Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Master's Symphony

The master holds an instrument in His hands... He has a song to play, a perfect song. He chooses just the instrument for this song he has written, an instrument he will use to play the song through.

If the instrument he chooses is not in tune to His song, the quality of the song will be greatly affected. Consider a guitar missing a string, or a violin with strings that have not been tuned... consider a piano with broken hammers, or a clarinet without a reed... consider how different the song will sound from what’s intended!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Overwhelmed By Love

Do you ever wonder what God meant by "new creation"?

It's something I keep coming back to, but I just can't help it. Change is a chain reaction. When something changes, everything within it's immediate reach is deeply impacted, and that impact leads to more changes.

Looking back at the landscape of my life and witnessing the renewal of my marriage after many years of hardship... I am in awe. I am overwhelmed. It would have been enough for God to simply bring peace to replace the anger, bitterness, judgment and resentment... but God wanted so much more, and deep down, so did I. My life and my marriage needed to bear fruit. Much fruit.

That required change. Much change.

Monday, January 24, 2011

African Awakening

Spring of 2005...
The seed was initially dormant, much like a bulb planted in the autumn of life, buried deeply and needing the cold of winter to force life to the surface. As winter’s harshness eased and spring’s thaw approached, the seed’s heart stirred, faintly aware of the growing longing to be the Shepherd’s hands and feet in far away places.
Although it felt the growing missionary beat in its heart, it knew it wasn’t time.
Some bulbs spring to life in the first season, some need a longer winter of death to self before giving rise to the awakening of life.
For years, I knew my heart was being called to the mission fields in developing countries, even though I had my own mission field here at home. I also knew that I simply hadn’t been ready – not emotionally, spiritually, financially, physically, or even from a marriage or maturity standpoint. I had a lot to work through so that He could use me as His servant this way.

Sometimes, it was hard to wait, much like dreaming for something you’re not sure will be yours to have. It's a risk to open your heart to that dream, but unless your heart is open, your heart can never fully receive the opportunity. Deep down, I knew that the process of working through the challenges was still worth it, even if the fruits of my labor weren’t what I had envisioned. God is faithful.

I knew by the end of the spring of 2009 that the seed was awakening from deep slumber, and that the season of winter growth would produce much fruit. In little time, I felt the first unmistakable calling to Africa when my best friend Tia shared her experiences from her mission trip to Africa. This was more than vicariously living through a friend, or simply having an interest in her experiences. My heart knew.
Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kids In Doorways

A few months ago, our 9 year old daughter began to express her desire to become a Compassion Advocate. It began as she asked for my help in doing some research for a school project on the work Compassion does.

She was well versed in Sponsorships. We started out with 3 in January of 2010, and within a year, our Compassion Family had grown to 10. She has one of her own to correspond with and support.

What she was seeking was more... how did it begin? Who started it? What are the Compassion countries? How can she become involved and advocate for the lives of these precious children? What would she need to become a Compassion Advocate?

Naturally, she knew I could help her find the answers.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

2011: One Word

Until last year, the buzz words as the old year elapsed and the new year began were “New Year Resolutions”. That seems to have been replaced with the “One Word” concept.

One word? Just in case you have been on vacation somewhere outside the planet over the last month, the point of it is to pick one word that will act as a positive goal or theme for the coming year, a word to inspire your life by.

Since I no longer make resolutions for the reasons stated in this post, the one word challenge appeals to me. OK, it may appeal to me simply because my challenge isn’t the word for the year, it’s picking just one without ending up in a straight-jacket.