Tuesday, February 2, 2010

my version of persevering, for now

Below is my post related to Sarah Joy Albrecht's "January Giveaway: Learning Perseverance From Making Tamagoyaki" -- Please go to Sarah's website to enter her January giveaway! You only have one day left! I only just found out about it, today! Hurry! ;o)

The Lord has been teaching me perseverance in many ways. He has allowed our family to be pruned by Him, for good and for God's glory (I trust; whether or not we give glory to God depends on whether or not we choose to show an attitude, and actions, of submission to our Lord's and Redeemer's Will). He has richly and generously blessed us. His riches are not of this world. They last into eternity. Souls last. His riches include wisdom, spiritual understanding, and the knowledge of His Will, and the knowledge of "The Holy."

The Lord has allowed us the opportunities He knows He can enable us to endure and overcome, by challenging situations that most would call "impossible." He likes to show Himself strong on our behalf. So, though I see my response to these "opportunities" as perseverance, He wants me to learn, by them, to trust Him more than my mind may understand how He can deliver me (or us) out of them.

We have had to change some priorities in our lives and, yet, have been learning, for quite a long time, that life is about serving others, and by that, serving The Lord. I was not born to "enjoy" life on earth. It is a journey of mine, as a stranger on earth, ... on The Lord's Way (for me) to Heaven, my true Home. Hallelujah!

We have chosen to walk the narrow-er road some call ministry. Our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah (Jesus Christ), lived a life of serving others, ... teaching, healing, helping, delivering, encouraging, inspiring, leading, ... then, being rejected, despised, hated, ignored, ... then, suffering (horribly; He was innocent!) and a shameful death on a Roman execution stake (for "my" sins!!!! He had nothing worthy of death. I had! He took my sins upon Himself, and took the punishment I deserved!), ... then, He rose again to new life in His spiritual Body. So, I'd suppose that what we do (as a family) could be called following, or serving-while-training. We are learning how to live as our Lord lived. He did without some things, yet was rich in so many ways that could not be counted with a thousand fingers!

We do not depend on corporations, any longer, to provide a way for bills to be paid. A believer, who loves us, ... helps us with that. Praise The Lord! Persevering in serving is a lesson I'm learning. If I get my focus off of the serving part, I begin to wonder about some things that God has not commanded me to wonder about. He wants me to trust Him above all!

We have no regular financial support for a teaching ministry we began, over 3 years ago. God has provided a means of support, but I believe God wants us to continue seeking His Will for how He wants His Name glorified through the provision He'd like to bring forth. ;o)
If we're doing God's work in God's way, as Hudson Taylor said, a good while back, it will not lack God's provision. (my wording)
God wants us to continue doing the work He has put before us to do. He continues to give us ideas for many things, some of which He will bring to fruition, if those will bring glory to Him, by drawing others to His Son, Yeshua (Jesus).
That might include serving local folks through a food pantry we've been asked to take charge of. It might include ministering to older folks whose health is not as good as they wish it was.
It might include ministering to folks whose lives have been forever altered, through no fault of their own.
It might include encouraging other believers through singing music, in harmony, without musical accompaniment, as a group of 7 (or 8), ... and we know that if the sound uplifts the hearers, it could only have been accomplished by God Himself, the Master Maker and Glorifier of all music.
(I mean, music was first designed by God, Elohim! He made it to be used to glorify Him and praise His Name! Music that does not do that is worthless.)

Whether we get paid a regular income, or not, for what we do, each day or week, is more important to God, my Father, than it is to us. He is more concerned and busy about us having "enough" than we are! It is His responsibility to provide for His children, so ... I need not worry or fret. (though I forget and do that, at times)

Persevering, while living this way, can be a challenge. My emotions can take turns in the wrong direction. (!) But God's Word, that He has stored in my "heart," steps in and replaces my wrong thoughts, and brings me up out of the low place that the enemy of my soul would like to hold me. Satan cannot hold me. I am The Lord's! He says I am His child! He loves me with an everlasting Love and no power anywhere can overcome His Love for me! (Nothing can separate me from The Love of God, which is in Messiah Yeshua, my Lord! -- from Romans 8:35-39)

God's help, hope, peace and provision never ends!! He supports us as we choose to do what pleases Him! He has unlimited resources! He uses other believers who befriend us and relatives who show their care and love for us in many ways. The Lord has upheld us through many times of "my wondering...." God, alone, has enabled us to continue! He is faithful to remember. We are learning He alone can sustain us. We are still looking for ways to support a ministry such as ours. Doing this on a human level can be quite a challenge! We choose to focus on the serving part, rather than on the support-seeking part. That way, we're not thinking with our fleshly minds, trying to figure out "how to get money to do the next step," but working with our hands and hearts, as we believe God wants us to do. We're trying to live by faith.

Our Father in Heaven has done miracles! He has brought new, Godly friends to help us along, encouraging and praying for us so kindly and faithfully! He has shown us ways to stretch our food provisions as we never had to, before. But this has been good! Now, we can help others to do the same thing. God wanted to improve our health and used what I called "a lack" to do some good work in that direction. ;o) He also helped me learn to be more grateful to Him, for whatever He lets us use or have, to eat and otherwise.

When I wondered how we would get through the coming week or month, in a way that I believed would glorify The Lord's Name, God would come through in a way I had not thought of!
When I was not trusting Him for all things (temporarily) and was letting my emotions get the best of me, He was right there to comfort, and then renew me with His Word, and by His Spirit bringing to my mind verses He had enabled me to store in my mind / heart. He gave me lots of hugs! I need lots of hugs!!

When I was ungrateful for what He was allowing to occur, He reassured me that He still loved me and wanted me to remember that He would bless me as I submitted my will and thoughts to His, and that He would restore what the enemy was trying to destroy.
When I did not keep my focus on Him, and what He had shown me through multiplied evidences of His protection, His care, His deliverance, His healing, His blessings and His provision, He brought my spiritual eyes back to see things from His perspective! How humbling!!

Though we are still unemployed (from the world's perspective), He has enabled me to overlook that, as often as possible, and to look forward to the many ministry duties (to help our pastor) He has us doing, each week, throughout this long period of time, ... while He provides just enough to get us to places where we are sharing His Love, in action. He is faithful! Will I choose to be faithful, also?

We have seen Him provide what's needed to reach out to others who are in situations they also cannot change, medically, physically, financially, and ... He is persevering in showing me mercy, lovingkindness, patience and His faithfulness.
What can I do but thank Him? ... and persevere through the things He allows to happen.

They're all lessons to prepare me for further service! I've seen Him do things that show me I need only "ask" or "cry out to God" for what is (truly) needed. He *does* answer!
And He begins bringing the answer to our "cries" immediately, as we pray. The manifestation of answers to my prayers may take awhile. But He has to send forth His angels to do the battling in the heavenlies, before I see the results, on earth. (see Daniel 10: 9-21)
Praise The Lord, He has done this for me! And I know He is doing it for so many believers, who are crying out to The Lord for deliverance, help and healing! He did it for our childrens' granddad, their aunt and their other aunt! (and more)

His mercy endures all that I've put Him through!
I can let Him enable me to endure all that He will use for His glory, that He lets me go through!
His longsuffering and patience with me has been used by The Lord to teach me good lessons He has wanted me to learn for a good while! Thanks be to God! His patient Love for me will continue forever! Hallelujah!!

Persevering? Is He the only One persevering? Or will I persevere, ... for the glory that is due to His Blessed Name? Baruch haShem Adonai Elohenu! Baruch ha Shem Adonai Yeshua, Melech ha Olam! (Blessed be The Name of The Lord God! Blessed be The Name of The Lord Jesus, King eternal, The King of the universe!)
The Lord is Mighty, indeed!
I will persevere! He is re-making me into the image of His Dear Son! He cannot fail!
(see Romans 8:29)
Colossians 1:12-23a is a blessed passage that God has used to help me get through some trying times, while He's teaching me perseverance.
Ephesians 1:5 and Galatians 4:4-7 shares that we are sons (children) of God, also, by adoption. Hallelujah! What a great reason to persevere! (for Him only!)

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