Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Psalm 77 & 78 and Remembering God

Psalm 78
v 4-8
We will not hide them from their children,
but tell to the coming generation
the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might,
and the wonders that he has done.
He established a testimony in Jacob
and appointed a law in Israel,
which he commanded our fathers
to teach to their children,
that the next generation might know them,
the children yet unborn,
and arise and tell them to their children,
o that they should set their hope in God
and not forget the works of God,
but keep his commandments;
and that they should not be like their fathers,
a stubborn and rebellious generation,
a generation whose heart was not steadfast,
whose spirit was not faithful to God.

Psalm 77
v 2-3, 10-14
...In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord;
in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying;
my soul refuses to be comforted…
When I remember God, I moan;
when I meditate, my spirit faints...
Then I said, “I will appeal to this,
to the years of the right hand of the Most High.”
I will remember the deeds of the LORD;
yes, I will remember your wonders of old.
I will ponder all your work,
and meditate on your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy.
What god is great like our God?
You are the God who works wonders;
you have made known your might among the peoples.

Oh LORD! Thank you for Psalms. Thank you for all those years ago when David walked the earth and wrote all of them down. What an amazing testimony and story for us to live by- to have someone else write their heart out for us to see, for you to be all the more glorified. Two of these psalms just grew a little deeper into my heart. For one, it is that in times of distress, we just REMEMBER You, and our spirits are strengthened. And since HOly Spirit is with us and within us, he even helps us remember You. We remember You, Yahweh, the God of old, the Creator, sovereign over all, alpha and omega who breathed life and IT WAS. We remember you all throughout human history, from when life was perfect with Man and God until Adam sinned and then the thousands of years of sinfulness with no grace, no Savior to make it right. And then HE CAME. The Perfect One, the perfect Lamb who was without blemish, who was sacrificed on our behalf to be reconciled to You. And we remember Jesus in all HIs glory, His glory that we know by the Word and HIs glory that we see raging today. We remember what it felt like to finally be free, to be ALIVE in Him, to be who we were really meant to be. Until Jesus, we were stuck in muck and myre, addicted to sin, unable to get right with God. Jesus, we remember that in You, we are soaked in Your blood, which is the grace that allows us to live in righteousness, in holiness, no longer bound to sinfulness, RIGHT with God, and able to live as Adam and Eve did in the beginning. Though the world is evil, we live righteously in You, because we are rooted in You, abiding in You, BRANCHES THAT STEM FROM THE TRUE VINE, we live from You and are an EXTENSION of You. 

I remember You God. I remember how I wanted to please others, to be accepted by friends and family. I remember how I would TRY to be a good person and show you I was a good person by what I did. I remember living in Romans 7, I did what I didn't want to do and I was stuck. It took so much renewing of my mind, and You carved and carved away, oh good Potter and You have made me beautiful. You have broken those chains, the chains of sin, of religion, of fear of man, and You have made a woman who radiates Jesus, and who is still learning, still hungry every single day for every part of my being to be drowning and completely soaked in Jesus, oozing Jesus, bleeding Jesus, speaking Jesus, loving like Jesus, becoming just like Jesus. 

I remember You God. 

I remember how you gave me this man, I remember watching You carve him and mold him and hollow him out so that You could fill him with more You. I remember when he started LEADING me to You. I remember those hard times that you used Him to speak truth to me. I remember when I did that bad thing, but You were glorified when I confessed and understood grace because he told me I was covered in You. I remember all the times when our flesh was murdered and You were victorious over our sinful nature. I remember when you united us, bonded us, became one with us and made us like you- Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I remember being so full of joy and thanksgiving for the oneness that I got on my knees and cried to you right on the side of the road. I remember when I realized what an absolute gift you were giving us when you made Korah. I remember all the times You provided when we were in need. I remember how you have renewed our minds again and again, drawing us deeper and deeper and closer and closer. I remember moving in to the Chadwick house and that one night of prayer around a fire and lighting the house on Fire. I remember when you first started Agape Home. 

I remember You God. I remember how You move, how You love us. 

And I am filled with peace and joy, and I am moved to love as You love. 
Thank you God for making us. 
Thank you God for loving us. 
Thank you God for sending Jesus.
Thank you God for sending Holy Spirit. 
Thank you God for entrusting us with Your mission.

Be glorified my God and King, Jesus. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Haiti thoughts and journals...

We are humbled where we stand here, looking out from this mansion on the thousands of homes made of tarp. We are humbled as we fill our water bottles endlessly in the 90 something degree heat and watch mothers make their children share a small pouch of water that they will have for the whole day. We are humbled as with the knowledge that our three meals for the day are already provided for, while families go a day or maybe a few without eating, and feel hopeless because they cannot fill their children’s stomachs. We are humbled, with shoes on our feet, at the babies who walk over the sharp rocky paths with ease, because they have never known shoes. We are humbled as we wash our 5th, 6th, 7th outfit for the week, while others wash their only set of clothes every single day. We are humbled as we dream of California burritos and french fries and salad and ice cream, and realize that most people here eat the same food every single day- that we are blessed with different tastes and flavors.

We are humbled and convicted of our indulgence, of our gluttony, of our lust for things. We are humbled and convicted that those who have food here, and know the Lord, thank Him wholeheartedly and relentlessly, with prayer and song, almost every night with their community of believers; while we say a two minute prayer and scarf it all down. 

I was also convicted of my relationship with Christ; about the time I spend, or didn’t spend with Him. During this time of fasting from my husband, I miss him so much; I crave his attention and affection, our conversations, and simply our sweet alone time. I am here in Haiti, holding and loving on all these children, showing and telling of the love of Christ, more devoted to the Word than ever- yet I had not been spending any intimate time with Jesus. I was doing it all for His name, for His glory, praying for His Spirit to guide us, praying in groups, but I was forgetting that I had a bridegroom, a Beloved who longs to just be with us in our quiet place. I had forgotten and neglected the one whom I was doing all of this for. In the morning, just to get on your knees as the sun comes up and remember Him, acknowledge Him, the One we bow down to, makes all the doing so much richer. To just quiet myself, to be still and know that He is God...

My heart has been encouraged by the living saints, the young zealous believers who give their lives up to be true disciples; devoted to learning the instruction of God and sharing the good news of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus with others. My heart is encouraged by these men and women who are constant in ministry; some organized, and some not- some just a spontaneous part of their lives like moments of prayer with strangers or a song of praise and rejoicing during one of the long walks to a tent city. My heart is encouraged to see brothers and sisters who live in community, with little privacy, but so much love, sharing, encouragement, accountability and learning and serving together. This place is like living in the book of Acts. 

It is obviously harder, and so against American culture to live this way. I think of the possibility of this lifestyle at home and think of how our hearts and souls would flourish in it. But then I think of how I would love to have my own home with my own family, to have my husband all to myself, to eat whatever I wanted to eat and wear whatever I wanted to because I had not lent any of my clothes out to my sisters. I thought of doing all the dishes for everyone, cooking for everyone, the massive amounts of laundry and the financial distribution. But these things are a small cost compared to the gain of having a spiritually flourishing soul. In reality, maybe we will live and raise our family with a few other brothers and sisters in Christ in the house. Maybe we won’t. But either way, that shouldn’t hold us back from helping even our neighbors. It shouldn’t hold us back from sharing chores, from sharing meals with those we know, and those we dont. It shouldn’t hold us back from and openness and hospitality of inviting those who need to be loved to come and share in the love of our home. 

God has also placed a new layer of peace on my heart about the future. It is not for me to know now. And although my flesh still wants to know when and where and how we will live after this semester, my heart has a deeper trust and awe of God that He knows all the plans and has already laid it out for us. This trip has brought me excitement in the mystery. 

Lord thank you so much for our time here, and for the next 5 days. There have certainly been times where I wanted things from home, but God YOU bless me with a love that is far more fulfilling. Thank you for the abundance of fellowship and friendship here. Thank you for each face that we've encountered. Thank you for feeding us. Thank you for water. Thank you for shelter. You are so good to us. I adore you. 

I ask for endurance for the last couple days here, that you would guide us and teach us more, that you would help us to love like You.