Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Holy Sacred Moments with God

Praise the Lord! 

I did it!  I can hardly believe this three year project has come to a close.  At first it seemed a little daunting, I wasn’t sure I was ever going to complete it and now that I’ve finished it, I find myself wishing the journey would never end. 

I have just completed copying down the whole book of Psalms and what an amazing experience it’s been!

This journey through the Psalms has been filled with sweet holy sacred moments with God.

Moments of . . .

               Praise as I have seen God’s love for His people, spilling off the pages.

               Sorrow when God has shot his arrows into my heart and pointed out the sin in my life.
               Awe, as I’ve witnessed His greatness and glory so artistically described in these songs.

Weeping when a truth about God has intersected with my life.

               Joy as I’ve glimpsed God’s deep, overwhelming love for me.

               Inspiration as I’ve learned to write out my own Psalm to God.

What a privilege and honor it has been to copy down God’s truth, to have Him speak deep into my soul through His Word, to witness His absolute power and might over all creation and to experience His deep love for me, His child.

In the last four chapters of the Psalms, each one begins and ends the very same way.  There is no other fitting way to begin and end my writing here than to do the same.  All glory and honor goes to Him!

Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Shining Stars

I felt a drop of sweat roll down my back.  The air was stifling but it mattered little as I watched these beautiful Indian women in their vibrant clothing, heads bent over small whiteboards practicing the illustration I had just demonstrated for them. 

Children leaning over their mothers to see what they were doing and grabbing the pen to help draw out the pictures.  The tears rolled freely down my cheeks as I bore witness to their hunger to learn how to share the Good News of Jesus with others.  Could I find anything better than this to do with my life?
It had been 18 hours in the air (not counting layover times).  Time spent in Delhi catching our breath, another hour flight and a six hour car ride to get to Udhampur in Kashmir, India.  I had landed in a country so foreign from my home town.  Everything assaulted my senses. 

Auto rickshaws driving every which way on the roads.  Children begging in the streets.  Bathrooms that made a Port-a-Jon look like a palace.  Car rides that took my breath away.
A dirty little girl, giving a dirty little boy a hair cut in the median of a chaotic street.  Kenny G playing in the elevator of our hotel.  Garbage everywhere.   Piles of it. 
Cows meandering down busy streets with a bird on their back, eating whatever took their fancy.  People sleeping on concrete dividers in the middle of busy streets with no blanket.   Wonderful, flavorful, spicy Indian food.  A worn out mother sitting against a wall with her child’s head in her lap picking lice from his hair.  Chai tea.  The smell of unwashed bodies, men ironing clothes in a little booth late into the night, and a parade of people burning incense on their way to worship their millions of gods.  It was a beautiful and broken land and I had fallen in love with its people!
I had journeyed with six other people to this town, to hold a conference for women that would empower them to have intentional conversations that would lead to an opportunity for them to share the Good News of Jesus.  My main job of the conference was to teach them how to share the gospel simply and clearly.

As I watched these sixty plus women, so hungry to learn how to share the gospel . . . I thought, I’ll go anywhere, put up with anything to help women like this be empowered with taking the Good News of Jesus to the world!  And I was humbled to be in their presence.  Their devotion to God, commitment to sharing His truth and passion to learn how, challenged me. 
Was I that devoted to God?  Would I travel miles and miles just to learn how to share the gospel more effectively.  What would I be willing to sacrifice?
So many of them face persecution in their homes; are beaten by their husbands or mother-in-laws and yet they are willing to do whatever it takes to share Jesus with those around them.

Experiences like this, have a way of changing you . . .    I see the world, my circumstances, and my choices through a different lens now.
But you don’t have to go to a different country for God to change your heart.  To have Him instill a passion in you to share Jesus with those around you.  But you do have to have a willing heart.  A heart that knows what it means to be rescued by God’s grace and surrendered to whatever He might call you to do.
I love this verse in Daniel that says “ . . . those who lead many to righteousness will shine like the stars forever.  (Daniel 12.3)
These Indian women shine like stars in the universe when they carry the gospel to their neighbors and you and I shine like stars in the universe when we share the Good News of Jesus with those around us too!