Tag Archives: prayer

Africa…Really?

My college student, and only daughter, will not be coming home this summer.   She has applied, and has been accepted, into a program through Adventures in Missions.  She will leave the first of June, for a 2-month mission trip in Swaziland, Africa.  Really…

My kids are all service oriented, and have experienced missions on local and national levels, and one of them has served in Mexico for 2 weeks… but none have ever traveled so far and for so long.  It is giving new meaning to “letting go” for me.   I thought sending her to a dorm was hard!  I think my, “Top Ten Ways You Know You Have a Child Going to College” list applies here for the most part… just substitute “college” for “Africa”, although I would add just a few…You know you have a kid going to Africa when…

  1. You dream of fund raising techniques …
  2. You spend excessive amounts of time googling common illnesses of the region. (not recommended)
  3. You get your own passport…just in case.
  4. Praying for safety has taken on a whole new meaning.
  5. You have mixed emotions of pride, humbleness, fear, and faith churning in your heart.

We have had a few folks ask why?  Why Africa?  There is so much need right here!  Spending lots of money and time to travel to a place that has no hope seems crazy!  The governments are never going to allow for real change, so why bother?  Well, that’s all true, but the people suffering in those places with no hope are still people.  One person can make a difference.  One life can be changed and we believe that one life is worth it.  Our faith tells us that Christ instructed his followers to take His message to the ends of the earth, even to the places that seem hopeless.  So, those that are called, go… My daughter has been called, and wild horses couldn’t stop her.

I share this with you for a few reasons; first, I covet your prayers.  For her, and those she will be ministering to…  Then, for her step-dad, and me, but especially for her father.  He carries enough worry for everyone.  Secondly, I want to share this experience with you, because that’s what good bloggers do… and last, but not least, I want to give you the opportunity to support her financially. (Refer to item 1 of my list)

You can click here to donate through Adventures in Missions.  She is going on the “Passport” mission and be sure to put Katie Moberly in the “Participant Full Name” space.

If you would like to know more about her, before you support her, here is her story in her own words…

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you are all doing well.

 I am writing you this letter to share what has been going on in my life, and the new adventure that God has laid before me.

 Many of you know, two summers ago I went a mission trip to Charlotte, NC. I had several opportunities that summer to travel abroad, in which I was most excited, but as the time came for me to make my decision, I prayed that God would show me where He wanted me to go that summer and my friend invited me to spend a month in North Carolina. My heart was in Africa, so I wasn’t even worried about going to NC but God works in mysterious ways, and all of the doors leading me abroad shut, right in my face. So Charlotte was where I went. And that summer was the one that changed my life.

 Walking along side the children I helped there made me realize my passion is in showing the unloved, that they are loved, and not only by me, but by the Creator.

Now, I have started my first year in college and have been given the opportunity to, once again, go to Africa, and more specifically Swaziland.  And this time, the Lord as opened the door wider than ever. An organization called Adventures in Missions has welcomed me on a team traveling to South Africa, to help in an orphanage this summer for the months of June and July.

 I applied for the program, had an interview, was accepted, paid my commitment fee, and now I am in need of your help.

 First and foremost, your support in prayers is what I desire the most, but I am also in need of a little financial help. The total cost of my trip is $4,985. If you would like to support me, you can make a tax-deductible donation through the mail at: Adventures In Missions, PO Box 534470, Atlanta, GA  30353-447 and be sure put my name in the memo.               

 Thank you so much for your support, and I’m really excited to bring you along this new journey I’m stepping into!

 Swaziland Bound,

Katie Moberly

Acts 1:8

8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NIV)

Have you had a child go off to Africa?  How did you do?

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Serious Saturday…Have you ever visited a jail?

Have you ever visited a loved one in jail?  I have.

Here is my experience from this side of the glass…

 Jail is a place for all types of “criminals” no matter what the severity of their crime.  They are separated into different areas, but it’s all the same building… So, all of the visitors are in one area, waiting.  Some are going to see a drug dealer.  Other’s are waiting to see someone who can’t control their anger, while others are waiting to see someone who tried something, once, and got caught… The list of crimes is long and diverse.

The waiting area is a somber place to be.  There is always a mom or two, holding a little one, or two.  You can find people of all ages, races, and economic levels.  They all look different, except for their expressions.  Sorrow is the common ground.  No one looks happy to be there, and some can’t even suppress their tears.  No one chit chats, (which is hard for me, even when I am sad) Most folks don’t even make eye contact.  There is an overwhelming, oppressive cloud of hopelessness.

When the visiting time approaches, everyone must go through a metal detector, and then walk down a really, really long hall… The hall that I have walked seems like a mile long. Everyone walks fast, and silently.  The only sound besides the echos of the shoes hitting the floor, is the occasional sniffle.  Then you reach the window, sit in the hard plastic chair, and pick up the phone to speak to your loved one, from the other side of the glass.

I can tell you that it is not pleasant.  It’s a desperate feeling of total helplessness.

The few times that I have visited someone in jail, I wept, not only for the person I love, but for the realization that this is the place Jesus would go first if he were here in the flesh.  He wouldn’t stop by my church, he would be at the jail.  He would put his hand up to every window, and offer hope.  He would walk through the walls, and take each inmate in his arms, and offer them comfort and peace.  He would forgive them, and carry them though restoration, if they would let him.  Because He loves them.  Just as much as He loves me and you.

As hard as it is for us, on this side of the glass, it’s a million times harder for most of those that are now trapped by their own mistakes.  The consequences of breaking the law are long , difficult, and expensive.

Let’s not deceive ourselves that we are too good to be in jail either… How many on this side of the glass, are living out the consequences of a sin or lie, that keeps them in bondage?  Many people are trapped in a belief that keeps them in a mental prison, where there are no visitors…

The good news is that there is always hope.  Praise the God who allows all things, and always offers grace.  He is always there, with his arms open wide, waiting for us to come to Him.  Whether you are in a jail cell, or mental bondage, or just loving someone who is, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matt 11:28)

“Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.” Ephesians 3:17-19

When you have the love of Christ, there is no more bondage, no matter what side of the glass you are on. Really.

If you need prayer for a loved one, or for yourself, I would be honored to do so…


Serious Saturday…I Cried Today.

I cried today.

It all started while visiting a church this morning, and seeing that the first 3 rows on the left, were reserved for the deaf.  We sat behind those seats, and I watched with grateful eyes, as the interpreter signed the songs, and the pastors message to the inhabitants of those rows.  It was angelic, and touched the deepest parts of my heart to see people worshiping the Lord through sign language.

This might have touched you as well, as signing is a beautiful language, but I think it touched me because my youngest child has progressive hearing loss.

My son has spent 10 of his 13 years on the planet visiting the Children’s ENT of Atlanta.  He has had a couple sets of tubes, beginning at age one.  He has had his adenoids and tonsils out, not at the same time I might add.  He has had a “strep” abscess removed and another that dissipated through IV medication and a week in the Children’s Hospital.  He actually has a myriad of other health issues, but none as visible as his hearing aids.

The doctors have tentatively diagnosed him with “progressive hearing loss”.  What that really means is that they know he has lost many levels of hearing, progressively, and they assume he will continue to follow that pattern.  We have endured many tests, and are about to see a Genetics Doctor, to undergo more testing.  The cause for this hearing loss is still a mystery.  So, we go to the audiologist every 3 months for hearing tests and adjustments, and we see the doctor every 6 months, wherein we ask the same things and he gives us the same answers. There is nothing they can do about the ringing in his ears.  They don’t know why this is happening, and he could loose all hearing ability at anytime.  Or not…. Really.

We have gotten very used to this routine.  Almost numbly used to it.

When we were told that the time had come for hearing aids, I cried a lot.  Then I prayed, and gave it all to God.  Peace came over me like a wave, and I have been strong ever since.  That was a year and a half ago.  Today, out of the blue, I saw those radiant people, who could not hear the music, but were praising God with their bodies and hands, and I cried again.

A good friend of mine asked me once, why I wasn’t mad at my God for my sons health issues.  I cannot be mad because I know there is more to this life.  My hope is not in the flesh, but in the Spirit and the Spirit is eternal.  Being mad at anything you have no control over is also a waste of energy, and will steal your joy and hope.  I felt sad today, but not sad in a mad kinda way, but in a realization that my son might have to connect with God on a different level than me.  A level that I don’t understand.  Apparently, as a mom, that can make you cry… Do I ever wish that this cup shall pass?  Yes.  My prayer is for hearing restored, but if it’s not, I know I will be OK and so will my son. Really.


Serious Saturday…The Warrior

What is a warrior?  The dictionary defines it as 1. One who is engaged in or experienced in battle. 2. One who is engaged aggressively or energetically in an activity, cause, or conflict.

So, what does that mean?  A warrior knows the battle field and has a plan. A warrior is pro-active and reactive.  He is engaged in the battle completely, mind, body and soul.  A warrior knows the enemy.  A warrior has a good support team, and through constant communication, is making sure he is equipped with the right weapons and information.

In the Bible, God says in Psalms 127:4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth.

According to this verse, parents are warriors.  Our children are arrows safe in our quivers. We take the twig, smooth out the knots, and sharpen the point, making it “ready  to launch” at the target of their future.  Wow! How do we do that?  How do we, as parents, prepare our kids for their futures, and, more importantly, for their own battles?

We must be primarily pro-active verses reactive. Are we involved in their education and interests?  Or do we just run them around, and try to have quick conversations between activities, homework, and friends?  Are your children’s teachers, coaches, and friends the biggest influences in their lives?  Are we just passively trusting in all of the activities, and people to shape them?  If this is your routine, keep reading…

If you are a parent, then you have been called to be a warrior.  The enemy is seeking to devour them. And you. (1 Peter 5:8) We have been given the battle plans, weapons, and armor in The Word, and we have the best support system in the universe through Christ. (Eph 6:10-18) We can be in constant contact with the creator of life itself, who has already defeated the enemy we face.  Do our kids know this?  Above all the lessons we can teach our children, these are the most important.  You will not always be able to be there for your kids, but Christ can.  You can’t completely restore them after they have been defeated in a battle, but Christ can.  You will not always have the perfect words to say to them… but The Word will always be perfect.

So, what advice can I offer?  After raising 3 kids with the 4th in middle school, I have had many failures and victories.  But keeping with my warrior theme, I will admonish you to teach them about Christ first and foremost.  Don’t think that an hour or 2 a week at Church will adequately counter the culture war zone we are living in.  I think about how many hours a day or week that they are exposed to things that aren’t on the target, and I am pro-active to the opposite.  Reading and discussing The Word and praying together daily is our smoothing and sharpening process.  Make the quiver a place of humility and grace.  Raising children is a battle.  It’s like one of those World Wars that last for years…There will be victories and miracles, as well as epic fails, and sorrow.  It’s an honor and a blessing to be called as a warrior…now go act like one.

 


A Serious Saturday Post… Discipline.

Reader beware: This a Serious Saturday Posting.. Stay tuned for more light-heartedness later in the week..

Discipline.  Wow. That’s not even fun to type.

I’m motivated to write about discipline today, for two reasons.  First, I had to punish my youngest son recently, which doesn’t happen very often, and second, I just watched Toddler’s and Tiaras.. I know. I swear to you, I watch it with an open mouth and I even pray for those kids sometimes.

The word Discipline, by Webster’s definition is; 1. Punishment 2. Instruction 3. training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character. 5. Self control.. Now that doesn’t sound too bad, does it?  At least it doesn’t  sound bad for you.

It is summer break right now and being so, my kids are not jumping out of bed in the wee hours of the morning, which is fine by me, but.. they are pushing 10:30-11:30 on some mornings.  Besides the new chill approach to the morning schedule, there has not been much reading or calculating or even music practicing going on.. Our poor canines have even been left to the way side, as their normal 6:30AM breakfast and outing is now a no-frill brunch to lunch with not even a scratch behind the ear.  Laundry has spent more time in the baskets and I don’t think the beds have been made more than once or twice.  What’s wrong with that?  It’s SUMMER for crying out loud!  It’s time for all school-aged children to relax. chill. take a much needed vacation from the daily grind of learning…  Not anymore in my house. A new morning routine has been implemented.  Complete with a chart.  Yes. I am one of those mom’s…

I haven’t found in any parenting books, or in scripture where it is a suggested practice to have your kids work hard to the best of their ability, be responsible, seek knowledge and discipline and develop good habits,  but then stop. Take 2-3 months off.  If anything, all of the parenting books I have read have preached “consistency” and stressed the importance of learning to be responsible through loving discipline.  A big part of parenting, from day one, is preparing them to leave.  I know that sounds harsh, but it is reality.   They are going to leave and have to be responsible for themselves someday.  How ready are they (and you) going to be? 26 is the new 18, as personal responsibility and self discipline are traits now avoided… These traits are missing so much in today’s culture, like the cult of pageants and team sports, Disney sit-coms and MTV.  When did parents start thinking that athletic, social and beauty “discipline” trumped character discipline?  When did kids start telling parents what to do and when to do it?  And when did kids start knowing what was best for them? Really?  Seriously?

It builds character to seek knowledge and serve others.  Education is a privilege in this world, but taken for granted in this country.  It builds character to take care of an animal and have chores that you don’t get paid for.  It builds character to do something you know is good, even if you don’t have to do it.  It builds character to be told no or to do it again.  It builds character to loose gracefully and to win with humility.  How is this implemented? It is taught and caught by the most influential people in your life, that love enough to discipline.

So, what’s the point and what do we do?  If we really want the best for our kids, we need to seriously look at what we hope for them.  One of my favorite pastors, Chip Ingram, says to make a “to be” list instead of a “to do” list.  Whatever you want for your kids (or they want for themselves) you have to make opportunities for. I don’t mean, “be the best baseball player”, I’m talking about character goals, like “I want to be a good friend”… Parenting should be deliberate and pro-active, not just re-active.  You also need to pray for your kids. I highly recommend the book by Stormie Omartian – The Power of a Praying Parent.  She gives my prayers words when I have none.  Then you need to sit back and relax in the hand of God and know He’s on it.  The outcome is not up to the parent.  Control is a fleeting thing, influence you will have most of the time, but prayer, faith and love are yours forever.

Now go make your kids clean something and read a book.