Friday, March 28, 2008

He cares for you

"While we have no right to walk around smacking our gum, likewise, we should not worry either. John Piper writes, 'Anxiety shows that we are too close to the world and too far from God. So don’t be anxious—the world has nothing eternal to offer, and your loving heavenly Father knows your needs now and forever.' The way I faced my last birth was this: I clung to Jesus. When my strategy failed and I proved ill-suited to face it, I would tell Him all about it. Those were some long nights before the birth.

... We will always be tempted to worry. It is my choice to coddle my worries or to hand them over."

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. I Peter 5:6-7

The quote above was taken from Amy's Humble Musings March 17, 2008 post. How timely these words of wisdom are for me. With my 6th baby coming in May, I have been full of fear. I was not fearful of my first birth at all (had no idea of what birth was like). My last two were home births. The first home birth, I was totally out of control and in a panic. Everything that I had prepared to do to help the pain went out the window. With the 2nd home birth, I felt I was wiser. I knew what I did wrong the first time and was prepared, mentally, the second time. Yes, I did manage the pain better and was in control of my panic, but the pain was the same or worse. With the 3rd home birth right around the corner, I have let the fear of what will ensue in a little more than a month take control of me. I need to rest in my God and his provision for me. James 1:3 tells us to count it all joy when we face our trials. It promises me that this trial will produce steadfastness in me. If my savior, the founder and perfecter of our faith, could endure the cross for the joy set before him (Heb 12:2), I can surely endure child birth. And more than that, I am to lean on Him who has endured pain.

With all this said, however, look at the blessings, in the picture above, that God has given me! I would go through it all again if I had to for those sweet babies of mine. A short time period of pain is worth it, in the end; when you hold that warm, soft, helpless babe who knows your voice and your feel right away.

In summary, Cast all your cares upon Him because HE CARES FOR YOU!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sunday, Lance preached on Proverbs 22. Being a mom, I was drawn to verse 6; "train up a child in the way he should go..." Am I doing all I can? I can always improve. Thinking of this, I came upon this Spurgeon quote from the Spurgeon Archives;

Children in grace have to grow, rising to greater capacity in knowing, being, doing, and feeling, and to greater power from God; therefore above all things they must be fed. They must be well fed or instructed, because they are in danger of having their cravings perversely satisfied with error. Youth is susceptible to evil doctrine. Whether we teach young Christians truth or not, the devil will be sure to teach them error. They will hear of it somehow, even if they are watched by the most careful guardians. The only way to keep chaff out of the child's little measure is to fill it brimful with good wheat. Oh, that the Spirit of God may help us to do this! The more the young are taught the better; it will keep them from being misled.

Let's make sure that we fill their measures to the brim with God's Word so that that they will, prayerfully, be kept from being misled!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Missionary to Ireland

To most of the protestant world, St. Patrick is viewed as a Catholic saint that we don't pay much attention to. St. Patrick, however, was a missionary to Ireland who preached salvation through grace alone and was not thought of very highly by the Catholic church. Check out my husband's blog for a look into his faith and confessions.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Homeschooling during Missions Week

For school during missions week, I found an uncolored map of the world on the internet and printed a copy out for each child (thanks Becky for the map idea!). Each day, we learned about one or two of the missionaries from our church. We discussed where they are in the world and what they do there. Then, we colored their country in with a chosen color and made a key to the side of our map that included the missionaries and a little box showing what color their country is. We also looked up their country on Google Earth and 'zoomed' to where they live (I have a link for Google Earth on my 'Link' side bar). To make it a little more involved for my 3rd grader, she also wrote a paper on each missionary. Then, she made a book out of them with the map as the front page. Each paper had to answer the questions: Where are they? What is their mission? Why did they leave their families, home, friends, and personal comforts to go there? How can I specifically pray for them?
Here's one of her papers,
The Parrettes
The Parettes are a missionary family in China. They are there so they can teach people about Jesus and take care of orphans. The Parettes are in China because they love Jesus more and want to serve God! I can pray that the orphans will get adopted. I can also pray that the people will have an opportunity to open their hearts and listen to God's word! I can also pray that the Parettes will be safe.

Now, she has a book to refer to which will make her prayers for these people more in depth, specific, and informed.

Weeks like this give us the opportunity to corporately pray and be more informed about our missionaries. Home is a great place for us as parents to inform our kids. My prayer for my children (besides their own salvation) is that they will grow up with a passion to reach the unheard people of the world with the gospel of Christ. Remember, we are God's slaves commissioned to do his will. His commission to us before returning to heaven was to go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. (Mark 16:15)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Mission Week in Summary

For Mission Week at our church, we had a guest pastor/missionary from India named Chris Williams. He is a man with a passion for Christ. My husband said, "I never met Paul, but now I've come as close to knowing what he was like as I ever will". Chris spoke 3 or 4 times, but I will try to sum up a few of his points.
He started out by encouraging us to find, seek, and search God's face (Psalms 63, 27:4). We should not love this world, but seek God. Moses asked God to show him His glory (Ex.33:12-13, 18). David was a man after God's own heart and desired to know God's heart and to seek it. THE LORDSHIP OF CHRIST IS FUNDAMENTAL TO CHRISTIANITY! Galations 4 tells us that we were once enslaved to the elementary principles of the world, but when we were redeemed, we were no longer slaves of the world, but a son to God! So we should not but our passions and loves into the things of this world.
Don't turn back to the world! We should study, study, study and have an intense longing for a relationship with Him.
The next talk was about where God's heart is and where our hearts should be. The nearer we get to God, the more missionary we become. God's heart beat is evangelism. Let your heart be broken for the world. The question became, "are you spending time or investing your life?"
Are we willing to suffer for Him (Rom 5:1-5)? Are our minds set on the things of the Spirit, which is life and peace, or on the things of the flesh, which is death and hostile to God (Rom 8)? We should have the same heart as God- a desire to reach the lost world with the gospel.
Romans 15:17-21 says, "In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me to bring the Gentiles to obedience—by word and deed, by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God—so that from Jerusalem and all the way around to Illyricum I have fulfilled the ministry of the gospel of Christ; and thus I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else's foundation, but as it is written,
“Those who have never been told of him will see,
and those who have never heard will understand.”
Be proud of the work of the Lord! Do you know your work for the Lord? Verse 19, speaks of signs and wonders. The greatest sign and wonder is transformation! The transforming work of God is changing a sinner into a saint. We need to get a world map and start praying for the world. We need to be ambassadors for Christ!
What's the greatest thing we can do for missions? Matthew 9:35-38, PRAY FOR THE WORLD TO BE REACHED! He is sovereign over the harvest.
Romans 10:17 says that faith comes by hearing and hearing through the word of Christ.
We need to be informed about what our missionaries are doing and what is going on in the world to be a better prayer, then we will get involved! Arthur Pink said that real prayer is communion with God so we will have a common desire with God. So we will have the mind of Christ. Prayer is an act of dependency upon God. It is more of an attitude than an act.
Colossians 4:2-4 tells us how to pray and what to pray for. We should pray continuously and steadfastly in prayer, be watchful (alert and informed), and with thanksgiving. We should pray for our missionaries and ourselves to declare and preach the mystery of Christ, that we make it clear and simple to understand, and that doors of opportunity will open for people to hear.
As Pat Howell said, America is evangelized! Turn on any radio, go in any book store, go in a good church (hopefully reformed), and you can learn of Christ. 27% of the world is not evangelized- not reached AT ALL. That means no Bibles, no churches, no radio, no literature.
Missionaries and money for missions are going down in America. What money is given, 74% of that money goes to already evangelized places. Of the fifteen thousand, five hundred billion dollars raised for church related ministries in America, 300 billion goes to church related causes. 17 billion goes to foreign missions. 18 billion is swindled.
The local churches are the keys to world missions. They are God's ordained vehicle to evangelize the world. 3 TO 4 BILLION PEOPLE HAVEN'T HEARD THE GOSPEL!
My friends, pray and plead with God for good and faithful shepherds and that God will raise up shepherds. Go or pray and give! The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.

March snow in Arkansas? Well, we had fun!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

It's official...

It's official... My 3 1/2 year old son, Jude, has named the new baby for us and is spreading the word- Baby Jesus. Yes, he is spreading the word to family, church, and Wal-Mart. His new baby 'brover' will be named Baby Jesus Bailey (according to him). He is getting a lot of negative responses from older siblings who tell him that he can't name the baby that, but this doesn't phase him. He still spreads the word. To him, it's the most endearing name he can think of, and I just don't have the heart to disappoint him- yet.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The Poor Burmese Children?

During Mission Week at our church, Rob was asked to give a presentation on Myanmar (former Burma) to the children, grades K-6, while the ladies had a luncheon. To start the part about the orphans and the poor children that need care and help, he showed these pictures of our children in the mud. My girls were with me at the luncheon, but my Kindergarten and 3 year old boys were with Rob. As Rob continued to play on the emotions of the kids and the teen workers with these pictures, my boys didn't realize that they were pictures of themselves! The kids and workers had this "poor muddy children!" look on their faces, horrified at the conditions of the children until FINALLY Robert said, "Hey! That's Jude and I!!!". Then, everyone laughed and thought it was so funny. To me, the funny thing was my boys not recognizing themselves!!
As a side note, this muddy fiasco happened 2 years ago when I was recovering from having our fifth child, Rose, and Dad was in charge. No telling what will happen when May 3 comes!

The other picture on this post is a picture Rob took in Myanmar of a t-shirt for sale in the market. He showed this on the power point and first asked a new K or 1st grade reader to read it for them. They couldn't figure it out. So, then he asked a quick learning, avid reading 5 th grade boy to read it. He kept pressuring him saying, "Please explain this shirt to us-'girs for good, hong shang everyone box on opening times to'. Tell us what it means!" The poor guy was very confused and finally said, "Mr. Rob, I don't know what that means!" Then, Rob assured him that it was a joke, there was no meaning! The Burmese just think it is great to have a shirt with English written on it; even if they can't read it and don't know what it means! Everyone laughed then. His point was to show that the Burmese are so excited to speak with someone who speaks English and what a great opportunity this can give you to tell them about the living God who sent his Son as a sacrifice for our sin.
The children left very excited about missions. I wish I could have been there to here my wonderful husband who is on fire for Christ and excited about missions. He has a wonderful gift of communication that inspires others as well. I'm going to write more about Missions Week soon, but tomorrow is the last day, and I want to wait until it is all said and done to write anymore.