This year has been an eventful year full of God's goodness, mercy and unexpected blessings. It has been such a joy to see the mission house in its final finishing stages. Our grand adventure mission trip to Haiti this year to dedicate the house and radio station was indeed a celebration! And it is all due to God's faithfulness to complete what He designed. He inspired, and He enabled to come to pass through willing vessels who desire to be God's messengers, hands and feet to the people of Haiti.
However this year has also been one of deep sadness and we said "See you later" to our dear friend and co-laborer Sister Solise "Lily" Alcime in October. Heaven is our home and we long to go home, yet there is such grief when our loved ones go before us. We carry on the work looking for that great and wonderful day reunion day.
Our mission continues as we strive to show God's Love thru Hands-On ministry everywhere He sends and in every circumstance we face.
WE are so deeply grateful for all the people who pray for and support us. Thank you for being a part of our team!
In our Sunday school class we are studying the book of Philippians. Mike, our wonderful teacher, was asking for people to share what they thought ‘working out your salvation’ meant. As different people shared the Holy Spirit brought this instance to my mind.
A couple of weeks ago someone very dear and close to me verbally attacked me, spewing all kinds of angry hateful words of condemnation. They ended by calling me a hypocrite. I was so shocked by that person’s accusation that I was speechless. I did not even know how to respond.
I was so hurt and crushed that I sobbed for a long while. My very patient husband let me cry until I was done and then he very calmly said “honey, God’s got this.” He was so right. I chose to forgive them right then so that there would be no opportunity for bitterness in my heart.
Once I calmed enough for Holy Spirit to comfort me, He reminded me that I was not fighting that person but the real enemy was satan. He used their hurts to lash out at me.
Eph. 6:12 KNJV For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
What the enemy thought would bring me to my knees and crush me did. However, it brought me closer to God and what was meant for my harm is turning for my good. This event caused me to re-evaluate my life and walk with God. God is using this experience to crush and press out new wine in me and it is all for His Glory.
In John 3:17 the word says that Jesus did not come to condemn but that the world would be saved through Him. The Holy Spirit does not condemn but convicts us of sin.
Phil. 2:12-13 NKJV Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;
for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
In this passage Paul is exhorting the believers in the church at Philippi, and us (believers today), to work out your own salvation. The word “sōtēria” means rescue or safety (physically or morally):—deliver, health, salvation, save, saving. Through Christ and His sacrifice on the cross we can experience deliverance from wrath and the power of sin. However, we must continue to keep working at living holy and consecrated lives. According to Peter we must be diligent about it.
2 Pet. 1:10 NKJV Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
Holy Spirit has been showing me attitudes and actions that may be considered unholy or unlovely. As He reveals these things to me, I have the choice to change and keep myself from stumbling or I can ignore His correction and allow myself to become the hypocrite I was accused of being. A hypocrite is defined as ‘somebody who pretends to have admirable principles, beliefs, or feelings but behaves otherwise’.
My behaviors must line up with the Word of God that I confess. And if I continue to work diligently at my salvation, I will be able to make my election sure and not stumble at this but be conformed to His image. I am not perfect, but praise God through His grace and mercy, I am forgiven! I will continue working out my own personal salvation, looking unto Jesus who is the author and finisher of my faith. He will perfect and accomplish His plan in my life. And He will do the same for you if you allow Him to!
Molded Into Perfection
Yesterday I was helping my daughter's youth group bake pies for a fundraiser. As we began to make the pie dough I discovered that a couple of the moms did not know how to make and roll out dough. So a teaching moment for them turned into a devotional moment for me.
One of the moms was trying really hard to make the crust roll out perfectly and precisely. This whole process was frustrating her and causing her to want to give up.
I assured her that pie dough was very forgiving and could be fixed with a little water and re-shaping. I also reassured her that at the end of the cooking process the pie would be beautiful.
At that moment God reminded me of how He takes the imperfect mass of our broken and shapeless lives and molds them into His perfection. When the water of the Holy Spirit is applied to our lives we are softened and become pliable in the Master's hands.
Isaiah 64:8 NLT "And yet, O Lord , you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are the potter. We all are formed by your hand."
When we submit our lives to be molded, shaped and perfected into the work of His hands at the end of the process we will be beautiful!
In 2nd Corinthians 4:7 Paul tells us that we have a treasure in earthen vessels. That great treasure is God's power and glory perfected by the pressing, sometimes perplexing circumstances that come at us. He will use the persecution and times when we fall down to mold us.
When we fail, God is forgiving. When we become frustrated at the imperfections of our lives, He reminds us that if we trust and allow Him, He will fix us.
When He is glorified in all our perfecting processes, then it is indeed beautiful and perfect in the end!
My Daddy’s Voice
At a writer’s meeting we were challenged to write about a sound or smell that takes me back to childhood. I struggled with what to write?
What smell brought remembrances?
Maybe the smell of fresh lemons at the supermarket reminded me of summers spent at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Grandpa would let us “sneak” fresh fruit from his lemon tree without Grandma knowing about it. But really the sights would cause a flood of memories, not the smell.
Was there a special sound that had significance to me? Not a particular sound but many brief sounds came to mind.
A horse whinnying reminds me of the ponies we rode when we lived on the farm. The sounds of summer baseball games bring a myriad jumble of memories of times spent at the park next door to the house in town.
I remember sitting at my window watching the games and wondering about my adult life. I often wondered where I was headed and felt the impatient constraints of being “too” young.
But smells, sights, and sounds many times bring a memory to the surface of my mind that is not pleasant but painful. There are memories of failures, memories of times of inadequacy felt so strongly. There are strong memories that flood the soul, the mind and spirit and for a brief time leave you feeling the emotions all over again.
But I believe the most influencing sound of my life is my Daddy’s voice.
The instant that I hear my Daddy speak, I have an idea of the mood he is in or how he is feeling. Many times in my life I could know what was going on just by listening to Dad.
The booming sound of my name most certainly let me know that I had incurred his anger. Fortunately there were not any times when the anger turned to wrath.
Daddy’s voice is rich in tone and inflection. He used to sing the bass parts of hymns at church and I loved to hear daddy sing those low keys. That same low tone would gently correct me for having done something wrong.
Momma would tell Daddy to lower his voice because he was too loud. Maybe it’s from years of speaking over a rebellious teenage daughter’s blaring music or the sounds of brother and sister fighting over who is right? Many times Daddy had to compete with the distractions of our busy lives.
I know when I have disappointed Daddy because of the tone of his voice. There is a distinct quietness and calmness in his voice. Looking back over the years I am deeply grieved by the feeling that many times I did disappoint my Dad.
I’ve heard the deep sadness in his voice as he brought sorrowful news of loved ones passing away. The comforting tone used during those times of pain in my own personal life. And the hopeful tone when encouraging me to press on during times of trial.
Where Mom used words to convey to us her thoughts, feelings and actions, Daddy used his tone of voice.
I loved to talk to Mom because she was articulate and challenged me to grow intellectually. Talking with Daddy allows me to let my creativity and emotions flow.
When Dad is happy or feeling well, we sit for hours chatting about many things and nothing in particular. As I’ve grown older I realize the important things that Daddy has to tell me.
Lately I have begun to realize that it is the same with our Daddy God, Abba Father.
As I listen to my Daddy God, I learn the same aptitude for discerning what each tone my attitude and actions has prompted.
The parallels between those times in my life when I perceived the tone of my earthly father and when I should have had that same perception of my heavenly father remind me to strive toward developing a deeper recognition of His voice.
Just as Daddy used the tone of his voice, my Daddy God uses many things to speak to me. He speaks to me through His Word, through His Spirit and through experiences.
Maybe God uses the booming voice of correction when I’ve done wrong. And I pray I never incur the wrath of God.
He speaks encouragement in the calm stillness of His Spirit to me during those times of trial. There is much encouragement found in His Word when life has overwhelmed me with sadness and pain.
I appreciate those times when the Holy Spirit prompts me to spend time in prayer. And during prayer as I talk and listen, God releases within my spirit the creativity and challenges me to grow.
I believe the most important decision after accepting Christ we make should be to develop an intimate relationship with Daddy God that only comes by listening to Him and talking to Him daily, minute by minute.
It is in my heart, where the emotions of my soul reside, that I thrill to hear my Daddy say “I love you daughter”.
But words cannot describe what it means to me when my Daddy God quietly yet gently says to me, “I love you daughter.”
Saturday I went wedding dress shopping with my daughter and her best friend. Little did I know that Sunday morning God would use that experience to speak this prophetic word to me.
My daughter had ordered a dress but due to some problems, we decided to go looking for another dress "just in case". The first dress was a beautiful gown purchased online to save money.
We went to three bridal shops and at every one of them there was nothing there that resembled the original dress or that appealed to her.
At the fourth shop, the sales lady talked her into trying on another style of dress. And although she was beautiful in it, it was very apparent that she was only settling for second best. I would not let her get it.
When we arrived at the fifth shop it did not even look like a bridal shop. The selection was even sparse and once again, the original dress style was not there. After looking at all the dresses, she kept being drawn to one in particular. The sales lady suggested she try it on anyway.
The dress was a perfect fit that would not require any alterations. However, it was not the color that my daughter wanted so she kept saying that it was not the right one.
Once she stepped out of the dressing room and onto the platform I knew that we had found the right dress. And once the veil went on, we all knew it. Despite all her objections, we had found "the dress."
The prophetic Word:
My Bride has been seeking for her dress, her anointing. Looking for her anointing in all the wrong places. Looking in the world.
But in this hour, I will bring My Bride to her place to receive her dress, her anointing and mantle. And it will be in a place that doesn't look like the place she expects to find it in. I am in this hour raising up My Body to step into its mantle and be the Bride I have prepared her to be.
Quit looking to the world for My provision and My anointing, My mantle. What looks like a place that doesn't have Me in it, will be the exact place where I AM. What you seek isn't where you are seeking it.
Quit objecting to the dress because it doesn't look like the one you are expecting to find. What was found in the world will not be the one I have for you.
I will have My spotless Bride and she will be clothed in honor, dignity and My anointing purchased with My Blood and Body, not with the world's price!
1 Peter 3-5 The Message “What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future. The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.”
Once we receive the gift of grace, our salvation, we become citizens of the kingdom of heaven. Even though we live in this earthly world realm, we just “sojourners and pilgrims” passing through to our eternal home in heaven.
It can be so easy to get wrapped up in living this life on earth and forget that we are just here for a time and a purpose. Our lives have meaning and purpose! And that meaning and purpose are found in our life and devotion to the Lord God Almighty.
Acts 11:23 (NKJV) “When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.”
In this passage in Acts, Barnabas is encouraging the believers “that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.”
What does the phrase “purpose of heart” mean? The Strong’s Concordance defines it as “a setting forth, proposal (intention) of the heart, thoughts or feelings (mind).
I would define it as intentionally setting forth in my heart and mind, thoughts and feelings, a resolve to continue with the Lord. This purpose of heart means that we continue on despite the trials, tribulations and persecutions that may come against us. However, it means so much more than just keeping on.
It also means that we should be encouraged and disciplined enough to find out what our purpose is and then fulfill that purpose. The gifts and calling of God are to bring Him Glory, to minister to others, and to be used to accomplish His purposes here on earth.
In Proverbs 4:23 (NKJV), we are told to “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.”
This means that we are to guard our hearts, keep sin, doubt and fear from entering into our hearts. So many times the enemy will try to entice us from our purpose with sin. Or he will cause thoughts to come into our minds that would distract or detour us from accomplishing our Godly purpose.
It may not even be sinful. Even good things can distract and detour us.
My husband and I own a small family operated business. The busyness of working has tended to consume even our family times together. The cares and worries of this world can so easily choke out the Word of God that has been planted in our hearts. WE need to remind ourselves daily that this is just temporary and the eternal is far more important.
In the past several months, my husband and I have encountered several health obstacles. We have been so focused on surviving the attacks that we forgot our purpose and ultimate goal. During praise and worship God's Holy Spirit very gently but firmly reminded me that He carried my burdens and that I needed to take His yoke and give Him mine. It sounds too easy, but if we will purpose to do that, we can lay them down and choose to walk in faith. The resulting peace will accomplish so much more in our hearts than stubbornness can.
The Amplified Bible says that Barnabas “encouraged them all with an unwavering heart to stay true and devoted to the Lord.” We must be encouraged to stay the course and stay set in our hearts. Resolve to continue with the Lord and accomplish ALL He has planned for you!
Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers.
But they delight in the law of the LORD, meditating on it day and night.
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do. Psalm 1:1-3 NLT
The King James version of this Psalm says "Blessed is the man who who does not walk, stand or sit with the ungodly, the sinners or the scornful".
There is a progression of walking, standing and sitting mentioned in this Psalm When we choose not to allow the wicked, ungodly lifestyles and attitudes to cause us to progress away from the Law of the Lord, WE are Blessed!
If we choose to delight ourselves in the law of the Lord (HisWord), we meditate on it and we get planted in the river of His Spirit; we will not become entangled in the progressive mindsets and motives of the world and the ungodly.
God wants us to be so planted in His Law and His River of Life that we bear much fruit in every season of our lives. When we are bearing fruit, we are prospering in all we do.
I have noticed that when I don't spend time in His Word, I begin to progressively deviate away from His path and begin to look and sound like the wicked, undgodly sinful man (woman) I used to be.
Psalm 1 goes on to say that the "Ungodly are like chaff, which the wind drives away.... And the way of the undgodly shall perish."
The one who is undgodly is driven away from the presence of the Lord and will perish. In order to keep that from happening, we must continually evaluate our life, our path and our motives based upon His Word.
Then we can truly be called BLESSED!
Lynn Jones, Co-Founder of HHMI enjoys reading, studying and sharing God's Word. She believes that every Word in the Bible is Holy Spirit inspired and profitable for daily living. Her prayer is that as you read the newsletters and blogs, that you will be enriched and equipped for every good work of the Lord's.