Friday, September 10, 2010
"Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance." Psalm 42:5In 2004, I embarked on a journey that would take me where I never expected to go. It was not a chosen path, but one God chose for me. Many of my readers have followed my journey through this blog entitled "And I Shall Yet Praise Him". I want to continue my blog writing at this website. So, I hope you'll join me from time to time as I continue praising Him who is worthy of all praise.
Monday, May 25, 2009
"Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor." Romans 13:7
Memorial Day is always a nostalgic time for me as I reflect on those in my family who have served in the military. My Father was a Marine who served in the Pacific during World War II. My oldest brother was a part of the Army's elite "Green Beret", wounded in Vietnam and received the Silver Star for bravery. I also have a brother who served in the Navy and one in the Air Force during the Vietnam era. My oldest son followed his Dad's example as he served in the Air Force for 9 years and my youngest son is currently a Marine pilot who has already done one tour of duty in Iraq.
I thank God for a family heritage rich in patriotism and loyalty to this great country. George Washington said, "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation." Let us never count the price of freedom cheap. Take time to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Take time to honor those who willingly serve our country today.
Friday, April 03, 2009
It's Not in Vain
"Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain." Psalm 127:1
First of all, surprise! I'm back. It has been almost 1 year since I posted to this blog. I have delayed blogging because I really hoped to get the format updated with my current name and status. Still haven't figured out how to do that since the web designer who helped me set it up in the first place doesn't reply to my emails. Any suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment!
Today Jerry and I did something we had never done before and probably never expected to do. Several months ago the Lord gave us the opportunity to meet a young Chinese family in our community who own the local Chinese restaurant. Soon the wife, Ada, began attending our church and I set up a weekly Bible study time so she could learn more about God in her own language. It wasn't long before she accepted Christ and was baptized.
Recently this young family was able to purchase a home just a few blocks from the church. Today we went to their home and had a bi-lingual dedication, praying for them and asking God to bless their home and their family. The verse above is one of the verses we used. All that has transpired in the last year to bring us all to that place today was of the Lord. I am encouraged that when the Lord does the work, then our labor together with Him is not in vain. It is not about me. It is about HIM and what He is wanting to accomplish in and through me.
I am excited to find out what the next step in His building plan will be. I know one thing, if He builds it, it's not in vain!
Thursday, April 10, 2008
“And the house which I build is great: for great is our God above all gods.” 2 Chronicles 2:5
Here I am in Taiwan again for a few days. Since my time is short and its uncertain when I’ll get another chance to come back, I have been trying to see all my favorite people, eat all my favorite foods and basically squeeze as much enjoyment out of my time here that I can.
Yesterday I treated myself to a day at my favorite hair salon. Miss Yang is the only one I trust to cut my hair. I let her give me the full treatment—hair cut and straightened, manicure and pedicure. It turned out to be the perfect opportunity for her to train a couple of new girls too. She is good at what she does and is proud of her work. I was impressed with her thorough explanations and detailed guidance. She teaches her students to do every step correctly in order to have a great finish. No sloppiness or short cuts allowed!
One can assume Miss Yang strives for high quality work for many reasons—perhaps to make a name for herself, to build a solid clientele base, or personal pride in a job well done. Such commitment to excellence for an “everyday job” is admirable and inspiring. I thought, how much more committed should we be when attempting to do things for God!
When David’s son, Solomon, began to attempt something for God, he called it “great!” While the building of Solomon’s Temple did make him famous, that was not his purpose. He stated his purpose quite clearly—the house I build will be great because God is great! The overarching goal in everything we attempt to do for God should be to magnify the Lord and show His greatness, as the one true “God above all gods.” I'm reminded of a phrase I heard many years ago which inspired me then and still does now:
Attempt great things for God—Expect great things from God!What are you attempting to do “great” for God today?
Monday, December 31, 2007
Do You Hear It?
“…When thou shalt hear a sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees, then thou shalt go out to battle, for God is gone forth before thee.” 1 Chronicles 14:15As the old year ends and the new one begins. I am making a resolve to fine-tune my spiritual ears to listen for the sound of going in the tops of the mulberry trees. The sound of leaves rustling is not what one would expect to signal a charge into a battle. But then God doesn’t have to fit into a mold of our making. Unlike the sharp, piercing sound of a gun shot that signals a race, the sound God chooses is soft and gentle, requiring close attention to know the precise moment to begin. There can be no allowance for distractions, for to lose focus would be to miss the signal.
The danger here is going too soon—ahead of God—or lagging behind resulting in missed opportunities. I do not know what kinds of battles I will face in 2008, but of this I am sure: I do not want to go anywhere unless God goes before me. Such a decision requires absolute trust. My life verse has become Psalm 18:30 "As for God, His way is perfect..." I would never have chosen the hard path of the last few years which the Lord chose for me, but seeing His hand through it and in it, neither would I change it now. I used to know in my head about the sovereignty of God. Now I really know it--in my heart.
So with renewed courage, a good dose of patience, and faith in a trustworthy Lord, I look forward to 2008. I have lots of plans, but I’m listening for the rustling of leaves.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
In the way
“I being in the way, the Lord led me…” Genesis 24:27
To have confidence of being exactly in the center of God’s will is a precious thing. It takes faith and it takes persistence even when at times there may be doubts. In Genesis the story of Abraham’s servant, Eliezer’s search for Isaac a bride is a fantastic snapshot of the way God sends confirmation through divine appointment. Before Eliezer could finish voicing his prayer for guidance, Rebecca arrived. The circumstances of answered prayer left no doubt of God’s intervention. Eliezer’s response was to worship the Lord (verse 26) and his explanation was simply, “I being in the way, the Lord led me!”
The lesson for me is that when I am in the place of God’s perfect will, I need only make myself available to see Him work through circumstances. “I being in the way…”—what an awesome phrase! This past week I experienced my own personal snapshot of God’s confirmation that I am where He wants me. My husband, Jerry, and I had the unique opportunity to go to the public high school and mingle with the students during lunch hour one day. To make a long story short, because of that visit I was made aware of a Chinese student in the school who is challenged in English. I offered my help and this coming week I will be translating so he can take the required state testing.
I don’t believe in coincidences with God. I am excited that He is giving me opportunity right here in the US to use my language skills and begin to make contact with the local Chinese community. I’m not sure what God has in mind, but I’m not concerned about that. I am confident that being in the way, the Lord will lead me!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
No shame in hope
“We rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)And now for the final installment in the saga of The Pineapple Plant: When I returned to Taiwan in early August, the now famous pineapple was beginning to ripen and was too heavy to stand up. It literally had to be propped up so that it wouldn’t fall over. I was amazed at the huge leafy top it sported for such a small pineapple! (It certainly was the smallest full-grown pineapple I had ever seen.) After another week or so I observed that it was ripe enough for picking, so I plucked it from its bed of leaves and enjoyed showing it off to the delight of anyone who visited my home.
While that pineapple was growing, I imagined one day being able to share it with friends. But the day I sliced it for eating, there was scarcely enough for one person, so I sat down and with a thankful heart to the Lord enjoyed every bite while imagining what Malcom might think if he knew his pineapple plant had finally produced a piece of fruit. It might have been small, but it was sweet!
Now should I decide to grow another pineapple, I think I am much wiser to the techniques of container gardening. In retrospect, I realize we should have increased its pot size each year, which would have allowed the roots sufficient expansion room. Perhaps next time there will be a larger pineapple to eat. I can always hope! After all, the pineapple for me was a symbol of hope for the future. In the months since discovering fruit on that formerly barren plant, God has enriched my life in so many ways and truly allowed me to experience the joy of hope fulfilled.
“But I will hope continually, and will yet praise thee more and more.” Psalm 71:14 (KJV)