95- Guilty of Faultfinding!

95- Guilty of Faultfinding!

A little article in Guideposts magazine by Catherine Marshall brought a big conviction!

Catherine Marshall was the wife of Peter Marshall a famous Presbyterian pastor who also served as Chaplain of the Senate in Washington DC. She is known for her writings of fiction, non-fiction, and books she edited of her husband’s sermons and prayers. Her best known books are: A Man Called Peter, which was on the NY Bestseller’s List for three years in the 1950’s, and Christy, the story of her mother’s years as a teacher of children in the Appalachians.

February 24, 1983

One day, Catherine asked the Lord if He had any special word for her that day. He told her she was to fast from faultfinding, to accept people as they were and to drop her judgment of them.

Catherine wrote that she was inclined to be a perfectionist, meaning critical of herself and others—“a habit that tends toward judgment.”

She proposed that the cessation of faultfinding leads to creativity, goodwill, mercy, better health, better relationships.

Father–I am the faultfinder of the age! It’s sickening! I judge everyone and everything. I always have an opinion. I feel I see things rightly and others quite often are misguided.

I remember: when I was about 12 my mom said, “You used to be so tactful.”

I need to be done with this very seriously detrimental traitMy God shall supply all my need to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Phil 4:19

You know, Lord, I wonder what Dan thinks I think of him, I find so much fault in others.  Let me try by Your divine enablement, to fast from faultfinding.

From a World MAP (missionary) magazine: do a sober self-evaluation to assess your personal resources for the Lord’s use in future fruitful endeavors.

Remembering: 2 Corinthians 12:9 My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness. This means: sufficient for me to live victoriously despite the devil’s buffeting!

March 4  Lord, You are faithful. I am realizing that what I have NOT LIKED in several people–what has really separated us–has been faultfinding! And I see that I am a chief offender.

90- My Frame of Mind

90- My Frame of Mind

November 5, 1982  

Our awesome little family!                         1982

Something is occurring to me about my frame of mind:

*there will always be kids’ issues to tackle and battle, straightening and picking up in the house, unfinished projects, dishes to do.

*there will always be times when Dan’s away, spaces between my parent’s visits, days without friends.

*I’ll always be pre, post, or having periods, or having a cold, sore throat or canchor sores or detergent burn, needing a haircut; underweight, overweight, having a tooth problem, broken fingernails.

*there will always be people more organized, more stylish, with better kids, or worse, neater houses and cars, greater spiritual gifts and fantastic hobbies.

*our house will always be in stages of getting finished, we will always have free/used furniture, and I will always be dealing with mud.

*I’ll always have hand-me-downs, only a couple of shoes.

*etc., etc.

So why not realize the vanity of wishing things could be different and of being discouraged. My family pattern is not like when I was living at home. So what??? Where would I rather be? There is no contest: I am GLAD I am right here!

So BE JOYFUL IN CHRIST!

Savor the things of God.

Seek pleasing Him.

84- Reflections on My Month of Teaching at the Christian School

84- Reflections On My Month of Teaching at the Christian School

October 1, 1982

My last day of teaching at Sierra Christian School.

I am so relieved. The students and the staff are such a wonderful group. I pray they get a top-notch replacement for me. I learned so much about so much!

  1. Go to God, not to friends, for decision making. I believe there is wisdom in counsel so I took Karen’s, John’s, and my mom’s, “Pro”-counsel. I did not hear any “Anti”-counsel. And I did NOT earnestly seek God. I let me, and Dan let me, flow into it. Glad my husband is open-handed with me and not controlling.
  2. I gained self worth. Getting dressed up every day, being able to get out, feel important and needed, praying with the adult staff daily, being loved and accepted by them, fairly adequately teaching an unfamiliar subject, being accepted by the students, and learning that I like those age groups.
  3. I appreciate being able to CHOOSE motherhood. I saw that I can expect more out of Timmy and Stephen as far as playing independently.
  4. I saw me during that time being a witch often at home—ug! May I cope by the Spirit and not by the flesh, O Lord.
  5. I choose to have devotional time—rather than to go out of my home and be distracted by a job. Devotions can happen during the boys’ nap time. O Lord, grant that I may use this time wisely and to Your glory. I long to pray and be in the Word and in fellowship with You. I would rather pray for the students than try to teach them about telescopes and stars.

Thank You, Lord, for the experience, the lessons, the new relationships. I LOVE YOU.

83- Relief Financially and with Birth Control Decision

83- Relief Financially and With Birth Control Decision

Sept 10, 1982

With the money God provided through Darrell’s gift, we tithed a chunk. Amen. Payed $1,100 worth of bills! Bought linoleum for the dining room and hall for $60 (we had looked at the same brand earlier for $500).

Praise the Lord for the attitude in both of us that we would be very sensible—so that the Lord’s money could be used many places. We found two area rugs: living room $94 and boys’ room $64, and we found bamboo shades on sale. By Your grace, Lord, they’ll be perfect!

We told Sister Julianna [the lady who was coaching us with Natural Family Planning] we were going to trust the Lord for our birth control. Her reaction floored me, but was a great confirmation. She said, “that’s the ideal, the best you could do—walk by faith, totally trusting God.” We’re going to meet again in a month for dinner here, Lord willing, as friends without the mucous charting concerns. She said her program “is a crutch, as are all the other means of birth control. God is still the master planner.”

Dan is building a fence for our friends in exchange for a 20 cu ft fridge. Praise God.

82- Look Up!

82- Look Up!

August 18, 1982

Colossians 3:2-3 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ with God.

On the road of life I am to be looking up to Jesus and keeping my faith in Him for all things!

AND YET, part of me argues:

because all the things on earth that I’m not supposed to be looking at are continually vying for my attention!

*bare cement floors

*only 2 doors (our bedroom and one bathroom)

*no window coverings in living room and guest room

*weedy yard (though not like our neighbors’ yards)

*no snow tires on vehicles, but decent regular tires

*Dan: working only part-time, sick with chest cold

*me: allergies, pooped, hair growing and growing, no money for haircut or blood panel or vitamins

I could go on, but it seems ridiculous to list the things I’m not supposed to be putting my mind on!

These last few days have been difficult. They remind me how much grace comes from reading the Word and humbly asking for it.

August 19

Two negative attitudes are having a great effect of me:

1– that God will not supply our needs for window coverings (there are 32 windows in this house), and floor coverings—therefore we will be cold this winter, get sick, maybe even die.

God speaks:

1 Timothy 6:6-8 But godliness with contentment is great gain; for we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. AND HAVING FOOD AND RAIMENT LET US BE THEREWITH CONTENT.

2being inside day in and day out, at home, is making me nervous. Taking the three boys out to visit and shopping makes me nervous.

God speaks:

Colossians 3:12 Put on, therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, tender mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering, forebearing, forgiving…

v 14 and above all put on love which is the bond of perfectness

v 15 and let the peace of God rule in your hearts to which also ye are called in one body; and be thankful.

v 16 Let the Word dwell richly in you.

September 2

Yesterday morning we prayed about money situation—bills due, vitamins needed, account overdrawn. In the mail came $50. And Dan has a job today that will bring money in.

September 6 Yesterday we received a check from Dan’s dad because he cashed in his life insurance policy –$5,140. PRAISE GOD. More than we expected! Humbled and grateful.

78- Answered Prayer, Unanswered Prayer

78- Answered Prayers, Unanswered Prayers

Mark about 5 months old

Because my Aunt Ida was in critical condition in the hospital, Mark and I flew to Oxnard to visit her. Although she was a serious Catholic I was not sure if she had made her peace with God through Jesus.

 

August 1, 1982

I feel the need to be purposeful and specific in prayer during this visit home….great spiritual battle for Ida’s soul.

*get to the hospital in time    YES  [meaning: before she died. I did!]

*see Aunt Ida, be able to talk to her alone    YES

*Mark sleep well   YES

*Mark and I stay healthy   MOSTLY

*encourage Connie regarding her faith in Christ   YES

*have special time with Connie      YES

*pray specifically daily   YES

*memorize John 5:24   NO

*do discipleship book daily or twice daily   NO

*have time with Marsha, love her     YES

*be glorified through me to my parents   ?hope so!

*talk to Nancy   NO

*talk to Jane   YES

*talk to nurses   NO

*talk to fellow travelers   YES   YES   YES!

*receive specific knowledge, verses about Dan, our family, raising the boys   NO

*ample opportunity to talk to Uncle Larry   NO

*boldness from the Spirit –moving in evangelism and mercy for Larry   NO

*a decision for Christ from Larry   NO

*clear ‘word’ for Ida from You   NO –I had to wear a surgical mask because of my sore throat and she had trouble understanding me

*Dan strengthened at home, consistent with boys, able to get them to our friends easily for babysitting each day   YES, it seems to have gone very well.

It looks like Dad even had time to cut the boys’ hair.

76- A Scare, But We Had Peace

76- A Scare, But We Had Peace

There was a bad guy outside.

July 15, 1982

Father, two nights ago when Gramma who lived next door called late to say the sheriff believed a murderer was in our neighborhood, my blood ran cold! Fear really gripped me. We closed all of our windows to the cool night air that would have cooled the house, we prayed. Dan read Psalm 91, and I continued reading aloud in the psalms. We both fell asleep in peace.

Father, why can’t I come to that same peace about the stacks of unpacked boxes and being consistent in rearing the boys? With the stranger in the night, I knew quickly that it was totally beyond me to do any more than write down the sheriff’s number in a prominent place and make sure the doors were locked, and then take refuge in the Word. Would you bring me to that same place of peace with the boys?

This is my job: wife, mother, homemaker. This is my daily work. It is inside the home.

July 21

When I worked outside my home at the Christian School for a month, I got up in plenty of time to shower, fix my hair and makeup, do devotions, do any preparations that were necessary. That was it. I was on time, neat, tidy, ready to do my best. I went to the job even if I was tired. I got up at the same time every day even if I was tired.

I said NO to distractions that would interfere with me doing my best at the task to which I was assigned.

I had just given myself a pep talk!

61- Weak in Myself, But Strong in Christ

61- Weak in Myself,

But Strong in Christ

Sept 17, 1981

During this season and for many years to follow, my focus was on my sin, my weaknesses, my failing to measure up. I was always comparing myself to others and swinging between pride and humiliation, self-righteousness and guilt. And I had lots of verses to back up my whining. Here is one of them:

2 Corinthians 12:8-10  And He said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee; for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.

To me this meant that if Paul was taking pleasure in negative experiences and trials, then I was supposed to also. Therefore, to be weak and distressed seemed like an acceptable spiritual thing. But I was conflicted because I was so miserable! And wasn’t Jesus’ joy supposed to be my strength?

Paul in Prison
Paul in Prison, by Rembrandt. Hmmm, this must have been just before he began to sing praises to the Lord!

Merlin Carothers wrote Prison to Praise in 1970. It is based on Ephesians 5:20 giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ and 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for You. Merlin helped millions of people escape from the ‘prison’ of their circumstances by encouraging them to praise God FOR the very thing that was the main problem in their lives. Thankfulness showed God that I trusted Him even in the midst of my trouble–much as Paul and Silas were set free in their spirits as they sang praises to God in their shackles.  

 Lord, I have been conscious of praising You for these weaknesses, which used to only condemn me and depress me. This has helped me considerably, because I seem to be free of being in bondage to them! And JOY came with the praising! 

Over the years having a praising and rejoicing and thankful heart have been of primary importance to my relationship with Christ. 

Sept 18, 1981  Praise to the Lord for opening my eyes this morning as I read Ephesians 1. Our blessings from God are surely all because of Christ, in Christ, through Christ. Thank You, Jesus.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10

60- Lord, Are We Compromising or Obeying?

60- Lord, Are We Compromising or Obeying?

Aug 31, 1981 The following is paraphrased from my journal entry:

I was asking myself if we were compromising by so easily letting the vision about going to Japan die. Japan had seemed so inviting to Dan because our whole family would be involved in ministry and because there were no language school requirements. A great perk was that by spending time in Japan we had already met the people we would be working with if we moved there to be missionaries. Besides, we had undeniable proof that Jesus had encouraged our trip, had financed it, and blessed it!

We heard a message taken from 1 Samuel 11 that spoke of Saul going back to plowing and his old way of living after his encounter with the prophet Samuel. I thought of Dan going back to his old profession of carpentry and our old way of living in America after our encounter with God regarding His leading us to Japan. The pastor’s point in his message was that God is interested in teaching us to rely on His Spirit. 

So although we had laid our missionary ideals down, I was wondering if we should have INSTEAD proceeded to Japan and relied on the Holy Spirit for everything we needed in the way of spiritual power, wisdom and discernment.

We both were talking to God about it. I was praying the verses I had prayed before we went to Japan:

Let Thy work appear to Thy servants, and Thy majesty to their children, and let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; and do confirm for us the work of our hands; yes, confirm the work of our hands. Ps 90:16-17

Japanese art: Japanese nativity, early 19th century
Japanese art: Japanese nativity, early 19th century. I LOVE THIS!!

58- The Holy Spirit

58- The Holy Spirit

In Japan we had acutely realized our need for more teaching, more enlightenment, more growth in Christ.

When we returned from Japan we continued attending the EFree church. Yet, soon after we returned, we became very interested when a couple in the church began talking about the Holy Spirit. The subject was not taken up by the leadership as a topic to be pursued, but our interest was keen. We chose to change churches to pursue our quest for a deeper relationship with Jesus. Life Center church became our home church for many years.

Through new friends, we met Dick Munn and he prayed over us for the baptism of the Holy Spirit. When he was praying for Dan, he said his hands got very very hot and Dan began speaking in tongues fluently. I, on the other hand, while experiencing the same man’s prayers on the same night needed to pursued the Lord on and off for months to receive my prayer language!

woman praying
Crying out to the Lord to receive my prayer language.

Many days when the boys went down for their naps, I would kneel by our bed and I would seek God on the matter. One day I heard very clearly: “You don’t want to let go of control of your tongue. You are not willing to trust Me in this.” The conviction came, and I realized He was right! I agreed with Him and turned fully to Him, and began giving Him full access to renewing my mind and releasing my language. And finally after more seeking and praying tongues came. Thank You, Jesus.

At Life Center we joined the class that one of the elders, Bruce McKaig, was teaching about HEALING. This fed our hungry spirits and we began putting the teachings to use in our home, taking advantage of most illnesses to practice our new faith. We still went to the doctor. We combined faith and medicine.

God had arrested our attention in Japan that we were blocked in spiritual power. The couple who was seeking Holy Spirit fullness piqued our interest so that we pursued the Holy Spirit in a church that believed in His real power to heal and deliver. The prayer in the Munn’s home brought us to the baptism in the Holy Spirit, and the healing class expanded personal power and increased our faith in our knowledge of the Spirit’s power.

We were also reading books like They Speak with Other Tongues by John Sherrill, which is Episcopal priest’s Dennis Bennett’s story of the experience he had in 1960 of his personal Pentecost. I also read Prison to Praise, by Merlin Carothers. When everything seemed to be against him, he was advised by a Christian to stop complaining about his problems and start praising God FOR each problem! It changed his life and sharing this principle became his world-wide ministry, and it continues today after his death. When he was baptized in the Spirit, he was filled with overwhelming love for everyone he saw. The book can be accessed online as a pdf.