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October 2007

Entries from September 2007

Expanding

I believe that the Kingdom of God is here. Right now among us. Breathing the same air we breathe. Drinking the same water we drink. Eating the same food that we eat. However the Kingdom of God is not like the kingdoms of this world. Our kingdoms are dominated by someone, usually rich and powerful, sitting on top. This person (s) give orders to the rest of us who dwell on the bottom. The powerful remain powerful by exploiting the least of the kingdom they rule, or the rich remain rich because the poor keep buying their products.

Someone powerful sitting on top. Remarkably much of our "church" life or ministry life today looks just like the kingdoms of the world. Go to a church and for the most part you find a powerful person sitting on top exploiting the less powerful. Personality driven ministries and churches abound. One person, generally speaking, has the vision or is the vision bearer. This one person is expected to know what God wants and to direct the "congregation" or "flock" to the place God wants.

There are so many problems with this that it is hard to condense it to blog article length. I think the most important thing to note is that the Kingdom of God is not like the kingdoms of this world. So why do we operate and look just like them? Why do we find the powerful, eloquent, talented, and rich in charge of our churches or ministries? Jesus said the first shall be last.

I do not want to be like the majority of ministries today. I do not want to be sitting on top giving orders or proclaiming thus saith the lord. I cannot fix the messed up religious system of our day, but I can guard myself and our mission from it.

This blog is the main voice we have right now to those of you not in Kenya, and we do not want to monopolize it. We have some American friends who will be the first to help us expand the voices. They are followers of Jesus like we are, and understand that Christianity is more than just believing. This is a family that lives what James wrote; True religion is to reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight.

Be prepared to see Heather, James, and Rachael on the blog. In fact I have read Heather's first contribution, and already I am blessed. Expect to hear from them on Sundays. Don't worry we will still only post once a day, so no overload on information. We will also struggle to keep the posts at a manageable length. (I know preaching to myself there.) Since we do not normally post on Sunday you will not miss anything from us.

No more will I be like the kingdoms and ministries of this world. No single man or woman has the voice of God or has an exclusive interpretation. No personality is sufficient on it's own. We were mean to be family. We were meant to have relationship as the church of Jesus. This is just a small way for me to live the Kingdom of God right now right here.


Sowing and Reaping

This is part of our "expanding" effort.

I've heard many, many sermons on "Sowing and Reaping", and I'll admit, they sounded good to me at the time.  There are a lot of versions out there, but the most common I've heard, are the ones that are given before an offering is taken.  You know the one; sow money; you'll reap money. Oh, sure,  they'll throw in a few other examples for good measure, like- kindness for kindness,or being a good friend for having a good friend.   But, Jesus talks a whole lot about the kingdom of heaven, which he said, by the way "is at hand". 

Galatians 6:7 That whatever a man sows, that and that only shall he reap.  It seems to make perfect sense to the natural mind, taken with the above doctrine- that is , if you stop right there and don't read the next verse." For he who sows to the flesh, will from the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit , will of the Spirit reap life."  There are only two things people can sow and reap from; the natural realm and death,  or the Spiritual realm( or the Kingdom of Heaven) and life.

It would seem to me that money is definitely something from the natural world.  ( None of those very large, and very sacrificial offerings multiplied back into my bank account ,by the way.) Jesus said you can't serve two masters, God and mammon(which, truthfully can be any thing from the natural world- and money is certainly symbolic of that.) Now if I am sowing money, to reap back a larger harvest of money- I am in essence only making my "god"(mammon) bigger.  And consequently will reap bigger death/corruption.

So, how then do we know when we are sowing to the Spirit or the flesh? Well that's obvious, some might say.  However, even if something looks like a good deed, it may not be sowing to the Spirit.  Jesus said, I do only that which I see my father doing.  If God did not say do it- it is dead works, man trying in his ability to please God ( i.e. the Law/ Religion).  All of which is from,in, and belonging to the worldly kingdom. For the sons of God will be led by the Spirit of God (Rom.8:14).  How liberating it is to not be slaves, serving a religious institution trying to be "good Christians" doing our duty.  I can't tell you how many times I've jumped into serving in various church ministries without even consulting God, because it naturally seemed to me to be a pleasing thing to God. Proverbs 3:5,6 says not to lean on our own understanding or reasoning. " For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways , my ways" (Isaiah 55:8).  We must discern, by the Spirit, which homeless person to help, which ministry to give to, or be a part of- otherwise, it will only bring discouragement, burnout, confusion-death.

Heather


Elimination Communication

September07 009Emma is 8 months and one week old. She is using her potty now! Every time I put her on it, I sign 'T' and tell her to tee tee. She does it faithfully now. She still uses nappies of course and has no concern about peeing with the nappy on or off or where ever, but she at least know that when I put her on the potty and sign, peeing is what she's supposed to do!

Every time I praise her for going on the potty, she gets a grin like she's really done something special. She's so proud of herself!

Oh, and she's learned how to clap now, too!

~Kate


A Future and a Hope -- Update

I met with the owner of the house we wanted to rent for the orphanage, and he agreed to rent it to us. I paid a deposit to secure the house, and we should be able to move in anytime after October the 7th.

The previous tenants had chickens, ducks, and geese. We bought the chickens and ducks from them, and will raise them for eggs and meat. The house sits on a half acre plot, so there will be plenty of play space and a small herb garden. Adding the chickens, ducks, herb garden, and our 2 and half acre farm together will provide a good amount of food or money. We will use that income or food to feed us and the girls and whomever else it will feed.

I will upload some pictures once we move and get an opportunity to take them.

 

 

 

 

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Quote of the Week

"Let me, if I may, be ever welcomed to my room in winter by a glowing hearth, in summer by a vase of flowers; if I may not, let me think how nice they would be, and bury myself in my work. I do not think that the road to contentment lies in despising what we have not got. Let us acknowledge all good, all delight that the world holds, and be content without it."

 

George Macdonald

( from Legacy of a Pack Rat, by Ruth Bell Graham, p. 150)

 

 

 

 

 

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Revealed Counsel of God

But whoever catches a glimpse of the revealed counsel of God -- the free life! -- even out of the corner of his eye, and sticks with it, is no distracted scatterbrain but a man or woman of action.   James 1:25   The Message

Just a glimpse of the revelation of God is enough to change someone's life. We hear often times about being sold out for Jesus, a radical, Jesus Freak, living our whole lives for God, or seeking God with all our hearts; which I am not saying is bad, but all it takes is just a glimpse out of the corner of our lives to change us. You do not have to wait for the complete thing. You do not have to be perfect to be a Christ follower.

Reminds me of the "mustard seed" faith that Jesus talks about. A mustard seed is small, and that is all it takes to move a mountain. Kind of blows the "not enough faith" excuse out of the water.

The prophets only glimpsed and look at what happened to them. John the Baptist glimpsed and ended up in the desert eating bugs, wearing camel hair, and playing in the water. The disciples glimpsed and ended up giving their lives. The church of the first couple of centuries glimpsed and suffered persecution for it.

Have we glimpsed the revealed counsel of God, even out of the corner of our eyes? Free life. Life I believe should be defined as more than breathing. Life is loving.

This revelation creates men and women of action. Feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for widows and orphans, are some of the actions of a person who has seen God. We start with our neighbor and move out from there.

I pray for this glimpse. I want to see the revelation of God, Jesus. I want to know him. I want to do the things he would do. I want to be a man of action.

 

 

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Internet Access

Thanks to a new modem from Safaricom (A local mobile phone company), we now have access to the Internet at our house! Well actually, I can take it anywhere there is Safaricom coverage, which is just about everywhere I go.

It is at least twice as fast as the cyber cafe I was using, which is a big boost. Anyway, we can now get online from the comfort of our home.

The modem is called Samba75 and is real small, which is cool. It just plugs into one of the USB slots, and I can sign on. I had to take my computer into the customer care office to get the software installed. Apparently the install CD does not work with Windows Vista.

Of course going into customer care is no easy task. There is always a line out the building snaking around on the sidewalk. I heard that I could force my way in and turn left to talk to someone about the modem. I tried it, and it worked. So I ended up only waiting like an hour to speak with a customer care representative instead of multiple hours.

 

 

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Homemade Knee pads

While in the USA, Emma Caite crossed 2 major milestones. She cut her first tooth, and she became mobile. Need I say more? She is in to everything. However, now that we are back in Kenya, we are back to living on concrete floors. And as much as I enjoy carrying her, she insists on scooting about exploring her surroundings.

Her little knees are so red and raw! I tried putting lotion on them, and she started screaming in pain. I felt so bad. I thought that my peppermint foot lotion would help with the chapping (kind of like a soothing methanol chap stick). However, it must've really stung, so I washed it off and put petroleum jelly on her little, red, raw, knees.

I proceeded to make her some knee pads out of my socks. I cut out the toes and put the 'toe' portion in the heel of the sock for extra padding. I then put the heel of the sock on her knees. Hopefully, it'll prevent so much rubbing as she scoots on our concrete floor.

 September07 015

~Kate

 

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Bad Stuff and Good Stuff

The Bible says in the book of James that bad stuff is not from God, instead good stuff is from Him. Actually it says that every desirable and beneficial gift comes from God.

There is no evil in Him. He is not going to give us bad stuff, the bad stuff in our lives comes from someone else. It comes from us.

Lust. That emotion destroys lives without thinking twice. A fleeting glance at a party can lead to a passionate affair, which will lead to the destruction of a family. God does not throw beautiful women or men in front of you to check and see if you are strong enough to resist. We put those people in front of our own eyes. Television, Internet, print media, going to the beach. I make those choices, and I bear the responsibility for my own lust. Blaming God is just a away from me to avoid dealing with the issue myself. In my evangelical days I would not have felt safe blaming God so I blamed the Devil.

The Devil made me do it. He orchestrated the whole affair. He teamed up with his demons and planned to trip me up by placing that wallet right in front of me. He knew I needed the money, I cannot be held responsible. It was entrapment. As if the Devil, if there really is one, cares about you. I would think he had more pressing things to do, like running the White House. Oops that one slipped in past the censors.

There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures.  James 1:18   The Message

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HIV

The last Sunday of this month I will participate in a meeting for pastors here in Nakuru. We will try to convince them of the need to reach out to those people afflicted with HIV/AIDS.

There will be speakers from the government and NGOs dedicated to serving people with HIV. I will focus on encouraging the pastors to speak to their people about sex. The church, even the institutional form, needs to stand up and start teaching what is healthy and what is not healthy. Some sex is just not good for you, and sometimes we have to say enough is enough.

AIDS will kill you. If talking to someone about sex can help them to lead a healthy and long life then so be it. Let's talk about sex.

 

 

 

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