Upside Down Day

Have you ever had one of those days that nothing seemed to go right? I recently had one of them. I went to a coffee shop to get Wifi. After numerous unsuccessful attempts I called my computer guy. He told me I’d better not touch it because I could lose everything on my computer. Now I’ve not backed things up for a LONG time and I’ve some pretty special pictures (about 7,000) of the last four years of our life. I didn’t want to lose them! So I packed up my computer and trekked down to my computer guy. I was deep in thought as I pulled up to the curb. In fact, I was so deep in thought that I hit the curb with a BANG! Right then and there the tire blew, the wheel cover broke and I ruined the rim. I happened to be thinking missionary minded thoughts not knowing that my actions had just created an opportunity to be a missionary in training. I called my husband and AAA. I felt like bawling! This was NOT the way I wanted to spend my morning! I proceeded to wait an hour till the tow truck arrived. The guy was hauling me and my vehicle to the shop where my husband would pick me up. I hopped in the cab. As we were driving, I sensed God asking me to speak a word for Him. We got on the subject of church and the Bible. According to him, he adamantly didn’t believe in either. He proceeded to tell me that he didn’t believe in any life after death and so on. What is the purpose to life if there is nothing after death? Why bother trying to live a moral life if there is no relationship with God? Before I hopped out I gave him a tip and I asked him if there was any way I could pray for him. “Oh,” he says boldly, “You can pray any way you like but I WON’ T change!” I sensed that perhaps God wanted to remind him one more time of his choice before he dies. Saddened I went home and together as a family we prayed for the man. No, my words may not have made a difference but my prayers do!

Thank You Jesus!

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 Jesus gives the joy of loving. *Cabin Time*

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  Jesus gives good gifts! *Christmas Eve Jammies*

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 Jesus loves when we have fun! *Hershey Chocolate World*

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 “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good!” *Smores with Daddy*

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 Why do you serve Jesus?

What do you do with your upside down days?

Will you choose to be a missionary to someone today?

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Testimony Tuesday-Nigeria’s Red Letter Bible

The following is adapted from the November 2012 issue of “The Voice of the Martyrs” magazine.

Suleiman Abdulai is a Nigerian Christian who accepts the persecution promised by Christ. His Muslim family urged him to deny Jesus’ name and even tried to kill him, before finally disowning him. But, as Jesus promised in Matthew 10, the Holy Spirit gave him the words to speak before his accusers. Although faith in Christ has cost Suleiman his family, worldly possessions and reputation, he gained everything!

Suleiman was born into a wealthy northern Nigerian Muslim family. A smart young man, he used his sharp tongue and fierce intellect to debate publicly with Christians, trying to humiliate them. He thought frustrating the lives of Christians would help him earn enough favor to get to heaven.

His confidence in Islam began to weaken after he agreed to attend a Christian church service with a  woman from work named Elizabeth.

The first church service caused Suleiman to question his Muslim faith. It seemed that the pastor was speaking directly to him that Sunday morning describing things he’d done. Suleiman was shaken. He angrily accused Elizabeth for tipping the pastor off. When she adamantly denied it, he decided he’d test the pastor. He snuck into the church the next week and sat in the back. Again, it was as if the pastor were speaking directly to him. “He said thing that I never told anyone before,” Suleiman said.

After attending only two Christian church services, he was persuaded that he had found the truth. He gave his life to Christ and began studying the Bible, telling anyone who would listen to him about his new Christian faith. When Suleiman’s family heard rumors that he had turned away from Islam, they confronted him. “Have you given your life to Christ?” they asked. Suleiman willingly admitted that he had describing what he had experienced in church.

In anger and disbelief, his family asked how much money the church had given him to convert. “There is no money,” Suleiman told them. “I received the gift of light.” His family gave him a few weeks to reconsider his decision and called every Muslim leader they knew to pray for their wayward son. After several weeks with no apparent change, Suleiman’s father demanded “Deny this religion!”  But Suleiman replied, “No, it is impossible, because I have discovered the truth.”

Suleiman and Elizabeth got married. He then took her to meet his family but they remained furious about his conversion and his Christian wife. The entire family gathered around as his father insisted, “Deny this Christ or be killed!” His aunts cried and asked him, “Why can’t you deny him or at least pretend to deny the faith?”

Elizabeth shook with fear as she listened in the next room. She was certain he would be killed right then.

As the hours passed, Suleiman felt himself being worn down. “When the pressure was too much, I heard a voice,” he said. “I looked around but didn’t see a person. I heard him say, ‘If you deny me before man, I will deny you before my Father,’ This is when I knew Jesus was there.”

Confident that Christ was standing right beside him, Suleimand told his family, “I’m not going to deny who I serve. I am ready to die, because I know He is here.” Sensing that the Holy Spirit was urging him to leave, he walked to the next room, took his wife by the hand, and left his family’s house. “As soon as we got outside,” he said, “we started to run.”

He and his wife escaped that potentially deadly confrontation but his family came looking for him. Although he hadn’t told them where he lived, they managed to find his apartment. One day while Suleiman was away visiting with a friend, a mob armed with automatic weapons descended upon the building where he lived. Later, his neighbors told him that the men from his family said they would kill him when they found him. Suleiman said that realizing the Holy Spirit had led him away from his apartment that day gave the him the “strength and confidence to serve Him with all of my heart.”

“After I gave my life to Christ, I would lock myself in a room to cry, I was not sad because I was missing my family, but I was sad because they are not going to heaven.”

Suleiman is now an evangelist and public speaker who lectures on Islam and shares his testimony. When he is not busy speaking, he spends his time ministering to converts from Islam to Christianity.

Suleiman isn’t consumed by fear because he is convinced that Islam is false. “There is no peace in Islam,” he said. “Islam brings division, and the only way we can overcome Islam is by love-not by fighting, not by rioting. It is by love. If we can take the love of God and begin to share it with people, Islam will fall.”

He knows the Gospel is the answer. “We should not be scared. We have the power of God in us to reach a dying world.”

This year Suleimand intends to focus on sharing the gospel with Muslim leaders. “Anyone who kills me as a converted Muslim, his reward is double,” he said. “But we will not be afraid. We will still preach the Gospel to them.” He asks that we pray for his preservation, but said, “For me, to die is gain.”

To support persecuted Christians and learn more of their plight, check out: http://www.persecution.com/

Are You Salty?

I’ve been meditating on Mathew 5:13 “13 Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.” After reading it in my personal time with God this week, it has got me wondering. Are we as Christians living as salt in this dark world? This verse is followed right on the heals of “11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you”. Could it be that we are no longer living salty lives?

IS THAT WHY…?

-in America (a supposed Christian nation) there is a mosque in every state with 1200 total?

-a baby dies every 23 seconds in the USA from abortion?

-43% of the people of the world are unreached people groups? They have no Bible and have never heard the good news of salvation.

-there has been a 50% of missionary reduction from America since 1986? 20,500 full-time Christian workers and 10,200 foreign missionaries are in the unevangelized nations. Compare that to the 1.31 million workers in the evangelized non-Christian world

-there are 153,000,000 orphans in the world?(This statistic does NOT include the 2 to 8+ million children living in institutions or those who are enslaved.)  Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out with no home and no family. James 1:27 If one family in every two churches would adopt, there would be no longer any children in the foster care system waiting for adoption. There would only be waiting families.

-27 million people are currently experiencing modern-day slavery worldwide? 30% of females are in forced labor the remainder 70% are trafficked for sex labor. 32 billion dollars in profit result in it. For every 800 people trafficked only 1 person was convicted in 2006. The cost of one slave is about $30.

-200,000 children in the USA are at risk for trafficking in the sex industry alone?

-22,000 children die each day due to poverty according to UNICEF? Almost half of the world lives on less than $2.50 a day.

-less than 1% of what people in the USA spent on weapons in one year was enough to send all children through school by 2001 and yet it didn’t happen?

-2.6 billion people have lack basic sanitation. 660 million with NO sanitation. 1 in 5 children don’t have access to safe water. 1.4 million people die each year as a result of this.

I will let you come to your own conclusion if  “it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men” would fit American Christianity today. What do you think? Are Christians who they have been called to be?

“One Man, A Tow Truck, Two Purses, and Sin”

What does the title words have in common? Let me tell you! One of the past Wednesday evenings we had prayer meeting at church. When we got there, I asked Conrad if he had gotten the keys. “Yup, I put them in your purse”, was his reply. Hitting the lock button we trotted into church. We spent the first thirty minutes praising the Lord in song, opening our hearts up to worship the God of heaven when Kristyn began to cry. Now Kristyn, when she is tired, likes to be wrapped snuggly in a blanket to fall asleep. I whispered to Conrad about the blanket. (He had let her’s in the van.) He began rummaging in my purse for the keys to go and get it. Not finding it and not wanting to create a scene I remembered that I had one in the bottom of my purse. I wrapped Kristyn in her blanket and continued to worship. This bothered Conrad not knowing where the keys were. Alas, he couldn’t find them anywhere! We had locked them in the van! The pastor began taking prayer requests. We divided into prayer groups and went to prayer. The groups go all over the church building and sure enough one was right by the phone (his cell was locked in the van). Not wanting to be a spectacle he pulls the corded phone into the corner and calls AAA. Speaking in low articulated tones he tells them the problem.Darkness had fallen when out they came in thirty minutes with a big flatbed tow truck with flashing lights atop loudly announcing that they had come. This drew faces to the window to investigate what was going on! It was soon no secret that our keys were soundly locked away in our van! So much for our effort to not distract from the prayer service 🙂 ! Here what had happened, I had two purses in the van at the time. One was my going away diaper bag and the other was my church one. He HAD put them in the diaper bag. It just so happened to be the wrong one.

This got me to thinking how very much like sin it was. We huddle in corners trying to keep it secret. But this is only succesful for so long before it gets bigger than a blanket. It soon becomes a flashing tow truck in the night. The next time we think we can tell a “white” lie, gossip, or even thinking negatively without it being a big deal. Be careful! You may soon have a tow truck flashing in the night!

“Go!”

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I walked through “hell” tonight. I am here in Thailand known for its sex tourism. I went along with Ransom Ministries prayer walking at massage parlors. It was heart breaking to witness beautiful women come in on their motorcycles and get their time card. It was infuriating to see the men drive up in their cars and on bikes and enter knowing that they were there to use a woman. Or to see them coming out and act as if they had just bought a coke. You could literally feel the darkness! As we walked the streets and prayed, I could imagine Jesus in the slums praying and offering hope, bringing light to the darkness. The women are hurting and broken. The men are in bondage to lust. How does Jesus look at it?

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach
the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach
deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at
liberty them that are bruised,”

Luke 4:18

We can not afford to remain silent on things that matter to Christ! Do you think it matters to Him that women and children are being repeatedly raped? Does it matter to Him that men are consumed with lust? Does it matter that there are broken and hurting and captive people the world over?

Tonight, it would have been easier not to see. But to choose ignorance is NOT God’s answer! He calls us to wage war! War against the evil! He calls us to make HIM known among the people! He came for those who needed help for those who are well need no physician!

God says:

“Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the
name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”

-Matthew 28:19

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Barne’s Notes on the Above Passage:

Go ye therefore – “Because” all power is mine, go! I can defend you. The world is placed under my control. It is redeemed. It is given me in promise by my Father, as the purchase of my death. Though you are weak, yet I am strong! Though you will encounter many troubles and dangers, yet I can defend you! Though you die, yet I live, and the work shall be accomplished!

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GO!

Whether it’s in the United States of America or Bangladesh or Antartica, we are all called to tell the lost of Jesus!

How will you, my reader, reach out to someone today?

Thailand Mission Trip-Photo Journey

Dear Blog Readers,

It has been a while since updating! We are currently on a missions visionary trip to Thailand. Wow, what a land!

Thailand-a land with many gods. So few who know the true God who sets people free!

Monk Chat-Buddism is one of the main religions. Well indoctrinated, well-educated, but without hope in the saving power of Jesus Christ!

My beautiful girlfriend who is currently serving the Lord in the red light district of Chiang Mai Thailand. Notice the joy and peace of the Lord in her eyes!

Ahh, this coffee haven! Each morning that I go to the coffee shop around the corner from our house, the barista’s eyes light up! The coffee above, was black enough to “walk” on! I’m sure there must be coffee in heaven, don’t you? 🙂

This lady was eagerly and aggressively selling her wares. Here she is showing off how her wooden toad croaks. Are we this interested in telling a lost world of Jesus?

Impact one life-it may change a family, a village, and/or a nation!

“At the end of broken dreams, people need the Lord!” Our sungtowl driver fell in love with Jordan. He was experiencing much difficulty in his marriage our meeting was God-ordained.

And yes it rains for it is currently rainy season! Rain also happens in the lives of missionaries. The fight against evil for the hearts and minds of the millions is REAL! “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of darkness in high places.”

Pray!

Goblin in the Tree

A beautiful spring day, my daughter excitedly told me she saw a robin in the tree. Moments later, my son comes running. “Mommy!” he urgently informs me. “I saw a goblin in the tree!” And mommy smiled.

A goblin in the tree? Yeah, right! Perceptions. We make perceptions many times a day. Sometimes quite far from right and other times right on target. Everyday we are trying to make sense out of what we see, hear, and experience. Perception is to become aware of something, to realize, comprehend, or to understand. Today I want to focus primarily on our perceptions of people and circumstances.

I had an experience one time where this woman came to talk to me about one of my friends. She told me that she sensed my friend was not free. This lady’s open statement about my friend, who she saw one time, really triggered some thing inside of me. You see,  my friend she was talking about is one of the few people that has truly found the liberty that is in Christ.

It is easy for me to catostrothize about circumstances. Only to realize after its all over, that not only did my worrying not help the situation, it also was so very far from the truth. My perceptions can be so messed up about any given thing. This is one area my husband has been a God-send, a prophet in my life. He has encouraged me time and time again to look at the truth.

My counsellor told me one time, to avoid being distracted by observing all the people in church and struggling to worship; to sit in the front pew and remember that everyone is coming from somewhere. This means that we don’t know what’s been taking place in that person’s life unless we ask them. We don’t have a clue what may have gone on even that very morning.

Today instead of being sure you’ve seen a goblin in the tree, ask God for eyes to see the person or circumstance as He sees it.