Monday, April 21, 2014

Of NO Reputation

When I sit down to write, I want to share something that is bright, clever and encouraging.

I've got nothing!

At the moment I don't lead anything or have deep discussions. I am empty and do not think I have anything "mind-boggling" to say. I don't converse with big words one needs a dictionary to decipher, and I don't have the time nor feel the need to read deep thought provoking books that blow my mind theologically or just socially. I just don't!

(...I also don't want to clean my house and I just avoid walking into the kitchen because I know that my shoes will be sticking to the floor....but that is a topic for another time.....)

So that's where I am...
and the moments I have nothing, HE makes me worthy. He singles me out. He is proud of my accomplishments, and thinks I am smart.
His expectations are realistic, inspiring, motivating and always possible to accomplish.

My expectations on the other hand seem to be a slave to what I think others think of me...
I live up to goals I think others want me to achieve and then I always arrive at the point of shame. It devours my energy, distorts my perspective of God's work in my life and his work in those around me.

We are now dependent on HIM more then ever.
We have applied for medicaid (I would have tried Obama care but we don't make enough money to get that type of insurance....), we are getting Food-Stamps, Richard is on unemployment, and Ana gets SSI. We are feeling stuck, unappreciated, unwanted and worthless.....

Right now, here where we are, we are "OF NO REPUTATION".

I was hoping by now to write about our new housing arrangements in Germany, I was looking forward to write about our new neighbours and friends we made. I am/was ready for the new adventure in which we can boast about being so happy to living in God's will.

And here it is: I link my trust in God to my performance. Even though Christ himself was happy to .."make himself of now reputation...."

The Bible:
but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  (New King James Version)

Here is the same passage paraphrased by  "The Message"
Philippians 2:5-11
5-8 Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.

I am part of a missionary wive's bible study on Monday mornings.We are studying the book: "He loves me" by Wayne Jacobsen
( you see, I do still read a little....)
and he started out his Chapter 20 titled "Shamelessly Free" with this quote by Major Ian Thomas (The Saving Life of Christ):
"(When you) become totally dependent upon the life of Christ...(you will never be) so released at last from  the self distrust which has made you at one moment an arrogant loud-mouthed braggart, and the next moment the victim of your own self-pity-and either way, always in bondage to the fear of other men's opinions."

I find myself wanting to talk about my accomplishments,  I try to proove that I am worthy and then I start complaining, when I think that this is useless time, waiting around for us to finally go where our hearts want to be; When I feel that my gifts are not being used,  that I have training that nobody wants to hear about, and that I have experience that does not seem to count.
"Christ had equal status with GOD but didn't think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status..."

I want to get to the place where I am grateful for the experience we are able to gain at this moment, in this time. Satan will accuse me of being a failure. Christ defuses my agony and sorrow and leads me to victory (book: "He loves me").
If we want to some day be able to relate and lead those around us that are not necessarily leaders in our society then we need to know how it feels to live as "non-leaders".

So then, lets clean that sticky kitchen floor...even though we would much rather have deep theological discussions and lead a spirit filled evening of worship....That time will come again....(right?! LORD?! :-) ....)

Here are some pictures
Ana and Caleb playing ipad.....nice sharing....

Ana is turning 8 today!!!! April 11.
Lydia is finding eggs...

Caleb is hanging out at Millfort Plantation.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Faith is an Issue of who has Authority

Faith is an issue of authority. Whose authority do you submit to and trust in? Do you believe that Jesus is the ultimate authority in the universe? If he is then we must fling ourselves into and onto his authority and mercy! That is true faith. You must believe that whatever he says happens in the universe will come to pass. For instance "my God will provide all your needs according to his riches in glory" do you believe that he has the authority to make that promise happen? If he has the authority to make it happen we must as a result place our faith in his ability to bring it to pass. If he can do it we should and must not lack in our faith it's a sure thing! I have been challenged with that lately that whatever Jesus has called us to, because he has the authority to call us, will also provide "according to His riches in Glory." We are really seeking to get to Germany, but it seems slow, but God has his timing, He has called us to Germany and He will get us there in His timing and assording to His Riches! I was recently taken aback again at the story of the Roman officer who had greater faith than anyone in all Israel becasue He believed in the Authority of Jesus to do anything! We are placing our faith in Him now to do what he has called us to do. Go to Germany and proclaim Him as the one and only true authority. Read this passage again for the first time and be blessed to trust Him also in His authority.

Roman Servant healed
"When Jesus had finished saying all this to the people, he returned to Capernaum. At that time the highly valued slave of a Roman officer was sick and near death. When the officer heard about Jesus, he sent some respected Jewish elders to ask him to come and heal his slave. So they earnestly begged Jesus to help the man. “If anyone deserves your help, he does,” they said, “for he loves the Jewish people and even built a synagogue for us.” So Jesus went with them. But just before they arrived at the house, the officer sent some friends to say, “Lord, don’t trouble yourself by coming to my home, for I am not worthy of such an honor. I am not even worthy to come and meet you. Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed. I know this because I am under the authority of my superior officers, and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, ‘Go,’ and they go, or ‘Come,’ and they come. And if I say to my slaves, ‘Do this,’ they do it.” When Jesus heard this, he was amazed. Turning to the crowd that was following him, he said, “I tell you, I haven’t seen faith like this in all Israel!” And when the officer’s friends returned to his house, they found the slave completely healed." (Luke 7:1-10 NLT)

Let us put our faith and worship in Him because He is worthy.