Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Learning To Be Content

I've been ruminating on this post for a few weeks now but I think I have down what I want to say...

I am constantly amazed at the way the Father teaches me and reveals Himself to me. I found a new verse in my quiet time that I'd read probably dozens of times in the past but never really thought about. Look up Phil. 4:11. Now, we're all familiar with Phil. 4:13 but I'd skipped right over verse 11. Paul writes that he's learned to be content in whatever circumstances he's in. Catch that phrasing - LEARNED to be content. It's not something that magically happened, God didn't grant him contentment after he'd been thrown in jail for the upteenth time. Paul learned it. God brought him into circumstances where he had the opportunity to learn to be content. Paul goes on in verse 12 to say he knows how to live in humble means, in prosperity, being filled and going hungry, and in having abundance and suffering need.

I've been thinking about how this applies to me. I can honestly say I've never had to go hungry out of necessity and I've never really been in need. For goodness sake, when picking out shoes today, it was a multiple-choice test. I have more than enough to make ends meet each month. Sure, more would be nice but what would I really do with it? I honestly think God is using this time to show me that He is my provider and I need to be content and trust in His timing. This doesn't mean I can be complacent and not follow His commands but my attitude should be one of thankfulness not worry or complaining. I think back to South Africa and the complete poverty I saw. But I also saw joy and contentment.

I think the concept of learning to be content also applies to my personal life. As a single woman who desires to be a wife and mother, I know discontent. But, Phil. 4:11 doesn't say content whenever you feel like it. It says in whatever circumstances. That means that right now, God has me single for a reason and I need to be content with that. And I think I am. Sure, I have my moments but I'm praying God will bring this verse to mind in those moments and I'll focus on the positives about being single.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Book Review - Kabul 24

Last weekend, I finished reading the book Kabul 24 by Henry O. Arnold and Ben Pearson. This book chronicles the story of the 24 Shelter Now International (SNI) workers kidnapped in Afghanistan in 2001. The story outlined in these pages is nothing short of amazing.

As the book opens, the arrests of the two American workers start the saga. More arrests follow with ultimately 8 SNI workers being taken along with 16 Afghani nationals. Conditions in the prisons were horrible to say the least. Lack of food, lack of adequate toileting facilities, illness and beatings by guards were endured by both male and female prisoners. I was amazed at the love and concern shown by the 8 prisoners the book focuses on. Over and over, the book chronicles how Georg (the SNI leader), Peter and the six women prayed for, conversed with and showed Christ's love to their captors. The authors also spend time detailing the miracles God orchestrated to allow this story to have a successful outcome.

While the storytelling is stilted at times, the book itself is riveting. As you get further into the book, you will get to a point you can't put it down. The authors did an excellent job of portraying why the SNI workers did what they did. You could so see the call of God on their lives. I would recommend this book highly to anyone who asked.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Two Months!

I can't believe I've been back from South Africa for 2 months! It seems like only yesterday I was dreading the long flight(s). It was such an amazing time and God moved on our team in such a mighty way. I think in some ways I am still processing all I saw and experienced there. The poverty we saw was extreme in a way that words cannot fully describe. Yet, the joy we saw in so many lives was greater than the joy I see in many American's eyes on a daily basis. I think we all (me included) take for granted all we are blessed with in this country. We get so caught up in politics, who despises who, how our football team did and when lunch is to realize there are over 30,000 children who will die today from diseases we can prevent or malnutrition. What are we doing about that? I have been convicted lately through a series at Brook Hills on James to really re-evaluate my spending and try and cut out anything that isn't truly needed in order to free up money to send to the nations. We're undertaking a Radical Experiment at Brook Hills to save every penny we can to send it to Compassion International to fund 21 Child Survival Projects in India. It's a partnership designed to save lives both physically and spiritually. Talk about living out the Great Commission and James 2:14-26!

I've also started praying about where God will have me go on mission in 2010. There are numerous opportunities open to me anywhere from Uganda to China to Indonesia to areas I don't even know about. Considering there are over 1.5 billion people who have never heard the Gospel, I want to go where God wants me to go. I know He has the place picked out, I just have to seek and see where that is. There are so many other issues that complicate the selection like dissertation completion, new job, moving, etc.; I'd covet other prayers as I continue down this road.

I'm going to try and be more faithful about blogging, I just don't always feel like I have anything to say. :-)