Sunday, February 6, 2011

Quality Time With God

I absolutely love football.  I am a huge fan.  Fall is my favorite time of year mainly because it is the beginning of football season.  And tonight is the biggest football game of the year.  My family is watching it at a Sunday School Super Bowl party, but I am at home. 

When I told my husband and children I had decided to stay home, I thought they were going to need medical assistance! 

"Honey, are you REALLY not going?" 
"No, Sweetie, I'm REALLY not going." 
"Are you SURE?"
"Yes, I'm SURE."

"Mom, you ARE going to watch the game at home, right?" 
"Well, no Son.  Our cableless TV does not get the Super Bowl channel." 
"Mom, get my IPod so you can keep up with the score."

After they decided I was serious and after I reassured them several times that I was okay, they left in their team colors to cheer for the Packers.  Go Pack Go!

So, why did I stay at home?  Well, as much as I love football, I love my God more.  And He invited me to spend some time with Him tonight processing everything He revealed to me today.  He knows I'm a sucker for some quality time since it's my primary love language!

I don't know where to begin.  And I don't know if I will actually publish this post or just keep it for myself.  We'll see what God says when we're done.  But, I do know I have to put today's events and my thoughts into writing.

I guess I'll start at the beginning.  This morning, I got up a little early to have my quiet time with God and to review my Sunday School lesson (I teach 4th grade.)  We are focusing on kindness this month, and the Golden Rule - "Do to others what you want them to do to you." Luke 6:31 - is our memory verse.  The monthly challenge is to get the children to do random acts of kindness.  That's right - DO SOMETHING!!!

Anyway, part of the lesson included me sharing an unexpected act of kindness I had done for someone.  The first thing that came to mind was something that happened in Haiti.  Which led me to think about the people I met there and the poverty.  Which led me to think about another poverty-stricken part of the world God has burdened my heart for.  Which led me to think about what God is prompting me to do about it, etc.

Excuse me while I read a text from my husband.....Okay, I'm back (4 6 8 texts later.)  He was just checking to make sure I'm listening to the game on the radio!  See, I told you my family is concerned about me.  They are probably thinking I've had too much radiation, especially when I replied "No.  All quiet here.  Just me and God!" 

Anyway, when it was time for me to get ready for church this morning, I headed upstairs.  My husband had turned on the cableless TV to a nature show on PBS.  Jack Hannah was on an adventure in South Africa.  You guessed it, God has put AFRICA heavy on my heart.  So heavy at times that I think my heart is going to explode!

Side note:  Africa has never been on my radar.  Brazil has always been the country I've wanted to go to on a mission trip.  But, shortly after returning from Ecuador last October, I read a post at about an upcoming mission trip to Africa and something was triggered in my heart.  Then, God began putting Africa in my path more and more until I literally see or hear at least one thing about Africa EVERY SINGLE DAY!!!  I AM NOT EVEN KIDDING!  I could not in my wildest dreams come up with some of the ways God shows Africa to me either!  I will share some specifics with you later on a different post.  I already feel like I'm writing the Great American Novel once again!!!

Just before we needed to leave for church this morning, my husband went to warm up the van.  While he was waiting for us, he heard a lady on the radio mention people being called to Africa!!!  See, Africa twice before 9:15 a.m.!!! 

And while my family has become sensitive to references of Africa due to me sharing what God has laid on my heart, this morning was different.  It was so overwhelmingly obvious that God was speaking personally to my husband about Africa!!!  It's hard to describe.

Oh, my husband has been ready to pack his bags for Africa for a while now because he has repeatedly seen confirmation of what God has laid on my heart about Africa.  My husband has been so supportive.  But today, God called my husband too!!!  Personally.  Individually.  WOW!!!

My friend Jamie at church has an Africa connection, and I have sensed for about 2 months now that it is Jamie's connection we are suppose to help in Africa.  I'll explain all of these details soon too, along with an opportunity for you to help as well.  Anyway, after this morning's events, I told my husband that I needed to talk to Jamie.  We no sooner got out of the van at church that guess who pulled in right across from us??!!!  JAMIE!!!  God brought her to me without me even having to look!  Jamie was able to provide me with some helpful information too.  

Interestingly, in worship today, Jamie's husband sang Chris Tomlin's new song that says...."Where You go, I'll go.  Where You stay, I'll stay.  Where You move, I'll move.  I WILL FOLLOW YOU." 

The pastor preached on trust, and so many of his key points were exactly the things God has been teaching me - including one of my favorite TREE verses....

 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD,
   whose confidence is in Him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
   that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
   its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
   and never fails to bear fruit.”
Jeremiah 17:7-8

Then during large group in Uptown, which is our children's Sunday morning program, we sang a song about being Jesus' hands and feet and going where He sends us.  The words were on a screen with a rotating globe on it.  When the song came on, the globe was on Africa, and when it ended, it was on Africa!  I was in tears!   

I honestly believe that one of the reasons I have breast cancer now is to slow me down just enough so God can prepare me for Africa.  Without cancer, I would probably be on a plane to Africa right now.  Seriously.  I can't handle many more days like today without DOING SOMETHING IMMEDIATELY.  God knows that I'm willing, but not quite ready.  His plans and timing are perfect.  But waiting is so doggone hard!!!

Oh, excuse me again - another text.  Sorry, my husband is not accustomed to watching the Super Bowl without me!   It appears that the 4th quarter is starting.  That means my time alone with God is limited tonight.  And I've done most of the talking.  So, let me go and be still and listen to God. 

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

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