Our trip changed a village forever. One day I believe me and every lady on the trip cried every tear we had. God was way more than good, and we were totally over whelmed. We experienced a small piece of what full-time missionaries experience all the time, being Jesus in flesh in areas where the need is great.
Matthew 28:19-20 (NASB) Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
I want to share a sermon by Pastor Andy Stanley called Saved by the Church. Like him I also was saved by my church Malesus Baptist Church. I was raised by my heroes Blake and Dale Jolley who never gave me a choice of whether or not I would go with them to church on Sunday morning, and that has made all the difference in my life. I owe more than I can even understand to children’s workers, music leaders like Billy Max and Barbara Mayo, Actions leaders, GA leaders, youth pastors and pastors who faithfully taught me God’s Word.
Parents, find a church this morning that is teaching God’s Word. Let them help you in the battle called parenthood. For those of you beyond those years or without children, I cannot imagine going onto the battlefield tomorrow without spending today begging my Creator God to help me, to save me for all eternity and for Monday morning.
I find myself crying over vines a lot. As a matter of fact, I seem to be an expert in a selfish, critical, judgmental spirit, and this is at the top of my prayer list. We moved to Kentucky in June, and my husband is the Missions’ Pastor at Little Flock Baptist in Shepherdsville. It has been a great move, definitely God’s will, but as many of you who are in ministry know, moving is always hard. Buying, selling and places to live are essential. I am a teacher, so moving during the summer months was very helpful. In a moment the question of “Where will we live while our house in Tennessee is still selling and be able to financially survive?” was critical, God at just the right time supplied an apartment. The price and situation were exactly what we needed. But, well let’s just say, I remembered how easily I can be an Israelite and cry over vines like Jonah. God brought us here, had begun to do a good work, and I complained. And complained. With two trash dumpsters within rock throwing distance of our apartment and the waste management truck showing up to empty the dumpsters at 4:30 am, sometimes 3:30 am and once at 2:30 am, I had a hard time. When I used the stove, if I used more than one eye ( I have been told that it’s a burner) our oldest daughter Rachel had to stand by and fan the heat sensitive fire alarm as it blared.
We bought a grill. Many trips were made to the laundry mat, and I hugged my washing machine when it arrived in Kentucky. And as you move, you lose things. During a time when I was teaching my bible study “Broken”, I went through losing something new every few days. I knew the enemy was messing with me, but when I lost the key to our mailbox for two weeks, that about did me in. I could just see the mailman opening our mailbox to add mail to an impending explosion.
Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Phil 2:14 states. How can I be light in a dark world if I don’t accept the good with the bad? There is a purpose and season for everything by God’s design. If I am not happy with my living situation or any other of God’s provisions, maybe I should remember my brothers and sisters in Haiti who eat two meals a day because many don’t have food for three and feel blessed to have that. So many things that I view as bad are not bad. Every time I go to a foreign country on mission, I come back thinking about how
I am a spoiled American. How quickly I forget. Let us resolve this year to do God’s will, spread His love and good news and have a humble servant heart, not sounding like Jonah or the Israelites in their moments of whining which doesn’t glorify the good God we serve. And He is always good.
As a matter of fact, Chris Tomlin’s song Good, Good Father is still my favorite song these days. Here it is again:
God gave me this message in the middle of the night, and I knew that first and foremost, He had a word for me, for when I look in the mirror, I see a selfish church member.
Remember teachers, our job is challenging because everyday we are piercing the darkness by possibly praying for a child that no one has ever prayed for. You never know what God has in store: that child might someday believe in Jesus and their whole household might be saved (Acts 16:31).