Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Back to Life; Back to a New Reality

Leaving Kenya and heading home was a 36 hour process.  A journey.

Katie's all  packed up wrapped up and ready to go!

 My friend Sarah and I just before we boarded the plane in Kenya heading back to Uganda.

From Uganda, we flew to Istanbul Turkey and

got our first taste of familiar food!!!!  (Rachel, Kelsey, & Ashley)

From Turkey to Washington DC and then onto Charlotte!

Finally HOME!!! 

Check out the mirror in our bedroom.  It is covered in Bible verses!!!  Thank you Leann!!!  I won't be taking them down anytime soon :)

The first 12 hours I was at home, I loved on my children, took a bubble bath along with 2 hot showers, and slept 8 straight hours!!! 

I can't wait to share Africa with you and all that God did while we were there.  I've asked Him to give me time to recall, reflect and write.  I want to "lay low" this week and listen to the Lord as I remember all that He has done.  I feel like Mary in Luke 2:19, "But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart."
So, the reason I'm writing now is to tell you about what God has done since we've been home. 

*My family picked us up from the airport Sunday night.  When we got in the car, guess what song came on?  How He Loves by Dave Crowder!  My favorite!  God wasted no time - He seranaded me before we were out of the airport parking lot!!! 

*On Monday morning, Shawn & I spent a lot of time praying together.  Praying for others.  Praying for ourselves & our future - asking for guidance, wisdom, & direction. Almost immediately, God showed us this scripture:

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."  Matthew 6:19-21

WOW!!!  God is clearly telling us to invest our lives in eternity and not things of this world.  This is huge for us given that Shawn does not have a job and is seeking employment.  But more than employment, my husband is seeking God's will for our family and our future - and Africa is definitely a part of that.

*Then I read  my "Experiencing God Day by Day Devotional" by Henry Blackaby.  I needed to read January 7, 8 & 9 to get caught up.  Here are a few points from each.

January 7 - "We Live by Revelation"

"Without revelation people run wild; but one who listens to instruction will be happy." Proverbs 29:18

"The world operates on vision.  God's people live by revelation.  The world seeks grand and noble purposes and goals to achieve.  People dream up the greatest and most satisfying things in which they can invest their lives.  Institutions establish goals and objectives and then organize themselves to achieve them.  God's people function in a radically different way.  Christians arrange their lives based on the revelation of God, regardless of whether it makes sense to them.  God does not ask for our opinion about what is best for our future, our family, our church, or our country.  He already knows!  What God wants is to get the attention of His people and reveal to us what is on His heart and is His will, for God's ways are not our ways! (Isaiah 55:8-9)

Whenever people do not base their lives on God's revelation, they "cast off restraint."  That is, they do what is right in their own eyes.  They set their goals, arrange their agendas, and then pray for God's blessings. Some Christians are living far outside the will of God, yet they have the audacity to pray and ask God to bless their efforts!

The only way for you to know God's will is for Him to reveal it to you.  You will never discover it on your own.  When you hear from the Father, you have an immediate agenda for your life:  OBEDIENCE.  As the writer of Proverbs observed: "Happy is he who keeps the law."

January 8 - Exceedingly Abundantly

"Now to Him who is able to do above and beyond all that we ask or think according to the power, that works in us."  Ephesians 3:20

"At times, we feel as if we could impress God with all we are trying to do for Him and His church.  Yet God has yet to be impressed with even the most grandiose human aspirations (Psalm 8:3-4 and Phil. 3:7-8.)  Our problem is we become too easily enamored with our own plans.

We need to remind ourselves that the Father sees the "big picture" that His power far exceeds our limited imagination.  We must set aside our own agenda, however lofty.  We must never become satisfied with our own dreams, for they are finite at best.  When we follow God's direction we will witness things happening in our lives that can only be explained by His powerful presence.  How could we be satisfied with anything else?"

January 9 - Prayer Discovers God's Agenda

"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a desserted place.  And He was praying there."  Mark 1:35

"It was common knowledge among the disciples that they would find Jesus praying during the early morning hours.  When they needed Him, they knew to go to the place of prayer.  When Judas betrayed Jesus, he led his cohorts to Jesus' place of prayer.

Every time the Lord Jesus faced an important decision, He prayed.  When He was being tempted to do things by the world's methods instead of the Father's, He prayed.  When it was time to choose His disciples, He prayed the entire night.  If the Son of God required a night of prayer in order to determine the Father's mind, how long might it take us in prayer to clearly determine our Father's will?

Because Jesus was so often surrounded by crowds, He knew He must find a quiet place so He could clearly hear His Father's voice.  Jesus had many people seeking to influence the direction of His life.  His disciples wanted Him to go where the crowds were.  The crowds wanted to crown Him king.  Satan tempted Him to make compromises in order to draw a following.  Jesus knew His mission was not to attract a crowd, but to remain obedient to His Father.  It was prayer that set the agenda for Jesus' ministry.  Prayer preceded the miracles; prayer brought Him encouragement at critical moments; prayer enabled Him to go to the cross; and prayer kept Him there despite excruciating pain.  Follow the Savior's example, and let your time alone with God, in prayer, set the agenda for your life." 

*Then I heard a pastor on a Christian TV station say: "You can't have the world and Jesus too. Do what God calls you to do, and dig ditches to pay your bills if you have to!"  (He also talked about the faith of Moses discussed in Hebrews 11:23-28. And he mentioned the Ethiopians!!!  I plan to dig deeper into the Hebrews passage to see what God wants to reveal to us there.)

What really makes me stand in awe of God is that He revealed all of this to us within about 2 hours after our prayer time!!!  All of this happened on Monday by noon!!!

WOW!!!  Only GOD!!!

Now you know why I need lots of time to ponder and process Africa!

Loving HIM with all my heart & soul,

1 comment: