Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Anticipating China

I have hesitated posting how we are preparing for China lately, and believe that I was allowing satan to make me believe that no one was interested and/or folks were tired of hearing about us going to China.  We want people to be engaged in our preparation, we desire our friends and family to please pray for us.  We want to share all that God has been doing and have the honor of giving Him glory in all of this!  How can we do that if all the folks we love don't know what's going on?  So I want to share with you what God has been doing.

Last month when Glenn and I went to the Chinese New Year celebration in Slippery Rock, we met a man named Xiangdong.  Dr. Sue and Jackson, a Chinese couple from our church, told Xiangdong about us and he already knew who we were.  Well God connected us with him in friendship right away and it happened that he lived right up the hill from us in a student apartment.  He had been here since October as a researching professor from Chengzhou, China.  We invited him to our home, took him shopping, went out to eat some, learned some Chinese and took him to church with us.  We also had the opportunity to share Jesus with him through a video explaining that God (Shang Di) was/is the God of ancient China, 2000 years before Buddhism, Confucianism or Daoism.  It truly spoke to his heart.  Xiangdong began introducing Glenn and I to other Chinese friends and some that we met were already believers.  They have shared with us what God is doing in China and we are really excited.

God has been confirming over and over again His desire for us to go to China to teach and to share Jesus with the students.  He has ignited a passion within us to obey and to go, but this doesn't mean that we don't have days that we are temporarily frozen with fear and doubt.  I am, almost everyday at some point, I am.  But since we serve a mighty and loving God who knows just how I feel at every moment, He encourages my heart either by His Voice, His Word, a song or another encouraging believer.  He does it, He does it when I need it.  He knows how comfortable I can feel here in the states, in Pennsylvania, in Slippery Rock, in this home.  He knows for 51 years how I have lived in ease, basically.  He knows that I have never been out of comfort too long.  He knows all of this, yet He also knows the future and knows through His strength what I am capable of.  What I can handle, what I can do...and at that moment that I need something that I don't naturally have, He will supply for me!  I believe that, I know that, I am counting on that!

So right now, we are continuing to learn the Chinese language.  Obviously, we will most never be fluent, but our desire is to be able to communicate in some conversation.  We are beginning to make our lists of "what to give away", "what to sell", "what our kids want", "what to store", and "what to take to China".  This is difficult, you don't think you have too much until you begin a task such as this.  

As we prepare and lean on our Savior for His greatness, His strength and His wisdom...we bathe in His Word, drawing from Him the ability to move forward.  His Word is living, it is priceless, it is able to do in us that which we cannot on our own.  We are dependent upon it and long to saturate out souls in it.  We BELIEVE IT! We BELIEVE HIM!  We love Psalm 63:3...The steadfast love of the LORD is better than life.  And Hebrews 11:25 ...The pleasures in this life are fleeting, 2 Cor. 4:17 and the afflictions are light and momentary.  But the steadfast love of the LORD is forever.  HIS WORD IS ALIVE and HE is ALIVE in us!  PRAISE GOD, our STRONG TOWER, OUR TREASURE!!

Please pray for us...please pray that we will have a growing compassion for the lost.  Please pray that we will be obedient to Christ in His strength.

Declare His glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! Ps. 96:3

In Christ alone.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


A friend shared an invitation with me.  An Invitation To Solitude and Silence.  A book written by, Ruth Haley Barton,  a woman starving for intimacy with her Lord.  I believe the friend who shared this with me was prompted by the Holy Spirit to lend me this treasure.  It is HIS perfect timing and for the last month or so this is what the Lord has laid on my heart.  To come away with Him, to simply Be Still.  Ruth writes of wanting to feel and know God in the very cells of her being.  She was starved for rest, to know God beyond what she could do for Him.  Starved for quiet, to hear the sound of sheer silence that is the presence of God himself.

I just love the analogy that her spiritual director shared with her.  She told Ruth that she was like a jar of river water all shaken up.  That what she needed is to sit still long enough that the sediment can settle and the water can become clear.  Isn't it wonderful?  I can relate to this, it's exactly what I feel like at times.  The sediment that swirls inside the jar is the busyness, the emotions, the thoughts, the plans, the to-do lists, the inner wrestlings that keep me busy.  She cuts right to my heart.  Along with this being a self-discovery for Ruth, it is a self-discovery for me.  I am joyfully accepting her Invitation To Solitude and Silence, and today this part of my spiritual journeying begins.

I want to conclude today with an exert in her book that impacted me to the core.  "The practices of solitude and silence are radical because they challenge us on every level of our existence.  They challenge us on the level of culture:  there is little in Western culture that supports us in entering what feels like unproductive time for being and listening.  They confront us on the level of our human relationships:  they call us away from those relationships for a time so we can give undivided attention to God. They challenge us on the level of our soul: in the silence we become aware of inner dynamics we have been able to avoid by keeping ourselves noisy and busy.  They draw us into spiritual battle:  in silence there is the potential for each of us to "know that I am God" with such certainty that the competing powers of evil and sin and the ego-self can no longer hold us in their grip.  All the forces of evil band together to prevent our KNOWING GOD IN THIS WAY, because it brings to an END the dominion of those powers in our lives."

I have many choices in this life that God has blessed me with.   The most important desire He has given me, is to know Him and love Him as fully as I can here, before I see Him face to face!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The Soul's Appetite for God

Prayer and Fasting

Fasting is right only when your condition makes it natural. In a time of joy, fasting would be unnatural, and could not express a genuine feeling. But those who are in great distress are naturally inclined to refrain from eating. Fasting can deepen the spiritual impulses toward worship and devout meditation.

In other words, if you’re in a joyful frame of mind, don’t try to adopt an artificial position of mourning and fasting. James says: “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise” (James 5:13).

The call to the cheerful is to sing praise—not fast. So if that's you, an understanding of fasting can help you appreciate more your position of blessing. Rejoice in the goodness of God and remember that He richly supplies you with all things to enjoy (1 Timothy 6:17).

But some of you are on the other end of the spectrum. You’re grieving the death of a loved one. You’re fighting a major health battle. You’re battling a besetting sin. You’re overwhelmed with a difficult family relationship. Maybe you’re on the brink of a major life decision and urgently need the Lord’s guidance.    John MacArthur

For you, fasting may be an appropriate outlet for the burden of your heart. That’s what A. W. Pink was talking about when he wrote,
Private fasting must issue from an urge within and not because it is imposed from without. Private fasting should be spontaneous, the result of our being under a great stress of spirit, and the simple act itself be entirely lost sight of in the engrossing fervor which prompted it.
God appointed fasting for such times. Maybe the act of skipping a meal or two would help you express to God the spiritual urgency that is on your heart.    John Piper
Trials tend to make us lose sight of the spiritual realities that belong to us in Christ. So don’t use your fast to focus on your immediate problem or to try to force God’s hand to give you a great deliverance from the problem.
Instead, as you fast, focus your mind on God and direct your thoughts to divine realities.
  • Meditate on the reality of God’s sovereign control of your situation.
  • Focus your attention on the greatness of your salvation.
  • Remember that Christ has come, died, and risen so that all your sins would be forgiven.
  • Remember that Christ has ascended to heaven and continually intercedes for you before the Father.
  • Remember that you will one day see Him face-to-face.
  • Remember that nothing can separate you from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
As you fast with that trusting, dependent spirit, take heart—your Father will reward your Christ-centered fast in His time and according to His will.
One final word. It is popular for Christians to think fasting somehow brings them closer to God in a way that nothing else does. No matter how much people may protest their own experience to support their position, I don’t buy it.    John Piper

The Scriptures sanctify us. We are transformed by the renewing of our mind, not the restriction of our diet.
The Law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul (Psalm 19:7).
Sanctify them in the truth, Your Word is truth (John 17:17).
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Don’t look for external fasting to do for you what God has appointed the Scriptures to do. Fasting is not designed to put righteous desires into you; it’s meant to be a means to express urgent desires that already exist. Fasting is an effect of a spiritual urgency, not the cause of it.
John MacArthur

The apostle Paul said, “I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Corinthians 6:12). Fasting reveals the measure of food’s mastery over us—or television or computers or whatever we submit to again and again to conceal the weakness of our hunger for God.

When the sense of God diminishes, fasting disappears.
-Edward Farrell 

Sunday, March 11, 2012



The story of God placing China in our hearts is an amazing testimony of HIS GREATNESS and I want to share this story to encourage your faith in Him and to keep increasing my own.  To my reconciliation, this story begins about four years ago when Glenn and I heard a message in church during one of our Missions Conferences.  Immediately after the service we both shared with one another that we believed God was calling us to go and we had no idea where.  I think a few months after that I had stumbled across a website called the Finishers Project and they primarily focused on folks that where in there mid-years that believed God was calling them to something else other than their present lifestyle and then retirement.  We sent for the free CD, watched it and waited until there was a conference available to us that was not too far away.  In March, 2010, we received notice that there was a conference at a church in Ohio.  At this conference were many mission agencies represented there and God directed Glenn and I multiple times to English Language Institute China to talk to them and collect information.  We left this conference believing that this is what God may be calling us to.  At this time, Glenn was also finishing his bachelor's degree online not realizing that God was equipping him to finish it so that he could teach English in China.  We prayed for God's direction and knew that he was wanting us to go to China with ELIC on their one week vision trip and after our son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter, and daughter all moved out we knew that it was the right time to go to China.  We both were a little unsure about the country and began questioning if this is somewhere that we could live, so far away.  So even before we left for China, we were looking for red flags and thought for some reason, God would give us red flags when we got there.  LOL   Boy, where we wrong!!  HE did a mighty work in us while we were there in that short time!  HE gave us a love for the country and a love for the Chinese people.  HE gave us a passion to share CHRIST with them.  They are hungry for GOD, they want to know who JESUS is!  Glenn and I felt so alive and and so "right in the middle of HIS purpose for us" there.  HE confirmed over and over that this was HIS will for us.   HE gave us favor with Chinese people that we met.  HE gave us divine appointments with them.  HE gave us opportunities to share HIM!!  So you can imagine, we were very sad to leave.  That's how it is with our precious GOD...HE blesses us on this earth with times that we are so ABOUT HIM that nothing worldly exists for a time.  That's how it was for Glenn and I in China.  So, we are excited to go back.  Don't get me wrong, there definitely are days that I think, I can't do it.  I can't leave everything that is comfortable here.  My family, my home, my stuff, my country.  There are days that I allow satan to cripple me for a time and think this is crazy and I am not capable of making this life change!  But then, I say, "No, I am not able to do this..."but my GREAT GOD can do this through me."  HE IS ABLE, HE IS MY STRENGTH, HE IS MY STRONG TOWER!  So many days, many many days I go through this and every day I am desperate for HIM, for His POWER in me, for His TRUTH in me.  Without those, I surely would not be going.  I would not be able to tear myself away from what brings me comfort.  ONLY HE can do that.  So since we have returned God is continuing to confirm over and over again that, YES, I AM calling you to China.  He has provided Chinese friends for us here in Slippery Rock, He has provided ones that are teaching us the Chinese culture and the language.  He is giving us opportunities to share Jesus, here with Chinese friends.   He is daily igniting the passion to go, in us.  And one of the very best things HE has done in all of this is, given Glenn and I BOTH the same desires, since we really are ONE!  THAT is truly a confirmation.  So as we prepare for the next year in scaling down a lot and selling our home, please pray for us.  Please pray for us to stay on the course God has set for us and please pray for a continual love for the country and the people of China.  Please pray for our support that God will need to supply for us to go.   Most of all, please pray for wisdom for us.

We will be selling some of our stuff and giving away some.
We will make that information available, JUST in case you are interested in any of it.


Sunday, March 4, 2012


Fibromyalgia = Frustrating
Frustrating to the victim
Frustrating to family members
Frustrating to doctors
About four years ago, I was not acquainted with this disease.
Once my daughter and I were introduced to fibro,
I wanted more than anything for it to disappear.
I wanted to grab Cara and run away from it.
I wanted to block it from our minds in hopes that it would go away,
Sad to say it has not happened, and for a time....
actually I believe for the very first time.....
I was living in hopelessness.
Too sad to face the fact that after reading, reading
and more reading....researching day after day after day,
that I did not know what to do for her to make her better.
It was my dear daughter that came along side of me in such love
and told me she trusted God.
She knew that God had allowed this illness in her life for a purpose.
That it was not...for nothing.
She was used by God to pull me off the side of the road
of hopelessness, back on the road of hope.
I have remained there with her ever since.
With God's strength, I have perserved and will continue to do so.
I will keep PRAYING and researching.
I will depend on God and His direction to find the doctor
that can perform the right tests and uncover what
my daughter truly has. 
Then fibromyalgia will be out the door
with a farewell and good riddens!
In its place will be the accurate diagnosis
with treatment that will relieve
fibro's rotten symptoms.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Beginning this month:

I am spending more time in prayer/alone with my sweet Jesus.
I am studying God's Word more.
I am writing and sending more cards/letters.
Learning to knit on a loom.
Learning to speak Chinese.
Making a scrapbook with my hubby for our granddaughter.
I am even more determined to get Cara diagnosed.
I am asking God to give me a worldview and pray for others in foreign countries that are lost.
I am determined to be a better wife.
I am downsizing ALOT.
 I am exercising!