Grab your FREE eBook and exclusive content for Subscribers only:

Subscribe

FREE eBook:

Subscribe

FREE updates delivered to your inbox

Subscribe

Don't Miss A Post!

Subscribe

Free Energy Guide

 

I got tickled this morning when I saw that my eBook is ranked #2 in Kindle books category “Christian Living.”

Watch out Francis Chan, I might be  bumping you from #1 soon.

Oh yeah, Chan is in the “paid” column and I’m on the “free” side~ wink! :)

Regardless of semantics (okay, and cash), I am super excited to tell you that Energy Explosion is being offered free on Kindle until Friday!

One step at a time, this guide will help you:

 

~ implement proven strategies for increasing energy

~ address low grade energy sappers like anger, stress, and anxiety

~ identify your personal pitfalls that drain you mentally and spiritually

~ gain a biblical vision for what God is doing in your life circumstances

~ understand top energy foods and incorporate them into your meals {includes a section of delicious recipes}

~ renew your mind with scripture using the MIND Method of meditating

~ chart your progress with printables

And much more!

 

So click over to grab your copy
(you don’t have to own a Kindle to download it. You can download the book to your computer by clicking the “Kindle for PC” button.)

You are very welcome.

 

*Linking up with Women Living Well

Hephzibah

There’s 20 minutes before service starts and I’m rushing to shower before leaving out the door with wet hair…and I hear His voice speaking to me.

“Take her a gift.”

I’ve never met “her” before, the young woman from Guatemala who is going to be sharing at services tonight. I hardly know anything about her.

“Take her a gift to show how beautiful she is to Me.”

I’m scurrying around pulling my towel-dried hair back in a pony tail and searching for my missing sandal and this is what He whispers to me.

I pause.

The only thing I have worthy of giving a beautiful woman is the “H” pendant I received at Christmas. And I don’t know if her name starts with “H” or not.

“Lord, what about the pendant?” I ask Him. “Is that what You want me to give her?”

And then He reminds me of the passage I read that very morning, the one from Isaiah 62:

“You will be called by a new name that the mouth of the Lord will bestow. 

You will be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord,  a royal diadem in the hand of your God. No longer will they call you Deserted,  or name your land Desolate.

But you will be called Hephzibah, for the Lord will take delight in you.”

 

H for Hephzibah. The new name. The new identity.

“Okay, Lord,” I say as I scratch out a note card explaining why she is receiving an “H”  pendant on a string from a stranger. “This is a *little* crazy, but okay.”

I arrive at church and we listen to testimonies and finally it is time for the girl from Guatemala.

She is 22 and she’s never been out of her country before and she is scared to be speaking in front of us.

She grew up hungry. Her parent’s were alcoholics and the 11 kids they gave birth to didn’t have food to eat. She became the surrogate parent to her younger brothers, always scrounging for food, collecting old coffee grounds or gathering plaster from old buildings.  Anything they could fill their stomachs with.

She grew up a castaway. At 8, she was raped by 2 of her older brothers, while her younger brothers were forced to look on. When she told her mom about it, her mom slandered her and shamed her and disowned her.

Then, family members filed complaints and the judge ordered her to the orphanage and life changed for little Velma.

She heard about Jesus. Slowly, she began to trust. Slowly, she began to believe.

After the service, Pastor asks me to come forward and pray for Velma with a “V” and I pray Isaiah 62 over her and when everyone is dismissed, I slip her the gift.

She looks at me like I’m crazy but I’m grinning  because I know why He told me to give a girl named Velma a pendant with the letter “H” on it.

And isn’t it glorious?

Our loving God Himself wants her to know she is no longer forsaken.

No longer desolate.

She has a new name. A new identity.

She is a crown of beauty in the hand of her God.

 

Psst, click here for your “H,” because you are renamed too. Print it and post it on your fridge, carry it in your Bible, or get crafty and make your own pendant. Because you are a crown of beauty in His hand…and He takes great delight in you.

The Coin

 

 

It was eighteen years ago that she gave us the coin.

That was before she accused Dad of running around with a young woman at church. Nearly split the church wide open. Dad came home with a shot gun and the counselor had to intervene and they’ve been seperated ever since.

But eighteen years ago was before all of that happened. Before tongues wagged and hearts broke and tears fell and things were never the same.

We were sitting at the supper table after church, Jackson and I. And Mom, she handed us a Canadian Maple.

“You’ll face hard times together,” she said. “Here’s something for you to put away for a rainy day, for when you just don’t have anything else.”

She slipped us the coin and we tucked it away and for eighteen years of marriage, while we traveled the world over and back again, that coin stayed in the attic, tucked away in its plastic sheath.

Until recently.

Jackson took it out.

He opened the safe where important documents are kept and he slipped the coin out and he looked at it.

“We need groceries,” he said.

I knew what the words cost him. I knew the pain of a hardworking man not able to fund a trip to the grocery store. But I also know something else about him… that walking the path of the Lord’s will is more important to him than anything else.

“The Lord’s going to take care of us,” Jackson continued. “He always has.”

He looked at me as he fingered the coin. The clock ticked and the fridge hummed and four little bodies lay tucked in their beds, oblivious to the choices of their parents.

It’d be a shame to just spend this.” He said it thoughtful. Slow. The processing of a man intent on what’s best for his family.

I thought of the growing grocery list: bananas, bread, jelly, toilet paper, trash bags. I thought of the empty cupboards and the empty bank account and I knew they would stay empty.

I want to invest it,” he says it slow, sure, sacred- like; an act of worship.

 

“What do you think about us selling this and giving the money to feed the Nuba people in Sudan?”

I choke back the tears and say YES! What better way to invest than in another person?

We get down on our knees and pray. “Thank You, Jesus,” I pray. “Thank You we get to be part of this, part of ministering to Your body. Thank You for the chance to give our best.”

The next day, Jackson goes to sell the coin. He returns home with $1500 cash, 15 crisp hundred dollar bills.

My man, he knows how to invest.

 

That Sunday we slip the bills into an envelope and write “Sudan” on it and we listen to the guest speaker, a Sudanese pastor.

“We take trip to Sudan,” he tells us. “We buy grain and take it into the Nuba mountains. My people are starving. They are hiding in caves and are being bombed every day. Life is hard. I cannot forsake them.”

And on this side of the world, brothers and sisters, an entire association of churches, pledge to help. We send two men with our Sudanese brother into the mountains of Sudan.

The mission is dangerous. Sudan is in turmoil and these men are entering the war zone.

The team gets stuck in Cairo. It takes days, then weeks, for the money transfer to go through. The rains are forecasted to begin any day in Sudan and when that happens, they will not be able to travel.

The team encounters one difficulty after another…they get sick, they can’t locate drivers who are bold enough to trek into the war zone, the money still won’t go through…

The team contacts us and asks everyone to fast.

We all feel the spiritual warfare of this mission. We know we battle not flesh and blood.

The call to fast goes out and we stop eating. At dinner time, the kids ask why I’m not having meal with them and I explain about the Nuba people and the need for God to provide a way. Jackson is working late…but fasting. Friends text to let each other know we are in this together.

All over our little town, we call on the Lord, asking Him to move His mighty hand. We pray for our brothers and sisters hiding in the Nuba mountains.

The Lord hears.

I get the message on a Monday morning:

“Team Nuba were able to get up the mountain, get the grain/oil/supplies to the people, and even pick up 500 refugees on the way back and safely transport them to a camp near the border.

Said they haven’t had sleep in 70 hours but they were in very good spirits. Their plan is to get rested up today and start the journey home tomorrow.
PLEASE DO NOT STOP PRAYING NOW!”

 

I fall to my knees and thank God. I ican see those faces, the mommas. The babies. All the blank stares.

But this time, I see the smiles.

It is such a sacred thing to be a part of, there is such a deep intimacy with the Lord. It is an hour before I can even call Jackson with the news.

All day, I break out in random song. When I pick oldest up from school, I excitedly tell him the news and we hoot and holler in the car.

 My Nuba sister is hiding in a cave somehwere with her children. But tonight, she will have food to give them. Tonight, she knows that the world hasn’t forsaken them, her brothers and sisters living in houses with heaping plates…well, she knows we care.

Tonight, she knows that her God delivers.

Jackson eats with us tonight, and he breaks the bread:

“Share with God’s people who are in need.

Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me…

Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for Me.

And if anyone gives a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.

So do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”

 

Jackson and I just look at each other.

We both feel it, the pleasure of God.

And as we eat our simple meal, we enter into our inheritance.

And I’m so full, I’m just about to pop.

Come back tomorrow, Thursday, June 21, for an update on the Sudan mission!

 

Invest means “to use, give, or devote (time, talent, etc.), as for a purpose or to achieve a profitable return.”

Sometimes when you need something the most is when you *need* to give it away.

We can spend a life or we can invest one.

“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:7-8

 

Linking up with Ann today

The Promise and the Oath

 

 

Pastor texts me with the request and I’m glad he is a texter and not a caller because my initial response isn’t exactly to hoot and holler. “Sunday is Mother’s Day. Will you give testimony on how Christ has made difference in your life as mother?”

I think of all the other women who have better stories to share than mine… more drama, better delivery, cute little mom stories tied up in satin pink bows.

My story is messy. Gritty. Unfinished.

Inside I’m wondering why he had to ask me.

Nonetheless, long ago I said yes to God…I told Him I will share anything He wants me to share anywhere He wants me to share it. So I text Pastor back: “Yes…unless there r others who want to and u don’t need me.”

Then I tell God, “Okay, we have a few days to come up with something.”

I didn’t really expect an answer, at least not right away. But as I carried the towels to the bathroom, I felt that unmistakable Presence move inside. “Tell them about us. Tell them why Mother’s Day is significant to you.”

And I know.

I know why Pastor texted me and I know it wasn’t by chance. I know that He wants me to tell this story, the story of the Promise and the Oath…

Join me at Raising Homemakers for the story?

A Bit of News

Hello friends, just a note to touch base…

We have started preparations for our return to the mission field and things are a bit crazy :) Posting around here may be weird for awhile, but I plan on being back soon. So many awesome stories to share of God’s provision, direction, and overwhelming Presence in our lives and ministry! I can’t wait to tell you!

I would like to personally invite you to keep up with our family by subscribing for updates here. An adventure awaits and I would love to have you join in.

Also, Energy Explosion is Only $2.99 on Amazon for a limited time. {PDF version is also $2.99}

Thank you so much for prayers, notes, and friendship.

Much love,
AJ

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...