Thursday, April 26, 2007

Questions from Joshua

While I was reading yesterday in Joshua I starting pondering some things that I had never really considered before. I am hoping someone more knowledgeable than I can shed some insight on these few questions.

1.) How on earth did Joshua convince all those who marched around Jericho for 7 days to keep quiet? This was a people known for their complaining and mumbling.
"And Joshua had commanded the people, saying, Ye shall not shout, nor make any noise with your voice, neither shall [any] word proceed out of your mouth, until the day I bid you shout; then shall ye shout." Joshua 6:10

2.) Why did God wait until after the initial defeat at Ai to tell Joshua that there was sin in the camp? Joshua 6:27 says that "the Lord was with Joshua" which indicates a good relationship. Why allow the death of 36 innocent people and the guilt on Joshua?

3.) Why did God give the guilty party a whole day to to sanctify themselves if the judgement was going to be meted out regardless? Achon had until the next day to 'get right' with God and sanctify himself and even confessed his sin before all Israel but the judgement was still handed down. Stoned to death and burned. Why the delay? Didn't God usually act swiftly when it came to His judgement?

I am sure that there is more that I am missing but those three things just got me thinking.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Heavy Heart

My heart is breaking today. I have seen the emptiness and cry out for God's healing love to breakthrough to hardened hearts and blinded eyes. So little time and so many who are truly lost in the fog of deception and oblivion. There is no rest and there is no time for 'waiting for the right time': the time is now to press in and pray for the Truth to penetrate hearts.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sweet Memories

A year ago today Valerie decided to share her song in person with Jesus and we have missed her and thank God continually for the blessings she brought to our lives. Somethings in life we don't recognize until they are gone. I am so grateful that God brought Valerie into my life and allowed me to love her and to grow through the challenges and learn more about His love during our relationship. My pastor reminded me a year ago that God is perfect; therefore, His timing also has to be perfect. That has been my comfort and constant reminder of Who is in control of not only all things but the timing of all things as well.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Send Me!

That was my pastor’s message title yesterday. I am starting to wonder if God isn’t looking down at me and saying “How much clearer can I be, Danae?” I am so tired of making mistakes that my wariness may be too great a hinderance. I am going to meet with my pastor on Wednesday so maybe I will get the confirmation that I am so needing.

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Jesus?

Coincidence?? I just finished my quiet time and after my prayer time I picked up my Word and just opened it up and I found myself reading Hosea 12:6. "So you, by the help of your God, return; observe mercy and justice, and wait on your God continually."

Pictures Finally!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Monday thru Thursday

Monday, March 26th
Up at 4 am and glad to be up since I was freezing in my sleeping bag! Okay, I should have known that my toes would be cold in Mexico just as they are every other place I have lived or stayed. (I didn’t take my wool socks obviously) I truly enjoyed the early mornings and realized how much I miss the warmer climates since every one I have lived in meant nice early mornings. Today was a great day of learning and experiencing the whole ‘building’ process. Being a totally Type A personality I was eager to get busy and eager to see the whole picture as it evolved. I kept thinking how much I would have liked to see each task outlined, assigned and verified in some organized way but after coaching young people in sports I recognized the similarities. : ) It was fun! Notice I didn’t say efficient (A) but fun? It was rewarding! It was educational. It was interesting to get to know those on our team. Yes, I am mostly an extrovert and so did try to get to know most everyone. : ) God is so Amazing! I really think that I would like to do it again. (Less the wall drop on the finger.) God is Jehovah Rapha, my Healer, and my finger is whole. Might sound like a small thing but if you had seen it after it was smashed you would be singing His praises too! I slept much better that night and wore my clean socks for the next day. : )

Tuesday, March 27th
Same thing different day with a few minor differences… : ) It was so much fun! I didn’t even mind that I didn’t get to go for a run because I was keeping busy enough to get a fair cardio workout. I only made one short entry in my journal for this day but it says exactly what I was feeling.

“Praise You Lord! Indescribable! What an experience to see God in action!”

Wednedsay, March 28th
What joy there is in knowing that you are in God's perfect will.
Today was a new experience for me as I got to work with Beth more closely. She is not a type A person but we managed to get things accomplished and I was able to see R. Clinton's principles in his book The Making of a Leader up close and personal. Email me and will explain if you are interested. Great read if you are in any type of ministry, btw. Was able to work on the roof today which was a blessing to be up in the cool breeze and out of most of the dust. By mid morning the wind had kicked up into a frenzy and it was like a huge dust devil with dust and dirt getting in and on every exposed part of us. Many of us A types (you thought I was the only one??) were getting nervous as we neared the final day to complete the houses. Nerves seemed to get tight toward the end of the day but God's grace was sufficient. Like we would have expected any differently?! We were all given additional grace with the word we could all take a shower when we got back to El Faro. : ) God is so good!

Today was a day of revelation for me and I am going to share how God spoke to my heart. While waiting up on the roof of the house, I was looking down at all the servants of Christ working in the blowing dust and the image of Christ washing His disciples feet came to my mind. The significance of the dust was not lost on me as I had studied this passage in John 13 before and knew that the sandals did little to keep their feet ‘clean’ in the dust of the area where Jesus and His disciples walked. When He washed those feet they were not a pretty sight but most likely horribly filthy and caked with dirt. I felt the Holy Spirit ask me if I would wash these feet.
My first thought was that I can’t possibly wash everyone’s feet because they wouldn’t sit still to let me, they would think I am crazy, and they might even be upset at wasting water. I mentally began asking God if He meant this to be a question of willingness or if He wanted me to really step up and start washing feet. I began praying and I told Him that either way I am both willing in spirit and in body to do it, and then I asked if He meant all of the people or just some of the people. I felt in my heart that He was asking me to wash the feet of His disciples and immediately I saw those on our team who had set their lives apart to follow after Him. He gave me the image of Aaron and Hur in Exodus 17:12 holding up the arms of Moses. (He has given me this vision before and I know that I am one He has called to support those in authority over His people.) I admit at this point I was feeling quite shaky. See, I really didn’t know yet if I was going to be washing feet that afternoon, evening or what! NOT that it really would have made a difference what people would think because obedience is more important than sacrifice and I could already imagine how I was going to explain this whole conversation to my Dad and brother. I confess that I thought they both would have thought either 1.) She’s lost it! 2.) She must be trying to be “super spiritual” or something. I kept asking throughout the rest of the day what I was supposed to do with His directive. The answer came that evening when David Eggleston gave the devotional that evening. You probably already guessed it but in case you haven’t. John 13 was his text as Jesus washed His disciples’ feet after supper. The revelation came to me then as the Holy Spirit gently let me know that what He deposited in my heart earlier wasn’t just my ‘imagination’ or my over eagerness to hear from Him but He was preparing me to see Him move in a mighty way. I felt His peace surround me as I accepted His confirmation. Maybe you can’t understand all of this but let me tell you two things – God still moves!! I am in awe!!

Thursday, March 29th
Today we finished the houses and gave the keys to the new owners in a dedication ceremony. Okay, it wasn’t quite that simple but it was what we did. I need to get some pictures up to share this story.

To say that the impact was great is an understatement. The outreach was profound and the reward was priceless. I never want my heart to beat outside of my Father’s. I don’t mind tears when I know that they come from Him.

Fiesta time! There was a great big celebration for all of the families and neighbors to attend at El Faro and we stayed up late now that the work was done.

Note: I haven’t said much on these posts about Jennifer and Jordan for a reason. They have their own stories and I am believing that they will share them soon. : )

Friday, April 06, 2007

Mission to Mexico: Friday thru Sunday

Friday, March 23rd Happy Birthday Mom!!
Drove from Springfield, OR to Bakersfield, CA. and prayed, read and sang together in Dad’s truck. More ‘Live Book in Audio’ for the road. We finished The Magician’s Nephew and started Revelation on Friday. Now Revelation is some reading for you if you haven’t been blessed with reading it yet – It comes highly recommend!

Saturday, March 24th
Bakersfield was the first time I felt I was on a Mission trip and mostly because the area the Church was located in was in need of outreach. We left fairly early headed for Mexico and the routine was pretty fixed by now.. “Play” or “Pause” with a few breaks to wet my whistle or join in with the worship music from Dad’s XM radio program. As we neared the border, I made a critical mistake when I brought up the topic of illegal immigration. By the way, this is not a topic to bring up when you are headed to Mexico for mission work! We agreed finally that you could go ANYWHERE in the world and find legitimate NEED including the U.S.A. and that God’s hand is in it and He is still in control. Praise God for His Grace, Mercy & Love for us!!

I think Dad may have expected more reaction from me as we entered Mexico but I was more concentrated on listening to my heart and anxious not to miss anything the Spirit would try to say to my heart. I have been in several border towns and they are usually very similar so that was not a new experience and the kids were pretty quiet just taking things in. I am sure they were comparing it to our trip to Nueva Vallarta last year. Anyway, there was a lot of expectation on all of our parts and sometimes that is not a good thing. I know how long Dad has been telling me that he sees me working at El Faro and how his vision of my being there has not diminished. I also know that God will have to reveal His will to me directly and confirm it with at least two others. I am certain of one thing-God is not the author of confusion. I want to be in His perfect will for my life more than anything. Anything else is unacceptable – Been there done that!

Since I claim Isaiah 54:5 – 6 as my promise, I can state unequivocally that God will communicate with me like a husband to his wife.
"For thy Maker [is] thine husband; the LORD of hosts [is] his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God."( Isaiah 54:5 - 6)
He is going to share His plan with me in His timing and I will obey willingly.

How did I get off track with the travelogue? Oh, yeah! I love my Lord and can’t stop talking about Him and what He is doing in my life, duh! So back to Mexico..

We pulled into the Orphanage in the mid afternoon and were immediately surrounded by children. Many recognized Dad’s truck and started yelling “Hal, amigo!” before we even stopped. It was so precious and to see his face light up at their cries was priceless! Jordan was the most apprehensive but soon got busy getting unloaded. The rest of that day was somewhat a blur of unloading, setting up tents and getting to recognize the chain of command that was in place. As a first timer who is not a teenager, it took some question asking before I finally got all of the identities figured out for who is who..
Example: I asked Dad what the rules were so I didn’t inadvertently break any. Such as, where are the off limits if any? When can we use the shower rooms? What water source can we use for the solar shower?... After being in the Marine Corps I knew that there had to be certain protocol that was in place but hadn’t been relayed yet and I didn’t want to embarrass my Dad on my first trip with him. : ) In Uganda it was considered an insult to help with the food preparation or service until they got to know you and asked. I don’t know exactly why but it is in my nature to want to pitch in and help and it took a while before the women in Uganda would allow me to even clear the dirty dishes.

I felt at home there in El Faro and could easily see myself there long term. I don’t think I mentioned that to my Dad though. : ) Some places touch me like that though. I could easily see myself in Uganda or Kenya also. We had a brief orientation around the campfire that first night and were told what we could expect the next day.

Sunday, March 25th – Happy Birthday Dad!!
It felt weird not having a time of worship together with all my brothers and sisters in Christ on Sunday, the Lord’s Day. I was up at 4am to spend my time with Jesus and I found myself asking for some specifics from Him that I normally don’t do. Okay, maybe more often than not. I know He likes specifics and I guess it is just fine to ask for them. I was surprised that no one else was up and seeking Him early and surmised most people just stayed in their tents for that quiet time. My only experience has been in Uganda where the whole team is up early in prayer and then a time of worship together before beginning the day of service. My other experience is just my personal experience where I get out of bed and go to my place set aside for prayer. E. M. Bounds has put is so nicely when he said we should strive to be men of ‘much prayer’. I admit it. I was disappointed that I didn’t have others to share that sweet communion with in the early morning hour. (No wonder so many people think I am a Jesus freak) Clarification may be needed here. I am in NO WAY judging or condemning ANYONE. I am simply saying that I have so much enjoyed the early morning fellowship that I experienced in Uganda on my previous mission trips and was really looking forward to a similar time of fellowship. One of the things I enjoyed with Mission to Mexico was the differences in mission, vision and dynamics from my other experiences. What an honor to see so many people who love the Lord working together and growing together in doing the work of God’s heart. It was humbling.

Work day was fun and I got my first idea of just how much logistics is involved and my admiration went up for Dan Hill and the board of Mission to Mexico. I can see that there will be many more lessons learned before the week is done. : ) My heart is full and I know that we serve an Awesome God!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Prelude: Mission to Mexico 2007

The words of Moses and David, “Who am I?” echo in my head. To even think that God should desire to use me and to allow me to pour out anything for Him is amazing and very hard to grasp. He gives all things! I am reminded of my own children who receive money from me to buy something for “Mom” to give back as a gift for some occasion. I am the same with my Father. He gives to me so I can give it back to Him. He loves me so much! Now that I am sufficiently reminded of who I am , I can focus on what He allowed me to experience on our trip to Idaho and Mexico.

The adventure began long before leaving Chicago for Spokane with much prayer and petition. God already knows my heart but I know He desires me to come to Him and share it with Him.

Most who read this blog of ours already know that we ‘go’ quite a bit and that packing is a cross between a game and a work of art. Needless to say this trip was not much different. Kids and I packed in record time finalizing things the night before we left for the airport. (Note to self: Go with your gut next time even if it is Dad whose advice you are relying on ) I had some moments when I was regretting not bringing some particular thing that I was told I would not need. We had a great flight and it was like coming home instead of leaving home as we approached the green of the beautiful Northwest. Papa, Grandma Jo, Andy and Emily met us at the airport and I know God was smiling. To think of how far He has brought us from that day at an airport 29 years ago! God, I praise You for You are a Father of reconciliation and healing!

From the airport we headed to Dan and Jen’s house to take Andy and Emily home and then we had to get ready for the last meeting for the Hayden Friends group going to Mexico. We set up the gym for the last fundraiser, which was a pancake breakfast the next morning, and then we had a potluck dinner and our meeting. It was great to meet those in the group before we loaded into the vans. Church on Sunday was a treat as we got to receive blessings from the congregation as well as Pastor Bob’s message. The kids and I were thankful to be able to spend some great quality time with Grandma Jo and Papa before we had to leave on Thursday. One thing for certain, I was eating quality food before we left and am sure I gained 5 pounds just getting ready to leave. : ) Jo walked for an hour every day and that was motivation for me to get out and run since the weather was nicer in Idaho than Chicago had been. I love watching the deer (no moose this trip) and seeing the sunrise over the treetops in the morning it is a special way to start the day after meeting with Jesus in my quiet time.

Highlights of our prelude include Dad's surprise 66th birthday celebration which Ronna was able to be there for from Silverton, OR. Thursday morning bright and early we pulled out in two vans and Dad's truck headed to Springfield, OR and I started feeling my heart rebel. Oh, I probably shouldn't admit that you might be thinking.. Truth is always better than not. I didn't stay rebellious though as I prayed that God would speak clearly, not allow my "self" to get in His way, and for His perfect will to be done. We had a wonderful drive Thursday to Oregon and it was good to spend time in worship and the Word with Dad and the kids. I read aloud C.S. Lewis' book The Magician's Nephew and numerous Psalms while we drove. My throat would get sore and I would have to take a break but before long either Dad (YES! Dad!) or one of the kids would push my "Play" button for me to resume my reading. Dad designated a "Pause" and "Play" button on my shoulders so that he could make radio or phone contact when necessary. I love reading aloud and apparently they enjoyed listening so it was a good thing.

What was I expecting?
• God to speak to me regarding His will for my life.
• Meeting Sister Austin, Miguel & Josefina and all the children.
• To see if Jennifer and Jordan could deal with life outside their comfort zone.

What did I receive?
• God spoke to me! John 13:1-17, Children healthy, Provision and Protection
• I met Sister Austin, Miguel, Josefina, Nachita (Iglesia), Joshua and all the beautiful children.
• Jennifer and Jordan both adjusted well and did not whine, complain, fight or fuss the entire time. Neither did they have any health issues in spite of poor hygiene and missed medications. God answered my direct prayer to show me if they could deal with the conditions.

I met so many wonderful people who love the Lord and are willing to put their hands to the plow. A big part of the diversity of the body of Christ is our personalities. : ) I am definitely a Type A person and that didn’t always go over real well with everyone. But God also needed to teach me some subtle and not so subtle lessons.
I really enjoyed working with Beth M. and saw God working directly with my heart while we roofed the house we worked on. I saw the heart of God in Michelle B. and a spiritual strength beyond her years. Nathan E. just amazed me with his quick mind and analytical skills, I learned so much. Needless to say, my father was a joy for me to be with and my brother, Dan, was a riot as usual.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

If Home is where the Heart is...

I don't know where my home really is.. I feel resigned now that we are back in Illinois once again. My heart is content to be with my children where God has planted us but sometimes I really pray that He would up and transplant us closer to family.

We arrived home last evening half past eight Central time and then waited for our luggage for an hour. (Baggage sounds like we brought home a lot of 'issues' with us that need proffessional help!) I have so much on my heart that I want to share but it will have to wait until I have more time to type. : ) The long and short of our trip is this: God moved.

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I love Jesus and want my life to be a reflection of His life in me!

A Good Read...

  • Rooms by James L. Rubart
  • C.S. Lewis
  • Any book written by Terri Blackstock
  • O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson
  • Black, White, Red (trilogy) by Ted Dekker
  • Driven by Eternity & Rescued by John Bevere
  • Under Cover by John Bevere