Friday, August 20, 2010

"Settling Down"

Today Amma and I slept in till eight a.m. We are finally feeling rested up. Joy, Amy and Noah are adjusting well and fitting in to the Kenyan morning rituals. Yesterday we met a wonderful lady missionary named Teresa. I think she is going to join Amma, Joy, and Amy on their clinic stay with Kenyan Relief. (
We met her in town at our favorite “tea” place called Kopeck. We all seemed to “hit it off” right from the start.  As she began telling us the story of how she ended up in Nakuru and what she was currently doing, I really grew to like her. Teresa is a woman in her fifties, pleasant and friendly to talk to. She is from Huntsville, Alabama and has been living here for a little over two years.
She is involved in various ministries from taking care of HIV patients, working with young women who have fled their homes to avoid a tribal tradition that involves genital mutilation. Many of these young women are forced to marry old men so their families can pay off a debt. Teresa works with a Pastor and his wife that maintain a home for sixty or so  of such young women. She (Teresa) also does some teaching and preaching here and there in various local churches.

Listening to Teresa, I was struck with the simplicity and devotion of her service to our Father. She quite simply saw the need and came here to fill the vacancy. Her children have grown up, her husband is gone and she, rather than feeling sorry for herself, is racking up some pretty hefty rewards in the next life. Her life is adventurous, (this weekend she’ll be back packing up a mountain with some locals to witness to some people who have never heard of Christ) courageous and over all … very impressive.

She also said that she knew she could do it because of all the “short term mission trips” she had taken throughout her life. It made me glad that in the Village, we are introducing our young people to the same thing.

I am discovering people outside of our Village are not the only ones who need to “come and see”. So do we. There are things critical to our spiritual development as the body of Christ in the Village,that are found only outside the Village, that we must see as well.

The last few years, our Father has been opening my heart to all the other things He has been doing throughout the time He gathered us together in the Village and for the last two thousand years. It's so easy to slip into focusing exclusively on what God is doing with us and missing all the other wonderful things He is up to. A close friend of mine recently sent me a morning devotional from Charles Spurgeon about what a faithful Shepherd –King we have and how He is constantly building up all His people. 

Here is an excerpt; ….
   He shall stand and feed in the strength of the Lord.  Micah 5:4
Christ's reign in his Church is that of a shepherd-king. He has supremacy, but it is the superiority of a wise and tender shepherd over his needy and loving flock; he commands and receives obedience, but it is the willing obedience of the well-cared-for sheep, rendered joyfully to their beloved Shepherd, whose voice they know so well. He rules by the force of love and the energy of goodness.
His reign is continual in its duration. It is said, He shall stand and feed; not He shall feed now and then, and leave his position; not, He shall one day grant a revival, and then next day leave his Church to barrenness. His eyes never slumber, and his hands never rest; his heart never ceases to beat with love, and his shoulders are never weary of carrying his people's burdens.

Most of the time we hear all the bad news about contemporary Christianity and how things are growing worse, especially in our country. The danger is, that we might subconsciously be developing a picture of Christ sitting on the throne, head hung low, wringing His hands and worrying over the terrible condition of things. He has not and is not. It has been a two thousand year old fight and things are drawing to a close.

Yet in every generation He has His Overcomers. He and they will not be caught unaware or unready. Yes, things are growing bad; many people are disheartened by the terrible worldliness flooding (not creeping) into the church and the growing number of young people leaving the traditional practice of Christianity. The overall response of contemporary Christianity to their young people leaving has been worse than what caused their young people to leave in the first place.  

See (The Perils of Hipster Christianity and Why Young Evangelicals Reject Churches That Try To Be Cool -   Here’s the link…

Yet, God not only knows this; but knew it would happen before the Church was born.  See (Luke 18:8, 2 Tim 3:1-5  etc.)

Meeting Teresa and others the Lord has been introducing us to, has helped change my purpose from pointing out what’s wrong to strengthening what remains. We need “the brothers we haven’t met yet” just like they need us. Our works aren’t “perfect before the Lord” either, but we both have a very good King-Shepherd.

I think if this continues to happen I may even be able to quit being so critical and, in a good way, …. “Settle down” in God's peace.

May the God who never sleeps strengthen us all.
   “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you (down).”
(Revelations 3:2 and 1Peter 5:10)

RCV Grandfather.

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