When saying “Yes” just might change your life

#FiveMinuteFriday, friends! Today’s word prompt is YES. I want to introduce you to a friend that said those words and they have not just changed her life but also those around her. Be blessed!

When saying “Yes” just might change your life!

I have a friend. A very good friend.

This friend was doing great things for God. A pastor’s wife and mother, she was fulfilling the call of God in her life, content with her place in the background…serving.

She wasn’t one to jump out of her comfort zone. She didn’t like to travel, avoided airplanes like the plague and preferred to stay home, at her own church, behind the piano or teaching Sunday School.

Then God called. Much like young Samuel, she thought He surely didn’t mean her. (You can read Samuel’s story here!) God wanted her to come out of that comfort zone for a bigger purpose, to touch even more lives, to reach out further than she thought she ever could.

He wanted her to go to the orphanages of Haiti.

Haiti! Her husband had already been and she was content to help pack his bags and pray over him while he was gone. But go with him? To a third-world country? Get dirty and love on children that she didn’t even know?

Not me, Lord. I just cannot. It’s great for others, I will pray for them, I will give, I will do anything but GO.

God wasn’t asking this couple to give up their church permanently, He wanted them to bring blessing, to uplift the missionaries and encourage the entire village just by saying, “Yes.”

She went the first time. Hesitant, nervous and down-right scared to death but she went.

She has been going back several times a year for the last three years.

She has a special focus for each of her journeys, whether it is building a new kitchen and pantry, bringing shoes, food, clothing, whatever the need is at the time, she will begin a campaign in her hometown and on social media to get others involved in the giving. Her own small town has caught the vision and many participate to help her with her projects, as she calls them.

Her heart is with the children. Their church’s motto is LOVE, LIVE, SERVE! (appropriately!)

So many have been displaced because of the last devastating earthquake and have been left without a family. The need is great. Her pictures tell it all. She is still a great pastor’s wife. She still teaches Sunday School. She still can sing and play like nobody’s business and bring the house down. But she has found her calling; God has opened up a whole new world to her in a place that many would refuse to go. She said, “Yes, Lord” and it literally changed her life, her family’s, her church and her community!

Their ministry to children is not limited to Haiti. They bring them in by the bus, van and car-loads to church every week. And during the weekdays? You can find my friend packing lunches and taking them to neighborhoods where the kids might not get something decent to eat. But she doesn’t just drop them off and run. Many times she stays and eats with the kids, forming bonds that just cannot be broken.

In a few weeks I will board a plane with this lady I have called “friend” for over 20 years. She wants me to meet her kids and see this place that means so much to her. I have been overseas many times but never to a third-world country, that’s what I thought Haiti was. But as you will see in the video below, Haiti is actually considered a FIFTH-world country. This is definitely out of my comfort zone and even though I am a little nervous I said, “Yes” because we only live once and it is a short time we have here on this earth to make a difference and to be a blessing. I have a feeling I will be the one blessed by these precious people and the children who just want to be loved.

It might not be an overseas mission; it could be your neighbor that He has been nudging you to speak to, a friend, co-worker, even a family member that is hungry for God even if you think that is not possible.  God could be working in their hearts and is wanting you to be the one to bring His message of Hope. Whatever it is He is calling you to, saying “yes” will forever change your life and open up even more opportunities to be used of God.

Just ask my friend, Bonnie.

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when saying yes just might change your life

Enjoy this amazing video of David and Bonnie Beecham, The Brian’s (Missionaries to Haiti) and those that have caught the vision. (If you want to help Love Live Serve, contact me ynannette@gmail.com and I will get you connected.)

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For this child we prayed…Rachel and Kyle’s Miracle

God’s timing is perfect but it is rarely ours.

For this child I prayed, and the Lord has granted me my petition that I made to him. Therefore I have lent him to the Lord. As long as he lives, he is lent to the Lord.” 1 Samuel 1:27, 28. 

Sixteen years ago we were moving to a new state, a new city and anticipating the effect it would have on our three sons. They were 18, 13 and 8 years old at the time and none of them were overly excited about leaving family and friends.

We attended a Christmas banquet that year before the move and several of the ladies were asking about our kids. I replied, jokingly, that it would make it a whole lot easier on the oldest if there were some pretty girls to entice him to make the move. Immediately they all chimed in, “You need to meet Tonya’s daughter, Rachel!” Tonya was a little overwhelmed by the sudden attention but pulled out a snapshot of her 17 year old daughter and I returned home telling Kyle that I had met someone that would be perfect for him. “Yeah, right, Mom. Not letting you pick who I date.”

Actually, Moms are smarter than they are given credit for and naturally, I kept pushing.

Kyle and Rachel just celebrated 13 years of marriage this past August! I have always called her The Little Girl I Never Had because I had written the name Rachel Lauren as my little girl’s name for years and years. (Her middle name is Lynn but I was okay with that.) Of course as you may know, none of My Three Sons seemed to fit the name, Rachel. Thankfully, we have been wonderful friends and have gotten along beautifully all of these years. She lights up any room she enters and even her brothers-in-law call her one of their closest friends.

About three years or so into their marriage, Kyle and Rachel decided to start a family. It seemed it wasn’t meant to be and for the next ten years they endured many different doctors, specialists and tests. There were so many disappointments along the way that it was difficult for them to talk about it, even to immediate family. We let them share when they wanted to but never pushed. Anyone who has experienced, or is experiencing infertility understands all of this so well.

Kyle is the worship pastor at The Experience Community in Murfreesboro, Tennessee and they do a series there called Life at the Experience. They will feature a different person or family, tell their story of how they came to the Lord or something God has done for them. Kyle and Rachel were asked to share their pain and they did it beautifully.

The video was so impactful and touched so many hearts. We all were thankful that they reached out and made themselves so vulnerable to help increase the faith of others.

Then, Sunday, August 2, Kyle and Rachel came to Indiana to visit. Rachel’s birthday was that week and she said she missed us and wanted to spend her birthday with all of us. We met for pizza and then went back to the house for birthday cake…

But things took an unusual turn when Kyle brought me a fancy box filled with six giant cupcakes and look what was on top!

For this child we prayed...Rachel and Kyle's Miracle

I was so shocked I am sure Kyle and Rachel were disappointed in my reaction. The tears came later and have kept coming for weeks. I just couldn’t make sense of it; we have waited so long and were definitely not expecting to be expecting. Ecstatic is an understatement…me and The Sweetheart? We are going to be grandparents!

 

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We have all been through things in our lives that have caused us to question. We have had unanswered prayers that didn’t make sense to us. They were good prayers; they were unselfish prayers. We were confused.

  • Why did God not answer our prayers?
  • Why did He make us wait?
  • Why do we sometimes not seem to get an answer at all?

Consider some of these thoughts:

Maybe God is more concerned with my salvation than my comfort. The Bible doesn’t say He came to give us everything we want but He came to seek and to save that which was lost.

We know we are not the first to go through whatever it is we are experiencing. Our situation is not the worst and it isn’t the only. But of course to us it is of utmost importance.  We want to fear no evil but no one wants to go through the valley if they can live on the mountain.

If He is really our God and really in control, maybe the miracle isn’t really the miracle at all. Many times people only look for what they can put in their pocket, everyone getting along, all of the planets aligning just as we need them to in our perfect world. We think that is the miracle; getting what we want.

But maybe sometimes we need to just trust Him IN the place that we find ourselves, in the here and now, where He needs us.

And ultimately, maybe our difficulty would be a testimony to others and strength to them in their weakness.

As Rachel said in the video, “God has showed us His perfect timing and His perfect will for our lives. We have learned so much of just trusting Him… If that ever includes a baby we will be thrilled but if it doesn’t….we know that He gives us joy in other ways…God has made us stronger…”

The miracle was in the trusting, not in the end product. If there had not been a baby there was still a miracle. They were made better, made stronger and given a great testimony because of the struggle, because of the pain and they ministered to others even in their sorrow.

If others see us hold on to God and keep believing, keep living for Him no matter our circumstance, they will understand what trusting God is truly about. And friend, it’s all about Him.

for this child we prayed

Have you prayed for a miracle for so long it seems out of reach? Do you feel as if God no longer hears your prayer? Maybe the answer is in the waiting, in the trusting, in the struggle itself. And maybe, just maybe, the answer is on the way. Remember, His timing is perfect…but it isn’t ours.

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The-Daniel-Fast-A-DevotionalDo you have your copy of The Daniel Fast Devotional? You can get it in paperback or Kindle here on Amazon! Fasting isn’t just for the New Year and Resolutions…it should be a part of our lives all year around. This 21 day devotional is great for ANY FAST. Check it out!

 

 

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Don’t worry about The Church!

I wrote another article not too long ago and had this as my featured image,

the church is a body The Church is not a building, it is made up of people that have been redeemed, baptized in His name, covered by His blood and filled with His Spirit. They endeavor to keep the faith and live by the Word of God in everything they say and do.

When we say, “Don’t worry about The Church” we are speaking of the Bride of Christ; the Body of Christ. Our Lord said, “On this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” Matthew 16:18.

We understand and are aware that we have more persecution of the Church in this generation than we have seen in quite a while and friend, if you are not aware, it will get worse. Just as in the early days of The Church, the Bible tells us that in the last days many will literally give their lives for the Gospel. There are many who have a so-called agenda to do away with Christianity all together and it is their life’s goal to see it come to pass in their generation.

We have many things pushing against The Church: Legalizing of gay marriage, civil unrest, racial division, and of course the aborting of BABIES, murdering the unborn, terrorism, and even division within the Body.

And of course the list could go on and on but you get the point. Sin is everywhere, it always has been and it will only escalate until the Lord returns. Persecution will get more and more common and more and more violent, if that is even possible. It will also come to our country, to our communities, to our doors.

All of these things must come to pass before the Lord returns! And return He will…soon! The signs are all around us that He is almost ready to blow the trumpet, split the Eastern Sky and make His grand appearance. I promise you, The Church will be ready!

dont worry about the church

We are not talking about denominations, groups, particular buildings, pastors or congregations. We are talking about the BRIDE of CHRIST that has prepared and made READY for that great and glorious day.

Jesus Christ WILL have a BRIDE to return to and to catch away, forever to be with the Lord. The Bible tells us to comfort one another with words like this.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18.

This is our hope! This is what we live for if we say we are The Church. It’s not just going to a gathering on Wednesday night and Sunday morning…and those are important! You need to be in service with those of “like precious faith” for your growth, fellowship, worship and bringing those that you have witnessed to about Christ to a place where they can worship with other believers and hear the Word of God.

Paul said in Ephesians 5:25-27 ESV, Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.”

He gave Himself for us, The Church, that He might be able to present it back to Himself in splendor! The King James version says He might present to Himself a glorious church, a radiant church, one that has been made that way by the Spirit of our God, the Comforter that He promised the disciples that He would send so long ago. And the scripture says, But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:11.

IF that same spirit dwells in you, you will be raised, or quickened by that Spirit and rise to meet Him in the air.

Don’t worry about The Church!

We have always had those that live on the edge, those that wander in and out, those that sow discord among the brethren, those that despise authority, those that want to live it my way and do their own thing and those that question and find fault with everything (there is nothing wrong with knowledge) trying to make things easier on themselves.

But that isn’t The Church!

The Church is on fire.

And don’t worry about this next generation. I know, as an example, our particular organization, just had its biannual Youth Congress where over 20,000 youth and chaperones gathered in Oklahoma City to worship God! This was The Church of today, and they didn’t show up to play games. You can see a little of the worship here.

 

They came together in unity, they came together in the Spirit and they came to hear the Word of the Lord. This is the NOW generation that is so vital to the Body of Christ and The Church is in good hands! You can testify of the same in your church, your community as well. The youth of today are ready to take on the enemy. They are not intimidated, not afraid and not about to drop the baton. I am encouraged by their tenacity and determination. Don’t sell them short!

“Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong.” Joel 3:9, 10.

I don’t believe in just barely making it across the finish line. What I mean by that is I don’t want to go in dragging, defeated and weak. I want to go in victorious, running and on fire with the Holy Ghost! I also do not want to go in alone. I want to take not only my family but anyone I can encounter along the way. I want to compel them to join us, to make that City their home.

Wake up the Mighty Men, let the weak say, “I am strong”!

The Church will be ready to meet the Lord in the air…the only question that remains is,

 

The-Daniel-Fast-A-DevotionalDo you have your copy of The Daniel Fast Devotional? You can get it in paperback or Kindle here on Amazon! Fasting isn’t just for the New Year and Resolutions…it should be a part of our lives all year around. This 21 day devotional is great for ANY FAST. Check it out!

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