Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Prayer that Moves the Heart of God.

I love to pray. I am astounded that the God who created the universe would bend His ear to listen to me as I pour out worship and woes before His throne. One of the delights of my week is gathering on Wednesday nights with one or two others from our church family to pray.

Tonight I was delighted to see our newly assembled Prayer Team early and eager to join me as we pace inside our church tent in prayer. Among these new faces was a neighbor of mine named Lydia. Lydia is one whom God has knit my heart to as I first met her in a time of great suffering and pain. God is stirring something real and tangible inside this woman that is undeniable.

As we spread out throughout our tent I began to pray. As I prayed I could hear the women pouring out their hearts to God and in a brilliant symphony.

Then I began to hear the faint prayer of Lydia.

I tried to keep praying but I was silenced.

Lydia, a women suffering from HIV, living in great poverty with her two children and trying to sort out what it really means to walk with God, repeated a prayer so simple, sincere, and sweet.

Her humble heart repeated again and again.

“Jesus, I trust you.”

“I trust you, Jesus.”

“Jesus, I just really trust you.”

Her prayer was piercingly pure, raw and authentic.

That is a prayer that moves the heart of God.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Call Out.

Deep within my heart I know there is more of God and His marvelous Kingdom.
Yet finding God can be so slippery sometimes.
Some days I seek Him and find Him and then there is this insatiable desire within me that rises up.
I know there is still more.
I am in an undivided pursuit of the One pursuing me.

Then there is a week like this one.
When my soul just gets tired.
My vision becomes blurred by life in all of its fullness.
I know I need Him but I don't know where to get Him.

I peel open His Word and my knotted heart is gently untangled by the power of a simple word of truth spoken at just the right moment.

“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things that you do not know.”
Jeremiah 33: 3

When I find I only have strength to call out, His promises echo back with hope.
All that's required is a call to Him.
He will answer.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Everything I Am I Owe To My Mother.

Today just happens to be the day of birth of a beloved Mum of mine.

Truly everything I am I owe to my Mother. She is such an incredible example of a Godly woman, wife and Mama, let the whole world know. In honour of this fine day of her birth I have compiled a list (In no particular order) of reasons why I adore my Mom. Take a gander and stand in awe at the cutest lady there is, Jean Javens, my Mum...

How I love her. Let me count the ways...

  1. She can polka AND break dance. Not only that but she was purposeful in teaching us kids of hers how. In doing so, she provided me with invaluable skills to pass onto my African kids. Have you ever seen an African teenager trying to do the “corkscrew?” If not, you haven't lived. Her and I also share a deep down desire to someday learn how to Krump. Oh, that will be a wonderful day...Mother/Daughter Krumping!

  1. She loves unconditionally and beyond measure. There has never been a day in my life where I doubted my Mom's love for me. Her love makes me stronger and steadies me.

  1. She is a woman of prayer. I used to get annoyed when I would ask my Mom for advice and she would consistently and simply say NOTHING except, “Let's just pray.” Her wisdom in taking me to the Lord first has not only taught me that habit in my own life but also demonstrated her knowledge that God knows, is real, and is at work. May I always do the same as my Mom.

  1. The woman can laugh and make others laugh. My Mom has a joy and enthusiasm about her that is contagious. She genuinely loves life which makes those around her love life too. (Not to mention love her!)

  1. She is a firm believer in Feng Shui. My Mom can move any piece of furniture around the room all by herself on any given day. If you chance to drop in on her you will surely find her moving the most massive piece of furnishings around her classroom at school or in any old room in her house. Not only can she be likened to Mighty Mouse but the freshness about her decorating style keeps everyone on their toes and in for a new view. Change can always do you some good.

  1. She is an awesome teacher. My Mom loves her students with the same kind of love that she has always lavished on me. Her genuine care and concern not only for the education of her students but also their little lives is heroic. She loves well and in doing so is transforming little pumpkins daily. (Not to mention teaching them to read, write, and do arithmetic.)

  1. She is the queen of the one-handed cartwheel. I am convinced that when she is 99 she will still perform this ever-impressive stunt for her adoring fans. (That would be ME!) I used to be so jealous until I realized not many Moms can or would even attempt such a feat. My Mom would...just ask her.

  1. She is so darling and stylish. My Mom is the most adorable creature I have ever met. She has such a precious little style that expresses her amazing personality and attention to detail. When I grow up I want to be as stylish and stunning as my Mom.

  1. She is my biggest fan. Whether it was cheering me on as I stumbled around the bases in tee-ball, playing drums through the unkind of years of junior high, or finding room for all of my artwork over the years, I have always known my Mom was my biggest fan. Her support and encouragement has always breathed life into whatever I put my hand to. Now living on the other side of the globe and knowing that she is still cheering me on allows me to keep going when challenges come and overall live well.

  1. She knows me. There is this overwhelmingly settling feeling when I know that even if the whole world misunderstands me or turns their back on me, my Mom really, genuinely knows me. She is consistently there to remind me who I am when I seem to lose myself and always believes the very best in and for me. The biggest blessing is that I truly and completely know my Mom. I know her heart, her thoughts, her fantastic little ways. What a treasure that I can count my very own Mum as my dearest and best friend.

Happiest of Birthdays Mommy of Mine.

You are adored and loved in abundance.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Come on and Let God Love You.

I am a youth pastor.

Though I find myself often in total denial hardly able to believe that God has taken this elementary school teacher and sent her to Africa to be a youth pastor, the bottom line is I love it.

I love the youth and how they make me laugh with their antics, make my heart break with the struggles they face and overall just their genuine love for God. They are a delight in every way. As a youth pastor, I get the joy and privilege of seeking God for the powerful words of life that He would want to speak to this next generation. As mentioned previously I am an elementary school teacher (or was) which means “sermon prep” a term and habit embraced widely by pastors around the globe does not come easily. I find myself in this wonderful, humbling state of having the Holy Spirit teach me first hand what it means to be a pastor, prepare sermons, counsel with Godly counsel, and love this flock like Jesus would.

So it was that this last week I found myself with spiritual shovel in hand attempting to dig out that deep, powerful truth from God's Word that would divide bone and marrow in my heart and then the hearts of the Unbound Kids. Did I mention I love it? It's really hard, but OH, I love it. As I let the concept of God being our First Love percolate in my heart and mind all week, I knew God had a fine-tuned heart-piercing Word to speak. My job was to search deeper as to let the Holy Spirit have ultimate wiggle room in the lives of these kids. I took time to quiet myself and God spoke this REALLY simple and yet life changing Word to me that I felt compelled to share with you. My feeling is (and I am pretty sure the Holy Spirit would concur) that if each one of us took this statement and made it a daily habit in our lives and a truth to really live by; our lives, relationships, identities, and world would be transformed. Here it is in all of its simplicity...(a two part sermon to be exact)...

Let God Love You and Love Him Back

My challenge to you in this moment and each day this week is to take a few minutes and quiet your heart and mind. Then allow the miracle of God's love to settle in and get cozy deep within you. Let God love you. His love is the kind of love that will bring wholeness, perspective, forgiveness, security, and like a warm blanket wrapped around you remind you that you are safe. Dear friends, this is my pray for the youth here in Botswana and each one of you whom I love so much...

May your roots grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God”.

Ephesians 3:17-19