142- Reading the Word to Stay in Faith

142- Reading the Word to Stay in Faith

February 27, 1985

Up with Daniel the other night. While walking Daniel and talking to the Lord, I was overwhelmed by remembering the blatant sin I’d been snared by (willingly) in those years away from God (eight years in my twenties). Have wondered if the scars on my personality, emotions and reputation will forever keep me from ministry to others and from happiness?

The next morning I ‘happened’ upon:

Luke 7:36-50 paraphrased: Jesus told a Pharisee a story with the moral that the person who has sinned the most and is forgiven is the one who will love Him more. Then He said to the immoral woman who was ministering to Him out of her brokenness and love, “Your faith has saved you. Go in peace.

And then the Spirit led me to:

Mark 5:34 And Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace and be healed of your affliction.”

From these verses, Lord, I perceive that my own faith is weak. I am going to read as much of the gospels as I can before the Ladies’ Luncheon on Saturday. My faith must be strong to receive from Jesus and be healed of my afflictions: poor self-concept and bondage to my immoral past.

138- Adopting God’s Values

138- Adopting God’s Values

January 3, 1985

Yesterday morning, I sleepily read Psalm 1, and then as I thought about it on my walk I decided that my goal for 1985 will be chewing on Your word.

Psalm 1: 2-3 But His delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night; and he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither, and whatever he does shall prosper.

That’s interesting: Your idea of PROSPERING is through focusing on the Bible as my treasure, while the world’s way of PROSPERING is acquiring CASH!

During the boys’ nap time I did my weekly Bible study in James, and the subject was riches and wealth. You are impressing me with Your values and helping me get mine in line with Yours. Help me to hear what You are trying to tell me!

Lord you are really convicting me soundly of a superficial lifting up of wealthy people. I have definitely seen myself being prejudice towards the goods and status of the affluent in our church. I repented of showing favoritism.

In the study there were many scriptures for me to look up about “God’s favor toward the poor.” I found it in my heart to be very willing before the Lord to live in the Glenn Duncan area [where I taught school]. I am praying about that being the area of town we move to. We quickly realized that the $600 a month rent that we pay here on Grandview is too much so we have looked at the Shultz’s house in Sparks and want to look at Prosser’s and Plouman’s rentals in the Glenn Duncan area. If we move there it means I would be ministering to some of my previous students.

Also regarding riches:

I realized through my conversation with Jackie this morning that I cannot keep up with her and Susie. They have more available cash than I do–and they want to start making Christmas gifts already! My time and assets do not allow me to join them. I felt very competitive during the conversation—trying desperately to prove that I’m okay and to get some positive attention for myself because I cannot compete with them on other levels (cookie baking, gift making, gift giving). I would like our relationship to continue in spite of this.

You are wonderful, God. Keep speaking to me about our faith walk, our attitudes about money, about making hard decisions in order to stay in sync with what we believe. I want to be in Your favor and Your will.

I have become very interested in trusting Your supplying most of our goods. Since we have a little money in the bank, we have bought things (still not much) rather than praying, believing, and waiting. A faith walk is so much more rewarding a life style.

136- A Humbling Christmastime Revelation, part 2

136- A Humbling Christmastime Revelation, part 2

December 22, 1984–continued

The realization came to me that Jesus is a King who stepped down from glory for a time and went back to glory. He spent a few short years on earth despised among men because He hung around with the street people and the bag ladies, the lepers and the sick and the maimed. BUT HE STILL WAS A KING. HE STILL OWNED EVERYTHING AND WAS RICH AND POWERFUL. He left robes and crowns and riches. And He went back to them. He likes power too.

And I AM SEATED WITH HIM IN THE HEAVENLIES. He became flesh and dwelt among us so we could go back to be with Him forever.

So can’t I accept His call for me in this life? It’s temporary, my place in heaven is certain. I’m serving a king who wore a disguise so that I and everyone could identify with Him. I did identify with Him at salvation and for a few years, but then I wanted my heritage back and not His.

He’s the King of all kings.

He’s Lord of all.

He’s the Prince of Peace.

And He will live in me as much as I will let Him.

My heart has been cleaned up, Lord Jesus. I see You more clearly. I love You. I have been a hypocrite and I am a hypocrite to change camps now because I see Your riches. But that’s okay.

THY WILL BE DONE TODAY AND THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON. My King.

Ephesians 1:7-19 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him. I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.

134- Back in Step, but Wrestling with Moods

134- Back in Step,

but Wrestling with Moods

December 18, 1984, continued

I was back into my almost-daily time with the Lord, pouring out my heart, talking to Him about everything, and going to the Bible for relevant verses to encourage myself in the truth.

Lord, looking back over the last two weeks:

DISTRESSED: feeling generally nervous and irritable–partly because Mark and the baby had bad colds and that kept us home bound for a solid week (and friends away!); I broke my tooth on a corn nut; I had canker sores plus an added virus on my tongue and in my throat; grieving over an angry outburst; Christmas pressures, including comparing ours with our friends’ plans; back to worrying about birth control.

BLESSED: because I received compassion and prayer from my support group: Jackie, Susie, Jan. And super blessed because Dan has been totally non-condemning, accepting, loving, kind, understanding of my moodiness.

ENCOURAGED: at the men’s prayer breakfast that Dan goes to at church every Wednesday morning there was a word from the Lord for the married men from the single guy about loving their wives.

Dan and I are becoming more real-life humans. I’ve backed off from complaining about him being gone so much, realizing we need money to live! The job he has at the church as foreman of the building project requires extremely long hours (50-70 hours a week).

 

REALIZATIONS:

*God will comfort, I need to come to Him.

*Got is cleansing me, refining me.

*There is HOPE in Christ ALWAYS.

*I am really loved– by God, my husband, and my friends.

Ephesians 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us…

        8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of the light…trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.

        15 be careful how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,

        18 be filled with the Spirit,

        19 singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;

        20 always giving thanks for all things…

        22 wives be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord

Father, I see impurity in me from a greedy, competitive, covetous heart. CLEANSE ME. I accept Christ’s work on the cross. The better alternative is imitating God, being a reflection of Him.

Thank You that I can come to the Word and receive the truth from Your perspective–wiser than the world, full of power and direction.

130- I Accept Your Mercies

130- I Accept Your Mercies

December 11, 1984

2 Corinthians 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort-

*the Father of mercies – my Bible says: this is His job and His joy

*the God of all comfort – all means ALL – when I need it, He’s got it

v 4 who comforts us in all our affliction

*once again, all means all

*affliction refers to trouble and calamity

2 Timothy 3:16-17 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

The Bible is inspired by God for everything I need. 

 am God’s born again child.

The Bible is true.

Every word is Spirit-breathed – 2 Timothy 3:16

None of my trouble, then, is out of His interest.

ALL means ALL. I receive Your comfort, Father.

Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.

I receive Your mercy—new every morning 

With great gratefulness. Humbly.

Because proudly I cannot receive.

When I am proud I do not see my need.

And if I do…I do not ask.

When my flesh and the devil say God has put up with me all He can and I’m on my own, help me remember this verse, Father. 

Self-diagnosis: PMS was the pop ailment of the day, and I had all of the symptoms. Dan said I could get whatever I needed in the way of food and vitamins. This was answered prayer.

A few days ago I wanted to comfort Mark. He held tightly to his blankie, which he calls his “wankily” and would not accept my love. I saw that You must be so crushed when we turn away from Your offered love.

 

128- Following God’s Trail – #10

128- Following God’s Trail – #10

July 1, 1984 Father, I am having a hard time believing YOU are asking us to stay in Reno. PLEASE SHOW ME.

I am having a hard time trusting You with our finances, and in finding very suitable housing here in Reno, and in finding a kindergarten acceptable for Tim. You promise to gently lead those who are with young. I am letting it all go and believing Your Word.

Here’s the story: Dan had been working for several months with the contractor on the new building for our church. It was full-time work and they worked well together.

Two of the elders went to him independently and both felt strongly from the Lord that the timing of our going off to Bible School was premature.

The pastor offered him the job of foreman.

We prayed and fasted seeking the Lord.

We handed over the keys of our solar house to Peter and Marilyn Clarke and instead of driving 3,000 miles east across the country, we drove 5 miles west to a house in a quiet subdivision on Grandview Avenue. The rent was more than we wanted to spend but we were under pressure to find a place quickly. It was within a few miles of the church and in the same area of town we had been living for 2 years.

There was an elementary school across the street which had a very good reputation. I had been prepping Timmy: “Your teacher will love you. You are such a smart and cooperative boy. She will be so happy to have you in her class. Teachers love children who will work with them, obey them, and who want to learn.”

As it happened, they did not have room for my precious first born, and I was actually relieved. I had been reading, School Can Wait, by Raymond and Dorothy Moore.

July 22, 1984—Our 6th anniversary.

On our 6th anniversary, our sons were 5, 4, 2, and one month old. We had moved 7 times, including living in two foreign countries for short periods. Dan was 36 and I was 39.

We were crushed. All of our plans had been put on hold. We had laid down our vision for Japan and for Bible School, and we were in some subsidiary plan. God knew.

We believed we had been led by God to this point of surrender. We learned later that we were experiencing “the death of a vision.”

I went to google to get an explanation of the death of a vision and found a good one at http://www.thegoodbook.com. Pastor Cecil Thompson writes:

We are all fired up when the vision is fresh and new, but almost without warning things explode. Instead of seeing our vision fulfilled, it is like death has destroyed the vision. “What do we do now?”

Reeling, floundering…what’s going on, God? We were hastily trying to pull ourselves together after the explosion! We knew we had heard from the Lord and walked with God to this point. All of the other “visions” and “God ideas” had come to pass, so what was this all about?

We believed by faith that God had specific purpose in letting us be deflated. We did not believe God was capricious, impulsive, and unpredictable. We decided to trust Him.

But we also had to regroup quickly!

Spoiler: We DID go to Elim Bible Institute two years later. And we could clearly see the wisdom in the delay.

125- Following God’s Trail – #7

125- Following God’s Trail – #7

May 6 –at church, Sandy M prayed: “The Lord has touched your babies. He assured me that He will be there to supervise the delivery. He told me to tell you.”

May 8 –open house, a few came. I will not be discouraged because God is merciful and He is perfect in His timing. He has purposes to fulfill. I purpose to trust Him.

May 12 –car fire! Our Nova station wagon caught on fire in the grocery store parking lot. Very strange. No one was hurt.

May 20 –open house, two couples, both interested.

May 23 –to Lynn’s for Lamaze breathing practice.

May 25 –very tense day: Elim guy never called. I was under pressure to get this house ready for possible realtors’ visits before the boys and I left for Michele’s Bible study for the morning. Feeling overwhelmed. Karen called—the Lord told her it was urgent that she call me. Praise God. She prayed, I cried, and the tension broke and my perspective changed. After dinner, much baby activity. Continuous Braxton Hicks for 1 hour. Wore me out!

May 28 –recognized fear, uncertainty, lack of faith about baby’s birth. Cried out to the Lord. My resources won’t be sufficient—no confidence in the doctor, etc. I thought hard about God, but couldn’t really get ahold of Him. I thought—how can I have success? Joshua 1:8 came to mind. Decided to use my NAS Bible with the topical index. I had just bought a spiral notebook. Looking up verses on the favor of God and the faithfulness of God. Will meditate daily on them. Dan wants to read them with me. Together we will see our Lord work.

May 29 –I got up early for devotions and prayer. Meditated on my scriptures in my spiral notebook. My faith was built. Elim guy called and we have a house for $300 a month beginning in August in NY.

May 30 –A realtor, called saying the artist couple, the Clarke’s, are very interested in buying our house.

May 31 –Dan set himself to pray. He said: “God what if they offer us $92,000?” THEY DID! He felt God said, “Just sell.”

Signed the agreement to sell. They will call us back tomorrow if they agree with our date changes.

The car fire had sidelined our car. We went to a lot and bought a car. We were all out till 11:30pm.

We felt God’s grace and blessing. Dodge Colt Vista. Seven passenger. But it doesn’t FEEL like seven passenger and there is so little trunk area. Trying not to argue.

122- Following God’s Trail – #4

122- Following God’s Trail – #4

Feb 16, 1984 – Elim called—we’re IN!

What relief came over us! They are concerned about our financial status. Dan assured them we have enough money for one year. They were relieved. They are working on housing for us. Dan intends to fly out—Judy said: “You’ll find we’re like a family here!”  THAT WAS JUST THE MESSAGE GOD GAVE US THROUGH PAUL!!

Danny & Lynn need to sell their house in order to buy our house.

Lima Christian School called us. It would cost $100 a month to send Tim to kindergarten there. Lord, please provide.

I read Karen my entire prayer list and she wrote it down so she and I will be praying the same things.

Feb 24 – Somebody said he did not think we would be going to NY till summer. I am still recovering from this! I wanted so much to get organized, settled, find a new doctor in our new town in time for our baby’s birth. I’m having a hard time adjusting to the possibility of that this is true.

Dan will fast M-W for many issues.

All of January and February Dan has been mightily praying and seeking God’s will. He had felt God said at the end of February he would have all the answers. That seemed like ages ago, and here it is upon us.

One of my librarian friends offered monthly support through a club she belongs to.

I guess if we stay here in Reno till summer God has His definite reasons. I am asking for a promise for this baby, so I can rest about that. I want to know the verse is from God.

Feb 25 –Meet with Judy Smith about USCWM.  (more on USCWM later) I perceived that the Lord has yet some work to do here in Reno that may involve us spreading the vision of the need of the unreached peoples of the world.

This morning I saw clearly that I did not necessarily want His will to be done, but MY WILL to be done. I repented, and was greatly blessed.  Now I am asking, “Reveal Your will and purpose so we can know we belong here longer and make arrangements accordingly.”

Am I waffling or just staying flexible? I just hope the house will sell so we can release some of that money to pay the property taxes which are coming due quickly. GOD KNOWS.

Feb 28 –God sent 3 of His ministers to me to love me and help me readjust my perspective. You are so loving Father.

*Karen – You have always trusted in Me, do not stop now; rest in Me, let Me break the way and go before you. It is your heart I am concerned about—nothing in the physical. Walk with Me, do not try to make Me walk with you. Walk with Me. Abide with Me. Look on Me.

In my devotions today: Matt 7:9 Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

We are humbly and simply asking for God’s direction and help so that we can proceed in doing what we believe is His will.

*JoyceAs Abraham went without knowing, so are you and Dan!

AND THAT WAS IN MY DEVOTIONS YESTERDAY.

Joyce admitted she could not go out like that. What a sweetheart. She prayed all in the church would be available to give to Dan and I financially, etc. She prayed for the Holy Spirit to fill the baby in utero. She prayed for prosperity and a good reliable car.

*Jeanette – suggested cheddar cheese milkshake because low blood sugar could be the reason for the dizziness I was experiencing. She also had a testimony of how God brought money to them from nowhere.

120- Following God’s Trail – #2

120 – Following God’s Trail – #2

Jan 17, 1984 – Loan girl called. Things are happening. We need to put the house on the market.

I went to an appointment with the doctor who had delivered all three boys, and Dan came with me. Baby is due mid-June. I called Mom—she is not excited about our possible soon departure.

We have RECEIVED AND BELIEVED the word of the Lord to us that Elim is for us and that there is a place for us to live. By God’s grace we have begun moving in this direction. We have some clothes bags from the church, and I am sorting and packing all the kids’ clothes and setting aside the infant clothes.

God gave me nine double boxes of the type I wanted just as I walked into the store yesterday, and a parking place right by the door. And since I was alone, the kids were not tagging along for the 6 trips to the car! Thank You for REALLY increasing my faith through this experience, Jesus.

Jan 18—doubts came. Then God reminded me of the word through Paul to “apply now.”

Jan 21—Pete from Elim Fellowship called: 1-there is no work at this time in Japan, 2-there is no family there available to take us in (and they had never had a request like that and had never done it before), 3-he asked about Dan’s preaching experience, 4- and if Dan had ministerial papers. (Dan has had scant preaching experience and is not a licensed minister.)

Were we discouraged? NO! Perhaps God wants us to be forerunners because it is such a great idea to live with a Japanese family in order to become familiar with the food, the language, the culture. I do not see 3 or 4 as handicaps.

Jan 23—we received a letter from Elim!! Positive. Waiting for our Germany Bible School transcripts.

Jan 24—we called to get an appraisal appointment for the solar house.

Jan 25 –appraiser was here today! We put it in God’s hands. We have no floor coverings, just area rugs, 1 bathroom is unfinished, there are no baseboards.

Jan 26 –Looking through an envelope of some Japanese keepsakes: a newspaper, a McDonald’s menu from Tokyo, a place mat from a restaurant–and became so aware of the fact of how little I know about the culture. What am I getting into? HELP! Have we really counted the cost?

Jan 28—I panicked over all that had to be done! Prayed over everything for 1½ hours.

Jan 29—Our pastor preached a message that was right on target for us! Visionaries “see” (understand) there is something they can’t yet see that God wants to make happen for them and for Him. He doesn’t move in our time but in our faith. We participate by seeking Him diligently. The Spirit is our resource.

My resources are in the Spirit. Wow! This sure seems to fit.

Marianne from church offered to support us at Bible school!

115- Have You Heard Of….?

115- Have You Heard of ….

September 18, 1983

Have you heard of a condition called Erythema multiforme? Writing it brings up my emotions as I remember our son’s experience.

Erythema multiforme (EM) is an acute, self-limited, and sometimes recurring skin condition that is considered to be a type IV hypersensitivity reaction associated with certain infections, medications, and other various triggers. Erythema multiforme may be present within a wide spectrum of severity. (from emedicine.medscape.com)

During exceptional events, life is so disorganized that journaling does not happen. My journal skips from September 18 to September 24.

Such was the case when Mark (#3 son), age 18 months, woke up one morning with alarming signs of bruising on his torso. He had not fallen, it was not an injury. We were flummoxed. We took him to the pediatrician, and she put him in the hospital. She said it was a disease that she had heard of but never dealt with.

We immediately called the church prayer chain and friends responded heroically to help us out with babysitting, meals, and every support possible.

Because of Mark’s young age, his hospital crib, which was tall enough for him to stand up in, had strong bars and looked like a cage. The bruising increased and moved around on his body. It looked like he had been severely physically abused. We got many strange looks from people.

Elders from our church and friends came to the hospital to pray.

Mark did exceptionally well in his ordeal. Friends’ prayers brought tons of grace to his spirit and he was not afraid. All of the nurses loved him.

Our friends’ prayers sustained us also.

Life happens. There is no substitute for being in a Bible-teaching church and making good friends there. You can be there for them and they will be there for you in the good times and the stressful times. We have never been more than a few weeks between churches, and in 40 years and living in several US cities we have had many excellent church experiences and only a few bad ones.