233 – Focus on His Presence

 233 – Focus on His Presence, not Fear

November 19, 1986

Fear brings a fight-or-flight response. In my case, I pretty quickly go to panic. Fears can be real or imagined.

Here is the list I had in my journal on this day. It is a continuation of the previous blog:

*fear that I am losing the boys and I’ll not regain ‘control’ once they get distracted 

*fear that they will grow up and be weird

*fear someone will see the house messy

*fear the boys will be seen by others while they are fighting

*fear I will not be able to get Daniel playing happily with the toys and I will lose the boys’ interest in the school work while I am helping him

*fear people will see all of us as we really are, so often at odds, it seems.

Often I recognize the moment the fearful thought comes to me and I find myself going with it instead of holding every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

9pm After my half hour walk, I had a good time praying with Dan. I heard myself saying: “I let go of the boys, I just want to be in Your presence, Jesus.” WHAT PEACE CAME TO ME!!

Could this be the missing link?? Please continue to speak, Lord…. what comes immediately to mind is the book about George Mueller, which I began reading last night. As a newly saved believer, when he focused on his girlfriend and was infatuated with her, he had no communication or peace or presence of God. The moment he turned away from her and chose God, God was there. Is that what happens to me, Lord? Please speak to me!

10:30pm I love these verses, thank You!

In Thy presence is fullness of joy. Psalm 16:11

God is in the midst of her, she will not be moved.; God will help her when morning dawns. Psalm 46:5

Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving, let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms. Psalm 95:2

232 – Sorting Out My Fears

232 – Sorting Out My Fears

November 19, 1986

Let us function in love and brotherly kindness in our home! You are my only hope. There is less friction than ever, but sometimes I want to SCREAM.

I do not want cover everything over and just learn how to COPE!  HEAL ME DEEPLY! I want my reactions to be in love and kindness.

Dan discovered the book Inner Healing by Paula and John Sandford. I stopped at the library at Elim to pick it up before my Prophet’s class last night.

My challenges:

*the boys being disobedient—specifically: playfully disregarding me but enjoying each other!

*boys playing too rough and hurting each other

*Daniel being fussy and distracting us from schoolwork

*the stress of trying to keep to our school schedule

*focusing on the messy house

*anger at not having more food, toys, socks for the boys, personal time for me.

I was praying, and this verse came to my mind: When I am afraid I will put my trust in Thee. Psalm 56:3.

Hmmmm…the root of my anger seems to be FEAR—

I sought the Lord and, He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. Psalm 34:4

to be continued on blog 233!

230 – I Perceive a Grudge

230 – I Perceive a Grudge

November 14, 1986

Something really ‘clicked’ this morning.

God showed me a great boulder, a stronghold of a GRUDGE against Him, which has transferred to Dan and the boys as discontentment. PRAISE GOD.

The GRUDGE resulted in double-mindedness, which Joyce mentioned briefly a couple of weeks ago that her prayer group had received a revelation about.

This is it: I have not released the standards of the world (something I have always judged in my best friend!). My family has always upheld: security, position, home, money in the bank, nice clothes, nice car, having a comfortable life with the world’s goods.

Jesus says that for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven is very difficult. That it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt 19:23. That just came to mind and it makes a lot of sense.

A huge stronghold, not discernable to me until now, has been forming in me. It has worked against my missionary mindset! It has caused angst. In fact, right this second I see that part of the attraction of going to Japan was because the missionaries we visited there all had quaint comfortable houses and had not FORSAKEN ALL THINGS.

You knew it, Jesus, and that is probably why you let us visit Japan. So I could SEE that I could identify with being there in clean Japan. Not in a dry land in a dusty hut with bugs and cooking over an outside fire. I believe You work with us and that it’s fine if I don’t care to go to the jungle or the tundra.

It’s always embarrassing to realize the depth of my SELF. But it is wonderful to be free of its secret hold on me as God brings it into the open.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Ps 139:23-24

224 – A Friend’s Timely Advice

224 – A Friend’s Timely Advice

November 2, 1986

Jenny had been on my mind to call for advice about my crazy, roller-coastering hormones. I had become pregnant on the honeymoon. When we celebrated our 6th anniversary, I had just turned 39 and our fourth son had been born 3 weeks earlier. I experienced only a few weeks in the 6 years where I was not pregnant or nursing. My hormones did not know how to act. I was trying to eat healthy, with no sugar or caffeine at all. I was trying to walk every day and keep my stress down. 

As soon as we walked in the door from church and shopping, the phone rang. It was Pastor Dave in Reno – with Jenny! Neither had called us in New York before. Thank You, Jesus!

Jenny had had a wonderful experience after church that morning and she had been sharing it with the pastor. She had been counseling with two Japanese-speaking women and Dave knew who would really appreciate the story…the ones who hoped to go to Japan someday. We were very excited!

Three hours later Jenny called again to talk about my issue with my hormones. God, You are so faithful. It was such a help to have her understanding and support. She also had 4 children close together and wacky hormonal dips and dives. I have no one here who identifies with me on this, and Jenny was the only one in Reno who ‘got it.’ Validation that one is not c-r-a-z-y is very important.

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Ecclesiastes 4:10

223 -Total Commitment

223 – Total Commitment

October 23, 1986

Acts4:31 – and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they continued to speak the word of God with freedom and boldness and courage. (Amplified)

My Bible note says that it was God’s grace that enabled the disciples to be bold and courageous, and generous. God was calling for total commitment and purity of heart and through them He did signs and wonders.

God healed, He killed (Ananias and Sapphira), He had an angel manifest to open a prison door. He had His disciples oppose the local authorites and take a stand and preach Christ. They took the risks. Because they were filled full of the Holy Spirit and could only obey God.

God loves our total commitment, everything brought before Him continually, and He gives great favor in exchange.

I see us in total commitment:

-taking the risk to leave all and come to Bible School

-receiving favor to homeschool

-the generosity of our church friends and our family

-phone calls, letters, love from friends—and prayers

-my parents devotion to us

-getting in to Dr. Ness’s medical group at the last minute

-favor with landlord

Acts 5:32 And we are witnesses of these things, and the Holy Spirit is also, whom God has bestowed on those who obey Him.

220 – Official End of Pity Party

220 – Official End of Pity Party

October 14, 1986

Father – I’m supposed to ‘forget not His benefits’ (Psalm 103:2) AND I DID FORGET! And I stayed in self pity longer than I should have. When I see it I need to jump right out into counting my blessings and His benefits.

I’m remembering that on SATURDAY all four boys played nicely with David in the morning and he stayed for lunch. Then after he went home and Daniel napped, I got to read Open Heart, Open Home, by Karen Mains for two hours. The other boys played so well together …Oh what a blessing!

On SUNDAY, we had a wonderful morning of worship and teaching at Elim and then a wonderful picnic and fellowship time with the Tarpins and McAloons. Thank You.

On MONDAY, Tracey Belcastro came over and we did her washing. I was able to give her some food and we talked and prayed uninterruptedly for almost 2 hours. Two boys went to Chris Pletcher’s and two boys napped.

MONDAY night Skiffs came to dinner. Sue helped me get it together while Dave (a barber in his former life before he became a student) cut the boys hair!! Praise God.

LET ME FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE PLEASE! LET ME PRAY THROUGH EVERYTHING AND REARRANGE WHAT I CAN IN THE TIGHT SPOTS!!

One thing I see is that the first hours of the day all the boys want to be together with me. Perhaps we could have a really loving and friendly time, playing games, reading our books, till 10 when we have snack. Then try for math and then reading after lunch when Daniel’s in bed.

The book, Open Heart, Open Home is having a wonderful affect on me. I walked all of the kids to the library on Tuesday and let Leah and Nicole stay for lunch (usually I am too stingy to share our food, rationalizing that our income is meager and we need it for ourselves). ALL the neighborhood kids were here ALL afternoon. I let them inside for drinks, mediated their squabbles, played with them a bit, checked on them, talked to them—God is working through this book! Praise Jesus!

AND to top it all off, Janet and Jackie called from Reno! And Pastor Dave called also!

I call an official end to the Pity Party.

*Open Heart, Open Home, by Karen Mains, 1976.

216 – Praising Him Makes a Difference

216- Praising Him Makes a Difference

October 5, 1986

Last night Tim, 8, and Stevie, 7, and I went to Elim to watch a missionary movie about Rochunga Podaite, a Moora Indian in northern India. It was called Beyond the Next Mountain.* It was impactful to all of us. It was fun to have a movie night with my wonderful sons.

October 6

Dan left at 6:15 am and will not be home till 10:30 pm.

It has been quite an amazing day of walking with God, being lifted by Him. I’ve been mostly peaceful—flowing with our school day, even making it interesting and not being so hard nose.

PRAISE TO MY GOD!

It’s 9 pm and I still feel awake and interested in reading my Isaiah chapters and then Swindoll’s ‘Serve’ book. Praising lightens the load.

I do believe God’s grace has lifted me—and I do believe the continuing insistence on praising Him has lifted me. May I never stray from singing Your praises. May I live moment by moment with You, My Lord!

*In 1910 a missionary spent only 5 days with the Hmar people who were called the “worst headhunters” of northern India. A few people were saved and one man believed his son could be used by God to bring the Bible to their people. It’s a great story, 1 ½ hours, on YouTube.

* Chuck Swindoll, Improving Your Serve, 1981.

214 – Praise Looses Chains

214 – Praise Looses Chains

October 3, 1986

I had a wonderful experience of  …our God inhabits the praises of His people…” (a phrase referring to Psalm 22:3)

Burdened, frustrated, overwhelmed and it was only mid-day. I went for a walk in the wind and rain and praised God determinedly and kept praising Him and acknowledging how merciful and compassionate He was. The darkness and the heaviness lifted.

I found myself hearing and welcoming some fun and creative homeschool ideas. You are wonderful and fantastic, Lord!

At home I turned some Christian music up LOUD and kept praising Him.

At home group that night I felt Dan and I were able to minister together.

Later I remembered the song by the Imperials (1979) called Praise the Lord:

“Now Satan is a liar and he wants to make us think
That we are paupers when he knows himself we’re children of the King.
So lift up the mighty shield of faith for the battle must be won,
We know that Jesus Christ has risen so the work’s already done.

Praise the Lord, for the chains that seem to bind you–

serve only to remind you–

that they drop powerless behind you–

when you praise Him.”

211 ~ God is Speaking to Me about His Love

211 – God is Speaking to Me about His Love

September 25, 1986

But the fruit of the Spirit is love…  Galatians 2:20

I surrender to that love. Let me be a carrier of Your love! I cannot fashion it, fabricate it, duplicate it. It is unique to You. It flows from Your life in me as I worship You and praise You and seek You.

Oswald Chambers*: The springs of love are not in us…The springs of love are in the Holy Ghost.

Thank You for Oswald, Lord. He is one of my heroes. He tells it like it is. I love it when I can understand what he is saying! I understand this.

He continues: It is absurd to look for the love of God in our hearts naturally, it is only there when it has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Romans 5:5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

You are my new best friend, Holy Spirit. Please shed love and keep shedding love into my heart.

*My Utmost for His Highest, page 121.

209 ~ I Was Afraid is No Excuse!

209 – ‘I Was Afraid’ is No Excuse!

September 20, 1986

Matthew 25 contains the parable of the talents:

The servant says: Lord, I knew you to be a hard man…and I was afraid, and went and hid your talent…. 24-25

For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have in abundance…. 29

I see this means that God has given each of us talents to use for His purposes and His glory, but fear and self-consciousness, mixed in with laziness and distractibility wreak havoc on good His plans.

Oswald Chambers in My Utmost for His Highest, p 111, says: ‘Never say, I can’t. Never let limitation or natural ability come in. If we have received the Holy Spirit, God expects the work of the Holy Spirit to be manifested in us!’

My prayer:

Holy Spirit, Your conviction is so penetrating. I am undone, humbled. There is no argument, no self-justification of inability which can stand against You and Your call.

You have been raising my self-esteem (actually, my identity of who I am in Christ) so that I could receive this word today. You have been working Your word and Your presence into me, so that my self-esteem is tied with you and who YOU ARE and not who I am.

Impart, I ask in Jesus’ name, the WISDOM I need, the LOVE I need, the PEACE I need.

I rebuke FEAR in Jesus’ name.

I am seeing that most of the fear is an excuse from my lazy nature—’if I cover myself with fear, surely He’ll see and not ask any more of me because I am already so overloaded!’ Deceitful heart—be quiet!!