Sunday, February 24, 2013

Monday Prayer and Fasting

Oh! Prayer and Fasting?? Prayer I can do, but fasting??  What is this all about?? Okay, before we get all freaked out about it, let's just calm down and talk.

This idea came to me a couple of weeks ago through my friend and sister, Yamy, when I was on my mission trip to, Cub@. We are really struggling with one of our children and really feel like we have tried EVERYTHING!!! And it is just becoming a more and more difficult situation. We have tried all of our 'teacher' discipline ideas, all of the parent ideas. We have punished, threatened, followed through, not followed though, you name it we have done it. Then Yamy asked if we have fasted and prayed.  Fasted.  Why is it, as a pastoral family, sometimes it is easier to give the right Biblically sound advice than it is to come up with it for yourself and your family?

Modern day Christians often shy away from the practice of  fasting, but it is all over the Bible. Old AND New Testament. And it says WHEN you fast not IF you fast. In Matthew 6 it says three times WHEN you fast! So it is something we are called to do.

Now, I am not asking you to fast all day. But will you join me on Mondays and fast just one meal? And when you are fasting this meal, will you instead use this time to pray for your children, or the children in your life? Will you pray for them to love God with their whole hearts? Will you pray for them to be in this world but not of it? Will you pray for them to be set apart? Will you pray for them to make the right choices even when the people are them are make the wrong choices?  Will you pray for their spiritual and physical safety? Pray for them to be leaders among their peers so that others will look to them and know Christ because of them.  Pray for their future spouses. Pray for them to have strong Christian friends to lean on. 

The enemy wants our children. Let's not let him have them.  This mom is ready to stand in battle are you with me?

Please, share this link. Imagine what will happen if we spread this message and millions of us begin praying and fasting for our children on Mondays!!! We are have power of Christ in us!! The enemy will not stand a chance!!!


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Back to Basics

I don't even know if I can, at this point, even put into words what I am feeling. Where we are or where we are going. I do know that right now, I am struggling with where God has put me. What his plan is. I am not always sure right now that I want to be where he has put us right now. Kind of blows the name of this blog right out of the water, doesn't it? I don't really remember many times in my life where I have really questioned God's plan for my life like I am right now. Where I have been so unsure. (I am even developing a fondness for overuse of sentence fragments!!)

My depression has really taken hold in a way I don't remember it doing many times in my life. I have started to lean on God in ways I have not in probably 13 or 14 years, and that is good. But it is painful here. These are the places where we grow. We don't grow where things are easy. We don't grow on the mountain tops. We grown in the valleys.
(Great picture of the Valley of the Bones, don't you think?) For me the valley has been a really lonely place. My wonderful husband is fighting his own battles. My kids are being kids.  Enjoying their own lives,  fighting with their siblings. We are preparing them to fight their own spiritual battles. Sometimes they are being used to contribute to my battle, and they don't even know it. AND THAT MAKES ME ANGRY! HOW DARE THE ENEMY USE MY CHILDREN! So we work to educate them and try to learn the same principles that we teach them.

And I find myself spending more and more time in my Bible. And that is good. Learning God's Word. His promises. He will not leave me. He will not forsake me. Even when I let my humanness lets me think he is so far away, I have to remember that is a lie from the enemy. God is with me. His work says so. And God cannot lie. It is not a part of who he is. "The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8 When I go through such a dark season, I have to cling to his promises. I have to stop trying to do things on my own.

Pray. Pray. Pray. Did I mention to pray? It is constant! With each stroke of the keyboard. I pray as I read. As I counsel my children. As I see pictures of friend and family I pray for them. As I see my own picture I pray for myself. As I was dishes I pray (because my children never seem to see all of the dishes that seem to need be washed, THAT I don't understand.) As I make the bed or do the laundry I pray.

And I allow myself to feel my emotions. When I need to cry, I cry. I think my children are tired of seeing Mom cry. But it is better than seeing Mom lose her temper because she has held emotions in for weeks on end. It is important for them to see what they do does effect other people. And when I am just sad it is okay to show that.  

So, God and I working this out.  I am still not sure why I am here, but here I am, willing to do what he wants. Just wondering what that is.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

It's been way too long since I've posted here, but so many things have been running around my head that need a place to be, so, here it is and here I am.

I once told a group of people that my life is nothing like I planned and better than I ever dreamed. Some days I admit I question the second part of that, but I'll get to that later.  

Right now all I can say is I am doing the best I can, to borrow my husband's turn of phrase, "to play follow the leader" with God. The term "Christ-follower" has become so popular these days in place of Christian. But I think it is really just a matter of semantics.  

Either way, are you trying, with every breath you take to follow in Jesus' footsteps? That's right, every. single. step. 

Otherwise, how are you going to know if you are in his will? And it sure makes your life easier. I don't know about you, but I have an extremely sensitive conscious that let's me know when I have stepped out of His will.  It nags at and gives me headaches and stomachaches and keeps me up at night. 

My life is not so easy right now. It sure isn't sunshine and roses, but I have no doubt that I am where God wants me to be. Still working on the what He wants me to do part, but that is becoming clearer......

Monday, June 27, 2011

Our Calling and How You Can Help

Many of you have asked how you can come along side our calling to help the people of Cub@. Here is a letter many of our family and friend have received.  Or will receive this week. I might not have your address. But here it is.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. –Matthew 28:19

Dear Family and Friends,

The past five years, the Lord has given us a heart for the salvation of the people of Cub@. We can’t tell you why God has chosen to put this calling on our hearts and it is not an easy one.  However, He has never promised his calling would be easy, but  He has promised that He will give us what we need to see it through.

In our many visits to Cub@ we have discovered family there that is ours, just as anyone else we call parent, sister, brother, child, etc. Pastor Jose  and his wife Pastora Yamile  are fighting hard for the cause of Christ and the Lord is using them to bring a great many to Christ. It is an incredibly difficult life they live.  The cost of living is high, while income is scarce. The little salary their church has been able to pay them does not begin to cover what it costs for their family to live. Their kingdom work is a full time job that does not allow them to pursue other work to feed and clothe their family. What little they do have, they use to feed and clothe those with even less. 

We have been completing the paperwork to bring Jose and Yamile to the United States later this summer.  They will be sharing their calling and the amazing things that God is doing through them in Cub@. They will also be procuring support for themselves and their sons, Daniel and David, so they can continue to focus on bringing their countrymen to Christ. It is an exciting story you do not want to miss hearing.  For reasons we do not understand, we have been called along side of them on this mission, and we are humbled that God would use us in this way.

We write hoping for your support in our journey to bring them to the U.S. First and foremost, we need your prayers. It is rarely smooth when these two countries work together. They are scheduled to be here at the end of July.  Pray that this happens as scheduled.  Pray there will be no difficulties for Jose and Yamile as they travel from Cuba and into the United States. Please pray for them as they leave their young sons behind while they are here for two months.  Pray for them as they are confronted with the materialism that is rampant in our country.

Additionally, we ask that you pray to see if God is leading you to help financially with their travel to and in the United States.  The trip will cost about $6000.  We have only raised about half of that thus.  Your contribution is tax deductible.  Your check can be made out to Unity United Methodist church with “Cub@ Missions” in the memo line.

Checks can be mailed to:
Unity United Methodist Church
1910 East Broadway
Northwood, Ohio 43619

Your Brother and Sister in Christ,

Kevin and Tonni Jobe

I will be posting where they will be speaking in the States.  For those of you not in Ohio, they will also be in Florida, Mississippi, Eastern Ohio, maybe New York.

It is your prayers we covet the most!!

In Christ!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Beyond Barriers

June 12, 2011

Last Sunday, during the fellowship hour, which is really half an hour, before the worship service, I was approached by one of the Hispanic ladies who attends our worship service. Adriana is a very sweet lady who speaks very little English. I speak very little Spanish, but somehow, God has brought the two of us together.  We are sisters in Christ.  Adriana found me that morning because she could not find my husband who is the pastor.  She brought me to meet her friend, Sarah. Sarah is from Kuwait.  She left Kuwait three months ago because she did not want to be Muslim any longer. In her country, to denounce your faith is a death sentence. Sarah did not speak Spanish. She spoke English fairly well. And she asked me to tell her about Christianity.  So, in the few minutes we had, I did.  Muslims know Jesus as a great prophet, a teacher. So I told her how Christians see Jesus. As Savior. That he died for our sins. That he is more than teacher. He is Lord. If we accept his free gift of salvation we will spend eternity in heaven. In further conversation I discovered neither of the women had a Bible written in English, so my daughter and I went into the worship area and found them each a Bible. I was able to briefly introduce Sarah to my husband and then it was time for service. I missed most of the service as I was teaching Kids Church that Sunday, but after service, my husband’s face was lit up. When I approached him, he told me that after service that Sarah had come to him and wanted to become a Christian. And he was blessed to lead her in prayer.  It was an amazing morning.  God worked beyond and through all of the barriers that we as people would have seen.  And the heavens rejoiced.

Friday, May 27, 2011

What is Our Focus as The Church?

As you are probably aware, Pastor Harold Camping predicted the second coming of Christ was going to happen on May 21, at 6 pm, EST.  Based on his interpretation of the Bible. But the Bible clearly says, "36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. (Matthew 24:36) Yes, as Christians it is easy to sit back now and knowingly quote this verse.  But I think of those people in this man's church who went out and sold EVERYTHING they had and spent their money going around promoting the message, "'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.'” Matthew 4:17b.

Those were the words of Jesus.  

The second coming of Jesus is not a joke.  And yet, it has become one.  To everyone.  To many very very good Christians.  Here is where I confess that I laughed a lot at some of the comments I have seen. "Worst Rapture EVER!" is one that comes to mind.  Lots of  quotes from R. E. M. (a pretty cool song, I admit  and it gives  you a little glimpse into my before children life. I wasn't in this group, but did perform for years and taught afterwards.) Anyway....

I doubt very much that Mr. Camping's focus was truly on Jesus.  It may have started there, but if he was truly Bible focused, he would have remembered Jesus'  very telling words. The Bible does not hide secrets about the second coming of Christ.  It tells us that very clearly.  So, Jesus was not returning on the 21st of May.  Just as He is not coming in October as Mr. Camping is now predicting because he "misread' or 'misinterpreted' or whatever.

But I think, as Christians we need to remember that Jesus IS coming!  Maybe tomorrow.  Maybe sometime yet today.  And it is our job, the only one He gave us,  "19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you." Matthew 28:19-20a

So, maybe we have a little bit to learn from the members of the congregation of Mr. Camping.  First, to hold our pastors accountable, to not just take what they say as, well, gospel.  To study and  be in our Bibles. (As a pastor's wife, I urge you to do this, remember that your pastor is human!)  And to remember that the people all around us need Jesus! They are not going to come into the church seeking Him, necessarily. We have to go and seek them! It is scary sometimes, but their very lives depend on it. And He promised to be with us, and to give us power that is as great as He had here on earth!  Don't believe me?  Look it up!

Because He Lives,


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Hanging Out With My Dad

A few weeks ago I was driving to work at the food pantry our church.  I have to pass the local elementary school to get there and it is at the same time that kids are going to school.

This particular day there was some road construction going on a block away from the school so the sidewalk and street was blocked by some heavy machinery.  And I noticed a dad with his daughter on his back.  He carried her that way out into the busy street around the obstruction so that he knew she would be safe.

And I was struck by how much he loved his daughter.  He galloped around so she would laugh.

And then I was struck that this is how God protects and loves me! He holds onto me, carries me around dangers that I am not even aware of and even gallops around just to hear me laugh!