Monday, March 23, 2009

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Wow, that title is a blast from the past. Do you remember that song? It had to be from the 70's...oh well, that's not why I'm here today...

I'm here because I just received my itinerary for my trip to India and Nepal. Yes, the tickets and airline reservations were made weeks ago, but the trip details aren't exactly what I thought. I have been given a little more responsibility than I originally thought I would have but I think we're gonna get to do some amazing things. I've learned that when one is traveling to a foreign culture that one must be flexible. Very flexible, at times. The last time I was in India I was given a speaking assignment at an event that I did not know about until 2 days before. There I was in India without any of my resources I would use if I were preparing to speak from my home office. My books were here. Papers that I wrote in seminary that I often refer to were filed away in my desk, unreachable. All I had was the Word and the Holy Spirit. He came through big time. He's good like that. But I'm here again, feeling inadequate and undeserving. Who am I that I should be given such a privilege? That the God of the universe would choose little ole me to go to such a dark corner of the world to proclaim His Good News. Wow.

I hope to blog while I'm away. We'll see. I'm not taking my laptop this time cuz I hate to drag it around and I had connection issues the last time I was there. I hope to use an internet cafe or the business office at one of the hotels. If not, I'll return with a full report sometime after April 4th. I covet your prayers for me, my friend Salena who is traveling with me, the rest of the team that we'll meet up with in India, and, most importantly, for the people we will engage while we are there.

Serving the King,


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And then comes the physical rest... it or not. We planned to go camping over Spring Break '09. Camping is, by far, one of my favorite things to do. We camped about halfway between where we live and Waco cuz my Jessica got invited to play in a basketball tournament over the weekend at Baylor. (BTW - loved, loved how those Baylor men beat Kansas and Texas in the Big 12 basketball tournament. AND, those Lady Bears WON the Big 12 Conference Championship. Sic'em Bears!) Sunday morning I got up and leaned over to fold up the couch in the Wildwood and did something to my back. I have a crazy back and, occasionally, it just doesn't work the way it's supposed to. I spent almost the entire day Sunday on the couch in the Wildwood...not how I would choose to spend my camping trip. It's now Wednesday and I'm a little better but not recovered. All the things I wanted to do over Spring Break, all the things I need to do to get ready for my trip next week, all the things that have to be done daily just to keep us rolling, are not being done by me. UGH! I'm doing lots of resting but am itching to get on with the things I need to do.

I'm leaving for a trip to India and Nepal one week from today. I will be doing some mission work and, as a bonus, will get to take a flight around Mt. Everest! I am super excited to see the tallest mountain that God created. I am looking forward to the trip and am eager to share God's Truth with those that I will meet while I am there.

The pain in my back and the powerful pain killers are keeping me from thinking of one more thing to type...ugh, again...

Serving the King,


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Soul Rest

I've been trying to rest this week because I didn't return from our women's retreat feeling rested physically. In fact, just a couple of hours after I got home I had to go to a wedding. I sat in the back of the church with a few other friends who had done the same...we laughed about rest. (BTW, if you are reading and don't go to our church, our retreat theme this year was Rest.) While physical rest is certainly important, even vital to our physical health, the retreat was really about soul rest. How is our soul at rest even during frantic, hurried, many hat wearing, taking care of all kinds of responsibilities, times?

I spent weeks studying about rest. I planned to rest. I knew the answers in my head for soul rest. Then, once home from the retreat, those things that I struggle with that keep me from resting popped up. That's how it happens. That very thing that I am trying so hard to get -- the lesson I am trying to learn once and for all -- is the one that so easily escapes.

We talked about Elijah at the retreat. How he had seen God do some awesome things. How he was used by God to do some miraculous things. Then, there he was, on the run. Afraid for his life. Tired, worn out, hungry. God supplied his physical needs and then met with him on Mt. Horeb. "What are you doing here, Elijah?" God asked. Poor pitiful me, Elijah replied. Just off a great victory but feeling alone and abandoned.

This is not how I thought it would turn out...

Yet, all God's promises are true. He never said it would be easy but that He would never leave or forsake. He said He gives strength to the weary because He is strong and mighty. DL Moody said, "The Scriptures were given not to increase our knowledge but to change our lives." If I read that God is faithful, that He provides strength, that He alone is my resting place, but do not apply it in my daily life then it's just head knowledge. It's intended purpose, to change my life, is not accomplished. It's my choice to make -- will I rest in Him? Will I trust Him and in His Word?

God repeated the question to Elijah a second time, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" God let him answer, then told him what was really going on. The truth of the matter. Then God told Elijah what to do next.

So, where do I go from here? When the lies that the world is screaming at me seem stronger than the feeling of rest I've got to combat that with the Truth of the Word. Confess those areas that need confession and seek out those promises that apply to what I'm going through right now. As I repeat over and over again the Truth I am able to believe it. And apply it. I place a spiritual marker and know that God is teaching me -- I plan to remember this lesson.

And from here I go out to rest.

Serving the King,