January 31, 2010

More than Enough

It’s early and it’s cold. I think church is off today and if it’s not, I don’t think we are making it out of the driveway.

Yesterday’s words were “Stop and Consider”

Here’s some pics to consider the Lord’s handiwork this morning.

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Today’s Reading Job 40:6 through 42:17

God continues to answer Job (and I just realized that I stopped too soon in yesterday’s reading…oops)

God continues to make His point to Job by asking rhetorical questions. Can you imagine Job’s face/expression during all this?

Job answers to him that “I am unworthy.” God continues to answer Job out of the storm and tells him to “Brace yourself like a man. I will question you and you will answer me” That part just makes me chuckle. God continues to ask Job questions and point out facts…A lot of Can you? Do you? You can just imagine Job’s head hanging down. He replies to the Lord in chapter 42 and admits “Surely I spoke of things I do not understand, things too wonderful for me to know.” He then repents in dust and ashes.

God then rebukes Job’s friends. (Imagine their shock!) and tells them that Job will pray for them and He will accept his prayer and He will not deal with them according to their folly. OUCH!

The Word says that the Lord blesses the latter part of his life even more than the first and gave him twice as much.

Finally, Job’s life begins to be restored. As I contemplate that, I wonder what my response would be in such a trial.

To lose EVERYTHING---would my God still be enough for me?


January 30, 2010

Stop and Consider

Well, I got behind yesterday…Woke up at 8 needing to be at co-op before 9. Let’s just say the morning started out crazy!

Yesterday was a good day though—received some dissection seminar registrations that I am doing to raise funds for Bekah and I to go to Guatemala through Forever Changed International. Yes, I do dissection seminars to raise funds…kinda crazy huh? But I love to do that, most home school moms don’t so it’s a win-win!

We also were blessed to attend and help lead an At the End of Slavery party hosted by a friend. I love to share the work of IJM with other people and am so blessed to hear them moved by the plight of people across the world. God is good.

Yesterday and Today’s Reading

Job 35 through 37:24 and Job 38:1 through 40:5

In this passage Elihu continues on with his thoughts about Job, God and His Ways. Again, I think that even though he is misguided in some of his thoughts concerning the situation—alot of what he is saying has truth in it.

I particularly like 35:27 on. I love thinking about how God governs the natural world. As Creator of it and Keeper of it today.

vs 14. he tells Job to “stop and consider God’s wonders” As a gal who LOVES science –I love that. God’s creation is a wonder. As I teach my classes at co-op and my children, I love to discover how God created each animal with exactly what they need to survive. It’s amazing and I love to see the ‘wow’ in kids’ eyes as they see that for themselves.

Stop and consider God’s wonders today. Stop, consider, and be amazed.

Below is a view that I love. It is on they way to Bekah’s spanish tutor’s house. I comment on it so much that Bekah automatically says “Yes mom, I know, it’s beautiful”

I love to imagine God’s hand sculpting these mountains during creation.

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January 28, 2010

Please pray for the one still needing to be rescued


Giving Thanks for the One…

Please join us in thanking God for the success of a very small operation in South Asia this morning.

So far, one trafficked girl has been rescued and our team is currently looking for a second, for whom we received a specific referral. Please pray that this girl will be found quickly and that both girls will be able to begin the process of healing and restoration today.

To offer prayers and encouragement to the IJM staff, please go to www.ijminstitute.org

Calling The Tooth Fairy!

Another tooth gone!

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January 27, 2010

A Heart of Worship

A treat for you today...Here is my Rachel singing I Could Sing of Your Love Forever. Rachel is my child who LOVES to worship and it blesses this momma's heart. Worship is one of my passions and I love to worship God in song. It feeds my soul.

She is great to ride in the car with because she loves to turn the music up loud and sing! When she was little, I'd look in the backseat and she'd have her hands raised just praising the Lord! I am excited to see how God continues to lead her beautiful heart. Currently she wants to be an animal rescuer and singer when she grows up :)


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Today’s Reading:

Job 32:1 through 34:37

Well, finally, our 3 friends decide to keep quiet! Took long enough didn’t it? Now, Elihu decides to take his turn to rebuke Job—though for a different reason than our 3 friends. Elihu says that “ For I am full of words and the spirit within me compels me; inside I am like bottled-up wine ready to burst. I must speak and find relief.”

I can so relate to that statement! How about you? Ever been ready to burst while waiting for others to speak? It’s all you can do to not speak? And then usually I am wishing I had kept my mouth shut…I have always wanted to have that gentle/quiet spirit the Bible speaks of like my good friend, Beth. ( I know you are reading this Beth—for real…I have always wanted to your gentle nature) But alas, I am me, big mouth and all.

But there are many times where it has been God’s spirit compelling me. Those times where you just have to share God’s faithfulness, or His words or His encouragement. Ever have those times where you are like “whoa, where did that come from?” I LOVE that! It testifies to the Spirit of God within me.

Elihu thinks that God is speaking to Job, but Job just isn’t listening. Alot of what Elihu is saying has truth in it. Just like the other friends, though, he thinks he knows the entire situation and speaks to what he thinks the issue is. A point to know is that sometimes we just don’t know. We all like to think we have God figured out. We don’t. It makes me laugh when he says in 33:33—“Be silent and I will teach you wisdom” Can you imagine if I told one of you “Now hush, I am going to teach you wisdom.” ? I am pretty sure most of you would throw me out on my tail!

Chapter 34 ends with a harsh note accusing Job of answering like a wicked man. Ouch. Hang in there Job…It’s almost over.

IJM Prayer Gathering

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Greg and I are very excited to attend the International Justice Mission’s Global Prayer Gathering this year. (thanks to some wonderful friends who agreed to watch my kiddos for the weekend!). This is in DC and at the Sheraton at Tyson’s Corner. Anyone want to join us? The link to sign up is http://www.ijm.org/gpg

The Global Prayer Gathering brings together staff and friends of IJM from all over the world for a time of seeking God and seeking justice for victims of oppression.

Together we will draw near to God in prayer, we will celebrate what God has done and we will petition for continued rescue of those who are being oppressed and help for our workers in the field.

Throughout the weekend, IJM staff from Asia, Africa, Latin America, North America and Europe will share about recent casework victories for victims of violent oppression, as well as the joys, challenges and prayer needs of their field offices. Sara Groves and Lamont Hiebert and Ten Shekel Shirt will lead us in worship.

We hope that you will join with us in celebration of God’s presence and in prayer for God’s power in 2010. Your prayers are vital to this work of justice.

To see all the details go to http://www.ijm.org/gpg

January 26, 2010

Recipe for Siga Wat

One of the joys of adopting an older child is the culture that they bring with them to America. Himbasha is like chocolate to Ab. See himbasha recipe here.

I really enjoy trying and making the different recipes and making Ab feel loved with them.

Don’t be scared to play with it to get the taste you like. Below are pictures of Ab (and Bekah eating it too!) with his Misir Wat (lentils).

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Ethiopian Recipe:

Here is one that I’ve played with for a while and like.

Siga Wat (you will also see it spelled Sega Wot) aka Red Beef Stew

2-3 pounds of beef cubed

1-2 large onions fine chopped

veg oil enough to sauté meat in

5 tsp minced garlic

2 tsp minced ginger

1/4 cup berbere

2 tsp wot kimem

2 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

1/2 can to 1 can crushed tomatoes depending on how much tomato taste you want.

If I have the spiced butter made up (Niter Kebbeh) I will add that to it at the end also.

In large pot simmer the onion and garlic until lightly brown. Add berbere and continue to simmer at how heat stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes. Add beef and water and tomatoes..let simmer until beef is done. When done cooking add wot kimem and salt. Serve with injera.

I let it simmer until it is very tender. One thing I’ve learned is that the longer it simmers the hotter it gets.

I also have a recipe for a milder version. I’ll share it soon! (and the misir wat)

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Today’s Reading

Job 30:1 through 31:40

Geez, so on top of all his suffering Job is now being mocked by those around him. They ‘detest me and keep their distance and do not hesitate to spit in my face.’ He feels his life ebbing away and feels as if God has ‘thrown him in the mud.’ Job feels as if he has cried out to God and He does not answer. He begins to state all the things that he has done and he hasn’t done. He then declares for the Almighty to answer him and let his accuser put his indictment in writing. Job is desperate for reasons why.

I am ready for God to answer Job! So tempted to skip ahead!

Our Adoption Testimony



We have been blessed to be able to share our adoption testimony over at a friend's blog: Click below to go to it.


Take a walk over there and check it out--and read the other testimonies while you are at and see how God is moving in amazing ways!

January 25, 2010

Job, Zambia, and falling babies

Here are a couple of pics from sharing with the AWANA kids about Zambia—the culture and what God is doing there. I was able to share a miracle that Lisa, Patti, and I saw first hand—it just does something for your soul to testify about God’s faithfulness and miracles. To read about that miracle-click here.

Here I am showing the kids the ‘shatanga’. This is a horrible picture of me (no offense Rick) but in effort to keep myself humble—I will put it up. :)

21541_1254982387915_1630231960_635266_2759633_nRoger is ‘hungry’ here and I am telling him that Jesus loves him and just walk away. We talked about how we also need to help those who Jesus loves.

21541_1254982427916_1630231960_635267_3956193_nRoger is helping me put my baby on my back. If I ever decide to live in Zambia (or rather God decides, I decided once to move there and He overruled me) I am going to need serious help learning how to do that. I kept dropping my baby while practicing at home…I think that’s a big no-no!

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I love sharing about God’s heart for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the oppressed. The main verse I shared was this:

He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. Proverbs 14:31

The kid’s hearts were open…as they usually are. God is good and faithful.

Today’s reading: Job 26:1 through 29:25

Job is defending himself again that he is righteous and is basically trying to figure out where God is. You hear his longing for what he calls “when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house”. He is in such despair and pain and just plain not understanding why he is going through this heartache. Just think…Job had no idea of the conversation between God and Satan. He didn’t know the spiritual side of what was going on. He didn’t know that God was assured of his ability to withstand. He didn’t know that God had called him upright and blameless and said that there was no one on earth like him. Doesn’t that sound like a proud Father speaking of his son? Just think if Job had known that? Would it have helped to know the story behind his pain? I don’t know but---Well, I’m sure he knows now…as he sits in fellowship with God.

Sometimes we just don’t get to know. We just have to muddle through it and rely on God. I am heartbroken for some friends who are going through a time of injustice right now. We don’t understand…and it hurts. A fallen world brings us pain quite often. I am thankful that we have Jesus to run to—even when we don’t understand.


Seeking Justice

Job 22:1 through 25:6 is our reading for today!

Geez…that was kind of depressing wasn’t it? There were some good spots (Job 22:21-30 was one)

I think we all have had time of asking “Where is God? Where is His justice? Why isn’t He doing anything?” 24:23 says it well- “ He may let them rest in a feeling of security but his eyes are on their ways”

When I began my journey seeking justice, I started reading books on genocide and other such horrific events. Books on Cambodia, Rwanda, the Holocaust…needless to say after a while, it began to affect me. The depth of human depravity and hatred really tore a chunk out of my soul. It made me furious. Then to find out that such things are still currently existing.

There are more slaves today in the world than any other time in history (National Geographic estimates the number at 27 million.) That’s outrageous.

There are 15 million children in bonded slavery in India alone. That’s twice the size of the people in my state of VA.

Human trafficking generates a profit in excess of 12 billion dollars each year selling victims into slavery and sexual bondage…It’s true--check it out. Research yourself.

Here is what brought me hope. That there are people and organizations that God had put a passion into their heart to do something. People who are using their skills to make a difference and fight oppression all over the world through organizations such as International Justice Mission. People who are risking their lives to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves. People are being rescued, perpetrators are being held accountable, and lives are being restored! That brings me hope. God IS doing something and He gives us the privilege of joining in the fight. If you would like to join in, I encourage you to check out IJM and go to IJM Institute . At the institute, you are given up to date prayer requests on what to pray for—and you can leave comments to people in the field. A blessing to those who risk their lives and a blessing to us to be able to be a part.

“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God? “ Micah 6:8

“Seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.” Isaiah 1:17

Here is a picture of lives changed. This family worked as slaves in a rice mill. The little baby was born in that rice mill. The family was rescued when she was beginning her 2nd day of life. This family now has life and hope. The husband has a job, the eldest will go to school. Lives that are transformed because people chose to not look away and to do something—seek justice on their behalf. To read more of Ammani’s story, click here.

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If you would like to get involved with IJM---feel free to email me.

January 24, 2010

God’s Faithfulness to Grassroots Heroes

Greg and I had the privilege of hosting for a night Vincent Luwizhi. Vince is a Zimbabwean YWAM community developer and is going to be partnering with Grassroots Heroes at Grippis Farm. I am so excited to have him on with us. We are already super blessed to be working with Ron and Angela Chideme with YWAM and God just continues to send His blessings to us.

I will be able to share his bio with you soon. I can tell you that he is a man who heart is on fire for God and for those God sends him to help. A man of faith. We were blessed to be able to hear his story (and poor guy, I asked question after question.) I love how God can take people with different backgrounds, locations, and opinions and create a kinship and passion to serve the same squatter’s village in Zambia. God is faithful and to show that, He sent us a brother in Christ, Vince.

Here is a picture of the squatter’s village…the building that is white is Mango Grove school (which will need to be moved now due to government land allocation)

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Another view from the ‘mountain’

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Today’s Reading

Job 19:1 through 21:34

Again we have Job responding, and then his friend Zophar, and then Job responds again.

The verse below jumped out at me with flashing lights. Even in Job’s despair and feeling as God is out to get him—He searched down his heart and finds his faith in God. It’s in there—underneath all those feelings and emotions…and Job declares:

19:25 “I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes—I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”

January 23, 2010

How much more of Job?

Job 15:1 through 18:21

I have some other things that I want to share today that I will post about later…I wanted to touch on our reading first.

Chapter 15 Eliphaz again tries to set Job ‘straight’. He doesn’t believe Job’s words and lashes out against him. Poor Job—I can’t imagine being in such grief, pain, and despair and then having your friends ‘encourage’ in such a way.

Chapter 16 Job’s rebuke back to them starts with “miserable comforters are you all!” I agree Job! Job tells them that if the roles were reversed that he could make fine speeches –but he would bring encouragement, comfort, and relief. Job is making a statement here and telling his friends that this is what he needs! Instead of trying to find the source of his ‘punishment’ as they call it—comfort him—encourage him! May this be a lesson to us all. Sometimes we want to teach or offer words of wisdom or advice, when really, we just need to be there to cry, to love, and to just be.

Chapter 17..Job continues to declare that his face is red with weeping, his eyes are dim with grief, his frame is a shadow and his spirit is broken. A broken man.

Chapter 18 Another pitiful response from a friend.

Man..how much more of Job? Lord, teach us through your Word…even when it’s hard to read.

January 22, 2010

Crying out to Jesus

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Before we start our reading of Job, I wanted to share a pic of 2 of my favorite guys. Clyde is the little fellow who looks like he is up to something. He’s a crazy dog who makes us laugh. (yes, we are animal loving people!) The other is my dad. My dad is currently fighting his 3rd fight against cancer. It has been frustrating journey in so many ways. But it has also had its moments of special blessings. I was so blessed to see the number of people who came out to a cake walk in the tiny town of Craigsville—so many in fact that close to $6000 was raised! From a cake walk! Crazy good! To see the people there that loved my dad and supported him was a wonderful blessing.

I have been blessed to also see how he has handled his cancer. He has had his bad times for sure. But he has fought the fight—never giving up. I hope if I ever am forced to, that I will fight with the same bravery and strength that he has.

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Dad with Ab. Notice Ab’s necklace..It’s a turkey spur necklace. Dad made one for him and Josh. That’s my dad! :)

dad's cake walk 061dad's cake walk 020 Dad and Barbaradad's cake walk 021 - Copy Bekah and Ab going for a cake!dad's cake walk 042 Rachel and Ab trying for one…Rachel won 4 that night!

dad's cake walk 015 - Copy Joshua was really wanting a cake! dad's cake walk 128 Towards the end of then night…It lasted until 11pm because there were so many cakes! We are looking pretty tired here! But it was such a wonderful thing to see.

On to our reading…..

Job 12:1 through 14:22

Job’s rebuke….well.well.well….Job kinda lets them have it here doesn’t he?

A couple of interesting things…12:4 “I have become the laughingstock to my friends” That hurts doesn’t it? When your friends just don’t understand you? your pain, your desires? your passions? your heart? I feel so bad for Job here.

Chapter 13 continues on with his rebuke and righteous indignation. He asks his friends “would it turn out well if He were to examine you?” OUCH!

Here is the part I love…”Though he slay me, yet will I hope in Him.” (13:15) No matter what Job is feeling, no matter his hurts and his losses—he still places his hope in God.

Here is my favorite part of Job so far “I will wait for my renewal to come. You will call and I will answer you; you will long for the creature your hands have made. Surely then you will count my steps but not keep track of my sin. My offenses will be sealed up in a bag; you will cover over my sin.” (14:14b-17) A beautiful picture of New Testament grace!

However Job just as quickly jumps back into despair. Just like we can do at times…

Here is what I have learned through life—a lot of times we can feel so many emotions and those emotions can quickly take over. Those who know me well, know that I am an emotional creature. Cry over anything..Seriously. I cried in cartoon movies. Open Season, Monsters Inc. –Yep, I cried. Went to take the kids to Charlotte’s Web and I was crying so bad that I waited to leave until all the people left so I wouldn’t be seen sobbing..you know, that crying where you make weird noises --like a big baby! Sometimes those emotions can also overtake me! Make me do things I shouldn’t and say things I shouldn’t.

Many times our emotions can have more to do with the junk in our past and hurts in our heart than what is really going on around us. Other times we are in serious real pain that threatens are beliefs and faith. Friends—at these times—don’t rely on those emotions! Feel them, identify them and pour them out to God. If you are mad—tell Him! Hurt—cry out to Him! Then go back to what you KNOW about God. What you KNOW to be true. You KNOW that He is love. (though you might not feel loved) You KNOW that He is good. You KNOW that He is ever present (though you may feel like He is far away)

Keep friends around that will remind you of that when it begins to slip away and your faith is faltering.

Please testify in the comments about what you KNOW to be true of God. Let’s lift Him up!

Here is what I KNOW…though life my stink at times and I can’t completely understand—I KNOW that God is omniscient and knows best. I KNOW that He sees the future, the present, and the past. I KNOW that He has my best interests (or my loved ones) at heart.

I KNOW that about my God.

January 21, 2010

IJM Update

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Friends,

I am asking for your prayers for 15 children in South Asia who are suffering brutal abuse. Plans are being made to rescue them. An operation was not able to be accomplished last week and IJM workers are still working on completing it. Please pray for the precious children and the perseverance of the IJM staff and for the governmental meetings taking place. Lives are literally at stake.

For more information go to www.ijminstitute.org

Today’s Reading and AWANA

Job 8 through 11:20

Man, that wasn’t warm fuzzy reading was it? Job is in the depths of despair and boy, can he paint a word picture! His first friend accused him of some sin that God is punishing him for. His second friend is frustrated that he just won’t admit to it. Bildad’s passion for justice and God’s justice warms my heart, but he was wrong to automatically think Job’s life was as a result from God---and that God wouldn’t punish innocent people so surely Job must be sinning. God wasn’t punishing Job. Something much bigger was going on.

Job enters in to a huge lament full of anguish to the point of assuming God was out to get him. He questions the value of his life and at this point it seems he has just given up.

Our next friend decides to give it a shot and making Job realize he has sinned. He cannot believe that he is still claiming to be innocent. He describes God in quite an accurate way—but just as the other friends…He has God and life for that matter, in a box. He should listen to himself as he says:


“Can you fathom the mysteries of God? Can you probe the limits of the Almighty? They are higher than the heavens-what can you do? They are deeper than they depths of the grave---what can you know? Their measure is longer than the earth and wider than the sea!”

Do any of you feel like Job today? Life just is too hard? It’s not worth it? There is hope…There is Jesus.

This song below by Sara Groves has always encouraged me in times of life when you just can’t see the other side.

AWANA

Last night I had the wonderful privilege of sharing with Calvary’s AWANA groups about Zambia and the people there and God’s heart for missions. I just love sharing with kids! You just never know what is going to come out! As I asked them what came to their mind when I said the word mission, quite a few jumped into secret agent mission mode in the younger group. I tried sharing how the women wear their babies—let’s just say that if I ever decide to have a baby in Zambia and wear my baby like they do—I am going to need some serious help. My child would have brain injuries from falling on the floor when it’s all done.

It’s been a while since I taught that group and I’ve always loved doing it because it is such a mix of church kids/non church kids , very comfortable/poor kids and there is a good number of kids of color. It can make for an interesting night for the leaders—I am sure! Thank you to each one of you who works with them. I KNOW God is blessed by it and I KNOW that God’s word is being instilled in their hearts.

One thing that is funny is that Ab is usually at wrestling (but he LOVES awana—hard choice next year.) Greg was sitting there and Ab told his friend (a boy of color) that this was his dad. The little boy said “what?” (they didn’t know Greg was listening) Ab said “yea, that’s my dad” “What??” Greg finally said that he was Ab’s dad. The little boy just shook his head. Couldn’t quite grasp it. Wait until he finds out that I am Ab's mom!

January 20, 2010

Hope & Comfort

Job 5:1 through 7:21

Let me first say that I think Job’s friend is off base on the thinking that Job had caused his calamity from sin. Does sin sometimes result in consequences ? Yes..but not in this case. We can’t label everything so broadly. We live in a fallen world where tragedy strikes the innocent. However not all of what Job’s friends say in chapter 5 is wrong. There is some good stuff in there…I especially love “so the poor have hope and injustice shuts its mouth.” Did he have bad advice? yes..but he also seems to know something about God and His ways.

Poor Job..You can just feel his pain can’t you? The despair..the anguish…the hopelessness. As I read this, I can’t help but think of Haiti and how those same feeling must be there. Friends, let’s be earnest in our prayers. Let’s ask the God of all comfort to be there in Haiti.

As 2 Corinthians states “The Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles”

As we speak about hope, let me share some pictures of the new Hannah’s Hope. The kids are so blessed to be staying at a wonderful place thanks to all of the supporters of Hannah’s Hope Ethiopia.

Thanks to Kim Wenzel for sharing her pictures.

If you’d like to learn more about Hannah’s Hope you can visit All God’s Children and if you’d like to support Hannah’s Hope by sending supplies, send me an email at gcknight@verizon.net and I will gladly help you!

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January 19, 2010

The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away.

Job 1:1through 4:21
First I’d like to say that I had no idea that Job would have been next chronologically in the Word! That is interesting!

And I’d like to thank those for sharing…it is such a blessing to me soul to hear your praises, especially knowing some of your circumstances and seeing how God has been in your life! One of my favorite verses is Psalm 116:12-14. “How can I repay the Lord for all of His goodness to me? I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord. I will fulfill my vows to the Lord in the presence of all his people” I believe sharing our stories, our hurts, and our praises to Him does this. We are lifting up our cup of salvation so that we all can see and be encouraged and blessed by it. We can recall those storied in our own times of hardship…that God is Faithful, Provider, Bride Groom, Our Rock. Praise His name!

Can I say that I like Job? I would have loved to have been around him. The word says that he was blameless and upright; he feared God and shunned evil. and He was the greatest man among all the people of the East. He also was took the responsibility of his children’s spiritual life very seriously…Even to the point of sacrificing a burnt offering for them in case they have sinned and cursed God in their hearts.

 Let us as moms learn from this. Sometimes it is so easy to give that department over to the church. Sunday School will take care of it or children’s church or youth group. Our children are our responsibility. Their spiritual lives have been entrusted to us. Make sure to teach your children about God—and who He is to you and what He has done in your life. I can say that Abenezer’s parents were so much more intentional about teaching on how to rely on God and faith (by their actions) than I was with the older kids and it showed in his prayer life. It humbled me and spurred me on.

One thing to remember (as I was recently told) is that God also has our children on their own personal journey. Sometimes it hurts our hearts as parents as they walk through that journey and we want to spare them. However it may be what makes them who they are on in Christ.
There is so much to say on these verses…I won’t make you keep reading my thoughts…except to say that Job’s friends (even though they were misguided a little spiritually) blessed me. Do you have friends that would come weep, tear their robes, and sit on the ground with you for 7 days and just sit there.
No words..just sitting there… I hope you do. We all need friends like that.

So let’s look at what Job has lost thus far: oxen, donkeys, sheep, camels, sons, daughters, brother, and servants (at this point-he mourns and falls to the ground in worship) and then he becomes covered with painful sores from the top of his to his feet..and still he did not sin in what he said.

This is one of my favorite worship songs for hard times. It’s an older song…but still speaks to me.

January 18, 2010

Because of ______________

Genesis 47:28 through 50:26

Our Jacob now lays dying…and relays God's promise (remember the dream?) while he was in Canaan of “I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.” to Joseph.

It’s a heartening thinking of Israel (barely able to see) hugging and kissing Joseph’s children. The grandchildren he never thought he’d have thinking Joseph was dead. He blesses them but crosses his hands and blesses Ephraim as the greater nation instead of Manasseh who was the firstborn. Joseph even tries to correct the situation. Isn’t that like us? When things are going the way we expect or the way we planned? We like to help God out and correct it don’t we? Let’s work on trusting God…with all the plans of our lives. Let’s give Joseph credit that when his father explains, he lets God’s will be done.

What a beautiful blessing! I especially like “the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day” A shepherd acknowledging his great Shepherd”

Jacob then calls for his sons and blesses them (or not) and makes a prediction of their future and also speaks to each one’s character.

Take a close look at vs 8-12. Judah is whom God chose to be the ancestor of Israel’s line of kings.

Wow..some of these ‘blessings’ hurt don’t they? Ouch! Imagine receiving one of those from your dying father!

vs.22 is Joseph’s…I love that Jacob continually says “because of “

Because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob

Because of the Shepherd , the Rock of Israel

Because of your Father’s God who helps you

Because of the Almighty who blesses you

He is reminding Joseph that everything is because of God- because of His love, His power and His omniscience.

Poor Joseph’s brothers…they begin to be afraid of retribution again and lie to Joseph about Jacob’s instructions to protect themselves. Joseph reassures them of his love. Joseph lives for 110 years and is gone. He reiterates God’s promise to his brothers that God will take them up out this land and has them swear that they would take his bones up from this place.

What a life! As I sit early this morning on his life all I can think of is wow. What a man sold out to God. He clearly saw God’s hand and power in his life.

Because of _______________. Who is God to you right now? How would you fill in this blank? Leave a comment to bless others and testify to how God is working in your life.

This morning as I have some hurts in my heart…I would say that it is

Because of the Lover of my soul, who loves me with a perfect love.

Now your turn…Because of _____________________

January 17, 2010

Thank you friends!

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This is a picture of formula and diapers that are being sent out tomorrow to go to a family that will be soon traveling to Ethiopia to pick up their child. These supplies are either hard to get, very expensive or of poor quality in Addis. There have been times where there was almost no formula at all in Ethiopia due to the economic crisis.

If you would like to help with this-I will gladly point you in the right direction with the most needed supplies and who you can send it to or who you can donate money to so that they can pick up supplies to take on their trip. Hannah's Hope also has some large ticket items that you can help with (such as a generator--electricity is very unreliable in Addis and of course greatly needed in an orphanage). Please email me with any questions or if you'd like to help!

Thank you friends for continuing to help me bless the children of Ethiopia. Orphans will have food because of you! May God bless you for your generosity!

The Start of a Great Nation

Genesis 45:16 through 47:27

Joseph’s brothers are sent home (with gifts-Benjamin again receiving much more than the others) to collect their family and their father and bring them back to Egypt with the promise they will be provided for. Laugh of the day—Joseph tells them “Don’t quarrel on the way!”

Joseph’s family moved to Egypt.  God reminds Jacob in 46:3 that He “will make him into a great nation.”  and that “He will go down to Egypt with him.”  Again, God reminding His people that He will be with them.  I will be with you is promised again and again.  Remember that—let it settle in your heart. Your God is with you!

Now they get to Egypt and Joseph tells them to tell Pharaoh that they tend livestock.  Shepherds were detestable to the Egyptian people.  Pharaoh kept his word and Jacob and his family were able to benefit from his generosity but also live apart from the Egyptians.  A win-win situation.

The famine continues.  Everyone has used all their money, sold all their livestock, and then sells their land to Pharaoh (through Joseph) to buy grain.

Here we see the result of God sending Joseph beforehand (through his brothers deceit and wrongdoing) to save his family and really, the entire nation of Egypt.  Without Joseph’s ability to interpret the dream and store up grain—there would have been no grain to buy and the result would have been starvation of many people.  The Egyptians tell Joseph themselves that he has saved their lives. 

The Word tells us that the Israelites settled in Egypt, acquired property and increased greatly in number.  The start of a ‘great nation.’

Ab wrestled again yesterday…Here is one of my favorite pictures of the day. He had just finished wrestling one round and is getting instructions from the coach. He was so intense.  It’s not a great picture since it’s a still from the video but I love it.

I’m not a great wrestling mom!  I hold my breath watching anyone wrestle waiting for them to get hurt—especially the older kids! All that grunting and straining…then the young man besides us who was talking to us (he wrestles on a high school team), tells us he can’t wrestle for 8 weeks because he broke his shoulder in practice..

“Um, Ab come back here!”

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January 16, 2010

Forgiveness

Welcome www.babeofmyheart.com friends! Hoping and praying that Andrea is having a blessed time with her ladies! Feel free to leave a comment on what you think!

Genesis 42:1 through 45:15

Chapter 42…The famine is here and Israel (Jacob) and his sons are desperate so his sons (except for Benjamin) go to Egypt to buy grain. Who do they meet? None other than Joseph. Joseph is now in charge of selling the grain to people. His brothers bow down to him with their faces to the ground (remember the dream?) Joseph recognized his brothers..but they did not recognize him. Question: How in the world did Joseph hold it together? How did he not let anger or emotion overcome him? Remember the last time he saw his brothers is while he was being sold to slave traders as a teen. At one point he did begin to weep (when they admitted to what they had done to their brother). He devised a plan where he keeps Simeon until they come back with their brother, Benjamin (Joseph’s full brother). The brothers go home but Jacob will not allow them to return to Egypt with Benjamin even to save Simeon.

Chapter 43….They run out of food…now Jacob wants them to go down to get more. The brothers declare they will not unless Benjamin goes with them. This time at Jacob’s advice they take gifts for him. (note…wonder how Jacob’s sons felt at his unwavering protection of Benjamin and seemingly not to care about Simeon who was still in ‘custody’ of Joseph in Egypt ?) Joseph saw them coming and had a feast prepared. I am moved by Joseph’s emotion at seeing his brother again. They eat (served apart from each other) and Benjamin’s portions that he was served was 5 time as much as anyone else. That made me chuckle. Think any of the others noticed?

Chapter 44…Joseph devised another plan and sets Benjamin up to have stolen his silver cup (this was a serious crime. the cup represented his authority and was thought to have supernatural powers) They head back to Egypt (imagine their frustration!) Remember Reuben had even offered for his own sons to be killed if they didn’t come back with Benjamin! They go and plead with Joseph telling them of his father’s love for Benjamin and what it would do to him if they didn’t return with him. Judah even offers to remain a slave in Benjamin’s place! Now Judah was the one who suggested selling Joseph into slavery in the first place! Quite a turn around in events. What is Joseph doing here? Some say that he is seeing if his brothers will desert Benjamin and that he is trying to see who they are now…what they’re made of…what their character is.

Chapter 45..Joseph finally loses control and reveal himself to his brothers. and wow…he tells them not to be angry with themselves and distressed for selling me here because he was there because God sent him ahead to save lives. That’s forgiveness! Again he repeats that “God sent me ahead of you” “It was not you who sent me but God” He tells them he will provide for them. They all kissed and hugged and then it says they talked.

Imagine those conversations. Imagine the relief of his brothers to finally have all of it out. To be forgiven by the one they harmed. The guilt and shame to finally be released. What must have it felt like to lived with that. Freedom is finally available to them.

And Joseph…his ability to forgive and love. That is quite amazing to me. He had every reason to nurse his wounds and hold onto revenge and bitterness. The man had been dropped in a well, sold into slavery, lied upon by a rejected woman and imprisoned. He could have yelled “this is all your fault!” He could have made them pay for their actions. But he didn’t. He forgave. He chose to focus on God’s plan and the good that came from that. He decided to choose love instead.

As we look back on our lives, may we see God’s hand in them. Even when we don’t understand .

May we forgive as Joseph forgave. May we let go of bitterness and revenge. May we embrace the freedom of letting go.

A song on forgiveness…I was introduced to Ten Shekel Shirt at an IJM benefit. I am always blessed by their lyrics and heart.

January 15, 2010

Today’s Reading

Genesis 40:1-23 Genesis 35:28-29 Genesis 41:1-57

You know what I like about these verses? That even while Joseph was in prison, he was still serving the Lord. He was being productive where he was at and was still giving glory to God. It is so easy at times to not be happy where we are at in life. Always wanting the next thing or looking towards something better. It’s easy to be dissatisfied. It’s so easy to have excuses--- Joseph was in prison---yet his attitude was better than mine at times. Can you hear him now “Well Lord, I’d serve you—but I’m kinda in prison (and that’s your fault by the way)I’m not giving you glory either…I’m looking out for myself now!” It would be quite a different Bible story, wouldn’t it?

Sometimes I grow weary and long for days in the future…or even days in the past. God—grant me contentment…where you have placed me. Help me to hear your voice when You call to step forward and when to stand still. Help me to be satisfied where you have me but also always ready for when you want to move me.

When ours are interrupted, his are not. His plans are proceeding exactly as scheduled, moving us always (including those minutes or hours or years which seem most useless or wasted or unendurable) "toward the goal of true maturity" (Rom 12:2 JBP).
Elisabeth Elliot


January 14, 2010

Fields of the Fatherless

Just received this book in the mail today from paperbackswap and am very excited to read it! Anyone read it?

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The subtitle is Discover the Joy of Compassionate Living. I think I am going to like it! It’s written by Tom Davis who is also the author of Red Letters—Living a Faith that Bleeds. My post on it is here.

I would love to read it with someone and discuss it! Let me know and I’ll hold off until you get yours!

The Lord is with You!

Genesis 37 through chapter 39 & 1 Chronicles 2:3-6,8

Joseph is seventeen—remember those days? He is deeply loved by his father, but envied by his brothers. Then he brings a bad report about them…uh oh. Then his father makes him a richly ornamental robe…(now him and his brother were tending flocks—imagine that robe out in the sheep field) Now Joseph is having dreams—prophetic ones of his bowing down to him. Not a good situation in the best of families is it?

They plot to kill him, but soft-hearted Reuben steps in and tries to rescue him. It didn’t work…End result-they sold him as a slave to Midianite merchants and took his special robe to his father, stained with blood. Jacob declares he will go his grave mourning…Joseph is sold to Potiphar—one of Pharaoh’s officials.

Judah and Tamar----Oh my! What a story!

Now we fast forward..Joseph is in Egypt and “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered”. There was in incident with Potiphar’s wife …Joseph takes a godly moral stance and literally flees from her advances. Watch out for a woman scorned! Potiphar’s throws Joseph in prison. Now I read somewhere that Potiphar really must have like Joseph or had some doubt to his wife’s story…because he easily could have had Joseph killed if he believed his wife’s story of attempted rape.

But again… “The Lord was with him: showed him kindness and granted him favor” and again “The Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did”

My friends, the Lord is with you! God is with you at home, in the shepherd’s field, in the well, in the slave caravan, in the master’s house, and in the dark grimy prison cell. Joseph could have become a bitter person…mad at God and the world for his circumstances…Remember you have the ‘loved’ one being sold as a slave and then lied upon and thrown into prison…What would you be like under those circumstances? Joseph however continued to accept where he was and continue to obey God…wherever he was at and whatever stage of life he was in…even a prison cell. The Word continues to repeat to us “The Lord was with him” I believe God wants us to know that!

Even when things aren't going the way it seems they should go—The Lord is with you!

January 13, 2010

How much of God do you want?

"I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please, not enough to explode my soul or disturb my sleep, but just enough to equal a cup of warm milk or a snooze in the sunshine. I don't want enough of Him to make me love a black man or pick beets with a migrant. I want ecstasy, not transformation; I want the warmth of the womb, not a new birth. I want a pound of the Eternal in a paper sack. I would like to buy $3 worth of God, please."
Quote by Wilbur Rees

In all honesty, how much of God do you really want? And what keeps you from wanting more of Him?

Quoted from Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver

I am thinking let’s skip the sack and I’ll take the Costco jumbo size purchase. God—give me all of You that I can handle!

Reading today Genesis 36:1-43 and 1 Chronicles 1:35 through 2:2

A reading of genealogy today. A little easier of a read. Digging into God’s Word has been challenging but also so rewarding. It is alive and active and I have been spoken to every single day by something in it!

vs 24 kinda made me laugh. Think they used the hot springs like a hot tub? Reminded me of a Dr. Quinn episode!

A summary of today: Esau…father of the Edomites

Short and sweet!

Jump in if you’d like! Just start right where we are at!

Here’s the link to download it!

http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com/readingplan/oneyearchronologicalbiblereadingplan.pdf

We are also discussing it over at www.babeofmyheart.com

Here is a blast from past –I was at my Grandmother’s last week taking her to town…There is a picture of my dad and that I love but it’s one of those supersized ones so I’m not sure how to make a copy…so I took a picture of it! I think I am in 6th grade here. See my nice turned up collar? Seems like FOREVER ago.

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January 12, 2010

New Earrings!

I just had to share my new earrings! These were made made in Kenya from ‘trash’—discarded scratch-off phone cards! I love them! One of my favorite things to look at is Ebay’s World of Good and Overstock’s Worldstock and the Hungersite. I love supporting artisans such as these!

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Forgiveness and Hugs

Genesis 32:1 through Genesis 35:27

Jacob went on his way and the angels of God met him. I really would like to have been there for this!! “Camp of God” Love that name!

Now remember, the last time Jacob saw Esau, Esau was ready to wring his neck. Quite literally. So Jacob send messengers ahead of him to ‘soften him up’. Jacob is afraid Esau is going to attack and so he divides his people. He prays and tells God how unworthy he is of His kindness and faithfulness (aren’t we all?) and begins to send gifts to Esau ahead of himself and instructs his servants what to say.

Jacob wrestles with a man all night. The man blesses him and renames him Israel. Jacob declares that he has seen God face to face and yet lived. He names the place Peniel (which means face of God)

Jacob meets Esau…not quite the greeting I would have expected? A big hug fest. Esau’s heart was softened in all those years toward his brother. Instead of trying to deceive each other, they are accommodating. What a difference! Can you imagine? Did they think about all the years they missed? Did they look upon each other’s children and wished they knew them? Did the wives hold their breath as they saw the men approach each other? Did they speak of Isaac and Rebekah with tenderness ? Imagine Jacob’s big sigh of relief! Such a good ending to a potential vey bad situation! Remember this story the next time you want to hold a grudge against your brother and sister, be it in your natural family or God’s family.

Dinah—a sister violated. Revenge taken. Such a sad sad story. Emotions and passions running wild with no regard for God or others.

Jacob returns to Bethel and built an altar. He tells his family to get rid of the foreign gods. They bury them (now wondering what ‘gods’ I need to bury!)

God protects them as they travel. Once again God re-affirms Jacob’s name change to Israel and re-iterates the promises He gave to Abraham and Isaac.

Jacob’s beloved Rachel dies in childbirth and is buried and verse 25 says “Jacob came home to his father Isaac”.

Anyone have some thoughts on these verses? One thing that has always puzzled me is the whole wrestling thing. Was it God? If so, how did Jacob see him face to face and live? If it was God , why couldn’t he overcome Jacob? because you know, He is God…the whole All-Powerful thing.

Any insights? Pretty Please?

January 11, 2010

It’s Not Fair!

Today’s Reading: Genesis 30:25 through Genesis 31:55

It’s not fair! It’s not fair! It’s not fair!

Ever utter those words? Or even shout them? Life isn’t fair is it?

Here is Jacob, the man who was once the deceiver, doing right and having integrity, and yet Laban continues to do wrong by him. No matter what Jacob does, Laban always seems to find a loophole to not hold up his end of the deal. It’s not fair!


I’ve had some “It’s not fair” moments. My father being diagnosed with cancer for the 3rd time really isn’t “fair”. The questions of why now? why him? came to mind quite often. My stepmother put into a totally different context one day while we were talking. She said instead of ‘why me’----- “why not me?” She went on to say that who were they to expect things not to happen? Were they someone special that the troubles of this earthly world not to affect them? Would she wish it upon someone else? Quite a different perspective isn’t it?ijmlogo_footer


Working with the International Justice Mission has also brought to my eyes a totally different “It’s not fair.” Becoming aware of the reality of how many people are in dire circumstances to no fault of their own. How many people are enslaved with no hope of ever getting free….How many young girls are forced to work in brothels having to perform unspeakable things…Is this ‘fair’ ?


How about my adopted son’s life? Going to an orphanage at the age 5, leaving parents he loved because they could not care for him, traveling to a completely different country and culture, becoming a minority when he once was the majority…Is this ‘fair’?



IMG_4997 Abenezer’s referral picture

Let’s now travel to Grippes village in Zambia…where children are hungry. Children who may have lost one or both parents due to AIDS. Children who are being raised by grandparents along with other grandchildren because there are no parents alive to care for them. A widow’s home can be taken away because culture says the man’s family can come take it away. Children who were sharpening their pencils with double edged razors. Children who have such a love for life but are hindered by hunger pains. Is this ‘fair’ ?

tanya's%20pics%20039 Lucy in Grippes Farm

a squatter’s village in Zambia
What I love about the story of Jacob is that while he is being treated unfairly….God steps in. He tells him “ Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.” God even steps into Laban’s dream to protect Jacob.

Did everything magically become perfect and ‘fair’? No, we still live in a world where we are affected by the fall and by the consequences of sin…of other’s sin and our own bad choices.


That’s what God does….He steps in. He steps in to the lives of the enslaved and oppressed through IJM—an organization that works to free those who need rescue.


He steps into the lives of the orphan and the destitute with people who raise their hand and say “yes, I will love them” whether that is by adopting or supporting organizations that care for them.


I love that about my God…that He steps into our lives and says “I will be with you”.


He is with you today my friends…Let Him step in and be part of your life.

January 10, 2010

Ab’s Wrestling and Jacob’s Dream

First a little shot of Ab’s first wrestling match (I’ll post a video in a bit)

Tucker and Osh getting him ready:

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Ab Wrestling 016_0003 He didn’t get him pinned..but he tried real hard!

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Genesis 28:6 through 30:24

Jacob’s dream…You know what I love about this? Jacob’s awe of God and the place where he determined God was. Sometimes I think that we are so busy making God our ‘best friend’ (and He is, for sure) that we forget that He is the All-Knowing, All-Powerful God. That He holds the world in His hand. We forget that He is a God of justice and a God who hates sin. A God who is so holy that we cannot look upon His face and live. A God that made Mose’s face shine so much after an encounter that he had to cover it! Jacob was in awe…so much so he was in fear. I looked up the Hebrew word for afraid and what it means: to fear, reverence, honour, respect

May we always have honor and respect for our Holy God. May we sometimes be so overcome with Him and who He is that we cannot help but to fall our our faces before Him.

Holy, Holy,Holy is the Lord God Almighty…who was and is and is to come!

I also love that God continually keep reminding Abraham and his family of His promise for them. He keeps reassuring them of what He told them before.

Ok…so Jacob works for his uncle for 7 years (woah!) and tells him in vs. 21 “Give me my wife. My time is completed and I want to lie with her.” All righty then Jacob, get right to the point why don’t you?

Poor Leah…I feel very bad for her. vs. 31 says when the Lord saw that Leah was not loved. Have you ever felt unloved? Unlovable? Unworthy of love? God saw Leah’s need and He sees ours. God is very generous with His love. Accept it from Him, His is a love with no strings attached…A PERFECT LOVE!

A side note…Beth Moore had a study called The Patriarchs that would go wonderful with this. For those of you who want a deeper study of these verses—it might be a worthy purchase! I have it, but have only gone up through last weeks verses. I may try to do it along with this!

January 9, 2010

What would you trade for a bowl of stew?

Today’s reading Genesis 25:27 through 28:5.

We aren’t seeing the best sides of our forefathers today.... But remember, we are a flawed people. We mess up, manipulate, and sin. Thankfully, God gives us do-overs, grace and mercy.

Good reading today…A story most of us have read before..May God speak to you a fresh word today.

Genesis 25: Trading your birthright for a bowl of stew. lentil stew at that..yuk! :) Talk about instant gratification! Come now…was the man really ‘starving’? Esau placed no value on what was really valuable…the spiritual birthright and blessing of his father..

When we were funding our adoption, what was valuable really hit home with me. I walked around me house and thought, I can sell this and this and this…because in comparison to a child…all of it meant nothing. I made quite a bit of money off Ebay! Kinda puts it all into perspective!

What do you hold valuable? Anything you would trade for a bowl of stew and instant gratification?

Chapter 26…Well, our son is like his father isn’t he? Lying about his wife, just as Abraham did! I wonder, did he hear the stories about that or did he just come up with it? As parents, we need to watch the examples we set for our children…not that we won’t mess up because we will, but to make sure we let our kids know that mom or dad made a mistake there…and I’m sorry and that God is still working on us!

(By the way, this is not the same king Abraham met..just the same name and same kingdom)

26:25…Ever want to build an altar? One of the things that I love about the Old Testament and is how so much of their worship involves the physical world. Don’t get me wrong, I love our New Testament relationship with Jesus…but right now I am tempted to go builder an altar outside and pray..Wonder what my kids would think? But being it’s like 16 degrees out, I think I will wait. :)

By the way, Charles Swindoll has a study called Stones of Remembrance that is very good.

Chapter 27—My goodness, what a tangled we weave! Sometimes we as people can get so caught up in our schemes and our agendas that we can forget that we are hurting the ones we love. Rebekah is deceiving her husband and robbing her son . Remember, Rebekah received the prophecy that the older son would serve the younger. What was she doing? Did she think she needed to help God fulfill the prophecy? Things are much better on God’s timetable. He’s Omniscient—let’s let Him handle it.

28:5 Isaac is now sent to Rebekah’s relatives so that he will not find a wife among the Hitite women.

The deceiver is soon to be deceived.

Hannah’s Hope New Need! Used laptop

Hannah’s Hope is in need for a laptop for their new mission coordinator, Bekele.

Would you like to help? Anyone upgraded recently and have a used one in good working condition with lots of life left?

If so, please help me to bless those in Ethiopia that give their lives to change the lives of the poor, the orphan, and the widow.

Email me at gcknight@verizon.net with any questions.

Thank you!

dell-vostro-range-laptops

January 7, 2010

How Does God See You?

Genesis 25:1-4 1st Chronicles 1:32-33 Genesis 25:5-6

Genesis 25:12-18 1 Chron. 1:28-21 1 Chron. 34

Genesis 25: 19-26 Genesis 25:7-11

It sure does help to read those genealogies when you are reading about each family doesn’t it? Instead of all those begets in a row!

In our scripture reading today, Abraham leaves this earth for a much better place…A while back, I had done a study on Abraham and what God calls him in His Word:


Romans 4:18 Father of Many nations

Galations 3:8-9 The Man of Faith

James 2:23 God’s Friend

That’s quite a resume isn’t it? And to think that it’s written by God about Abraham. A man who made many mistakes, lied, didn’t trust God at times became someone who God credits for his faith and calls him His friend. What’s your 'what I was ' list? What would God say about you now? Really look with God’s eyes…If you could see how He sees you? I think He sees a child that He loves, even in spite of some crazy mistakes at times!

A child that not only He knit together, but a child that He so desperately wanted to be with, so much so, that He willingly sent His Son to suffer a brutal death on a cross. For You and for me.

Be amazed of His love for you today.


Happy Ethiopian Christmas

Christmas Traditions in Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations in Africa. It still follows the ancient Julian calendar, so Ethiopians celebrate Christmas on January 7. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church's celebration of Christ's birth is called Ganna. It is a day when families attend church.

On January 19, Ethiopians begin the three-day celebration called Timkat.
©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
On January 19, Ethiopians begin the
three-day celebration called Timkat.

The day before Ganna, people fast all day. The next morning at dawn, everyone dresses in white. Most Ethiopians don a traditional shamma, a thin, white cotton wrap with brightly colored stripes across the ends. The shamma is worn somewhat like a toga. Urban Ethiopians might put on white Western garb. Then everyone goes to the early mass at four o'clock in the morning. In a celebration that takes place several days later, the priests will dress in turbans and red and white robes as they carry beautifully embroidered fringed umbrellas.


Most Ethiopians who live outside the modern capital city, Addis Ababa, live in round mud-plastered houses with cone-shaped roofs of thatched straw. In areas where stone is plentiful, the houses may be rectangular stone houses. The churches in Ethiopia echo the shape of the houses. In many parts of the country there are ancient churches carved out of solid volcanic rock. Modern churches are built in three concentric circles.

In a modern church, the choir assembles in the outer circle. Each person entering the church is given a candle. The congregation walks around the church three times in a solemn procession, holding the flickering candles. Then they gather in the second circle to stand throughout the long mass, with the men and boys separated from the women and girls. The center circle is the holiest space in the church, where the priest serves Holy Communion.

Around the time of Ganna, the men and boys play a game that is also called ganna. It is somewhat like hockey, played with a curved stick and a round wooden ball.


The foods enjoyed during the Christmas season include wat, a thick, spicy stew of meat, vegetables, and sometimes eggs as well. The wat is served from a beautifully decorated watertight basket onto a "plate" of injera, which is flat sourdough bread. Pieces of injera are used as an edible spoon to scoop up the wat.

Twelve days after Ganna, on January 19, Ethiopians begin the three-day celebration called Timkat, which commemorates the baptism of Christ. The children walk to church services in a procession. They wear the crowns and robes of the church youth groups they belong to. The grown-ups wear the shamma. The priests will now wear their red and white robes and carry embroidered fringed umbrellas.

The music of Ethiopian instruments makes the Timkat procession a very festive event. The sistrum is a percussion instrument with tinkling metal disks. A long, T-shaped prayer stick called a makamiya taps out the walking beat and also serves as a support for the priest during the long church service that follows. Church officials called dabtaras study hard to learn the musical chants, melekets, for the ceremony.


Ethiopian men play another sport called yeferas guks. They ride on horseback and throw ceremonial lances at each other.


Ganna and Timkat are not occasions for giving gifts in Ethiopia. If a child receives any gift at all, it is usually a small gift of clothing. Religious observances, feasting, and games are the focus of the season.

( from : http://christmas.howstuffworks.com/traditions/christmas-traditions-around-the-world-ga4.htm )

Our God Provides!

Reading today:

Genesis 21:8 through 23:20, Genesis 11:32,  Genesis 24:1-67

Chapter 21-I had skipped ahead and read it yesterday..I couldn’t stop at vs. 8 :)

Chapter 22-Can’t even begin to imagine. It doesn’t even say that Abraham questioned God or even asked for clarification! Just that early the next morning he got  up and went.  “Here I am” is the only thing recorded that He said to God.   This from the man who chapters back didn’t trust God to keep safe from foreign kings…what a relationship that must have been nurtured between the 2 of them.  My bible says that it was 50 miles and it took 3 days for Abraham to make that trip to Moriah..that’s a lot of time to think! and alot of time to look and see your son.  I know that this isn’t in your bible reading plan but turn to Hebrews 11:17-19. 

Chapter 23—Sarah is buried…I think it’s neat to point out that Sarah lived 37 years after Isaac was born. I am glad that she had many years with her ‘laughter’

Chapter 24  Isaac and Rebekah

Abraham is now 140 and wants to make sure his son, Isaac, had a wife that isn’t from Canaan.   A couple of notes…when he asks that she waters his camels too….that was a big job!  From my notes, each camel could drink 25 gallons…not sure if they drank that much…but it was much more than giving a glass of water!  She offered in vs. 18 to give them water until they finished drinking!

I like that he gave her a gold nose ring.   In vs 47 it says that he put the ring in her nose…a little different that slipping it on a finger, eh?

Lots more details here…but let’s just say that everything was worked out with the relatives…and they are on their way….

vs. 66  She is given to Issac, he married her, and he LOVED her.

Makes me think hard on arranged marriages.  I’ve go a few picked out for my kids!

One point of note…when the servant found the woman he knew God had sent…(vs 26) He immediately bowed down and worshiped the Lord. May this be our response to our God…we are quick to complain or whine or lament when God doesn’t answer our prayers the way we want   Let us be quick to worship and acknowledge it when He does!

 

worship

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