Tag Archive | prayer

True joy… a sacrifice of praise (particpating in Proverbs 31 Joy Carnival )


Today as I watched the morning come in my window and the stars where saying their final goodbyes to the day, my heart was somewhat overwhelmed with recent realities of life and I literally just laid down my head and cried.  Our heavenly Father seems so close in the early morning hours and it comforts me to be with Him in this special time of the night watches just before daybreak.  When I can be still and listen — my manna for this day.

In the Bible we are reminded of the value of seeking the Lord in the early hours as referenced in

Mark 1:35
New American Standard Bible
In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.

Jesus was an early riser to seek the Lord in prayer as mentioned over and over in a secluded place.

Our Heavenly Father knew we need the quiet and He placed Jesus as and example  of prayer and intimacy with Him for the beginning of the day.  This so resonates with me to get up and do the Jeremiah 33:3 thing– seek me and you will find me and I will show you secret and amazing things.

So here I am feeling very brokenhearted for a myriad of reasons: the  very traumatized children I am working with and for in the ministry I lead ( Yahweh Center Children’s Village http://www.yahwehcenter.org

Lamenting in particular for  a child whose family of origin for four generations has practiced prostitution and how this sweet boy with is fighting such intense emotions that he has to have a nap to renew his strength.  Yet oh how this child can sing and his face all aglow as he broke free from his activity to pick a dandelion and give it to me.  Bravely in a praise mode at that moment.
A true sacrifice of praise.

Then there is my mother in law, Verda who calmly called my husband to tell him that the Doctor has told her there  is not much time and maybe she should consider Hospice.  She is gently in a ”  joyful ” place witnessing serenely because the joy of the Lord is her strength.  ( Nehemiah 8: 10 )

Another..

One lady, I admire so much dear Sue who is such an inspiring encourager to others although she has many physical challenges as her daily life, she graces all who come to know her through the joy she humbly exudes in her daily walk in Christ.  Her joy is a ” sacrifice of praise”. She writes me a lovely email and in it barely mentions surgery today.

The faces of my staff who learned yesterday that our paychecks are going to be held up because of delays in our payment for our professional treatment work.. with one sending me an email to tell me that she and one of the nurses in our psychiatric unit made banners and had the children singing for God inhabits the praises of His people…

My mentor, Shirley who is in so much pain from physical afflictions that it could be a blog in itself .. witnessing, encouraging  others with joy! She demonstrates the multiplication of encouragement.

All these things lifted up for desperate prayer.

This testimony of ” joy” in the Lord begins to lift my spirits and before long by reading His word and with remeberance of the power of the testimony of His children whose circumstances seem anything of joy…. my heart and spirit are lifted and the joy of the Lord over takes all the emotions and suddenly the joy of the Lord is my strength, and it is overflowing.

I go down and put on the coffee turning on my local Christian radio hearing His name lifted up in praise and turn to see the kitchen filled with light.

So thankful to experience this mystery of His inexplicable joy!

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Are you on the Fence? Or will you pray? A Lamentation for the children

I found it again today “hidden” in my quarantine files another email from Tami now an adult thanking me for our ministy’s part of her survival. You see she was with us for 3 years back on our first home for these amazing kids…

Tami is a survivor of being in a situation where her younger brother was killed by their” adoptive” mom.. she has written this note to me today and I am not posting it all as I do not have her permission but this is what part of what  she wrote

hey carla, my name is tamara ( took out last name ) i used to stay at the old Yahweh center, and i loved it, and am so grateful that you helped me out!!! i will never forget all that i learned there. anyways i have my own family now, i am married with a year old little boy and another child on the way (due in october) and really love my family. here is something that i wrote yesterday that i thought you would like. my husband and i want to start a safe home for abused children but right now we do not have the funds but we pray on it every day, and feel that this is the Lords will for our lives, and that he will allow us to recieve the means to do so, in his timing. if you have any suggestions ar comments please let me know, i could use all the help i can get!!! thankyou.

This is an open book friends… all transparency here in this post tonight. I am pulling from the depth of emotion today. Where is the mission field for these children? It is indeed here at this moment. Yes, I know much travail is in the world.. but my “call” is to this little patch of earth on Lamb’s Path Way where children’s futures are in the balance. This is a battle cry…

Arise, cry aloud in the night At the beginning of the night watches;
Pour out your heart like water Before the presence of the Lord;
Lift up your hands to Him For the life of your little ones

(Lamentations 2:19

James 1:27 Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.

Is the Body of Christ on the fence in their behalf ?

My coming to you in this post is because of the absolute need for prayer as I see our ministry sliding over the edge in deep financial need. This is going now , I have let sit for a day because when one pours out of me in a deep lament, I feel a release to continue by the Holy Spirit. I simply could not write the words to go forward because the weight of it was so oppressive,  I had to just stop. Sleep has eluded me and so when I came home from the ministry today, we ate supper and I just went into a deep sleep. Upon rising and being alone with the creation of the universe outside my window in the night—the release to share has come. So I share my heart, my prayers, my passion and my questions with you.

I want to thank you all very much for your prayers, encouragement and all levels of support for the Yahweh Center Children’s Village. I have been spending time reading about people of great faith, those in the Bible and those whose life in ministry, missions and in the workplace, whose faith and testimony glorify the Lord.

Some of my non-biblical favorites are: Amy Carmichael, George Mueller, DL Moody, Watchmen Knee, Elizabeth Elliot, Hudson Taylor, George Washington, and some of you. What they shared in common was the unfailing time spent in reading God’s word and then deep abiding prayer, and praise for our Lord. They totally put their trust in Him. This was their way of life and it inspired and influenced the world for Christ.

They were above all people who knew the value of prayer…. and it is that gift of prayer which I seek from you in writing this email…

The Lord gave me vision to for these children over 22 years ago , I have been trying to go back and review this vision which came from inquiring of the Lord in fervent crying out that HE knew what these children were going through. In my lamenting back then, I was pacing the floors  in my living room, just broken, tired of the continual and disturbing daily trauma of children I was then working with as a frontline Dept of Social Services social worker. I cried  to the Lord specifically from Matthew 18:10-11.
10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.

As you may remember from my sharing this story when I was crying out saying to God I said to Him “  your angels for these children come before you face to face EVERY DAY!!!  I said, to Him you know, why are you not doing something and He said, why don’t you do something? Not the answer I expected but I heard Him most clearly and it birthed a response in me.

The doing something is a long journey in the continual school of prayer, praise, learning, developing faith muscles, victories, failures, warfare, fruit and victories that s that is now  the Yahweh Center Children’s Village. A review of our history in which  thousands of children found Jesus Christ and healing from a world of hurt and betrayal. The healing resulting in abundant laughter of children who were so broken they could not speak echoes in my mind’s hearing. Those set free to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ. His great victory to the one lost now found – a testimony of your hearts, the work of the staff, the prayers of the saints for the “least of them”

This is a partnership of celebration….

I am trying to recall the vision and the scriptures leading to it because my friends it appears there continues to be an expectation of some standard for this ministry that we must have help to achieve. Our problem is that we simply do not have a financial cushion—none—on the complete edge financially because of never having had enough funds at one time to build one. We have made it day by day minute by minute sometimes. We have had to do this for over 22 years but it is time to quit going around that mountain, the numbers are too big….

I have to think what we need most right now is the commitment to pray from an army of the LORD’s people —the real body, who will come along side of us in prayer to break down this stronghold of continual poverty.  Rest assured we have been seeking godly counsel and have sought a plan that will lead us into the future but I cry out for the here and now to get us through to that broad place that is still developing. Did not the children of Israel, all the early church go through tribulation? Most missionaries had times of despair and the questions they had—echo mine do we struggle for the lack of prayer to fight this battle? I believe we need not only prayer but fasting as well.

We have repented of any known sins in the camp and even of the ones that we might not realize. Who can come on His Holy Mountain? Those with clean hands  and pure hearts.  Psalm 24: 4

We fall down before Him pleading for a pure hearts and hands so we can come

Please review with me the scriptures below because when trying to find the words to say, I humbly do not know what else is to be said but these scriptures say it all.

We need you to read them, let the Holy Spirit speak to you and then please commit to pray for this ministry. There are those out in the world, and in the body who could help and just have not while others have been so faithful… some in fairness do not understand or know our need.  They do not see the faces or see the child who is a new creation. One little boy who recently said ,” just give me Jesus and I will be safe.”

Are we the body not Jesus on this earth through His spirit and example? If we cry out in one accord, lament and plead like the woman in the scripture below will not the heavens open for the fate of these little ones. Will not our prayers be taken to the throne room and placed in the bosom of our Father, our Abba , will we not cry out for them? His word says so…

Matthew 18 (New King James Version)

New King James Version (NKJV)

Matthew 18

Who Is the Greatest?

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”
2 Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, 3 and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

Jesus Warns of Offenses
6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!
8 “If your hand or foot causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life lame or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet, to be cast into the everlasting fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you. It is better for you to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes, to be cast into hell fire.

The Parable of the Lost Sheep
10 “Take heed that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that in heaven their angels always see the face of My Father who is in heaven. 11 For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost.[a]
12 “What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them goes astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine and go to the mountains to seek the one that is straying? 13 And if he should find it, assuredly, I say to you, he rejoices more over that sheep than over the ninety-nine that did not go astray. 14 Even so it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.

Luke 18 (New King James Version)

New King James Version (NKJV)

Luke 18

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

1 Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, 2 saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. 3 Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ 4 And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, 5 yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’”
6 Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. 7 And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? 8 I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

Jesus Blesses Little Children
15 Then they also brought infants to Him that He might touch them; but when the disciples saw it, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 17 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.”

Jesus Counsels the Rich Young Ruler
18 Now a certain ruler asked Him, saying, “Good Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 So Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God. 20 You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’[a]
21 And he said, “All these things I have kept from my youth.”
22 So when Jesus heard these things, He said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
23 But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich.

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Please oh please make prayer for this ministry a priority. Take just a minute to visualize the children we serve, see the those little ones on the fence above, please do not be on the fence of delay in prayer –

Thank you in advance for hitting your knees in prayers for us. We can feel it when you do~

Any concern too small to be turned into a prayer is
too small to be made into a burden.” – Corrie Ten Boom

In His Hope Abiding,

Carla

croberts@yahwehcenter.org

Give online and help us overcome for these little lambs ~

www.yahwehcenter.org

PO Box 10399
Wilmington, NC 28404 -0399

Hebrews 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.

01 In Better Hands by  Natalie Grant– Listen and consider what your hands can do for Him

“The Yahweh Center Children’s Village is dedicated to providing hope, healing and restoration through the power of Jesus Christ to traumatized children and their families. We accomplish this through residential care, child placement and outpatient services using prayer as a foundation

The lifesource of unconditional love

Oh how I have been contemplating the understanding of unconditional love… a concept elusive to us but through the Word of God ( Yahweh ) who gave us His love story through the testimony of His Son Jesus Christ.

How do we hope to even understand it?  My heart is very desperate to do this because it is the ” life source ” of all we are.  It is the the foundation of trusting which is “faith” and whether it comes from the seeking for the understanding of it through time alone with Jesus or reading of the Word– it is a hard thing to comprehend— this unconditional love He has for us. Is it hard for you?
Perhaps it is because it is a pure gift to us — for the taking.
Why is this so on my mind? Because this week, this past day the need for it is a primal cry in children that are in the care of the Yahweh Center Children’s Village.  http://www.yahwehcenter.org

Not to understand that is what they, these children crave makes us miss the mark… and we cannot do that. The we being those of us who work here in this mission field, we the body of Christ.. us and now more clear to me each day an unsaved world of broken and hurting people.

It is our understanding of this deep need in these little lives  (and also is a need in  all of us ) that gives these children hope–that somehow there exists that unconditional love for them.

Psalm 27 which poured out of the heart of David who was a desperate seeker in understanding the wonder of this love wrote:

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”
9 Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the LORD will take care of me.

A little boy who is a beautiful child was in deep deep despair– tearing his heart open with longing for this “lifesource” of need– unconditional love. He just wants to be “home”… loved for himself. Not painted with a brush of misunderstanding of who he is. which is a wonderful little boy who just wants his mother to “get it” that he needs her “unconditional love’ … but it eludes him and he is broken and angry too.

For he has seen it for the first time in the tender hands that care for him in our ministry –those dear people who “get it”  and in the office of his therapist on our staff who lets him open doors that have been closed up tight. Out he comes this special child who just wants to “belong” in a place of unconditional love.

So tell me how we open more of those doors?

He has heard it here in our time with him… that there is a Savior who died for Him that He loved this child ( you and me ) so much to give it all for us. A seed of hope planted in the heart of a child that as it says in verse 10 of Psalm 27 that when his mother and father forsake him … God will be there. ( my paraphrase )

Can we get that? I need to believe it so we can release this child and others that have not yet had a Christian family step up or be identified to embrace them in that thing they so need..

Where is the body of Christ for these children.. please hear our plea for you to open up your hearts and homes. No they are not overseas waiting. They are waiting right here in your backyard of America–waiting and longing.

James 1: 27

27 Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Meanwhile.. on my daily journey with Him — I try to grasp this great gift His unconditional love.  It must break His heart when I ( we )  miss it ..

But if I look around me His evidence of it is everywhere.. not the least of it in the face of my daughter  who is pictured here the epitome of it with her baby son.

Selah…

If this urgency in this blog has touched your heart about being an adoptive or therapuetic foster parent for children in our ministry please call

910 675-3533 and see how you can make a difference for a child today.

1-866-YAHWEH-7

(1-866-924-9347)

When Love Takes you in by Stephen Curtis Chapman

Seasons of strengths amid seasons of sorrow

Today has been a wrangling process with this particular post… maybe it’s the topic which has taken me to a ” selah ” time for about two weeks.  Having seen dear people I love, know and know of… lose loved ones, or relationships, their lives forever changed has put a “quiet, be still now in my spirit”. Anyone who knows me well, will understand that itself out of character for me to be so “quiet”.

The eyes have seen in our world  and culture, I fear too much death, tragedy , and devastation of historical  magnitude “right up and personal ” in their home, office, or coffee house peripheries . My concern is around if this will ( does )  lead to a  a kind of de-sensitization.  I am pondering this.

In the last couple of weeks, via the technology of our day ….great tragedy has been presented in our view on either the internet, on our radios, cable news or in our daily reading about the horrific events in Haiti.

Such magnitude of loss, grief and suffering touches all of us in some way unless one no longer has a heart that can be touched by such events.

Can that be happening too? Concerned for a bit then head down not looking, hearing anymore?  Believe me, I know people who are not doing that but unfortunately there are many more things taking center stage and missing what this “shaking ” means for the believer…  ( more on that later here )

It became real for us through many who are closely tied to those in and around Haiti. The connections to many ministries are vast and the blogs of the daily suffering that I have read touched me to tears and gratitude for those who are alive giving testimony.

It led me to prayer for the Christians on the ground in the trenches who are in their greatest hour of walking out their faith. It makes me ask myself.. how would I do there? Would I stand in strength? Oh Lord … would I? Someway, I know this is an altar call for the “remnant ” bride of Christ to internally see if we are intimate with Him to be ready.

This great cataclysmic tide of sorrow has rolled in with a reminder of the strengths of people who manage to show a testimony of survival against all odds. For those who prevail …their faith seems to rise amid the seasons of sorrow. For faith is the sustainer of those who reach for Him in the midst of so much pain. ” The Lord is near the brokenhearted and those crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

It takes me to a song by Addison Road… “Everything rides on hope now, everything rides on faith somehow… when the world has broken me down, Your love sets me free.”  You’ve become my hearts desire, I must sing your praises higher”… Could I sing my praises higher when my family is buried under rubble?

How about if, the only hope in the “camp” is the Bible verse that is my head when all is shaken? Or there is such surreal incoming of events that the mind is swamped. What would I do? I am asking myself that while being in the real company of people who  have in a different set of circumstances battled grief, sorrow, loss and shaking all around in another sort of way.

The first time loss really hit my life was on Christmas day during my early childhood when our little dog “Pepper” crawled up on my lap. It was while I was looking at a new gift in the form of a book… he simply died. It shocked and stunned me. At age 4, it broke my heart.

This was a great sadness and came with a sense of betrayal and injustice since I had prayed for Pepper. A tiny dog who had gotten into a scrimmage with a German Shepherd who grabbed him by the neck.   My early encounter with deeply talking things over with God grew from this moment.

Walking in farm fields when bringing up the Holstein cows.. much time to talk to the Lord.
There was no shortage of these types of things .. beloved animals that would perish on our dairy farm.  Early life lessons about death and the feelings of loss when a cow, lamb, cat or another pet was  no longer part of my daily joy. Baby calves who did not make it in the cold winter barns or a favorite cow who was struck by lightening when drinking from a pond. These were events of life on a farm that is based on seasons.

I lost my grandparents and my dearest adopted grandmother whom  I deeply loved and held on to the fact they knew the Lord and were in His place now.

Fast forward.. to my early young adulthood. Now a mother of an 18 month old, I get the word ( the dreaded phone call )  that my younger and beloved brother was killed instantly in an accident on a beautiful June day … my parents world blew apart.  We traveled quickly home to the family, farm, funeral and the questions that would come.

My question was to God, as I was not sure if my dear brother was saved. My husband and my last conversation with him in our North Carolina home was about Jesus and a candid discussion about Him as Savior but I still did not know.

So I prayed and prayed for God to show me the answer to that question and in His grace and mercy, He did.  Two weeks later in the quiet of my home, our little girl had woke up in the middle of the night and I said to God ” Oh please let her go back to sleep because I don’t want to think about Doug ( my brother ) because it hurt so much.

Then it happened the feeling of going into a warm room from a cold one.. it felt like it lasted for a long time and a voice said to me

” Do not let your heart be troubled, he is in a safer place than you can imagine”.  I was awake during this time and I woke my  husband to ask him if he had heard it.

He had not but I knew that I knew that our Lord in His great mercy and love had told me what I needed to accept my brother’s death. I called my mother and father but my mother instead of being happy to learn this said to me ” why would God tell you and not me”?

Exactly .. because I was desperate for the knowing and I believed Him when He told me. This was my first really true  voice of God experience of Him speaking to me audibly.  ( I have only had two out loud ones , the rest are to my spirit ).

This grace of this revelation I see now was also preparation for how I would learn to experience a relationship with God in a growing way.  When we are weak, He is strong.

Fast forward again to the present where it seems that the walking out of ones faith is evident in the lives of so many around me and yes even the strangers on TV or the blogs posted where believers in Haiti are pouring their hearts out.

For those around me, our dear receptionist at my work ministry has been an incredible testimony of strength in sorrow. For those who have read my blogs.. her mother,  ( whom we were praying for ) Dianne went on to be with Jesus on January 8.  Not only did she lose her mother but a little over a year ago lost her son to a great tragedy and has fallen on her faith in Jesus Christ to come through these hard times.

It was this “season of sorrow” that has fashioned a great woman of faith. She humbles me. When at her mother’s wake, she absolutely glowed in the peace of the Lord. Not to say there was not sorrow but the triumph of the joy of the Lord being her strength was her countenance, manner and speech. A testimony in an offering of faith in sorrow.

Then there is my friend via email ministry who lost a relationship that was hard to walk away from. She has done it, is doing it and is faith in motion as she daily adjusts to this loss. Strength I can feel through heartache on the pages.

Then there are the children who are healing from abuse, neglect and a childhood of loses who are receiving residential care and treatment in our ministry. The children who get up each day with a smile on their face but not yet in their eyes.. those who long, crave, need to belong to an adult, a family who is just over the moon for who they are.. but they are not in sight. So they are holding on to the Word of God in scripture . Jeremiah 29:11 ” For I know the plans I have for you , not for evil or calamity but a hope and a future…

That they are “fearfully and wonderfully made” Psalm 139 and they slowly transform through childlike strength in seasons of sorrow. They amaze me each day.. these tiny towers of strength wrapped in the arms of staff, with songs of deliverance from Christian radio to be the lullaby in their heads.

One little boy broke my heart this past couple of days as his sadness was enveloping him to a place of despair… not unlike the children anywhere who are suffering.  Just a mission field ( stateside ) in my daily life instead on the news or in the lives of missionaries I know. He is floundering in deep sorrow trying to find the inner strength to hold on. We are praying!!

Corrie Ten Boom

Perhaps one of the best examples of strength amid seasons of sorrow is the life of Corrie Ten Boom who found the strength to be an encourager of her faith in Jesus Christ despite the loss of her sister Betsy and much of her family in Nazi Germany’s death camps.  I had just read yesterday her account of the following.

When I was in a concentration camp during World War II, we had to stand every day for two or three hours for roll call, often in the icy-cold wind. Once a woman guard used these hours to demonstrate her cruelty. I could hardly bear to see and hear what happened in front of me.

Suddenly a skylark started to sing high in the sky. We all looked up, and when I looked to the sky and listened to its song, I looked still higher and thought of Psalm 103:11: “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His steadfast love toward those who fear Him” (RSV).

Instantly I saw that this love of God was a greater reality than the cruelty I experienced myself and saw around me. “Oh the love of God, how deep and great, far deeper than man’s deepest hate.”

In His mercy, God sent that skylark every day for three weeks, just at the time of roll call, to give us an opportunity to turn away our eyes from the cruelty of men to the ocean of His love.

God’s love is both a protection and a weapon. It guards us against impatience, against bitterness, against gloating. It is also a very strong weapon in the battle to win souls, for it never gives in.

It looks for a way of being constructive, it is glad when truth prevails. Love knows no limit to its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of its hope: It can outlast anything. It is, in fact, the one thing that stands when all else has fallen (see 1 Cor. 13).

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Are we being prepared as we journey in this life as a believer to be able to have the strength to tell a suffering world of His great love?

I believe the Lord is crying out to His children in these events to arise and come closer.  Coming closer now, daily, deeply is going to make all the difference.

When we are weak He is strong and is its our abiding hope to share with a broken world. Oh Lord help me to grow in you so I maybe a witness.

04 There Will Be a Day

By Jeremy Camp who has found strength in seasons of sorrow…

Selah~

Looking up when others want you to look down

It is dark outside as I contemplate yesterday. As days go .. it was one that will be remembered in either one or two ways. I guess it depends on how we chose to think. We  do have choices about such things and what power is in that~ The choice to choose, review, ponder and set our thinking in what occurs around us.

So back to yesterday so you can see what I am talking about. Yesterday I went into work with a plan. I had spent time, quite a bit actually seeking Him, listening to praise music and “putting my armor on.” So, things should have rolled off, right? Here is where the rubber meets the literal road. My agency’s ministry was hoping for more in year end giving. ( It is still coming I just know it ) but on Monday when a payroll was to be given to our hard working team. ..there was  simply  not enough to do it. Reality  of the funds that were not yet in our system because ” the government ” checkwrite system for our professional fees for service in treating at risk and abused children took a hiatus for 3 weeks  and not providing payment till January 13th.

What to do?
We could pay for one week of our staff’s hard work instead of two till we could get through this. This would mean of course redoing the whole payroll, and then calling each staff ( we have 3 shifts ) to help them understand why were had to do this.

So here I go. Arrive at the campus to find the walkways  to our Administrative Clinical building are covered in ice which is a phenomenon in eastern NC. It is not normally that cold. As only it could happen one of our volunteers who was kindly helping with some landscaping must have put our sprinkler system back on automatic. Viola.. instant ice and lots of it.  This seeming small thing became a big thing. I got out of my car and went on the grass to avoid falling which proved to be a good decision and even the grass was slick too. A colleague who just had come back from being out with surgery gingerly joined me and we made it in.  Now as only it could happen our sweet spirit filled gatekeeper of the front desk had to come in late as her Mom was in the hospital and the Doctors wanted a word.
I take the weekend mail put it on her desk and run upstairs to let another colleague know we have a major”ice ” problem and expressed concerns about someone falling. The words were no further than out of my mouth than we thought we heard someone cry out.. yup the ice had caught up with a dear new staff who works in accounting ( her second week) .  She had seen the ice went around front but the door was still locked which would not be the norm

Do you see where this is going?

( receptionist out at important meeting about Mom ).  Our new staff did not have a key to the front door. She went around back and decided to try the sidewalk.. she fell and hard.  Our HR Director who does our payroll and I were rapidly catching up about the need to flip the payroll checks as one of our male leaders went outside to assist our fallen staff member. We are suddenly finding ourselves in the vortex of a washing machine of one event to another. Round and round we go being stuck on spin or are we?

We call for one of our RN’s from the Psychiatric treatment cottage to come up and she does and we are packing our wounded staff in ice

( irony in that ..hmm) . We also are praying and trying to get her some help. Mind you this person holds the keys of knowledge of how to integrate our software system to accommodate flipping this payroll. We utter nary a word to her.. pain and concern dominates that need. We are praying over here while doing the practical first aids things.
We get the outside  sidewalk ice covered in table salt and sand ( play therapy sand ) and get our new staff to the Doc. Whoa… she has broken her arm in two places. No expertise coming for our system not today… however she is choosing to believe she will be back to us in time that only the LORD can provide. Extra quick favor and healing Malachi 4:2

2 But to you who fear My name
The Sun of Righteousness shall arise
With healing in His wings;

We also realize the software for our payroll system has to be updated ( New Year ) and without doing that we mess up everyone’s tax tables and blow the system.  As only it can be at this point to add to the incoming  event calculator,  our IT Director has called in sick as a dog and cannot help us navigate this urgent need.  These checks had been written in 09 to plan for the upgrade.. we did not think we would have to be facing this particular collision of events. There are so many other events that also begin to spike but if I shared those this would become a novel instead of a blog. Trust me these were also formidable and confidential as we run a treatment ministry. Let’ suffice to say there was a lot on my mind and plate.

back to the story…

Then our dear receptionist returns with a very heavy “bad report’ from the Doctor. She is choosing not to receive it.

We immediately convened for prayer in my office and begin to pray out our faith.. choosing to look up when others want us to look down. Her mother is choosing to look up and not down picking Psalm 27.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm%2027&version=NKJV#

We read this Psalm out loud when shared to the group that this is what her mother wants to be prayed.
Amazing connectivity and power in that Psalm.  Choosing to speak life

What about that armor ? I choose to believe that the Lord gave me a “sound mind” in the midst of this.   Otherwise the “voice that torments” would have gotten in to whisper fear, and anxiety.  We also had  people praying outside our walls that morning..  I had sent out a prayer alert at 6:30 AM to a select group of prayer warriors. The Lord told prompted me to do that … HE knew what was to be needed.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
2 Timothy 1:6-8

Score for the home team… PTL

We are still in the game with the main Quarterback directing our plays..
So where is the testimony to support looking up and not looking down:

  1. We prayed for favor and understanding from our staff and we got it (well most everybody )
  2. The Nurse who came up to help our wounded staff was the perfect one on duty for encouragement and walks in the power of choosing to look up and not down.
  3. The person in Raleigh who has the regulatory power to push for quick review on our cottage being upgraded for licensing with a higher per diem pay rate and a critical need for these children.. gave it and we set it up with all the stakeholders ( no minor thing .. this is huge )
  4. Supporters called in to check on us. .. prayers going up.
  5. Our IT Director persevered and chose to look up instead of down and got on line covered in quilts etc ( he really was feeling bad ) from his home and found the software needed it, purchased it, and got our back ups going.
  6. Our HR Director got creative and found other supports to help her overcome what is needed..
  7. We were ” hard pressed but not destroyed” and the encouragement which I am convinced is a survival tool in these last days for the body to one another was being spoken more than the words of discouragement. So it “spiritually ” multiplied itself with the power to look up and not down in faith…
  8. We got to practice joy in tribulation. We took captivity of the spirit of infectious fear. ( Amy Carmichael’s word for it )
  9. The children were and our team were prayed for more in a focused way.
  10. I ( we )  learned a lot..

As my faith hero in real life living Amy Carmichael has written

You can refuse the spirit of fear which never comes from God.

( and if He does not send it to us, who does ? )

Instead open your heart wide to the spirit of “power and love and a calm well balanced mind, and discipline and self control. Second Timothy 1:7 amplified

Because  fear is so infectious, let us for the sake of others and ourselves, refuse it.

Thank God~ Courgage is “infectious” as discouragement. Haven’t you often felt the cheer and strength that seems to flow from a person whose mind is fixed on God? I have.

And I have been thinking of another, a greater reason for refusing the spirit of fear.

When we are downhearted or fearful or weak we are saying to everybody( by the way we look and our timidity , if not by our words), “After all , our Lord can’t be absolutely trusted.”

Somewhere near us, though we do no seek them are otherwise. Men and women who we can see; and also good angels and evil spirits who we cannot see. To all of these , when we give into fear, we say the same dishonoring things.

We have a Savior who has never once failed us. He will never fail us. He has loved and led and guarded us all these years.

Look to Him now, and pray from the barren bedrock of your heart, if that is the ” ground” you are standing on. Lord give me courage.

~ From the Edges of His Ways. pg148.

Oh what a way to say it Amy! I am pondering it in my heart determined to choose to look up and not down. How will you choose today?

Off to see the choices of the day..

The pilgrim’s progress on the road  looking up and not down.