Saturday, December 29, 2012

Anchored in Hope

Our time in the field has been rough.  We have been persecuted, put down and even put off by people we had expected to welcome, love and encourage us.

But God has been our anchor.

Our faith is tested but every time it comes out stronger... the gold refined by the fire.  And as a result, God has put people we never knew in our path and they have welcomed, loved, and encouraged us... more than we could have hoped.

Because God has been our anchor.

Yes, doubt and wonder creep in.  But like David in the psalms... I keep looking to all God has done and I have HOPE for all he will continue to do.  He has never failed before... he won't fail now.  I know this because...

God has been my anchor.

So when I saw a verse from Hebrews 6 shared by a minister and his family after the loss of their precious 5 year old daughter, my hope was renewed yet again... as if my challenges weren't enough, their tragedy is even greater and they know the secret I know:

God is always our anchor.

17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.

Hebrews 6:17-20a (NRSV, emphasis added)

Be encouraged, whatever we have, we can always have HOPE as an anchor for all of life.

May you rest, anchored, in the sweet Hope of His love and care.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Change is Good

We entered Arizona and almost instantly there was change.  Not that, uh-oh, hold onto your boots kind of change.  No.  More of an almost back to normal change!

We are in Mountain Time again and my map says that the same Rocky Mountain range our old familiar "home" sits in also runs south to Arizona too... but they don't call 'em the "Rockies" here. 

No matter though... they have that same majestic beauty the Montana Rockies have, only without all the snow!  We couldn't' see it until we mounted the pass out of New Mexico and dropping into Arizona.  But there they were.  And at the base of these beautiful Buttes and ranges are...

Cacti and palm trees...

 ALOT Of cacti and palm trees...

With sand where lawns normally grow and sunshine where snow usually falls.

Citrus trees even caught me by surprise.  Standing in between cacti and palm trees.  Split orange and yellow fruits lay on curb sides where I am use to seeing pine cones and Tamarack needles.

For 4 months now we have been traveling, for 6 we have been transitioning.  And for the first time since the rubber hit the road, we are staying put.... on purpose... we are sent and wanted... we are carried by his hope and setting up routines.  And while it may not be for very long, it is for a season.  A wintry-looks-more-like-Montana-summer-kind-of-season... a could be 3 months, could be more kind of season.  But we are here and I am grateful to God for giving us some time to breathe and be and do and see so much new and different while setting up something old and familiar.

The new year lies before us.  Are you feeling 'different' even if your surroundings are the same?  Whether it is a good or bad - a new or old kind of different.... trust in my secret:  Christ is always the same and in Him we can always be comfortable exploring whatever else is around and wherever He leads.

As for this mama... I'm looking forward to teaching, writing and becoming familiar with the "different" even if it is only temporary.  I'm looking forward to my devotion time again and to the infinite possibilities that come when you simply feel the peace of His presence in the resting place he has led us to.

I pray you know the same!


Linking up this week with:

Saturday, December 22, 2012


We finally arrived!!!!

Through rivers, swamps, deserts and windstorms.  Over mountains and switching timezones... we have finally settled into Phoenix for a season of serving with churches and organizations here.

Pictures not uploaded yet.  Hopefully all the snapshots through RV windows with roadsides whizzing by turn out!  Even this last leg of this part of our journey has had it's shifts and changes.  This past week was most amazing as we saw The Greatest Gift poured out on our lives and others' lives right before our eyes!

I was blessed to use an industrial size kitchen to bake some Christmas cookies:  4 hours worth of work done in 45 minutes!  LOVED It!

We are especially overjoyed to be at our destination in time for Christmas, to meet all of our new friends at such a joyous time.

I look forward to a new kind of routine... a new time of sharing... and a wonderful new year full of His promises and blessings.

I pray you have a most wonderful Christmas and a blessed New Year.  Hold tight to the Joy this season promises and the Hope that is meant not just for a season but for the life of all those who believe!


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Surrounding Us

It has been a roller coaster season in our family.  I can't even say "in our household" as we bounce between houses, RV, hotels and who knows what could be next!  Yup, roller coaster... and not the kiddy kind you find at the county fair.  Nope, the kind with signs like "If you have a pace-maker you may want to consult your doctor before riding this ride". But God is still in control.

I thought I would share some of that rawness today though.  The dingy side of what most see as glamour in a missionary's life.  I know I used to.  But it is not all glamour.  It is more like glimmer... the glimmer of hope when the road is rough and bumpy, knowing God has never failed us and he never will.

The rough side is the financial roller-coaster, the constant concern over well-being of all family members (mom and dad included) and just how are we going to fit the math and spelling in when a steady desktop is as fleeting as the sunset on these various horizons.

The glimmer when help comes from the unexpected, when the family truly-deep-heart-talks and prays together to find peace and when, yes, the lessons get squeezed in (even if not as regular or conventional as this mom would like).

And in all these ramblings, I also find my thoughts on how the holidays don't completely feel like the holidays this year... not in a bad way though.  Simply a transforming way.  No big tree of my own, no shopping, no baking, no parties or traditions or plans. I have tried to throw lights up where we are and enjoy others' decorations a little more!  We have been blessed with some unexpected experiences in others' traditions. But, mostly, God is using this time to remind me of Kingdom focus vs. Kringle focus.  My resign statue packed away in storage has new meaning: Santa bowing and praying before the manger.  Thinking I knew how to put the King first... I am realizing he was actually in line all this time.

So, this roller-coaster post is simply a tumble of thoughts and hopes that you might read and find; we all have our rough patches of life, our transforming patches, and even in the holidays when imperfect places pop up, remembering that Glimmer, that hope, keeps us always close to Home.

Joy is in this place because, even if home isn't a consistent 4 walls surrounding us, it is always 2 Arms surrounding us.

God bless you this holiday season and Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

A New Advent Season

The advent season has arrived.  Every year, living in Montana, Ernie (one of Santa's head elves) took the reindeer for a test run and dipped down into our neck of the woods.  He would stop off for some late night cocoa and leave behind a new Christmas movie or book, some ornaments for the children and (our favorite) the Christmas count-down chain.

Each day had an activity to help pass the suspenseful time till Christmas.  We all looked forward to the day's link but this year, not in Montana, Ernie would not be stopping by.  I was trying to decide what to do for advent this year when bright little 9 year old Brooke piped up, "We should count down to Christmas with a part of the Bible story of Jesus on each link."

I thought it was such a great idea!

So, I pulled out my Bible, markers, construction paper, stapler, colored pencils and some notebook paper to make a list and got to work. 

Planning out advent did not go as easily as I expected.  I paused many times to pray over the various recordings of this time period.  I knew in my Spirit that it wasn't just about giving a little girl (and her entire family) a one-liner for the day.  It was about inviting Christ to be part of HIS season by remembering the significance of his life, past-present-future.

What resulted, from my heart-felt prayer, was beyond my own simple hopes and expectations.  And I wondered if it might be something your family could enjoy this season as well.  Below is a simple list of the scriptures and days they will be used.  However, if you want to a) save yourself all the work or b) see how to put it into practice, you can jump over to my other site where I will be putting up a daily devotion using these scriptures.

To read "Advent Day 25" click here.
The short daily devotions will remember the prophecy, hope and life of Christ.  I hope you will join me for this season of celebration in hope, joy, love and the Greatest Gift ever given to mankind!

Day 1:  Pray
Day 2:  Luke 1:26-27
Day 3:  Luke 1:28 - 30

Day 4:  Luke 1:31-33
Day 5:  Luke 1:34-35
Day 6:  Luke 1:36-37
Day 7:  Luke 1:38
Day 8:  Luke 2:1-2
Day 9:  Luke 2:3-5
Day 10:  Luke 2:6-7
Day 11:  Luke 2:8-9
Day 12:  Luke 2:10-12
Day 13:  Luke 2:13-14
Day 14:  Luke 2:15
Day 15:  Luke 2:16-18
Day 16:  Luke 2:19
Day 17:  Luke 2:20
Day 18:  Luke 2:25-35
Day 19:  Matthew 2:1-2
Day 20:  Matthew 2:3-4
Day 21:  Matthew 2:5-6
Day 22:  Matthew 2:7-8
Day 23:  Matthew 2:9-10
Day 24:  Matthew 2:11-12
Christmas Day:  John 1:1-18

Praying you have a blessed Advent season!