Due to the fact that we live in Tanzania…

Due to the fact that we live in Tanzania, we are at greater risk for crime. Our rental house has bars on all windows, metal security doors in addition to the wood doors. We have an electric fence on top of the tall concrete fence around the property, with a tall metal gate that is padlocked at night. We also have two German shepherds. Those extra measures of security are nice to have and the dogs and electric fence are particular deterrents, but our fail-proof security measure is being in Christ. Even if someone were to destroy our bodies, they cannot touch our souls. I think sometimes we get things turned around and put a great amount of emphasis on guarding our physical possessions, but we let our guard down when it comes to our souls.

#possessions, #security, #soul, #tanzania

I am reflecting upon the wonderful famil…

I am reflecting upon the wonderful family God has given to me. Tuesday George and I will celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary. I am so very thankful that he is my husband and father to our children. We both readily admit that we are far from perfect, but we have striven to keep God in the center of our home. Our son, Jacob, age 21, preached a very good lesson this morning. Our children are such a blessing in our lives, and I am often humbled when I think of their goodness. They teach me alot.

#anniversary, #children, #family, #reflection

I do like to travel! I’ve been to New Z…

I do like to travel! I’ve been to New Zealand, Jamaica, India, Malawi, and of course, Tanzania. Our traveling outside of the United States has always been mission-related, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. It has been such a privilege to meet and worship with brethren in different parts of the world. Experiencing different cultures has definitely changed our world view and I believe it has given us a broader perspective of the church. When our children were growing up, my husband took turns taking them with him on various mission trips. Two daughters and one son have been to New Zealand, one son has been to Ukraine, and our oldest daughter has also been to Jamaica. Best of all is when our family has been able to travel together. In 2005 we all went together to India for a month. Together we spent a month in Malawi in 2006, and we moved to Tanzania in 2007. Our experiences have changed who we are, and hopefully for the better.

#church, #missions, #travel

Lay Not Up for Yourselves Treasures Upon the Earth

Hey, I’m on a roll! Two posts in one day. 🙂

This morning our family worshiped with the brethren at the Njiro congregation. We always enjoy worshiping here. Though they be few in number, there are some good people here. During one of the prayers offered this morning, my heart was struck at some words which were uttered.

But first, you must understand context. The home of the one who led the prayer is kind of like “The Projects” of Tanzania – rows of apartment-like dwellings for factory workers. Their space consists of two very small rooms. There is a small cubby hole where some food preparation is done. There is a tiny closet-sized toilet room, with just a hole in the ground. No sink. No shower. No running water. No electricity.

Now, with that in mind, think about this. Our brother prayed that we should not lay up our treasures on earth, because there are thieves and these earthly things will decay, but we should lay up our treasures in heaven. Isn’t that humbling to you? It is to me.

We may look at conditions in which our Tanzanian brethren live and think they are very poor. By U.S. standards they are. But U.S. standards don’t matter in the least. They are not “the” standard. George once asked his class of preacher students how many consider themselves to be poor. None of them thought so.

Just maybe some of our brethren in third-world countries have a better handle on what it means to lay up our treasures in heaven. They don’t have a lot of “things” in which to put their trust, but hope for a better place is very real to them.

What things do you treasure most? Can they be stolen? Can they rust? Will they decay? Maybe it’s time to reevaluate where we are storing our treasures, Matthew 6:19-20.

May you all have a blessed week.
In Him,
Joy

#decay, #poor, #prayer, #treasure

When I think of authority, that prompts …

When I think of authority, that prompts me to think of submission.

Christ has all authority, and we are commanded to submit to him, Matt. 28:18.
We are to submit to the governing authorities, as long as they do not make demands contrary to the will of God, Rom. 13:1; Acts 5:29
We are to submit to elders, Heb. 13:17
Wives are to submit to their husbands,, Col. 3:18
Children are to submit to their parents, Eph. 6:1
Servants are to be obedient to Masters, Eph. 6:5.

No matter our age or position in life, there will always be someone in authority above us. Parents need to do a better job instilling into their children proper respect for authority. Too often parents are afraid to be authoritative in the lives of their children. However, learning to respect and submit to authority on a rudimentary level is vital preparation for submitting to various authorities in life, not the least of which is Christ, our ultimate authority. When parents provide godly authority for their children, it enables children to feel secure. Likewise, I feel a great sense of security when I think of Christ, because He is my perfect authority. Anything he requires of me is for my own good.

On a personal note, living here in Tanzania I do feel a certain amount of trepidation towards those in positions of authority in the world. Many are not interested in truth and justice, but in personal gain. However, I know that Christ will cause justice to reign in the end, and that is where my security lies.

#authority, #christ, #submission

Since Randal so graciously made an excep…

Since Randal so graciously made an exception for Laura and me :D, I do feel obligated to reply – again. 🙂 Here are a few of the many good qualities of my best friend, my husband: he is a spiritual leader, my encourager who gives me much more credit than I deserve, one in whom I can trust completely and talk to about anything and everything, and has a sense of humor that keeps me entertained.

#best-friend, #husband

If my mate is excluded, I’m out of luck…

If my mate is excluded, I’m out of luck. I don’t have a best friend other than him.

#friend

The best job I’ve ever had is the one I…

The best job I’ve ever had is the one I began nearly 25 years ago – being a help-meet to my husband, and then later a mother to our children. This is the best job I could possibly have, because it was given to me by God. Like many jobs, it requires flexibility and often challenges me to add new dimensions to my job description. It has been quite an interesting journey so far! 🙂

Just one? :) One of the first thoughts t…

Just one? 🙂 One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was concerning Abraham, who was commanded to offer up his only son, Isaac. Though the specific word “obey” is not found, the concept permeates the account, found in Genesis 22. When Isaac questioned Abraham about the offering, Abraham replied “God will provide…”(Gen. 22:8). Hebrews 11:17-19 further reveals the thoughts of Abraham: he had faith that God was able to raise Isaac from the dead. Abraham obeyed, knowing that he could place complete trust in God to work out what seemed to be a most difficult situation. Are we willing to obey Him in all things, with complete trust in Him to provide, in spite of our limited view?

#abraham, #faith, #obey, #provide

I would have been more evangelistic. The…

I would have been more evangelistic. There are opportunities that have passed by because of being too timid.

I would like to say that although all of us would like to go back and do certain things over or be better than we were, the fact is we cannot. We ought to learn from our past mistakes and determine from this day forward to work on those attributes which we wish we would have begun to cultivate years ago. We must never live as though it’s too late to change; we must continually strive to be more Christlike every day.

#evangelism

What is Your Vision?

I am working on some lessons for a ladies day.  I would like to get your feedback on the following:

These first two questions apply to both males and females:

1.  What vision or goals do you have for your personal spiritual growth, and what are you doing to make it happen?

2.  What vision do you have for your family?  What are you doing to help your family accomplish your vision?  Hopefully we all have the vision of our family being in heaven, so please be more specific. 🙂

This last question is for females (men, you may ask your wives if you wish:) )
3.  If you had the opportunity to attend a ladies day, what topics would you particularly like to have addressed?

#spiritual-goals, #vision

Would I be showing favoritism if I said …

Would I be showing favoritism if I said http://www.christiancourier.com/ ? 🙂

..I must surrender all.

..I must surrender all.

#jesus-is-lord, #surrender

My clothes washer is number one. I washe…

My clothes washer is number one. I washed clothes by hand in our bathtub the first couple of months after our arrival in Tanzania, and wringing out everything by hand was definitely a chore, especially my son’s 36″long jeans. 🙂

How’s Your Hearing?

Have you ever been talking to someone on the phone and while they talk, you wash a few dishes, dust the furniture, and turn to holler at the kids now and then?  How about chatting online?  Have you ever carried on conversations with two or three people simultaneously?  How about four or five people?  In this day and age, multitasking has reached new heights, and ironically, with the many different tools we have at hand to supposedly aid in communication, it seems that many people lack the ability to communicate on a deeper level.  It has been said  “You cannot truly listen to anyone and do anything else at the same time.” I think there’s some truth to that statement.

Ralph Nichols once said “The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.” It seems like some people are people magnets.  Somehow others are drawn to them. Folks always want to bounce ideas off them, discuss various problems, and bare their souls to these individuals.  Perhaps one of the reasons is that they listen.  But I wonder, who listens to them?

The next time you engage in a conversation, give some thought to how you listen.  Try to focus your attention solely on the person with whom you are conversing at least for a few minutes.  Don’t be so quick to express every thought and opinion.  Don’t formulate your next sentence in your mind, while the other person is still talking.  Instead, take the time to really listen.  You just may learn something.

#communication, #listening