Archive: » 2014 » November

128 Narrowed Down to One

  • November 27, 2014
Dear Friends,

Recently I was challenged to write a list of at least 100 things I am thankful for, with encouragement to start with events early on in my life—not just current events. I started with thanking the Lord for saving my mother when I was four, and the list went on from there. I came up with 128 things in about an hour’s time. Don’t worry—I won’t list them here for you, but there are still so many things I could add to the list. I only stopped writing because I had to do something else right then!

I will say that YOU, my faithful prayer partners/supporters, are on that list.  It is so amazing and special to think of those of you who have been either praying for me,  supporting me financially, or both, for 25 years! It is at once humbling and joy inspiring! Thank you for caring so much that you have stayed with me as long as you have, and that includes every one of you, whether you have been participating in Togo’s ministries for a long time or for a shorter time. I thank the Lord so much for you.
As we grow in the Lord, we are to live a life of consistent thanksgiving. While this holiday season gives us cause to consider carefully our “gratitude quotient,” my prayer for myself and for you is that we will be consistently grateful, every single day, because we have so many reasons for thankfulness.
I’m glad I don’t have to pick and choose what I am thankful for, but if you asked me to name one thing today— with the understanding that it does not minimize the other items “on my list”— I would say I’m thankful for the Lord’s never-ending merciful lovingkindness. That’s a big one. I’m not even sure how many times over the past few weeks that I’ve sighed and wondered if the Lord does not grow weary of His children from time to time . . . . Don’t get me wrong; I’m doing well and am joyful! It’s just that sometimes a thought or an attitude may surface in my heart that I am not proud of at all.  On one particular day, I had actually, in my heart, suspected the integrity of another person’s motive for doing something!! Uh oh . . . moment of clarity . . . missionaries are not perfect any more than non-missionaries! And I asked the Lord, right out loud, as I asked Him to forgive me, “Lord, don’t you just get tired of me?” And He reminded me: “My mercy never comes to an end.”  He brought to mind the vast and dramatic Victoria Falls, and the huge volume of water that does not stop flowing even in the dry season . . . . What a refreshing thought! And it is so true! I’m deeply, deeply grateful today that His mercies never “run out,” as the French Bible states it.
I hope the Lord causes your heart to swell with thanksgiving to Him for many, many reasons (count them!), and especially because He is merciful.
Have a wonderful thanksgiving!

Vic Falls Love composite xga

Need to be held together?

  • November 11, 2014

Dear Friends,

The “photo of the day” today is nothing less than a wonderful gift from our Creator, and it begs to be shared!

Water molecules are held together by cohesion, forming a drop, which acts as a “fisheye” lens. When you look through the tiny drop, you can see a wonderful wide-angle image of what is behind it.

I can’t help but think of Colossians 1:16: “By HIM all things consist (or cohere, are held together).”   If our Creator God can hold these water molecules together to make a drop that forms a lens and displays a beautiful scene, he can surely keep your heart and life together. If you live in Togo, you might say, well, there are termites in the literature container (again), munching away on the gospel tracts, and a friend is ill, and the freezer quit working, and the oven quit working, and a family member does not feel well, and another friend is ill, and there are some problems in some churches and this did not come to light until yesterday, and . . . .
Feel like you’re coming apart?  Draw near to Him; He will hold you together. (James 4:8; Matthew 11:28-30; I Peter 5:7)

Single Drop Scene email

Say it with flowers!!

  • November 11, 2014
The well-known FTD flower sellers  have as their slogan “Say it With Flowers” . . . you can convey all kinds of nice messages with flowers, and the most common one seems to be “I love you.”
After the Great Fall in Genesis, I believe the Lord God could have removed every vestige of color and attractiveness from the earth. But it’s obvious He did not do that. He left so much beauty, even in its broken state, so we can admire Him as our Creator, and as The Creator of the earth and the heavens and all that is in them. In this way, He shows us what He is like and uses His creations to draw lost mankind to Himself, and also to encourage those who already know Him.
I love it that He left flowers! In Scripture He uses them as a lesson to demonstrate His care for us. (Matthew 6:29; Luke 12:27).  I have felt on more than one occasion as I have admired the color, symmetry, and detail of these strikingly beautiful plants that He has indeed spoken words akin to “I love you, and this beauty in my creation is one way of showing it.”
Just a few days ago, I attended a conference over in Ghana with several missionary colleagues. The road on which the hotel was located was overgrown, and I enjoyed spending a a half hour or so each morning admiring the wildflowers I found along the way, just on this quarter mile stretch. The composite below shows a dozen of the 16 or more varieties I found there.
I know it’s Fall and starting to get cold where most of you are, so you won’t see many flowers this time of year.  As you look at this “bouquet from Africa”, remember our loving Creator made flowers to be noticed and enjoyed. May you sense His presence and His love for you today.
Flowers Ghana email