Monday, September 28, 2009

Help My Unbelief

I've been reading in Mark lately since that is what my husband is going through in his New Testament class. A couple of days ago I read chapter 9 and the story of the man who had a demon-possessed son has sort of stuck in my mind. I thought of what he said to Jesus when Jesus told him all things are possible for one who believes. The man said, "I believe; help my unbelief." So does he believe or does he not? It can't be both. But I've found that I completely identify with this man. I know that God is all powerful and is able to do anything. I believe. But when things look so bleak, like a demon-possessed boy being thrown in the fire and almost killed, or depression setting in with lies from the enemy weighing you down and sin on every side, its hard to see how things can get any better. Help my unbelief! I believe that God is more than able to keep me from stumbling and to sanctify me through and through and to aid me in walking by the Spirit so as NOT to gratify the desires of the flesh but at times I disbelieve that it is possible for me NOT to sin in this moment. Help my unbelief! I believe the man in this story knew that Jesus could heal his boy so he said "I believe" but just as soon as he said it reservation set in when he thought of all that he had seen the boy go through and so he immediately prayed "Help my unbelief!" The following song has also been on my mind lately. I was driving to work one evening, grumbling and complaining that God's will was that I work that night (I really do enjoy my job...most of the time), when this song came on. I actually had never listened to the words until that time even though I've heard the song tons of times. Here are the amazing words:

I know that God is nigh
and would but cannot pray
for Satan meets me when I try
and frights my soul away
and frights my soul away.

I would but can't repent
though I endeavor oft
this stony heart can ne'er relent
til Jesus makes it soft
til Jesus makes it soft.

Help my unbelief
Help my unbelief
Help my unbelief
My help must come from Thee

I would but cannot love
though wooed by love divine
no arguments have power to move
a soul as base as mine
a soul so base as mine.

I would but cannot rest
in God's most holy will
I know what He appoints is best
and murmur at it still.
I murmur at it still.

Help my unbelief
Help my unbelief
Help my unbelief
My help must come from Thee

So, I believe God is true to His word, but where my theology fails to produce itself in action I cry, "Help my unbelief!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

grace for all my sin

I have backslidden greatly from an evangelistic, missional, and eternal mindset to satisfying my flesh momentarily with food that satisfies the taste buds and entertainment that satisfies the mind and laziness that satisfies the body. I have backslidden from a heart of worship towards the Lord to a heart of worship for self. Doing whatever I want when I want it with the idea that I am entitled to what I want whatever the cost. Putting myself first instead of killing my flesh and its desires and doing those things that please God. Leading a life of NO discipline but instead a life of 'enslaving' freedom to do what pleases me in the moment. The worthiness of Christ doesn't weigh heavy on my heart anymore. Doing all things for the glory of God is not the foremost desire of my heart. I don't fear God. I spend most Sundays crying through songs instead of singing them because of sorrow over my sinful state and not wanting to remain there but knowing that when I leave I will fall again to the same sins that brought me shame and sorrow. But there is grace for all my sin. I know the truth, the great and precious promises of God, but my heart is sluggish in really believing them and my mind is slow to remember them. I think more on how I'm doing than what God's word says about me that I am righteous in Christ. I continually adopt legalism thinking that my good works earn me God's grace and when I fall short of my own standards I live defeated. I forget God's grace. I forget that God has once for all made me righteous before Him when He clothed me with His Son. I forget that I can do nothing more to please God in regards to earning His favor. I forget that my service to Him should be a response to His love for me instead of ways to gain favor in God's eyes and in the eyes of those who are watching. Service to God shouldn't be about making me feel good about myself spiritually but should be about joy in the gospel. I'm given over to pride way more often than I would like. Pride permeates my flesh and thoughts and deeds. It makes me sick. If it weren't for Christ my sin would overwhelm me. I'm not thankful in my heart towards God like I ought to be for the great salvation and amazing grace He's given me. Honestly my heart spurns it as if I'm saying to God "Why did you give me something that I can't live worthy of?" My flesh wants no part in this and my Spirit right now is hardly more than a spark, maybe more like a coal with a little bit of glow left. But a good friend always told me, "Remember in the dark what God told you in the light." So, in the darkness, in the absence of zeal for the Lord and a lack of rising emotions to bless His name I will remember that there is grace for all my sin.

Some may say, are being too hard on yourself. I would say no I'm not. I am simply pouring out what God has revealed to me. As painful as it is to see the depths of my sin (and I haven't shared it all) I'm thankful for this wilderness in my life because I know my God is good and He is sanctifying me right now so that in time there will be a beautiful display of fruit in my life for His glory and a faith that will result in praise and honor and glory when Christ returns. Because of that I will endure by God's grace the trials that come my way. And I can see God's faithfulness to me and evidences of His grace in that in the weakest time of my life I am a part of a local body that is full of strong, gifted, wise believers that faithfully preach God's word and spur me on to righteousness.

And I must say that God has blessed me with an amazing husband who has been an example of Christ to me in the patience he has with me in my sinfulness. And he prays for me...and makes me breakfast!!

Please pray that I would have discipline in every area of my life, that I would grow in Christ, and that joy would overflow in my life. And please pray for Jason and I as we spend the rest of our lives together, learning each other, and seeking how to make God known.

Thank you for reading.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Missions: Go, Send or Disobey

It's 1:37 am and I can't sleep. Not an odd problem for a night nurse. Only downside is I'm working a day shift that starts in 5 hours and I am wide awake. Oh well. The Lord will sustain me which probably includes a cup of coffee around 2pm tomorrow. Anywho...I received an email today from Rod Connor who works with To Every Tribe Ministries. I can't remember his official title (VP maybe?) but his unofficial title is 'David's right hand man.' The email contained a picture of the 8 students/wives currently at the Center for Pioneer Church Planting (CPCP). I couldn't help but reflect on my time spent at the CPCP and in other countries and the time spent working as a nurse leading up to my time at the CPCP. I laugh at God's humor in my life. I went to nursing school primarily to use it in missions but often the thought would pop in my head (and NO I am NOT making this up) "I wouldn't mind using my nursing degree to support a husband through seminary." Well, God is good...I have gotten to do both in my lifetime! Also, during those five, long, hard months working as a nurse leading up to the CPCP I remembered receiving GREAT joy from being able to help people financially. Whether it was picking up all of rent so the roomies didn't have to pay or paying for a roomie to take nursing boards, I received great joy in aiding people. I often thought then "I wonder if God would ever have me be a sender in missions instead of a goer?" I assure you I am NOT making this blog up...well, I am the one writing it but I assure you I am not lying. I also remember asking David while we were in PNG (I even remember the exact location) "What if God has me send instead of go?" I wrote so many support letters asking for your prayers and financial means to get to the field myself. God was faithful to always provide my needs which meant I always had senders in my ministry. As of now, I don't have the option to 'Go' but I take joy in taking part of 'Sending' and 'Praying'. So now that I am on the flip side of things I wanted to say that the urgency to Go and to Send and to Pray is still very, very GREAT! Pray with me for the 'unreached peeps' of the world. Consider whom you can support in missions whether it be missionaries from your local church or missionaries sent out through TETM (and I guarantee they will be needing support). Don't just consider who and not follow through...see where you can make sacrifices in your budget and send that money so that others may go and tell the world that Jesus lives. And don't just send the money but ask for their updates, read them thoroughly, and pray faithfully for their needs and their ministry. Send short replies to them letting them know you are praying (Thanks were always so faithful to do that for me and I appreciated it!). If your local church isn't involved in missions in any way be the one to step up and begin an awareness of missions. If you aren't sure where to start, begin praying about how your church can be involved. Talk to your pastor, invite David or Rod or another missionary to speak at your church to develop an awareness and knowledge of missions. Read "Let the Nations Be Glad" by John Piper to aid you in having a biblical understanding of missions and then spread that book around your local church. Read missionary biographies. Some great ones are "In the Shadow of the Almighty" by Elizabeth Elliot, "A Chance to Die" about Amy Carmichael written by Elizabeth Elliot, "Lords of the Earth" written by Don Richardson, "Bruchko", "End of the Spear", "Beyond the Gates of Splendor", any books on David Livingston, James Chalmers, George Mueller, Amy Carmichael, The Ecuador Five (Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Peter Fleming, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian), William Carey, Hudson Taylor, the Moravians, Fijian missionaries.....there are so many amazing missionaries who have gone before us! You can find missionary biography sermons online at or there are three great sermons on missions at under the 'To Every Tribe Ministries' Videos' tab at the bottom of the home page.

Wherever God has us in life we can be involved in missions in one way or another and we are commanded to be involved. So, pray about how you can either 'GO' or 'SEND.' John commended his brother Gaius' efforts in 3 John for financially supporting those who 'go out for the sake of His name.'

Beloved, it is a faithful thing you do in all your efforts for these brothers, strangers as they are, who testified to your love before the church. You will do well to send them on their journey in a manner worthy of God. For they have gone out for the sake of the name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles. Therefore we ought to support people like these, that we may be fellow workers for the truth.
3 John 5-8

I always said that sending was partnering with me in taking the gospel to the unreached and that it was just as important and God-glorifying as going. "Therefore, we ought to support people like these, that we may be FELLOW WORKERS FOR THE TRUTH."

May we all be workers and fellow workers for the truth. As David Sitton would say, "Jesus is worth it."

For more information on how you can support TETM or the students currently there or who have gone before, you can go to and click on the 'Contacts' tab.

Just for the record it is now 2:46 am...and my sister-in-law is in labor. Random, I know...