Friday, 5 October 2012

I have a burning in my heart tonight.  Sometimes it's so easy to get lost in complacency and settle into easy and comfortable.  A place where life becomes predictable and feels safe.  After a period of time of resting there, it becomes almost natural to make life all about me, my wants and desires.  Soon my world is so small and I find myself living for me.  I become small in my thinking, small in my desires, perhaps nursing wounds of disappointments.   I stop dreaming, and thinking big, past my own boarders....  I start to settle and downsize in my heart......  Lord forgive me for those times when I stop reaching for Your greatness, for Your vision, for Your hopes and dreams.....  Forgive me for wanting to take the easy road, rather than Your road....  Lead us Father into Your heart and where you would have us tread.  Let us walk courageously into a world that is so in need of Your love and care.  Let us not shrink back.....  Let us not grow weary...  Let us not back down.... Let us love as You love......
                       Your love never fails.......1Corth13:1-8 amplified

Will you go?

                              Where will you go?
                        Where are you willing to go?
                 Will you go into the deepest and darkest places?

                                          Could you go?
                     If God was asking you to go, would you go?

                           If God asked for your life this night, would you give it to Him?
                                           How much are you willing to lay down?
                                                    How much do you want to keep?

                                                           How far would you go?
                                            What if you knew you never walked alone…

                                      What if Gods love was sufficient for your every need?
                                                         I mean if you really believed that…

                                                              Where would you go?

                                                                               Who could you save........?

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Did you know that you are always on the heart of God?

Yesterday I was struck by a scripture that rose in my spirit and I began to meditate on it.  In Romans 8: 33-34 says “33 Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us. 35 
Over the past little while it has occurred to me about how great it is to know that Jesus prays for me.  And you know He wouldn’t be praying just any whimsical prayer either.  It wouldn’t be a hit and miss like many of us could be praying, where we start out asking for one thing and end up in a whole other place by the time we are done.  Much of the time our eyes are focused on the problem or the overwhelming circumstances we are in, instead of the One whom is the answer to any challenge we face.  We end up consumed by the size and nature of the problem instead of being swallowed up by the majesty and wonder of our all mighty God!

  We often see our circumstances through a very earthly perspective, at which point our prayers can become a feeble attempt to desperately search for an answer or quite simply a way out of some uncomfortable circumstances.  God is not in the habit of rescuing His people (who have been given all authority and power in the name of Jesus, Luke 10:19) out of our circumstances but He has a decisive plan take us through so that we may develop faith and character, all the while deepening our relationship with Him and renewing a heavenly mindset about the kingdom of God.  But many of us just want out of the fire, me included.  Forget the learning and growing, just get me out!  The refiner’s fire is never a comfortable place.  The work of the cross is painful, you have to die first.  Everyone likes the freedom and blessing on the other side but who likes the dying to oneself or the sacrifice that God could be asking you to make.  There is always a cost.  But the cost of remaining where you are at is far more costly than the joy that awaits you on the other side of your cross, that you must bear.  No one else can carry your cross.  (Math 16:24)  There are no shortcuts in the kingdom, if there was I would have founds them by now.   LOL.  It’s not for lack of trying, that’s for sure! 

I am so grateful that God is longsuffering.  I use to hate that long suffering was one of the fruits of the spirit. (Gal 5:22) It sounded so terrible.  Knowing that I was to develop and grow in all the fruits of the spirit, it totally eluded me about why I would ever want to be long suffering.  My brain translated that into; I need to suffer for long periods of time.  That it was Godly or even God’s will that I should suffer.   Until one day God gave me a revelation on it.  There had been an issue in my life that I had been repeating for many years, one that God was very patiently helping me to overcome.  He had approached this issue from countless angels and numerous times but I couldn’t seem to get a victory or at least not for very long.  This one particular morning I was worshiping God and my heart was filled with gratitude that God has been so patient with me in this area.  For years, really!  I was touched at the compassion He had and the incredible patients and long suffering He had.  There it was, longsuffering.  He continued to endure with patients, love and care….  There it was, true longsuffering.  I was so grateful and now had a new understanding and appreciation for that fruit.  I also walked away that day with a very sincere desire to develop that fruit in my life.  How beautiful and kind it is when you are on the receiving end of such a gift.

 Our understanding or interpretation of God’s word or ways is often very distorted and without seeking/knowing Him or without His intervention we would be lost or blind to the truth.  Then God becomes misrepresented and a lie becomes our personal experience that we believe is true, until His truth comes and sets us free.  Oh how we need Him!  So yesterday as I was meditating on that scripture in the book of Romans.  It occurred to me that if Jesus is ever interceding for me that that means He thinks of me a lot.  I am on the heart of God, continually, how amazing is that?  One of God’s favorite thoughts in a day is ME.  I was tickled.  God thinks on me throughout His day.  He doesn’t just think on me a lot but He even prays for me throughout the day.  Not only does He pray for me throughout the day but He prays according to the will of God.  Aligned and in agreement with the will of God and the Holy Spirit does the same.  We can’t lose!  You can’t lose.  If you’re in Christ, you can’t lose; He is always for you and ever interceding on your behalf!  Always thinking of you and praying for you. 

So if God is always thinking of you and praying for you and wanting your best and good things, what chance does the enemy stand?  Since God is more powerful than any power of hell and God is on your side, what chance does the enemy have?  What plan can he arrange that God doesn’t already know about?  And not just know about but would already be praying about?  It makes me laugh, how delightful, how incredible!  So what on earth am I afraid of?  Now all I need is for that revelation to drop down from an illuminated understanding in my mind into a solid heart confirmation.  All that will take is a few years of experience carrying my cross and being in the fire. LOL!!!  (And probably a whole lot of moaning that my cross is too heavy and the fire is too hot please get me out!)  God is brilliant isn’t He?!  I love Him!  Oh to the joys of life and how colorful it can be.  And so the adventure continues……

Friday, 10 February 2012

An unhurried pace, a quiet resting place.

I love the simplicity to life here and the peace that brings.  I love waking up to the sounds of morning.  Morning’s here are marked by the sweet sound of birds chirping, the gentle low of cattle, some quiet voices (often mixed with songs of praise) and the all inspiring rooster’s crow.  Ok, I’m not so crazy about the roosters.  It has taken me almost four months to appreciate their trumpeting blast first thing in the morning but I believe I have succeeded, most of the time. 

I think we have finally come to an understanding.  They promise not to wake me as early as 3am (crazy birds) and I promise not to cook them for dinner!  I can be very persuasive with my womanly charm.  LOL!

Chickens scratching out some breakfast.

I have a beautiful view to take in while walking my son to school in the early morning.  He is to be in school for 7:30am.  I would like to say we are bright eyed and bushy tailed but that isn’t always the case.  It’s not uncommon along the way to see chickens scratching out some breakfast, dogs playing tag and cattle heading out to graze.
My baby boy's first day at school in Kenya??!!!!
A sight that still makes me immensely uncomfortable is seeing a five year old carrying a panga! (A very large knife almost the height of the child)  It is used for slashing grass and cutting down trees.  The panga is not any more comforting in the hands of a stranger that I meet either but this is life in the bush.

People are incredibly friendly especially in the village and by the time I reach the school (about a 5 minute walk) I have already greeted about a dozen people or more.   In Kenya people greet everyone, even people you don’t know.  They would really wonder what is wrong with you if you don’t greet them.  I am amazed at how many greetings they have in their language.  The people are warm and generous and love visitors.

Friendly faces to greet.

 They consider it a blessing to have a visitor in their home and will go to great lengths to make you feel welcome and take care of you.  It is tradition to always offer a guest something to eat and drink when in their home.  They are ready to even give you the last of what they have, full heartedly, trusting God to provide more.  Culturally it would be an offense to not to receive what they offer.

A typical home in the village.

Some of my days are filled with meetings, letter writing and updates, while other days are relaxed and I can help with daily activities around home.  I can be found sorting beans or removing dried corn kernels from the cob; quietly enjoy the blessing of my mother in laws company, as we work together.  I say quietly because the language is still a barrier between us.  Once we get past the basic greetings we have no place else to go, yet.   I am believing God for the fullness of the Luo language.  It is my dream to preach in Luo and have Silas interpret in English.   What a glorious day that will be!  I know lots of people are praying for that.

Auntie Kathy getting water.  An important daily need.

Ephraim is really settling in here.  The children have finally stopped poking him and they are now sincerely starting to enjoy one another.  One of my greatest joys is seeing him being knitted into the family, rough housing with uncles and finding comfort in the arms of his aunties.  He has won over many hearts here.  We have even had people joke about starting to bring us dowry for our boy.  Normally it is the man who offers the dowry to the family of his future bride, not the other way around.  We are blessed!

The blessing of family love.....

We are a lively crew and we definitely add spice to life here, a flavour foreign to everyone else.  We tend to evoke lots of laughter as we rejoice in our uniqueness.  I am continually inspired by the joy my family has in the midst of the poverty in which they live.  It is the beauty of the Gospel in living color.  They have a peace and joy that no money can buy, but they graciously accept the gift that Christ died to give them.  What a testimony they live, of the power and glory of Christ! 

The best way to travel in Kenya! LOL
Well I think I will close there for today, as we have an early start.  I am especially excited today because we go and pick up our beloved Auntie Lynn at the airport.  Praise God!  (She arrived on Feb. 2/12)  I can’t promise that we will give her back as she is a keeper!  Blessing for now…..

Love Kimberly                               
Silas & I in front of our new home in Kenya.  Praise God!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Perfect love casts out fear!

My world on this continent is flooded with new sights and sounds.  A smorgasbord to fill the senses.  I am learning to walk to a different beat.  There is a new rhythm to my life.  I have found that I have to remain soft and flexible in order to maintain my peace.  Life has a different rhythm here.  If I try to live according to my former beat, I will be out of step and struggling to fit in, but if I remain soft and flexible I can bend and not break, synchronising myself to the current song and entering into a new flow.

Expectations are different here.  There is not the same hurriedness that is notorious with the western world and culture.  It is refreshing to step out of that.  I believe Kenya can be savoured better without rigid deadlines, living within some loose margins. 

For the first couple of months I found my mind frequently plagued with fearful thoughts, nothing big and obvious, just quietly taking up space in the back of my mind, nibbling at my heels so to speak. 

Fear has long been my battle ground for many years, that is, until I met Jesus.  Now fear has become my overcoming ground.  It used to be the ground on which I would lose many a fights, but now it is an area that through the love of Christ, I overcome and conquer.  I love that Christ always leads us in triumph.  (2 Cor 2:14) He is a good One to follow.  A scripture that I have been meditating on frequently, is 1 John 4:18 “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment.  But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.”

Kitties in Kenya!
The love that it speaks of is in direct relationship to Christ.  It is only His love which is perfect and has such power and ability.  During my transition here, my mind was overcome by the many things that posed a threat here on this continent.  Put another more direct way, there are so many more things here that can kill you.  Lions, hippos, alligators, snakes, cheetahs, hyenas, and even something as small as a mosquito is killing thousands.  There are many things that I have left out of this list, including travelling some of the roads.  A conclusive list would be very long. 
My mind had much to contend with, but God began to reveal something to me.  I had been meditating on some other scriptures for a couple of years found in Rom 8:31b “If god is for us who could be against us”, and Eph 3:17-21 and also Rom 8:31-39.  Through these scriptures I began to see, that regardless of the circumstances, God is always for me.  Even if I was in sin, God’s heart is to restore me, so that there may be nothing to stand between us.  So that I may receive all the goodness and blessings He wants to pour into my life. 
God is always about reconciling the world unto Himself, through what Christ died to give us.  He made a way when there was no way.  So His plans for me are always good.  Over the past couple of years, this truth has been seeping into my heart and soul until it has become an experiential reality in my life.  That truth has now become my very solid ground beneath my feet, on which I stand, unmovable!

Solid ground indeed!

He has proven this word (His Word) in my life.  I have confidence in Him, in this area.  It is no longer open to doubt.  I thank God for that!  Through experiencing that truth in my life, there is a new confidence I have in His love for me and a certainty that He is always for me. 

What He began to reveal to me more recently is that, He is my God.  A god is known to be powerful, my God is known to be omnipotent (most powerful) omnipresent (he is everywhere-always present).  He does things that no man can do, on a regular basis, I might add.  He began to speak to me that He is my God and it is therefore His responsibility to take care of me and quite frankly everything that concerns me.( Ps 138:8)  As God, this is His job.  He is to lead me, guide me, to keep me safe and watch over my life and He has all the power and ability to do that.  Above and beyond that it is also His desire and pleasure to do that.  He loves to be God and to take care of His children.  Although I chose Him, He first chose me. (Eph 1:11, Eph 1:4)

One day when I was wrestling with fear again, He led me to a scripture in Judges 6:11-24, where we find Gideon hiding in a wine press, threshing wheat.  There is so much to glean from this passage but what stood out for me, was that while Gideon was wondering how he was going to do this thing that God spoke, to rescue Israel from the Midianites (“too numerous to count”) the Lord’s antidote for Gideon wasn’t to praise Gideon and tell him you are the strongest and smartest, so go… No, the Lord said to him “I will be with you.”  It was God reminding Gideon, that He alone is God and He would be with him.  That is all you need.  God alone is all powerful and mighty and if He has asked you to go, then He will perform it.

 The Lord reminded me of Mosses, when He called him to deliver Israel from the bondage of slavery from the Egyptians.  Moses gave God lots of reasons why he thought he was not suited for the job or not up to the task.  But God was not concerned about any of his reasons.  God merely replied, “I will be with you.” Exod 3:12 God is up to the task of being God!  He is the one who created everything.  It is by Him and through Him that everything remains.  He is very capable of taking care of me.  In fact, it is His job.  He alone is God.  He is my God.  He alone knows what is best for me, having a clear view of the beginning and the end and His name is Faithful and True.  I can trust Him to do it.  I can trust Him to take care of me. 
 So this is the truth that is now beginning to fill up my senses, to take root in my life.  Once again fear is being displaced, with His perfect love that casts out fear.  Love is taking hold of me in a new and beautiful way, as my heart rests and trusts in Him, maker of heaven and earth.  What a secure place to be.  Praise His glorious Name!  So even though, I now find myself on a different continent, filled with many more dangers, He still remains the same, very capable God.   Unchanging throughout all the ages, through any place or season, He alone is God. He remains able and He remains faithful to be who He has always been and will ever be, my God!