Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Four Courageous Women in Moses' Birth

I love the beauty of courage and creativity. It causes me to pause and notice. In the birth of Moses, we see the beauty and creativity of four women.

Moses' mom hides him until he is strong enough to be away from her for a bit. She then puts tar on the bottom of a papyrus basket so he could float down the Nile when Pharaoh said throw the baby boys into the Nile. She did but she waited a bit and did it in a basket where Pharaoh's own daughter walked. She made sure she did everything she could to ensure her "fine" son would survive. Her reward was that she would be paid to nurse her own son.

Miriam which is only called Mose's sister couldn't let her baby brother just go into the water without someone watching. When she saw Pharaoh's daughter had compassion, she came out of the reeds from her secret hiding place and offered to bring a nurse. She took a risk. It worked. She was able to watch her baby brother grow into a toddler.

Pharaoh's daughter saw something unusual and sent a slave to check it out. Even though her dad said throw the Hebrew boys into the Nile River. He feared one of them would become a leader that would over take him someday. She had compassion and offered to pay the woman to nurse the baby. That woman was his very own mother. And she became a mother to a "fine" son. The word "fine" meant that everything about the baby was healthy, strong, and beautiful. 
The slave girl is the one who opened the basket. Whether it was her that had compassion or Pharaoh's daughter who had compassion it overflowed. A crying babe is a crying babe. The nationality is not important. The babe was in need.

These four women were willing to be courageous when others just did blind obedience to a ruthless law that killed. 

May we be so courageous! Amen

Video of the story: 
Moses' Birth

Yellow Submarine: A Moment of Remembrance

Mema wasn't able to go to the hospital to see Papa because her portable oxygen tank was not staying charged. I knew it had been a long and lonely day for Papa so I wanted to cheer him up.

I asked hoping to trigger a memory and pull him out of his dementia for a moment, "What was your favorite music group Papa?"

As I opened up YouTube to play a song by the Beach Boys, "Aruba, Jamaica..."

"Was it the Beach Boys?"  As the song started to play he turned and looked at me with intrigued raised eyebrows. I asked, "Or was it the song Yellow Submarine?"

He whispered, "Yes, It was the Beatles!" He remembered!

I started the song Yellow Submarine and he started nodding his head to the music. I noticed his banana was not eaten so I asked, "Would you like to eat your banana?"

He nodded happily to the beat of the music. So, I opened the banana and handed it to him. "Why don't you try to feed yourself."

He slowly reached for the banana, grabbed it, and took a bite. I thought, "Yes! I got him to eat something!" His loss of appetite had already taken 20 pounds.

To my surprise Papa then started waiving the banana as if he was conducting the music.

The yellow waiving banana gave me such joy. This was the most active I had seen Papa in a long time. Was it because
we were listening to the Yellow Submarine? Somehow it just seemed felicitous with him waiving the banana and eating. I imagined the Beatles would have loved this scene.

This made me wonder about the meaning of the song. So, I looked it up  and discovered that a friend of the Beatles believed that the song, Yellow Submarine, was Paul McCartney's way of conveying what it was like for the Beatles to live in their sea of fame. They were encased in their submarine in a sea of green and a sky of blue. While the yellow submarine kept them safe it also cut them off. I guess in a way it was kind of like being in the hospital.

Yes. It truly was fitting that Papa and I enjoyed our Beatle concert.

Papa was so happy he even started moving his toes under the blanket. Nathan, the nurse, came in and said that this was the most alert he had seen him.

Music is such a gift.  It helps us to remember. I let the "Best of the Beatles" keep playing while Papa and I sat quietly enjoying our memories. I like to think that for him it was about remembering his younger years, but for me it was about creating a memory now.

Please sing with me, "We all live in a yellow submarine. Yellow submarine..." I know you started singing the song. Lol! 

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Solar Powered Bible

I am so excited about these new Solar Audio devices that Audio Scripture is testing out, that can be requested and distribute at a lower price point. They can be charged with the sun or with with a USB port charger. 

They can be uploaded by our team leader Jonathan to hold the Bible, Leadership lessons, discipleship training, evangelism training, music, etc. in different languages.  The larger device even has a flash light that has four levels of brightness that is 3x's better than an IPhone.

How might you use these?

In the US....

With the elderly that need to just listen. 

With someone in crisis that is having difficulty focusing so they can just listen.

With the blind.

With someone in the hospital.

With children.

With someone wanting to learn English. 

With anyone that prefers to listen and not read. 

For refugee empowerment.

For inner city encouragement. 

Keep one in your car in case you drive in an area where you don't get radio reception. 

Teams traveling over seas can take these as gifts to give out in the heart language of the people. Whether you are visiting family, going on a business trip, or going as a church team. 

Over seas...

Teams can do distributions of devices in the language of the people. 

Teams can leave behind with extra training content so that teaching can continue when they leave. 

We have a friend on our prayer team that always carries a device with him here in the US. He prays and sees who God wants him to give it to. He finds ways to be generous with God's Word through solar devices. 

They come in different colors. 

How might God be encouraging you to distribute God's Word through a solar device today?

Contact to order 1 or 100 or 1,000! 

Please share this post!

Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Shared Suffering & Vulnerable Compassion

As I sat across from a new dear friend almost 28 years ago, she shared this passage with me as she grieved the loss of a baby. As she shared that the God of all compassion and comfort gave her hope and strength as she suffered, I found myself desiring to know this type of compassion and comfort. I shared in her suffering and in her hope. Peace covered us. 

This morning I shared this passage with a pastor friend in Africa as he seeks to minister to one of his leaders. This leader left his former church to be under my friend because he recognized that the teaching is deep and real. At his previous church, he was paid to preach but in his new church and leadership position he would preach truth but not be paid. He decided that teaching the truth was more important than pay. 

Yesterday, after he finished preaching the new leader and his wife took their one year old girl to get her immunizations. She went to sleep after and never woke up. Now my pastor friend must lead a funeral service today for his new leader's family.

Grief is a beast. But comfort and compassion overflow. They give us hope. This can only happen if we are vulnerable enough to share in our sufferings. I am beginning to call this in my life the vulnerability of compassion.

Shared sufferings means that I must share the truth of my sufferings so others can pray. As we seek God, He will pour out His comfort and compassion in us and through us so that we can pour it out into others. A shared suffering is an easier suffering to walk. We all need help in our sufferings and prayer shows that we are not relying on ourselves but in God alone.  

This past weekend as Greg and I went to move my parents God overwhelmed me by the goodness of shared sufferings. But He also poignantly revealed to me that it always requires vulnerability. As Papa wept in our arms because he is lonely and tired of therapy it hurt so much. As Mom wept over Papa's pain, I felt her suffering deeply. As Aunt Janie cried because she can't fix this and make their pain less I cried, too. But after we shared our pain and wept, we experienced the reality of the comfort that overflows. Peace covered us and compassion overwhelmed me. 

As each one of us were willing to be vulnerable and share our pain, we knew the release of shared suffering. As we prayed together, we experienced the hope of salvation help us to stand firm. As I reflected and processed with my family, I knew that our Gracious Giver was giving us great favor. So this morning as my pastor friend shared, I was able to let the comfort and compassion of a shared suffering overflow. 

Where might you be suffering today? Have you shared your suffering with the One who pours out all compassion and comfort? Do you know the hope of salvation in your suffering? I know it requires vulnerability to share, but shared sufferings gives us hope. The kind that helps us stand firm even as we suffer. 

Beloved, you are not alone!