Forever is a long, long time

The Word

Now THAT’S endurance!

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wonkydoodle

This is the BIG FINISH for the year. Very loosely following a pattern I found on sewnhenge, I actually made TWO (count ’em!) hot pads in TWO (count ’em!) days. OK, so they’re both just the least bit wonkydoodle – they work! And they count as things I finished. No UFO sightings to end the year!

wonky is good, right?

wonky is good, right?

not as wonky as the first one - but it still counts as wonky!

not as wonky as the first one – but it still counts as wonky!

Is there a cure for scrapaddiction? I hope not!

Sooooo, no doubt you’re asking yourself, “Hmmmm . . . . I just wonder what she’ll try next?” Yep, I’m sure that’s the question on your mind at this very minute. Well, I’ll just tell ya. After the wonkydoodles, I’ll be trying my hand at a scrappy oven mitt. I got a really cool pattern from Maria Shell, and I cannot WAIT to give it a try.

Well, that’s it for this year. I would like to end 2013 with some very encouraging words, and start 2014 with the same. So here are some of the most encouraging words I can think of:

The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Proverbs 18:10

No matter what this new year may bring – joys, sorrows, triumphs or trials – I know the LORD is my strong tower. He’s got my back! How ’bout you?

H A P P Y  N E W  Y E A R !

 

. . . tip me over and . . .

teapot. . . pour me out.

Anybody remember that old rhyme? We used to play that little teapot game when I was a kid, complete with hand motions and tipping sideways.

What’s that got to do with today’s message at church, you may ask. Pastor started out talking about Hudson Taylor, a missionary in the 1800s who headed mission trips to China (he started China Inland Mission). He warned all who joined him beforehand what they would face – danger, disease, abuse, maligning, false accusations, and even death – all with the very real possibility of seeing absolutely no one come to the LORD. He went and spread the Word because that was what he felt the LORD had given him to do, not because it was comfortable. He wanted to share the love of Christ with others, both at home and abroad, whether they accepted it or not, and he wanted to be sure anyone who accompanied him on these missions was going for the same reason.  If their main objective wasn’t to honor the Lord and seek to obey Him, then Taylor knew that when hardships hit them, they would falter and fold.

J. Hudson Taylor, Pastor said, was a very intense man and pounded the pulpit when he spoke, often knocking his cup of water over in his zeal.

Pastor Jerry pounded the pulpit to demonstrate, knocking over his cup of water.

This astonished us, and definitely got our attention! It also led into the point of his sermon: what comes out of you when you’re knocked over? Whatever you’re full of will spill out when you are jostled out of your comfort zone. If you’re full of love and patience and the desire to please God, that’s what people will see when you’re facing hardships and trials. If you’re full of self, then selfishness will spill out. He then said that some folks tend to make God the enemy when things don’t go just exactly as they ordered.

Paul and Silas suffered much abuse for sharing the gospel (read Acts 16:16-33). They were maligned, beaten, falsely accused, and wrongfully imprisoned. And what was in their hearts spilled out when they were struck. Instead of screaming about their rights and plotting revenge, they prayed and sang praises to the LORD through it all.  And what was the result? The jailer and his whole family came to the LORD, and I’m sure many of their fellow-prisoners did too. The point I got from this is that, when our world is tipped over, our actions affect others for good or bad, depending on what spills out from the heart.

Hence the little teapot song in my head . . . picturing myself being tipped over from my comfortable position as a pew-warming casual Christian. What comes gushing out of me when my world is upset? I didn’t really like the answer to that.

This is the first of hopefully many in my new category, “Sunday Best,” on this blog. Lord willing, I’d like to share what really touched me in our Sunday morning messages at our new church, much like I did on my recently retired blog, “Don’t Carry the Donkey!” I hope something shared here will help someone else. Thanks for reading!

An Adventure in Expression

Blogging is an adventure in expression, always developing and changing. It’s kind of like growing a garden or a vineyard. You nurture and fertilize to encourage growth of healthy plants, and cut out the dead stuff, and the little suckers that weaken the vine.

This was a line from a blog I just closed due to lack of expression. I have thought about this move for at least six months, but couldn’t bring myself to that final point of decision. Alas, today is the day. And that Daily Prompt challenge about procrastination is to blame! Well . . . maybe not to blame . . . maybe to cite as a reminder of my lack of resolve.

Anyway – the plan is to just add a category here for the times when I really want to share from our Sunday messages at church.  So look for a new item here on the REmissionary – it’s not just about the REmissionary any more. There will be a category about missionary work now too!

Answered Prayers

Did you ever wonder if your prayers are heard?  I have.   This morning’s reading in Luke 1:13-17 tells me that the LORD does indeed hear and answer prayers.  Zacharias and Elizabeth had given up on having children, even though they still prayed for a child.  This part really jumped out at me:

13 “But the angel said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer is heard….”

And then, the promise!

15-17 “For he shall be great in the sight of the LORD…he will turn many of the children of Israel to the LORD their God…to make ready a people prepared for the LORD.”

Wow.

That is what I would love to hear from the LORD, that I would be used to turn someone to Him.  What a privilege!! My prayer today is that if anyone is reading this (besides myself), that the LORD would make Himself manifest to you, and that He would draw you to Himself this day.  And encourage you.  And bless you.  And make His face to shine upon you.