Friday, December 20, 2013

No longer waiting

Waiting… It can consume so much of our lives.  We wait until we are financially stable, we wait until we are older, we wait until we think we are prepared… we wait until NEXT weekend, next year.  So much of what we do hinges on this “waiting game.” 
Simeon was a man who was waiting.  He was waiting for that promise.  To behold with His own eyes The Christ, the Consolation of Israel.  God had promised and He stood there knowing His God would not lie.
In our lives there are various seasons where God may ask us to wait.  And certainly we are ANXIOUSLY awaiting the second coming of that same Christ.  However this Christmas season we are rejoicing that we are no longer waiting to know Him.  We don’t have to wait for peace in our hearts, for joy in our lives, for love, acceptance, forgiveness, and salvation.  It has come… He has come.  Often we can catch ourselves waiting for something that He is ready to accomplish in us.  In our humanity we wait and try to find fulfillment in other people… in other ways outside of Christ.  Oh what joy is found in the revelation that we no longer have to wait.  He is ready… are you?
Christmas time in a warm climate for the first time.  Seems quite strange.  Instead of looking out our window and seeing snow falling we see clothes drying on the line.  It will be a different Christmas but it will be good!! Celebrating the birth of Christ does not have to depend on circumstances and environment… we are thankful for that.
We are settled back in here at home after a short visit to the U.S.  We are so thankful for that trip.  It proved to us again that God knows best.  What we thought was a last minute crisis was shown to be a great blessing.  His ways... tested and proven to be better!
We are just continuing to live life here.  Taking one day at a time.  Learning to abide. One thing that has become very clear to us is that we needed to live here.  As we look back over these past months we are completely overcome with gratitude.  The Lover of our souls has certainly blessed us.  He has taught us so many invaluable lessons.  Our souls have not always eagerly embraced them, but as we reflect we can clearly see that it was needed.  We needed to emerge from our cocoon of the familiar and the comfortable.  Our souls needed stretched and softened.  We needed to see our complete incapability.   We have been given a glimpse of Him… and He is nothing short of amazing.  As we continue down this path however long or short it may be, we look forward to the further cultivation of our souls and the souls around us as He works. 
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all.  He has come.  He has lived.  He has died.  He has RISEN! And He is coming again!!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


Well sometimes life has a curve that you are completely unaware of that takes you to a place you hadn't intended to go. On Wednesday 27th, as we woke up to a steady drizzle outside the window, we would have never dreamed we would be flying to the states that night. In short, we found that when our visas expired on Thursday the 28th we couldn't just extend them.. we needed to leave East Africa.  We had been under a false impression after a trip to the Embassy we made last year concerning this. So we got online and found that tickets to the States weren't too much more than tickets to Ethiopia, so we booked them.  And here we are.  We kept looking at each other and reminding ourselves that this was no surprise to the Lord.  He knew, and He knows. So we will rest in that.  I was reading in Psalms yesterday and came upon this verse-- Psalm 32:8 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye."  We are in good hands :)

I have been reading through Nehemiah.  One day I was sitting down where we serve lunch on Saturdays.  From my perch I had a great view of Kibera.  I could see people walking along the railway line headed off for another day.  I could see shop owners opening windows and wooden doors.  Mama's sitting our their goods. I could see children running through the streets leaping over ditches.  Then my eyes fell back to the pages in front of me. The pages that contain Life.  Those pages that mean more to me as the days go by.  As I read through Nehemiah I saw the parallel.  It quite nearly jumped off the pages.  The walls of Jerusalem were broken down,  they were vulnerable to attack.. their enemies had a clear view, unhindered access.  And it grieved Nehemiah.. he wept, he prayed, he fasted.  Then God moved Him to action.  I read quickly eager to devour the words.. the parallel burning in my mind.  I read how Nehemiah called them to rise and build.  I read of all the households committed to the fortification of this city.  Me eyes came to chapter 4 verse 17 and I had to stop and take it in.  Read it a couple more times..  With ONE hand they worked at construction, and with the OTHER they held a weapon.  I looked up and again watched the people walking, fetching, running, living another day they had been given.  I wondered within myself.. how many walls are broken down?  How many of these souls are living day to day unfortified... giving the enemy unhindered access.  God wants to rebuild.  He is in that business.  Am I willing to be used?  Am I willing to pray, fast, and weep?  Does He have my life to use in the fortification? Does He have my knees.. bent to the floor.. where the work is the most taxing but the most victory won?  Do I have two hands given... one for building one for defending?!  And then as my eyes continues there journey across the pages they came to chapter 6 verse 16 and it says when the wall was completed..  When all their enemies heard of it, and all the nations around saw these things, that they were very disheartened in their own eyes; FOR THEY PERCIEVED THAT THIS WORK WAS DONE BY OUR GOD.  Oh hallelujah!! All praise be to the Master Builder!!
He is looking for men, women, households who are willing to be used in His global construction project.  All around us there are walls in need of repair and restoration.  On our own we can try to slap up some bricks, cover the holes the best we can.. but they will never stand.  It is only when we come under the direction and supervision  of our Lord that change can be affected.  He wants to make us strong and repair the breaches and gaps in our walls so that we can then be poured out on behalf of those around us.  It is a glorious invitation to serve under the Great Master Builder. He knows very acutely what it means to stand in the gap for someone... what it takes to repair a breach that has been made... to put up walls of fortification.  His body filled a gap for us,  His blood poured out, His life breath expired, He was crushed so that the enemy could no longer have unhindered access. 

"Then I (Nehemiah) said to them, "You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach (desolate)."  Nehemiah 2:17