Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Walk

Curly girl and I just got home from a walk.  We have been piddling around the house all day and about an hour ago I felt like taking a walk.  I immediately sensed the SPIRIT's approval.

Usually WildHeart is my walking buddy but oddly, today she didn't want to go and even more strange, Curly Girl did.  So, off we went.   
We had walked about twenty minutes and were turning a corner when a white dove (the first and only one I have seen here) flew right in front of us. It didn't land, it just flitted around right in front of us. We stopped in our tracks. It flew behind us and we turned around and watched. It didn't leave. It just hovered above in front of us for a few moments...long enough for us to recognize a strange thing was happening.  Then, it flew away. 
We both recounted our wonder at it and recollected that a white dove represented the SPIRIT in the Bible.  We kept walking.  Curly Girl spoke up, "Sometimes GOD says things to me and I don't know why HE says them. I want to know why HE says things."  
Then, she told me that HE had just told her that the dove was from HIM.  "Are you sure?" I questioned. (I was pretty sure myself.)  
"Yes".  So, as we walked we prayed a quick, easy prayer (UJ style) and just told the FATHER we were listening for whatever HE wanted us to know and asked for discernment.  

We continued on and down the road and at one point I got a sense that Curly Girl was about to share some insight on the dove from the LORD.  Instead, she said, "Are you thirsty?"
Not what I was expecting.  No, I'm not, I said.  Then I told her that I am often not thirsty when I should be and I'm probably dehydrated.  
"I'm thirsty a lot" she said.  I told her that was good and healthy! 

Our walk continued. We began to hear a commotion of cars honking.  We saw a caravan turning a corner and coming down the road we were walking. It was a wedding.  The first vehicle was a truck carrying a couple guys with video cameras in the back.  Right behind that was a black car with a bride riding in it.  I pointed her out to Curly Girl. 

My mind started churning....SPIRIT.....Bride...those words go together.   I told Curly Girl how interesting it was that we saw both a dove and a bride on this walk because there's a verse that says 'the SPIRIT and the Bride say come.  I didn't quote the rest of the verse because I couldn't remember it.  As we continued to walk, we prayed again, briefly and told the FATHER we were listening. 
(We were having a lot of fun with HIM.)

We reached home about 15 minutes later and I went to my computer to look up the verse.  I searched "SPIRIT and bride".  

1 result

"The SPIRIT and the Bride say, 'Come'. And let the one who hears say, 'Come'. And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price"   Revelation 22:17

Friday, April 20, 2012


I think UJ and my friend Paula were divided at birth. They don't even know one another, but independently, they have taught me some of the same things. Paula is easily one of my favorite women in the world. I could create an entire blog describing how wonderful she is and not even need to exaggerate.
Gee, I really miss her....

A little bit ago, I sat on my porch and watched 2 lizards in my yard fighting. Then a third lizard approached and literally got in between the two, stopping the fight. It stood between them for a few moments and then the fighters both went their separate directions. (I wonder if it was their mother.) Watching that scene reminded me of one day, back in the States, when my friend Paula sat across my dining room table and told me something I remember often. She said that CHRIST has called us to be "peacemakers not peacekeepers."
That's a really big difference ,isn't it?

I am fairly decent at peacekeeping. Just don't rock the boat. Say what people want to hear. Don't offend, or say things that are hard to hear...even if they're true. Actually, I am better than decent at all that. I'd say I'm really good at peacekeeping.

But, HE wants me to be a peacemaker. Hmmm...a peace maker. Like that crazy lizard? That means bringing peace into a place it wasn't before. I admit, I find conflict very long as it is other people's. I don't want to personally be involved in it.

A while back UJ was teaching me about the armor of GOD.  When he got to the part about fitting our feet with the preparation of the GOSPEL of peace he explained that these are boots of peace. We are to walk with purpose, with intention to bring peace to the places we go. Sometimes you have to fight for it, he said. Fight? for peace?

I don't do that. Honestly, I don't know that I would even know how to do that. I mean, I grew up in church. I know church. If you fight, you're a troublemaker.....right? Good CHRISTians don't say unpleasant things. They don't get involved in people's business or bring up people's (shhhh s-i-n) least not to the person. They just bring it up as a "prayer request". They stay out of other people's conflicts.
They're always nice.
I want to be a good CHRISTian....don't I? Oh wait....I want to be a JESUS lover, a WILD MAN follower.

HE is not a nice guy.
HE wears boots of peace. HE loves ALL the time. HE speaks truth ALL the time. HE works and fights and bleeds...and dies for unity...for peace.

I don't do that, either. I'm nice. HE wants me to be kind. HE doesn't like "nice guys". That's not real. Kind is real. Kind is true. Peacemakers...that's what HE is about. Nice is for peacekeepers.
I saw a peacemaker the other day off my balcony. In the football field (aka the road) a lively game was going on between about 15 boys. It's the dry season, so every move they made created a cloud of dust. Feet were flying all over, trying to get a piece of the ball. In the bustle, one boy got hurt. He laid face down on the ground and wailed. Some of the boys walked off. Others stood over him, chiding him. Others began to kick him cruelly. Then, everyone walked away and sat down a ways off from him. He laid there alone for a few moments. But then a little boy walked from the edge of the road, knelt down and said something to the boy, took his hand and sat him up. He studied the wounded boys knee closely and then pulled him to his feet. He placed his arm around his shoulders and walked him to the side. Shortly after, the game resumed.

I was stunned. He's a peacemaker! I don't have to understand their language, or know any specifics to know that it wasn't easy to do what he did. Fighting for the weak is no path to fame and glory in this place.

It's no pass to fame and glory in any place for that matter. But it is the way of GLORY in that other place, you know, the PEACEMAKER's KINGdom. In that KINGdom, no matter the season, boots are always in style.

"For HE HIMSELF is our peace, WHO has made us both one and has broken down in HIS flesh the dividing wall of hostility" Eph 2:14

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Tale of Two Parties- Part 1

Last week my Man threw a party of appreciation for the precious people who work for us and their families. There was music and dancing, and lots of food and laughter. One of my missionary friends told me how parties work here. Status is everything. Only the most important guests get meat (white people are a shoo in). Everyone else gets rice and sauce.

Not this party.

My Man spared no expense for them. I loved watching their faces when we handed them each a plate with meat on it. Priceless.

They thought it was strange for us to have a party for them, to serve them. It probably made us look good....and I hate that part of it because we knew better.
You see, we believe that JESUS came not to be served, but to serve others. We believe that if HE lived in our house, HE wouldn't be vying for the attention of the prestigious. HE would be serving the servants. HE does crazy things like that. So, we're just trying to keep up with our WILD MAN.
It turned out that our guests knew that all along. As the party was winding down, one of the men (a precious lover of GOD) called everyone's attention and announced that it was time to say thank you. My stomach got a little nervous. I prepared myself for a speech of us. I surprised and angered myself when for a moment, I actually wanted it to be that.

Instead, he broke out into a song of spontaneous thanks to GOD. In typical African style, everyone joined right in and sang with all their heart and all their voice! They thanked GOD for HIS abundance. They thanked HIM for HIS love and how much HE gives to them. They sang thanks for all the blessing that GOD has poured on them.

I smiled when they sang about abundance. They are right. They're not poor. They have been lavished by the MOST HIGH.
Woohoo! That's some truth!!! HE alone is worthy!!

"I AM the LORD and there is no other" Isa 45:5,6,18,22, 46:9 (HE said this a lot!)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Have you ever stood in front of a bakery counter surveying all the delectable pastries, unable to choose which one to indulge in? That's how I feel today. My lengthy break from blogging has resulted in a pileup of sweet moments to share. If I recollect correctly (it's been a while since I've been in one) I rarely make it out of a bakery with just one thing. So, I think I'll do the same today.
Here are the highlights of our last weeks.

* We were just leaving a little restaurant near our house. As we left we passed a large monkey crouched on the ground near a tree. Now, it is common knowledge that Little Aggie gives off an energy that terrifies animals, forcing them into a primal mode of self defense. So, why didn't I just carry Little Aggie to the car? Novice error. Before I had time to react, I saw the monkey open its mouth wide and let out a loud hiss. Then, it charged toward Little Aggie, leaped up and bit him on his arm before speedily retreating up the tree.
6 shots and two weeks later, Little Aggie was good as new. Ah, what is an African adventure without a series of rabies vaccines anyway?

* Our family took a boat ride to a small island off the coast of Guinea. We pulled up near its beach and waded into shore. After a brief hike across the island through beautiful African forest, we arrived at a clean, beautiful beach. It was a little surreal. I guess I didn't realize how much I have grown unaccustomed to seeing land that isn't devoured with trash. The kids splashed around in the waves all day. There were no near-drownings or rabid animal bites, so Little Aggie was getting bored. I think he was relieved when he found a hypodermic needle. He pulled off the protective cap and held it up for my Man to see, "Look Daddy, a shot!" And the fun just keeps on comin....

* We woke Easter morning and left to spend the early hours at an outdoor service with about 50 missionaries from various organizations. It wasn't fancy. It was simple and genuine and sweet. I don't think even one person was wearing anything new. It didn't matter. There was just an ease, and a sweetness in the LORD and with each other.

* We spent Easter afternoon at a party with friends from work. On our way home we drove into a political protest that had taken over the streets. Protesters had positioned motorcycles to block traffic and people swarmed the road. We crept slowly through and as people noticed Americans were in the car they would raise their arms and cheer. My beloved Africans. They love America. When they saw us, they saw the representation of what they were marching for.

There are many other delicacies on the shelves that I haven't shared and still many more being prepared for me by the FATHER.
And just like every bakery has that sweet aroma, it is my earnest desire that each of these experiences, each moment of my time in this, our land, will be that sweet aroma before HIM.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

HIS way

I thought I knew what life in Africa would be like for us. In the weeks before we left, the FATHER surprised me by telling me that it was not going to be what I expected. HE didn't tell me anything specific, just that it was not going to be what I thought it was.

TRUTH was right. TRUTH is always right.
If anyone else had tried to tell me that we would be doing and living the way we are here, I wouldn't have believed them. And even if I had, I would have been disappointed. This is not the life I expected or wanted. In fact, my way was so much more "godly".
One of my favorite and frequently quoted verses is this:
"Our GOD is in Heaven. HE does whatever HE wants" Psalm 115:3

Isn't that reassuring? I can't figure HIM out. I can't call the shots or make the plans or tell HIM what to do. HE doesn't do what I please. HE does what HE pleases.
That way I'm safe.

And you know what? I'm not disappointed.