Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not Alone

I've been taught through actions and words that when something goes wrong, gets difficult or overwhelming to "pull myself up by my bootstraps" and get on with it. Easier said than done. In the past, I've trusted, I've expected people to do and be what they said. And, I've gotten burned.

I am a different person now, hopefully, different even from yesterday. Over the years I have matured and grown not only in body and mind, but in spirit also. But, it is still hard at times to reach out, to say to someone, "I can't do this alone. Will you help me?" It is not hard to do that when my computer takes on a mind of its own. But, when it comes to matters close to my heart, it is. I don't want to risk. I don't want to be vulnerable. I don't want to get hurt.

When I act on those types of feelings, I miss out on the blessings of God. He has put people in my life who have been a living Bible to me. Their actions speak volumes about their faith. Encouraging words, time spent together, prayer, and all kinds of blessings have come to me through the family of God. Sometimes I reached out, sometimes others reached out to me. And you know what? It didn't hurt!

The past few weeks, I have experienced a combination of excitement about going to work with the Dagara people, but I have also experienced doubt and frustration and I have wondered several times, "Will I ever get there? Will I ever return to Ghana? When, Lord? " As calls are made, discouragement shows it's ugly head. Finally, I realize that I can't do it alone.

I need a team of people who will walk with me, walk along side of me as I journey this road. Yes, God has given me a desire, a yearning to work side by side with the people of the Upper West Region of Ghana. I need those who will commit to pray, to encourage, to help with newsletters & finances, who will be my advisers for my spiritual life as well as my physical body. I need a "Home Team" who will keep me accountable, challenge me and lift me up before the Father.

Please pray for and with me as this "Home Team" is formed.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Lord, sometimes I wish
you'd quit challenging me.
You're always at it.
Everytime I turn around,
You've got a new one
for me.
And your challenges
have a way
of turning everything
upside down.

They force me to change things
I'd like to leave alone.
They make me do things
I've never done before.
They knock all of the
out of me.
They're unsettling.

Forgive me, Lord,
for wishing you to stop
daring me
to learn,
to grow,
to give myself away,
to love,
to live.
Without those challenges
of yours
I'd die.

~ From Souveniers of Solitude by Brennan Manning

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Achey Breaky Heart

A year ago today, I left for Ghana. I returned in the middle of March. It was my last trip there. I was hoping to move there this spring. I hate to admit it, but it looks like that won't happen. My heart aches to be there. My heart aches to be with the children of the Lawra orphanage. But, even more than that, my heart breaks for the Dagaba people of the Upper West Region of Ghana. My heart breaks because there are so many people who do not have a saving knowledge and day to day relationship with Jesus Christ. I want to be the Father's hand and feet in that area of the world. I pray that one day, the Dagaba people will throw away their idols, their juju and be unashamedly in love with Jesus bringing other with them.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Shades of Gray

I don't know where you live or what your winter has been like. Here, in western PA, winter has been long and hard. The sun has shone, the temperatures are climbing, the snow is almost gone and the birds are singing. But, everything is still a shade of gray. It is tiresome.

I find that my spirit is in a shade of gray lately. I have traveled a lot in January and part of February. But, the last few weeks I haven't. I've immersed myself in the on line class I'm taking. I am discouraged with the fact that I will not be moving to Ghana this spring. And, I wonder when it will happen. I need to get out of this gray scale in which I am living. My spirit needs revived. I need to see sunshine and feel it's warmth on me. I need to feel healthy and alive. I need to see that God hasn't forgotten about the vision He's given me. And, I need to trust Him to fulfill it.

Sometimes it's hard to get out of a gray world when you are in the same place, day in and day out. Things begin to get routine. That's what friends are for...to help us out! Tomorrow, I am leaving for a small town in North Carolina to visit a good friend. She will help revive my spirits. She will speak of God's love and care. She will remind me to look at where I've been and how far God has brought me, that our God is a Faithful God. She will remind me that my mountains are only mere molehills in God's eyes. She will be an encouragement to me. And, she'll spoil me. I need that sometimes. And, when I return, I know the sun will shine brighter, the road ahead will seem shorter, and my world will once again be colorful.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lessons from Lost Keys

You may wonder why I took this picture. Well, last week I lost my keys. At first, I just grabbed the extra set to use. When I returned home, I started ripping my appartment appart looking for them. I even looked in the refrigerator! I finally decided that I had accidentally knocked them off my desk & they ended up in the waste basket. And, the night before was garbage night. So, if they fell in the waste basket, by now they were on their way to a landfill.

I emailed Staples for a new card. About 6 PM I called my landlord to let him know I lost my keys. Then, I got ready to go to a concert at one of the local high schools. As I grabbed my jacket, I noticed something in the bag where I keep my mittens & wintery kinds of things. It was my keys! What was lost has been found! I thanked God and then called my landlord to tell him I found the keys.

What I realized that night was that in some areas of my life it is easier for me not to expect anything. Then, I won't be disappointed. If I didn't expect to find my keys & acted as if they were gone, then I wouldn't keep looking for them. And, if and when they were found, it would be a time of rejoicing, "icing on the cake."

If this was the only area of my life that I respond to in this way, no big deal. But, if I search myself, I know that this is not an isolated case. I pray God will give me a spirit of excitement, of expectation of what He has planned for my life. I want to embrace it and look forward to it with great expectation!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Celebrating Life

During the last 10 days or so, it seems like there has been a lot of "celebrating life." First, Leon was born and a party was held in his honor last Saturday. He is so cute! Then, a friend died. I didn't know her well. Years ago, I went to her house for a small group Bible study. The thing that really got me is that she suffered so much. And, she was my age. There have been several people from my church who have died recently. Remembering and celebrating their lives is always bittersweet. For the last couple of days the sun has been shining, snow has been melting and birds have been singing. Another way to celebrate life! Life has been given to the dirty grey colored snow that has been part of our world for what seems to be forever.

I am involved in a Perspectives class...Perspectives on the world Christian movement. It, too, celebrates life...life in Christ. As I immerse myself in study, I think of Leon and I pray that he will become a man of God, that he will do great things for God because of His faith and beliefs. I pray that people will stand beside him and teach him. I pray one day he will embrace Christ for his life.

Those whose lives we celebrated have been believers and we can be sure that we will see them "on the other side." They have been involved in the building of God's Kingdom here on earth. Now, it is time for their reward.

I wonder...will the Dagaba people of Ghana celebrate life with ancestral beliefs and juju or will they celebrate life by glorifying God within the context of their culture. They can do this honoring ancestors, but not worshipping them. They can do this with traditional food, dance, celebrations, leaving out the juju. Because...Christ IS life!