Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Off to Cambodia!

Hi my friends,

Can you believe the time is here? My team is Cambodia bound today, and well, tomorrow too. Our prayer calendar is in the previous post, so would love your prayers as the Lord leads you.

Connection~Confidence~Compassion--that's our theme to the verses of 1 John 3:1-3. Who knows what God will do, but I praise Him for it already!

Ponderings, Praises & Pictures upon return. I love you all.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Cambodia Missions Trip Prayer Calendar


Monday, October 19, 2009

Does It Truly Make a Difference?

I'm at the Internet Cafe today asking a bunch of questions. Come by and tell me how you feel: Click here for the Cafe.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pondering Confidence

The countdown to Cambodia continues, only two weeks away today:

In my last post, I mentioned that on Day 1 of the conference for kids, we will be discussing "Connection"--with God and with others.

On Day 2, it's "Confidence: God created me to live out His plan and purpose with confidence in Him."

Amazing how the themes for these precious children seem to flow straight out of my own life. It's taken me years to identify myself rightly in this area, leaving the victim mentality of my childhood in the dust, praise the Lord for that.

Philippians 1:6 says, "being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."

In other words, it's not confidence in myself that will get me through even a nano-second of my day...it's God-confidence. He lives inside of me, and He's ABLE as I'm willing! Love that.

How about you? Where is your confidence coming from? It works both ways, you know. Some struggle with a low view of self, others think that it is faith in their own self that makes life possible.

It's not, "I think I can, I think I can..."
It's not even, "I know I can, I know I can..."
It's certainly not: "No way I can, No way I can..."

So what is it?

It's "With Him I can, With Him I can..."
And "In Him I can, In Him I can..."
And best of all "Through me He can, Through me He can..."

The "can" can change to "will" if we surrender our wills to His, you see?

As I trust in the One who has called me to Cambodia, I know He is faithful, and He will do the work. (1 Thess. 5:24) That's the prayer of my heart until I go.

What do you need to admit to the Lord today on the topic of "Confidence"? Take some time to pause, ponder & pray to the One who knows you fully anyway. He longs to complete in you the good work He's already started if you're willing.

Lord, fill my life with Your perfect confidence. It's not by my might or by my power, but by Your Spirit that I can do all You've led me to do, and that is a relief, to be honest. Thank You, Jesus. I praise You. Amen.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Pondering Connection

A friend of mine requested that I start doing some blogging about my Cambodia trip (If you don't know about the missions trip I'm taking to Cambodia, you can read about it here.) At first I told her that I prob'ly wouldn't, because this is a site set aside for devotions, not personal experiences. But as I've prayed about it, her idea has not let me go.

There's nothing more devotional
than living one's faith out loud, after all.

So my team leaves in three weeks. I'll list some prayer requests in my next post, but the main thing the Lord has laid on my heart today is "Connection."

On day 1 of the conference, my team will be talking to the kids about being connected to God. Our puppet Eli will show up with his heart full of love for things in this world...the stuff that's taken the place of love for God. We'll have to work all of that out throughout our morning, hopefully bringing the kids to a place of understanding in their own hearts through teaching, worship, crafts & games.

You see, I get the distinct privilege of being able to minister to kids in the faith (most of them anyway). These are kids whose parents have set aside their lives to minister to Cambodian families as World Relief Staff members, and this conference is their time to rest, rejuvenate & revive themselves personally in their faith walks. As you can imagine, their sons and daughters are hungry for the Word of God and for deeper teaching and worship. While the kids I've ministered to for years have had cool puppets and stages and dynamic music as the norm each Sunday, these children have seen very little of it. So we're asking the Lord to help us take a small piece of it to them.

Ain't it cool? I'm so pumped.

But before I can talk to anyone about being "connected," loving God first and others second, I must first examine myself--my own connectivity. I don't want to teach others a message that isn't being fleshed out in and through me.

~ Do I love Him more than anything? With my whole being--heart, soul, mind & strength?
~ Do I believe the fact that He loves me outrageously? And do I live in the light of that love?
~ Do I hoard His love or share it extravagantly with others? Even those who aren't easy to love?
~ Do I embrace Him as my Father, no other lovies in my arms, surrendered, abandoned?
~ Do I allow His Word to be my guide for daily living and my source for Truth?
~ Am I fully abiding, tightly clinging to the Vine, bearing only good fruit as a result?

Much to think on...much to pray for...by His grace and through the power of His Holy Spirit, He can prepare my heart in exactly the way it needs.

It's your turn...

Paused to ponder your connection with Him lately?

Please allow the verses He has given our team to minister to you in whatever way is needed.

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know Him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. Everyone who has this hope in Him purifies Himself, just as He is pure."
1 John 3:1-3
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself."
Luke 10:27
"You are the children that God dearly loves. So be just like Him. Lead a life of love, just as Christ did. He loved us. He gave Himself up for us. He was a sweet-smelling offering and sacrifice to God."
Ephesians 5:1-2 (NIRV)
Lord, we long for our hearts to be full of You. By Your grace, through Your Holy Spirit living and moving in and through us, be our source for this life...our one and only connection to deep love and a full life. And Father, as our team longs to minister to the World Relief Staff families, we realize that it is all about You--You are the only One who can give their hearts the rest they might need. We trust, and we will obey. Lord Jesus, have Your way. In Your name, Amen.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

I'm Safe

"Whatever the particular call is, the particular sacrifice God asks you
to make, the particular cross He wishes you to embrace, whatever the
particular path He wants you to tread, will you rise up, and say in your
heart, 'Yes, Lord, I accept it; I submit, I yield, I pledge myself to
walk in that path, and to follow that Voice, and to trust Thee with the
consequences'? Oh! but you say, 'I don't know what He will want next.'
No, we none of us know that, but we know we shall be safe in His hands."

~Catherine Booth

A quote received in my inbox this morning. A sorely needed word.

I'm reminded of all "the particular calls" God has given me in my life, and almost every one of them has left me scratching my head at the time. I seem to pull a Gideon more often than not: "What? Me? I think you have the wrong person, God. She's more talented. Such-n-So is more qualified. I'm a mess, a big bag of emotional crazy. You know me...c'mon, now!"

The Holy Spirit then speaks into my heart, mind and soul, reminding me who I am in Christ, and that none of it's about me anyway. I've become quicker to answer His calls as I've grown in my faith walk, but it is still a challenge, depending on how out of my comfort zone the request seems to be.

Then there's the whole "cross to embrace" and "path to tread" thing. Most Christ-followers would agree this is a bit more difficult to live out authentically, because it involves pain & sacrifice & surrender & longing for relief.

The path can be so lonely. During the rocky part of the trail, we listen to others around us talking about being on top of the mountain and rejoicing, about serving the Lord--how He'll make our paths straight--and even though we've spoken those same words before, in those moments, it seems as though they're speaking a foreign language or even "Wah-wahing" like the grown-ups in Charlie Brown.

That doesn't mean their words aren't true...it simply means that we aren't experiencing them at that moment. Sometimes it seems like it's been a whole other life since we've done so. In our deepest heart of hearts, we long to "count it all joy" and "rejoice in suffering," but we acknowledge that we're not there yet and God still has more work to do in and through us.

I mean no disrespect, but does anyone know what I'm talking about here?

So what's the answer?

In times of doubt, discouragement, depression, wondering, wandering, wrestling, restlessness, suffering, persecution and temptation--big, medium or small--I believe the answer is the same:


The Bible says we can fully trust Him; thus, we can fully depend on Him. When we choose to depend on God's sovereignty, we are willingly surrendering our own spirit to be consumed with His.

That's what Jesus did in the midst of His worst moments. "Into Your hands, I commit my Spirit," he groaned. My elaboration..."Into YOUR hands...even if that means more pain. Even if it means humiliation. Even death, Father, I'm committed to Your way."

Jesus was safe in His hands, and so are we. Say this out loud with me:

"I'm safe in His hands."

Then, fully surrendered, completely dependent, let's say this to God:

'Yes, Lord, I accept it; I submit, I yield, I pledge myself to
walk in that path, and to follow that Voice, and to trust Thee with the

Yes, Lord, I'm depending on You.
"He alone is my rock and my salvation;
He is my fortress, I will not be shaken.
My salvation and my honor depend on God;
He is my mighty rock, my refuge.

Trust in Him at all times, O people;
pour out your hearts to Him,
for God is our refuge.

Psalm 63:6-8, NIV

***By the way, I receive quotes like this one, something to challenge me every day from "I Lift My Eyes Web Ministries." If you'd like to sign up to have a daily quote too, click HERE.