues.  I had occasional child support.  Those took care of the brunt of the bills, which helped tremendously as I had to be off a lot for his needs, sicknesses, appointments, hospitalizations, etc.  Not many employers like their employees gone all the time for kids' needs.  So when I started selling from home, it helped ease the pressure a bit, and let me be home with Kevin.

As the years wore on, my skills improved, as did my living situation, going from single mom to married with 2 2 special needs stepchildren along side Kevin.  I held on to "MY" little piece of autonomy, independence, something that was just "MINE".  Business name changes came and went, skills increased, but something was missing.

God wasn't in it.

Sales waned, time didn't allow for making of more inventory, and simply keeping home and tending family grew more important, as it should.  That didn't stop me from pushing, from trying to hold on to what was "MINE", that last little thread from my past that was mine and mine alone, that if needed was there to earn a few extra dollars.

This time, I let go.

I've surrendered the last link of autonomy.  That last "MINE", is on the altar.  I have at last let go of the fear of the "what if", of having that desire to have something laid aside in the case of being a single parent again.

The fear of "what if God doesn't provide".

I've held out that last bit of surrender, of trust, for years.  I've held back just a smidge, waiting for if or when something would happen that I would have to jump in and save the day.  I've held a back up plan..."just in case".

Today, it is surrendered.

I realize I have sinned in doubting, in not completely trusting the Lord to do as He said He would.  This hit me yesterday in church, listening to Pastor talk about Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Esau, and how the sin of doubt caused so much problem.  I've watched the Lord work out what seemed impossible things just in the past months, provide finances to cover bills when there was not near enough money, provide food (especially meat) when the pantry/fridge/freezer was nearing bare and no money to buy more.  I've watched has He has worked on my husband's heart and turned him to Him.  I had no reason to doubt.

So I choose to doubt no more.

Today, I shut down my sewing for sale.  Today, my skills are for family, for friends, for charities...  Should hubby and I agree to another venture, it will not be "MINE", but "OURS", and only if the Lord directs and after lots of prayerful consideration.

To others this is a small me, it is a big surrender, letting go of the one last part of my past I held on to for years.  The last symbol to me of a hint of independence.  Today, I let it go.

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