Posts Tagged ‘Christian Living’

Quarantine Introspection

Monday, January 4th, 2021

quarantine-introspection

Never could we have imagined what 2020 had in store one year ago, while ringing in the new year. Never could we have known the whole world would shut down over microscopic particles, that the economy would bankrupt thousands of companies, that looting and prejudice would rise up, and that politics would be so divisive.

This year has had it all. And yet of all years, this year I have learned to be more of a Mary at the feet of Jesus rather than any other year. Instead of doing for the Lord, I was being more in the presence of the Lord. Yes, there was still plenty of ministry, but it seems like I sat in the presence of God way more this year than any other year because of the pandemic.

As we move into the new year, here are 5 Scripture verses that God brought to my mind to prepare our hearts for 2021:

Looking back over 2020, here are some things we’ve done as a family to pass the time productively during the quarantine:

  • Going for walks around the neighborhood for exercise
  • Putting together a world puzzle & learning about different countries
  • Creating a backyard oasis and vegetable garden
  • Reading books and doing creative writing, including poetry
  • Deepening relationships over the phone and through Zoom

To get a picture of a productive activity that you can do during a quarantine, here is a video of my daughter and I, on a walk during the pandemic. My daughter has the goofiest conversation that she makes up on the spot:

I would like to leave you with a poem I just wrote:

The Quarantine: A 10-Minute Freewrite Poem

hunkered down inside a house
with curtains drawn
waiting for the plague to pass
examining our hearts
looking up to the Almighty
setting our houses in order
wondering if the next fatality
will be someone dear
afraid to hug, to be near
separated by distance
never quite connecting
alone in a pile of thoughts
inactive and desensitized
waiting for things to get back
to normal, to the expected
but life will never be the same
fragility of life is in the forefront

May this New Year bring more of the presence of God into our lives, and may we prioritize the things that matter!

How to Pray for Missionary Kids

Friday, December 6th, 2019

how-to-pray-for-missionary-kids

Many churches and individuals who support missionaries pray for those missionaries. But have you ever thought of praying for the missionary kids? Because they are more vulnerable to spiritual attack, missionary kids have a higher chance of experiencing despair or rebellion. Having grown up as an MK myself, the majority of MK’s that I knew rebelled against their parents, and many of them today have denied the faith and walked away from God. I have wept over many of these MK’s personally because they were my friends.

Do not neglect praying for the missionary kids. This is imperative for a missionary family to function and thrive for God’s kingdom wherever God has called them to serve. You might not know the struggles that MK’s go through in their lives, so I will tell you how you can pray for them.

Pray that they will not be bitter against their parents for being forced to live in a country where they don’t fit in. Pray that they will have godly friendships that will stand the test of time. Pray that they will not withdraw like a recluse from others after having their hearts crushed by saying good-bye so many times. Pray against spiritual attack, because even if the parents’ faith is strong, the children will have thoughts planted into their minds from the enemy who is seeking to destroy the parent’s credibility and thereby their ministry.

Pray that the girls will not be attacked by locals whose skin is darker, and who seem to think white-skinned girls are stunningly beautiful, even at age 12. Pray that the constant whistles from evil men will not distort the girl’s mind towards men in general and her future husband.

Pray for the MK’s especially as they become teenagers and have to live through all the hormones that come with that. Pray that they will not be tempted to do evil for the sake of fitting in, because MK’s more than normal people, have almost a desperation to fit in that is only magnified by hormones. This makes it nearly impossible to follow God unless their faith is incredibly solid, so pray that God will strengthen their faith and trust in Him.

And pray that the missionary kids will not abandon their faith when they leave home, that their strength and belonging might come from God, and that they will grow in their relationship to God instead of walk away.

If you would like to follow my Missionary Kid Facebook page, click here.

See my most popular MK memes and pins here.

To watch the video playlist on YouTube of our Guatemala Adventure, click here.

Buy the MK book here.

 

New Look, New Life

Monday, February 4th, 2019

new-look-new-life

A huge change happened in my life at the end of September 2018, and my main ministry friend thought I should change my outer look to match the change that had happened inwardly. She said that highlights in my hair would lighten my look to give it youthfulness, and she found a picture of just what she was talking about. I loved it!

Normally I don’t cut my hair for years (except for trimming my own bangs) because of the monetary cost of hair cuts. But now my ministry friend was telling me that God wouldn’t let her accept the money from cleaning the pirate’s house (the man in the wheelchair) because she said the money was supposed to be for me. So I suddenly had the money to get my hair cut and highlighted.

We prayed about it, and God prompted us to go to a specific Walmart about ten minutes from my house, and God also chose the day. It would be Friday morning. I didn’t even know that Walmart cut hair, but there is a Regis salon in many Walmart stores. I drove to Walmart and asked for an appointment for the specific time God had indicated during our prayer time.

Come to find out, God was making an appointment with a hairdresser. I love how He does that. The woman who cut and highlighted my hair prayed to receive Christ that day, after talking with her about the Lord for several hours. She was ready. Only God knew that. It’s so funny, because I never get my hair cut, much less highlighted, but we needed the time. My ministry partner came with me, of course, because this morning had nothing to do with me. It had everything to do with the hairdresser.

The three hours that we were there, the first two hours were spent leading up to her stopping to pray to receive Christ. And the last hour was spent equipping her for what her life would be like now that she was filled with the Holy Spirit. My ministry friend had said things about the hairdresser’s life that she couldn’t have possibly known—about her heart and her circumstances. She was stunned like all the people are when my ministry friend speaks to people. I’m so glad that we each have different gifts in the Spirit, and they all work together in the body of Christ. We are all valued.

I was surprised at how young and flirty I looked after going to the salon! I loved the curls, too. My ministry partner told me to start wearing lighter colors. That’s hard for me to do because my entire wardrobe is dark.

It’s interesting that even though my situation has not changed (and yours may not either), God supernaturally brought a breath of fresh air by showing me a new perspective on life. Instead of life’s impossible challenges and deep suffering causing us to despair, we can ask God to give us new eyes. Our own suffering doesn’t matter any more compared to the glory that is to be revealed in the people that we are able to reach for Christ, who will be in heaven with us forever just because we didn’t give up in the middle of our suffering.

Friends, if you love Jesus and are in despair, it’s because the enemy wants you incapacitated. The enemy tailor-made your circumstances to be your worst nightmare. And if you suffer deeply for many years, you eventually feel that you can’t go on.

At this point in my life, I cried out to God in my bed, almost a primordial scream. I just said, “Jesus! Help!!!”

Shortly thereafter God sent me my ministry friend. God changed my perspective through this woman who has a completely different background than I do. And we began our ministry, leading people to Christ, praying for people, and ministering to hurting Christians. My life is more worth living now than ever.

You can choose to cry all day and give up (and Satan wins). Or you can rebuke the enemy, rise up, put on some praise music, and dance before the Lord (even if you’re a klutz like me!) Then ask Jesus what you should be doing, and obey Him. You will gain energy as you do His work, and you will once again be glad to be alive.

Surprised by a Pirate (a true story)

Monday, January 28th, 2019

surprised-by-a-pirate

As I stooped over to open the pirate chest full of treasure, I sighed. Memories flooded my mind, from a treasure hunt in the backyard for a pirate party after reading Treasure Island, to painting the chest gold to transform it into King Tut’s treasure back when we studied ancient Egypt. We shoved that treasure chest into a closet under the stairs as a tomb for my toilet-paper-wrapped kid in a cardboard sarcophagus. Fun times.

My kids are now teens. Having outgrown the treasure box, I put it up for sale. A man claiming to be a pirate contacted me. He wanted to buy the treasure chest, and he needed me to deliver it because he had only one leg. My son Stephen drove me with the treasure chest over to his house, where he lifted the pirate treasure one last time. The man with the one leg not only gave me the $20 I was asking for the box, but he paid me another $20 for delivering it just ten minutes down the street from my house. Since I needed the money for groceries, I burst into tears and hugged this wild gray-haired man in his wheel chair.

There was something about his eyes that tugged on my heart. His appearance matched his description of himself as a pirate (he really did look like a retired pirate, with the personality to go with it). The surprised but happy look he gave me when I hugged him was priceless. As I drove away, I pondered how I could go back. I knew the compassion in my heart was from Jesus, and I wanted to make sure he knew that he was loved.

He was too interesting a person to just pass by and move on. I couldn’t let him sit there all day in his wheelchair, house-bound, just waiting to die. Yes. I said it. That’s what I saw in his eyes. I saw it because it was a mirror of my own soul, longing to be set free from the suffering, sorrow, and evil of this world.

I sat at the computer, pondering the meaning of life. Since I sold the treasure chest through Facebook, I clicked through to his profile. Without any thought, I pressed the button to add him as a friend. Within the hour, he mentioned that he needed a housekeeper. For some reason I sensed danger. Not knowing if the danger was real or imaginary, I asked my ministry friend if she would like to come with me to clean this man’s house. She said yes.

The fact that I hate cleaning became obvious when I wrestled with cleaning the walls of a shower that had a seat attached to the middle of the tub. There was no space. My ministry friend did not want to touch the bathroom with a ten foot pole, so she sang sweet songs about Jesus as she swept and mopped the living room. She asked him if it was okay for her to sing, and he seemed pleased with it. I prayed for his soul as I struggled to keep my balance.

Kicking at the grime, my back aching from the scrubbing, I sighed a bit too loud. My pirate friend laughed, shouting to my ministry partner that I was cussing in the bathroom. “No, I’m not. Are you trying to get me in trouble?” I responded, laughing.

We finished up, and the pirate paid us way more than seemed right, so I put some money back, returning it to him. He pressed me to take it and I said no.

I’m actually glad that I said no because after two times of cleaning his house, he said that he had run out of savings. This was after canceling the third time of cleaning due to going in and out of the hospital. I was sad for some reason, not just because I needed the money, but because there was something about the pirate’s eyes that was compelling. When I went to return his key, I told him that Jesus loved him, even though it seemed like He didn’t because of his amputated leg. I was sad that he had to suffer, and I told him that Jesus is with us in our pain. I didn’t know what else to say, so I hugged him one last time before I drove away.