Tag Archives: Christianity

Angry or Just Plain Mad

imageTo all of us who at times feel hurt and anger because of the dealings of life I have a little life line to throw to you. Having recently found myself in such a state I have been seeking God for my own life line.

We’ve all been there, it’s in fact what 1Corinthians10:13 refers to as “temptations common to man”, angry about things that have happened, hurt and angry about loosing a loved one prematurely, disappointed and angry over a relationship, angry about unfair treatment at work or home or school, how about angry because of unanswered prayer, yes there is that too. The Word (Psalm 4:4) says

“Be angry and do not sin, meditate and pray on your bed and be still, make the sacrifices of righteousness and put your trust in God.”

It’s ok to be angry, we don’t have to pretend to be super saints as though we were not deeply affected by what just happened, the loss, the injustice we experienced, even about the prayers that seem to remain unanswered. God’s Word even acknowledges this, we will get angry! Don’t let the enemy condemn you, anger is a natural human emotion. The Word says be angry and do not sin! But how?? The Bible has much to say on that subject, but in this Psalms He directs us to
“meditate and pray” on your bed, and
“be still” and
though it may be a sacrifice, do the right thing anyway, “make the sacrifices of righteousness” and then finally He tells us to put our
“trust in God”.
It’s ok to be angry about loss, and disappointment and even unanswered prayer, it’s ok. It’s ok. The Word says climb into bed, meditate and pray, and be still, and lastly, even though it will probably be a sacrifice, DO THE RIGHT THING, make the sacrifices of righteousness and trust God!!

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Mix It With Faith

Heb 4:2 For indeed the good news was preached to us as well as to them; but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.

Think of the amazing things God has done for you, there are so many, and yet often when I cry out to Him my need I fret and worry and wring my hands for fear that He won’t answer. And a long trial, is the most challenging! But lately I’ve been remembering Heb4:2, mix it w faith. The promises of God are yea and amen to those who mix them with faith. In the wilderness, when the spies returned with their report and Joshua and Caleb rejoiced that though there are giants we need not be afraid, everyone, nevertheless chose to walk in unbelief …that cost them the Promised Land. Heb4:2 “… the word they heard did not profit them, not being mixed w faith by those who heard it.” Unbelief kept them out of the Promised Land, away from the rest of God He has promised. In our lives, has He made great and precious promises? Don’t let unbelief rob you, don’t let the enemy of our souls rob us. Mix it with faith!! Mix the promises of God you are claiming with faith! Without faith it is impossible to believe God!

Oh, how abundant is your goodness…

Psalms 31:19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you…

We have friends here working in a certain ministry, and they learned of a 20 yr old, named Adam (not his real name), dying of cancer on his leg. He is from a village far away, but his father brought him to Hawassa, to a “Sisters of Mercy” outreach where he could be taken care of until he died. His friends in the village said their goodbyes and even held a funeral for him.

Sadly his father had lost his wife and daughter to a similar illness and was totally without hope. At the Sisters of Mercy Adam received a cursory examination and they felt also that there was no hope for the young man as it appeared the cancer had spread to his lungs. One of the Sisters wanted to go for a 2nd opinion, but was told it was hopeless and permission to seek a 2nd opinion was denied. Adam was very poor, and actually had no money to seek a second opinion. But this particular Sister continued to pray that somehow the Lord would send someone to bless Adam. All the while, Adam continued to grow weaker and weaker.

Maria (not her real name), a Polish volunteer heard of Adam and began praying w the Particular Sister, when along came another Priest. He gave permission for Adam to be taken for a second opinion. They learned that there was some respiratory issues but it wasn’t cancer. In our weekly ladies bible study Maria shared this prayer request, it was last Wednesday and we began to pray for Adam. The husband of one of our members is a Surgeon, and he agreed to see Adam. Though very busy and about to leave town he examined Adam. Another doctor had offered to take Adams case in a week, but Adam was dying and would not live another week. This was Friday, and Adam pleaded with the Surgeon to remove the leg and he agreed to amputate the leg the next day.

However the proper tools were not available. The Surgeon began to pray, and felt directed to go and buy a band saw… This is not standard medical equipment, this is the kind with the thin narrow blade… Yes, I know, INCREDIBLE! With this he amputated Adams leg and Adam testified that for the first time in months he could sleep without pain. He was so excited. He was overjoyed, so relived to have that painful appendage removed! His relationship w his father has been restored, his fathers faith has been restored, and Adam will be recovering at the Sisters of Mercy for the next 3 months! I want to meet him, I think God has something special in store for that young man!

This was the testimony that was shared 4 days later at our next ladies bible study, and we all rejoiced. So many miracles had to take place to give Adam his blessing, so many roadblocks and obstacles overcome, but we serve a mighty God!

Psalms31:19 Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you…

Pound of Flesh

When someone has hurt you, intentionally or unintentionally, directly or indirectly often our flesh is the first to react! Swiftly and “with a vengeance”… It’s human nature. Then there’s God, yeah, He’s trying to give us a new nature! A nature full of the Holy Spirit and Grace, and dare I say it, the “F” word, Forgiveness! This is where the battle rages.

In my journey to become like Him I have had seasons in my life where I have had to make a choice, follow God and live or hate the person who harmed me, give into my flesh and die! Sadly, for me, this is sometimes a difficult choice. I am not always the beacon of “godliness” I want to be😣. Sometimes, I want my “pound of flesh”!

But because I am His child, albeit sometime His “wayward child”, He is faithful to send along a prophet, scripture, counsel or circumstance etc. that will help me find my way back to Him and forgive and move on. Sometimes this is a process.

Feelings like vengeance and unforgiveness are so damaging to us, on so many levels physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We are not built to manage these powerful emotions, they can lead to mental and physical illness, damaged relationships, stress and more. That’s why God says “vengeance is mine, I will repay.” He wants us to know He will take care of the matter, but in His time and according to His will. This leaves us free to move on, to forgive, to walk in peace! Much, much easier said than done, right… At least sometimes.

Am I withholding forgiveness, friendship, approval, kindness etc as a form of vengeance? Censure in my every word and deed, is that another way I am exacting my “pound of flesh”?

“He who withholds kindness from a friend forsakes the fear of the Lord” Job6:14.

Lord, help us to forgive, have mercy on us!

So is the Glass Half Empty?

This is an American expression that is often used to describe how you perceive situations and circumstances? Is it a glass half full day, “filled with promise”… or a glass half empty day, or situation, “things just keep going from bad to worse”!

Personally I’m something of a pessimist, a glass half empty kinda girl. I’m more than a little risk-adverse, maybe even a scaredy cat… I know, I live in Ethiopia, how could I be a scaredy cat (lol)!

I don’t think I was always like that, when you’re young you think you’ll live forever and have all the time in the world to accomplish your dreams and goals. Somewhere along my journey, as I’ve experienced the joys, privileges as well as the responsibilities of raising 4 children, “the responsibilities” were much of the focus! We had fun, of course, but keeping them safe, and protected brought added reality to my otherwise care free world.

Somehow, I became a glass half empty person! I wonder about the 12 Spies Moses sent to spy out the Promised Land. All but 2 gave a bad report, and that “unbelief” resulted in 40 years wandering in the wilderness and the death of an entire generation! It just occurred to me, wow, would I have been one of the “nay sayers”, yikes! “Great land, but full of giants, no way, no how!” Or, is believing God or having “faith” more than having a positive attitude in the face of crisis! The Bible says, “Faith, is the substance of things hoped for, and the evidence of things not seen.” And later it says, “…by (faith), men of old obtained the promises (of God).” That sounds like more than positive thinking! Check out Hebrews 11, there are a lot of folks Moses, Jacob, Rahab, Samuel, David and Daniel just to name a few, none of whom strike me as the happy go lucky type. No, I get the feeling these were serious minded men and women who “believed the promises of God, and went for it!” And don’t forget Gideon, talk about a scaredy cat (lol)! Pretty much, they were all determined no nonsense individuals who believed God in the face of impossible odds, that’s faith!

I submit (lol) therefore those of us extremely risk adverse, who take responsibility very seriously, and sometimes see the glass half empty are not excluded from the promises of God, and are not destined to while away in some desert because of “unbelief”! Even scaredy cats believe God, I am proof positive!

Working Without A Net

Is an expression which describes a job, still in high demand but one which requires a special expertise. When training to work on a tightrope suspended high above a circus floor, for instance, spotters place nets underneath you in case you happen to slip and fall. Or, training to clean high steeples on a large downtown skyscraper, or the high windows of a multi-storied building you would need to practice using safety ropes or nets. When you’ve perfected your craft you loose the net or rope and your skill keeps you from free falling, you hope 😳!

Trusting God in difficult times feels like working without a net. We are usually in uncharted waters when trusting Him becomes a challenge. When we are doing the ordinary day to day chores we are often on autopilot. No need to tap into our reserves, cry out for help, or require special anointing. But when you’re challenged to move beyond your comfort zone and you obey, well that’s another story, and it becomes as tho you are working without a net.

But we are to trust Him, we are called to believe Him for the impossible; the Grace to deal with a difficult boss, Grace to handle a rebellious and haughty child, Grace to endure a difficult season in your marriage when you are frightened and clueless, and Grace when money worriers are beyond your ability to see things through. As men and women of God we encounter trials and tribulations wherein we often feel like the”nets” been ripped away and God is our only hope. Hey, that’s ok because “The just shall live by faith!” That’s when He has us just where He wants us!

Ethiopian Christmas – Melcome Genna

January 7th, yep! Historically Ethiopian Cristmas has been celebrated January 7th, and Ethiopians are not the only ones who do so, Russian orthodox and other orthodox celebrate Christmas on January 7. According to Wikipedia, when the Catholics moved further into Europe, traditions already practiced by the inhabitants were not adopted, but the day was, and December 25th became the day most of the world celebrates Jesus’ birth. For Gary and I it means we have 2 Christmases! We’re always here for Ethiopian Christmas, that makes 6 and we’re still counting!

It’s a very family oriented holiday here, and folks living abroad or far from home make every effort to be w the friends and loved ones for Christmas! Our friend, whose daughter is in her first year at the University, shared that she wouldn’t be coming home for Christmas, and that his wife would be sad… The first Christmas without her. We commiserated with him because Christmas just isn’t the same without the whole family. But it turns out, he had a surprise waiting for him when he got home, she was there! A pretty good joke, but all was forgiven as they were together!

A merry heart is good like a medicine!

Enjoying dessert at the posh Sheraton in Addis, the lobby and surrounds were very reminiscent of Christmas in the US. 20 ft high Christmas trees, and life size moving reindeer decorated the lobbies as children decked in red wearing Santa hats were every where. The pianist in the lobby played a mixture of Ethiopian songs, and a few traditional Christmas tunes, Deck the Halls, Silent Night and a few others. The only one whose attendence was totally absent from the festivities was Santa. There were no Santa’s listening to request while children bounced on one knee. No naughty children here (lol) (jk)!

Back in Awassa, sheep and goats are packed into taxis and cars to be prepared for Christmas dinner. We’ll be enjoying doro wat, beg tibs, hoppy juice, goman and more… Gotta go, we’re off to a Christmas dinner party and now I’m really hungry! I must remember to save room because we have another Christmas party tomorrow!

True Religion

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Many people ask what a typical day is like for me, so as I share my day consider this a brief glimpse into the world of this missionary! Wake up around 7am, have my time with the Lord. I check my email, FB, and Instagram! This is how I stay in touch w my kids, they are faithful to post pics of themselves, my grand kids and my huge church fam and everything else! I love it!

So it’s now time for my morning run, I try to run 2 miles 4 or 5 times a week… Try to 😳. We have a couple of guests staying with us now so I interact with them, lay out a little breakfast and leave for my run.

After breakfast I’m gathering clothes for the Ebenezer Children’s home…I go through my closets, every drawer and cabinet. I’ve been here 6 yrs… So I haven’t worn or seen many of these things in 6+ years. Hey, if I haven’t worn it for 6 years, it’s probably time to get rid of it. And I do, 2 large garbage bags full! I drop them off, and boy were they surprised, it was a lot of stuff!

It’s Ladies fellowship today, but instead of a Bible Study, we’re wrapping Christmas presents for 34 orphans, and since each one gets an outfit and a book or bundle of toys, we wrap close to 60 plus gifts! It’s a lot of fun, of course there’s popcorn, homemade chocolate chip cookie bars, and coffee (this is ET)!

3 hrs later, I’m headed back home, on the Bajaj, our 3-wheel-golf-cart-taxi-thing, and I have to finish my homemade gingerbread, and make my black eye peas; well it is New Years after all!

A friend of mine is doing a Beth Moore study and today it discussed the difference between hoarding and saving. Already been there, done that and bought the T-shirt? Lately, the Lord had been speaking to me about this so I’ve been giving all sorts of things away! I was blessed to have things to give to the orphanage, what an amazing way to share the love of Christ! There is a center I try to visit weekly, it’s an amazing place Mothers and Families with HIV. One of the programs objectives is to teach them handicrafts using local supplies that they can possibly use as a cottage industry which might bring them income. I’ve taught paper mâché, another has taught tye dye, and there is a seamstress who loves sewing more than anyone I know! Mostly I just provide lunch once a week… They are very needy!

“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is to visit the widows and the orphans…” James 1:27

There are many opportunities to minister and bless the amazing people of Ethiopia. Our organization Fire Over Africa aims to do just that, the Leadership training programs, the orphanages, the missionary out reaches, and all the other activities we give our time, energy and resources to have the goal of reaching Ethiopia with the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the glory of God!

My black eye peas were delicious, my corn bread amazing and My husband and I enjoyed a feast, thank you Lord!

That was a pretty good Jan 1, 2014!

Sent from my iPad

5K Lightening, Seriously?

Have you ever wondered how pilots know how to navigate the skies when there’s heavy cloud cover. Looking out, and as far as the eye can see there are clouds, no landmarks, no signs in the sky. Of course, he uses instruments and the air traffic control tower which help him navigate the skies!!

In life, we often find ourselves in unchartered lands, difficult situations and circumstances that bewilder and frighten us. And in life, especially as Christians, we have instruments, God’s Word, Godly counsel; and a tower, the Holy Spirit directing us here and there, to do this or that. It would be crazy to fly without a good set of instruments or the tower, so it is true of us as well. Daily, in every situation we are o take our cares and concerns to Him seeking His advice and guidance (Proverbs 3:5,6). Never ever attempt to navigate life’s unchartered land blindly, that would be crazy!

For several weeks, together with the Buffalo 5K committee, we worked and prepared for the 5K. Mike Paulick, one of our Walkers had been posting the weather forecast for that day for about a week on FB. So on Saturday, the day of the event, as we were driving to Chestnut Ridge Park, it began to rain! I thought, maybe this is like the “dew from Heaven”, but then the lightening came, and I was “in unchartered lands”. We had not planned for “a storm”, and maybe we should have. As it began to rain harder, Gary’s phone began to ring, is there a plan B in case of rain? Sitting in the back seat I began to pray, and I felt I was to pray against the rain. Seriously, I felt to take authority over the weather. It would spoil all our hard work, we live in CA, we were going home, and so the 5K had to happen now!!But the rain kept falling and the lightening kept flashing. Then the Lord reminded me of Eph. 6:10 “Be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” This is one of my favorite scriptures, I’ve even taught it to my grandchildren. It’s powerful, and so “relying on the power His strength provides” (Amplified version) I began to tell the enemy to desist, this was God’s show and He was going to stop the rain, and allow the 5K go forward and it was going to be great!! “…submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you” James 4:7. Within 15 minutes the rain stopped, and by the time we’d arrived at the park, 7:30am, it was just a beautiful autumn day in Buffalo!!

God stopped the rain, and the 5K was great!!

Thank you Lord!!!

check out our pics https://www.facebook.com/fireoverafrica
https://www.facebook.com/events/524187380991018/
groupcute kid

5k for a Great Cause!

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Causes motivate and inspire. I heard a message on Sunday by Pastor Judah Smith entitled “Still haven’t found what I’m looking for”,which was about people who search and search for meaning and fulfilment in life only to be disappointed and frustrated. They may have all the things money can buy, but still feel empty and unsatisfied. Meaning in life can truly be found in Christ but as a Christian I begin to think of the needs of others and when I make a difference in the lives of those in need I find fulfillment. Participating in the work of charities and non-profits is one way to find fulfillment, even inspiration!

The Fire Over Africa 5K held in California and New York raises funds for some pretty amazing people and programs in Ethiopia. Your support and involvement in such events is an opportunity to change lives for the better.

We all have something to give to those who have so little, our time, our resources, our influence… It is sacrifices such as these, which allow us to share in their joy and blessing. Be a hero to someone who could really use one! Oh, and have fun doing it!

Visit our website: http://www.fireoverafrica.org