Let us run the race

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Hanging by a Hair

Some days, you just need a friend to pick you up. They may be hanging by a hair too, but they are ready to pick you up when you need a lift.

"Two are better than one, because they have a better return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up." (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NIV)

Lately, I've been blessed by those friends. When I'm in need of a flower to brighten my day––they offer it. They hold out a hand and lift me up. We "hang" together. Thank God for friends––blessings from Him!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Shine like Stars

 Hollywood Star or Heavenly Star?

When I walk outside our back door at night, I see a clear sky. We live on the outskirts of a large city, and here in the boonies the stars shine brightly. There is no pollution, just clear nights with shining stars. The beauty of God's heaven is visible without the pollution of civilization. When you look at the sky in the city at night, you don't see the stars, but they are there––just not shining through.

There are days that I am polluted too. Jesus is not shining through. Do you know the feeling––maybe tired or complaining and grumpy too? Philippians 2:14-16 says "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life..."(NIV)

My friend Debi once asked me (some 16 years ago), "If you won the lottery, what would you do?" Kind of hard to win if you never buy a ticket. At the time, we were raising support to come back to Bolivia. We didn't know if God would bring us back to Bolivia or if He had another plan for us––we prayed for His plan, but in our hearts we hoped to return to our ministry in Bolivia.

Before I could answer Debi's question she said, "You don't have to answer––you'd go to Bolivia, right?" Right! We wanted to hold out the Word of Life for the Bolivian people and shine like stars for Jesus––showing His light through us. God gave us the desires of our hearts.

We are stars for Jesus. Somedays we don't shine as brightly as other days, but we try our best. It's our hearts' desire to shine for Him, so others may see Jesus shining through us as we hold out the Word of Life. Then, they too may become a shining star for Him.

Wouldn't you rather be a Heavenly Star with eternal rewards instead of a Hollywood star with only earthly rewards? I know not many of us have a chance to become Hollywood stars, but we all have the choice to become Heavenly Stars––shining for Jesus.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Encamped Enemies

Fire on the Mountain-–Fear in the Valley

This was the scene looking out of our upstairs windows a few weeks ago. The enemy was encamped and ready for war. Intruders had entered our village and threatened to wage war on the people of the community--hoping to acquire land by force. 

The day before, many were injured as the squabbles turned into physical confrontations. Then the enemy camped on the mountain, and the stand off began. Psalms 27:3 says,"Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet will I be confident." The war had begun, but the community people didn't back down––instead they made plans for the attack. They prepared, they planned, and they carried through together.

When the enemy moves in for the siege, are we ready? The people of our community were ready, united and determined. They moved up the mountain setting fires, creeping step by step, until the enemy was smoked out and left. Victory was theirs.

It wasn't the first time the enemy moved in. Nor will it be the last. Until the final paperwork is completed for the community property, the enemy will continue to try to move in.

As I watched the fires flame and inhaled the smoke, I felt fear from this enemy too. What if they returned and encamped on the mountain behind our house? Were we prepared for the enemy's attack? Would the community people come to our aid?

But what about my spiritual enemy? Am I prepared with the whole armor of God for his attacks?

Can we say as the psalmist?––"...though war rise up against me, yet will I be confident." Our enemy will not give up either, but we can be confident that God promises to protect us and give us the victory when the enemy encamps about us.