God’s Protection

gods protectionToday I was talking to a new friend who mentioned that a Nepali lady came to her the other day,and asked her this question.

“Why is it that the temples were destroyed, but the churches are still standing?”

As she shared this with us, I had to smile. For the truth is on Saturday the day of the earthquake, all over Nepal, Christians were meeting in churches, but also on Saturday, many were meeting in temples, for festival. Yet, somehow most of the churches suffered little damage, while many temples were destroyed.

I have thought a lot about this today, and the fact that God did indeed take care of His own.

This isn’t to say that the Christians did not suffer loss, this isn’t to say that all were kept alive, and all homes were not destroyed. Yet, God was with His own.

My husband reminded me today of the story of Rahab. If you remember this story, Joshua and his men marched around the city of Jericho, day after day they marched, but on the last day,they shouted, and the walls came tumbling down. Yet, one home remained okay, Rahab’s. Because God watched over that family because they trusted in Him.

As I stated before, people here are dealing with a lot of fear. In fact though the government says you can sleep inside, many are still camped out outside, despite the mosquitos and rain.

It is my prayer that God will use this time, to remove the blinders from the Nepali’s eyes. That they will see that their gods can not protect. Their gods can not save. It is my prayer that God will make it clear that He has protected His own. It is my prayer that God will allow us to minister to the Nepali people, to pray with them and for them. That they will recognize that it is our God who reigns.

“When the ocean rise and thunders roar, I will soar with you above the storm. Father you are king over the flood, I will be still and know You are God.”

Blessings from Nepal

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Therefore we will not fear…

God is our refuge and strengthI had my first meltdown today since the earthquake, it seems all the emotions have been bottled up inside, brewing over the past few days, and today I was able to release it all. Of course it would happen while I’m in the store talking to some friends. (A little embarrassing for sure :-)) But the truth is, most of the Nepali people and those serving here (myself included) are dealing with fear. Since the earthquake happened, this verse has been going through my mind:

God is our refuge and strength. A very present help in trouble, THEREFORE WE WILL NOT FEAR… though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea. Though its waters roar and foam. Though the mountains quake at its swelling pride…..There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God!” Psalm 46:1-4

Therefore, we will not fear… even if all these bad things happen… we won’t be afraid. Why? Because God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble!

Right after the earthquake I was in shock, adrenaline shot through me, and it was all about keeping the kids calm and safe. But now it has been three days and quite honestly the fear of aftershocks or another big earthquake are scarier than the initial earthquake, which was far from expected.

So how do the people here, go back to living? How do we deal with the fear of the unknown?

The past three nights, our family has camped outside because it was unsafe to stay in the homes. But yesterday the government issued an ok for people to go back to their homes and stay on the first floor. So last night, our family (myself reluctantly) made our way back inside and camped out by the door on the floor. But to be honest, I felt safer sleeping outside. Even after everyone was asleep, I just laid there, praying and reading my Bible.

As I laid there, a friend sent me a text, “Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber not sleep. The Lord is your keeper, the Lord is your shade on your right hand. (Psalm 121:4,5)

And as I read through the Psalms, the Lord brought me to Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone O Lord, make me to dwell in safety.”

“What a blessing it was to reflect on the fact that my God neither slumbers nor sleeps. What a blessing to know my God hears me when I pray. What a joy to know that my God truly has the whole world in His hands.

The reality is we never have reason to fear, because our God is our refuge,He is our strength in the storms, and the hardest of times. He isn’t surprised when bad things happen. He is never taken off guard. And though we must sleep, He never sleeps. He is always watching over us, His children.

Eventually, I drifted off to sleep, and woke this morning to birds singing and sun shining through the windows. My God did indeed make me to dwell in safety last night.

Today, we were able to get to the grocery and stock up on food. Today, the Lord blessed me through the kindness of others. Today, God allowed me to be a blessing to others in need. Today, my God reigns!

So though fear is real, and Satan would have us remain trapped in fear.

I take comfort in the promises of God’s Word. I take joy in the fact that my God is greater, my God is bigger than anything this world throws my way.

Some “first” I’d rather not experience….

nepal earthquakeIt has been said that there is a first time for everything. Saturday, I experienced two. My first earthquake and my first time sleeping in a plant nursery.

It all began as we were closing out our service on Saturday in prayers. All over the room, people were on their knees praying, when the floors began to shake. At first I didn’t know what was happening, but as it continued and grew stronger, I realized this was an earthquake. Immediately I forgot all of the safety rules I learned in school, and all I could think of was getting upstairs to where my kids were in class. But as I made my way to the door, a friend stopped me and told me to wait until it was over.

As soon as it stopped, I flew up the stairs to get my kids. At this point, everyone was telling us to get out of the building. As I got the kids outside, I looked down and realized in my haste to leave, I forgot my shoes. About that time, a guy upstairs began tossing shoes down. I grabbed mine and we made our way to an open space, where we would stay for the next few hours, as numerous after shocks came.

Finally we made it home, thankful to find the house unharmed and Eric and Landon safe (they had stayed home that morning b/c Landon was sick). How great it was to be all together again.

The afternoon was spent sitting in a field and that night brought about another first. The government had issued a warning that no one should sleep inside their homes, so when our neighbors invited us to sleep in the plant nursery, we took them up on their offer. Throughout the night there were many more tremors, and with each one, the people cried out in fear. Even as I write now, only an hour ago there was another strong aftershock. It seems to me that we will be spending a second night in the flower garden.

Yet I complain not, for I realize after hearing so much of the devastation, that we are blessed. Blessed to be alive and unhurt, blessed to have our home still standing, but more than anything, blessed to have had our eyes opened to the Lord.

As I hear the numbers of deaths rising, my heart aches. For I know that many who have died, did not know the Lord. They were not ready.

And once more I am reminded of the urgency of the Gospel. The urgency upon us all to go and tell the Good News of Jesus. None of us know what the day will entail.None of us know when our time will come.

Had we died yesterday I know I would have gone on to meet the Lord. How about you? Are you ready for that day? And if so, are you telling those who are not?

We are now catching a glimpse of the devastation in Nepal, now hearing stories of great needs. Yet, I ask that above all you would pray, pray for Nepal. Pray that God will use this tragedy to open wide the Gospel here, and that many will turn to Him to meet their greatest need of all.

Blessings from Nepal

Why we have to forgive…

forgivenessif there was anything to forgive—I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes (2 Corinthians 2:10-11)

Today I met with a group of ladies and we discussed the many ways Satan lies and seeks to deceive us. It began in the garden with Eve, and continues today in our own lives.

He has many tactics, many schemes, yet his ultimate goal is to get us to quit on God. To get us to doubt Him, to question Him, to believe lies about Him and to lead us to sin.

And if this won’t work, he will get us to turn against one another.

Over and over in Scripture we are told to forgive as Christ has forgiven us.

We are told not to let a root of bitterness take hold in our lives.

Yet, when we hold onto unforgiveness, this is exactly what we do, and we fail to forgive as the Lord has instructed.

I once heard a great illustration concerning unforgiveness. This person said it was like a person walking around with a backpack on. Each time that person failed to forgive, each time that person held a grudge, it was like a large rock was added to their backpack. Eventually, that person is so weighed down, they can’t go on.

How true this is.

As I said in my last post, When People Let You Down…. People will hurt us.

For the only One who won’t let us down is Jesus.

Yet, we hurt ourselves when we fail to forgive.

We fall into Satan’s trap when we hold onto unforgiveness.

Paul understood this, for he makes it clear that he will forgive anyone the Corinthians forgive, so that Satan would not outwit them. Paul said, he was aware of Satan’s schemes.

Friend, we too must be aware of his schemes. We must guard our heart and minds from the lies he whispers into our hearts.

And we must guard against bitterness and unforgiveness.

When we fail to forgive, we hurt ourselves.

When we fail to forgive, Satan wins.

When we fail to forgive, we sin against God.

In the past, I have been hurt many times. One time in particular, I was hurt deeply and for a while, I held onto that grudge, I held onto the pain. I talked about the situation with others, and it consumed by thinking. Then one day, the Lord spoke to my heart. He asked me in His still small voice, “How can you not forgive these who have hurt you, after all I have forgiven you for.”

I was left undone. How could I not forgive.

As soon as I released those who had hurt me, as soon as I let them know I had forgiven them, there was such peace.

I was free.

Friend, the enemy longs to hold us back from experiencing the abundant life, the Lord has for us.

He does this by lying to us and filling our minds with untruths.

He does this by causing roots of bitterness to grow and fester in our heart.

He accomplishes this when we hold onto anger, and don’t forgive.

Let us then be fully aware of His schemes, and refuse to let him outwit us.

For with the Lord, all things are possible, even forgiving those who have hurt us!

 

When People Let You Down….

god never failsHas someone ever let you down? I mean you thought highly of this person and then something happens and your left feeling the blow?

The truth is everyone eventually lets you down, given enough time.

Even the best of people, those who love you the most, let you down.

Though our intention is usually not to let others down, we all fall into this at times. Because we are human.

As I continued my reading of 2 Corinthians 1, I realized that the Corinthian church felt Paul had let them down.

Paul, the church leader, the one who began their church, had let them down, surely not?!

Though he had intended to visit them in Corinth, his plans had been changed. And they were left wondering if his words were true, could they trust him?

Often people let us down unintentionally. Life just happens and they are left unable to do what they said they’d do. Other times people just forget, and fail to follow through. Occasionally, we are let down intentionally.

As I read this, I thought of the many times I have let down those I love. I thought of the times those I love have let me down. And I’m left feeling bad either way.

Yet, as I read, I was reminded that there is one who will never let us down. One who is always faithful, one who’s yes is always yes. One who fulfills each and every promise He makes….. The Lord God Almighty!

Paul too reminds the Corinthians of this truth when he says, “For as many as may be the promises of God in Him, they are yes; wherefore also by Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us (II Corinthians 1:20).”

I love the old hymn, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, for it speaks of the mercies of the Lord, and the fact that He is always faithful. No matter what.

The reality is, people will let us down, family and friends will disappoint us. Loved ones will hurt us.

But there is One who sticketh closer than a brother. One who despite their day, despite their business, will never ever fail us.

Paul ends chapter one by reminding the Corinthians, that it is by faith that they are standing firm!

Reminding them, that it is their faith in Christ, and the faithfulness of God that keeps them and enables them to live for the Lord.

He reminds them that they are not dependent upon him, nor is their faith. Demonstrating to them, their utter dependence must be upon the Lord.

Often times, we mistakenly place our faith in others, we depend a bit too much on our loved ones.

And eventually, we will suffer a let down.

Why? Because God never intended our faith or dependence be placed upon others. He intends that it be fully placed upon Him.

So when others let you down, and they will.

When people hurt you, and they will.

When loved ones fail you, and they will.

Remember that there is One who never will.

There is One who always keeps His promises. One who we can fully and completely depend upon.

His name is Jesus!

Let us then stand firm in our walk with Him, not because of our pastor, not because of our Bible study teacher.

But because our faith has been placed completely upon Him.

 

 

When God gives you more than you can handle…

more than we can handleAll my life I have heard the phrase, “God will never give you more than you can handle.”

I use to say it myself to others, I use to believe this was true.

But, now I know this is just one of those Christiany phrases we toss around, that sound good, but aren’t biblical.

Today I began reading through 2 Corinthians, and as I read I was struck by the despair I heard in Paul’s voice as he wrote to the believers in chapter one.

Paul writes that they were burdened beyond their strength, they despaired even of life, having the sentence of death within them. (II Corinthians 1:8-9)

Now, to me this sounds like more than they could handle.

It sounds to me like they were having a very hard time, so bad in fact that they just didn’t think they could go on.

Have you been there, are you there now?

I can remember before coming to Nepal, feeling this way. Having been waiting upon the Lord, going through the valley, and failing to see a way out.

This is why I know He often does give us more than we can handle.

See if He gave us only what we could handle, we wouldn’t need Him.

In verse 9, Paul says, that God has done this so that “they might not rely upon themselves, but upon God, who raises the dead.”

The truth is God does allow difficulties.

He does allow dark days, and walks in the wilderness.

So that, we will trust in Him, so that we will rely upon Him.

Paul knew that God had indeed raised Jesus from the dead. He understood that if God had done this, then nothing he was going through was too much.

No problem he had was too big, because God was bigger.

Dear friend, the same is true of us. though sometimes the way seems too much, God is there beside us and He wants us to rely upon and trust in Him. Your problem is not too big or too difficult for Him.

Paul goes on to say that he believes that just as God has delivered him in the past, he believes He will deliver them now.

When we are in the midst of the storm it is hard to remember how God delivered us in the past. It’s hard to see anything but the storm.

Yet, how important it is, that we remember and believe. For the same God who delivered us before,is the same today, tomorrow and always!!!

Finally, Paul thanked the believers for their prayers. As I read this I was struck by a thought. For you see, when we are going through tough times, we need the prayers of others. Yet how often do we shrug them off, or hide our problems?

This should not be. Paul recognized their need of prayer, and thanked them for it. Likewise, we must seek the prayers of others.

Never loosing sight of the main theme of chapter one. For you see, Paul begins by thanking God the Father, of all comfort, who comforts them in their afflictions, so that they might comfort others.

The truth is, God does give us more than we can handle.

He allows difficulties and pain in our lives. So that we will rely upon Him and His strength.

He takes us through the valley, teaching us with each and every step, so that when He has delivered us, we can comfort others with all He has taught us.

Many preachers today will try to tell you that if your suffering, if your going through a hard time, you have done something wrong.

Many preachers today, want you to believe that you are to have your best life now.

This is not true.

We are told over and over in the Scriptures, that we should expect suffering. We are even told to rejoice in our suffering.

Why? Because it is through the dark days, that we learn to trust in God.

It is through the difficulties that God comforts us, so that He can use us to comfort others.

I don’t know what you are dealing with right now, but God does.

He is there walking beside you.

No problem you have is too big for Him.

And though you may despair of life itself right now. Though you may not feel like you can go on.

You can, by God’s grace and through His strength.

Cling to the Lord dear friend, and He will see you through!

 

 

To the Missionary Mom

A good reminder for those new to the field and to those who have been there awhile… God is always up to something more!

Our Mission to the Himalayas and Beyond

missionary momYou sold your things, you packed up your children, got your shots, and set out on the adventure of a lifetime.

Following your husband to the ends of the earth, to be a missionary. This was your dream, your greatest ambition. You had it all worked out in your mind. You envisioned it with great joy. Believing somehow God could use you to change the world, turning it upside down.

You made it through the long flight, enduring leg cramps, and grouchy children. And then the plane landed. You were there, you had made it to the place where all your dreams would come true. A couple of weeks later, as reality and culture shock hit, however, you wonder where you went wrong.

I know because this was my story. I couldn’t wait to get to the other side of the world. I couldn’t wait to be used of God…

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