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Entries from August 2008

Delight Yourself in the Lord

Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart."

As a mom, I can really relate to this verse. There’s nothing I love more than bringing joy to my kids and giving them the desires of their heart. The problem is that I’ve noticed that the more I get them treats, prizes, rewards, gifts, or outings; the more dis-satisified, peevish, complaining, demanding, ungrateful, and selfish they become.

I went to the Lord in my frustration about this and I ended up having to repent. The verse above is true and we are not wrong in being like God. However, the part I was misunderstanding was the last word "heart." See, God is Spirit and when He speaks it is from the spiritual kingdom mindset. He does not promise us the desires of our "flesh"; the things we want and hope for that pertain to this natural kingdom, no matter how good or noble they are. That dream home in the country is not the true desire of my "heart" or of my "spiritual man" but of my "natural man." I had the two confused.

In trying to give my children "joy," I was offering them temporary happiness from things in the natural kingdom. God knows the only thing that satisfies our spirit is Him alone and walking in the fullness of His spirit with joy and peace; resting from our struggle with our natural man or flesh nature.

King David had it right. He didn’t ask for wisdom like Solomon or a miraculous prophetic ministry like Elisha did. Sure, these sound great but they brought death to many people (if you read the rest of their story). No, David said "one thing do I desire…to dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life." That house is Christ himself. Crucified, buried, and risen - and us with Him.

Oh, if we could but truly grasp this truth - the essence of the "good news" and understand that we are even now in this Eden, this promised land, this Sabbath - in Him. This is mankind’s true heart’s desire.

"Why spend money on what is not bread and your labor on what does not satisfy? Listen, listen to me and eat what is good and your soul will delight in the richest of fare." Isaiah 55:2.

In Him,
Heather


Picture of the Week

business startups 007 We helped this single mother with her new business venture. She works for us as a cook, but her sister is staying with her. The two of them wanted to open a shop to sell milk, but they had no way to keep the milk cold. Well we happen to have two fridges, and decided the best way to help them was to invest in their business. The biggest expense they had was the refrigerator, so we gave them ours.

Her name is Leah Nyambura and she is holding Emma Brooks.


Opinion

"The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.

                                                                  Proverbs 29:25   The Message

Everyone has an opinion, I have many of them. Ask me about anything, and chances are I can chime in with something to say about it. You can even use another Proverb which says something like; "When you need to make a decision, check with a lot of people first."

Opinions are good and bad at the same time.

Maybe I want to start doing something and I ask all of you for some input. Some will give me good stuff some not so good stuff. However if I can't make a move without your thoughts then I will become paralyzed. Or worse if before I make any decision I weigh how people will think about me after making it I will really be stuck.

If God is asking you to do something, consider what your friends say, but ultimately you need to trust Him.

 

johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

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


Address

Those of you who are inclined to send us care packages should take note of our new Kenyan address. It is:

Johnny Brooks

P.O. Box 2974

Nakuru 20100

This box is more conveniently located for me, and trust me if you knew the process I have to go through to pick a package from the Post Office you would be happy for me to streamline any part I can.

I just paid for the old box so if you have sent anything don't worry I will still get it. Plus the old box is used by the denomination I work with here in Kenya, so no worries. However our box number is now 2974.

Donations should still be sent via PayPal or to Kenya Fund P.O. Box 1113 Groves, TX 77619-1113

johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

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


In Her Own Words

This is a recent composition that Irine wrote during one of Kate's tutoring sessions:

MY FIRST DAY A FUTURE AND HOPE

    I was washing the dishes in my aunts house. My aunt was out looking for food. "I am taking you somewhere pack your bag" my aunt said.

    I pack my bag and then we went. I did not know where I was going. "Your going to live with other children in a big house" she said looking at me happy.

    We went to an office wich had many people. The owner of the office called my aunt's name When we went inside the house there was an American person. I was astonished I had never talked with a white person.

    My mind was thinking How will be like living in a big house "Are you lisning" I am going with you."

    I was wondering where we were going. My aunt told me that I was going to live with the man I was happy.

    When I arrived there it was a big house that I had never dreamed of. They welcomed me with so much love. The wife of the man had four children three girls and one boy.

    The house was beautiful I thought I was going to work as a maid but it was not true The woman told me that I was going to school the next day. Then the woman showed me my bed that was amaizing that never had my own bed before.

    We had six dog and washing mashine. There was other girls in school. The food is delicious it is not like sukumawiki and there was a place to eat.

    The woman was called Kate she was very kind. That day I slept in a comfortable place.

 

Irine


How?

Back in '04 when I was trying to decide how to do fundraising for our mission projects, the Holy Spirit took me to a very interesting passage of scriptures.

"Don't think you have to put on a fund-raising campaign before you start. You don't need a lot of equipment. You are the equipment, and all you need to keep that going is three meals a day. Travel light.   Matthew 10:9-10 The Message copied from www.biblegateway.org

Let me tell you something, when you are planning fundraisers and thinking of all the ways to raise money for your project that you felt God called you to do, that passage is the last thing you want to hear.

How do we help the people we help? How do we care for the orphans that we live with?

The answer is that we trust God, and try not to worry about fundraising. The good thing is that God moves on people's heart and they donate money to us, and we are able to continue the work.

When you follow him you never know where you will end up, but if you don't take a step, then the journey can never start. I am trying to not allow funds to stop me from doing what God wants me to do.

Yes we need funds, and we have our blog and emails, which are our primary fundraising tools. Which then makes it all the more amazing that we can get anything done at all! Since fundraising via blogs and emails is not all that easy. Yet when the need is there I find the resources are available or become available within a short amount of time.

How? I can't really explain it, but I know it is working.

johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

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


Following

I am always amazed at where Jesus leads us. Once upon a time I believed he would led me to greatness in terms of a teaching ministry that reached thousands. I had it all planned out, and even had begun to put together materials to teach. Seems like God had a different plan altogether.

I now find greatness in places I had been taught were not great. I find God himself in the dirt, and not in the clean places.

He has taken us now to a group of young girls, some as young as fourteen, who are pregnant and without any support system. In fact one who lives in a slum here in Nakuru is fourteen and eight months pregnant had never even been to town. We learned this when we took her to the doctor for her very first such visit.

God has asked us to love them and do what we can for them, so that is what we are doing.

If you would have asked me five years ago about working with teenage pregnancies I don't believe I would have been receptive. Amazing where God leads.

johnny's-head Johnny Brooks

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


CAN LOST MARBLES REALLY BE FOUND TOGETHER ?

"We are not merely marbles in a bucket – autonomous beings who happen to be in the same place at the same time, each of whom are capable of living whole and healthy marbles lives by themselves. We are cells in a body, each giving something to the body which it needs and each receiving from the other cells in that body what we need to sustain our lives."

(From pg. 72 of the book entitled "Schools for Conversion: 12 Marks of a New Monasticism"; by Ivan Kaufman)

Among those trying to share life as followers of God together there are those who choose to live intentionally together in the same community. My first reaction when I hear of these is to be cautious because of things like what happened in Waco, Texas and others like Jim Jones and his purple kool-aide drink somewhere in South America.

However, I've found a few that were great and I think I've blogged about them before. Anyhow, a favorite of mine can be found at: http://www.life-mission.org/blog/ Although we may not all be called to live this way together, you'd be surprised at what God can teach all of us through their experiences.

I was introduced to the above book quote from a life-mission blog post made on Dec 23rd, 2005.  After sharing the book quote, the blogsite offered the following comment:

"It seems we face in our culture a fundamental zealous commitment to individualism. In some ways this is what has made the U.S. a successful nation. But I suspect it has broken a lot of things in other ways. It certainly doesn’t epitomize the values of God’s kingdom. Living out the Gospel of the Kingdom is trying to put into practice the good news of what will eventually take over the entire universe."

If you are curious about the book called cited you can click here to find out a little more:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Monasticism#The_.22Twelve_Marks.22_of_a_New_Monasticism

Photo used with permission from:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/photos-martha/527179606/

 

James