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Perspective

Tonight I am in a fog. Why? Well, ultimately it’s because God is doing some great things in the church I came from before I moved here, and He is doing some great things in me. He has completely lit a fire under me and I don’t want it to ever go out. Don’t worry, I’ll explain the fog part later.

The season I’m in has been months in the making. There is a very sick little girl that my old church has been praying for, which is perhaps a blog post for another day (a long one). Through a whole variety of things, God has shown us that He has some very specific and miraculous plans for her, and He wants us to stand with Him to carry them out. The time for that to happen is near, and so it is a time to press into God deeply. Nothing less than the purity of His truth and power will suffice.

While we have been waiting on that, God’s been growing us. Through a series of seemingly unconnected visions, dreams, and even random gifts, He has brought us to a season of tearing down high places within our hearts and churches, and again pressing in. And actually, He used me to reveal the connecting thread that brought us into this phase of deep growth in Him, which is awesome. It wasn’t an obvious connection and drew on prior knowledge that I had, that made God’s message clear when it was combined with this stuff that was happening. But I never would have spoken up (because it didn’t seem relevant), if my prayer partner literally the night before hadn’t had a word for me about speaking boldly no matter what I felt. So I listened to the word she delivered, spoke out, and it turned out to be right on the money. God is awesome in the ways He uses us. This is perhaps another long blog post for another day. My boldness has been increasing in leaps and bounds lately, and I’ve spoken out about a lot of things God has told me when I previously might not have had the confidence to do so, but this grew my boldness even more. Yay!

Anyway, the underlying thread of everything is that we are in a season to press into Jesus, to passionately and radically pursue Him. I like the sound of it already.

In an effort to ‘press in’, I have been fasting a bit more regularly. My typical fasting pattern is to abstain from food for a 24-hr period. Since this season seems like it calls for a more prolonged endeavor, I have gotten creative. I am fasting sugar. Detoxing from it, really. I know, I know. It’s a health fad. It’s a trendy kickoff to a trendy diet. Truth be told, I couldn’t care less about the trend. It is also something that my body is currently dependent on, and to me that is all that matters. I want my body to run the way it was created to run and to be dependent on nothing except for Jesus Christ Himself. It’s my physical manifestation of pressing in. The problem with detoxing from sugar is that you go through a mini withdrawal, and you get sort of sick for about a week. I am on Day 2, hence my brain fog. I’m also fairly convinced that someone drove into my bedroom with a Mack truck and ran over me while I slept, and then magically glued my walls back together. How they did it, I will never know, but I am definitely feeling the effects!

It has been interesting, to be spiritually on fire and physically foggy. I am pressing in, which is the whole point, and both reaching and expecting breakthrough. I am grateful for the season, because I am growing in leaps and bounds and am expectant that God will deliver on what He’s told me. I’m even grateful for the fog because it forces me to really focus to hone in on the spirit, and to depend on His help to get even mundane tasks done. I’m mostly grateful that God has given me some perspective on where I’m at, and where He’s headed both with me and the Body as a whole.  I can’t wait to see what He does!

God bless!

~Rebekah A

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Reaching for Souls

“You have one business on Earth – to save souls.” — John Wesley

This past Sunday evening, my god-father had the opportunity to preach to a few Chinese immigrants. A pastor and pastor’s wife in our church district have been reaching out to these young men for a while now, but their English is extremely limited and the pastors don’t speak any Chinese so communication is difficult. Since my god-parents are pretty much the only Chinese speaking people in our little district, they were the logical choice to help assist in this endeavor.  I so appreciate the fact that they have a heart for God and are eager to serve in whatever capacity they can. They were more than willing to make the long drive for the sake of a few souls in need of the Lord.

The young men came to the church with trays and trays of food! So typical for Chinese to not come empty handed! 🙂 We were all blessed with dinner after it was over because of their generosity.

My god-father was able to share his testimony with them and my god-mother sang a Chinese worship song. We had planned to have several Chinese worship songs, but technical difficulties and time restraints prevented that. Never the less, there was a mighty move of God!

There were also quite a few Americans in attendance at this service.  Even though they couldn’t understand most of what was being said, their hearts were stirred by what they were witnessing. Their pastor and pastor’s wife were the ones who reached out to these young men even though they know nothing of the language or the culture. It was a powerful statement to the church not to be afraid to reach out to people you don’t know. Be available for Christ and He will use you! If you have a heart to serve, God will send people your way. If you can’t communicate with them, God has a plan for that! If you don’t know their culture, God knows how to handle it!

If the Lord is willing, there is a plan to have another Chinese service again soon. Say a prayer that these young men will come again and bring their friends and loved ones. The pastor’s wife also plans to invite a few other Chinese people that she’s been reaching out to to come to the next one. There is a growing Chinese community where they live and I believe that God wants to see them saved!

Don’t write people off just because you don’t know how to reach them. Keep a Christian spirit, be friendly and believe God for the rest. Don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone. Keep believing Christ for new souls and keep reaching, keep reaching, keep reaching!!

Guest Post: Lindsay “Hunger in Mozambique”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. Thank you to Lindsay (who is currently on  a missions trip in Mozambique) for reminding us that sometimes we must become hungry to truly understand being filled.  

Last night we at Harvest celebrated the fourth of July the only way we knew how–DANCING the night away!  I came home covered in dirt, sweat, and full of laughter.

Today I am heading to village immersion.  I will be staying with one of the mamas in her home for the night and will help her in any way that I can.  Pray for God encounters, I have a very good feeling about this!

Now what I really want to share with you is what God has been speaking to me about over the five weeks I have been here: hunger.  Every Friday I work with 600 children from the village, my team of five does dramas, we give them the Gospel, and we feed each of them a heaping plate of rice and beans.  In all honesty, it can be very difficult.  The kids are very rough and loud and you lose your voice trying to share Jesus with them most of the time, but it gets really crazy when it comes to the rice and beans.

After we give everyone a plate of food many of the children line up for a second plate of food, but since we do not have enough for everyone to have a second plate we often have to turn them away.  When we start turning them away, it gets wild.  The children will beat each other viciously, they steal food from each other, they scream and fight and throw rocks, but they are hungry and I am learning from them.

Two weeks ago we set one plate on a ledge and there were about thirty children gathered around watching the plate.  When the plate fell not one grain of rice, not one bean even hit the ground.  Instantly the kids descended on it and it was completely gone, eaten in less than a second.  I have never seen hunger like this in my entire life.  And yet it is the very thing God wants me to gain from these kids.  A ravenous hunger that waits for one single drop from heaven, waiting, watching, wanting nothing but Jesus.

And yet Jesus has been telling me that in heaven He does not give us just a drop, He is ready to fill us to the brim and He does not turn us away when we come back for seconds because there is always enough.  He died so that there would always be enough.  But we have to be hungry.  Hunger invokes a response from God.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.  If you are hungry you have a promise over your life and you will be filled.

Without hunger, we will not eat, and if we do not eat we will die.  Jesus is inviting us to a feast and we must eat.  Hunger sustains us.  It is the only thing that will keep us alive.

So my challenge to you is this: get hungry.  Get hungry.  Get hungry.  Get hungry.  Get so hungry that your flesh actually cries out for God.  If you have to fast, then fast so you can know hunger.  Know it inside and out and you will know the overwhelming joy of being filled.

Getting hungrier and learning to go lower,

Lindsay

Lindsay has been a missionary since her early teens. She lives in Arizona but is currently in Mozambique with Harvest School (Iris Ministries). Learn more at http://www.irisglobal.org/missions/harvest/

Published by permission of the author. Submit your own post at beingrebekah@outlook.com. 

Below is Like a Fire by Planetshakers.  It’s the song I finally picked as my solo at church last night and it feel so in line with this. Jesus- I’m desperate for You. Jesus- I’m hungry for You. Jesus I’m longing for You. Lord You are, all I want. ~Rebekah M. 

Caring for Mother

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My mother had surgery last week. She lives in another state, but it’s less than a two hour drive away so I packed up a suitcase and drove up to spend several days caring for her after she was released from the hospital. It was physically and emotionally exhausting.

Helping her out of bed in the morning and to the reclining chair is a monumental task. Getting her out of the chair for any reason is as well. I’ve learned how to bend down, tip the chair forward, get the brunt of her weight under my arm, shift her weight onto my thighs while still keeping the chair tilted and use my hands to steady her, all the while holding her JP drain, catheter bag and tubing out of the way.

Caring for her has included wound care and dressings, emptying blood and fluids from the JP drain, emptying the catheter bag, dressing and undressing for the day, assistance showering, making sure she gets all of her medications (and there are a lot!) on schedule, cooking and cleaning for her, as well as feeding and walking the dogs etc… Most of this isn’t particularly difficult, but it is time consuming. Most of the difficulty lies, not in the tasks, but in my mother having to lay aside her pride and be very vulnerable and dependent. I know it’s humiliating to her to have to have her daughter help her with such personal and intimate parts of her life.

Honestly, prior to this week, the thought of having to help my mother shower or assist her with a bowel movement was horrifying to me. It is one thing to assist a patient, an acquaintance, or even a friend with these things, but having to help a parent brings a different level of emotional involvement. Our parents are the ones who cared for us when we were younger and to see them become vulnerable is a reminder that they are aging, that they aren’t invincible, and that life is fleeting.

But you know, sometimes such a reminder isn’t so bad. We need to be reminded that we are human and that our lives are short. We need to remind ourselves that our experiences here on earth are temporary and what matters is eternity. Additionally, caring for an ill or aging person is an opportunity to practice the love of God.

I’ve learned that I have much more to give than I realized. My mother and I have never been particularly close and I’ve often felt I am a failure in her eyes, but none of that mattered when she needed me. I’ve learned that when you love someone you don’t think about how awful it is to have to bathe them, you just do it. And you do it because you love them. I think of all the things she did for me when I was young, not because she wanted to, but because it was the right thing for me at the time. And I think of all the things the Lord has done for me. Not because He had to, but because He loved me.

Every blessing we receive is because our heavenly Father loves us. He was willing to do the dirty work in order to rescue us in our time of need. He came down to this degraded, unholy place as a helpless child because He loved us enough to overlook the sacrifice it would take. He didn’t just sacrifice His time and resources, He sacrificed His very life. He looked down and saw that we were sick and injured and put in motion a plan to bring us back to health. He saw that we were lost and dying and He picked us up and gave us life! He is the ultimate caregiver. He is the One I want to emulate and the One I want to praise all of the days of my short life on this earth and for all of eternity.

In His love,

Rebekah L.

Are You a Goat?

goatAnd before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. […]Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not. Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee? Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me. And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal. ~Matt 25:32, 41-46

As I was driving earlier today with my God-sister, we started talking about how our church had such a tendency to focus on some really important truths, but one BIG lacking thing we noticed across the board was reaching out to the needy in our communities.  It is SUCH an integral part of why I want to be a doctor- “I was sick and you visited me.” When I think of how so many churches don’t focus on that it breaks my heart. Where are the soup kitchens? Where are the can drives? Where are the coat drives? To have so many things right but not have any real community outreach just seems so wrong.

There are other churches with the flip side- they have tons of community outreach, but forget fundamentals of salvation or a true Christian walk. They’ll have soup kitchens galore, but people lack daily prayer lives. Anyone who needs an extra coat in winter will find one there, but saints don’t daily read their Bible.  We can become so busy in doing things FOR Christ, we forget HIM.

We’ve got to find a balance. We cannot forsake the foundations of faith and once we have an established daily foundation for our faith we must extend and grow. So my question to all of you (and to myself) is on judgement day, will He find you a goat or a sheep?

Lord Jesus, 

Help us be Your sheep. Help us walk where You lead us. Let us visit those who we should visit and minister unto others as if we are ministering unto You.  May we look into their eyes and see Your reflection there realizing it is a mirror of ourselves when we are allowing YOU to work through us.  Let me be Your hands and Your feet. 

Rebekah M. 

Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace

instrument of peace 2

Words are timeless. The Scriptures are the purest example of this, but sometimes even mere mortals manage to write down a few thoughts that last centuries. The poem below was written about 800 years ago. You’ve probably heard it before, but it’s a good reminder of what we should strive for as Christians.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon:
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

~A Prayer of St Francis of Assisi

Jesus, I am so much more inwardly focused than I should be. Lord, “grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand, to be loved as to love.”

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

Stretch Forth Thine Hand

And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand. And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him. And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth. And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace. And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other. ~ Mark 3:1-5

God had used this passage of verses before to touch my heart as I wrote about back in October last year.  These past few days, God allowed me the chance to go to a ladies’ conference which has been SO good for my soul!  One of the nights, they had “prayer tunnel” created by having two lines facing each other of ministers’ wives and all the ladies lined up to walk in between the two lines. As you walked through, the ministers’ wives prayed over us. As I went through something in my so deeply prayed for a husband and for God to just do whatever else He wanted with my life- use me as He will, move me where He will, keep me with my sicknesses or take them away.  As I finished up handthe line I went to sit back in my seat and felt the need to open my Bible. It automatically fell on the above passage and instantly I felt God saying that He wanted to make the final healing in my heart.  I will NEVER be ready for Isaac without a fully healed heart.  As I allowed the words to sink in, I cried, thanking God and I stretched forth first one hand and then the other.  Tears streaming down, I let go of the things in my heart. I stretched my hands out in faith, believing Him faithful to heal me.  I post this in faith, continuing to believe that I was healed! My heart is whole- whole from Ex #1, whole from Ex #2, even whole from giving up the third guy- unofficially an ex… from consciously choosing God over the first guy to treat me like gold.  I know I made the right choice and either he’ll come to God and we’ll end up together, or God will send someone else- but I know more than ever that I did make the right choice and that I have hope.  I have hope that God will honor my choice- that He will not leave my soul in pain unless there is a plan and a reason- even if it’s because my Isaac has more to grow before he’s ready to be the man I need.  I trust you God, I trust You Jesus. I stretched forth my hand and I am healed!!!

Rebekah M.

Related post:

https://beingrebekah.com/2012/10/07/forgiveness-and-renewal-revisited/