Saturday, September 29, 2007

Stepping Stones

This one ends in a splash...or two ;)

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video HostingLittle Ayden chasing birds...he NEEDS a HAIRCUT!
....warning onslaught of pics to follow!!

Ginowan Seaside Park

I am so thankful that Brian got off work early yesterday! It was definitely a treat that I won't soon forget :) We headed over to the Ginowan Seaside Park for a couple of beautiful hours. The air was warm and the sea inviting. The children had such a fun time, and as I sit here typing this with my coffee...I am still smiling. To be honest, I was so tired and had not even bothered to do my hair or fix my makeup...when Brian got off work, he just changed and we picked up Anjolie from her piano lesson to go to the park. Time is precious. So, yes, don't look too close as I am looking rough :)
The Okinawa Convention Center is a group of very interesting looking buildings. I think they are quite beautiful!The arch is the entrance to Tropical beach. It is beautiful- there is a roped off area for swimming which is shallow and safe (as far as water can be) so the kids can play without me hanging on to them every step so as to avoid the sharp corral and sea urchin.
A happy cast free Anjolie. She had her cast removed on the 10th- :) not that it ever slowed her down!

This little ankle deep pond had lots of little lily pads and fish. Anjolie was deterimined to try and at least touch one ;)

Ayden, like his sisters, is fascinated with birds. He is such a joy to watch...and a major challenge to photograph as most of his pictures turn out blurry. He is a busy one.
Lily is so sweet, she does not like to have her picture taken, so I was glad to get this quick grin on camera.

My beloved and I *sigh* God has brought so much beauty into our lives and there are no words to express the priceless gem that marriage can be when we make Christ the center. Brianna took this pic and did a great job!
The kids played their little hearts out :)I *cracked* up when I went to check on Brianna, who normally protests just a smidgen about her bed-time. I found this little sleeping beauty had drifted off in her beauty mask...probably in mid-play. Sweet little thing. God is so good...I can't say it enough.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Hurry Up and Wait-an Adventure

The Military life and Motherhood can be such an adventure...a hurry up and wait adventure. We have uncertainty at all times as far as what the next day, week, month and year holds, and we live in uncertain times. We can be certain of one thing...or person rather- our unchanging God who holds in His mighty hand our expected end, if we are His children who are saved by the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. When things get difficult, trying, and uncertain, this constant is such a blessing and comfort if we will just pause to think of it.

Well, this last week was not as exciting as some weeks, but it was draining all the same. For me, it included recovering from Brian working about 80 hours last week due to duty and an inspection. In the midst of this, your Monday (our Tuesday), Lily got sick and kept complaining that her tongue hurt. I saw that she had some white spots on her tonsils so I had her drink some water and then looked again. Yep, red, swollen, white spots,..gotta do it...gotta call the Dr. The schedulers told me that she needed to be seen *that day*, and so began yet another Yost adventure.

I decided to give Brian a call at work on the miraculous possibility that he might have been able to meet me at the hospital to sit with the kids while Lily got checked....or perhaps they could sit with him in his van at work? No way...not a chance...the inspection, you know. OOOk...that means I get to take allll my little darlings in to the Dr myself :) I was laughing already...seriously. So, I woke up Ayden from his nap...and Lily. They were practicing their crying as I got them buckled in their seats. Brianna and Anjolie behaved perfectly -sensing my stress I am sure.

We have had these adventures before, and you just never know what may happen. I may lose my keys, lose a life necessity-(pacifier), bust my tires on some random curb...Ayden may decide he wants to change his own diaper, someone may throw up in the van on the way (t.m.i.)...what would it be this time??? Praise the Lord none of those things happened---again.

No, this, in comparison to some others, ended up being a pretty mundane trip, but an adventure all the same-as is every day. We were stuck in traffic a bit so that put us in a crunch for time to make the appt. When we arrived to the parking lot of the hospital, I quickly put Ayden in his stroller and discovered that it had somehow warped to where the front right tire would not touch the ground when the other three wheels did. "Of Course"...I thought to myself and laughed at how ridiculous the stroller looked. Ayden was screaming and flailing his little appendages in anger as it was extremely offensive to him that I would momentarily release him from the bondage of a car seat only to harness him again in a stroller...and a broken one at that. I focused my attention on the 3 girls and explained to them that they were to behave, as always yadda yadda yadda-- all the while Ayden is half hanging out of his broken stroller, wailing. I glanced at the time...I had 5 min to make the 15min check in early we were off...

Lily stood on the bar in the back of the warped stroller and Brianna and Anjolie held hands running behind me to keep up. We made it to the counter after a few comical episodes of me getting the stroller through the door etc ...I finally settled on the "pop a wheely" position in which both front wheels were up with Ayden's wailing face peeking over his feet and Lily hung on for dear life on the back. I got many a fun look from the people passing by...I passed an expectant mommy or two...and had to chuckle. "LOOK HOW FUN KIDS ARE!!" we seemed to scream. It was funny.

We made it to the check-in counter on time and a little out of breath. Ayden and Lily resumed their crying when they realized they were in the dreaded Dr's office. As I stood there amidst the whirlwind of events, I secretly promised myself a treat after the ordeal was over. A nurse tried to give Ayden various toys to calm him...all of which became airborne immediately. I told her she should just ignore him and his flailing. She insisted on giving him a sticker *sigh* I know she was trying to help, but all that did was create even more of a tantrum when he could not get the sticker to "fly" like the other toys. He screamed and shook his hand, screamed and shook his hand trying to get that sticker off. When he tried to use the other hand to get it only stuck to that hand...there was a momentary pause at this phenomenon...then the process started again scream, shake, scream shake. Believe me, I know the wailing 18mo Ayden needed some pronto training, but I was busy holding a flailing 2yo Lily who does not want to get weighed or touched or looked at in any way. I *needed* to pray for Grace and better judgment...note to self...NEVER...unless the child's limb is dangling by a strand or the child is in danger of certain death...schedule an appt during nap time.

Back to getting control. I told Lily quietly to obey or she would be corrected. Suddenly it clicked in her mind in a very simple way that her obedience would overcome her fear...or something like that. It helped the flailing..though she was still crying softly -which was fine. Ayden needed a couple or hundred training whacks, but there was no way to do it in this situation- and I am consistent, even if it means interrupting a conversation to do it. This would have to be just more work at home in Ayden's training. Brianna and Anjolie stood quietly by the door watching- I shot them my look of thankfulness and then a plastic grin that said in a clenched teeth way "See, everything is.just.fine". I was truly thankful that noone had to go potty yet or had an accident on the floor yet *ahem* again.

The nurses managed to somehow to get Lily's vitals etc...and then again, we waited. I caught my breath and waited for the drama of seeing the Dr. I kept reminding myself how worth it this was if she had strep. and would get some antibiotics to get her well...."just hang in's worth it", I thought.

So, we finally headed in to the exam room. I had time to calm Lily and talk with God while holding a now happy-to-be-out-of-my-stroller Ayden. The Dr was very good with Lily, and she was not afraid-Lily that is. The Dr then, decides no throat swab is needed...Lily is wheezing and needs a breathing treatment. UGH!!!! I wanted to protest. I had brought her in for strep...not some breathing issue. The Lord is so good though, and I am ignorant of His plan to keep my children safe. I remember thinking, "How long was THAT going to take?". I know that sounds insensitive and awful, but seriously...I was going to be needing a breathing treatment if they didn't get us out of there so I could just take my sick children home and soon. It had been over an hour so, I knew it was coming....Anjolie had to go potty, and so did Brianna... I started to panic just a tinge, but relaxed when I remembered the bathroom was just down the hall. I held Ayden as Lily got her breathing treatment and stepped into the hall to watch Brianna and Anjolie. Just breath, just relax.

The breathing treatment lasted about 10 minutes and I was thankful to be almost finished with the whole ordeal...but it wasn't over. The Dr came in and listened to Lily's chest, Lily started coughing...nope she needed another breathing treatment-she was still wheezing. For a moment, I wanted to just break down into a mental *sob*. Surprisingly, my mind thought panicked thoughts, but my heart felt at peace. I needed to just look up and see the Lord at work in my little situation which was so small yet important to Him.

As I forced myself to count my blessings, I noticed that we were almost the last appt that afternoon and there was no line at the bathroom, the Navy corpsmen and NAs were more relaxed and willing to wait on me since they knew their day was almost over ( it was the Lord of course). Everyone was smiling and not irritated at all that I had my whole crew with me...which I try to never do, but I let them know ahead of time that this would be the case since I could not get a sitter at such late notice. His Grace was around me I just had to be willing to look away from the distractions to "see" it.

Lily had to go potty by the end of her last breathing treatment and Ayden was squirming, but I felt so relaxed and at peace that I barely noticed these as even *wrinkles*. Ayden squalled at his return to the brokedown stroller and we must have looked pretty funny on our trek up to the pharmacy for an inhaler and steroids for Lily...then back down (Ayden squalling the whole way) and out to the car, but I was smiling. Just another little adventure in motherhood.

The adventures may change, but they will never go away. The Lord will help me to keep smiling and laughing along the way and He will be there for the tears as well. Whether it be hurry-up or wait...He is there with me the whole time. God is so good even in the smallest of trials. Life's trials will be uncertain, but His grace is my constant!

Picture from

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Crazy for PINK!

Dyson Vac Giveaway!....IT's PINK!! Head over to 5 Minutes For Mom and leave her a comment to enter-you don't *have* to be a blogger...the drawing is on do it quick! I have a really nice canister vac, but like I said, this vac is special.... IT'S PINK. :)

If Only...

...I would "grow up" *sigh*...we all will have more than a few precious names/faces come to mind when we read the excerpt that follows this whining of mine. Some of you readers came to mind when I read it. And as for me...I *sigh* as I reflect on my less than steadfast walk-it has been erratic at times and less than calm and graceful. I aspire to faithfully "hit the mark" in all I do and stop allowing the inconsistencies in my walk that bring chaos into my life and that of my family.

Bridgen Herman wrote more than 60 years ago " When we read the lives of the saints, we are struck by a certain large leisure which went hand in hand with a remarkable effectiveness. They were never hurried; they did comparatively few things, and these not necessarily striking or important; and they troubled very little about their influence. Yet they always seemed to hit the mark; every bit of their life told; their simplest actions had a distinction, an exquisiteness which suggested the Artist. The reason is not far to seek. Their sainthood lay in their habit of referring the smallest actions to God. They lived in God; they acted from a pure motive of love towards God. They were as free from self-regard as from slavery to the good opinion of others. God saw and God rewarded: what else needed they? They possessed God and possessed themselves in God. Hence the inalienable dignity of these meek, quiet figures that seem to produce such marvelous effects with such humble materials."- E. Herman Creative Prayer (Cincinnati: Forward Movement.n.d.",p.16 I added the bold to the text above. This excerpt taken from Ordering Your Private World by Gordon Macdonald

Just for Fun

No I don't want to be a celebrity, and some of these I have NEVER heard of...and I am so sure they would just *love* this...ha ha. Thanks for the idea Mrs Karen this was fun!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Refreshing Reminder

in these turbulent times....
Jesus Christ
the same
and to day,
and for ever.
Hebrews 13:8
I needed to be reminded of that wonderful truth today :)
picture courtesy of

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


"Sanctification means being made one with Jesus so that the nature that controlled Him will control us."-Oswald Chambers

When I ask the Lord to continue His Sanctifying work in me-when I *really* mean it- there is an element of fear there. I feel guilty saying that, but there it is. A good thing is that the fear is the evidence of my faith in Him who has began a good work in me and will complete it. Even now, I tremble just a bit inside when I think of the Awesome God who is THE Authority in my life...that is just...well, I need a there a bigger word than Awesome-if there is, insert that above.

My flesh doesn't like change and tends to cringe from it-hence some of the fear-but I also have the peace of the Holy Spirit along with the fear. Doesn't that just show how weak our flesh resist change for the better is such an infantile quality...and I display my desire to remain immature in oh so many ways. Yet, He continues to be patient with me and, as I ask Him, the Lord fully equips me for any trial and gives grace to meet the conviction. In my heart of hearts, I know that I must be made more and more into the image of Christ and that means asking the Lord to examine my heart daily-at least. Because I am still flesh, that means He is going to be continually convicting me and guiding me in a way that does not come natural to my flesh. He will show me my stubbornness, my pride, past sins that must be confessed and reconciled if so needed. I have even had to (in the past) go back to someone after almost a year and correct a deceitful statement...*that* was incredibly humbling and boy did my flesh burn in that trial, but God gave grace and courage and bathed me in love and forgiveness. Another example, good thinking habits must replace the 33 year old bad habits that the world considers normal and some times even healthy! When I am frustrated, I must trace my thoughts and see all the blaming that I do and give those evil working thoughts to God...repent and then rejoice.
The thing that *does* make this heart work easier (for lack of a better word), is to remain malleable like the potter's clay. If I allow myself to be in a constant state of being molded, there is no chance of "hardening"...the Master Potter can gently continue His Masterpiece. When I allow even a day to go by without asking Him to examine my heart...if I don't die to myself daily and commit to follow Him in every way...little hard spots develop. The Master must break these hard spots up and sometimes remove them all-together if they have solidified to the point where they would mar the Masterpiece if left in the clay. Sanctification is a constant work that we must allow in our lives-it is unique to each person, but the basics are the same- (after we have trusted Christ to be our Saviour and accepted His shed blood as payment for our sins)- for that work to even begin we must be in daily fellowship with our Lord and getting to know Him through His Word and Prayer. We must labor in the fields faithfully-active in ministry-sharing the Gospel. Anyway, this is where I am at today, as I should be every single day, in the Master's Hands willing and waiting to see what marvellous things He will work in His Masterpiece today :)
1Thes. 5:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and [I pray God] your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Merciful God

He is so patient with me. Amos 7 was my Bible reading this morning and WOW did it speak to me. My grumbling about a situation, in which I am sure the Lord is being merciful, is such a slap in the face to Him. Our lives, justifiably, could be truly devoid of all love and mercy. Yet, my life overflows with evidence of His extended mercy and grace. The Lord's mercy is new every day..continually, He shows His mercy. This morning, as I read Amos, I didn't "get it" or how it applied to me...I then, with some prompting, read the commentary on it by Matthew Henry, got some context, and read it again. I am so grateful that I was given a closer look.

The following is an excerpt from the commentary.. "Thus hath the Lord GOD shewed unto me; and, behold, he formed grasshoppers in the beginning of the shooting up of the latter growth; and, lo, [it was] the latter growth after the king's mowings. And it came to pass, [that] when they had made an end of eating the grass of the land, then I said, O Lord GOD, forgive, I beseech thee: by whom shall Jacob arise? for he [is] small" Amos 7:1-2

Read on for an excerpt of the commentary that I read concerning these grasshoppers that were made for a specific task and that they were limited as to what rather,when they would devour the king's field.this link expounds on Chapter 7.

"God could have sent these insects to eat up the grass at the beginning of the first growth, in the spring, when the grass was most needed, was most plentiful, and was the best in its kind; but God suffered that to grow, and suffered them to gather it in; the king’s mowings were safely housed, for the king himself is served from the field.... But the grasshoppers were commissioned to eat up only the latter growth (the edgrew we call it in the country), the after-grass, which is of little value in comparison with the former. The mercies which God give us, and continues to us, are more numerous and more valuable than those he removes from us, which is a good reason why we should be thankful and not complain. The remembrance of the mercies of the former growth should make us submissive to the will of God when we meet with disappointments in the latter growth. The prophet, in vision, saw this judgment prevailing far. These grasshoppers ate up the grass of the land, which should have been for the cattle, which the owners must of course suffer by."

I read the whole chapter, but the two verses, 1 and 2 of chapter 7, contain such a loving act of a merciful God in the midst of judgement on a wicked people..I had to share it. How can my heart cry out of one complaint when it deserves an eternity in hell...I am living a life crucified with Christ, why do I expect to never be challenged in my growth? Why do I give an ear to the lies of the evil breaks my heart that I listen for even a moment, much less the hour of self pity thoughts I allowed when I wrote the post below. My heart truly breaks when I am given light to the great mercy I am being shown and then directed to the neglected river of grace that is continually given for my personal use during a trial. I *am* a great sinner saved by Grace and soon I forget. God is Good and only in Christ is found the abundant life. I am not to just "get through it" I need to rise up, drink from the abundant river of Grace, and I should *want* to sing praises in the midst of my trials...THAT is the abundant life Christ hides in the cleft of the rock. Not that I am hidden from sight-my children and those around me are watching...but may I be hidden from any evil that would hinder my ability to give Glory to God and praise Him. Greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world, so there is never an excuse to be defeated in my trials- He has already won! Though the storm rages about me, I can Praise Him through a life hid in Christ :) Thank you for your prayers which no doubt lifted " eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help, my help cometh from the Lord..." Psalm 121:1-8 :)

Saturday, September 22, 2007

When Is Enough...Enough?

I am struggling in a big way today with ungratefulness...and a bad attitude and a few more issues I am sure. So, let me just cut to the husband's command is about on my *last* nerve...there, I said it. I am so tempted to just rant away...and believe me, in my head, I am, but I don't *want* to feel this way. I don't *want* to disregard all of the I am weary in the military life. Just weary, tired, and jealous of the time it has with my DH. We see very little of one another :( I have told about anyone who would listen that I drove around on a donut for a week waiting for a moment with my DH who had the new tire in his van so we could change it!! Where in my heart is the thankfulness for the money to even get a new tire...trampled on... because I am wanting to be angry with the military life...which, I might add, I have struggled with from the get go. I was so humbled to read of Ashleigh's beautiful attitude in light of her circumstances. I can't elaborate on mine right now, my attitude stinks and needs the Lords Hand to clean it up. So, this is my ungrateful rant...I am off to hit the floor with my knees in prayer...truly. My circumstances are piddly compared to others facing disease, death, combat *sigh*. Boy, do I feel like an ungrateful brat this morning...Lord, please, help my heart has some *issues*.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Busy Bees

She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31:13
A good friend of ours came over to teach us to crochet some time ago. Brianna, 6, *loves* it. She spent a good bit of time just making long chains, but now she is learning to make the rows of crochet. It is so cute to see her little tongue poke out as she tries to get her hook into the next stitch. :)
Sorry I have not posted in a week! We had a Missions conference last week which kept us very busy on top of homeschool, a Monday night Deacon's meeting for Brian, a Tuesday morning Ladies Visitation, and Tuesday night Faith Bible Institute class...a little typhoon...and another one passed by (Wipha) this week I am trying to get back on a normal busy schedule and catch up on laundry :) I will be around to visit! I am very bummed that I missed 2 very important skype phone calls from a Far Away Country...ahem.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Real Faith Quotes From Amy

Aren't these so encouraging?!

"Somewhere in the midst of all of the emotions I had an overwhelming sense of peace. Ever since the Urgent Care doctor had called, the song "Blessed be Your Name" had been running through my head. "Blessed be Your name, when the path's marked with suffering, though there's pain in the offering, blessed be Your name." I told Brandon, "The Lord gives, and the Lord taketh away, blessed be the name of the Lord." In the midst of everything known and yet unknown, all I could know is that He had me. I wasn't anywhere I wasn't supposed to be, this was the path I had been called to, and He wouldn't give me more than I could bear."-Amy Wilhoite July 3rd blog post-day after learning of her diagnosis Leukemia

"I am so thankful for my God and for the peace He has given me for this trial. I think if I were reading this that I'd have a hard time believing the person. I never thought I'd be able to stand anything like this. But I can't, it's God, and it's not about how much faith I have, it's about HOW MUCH GRACE He has. I pray that you may all know Him as I do. I am so grateful that He loves me enough to put me through this, to grant me the privilege of a deeper knowledge of Him than I ever would have had otherwise. He is SO good to me." Amy Wilhoite Friday, July 14, 2006

" 'God's mercies are new every morning because each day has enough mercy in it only for that day. This is why we tend to despair when we think that we may have to bear tomorrow's load on today's resources. God wants us to know that we won't. Today's mercies are for today's troubles. Tomorrow's mercies are for tomorrow's troubles.--John Piper (A Godward Life, pg. 26) (I found this quote on Google, so I'm not perfectly certain of the authenticity of the source -- said what I wanted to say, though.)" Amy Wilhoite-Sat, Aug 4th blog entry-just a few weeks before her heavenly flight.

Again, evidence of a Loving Heavenly Father who held her in His hand.

When The Dust Settles..

edited because I apparently published it in draft form...sorry!
...after a battle well fought, one might think, "What did it mean to win?". For Amy Wilhoite, it was the ultimate victory. Amy was completely healed in the blink of an eye- at the close of the battle. She was swept off to her Saviour and made whole. That is a victory. In her suffering, she brought Glory to God. Her testimony of faith in the storm touched countless lives. The Lord accomplished much in her dear life-more than I could ever know or understand. I *don't* understand, but I know the Lord and know He is good all the time- Amy and her dear family know this as well and find comfort in it I am sure. "What about her family?" we think. Those that are left with the loss-how do *they* feel? The skeptics may think they have reason to lose faith in such a situation as this. Some say that a loving God would not allow such a thing. We live in a world corrupted and fallen-cursed by sin. God did create a perfect world and by man's choice sin entered the perfect world with but one remedy...belief on the Lord Jesus Christ and a reliance on His shed blood as payment for our sin. Some storms we bring in by our own mistakes and others are natural consequences of living in this fallen world. I don't pretend to understand it all, but I do know that I can rest in the fact that God is loving and has my best interest in mind even when it doesn't make sense to me.

When we don't understand, when it appears that the Lord is not present, when those we love suffer and fight to live -only to die, when there are no immediate answers...will we have faith in our NEVER-CHANGING Heavenly Father? Will we cling to Whom we have trusted with every thread of our being? Will He find us clinging to our faith in all our sufferings? Oh, I pray that He will find me faithful- I won't know until that trial comes. How can I say I will have that kind of faith when I have not been tried in that manner...I can't. I do know that the Lord is faithful. He will bring me through any and every trial with an overflowing measure of Grace. Whether or not I choose to cling to that truth is a choice I am given. I can't possibly know or understand the suffering of this family...just as I don't know the Grace that was given them for their trial.

Like many of you, I had followed Amy's blog about her battle with cancer for over a year. I have never met her or her family, but God had allowed the fragile life of this beautiful young lady, wife, mother, sister, touch my life and to touch many other lives in a very deep and personal way. We prayed and pleaded and cried for this lovely young lady as we were led by our Heavenly Father. A Father, who moved so many to pray, is one that does love and care beyond our comprehension.

When I heard/read of her ultimate healing-in Glory...I had so many mixed emotions and finally just wept for the loss to her family. I thought about how hard she fought to be with them. I then remembered what her greeting in Glory must have been..."well done, good and faithful servant" what joy that she now knows. I know her family is rejoicing for her as she will eternally abide with her Lord Jesus Christ.

Matt 25:23 "His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."

For those that *would* question and perhaps speak of the family losing faith at a time like this, let me share this, I wept as I read her husband's post about how she, with the last ounces of strength and in her last moments, managed to kiss her dear husband through the oxygen mask and tell him she loved him...oh how I cried at that word picture he shared with us. She, in all her suffering and in her last dying breaths clung to a faith well tested-and it came forth as gold. May I have a faith like that, one that clings- though I don't understand. Her husband spoke of unexplainable peace-heartache, yes, but peace. As his sweet wife passed from his arms to his Heavenly Father's arms...the Lord gave Him comfort and peace. What a loving God we serve. She will be missed here on earth- such is the heartbreak her husband describes, but the miraculous peace...and not anger at her dying moment, is undeniable evidence of the Great Comforter the Holy Spirit and His presence in the lives of those who are Saved. Not that those who get angry are not saved, but I mention this because of the evidence of such a wondrous gift that can only come from God- we are to HOPE for this and know that we will receive it. The testimony left on her blog pages leaves me speechless as to the testimony of a loving Father. These are Faith Giants in the Lord, my friends. I am so thankful for the opportunity to have read their prayer journal.
You can read more at Please leave a comment and lift this dear family up in prayer.

So, how are YOU? Are you one suffering and in need of love and encouragement, are you doubting in God's love for you? Tell it to Jesus dear one. He wants to hear your heart. God does care ALL the time...and wants to *hear* about our doubts and fears and direct us in His word to promises that He will never break. He wants us to then walk in those promises not in doubt. Are you persecuted? He cares, He hears, but don't take it from this silly woman here (ahem that would be me) who knows nothing of what it is to suffer. Take it from the Lord Jesus Christ who knows better than any what it is to suffer and offers His Word as comfort.

Luke 18:7-8

7And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?

8I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" I added the bold to the text

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Navigating The Blind Alleys

Every other Tuesday morning we have a Ladies' Visitation Ministry where I got to know my friend Pam so well- she used to head it up until she moved :(. I *love* ladies visitation. I have had the opportunity to talk to many through this ministry. The Lord has taught me many things just by talking to others...sharing the Gospel and answering questions. It has so strengthened my faith and proves that it is a MUST to search and study the scriptures.

Well, yesterday, another "Pam" ...Mrs Pam and I went out on a trek in Okinawa to find a family that had visited our church. With 3 sets of directions you would think that we could have easily found their house...NO, I truly felt hindered...I felt as if we were being blinded to finding this house (which turned out to be an apt complex). We prayed...and after parking in an uncertain area where we could have very possibly been towed (there were no signs) we walked in the misty rain up and down the street trying to follow our map which was in Japanese. We asked one Japanese security guard to help who did not speak a lick of English, but he happily pointed us in the right direction down the street. It was as if there were evil forces all around us hissing and spitting at our presence. God always has His way of course...regardless of those that would seek to hamper His spreading of the Word. Another Japanese lady on the way happily took our map and walked us down the block the rain, to show us the building. When we did finally find the apt, noone was home, but we left a note and church info so they would know of our effort to reach them. We were sure to give the young Japanese lady who helped us a tract and ask her in poor Japanese to please read it. With a bow and a smile we felt refreshed. God was so good to help us by using someone who we could give a Japanese tract to...and hopefully reach her heart with the Gospel written in her own language :). There were no accidents on this trip- the Lord was in control. We do our best and pray for the Lord to bless our efforts for His honor and Glory.
The Japanese...well, Okinawans anyway, are such polite and beautiful people. My friend Alice, a missionary here, explained to me some of the difficulties of witnessing to the Japanese. They don't care too much about death or eternity for one thing, and there is not a good translation for the meaning of sin. The closest thing they have is the word crime. When sin=crime, it is hard to convince them that they are sinners in need of a Savior. They will say they have never stolen anything or committed any crime at all. They really are what the world would consider "good people", well, unfortunately there will be no "good people" in heaven...just sinners Saved by Grace.

Please pray for Maranatha Baptist Church as we seek to continue our outreach to the lost, the Military and the Japanese here on Okinawa. God is so good, and the evil one would love nothing more than to waste our time by "blinding" us to those we are to reach out to with the Gospel, send us on a bunny trail to nowhere, or to have us be plain discouraged. We must be in constant prayer for those around us. I am so glad that the Lord can always find us and is never hindered or blinded to reaching us wherever we may be physically or spiritually. And, you never know, we may just meet that cheerful Japanese lady with a polite little bow and a smile beyond the Pearly Gates. We found her in His perfect timing though it would seem we were just lost on the streets of Okinawa. Have a Blessed Day!!!!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Brenda Slaby

I know...this is bringing in the news,...but I just wanted to say that I hope you are praying for this poor mom who accidentally forgot that her little one was in the car until someone reminded her and it was too late-tragic. My heart goes out to her. My prayer is that someone would bring her the good news of God's Grace. It could have been anyone...when we are busy and stray from our normal routine, our minds can easily think that something in the changed order of agenda was already accomplished, and we subconsciously mark it off the "to-do" list. I get so angry at those who judge and criticize in such a tragic event as this -it is as if they are some how comforted by criticizing her. Love, prayer and support- the LORD- is what this woman needs. For was a stark reminder of the importance of putting God first then my family and THEN any other outside activity that might distract me from my first ministries. Please say you will pray for this grieving mom and her family.

Hi, how are YOU? :)

Well, it has been a whirlwind these past few weeks...a good whirlwind :). God is so good and gracious. His love is everflowing-overflowing it truly amazes me that His work is literally indescribable-so beyond my understanding (ok no blonde jokes here ;) ). I debated about how to share this, or whether to share, how much to share... but I do want to share this- how excited I am about what God is doing around here- His Word is Saving Lost Souls in a tremendous way. My friends, the harvest is RIPE (I know you know, but I am just discovering HOW RIPE it is!!)- people all around us are just waiting to hear the Gospel..the truth. The Holy Spirit has already been working in their hearts...the Lord needs willing Saints to share His Truth and reap the blessing of leading someone to Christ. The Lord has made it so obvious that it is all Him. If we ask the Lord with a humble and willing heart, He *will* allow you to cross paths with someone waiting to hear and willing to receive. I sense the nodding in agreement from all you soul winners - I know you know all this, but I am just so excited I want to say it again and again :)

I *love* sharing the Gospel-sure I get nervous-but I know it is worth it to be nervous but obedient than comfortable and not obedient. I love even more when those I am sharing with accept the truth and choose Christ as the payment for their sins-make Him Lord of their lives. It is like picking the ripe strawberries in a field where the gardener has so tirelessly laboured and then lovingly sends us out to pick the ripe juicy sweet fruit-but even better than that. It is an opportunity to enjoy the sweetness of His work -though I am incredibly unworthy. Most all of us have been laborers in the fields, some planting, some watering...pulling weeds etc. Yes, these are very necessary parts of tending to these fields. Why not show up for the harvest when the Lord leads? Don't let the beautiful fruit pass to someone else or worse, fall to the ground under the weight of its ripeness to be left for bugs to pick away at-those bugs being any variety of falseness. Someone else will probably approach them, yes, but what if it is a false teacher? Those false teachers are allll around and more than willing to share their poison with anyone. Romans 10:14-15 "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!" We are to be heralds of the Gospel.

The harvest we bring in may even be from a field which we had no part of planting or laboring, but the Lord, to show us that it is all Him will allow us to pick the sweet fruit of a field in which we did not even labor. It is so humbling, but such a blessing when we obey His commandment to "GO". I am having trouble finding a way to really *share* how the Lord has worked in this area of my life and my husbands' without leaving room to be puffed up about it and possibly appearing to take credit for a work that God has Himself has done. But I will say this again...John 4:35 "Say not ye, There are yet four months, and [then] cometh harvest? behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." I added the bold for emphasis. Start as a silent praying partner in your church's visitation program, the Lord will show you how it is all Him...we are just mouths to share what is already in our hearts and lives...ask the Lord to fill your heart with the love and boldness you need and hide His word in your heart that you may more confidently share. I know I am "preaching" to the choir here- and I don't believe that women are to preach in church, but we are to proclaim the Gospel. A prayer that many of us have (thanks Pam :)) is Eph 6:19 "And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,". God is so good to give us boldness to share His Word :). God is SO GOOD all the time.