Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Walk of Remembrance

Stones of Remembrance...these were stones the Israelites used as reminders of God's faithfulness. They served as a visual reminder of the amazing miracles He performed and His unfailing love as He never gave up on them.
I by nature am not sentimental in any way...clean out my house regularly...and can be called anything BUT a hoarder. So keeping something like stones of remembrance has always been totally out of the question, however I was struck this morning by a place that is that for me. I took Olivia and Eden down to the beach early this morning for a long walk (I know I am incredibly blessed :) ). The sun beat down warm rays and we ran the paths the tire tracks left behind, poked at a jellyfish left by the receding tide, and dug our bare feet deep into the cool sand. In one moment when both girls were squealing in delight, I was overcome with gratitude and allowed my mind to review all that I have experienced on this beach. 25 yrs of memories flooded my mind as I remembered the summer when my mom, sister, and I came to the beach everyday for two solid months...yes we experienced a drought that summer, but we sure enjoyed the sunny days! I relived the walk I took where I petitioned God about whether or not I should go on a mission trip to Brazil...ended up being the trip where God caught my heart and gave me a love for people around the globe. There was the walk I took where I cried my eyes out in loneliness because my sister left for college...and the one I took right before I moved to Colorado to attend school myself. This was the first beach my husband had ever seen and the same one that he knelt down in the sand to ask me to marry him. I then allowed my mind to recall all the walks of sorrow...when my marriage crumbled and everything felt so dark...the days after I lost each girl through miscarriage...even the day I found out I was pregnant with Eden and I walked this wellworn path on the beach begging God to let me keep the pregnancy. You see, I have no physical tangible object to remind me of the faithfulness of God, but I do have this place...this beach that I call my home. And as I looked at my marriage that God faithfully restored; and my heart that He faithfully healed; and my two daughters that He is faithfully keeping for me in heaven; and my other two duaghters squealing and laughing on the beach; I am OVERWHELMED by the faithfulness of our God. He is faithful no matter what! I am blessed by my "walk of remembrance" this morning....blessed to be called a daughter of this beloved Savior of mine.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Prayers for the Persecuted

Both my daughters are napping and the silence during the daytime is kind of magical...couple that with the fact that I'm in a hotel room in which I did not have to make the bed or wash the folded towels and I feel even a bit giddy. Being away from the daily duties of life has given me time to enjoy my family, actually talk to my husband, and give clarity to some things that have been foggy. The reason for our trip is to represent our ministry to the persecuted church at a missions conference. I am mainly taking care of the girls while Brian talks with students, but both Brian and I came to an interesting conclusion yesterday. All the other missions vendors here represent ways for students to GO and serve. This is huge...such a NEEDED thing for young people to grasp and get a hold of. Living out the gospel can be done in so many ways and through so many organizations and never before has our world been more reachable and connected than it is today. Our ministry is something alltogether different though. While we have dozens of ways for people to get involved in helping minister to and assist the persecuted through financial giving, our main purpose is to create awareness to their plight and ask Christians to pray....and that's it. I have wrestled with this to be honest...I am such a task oriented person...I want to DO something. Buying a goat for the wife and children of a martyred believer or sending a wife or daughter to a vocational school feels sooooo much more important than getting on my knees and asking God to give them courage and safety. Frankly, people ONLY respond to our ministry once we start talking about what we're doing rather than just how they can pray and so we often find ourselves ignoring this huge aspect alltogether. This is especially true when we're conversing with people about how our personal fundraising is brain asks, "who wants to give each month to us financially when our primary job is to create awareness to this massive issue and then pray?" My thoughts have been challenged this week however by the ever wise Oswald Chambers. He said "We lean to our own understanding or we bank on service and do away with prayer, and consequently by succeeding in the external, we fail in the eternal, because in the eternal we succeed only by prevailing prayer." I was pondering that statement this morning and it just smacked me over the head. Yes, there are so many ways that we American Christians can GO and BE and DO and Make a Difference and those things are vital to the gospel. However, if we are not praying about every step...if we're not praying for every person affected by the things we see and hear...if we're not wearing out our knees by falling on them to petition our God; our work is done in vain. Yes, Brian and I have been called to connect American believers to those being persecuted around the world by giving them something they can do, but shame on us if we ever again see that as being more important than asking people to pray. And it is any wonder that prayer is such a difficult and neglected task??? Surely satan knows this but that blog post will have to come at a later girls are awake ;)