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!