What is it?

Looking through my journals and email, I found out that I was wishing for a lot of good things to happen. I claimed to be “hoping,” but I did not/could not be confident the desired outcome would happen. That is not what hope is about. Hope is more than wishing. [Want to know more? Click here.]

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Serving God Wherever He Sends Me

I hate doing what I’m about to do. However, God tells us that we are to support those of the faith that have need. 2 Corinthians 8:1-9 is an accounting of Paul asking the Corinthian church members to be as giving as their counterparts in Macedonia (a much poorer community). I’m often challenged by this passage to give more to God’s work. Verses 6-7 in the New Living Translation says,
So we have urged Titus, who encouraged your giving in the first place, to return to you and encourage you to finish this ministry of giving.  Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.
I do not want to preach to you. I want to appeal to you in the power of God’s Word. I’m praying your hearts and your devotion to improving the world will prompt you to act.
Here’s the appeal: Help me go to Haiti, January 20-27, 2018 to help in mission work that partners with my local church. We are going with an organization called Loving Shepherd Ministries, which provides homes for orphaned children in Haiti. They not only house children, but LSM provides each child with long-term educational and vocational opportunities.
We will be involved in various roofing projects in the community around one of the homes that LSM operates. We will also be building relationships with the children as well as giving them something tangible that will point back to how much God loves them. This gives each child hope and allows them to reach God.
The total cost is $1,750 and needs to be raised by January 10th (I’m getting a late start at this because the Holy Spirit only recently convinced me to go; notice He was convincing and it took a while for the message to sink in). Part of these funds will purchase construction materials.
Contribution checks can be made out to “Fowlerville UB Church” and marked on the memo line: Haiti-Grimm. Then send it to:
Fowlerville United Brethren Church
9300 W. Grand River Ave.
Fowlerville, MI 48836
If you have any questions, please send me a note at thetootsierolllady@yahoo.com
I love serving Jesus and I’m excited by this opportunity. Join me in the adventure!

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Standing Up For the Most High

There are several themes in Daniel 5 and 6, but one stood out to me. Daniel – like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego earlier (chapter 3) – was willing to lay everything on the line to be faithful to their God. The examples these faithful Jewish individuals are ones I know I need to pay attention to more than I do.
In Daniel 5, the great-grandson of Nebuchadnezzar is ruling over Babylon. He had not paid heed to the changes in Nebuchadnezzar’s life or to the Most High God that Nebuchadnezzar had come to believe in as a result of events in his life. Belshazzar was as prideful of his accomplishments as Nebuchadnezzar had been, even to the point of defiling the treasures taken from the temple in Jerusalem many years before. He held a big party for his highest-ranking officials. Out of his pride he proclaimed his Babylonian gods were greater than the God of Israel. To prove that, he called for vessels and challises of the temple in Jerusalem to be brought from the storehouse and be used to toast the Babylonian gods.
God had had enough! He sent Belshazzar a message written out by a disembodied hand. But no one there could understand the message. Eventually Daniel was brought in. Daniel was promised a high position in the kingdom if he told the king what the message meant. Daniel said he didn’t want the rewards, but he’d interpret the writing anyway. Daniel knew the message was not a good message for Belshazzar, but remained bold, as he trusted God to protect him from whatever danger might come his way from interpreting the dream. He proclaimed God’s message at the risk of personal injury or death.
In Daniel 6, Daniel is now in a high position in the kingdom of the man who had overthrown Belshazzar. This king’s name is Darius, of the Mede-Persian Empire. Daniel is now about 85 years old and risen to a high rank in Darius’ kingdom. Darius was convinced by some other leaders who wanted to see Daniel dead (how can this Jewish person be ranked over us Babylonians?) to make an injunction “that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides [Darius] for thirty days shall be cast into the lions’ den. [Daniel 6:7]” These conspirators knew Daniel’s practice of daily prayer to the God of Israel and were pretty confident he would not stop the practice. Their plot was all set.
Daniel was a man of God and everyone knew it. He did not hide his worship or his obedience to the commands of the God of Israel. It was well known, because Daniel was faithful. So, he was brought before Darius and Darius was angry that he’d been tricked and that Daniel, whom he respected and maybe even loved, had to be thrown into the lions’ den. Daniel’s witness to the One High God is shown in Darius’ comments to Daniel when Daniel is thrown into the den: “Your God whom you constantly serve will Himself deliver you. [6:16]” We all know the story: Daniel is unharmed in the den and brought out the next day. Darius makes a new decree in verses 26 and 27 that starts like this: “I make a decree that in all the dominion of my kingdom men are to fear and tremble before the God of Daniel . . .” Daniel’s witness reached all the dominion.
So, these stories gave me pause to consider what people would say about my life. To have unbelievers see in me the same faithfulness the conspirators saw in Daniel could be frightening. Yet it is a compliment for those who truly desire to serve the One and Only Living God.