Beggar for Love

I was a beggar for love until you found me,

Clutching my filthy rags around me,

Scrabbling in the dirt for scraps left behind,

Holding tight to what I could find,

Until you found me.

 

I was a beggar for love until you found me,

The longing for love a festering wound within me,

Scorned love turned to passionate hate,

Loathing myself more than anyone else,

Until you found me.

 

I was a beggar for love, but you stooped in the dirt,

Picked me up, washed my wounds, healed my hurt.

In your perfect love, Jesus, I find

A well so deep I can never drink it dry.

Not just one in a crowd to you,

But a beloved child lost and sought,

You never relented until you had me safe in your arms

Nestled near your heart,

A beggar no more.

I am yours.

A letter from China

Written by an evangelist in Shandong province:

When the gospel was first shared with us in 2012 we did not have any Bibles but we felt such a hunger to know more about the Truth.  We cried out to the Lord with burning desire to know more about Him.  In May 2013 the Lord answered our prayers and all our fellowship leaders and evangelists have received Bibles.  We fell down on our faces before the Lord weeping with joy as we thanked the Lord for providing us the Bread of Life. 

It was explained to us that God’s Word was provided by Christians around the world who sacrificed their hard-earned money so we could have Bibles.  We are just peasants from the countryside, so we don’t understand much about the world outside of China.  Everything outside China seems so foreign and strange to us; but we now feel a strong connection to God’s people around the world that provided us with Bibles even though they have never met us.  Although we don’t know you by name, we thank you from the depths of our hearts for providing these Bibles to us.  We believe that in heaven God will introduce us to those who provided Bibles and we look forward to worshipping the Lord with you!  Until then may God’s grace and peace be with you.

There is a critical shortage of Bibles in China today because of the massive growth of the church in rural areas.  Tens of millions of Christians are still without God’s Word.  Asia Harvest is partnering with house church networks throughout China in a long-term strategy to print Bibles for these new believers.  They are distributed to all parts of China, helping establish new believers in the faith and adding fuel to the revival that continues to burn throughout the world’s most populous country.  Each Bible cost just US $1.80 to print and deliver.

Information and evangelist’s letter from Asia Harvest’s March 2014 newsletter.

Dealing with my own distortions…

I want to reblog this post because it is a powerful reminder of how mixed up our thoughts can be. I know God’s still working on me and transforming my thinking.

In My Father's House

Distorted_Mel2 In my last post (“Dealing with our distortions of God”), I attempted to lay a foundation about our distorted view of God and how that effects our relationship with Him and how we see ourselves and others. Now, I would like to  share what I have discovered over the years about my own personal distortions. I will also confess here that I didn’t realize that most of these were distortions before this discovery. Like you, I thought they were normal. I didn’t know what I didn’t know…Okay, here’s a few to start with…

My distortions about God:

I thought that God was still angry at sinners…
I thought Jesus was the merciful, graceful, loving, approachable friend who had to hold back a distant, too lofty, angry, wrathful Father from striking us all down because He couldn’t stand to look at us without His “Jesus glasses” on…

View original post 1,258 more words

Dear Moppet

In January we had visitors from Germany come to stay with us.  They were friendly and fun, playing swing ball and jumping on the trampoline with our children.  However their stay also highlighted for me some problems in our family that needed to be dealt with.  It was painful at the time, but I’m grateful for the work God did….

Dear Moppet,

You have long blond hair, a sweet round face, and sturdy limbs.  You love to sing and dance.  I watch you on the trampoline and I laugh at the big words you use and your decided opinions.  You act tough, but can suddenly crumple at a harsh word or angry tone.  Sometimes you use words as weapons, lashing out at your three older siblings, and I wonder how you learnt that and why you want to hurt them.  You are growing fast and will soon be too big for my lap, and I suddenly want to put brakes on Time and keep you little for longer, and make up for the moments I did not cherish earlier.

I’m sorry to say that I resented you when you were little: the years of waking up every night for no reason I could make out, the annoyance of trying to keep everyone else quiet during your naps, the ‘inconvenience’ having a baby or toddler caused.  I even spoke the words, “I wish…..”  I don’t want to finish the sentence now because it is too painful to remember.  I didn’t realise the treasure God had given us in you.

I saw the damage my attitude had caused, when we had visitors in January and my little 5-year-old girl clung to a stranger, wanting to hold her hand and sit on her lap, things you never did with me.  God forgive me for my blindness.  That night I lay awake and wept because of the wrong I had done you and the words I had spoken many times, though never to your face, “I don’t want another baby if it is like M.”  I take them back.  I love you, Moppet.  It doesn’t matter how much disruption you cause.  Nothing changes the fact that you’re my treasure.

Your Daddy and I prayed together and repented of our words and attitudes.  God gave us His peace and I know that He will heal our relationship and make it beautiful.  I’ve been holding you more, and expressing my love for you, praying with you and playing with you.  I know things are changing and I’m grateful.

Love you forever,

Mum.

What can I give God?

“God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts: who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best.”

from On His Blindness by John Milton

What can I give God?  Everything I have comes from Him.  There is nothing of mine that He did not give me.  Anything that I lack, I only need ask Him for it.

I used to think that God needed my talents and my gifts for His kingdom.  Now I see them as pitiful offerings.  Without the Spirit’s fire they are fool’s gold.

What does He want from me?  Not sacrifices, not gifts, but my love and obedience.  He wants to be my Father, and for me to be His child, loving Him, running to Him when I am hurt, trusting Him, obeying Him.

Father, I give you my heart, and ask that the love You have placed there will increase day by day.  May each day be full of praise and adoration for You, as I rest in You.

What our Lord want us to present to Him is not goodness, nor honesty, nor endeavour, but real solid sin; that is all He can take from us.  And what does He give in exchange for our sin?  Real solid righteousness.  ”

Oswald Chambers

Washing dishes for Jesus

There are seven of us in our family, and we eat most meals at home.  We also do not have a dishwasher machine.  We have a small kitchen that becomes cluttered and unusable very quickly if dishes are not dealt with. 

For a long time dirty dishes were a point of contention between myself and my husband.  I felt like I washed the dishes more often than he did (I even started keeping count), and that he should wash more, and he became annoyed with me when he was washing and I was sitting around using the computer or reading a book, and not helping him get through them faster by drying.  I would become irritated with him when I needed to cook and the kitchen was still full of dishes from the last meal.  Such a small thing, but resentment simmered and even broke out into arguments and anger.

I realised my attitude was wrong, and that I needed to change it, but how?  I found the following verse, and put it over my sink:

Whatever your task, put yourselves into it, as done for the Lord and not for your masters,since you know that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you serve the Lord Christ. 

Colossians 3 verses 23-24

Every time I wash the dishes (especially when I really don’t feel like tackling them again), I remember that I am doing them for my Saviour, as an act of love for Him.  The difference has been extraordinary: so marked that I can only attribute it to God’s work and the power of the Word of God in my life.  The resentment is gone, and if it tries to return I can dispel it easily.  We have had no more fights over this issue.  Both of us have changed.

When self-pity tries to throw a party, I can boot it out by thanking God.  It doesn’t seem to matter what I start to thank Him for.  Once I start on that track it’s easy to continue.  Perhaps this is the ‘secret’ of contentment that Paul writes about in Philippians 4 verses 12 and 13:

I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty.  In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need.  I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

There are many things we can (and do) complain about.  But if we are in Christ the reasons for thankfulness are so much more numerous and more significant, and when we focus on these, the heart overflows with joy and He gives us strength.  Our thankfulness is a beautiful offering to our Father, more precious than any sacrifice.

I will praise the name of God with a song;
    I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox
    or a bull with horns and hoofs.
Let the oppressed see it and be glad;
    you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
For the Lord hears the needy,
    and does not despise his own that are in bonds.

Psalm 69 verses 30 to 33

In some ways it seems trivial to write about my struggles with dishes, when I know that there are many people in the world who are suffering terribly, people who would love to have three meals a day and the ‘problem’ of dirty dishes.  However, it seems as if it is not our circumstances that are the most important factor in our contentment, and that each small battle we face may be a training ground for something greater:

Whoever is faithful in very little is also faithful in much, and whoever is unrighteous in very little is also unrighteous in much.  Luke 16 verse 10

His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful slave! You were faithful over a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Share your master’s joy!” Matthew 25 verse 21