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Entries from June 2008

Happy Birthday

This past weekend we celebrated Butterfly's 5th birthday. Wow. It is hard to believe she is already 5. She was just a baby when we came to Kenya, and now she thinks2008-6-20 044  she is all grown up. Actually it is kind of funny. Now that she is 5 she feels more capable of doing things then back when she was just 4. Ha.

I am glad to know Butterfly and look forward to being a part of the rest of her childhood.


Put Me In Remembrance

 

Put Me in Rememberance…"

(Isaiah 43:26)

As I was reading this passage the other day, these words seemed to leap off the page and into my heart. I have heard this passage taught in the context of reminding God of His covenant with us, which I’m sure is an accurate interpretation. Although, I often thought it odd that God would need reminding about anything. But the Lord revealed it to my heart from another viewpoint. Instead of putting ourselves into God’s rememberance, we could really benefit from putting Him into our rememberance more often.

When we first become conscious in the morning, instead of allowing all the thoughts of the day ahead to bombard our minds, let’s turn our first attention to Christ in praise and surrendered submission, throwing ourselves at the mercy provided by the cross , for guidance, peace, joy, and a walking faith of love for others. Instead of allowing frustrations to raise our blood pressure when disciplining our children, lets remember God first. Too often I correct my children out of my flesh, to the flesh, which only temporarily brings about an outward change of behavior ( not to mention resentment in both parties), but doesn’t touch their heart or the real internal issue. I purpose to turn immediately to God for discernment and wisdom as to minister spirit to spirit, directly to the real issue.

 When someone hurts or offends me, or my husband and I have a "disagreement", how much better it would be if we could learn to turn to God first ( before we react!) asking for his love and power to not take offense and praying for that individual as an ally and not "the enemy". When we allow people or circumstances to determine our reactions instead of God, we are making them our gods, and leaning on our own understanding, allowing ourselves to be manipulated by the forces behind those people and circumstances. We must learn to surrender our natural ways of thinking and acting to the Lordship of Christ by putting Him in rememberance first.

Heather Matthews


Prophecy

This morning I was thinking, I know, a dangerous thing to do (especially in the shower, which is where I was a thinking this morn,) about prophecy.

I am not talking about predicting the future kind of thing here. I am also not speaking about interpreting Biblical prophecies and trying to predict world events or something.

No. What I am thinking of is direction.

God speaking to me and letting me know that I am on the right track, or God speaking to me and giving me words to describe what is going on.

Yes God does speak to me. I know that for some of you that sounds crazy, stupid, and/or scary. The truth is I am sure God is speaking to you as well. Maybe you just don't recognize the medium he is using.

God spoke to me the other day through someone that I would have rejected as someone who could be a mouthpiece for the Creator.

Anyway I will let you know more in the days to come, but I wanted to emphasize this morning that God speaks in mysterious ways. So look where you might not look to hear what he is saying, and for some of you, the voice of God has been part of your life for years without you even being aware of it.

 

johnny's-head           Johnny Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.


Winter Time

fireToday, we started a fire in the fireplace and snuggled up together with blankets wrapped around our shoulders  while the smell of winter filled the house.

Yep. Believe it or not.

Ahhhh, I love Africa.

 

 

 

blog-kate's-head  Kate Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya East Africa

co-founder of A Future and a Hope


Revolution

George Barna describes a revolution like this; repudiating tepid systems and practices of the Christian faith and introducing a wholesale shift in how faith is understood, integrated, and influencing the world. (From the front flap of the book cover.)

His book Revolution describes people that have left the institutional church and are celebrating their faith in new and more creative ways. He takes great pains to create a new term for those people who have left the institutional church, revolutionaries. However it just does not work. I also have doubts about his numbers. If I remember correctly he says that there are something like 20 million so called revolutionaries in the U.S.A.

I know some of these people, and they just do not fit the neat seven point list Barna creates for them. (His book is actually jam packed with lists.) Personally I think it is great that people are abandoning man made institutions and realizing that Jesus brought about the end of our need for religion altogether.

I certainly do not fit his list, and I have given up on religion. I also do not appreciate the aggressive language he uses. Nothing but war this, soldier that, and on and on about fighting.

There are places in the book where you see that George Barna was actually touched by these people who are learning that God does not reside in buildings made by man. Instead he lives in us.

However his vision of the future seems to me to just be more of the same. Institutions, leaders who tell us what God says instead of us listening for ourselves, denominations arising to cater to this group of people, and on and on. I hope the future is that we finally put the last nail in the coffin of religion, and get on with living.

 

johnny's-head          Johnny Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya. Co-founder of A Future and a Hope, a home for girls.


Check it out...

I've completely redesigned our web site for A Future and a Hope. Check it out and spread the word! Thanks!

www.afutureandahope.net

 

 

 

blog-kate's-head Kate Brooks

Missionary to Nakuru, Kenya

Co-founder of A Future and a Hope home for orphaned girls

 

 

Johnny here: I am heading to Nairobi today to pick up a document and look for a computer. I am hoping to find a good deal for what I need, and a few of the wants I have.

Saturday we visited our 2 and a half acre farm and looked at our corn and beans growing. We also will be planting some vegetables, I know what was I thinking vegetables? Still no matter what my taste buds tell me I know that veggies are good for me.

Also we were able to feed some kids, whose mother as gone to Mombassa. They are staying with their grandmother, and well it is a long story. For now let's just say they needed food and we happened to be in the right place at the right time to feed them. Thank you Jesus for putting us in the right place at the right time.


DO I NEED TO MAKE YOU BLIND SO THAT YOU CAN REALLY SEE?

My wife and I were taking a quick opportunity to drive together this morning and have a breakfast date.  On the way, we noticed a garage sale.  We love going to garage sales and thrift shops to hunt for bargain treasures and so we pulled in to take a look around. 

I wear some nerdy-looking glasses and so I removed these and placed them in my pocket.  Things were fuzzy looking as we began to walk towards the couple running the sale.  As we got closer, I noticed the woman of the house was wearing little to nothing in the way of clothes and that she had tattoos in various places.  The husband also had lots of tattoos and gave a rough and almost gangster appearance.  The woman began talking as we all exchanged greetings.  I saw something fuzzy on the woman's bottom lip that moved with her lip as she talked.  I realized it was a lip ring.  Her hair was dyed black as well. 

I was feeling pretty uncomfortable and thinking about how we could maybe get out of there as soon as possible, but my wife was getting in there among them and really have a good conversation.  While I was being religious and stuffy, she was being like Christ. 

In the moment that I embarrassingly realized how wrong I was behaving and how Christ-like my wife was being, I thought I heard the Lord speak this into my heart "Is fuzzy vision not good enough to do the trick?  Do I need to make you completely blind so that you can really see?  Maybe if all you can do is hear voices then it will be much easier for you to do the right thing."

I didn't feel like God was making a serious threat but more that He was making a point with me.  Still, nothing like a little healthy fear to aid in a quick heart change and attitude adjustment.  "No, Lord,"  I answered back in my heart as we decided to buy a little T.V for the kids to play video games on.  "I want to be more like you and see others like you do and treat others like you want.  Please help me to do this."

This is embarrassing and humbling to share but I do hope it helps someone else out there reading this who sometimes struggles with this problem too.  Or, maybe you've been the victim of judgmental Christians.  I'm probably not the one who passed judgment on you but I'd like to apologize on behalf of the Christians who may have hurt you this way.  Please forgive them and me also.  Please don't blame God.  He made those Christians but He never led them to behave this way.  It's hard to be human.  There's no excuse, though, and you are wonderful, valuable, and precious in the eyes of the Lord.  Don't let anyone let you believe you are insignificant or anything less.  Don't give those that hurt the power to let you suffer in anger and hurt.  Forgive them as Christ forgave you and set both them and you free. 

James Matthews