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Ambassadors for Christ

ambassadors

This week has been a tough week for the United States. Between the bombing in Boston and the explosion in Texas, many people in this country are grieving and recovering from tragedy. For those of us in New England, the tragedy is still unfolding.

Personally, I know several people who were running in the marathon this past Monday, several more who were near the finish line cheering on the racers, plus I have friends and a couple of relatives that live within blocks of where the bombings occurred. Today, most of Boston and many of the surrounding communities were in lock-down. Although my place of work was open, many of the businesses around us were not. Several of our employees could not come in to work because they live in the lock down zone and were ordered to stay in their homes. Others could not come in because the entire MBTA (our public transportation system) was shut down. Even the taxi services weren’t running for a large part of the day. Although I live a bit outside of the area that is on lock down, I must have seen close to thirty police cars on my way to work. A co-worker sent me a picture of a soldier patrolling the street right outside her window. It is the type of thing that one might expect to see in a war zone, but not in our own backyards.

Yet in all of this, heroism and selflessness abound. It is important to remember that the love of God continues to flow in calamity. He continues to reach out through the hands and feet of countless ordinary citizens; volunteers, donators, EMTs, first responders, nurses, physicians, surgeons, and law enforcement. For every psychopath or terrorist, there are hundreds of compassionate hearts that are moved to action. We have all read the stories of every day citizens who came together to offer food, blankets or a hug to someone lost in their grief. We’ve seen the pictures of untrained hands pinching off the femoral artery to keep a victim from bleeding out. Perhaps we saw the list online of the thousands of people who offered their homes and a hot meal to those displaced in the tragedy. And let us not forget the police officers who ran towards the location of the blast (not knowing if there were more bombs that would go off), while everyone around them ran away. Or what about the doctor who was exhausted from having run and finished the 26.2 mile race? After the bombs went off he immediately ran to Mass General Hospital and within 90 seconds of arriving was scrubbed in to surgery. 48 hours later, that surgeon was still performing surgeries for the victims of the marathon. He was in surgery almost non-stop for over 48 hours after he had just run a marathon! There are heroes among us. Real people, living real lives. Tired, hurting, fallible people, who go beyond their normal physical and emotional limitations to reach out to those around them.

Those acts of heroism do not negate the grief or right the wrong, but they are reminders of love and humanity. Reminders we desperately need at times like this. When we grieve, God grieves with us. I believe He feels the pain that we feel. When we are hurting, He hurts with us. When Jesus walked the earth, He was filled with compassion and time and time again, He reached out to touch the sick and hurting. He brought restoration to people.

As believers, it is our job to represent Jesus on this earth. The enemy wants us to be immobilized by fear, but God wants us to be mobilized to serve!

People can serve without knowing Christ, but can we truly know Christ without serving? If we claim to know Him, we should be on the front lines of service. When horror strikes close to home, it is then that our friends and neighbors need us the most. I want to encourage all of us to serve one another in humility and love. Reach out to the hurting, donate to the destitute, offer a couch to the displaced, pray for the grieving. Be His hands and His feet and His mouth and His listening ear.

Be an ambassador for Christ.

In His Love,

Rebekah L

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Prayer Monday: A Prayer for the Hurting

In light of the events earlier today, I wanted to say a prayer for the hurting- join me if you would. 

Jesus, 

What happened earlier today was a senseless act of horror today in Boston. What should have been a moment of celebration where months of training finally came to fruition for so many, ended in tragedy.  I pray for comfort and peace over those affected by what took place and I ask for You to help us to embrace You for who You are: the Wonderful Counselor, the Prince of Peace, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father. You will hold us in this time of pain. You will reach out and comfort those who have lost loved one. You will calm the fear in the hearts of those who are paralyzed by fear from what happened today.  We cannot allow fear to rule our lives. Help us to trust that You hold our worlds in Your hands. Help us to remember that just calling on Your name, the name of Jesus, there is power. There is power to break every chain. There is power to shine brightly in this dark world. There is power to overcome fear, worry, doubt, anger, bitterness, and hatred.  There is power to be love to those around us- to show compassion with our every move. There is power for the hurting to be healed. You mend broken hearts. By Your stripes all those years ago when they were torturing You we are healed. 

I praise You God that You will bring emotional and mental healing. I praise You God that You will help those physically hurt in the blasts. I praise You God that You will bring peace to those living in fear. I trust and believe that You are greater than the darkest of hearts in this world. 

Rebekah M. 

Guest Post: Rebekah M’s Mom “Entering the Restricted Zone”

Editor’s Note: Our weekly guest spot is our effort to help our reading community connect with each other. I am excited that my mom, who is currently in a Bible College program, has allowed us to post one of her previous papers she wrote for a class. Based on the book Entering the Restricted Zone by Steve Willoughby, she writes on events that I witnessed while growing up that show God’s amazing ways and how His hand has been on her and my family all our lives. ~Rebekah M.

storm1

Sometimes when the storms of life come, if we are not prepared, it can be devastating. Many years ago, some unfortunate misunderstandings caused someone in the church to mistrust our family. The more we tried to prove ourselves, the more the situation got worse, and eventually we really did not know how to get out of it. We were all praying and seeking God’s direction. Soon everyone got the answer except for me. I felt I was left out and I cried out to the Lord. Three days later, a lady in the church said that she needed to talk to me. She said she had been praying for me the whole week and that God has a word for me. God wanted her to say this to me: ‘There are three moments. “Moment before moment, I will give you peace”, “Moment before moment, I will give you peace”, “Moment before moment, I will give you peace”’. When she was speaking, the Holy Ghost told me that I was in the second moment. I felt the love of God because He sent someone to pray for me and gave His word to comfort me. I realized that this was a spiritual battle and God had allowed it to happen so we would learn an important life lesson. God has promised, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Heb 13:5). Yes, my husband and I, because we are confident in His love, were able to overcome the situation.

cross1I know my calling and passion is to love and care for the people who have needs and I enjoy doing that as well because I am eager to share with others the love I have received from God. Then a few years ago, while I was happy and busy helping some people who have needs, something was secretly going on behind my back. Someone had spread rumors and false accusations about my motivation for helping others. I was accused with untrue matters from the distorted information. I was even betrayed by a very good friend whom I trusted and highly respected. When this thing happened, it was so hard to accept and way beyond my understanding. I was confused and scared. I thought “If God really, really, loved me; He would not let me go through this.” I was so hurt. I wrapped myself in pains and agony and I cried myself to sleep for several days. This time the storm had struck me really hard. Then at my lowest point, God reminded me of my third moment. Suddenly I realized that this is my third critical spiritual battle and I was not fighting the battle on my own; I have God and the support of my family. He then taught us how to fight this battle and the key was humility and submission. We were determined to hold on to His Love, stick with our faith and endure to the end. Praise the Lord; once again, through the help of the Lord, we overcame the situation.

I know when God allow trials and tests to happen in my life, it is for my own good. He used those situations to make me strong. Through the difficult times, I have learned how to trust Him and do things His way. Because of the confidence I have in His love, I have joy. And this joy that I have, the devil did not give it to me and devil cannot take it away!

Rebekah M’s mom is a loving housewife who lives the Bible and seeks to be His light where ever she is.  

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

Multiplying Texts

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according tohis purpose. ~ Romans 8:28

Recently, one of my friends has been going through a rough time.  She is called. She has a purpose. Jesus has a destiny for her.  Sometimes though, on our way to fulfilling our destiny, God allows things to happen in our lives so that our chains can be burned away so that we are ready for His tasks. phone

I truly believe in Romans 8:28.  I believe that ALL things come together.  In her struggles yesterday, she was texting me and God latched on to something He said through me and used technology to multiple the text.  I told her:

[Friend]-  be strong. The Lord is your strength. He is your shield. He will uphold you in His arms of love.

I found out today that God had that same text sent to her almost hourly yesterday from the moment I sent it until 11PM last night.  All day she was fighting a tough battle. Things flying in from all directions.  What I said did not feel incredibly profound to me at the moment. I felt like I was speaking truth but clearly, God knew it was a truth that she had to hear all day.  She sees it (as I do) as a miracle.

This is the God we serve. This is my Jesus.  That something that I felt was meaningful but definitely not profound enough to send the same text 15 times in the same day, He multiplied and resent to her all day long- to remind her He loves her. That He will uphold her. That He will be her shield.  That He is her strength.

Dear readers- know that God loves you just as much! Know that He will also uphold You in His arms of love. Know that He will be your shield as well! Know that He is your strength as much as He is mine, as much as He is my friend’s!

Jesus, 

Thank You that You’ll even take a seemingly simple text and multiply it for the needs of the recipient. Thank You that even technology is in Your hands. Thank You that ALL things work together when put in Your hands!!! Praise You Jesus! Thank You Jesus!!! 

Rebekah M. 

Disquieted

Flower

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.”  –Psalm 42:11

I’m struggling today. I’ve been dealing with a certain situation for a year now. I’ve prayed and prayed and prayed for it to be resolved, but it continues. Clearly there must be some lesson here that the Lord is trying to teach me. Clearly I’m failing the lesson. But I will praise Him anyhow. I praise my God and my King for keeping me even when I’m tired and frustrated. Thank you, Jesus.

-Rebekah L

Contemplation

thoughtful

When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. ~ Isaiah 43:2

I’m going through this crazy mental time right now.  I’ve gained a few pounds the last few months and the boy is disappearing more and more from my life. I know that I’m the one who told him that I couldn’t date him. I know that I’m the one who didn’t contradict him when he said he didn’t have a pretty girl to kiss when he was down.  I know that I’m the one who said he was what I wanted, but not what I needed (because I needed a praying man).

I miss him though. He still talks to me every day, but before where it was 4 or 5 hour gap at most… it can literally be only a little in the morning or night now.  I miss feeling like he was my constant companion even when it was only via text most of the time. The niche he found for himself in my life now feels empty and a gaping hole.

Tonight, one of my guy friends texted me out of the blue to tell me about how things weren’t going well with the girl he was chasing. Said he messed up with her because he was pursuing her too much when she needed space.  This is the same guy who I said was the example of what I’m looking for in a guy.

Part of me kept wondering what in the world was wrong with her for not running towards him with all she had. Here is this amazing, Godly, thoughtful guy who truly loves Christ and she just didn’t want to date him why? because he was attentive??? I just don’t get it but all I do know is that a slight part of me wanted to be like “me! pick me! I’m here! I love Jesus just as much as you do! Open your eyes!” but… he’s never, ever offered anything besides friendship to me. I gave up on him ever thinking of me as anything beyond a friend years ago.

So here I sit, on the heels of amazing news that I passed my boards and yet my heart is still heavy…

Lord,

Help me to hope in You. I know You have all things in Your hands so help me praise You even with my heavy heart. Help me put on the garment of praise. Help me to love You with all my heart so that this stuff has no effect on me.  Shield me in Your hands. Hold me while I have a heavy heart when I should be rejoicing. Help me shed this feeling of being inadequate, of feeling like no man will find me attractive, to just re-see my worth in You again. Remind me You are walking with me in this emotional time in which things must be burned away and out of my heart.

Rebekah M.

The Talk

Today the new guy asked:

So how do you see our relationship?

Given that he’s not in church, I have been struggling with the thought that he might ask me to be his girlfriend soon. Things are nice between us- he texts me daily and it’s never too much or too little.  I don’t feel pressured by him but I also don’t feel like he’s trying to hide me or deny me. I’ve met his family a few times already and his mom even friended me on facebook. He’s so incredibly supportive about boards, interviews, life.  It’s only been about two months but I know that should I cut him off, I would feel the gap in my life. He has found a way to slowly work himself a little niche into my life quietly and without force.

I answered him honestly:

 I definitely think you’re an awesome guy that any girl would be lucky to say she’s dating but I don’t know what you want so… at least in my head i definitely see you as more than just a friend although I also think we have a friendship base which is always important…

It continues to throw me off.  I have only dated two guys before and both were in church and both were disasters.  The first one broke my heart with incalculable coolness and full disregard for my feelings. The second broke my pride and the buddings of feelings with his childish disregard for me and what I tried to put into the relationship- only seeing what he put in. And so it throws me off that this guy has, so far, treated me much better than both guys before him.

This guy, when he kissed me more passionately than I wanted, quickly backed off the moment he sense my hesitation and apologized over and over again and quickly had us switch to something more platonic. Of the three times we’ve hung out so far, limited by my monthly switch in locations, he has shown such consideration for both my feelings as well as my well being.

i guess im saying i dont know if im ready to be your boyfriend yet but i may just need alil time or somethingto idk. I want to get to know you.

In all this, I continue to be unsure… what if he never comes to God? Am I wasting his time? Someone who has treated me a billion times better than guys in the church? He seems so genuine and caring- passing out candy canes to the sick around Christmas- not even for an organization. Even just making sure that “we” were on the same page before he saw me again says SO much about his caring heart… and yet he doesn’t know God? How does this compute? How can one guy have so many Godly attributes and yet not claim Christ? And why is it that I don’t just run as far and as fast away from him before I end up giving such a great guy my heart? I know he doesn’t have it yet, but I also know that I am very drawn to him. He doesn’t push me to do things I don’t want to and when we’re hiking on trails, he makes me feel safe and like I can try anything without fear.

I want him to know God. I want him to experience the One who can make him feel the same way he’s been making me feel when I’m with him.  I want him to know the safety and security of Jesus who died for us and carries us through life. I want Him to experience the views  we see together the way I see it- through the lens of God’s creation.  What majesty this world holds. What evidence of His immense goodness and grace! Beautiful landscapes sing of His awesome power and glorious ways. How amazing is this God of ours! Being someone who loves the beauty of nature as much as he does, I just wish he would also acknowledge the One who created what he loves so much.

And so the talk concluded with us agreeing that we’re at the “seeing someone” stage- not ready to make a more concrete commitment but not denying that the other is more than just a friend either.  But where is Jesus in all this? How do I bring Christ in the middle of this relationship? Perhaps when he’s here next week we’ll find out since I’m not going to skip church for him and he’ll probably want to maximize his time with me.  Feel free to pray for me readers- I’m going to need it.

In Him,
Rebekah M.