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Hope for Healing

Dear Readers,

I would like to ask you all to bind together with me in prayer. My step-father has just been diagnosed with cancer. Naturally, we are all a little scared. If you could take a moment to send up a prayer for him I would really appreciate it. Pray that he has peace, that he and his doctors have wisdom in treating the cancer, and that he will be healed. Most of all, please pray for his salvation. I believe that the Lord is going to use this diagnosis to draw him and my mother into His family. Our God is able! Thank you.

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

Choose this Day

“…choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” –Joshua 24:15

As many of you know, I have a friend that lives in Taiwan. For the last couple of weeks he has been on a business trip to China. The beginning of his trip was fraught with difficulties. He is under incredible pressure to succeed by his company. In addition, he has been battling many personal temptations and sin has been lying at the door just waiting to trip him up.

Recently in prayer, God asked him a question. The question was, “Do you want to be like your father or like your Father? You see, many of the struggles and temptations my friend is facing are the very sins his father has succumbed to. God was asking him whether he would choose to become like his earthly father or like his heavenly Father. Indeed, this is a decision we all must continually make.

When he encountered these temptations in China, rather than fall into secret sin and try to hide them away, he reached out and openly told his pastor, his mentor, and a couple close friends exactly what he was tempted to do. So often we try to face our demons alone. Church, we need to learn to lean on each other during our trials! Had he tried to face this alone, he almost certainly would have failed. But with the love, support, and prayers of those close to him, he found the strength to stand for Christ!

His decision to stand for the Lord has resulted in something amazing! At a business meeting in Shanghai, he told his co-workers that he could not do some of the things they were doing because he is a Christian. After the meeting, one of his co-workers told him that he is actually a Christian also, but he had never told the group because he didn’t want to stand out. While Christianity is rapidly growing in China, it is still a tiny minority of the population, and if you think it’s difficult standing out in the United States, it is much more difficult in a place like China that values the group over the individual.

My friend’s Christian co-worker invited him to attend church with him. It is a government registered church so my friend knew that doctrinally some things would not line up with what he believes, but he decided that getting to worship with other Christians would be good for him. After the church service he and another member of the church were invited back to his co-worker’s house for lunch. During lunch, it was revealed that neither his co-worker nor the other church member had ever been baptized. In fact, they felt that baptism was something done in biblical times, but was not something to be practiced in modern times.

I know even amongst our readers there are differing opinions on this, but my friend went through all the Scriptures in the bible that admonish new believers to be baptized. He pointed out that there aren’t any Scriptures that would indicate that we should stop baptizing people. Before long the two church members were feeling convicted and having an intense discussion about what they should do. Meanwhile my friend contacted his pastor back in Taiwan to get some advice on how to handle the situation. His pastor recommended that my friend suggest they all pray together and then if they indicated they wanted to be baptized they should do it without hesitation. He pointed out that the government church would not baptize them so to help them be obedient to the Word, my friend should just do it himself.

As suggested, my friend had the three of them pray together. After prayer, the two men both agreed that they wanted to be baptized! My friend took them back to the hotel where he is staying and baptized them in the name of Jesus in the hotel pool!

One of the things that strikes me as so amazing about this entire interaction is how it would not have happened if my friend had chosen to be like his father rather than his Father. He was under extreme temptation and had he given into it, he never would have had reason to let his coworkers know that he is can’t do certain things, so therefore he never would have found out this other co-worker was a Christian, and the co-worker would never have invited him to his church and therefore would not have been baptized.

Every decision we make either for Christ or for the satisfaction of our own flesh, has consequences. When we stand for Christ, He can make miracles happen in our midst! When we follow Him and do His will, we can witness the expanding of the Kingdom of God before our very eyes!

Will you be like your earthly father or like your heavenly Father? Choose this day whom ye will serve.

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

Praying with Rahab

Today’s post is a continuation of the Being Rahab series. If you aren’t familiar with these posts, I encourage you to read parts 1, 2, and 3 by following the links.

I began the first post on this topic by discussing a woman who was forced into prostitution at a young age by her own family. At the time, it was my prayer that she would be like Rahab; a person with a questionable past, but an honorable future. I requested that our readers pray for her that she would have the faith of Rahab to believe God and allow Him to transform her life.

God has answered these prayers in an amazing way. She now regularly attends church, has thrown out all her former idols, has stopped worshipping at Buddhist temples, has committed her life to Christ and been baptized in His name. Truthfully, she is so far removed from her degrading past that I don’t really even like using the word Rahab in the title of these posts anymore. It was difficult for me to include it on the last update, and even more difficult on this one. Even though this is an anonymous blog that she knows nothing about, I feel she deserves better than to be identified by her past rather than by the incredible future that God is building in her. Yet, for the sake of continuity so that our readers are able to recognize and follow her story, I will continue to use it for now.

Recently, I have had the opportunity to pray with this woman a few times. She lives on the other side of the globe from me, but with modern technology she is only a click away and we’ve been able to video chat and pray together that way. Think about that for a minute, we are literally a few clicks away from evangelizing the world! Satan uses technology to put all kinds filth on the airways, violence in the media, and pornography at our fingertips, but we have the power to take technology and use it for good. Use it to witness to someone, use it to reach out and evangelize places you can’t physically get to. Use it for creating worship songs and Bible Studies. Use it for God! But I digress.

This woman has poured her heart out to me in video chat. I’ve been able to tell her what God has done in my own life and then to pray with her about her hopes, her fears, her past traumas, and I’ve been able to feel the burden lifting off of her as we pray. If you had told me a year ago that I would be having these conversations with her, I would have thought you were crazy. Even just a few months ago I would have thought it was impossible. Nothing is impossible to God! Nothing!

If I had stayed angry with her, if I had allowed my own hurt and bitterness to get in the way, I would have missed out on the incredible blessing that she is now bringing to my life. She is a remarkable woman who is learning to pray to the One True God. She is learning to trust in the Almighty. She is giving her life to the Savior. And I am being allowed to witness it. Truly truly humbling.

If you are having trouble forgiving someone I encourage you to ask your heavenly Father to give you a genuine love of God for that person. Ask Him to help you allow a love of God to grow in your heart. He may answer that prayer in the most unexpected and beautiful of ways.

If you pray for that person, you may find one day you are praying with them!

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

Feeling Forgotten

But Zion said, ‘The Lord has forsaken me, and my Lord has forgotten me.’ ‘Never! Can a woman forget her nursing child, and not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.’” -Isaiah 49:14-16

Recently I have been feeling forgotten. Forgotten by friends, family, coworkers. Even God. There are days where I literally feel invisible. I feel like a toddler who only knows how to get attention by acting out. Negative attention is the only thing I seem to be capable of bringing to myself these days and I’m not quite sure why.

I keep having these situations happen where discussions and decisions are taking place around me, but no one remembers to include me in them. Every single day this week I was left out of something I thought I was going to be included in. I can’t help wondering if there will ever be someone in my life who will think to ask me what I want or what my thoughts are. People don’t consult me for their plans (and they shouldn’t need to), but will I ever factor into someone else’s plan?

It’s happened so many times over the last few weeks that I’m seriously questioning my own value. Why do people keep forgetting me? Will I ever matter to anyone? People tell me I matter to them, but if that is true, why am I so easily forgotten? Sometimes they are kind enough to apologize and attempt to fix it after the fact, but they don’t realize it isn’t the actual plan that upsets me; it’s that I was forgotten. Left out. Invisible. Again. You can include me in the plan afterwards, but you can’t fix the fact that I wasn’t important enough to even be considered. And most of the time I know it wasn’t intentional so I can’t even be upset with them over it. That’s almost worse. If they did it on purpose that would mean they at least thought of me, but I’m not even a blip on their radar. No one ever makes plans with me, they make plans for me, or rather they make plans for themselves and if I want to barge in maybe I can crash their plans, but I have to force myself in the midst of them or I am left out. I don’t want to be where I’m not wanted so most of the time that means not participating. Even at work. Even in my own family. Even at church. I’m just so incredibly invisible.

It shouldn’t bother me so much. Why do I need to be recognized or included? I don’t. I have all that I need in Him. I’m trying to hold on to this: the Lord has not forgotten me. Sometimes I feel like He has, but that is not Truth. The Bible tells me that He will never leave me or forsake me. He knows the number of hairs on my head. He has called me by name. He has plans to prosper me. He sees every tear. He knows every fear. He provides for every need. He is with me.

I am not forgotten. And neither are you.

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

The Fear of the Lord

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. –Psalm 25:14

There is a critical aspect to our relationship with God that is severely lacking in many churches and individual believers today. It is the fear of the Lord. We cannot truly have a right relationship with God until we have a reverent fear of Him. This fear is not a terror that He will hurt us, rather it is a respect for the awesomeness, the power, and the authority that He has in our lives. We don’t ever want to be in a position where we are not one of His. We don’t ever want to be outside of our Father’s presence!

When we have a true reverence for the Lord, it changes the way we interact with Him, with our brothers and sisters in the Lord, and with the world. The Bible says that the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (Proverbs 9:10). When we come to Him with a proper sense of awe, He will reveal the secrets of covenant relationship with Him. It is only when we come to understand the awesomeness of who He is that we can begin to love Him with all our heart, soul, and might (Deuteronomy 6:5). Why is this? It is because you can only love someone to the extent that you know them. Knowledge of God begins with a proper fear of God (Proverbs 1:7). The more we reverence the Lord, the more we know Him, and the more we can love Him. There is no greater transforming power than the power of Love. It was love that kept Jesus on the cross at Calvary. And is that love which transforms our interactions with God and His people!

The Bible says that the “fear of the Lord is a fountain of life, to turn one away from the snares of death” (Proverbs 14:27). It is the fear of the Lord that kept Joseph from sinning when he was tempted by Potiphar’s wife. He had been discarded by his brothers, sold into slavery and taken to a foreign land. Surely, in such a lonely and discouraging state many others would have fallen to the temptation, but Joseph had a proper fear of the Lord (Genesis 39:9). He did not allow his present situation to determine his actions; instead it was his fear of a Holy God that dictated his behavior. In the Bible, those that God called His friends were those who trembled at His Word and presence and were quick to obey, no matter the cost. In other words those who were close enough to God to be called His friends were those who had a reverent fear of Him!

We cannot serve two masters. Either we will fear God or we will fear the people. If we believe God and rely on His Holy Word the choice is simple. The Bible declares that “the fear of man bringeth a snare: but whoso putteth his trust in the Lord shall be safe” (Proverbs 29:25). Compare that with the rewards of fearing God. When we fear God we begin the process to knowledge (Proverbs 1:7), wisdom (Proverbs 9:10), and sonship (2 Corinthians 6:18-7:1). Fearing God also brings numerous blessings such as guidance (Psalm 25:12), compassion (Psalm 103:13) and the promise to be happy and fed (Psalm 128:2)! He also promises us long life (Proverbs 10:27) and protection for us (Psalm 115:11) as well as our children (Deuteronomy 5:29).

A proper fear of the Lord changes our relationship to God because it allows us to have a relationship with Him as He intended. It reminds us to remain obedient to Him and it helps to keep us pure and holy before Him. “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12:13)!

In His Love,

Rebekah L.

Revisiting Rahab

Hope in ChristBy far the post on Being Rebekah that has received the most views was a post called Being Rahab. Over a third of the views for all of our posts combined are for this one post. I believe there is a divine reason for that. At the end of that post I asked our readers to pray for the young woman the post was written about. If only a tiny fraction of our readers whispered a prayer for her, there have still been hundreds of prayers that have gone up with her in mind. That is a miracle in and of itself. Today, I have an exciting update to share with you all. I believe the combined prayers of many people have had a hand in the mighty move of God that is occurring in her life. If you have not read the original post, I encourage you to read it here so that you can share in magnifying the Lord with me.

Last week I had the opportunity to travel to the country where this woman lives and got to spend some time with her. It was a very difficult meeting at first because of the history between us. A couple of years ago she hurt me very badly by getting in the middle of, and effectively ending, the relationship I had with someone I had assumed I would marry. During this meeting with her she shared some information with me that made me realize the guy I was with, although not completely innocent, had much less control over the situation than I thought. I already knew that he had been tricked and that he had fallen into a trap of the enemy, but I didn’t know that he had so little control over the events and that his attempts to stop it from happening were ignored.

I found myself crumpled on the bathroom floor crying afresh over everything that had happened. I was very angry with her and it was only after I called upon the Lord that He began to give me a new perspective on things. He helped me to see things from her point of view. He reminded me of the unbelievable pain and abuse she has suffered in her life. Those early years in her life clouded her judgment on everything and led her down a path of unbelievable degradation. While I cried on the bathroom floor, the Lord brought healing to my heart and renewed my compassion for her. I prayed that God would meet her there and that somehow she would be saved.

Afterwards we had an amazing conversation where I was able to tell her that I forgive her and to share with her the amazing forgiveness of the Lord. I even had an opportunity to pray for her. While she doesn’t know the Lord, I am sure that she must have felt His presence in the room while I prayed. She thanked me before I left.

Now for the really good news. On Sunday, for the first time ever, she went to church! She lives in a predominantly Buddhist/Taoist area of the world and has been deeply entrenched in that tradition. She has many idols in her home, but something in her is hungry for the One True God! She wants to be set free from the bondage she has been in all her life. She took a chance that Jesus Christ is real and despite all her fear, she went to a Christian church! God touched her there. She even went to the altar and cried out to the Lord, asking for His forgiveness and she prayed, “If you are the real God, please help me.” We serve a wonderfully loving and compassionate God so I know He will not ignore this sincere prayer.

I praise the Lord for His goodness!! He is a mighty God who is able to break the barriers of tradition, culture, language, past hurts, resentments, fear, abuses, and sin to reach a soul. His love never fails! He never stops reaching for the lost.

Please continue to pray with me that this woman will come to truly know the Lord for herself. Pray that she will be saved and that her life will be transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. He is able!

In His Love,
Rebekah L.

**There’s a Part III! Read the followup to this story at: The Faith of Rahab!!

When God Searches

“The people of the land practice extortion and commit robbery; they afflict the poor and needy, and oppress the resident alien without justice. Thus I have searched among them for someone who could build a wall or stand in the breach before me to keep me from destroying the land; but I found no one. Therefore I have poured out my fury upon them; with my fiery wrath I have consumed them; I have brought down their conduct upon their heads.” ~ Ezekiel 22:29-31

I was reading Ezekiel yesterday and this passage really stuck out at me. First of all, look at the list of sins in the first sentence. That sentence could have been written about biblical times, it could have been written a century ago, and it could easily be written about today. Easily. We see such things happening all around us. Then there’s the part that ultimately God has no choice but to pour out His wrath. Ultimately, He is too righteous to let such conduct slide, and His judgement results in action. But notice how that action was a last resort. He didn’t jump straight from observance to wrath; His fury was poured out when He was given no other option.

What was His first choice? Us. The middle sentence says that He searched for someone to step in, to stand in the breach and petition for mercy. God was searching for an intercessor.

That’s such a cool concept to me. God searches for intercessors. Many Christians think that intercession is us petitioning God to move against the forces of evil. That we seek Him hoping He’ll hear and see fit to answer. That it’s us being God’s hands and feet and voice and engaging in spiritual warfare. What so many forget is that God sees the brokenness way before we do. He sees the brokenness, sees the underlying cause of it, sees all possible end results of it. He sees it and wants to fix it, with the love and mercy He has towards us all. We might petition God when we intercede, but He petitions us first. He petitions us by putting the burden on our hearts. And then He waits, hoping, for someone to act on it – to stand in the gap and cry out to Him. To be the voice that opens the door for His mercy. To come before Him with the mustard seed of faith that He is bigger than any situation, so that He can move mountains.

It brings a whole new level to keeping God in our every moment, our every encounter. We never know when we are being asked to stand for someone we’ve just interacted with casually. If our hearts are closed to those we pass, we won’t be able to receive God’s petition.

And so I ask: Has God petitioned you today? Is He petitioning you now? So many people think that spiritual warfare is extreme. It’s radical. It’s intense. It’s something they’d rather not touch. In truth, though, it’s just what God is searching for.

And of course, if you want prayer over some of your petitions or just to say hi, feel free to email me at being.rebekah.a@gmail.com. God bless!

~Rebekah A

Prayer Monday: Digging the Channel

I recently have been talking with people about the concept that prayer and fasting is like digging a channel to God.  There are times in our lives where we feel like nothing is moving. The water is only a trickle but we’re working SO HARD! Dig, dig, dig and yet it feels like barely any reward.  What we don’t always see and don’t always know is that the enemy is working behind the scenes… throwing rocks and dirt in but if we just keep digging and keep praying- with God we can work faster and harder and before you know it, the water will break loose and NOTHING will be able to stop the flood that takes over. We have to continue to pray and fast because the enemy will always keep trying to close up that channel again, and even the cares of life can fill it up too, but if we keep digging, keep praying and fasting, the things of God will just flow through our life and praise God- what a wonderful flood it will be!  🙂

Waiting for the flood while continuing to dig,

Rebekah M.

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!!