Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Future with a Hope

I just finished reading a blog post by Bishop Bickerton of the United Methodist Church. He used the phrase "a future with a hope." I really like that phrase with the reference to Jer. 29:11. Usually I hear, "a hope and a future." But, the kids I work with, whether they are in Russia, Central Asia, Ghana, the jungles and mountain villages of Peru really need a future with a hope. They need blessings for today and the hope that their future will be better, along with the hope that we have in Jesus Christ! What a timely reminder! Thank you, Bishop!

Friday, April 25, 2008


Today I am in a pensive mood. I guess it comes from comparing myself to others and not looking to Christ. It's looking at the bottom line instead of the Lord. Maybe I'm being attacked because I'm preparing for a trip to Central Asia. Whatever the reason is, I'm not sure I like it.

But, it's times like these that I draw near to Him. I talk with Him about my ministry. Is it really a needed ministry? Am I following Him? Should I be doing something else? Why do people say that they are so proud of me, the way I've taken this step, but yet, don't back up what they say with financial support? Am I just needlessly questioning? Is it that 5 letter "T" word again? (TRUST) I love what I do. I am getting more and more invitations to go to other countries and situations. I've been told that my ministry is well needed and apprciated by those with whom I've worked.

So, for now, I'll just set my sights on Him and draw closer to Him. And, as I draw closer to Christ, my worries will cease and I'll be confident in Him and His leading.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Human Touch

When traveling overseas into a variety of cultures, a person really has to be aware of what is and is not culturally appropriate. I was reminded of this as I was readuing a devotional a few days ago.

When in Ghana, I was part of the Ankaase Methodist Faith Healing Hospital's Prayer Ministy. After devotions, we would go into every patient room and pray for and with the patients. We didn't know the religious backgound of each peson. We would go into a room, talk a few minutes, then, ask the patients to form a circle for prayer. For people of certain faiths, we had to rearrange ouselves because a single woman could not hold the hand of a married man. I think this experience made me more aware of subtle differences. It wasn't necessarily a cultural difference, but a religious one.

As an American in another culture, I need to be aware of all things that may be a part of the culture in the area in which I am visiting, even in various religions. One thing I am sure of, my Lord, Jesus Christ can cross all cultural barriers. He can cross and eliminate all types of barriers. Soon I will be traveling to a country where there are many barriers and restrictions. Please pray that people will experience Him through me, with a human touch.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Pride Goes Before Destruction

"Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18 This Scripture is too true for me. I have severe arthritis in my left knee, and am at the point where I need to wear a knee brace (not bad) and use a cane. A cane! I'm too young! What will my friends across the world think when I show up with a cane in hand?

The truth of the matter is, the cane does make walking easier. And, in some of the places I've been, the cane will definately help! So, good bye pride, hello cane...Central Asia, here we come!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Blessed to be a Blessing

Time is ticking away. My trip to Central Asia is only 3 1/2 weeks away I'm beginning to pack for my trip to Central Asia. Well, maybe "pack" isn't the right word, "pile up stuff" is a better way of putting it. I am beginning to get requests from people "over there." Requests for things they can't get, like an HP ink cartridge, Frisbees and Uno cards to use with one of the kid's ministries, stuff for guitars, and, sandalwood soap. I can't find sandalwood soap anyplace but on line. But, I'll keep looking.

When I first started going oversees on mission trips, I was trained to use my carry on and half of a larger suitcase for myself. The rest of the room goes for ministry supplies. So, I have yarn dolls, felt, dream catchers, patters, balloons, games and LOTS more to take to use with the kids and stuff to bless the missionaries, too. So, my suitcase is a little, no, is a lot like this one pictured here. But, I wouldn't have it any other way. It's a blessing to be a blessing!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Gye Nyame

The Ghanaian people have a rich culure. And it is said that there are no athiests in Ghana. This culture is full of gods. But, even in their ancient beliefs, they believe in a supreme being, a supreme God who is Lord over all.

This is an ancient Ashanti symbol. It reflects the supremacy, power and dominion of God over all situations and creations. He is therefore reguarded as the immortal, omnipotent, omnicient and omnipresent. This is a symbol of the supremacy of God.

Does the one, true God have lordship in your life? Is He the one who goes before, after and beside you? Is He the one to whom you look to for forgiveness, peace, mercy and perfect love? He is for me. I hope He is for you, too.

Friday, April 4, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

I've been tagged by Jan.
The Rules

List seven random things people may not know about you. The rules are to link the person who sent this to you and leave a comment on their blog so their readers can visit yours. Post the rules on your blog. Share 7 facts about yourself. Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, linking their blog. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

1. I was once a canoeing instructor.
2. The older I get, the more my knuckles get white when I fly, the more practice I have in trusting God.
3. I sleep with one or more stuffed animals. They have to be really, really soft, preferably with beans in their butt and/or paws.
4. For a few years, I played guitar for a charismatic prayer meeting.
5. I backpacked in the snow.
6. I once climbed a windmill in Mexico.
7. My dream vacation would be a week at the beach with nothing to do but read.

Now, I tag:

Work in Progress

Looking around my apartment, all I see is work in progress. I have a suitcase started for my next trip to central Asia. I have newsletters ready to stuff into envelopes. I have a new display that is waiting to be finished. I need to "brush up" on some every day greetings in the language of the next country I'll be visiting. I have not one, but two containers of things to take to Ghana (all the trophies will not go this next trip.) My next sermon is in my head, but not on paper. My speech "homework" is always waiting to be done at LEAST once a day. Emails need to be sent, information gathered, supplies acquired. And, if I'm not getting ready for a trip, I am coming back from one and am in the process of unpacking. Everything is in progress, a continuing thing. And, when one thing is finished, there is something to take it's place.

I think that my spiritual life is like that, too. It is a wok in pogess. I have things that are in progress in my spiritual life, things like learning to trust God with my whole life, not just bits and pieces of it. I am learning to love others as Jesus loves me. I'm learning to accept differences in people. I'm learning to be comfortable wherever God places me, even if it is sharing an apartment with two German med students (female, of course.) I'm learning that when I get in a "funk" and don't want to talk with anyone, just stay curled up in a nice fuzzy blanket, that's when I need to pick up the phone & say, "let's do lunch" or whatever. And, most of all, I'm learning to draw close to Him, to Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, because without Him in my life, where would I be? I don't even want to guess.

There ae pluses to being amidst a work in progress, too. There is no time to think I have it all together, that I can relax for awhile. For, it's when I let my guard down, the enemy finds a way to attack. So, I'll continue, not trudging along, but joyfully continuing to work with a focus, with a goal in sight. That goal would be to stay close to Him and, when it's time, to spend eternity in glory with Him.