Friday, May 19, 2017

Books on Prayer

One of my goals for this year was to read six books on prayer. I figure that is one book every two months. I want to read books that challenge me to pray more, give me new ideas on how to prayer, and deepen my prayer life.

Praying the Bible

I want to share these books with you as I read them this year.

The Bible - I will just include that in the list. I am reading through that this year.

Enjoy your prayer life by Michael Reeves - This is a short book and easy to read, just 46 pages.

"Prayer the chief exercise of faith" - John Calvin

"If prayer is 'the chief exercise of faith', then of course everything -- the world, the flesh and the devil -- conspires against prayer."

No wonder prayer is hard work.

"It is the word of God, the gracious message of Christ that awakens faith and so prayer -- and so that must be the basic shape of our everyday communion with God."


Praying the Bible by Donald S. Whitney - This is a nice small hardback book. In this book the author walks you through how to pray the Bible beginning with the problem with our prayers and how praying the Bible is the solution. He gives you a method to do this.

This book really spoke to me as this reflects some of my thoughts. I have wanted to get behind a "shopping list" or giving God a "to do list" prayers. Learning to pray the Bible helps us to speak God's words back to him, we see God's heart.

I have a few more on the stack and I will share with you when I finish reading them.

Beth
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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Meal Planning Evening

For me this began in January when I was talking to a friend and said, "I want a brainless meal plan." I know there are meal plans that you can buy but I am cheap and find that they don't work with our options here. My friend said, "Why don't you create a meal plan for the month." That was all the challenge that I needed I printed a calendar page and sat down and prepared a menu for a month. I was in love. I loved having a plan. I loved knowing what was scheduled. I loved feeling like I could balance my meals both nutrition and cost.


A few weeks ago my small group was together to fix some meals for one of the new mums. I think we did more coffee drinking and talking than fixing meals. In the conversation meal planning came up and the challenges so I decided to host a meal planning evening.


The theme for this event was quick and easy. Everyone was asked to bring 8 copies of a quick and easy meal. My goal for the evening was every to have a menu for a week.

The question I asked as we began was, "Why do you want to plan meals?" Is it to reduce your stress, reduce your grocery budget, improve nutrition, to easily be able to answer the question, "what is for dinner" or maybe you just came to get out of the house on a Monday evening. Knowing why you want to do something helps.

Then for fun we played match the person to the meal. Everyone wrote the last meal they prepared and we matched the meal to the person. We scored 100% on that.

When I began my monthly meal plan, I made a worksheet of as many meals as I could think about in different categories. So I gave everyone 3 - 4 minutes to do that based on whatever categories they wanted. The winner got 17 meals listed and won a prize from the prize table.

I had printed a collection of free menu planning pages that I had printed off the internet. Everyone picked a page and got to work planning their meals.

Things are better with friends. So people were sharing other meal ideas, asking for a recipe for fish, giving ideas for where to buy things, and just chatting. I think everyone walked away with a menu for a week. We all have some new recipes to try -- Chicken and Tarragon bake, Mum's Secret Chicken curry, Coconut Thai curry, Oven-baked risotto, Japanese Curry and a sausage recipe.

Yes, curry is a favourite dish here.

We also shared our "go to" cookbook. I have a few books to add to my list, Bill's Everyday Asian, Nigella Express. Delia's Complete Cookery was the "go to" book for two people. That is one that I have purchased since moving here and I do use it quite a bit.

I am already beginning to think of my next event.

Beth
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Sunday, May 14, 2017

Happy Mother's Day


When you pause and think of all the things that mothers do, you quickly realise that the list is long, and  hours are long. Mothers are there to comfort, to teach, to care, to love, and so many other things helping children. Mothers are examples of giving, serving, sacrificing, and loving.

I am thankful for the godly example from my mother. Her love and care has continued. Every now and then I listen to myself and think, "that sounded like my mother." That really isn't a bad thing. I am thankful for her example.

When I think of my mother, I think the of the perfect grilled cheese sandwich that she makes. I think of all the sewing she has done through the years. I think of her spirit of adventure traveling to visit me. I think of her worn Bible filled with notes.

I am thankful to call her mom. You have been a great example. I pray that I can be that kind of mom to my own children.




Beth
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Saturday, May 13, 2017

Blind to Blessings


I don't like to think that I am blind but if I really pause and think about it there are times that I am blind to the blessings that God is giving me.

I am blind to blessings when I do not see it as from the God but rather just something that happened or just the result of something that I did. I think that is easy to do when we quickly satisfy our desires.  We discover a need or a want and instead of pausing and waiting and allowing God to provide we purchase it and have it delivered in two days.

I am blind to blessings because the blessing is not the way I wanted it or how I pictured it to be. I picture in my head what the blessing will look like and what I think to me means, "I am blessed"and reality is that God blesses me in a different way because he knows what I need and he has a plan for my life that is more than I can imagine.

So look for blessings, wait on the Lord and be blessed. realise that the blessings might not look the way you want them to look but it is God's best for you.

One of my blessing this week was a bag of clothing from a friend that is moving. What blessings have you received this week?

Beth
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Thursday, May 11, 2017

Opportunity


Do you see that tray of plants? Do you know what that represents?

Yes, it is an opportunity to add some plants to the front garden which needs some colour and green.

Yes, it is an opportunity to proof that I have a green thumb. That might be a stretch as so far my success rate with plants is one lone lavender plant that has survived for the past few years. I have killed most other plants.

While it is those things, it is much more than that. It is an opportunity to begin a relationship with someone from different background.

I was out for a walk this morning. I was tempted to just keep walking but felt a prompting to pause and just talk. She was working in her garden and so I said, "your flowers are lovely." That lead to an offer of plants that she had in the back. So we went back and she gave me this tray of plants and an offer to come get more.

I am glad I took that opportunity of beginning a relationship.  When is the last time you talked to someone from a different background or different beliefs?

Beth
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Faith Promises - God Hears Us

The introduction to this series can be found here.


When I lived in Asia, I would often walk past temples or see god shelves or see the red lights glowing in a home from the family altars.  I would see people bowing and offering incense or putting food on a table as an offering to the gods. Those gods were made of wood. They could not hear. The people would stand and chat but the idol would not hear. I think seeing that has made me realise the comfort we have in a God who hears our cries.

Sometimes it might seem that God doesn't hear us and we might feel that it has been that way for a long time. In Exodus 2:24-25 it says, "And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the people of Israel and God knew." (ESV) God heard the groaning of his people. In God's time he acted.

I just finished reading II Samuel as I work through my Bible reading this year. I was again reminded of the struggles and challenges that David had from Saul to his own son.  Knowing David's story helps as you read the Psalms. David is being chased, he is on the run, escaping for his life. David calls out to God I have recently found comfort in reading Psalms. In Psalm 4:3 David says, "the Lord hears when I call to him." (ESV)

The promise that God hears us can be the comfort we need when we feel stuck in a situation that is difficult. It can be the comfort when we feel all alone to work through the problems we face. God hears us.

How is this a comfort to you?
Ha
Beth
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

My Asia Journey - Part 4

If you are beginning to read this now, go back and read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3, it will give you the full story.


So in November 1996, just before Thanksgiving I returned to the US. I found an apartment, began my new position, and got involved at the church I had attended in the past. I was working as a project manager which was in the marketing department. I was working on a new product line and a current project line both of which were manufactured in Asia. I even made a trip to Asia. I was enjoying my new position. I was connecting with friends both people I knew and making new friends. Life was good.

Then in May, just six months after I returned from Asia while standing at a product review meeting the VP of International Manufacturing asked me if I would consider returning to Asia. Excuse me, I just came home. I just bought a brand new car. You told me it was a promotion to take this position and now you are asking me to return, is that a promotion? Some of that was just thoughts in my head. I said what I had always heard you say in those situations, "Give me an offer."

Some things had changed since the last assignment. The company had been purchased and so instead of the benefits package being handled within our company but had to go to the corporate office. So I waited for an offer. During that time I spent quite a bit of time praying and seeking God's will. Some days I was feeling, "no thanks, I am staying" and other days it was "I am going". That went back and forth until the middle of July. I still didn't have an offer but I clearly remember one evening as I was walking and praying that God said, "go". A week later I received the offer. I was given the weekend to think about it but I already knew the answer.

So a few weeks later I packed up, putting some things in storage and shipping some things.  I sold my new car. I moved back to Asia. Yes, that was the fourth time that I moved to Asia. I was back in Taipei. Each time I was there the office had moved to a new location and each time I managed it so that they moved while I was living in the US.

I found an apartment not too far from the office. I could actually walk. I had a car and a parking space in the basement of my building. No more having to search for parking. I had a number of the same staff that I had worked with previously. I did have a few additional responsibilities. I was able to connect with my Chinese teacher and began lessons again.

I knew that God had sent me back to Asia and for more than just shipping orders on time. I began attending a different church. It was about a 45 minute bus ride. I began to look for ways to be involved there so I taught Sunday School, helped with the youth group. Then in June 1998 I met a new missionary that was looking for someone to help with a Bible study for returnees. I thought I can relate to returnees. I have lived overseas and then returned. So in September 1998 I began leading that Bible study at my church. I didn't realise how much that would change my life.

I loved my job. I loved the traveling. I loved living in Asia. I had no plans to return to the US.

I was there until March 2001 when I was transferred back to the US office. I had looked at for a position to remain in Asia but that had not happened. I was praying about what was next. I knew I would have a position in the US for a short time. I felt that I wanted a skill that could be used overseas and so I decided to get an MA-TESOL which would give me credentials to teach ESL. I wanted to combine that with ministry. I was on the East Coast for a few months and then moved to the west coast to go to school and work for a mission organisation there.

As I look back on each of those moves, I see the way God worked in my life. He lead me there in a way that I felt safe and then began to stretch me and grow me. I learned to love the people there and realised the needs for the Gospel

That wraps up My Asia Journey. That was not my last move to Asia.


Beth
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Monday, April 24, 2017

Catching Up


We enjoyed a week away. It was a lovely family time and we enjoyed going to a new place.


Now I am back. As I look forward to what is coming up on the blog, I want to finish the Journey to Asia story and also finish the Faith Promises. Look for those soon.


Beth
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Saturday, April 15, 2017

My Asia Journey - Part 3

This time of the year often tends to be a time of reflection for me. Here is what I wrote when it was 22 years ago. It was in April that I first went to Taiwan. I wrote a bit about that here. I wrote the 2nd part here.

So this year as I reflect I will write Part 3.


I came home and went to work for a consulting firm. It was supposed to be a five year contract but 10 months later the contract ended. During those 10 months, I had bought a house, began attending a new church, and had adjusted to life back in the US.

Now I am out of a job. I need a job. I start looking and find out that the company where I used to work was hiring in the Marketing Department. I applied and was interviewed. I remember one of the questions in the interview was about how long I wanted to work there. I think they were trying to determine if I was just looking for a job until I could find something else or was I looking to get back into the industry. I wanted to get back into the industry. That was the end of 1993/beginning of 1994 that I began working there.

About a year later I was not challenged in the job and getting a bit bored. At that time the way things worked internally to move departments was that it went through the Vice Presidents. I wasn't ready to say I wanted to move departments because I had told the VP that I was looking to stay there and so now a year later I want to stay but I want to go back to Asia.

I remember one evening driving home and feeling frustrated with my job. I pulled into the garage and prayed that God would work all of this out. I was beginning to have a desire to go back to Asia but felt that it was not something I could pursue at the time. I prayed and left it in God's hands.

One morning at work a few weeks later, I received a phone call from the General Manager of the Asia office. He asked me if I would be interested in a position there. He had already gone to my VP and had permission to ask me. God had answered my prayer.

So in June 1995 I put my house on the market, packed my belongs to ship and some for storage. I moved to Asia again for the 3rd time. This time I had an apartment at the edge of town and a car, a little white Ford Fiesta. I learned to drive in the city, to use the car lift to get to the parking garage, began working my new job. I got involved with a small church there. I spent time with co-workers both local and ex-pat. I made my first trip to China and traveled to Thailand quite a bit as we had an office there.

I began Chinese lessons mainly because I wanted it for living. I do remember when I knew enough to know what the staff in the office were talking about. One day I heard the girls that worked for me talking about the laoban which means boss and so I asked in English which boss are you talking about. They realised that they had to be careful what they said.

I lived there for 18 months. I wan't planning to move back to the US but was given a promotion and an opportunity to work as a product manager. I decided it was time to move back to the States. November 1996 I moved back to the US.

Looking back I see how God used that in my life. He answered the desire of my heart. He gave me learning experiences. I think each time I moved, I was learning more about the people and culture.


Beth
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Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spring in the Most Beautiful Place

This morning I went for a walk. I put on my trainers and had on my waterproof jacket.  I had seen lambs in the fields. I took my camera and went out hoping that I could get some good photos.

I have decided that I live in one of the most beautiful parts of England. I am thankful for the beauty I see and the reminder of the Creator. I enjoy walking through the fields and seeing the green fields, the flowers, and sheep.

This lamb just kept looking at me as I took some photos.


It wasn't raining when I went out but it was cloudy. It wasn't the nice blue sky but you can't have that every day. I loved the field full of sheep.




This field had quite a number of crows as well as sheep.


I stood at the field just listening to the baa and watching the lambs.


This lamb came over to the fence and just looked at me.



At this point in my walk it was raining a bit more. I liked the view across the field with the stone house in the background.


There was a group of lambs all together.


I took the photos in about three different fields during my 1.5 hour walk. I just thought I would share a bit of spring from here.

Beth
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Monday, April 10, 2017

Faith Promises - God Never Changes


People change. We change our hairstyles, our hair colour. We change what we like and what we don't like. There was a time that I was a Pepsi gal. Somewhere along the way I changed and Coke was my choice. I am still a Coke girl though I limit it. I changed.

Places change. When I go back to the town I grew up in, I see numerous changes. I remember when the first traffic light came to town and now I can't count how many are there. I remember when it was a cornfield behind my parents' house and now there are houses there. Places change.

When I go home, I realise how much things have changed. Some times it is difficult. I don't remember the way to get from one place to another because the roads have changed. There are new roads that I don't remember. There are new stores.

In the midst of all the changes of live knowing that God never changes is comforting. When we are having those fearful moments of "what if", knowing that God, who revealed himself to us in the Bible, is the same God. There is comfort in unchanging.

The God who worked all things for good in Joseph's life will do the same for each of us today. The God of the Old Testament who lead his people out of the slavery is the same God who today will rescue us. The God who spared the lives of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego will walk through the fire with us. The God who loved the world enough to send his son is still loving us today.

There is comfort in knowing that God never changes.

"For I the LORD do not change;" Malachi 3:6

Cling to that promise. Have faith in God and drive away the fear.

Beth
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Saturday, April 8, 2017

Driving and Living with Perspective

I think I have drive in about 6 different countries. I have taken driving tests in three countries. I am licensed to drive in two countries. If bilingual is able to speak two languages, then is bilane the ability to drive on either side of the road?


To get a driving license here we needed to take both a computer test and then a driving test. Some things are the same such as the shape and colour of the stop sign but others things are all new. My husband and I took driving lessons just to have someone to coach us on what we needed to know for the test. We needed to know how to handle roundabouts, using the mirrors, and other tips for passing.

I was recently talking with a friend who is about to go to the USA for a few weeks. We were talking about driving and she expressed her fear about driving there because it is the other side of the road. I tried to reassure her that is wasn't hard. I told her that to me driving on the other side of the road is not the challenge because you just go with the flow of traffic. Okay, it is a problem if you are in an area where there is no other traffic to follow. Then you need to remember that the driver is always in the centre.

I will also add a bit that here where we live the roads are narrow so at times you don't really drive on either side but rather in the middle. You have to pause and wait for other vehicles to come through.

Back to my driving on the other side of the road. I told her that the challenge for me is that my perspective is off. I don't have a feel of the passenger's side of the car. Thankfully the pedals for gas and brake are in the same placement. I have reached to shift and it wasn't there because it was on the other side. Having the sense of where the side/wing mirror is can be a challenge.

When my perspective is off, I can feel a bit nervous, maybe a bit fearful, and uncertain. I think the same is true if our spiritual lives. We need to have an eternal perspective. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that life is all about the here and now. Life is about eternity. When we have an eternal perspective, then we see our suffering as just temporary. When we have an eternal perspective, we view life now different.

So live with an eternal perspective. 

Beth
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Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Changing Your Thinking

Have you ever why wondered why the world can't agree to the same system of measurement? Why can't we have one scale for temperatures? Don't even ask about how to write the dates. Some things are just foreign.

Well, I grew up in a Fahrenheit country. I knew if it was 90F it was hot. I knew if it was 55F then you need a coat. I grew up with that and knew it. I didn't have to think much when I heard a number. I knew what it meant.  I will even admit that I either didn't know or it just didn't register in my head that there was another temperature scale call Celsius.

I meet Celsius in a practical way years ago in my kitchen. I knew Celsius was used for weather. I had learned that when I lived in Thailand. At one time I even knew the formula for converting Celsius to Fahrenheit.

Baked at 180C
Back to the kitchen. I was living in Taiwan and had just moved into my first apartment with an oven. Years earlier I had lived had an apartment but that only had a 2 burner stove and honestly I didn't cook but ate out most of the time. Swenson's was an easy dinner on the way home from the office.

Well, I moved into my new apartment and got my shipment which included my kitchen things. I decided to make some chicken for dinner. Normally chicken cooks at 350F so I turned the oven on and it only went up to 200. What was I going to do? The chicken was in the pan. I would just cook it at 200 and it will take longer. I was mentally thinking of all the things I would not be able to cook because the oven only went to 200 -- basically everything bakes higher than 200F. What good was my oven. My excitement of having an oven was short lived as I thought it really wasn't worth using.

Actually it took less time to cook. I was confused and still didn't get it. The oven was at 200 which is less than 350 and instead of taking longer it took less time. It wasn't until the next day that I was talking with my boss and mentioned this that I learned about Celsius in the kitchen. I learned that 200 really was a hot oven.

Now 22 years later I have begun to think in Celsius in the kitchen. I know to turn the oven to 180 if the recipe says 350.

I have had to change my thinking. How I was raised has impacted my thinking. That is true with thinking about temperatures but it is also true in a spiritual sense as well.

As a Christian, I need to transform my thinking. I need to learn a new way of thinking. I need to have the mind of Christ. How did Christ think? He was not selfish but giving. He was not proud but humble.

I can easily being to think the way of the sinful nature looking out for me, making sure I get what I want but I need to change my thinking. There is a new way of thinking.

"So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participating in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, but taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. Any being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Philippians 2:1-11 (ESV)

Philippians 2:1-11 gives a good summary of various ways that our thinking needs to change. We need to have the same mind as Christ.

Be humble and not do things with selfish ambition. Think of others, putting other people first.

As a Christian, you need to being changing your thinking, learn a new way of thinking. Follow Christ's example.

The next time you turn the oven on to bake something whether you are setting it to Fahrenheit or Celsius pause and think about how you are thinking.

Beth
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Monday, April 3, 2017

The A-Z Praying for Missionaries - Part 3


This is Part 3 of A-Z Praying for Missionaries. Here is Part 1 and here is Part 2.

We are working through the alphabet with things to different things to pray about for missionaries. We are now at the end of the alphabet and that does require a bit of creativity.



P is for protection - Driving in some countries is not as safe as at home. Driving laws are not enforced or don't exist so it can be taking your safety in your own hands. Depending on where the missionary is living there can be other safety things that are not the same standards that they are used to at home.

Q is for quiet time - Pray that the quiet time will be a time of refreshing and renewing them.

R is for rest. It is easy to be busy and hard to rest. Pray that there will be times of rest so that they can be refreshed for service.

S is for strength - Pray that the missionary will have renewed strength. (Isaiah 40:31) You can easily get weary with day in and day out things. God promises to give strength so pray for strength.

T is for temptations - Pray against temptations. Pray that the missionary will not give in to temptations.

U is for unity - Pray for unity within the team they are working with. Pray for unity with the local churches. The enemy wants to pull teams and individuals to disunity. Pray that they will have love and unity.

V is for Visa - Visas can be difficult depending on the country. Pray for provision of a visa. Pray for funds for a visa. The cost of paperwork or traveling to get a visa and add up.

W is for Warfare - Spiritual warfare. We have an enemy and he will try to stop or discourage the spread of the gospel.

X is for excellence - it is easy to just do what needs to be done but we need to work with excellence as a goal.

Y is for yielding to the Lord - sometimes missionaries are in places that they know it is where God wants them but it might not be where they want to be. Pray that they will yield to the Lord trusting that the place he has them is the best place for them.

Z is for zeal - personal zeal for God and zeal for the calling. It can be tiring and difficult but the God and what he has called us to do can keep us motivated.

Partner in the work by praying.

When you pray for a missionary, drop a note/email/text/message however yo communicate with them. Let them know. It will encourage them.



Beth
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Friday, March 31, 2017

The A to Z of Praying for Missionaries - Part 2

I shared about praying for missionaries starting at the beginning of the alphabet and going through giving some specific things for each letter. Part 1 can be found here.

praying


H is for health - Pray for the health of the missionaries. Depending where they are living and serving there are so many different challenges to their health, malaria, food poisoning, air quality, and other things that are not the same as at home.

I is for intercultural living - So many of the teams include people from various countries not just your home country and host country. Pray that missionaries will understand the cultures but have a Biblical culture.

J is for joy - Joy in serving the Lord. It is easy to lose joy in what you are doing. The days get long, the burdens are heavy and joy slips away. Pray that each day will be filled with joy.

praying

K is for knowledge - Knowledge comes from fearing the Lord (Proverbs 1:7) Pray that the missionary will have the knowledge from the Lord to share the Gospel is a relevant manner.

L is for Language - learning the language and culture is a long process which takes years, pray that the missionary will continue learning and be able to understand and speak in the heart language.

M is for mercy - God's mercy never comes to an end; it is new every morning. Pray that each day the missionary will know God's mercy in their own life. From God's mercy we are reminded of his faithfulness. Pray that they will be reminded of God's faithfulness.

N is for neighbours - Sometimes the greatest struggle can be those that are living so close. The ones with the dogs that bark all the time or leave their rubbish at your door. Pray that the missionary will have a relationship that shows Jesus.

O is for openness and opportunities - Pray that the people they meet with will be open to the gospel. Pray for opportunities to share the gospel.

Praying for missionaries is partnering with them in the work that God has called us to do. Your prayers are an essential part of the work.


Pray with focus. Pray beginning with A and work your way through the alphabet.


Beth
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Thursday, March 30, 2017

The A to Z of Praying for Missionaries - Part 1

Sometimes when I can't sleep I will pray through the alphabet. I will begin with A and see how far I set before I fall asleep. I have various themes that I follow. I thought I should share with you the theme of praying for missionaries. This is part one.

Prayer

One of my favourite quotes about missions and prayer is from James Fraser, a missionary to the Lisu people of southwest China.

"I will not labor the point. You will see from what I am saying that I am not asking you just to give 'help' in prayer as a sort of sideline, but I am trying to roll the main responsibility of this prayer warfare on you. I want you to take the burden of these people upon your shoulders. I want you to wrestle with God for them."

Do we have that kind of thoughts when we are praying for missions?


The A to Z praying for missionaries will help you to focus your prayers.

A is for attitudes - Attitudes impact so much of life. It impacts how we look at things, how we respond. Pray that attitudes will be Christ-like.

B is for balance - Pray that each one will live with balance in their lives. The ministry can be unending, there is always one more person you could meet with or another Bible study to write but  yet we need to have balance.

C is for children - It can be children living with them or children away from home. Pray for the children that they will love and serve God. Pray that they will feel called by God to be part of the ministry.

D is for discernment - So many decisions need to be made and discernment is required. Listening to God's voice and knowing what he wants us to do each day.

E is for encouragement - Pray that the missionaries will be encouraged. If it is times of not much fruit, it can be discouraging. The missionary might even wonder if it is worth being there. Pray that they will be encouraged to continue on in the work that God has called them to do.


F is for faith for finances - (I know that is a double letter.) Many missionaries are faith based meaning that they rely on giving from churches and individuals. Pray that they will have faith to trust God for finances.

G is for grace - Missionaries need grace. We need to understand anew the grace that God gives us. We need to know the depth of grace that God gives us. We need to be able to give grace to those around us.

My desire is that this will help you to focus your prayers.

Part 2 is here.
Part 3 is here.

Beth

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Faith Promises - God finishes what he begun

The introduction to this series is here.

If you have read my blog, for any amount of time you know that I have a list of unfinished projects. I have projects that I began eight years ago and some that I began last year but at this point they are all in some level of completion. I have one that I recently looked at and thought, am I really going to finish this? I have not finished all I have begun.



God promises to finish what he has begun.

God has begun a work in us and he has promised to finish that work. As we look through the Bible, we see the work that God has done and how he finished it. He began work at Creation. He finished that and it was good.

God worked in bringing the Israelites out of Egypt where they had been slaves. There was nothing that they were able to do to change their situation. They needed God to work. He worked and took them through some difficult times, the Red Sea in front of them and Pharaoh's army behind them, in the wilderness with no water, and enemies fighting them. God was working to show them who he is. God took them to the Promised Land.

God promises to finish what he has begun.

And I am sure of this, 
that he who began a good work in you 
will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. 
Philippians 1:6 (ESV)

I love this promise that Paul writes in Philippians. It is such a good reminder to me. As I was thinking about this verse, there were a few things I discovered. 

1. God will finish what he has begun. God is not necessarily finishing what we begun. It is the work that he begun. I have enough of a challenge finishing my own projects, but if I had to finish someone else's it would be even harder. God has a plan and he is working his plan.

2. The completion is at the day of Jesus Christ. God's timetable is not our timetable. We want things now but God often has eternity in view as he is working. We will have complete rest and perfection at the coming of Christ. 

Because of this promise we can have confidence. We have a reminder that God is working in our lives and will finish what he has begun. That is a comfort to me.

Other Faith Promises can be found following the links below:
God Never Changes
God Will Never Leave You


Beth
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