The Great Commission and Elections

I feel, like many others, that I’m in a time of mourning for our nation. We prayed hard for this election and God revealed his will…but its not in the direction we hoped. Mourning is not a lack of faith. Its a spiritual and emotional response that is an important part of living by faith!

We know God’s ways are not our ways, and he uses many different methods to advance the spread of the gospel. Including persuasion and kindness. But also including persecution, war, natural disaster, and political leaders.

Habakkuk carried a burden of prophecy as he looked upon injustice, wrong, violence, and paralyzed law in his nation. He complained to the Lord! ‘How long, O Lord, must I call for help, but you do not listen?

I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.’

You know what the Lord’s answer was? Listen to this. Look at the nations and watch- and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.

The lense I see the world through is God’s kingdom. It is advancing all through the nations. Its so important to not become discouraged, cynical, or fatalistic in our faith regarding these elections and our government.

I turned to Psalm 2 on Wednesday morning. Have you ever read it?

‘Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain? The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together against the Lord and against his Anointed One. “Let us break their chains,” they say, “and throw off their fetters.”

The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them. Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying, “I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will proclaim the decree of the Lord:

He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father. Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession (vs 1-8).

You might not sense God calling you to move overseas into cross-cultural missions, like he is calling our family to. But did you see the electoral map of the election results by county? I perceive this map as a clear indication of where the mission field of the United States is. The inner-cities and metropolis are where the unreached of America lay.

This election is not a call to depression, seclusion, fear and bitterness! Its a call to sell yourself completely to the Kingdom of God. I believe we are about to see a great harvest, greater than the first. The fields are white in the world. Even here in America where immigrants abound and a generation of Americans do not know the living truth of the gospel.

Let’s cry out as Habakkuk did when he saw his nation in distress; when he heard and his heart pounded and his legs trembled…

I stand in awe of your deeds, O Lord. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known;
In wrath remember mercy.

Let’s ask for the nations as our inheritance, now, in our day.

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What Unexpected Adventure Awaits?

I want to sit down with each of you, right now, with a cup of coffee or sweet tea or yerba mate or whatever it is you drink. Everyone have something in hand?

I have some news to share. I’d rather wait until we have the real cup of coffee, face-to-face, instead of virtual one, but we all know how fast news spreads around these days, and I want you to hear it from me first.

In April, God started to stir up a strong desire in my (and my husband’s) heart to ask him about returning to the mission field. We began a season of intense fasting and prayer, asking him what he has for us. This is not the first time we’ve done this, by the way. Several times before, we’ve asked God about going into missions and he’s said stay. So our hearts were prepared for for the same answer.

An interesting thing happened. The day after our fast ended, we recieved an invitation for a very desirable and well-suited position on the mission field, in Israel. Immediately, our hearts lept and wanted to say yes! But instead we asked for counsel and prayer from our spiritual leaders, and asked the Lord for a double-confirmation from his word.

The next week, another invitation came, for a similar position but in South Africa.

Then God spoke to Gert Isaiah 30:17-21. The double-confirmation we asked for, as this passage has special meaning to my husband. Our prayer partners came back and said ‘yes.’

I cannot convey to you the joy and release we felt at this point. We’ve been married for 11 years, and always assumed we would raise our family on the mission field. But God has led us on a different journey in the States, which has been filled with relationships and experiences I will treasure forever. It has been a privilege and joy to pastor a church, we have grown more through this experience than I thought possible. Our children have enjoyed the privildge of living in the abundance of the United States. I have been thoroughly equipped to mother and homeschool my children, thanks to co-ops and godly friends. My husband has found a vocation as a paramedic which he is passionate about. It will be an incredible asset on any mission field. God has been so gracious and good to us.

The hard part comes now, in telling our dear friends and family, that we are leaving. Much sadness and tears is to come as we let go and say goodbye. It never gets easier to say goodbye. The sacrifice is great, for those who stay and for those who go.

My comfort and solace is this, from the book of Hebrews: All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted they were aliens and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country- a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he had prepared a city for them.

Our days on earth are numbered, but our days in heaven are not. If we share the fellowship of being called children of God, we will have all of eternity to be together in a far superior home. If we can live our lives with purpose, investing in eternity, it makes the sacrifice of saying goodbye worth it.

We do not have the final confirmation of where to go, although we are leaning heavily towards South Africa. We can be fruitful there, training and discipling new students and missionaries. And our children are African-American, right? It will be a blessing for them to experience the other part of their heritage and culture. Many of Gert’s family have not even met all of our children.

From the bottom of our hearts, we love you. I want to make the most of the time we have left in the States. We ask for your prayers as we make decisions, transition into a missions lifestyle, and begin an international move as a (soon-to-be) family of 7.

With love,

Molly

What is a Daniel Fast?

As someone who enjoys eating, I first saw the Daniel Fast as sort of a cop-out. To me, the idea of a fast is to totally deny your flesh the pleasure and satisfaction of food and instead rely on the Word of God as daily ‘Bread.’ Eating anything just seemed a little too easy. But as I considered this fast, the more the Holy Spirit has been challenging me with my mindset. Our family is on a journey to better health, but I believe like anything, the implications are not just physical, they are spiritual too.

“In those days I, Daniel, was mourning three full weeks. I ate no pleasant food, no meat or wine came into my mouth, nor did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.” Daniel 10:2, 3

Simply put, a Daniel Fast is a biblically-based partial fast that includes a diet of vegetables, fruit, and whole grains. It abstains from meat, dairy, sweeter of any kind, yeast, and any beverage except water.

A year ago, my husband and I did a Daniel Fast but did not include whole grain. I’ve since learned why fruits and grains are allowed when the Bible says Daniel ate only vegetables and drank water. The early translations (including KJV) use the word pulse instead of vegetables. That word is rightly translated as “foods grown from seed.” Therefore, the Daniel Fast includes fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

If you are adept at reading between the lines, you will see this means…..no coffeeeee…….

If we are a bit grouchy, groggy, spacey, or otherwise seem impaired in the next few days, please excuse us and remind me the headaches will soon go away. I am not looking forward to caffeine withdrawals!

But I am eager to draw near to the Lord, seek his presence in our lives more, and to wean myself off unhealthy habits. As mothers, it is a great challenge to continue to run the race marked out for us.  There are no false pretenses with raising children. It is hard, dirty, sometimes unrewarding, overwhelming work. When my children argue with each other, are disobedient or whining, I feel like a complete failure. Just being honest here. But the Lord is near! He is ordaining moments to reach their hearts. To speak words of life, calling, purpose, and character into their spirits.

Our oldest daughters were baptized today. Their spiritual journey begins. I am anticipating the presence of God in their lives more and more, and I can’t wait to see how God will speak to them! I am asking God to change me, to renew my spirit, through this time of fasting.

We will be studying the life of Daniel during the next 3 weeks. This website has been especially helpful and encouraging with practical and spiritual application to the Daniel Fast (definitions taked from): http://daniel-fast.com/index.html

Also, this blog: http://danielfast.wordpress.com/

Slavery

Do things sometimes happen to you, grabbing your attention in such a dramatic way, that you know God is speaking?

Today I filled my husband in, word for word, on this dramatic story of freedom from slavery in the 21st century.

I had to look Mauritania up on the map. Northern Africa, edge of the Sahara desert. Slavery was abolished in … 1981?!

The Freedom Project: Ending Modern Day Slavery

Tonight at home group we popped in the Graham Cooke video series on prophetic thinking we’ve been watching. Only instead of Graham Cooke, a Bruce Willis look alike came on explaining how God led him to start a ministry called Not For Sale. Directed at ending… Slavery. His real name is David Batstone, and he is currently helping victims of human trafficking overseas in Thailand, Uganda, Peru, Cambodia, and Romania. Not For Sale also has projects running in the United States.

My wheels were turning, I was on full alert. What is going on, Lord?

Justice. Orphans and widows. Fatherless. Victims. Oppressed. 1700 new slaves every day brought into America. 120,000 right now. 10-20% of Mauritania in slavery. Sex slaves, child slaves, slavery of the mind.

So here’s where I’m coming from. Forever ago, when I was a zealous, idealistic 18 yr I set out to Nepal to end human trafficking. Inspired by my hero Amy Carmichael, I thought I’d do some mighty work for God in Asia. Like uncover underground trafficking operations or something. I walked up and down the dirty streets of Kathmandu for 6 months before finally finding one NGO where I could volunteer to teach English to women trying to rehabilitate from prostitution. Most were sold by their families into prostitution. Village life is a dead end street, so traffickers target them. Most of these women were HIV positive.

I dreamed of sting operations in Mumbai where we’d raid a brothel and bring Nepali girls back home. I met amazing missionary women who were giving the better part of their years to this work. I was in awe, aware of my youth, naively green.

I never even made it across the Indian border.

God ordered my steps in another direction. I felt vision slowly die as I was deported and blacklisted from Nepal. My gut still churns with anxiety inside immigration offices! But that’s another blog 🙂

Does God sometimes allow death of a vision in order to birth a vision?

What would he have me do now, as a mom of 4 kids living in the USA… Land of the Free? What can I do?

David Batstone said we should take one small step. So here’s my plan. God has given this blog as an outlet of expression. We need to become aware. We can influence our culture. My first step is to learn the brands who use child labor and slave labor to manufacture and intentionally purchase elsewhere. There’s even an app to help you with that, its called Free2Work. You can scan in your item and get a “grade” based on slave labor stats.

My second step is to allow my heart to be broken for the injustice and to pray.

Third step? Don’t yet know! Take a look at Not For Sale’s website for inspiring ways to get involved in a cause bigger than yourself.  Find out what to look for in places that might be facilitating human trafficking, right here in the USA.

‘GCB’- ABC’s New Anti-Christian Program

Time to take some action. I’ve been on a letter-writing spree lately, from Senators to Broadcasting Stations. If you consider yourself pro-family, please take a couple of minutes to read this article. After you have read it, I strongly encourage you to voice your complaint to ABC.

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/03/08/abc-owes-christian-women-apology-for-gcb/

Here is the contact information for ABC: http://abc.go.com/site/contact-us

Here is what I had to say, in 500 characters:

“I am aware of a program you are airing called “Good Christian Bitches.” Is it your intent to shock the American public and thereby increase your ratings? Do you feel our society needs more “Bitches” to look up to as role models for how a young woman should behave? Not to mention the offense and anti-Christian message you are propagating. Do we need an increase in doubleminded, hypocritical, shallow individuals? Please remove this broadcast. It’s anti-American and anti-family. Aim for quality.”

3 Must-See Films

Last Sunday my husband preached on Hosea 4:6 “My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” We learned the difference from willfully ignorant, rejecting knowledge; and being uninformed.

Recently we’ve made significant efforts to change our diets, and this is a result of not wanting to be willfully ignorant of what we put in our bodies.

“For the LORD grants wisdom!
From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest.

Then you will understand what is right, just, and fair,
and you will find the right way to go. For wisdom will enter your heart,
and knowledge will fill you with joy.

Wise choices will watch over you.
Understanding will keep you safe.” Proverbs 2:6-7,9-11 NLT.

Here are 3 Must-See Documentaries for those who want more knowledge and understanding about the food we eat…

1. The Beautiful Truth

2. Food Matters

3. Forks over Knives

All available through Netflix, YouTube, or your local library. We did a one-month free trial on Netflix in order to see all of them!

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What Makes You Happy?

A new outfit makes me happy. For about 3 days. Lasting happiness, we’ll call it joy, comes in another fashion (pun intended). Contentment is a beautiful world. Godliness with contentment is great gain, the Bible says. I’ll compare it to eating junk food when you’re really hungry for a meal. Fills the gap in your tummy for a while, but doesn’t satisfy. Nothing is like a feast of delicious, fresh, whole foods (can you tell its dinner time and I’m getting hungry??). Something superficial like new clothes feels good for a short while, but is fleeting. It does not produce lasting happiness, joy, and contentment.

I don’t know when I first realized this. But the desires of my heart are changing.

As a new mom, almost 9 years ago, I could not STAND to be at home for the whole day, with my baby, not having anything to ‘do’. That was my prevailing attitude up until recently. But somewhere in the last 6 months or so, a very interesting phenomena has occurred. I WANT to be at home with my kids! Instead of finding excuses to go into town, I found myself looking for excuses to stay home.

This is really weird, folks. I’m not depressed or feeling anti-social. I’ve realized that being home, providing a constant, steady, variety of activities for my kids as we home school, is enough for me. That in conjunction with time to work out, church on Sunday, a day off with my family to have fun, and a hot date with my husband AT LEAST once a month. Throw in a trip to the NW once a year and I’m a happy clam.

This might sound contradicting to my previous post about longing for adventure. YES, I still long for adventure. But God is so good! He puts desires in our hearts, and then delights to give them to us. He knows that desire for adventure is in there, its part of my DNA. But for today, he has graciously given me a new desire, to live a full, quiet, life at home raising my children and enjoying my awesome husband. I’m constantly researching and learning new things from permaculture gardening to sprouting grains to making yogurt to sterling silver jewelry to blogging!

I’m going to challenge you now. For us as women, living in a culture that values strong, career-minded, independent, feministic women, it requires a radical transformation of the mind to embrace this biblical teaching.

“…train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.” Titus 2:4,5.

God, in his infinite and perfect goodness, will be so gracious to you as to give you a desire for this, if you are willing, and brave enough, to ask.