Tuesday, December 31, 2013

love? no loved - I John 4:19 - I wanna 'get' that in 2014

I'm a missionary in Germany.

Coming here in 2006, not knowing the language or the culture, I thought I was coming to love the people into relationship with God, to mentor, to teach inductive bible studies to believing women, and to share Christ with non-believers. My adult kids even said: Mom is going to share her hugs with the Germans.

God gave me a deep desire to love people as a child, throughout my teens, and even as a single mom, teacher of children, and bible study teacher to many. It seemed like the best 'next step', after my children grew into these awesome adults, to step into missionary land.

The first few years were filled with a massive learning curve. Being 49 when I arrived, I quickly realized: my dendrites had to be tethered down to my bedposts at night!

Learning the language, the culture, becoming a part of communities, becoming family to gifted and enjoyable believers, encouraging women to become who God made them to be - God gifted me beyond measure. This was all a blessing...

Women were coming to Him, learning about Him, and sharing Him with their families and friends. Not something common in the darkened European continent. But, in my little yellow nest - God was moving!

But then my spirit began to weaken. Going back to the states for my furlough year in 2011, I began to question if I had the stamina to love as Christ was calling me to love.  I began to question: How can I love people more?

Snapping at drivers, short with my words behind the servers in restaurants, irritable and confused as to why I was so snippy, I asked God, "What is the matter with me?"
Over time, He showed me I could not love enough. I don't have enough love in me to love the way that was needed.

For the last two years I've realized My love is truly not enough. Questioning: how do I love them better? brings me to the reality - I can 't.

I've pondered for months over the commandment in Luke 20:27

"He answered, "'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'"
Of course, I stopped wrestling with the fact I can't love my neighbor until I really love myself. And loving myself means taking care of this heart, soul, and mind. Yes.

And, it also means taking care of this earthly body, that has been shamed and abused, that has been raped, and shattered. This life that has almost every woman's issue lived out. And this life that has lived into Him.

But - it is still not enough. I can't pull it up and MAKE IT HAPPEN!  I can't do, I can't accomplish, I can't even be. Yes, I said it out loud - you heard it. I figured out long ago, I can't 'DO'. Accomplishments belong to God.

But everyone has told me I need to just 'BE'. What does that mean exactly? I've experienced it before - but how did I get there in my past? I seem at a loss.

Screaming out in my red-prayer-chair on the crux of 2014, God spoke. It wasn't like a whisper. He slid into my heart, tapped really quit loudly on my chest and said kinda up close and personal "loved", "you love because I FIRST LOVED YOU"

 1 John 4:19

So the word for me this year is not Love. No.

Loved!

What does that look like? Where will He take us in this LOVED life? For me here in Germany to love others, he says I will first be loved.

Now how incredibly fun is that?

Are you walking into being LOVED by Him in 2014?
Share with me. We all need the encouragement.

Because He IS the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary
with HoneyB and Ebenezer

please feel free to sign up to receive this blog via email... I don't write but once a week or less - it won't clog up your email. This blog is my inside thoughts, my heart, my fears, my journey as a missionary. I need prayer and encouragement for this.



Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas isn't about a past mission, it is about a present

Christ came with a mission.
That tiny baby's birth that in just a few days we celebrate, he came into this world with a mission and an end goal.
-To leave heaven and take on the form of man.
-To be born of a human.
-To feel (hunger, fullness / pain, joy / love, hatred / rest, exhaustion / work, play)
-To grow in a family, in church, in a town, in a country, on a continent, in this world.
-To cry, laugh, run, walk, fall down, get up.
-To love enough to listen to His Father, release Himself to a cross and die.

-To battle the evil one in the darkness and win.
-To rise conquering death, fully completing his mission, and enjoy those who receive Him to this day.
-To come again some day and take all who have received God's gift of Himself to be with Him for eternity

I have a mission as well.

I base the mission I am on today on these three points:

Point #1:
John 6: 35-36 - Recognizing that people without God are insatiable.


Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life, he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall not thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe."

Europe is insatiable. -
The Triune God alone fills the void that is within us all.

Point #2:
John 8: 1-11 Recognizing that I have sinned, I want to walk a different way, I want to help other women walk a different way as well. 
How?

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  

a. He got alone.

He sat down and began to teach them. He didn't teach from some podium. He got in amongst the people and he sat with them and got down where they could see Him.  

b. And he taught.

The Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, in the very act and they tested Jesus. She should be killed by law - what would he say to do????
He silently stooped down and wrote in the sand with His finger
"But then they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, "He who is without sin among you let him be the first to throw a stone at her." they all left.

c. He loved.

Jesus said: "Woman where are they: Did no one condemn you?" and she said, "No one, Lord." And Jesus said, "Neither do I condemn you, go your way. From now on sin no more."

d. He did not condemn. He also encouraged, but not without a charge to walk a different way.

Point #3 John 8:12-42
Europe has known God and yet now seeks to do away with God.  God please use me to turn a few back to Him.

"Again therefore Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world; he who follows Me shall not walk in the darkness, but shall have the light of life." John 8:12

The rest of these verses give a powerful wisdom to those who know and to those who do not know Him.

Then verse 42 says:
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and have come from God, for I have not even come on My own initiative, but He sent Me.

That God sends me into Women's Ministry is my heart. I do not go on my own initiative. I want people to accept His salvation and follow.

I pray for people to be filled with peace.

Helping people to continue to grow in Him, find the peace he affords, and grow into the people He has designed them to be. 

I pray this mission He has given me can be completed well.

Please pray for me in this desire to serve God by serving women.
I need prayers from the faithful.

And you?
What is your mission?
Where has God called you to be a light?

Because He IS the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary
with B and Ebenezer









Sunday, December 8, 2013

Grace Grips Me and whispers: Step out in faith.

I read the following on a friend's blog and thought:  She gets it!

"It’s incredible how quickly your surroundings dictate your behaviors. When we travel to the northeast, I immediately want “quowah-fee” in the morning, I’m irritable at the slightest inconvenience, and Heaven forbid I hold a door for anyone! Down south, I’m smiling and waving at cars on my morning runs, drinking my morning joe with a helpin’ of cream and sug-ah, and Lord help me if I try to open my own door!
Our holiday was all that I expected: long runs in the morning, multiple cups of coffee over intense games of scrabble, wine glasses filling up as soon as the sun dipped below the clouds, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby crooning over the surround sound, and the constant stream of laughter and conversation filling the house from morning till night."

Living in a foreign country is difficult.
But it is not impossible. I came here in January of 2006 never having stepped foot on German soil and never having spoken more than Danke or Gusundheit...

I've been back to the states for several reasons: births, weddings, governmental red-tape, and a few times just to be encouraged by my friends and family.

My children have all been here to visit me. Several friends have dropped in for a day, a few days, or a few weeks :-) Pure JOY!

But, my deep yearning is to constantly check the plumb-line: Do YOU want me here God. And He continues to affirm that until other things change, I am to remain here. 

So what does here look like?
Right now I await a knee surgery. Actually, I'm finally looking forward to it since it has been postponed for several reasons. Having an operation in my own home country vs. having an operation in a foreign place is always a bit disconcerting.

I'm not strong.

I'm a ninny most of the time. I fail God so often. I am thankful my salvation does not rest on my shoulders. When I blatantly fail Him I always feel ashamed of not listening to Him, not being alert.

I sat on the side of my bed a few weeks ago, knee killing me, questions about some German country issues, doctor issues, internet questions, recovering from pneumonia blah sickness and asked Him how I should control the problems. Where should I move next, what should I do next...?

And as I wrote out my concerns and my desires to control. I realized:

I am allowing my surroundings to press in and usurp my understanding of Your Grace.

The German Culture sets a high premium on control (mind you not every German, and not all Germans I personally know and love). 

But, the cultural mindset is control. Control your emotions, your surroundings, your life. I've asked my German friends and they agree, this is the desire.

And little by little my understanding of stepping out into the faith chasm of 'fall into My arms and I will catch you" has been chipped away.

Thankfully, the chipping has not gone on for long and didn't sideswiped me. But why?

Only because of His grace. I sat on the side of my bed and stopped up short! 

Father God - WHAT AM I THINKING? You are working out good. Somehow the knee, the culture, the computer, the illness, the doctor issues... these are GOOD because you say they are being worked out for Good. Because I know you and I love you and I am called to be your ambassador no matter where I am or what job I have, You are always working out Your Best. I can trust your infinite Mercy, your abundant Grace.

And He poured out his loving oil of Grace.

And I cry out in this morning of cries: Mercy, Lord have Mercy.
I beg for mercy - for I am simply a woman who loves God.
My failures I lay at your feet. Let me come as a child and receive. Let me receive and pour out to others that I meet, teach, walk side by side with. Pour out what? Your Mercy.
My Joy is in Your covering me. Assuage my sense of failure God. Assuage my sense of failure.



your mutating missionary
and an absent ebenezer

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The United States is bankrupt. The King of Kings is not.

Isaiah 32:15-20

New Living Translation (NLT)
Isaiah 32: 15-20
15 until at last the Spirit is poured out
    on us from heaven.
Then the wilderness will become a fertile field,
    and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops.
16 Justice will rule in the wilderness
    and righteousness in the fertile field.
17 And this righteousness will bring peace.
    Yes, it will bring quietness and confidence forever.
18 My people will live in safety, quietly at home.
    They will be at rest.
19 Even if the forest should be destroyed
    and the city torn down,
20 the Lord will greatly bless his people.
    Wherever they plant seed, bountiful crops will spring up.
    Their cattle and donkeys will graze freely.

When? When will this happen?
I find this theme over and over again in the Word. The theme?

People stray from God. He brings punishment and then they come back and He brings blessing.

How does this chapter begin?

Read and think about it...
 (thanks to biblegateway.com)

Isaiah 32: 1-15
New Living Translation (NLT)

32 Look, a righteous king is coming!
    And honest princes will rule under him.
Each one will be like a shelter from the wind
    and a refuge from the storm,
like streams of water in the desert
    and the shadow of a great rock in a parched land.
Then everyone who has eyes will be able to see the truth,
    and everyone who has ears will be able to hear it.
Even the hotheads will be full of sense and understanding.
    Those who stammer will speak out plainly.
In that day ungodly fools will not be heroes.
    Scoundrels will not be respected.
For fools speak foolishness
    and make evil plans.
They practice ungodliness
    and spread false teachings about the Lord.
They deprive the hungry of food
    and give no water to the thirsty.
The smooth tricks of scoundrels are evil.
    They plot crooked schemes.
They lie to convict the poor,
    even when the cause of the poor is just.
But generous people plan to do what is generous,
    and they stand firm in their generosity.
Listen, you women who lie around in ease.
    Listen to me, you who are so smug.
10 In a short time—just a little more than a year—
    you careless ones will suddenly begin to care.
For your fruit crops will fail,
    and the harvest will never take place.
11 Tremble, you women of ease;
    throw off your complacency.
Strip off your pretty clothes,
    and put on burlap to show your grief.
12 Beat your breasts in sorrow for your bountiful farms
    and your fruitful grapevines.
13 For your land will be overgrown with thorns and briers.
    Your joyful homes and happy towns will be gone.
14 The palace and the city will be deserted,
    and busy towns will be empty.
Wild donkeys will frolic and flocks will graze
    in the empty forts and watchtowers
15 until at last the Spirit is poured out
    on us from heaven.
Then the wilderness will become a fertile field,
    and the fertile field will yield bountiful crops.


Just a little food for thought this morning when the country I call home has gone bankrupt.


Because HE IS the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary
with B and Ebenezer

Sunday, September 29, 2013

"The only thing that exceeds right Doing is right Being" - Oswald Chambers



I want to glorify God in relationship

So here I sit on a Saturday morning in the southwestern corner of Germany and ask God to share with me what he wants from me.

I’m so mixed in emotions. I believe that I have been given a god-gift.

God is the God of new beginnings and second chances – so can we start over?

I call a do-over.

I am human and in my humanity God finds beauty and He loves me. He made me Human.
I fail Him when I think of myself as only a worm. 

He loved me so much He kicked me out of Eden and placed me on the path of death. Why? 

Because He knows that without death I will never arrive in His Presence. So daily when I find Him in the turnings and the hardships, in the pain, I can say: this is my way into His Presence.

For He whispers, "Remember."

When I enter into old patterns and old habits (which is our tendency as humans) I find the path back when I recognize it was conquered and buried at the cross – I must enter into the death of Sin. I must enter into the death of my old pattern and/or old habit. When I enter into the death of this old pattern I enter into His Presence.  And in the death is a burial. The habit must consistently be reburied. It must be placed in the ground and have that final handful of dust sprinkled over it. 

And then the promise comes as the flowers are scattered over the top of it all. The promise was there, I just wasn't IN it.

Renewal – beginnings – new starts – do-overs don't come only because I remember - they come when I remember I am His and He will not let me go. They come when I remember I live IN Him daily.

And that renewal, that new beginning, that new start allows me to BE the right human being.

I thank God for do-overs and relationships.
I thank God for people (or if blessed: that one person)  that take all of my messes and walks through those with me.
Because God sees
and God blesses
and God heals.

He knows where we're going.

"How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent?  Just as it is written: HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS."  Romans 10: 14,15




Because HE IS the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary
with B and Ebenezer

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Relationship verse...



"Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 15:5-6 NASB

Awhile back I opened the Bible Gateway site to get a reference and read the above verse in the 'verse of the day'.

I stopped and prayed - thank you for reminding me, thank you Lord for reminding me.

Years ago I found this verse and held it close to my heart.

Close working relationships whether they are in the world or covered by the word 'ministry' can bring up conflict. And during that time, I needed this verse to push through those conflicts. God gave it to me and walked me through those tough times as I repeatedly read and meditated on this particular verse.

As I desire to serve the God who is, I find that he gives us the steps to handle conflict in His word.

But conflict reigns supreme with our loved ones more than with anyone else. Doesn't it? So I sit at a crossroads and this verse is laid before me again.

I am in the beginnings of a relationship and find myself concerned about conflict. Has it happened yet? No, but I know it will.

Conflict within the relationships of our lives are not only imperative but important, good and powerful. They can hone us.

As a single woman for almost 25 years, I have escaped much conflict in these 25 years. That matrimonial conflict that reigns supreme. That conflict that can cut so deep within the wounded soul one can only escape it through the knowledge that God designed it to be as it is - a venue for drawing us closer to Him.

But I was married once upon a time. 

I'm hopefully a little wiser than I was at the age of 19, but I am still simply a woman that is lead by my heart as I lay it open and bare before the God Who IS... I am lead by Him and must make judgements only through what He has taught me over the years. I seek godly counsel (through the body), I study His word for His guidance in the design of relationship (through the mind), and I pray (through the spirit). - body, mind, and spirit.  A tiny recipe for making life decisions as wisely as possible. But it still boils down to this:

Do I trust God?

There are places in my heart that were so deeply wounded. Places that tug and tear at my spirit and my soul. God has healed so many of those wounds. But there are scars.

At present I question these two: wounds and scars.

The scars are places that have been healed by the Lover of my soul.
The wounds are places that the Lover of my soul wants to heal.

The Christian Life is a process of walking in these two.

We come to God with our pain, He takes what we give Him and begins the healing process. There is no set time, no set prescription, no set agenda. It is a process. An individually designed process that He alone orchestrates. My process will not and does not look like yours and yours will not and does not look like mine. I walk this road alone because I stand before God alone.

But in God's amazing grace He sometimes offers a helpmate to walk the road together. And in God's perfect design this helpmate doesn't necessarily come without conflict. In fact, they come often with more conflict than we could have ever imagined.

How we handle the conflict often determines how our healing will progress. Sometimes we end in destruction. Sometimes we end with deeper wounds than are necessary. There are a myriad of reasons for these deeper wounds. I can only attest to my own experience.

Twenty five years ago I walked this road. It was painful and depressing and defeating and deteriorating. My body holds the remnants of these wounds turned scars.

I wish sometimes I could be like those wonderfully wounded soldiers I have met. You might have been privileged enough to have met some of those heroes. Those that have the scars of some type of war. Those that reach down to tug at the hem of their jeans and show the scar of this particular battle or that particular sacrifice. They beam with pride over the jagged white flesh.

My relationship scars are different than the hero's scars. Why? They make me want to run and hide. They create insecurities that cause me to stand in front of mirrors and recoil. Amazingly, lately God has been saying to me: see through my eyes my beloved, see through my eyes.

And sometimes (if we are blessed with a special gift) He gives us someone that sees us through His eyes, and someone we see through His eyes. And we move into helping and sharing and laughing and crying and LIFE!

I stand at the precipice of one such opportunity.

I desire to enter into it with fervor, passion, and joy.

"Now I exhort you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment." 1 Corinthians 1:10 NASB
 "Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus, so that with one accord you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ." Romans 15:5-6 NASB

This is my desire and my prayer for this relationship. This is my prayer for you in your relationships. I want to enter into relationship with these two verses being my inner mantra.

May God come in and strongly support us as we love with with all our hearts, and all our minds, and all our souls.
" the Lord is with you when you are with Him. And if you seek Him, He will let you find Him; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you." 2 Chr 15:2

Seeking Him in this new found adventure.



Because HE IS the I AM, i am
your mutating missionary
and ebenezer

Friday, May 10, 2013

Psalm 139:9-10
New Living Translation (NLV)

"If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,

even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me."


I am so thankful for this reality.
Today and always. He is with me no matter what time of day, or where I dwell. He guides and protects, and His strength matches none other. And that strength, that strength alone supports me in my heart and my life and my love.

I will trust Him.

because He IS the I AM
i am
your mutating missionary
&ebenezer

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

God Cares for the Little Guy

I, like so many other followers of God, enjoy reading the Bible every day.

When I was in the states for my 15 month 'furlough' in 2011 I discovered a Read Thru The Bible In A Year plan that really excited me.

A group met every week for one hour to discuss what they had discovered over the week of reading. It was during the lunch hour and those working outside the home were encouraged to pack a lunch and bring it, discuss their thoughts and share (on a note card) their prayer requests. The prayer requests were then distributed to the group randomly with a commitment to pray for that particular issue over the week. The group was honorable in keeping to the hour designated and it allowed many who would not normally be able to be involved in a weekly bible study participate.

At least one of the people in this group was going on their 7th year.  There were no requirements and if someone wasn't there they simply continued reading the bible at the same place as everyone else. It was encouraged to not play 'catch-up' if one missed a day or so. This seemed to become daunting if the time slipped by for too long and instead of giving people that stress, everyone was encouraged to just read the days passages.

In fact, some people had to drop out for months at a time due to other commitments of either them, or their family. But, they would step right back in after those commitments were finished and pick up right where they left off.

It was a great group of people. No real LEADER as such. More of a coordinator/facilitator. And she did a great job!

I have decided to begin a 'bible study' like this here in Germany. I don't know how it will work, but I think it is a wonderful option.

This morning I sit at home with no car. Mine died yesterday. It didn't get sick. It died. I loved my car, but had been aware lately that it was probably not the best for me and Ebenezer. Too long for my parking lot and too 'sedan'y'' for Ebenezer. But it has served me well for 7 years and considering it was year 2000 I think burying it is OK.

God prepared my heart. Some might say - that is silly. Some might say - God doesn't care about cars. Some might say - good grief, God has more to concern him than you and your measly little car issues.

I don't find that to be true. Throughout the word I find that God cares about the little guy.

Yesterday in my reading through the bible passages, I came up on a character I learned about years ago but had forgotten about.

Mephibosheth.

Did you ever hear of him?

He was the son of Jonathan. He was King Saul's grandson.

Now we all know that King Saul wasn't the greatest of Kings to David. However, he was an anointed king. As is so aptly proved by David's continually protecting him, or becoming angry when someone attacked him or his family. Even at the point of David's being hurt or killed, David would always protect King Saul's person.

(another lesson in honoring the office, even if we don't care for the person in the office - a lesson at another time.)

God placed Saul in the position of King.

Now back to Mephibosheth.

2 Samuel 4:4

"(Saul's son Jonathan had a son named Mephiboshet. who was crippled as a child. He was five years old when the report came from Jezreel that Saul and Jonathan had been killed in battle. When the child's nurse heard the news, she picked him up and fled. But as she hurried away, she dropped him, and he became crippled."

We hear nothing more about Mephibosheth until David has become King of Israel and he begins to question if any of Saul’s family is still alive. – “anyone I can show kindness for Jonathan’s sake?” 2 Samuel 9:1

After inquiry he discovers there is a grandson of Saul’s that is crippled and living with Makir.

Being crippled I would imagine his life had been ‘less than’.

And yet, because of King David’s promise to Jonathan and his love for Jonathan, King David took this man out of his surroundings and placed him in a home, with rich farms available to be tended by King Saul’s own servants.

Because of his promise.

David is referred to as the one who had a heart like God’s. Of course as a human he failed, was punished, and stood in the place we all stand--- humanity.

But He was a man after God’s own heart.

When I read how God came and completely loved on Mephibosheth through David, I see that He cares for the little guy. --- unfortunately Mephibosheth didn't appreciate God's provision. I don't want to be there either.  I want to be faithful to the end. I want to be one of His children.

I am just one of the ‘little gals’.

I am simply a small missionary with a heart to serve God in any way He desires me to be used. I find Him coming in and seeing not only my heart but also my needs.

I have been blessed. God cares. He involves Himself in my little life.

Because HE IS the I AM,
I am
Your mutating missionary
and- ebenezer



Wednesday, May 1, 2013

God is Able

"God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work."
2 Corinthians 9:8 (ESV)

God is able...
God is able...
God is able to provide.

To provide not only the need but in abundance, the blessings.

He is able to provide in all sufficiency, in all things, at all times.

Please Lord come in and allow every good work to go on. Sufficient time, energy, love, verbal skills, monies, order, and inner rhythm to do the work laid before. It is a must.

The harvest is white.

I love you Lord.

because He IS the I AM,
i am
your mutating missionary
and ebenezer




Thursday, January 31, 2013

Faith is a noun, not a verb.

Faith
Noun
1. Confidence or Trust in a Person or Thing
2. Belief that is not based on proof
3. Belief in God or in the doctrines or teaching of religion
4. Belief of anything as a code of ethics, a standard of merit
5. A system of religious belief

Webster adds: complete trust

As I walk into this year of the Good and Beautiful God I realize that without faith all is for naught.

"When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, 'Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.' Simon answered, 'Master, we've worked hard all night and haven't caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.' When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break."    Luke 5:4-6

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart." Psalm 91: 1, 4

I am venturing into waters unknown for me. I am ordering my days specifically, for specific purposes and asking God to keep my from becoming rigid in these plans. I desire to be lead by Him moment by moment and not so confined to 'MY' idea of how the day should go.

Right now, the mornings are filled with 5:00 risings and still time with Him. Then home preps, and then dog duty. Ready for the day between 8:30 and 9:00 and we are off to new horizons.

I am watching as God is filling my days with order, peace, and ministry. This brings so much joy. One of the new things that I have implemented is 5 minutes of quiet in the middle of the day. I have chosen to do this at 11:00 am. I have set my reminder on my phone, so no matter where I am it reminds me. This is early enough not to catch me of guard in case I am out mentoring over lunch with a woman, and late enough to not get tangled in with the daily work that needs to be done before lunch: i.e. German study, Bible study attendance or teaching, Bible study preparation, mission work...Yes that is usually my morning fare. And oh the joy that I find in this 5 minute stop.

Over 20 years ago I implemented 30 minutes on, 5 minutes off, work technique. That has kept this very active mind productive. Before I implemented that little technique I would spin and spin and never get anything accomplished. Now, I set the timer for 30 minutes and then again for 5. Work 30, reminder and then 5 minutes of taking a breath of fresh air with a walk to the mailbox for example, get a tea, or if out-and-about just observe life, lifting my head from the page...  This has been such a help for me.

But, this new implementation of 5 minutes of total break in the middle of the day is different. In this 5 minutes I totally stop, close my eyes, and meditate on Him. It is rejuvenating my days! I wait with excitement for the ll:00 timer - why? Because I get to snuggle with Him, no matter where I am, no matter what I am doing. I just close my eyes and I am simply in the 'BE' place.  You know that place... that place where you 'Just BE'. Now, I am not saying that I am praying for others the entire time, honestly - I must admit the majority of the time is just listening, just stopping, just being!

Remember Faith is NOT a VERB... it is a noun. No action is necessary. It is a place from which you come. It is a grounding to set yourself on. It is core.

So for now, this is what I desire to share in this little journey of seeking the Good and Beautiful Life with God 2013.

How is your search going?

your mutating missionary
and ebenezer




Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Walking into 2013 with the Good and Beautiful God who IS (and list of 'ponder' books from 2012)

Walking with the Good and Beautiful God who IS.

For almost 26  years I have sought to find God in the most intimate ways possible. This search has lead into reading spiritual classics, weeks of silent retreats, fasting, prayer, community, simplicity, solitude, service, and of course bible reading and study. Falling on my face in my late 20's and crying out in all honesty to the God Most High: "I just want to know YOU. I want to see Your face and touch Your hand. I don't care what it takes," entered me into a Journey.

The Journey lead me down both potholed roads and gardened paths.

At present, the Journey finds me in Germany as a missionary to women. Sharing the Gospel, sharing the joy of reading the Word, sharing life. All of life. The ups and downs, ins and outs, the growth that we call sanctification, spiritual formation, maturity in Christ.

Therefore, after reading a few books either for the first time or again this last year, I began questioning myself.
  • How do I seek the Good and Beautiful God? 
  • Do I love the God Jesus knows - nothing held back love? 
  • Have I become more numbers/results oriented than Christ follower/Christ seeker oriented? 
  • Have I begun to let the German Text Books for learning the language weigh me down into forgetting that God breathed words into being... He spoke the world into being... He and He alone changes the heart of man.
  • Is He really my Everything?
  • Do I seek time alone with Him as a lover seeks?
  • Do I listen?
 I know that many of these questions have the DO in them. And I am not at all implying that we can DO anything more than accept Jesus. But just as a healthy relationship requires 'doing', so a healthy spiritual relationship requires our giving up of ourselves and listening for our next steps. Seeking Him is an action. How we seek is as unique as our fingerprints.

I am not one to make 'New Year's Resolutions'. I always fail in them. The last fifteen or so years I have instead asked God to give me a word and the verse to live into for the coming year. The word that He gave me for this year, "Abundance". The verse... well, that is private.

I desire to share this walk into Abundance with the Good and Beautiful God. I desire to chronicle it. For His Glory to be shown. I want to answer the above questions for this new year with positive answers. I want to grow deeper into the Lord.

Does that mean I expect no heartache? Hardly! I know that His Abundance doesn't look like our idea of Abundance. I desire to see what HIS looks like. I hope to be more like Jesus. I desire to know Jesus more intimately.

 Learn a new song.

Grow into someone that loves more like Jesus loves.

Look with child wonder into the world before me held in complete protection by the Good & Beautiful God who IS.
Anyone up for joining me?

your mutating missionary
and ebenezer

Ponder Books I Read or Re-read this year:
"The Good and Beautiful God - Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows" by James Bryan Smith
"Everything - What You Give and What You Gain to Become Like Jesus" by Mary DeMuth
"One Thousand Gifts" by Ann Voskamp
"The Divine Embrace" by Ken Gire*
"Crazy Love - Overwhelmed by a Relentless God" by Francis Chan
"Dangerous Wonder - The Adventure of Childlike Faith" by Michael Yaconelli*
"Abandonment to Divine Providence" by Jean-Pierre de Caussade*
"Pia Desideria" by Philip Jacob Spener (translated by Theodore G. Tappert)
"Sacred Companions" by David G. Benner
"Spiritual Direction" by Henri Nouwen*
"The Spiritual Exercises of Saint Ignatius" translated by Anthony Mottola*
"The Explicit Gospel" by Matt Chandler
"Surrender to Love" David G. Benner
"The Gospel of Ruth" by Carolyn Custis James*
"The Rest of God" by Mark Buchanan
"Life with God" by Richard Foster
"Celebration of Discipline" by Richard Foster*
"A Long Obedience in the Same Direction - Discipleship in an Instant Society" by Eugene Peterson*
"Ordering Your Private World" by Gordon MacDonald*

I won't add the Historical Classics/Today's Novels/or GERMAN textbooks.  But I can recommend more if anyone is interested.

Here is a link I have discovered and enjoyed in the last few days.

Check out this link http://girlmeetspaper.com/