Friday, December 27, 2013

My words from the Memorial for my Mom

Mom was always quoting scripture, these were two of her favorites that came to mind this morning. 

This is the day that The Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it. 

They that wait upon The Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings as eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. 

Today we bury my mom.  She loved Jesus with all of her heart. She prayed for everyone she knew.  She believed that nothing was impossible with God.  She saw friends healed of tumors, she saw headaches and backaches disappear.  And now she has seen her own healing completed.  

Over and over growing up we would have a need and mom would pray and the need would be met. There were times we would come home to groceries on our porch, money in the mailbox, or the very item we had been praying about just sitting there.  I remember one time my mom wanted a new bible and for weeks she waited to see how God would provide it.  I don't remember how she got it now, but the point is that I watched her wait expectantly.

Shortly after she was saved at a Billy Graham crusade she believed The Lord was telling her to go to Alaska.  She packed her bags and went to Seatac.  She walked up to the counter and asked if anyone had paid for a ticket for her. Praying, she waited all day.  Later that evening she came home thinking perhaps her timing was off, but she never disbelieved God.

In 1984 God called her to go to YWAM for a Crossroads Discipleship Training school in Hawaii so we packed up and went! The trip was life changing for my brother and me. In the Philippines, Hong Kong, China, and Korea we saw raw poverty, orphans, Christians pulling together to serve and to pray. It was in the Philippines where I held a two year old baby the size of an infant that my heart for orphan care was born.  But we learned through that trip that nothing was impossible. We saw God provide financially over and over during that period of months in such a sweet way that built our faith in Christ. 

To say Mom was special would be a gross understatement.  When Mom read Gods word she believed it.  It wasn't a theological study for her or an academic practice, it was truth. Face value. She has a gift of faith and of everything Mom had, that's what I want, her faith, her childlike belief that God will do what His word says.  And a double portion please, God, give me her faith. 


Sunday, December 8, 2013

Authentic Community - Being Real with Y'all

Years ago Doug and I were in a small group weeknight bible study. Every week we shared our heart and our struggles as did others. At the time Doug was unemployed and we felt like the perpetual "needy ones". I remember one night when we decided not to share our struggle, put on a stiff upper lip, and just worship and listen to the study, then leave. After worship, with a worship leader who genuinely loved The Lord and loved people, they asked for prayer requests. Doug and I sat there with our pasted on smiles waiting for the moment to pass so we could move on. The worship leader's wife caught my eye and I quickly looked down. At that point she spoke up with compassion and tears in her eyes "Guys, we need to pray for Doug and Stacy. Can't you all see how much pain they're in and how they're trying to just be strong? The bible says to ask and keep on asking and so let's do that." She reminded us that in our weakness He is strong.

Months later in that same group the couple that were the "leaders" spoke up with a Praise report. Sharing that he had struggled for months and months with an issue with work to the point that he thought he would lose his job, he was relieved that it was all resolved now. 

What a ripoff. He never once invited anyone in. He wanted to be the strong one with all the answers. Honestly, it was pride. Shortly after that the worship leaders moved away and the group disintegrated. I realize there is value in choosing what to share with whom, however if you want true community, you have to be vulnerable and then let God deal with everyone's opinion.

This situation is one we have pondered many times over the years. It's what prompted us to share about feeling called to move to Washington and the subsequent decision to leave because of work and weather. 

We need each other. And let's be honest, we are all needy. Whether it's health or finances, secret sin or just tough life circumstances we are people in need of a savior journeying toward our eternal home where every need will be fulfilled. Let's not hide from each other. Be real.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

It's not called an ADVENTURE for nothin'!

It's not called an adventure for nothin'!

Having exhausted every avenue possible, we feel it is time to join the birds and head south for the winter. This decision may seem abrupt in light of our blog post last week; however we have prayed, listened, worshipped, and waited, as winter has crept up and the weather has dropped far colder than we're used to.

This week, my mom was admitted to the hospital, and since we had originally planned to be with them for Christmas this year, we have decided to head down there now.

"What's after Phoenix?" you ask.  We don't know. But we do know that the next several weeks will hold a beautiful celebration of Our Wonderful Savior's birth with my parents.  

God is good, all the time, even in the dark when we don't see the way.